Humans have longed dream of creating the ultimate artificial life. The kind of robots that not only look and move exactly like humans but also with their own thinking and emotions. This goes way back even to the 60’s and 70’s and perhaps even at the turn of the 19th century. Though the technology towards that goal is now progressing at a reasonable rate (I could be wrong, though) back during the 90’s such dreams are only made possible in movies or cartoons. Hence, one of the many early animes that deal with such themes about a very life-like robot living among us ordinary citizens is All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku or as it is known in its original Japanese name, Bannou Bunka Neko Musume Nuku Nuku.

The titular character may look like an ordinary school girl but underneath that exterior, she is unlike us all. She is a robot. To top it all, she is also part feline. Yes, a cat. Well, let’s just say that even though humans are able to make the most scientific hi-tech robot at that time, they still needed that extra spark to bring machines to life. Otherwise it would just be another ordinary machine. I suppose that is what differentiates between us and machines: A heart. As our cat girl tries to go about and understand the ordinary lives in society, she has to also fend off attacks from a large company that produces military hardware and weapons who are adamant in claiming her body. When you’ve put so much research, money, time and effort into a project and the results are way above expectations, you’re not going to let it go just like that, right?

But don’t worry. I have the ‘honour’ of watching all 3 different seasons of this series so it isn’t really all that grim and dirty as this series is mainly action and comedy oriented, the main reason why I decided to watch this ‘old’ anime. As I read, the battles in some episodes that involve Nuku Nuku and her adversaries are amusingly larger than life fights. That spells epic chaos for Maneki City, the city she lives in, right? Ah, what utter destruction could high end robots and technology do to a city? I wonder if the cost of repairing the damage is more than the cost invested in such weapons.

OVA

Episode 1
During Christmas as Ryunosuke Natsume takes a piss in the alley, he spots a stray cat and brings it back to his dad, Kyusaku. However he tells him they can’t bring anybody else along because they are fugitives. Kyusaku has to start putting the pedal to the metal since his pursuers in the helicopter have caught up. The dangerous high speed chase ends with Kyusaku crashing his car into the car dump. Good thing with all the junk, he can camouflage. Bad news: The helicopter pilot, Arisa starts shooting away! Feels good, huh? She reports back to Madam Akiko about Kyusaku getting away. Akiko orders them to return to base as there will be many more chances to catch them. And she looks hell bent in wanting to ring this Kyusaku guy in. Kyusaku gets out from the wreckage but Ryunosuke is crying. That’s because the stray cat got hit by the bullets and is dead. Kyusaku promises to do something and give him the best Christmas gift. Next scene, we see Nuku Nuku living together with Ryunosuke and Kyusaku. We know she’s not an ordinary girl because she doesn’t feel pain when Kyusaku accidentally puts out his cigarette on her palm (she had to feign pain – the scream can be deafening) and since this is her first day at high school, she peddles her bicycle with full power. Ryunosuke had to put up with dad’s driving, now he’s going through hell again with Nuku Nuku’s riding. Can’t blame him if he has a heart attack even though he’s just a kid. Remember people, don’t ride recklessly like her. Ryunosuke has to part ways with her since he is in elementary school but he relays the good news that Kyusaku will be her homeroom teacher. Meanwhile Akiko is tearfully watching a video of Kyusaku leaving the family’s company, Mishima Heavy Industries and also left after marrying into the family. Something about he disagreed of grandpa’s idea of using his android idea for his own use despite being generously granted his own lab and research funds. He took Ryunosuke with him and promised to look after his education. It has been a year since. Doesn’t she get tired of watching this rerun over and over again? Well, she really dotes on Ryunosuke and vows to save him from his hard time and loneliness. Kyouko comes in to report that she has footage from Arisa that has Ryunosuke in it. Want to bet Akiko wants to watch it? Akiko sees Nuku Nuku and instantly recognizes it as Android NK 1124. Otherwise, how could one explain such a burst of power while cycling through the streets? She even curses Kyusaku for turning this android into his perfect girl of his dreams. Thinking this video must show where Ryunosuke schools, she has her subordinates locate them and allows them to use Poison One (the helicopter).

Nuku Nuku is sure popular with the boys in class and she doesn’t mind. Kyusaku does. Hell! Pay attention to his lessons, you dimwits! Kyusaku hears a familiar copter sound and knows who is coming. He turns the class into self study and signals Nuku Nuku to go into action. Nuku Nuku greets Poison One on the roof but Arisa goes trigger happy and fires her missiles! Take out her stress load?! By firing missiles into Ryunosuke’s class?! WTF?! Thank God they’re just imitations. No wonder it didn’t explode when it crashed into the teacher and students. Nuku Nuku climbs on board but Poison One flies high and drops her. She crashes down into a pile of logs. Ryunosuke and Kyusaku arrive on scene to see the devastation so Kyouko tells them to come back with them nice and quiet. Suddenly Nuku Nuku emerges from the rubble and throws a log into Poison One. There goes the helicopter. Arisa is still alive and kicking thanks to the power suit she is wearing. Though she lifts the log away and fires back, she is still no match for Nuku Nuku’s speed, agility and strength as she completely takes her out with a German suplex. So much for the power suit too. Kyusaku has the ladies relay a message back to Akiko. They’re not going to run anymore and can come and visit them whenever they’re ready. Kyouko and Arisa report to Akiko about their failure and the need to improve the mechanisms of the power suits due to the weak compensating system that sends shock directly to the user’s body (Arisa is injured due to it). However Akiko says that grandpa wasn’t pleased that they used Poison One without his permission despite she was the one authorizing its use. Now the duo are going to face his severe wrath. As extra bonus, she orders them to continue watching Ryunosuke and Kyusaku on her behalf. That’s just mean! Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke might be having Kyusaku’s burnt-to-a-crisp fish for dinner but hey, at least they’re a happy family.

Episode 2
Ryunosuke’s friend, Yoshimi Hagiwara tags along with Ryunosuke and Atsuko (Nuku Nuku’s alias) to the beach for the summer. Since Kyusaku is too busy, he can’t come and this means they can’t take a car ride. How? Bicycle. Oh no. Hold on to your horses. Kyusaku gets an earful from Akiko for letting her son going to the filthy beach filled with all that cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation crap thingy. Kyusaku assures Nuku Nuku is with her and will be entirely safe. Akiko agrees to it but if a tiny scratch befalls on her son, he must revert the guardianship back to her. No 2 ways about it. Arisa and Kyouko thought it was a ploy to get Ryunosuke back because all they need to do is head down to the beach and put a little scratch on the kid. Akiko chides them for such an idea because she will NEVER hurt Ryunosuke. She’s going to the beach. And on the double or they’ll not get this month’s bonus! Nuku Nuku first arrives at the house of Shinjo, Yoshimi’s uncle. Looks like he is smitten with Nuku Nuku and quickly tidies himself up before bringing them to the beach. While the kids have fun in the sea, Shinjo suggests rubbing oil lotion on Nuku Nuku. Guess what? Oil, right? She drink it! Another baffling moment for Shinjo is that she is walking on the hot sands barefoot like as though it’s nothing! Nuku Nuku goes off for a swim but sinks like a hammer! And you thought Kyusaku perfected this robot, eh? At least she doesn’t short circuit as a machine. Akiko watches Nuku Nuku sink and realizes this ‘bonus’ because now she knows her weakness and plans to use Yoshimi to lure Ryunosuke back. I don’t know this brain wash machine they used on Yoshimi because it seems they are influencing her dream whereby Akiko is willing to lavish her with a luxury liner if she becomes her future daughter-in-law. The effect is that Yoshimi is hypnotized under their control when she wakes up. Next morning, Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku go in search for missing Yoshimi. Then they spot a familiar cabin cruiser that belongs to Akiko and Yoshimi is on board. Kyouko goes to fetch Ryunosuke and he obviously thinks they are unscrupulous to use Yoshimi as hostage. Kyouko disagrees and says that she agrees to it on her own will and can come to ascertain it himself. Ryunosuke agrees to go but Nuku Nuku is made to keep a robo octopus piloted by Arisa company. It’s odd that if Nuku Nuku can’t break out from its grasp, it took a Land Rover driven by Kyusaku and Shinjo to put it out of commission. Kyusaku had a hunch this would happen and solves her sinking problem with a swimming gear. Flippers and bikini top? That’s all it takes to let her stay afloat?

Akiko is delighted to be reunited with her son but Ryunosuke is not amused. He wants Yoshimi released and calls her a liar that she wants to stay. Then he hears himself from Yoshimi’s own mouth how she wants to stay (obviously still hypnotized). Nuku Nuku is about to reach the cruiser but Arisa’s machine revives and pulls her down. She is going to let the water pressure crush her. Nuku Nuku starts banging her head on the window to crack it. Yeah, after all that tough metal, the makers never thought of making a tough window, eh? When they both resurface, they resume their fight but Nuku Nuku swings the octopus too hard and sends it flying towards the cruiser. It bugs me why Akiko didn’t run but just stood there like a stone watching the octopus falling closer. It took the bravery of her son to push her out of harm’s way. If that’s not enough, she is holding on to his hand while the poor kid hangs on. He’s hanging on to a sharp metal piece and is bleeding, you know. If she really cared for her son, she should have just released herself and drop down instead of seeing him in pain and bleeding. Ryunosuke can’t hold on and lets go but thankfully Nuku Nuku grabs him. Everyone manages to safely get back ashore as the cruiser sinks. After bandaging Ryunosuke’s hands, Kyouko and Arisa are going to take the kid back since Kyusaku lost the bet. A struggle ensues but Akiko for once shows she’s not a selfish b*tch because she admits he was hurt while saving her so this doesn’t count. However this doesn’t mean she has given up yet and will not hesitate to snatch him back if something really happens. Akiko and her goons leave and the immature ones on both sides trade funny faces with each other.

Episode 3
Don’t be alarmed if you think you’re watching a horror movie courtesy of Akiko’s blood curling scream. It’s just that she has no guts in cutting the fish. But more importantly, why is Ryunosuke and co living together with Akiko?! Flashback reveals Nuku Nuku went to meet with Akiko. She tells of Ryunosuke’s dream to have his parents make up and live together as a family. However it comes with conditions. Akiko has to be an old fashioned mother by being gentle, kind, do all the household chores herself and mustn’t disobey her husband. Of course Akiko will not accept such a deal but when it boils down to Ryunosuke’s dream, she is going to put aside her pride and accept it. Ironically, an android taught her how to be human. And so the trio start living in Akiko’s mansion and with Akiko’s first hand at cooking, let’s say Kyusaku had to tell her that cooking IS NOT equivalent to murder! He’s telling her off while she just tolerates everything. Isn’t this humiliating? Though Ryunosuke is willing to give mama a chance, however the delicious meal that he tastes is actually made by Nuku Nuku. Naturally, when she’s alone, she takes out her frustration by throwing wine glasses! I guess she’s rich enough to waste them. Arisa can’t bear to see her like this and shows her a robot that has analyzed Nuku Nuku’s abilities. She’ll crush her now if she orders. However Akiko goes off to wash clothes instead. Meanwhile grandpa seems to take a liking for Ryunosuke too. He likes being called Great Grandpa by him and even wants to play some shooting game with robots with him. But Ryunosuke wants to go parasailing and despite the old fart doesn’t know what the heck it is, he agrees. So much fun, eh? Nuku Nuku sees Akiko’s depressed expression like as though she’s been left out. Akiko returns to washing the clothes. Nuku Nuku laments to Kyusaku how Akiko has been working all the time and had no time to play with Ryunosuke. He replies that this is a test for her. For someone who is arrogant and selfish, if she passes this and sacrifices herself by doing things for others, it shows that she has matured. This is his love for her.

Arisa couldn’t tolerate Akiko throwing away her pride anymore. So she leaves on a journey and a message for her. In the end note, she tells her how nothing has changed because she is so busy as a housewife she will eventually never be with Ryunosuke, which is simply the same as when they’re living apart. This opened her eyes. Now she’s one pissed woman. She crashes into Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke’s basketball game with the new robot and is going to kill the android and her maker for making fun of her. Ryunosuke stands in between them and wants mama to stop. Although she couldn’t spend time with him, her cooking is getting better, the room he slept in felt cosy and the clothes she washed smelt good. If she’s going to throw away all that and kill Nuku Nuku who made this possible, then she hates her. Akiko is shocked by his words and admits that even though she doesn’t want him to hate her, she doesn’t want to kill herself to be loved by him. She will love him her own way. That is, she’ll fight Nuku Nuku and Kyusaku for his love. So begins the tremendous amount of destruction that Akiko is doing to her mansion just to kill Nuku Nuku. I think she almost fired her blast into the room where Kyusaku was in. Escaped in the nick of time. Nuku Nuku won’t fight back because she doesn’t want to hurt her. Kyusaku arrives on scene with a newly made weapon for Nuku Nuku to use against Akiko. However she doesn’t want to. So Kyusaku uses a chibi doll of Nuku Nuku to fire it. It’s so powerful that it annihilates the entire mansion! What kind of a weapon of mass destruction did he make???!!! But everyone is still alive because as mentioned, it only destroys inorganic things so humans are unaffected by the blast. Akiko continues to chase after Kyusaku. Nuku Nuku wants to stop them but Ryunosuke tells her to take a closer look. Seems they are happily chasing each other! Love is indeed complicated. When life returns to normal, it means they’re living apart again. Back to the poor but happy life. This also means Akiko hasn’t given up in using force to take Ryunosuke away. Doesn’t she get bored of this routine?

Episode 4
Nuku Nuku recently feels ‘free’ because Akiko hasn’t been pursuing them with her robots lately. Ryunosuke hopes Nuku Nuku could get his parents to get along tomorrow since he wants to invite mom over for Mother’s Day. Suddenly a plane crashes nearby. They go check it out and realize its maker is Mishima. The pilot is a little girl, Eimi Yoshikawa who pleads to help her since her life is being targeted. They hide her from the pursuing copter before leaving. They bring her back to Kyusaku and he doesn’t remember who she is. Maybe he’s been up for 5 straight days… Anyway she is the granddaughter of Kyusaku’s professor. He died last year in an explosion when one of his experiments failed. When Kyusaku left Mishima, her grandpa was hired to continue his job but failed to make a stable robot. Eimi was then tortured in an S&M way by Akiko because she thinks grandpa had told her its secrets. Recently she managed to escape when they’re not watching. Kyusaku gets all fired up to teach Akiko a lesson and shows Eimi some yet-to-be-completed device that will defeat anything that Mishima throws at them. Since he will be up all night completing the device, he wants Nuku Nuku to protect her. Maybe he should just go to sleep. Later I guess having the grownups reconcile isn’t possible by tomorrow. Eimi apologizes to Ryunosuke for badmouthing his parents but feel envy. Her own parents died 3 years ago in another failed experiment explosion. Seems everyone in her generation is doomed to die via explosion. Is it no wonder she’s afraid of dying in such a way? Suddenly she has a change in tone. She asks Ryunosuke if Kyusaku will be building more robots. Will that happen if he got back with Akiko? Then she wants to know where Kyusaku’s masterpiece android NK 1124 is but is surprised that it turns out to be Nuku Nuku. Eimi wants to go to the public bath with her. Eimi seems to be ‘examining’ every inch of Nuku Nuku’s body but the perverted guys on the other side of the wall hear and imagine things in a different light…

That night when everyone is asleep, Eimi searches through Kyusaku’s computer but didn’t find anything valuable. She accidentally connects to Akiko who is surprised to see her at Kyusaku’s place. She lies Nuku Nuku kidnapped her but refuses her rescue. Eimi is surprised to see Nuku Nuku behind and bluffs again she wanted to go to the toilet. In her haste, she rips her pants and this reveals a Mishima android serial number, SNK 98. Now that her identity is out, Eimi wastes no time to admit she is an android from Mishima. However she has a fatal defect and that she overheats and explodes in a prolonged battle. She wants Nuku Nuku’s body, the reason why she was trying to find her off switch at the public bath. Unfortunately she was wasting her breath since Nuku Nuku fell asleep! Attempts to retell everything was for naught so Eimi blows her top and fires her beam. Amazingly the guys can sleep through this. Eimi pretends to pass out so that she could stick Kyusaku’s device onto her (it restricts her power and movements). So by the time the guys wake up, Eimi has already taken Nuku Nuku into the sky. Akiko arrives a moment too late so Kyusaku gets into her car and chase them. Akiko reveals the real Eimi died 3 years ago with her parents and her grandpa created this android in her image. Because of her overheating flaw, she needs to retrieve her before she explodes in the city and her company loses credibility. Kyusaku is relieved that this is the substandard thingy Akiko was referring too and says that even Nuku Nuku has little defects like this. Nuku Nuku and Eimi battle it in the sky. They are also causing mayhem in the city! Crashing into almost every building in their path! Including Arisa and Kyouko who are on leave because they are injured. Arisa even quipped they should’ve got even more seriously injured to get more days off when the androids crash through! She should have kept her big mouth shut. The battle reaches its climax when they crash down and cause a huge crater! Kyusaku, Akiko and Ryunosuke thought they were too late but see them emerge from the rubble and continue their petty fight (Nuku Nuku now has the device on Eimi). Though Eimi is adamant that she will have her body, Nuku Nuku is happy to play with her and considered all that fun. I guess they don’t have to worry about them. Ryunosuke gives Akiko a bouquet of carnations (left behind by Eimi earlier on for him) and Kyusaku wants to treat her for Mother’s Day. I’m sure she’s suspicious if he has any tricks up his sleeve. Don’t worry, they’re genuine. He interests her if her company wants to buy his device since he is short of cash. It depends on how well he entertains her. The androids continue to ‘knock themselves out’. Literally. I wonder who is going to fix up the badly damaged city…

Episode 5
In the freaking summer, Arisa and Kyouko have no choice but to wait for their next payday if they’re going to have their air-cond fixed. That’s 25 more days to go, right? Oh hell… They notice Akies Family Restaurant nearby and it seems Nuku Nuku is working as a waitress. She’s such a hit that the guys order food just to get her attention. Can they stuff all that down their throat? Do they even have any more money after that?! Nuku Nuku naturally as a cat blushed at the sight of another family cat while peddling. It caused her to not see where she’s going. By the time she realizes, it’s too late. She broke the brakes and crashes through. Ryunosuke didn’t sit well with this because his bike is trashed. No amount of sorry can calm this kid down. Despite Kyusaku saying she is a cat, Ryunosuke insists Nuku Nuku is still a human. I thought she’s an android? To take responsibility, she saw an ad in the papers hiring for a family restaurant. So that’s how she got the job. But as a cat, she dares take naps in the middle of her shifts? The manager would have something to say but the customers-cum-fans want him to leave her alone. I guess he has no choice since she is bringing in the sales. The owner of Akies turns out to be Akiko and she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Arisa and Kyouko report Nuku Nuku is working here but she knows it. In fact, Nuku Nuku and the restaurant is featured in the magazine. What about her vendetta to crush her? Her priorities as a businesswoman comes first and she cannot let her personal feelings take over. She even notes Nuku Nuku has nothing to do with it. Wow. She’s mature. She warns them not to harm Nuku Nuku as long as she’s working there, especially Arisa. She will not discharge her weapons otherwise she will have to pay. The duo plead for her to lend 5000 Yen but all they got is a lousy 500 Yen. Hey. Be grateful she at least loan you something. So the duo are spying Nuku Nuku at Akies. I guess they can only afford one stinking coffee. That’s because of their failure to dispose of Nuku Nuku, their pay have been cut and bonus cancelled. They have to work overtime and on weekends and can’t even go dating! Wait a minute. They have guys to date? I think it’s rather they don’t have guys to pick them up! Poor thing! That’s why they’re going to get their revenge on Nuku Nuku. They become rude to her as the fan boys patiently watch over her. Because coffee refills are free, Arisa and Kyouko bosses her around with lots of refills as they make their own iced coffee. But the hot and cold mixture causes the glass to break and they blame it on Nuku Nuku. Yeah, putting up some rowdy accusing act, aren’t they? Since sorry won’t cut it, Arisa wants her to strip and do a handstand! The bullying has gotten far enough so the fan boys went over to beat them up and throw them out! I guess they won’t hesitate to beat you if you’re mean to Nuku Nuku even if you’re a woman. Hey. At least they don’t discriminate in that sense.

Their revenge is not over yet as they return working as part time waitress under Nuku Nuku. Oh boy. Arisa and Kyouko let loose several mice. The customers panic as Nuku Nuku chases after them and cause mayhem. She manages to catch all the mice and earns the manager’s praise. Arisa and Kyouko aren’t happy of that but the manager calls them to the back of the kitchen where a couple of his chefs are slicing up things. He knows they released the mice and wants to know which competitor sent them over. See the slicing getting more furious, now? In the end, they got beaten up, fired and kicked out. They reap what they sew. Yeah, to top off their bad day, they rolled into the sewer after that. The fan boys are disheartened to learn about Ryunosuke’s name. The way they ask, the way she answers. So ambiguous. But still it isn’t wrong. They conclude that Nuku Nuku is the mistress of Kyusaku and they have a child. Yeah, they’re going to teach that perverted old man lolicon a lesson and save their angel. Oh, look here Kyusaku and Ryunosuke come in to patron the restaurant. The fan boys confront them but then Arisa and Kyouko return with bazookas and catnip-armed firepower. They couldn’t care anymore and tear the place up just to avenge their humiliation! Fire away! The catnip causes Nuku Nuku to get drunk so she goes on a licking-cum-kissing spree. Yeah, those fan boys must be halfway to heaven by now. Akiko is happily on her way to check her restaurant when she sees customers running away and the building like a war zone. She knows who is behind this. Too bad everybody is so mad that she gets caught in the crossfire too. Then the ultimate finisher. Fire, gas tank, bullets… What do you get? A big explosion! The restaurant is destroyed. At least it didn’t cause a massive crater last time. But it’s still bad anyway because the bill to rebuild the building, cover the medical expenses and compensation amount to one billion yen. They’re going to pick up this tab. So what happened to their beautiful friendship? She is a businesswoman and her business takes priority over her personal feelings. I guess they’re in debt for the rest of their lives. Boo hoo! You reap what you sew. Nuku Nuku laments the things she does always turn out this way and promises to find a new job to buy Ryunosuke a new bike. He teases her that it might take a long time and thinks he might have to give up on the bike. Hehehe…

Episode 6
Nuku Nuku is happily knitting Christmas presents for her family when Eimi pays a visit. She wants to give Nuku Nuku her Christmas present. She pulls out a gattling gun and fires away!!! Eimi won’t be happy for New Year’s Day till she kills her! More annihilation… Till Eimi destroys the bag of yarn balls… Payback time! Double the annihilation! Meanwhile Kyusaku, Ryunosuke and Yoshimi are stuck in a traffic jam thinking about celebrating Christmas and Nuku Nuku’s birthday. They see a TV interview that has Akiko demonstrating a super targeting satellite. It never misses its targets. She assures the top guns of its security system, safe from falling into the wrong hands and its smart system that allows self maintenance and repair. Wow. I figure something destructive will come out of this. Nuku Nuku and Eimi’s fight rages on till it pours over the city. Nuku Nuku crashes into Kyusaku’s car while Eimi crashes into Akiko’s limo. I wonder how doing so can destroy the brakes. While Kyusaku is chiding Nuku Nuku for being careless, Akiko’s limo turns turtle and somehow her remote controller activates and sets Akiko as a target. This is mind boggling. Why the heck is her data inside the set? I thought it was intended for criminals? So what does this tell about her? No choice, Akiko pleads to Kyusaku for help. She is upset he could come up with stupid ideas while her life is in danger (she’ll die in 6 hours and all he could come up was to hide in a hole?). Because Nuku Nuku and Eimi continue their rivalry (pulling each other’s faces?), Akiko gets an idea to borrow Nuku Nuku to go up to the satellite and fix the system. Kyusaku refuses since it is dangerous. However Nuku Nuku volunteers to do it since she has always been troubling them and wants to help out. I guess that settles it. On to space!

How does it feel to be the first cat in space after the dog and monkey? Anyway Eimi follows Nuku Nuku in pretence to help her but views this as a chance to kill her. The shuttle can’t go any closer since the satellite is on the defensive mode that shoots down anything that comes near it. Nuku Nuku and Eimi space walk to get into the satellite but Eimi has rigged Nuku Nuku’s jet pack and sends her flying at high speed into the satellite. She is greeted with missiles but amazingly dodges them all. If Eimi hadn’t laughed like an idiot, she wouldn’t have been hit by those missiles. Now very pissed, Eimi gets back at the satellite and destroys it. Nuku Nuku won’t lose and helps her in destroying it. However it rejuvenates and begins to target Akiko. Time is running out so Akiko’s men panic upon being near her. She stomps her feet assuring the missile will only hit her (how can she be so proud about that?). Akiko says her goodbye to Ryunosuke but her son vows to always be with her. Nuku Nuku and Eimi are having trouble getting near the satellite’s barrier. Arisa and Kyouko pilot their shuttle into the satellite but were tossed away into Earth’s orbit. I’m surprised the shuttle didn’t get damaged when they try to slam it into the barrier. Nuku Nuku and Eimi cooperate to do some fast spinning move to take out the satellite. Akiko braces for death but when the countdown timer is over, she is still alive. Everyone rejoices that Nuku Nuku is successful. Wondering how she stopped the satellite, Akiko blows her top when Kyusaku suggested she might have destroyed it. It costs 1 trillion yen!!! He better reimburse that investment cost if it’s done for!!! Arisa and Kyouko are stranded in the middle of the ocean. Hey, at least they’re alive. Now the question is how they’ll hide the damaged shuttle. Can’t afford anymore docking of their pay, eh? And Kyusaku may have to bear the reimbursement cost of the satellite since it is obliterated to pieces. The androids are stranded in space, wondering how they’ll get back down.

TV (1998)

After nearly five years the release of the OVA, a TV adaptation made its debut. However the storyline is slightly changed. Also, the comedy factor has been upped to the point of nonsensical slapstick. Yeah, I think I’m going to like this. As being narrated at the start of the episode (like we need to be reminded of the change in plot), Nuku Nuku was once a cat but turned into a latest high-tech scientific Androbot to fight the evil Mishima Industry. They twist it like that? Well, let’s watch her cool story then.

Episode 1
Nuku Nuku tries to remember the conditions Ryunosuke made for her: To not use her android powers in front of people and to integrate into society. She didn’t see where she’s going and a lorry crashes into her. Don’t worry. There’s not scratch on her. You should worry about the lorry. Nuku Nuku is late on her first day at school and crashes in through the window. Her class is 3 floors up. We are introduced to the oddballs of her class. The homeroom teacher Yamagata, singer with a guitar always in hand Eiichi Ikenami, nihilistic pretty boy Rintaro Shimazaki, snobby rich girl Chieko Shirakaba, her underlings Migiko and Hidariko, occult maniac Rie Shibata (always bad omen?), bookworm Miyuki Miyazawa, mad scientist Yakumo Ooizumi and ‘responsible’ class rep Futaba Kaibara. Maybe the class is too boring or it’s time for her cat nap so Nuku Nuku takes one right in the middle of class. Elsewhere, the Mishima Industry may look like it contains normal employees. But when some of them receives the Secret Call message, they enter secret passageways laced around the place into a secret underground lair whereby the leader of Black Industry, Hell Mishima summons his underlings in his bid to take over the world. I thought this feels like a costume party… His executive, Bloody Akiko introduces a new weapon for their global conquest. Kyusaku watches over Nuku Nuku because he is worried how she’ll integrate in society. Suddenly Akiko and her underlings, Combat Arisa and Pretty Kyouko arrive to test their new weapon at school. I guess since they sponsor this school, it gives them the right to barge in and do whatever they like. The ‘weapon’ turns out to be a giant washing machine that will wash any stains off. So this is going to take over the world? Provided if everyone buys this product. Of course, it malfunctions. Have you ever heard of a washing machine having a water leak? It goes berserk and the only thing Akiko and her underlings can do since they can’t wrest back its control is to run away. Thanks for putting the students in danger.

The washing machine of course targets Nuku Nuku’s class, seeking something to wash. Yamagata tries to protect his students but gets owned instead. Futaba thinks it’s her debut but all she did is lead her class to safety on the rooftop. The machine catches Futaba and starts washing her. Nuku Nuku wanted to use her powers but Ryunosuke reminds her about the promise. However she can’t bear to see her friend in danger and uses them anyway. After pulling Futaba out, she sends the machine flying away. It landed on Akiko and co. Seems like they deservingly got what they deserve since they were planning to blame the failure on some other department. Nuku Nuku is prepares for the worst and thinks her friends will ostracize and look down on her since her android identity is revealed. However they think she is some Olympian athletic and are totally in awe of what she did. New respect. Kyusaku thinks her friends are understanding but I think they’re too dumb to see the obvious. Oh well. If this doesn’t cause any trouble I guess it’s okay. Meanwhile Hell (whose real name is Juzo and the second generation president of Mishima) learns of Akiko’s failure but doesn’t get disheartened since his conquest has just begun. His other underlings hope get over this soon because they feel ridiculous a guy his age is still playing a make believe evil secret organization. Back home, Nuku Nuku apologizes for breaking her promise but Ryunosuke adds another new condition. She can only use her powers to save her classmates. Akiko returns home in bandages. Fell down at office as excuse? She’ll gladly cook sukiyaki for them. From the way things are, looks like nobody knows her dual identity.

Episode 2
Ryunosuke’s neighbour, Noriko Ishiyama loves that kid so much that it’s her goal to steal his heart while her mother, Momoko watches on nervously while giving indirect support to her daughter. Looks like today won’t be the day Noriko will walk with Ryunosuke to school because Nuku Nuku grabs him as she peddles like hell to school. Kids, never ride recklessly like her. Ryunosuke could’ve died of a heart attack by the time he reaches school. In class, Yamagata feels Nuku Nuku needs to join a club since she will only experience youth once. Suddenly everybody starts hounding her to join their club. Including the oddballs of her class. However Rie and Yakumo ended up arguing about occult versus science. In the end, everyone singles Rie out since she is the only member of her occult club. They want her club to disband because the lesser clubs there are, the more budget the other clubs will have. Less clubs more share. Rie runs away in tears. Nuku Nuku felt sorry for and goes after her. She thought she could cheer her up but looks like she is back to her normal self, using dowsing rods to search for a red button she believes is bad luck for her. Yeah well. Nuku Nuku spots one on the ground nearby. A mouse distracts her and she accidentally presses it. Emerging from the hilltop is a giant haniwa model, Haniwander. Seems everybody starts badmouthing Haniwander so I guess even giants like it got feelings and goes on a rampage.

Meanwhile Hell learns from his underlings that Haniwander was a toy droid created by the company 15 years ago and was abandoned then due to an electronic brain effect. They need to take it down or else their company’s past mistakes will be exposed. Hell’s evil mad scientist, Dr Ooizumi has the perfect weapon to counter it. A giant kokeshi doll piloted by Akiko and her underlings. Well, he thinks fighting fire with fire is best. But the kokeshi doll has no hands or legs so how can it punch or kick? Not to worry. Dr Ooizumi has Hell press a button and causes the kokeshi doll to self destruct! WTF?! So they did nothing in the end, huh? Akiko and co got injured once more. Haniwander sets its path to destroy the school. The gang are worried since no school means no club budget! Shimazaki thought he could coolly protect and destroy the giant. Unfortunately he got easily flicked away. So much for being cool. Nuku Nuku is about to activate her powers but the scientist of justice, Mr Q (Kyusaku in a poor disguised that everyone can tell it’s him), tells her she isn’t powerful enough to stop it yet. He gives her a bell that will enhance her power many times fold when called upon. It is a mobile armour called So-chan but the problem is, it is stiff and renders Nuku Nuku unable to move. Kyusaku forgot to make the joints movable? Haniwander squashes Nuku Nuku but this destroys the mobile armour as Nuku Nuku uses her strength to toss it away into the sea. Yakumo laments that science wasn’t almighty but Rie acknowledges that science is great and has solved many mysteries and myths. Suddenly the duo make up and become friends. But the next day in class, their rivalry and argument escalate back to where it was originally.

Episode 3
Momoko is in a dilemma whether to go to a hotspring for a school reunion. Because if she does, Noriko will be left all alone. Oh, daddy’s working so far away in the Middle East and what’s a mother got to do? Eventually she had to go. And sob all the way. Noriko is already fantasizing the married life with Ryunosuke as Akiko welcomes her. But she gets a shock when she sees Kyusaku, Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku sloppily just waking up. This is the future family she is going to marry into? Don’t give up. Akiko has to go to office (because of Secret Call) so Noriko takes this chance to impress the future in-laws. Very eager, isn’t she? Kyusaku goes to take a bath but is shocked to see an alligator in the tub! Oh. That’s William her pet alligator who loves baths. WTF. More shocks for the family because apparently her reptile zoo somehow just came over. From Anthony the giant snake to Anthony the lizard. Okay, I take back what I said about the reptile zoo. There are mammals too. Leonard the raccoon is help washing tomatoes? It starts to snarl at Nuku Nuku. Naturally because raccoons and cats are enemies, right? Since Noriko didn’t know she’s a cat, Noriko thought Nuku Nuku is pickled leeks for Leonard to snarl at her like that. WTF. Noriko doesn’t know how to cook breakfast. So does Nuku Nuku. Boy. This is going to be tough. All for Ryunosuke’s love! You can just hear what they’re trying to make. Pickaxe, drill, flamethrower… Are they sure they’re making breakfast? Elsewhere, Hell rallies his minions as he and Akiko start off by laughing like maniacs. WTF. So Noriko’s cooking took long enough and it looks burnt to a crisp… Is it even edible? Let’s say when Kyusaku puts it in his mouth, he starts firing beams! It’s a revolution! I guess it’s lunchtime so Noriko pleads another chance to cook. Those puppy dog eyes… Maybe he should skip lunch too. Because Noriko wasted too much ingredients on making breakfast, they have to head to the shopping arcade to replenish.

Seems Mishima is running a demonstration there with their all-new freezing and defrosting robots. Since it didn’t work the way it wanted, Arisa and Kyouko kick them a little. Of course, the robots go berserk and start wrecking havoc. Arisa and Kyouko decide to flee and blame it on the chief. Nice strategy as always… As the panicking crowd flees, Ryunosuke trips and sprain his ankle. Noriko won’t run away and leave him behind. Can she seriously protect him? Though her pets come to her rescue, they have no effect on the robots. Till Nuku Nuku punches it away for good. Noriko is glad her pets are alright. She reveals selfish owners abandoned them so she took them in and made them her brothers. History repeats for those who do not learn. That is what happens to Arisa and Kyouko as they got smacked by the robots while running away. Déjà vu. They make a call to their chief to apologize about their failure. But Hell and Akiko continue to laugh like maniacs. How long has it been since they’re laughing? Noriko manages to make omelettes and despite the unappetizing looks, it tastes good! Noriko is so happy that she hugs him. At least Ryunosuke had something to eat for today although it’s dinner time. Momoko just returned from her daytrip and continues to shed tears for her daughter after seeing her accomplishment. Can this woman ever stop crying?

Episode 4
Kyusaku just finished his Androbot blueprint when he realizes the printer is out of ink! No money too! So poor this guy that he thinks he needs to borrow money from Ryunosuke! But he sees Nuku Nuku being secretive and she won’t tell him fearing he will scold her. Ryunosuke holds back his dad while Nuku Nuku escapes as it is revealed she is going karaoke with her friends. Kyusaku won’t allow that since she was made to fight for justice. The final blow came when Ryunosuke says Nuku Nuku isn’t all his anymore since she learnt to act and think for herself. So while the scientist laments his all-too perfect emotion programme, Rie, Chieko, Futaba and Ikenami start singing next to him! What gives? A flyer reveals an amateur karaoke contest with the grand prize of a million yen. Thinking Nuku Nuku is preparing for this, he realizes the sponsor is Mishima. They must be plotting something evil. So he thinks. Meanwhile Hell shows his underlings an anime song in which he will use it to conquer Earth. If nobody does it, who will?! I think he just wants to sing. Kyusaku and Nuku Nuku argue about the karaoke competition. He won’t allow her to participate but to prevent Mishima’s evil plans. She is adamant to sing and will do something if anything happens. Their ties worsen as they accuse each other of not understanding their feelings. On the day of the competition, Kyusaku feigns illness so that nobody will expect him to be there. He disguises himself as Mr Q and plans to put a jet pack on Nuku Nuku that will take her into the skies and prevent her from singing.

The event kicks off with Kyouko and Arisa hosting it but they too participate as the first participants. While Kyouko does well, Arisa seems to be shooting her bazooka in the midst of her song! Yamagata was unfortunate to bear the brunt of it. So the contestants include Shimazaki, duet by Yakumo and his father Dr Ooizumi, for the first time we hear Miyuki’s voice, another duet by Noriko and Ryunosuke. Meanwhile the jet pack has found Nuku Nuku at the backstage. It was suspicious enough so Nuku Nuku escapes. From the background scenes, you can say that she ran all over the world but the jet pack was persistent right behind her tail. So when it is her turn on stage, Kyouko disqualifies her since she didn’t turn up. However she crashes through the roof and starts singing. Singing and evading the jet pack at the same time? Ultimately the jet pack got destroyed by a single punch since it was made of paper. That’s what happens when you cut back on budget. Even so, shouldn’t it have dismantled during the chase around the world? Must be some high quality durable paper. In the end, Nuku Nuku wins the competition. Though Kyusaku got captivated by Nuku Nuku’s singing, he manages to sneak back to bed in time. Nuku Nuku comes in to apologize and shows him the bank account with a million yen in which she gives him as a gift for his research funds. He apologizes and thanks her. Touching, eh? See how money can change a person?

Episode 5
Once again, some Mishima robot goes haywire attacking Nuku Nuku’s class. However Futaba isn’t her usual self as she is just spacing out instead of leading the class to safety. Can’t those idiots run away themselves instead of needing the class rep to guide them? Eventually the entire classroom got destroyed. And Futaba is still spacing out… Nuku Nuku tails her to find out what’s eating her but is spotted by Ryunosuke. She tells him what happened especially Futaba’s weird character that she didn’t put any effort in stopping her classmates’ bickering. It seems Futaba is in love with the bookstore employee. I’m sure she’s not paying attention to his analysis of the poems. So lost in thought…  But Nuku Nuku doesn’t really understand human emotions that well. Why, she thought romance is some kind of food! Meanwhile Dr Ooizumi presents Hell a book of poems that will be Mishima’s best advertising tactic (according to his research). He views girls are into writing poems to write about their feelings and as a form of scrapbook memories. He lets Akiko read some and though they sound cheesy, she gets hypnotized and praises Mishima. There is a hypnotizing chip within the pages that make the reader’s unconscious mind fall in love with Mishima’s products. And Dr Ooizumi already has them distributed to the bookstores. Futaba can’t seem to find the right words to pen for her poem. Her thoughts are only about that cool hunk. She decides to read a book of poems he recommended but soon gets brainwashed into a Mishima lover.

Next day at school, Futaba seems to be back to normal blowing her whistle to straighten people up. But at the end she always recommends the superior Mishima product in place of theirs. Which means, a new Mishima guitar, a new Mishima occult product and a new Mishima make up set for our friends. Evil Agent 16 reports to Ooizumi about the success of the product so the mad scientist tells him to continue observing. Kyusaku now disguised as Mask Science V3 heard everything and tells Nuku Nuku. She goes after the agent but they crash into her class. Nuku Nuku is surprised to learn the agent’s identity is that bookstore employee. She wants him to turn Futaba back to normal but unless there is some mega mental shock, she is doomed to stay this way. Futaba grows obsessed in promoting Mishima so Nuku Nuku desperately pleads her to stop. She sees Futaba’s own book of poems and starts reading it. Futaba snaps out from her hypnotism and gets embarrassed. She snatches it away before Nuku Nuku could read more. The agent seems happy and reports back to Ooizumi that his plan is a failure. He further adds his poems are below kindergarten level. There goes his dream to live off book royalties. Futaba returns to the bookstore but to her dismay her crush has quit and gone. She wonders if he has been dumped and becomes depressed. Maybe her poems suck? Nuku Nuku and her friends plan a fake robot attack to cheer her up. Everyone’s disorganized and in a panic. Oh, just who can they rely on for a safe evacuation? Futaba starts blowing her whistle to lead the gang to safety. Looks like she’s back.

Episode 6
Kyusaku is bent on stopping Mishima by destroying their underwater base. How can he when Nuku Nuku is ‘drowning’ more than swimming? Don’t worry. He made some seal outfit for her. But how can he be sure Mishima has a base underwater? He has their poster. Oh… Suddenly Kyusaku is washed away by the tidal waves. Ikenami thought he could find his romance on the beach but ends up meeting the same oddballs of his class who are pretty much doing their own same thing. What’s the difference? In class and on the beach they’re still doing the same thing. He thought Nuku Nuku is interested in him but it turns out she was trying to call Futaba to tell her Kyusaku is in danger. As Kyusaku sinks to the bottom, he finds himself in a base in which he believes belongs to Mishima. He thought this is their cyborg producing factory because he saw some weird crab mascot. He stumbles into a room whereby a girl group called Speedy Girls are singing on stage and thinks it’s some evil ceremonial song and dance! He is ‘captured’ by the crab and octopus mascot. Seems Arisa and Kyouko were dressing in them as they report to Akiko how they successfully divert a customer (Kyusaku) to a room. They’re here to help out with the underwater hotel’s grand opening but nobody came and all cancelled their reservations because transportation is a big hassle. Kyusaku thinks he is being put in prison (doesn’t this feels like a hotel room instead?) so he sneaks out and uses his special card to contact Nuku Nuku about his whereabouts. Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke thought Kyusaku had been abducted and try to get help from their friends but it seems they can’t swim well. Chieko thought it’s her debut and offers her boat but can it go underwater?

Ryunosuke despite not knowing how to swim tries to paddle out to sea with only the float when the tidal waves got him. Nuku Nuku dives with the seal outfit to save him. The duo dive down to go rescue the professor. Maybe she should’ve done this in the first place. Arisa and Kyouko report that something fast is approaching their hotel. Akiko thinks it is a rival hotel and sends Speedy Girls AKA Esper Girls to do the job. When Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke enter the place, they ignore Esper Girls’ intro and especially their psychokinesis of bending spoons. You call that super natural powers? Eventually they find Kyusaku eating good hotel food. I guess he forgot he got abducted too. The Esper Girls aren’t giving up and unleash their super deluxe psychokinesis. At the same time, Akiko receives a group of Russian nuclear submariners when the place starts crumbling. You can thank the Esper Girls for that… Some psychokinesis power. Nuku Nuku thought it was Kyusaku’s doing that destroyed the base. Just take the credit… The Mishima gang are saved by the Russian submariners but they’ll be going all the way to Russia. I suppose they don’t understand Japanese of “Let me off here! Now!”. On shore, Ryunosuke learns that the seal outfit is actually just an underwater motor. So what made Nuku Nuku swim? Kyusaku thinks it’s her strong desire to protect them. On an unrelated not, she still sucks in swimming.

Episode 7
It’s the hot summer and the air-cond is blowing hot air. Nuku Nuku is going to fix it. Can you blame Ryunosuke for feeling something is going to go wrong? True enough, it blows out flames! It’s amazing the house didn’t get burn down. Of course Akiko blows her top and takes it out on Kyusaku. Later when things cooled down, Ryunosuke asks how she ended up marrying Kyusaku. It was back in high school where he proposed her during the Bon festival. Believe it or not, Kyusaku and Juzo battled over her. She was happy that someone proposed to her but now come to think of it, now she may be regretting marrying Kyusaku. Oh shi… Ryunosuke has this weird dream whereby Juzo became his dad instead and Kyusaku became the bad guy unleashing Nuku Nuku to fight. In fact, there are 2 of them! Worse, Ryunosuke had to wear those silly spandex costumes. So was it a good thing Akiko married Kyusaku? Ryunosuke once more has the fright of his life when Nuku Nuku picks him up and makes a mad dash to school on her bicycle. Amazingly this has happened so many times and he still hasn’t died of a heart attack or get used to it. This time Nuku Nuku’s peddling was so fast that she broke the time and space barrier thingy and gone back in time! A time when Akiko is still a high school student. Also, Juzo and Kyusaku are in the midst of unleashing their robots to fight each other in a good-versus-evil battle. They won’t heed Akiko’s advice to stop so she has to get mad and starts throwing her table at them. She misses and it ends up hitting the robots as it goes haywire. Nuku Nuku lifts and throws the robots away and unfortunately it lands on Yamagata. I guess his misfortune really goes back a long way. Juzo and Kyusaku wants to end their fight tonight but Akiko reminds Kyusaku he was supposed to take her out to the Bon Festival. He places his rivalry and justice first so Akiko left upset. Ryunosuke is worried because at this rate if they don’t propose, he’ll have to wear those uncool costumes.

Later Ryunosuke talks to Kyusaku about breaking a date promise. Kyusaku reveals he first met Akiko when they were 5 years old at a hero show. Maybe that’s how he got into this hero thingy as well. Anyway Ryunosuke tells him to come to the festival. To Ryunosuke’s relief, Akiko and Kyusaku did come to the festival. Only one problem: Juzo is still hell bent on finishing their score and unleashes his platform robot to make everyone dance. Though Kyusaku has his sandals robot to counter it, it fell into the dance trap too. Ryunosuke wants Nuku Nuku to do something about it and she shakes Juzo off his platform. But the robots crash into each other and the explosion is so big that it sends Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku back into their own time. Ryunosuke laments the future changed when he sees Akiko talking to Juzo outside their home. Actually he is only here to pick up some documents and soon leaves on his helicopter. Which means… Akiko is still married to Kyusaku. Yahoo! No need to wear that uniform. That night the family visits the Bon Festival when suddenly it is déjà vu once more. Juzo/Hell is going to conquer the world again by forcing everyone to dance and settle his 15 year old score with Kyusaku. Once more, the old rivals pit their upgraded robots against each other. Ryunosuke wonders why Akiko married Kyusaku when history is supposed to be changed. Akiko notes she has always loved Kyusaku even if he had never proposed to her. Ever since the day they met at the hero show, she fell in love with him when he came to seriously rescue her.

Episode 8
A UFO targets Yamagata as he walks down the street. Mishima scrambles to locate it. The usual oddballs are invited to Chieko’s garden. It’s so big that it looks like an amusement park! Nuku Nuku introduces Kyusaku and Ryunosuke to Chieko as Speedy Girls sing their debut on stage (Kyusaku feels this evil ceremony song is somewhat familiar…). However Chieko has security to kick them out since they’ve got the wrong place to perform. Then the UFO appears. Once Hell learns of it, he has Akiko to capture it and changes his goal from conquering the world to conquering the universe. Though Yamagata vows to protect his students, he leads them in running away instead. The UFO zaps Rie and starts having mouse-like features. Rie identifies herself as Michi-Michi as she confesses to Yamagata she loves him. Nuku Nuku smells a rat (literally) and bites the tail. This causes Michi-Michi to jump to different bodies of several girls. That possessed girl starts confessing to Yamagata before Nuku Nuku bites her tail for another jump. Are we seeing a pattern? And Shimazaki got so depressed he is supposed to be the popular one. I guess it got creepy when Michi-Michi possessed Ikenami and starts confessing. Michi-Michi finally materializes to her true body when Nuku Nuku bites her tail. Seeing a mouse, she naturally starts chasing it. All over the garden. Because nobody understands the mouse language she is talking, Nuku Nuku translates it but it’s faulty. Don’t worry. Natsume has invented some ear plugs that will have Michi-Michi talk in a language everyone understands. When did he invent those? Michi-Michi reveals her species can’t take sunlight so before she goes back, she wants to make as much memories with the man she loves. Everyone is touched by her love story and Chieko allows them to use her garden till their heart’s content.

Yamagata and Michi-Michi go on a date like what lovers do. Sit in the Ferris Wheel, walk through the haunted house, etc. Akiko, Arisa and Kyouko are going to capture Michi-Michi for the sake of their bonus. This means unleashing a giant octopus to interrupt their date and attack. Yamagata’s bad luck means he can’t protect Michi-Michi and is flung away into the sky. The octopus grabs Michi-Michi but Nuku Nuku saves the day by kicking its face and swinging it away. Akiko thought they’re done for when the octopus heads their way. Good news that it misses them. Bad news: It crashes into Mishima headquarters. I guess there goes their bonus… The time to part is here as Michi-Michi’s parents have arrived to pick her up. Michi-Michi wants Yamagata to show his proof of love and one of them is entangle each other’s tail. Since he has no tail, Michi-Michi takes this as a sign that they weren’t meant to be together. She beams up and bids farewell to him. The reason she likes him is because he looks like her first love. That’s one ugly mouse… And how does Yamagata resemble this rodent?! Love is funny… Things return to normal and though the students have forgotten about Michi-Michi but for Yamagata, he still sometimes thinks of her.

Episode 9
It’s war even queuing up to buy bread. But I guess Chieko’s authoritativeness allows her to get to the front of her queue. It could’ve been perfect had not Nuku Nuku come dashing, step all over her face and grab that last yakisoba bread Chieko wanted to buy. I’m not sure about her ranting about that bread being special to her because her first love gave it to her, blah, blah, blah. To make things worse, her subordinates aren’t willing to side her this time (for Christ’s sake, it’s only a bread) so Chieko challenges Nuku Nuku to the sports festival tomorrow despite Nuku Nuku willing to share half with her. Later Chieko sees Kyusaku wanting to buy some parts but has no money so she drafts him for a job. Hell is annoyed that the failure rate of Mishima’s test products are increasing and Dr Ooizumi says someone from the school is interfering with it. Hell thinks it is a rival company and since Akiko isn’t around (she applied for leave to attend her son’s sports festival), he sends Arisa and Kyouko to get rid of the interferer. Yeah, it’s their chance to prove they aren’t just side characters. If they can only stop bragging and let their hands to the talking. And Akiko is another blur case because she can’t even spot her own subordinates right in front of her eyes. I guess she really is enjoying the festival. As the sports festival is about to begin, Hidariko and Migiko may seem like they are supporting Nuku Nuku but the truth is they won’t feel comfortable if they don’t do this. Chieko sees this and misinterprets their abandoned loyalty. Well, she has her own mecha suit that will give her all the support she needs. Who needs friends when you have this? Guess which professor can make such piece in just a night? Yup. He sold his integrity for money. Where’s the justice he was talking about?

Chieko is going to have her revenge for yesterdays’ bread so Arisa and Kyouko are suspicious about Chieko. They try to rig her mecha suit but hide in a giant ball when the game is about to begin. After all that rolling worse than a feeling of being inside a washing machine, Arisa is disheartened her power is zero. Or maybe it’s so powerful that it is not measureable and off the scale? Well, she forgot to turn on the power. All for nothing? Still, they’re convinced Chieko is the culprit and unleash their giant robot. How the heck was it hiding under the school grounds? It grabs Chieko but Migiko and Hidariko jump to Chieko’s defence. I don’t know what sob story that people can’t tell from left and right but hell, it was good enough for them to go back together again. Of course this doesn’t mean Arisa and Kyouko will let them off the hook. Kyusaku once more thinks Mishima is up to no good and now disguises himself as Scienza Epsilon (cousin of his previous disguises – don’t ask). He tries to advice Nuku Nuku to use her head but I guess she literally took his words. Yup. She head butts the robot to free Chieko before swinging it away into the sky. If you’re wondering why the lengthy drama of the Speedy Girls doing a debut concert on a rooftop with no spectators, the pending doom of the group when one of them decides to return home after her failure as a singing hence may lead to a break up, slapping some senses into her and some promise that they will keep trying hard to become famous idols, when they finally get the confidence to wish upon their shining star, that star turns out to be Arisa and Kyouko’s robot slamming into them! I think they’re better off hanging up their microphones, don’t you think? In the end, Chieko admits her wrong and makes up with her underlings.

Episode 10
Ryunosuke has been playing his video game all morning. When Nuku Nuku sees the control pad wires like a mouse tail, she becomes a typical cat trying to play with it. Of course the game gets unplugged. He hasn’t saved his game yet. This earns Ryunosuke’s ire and scolds her she is a cat instead of a human. If you’re wondering why the Speedy Girls haven’t sold a single copy of their album, it’s because they’ve been singing the same ol’ song! What’s this got to do with Mishima? They’ve invested a billion yen into them. So what’s the connection really? Akiko is pissed that the return rate of the drink called Fight Dappon X is reaching 97%. Is it any wonder why people hate it since it’s a terrible mix of blueberry and fermented soy flavour? I guess only she loves it. At the same time, Dr Ooizumi introduces Hell to DNA Changer whereby one who drinks it will transform into whatever he/she has on her mind. He demonstrates but realizes he got Fight Dappon X instead. He fears a rival company may have sabotage them. Meanwhile Ryunosuke is still upset about the video game incident when Akiko gives him to dry out Fight Dappon X. Unfortunately it’s DNA Changer and since Ryunosuke is fixated on his homework, he drinks it without looking and turns into a pink alligator! His homework involves drawing a map of the distribution of alligators worldwide. He gets freaked out, his parents get freaked out and Akiko starts throwing everything to chase him out. But his problems aren’t over yet. He meets the weirdoes like Chieko who mistakes him for her lost pet, Junubiene, Ikenami wanting to sing his new song to him, Rie wants him to be her X-files and Yakumo wanting to conduct experiment on him. What’s wrong with these people? Dr Ooizumi relates the bad news to Hell that his tracker has detected somebody who has drank DNA Changer. Worse, if that person doesn’t drink DNA Restorer soon, he/she will forever stay in that form.

Ryunosuke is hiding all alone lamenting his fate and nowhere to go when Nuku Nuku happen to pass by. She recognizes him as Ryunosuke. How? She just knows. She gives him lots of words of encouragement that at least it’s far better than turning into a water flea or goldfish and even warms him up with her jacket. She will talk to Kyusaku to make something and change him back. In worst case scenario, she’ll have him become an Androbot like her and fight justice together. Ryunosuke is overcome with emotion and apologizes for saying mean things to her. Hell summons Arisa and Kyouko and wants them to shoot this single DNA Restorer Dr Ooizumi made into a bullet into the target or else Mishima will look bad, blah, blah, blah. The duo aren’t really interested and keep complaining it is after office hours or washed away their make-up. Till he mentions about the special bonus, see them get on the case with 100% enthusiasm! Money face… Nuku Nuku has a hard time trying to bring Ryunosuke back because she has to put up with Chieko and her Junubiene thingy. She explains Ryunosuke isn’t Junubiene and Chieko realizes her mistake. It’s Francesca! They make a run for it as Arisa and Kyouko spot their target. For the sake of the special bonus, they’ll get this right. If those weirdoes weren’t in the way, she could’ve had a clean shot. Ryunosuke suddenly feels weird. Like as though he is going to stay an alligator forever. Nuku Nuku assures she will always be with him and he was this close to accepting his fate of being one. When they fall off the roof, Arisa manages to shoot the DNA Restorer into Ryunosuke’s mouth. They’re so happy they’ll get the special bonus that they fall off into the drain. Next morning, Ryunosuke finds himself back to normal sleeping in his own room. He has grateful to Nuku Nuku as she notes no matter what form he turns into, she will always stay with him.

Episode 11
Nuku Nuku and her classmates are making a tokusatsu movie for the graduation students. With Shimazaki as the director, we have Nuku Nuku, Ikenami, Yamagata, Futaba, Rie, Chieko and her underlings as agents of SMACK (which isn’t exactly an abbreviation of a ridiculously long-winded name) fighting off cardboard aliens and meeting some alien girl called Karen. And since this is also partly a musical, we see them breaking into a song after a while. Whether it is Futaba and youth or Chieko’s underlings singing praises and annoying traits of Chieko (they don’t let her sing, though). The movie takes a break as Nuku Nuku talks to Ryunosuke about his class’ play. When she mentions about sweating it off as part of being young, Ryunosuke points out she’s an Androbot and doesn’t sweat, this causes her to worry. She talks to Kyusaku but he doesn’t see the need of adding useless features. Otherwise it will overload her CPU. I don’t know. I feel that Nuku Nuku has lots of useless features… I guess being depressed means a cue for her to sing. Elsewhere Hell shows Akiko a prototype battleship that hasn’t finished its QC test yet. He is eager to rent it to those school kids to show the world how big hearted they are. The actual plan is, when everybody see it, they will be awed and scared, thus bowing down on their knees to Mishima. I guess it’s a cue for him to sing and launch the unit. However it immediately crumbles since it wasn’t meant to unite like that.

Back to the filming, this Karen girl has this tendency to grow large whenever she puts on sunglasses. Because of this, SMACK’s boss (played by Yakumo) doesn’t approve of this un-scientific crap (because her growth and shrinking defies all laws of physics). Karen will be sent home. Nuku Nuku is of course worried that not only this Karen character but herself ever wondering if she could be normal. In the final goodbye scene, Nuku Nuku didn’t follow the script but instead acted on her own filled with emotion that it’s okay to be who she is. She realizes she has screwed up and will do a retake but Shimazaki allows this heart moving scene. So in the end, Karen enlarges and defeats the cardboard monster and flies home. Happy graduation! So as the girls soak in the hotspring after their hard work, Nuku Nuku thinks of activating the sweat feature Kyusaku installed (I guess he gave in). Unfortunately it went berserk and the sweat starts gushing out like geyser. I think it looks like a waterfall coming from the heavens! Well, at least we know it didn’t overload her circuits. Oh, and if you’re wondering who played Karen, you’ve been wondering that someone is missing from the usual oddballs, right? Would you believe it? Karen is Miyuki! Nobody would’ve guessed it. She looks totally different without her glasses. Another mind boggling fact is how Ikenami is always seen with a guitar. I know he can’t part with it but it’s absurd that he has it while piloting the plane (how can he manoeuvre?) and even in the hotspring (is it waterproof?).

Episode 12
Hell is happy to unleash their new flashy ad because their satellite Miss Oharu has reached Jupiter. Unfortunately it got destroyed by an asteroid. After all these years of planning and waiting… But that asteroid is 200,000km wide in diameter! Bigger than Jupiter! And it looks like a cat?! Oh, did I mention that it is on collision path with Earth? You have 24 hours left. The UN and the international country representatives gather to discuss to rid the asteroid. The only way is to shoot nuclear missiles at it but due to some treaty, all the countries have disposed of them. This is where Hell comes in. He offers to shoot 88 super ultra anti-annihilation missiles at a single concentrated point on the asteroid and break it down to smaller pieces. And so begins Mishima’s mission to save the world and also partly to take over it. You can see their heavy advertisement before the launch. Heck, the entire city turns into a giant missile launch pad. Didn’t know we had those missiles underneath every block, eh? The missiles are launch (with the exception of 1 because it fell on Yamagata – not that it will make any great impact on the mission anyway). However when it strikes the asteroid, it did not explode. Dr Ooizumi realizes it is on very safe mode since it contains very dangerous material. I guess mankind is doomed in 6 hours. Now it’s Kyusaku’s turn to shine. First, he disguises himself as Mask Scientist Mr Q Double X to give Nuku Nuku’s class hope that all is not doomed. I guess Nuku Nuku is the only one who is surprised when his cover is blown. But that’s not really the point. Meanwhile, Hell feels it’s the end of his world conquest dream and Mishima. Everything is going wrong. Akiko takes leave to spend her last moments with her family, customers are complaining and demanding the return of their products, business cancellations, company stocks dive, boycott and someone messing with the single unlaunched missile.

Kyusaku is fixing this missile and going to use it as a fuse to blow up the other 87 missiles. He is joined by Akiko, Kyouko and Arisa. Even Hell himself comes to offer his assistance. What is the use of conquering a world that does not exist, right? The missile is finished buy Kyusaku notes the control system was removed due to lack of time. This means somebody needs to guide it to the asteroid. In other words, it’s a suicide mission and one way ticket. No human is ever going to come back. Heck, you can’t even leave the atmosphere. It isn’t built for humans to ride anyway and no life support in space. That’s right. Not for humans. I guess this could only mean one thing. Nuku Nuku has volunteered herself as she mentions she is an Androbot created to save Earth. She reveals her true identity to her classmates but they are surprised that she has been thinking that she was pretending to be human. They all knew she was one and never said a thing because they consider her their classmate. Kyusaku is touched by their words and notes she is no longer a machine but a human with a heart who has friends. But Ryunosuke objects to it. She had promised to always be with him. Nuku Nuku apologizes since she wants to protect her friends. She rides the missile up into space. It collides with the asteroid and Earth is saved. When the family gets home, they are shocked to see Nuku Nuku eating potato chips and watching TV. They’re not hallucinating, aren’t they? How did this happen? Seems while the missile is heading out of the atmosphere, the loosely fitted seat came off and Nuku Nuku fell back and crashed down to her home. Though Ryunosuke is upset for making him worried in all that confusion, he is nevertheless glad that she is back and wants her to always be by his side.

Episode 13
On New Year’s Day morning, Ryunosuke told Nuku Nuku something but because she was too sleepy, she didn’t really hear what he said. When she wakes up, she finds no one around the house. Meanwhile the classmates visit Nuku Nuku so that they could go visit the shrine together. However she is sad because she thinks her family have dumped her and ran away. Anyway she tags along and as usual we can guess what each of them wishes for because of their personalities. Nuku Nuku wants to be more human but can’t help think she makes lots of mistakes because she’s stupid. She thinks this is why Ryunosuke left her and fears they are going to make a new one to replace her. Nuku Nuku cries but Futaba thinks she is hungry and invites her home for food. But she didn’t count on her classmates to come by too! I don’t even know how Speedy Girls got invited. They’re still singing their debut song? Nuku Nuku meets Futaba’s other sisters and they all have this class monitor habit of blowing their whistle. I guess it runs in the family. Each of them are ordering and censuring the other so Nuku Nuku decides to leave. She passes by the homes of her other classmates. Well, I think it really runs in the family because everyone in Rie’s family is praying-cum-exorcising like mad, everyone is singing in Ikenami’s family, everyone has that obnoxious laughter in Chieko’s family, Yakumo and his father are madly inventing something, Shimazaki practising martial arts with his dad and Miyuki’s family are all reading book (this is much worse than the iPad generation since nobody is talking and preoccupied with a book).

 Hell accidentally unleashes a mecha that starts rampaging throughout town. Nuku Nuku goes into action to swing it into the sky. She thought she heard Ryunosuke and Kyusaku’s praise but realizes it was just her imagination. She sits in a box outside home, hoping somebody would adopt her. Noriko sees this and when she learns she is dumped, she gets this devilish thought that with her out of the way, Ryunosuke is all hers. She even gives Nuku Nuku her New Year allowance to get by. I wonder how much she can get by with only 10 Yen… It starts snowing and it reminds Nuku Nuku of how she was in similar circumstances many years ago. She was an abandoned kitten in a box when Ryunosuke and Kyusaku picked her up. Kyusaku reminded him about the responsibilities of owning a pet and Ryunosuke was positive to take her in, considering her as a gift from God. He promised to make her part of the family no matter what. Nuku Nuku is about to fall asleep when Ryunosuke wonders what she is doing outside. Upon learning the reason, they give out a good laugh and explain this morning they told her they were going to visit some relatives throughout the day. They only manage to get airplane tickets and if Nuku Nuku tagged along, it would set off the metal detectors. Thus she was tasked to take care of the house. Nuku Nuku is glad to see them and hugs Ryunosuke. She is grateful for having a nice family. A warm room, warm food. What more can she ask? She hopes this would continue like this for many years to come.

Episode 14
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Nuku Nuku doesn’t even know what that is. No, it’s not some food. So each of her friends have their absurd interpretation of what that day is. Chieko has the most ridiculous reason (somebody’s birthday) so the rest ‘froze’ over her lame joke. Nuku Nuku didn’t even know it was a joke. After being explained the real history of Valentine and how it became commercialized in Japan, Nuku Nuku admits that she has someone she likes. Oh, who could it be? The guys think it’s them. Dream on. Chieko interjects and thinks of giving them the best chocolate but everyone ignores her, much to her dismay. She blames it on Nuku Nuku. Meanwhile Hell is upset and reprimanding his underlings that they have no evil plans for Valentine’s Day. Till Dr Ooizumi and Akiko demonstrate the perfect idea. What seemingly looks like an ordinary chocolate, Akiko stuffs it down an underling’s throat and suddenly he wants to buy any Mishima product. The chocolate contains enzyme that makes people want to buy Mishima products. If the people of Japan and the world eat this, there will be a huge rush to buy their products. The underlings aren’t optimistic since they’ve pulled off something like this before and besides, foreigners don’t give chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Chieko didn’t like her friends to ignore her since they’re preoccupied with who Nuku Nuku is going to give her chocolate. She gets an idea and summons her secret service ninjas, Ueko and Shitako to help out in her mission. Futaba accompanies Nuku Nuku to buy chocolates but it seems the shops are closed as all chocolates are sold out. Chieko admits she is the culprit because she has bought them all with her underlings. Now that she has no chocolates to buy, she can’t give any. All because she doesn’t want Nuku Nuku to stand out more than her. WTF.

Arisa and Kyouko report that somebody bought up all their chocolates (wouldn’t that be good for sales? Unless they can’t have everyone eat it for their world conquest). Chieko is willing to give some to Nuku Nuku if she correctly pronounces her name. Easy? Wrong! She said every combination except the right one. No chocolate! She’s going to dump them all deep into the sea. Then come Akiko and her subordinates in a giant chocolate robot. They attack Chieko but she is saved by Nuku Nuku. I guess her underlings have run away with all the chocolate. Akiko is devastated to see Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke around and is in a dilemma to attack. However she notes the separation of work and family and goes ahead with the attack anyway. Don’t hate her. This is just business. Kyusaku just came out of the pachinko store and sees the attack. Time to go into disguise as Mr Q. Mask Science V3 and Scienza Epsilon (as hand puppets). Only Nuku Nuku is fooled. Mr Q uses his ability to freeze the robot so that Nuku Nuku can give a super kick to send the chocolate crumbling. Chieko although is grateful Nuku Nuku saved her, she notes she has won the war since Nuku Nuku won’t have any chocolates to give. As for escaping Akiko and co, their escape pod ran out of fuel and crash on… Wait for it… Yamagata. That’s what you get for not having enough budget allocation. Back home, Nuku Nuku is devastated but it seems Kyusaku has a couple of chocolate bars from his pachinko winnings. She didn’t like it since it is plain looking. Till Akiko suggests melting and remaking them the way she wants. Akiko takes up her offer and the next day, Kyusaku and Ryunosuke tail her to see who this lucky guy is. Turns out to be an alley cat! Do cats eat chocolate? Rejected! And so Nuku Nuku’s first Valentine ended with a little heartbreak. She hopes to make it right next year. Meanwhile Chieko is having a noisy household because all her underlings are bugging her to buy Mishima products! Four times the noise! Four times the annoyance! Retribution… On a side note, I’m surprised we didn’t see Noriko and her futile attempts to steal Ryunosuke’s heart.

Dash

Shortly after the TV series ended, a 12 episode OVA called All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku Dash started its run in September 1998. However there is a slight alteration in terms of the series’ tone and characters. Ditching the slapstick nonsense we see in the TV series, Dash has a more serious side to it. Furthermore, some characters are given a little makeover like Nuku Nuku who is no longer a goofy idiot but an amnesiac and polite Androbot under the name of Atsuko Higuchi. Ryunosuke is a grown up 14 year old middle school kid in love, Akiko resembling more of a respected and intelligent looking corporate woman rather than an obnoxious rich woman and Kyusaku… Did his hair greyed a little? Mishima is more mysterious and enigmatic as before. It’s like a different universe but yet so similar in many ways.

Episode 1
Ryunosuke is on his way home and passes by a beautiful lady. First love, I guess. At the same time, a cat is going to be run over by a truck. The lady with the agility of a cat swiftly saves the feline. This is Ryunosuke’s first meeting with Nuku Nuku. Back home, he is surprised to see Nuku Nuku in his place. More importantly, Akiko and Kyusaku are at it again: A heated quarrel. Once they’re done with that, Akiko talks to Nuku Nuku and has been told by Kyusaku about her circumstances. She is happy to let her stay with them as long as she wants. Akiko then goes back to work overtime and won’t be coming home. I guess that’s a hint… What will they do for dinner? Instant food? That’s where Nuku Nuku comes in. She cooks a sumptuous home cook meal from the heart. I suppose a growing boy like Ryunosuke would definitely prefer this. Kyusaku further explains that Nuku Nuku’s parent died in an accident and due to the shock, she has amnesia, not remembering anything but her name. Since he knew her parents, he becomes her guardian from today onwards. Ryunosuke fantasizes over his love with Nuku Nuku while Kyusaku brings her down to a secret underground lab. He tells her to strip. Seems he is trying to access Nuku Nuku’s system but the Mishima security is even a tougher nut to crack than the Pentagon. Holy cow! Pentagon was easy? Meanwhile Akiko has been summoned by the executives. Seems one of their trial products escaped last night and they want her to retrieve it. Say, doesn’t that blueprint of a fighter Androbot look familiar? Want to guess who is MIFX-N2-009? Akiko soon suits up to go into action. She remembers the executives’ words that she will be promoted and earn bonuses if she successfully oversees this. Her suggested project will also be considered in the next quarter. Why not take this chance that doesn’t come often?

Ryunosuke seems to be trying to appeal to his cool side to Nuku Nuku as he heads off to school. He is fantasizing too much about her that he didn’t see where he is going. An announcement is made to the people of this city to evacuate since Mishima will be holding an emergency mock combat. I guess this is good news for Ryunosuke since he doesn’t have to go to school. Akiko’s helicopter senses its target and launches missiles. Nuku Nuku is out shopping but how can she shop when all stores are closed due to the emergency notice? The missiles narrowly miss her and an inner voice tells her to protect all life. Nuku Nuku transforms into fighter mode and hops into action. She zooms pass Ryunosuke but he couldn’t recognize who she is. Akiko faces off with Nuku Nuku as her helicopter automatically transforms into a giant robot. Nuku Nuku powers up and destroys it. I hope the cost of the city’s destruction and robot won’t be charged to her later. Ryunosuke wanted to get up close to Nuku Nuku but she leaps away. Atop a building, Nuku Nuku hears that inner voice and somehow feels she has heard it somewhere before.

Episode 2
Akiko and Kyusaku will be away for 3 days. This means Ryunosuke will be left to watch the house. Guess why he is so happy? Yeah. Some quality time with Nuku Nuku all by himself. Before they depart, neighbours Momoko and Noriko drop by to wish them well. Meanwhile the executives are planning to use MIFX-N2-013 to capture their target despite knowing it has a defective of an extremely short operating time. I guess it’s the only way to ‘use’ a defective product’s limited lifespan. Ryunosuke is on cloud nine fantasizing his fantasies with Nuku Nuku that he didn’t see where he is going. He bumps into a post. Noriko happens to pass by and contrary to her angelic outlook, she is a sarcastic sadist who loves teasing Ryunosuke. With Nuku Nuku in the picture, I’m sure the fun is going to get better. Momoko wants them to come over for dinner but Ryunosuke declines and doesn’t want to bother them (it will ruin his lovely privacy with Nuku Nuku). Noriko could see through his plans and teases him but he tells her off to mind her own business. Momoko thought it was directed at her and starts crying. Noriko further aggravates the situation that he made a married woman cry while going to spend a night with a young girl. Ryunosuke has no choice but to accept her invitation. Nuku Nuku also comes over and she finds out the cat she previously saved belongs to Noriko and is named Mia. Ryunosuke ponders if Nuku Nuku views him as a little brother when Momoko brings up the subject. After dinner, Nuku Nuku remembers she needs to buy milk for tomorrow and heads off by herself to the store. However she is attacked by a shadowy figure who soon shortly flees when the public gets curious about the commotion.

Ryunosuke gets the shock of his life when Nuku Nuku comes in to scrub his back in the bathroom. Because of that, he can’t sleep. Just the mere thinking of her will send him howling like a stray dog (serious!). He can’t even see her eye to eye or else he’ll start blushing. Imagine, a kindergarten kid telling a middle school boy about mistakes of youthful inexperience. How ironic is that? Back home, Nuku Nuku knows Ryunosuke is acting strange but she misinterprets that because she is a new family member who moved in, he doesn’t like her and is uneasy around her. I don’t know how but he tries to dismiss that but has his face bump into her boobs. He lands on top of her. He is about to confess he likes her when Noriko interrupts them. Mia is missing. They go search for the cat and I suppose this is Noriko’s chance to tease him about doing her in. No excuse would do since she caught them in the act. As Nuku Nuku looks for Mia, she is attacked by that shadowy figure. Nuku Nuku’s clone? 013 attacks and Mia happen to come into the picture. Nuku Nuku protects it when she hears that voice to protect all life. She transforms and fights 013. Though they are both hurt, 013 is shocked that she is bleeding blood. She is not pleased that despite being made from the same model, Nuku Nuku is special and that Professor Higuchi gave her red liquid. Eventually Nuku Nuku defeats her and 013 still couldn’t understand why she could exceed her limit since they have a common body. Nuku Nuku doesn’t understand too about her own power. This causes 013 to ponder the meaning of her construction if Nuku Nuku was created as the ultimate Androbot (she’s crying oil!). 013 explodes as Nuku Nuku takes Mia and leaves for home.

Episode 3
Dr Ooizumi seems like he is performing the last rites for the departed when it is actually his ritual to wake up his ‘daughter’. Seems he is performing an experiment by fusing a section from the Bible and a children’s story into one. And the result you have this little Androbot girl. Ryunosuke is still having trouble about last night’s blooper. He doesn’t know how to face Nuku Nuku but she invites him to come walk with her too. Ryunosuke thought this is somewhat like a date but Nuku Nuku takes him through shortcuts, narrow alleyways and residential walls. Just like a cat, eh? This leads them to a hilltop and a beautiful scenery of the city. Dr Ooizumi’s vice chief reports to the executives about his new invention that will capture its target. Seems the Androbot is handing out flowers and if the target takes the flower, the flower will change colour and the target will recognize slight signal. It’s supposed to pass the message to the target capturing the machine. Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku are walking back to town. The kid wants to hold Nuku Nuku’s hand. However his hand came into contact into Flower Girl who passes him a free flower. She compliments them as a perfect couple. I guess Ryunosuke likes the sound of that, eh? Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke eat at a diner and he notes her habit of wiping her mouth like a cat. Nuku Nuku becomes depressed thinking he didn’t like it. He didn’t mean to hurt her feelings and gives the flower to cheer her up. So when she touches it, the flower changes colour. This sends a signal back to Flower Girl as she comes rushing to the signal. A WTF moment when she crashes through the window to head straight for the target! Can’t she just use the door? But there only sits the flower. The target is gone. Tough luck. I’m beginning to think how goofy this girl is because she’s plucking petals she’ll-come-shell’-not-come and when it doesn’t go her way, she remembers the terrible meaning behind the flower she has chosen. But she won’t give up yet.

Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke are enjoying their time together. Ryunosuke goes off to buy crepes and starts fantasizing his first date that will end in a romantic kiss. Nice dream… However when he gets back, he is devastated to see Nuku Nuku being hit on by a handsome guy. He’s spouting all that beautiful crap about her but what broke Ryunosuke’s heart is that she takes up his offer to go for a ride in his car. Even the guy invites Ryunosuke to tag along. Ryunosuke didn’t like this one bit and takes Nuku Nuku away. He’s mad. He’s upset. What’s his problem? So young and already acting like that. It’s worrying Nuku Nuku. So when he rushes off and accidentally slips off into the shallow river, Nuku Nuku comes crying to him that she doesn’t want him to hate her. He won’t, I assure you. Meanwhile Flower Girl is tired of waiting for her target to appear. Her impatience means she pulls out her bazooka to fire randomly at buildings! WTF?! At least buildings that don’t have humans in them, thinking she can flush out her target. She’s trigger happy! And here Flower Girl just zooms pass by Nuku Nuku and Ryunosuke. He goes after her while Nuku Nuku hears that familiar voice to save lives and transforms. Ryunosuke manages to stop Flower Girl from firing into his house. She goes off to find another unoccupied house but along the way she trips and accidentally destroys a flower shop. She feels guilty that she destroyed the flowers due to her selfishness in finding her target. Nuku Nuku catches up and sees her wounded mechanical arm and helps bandage it up good. Flower Girl laments she was too persistent that her target didn’t show up but Nuku Nuku encourages her that if she tries harder to find her, her target will one day understand. Yeah well. It’s right under her nose. And off she goes. So close yet so far. The vice chief wants and explanation from Dr Ooizumi and he is glad she has developed a sense of hope. This is a miracle and message from God. Whatever. Mission failed, right? Kyusaku returns from his vacation all tired. Akiko is not with him since she got called for work during the middle of the vacation. She is summoned by the executives as they appoint her as the chief of the Runaway Androbot Capture Project.

Episode 4
Nuku Nuku wants to help Akiko make breakfast when suddenly a spy plane flies too close to the ground. Breakfast ruined. Turns out to be Kyouko and Arisa piloting and while Kyouko is having fun flying nonchalantly, Arisa notes that this means they have been demoted by Tokyo headquarters. She accidentally hits a self destruct button. Why the hell is there such a button on such an expensive spy plane? Because of that, Kyouko is summoned to work. In her anger, she punches the vase. Nuku Nuku licks her wound and the guys misinterpret what they saw. Before any true awakening could happen, Akiko dismisses herself to work. Looks like she has an office room of her own. She is greeted by her new subordinates Kyouko and Arisa. One thing odd I find is that they both seem to have swapped names and personality! Arisa is now the joker while Kyouko always has to straighten her up (she’s still goofy, though). Because of the destruction of the spy plane, this means they will have to work voluntarily for 3 years! This means work with no pay! No buts! Do you know how much one of those planes cost? You won’t even pay them off if they work their entire lives! Akiko explains their mission in this department but the duo are only interested in finding a part time job to pay their rental. Akiko leaves for home but finds her family not in. They have gone out for dinner seeing that there was nothing to cook for food. Ryunosuke asks Kyusaku how he ended up marrying Akiko so the scientist starts fantasizing his past romance with her. When they get back (they really took their time), Akiko has been waiting for them since she cooked dinner. She gets pissed when she hears they already had dinner because there goes her cooking with love. She snaps and can’t take this lifestyle anymore. She wants to quit! Nobody cares for her! Suddenly Kyusaku kisses her and carries her away into their room to talk about it. I didn’t know this guy is quite the romantic!

Next morning, Kyouko and Arisa sneak illegally in to pilot a fighter jet. They’re going to get the job done and prove to Tokyo headquarters that it was a mistake to demote them. I guess this is already a big mistake. Akiko is happily making breakfast when it’s déjà vu once more as the fighter jet flies close to the ground, ruining breakfast. I don’t know how Akiko could see her familiar blokes piloting the jet but who else could be this careless? She’s not going to let them get away this time. The duo are goofing around in the plane. Arisa writing her name in the sky and Kyouko accidentally firing safe missiles. Safe missiles? It won’t hit anything living things. Kyouko then accidentally disables the safety mode. Now they’re firing live missiles. Run for your lives! Akiko demands them to return but they cut off communications and continue their rampage. Cue for Nuku Nuku to transform and stop them from damaging the city further. The duo start firing at her but normal bullets ricochet off Nuku Nuku’s body. Kyouko is so pissed that she accidentally hits the self destruct button. Again, why the heck is there such a button. Déjà vu. Boom! And Nuku Nuku didn’t even need to lift a finger… Akiko has to apologize to Tokyo headquarters and promise this won’t happen again. She curses her promotion and vows to make sure the idiots work for free their entire life! Such stress… I guess some promotions don’t come free…  But all is not lost because her family praises her for a lovely home cook meal.

Episode 5
Ryunosuke’s friends, Shimazaki, Ozaki and Tsubouchi confront him because they saw him with a girl (Nuku Nuku) at the shopping arcade yesterday. However they mention every single possibility who this girl is except the part of being his girlfriend. Yeah, they’re laughing so hard that it isn’t possible this chick would be his girl. Ryunosuke lies and exaggerates that she is his girlfriend and that they’re so lovey-dovey together. Unbelievable? Meanwhile at Mishima, gorgeous genius Chouko Izumishikibu (Chieko clone?) introduces a micro sensor that allows to track their target. The censor is fixed into the sunglasses. The staffs though it could see through clothes. They’d be sorely disappointed…. But why sunglasses? It’s the current trend. With the people buying their sunglasses, chances of capturing their target will increase. And so Akiko is tasked to wear the sunglasses every day. Take it as a punishment for failing to achieve her mission for so long. Meanwhile as Ryunosuke fantasizes an aquarium date with Nuku Nuku, his friends drop by to check on him. Though they are amazed with Nuku Nuku as the real deal, Ryunosuke manages to persuade (and lie a little) to help him out to act out as lovers. Especially that lie of Tsubouchi who has a broken heart and doesn’t believe in love crap. So the guys are stunned and Ryunosuke is enjoying this. When he goes to get a borrowed magazine to return, Tsubouchi wants to confirm with Nuku Nuku about their love. She tells him to believe in it so he proposes they go out to the aquarium tomorrow. She agrees. Obviously Ryunosuke becomes upset about that. Well, he had his chances. Akiko goes out shopping with Kyusaku and because she can’t bring herself to wear the sunglasses (she rather get fired than wear it), she leaves it at home. After Nuku Nuku goes off to meet Tsubouchi, Ryunosuke can’t bring himself to stop her. Instead, he gets worried about the romantic moments they will have. Maybe they’ll kiss too! He is going to make sure this will not happen and vows to protect her. First he needs a disguise. The trench coat doesn’t seem it’ll do a complete job. Ah… A pair of sunglasses…

The duo just come out of the aquarium and Ryunosuke is stalking like a jealous stalker. Shimazaki and Ozaki happen to be there and they can tell Ryunosuke in disguise although that jealous kid remains stubborn he is just a passing stranger. Ryunosuke blows his own cover when he thought he saw Nuku Nuku hugging Tsubouchi (her hair got caught in his button). The friends try to take off the disguise and this activates the sensor. Mishima headquarters picks it up and sends an unmanned jet there. Upon detecting Nuku Nuku, it fires its missiles. The guys make a run for it but Ryunosuke realizes he left Nuku Nuku behind and goes to save her. Luckily the missiles missed but they are still blown away by the impact. Then… That voice… Protect life… Nuku Nuku transform… Destroys jet… Thankfully the smoke shielded Nuku Nuku’s action so nobody saw the action. Once over, worried Ryunosuke rushes and hugs Nuku Nuku that she is alright before realizing he was putting his face in her bosoms. She is happy he came to her rescue and they both laugh. The friends didn’t understand what’s going on. Tsubouchi gets disheartened that he doesn’t fit in. Meanwhile Izumishikibu’s sunglasses are cancelled because each detector including tax will cost of 86 million yen! Not cost effective. Ryunosuke doesn’t care what he is to Nuku Nuku as long she is by his side.

Episode 6
Akiko is summoned by the executives and put in charge to capture another lab experiment cat that escaped. This cat is important for C Project. So she sends Kyouko and Arisa for the job but along the way, their sensor gives off when they pass Nuku Nuku riding in tandem with Ryunosuke on his bicycle. As they ponder if she is a cat, they crash into a car. Looks like they need to cough up money for the damages… Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku encounter a box of stray kittens. There is also a little girl, Mai Yazawa and her very big pet dog, Bic (how can a little girl restrain such a big dog?). Mai realizes the kittens’ mom is missing and is worried for them since Bic is quite friendly with the mommy cat. Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku bring the kittens home but Kyusaku warns that Akiko won’t like it. True enough, Akiko scolds them for doing just that since she doesn’t like cats in the house. Because the kittens are hungry, Nuku Nuku gives them milk but they’re not drinking. Akiko hints of breast milk since it is the unconditional love a mother could give to a child. Nuku Nuku is ready to breast feed them but Akiko stops her. So she feeds them via bottle. Later Ryunosuke asks why Akiko hate cats. She used to own one when she was young but it died. She cried for so long with it in her arms. Vowing never to have such a sad experience again, she decided not to have a cat. Few days later, their home has nothing but cat food. No human food… Nuku Nuku is taking good care of the kittens. Is she neglecting her human family? Kyusaku accidentally lets his tongue slip that Nuku Nuku has awakened to motherhood as a cat but Ryunosuke doesn’t quite get it.

Ryunosuke reads up on taking care of kittens. Seems like lots of hard work. Exactly what Nuku Nuku is doing? Mai and Bic pay a visit to check on things and are relieved Nuku Nuku is getting along well with the kittens. At the park, Kyouko is taking out her frustrations by randomly firing her bazooka while Arisa is fooling around on a swing. They can’t go home if they can’t find the cat. Yeah, working overtime with no pay for 10 years! How not to stress? Mai and Bic happen to pass by. She wants to get away from that crazy woman but Bic won’t budge. Then Nuku Nuku senses danger and rushes to Mai’s side. As expected, one of Kyouko’s missiles go stray and is about to hit Mai. Nuku Nuku transforms and destroys the missile. Then she confronts the duo, breaks the bazooka and sends them flying into the sky. Now they can be part of the stars. Nuku Nuku sees Mai and it seems Bic has found something in the bushes. A lifeless body of the mommy cat. Guess which party fitted all that lab equipment on it? (Its death can be attributed to body rejection). Mai becomes emotional as Nuku Nuku takes the cat away to bury. She feels sad for the kittens and the next day, Mai’s friends volunteer to take care of the kittens. Though Nuku Nuku continues to space out, Ryunosuke cheers her up by assuring he will always be by her side in the kittens’ stead.

Episode 7
Akiko is trying to research Project Light Blue but there is no data. Seems that 5 years ago, a division that was closed suddenly started doing something. They were making cyborgs. Guess what? One of them escaped. Agents are on a manhunt for this escapee. Want to make a guess that this cyborg is a little girl named Yuko? She’s taking refuge from the downpour at a playground. A puppy approaches her and she uses her telepathy to assist in seeking help. The puppy brings Nuku Nuku to her since she was passing close by. She brings Yuko back to her room and when she wakes up, she becomes afraid but Nuku Nuku assures her everything is alright and that Ryunosuke is a kind person. When she touches Nuku Nuku hand, Yuko could see that she isn’t an ordinary girl. Later when Yuko has regained some strength and heads out to the living room, she suddenly experiences pain in her head. Kyusaku sees a unit behind her neck and has that devastated look on his face. He rushes back to his lab to find out more on Project Light Blue. I wonder how this guy could easily obtain its data by just keying in some password. He can’t believe that this unit development was supposed to be scrapped 12 years ago has been continuing. Yuko reveals she escaped from the hospital and has been spending her entire life there. This is her first time out of the building. She doesn’t know who her parents are. Somebody rings the door late at night but Yuko sees agents at the door and desperately tries to stop Ryunosuke from answering.

The agents blast open the door and want them to hand over Yuko. In great timing, Kyusaku’s potion overflows and causes the place to be filled with smoke. While Ryunosuke takes Yuko and run, Nuku Nuku transforms and beats the crap out of them. Kyusaku then wants Nuku Nuku to find Yuko because she only has 12 hours to live. I can’t believe those agents are losing to a kid. Feels like they are clowns. They just can’t seem to get near him. Nuku Nuku remembers Kyusaku telling her Yuko was artificially made and had a unit surgically built into her body and supposed to be raised as an esper weapon. The side effect is that her brain cells are constantly breaking up and to prevent that, she needs to have periodical brain surgery. Ryunosuke and Yuko are taking a breather. Her head is pain again for a short while. She tells him people were always giving her all sorts of medication and conducting tests on her which she never knew the reason of. One day when she was transferring to another room, she saw through a small hole the blue sky. She wanted to see that sky again. Ryunosuke promises tomorrow will be sunny. That’s when the agents show up. Ryunosuke won’t hand her back but he is surprised Nuku Nuku and Kyusaku want him to let her return. After explaining her need for surgery, they can’t wait till tomorrow morning because it’ll be too late by then. Yuko decides to return and thanks Ryunosuke for protecting her. She wants him to forget about her and as a parting gift, she kisses him. That wasn’t just any kiss because the next morning, Ryunosuke is back to his usual self with no memories of what happened last night. Nuku Nuku remembers Yuko telling her she erased Ryunosuke’s memories about her and that she is the same as her. When Ryunosuke looks up at the blue sky, he doesn’t understand why he is crying. He feels he is forgetting something important.

Episode 8
At some battlefield, Mishima is testing some super killing machine (that’s at least how it looked to me). It’s so terrifying and perfect, let’s say it caused so much damage in just 12 minutes. This kind of result I’m sure the higher ups are pleased. Of course this machine is shipped to Maneki City and Akiko receives it, knowing that Tokyo headquarters usually toss away their ‘toys’ here once they have had enough of it (actually it is shipped here as they have the best research facilities). But of course the carelessness in handling the container means the machine gets activated automatically as it goes on a rampage. Tokyo headquarters receive news about this and the president seems pretty interested to see what is going to happen next especially watching people move as they planned. Mishima security forces move out to contain this menace and minimize the damage it is causing. By nightfall, its terrorizing has moved to the suburban areas and you can tell the trail of destruction it leaves because there’s always fire in its wake. Some of the security forces are done in. Meanwhile Ryunosuke and his friend are illegally riding a bike in the forest when they hear explosions nearby. The security forces have cornered the huge snake-like machine and disposing all its firepower. Even though the big body is destroyed, the little main body escapes. They need to capture it before it hijacks another machine. Kyusaku and Nuku Nuku have tailed the security forces and he figures out it’s a parasitic automatic attack unit that can adhere to any machine and turn it into a weapon. When Kyusaku and Professor Higuchi were working for Mishima, they strongly opposed this concept because a machine without a heart will go berserk and attack others. That’s why Nuku Nuku has a heart.

As expected, the snakey parasite takes control of the bike and Ryunosuke is on it. It is now breathing flames by using the bike’s gas. The commander wants to shoot and eliminate it before it escapes again regardless of Ryunosuke’s life. Then here comes Nuku Nuku. Ryunosuke remembers her as that super sexy chick (but not Nuku Nuku). She struts her stuff to do damage but it is useless if she doesn’t attack the main body. Kyusaku sends data to her that the main body is hiding in the bike’s muffler. Nuku Nuku snuffs it out as the security forces open fire to put the machine out of commission for good. Nuku Nuku disappears as fast as the security forces. The latter discuss the irony had they open fire on Ryunosuke, they would be no different than the killing machine. Even ironic, they are saved by the wanted Androbot. Ryunosuke regrets his friend’s bike is toast but he is okay with it. All he needs is just to fix it up and wait till he gets into high school to get a proper licence. Because if you treat a machine with a sincere heart, it’ll work the way you want it. Back at Mishima Tokyo headquarters, the president thinks of visiting Maneki City soon. As part of the plan, all executives at Maneki City headquarters will take responsibility by resigning. This will finally make Mishima completely his. The greatest house of mechanical puppets has just been born. The only thing that didn’t go as plan was the killing machine but they’ll just make another one.

Episode 9
Mishima will take on a Zweig, a German company in a giant robot battle. Sangoku Bross was designed by Professor Higuchi and will be used in the battle. Akiko notes that it was the robot she requested to capture MIFX-N2-009 but the executives who are also reluctant feel they have no choice but to use their best robot in this case. Ryunosuke looks up the public info for Bross for Nuku Nuku. She starts to remember something about it and then collapses shortly. Kyusaku learns about this and does his own research on the robot. He remembers making it with Professor Higuchi and never expected it would happen like this. Nuku Nuku wakes up late at night but her thoughts are muddled and she’s feeling scared. Kyusaku says he doesn’t want her to attend tomorrow’s battle because it would be good if her memories don’t come back but she insists because she doesn’t want to have a hard time anymore. At the special arena, Bross makes its debut in public. Ryunosuke and the gang are there. So are Noriko and her mom. She teases Ryunosuke about having no progress with Nuku Nuku and should’ve used this chance to get closer to her instead of bringing his dad along too. The German counterpart, Riese Zoldart enters the ring via air. Ryunosuke is excited that the robots will fight each other till one of them breaks down. However Nuku Nuku feels uneasy. She doesn’t want it to break down. The battle begins with both robots unleashing their own moves. In the end, Bross is superior and emerges victorious. When it seems Zoldart is out for the count, it reactivates and grabs the host hostage. Because of Bross’ in-built system to save lives, it cannot attack and gets pounded by Zoldart. The crowd is upset over this unfair match. Nuku Nuku wants to help since the voice is telling her to save lives. But Kyusaku overwrites that and gives her another command to sit and observe.

Akiko contacts the Zweig counterparts and they claim that Zoldart has malfunctioned so it’s up to them to stop it. Oh really? Bross isn’t responding to Mishima’s control either because of the system. After Bross goes offline, Zoldart turns on the crowd. Before its attack could reach the public, Bross amazingly revives and uses its body to protect everyone while they evacuate. Once the arena is empty, Nuku Nuku transforms and fights alongside Bross. After she saves the host, Bross cuts Zoldart like a hot knife through butter in one slice. Then Bross stops moving permanently. Though Zweig officially reports their robot went haywire. Mishima’s president knows they have formally attacked Mishima. He notes before Mishima gains more enemies, he needs to take over the entire company especially Maneki City’s headquarters because his precious thing of his is sleeping there. Kyusaku remembers Professor Higuchi telling him that he is giving up making killer machines. Kyusaku is pessimistic that will be possible because as long as they’re in the weapons development, heartless killer machines will keep coming to life. Professor Higuchi created the first life saving system into Bross as he notes his white pet cat that he calls Nuku Nuku sleeping on Bross’ hand. He quips how she must like Bross a lot. Nuku Nuku starts to remember this memory too.

Episode 10
Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku see a young man fixing an antique sports car. A bell is attached to his car key as the sound feels somewhat nostalgic to Nuku Nuku. She starts spacing out and of course Ryunosuke misinterprets she has hots for this guy and doesn’t like it one bit. After he learns about Nuku Nuku, he will come pick her up tonight for a date. This young man turns out to be the president of Mishima, Mishima Jr. He is greeted by Maneki City headquarters’ president and his committee but Mishima Jr but he hints that he is no longer needed. Meanwhile Arisa got the guts to fantasize working with Mishima Jr and some sort of whirlwind romance right in front of Akiko. But she is more concerned about Mishima Jr’s actions of taking over both headquarters even if this is a family company. Doing her research, it seems the main part of a robot for a project, E-3 went missing. Noticing it is directly under the control of the former president, she fears the worst. True enough, she finds out that E-3’s location has been changed by the former president to the port’s warehouse and immediately contacts the security department. The former president isn’t going to withdraw easily and is having plans to get back at Mishima Jr with E-3. As promised, Mishima Jr takes Nuku Nuku out in his car. Ryunosuke can only watch. Noriko loves this entertainment and goes to tease him. Is Ryunosuke alright with this? He acts like he doesn’t care and that he has no right to stop Nuku Nuku from dating whoever she wants. Noriko hints she may cross the line tonight and do something thrilling. Still not going to do anything about it? You can sit there and sulk all night and it will all be his fault. It changes Ryunosuke’s mind so he’s going after her and won’t let her date any other guys. Nuku Nuku is still spacing out and Mishima Jr knows she agreed to this date because of the sound of the bell. He takes her to the port so that he could tell her everything. Coincidently, that is where the former president is going to launch his revenge and is eagerly waiting for his arrival.

Mishima Jr tells Nuku Nuku that they are the same because they are manmade. Then E-3 attacks them as he says this one even though is manmade isn’t like them because it has no heart and is under orders of somebody. Though Nuku Nuku saves them from harm’s path, he wants her to transform and show her powers to destroy this machine. He takes out the bell and says that to their dreams come true, he needs her power and the power of this bell’s owner. Nuku Nuku continues to save Mishima Jr from E-3 but she finds it odd she is not transforming into tactical mode. Is it because Mishima Jr is a robot too? When Ryunosuke enters the scene, the former president orders E-3 to take out any eyewitnesses and to do it discreetly without missiles. However somebody gives E-3 conflicting orders to destroy using missiles. This causes E-3 to go haywire with the opposing orders. Eventually when a missile is fired towards Ryunosuke, Nuku Nuku hears the voice to protect life and transforms to protect him. Then she destroys E-3 with one swoop. The former president knows he has failed and tries to flee but it seems the driver who is Mishima Jr’s secretary shoots him. Mishima Jr notes Nuku Nuku can’t transform for him yet and wonders if she hasn’t become human yet. Akiko and the security forces secure the place and they find the former president’s body in the car nearby. Ryunosuke returns home to find Nuku Nuku is already back. She claims she returned in the middle of the date and assures she did nothing. Ryunosuke doesn’t mind it and says she do what she wants to and he will do what he wants to. He’s not bothered at all. Really? But Nuku Nuku worries for him. Next day, Akiko reports to Mishima Jr about all the tests performed on E-3. He tells her to lay low regarding the former president’s case because the police are investigating it. He assigns her in charge of E-3 and to redesign its control programme so it will never go berserk again. She feels suspicious because nothing in the report says it went berserk. Mishima Jr gladly anticipates the completion of the world’s greatest house of mechanical puppets.

Episode 11
Nuku Nuku wakes up from a dream whereby she was escaping with her father, Professor Higuchi. But he was shot by the security forces. Akiko is under tremendous stress. So much work piling up. Looks like at this rate she’ll be doing overtime for the rest of her life! She sees a top secret document about the cancellation details of the seal at lowest basement level. She thought it was closed many years ago. Ryunosuke is still pouting. He didn’t want to take up his friend’s offer to watch some racy video till he mentions he got a girl living under his roof. I guess he is still mad so he accepts his offer and that Nuku Nuku has got nothing to do with him. Nuku Nuku is outside the house when a guy pops up before her. He is Professor Higuchi and has been waiting for this moment. As proof, he rings the bell in his hands and her memories start coming back. She remembers they were running away. If he had not stopped running to admire the sunlight, he wouldn’t have been shot! The odd part was, they were in the sewers! Come on! I know he hasn’t seen sunlight for so long but shouldn’t there be better places later to see the sun? Before he collapses, he tells Nuku Nuku to head to Kyusaku’s place as he has already informed him beforehand. He then sealed her memories with the bell and promised to come after her later. He identified her as Programme No. EX-10. Now that Nuku Nuku is happily reunited with her father, he wants her to come with him to Germany. He also sees Kyusaku and warns him Mishima has awakened something terrible. That’s why he wants to take Nuku Nuku with him. So when Ryunosuke learns about it on a short notice and how Nuku Nuku will be leaving tomorrow morning, typical as he is, he puts up a brave front telling her she can go anywhere she wants. Like he cares. Really? Nuku Nuku can even tell he is not alright with it.

Mishima Jr enters the basement and before he could key in the codes, Akiko and the executives surround him. She has acted out of her position and asked them for advice as they are Mishima’s board of supervisory auditors. They say he can’t go beyond any further because it is the founder’s wish. Mishima Jr scoffs him off as an old man who lived over 100 years and failed to die due to prohibited cloning engineering. Before the security can rid of him, Mishima Jr’s secretary knocks them out and easily takes out the old guys. He reveals she is an Androbot, the MIFX-N2-009 that they failed to capture. So he used to company property for his personal use. He comments how the founder didn’t want his company to fall into other hands that he made useless clones as executives. Akiko points her gun at him but that’s not going to stop MIFX-N2-009 from restraining her. Mishima Jr praises her commitment on her job and wishes if all employees were like her, this company would have been better. He activates the elevator to the lowest basement floor which contains the real body of Mishima. Nuku Nuku goes to talk to Ryunosuke who is still sulking. He runs his mouth off that she suddenly came into his life and now she will suddenly go away. He doesn’t like it. In this case it would have been better if they had never met in the first place. So get the hell out of here! Ooooh… Harsh… Suddenly the city is under curfew with the army out on patrol. Mishima Jr activates and puts his plans into motion and wants Akiko to admire the city’s last moments. Akiko guesses he is a clone of the founder because he used his genes as code to activate it. He shows her a clone of Nuku Nuku sleeping in the tube. This is his precious sleeping beauty. Once she wakes up, the city will be flattened.

Professor Higuchi plans to flee during the chaos and Kyusaku thinks he is running away. They reminisce the old times when they were too young to understand what they were doing, creating destructive weapons for Mishima. Eventually Professor Higuchi’s design was chosen. Project Light Blue was the Esperdoll Project which created so many pseudo espers. Among them is the Nuku Nuku clone. Though her artificial esper power was developed, it was beyond what they calculated as she controls any material’s atomic structure via psychokinesis and can change it into furious destruction. That’s why he created Nuku Nuku as last resort in case it awakens. Professor Higuchi claims he is tired of all this and only Nuku Nuku can heal his wounded heart. He doesn’t want her to lose to such a thing. Kyusaku notes he has changed and wonders if Nuku Nuku was modelled after the woman he loved. Or was it since 2 cats died, the ones whose nerve centres were used and of which one had the same name as Nuku Nuku. Kyusaku is going to rescue Akiko. Ryunosuke learns Nuku Nuku has already left. Now he feels guilty. Why look so surprised? Didn’t he tell her to leave? Be careful what you wish for. Professor Higuchi and Nuku Nuku are making their way through the city and he knows a helicopter from Zweig is waiting for them. Nuku Nuku sees the city in chaos and worries about Ryunosuke.

Episode 12
A flashback shows Professor Higuchi speaking to his late wife (of course she looks very much like Nuku Nuku). In her arms is a pair of white cats. One with a golden bell and the other a silver bell. The army launches its offensive on the Mishima building. I don’t think these men can fight against the parasitic robots that could take control of other machines. Kyusaku and Ryunosuke bump into Professor Higuchi alone in the streets. Where’s Nuku Nuku? Looks like she rejected his offer to return to Germany with him and went back to save the city. She felt grateful that he opened her memories and now that she remembers everything, she realizes she loves this city, the Natsume family and of course Ryunosuke too. She said goodbye to him. I suppose Ryunosuke felt bad so he rushes ahead into the Mishima building to look for her. The arrival of battle helicopters into the fray show how serious this war is going to get. Mishima Jr shows to Akiko a date on his chest. It is the expiry date for clones. The founder did this to all his clones to avoid his other selves in obtaining tremendous power. That’s why he wants to let the founder know that even as puppets, they have feelings and want to stay alive, the right to live. But to destroy the city? Mishima Jr rings his bell to activate Nuku Nuku clone, R2-004. Her awakening means her destructive powers have also awakened. In contrast to Nuku Nuku who is born to save lives, R2-004 is born to destroy lives. We won’t see what awesome powers R2-004 have because before we know it, Mishima Jr is all bloodied pinned underneath concrete slabs and his secretary offline for good. He is happy he is going to make their stupid creators regret the sorrows they have. Then he realizes he is dying. Never thought about that, huh? Then he goes offline forever.

R2-004 shows how powerful she is when she just uses her telekinesis to crush the helicopters into bits. She didn’t even touch them! Ryunosuke bumps into Nuku Nuku who is in her tactical form. She hands him unconscious Akiko. Ryunosuke wants to know her identity so she takes off her visor and explains the truth to him. Ryunosuke apologizes for saying mean things to her and realizes she is someone precious to him. However Nuku Nuku can’t go with him. She needs to return and defeat her sister. Because she loves this city, the people and him, she is willing to go back and protect everything she loves. So it’s goodbye for real. Ryunosuke can’t follow since the floor gives way. Luckily he is saved by Kyusaku in a helicopter. How the hell did he hijacked one? Nuku Nuku confronts R2-004 at the rooftop. She powers up with all she has got and then grabs her. In her tight clutch, she self destructs and blows up the building top. I guess this means Professor Higuchi got blown away too since he was up on the roof, right? Mind boggling, only their bells remain. Flash forward to 2019. Ryunosuke is very much grown up now. He returns to Maneki City after 4 years. He narrates Mishima Group broke up after that and Maneki City’s office turned into Mishima Corporation and only deals with general trading. Akiko becomes the general manager and continues to juggle work and life. Kyusaku continues to hole up in his lab and make things that won’t earn him a penny. Ryunosuke meets Noriko (also grown up splendidly) at the place where he first met Nuku Nuku. Noriko is holding a couple of Mia’s kittens in her hands. Each both wearing the golden and silver bell. Then thought he saw a familiar lady standing in the distance. Could it be Nuku Nuku? Is she back for real?

Not That Purr-fect After All…
I have mixed feelings of this series as overall. Basically it is between the TV series and Dash. Now, the TV series was nonsensical and funny and anime shows falling under the comedy genre is really my thing so I like the slapstick comedy that was in the TV series. However, something about it feels so exaggerated and silly that it made me feel annoyed. What’s this? Do I not enjoy the TV series? That’s why I said I have mixed feelings. On one hand I did enjoy the absurdness the TV series had to offer but on the other hand it felt really one kind the jokes especially with Nuku Nuku so dumb and blur. All that nonsense has been tossed away in Dash (except when it involves Arisa and Kyouko). It is heavily loaded with drama and a little dark. Because it wasn’t as silly as the TV series, in a way it felt rather tolerable. However the unsatisfying and WTF ending ruined it all. It ended in an ill-fashioned way. I mean, Nuku Nuku died, right? She exploded herself. Unless you tell me she did something else instead of that explosion we see. And fast forward into the future, we are left with a teaser that this lady may or may not be Nuku Nuku. At first glance she sure is her but could it just be because Ryunosuke is still somewhat attached to her, any beautiful lady he sees he may see traces in her face.

As for the original OVAs, it felt very OVA-like because there are gaps of events in between the episodes. First episode introduces you to everything, then the subsequent episodes is like they’re suddenly at the beach or working at a family restaurant or the divorced parents living back together again temporarily. There is no that continuity you see and feel like you see in anime TV series. Though I didn’t read the manga, I found out that there is only one volume out of it. So I’m not sure if the OVA episodes were original anime work or based off some chapters in that single volume. That is perhaps why the TV series became a retelling and a slapstick. So much many of the episodes can serve as standalone. Even so, some episodes don’t end on a satisfying note. It just ends. And then too much laughing and hoo-haa probably has them made the grimmer Dash and let Nuku Nuku have a radical makeover to earn her some serious esteem instead of a joker. So serious the theme of Dash that there are a handful of deaths that would stir Nuku Nuku’s emotion when the subject dies. So serious the tone of Dash that you know it would be when the title screen isn’t being read over by Nuku Nuku unlike in the TV series despite using the same background music. I guess silence speaks volumes. You know Nuku Nuku will be in for some fun misadventure when you hear her typical genki and energetic voice.

Talking about Nuku Nuku, if you ask me which one I would like better it would be the one in Dash. As mentioned, the OVA and TV series make her look silly. She’s like a rash airhead guided by her feline instincts who only has food on her mind. Oh, not forgetting her killer bicycle ride too. Dash’s Nuku Nuku is more reserved and polite, her expression filled with uncertainties and worries. In that way, she is prettier and likeable. Is it no wonder why Ryunosuke fell head over heels for her? Of course that is my opinion. As an Androbot, Nuku Nuku has quite a number of ironies. She’s supposed to be close to perfect but has lots of defects. For instance her inability to swim and sink like a hammer. I mean, she can jump great heights, possesses incredible stamina, endurance and even human emotions but yet she can’t swim? Ridiculous, isn’t it? At least she doesn’t get short circuit when she steps into the water. Maybe it is all part of Kyusaku’s plan to make her more human. To be imperfect is human and he is trying to perfect that. Get it? And since she’s a robot, shouldn’t she understand it faster and better? Oh well, human emotions are never an easy thing. Ryunosuke in the OVA feels like a kid caught between 2 adults’ game and only wants them to get back together. In the TV series, his main role feels like the one providing the punch lines or the voice of reasoning. As so obvious in Dash, a love stricken kid who in the end doesn’t end up with the girl he loves. Isn’t this some sort of tragedy? After so much drama and close moments, he realizes too late. When she’s gone, she’s gone. Ah, how complicated love is.

In all 3 seasons, Kyusaku is still the poor scientist who is able to create inventions that don’t bring him any money. His role in the TV series in addition to being a joker, to give Nuku Nuku that slight push to do something against Mishima whereas in Dash, his role has been quite minimal, being reduced to just a spectator. That is at least how I felt. As for Akiko, she was being the most overprotective mother in the OVA. That feeling became lesser in the TV series and Dash since she is living with the family and not a divorcee. Something bugs me a little in Dash. Ryunosuke addresses his parents by their first name. It’s like he lacks respect in them. While for Kyusaku’s case it is so because he is a teacher in his school (however in Dash, Kyusaku wasn’t) but calling Akiko by her name too? I don’t want to think the possibility that he is adopted. Arisa and Kyouko remain the same bumbling idiots in all 3 seasons. So it is no surprise why they will never get a man of their own or earn enough money to cover their expenses. At this rate, I don’t think working free for eternity would be enough to cover the costs of destruction they made. If they could strike the lottery now maybe it would change things but what are the chances? They’d strike everything else and destroy them first. Haha. Like Nuku Nuku, Noriko also had a complete makeover. From a lover girl deeply in love with Ryunosuke, she turned into a brat who loves teasing her neighbour. In both cases, looks like she didn’t end up as Ryunosuke’s lover. Not that I can see. Her mom Momoko remains the same, though. Still crying and concern about every single bit about her daughter. Such attachment…

The other side characters are pretty decent but sometimes I felt that they just appeared once or twice and that’s it. You won’t see them anymore or they do not play a very significant or decent impact anymore. For example in the OVA, Yoshimi and Shinjo. Their beach episode was just their prominent episode. If you are hoping for any development for their characters after that, then be prepared for a big disappointment. Nuku Nuku’s rival Eimi was only featured in the OVA as a vengeful robot why she wasn’t featured in the subsequent seasons is up to anyone’s guess. Don’t see any use for her anymore? Maybe she overheated or the producers know she can’t function well in series more than episodes. Haha! For the slapstick TV series, the side characters, especially Nuku Nuku’s oddball classmates are what they are and Hell is just some young punk trying to play evil boss much to the chagrin of his saner employees. Just because he is the boss, does it give him the right to do what he wants? Well, it’s his company. So there wasn’t much issue in wondering what happened to who after this or that. But for Dash, it felt redundant to have some characters to only appear in a single episode. So what happened to the Flower Girl? Do you see her after that? What about Izumishikibu? Mai? Yuko? Sometimes it feels that these characters are necessary just to prolong the series and give a little ‘side adventure’ before the big revelation. And before the next episode preview in Dash, it’s like they make it a big deal to introduce such characters that viewers are expected to see in the next episode. Speaking of character introductions, for the first half of the TV series, I think the producers are trying to drill into the viewers’ head about the supporting characters. Each time you see Futaba, Rie, Chieko, Shimazaki or any other friends, you will see their name appearing at the bottom appearing at the bottom of the scream. We get it already! The bookworm who never speaks is Miyuki, right? The mad scientist obsessed with science is Yakumo, right?

As for the action, my opinion on all seasons also varies. In the OVA, it felt rather okay because you know, animes at that time had that one kind of action and feel to it so it was somewhat acceptable. It wasn’t unusual to see a robot girl taking out high-tech military equipment easily like Superman. A little exaggerating it may be but they seem pretty decent. Of course, except for that no-brainer when Akiko just stood there waiting for the octopus robot to land on her. Was she like trying to send a hint for somebody to save her? Then comes the TV series. Wacky slapstick is enough to describe the action. Nuku Nuku doesn’t really have to do much work to keep the evil Mishima out of bay because their own faultiness is the cause of their own failure. Thus if Nuku Nuku doesn’t really do anything, in time the problem will solve itself. But the action bits in Dash seem to be disappointing. If you ask me, sometimes it not only lacks in quality but it just doesn’t feel convincing. Given the nature of the series, Dash is not slapstick so that’s why my mood and expectations were set higher. It’s something like what you see in tokusatsu or mahou shoujo shows. Villains come into the picture. Villains cause havoc. Hero/heroine arrives. Transform. Defeat baddies. Disappear. See the flow? Giving Nuku Nuku a body suit in her tactical form seems better compared to her school uniform. Oh wait. Nuku Nuku isn’t even a student in Dash. But at least it gives off a better feel that she is combat ready compared to OVA and TV series’ school uniform. Her metal fins behind her ears go up and she’s ready to go into action. Dash’s Nuku Nuku does feel like she packs more punch but the fights last too short (at least better than lasting for 3 whole episodes!) and her moves do not vary. That’s like boring, no?

I can’t help wonder about several things especially about the Mishima company. While in TV series, their failures are always due to their own doings, it is odd to think that for a big company who could spend and invest in such technology to cut back on the success of their inventions, it is mind boggling, isn’t it? Of course I won’t question them due to the slapstick nature. They’re supposed to lose, right? But for Dash, I can’t help see a little pattern here. As a big corporation, they are frequently losing test subjects. Noticed it? I’m not sure if they let it lose on purpose or they just lack the necessary security to contain them. Then they put Akiko in charge and stress her up so much. It’s amazing this woman can handle it after taking in so much and doesn’t give up. That is perhaps what makes her more respectable than her previous seasons’ version. About Professor Higuchi, I wonder where he was during Nuku Nuku’s stay at Natsume’s residence. Maybe I wasn’t listening but it took him this long to get to her? I thought he knew where she was, at his best friend’s place. Assuming he got captured and imprisoned whatsoever, how did he manage to escape so easily? And with such great timing of Mishima Jr’s arrival at Maneki City too. Unless that was part of his greater plan too. What can Mishima Jr prove to the founder to destroy the city? Where is he? I thought he’s dead? Or perhaps lying in some cryogenic state? And then Mishima Jr realized he killed himself. Didn’t think too thoroughly, did he? Another thing to ponder is the safety missiles that Mishima develops. Seriously. Why even bother to make that? You make missiles to destroy, right? For realism when they test it in the city? Gee, maybe the military should also consider using this when they go to war. And if they could make missiles with safety feature, couldn’t they do it for the rest of the other machines? Oh, that’s right. There’s always this chance it will go haywire. Electronics…

As for the art and animation, I would forgive this old and dated production since it was produced more than a decade ago. As usual, my typical answer that animes in that era are ‘like that wan’. So the OVA had that OVA quality (which of course is not comparable by today’s standards) and the TV series just makes everyone comical especially when things get exaggerated. I mean, look at the employees of Mishima. Under Hell, they have to wear colourful costumes and for Akiko had to wear a mask while Arisa and Kyouko had funny face paintings. Once more, Dash doesn’t live up to its quality like I expected. In fact to me it may be the worse among the 3 seasons. Sometimes the details in the scenes can get simple and lack much feature. The OVA may have a little wee bit of fanservice but the TV series and Dash certainly do not have the slightest hint of it.

The absurdity of the jokes in the TV series felt like running gags because after a while being repeated similarly in the episodes, you know that you are going to see this over and over again in the following episodes till the end. Whether it is Nuku Nuku’s inability to pronounce Chieko’s surname correctly (she can say hundreds of variations and never get the right one even if she is in earshot range – isn’t it hard to pronounce Shirokaba-, oops, I mean Shirakaba?), Chieko’s underlings whose only main lines in the series are “That’s right! Just as Chieko said” so much so if they say anything else and have a proper dialogue it is such an odd phenomenon (but not as odd when Miyuki speaks or show her true face without her specs – because yeow! She’s hot!), Nuku Nuku as the most blur head character in the TV series that anything she doesn’t know thinks it has something to do with food (do robots eat real food? If so, do they really excrete wastes like human? I don’t want to know), Kyusaku’s poorly disguise as some scientific hero of justice that everyone can see through except Nuku Nuku (I guess she needed some sort of motivation or push), Mishima’s failed technology that always backfires on them (it’s amazing Akiko never dies at the rate she gets injured during ‘work’) due to budget cutbacks (ironic for a giant organization who spends so much in research, isn’t it?), Speedy Girls never get their proper debut and if they do it is always the same song and cut short by unfortunate events just like Yamagata who is trying his best to play the part of a responsible teacher but always gets hit away into the sky by just about anything (it’s amazing he didn’t die from the unfortunate incidents that befall on him). I know they’re to give Shimazaki some sort of character because he is never seen without his guitar no matter how absurd the setting gets, it’s like part of his body. But the annoying thing is that he always sings the same tune! It was amusing for a while but it really gets to you later despite the change in lyrics but the overall tune is still the bloody same one. “La, la, la, la ~(insert line here)~”. Okay, I admit. I did enjoy most of them. Most.

For all the 3 seasons, the main casts for the characters are retained despite each season is different either is in remake or spin-off. I guess in those early days, Megumi Hayashibara was one of the few famous seiyuus around so as fitting as she is as the voice of Nuku Nuku, it sounded like many of her other early anime roles like the female Ranma in Ranma 1/2, Lina of Slayers, Rei in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Lime in Saber Marionette J. The other main casts include Kazue Ikura as Ryunosuke (Sentoumaru in One Piece), Akira Kamiya as Kyusaku (Kogoro Mouri in Detective Conan), Saeko Shimazu as Akiko (Kodachi in Ranma 1/2), Aya Hisakawa as Arisa (Kyouko for Dash) (Maya in Tenjou Tenge) and Akiko Hiramatsu as Kyouko (Arisa for Dash) (Miyabi in Ai Yori Aoshi). Casts for the OVA are Mika Kanai as Eimi (Vanilla in Galaxy Angel) and Satomi Koorogi as Yoshimi (Maho in Onegai Teacher). Only featured in the 1998 TV series, Michiko Neya as Futaba (Melissa in Full Metal Panic), Hideo Ishikawa as Ikenami (Ukitake in Bleach), Atsushi Kisachi as Shimazaki (Asaba in Kare Kano), Kenyuu Horiuchi as Yakumo/Dr Ooizumi (Sasaki in Bakuman), Kenichi Ono as Yamagata (Asurada in Future GPX Cyber Formula). Having different roles in the TV series and Dash are Wakana Yamazaki as Chieko and Izumishikibu (Ran in Detective Conan), Eriko Kawasaki as Miyuki and Flower Girl (Misuzu in Ichigo 100%) and Sachiko Sugawara as Rie and Mai (Valore in Vandred The Second Stage). Reprising their roles for both TV series and Dash include Ken Narita as Hell/Juzo/Mishima Jr (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Chinami Nishimura as Noriko (Hydra in UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie), Yuri Amano as Momoko (Ichiki in Nabari No Ou). Making their appearance only in Dash include Sho Hayami as Professor Higuchi (Motonobu in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), Takuma Suzuki as Ozaki (Arai in Kimi Ni Todoke) and Kumiko Watanabe as Yuko (Keroro in Keroro Gunsou).

Guess what? For all the 3 different seasons, Megumi Hayashibara sings all of the opening and ending credits! Is there no other singer at that time? I suppose since Nuku Nuku is the main heroine and that Megumi Hayashibara has established quite a fan base herself, it is only right for her to be featured in every opening and ending piece. For those who are familiar with her upbeat anime pop style, you can recognize that in Watashi Ni Happy Birthday (OVA first opening), Yume Hurry Up (OVA second opening), Fine Colorday (TV opening) and Oyasuminasai Ashita Wa Ohayou (TV ending). For slower ballads, Oshiete Happiness (OVA first ending) and Harikitte Trying (OVA second ending) should fit the bill nicely. A House Cat is the opening for Dash and the power disco beat reminds me of her take in Shaman King opening themes. Dash’s ending theme, Shiawase Wa Chiisana Tsumikasane is the slow pop ballad but its happy feel reminds me of the sunshiny ending theme of Ashite Iki No Bus Ni Notte from Rocket Girls.

In a nutshell, the overall series is pretty decent and enjoyable at an average level despite the sci-fi inventions that don’t really make sense. Not that it will be possible in the near future. Come on. How the hell did Kyusaku transfer the soul of a dead cat into a robot? He might as well do so with all the other dead pets. Yeah. Coming to you soon. Dogs, rabbits, hamsters, goldfish and lizards back from the dead in a metal body. Would it then be consider your pet anymore? But the humour is very much what drives this series and makes it fun. Then Dash had to ruin it and leave a bad impression lingering. Well, at least it tries hard not to give off too many nonsensical jokes but it could have been better. Could have. Cats may have nine lives and Nuku Nuku has been lucky enough to be given a second shot at life. Even if she uses up all of them, I don’t think she can save this series ;p. She can save the world from Mishima or an impending asteroid but not this show.

K

June 23, 2013

What the hell???!!! How short can it get?! It’s like the question for zettai ryouiki on how short can one’s skirt be before it sets the alarms ringing. I know I dread anime titles that are a mouthful to pronounce and remember but what I didn’t expect that it could also be so short that it is just a letter of the Roman alphabet. One stinking letter!!! Imagine the billions of search results when you Google it. What are the chances of hitting it? I thought an anime title having two Roman alphabets (three, if you take into account the exclamation mark) was bad enough (remember that anime about the masochist boy trying to get a cure for his odd fetish via a sadistic girl?), now they halved that and it is just one alphabet. So I thought K was just the temporary name for the series. Looks like it wasn’t. What will they think next? Naming half the alphabet or just a symbol?

Thankfully, this anime is sometimes referred to as K Project but I doubt that would make any difference. Plus, it sounds like some secretive government project… Anyway since this series is an original anime, trying to get more information on the plot of this series initially didn’t yield anything. So you could say by the time I started watching this anime (when the series ended), I didn’t look up on the plot overview and just went in ‘blindly’ without knowing what this series is all about. Of course prior to the airing of the anime, there were 2 prequel mangas to explain the back story. What are the chances of me reading them?

Episode 1: Knight
The Homra clan led by Mikoto Suou or more commonly known as Red King, attack a rival gang in some building. Anna Kushina uses her red marble on the guy and since he doesn’t know anything, the gang leave. However a special task force unit called Scepter 4, headed by Reishi Munakata or also known as Blue King confront Mikoto and Homra just at the building’s entrance. Both sides power up ready for battle. At Ashinaka High School, Kukuri Yukizome wants to give Yashiro “Shiro” Isana her vegetables since his lunch doesn’t have any. WTF. Is she his mother? Unfortunately he is able to give her to slip. Shiro enjoys his lunch somewhere atop some building and loves the peace of this country as a stray white cat joins him in his rest. Back in class, Shiro is tasked to help out for the cultural festival to run errands for the student council (because he seems free). Because he often forgets his PDA (which is very much needed in this high technology world and serves as ‘ticket’ in and out of school), he uses the old fashion key to unlock the backdoor and slip out of school. A Homra member spots Shiro and they immediately go to the ground to find him. Shiro comes into skater boy, Misaki Yata who wastes no time in wanting to kill him. Great. Nobody else cares to see somebody being chased down a busy street. He is cornered by other Homra members and at the alley, Kurou Yatogami the Black Dog uses his exceptional sword skills and magic to deflect all the projectiles and make their escape. On a building top, Shiro is grateful for his help but before he could leave, Kurou points the sword at him. Claiming to be the vassal of the former seventh king, Ichigen Miwa, he is going to slay the evil king in accordance to his late master’s wish. That’s Shiro, right? Suddenly all the video screens in the city are hijacked. It starts playing a clip whereby Shiro (or someone that closely resembles him) coldly kills Tatara Totsuka (the recorder of this clip). He then claims himself to be the seventh king, Colourless King and is waiting for someone. Lastly, Munakata has Mikoto sitting nicely behind bars.

Episode 2: Kitten
Just like any person who is about to be killed, Shiro proclaims his innocence. Kurou doesn’t believe. Don’t judge a book by its cover? Kurou judges a man by his actions! If it looks like him, then it has got to be him, right? Since he serves Ichigen, he will not hand him over to the police. Shiro gives up and is willing to resign to his fate. However he wants to write a farewell letter to his ill sister in hospital. He wants Kurou to deliver it to him but the latter realizes it is a trap and made up when Shiro escapes with a smoke screen. Kurou leaves the scene to continue his search but little does he know, Shiro is hiding in a mascot suit nearby. Homra’s second in command, Izumo Kusanagi puts up a bounty with reward of ten million yen for any information about this killer in the video. Anna’s marbles pinpoints Shiro’s possible location. Because Shiro is walking around in the suit, nobody could spot him. Kurou and Yata clash. Oddly, Shiro is seen signalling to be on Kurou’s side. Kurou easily defeats Yata and goes to where Shiro is but is gone by then. Kurou only picks up his school badge on site. Shiro is back in his dorm wondering why those people are after his ass. But it couldn’t be more intriguing when he finds a naked sexy babe sleeping in his bed! Yikes! Kurou waits outside Ashinaka and lots of girls think this guy is hot. Kukuri offers to help him out as she guides him to Shiro’s dorm. While Shiro has his hands full with this mysterious babe, Neko, here comes another trouble: Kurou. He’s asking about his ‘sister’. Sh*t. Kurou is going to kill him but Neko stands up to protect him. Then they run through the campus as Neko puts up illusionary obstacles to keep Kurou at bay. I don’t know but even in the heat of the chase, Shiro can even stop to help other students in trouble. Does he not know his life is in real danger? Kurou finally corners Shiro. But because Neko can manipulate space and surroundings, Kurou charges and bangs into a wall. Wow. It feels like a joke. So the entire day, the trio keep chasing each other. Serious. They end up back in Shiro’s room. Tired. Exhausted. Since Neko is hungry, Shiro wants to stop to make breakfast. WTF. There’s break time when you’re going to be killed? Anything to delay your death… Because Shiro and Neko suck in making a decent meal, Kurou got pissed and does the cooking. Man, this guy can cook!

Episode 3: Kitchen
Flashback during Munakata and Mikoto’s clash, Mikoto willingly surrenders before the fireworks could start. In the cell, Munakata warns his Weismann level is pushing its limit and if the Sword of Damocles should fall, there’ll be a repeat of the Kagutsu crater. In short, he wants Mikoto to renounce his throne or he’ll have to watch him 24/7 and keep him locked up for life. Mikoto doesn’t think it’s such a bad deal to be under his surveillance. He can even use force to restrain him. Too bad he can’t since he is busy and breathing the same air with him makes him sick. Munakata’s second in command, Seri Awashima suggests ways to restrain Mikoto and he will consider some of her methods. On the case of Totsuka’s murder, the gun used to kill him was modified that the mafia was dealing in and the man and the truck involved in the smuggling are missing. Munakata wants to know everything that happened in this city for the past 2 weeks till this case is solved. Kusanagi is upset when Yata and Rikio Kanamoto fight and damage his prized bar counter imported from England. After teaching them a lesson, it seems their fight stems from the rumour that Mikoto left Homra for Scepter 4. He reveals they’re trying to confine a guy who is a natural disaster waiting to happen. Worst case scenario is that he would be under Munakata’s watch at all times. His capture means they could roam freely. Yata goes off to look for Kurou. Shiro and co just finish their breakfast as Kurou explains those Fire Guys who are out for his head because he killed their clansman. He also explains about clans, a group of people serving their king. After breakfast he’s going to kill him. Oh boy. Just like having your last meal, eh? Meanwhile at some warehouse supposedly belonging to the missing gun dealer, a group of guys are ambushed by Munakata.

Shiro tries to stall for more time by asking about this king thing. Kurou’s late master ordered him to evaluate the man who would be the next king and kill him without hesitation if he is evil. Ichigen the previous king possessed the ability to see the future. A king embodies the natural laws of this world and holds the power to run this country. No, not the Prime Minister. He’s just a puppet. There are 7 clans and each clan is ruled by a king who rules them. Each clan has their own colour and power. His previous master was known as the Golden King and brought economical and technological progress to the country (the companies he controlled include those that made the PDA and soy sauce). He describes the red clan as violent. Because bonds within a clan are thicker than blood, killing a clan member is a stupid thing to do. I guess he is still accusing Shiro as the murderer. Shiro argues the video might be fake and if he was the murderer, he would’ve run somewhere far away. He vows to prove his innocence and convinces Kurou about it by asking if his late master ever told him to kill people without making a proper evaluation. I guess Shiro pressed the right button on Kurou’s tape recorder that contains all the ‘wise sayings’ of his late master. What a creepy freak this guy is too. He loves his ‘poetry’? Even guys like him have a quirk or two.

Episode 4: Knock-on Effect
I don’t get it. Kurou is making lunch for Shiro too? He accompanies him around the campus to find prove he is innocent. Or else, it’s off with his head. I wonder how they can even convince the teacher that he is the new transfer student. Including Neko. Maybe the teacher doesn’t really give a damn. And there are several situations Kurou feels like killing him right away because Shiro is frolicking around more than being serious in proving his innocence. Meanwhile Munakata sees the killer’s similarity to Shiro and traces him to Ashinaka. Anna also pinpoints Shiro’s position on the island campus. Shiro claims the date and time of December 7th 11.45pm on Hirasaka Building in the West Precinct, the distance made it impossible for him to return to Ashinaka in 1 hour. He is going to try to prove he is on campus at that time and date. On that day, he was helping out with the cultural festival. Something unforgettable happened, his friend Souta Mishina confessed allowed to Kukuri on the clock tower but was rejected. Kukuri of course would like to forget about that embarrassing incident but she couldn’t determine if Shiro was one of the many people watching it. Shortly Mishina wanted to blow the school up with fireworks but the student council swiftly dealt with him. Thinking the student council might have seen him, Shiro goes to see them but they too can’t assure that and tells him to go ask the photography club since they were taking pictures like mad that time. It was because while everyone was watching the commotion, a prop accidentally got razed by the fire. Despite all the photos, Shiro wasn’t in one of them. Alibi slipping away…

Shiro gets an idea to get the log of students passing through the academy on that time. Because his name didn’t appear on the log, he argues he is on campus on that time since the gate scans and checks all those who enter or leave. However Kurou remains suspicious. This is made worse when Kukuri comes by to hand him back his PDA. He always forgets it, right? And always sneaks out due to that, right? Oh dear… Further prove is not necessary. He will die right he is standing now! Neko jumps to Shiro’s protection. But because Shiro puts up a serious expression in protecting her, this reminds Kurou of something similar in his childhood days. He agrees to give him another chance. Shiro remembers the ceiling of the gym caved in due to a broken sprinkler and the toilet overflowed. Kukuri remembers something like that. She ran away to the gym after Mishina’s confession and saw Shiro there. Indeed there is a hole in the ceiling and to prove Shiro is totally innocent, Kukuri shows her PDA with a time stamp he was here. All this could have been solved in the first place instead of going around in a wild goose chase if they told her what’s happening… Once this case is solved, Kurou asserts his authority to get the other classmates to finish up the cultural festival preparations. Sure he is effective but can he do that? Well, he’s the transfer student… Relieved Shiro returns to his dorm but when he sees a bloodied shirt in his closet, memories of that killing flow through his mind. Could it really be him? Yata and Kanamoto are waiting outside Ashinaka but couldn’t get in. No PDA… You can’t just simply waltz in, can’t you?

Episode 5: Knife
Yata and Kanamoto manage to enter Ashinaka by ‘extorting’ PDAs of other students. Little do they know, Shiro, Kurou and Neko just exited the school via backdoor. They just missed them. Awashima and her team are also at Ashinaka and she is trying to get the directors to willingly cooperate or else they can use the law (which both sides would rather not) and force them to reveal information about its students. One of her subordinates, Saruhiko Fushimi goes off by himself. Yata seems to be scaring the students away. I mean, what is your reaction if somebody asks you in a thug-like manner? Plus, this guy seems to only ask boys and not girls. What’s with the double standards? Fushimi secretly enters the student council room, puts one of its members to sleep so that he can use her details to access the student database and do a matching search. Then he spots Yata and Kanamoto outside and decides to go play with them. So when they both come into contact, Fushimi purposely irritates Yata by calling his first name. Yata calls him a traitor because he left Homra and joined Scepter 4. Yata tries hard to control his anger but the last straw came when Fushimi mocks Mikoto about losing his edge. Skateboard versus sword. Fushimi plays dirty by throwing hidden knives and one of them hit Yata’s shoulder. To their surprise, Fushimi seems to wield both blue and red colours. The power fight could have gone out of control had not Awashima coming in between. She wants them to postpone their match. That’s an order. Yata has no obligations to comply till Awashima reports how Mikoto is doing in prison. He’s fine. Complaining about prison food but eats them and goes to sleep. After the duo leave, Awashima isn’t too thrilled on what Fushimi has done. He too doesn’t seem happy to be caught with his pants down. Awashima asks his results about infiltrating the school database and it seems there are no students that match Shiro and thus they conclude the suspect is not a student of this school. Yata wants to ask one more person before he leaves. He didn’t expect a girl to reply him (getting all flustered, is he?). That girl is Kukuri but when asked who Shiro is, she does not know.

Episode 6: Karma
As Shiro, Kurou and Neko eat at a ramen store, Shiro notices the owner has a board with photos of his regular customers. The odd thing is Shiro is his regular customer and yet there are no photos of him. Strange? Awashima is a regular customer at Kusanagi’s bar. She relates she bumped into one of his men the other day. She is concern that the red king’s Weismann level is at its limits. How dangerous can it be? Let’s say it could change Japan’s topography. Kusanagi has confidence in him despite noting he is bad in self control and patience. Flashback 8 years ago, Mikoto was being ‘stalked’ by a kid named Totsuka. One day they learn he got beaten up and hospitalized. They paid him a visit and Mikoto wants to know who did this to him. He didn’t say but remains playful, much to Mikoto’s ire. Totsuka mentions that he will be the king’s vassal and that Mikoto will become a real king. Back to the present, Shiro calls Kukuri since the memo she handed is unreadable. Neko is uncomfortable with handphones and runs away. When the call connects, Kukuri doesn’t recognize who Shiro is and doesn’t know anybody of that name. Is this some joke? Doesn’t seem like it. Kurou wonders if this is an effect from Neko. Shiro wants to call home to make sure somebody recognizes him but it seems there is no such number. Shiro becomes shocked. There are a few possibilities. 1) He called the wrong number; 2) Something happened and they changed their number; 3) He’s lying. Kurou thinks of option 4: There’s something wrong with his memory. When they arrive at Shiro’s supposed home, it is not there. They’re in a middle of a stadium. He begins to question if his is Yashiro Isana in the first place. He may be a murderer after all and wonders if Kurou wants to kill him. Flashback to 3 years ago. Mikoto beats up those who annoy him. He didn’t like being king and as pointed out, he seems to attract every type of weird person. Anna is an example. Totsuka is part of Homra and the other clansmen have taken a liking for him. Totsuka assures Mikoto’s powers are not for destruction but to protect. Fast forward to the night Totsuka was shot and killed, Yata and Kusanagi rushed to his side. He died in Yata’s arms and Yata became very devastated. It would seem like Kurou is unsheathing his sword to kill Shiro but he whips out his tape recorder and another one of Ichigen’s wise sayings to give up this listless mission and reconcile. Though he doesn’t believe who he is either, that was before he became unable to believe in his identity. He will not listen to Ichigen’s words to give up nor will he reconcile. What he is trying to say to Shiro is not to give up yet.

Episode 7: Key
The stadium is suddenly surrounded by Scepter 4. Awashima wants them to surrender but Kurou isn’t going to do just that. Scepter 4 prepares to draw their swords as Neko suddenly teleports everyone into a busy street and take Shiro and run. However this is just an illusion. Awashima stands in their path. The Sword of Damocles appears. Herald Munakata into the scene. With his powers, he dispels the illusion and identifies Neko as the source. He reveals she is a Strain and by projecting her powers within a perimeter with herself at the centre, she can interfere and manipulate senses and perceptions of those around her. Shiro wants to surrender but it’s no-go for Kurou. He will hold them down while they escape. They clash but Munakata is clearly superior. He is waltzing through Kurou’s attacks. Once Munakata pins Kurou down, he says Shiro may not be powerful but is a wild card who could tip the balance of power between kings. He believes he will replace Ichigen as the new Colourless King. Kurou mentions he will not let anyone lay their hands on Shiro till he reaches his verdict and since he still hasn’t come to that, Munakata concludes that this may be Shiro’s ploy to stay neutral. Playing neither good nor bad, he gets to keep Kurou as his bodyguard. With Neko around him, it’s not hard he may be deceiving them all and puppets in his scheme. Shiro’s return surprises everyone. He can’t let his friend die. He reveals he has been lying all the while and activates his Sword of Damocles. That distraction was enough for Kurou to break free and make his escape.

At an alley, it is learnt that was just an illusion put up by Neko. Kurou puts the pieces together on what Munakata said about Neko’s power. In addition to manipulate, she can create false memories of those around her. Like making people who met for the first time into believing they are old friends. I guess that’s why Kukuri couldn’t recognize Shiro now. Shiro wants Neko to correct this amnesia thingy now. Even if he will turn out to be an evil king and be killed on the spot, he is tired of running. He wants to settle this right here otherwise they can’t move on. Regardless of who he was in the past, his present self must take responsibility. Neko begins her ritual to have Shiro look back into his memories. Neko as a cat was scared of almost anything and did anything to survive. Till she met Shiro’s kindness. The memories first began as we see Shiro falling from the sky and crashing into the roof of the school’s gym. That’s when they first met. Kukuri happened to enter since she heard a loud crash. Neko manipulates their memory as though they’ve known each other. However Shiro wants to know the memories before that. Neko is reluctant because she fears he will disappear. He assures he won’t. Several seconds before his free fall, Shiro sees himself clinging on the edge of the blimp and someone kicking him off. Who the heck is that guy?

Episode 8: Kindling
That blimp, Himmelreich is still floating in the skies. Shiro returns to perimeter of his school. Even though his past was faked, he knows the time spent with everyone recently was real. So it’s good enough to say he has returned home. Despite so, there are lots of uncertainties he needs to clear up. Munakata and Awashima discuss their next move. Their men report some sort of contact left behind by Kurou. A piece of paper that indicates “1400”. Thinking it is a time indicator, they wait for 2pm to pass and on the dot, Munakata receives a call from Shiro. He thinks the man on the blimp is also connected to the murder. However he won’t turn himself in and will only do so with the right price. If they can bring that man down to the ground so that he can question him, Shiro will surrender himself. Munakata at first was unwilling to accept his terms because he knows his friends will come and bail him out. However he accepts it and announces he will detain that man on the blimp, Adolf K. Weismann, the first and Silver King. During that talk, Fushimi and his team has already been despatched to trace the call. Just when they thought Shiro was making a call from a truck, they got it had. A cheap trick used. A handphone calling a handphone. Munakata despatches his biggest operation yet to take Adolf into custody. They will give him the option to surrender first, otherwise they will storm in and command Himmelreich by force. Awashima wants Munakata’s reasoning of taking such action. He has observed Himmelreich’s flying pattern over the skies. Its path is more or less the same with just deviations from the weather. However, it abruptly changed its route immediately after a certain incident: Totsuka’s murder. Scepter 4 prepares to head out via helicopters. Shiro and co are waiting at the airfield base and knock out a unit to take control of their helicopter. As they approach Himmelreich, Adolf is anticipating things to get even livelier. Shiro wants to know about the Silver King. Kurou, though has never met him, he heard from Ichigen he is special like the Gold King, who is the second king. Gold King exists only because Silver King. While Gold King rules the ground, Silver King rules the skies. They plan how they want to snatch the Silver King once they get onboard. It will be not easy since other Scepter 4 members are going to board it too. Naughty Neko starts pressing the buttons to speed up and causes the helicopter to fly dangerously close to Himmelreich. When it is close enough, Adolf sets off explosives that send the blimp exploding in flames. Hmm… Looks like a bright shining star from the ground.

Episode 9: Knell
Back in Germany in 1945, Adolf demonstrated to others his rodent of his under the influence of Slate. It has his mouse commanding the other mice under its control at the end of the maze. I’m not sure about the mumbo-jumbo about the increased power it will have and how it will affect humans. Lieutenant Kokujouji thought it would bring an army of super humans but Adolf says it is for joy. Anyway the mini maze got destroyed by the power instead. During a raid on Germany, the bombings killed Adolf’s sister and fellow scientist Claudia. He was saved because of his Sword of Damocles. A few months later, Adolf takes Slate with him and leaves Germany in Himmelreich. Kokujouji thought he was just running away. In present time, Adolf’s body is retrieved from Himmelreich while there are none at the copter who crashed into it. Awashima learns the actual pilots for this helicopter were knocked out at the hangar. Kukuri and her friends are cleaning up after the festival and want to enlist that guy’s help but can’t remember who he is. They somehow enter Shiro’s room and though do not recognize this place, have a feeling that someone was occupying it. Munakata visits the Golden King, Daikaku Kokujouji to confirm Adolf’s body that is resting nicely in the glass coffin. Munakata believes Adolf may be faking his death because the Silver King was the king that started it all. His physical state never changes and thus also called the Immortal King. For a man who retains his youth and vigour suddenly dies after half a century later, don’t you think something feels fishy? He wants to examine his body but looks like the Golden King won’t allow it.

Mikoto is sitting pretty nicely in prison when a mysterious caller mocks him. There’s this fox spirit coming out from the phone claiming to be Totsuka’s murderer. He tries to provoke Mikoto that he will kill more of his comrades so that Totsuka won’t feel lonely but Mikoto plays it cool. No reaction. The spirit then taunts he will take Anna for himself and sees an opening. He possesses Mikoto but his plan backfires when he sees a fierce flaming lion and becomes scared. This allows Mikoto to trace the call back to a dorm at Ashinaka. The room and whoever this fox dude was possessing goes boom. With that, Mikoto breaks out of his cuffs and prison. Nothing can stop him. Not even the heavy security walls and doors or the might of Scepter 4. He is unstoppable! So cool! If Awashima can’t handle his flames that burns everything down (and he doesn’t even break into a sweat to do that), what makes you think Fushimi can? His hand is even trembling and can’t even unsheathe his sword. Says a lot about the magnitude of his power, eh? Outside Scepter 4’s gate, his comrades of Homra are waiting for him. Now that he has found his target, they make their way to the island campus. Scepter 4 can do nothing but watch them walk away.

Episode 10: Kaleidoscope
Homra makes their fiery entry into school. Don’t panic, cooperate with us and we’ll leave once we find this killer guy in the video. In short, Ashinaka is now under Homra’s control as the gang go around sniffing out the killer while Mikoto just lies around. That’s what being king is all about, right? As Scepter 4 has surround and barricade the perimeters of Ashinaka, Neko uses her sensory perception so that they can sneak into school. Munakata realizes Mikoto making his move on Ashinaka means he is here to apprehend Totsuka’s murderer. But if the culprit is another king, especially the Colourless King, it’s going to get messy. Each king displays their own unique power and no one knows that power till he shows it. Thus the Colourless King is unlike other kings because he’s like a trickster that agitates the relationships between kings. Since Scepter 4 didn’t capture the Colourless King, they can only apprehend the Red King and risk an all-out war with the red clansmen. Kusanagi talks to Yata that he shouldn’t get so worked up. Especially now that Fushimi is on the other side. He doesn’t blame him since Fushimi was once Yata’s partner though Yata accuses Fushimi for betraying them first. Flashback reveals Yata confronting Fushimi when he was about to leave Homra for Scepter 4. He is bored of playing gangster and wants to move into something big. To add insult to the clan, he burns his Homra mark on his shoulder. He provokes Yata by running down Homra to the point of being ungrateful to Mikoto who picked him up from the streets.

Later Kusanagi talks to Mikoto about old times and Totsuka. He never thought he would become a real king. When he became one, his short fused personality stopped. He became a gun that protected what needed to be protected. He also found it hard at first to believe he had so much fun with people gathered around him. Mikoto gets up to settle some business. Mikoto goes to meet Munakata. He wants Mikoto to relinquish this school peacefully since he is involving innocent high school students’ lives. If he does that, he will slay Totsuka’s killer, the man who calls himself the Colourless King on his behalf the way he wants it. He reminds Mikoto his Sword of Damocles is in bad shape, his Weismann level is at is limit and at this rate will cause another repeat of Kagutsu crater tragedy. Mikoto declines so Munakata sternly reminds him the innocent lives involved. His reply is that they take care of their own businesses. You do what you need to do, I do mine. Shiro and co return to his room but are devastated to see it torn apart. I don’t think a normal burglary would just blow the place up and blast a hole in the wall. Kurou feels with Mikoto’s appearance here, a clan war might take place. Shiro surprises Kurou that they should seek Ichigen’s advice. However Kurou says that won’t be necessary because what they need to do next is obvious: Rescue Kukuri and others. They don’t need to rely on Ichigen’s words for that. And all Neko is worried about is fixing back her favourite broken rice bowl. Can we do that once they come back?

Episode 11: Killer
Scepter 4 is on standby and when an explosion rocks a part of Ashinaka, Munakata gives the orders to charge in. He lets Awashima take charge. The Homra guys are ready to rock and roll as both sides being their clash. As Fushimi and Yata settle their old score, more explosion rocks the place. Munakata saves a Homra guy from being crushed by a falling block. However he shows his gratitude by stabbing him. Munakata doesn’t seem perturbed and lets the blocks fall on them. Anna leaves her place after seeing a vision and was almost sniped by a Scepter 4 soldier on the roof. Kurou saves Kukuri from an explosion blast. She doesn’t remember Shiro and co but he helps her get away. However Mikoto has found them and he is not going to let them go. Kurou tries to stall him to let them get away but Mikoto is too powerful. Not even Neko’s sensory perception could do the trick because Mikoto is on a rage. Kurou continues to fight Mikoto till Munakata steps into the picture. You didn’t think he would go down that easily, huh? So with Munakata butting heads with Mikoto, it’s perfect timing for Shiro’s group to escape. Kukuri wants to tend to Shiro’s minor injury. She surprises everyone by stabbing him with a glass! Kurou restrains her as we see a fox spirit possession her. You can tell its trademark with the mad twisted face it displays while possessing somebody. Short flashback reveals the several people the fox spirit possessed that include the Homra guy that tricked Munakata, the Scepter 4 dude, Adolf in his blimp and Shiro himself. The fox taunts Shiro he doesn’t remember a thing and that he ran away to live peacefully. He should sleep without remembering anything. Shiro is snapped out by Neko’s voice. The fox spirit escapes via Kukuri’s body. Shiro is in a daze as he starts to remember Adolf’s memories from his time in Germany as a scientist with Claudia right up to her death and his departure from Deutschland. He suddenly shoots out a bright silver light which forms into the Sword of Damocles. Then speaking in German, he tells the rest not to worry about his injury because it is healed for he is an immortal. And his name is Adolf.

Episode 12: Adolf K. Weismann
Shiro can say that he isn’t only the Silver King but also Shiro. Flashback reveals the Colourless King possessing Shiro facing off with Adolf in his blimp. Adolf isn’t interested in what’s going on in the ground but since the Colourless King does, he takes over Adolf’s body. It’s not like body swapping as Shiro puts it. Because of his status as Silver King possessing inviolable powers while the Colourless King has the power to affect other kings, the result was the Colourless King snatched his body but failed to take his powers. Since that has nowhere to go, it went into Shiro’s body that Colourless King discarded. His amnesia was the result of the shock and why he wasn’t hurt from the free fall. It is clear now who Totsuka’s murderer is but the Colourless King has jumped from many bodies before. Mikoto and Munakata continue their battle. Their Sword of Damocles give glimmer of hope to their clansmen that they’re still alive. Awashima tries to head over to her captain’s place but Shiro and Neko takes her with them. Kurou waltzes in between Homra and Scepter 4’s fight. He wants them to stop fighting under the Silver King’s orders but they don’t give a damn. Kurou adds if they truly know the goal of their respective king and wants them to put down their sword and await their king’s next order. They’re not listening. Yata and Fushimi agree with each other for once that Kurou cannot be trusted and fight him.

Kurou, Neko and Awashima appear in the room where Kusanagi and Anna are waiting. Anna confirms he is not the enemy. Shiro requests for their help. Kusanagi receives a call from Kokujouji who wants to talk to Shiro. Seems they are on friendly terms with each other. Kokujouji notes all this is his fault and can stop this by putting an end although he knows he won’t listen. Shiro knows this is goodbye for him so Kokujouji wishes him good luck. The plan is to have Homra and Scepter 4 lead the students out of the island campus. But won’t Colourless King possess one of them and escape? Shiro thinks not because he is targeting the kings. Suddenly the Colourless King makes an announcement to everyone that they can’t escape. He’ll have them dance till they die. Shiro drafts Neko as his first clansmen and wants her help to use her power to the max. With Neko’s illusionary powers, Shiro appears before all the students (who are running low on morale). They might not remember who he is but he does. Because they are his friends. He assures they will not get hurt and to trust and follow his lead to escape. He sends a warning to Colourless King that they will settle their match. Neko tires out after expending so much power so Shiro leaves her in Awashima and Kusanagi’s care before leaving to settle things. Colourless King is still possessing Kukuri and curses what is happening. However he still thinks everything will go his way once he has the Red and Blue King. Kukuri’s inner self is still fighting as she pleads for help.

Episode 13: King
Mikoto and Munakata continue their fight. Yata and Fushimi couldn’t beat Kurou. They remember they were lost kids bumming around in the streets till they chance upon Mikoto. Kusanagi gave them a chance to join them. Yata and Fushimi realize nobody else is left on the island. Both Scepter 4 and Homra have evacuated. Kanamoto takes them both away. Now that everyone has evacuated, Shiro reunites with Kurou. Kurou bows down before him and as he asks Ichigen’s permission to serve another king, Kurou now swears his loyalty to Shiro AKA the Silver King. The Colourless King is watching Mikoto and Munakata’s battle from afar, thinking that one should dispose the other in which he will take over the loser’s body and devour the winner. He claims he will then be the most powerful king and to hell with all the 7 kings. Kukuri is still fighting inside so it sometimes makes the Colourless King lose focus. Shiro and Kurou confront possessed Kukuri. There is no one left on the island for Colourless King to possess. Kurou draws his sword and now that he has confirmed this Colourless King is evil, he will not hesitate to slay. Colourless King plays dirty by reverting back to innocent Kukuri but Kurou is not swayed. Turning to Shiro for help, Shiro wants Kurou to stop and in this moment he let his guard down, the Colourless King jumps out to possess Shiro. However it is part of Shiro’s plan to contain him within his body. Shiro pities him because he has consumed too many personalities that he doesn’t know which is his true self. Kurou wanted to scold Shiro in taking such a risky gamble but all is well, right? Now Shiro plans to stop the fight between the Blue King and Red King. He wants Kurou to take Kukuri away. He knows he needs to finish this fast since he can’t contain the Colourless King inside of him for too long. As he makes his way, Shiro reflects on his research how he thought it would make everyone happy. However it brought nothing but loneliness. Even though each king has his own followers, the king still walks a solitary path.

Yata returns back to his Homra gang and he is not happy that everyone abandoned Mikoto. Kusanagi knocks some sense into him that he should be ashamed of himself because even Anna is enduring everything. Fushimi is back with Scepter 4. Awashima thought he went back to his old gang. She notes Munakata is a man with a big heart because he gave Fushimi an important post despite his past. That’s why Fushimi hates such people because they don’t care about petty struggles of people serving under them. Perhaps that is why they are only attracted to other kings. Shiro drops in the middle of the fight. He first pushes Munakata away. Then he wants Mikoto to kill him and the Colourless King together. Mikoto obliges and the result is a powerful explosion upon contact. There is a crater as a result but not a huge one that could change the topography. Mikoto seems satisfied but Munakata clearly isn’t. Before Mikoto’s Sword of Damocles could fall on him, Munakata thrusts through his chest to disintegrate it. Mikoto apologizes that he won’t be able to show Anna that beautiful red anymore. Anna senses Mikoto’s death and becomes distraught. The Red King’s Weismann level has vanished. Munakata returns to Scepter 4 and they cheer on their victory. Later Kurou and Neko revisit the mini crater. Neko pulls out Shiro’s umbrella from it and becomes very possessive. She is adamant to return it to Shiro and in denial that he is gone. Kurou perhaps agree with her in a way because he is supposed to be the Immortal King and theirs. Though Homra is saddened over their king’s death, they start chanting their motto. All of their clan’s mark start floating in the air (including Fushimi’s). The little red balls of light were the most beautiful red that Anna had ever seen. Kusanagi thanks Mikoto for being their best king they could ask for.

Kolour Konundrum Kontinues…
Well, it certainly isn’t the best kind of ending around. One of those animes whose ending that left me unsatisfied. So what happens in the end? It ended just like that? So? SO?! Thinking back, this entire anime is mainly focused on capturing the guy who killed Totsuka. That basically sums up what this show is about. We are introduced to a protagonist who may or may not be the killer and when things are gradually revealed, an all-out war between 2 clans take place at perhaps the most iconic place in this series. Then we have a face-off between 2 hot guys who are also kings resulting in one of them dying. End of story. They put me through 13 episodes of this crap just to end it like that? But as I read, this series has been given the green light for a second season so perhaps all isn’t lost. Provided if they continue from there and not do some spin-off sequel or another story. Besides, there are 7 kings and I’m sure there are other coloured kings too that we are not introduced yet. Black, white, green, yellow, orange, purple, brown, pink, grey and all the other colours you can think of.

Trying to follow the flow of the drama seems somewhat tiring and confusing for me. As said, this entire show is about the hunt of a murderer. They throw in some drama, flashbacks and action in it in an attempt to find, identify and bring in the so called killer. Then there are those terms and other plots in the series that continue to baffle me. Like what the hell is a Strain? Neko is one and though her ability of perception manipulating is cool and also mysterious, if Munakata had not identified her with that term, I think I would have gotten by easier. Now that she is a Strain, what is she actually? So what? More importantly, how did she enter Shiro’s life and became his pet? This with no back story to explain what Neko is (sometimes I feel her presence is for fanservice because she runs around naked a lot in the first half of the series), she is one of the several mysterious characters to be around and yet not much is known about her. Same case with Anna. I’m not sure if this was mentioned in the series but I found this out doing my lazy online browsing that she is also a Strain. So what is her role exactly in this anime, this gothic lolita dressed girl with perception skills via red marbles? Perhaps she’s the mascot for Homra.

There is nothing much to be said of the other characters. Except for Shiro, the rest are how we see them as they are. Yata is angst driven, Fushimi is filled with despise and loves going “Tch…”, Awashima the loyal second in command who is always concern for Munakata (don’t expect any romance brooding, though), Kusanagi the cool bartender and brains of Homra and even Totsuka is just a nice guy who attracts others around him. Munakata and Mikoto are respectable as kings of their own clan but just like the rest of the other characters, I don’t really feel their impact in the series overall. Everything that eventually led to their showdown in the end and their fight wasn’t really that great either. I didn’t see any power battle I was hoping for. For Kokujouji, what was his appearance for anyway? I don’t really see how he impacted the series and in a way I felt it could go on without him. Somebody from Adolf’s past who was involved in his experiment, now an old dude who is the Golden King in some cult-like clan of his own called Usagi (what rabbit?) and keeping Adolf’s original body. Huh? So?

Kukuri and the rest of the students, after their memories return to normal (the one whereby they don’t recognize Shiro as he never existed in their lives before), it is funny to see them in a daze they can’t put their finger on this certain person when they try to think about him. It feels like they know this certain guy but can’t really remember. And right till the end they are still like that. Funny, isn’t it? Sure, Shiro was there for real for a certain period of time. But I guess even if the brain doesn’t remember, the body does. Do you think Shiro is really dead? He is the Immortal King, right? His body was never shown, right? So? Could he still be? Maybe. Maybe not. What are the chances? Not that everyone else would remember him if he suddenly pops back out from the dead. One of the amusing ‘characters’ in this series is the little mini robots that go around cleaning up the streets. Their limited vocabulary is amusing to hear and who wouldn’t break into a smile as they say “Show some respect!” as their catchphrase. Yeah. Treat those machines nicely. Other catchphrase include “You’re too kind” and “Judgment!”. If they only appeared more often…

Then there are some questions that baffle me. I know I’m thinking too much but how does a king get chosen? What about the colour he represents? I never realized what the Sword of Damocles is except that it is proof of one is king. So how does one’s Sword of Damocles start decaying? Used too much power? Perhaps that is why Munakata was so concerned about Mikoto giving up his king title. As I found out, the sword comes crashing down when the king has reached its limit. And as deduced I suppose that will cause a huge crater as stated. But how does it make any difference in killing him? Wow. It suddenly vanishes. Was there any other way for Mikoto to relinquish his post? If there was, why wouldn’t he? Maybe he wants to find Totsuka’s killer first? A lot is going on in his mind even if his face doesn’t show it. Then there is this Slate thingy. I still don’t understand what it is. Blame me for being dumb not understanding what this supposedly happiness thingy Adolf created that turned into the source of a king’s loneliness. Then there’s the case of the Colourless King holing up in the blimp in Adolf’s body. Why was he flying in the sky ever since Totsuka’s murder? I know he is able to jump bodies and being trapped on the blimp where Adolf lives alone, he won’t be able to possess others. But he can always land the blimp, right? I thought he wanted to devour all the 7 kings? The faster the better, no? Maybe he was waiting for the right moment. The moment whereby Munakata and Mikoto clash. Thinking back, his plan of killing Totsuka just to rile up Mikoto to get to him seems more troublesome and I personal think it would be better if he just discreetly picks off the kings one by one. I can’t help think some of these questions and hopefully the sequel would answer some of them and not add anymore to my already confused brain. Maybe some of that are explained in the prequel story and in addition to that, there are 2 light novels that tell about the blue and red side of the story. Do I really have to read them to understand? Maybe I’ll just wait for the sequel.

The action and fight sequence just feels rather okay. It doesn’t have anything that special. They aren’t the most exciting battles ever either. But they are just enough to keep you entertained at least for that duration of the show. As said, Munakata and Mikoto’s showdown wasn’t as epic as I hoped to be and it looked pretty bland with their auras just emitting like crazy just to give us a perception of how powerful and crazy their powers as kings are. The characters who fight don’t really have much of a variety of moves so in a way sometimes it is uninteresting. Some powers aren’t explained like Kurou’s hand grab power or whatever that projection was. Or why Fushimi is able to wield both blue and red colours. So technically speaking if you go around joining other clans, perhaps you can use all the other colours too? Or maybe he was just someone special.

One of the most eye catching visuals you are going to definitely notice in this series is the colour hue. Unless you are colour blind of course. At first, the unbalanced colouring of the scenes and backgrounds will make you think that somebody slept on the job and didn’t do a good job in putting enough or the right colours into them. For a big part of the series, you’ll notice the very obvious discrepancy in the colouring which is either going to be greenish-yellowish or bluish-purple. Like as though the series did not buy enough red colour to fill in the scenes. Like as though somebody screwed up and forgot to add in red in certain scenes. And even if that scene had red in them, it probably would have been overdone. Like putting too much in them. But it is not so bad that you can’t tell what is blue or red or green or yellow. I know colours play some vital role in this series’ theme so I guess the producers would even go this far to play around with the visuals’ colour. In a way, it makes it unique despite how odd I felt at first. As for the characters, you could say the design is your typical bishie art. Hot handsome guys and pretty girls running around. Something about the character design of Kusanagi bugs me. Glimpsing at his overall character, I thought he is a very much toned down version of Durarara’s Shizuo! Both are bartenders, smoke, blondes and wear a pair of shades. Kusanagi is just not that violent and short fused to go uprooting vending machines to throw at people.

In the voice acting department, I might not hear much of Mikako Komatsu but hearing her as Neko instantly reminded me of how much she sounded like Marika from Mouretsu Pirates. Maybe it’s the way she says it. Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch in Code Geass) as Yata is filled with angst that you might think shouting and yelling is his normal way of talking. Mamoru Miyano (Shinku in Dog Days) may possess a boyish voice but as Fushimi who is a crazy character, he sounds equally crazy especially when he takes out his grudge against Yata. Kenjiro Tsuda’s low and cool voice makes him suitable as Mikoto. It sounds like as if Mikoto is a sleepy person or someone woken up from slumber. Because of that, his speeches sound lazy, like mumbling his words that he is not really interested. He was the voice of Inui in Prince Of Tennis. Tomokazu Sugita (Gintoki in Gintama) is rather calm in his role as Munakata, not displaying too much emotion as the captain of Scepter 4. Other casts include Daisuke Namikawa as Shiro (Waver in Fate/Zero), Daisuke Ono as Kurou (Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji), Miyuki Sawashiro as Awashima (Shinkurou in Kurenai), Takahiro Sakurai as Kusanagi (Suzaku in Code Geass), Yui Horie as Anna (Eri in School Days), Tetsuya Kakihara as Colourless King (Kouichi in Linebarrels Of Iron), Satomi Satou as Kukuri (Wendy in Fairy Tail) and Yuuki Kaji as Totsuka (Akina in Yozakura Quartet).

The opening theme by Angela, Kings tries to give off that epic feel of this series but I somehow wasn’t appealed to this anime rock. Neko’s seiyuu sings the main ending theme, Tsumetai Heya, Hitori. Feels kinda cold… Feels kinda sad… Feels kinda lonely… I don’t suppose naked Neko in the closing credits animation would offset that. There are some special endings like the one in the sixth episode by Totsuka’s seiyuu. The guitar driven ballad Circle of Friends typically feels like a song for, urm, friendship. The upbeat rock beat of To Be With U by Angela is the special ending theme for the final episode. Despite the unappealing opening and ending themes, it is the background music that I find very attractive and what I would say music to my ears. For most of them, they sound like those easy casual lounge music. You know those calm and soothing pieces you hear at hotel lounges. Well, at least that is what I felt. Some of them are really nice. In addition to that, they also have this jazzy and hip hop feel blended into the song. This series isn’t short of music because I believe at the next episode preview, it also previews the character image song for many of the main and supporting characters. So you will sample a different character song for every next episode preview. But somehow I don’t really fancy them. Maybe it is just me who somehow prefers my music for this series to be without words and singing and just stay instrumental.

I suppose the producers have a thing about the alphabet K. You have the episode titles named after the 11th letter of the alphabet. Even the song titles of background music in the soundtrack album all begin with that very alphabet. If it doesn’t start with the letter K, then somewhere within that word has that very letter itself. Highlighted and in capital. You can’t live without that letter. Maybe it just looks kool? Maybe there is some hidden meaning to it. It’s not like this series brings any resemblance to Sesame Street and I doubt it is targeted for young audience. Enough of the alphabet K already. One more word of it and I’m going krazy and kuckoo. Oh, I realize I even have that letter in my full name. Looks like I can never escape from it. Till the next time, this show was brought to you today by the letter K… Show some respect for the letter!

Kaze No Stigma

June 22, 2013

Let’s see. We’ve got a wind user and a fire user. There is also one that bends the earth element. So where is the water user? I would forgive you if you think I am talking about that elemental cartoon series on Nickelodeon. Kaze No Stigma has its main protagonists wielding the wind and fire element but it is not about rival elemental clans in conflict with each other. Kazuma Yagami was kicked out of the Kannagi family after losing to a distant relative to decide the next heir. His inability to control fire which is the pride of the family throughout the generations is like tainting the family’s name. But after he returns with the ability to control wind, he is dogged with accusations of killing clan members. He goes to prove his innocence and to clear his name. After which, he uses his power to help and protect others. Sounds generic? If you like some action and adventure with the supernatural power and some hint of romance (not forgetting the comedy too), then don’t miss this Shakugan No Shana clone. Oops. I mean, just watch it.

Episode 1
After Ayano Kannagi defeats a spider Youma with her flame sword, Enraiha, she joins her friends Yukari Shinomiya and Nanase Kudou to go karaoke. Kazuma returns to Japan after a long exile for his first job to exorcist a ghost from a wealthy man’s mansion. He meets a Kannagi branch member, Shinji Yuuki who isn’t too happy Kazuma is back. Arrogant Shinji starts his exorcising but this is no mere ghost and a Youma. The entire mansion is engulfed in flames as Shinji is knocked out. The owner becomes desperate and offers to pay him 100 times his fees. And with that, Kazuma easily exorcises the Youma with his wind power. Then he wakes up Shinji knowing he couldn’t have died from the fire because all Kannagi members are blessed and protected by the Fire Spirit King. Ayano realizes she stayed out too late of her curfew. Two hours late. She rushes back but is greeted by Kazuma’s young brother, Ren. He is excited after hearing Kazuma is back but Ayano can’t remember who he is. Except that she easily beat a guy in a single blast in an Inheritance Ceremony over Enraiha. Shinji reports his failure and Kazuma’s return to the head of Kannagi, Juugo along with Genma (Juugo’s cousin). Ayano and Ren also sit in to listen. Genma claims Kazuma is an embarrassment to the family as he lacks the ability to control fire and is no longer part of the family. Ren is his only son. That night, a wind user kills Shinji and two others. Hyoue Kazamaki of the Wind Fang clan who serves under the Kannagi family ascertains they were killed by very skilled wind users. Talk has been going around that it is Kazuma who has killed them for revenge for being kicked out. Shinji’s brother, Shingo seeks revenge. Ayano thinks to catch Kazuma and bring justice to him fast but Juugo doesn’t want her to act rash and that there is no need for her to act on this.

Once Hyoue has learnt of Kazuma’s whereabouts, Ayano sneakily has Shingo and Takeya Oogami to take her go ring in Kazuma for questioning. At the construction area, Ayano is suddenly whisked away in a wind barrier. She summons Enraiha to try and find a way out. Shingo and Takeya confront Kazuma about the family killings but he denies them. He refuses to go with them to talk to the family head because he is not part of the family and thus no obligation to do so. This riles up Shingo as he prepares to kill him. Kazuma uses his wind trick to blast them away. They may be able to shield themselves from the explosion’s heat but they are not invincible to the force of the explosion itself. Suddenly a mysterious force appears from behind Kazuma. It cuts the iron beams to fall and kill Shingo and Takeya before disappearing back into the shadows. Kazuma thinks it’s the Wind Spirit King and isn’t happy since this isn’t part of their contract. Once Ayano breaks free of her barrier, she misunderstands the situation and tries to slash Kazuma. Their first meeting in 4 years ended like this… Kazuma asserts he didn’t kill them. Proof? Figure out the rest yourself. Now you know why some just want to kill him? Kazuma makes his escape since he can’t stay and play with her. He notes that it is going to be an all-out war with Kannagi. Though interesting, he doesn’t like to be controlled from the shadows.

Episode 2
Ayano is pissed. Sure, it’s her fault for sneaking out but does daddy need to scold her and ground her? She’s taking out her frustrations by turning into a glutton. Her friends don’t understand why. Boyfriend problems? She? Got boyfriend? No way. Circumstantial evidence points that Kazuma is the one doing the killings and planning to start a war with Kannagi. Juugo remains cautious so Genma prepares to bring Kazuma back. Kazuma is surprised to get a call from Genma to meet. He remembers when he lost to Ayano, he was begging for forgiveness but Genma didn’t want weaklings and kicked out of the family. So Kazuma agreed to this meeting to find out if he has surpassed his dad. So at the park, Genma throws him the ultimatum to surrender. You think he would obediently do so? Bad blood still exists between them. Time for power fight. Genma clearly shows why he is the best fire user because all of Kazuma’s wind tricks won’t do. He even anticipates his combustion trick that done in Shingo and Takeya. Now Genma is going to show his true power as he summons Azure Fire, a powerful magic that only a powerful fire mage can summon. Kazuma also gets serious as he summons his wind power. Because of the nature of their elements, Kazuma summons his faster than Genma and is able to defeat him. Don’t worry. Kazuma was kind enough to call the ambulance. However Kazuma feels empty in his victory. On his way back to the hotel, Ren is waiting for him but Kazuma doesn’t even remember him! Well, take some time before the memories come back. Ren knows Genma is defeated if Kazuma is here. He is here to persuade Kazuma. I’m sure Kazuma isn’t going to be an evil jerk finishing off every Kannagi family member so he invites Ren in to talk.

Ren wonders if he is a Contractor. One who’s made a contract with the Spirit Kings themselves and gains protection of all the spirits that king commands. He is also worried that there are rumours in Europe that the legendary Contractor has appeared and believed to be a Japanese. You think Kazuma is that person? Don’t insult him. Getting straight to the point about the family killings, Kazuma denies but doesn’t understand why they don’t believe him. Well, duh. It’s because you don’t properly explain. So why don’t you go explain to Juugo? Something to do with his pride. He tossed away the Kannagi name a long time ago. Though he doesn’t hate them, he hasn’t forgotten how they abandoned him. I suppose Kazuma has said too much that Ren is now on the verge of crying. Who’s looking like the bad guy now? Kazuma allows him to stay for the night and Ren wants to talk a bit more. I have a feeling Ren may have big brother complex… Then Kazuma feels that mysterious force again. It cut the hotel into half! What’s the fastest way to escape? Through the window! Ayano is on her way to the hotel because she received Ren’s message about his persuasion attempt. I guess hers is revenge attempt. Seeing Kazuma leaping out with Ren, she thinks he has gone too far to use a building and drop it on her. Don’t worry. She won’ die that easily. Once Kazuma is safe on the ground, he tells Ren to go into hiding. Kazuma meets the mysterious guy behind it all for the first time. Not much of a talker is he? Also, Kazuma’s wind powers go right through him. As they fight, Kazuma realizes it’s a distraction because Ren has been kidnapped.

Episode 3
Kirika Tachibana from Tokyo MPD’s Special Investigation Unit and Izumi Kurahashi investigate the ruined hotel. She knows a powerful wind user did this. Can’t be fire, water or earth, right? Kazuma returns to the main Kannagi house. The clansmen think he is here for Juugo’s head. Instead of talking, they blast him with their flames. You think he’d die so easily? They themselves got easily knocked out. With Juugo coming out, he learns Ren is kidnapped and invites Kazuma in to talk as he has a few things to ask. He has Kazuma identify the mysterious figure when Ayano barges in to exact her revenge. If not for Juugo putting her in her place, I think she would have run wild. Very wild. I mean, she is going to strike their ‘guest’ right in front of her father. Juugo points out the person Kazuma identified is Ryuuya, Hyoue’s only son. He reveals their enemy is the Wind Fang clan and this is their rebellion. As proof, none of the Wind Fang clansmen are in their mansion since morning. Ayano still believes Kazuma is the killer but as Juugo points out, if he was, why didn’t he kill her since he easily took out Genma. As for why they kidnapped Ren, it is for sacrifice. Kazuma was just a distraction while to prepare for the ritual. Wind Fang clan was once an underworld clan that Kannagi fought and barely won 300 years ago. As a result, Kannagi sealed their source of power which is believed to be from a very powerful Youma. Prior to Ren’s kidnapping, Hyoue had poured some of the latent powers of the Youma into Ryuuya and had him possess some demonic powers by becoming a vessel. The ancient Kannagi family sealed their Youma, Geho with the seal of fire, Samadhi True Flames. However whoever touches it will be instantly burnt. The only exception is the descendent of the Kannagi head who created it. That’s Ren. Once the seal is broken, the Youma will reside in the vessel and give the clan absolute power to command its evil spirits. The Youma will devour Ren in the process and thus a sacrifice.

Ayano is upset that what they are doing is unjustified but Kazuma points out that it is Kannagi themselves who drove them to this. What do you expect when you stole their power source and treat them like tools? He understands how they feel. Juugo agrees with him. Since he became the family’s head, he tried to resolve this but it was too late. Ayano still feels it is not right because Ren wasn’t born to be a demon’s sacrifice. Those words ring something familiar within Kazuma. Somebody close once said that same line. Knowing she can’t do this by herself, Kazuma feels the need to back her up and to have her use Enraiha to burn Ryuuya from inside out since Kazuma’s wind magic has no effect on him. Juugo also offers his assistance but Kazuma wants to know how much he is paying. Hey, they’re no longer family, right? This is business. He agrees to his terms and reveals the place of the sacrifice. Ayano is having a bumpy ride with Kazuma to the mountains. She still thinks they’re a bad combo. Remembering her father’s words on Kazuma’s nerve to ask for payment, it is to protect his pride. He is no longer part of the family and so he can’t be seen as saving Ren out of compassion as saving Ren means helping Kannagi. Juugo says their fate will be one and trust is very important. Without it, they won’t defeat the enemy. Kazuma notes Ayano’s fiery personality. Very fitting for a fire user. Compliment or insult? Ayano feels something different about Kazuma when he puts on a serious expression determined to save Ren no matter what. Ryuuya attack their car but Kazuma manages to dive out in time with Ayano. It’s time for a showdown.

Episode 4
Ayano charges head on with her fight against Ryuuya. But where’s her backup? Kazuma tells her to have fun while he goes ahead. Traitor! Hyoue begins the ritual to unseal Geho so that they could obtain the ultimate power to destroy Kannagi once and for all. Kazuma arrives in time to blow them all away and save Ren, inches of being devoured by Geho. After freeing Ren from hypnosis, Hyoue doesn’t understand why Kazuma is doing this since he hates Kannagi too. Sure, he hates them too but Juugo hired him for 100 million Yen! It’s about killing 2 birds with 1 stone. With Ryuuya coming in, they think Ayano has lost. Geho and Ryuuya are drawn to each other’s power so Hyoue tells his son to allow Geho to possess him. He turns into… The Incredible Hulk! Demonic version. Well, he’s green and big… First thing Ryuuya did was to kill off the Wind Fang Clan. So much about loyalty. Ryuuya flies off to destroy Kannagi. Kazuma don’t really mind that but if Juugo is gone, who is going to pay him? But first, they need to pick up Ayano. She’s out cold. Beaten up real badly. She won’t live long since she has been demonic energy in her body. Sure, he has a very rare Elixir to save her, but why use it on her? She dies, Ren can take Enraiha and be the next head. Ren didn’t like that one bit and engulfs in flames to demand Kazuma hand over the Elixir. Noticing his beautiful flames, which is the key to allow one to truly become one with the Fire Spirit King, Kazuma agrees to use his Elixir. Pouring in her mouth won’t do so with the liquid in his mouth, he kisses her! Is this way more effective? But what would Ayano think? Screw that. All that matters is that she’s back alive so show some gratitude. He’ll add that to Juugo’s bill. And as for why she could lose… Please explain yourself. No time for that because they have to go chase Ryuuya.

Ayano is willing to die to protect Kannagi but Kazuma tells her off not to be foolish because you can’t do anything once you’re dead. It’s only when you survive that you can change things. He leaves Ren to take care of the evil spirits left behind by Ryuuya with his purification flames. Ayano gets her rematch with Ryuuya as Kazuma will think of something to stop his wind. His attack from above didn’t work so there’s only one way left. He is going to summon a big spell and has Ayano buy him time. What? Again? She’s mad at him that if she really dies this time, she’ll haunt him as a ghost every night! I wonder which is scarier. Ayano couldn’t hold much longer and is about to lose. Her self confidence is rock bottom after all that Kazuma has said to her. However she strikes back after summing up her determination not to lose. She even cuts the Ryuuya’s arm. Now Kazuma is ready as Ayano notices his different sparkling blue eyes. She is shocked to realize he is a Contractor. With the Wind Spirit King’s power, Kazuma nails Ryuuya and Ayano delivers the final blow thrusting Enraiha into him. Kazuma loses strength after that. I can see why he doesn’t often use it. Takes a long time to prepare, eats up too much energy and is left vulnerable during the process. But Ayano knows he took too long. He admits he was ready quite a while back and didn’t help her because he wanted Ayano to land a solid hit. Otherwise she would have been a loser for the rest of her life. He compliments her final strike was pretty. But maybe not as pretty as this scene: Ayano, ripped clothes, on top of him. Nice fanservice. I wonder if Kazuma got roasted by her flames of fury.

Episode 5
Kazuma reluctantly attends the celebration party of Kannagi. Prove that Ren has brother complex because he is all clingy over Kazuma! Misao Oogami is tasked to serve Kazuma since she is grateful for bringing justice to her brother Takeya’s killer. Is he pushing his luck by suggesting even if it means accompanying him at night? Ayano butts in. What else? She doesn’t think Kazuma deserves anymore thanks after getting paid. Kazuma agrees. After all, he was half responsible in killing Takeya. Though Ryuuya killed him off, it was him who immobilized Takeya. This causes Misao to get upset and Kazuma dares her to stab him (seems he knew this was coming). His wind power prevents the knife from coming even close. Since Kazuma didn’t wish for any punishment for her, Juugo grounds her in her room. But Kazuma pours oil on fire. He answers Misao’s question of why Takeya had to die is because he was weak. Is he one to say? Next day, Ayano becomes Angry Queen. So much so her friends think she’s having boyfriend problems. Too bad to the stranger who asked her out and got kicked in the crotch! Ouch! Then Kazuma happens to come out of the love hotel alley with Kirika! What the?! Her friends believe he is her boyfriend. Ayano continues her angry streak. Make that jealousy streak too because she can’t stand Kirika walking linked arms with him! Then Ayano plays stalker. Since she can’t find Kazuma, she ropes in Ren. They spot him waiting for somebody at the diner. Hey! Isn’t that Misao?! She’s pretty dolled up. This feels strange. Wasn’t she trying to kill him before and now she’s all dressed up going out on a date? Ayano and Ren continue to tail them to the love hotel area. Ayano’s anger (or is it jealousy?) has reached boiling point that the poor innocent post got burnt!

Once Misao and Kazuma enter the compound, suddenly Kazuma gets sniped, riddled with machine gun bullets and bombed! WTF???!!! Is this Misao’s plan of killing him hiring others with weapons?! Of course Ayano steps in and tells Misao that this isn’t going to be enough to kill that guy. True enough, his wind power protects him and even has enough time to take out the agents. Ayano as the next Kannagi head can’t ignore this and wants her to explain to the elders but Misao runs away. Once she is cornered at the building top, both girls prepare to showdown. Kazuma now steps in and claims all Misao did was to kill him and has nothing to do with Kannagi. Oh sure. That’s nothing big. But if they don’t settle this, she’ll come back to kill him. He’s okay with that since she can’t hurt him. Now Misao is enraged and has another go at him. No matter how much she lambasts him with her weak flames, she can’t even touch him. We can do this all day. She breaks down, saddened by the fact her kind brother had to die. Now that she’s done, she won’t forget this and will make him regret it. Well, that’s fine with him too. Go ahead and try. After everybody has left, a young boy, Michael Harley approaches Misao and asks what is it that she seeks. Death? Revenge? Get stronger? All of them. He will make her wish come true. Elsewhere some slime monster absorbs and kills a woman in a train station.

Episode 6
More people get absorbed by the slime and it is Michael’s doing to help level up Misao. Ayano meets Kazuma in his hotel suite since he has been given another mission by Juugo. The one about the slime. Casualty has reached about 100 and each of them seems to have life sucked out. So why him? Ever since the Wind Fang incident, they lost their means of reconnaissance. They need all the help they can get. Yeah. But why him… Juugo wants Kazuma to find the culprit and Ayano to finish him off. It’s that teamwork combo again. Kazuma agrees to take on this job but doesn’t want Ayano’s help as she’ll get in the way. Here comes her anger… She leaves in a huff so much so her friends think she got dumped on a hotel date. Actually this is Kazuma’s plan to use her as a bait since her anger makes her stand out due to the immense fire aura. Is that a good thing? Misao and friends find themselves trapped in a barrier. The slime attacks them. Ayano can hold her ground but there is too much slime. Kazuma enters the fray to do what he can. Then the barrier dissipates. Ayano blows her top once she finds out she was used but he has no time to hear her complain and goes off to trace the source. He finds Misao at the park and could sense she is reeking of demonic aura. She hates him so much and vows to kill him. She notes he may be powerful but is still human. So even if it is going to take the strength of 100 or 1000 humans, she’ll do it. Ayano now comes running into the scene and plans to finish off Misao. Misao knows she isn’t strong enough and goes away. Ayano blames Kazuma for letting Misao get away and warns him about getting in her way. He also warns her to remember who she is talking to. Because she must use force and not words if she wants to stop him. If she wants, he’ll fight him. His wind puts out her Enraiha’s flames. Ayano feels confused in what to do. She wonders if Kazuma loves Misao because he seems to care a lot for her instead. So what’s your problem? It’s not like you’re in love with him, right? Oops. Or are you…

Misao returns to Michael’s side and powers up by being absorbed by the slime that contains the life force and fear of its victims. Juugo tells Ayano that the Oogami family will deal with Misao themselves. Even Misao’s father has no qualms in getting rid of her daughter. Make that ex-daughter. She is someone who strayed and mired in corruption. Juugo has hired someone new to work with them and though he has cancelled Kazuma’s contract, Kazuma said he will still act on his own. The Oogami family doesn’t want his interference so Ayano takes up the offer to stop him. Seems the new helper Juugo hired is Kirika. Ayano learns that the police want to be on good terms with Kannagi and with the Wind Fang out of the picture, they can help with reconnaissance and info. Ayano realizes that she was trying to rope in Kazuma to join her. But since Kirika won’t reveal any more (since it has nothing to do with her – it’s not that they’re dating, right?), Ayano is once more on the verge of blowing her top. The Oogami family meets Misao at the chapel. Misao notes Kazuma is not here but expects Ayano since she was sure she would come to fight her. After all, she could tell she was jealous when Kazuma showed more concern to her than Ayano. I think Ayano can’t hold in her anger any longer… But no time for that because here comes Kazuma swooping in.

Episode 7
Ayano goes to stop Kazuma with her surprise attack. She’s serious and this actually catches Kazuma’s attention to deal with her first. Even so, Kazuma is still better than her. Then she plays dirty by using Ren as her shield! Now he can’t attack! Is this how the next head of Kannagi acts?! How embarrassing! Kazuma knows she is buying time but that won’t be relevant anymore because Misao just wiped out the Oogami family. So they rush to the scene and see their dead bodies all around. Misao asserts they aren’t her family. Yup, only her brother is her real family and Kazuma killed him. Misao attacks Kazuma but is surprised that it is so weak and not leaving a scratch on him. When Michael comes out, Misao begs to give her more power but he says it’s impossible. He knows she can never beat Kazuma in the first place. As ability to control power is decided at birth, she as a mage should know better that she can never control power above that level. He lied to her about being able to beat Kazuma. He has twisted and made use of her confidence to drain a thousand life force. When humans really think they can do the impossible, they’ll do it. So it’s not a sin. After all, Misao killed them all, right? Misao becomes shocked for being used and collapses. Now that her body is reeking with demonic aura, Michael starts absorbing them. Just as planned. Introducing himself to them, his mission is to slay Kazuma in the name of Stars and the Wisdom as Kazuma is in a way connected to their master. Kazuma remembers something about it. Someone close to him got sacrificed I guess. Michael summons all the life energy and becomes a giant white dragon, Bulitra. They can’t kill it too since Misao is within it and will die if they do so. Kazuma wants Ayano to purify it with her flames but she can’t do something that delicate yet. Useless.

Ayano fights the dragon with Enraiha but she can’t concentrate because she’s thinking if Kazuma cares more about Misao than her. What the?! How can she think of this at this time? Anyway Kazuma rescues her before she becomes BBQ meat. And she got the guts to ask why save her if he cares about Misao. Sure, he wants to save them. It’s no point she dies, right? He got this power not to choose who to protect. He will protect everybody and beat that kid. Ayano notices Kazuma bleeding. Must have gotten it while saving her. She chides her for still trying to talk tough and reminds him that he said he’s going to protect them all. So be a man and do it! Kazuma wants her to stall the dragon for 5 minutes while he prepares his big spell. Once he is ready, he turns Enraiha’s flames blue. In one strike, Ayano cuts down Bulitra as Michael crawls out in disbelief. How can he lose to such power? Then he realizes Kazuma is a Contractor. So that’s why. Goodbye. When Misao wakes up, she wants to die for committing such unforgivable sins. However Kazuma scolds her that taking the easy way out via death won’t atone them all. Besides, she caused him to most trouble and must make it up to him before living or dying. Did I hear it right that he wants her to pay with her body?! Is he going to get started now?! Not happening because Ayano is going to turn every bit of this pervert into ashes. In the aftermath, Misao becomes a nun and decides to live and spend the rest of her life searching for something she can do as atonement. The trio visit her. She wonders why Kazuma saved her as it would’ve been easy to kill her. He explains when he was young, he was bullied by other Kannagi kids because he can’t control fire. The only one who stopped them was Misao. So all this for just that? Yup. Just that. Kazuma promises he’ll be back to see her from time to time. Because she hasn’t paid him back yet. I hope he’s still not after her body.

Episode 8
There is ghost sightings recently at Ayano’s school, Seiryou Academy. Juugo wants her to take care of it since it’s her school and even though she doesn’t feel evil presence, to ordinary people, they are still scary sh*t. Ayano wants to solve this quick but not so fast. As she is the next Kannagi head and unsure where she’s going, he has assigned her a bodyguard. Guess who? KAZUMA!!! Man, this old dude must pay well. What if she refuses? Then he has no choice but to call the police’s special unit. Oh… Kirika… Suddenly Ayano accepts Kazuma as her bodyguard. I wonder why… At the school compound, Ayano is quick to fire her fireball at those suspicious movements behind the bushes but thanks to Kazuma’s tripping, she missed. Otherwise she could have fried her friends! Seems Yukari and Nanase want to join in this exorcism. They feel bad to ruin Ayano’s ‘midnight date’ with Kazuma but I think they’re going to enjoy watching them. As they walk through the corridor, Yukari points out the 7 legends of the school and one of them being the haunted sakura tree that hasn’t bloomed for a long time. Kazuma detects something and before the girls know it, a gust of wind flips up their skirt. Could this be Kazuma’s doing? Nope. A ghost ball zooms pass them and warns them to stay away. Ayano thinks Kazuma is hiding something and gets rough so that he could spill the beans. But he kisses her nose! WTF?! It’s the only way to make her let go. What follows next are a series of bloopers that turns Ayano and friends into clowns. Comic relief? Whether it’s falling down from the stairs, getting slammed by the anatomical body, slip on wax or getting sprayed by the water. Kazuma is just playing cool… Like he anticipated all of this. Yeah, go ahead and blame him that he is the one who created the ghost ball too.

As they’re taking a break, Kazuma’s acts ambiguously like as though he is putting Ayano first as the most important person and sends wrong signals to her friends. Then he senses movement in the backyard as all the wind is gathering there. He can’t sense them earlier because of their natural aura. They’re different from things that defy the laws of this world. They see the teasing ghost ball at the backyard and the final blooper straw came when it drops a bucket over Ayano’s head! Classic. Can’t take it anymore! Feel her wrath! Wait. She’s crying too? The humiliation of a bucket over her head? Kazuma doesn’t want to understand that… So as Ayano goes crazy shooting fireballs with Enraiha (fire enough shots, I think she can destroy the moon), Kazuma tells the ghost ball to stop. It becomes cocky so Kazuma easily slams it down. It turns out to be a little fairy, Tiana. Ayano and Tiana start arguing and they’re so in sync dismissing each other that her friends believe they are so alike. So why is she doing this? Wishes of a dying old man. Tiana and her fairy friends use their magic to make the sakura bloom for one last time before disappearing. As the gang leave, Ayano is relieved that the fairy was just trying to protect something. However Kazuma disagrees because the most effective way to protect something is not to let anyone know it exists. They noticed it because the fairies caused the incident. Thus they weren’t protecting anything. Did they screw up? Nope. It’s because they’re innocent, easygoing tricksters who love to play pranks on humans and have fun messing with them. This doesn’t sit well with Ayano as she vows to burn them for this humiliation. Her friends guess why Kazuma noticed this and never said a word was because he enjoyed watching them play tricks on Ayano. Yeah. So do we. Thanks fairies. It was fun.

Episode 9
Ren is such a popular guy. His friends are fighting over him. Eventually it’s Kanon Suzuhara that wins him over with girl power and gets the right to walk her home. On his way home, he is enthralled by a girl singing at the park. Ren becomes friends with Ayumi and play with her. Ayano and Kazuma just finish another Youma exorcising mission and as usual trade sarcasm. Ayano forces him to treat her to dinner. She never knew food could taste this good when being treated. Why are all the food she ordered expensive ones? Does she hate him that much? Yes she does. Kazuma excuses himself when Tiana comes seeking his help. Don’t worry. He’ll foot the bill. First thing Kazuma did was to interrogate the ‘bug’ on how she knew his details. Well, the Wind Spirit King is the chief of the fairies’ village. She has request of him. Seems their treasure is stolen and wants him to find it. How much are they paying? Eh? Isn’t it natural that he helps when he forms a contract? Not to him. So either she shows the cash or forget it! I guess she’s desperate enough to give him some of her village’s gold. He wants half of it. How greedy can this guy get? Since her clan is in danger, it must worth that much. Heartless! Well, business is business. Ren and Ayumi are enjoying each other’s company when several agents show up, push Ren away and get rough on Ayumi. They’re going to use a taser on her! Ren becomes a man by protecting her. He introduces himself as a member of Kannagi and tells them to scram. But they aren’t cowed as they reveal they serve the Tsuwabuki family. They claims Ayumi is their property. As in, a thing? Ren puts up a brave front (despite he is scared sh*t) to tell them to go away or be burnt where they stand. The agents give up for now but will be back. Ayumi has a favour to ask of him so Ren goes with her.

Ayano learns Ren has been labelled a thief. Juugo says the Tsuwabuki family called and accused Ren of stealing their treasure and fled. Worst case scenario, they may kill him. Speaking of Ren, he is missing and can’t be contacted. They must get Ren first before Tsuwabuki and Juugo already has contacted Kirika. Oh. That woman. Got a problem? Juugo wanted to contact Kazuma but he is out of range. He asks if Ayano has his contacts in times of emergency and she vehemently denies. Tiana telepathically transmits to Kazuma’s brain how their treasure looks like. An egg. Kazuma is surprised Tsuwabuki stole it. Knowing they are the greatest earth mages, they are cold and spiteful it makes Kazuma wants to kill them. Evil look on his face… Tiana would be glad if he just got the treasure back. Yuuji reports to Mayumi about the incident. She doesn’t like it when he groups her and Ayumi as the same and threatens never to let him see her again. He vows to protect her and defeat his enemies even if it costs him his life. Kazuma is outside Tsuwabuki’s residence and he senses that the treasure is not around, shocking Tiana. She’ll be in big sh*t if she doesn’t find it. Kazuma eavesdrop in the hall and recognizes this woman, Kureha talking to her subordinates. She is temporary head of the family since her father is ill and is giving orders to retrieve it otherwise failure would mean staining their family’s name. Kazuma knows it’s that time for that Grand Festival. Once every 30 years on the first full moon of the month, they do a ritual to calm Mt Fuji. I suppose that dark festival and fairy treasure has something to do with it. Kazuma realizes he has been spotted and Kureha’s gravity pulls him into the hall. He is surprised she could sense him because he was flying and did not contact the ground. Kazuma manages to bluff his escape by using Tiana. He claims they have assaulted the land of fairies and won’t allow their evil ritual to use the treasure. They shall die tomorrow. Well, enough to leave them in shock. Kazuma now lies in wait for Tsuwabuki to get the treasure. No need to do anything. When they get back with it, he can kill as many of them he wants and hopes they won’t give it back to him without resisting. Scary evil face… He really wants to kill them… Tiana definitely has gotten herself into a bigger sh*t. Did Wind Spirit King make some kind of mistake contracting him?

Episode 10
Ayumi wants to see the real sea before everything ends. So kind Ren takes her to the beach via train. Ren wants her to come to Kannagi as they will protect her but she can’t. After this, she will have to go back to Tsuwabuki because she is needed for that Grand Festival. The last time Mt Fuji erupted was 300 years ago. Its eruption was so powerful that it causes the formation of a demon beast that wrecked havoc. The Tsuwabuki family stood up and defeat the beast but at the cost of their lives. Because the beast is so powerful, the seal can only last 30 years and each time they need to redo the seal. Thus, the one who presides over the ceremony uses all their power to seal the beast before dying. It’s like a human sacrifice. A clan member dies at every festival. Guess whose turn it is now? Ayumi is doing this not because of Tsuwabuki. It’s because it has to be done. If her death can save many lives, it will not be in vain. Before that, she wanted to make some memories of her own because prior to this, she had none. Ren vows to protect her and wants to make more memories with her. The sea, stars, moon and even the ‘fake sun’ Ren made with his fireball all seemed so pretty. Had enough fun? Yeah. Here is Mayumi and Yuuji to take her back. She warns attacking her means a declaration of war with her clan. Ayumi thanks Ren for everything and goes back to Mayumi’s side. Yuuji abuses her for running away and putting Mayumi’s life in danger. This scene pisses off Ren so is going to protect her as promised. Mayumi lets Yuuji to handle him. Since they’re standing on sand, Yuuji has the most advantage as an earth mage. However Ren turns the tables on him by burning the ground into magma and using it to fight back and defeat Yuuji.

Ren turns his attention to Mayumi who comments about his weird taste for this doll. She reveals that Ayumi isn’t human but an exact clone of hers when she was 12 years old. She was created only a month ago to take Mayumi’s place for this ceremony. Even if she wasn’t sacrificed, the most she could last is only another month. Ayano comes by with Kirika and is worried about Ren. Mayumi assures her no physical harm was done upon him. Maybe only his pride. She wants her to relay a message back to Kannagi that they have retrieved their stolen treasure and won’t prosecute Kannagi anymore and leaves. Kazuma and Tiana must have waited too long that they fall asleep. When Ayumi returns, Tiana becomes a bloodthirsty fairy, wanting Kazuma to fulfil his duty and chop her up and retrieve the treasure! But Kazuma doesn’t want to. He is going home. What the?! Because it is more fun to walk into the middle of the ceremony and start slaughtering anyone than taking it back now. Oh sh*t… I almost forgot he is the bigger devil… Ayumi is presented to Kureha as he excuses Yuuji. Next day, Yuuji confronts Kureha about Mayumi because the last he saw her was leaving with Kureha to some room. Kureha brings him to a door that lies a cave to the Grand Festival grounds. Inside, a large crystal pillar with Mayumi lying in suspending animation. Because Ayumi’s escape prevented them from making final preparations, Mayumi is needed to lend her extra power to Ayumi (who is expected not to survive this ceremony) for the Grand Festival. Don’t worry. Mayumi will survive. As long as nothing interrupts them. What can interrupt them? Remember a crazy wind mage and his fairy claiming he’ll come to kill them? Yeah. That. Yuuji laments he is supposed to protect Mayumi so Kureha offers to give him enormous power. Power big enough to defeat anything and protect the ones he loves.

Episode 11
Ayano goes to see Juugo about Ren (he’s fine, just depressed). He tells her not to interfere with Tsuwabuki’s personal matters. Kureha is talking to her dad, Iwao who seems to be merged with a rock. She tells him she has dealt with all the obstacles to this ceremony. Iwao is one of them. He says it wasn’t the ceremony he attempted to stop but her ambitions. She claims he tried to kill her and since he failed, he turned into this. And there’s nothing you he do about it so sit back and watch. Ayano goes to give Ren a pep talk on why he ‘abandoned’ Ayumi. She had her duties, can’t stop her… Don’t give me that crap. Isn’t she your important friend? After lots of thinking, Ren feels her really wants to talk to her more and see her again. I guess that settles it. Ayano says not to make a big fuss as they’re just going to meet and talk to her. As Kureha prepares Ayumi for the ceremony, the servants report intruders but it’s not the wind mage but 2 fire mages. What did Ayano said about not making a ruckus? She’s the one pulling off the fire attacks… Can’t be helped says she? They are faced with a giant earth golem. Sounds familiar? Of course. It’s Yuuji. Enraiha’s flames can’t hurt him since it is the ultimate power he got from Kureha to protect Mayumi. He doesn’t care if he dies. Ren is amazed with his resolved but feels something is wrong with it. He wonders if it is right to sacrifice something to protect others but this riles Yuuji up. Ren is saved from being smashed thanks to Kazuma’s perfect timing. Yuuji may be out for a while but his body is regenerating. Kazuma didn’t like this family’s way of thinking of sacrificing something to obtain something. Yuuji remembers Mayumi gave him her first kiss and forces him to take responsibility. She found out she was going to be sacrificed to calm Mt Fuji and laments her destiny she’ll never get away. That’s why she wants him to protect her and if she tries to run away, she wants him to stop her no matter what. Yuuji swore his loyalty to her on that day.

Ren asks Kazuma would he die to protect him. There’s no point in doing so if he died. He wants everyone to live happy. Ren finally understands and wants to handle this himself. He talks to Yuuji that his clan has been stuck in the wrong way of thinking of the need to sacrifice. It can’t be helped since it’s their destiny to calm Mt Fuji. Ren realizes they’re fighting the wrong enemy. Ren uses his flames on Yuuji but it is not burning him. His purification flames turn Yuuji back to his human form. Yeah. He’s more capable than Ayano in this sense. Kureha makes her appearance and is impressed that Yuuji lost after gaining so much power. Kazuma realizes something. Because earth mages can’t control gravity, her power is derived from the demon beast. This power is also what gave Yuuji his power. Kazuma whisks Ren away to see his ‘girlfriend’ while they take on Kureha. The agents won’t let Ren interfere but after he threatens them about his power and how he beat Yuuji, can you imagine they just fled???!!! Useless!!! So now it’s up to Ren to use his charm to persuade Ayumi. She still has her doubts as she feels she’s created for today’s purpose. Even so, she hasn’t got long to live. What does Ren have to say about that? I don’t care. There’s another way. I want to be with you. I’ll grant any of your wishes. I’ll take you anywhere. Live with me. He must be slick enough or Ayumi doesn’t have much real world experience when guys try to smooth talk her so she changes her mind and wants to live. It probably would have gotten even more romantic when Kazuma waltzes in. What about Ayano? Let’s say he let her become a decoy again to play with Kureha. They prepare to defeat the real enemy.

Episode 12
Kureha narrates how she was born without earth powers. It was humiliating for the next head of the clan. That’s why she sought for more power. Kazuma slices the crystal to save Mayumi. But the cave is going to cave in. If normal exits won’t do, make a hole through the ceiling! After making their way out, they see Iwao lying on the side. He wants them to stop Kureha. Kazuma interrupts Ayano and Kureha’s fight. He reveals Kureha’s goal for the ceremony isn’t to stop the beast but to gain its power. Iwao told him all that before he died. Because humans cannot contain the beast’s power, the ceremony is needed to seal it so it becomes containable. Kureha explains the suffering she went through without power but Kazuma feels something is amiss. Because Yuuji became a monster when he absorbed her powers, why does she remain a human? It’s because she was born with the beast’s power. He believes she is its pawn for its plan for revival and misled her into believing she will attain its power. Kureha refuses to believe that when the ground begins to shake. The beast is awakening. Remember the crystal grounds Kazuma destroyed that caved in? Yup. The beast was lying just beneath it. Whoopsie. And here comes the demon beast, Xenon! Wow. A big turtle. It absorbs all the demonic power Kureha has. So much about being powerful. They need to stop it from getting out of the mountain completely (I guess its turtle shell is stuck). Kazuma, Ren and Ayano go fight the beast. Let me give you an idea of the situation. Imagine 3 tiny ants trying to bring down an elephant. Yeah. That. Too big. Too strong. Its ki is warding off their attacks. Kureha becomes so upset that she was Xenon’s puppet that she manages to summon her earth power to kill it. She wants it to give her back her lost time and life. You think it’s God now? I think those stalagmites she poked it just felt ticklish. Then she got blasted away. What a sad end.

Ayumi couldn’t bear to see this go on any longer so she decides to help them out using her power even if she knows this would be the end of her. Ren doesn’t want her but Kazuma tells him she has made her decision. She knew what was coming and yet chose to fight. What is he going to do? Ren is resolved to defeat Xenon and wants Kazuma and Ayano to lend their powers. Kazuma summons his Contractor power to lift it up for Ayano to slash it with Enraiha and Ren to finish it in one hit. In the aftermath, Ren rushes to Ayumi’s side. Ayano is worried for Ren but Kazuma doesn’t want her to interrupt. He reveals even if Ayumi is a clone, growing so much in a month is just too much. To grow a 12 year old clone like Ayumi, you need 12 years. Iwao stole the fairy’s treasure to speed it up. Imagine the toll on its body when she uses up such power. She’s going to die. Ayano lashes out at Kazuma that their battle was in vain. They fought only to have her lifespan shortened. She blames him as a Contractor he couldn’t do anything. Looked in the mirror lately? Kazuma admits he is weak and hopes they’ll grow stronger next time. Ayano realizes she was being mean and apologizes she was worst. Ren and Ayumi have their final moments together. She doesn’t regret anything since she lived with him despite it was a short time. Mayumi feels bad about mistreating her clone (she heard it all from Kureha). As Ayumi turns into sand, she wants to see Ren’s smile instead of his tears as her last memory. Ren confesses he loves her. After she’s gone, he cries his heart out. Next day, Ren talks to Kazuma how he wanted to show Ayumi so much more of this beautiful world. Kazuma replies she was happy enough because she was just a doll for the festival and he made her into a real human. To Ren, Ayumi is still alive. The final words she whispered into his ear will always remain in his heart.

Episode 13
Ayano, Kazuma and Ren head to the amusement park as part job and part fun under Juugo’s request. Guess what? Ren’s buddies, Kanon and Tatsuya Serizawa are here too. Yeah. Eternally arguing to be with Ren. That kid is sure popular. So to stop them both from fighting over him, Ren goes with both with them. Kazuma allows it since their job is jus to ascertain if there’s some spiritual phenomenon in this park or not. Flashback reveals Juugo wanted Kazuma to help teach his daughter to control her powers and offered bonuses to cover her ‘tuition’ which includes tickets to the park. Kazuma wanted Ren to come along too so Juugo gave Ren a different set of tickets. Kanon and Tatsuya continue to fight over Ren’s attention while Kazuma doesn’t sense anything spiritually dangerous. I guess the dangerous ones are going to be humans because he tells Ayano the lady cleaner that just came out of the toilet is a cross-dressing man. In his bag is a camera and he has put a spy camera in the female’s toilet. Ayano instantly beats him up and would have received the death penalty if this was country Ayano. Then she rushes to beat up a couple of guys trying to hit on timid girls. Can anybody stop this girl? Kazuma would have received her death penalty too if he wasn’t swift enough to avoid it. That’s because he is looking through the voyeur’s camera! Hold on. You don’t want to destroy the evidence, don’t you? Better call in the police. But why Kirika? Normal police would’ve brought in Ayano as well. You can’t call beating up people as self defence even though they are perverts, right? As the day draws to a close, Ayano realizes a couple of suspicious people spying on them. She wanted to go after them but Kazuma stops her. Then they end up in the Ferris wheel. Ayano goes into full blabber mode but that guy just sat there quietly. Silence is golden. It shut her up. Seeing the sun setting over the horizon shut her up even more. Just admire the natural beauty, okay?

Ren awes over the beautiful lights on the Ferris wheel. It brings tears to his eyes whenever he thinks about Ayumi. Once he composes himself, Kanon welcomes him back because she notices his head is always somewhere else. She says she will always wait for him no matter how long it takes until he tells her everything. Until she can fill the gaps of his heart. The romantic mood is ruined when Tatsuya comments on this daytime opera soap. Kanon abuses that wild gorilla for ruining her big confession. It’s so funny that Ren started laughing. His friends also start laughing before the fight over him resumes. Kazuma and Ayano see Ren and co having fun. Ayano notices the kind of gentle face he only puts up for Ren. She is concerned she never puts this face for her? Her heart starts beating faster when she realizes his hand his touching hers. At the end of the day when everybody meets up, Ren thanks Kazuma for inviting him because he was worried about him. Kazuma knows Juugo as the ‘ringleader’. Ren’s job was to spy on them and his goal to make Kazuma and Ayano date together. That’s why Ren called Kanon and Tatsuya and went off with them. Ayano realizes she hasn’t caught the suspicious people. Speaking of which, they are here now. They turn out to be Yukari and Nanase in disguise. Yup. They’re spying on Ayano’s love date. They have taken quite a number of photos with different lovely expressions of Ayano in love. Enough to fill a photo album. What are the chances of getting those solid evidences back? Juugo seems pleased that Kazuma and Ayano are out and think they won’t even come back tonight. I think Ayano is chasing her friends over the camera… Kirika watches the voyeur’s camera as it turns out to be Yukari and Nanase changing into their disguise and fondling each other’s boobs. Then she goes to see Genma in hospital to have a talk. Wow. After 10 episodes, this dude is still in hospital?

Episode 14
American Catherine McDonald arrives in Japan not for sightseeing but to have a duel and reclaim the title of the strongest fire mage title from Kannagi whom she feels this isolated clan doesn’t deserve. I wonder if she’s just another maniac the way she laughs out loud at the airport. Ayano is spacing out so much (in a happy dreamy sense) that she couldn’t pay attention in class and becomes clumsy. Her friends can tell she’s expecting a date with Kazuma. Ayano denies and says it’s just her long awaited just reward for a super high class dinner treat at a super high class restaurant. This is what Yukari and Nanase understand: It’s a date. Kazuma and Ayano look stunning in their suit and dress. Ren talks to Juugo and it seems he really wants both of them to get together. He feels Kazuma is necessary for their future. Though he has left, he should return at some point. Viewing they are both useless and that there is no advancement whatsoever, he hopes one of them would slip up tonight. This old geezer is looking forward to that? Ayano begins enjoying her super high class dinner in a super high class restaurant but a group of robbers had to ruin it. Though the duo aren’t cowed and continue eating, the robber is attacked by flames. But it isn’t Ayano. It comes from a spirit beast. Azazel belongs to Catherine and continues to shoot flames till the robbers and other guests flee the floor. Catherine introduces herself but Ayano doesn’t know who she is. Upset? At least Kazuma knows the McDonald family are famous fire mages in America and advanced in spirit beast area. After the ladies trade insults, Catherine wants Ayano to hand over her clan title as the strongest to her. This means giving her Enraiha. No can do. So what now? Fight. Catherine summons her strongest spirit beast, Metatron a stone angel made out of several thousand spirits bound by her magic. Kazuma’s best punch line of the episode: He gets the role of stopping them if this gets messy? How troublesome.

Not even Enraiha’s flames can burn Metatron because it regenerates. Kazuma is just enjoying his wine watching the ladies fight. Kirika calls Juugo about the fighting of 2 fire mages in a building. Witnesses identified Ayano as one of them. However she notes that there is an evil spirit in that building. Though it doesn’t have the power to cause damage itself, its foul ki has started to seep out to the surrounding area. Speaking of which, Kazuma is already going to deal with it when Ayano unknowingly slashes it away in her attempt to cut Metatron. I guess that cut out his work. Ayano grows weary so Kazuma hints she is trying to burn the wrong thing. Then she gets it and starts using her purification flames to purify Metatron. Because the spirits composing Metatron were bound by a spell into something they shouldn’t have, their twisted forms made them no different from evil spirits or demons. However her purification causes the place to explode. Catherine calls it a draw (Ayano insists it’s her victory) and promises to return another time to beat the crap out of them. The duo will have to settle that later because the building is in danger of collapsing. Kazuma suggests she needs to take out the top storey only before it causes a chain reaction and flattens the other floors. Can you believe Ayano thinks she could fail?! Of course with Kazuma giving her his support, she manages to prevent any further disaster. When everything is over, Ayano continues her complaining. Her night is ruined. All that ranting made her stomach growl. In the end they had cheap roadside stall ramen. But it tastes so good and delicious, no? That’s what you call cheap and good. Kazuma had some wine with him and accidentally splashed some on her face. He licks it in order not to waste it. Ayano, oh Ayano. How could you have so much energy to be this tsundere after today… Whether that was sexual harassment or not depends… Juugo is willing to compensate all the damages and will have the bill sent to Kannagi. But he wasn’t expecting this kind of slip up… Disappointed?

Episode 15
Catherine is training herself by exorcising demons with Metatron. Right in the middle of the busy street? Anybody would think she’s a nutcase because she’s laughing like one. Oh, she’s training to take down Ayano. Of course an incident this big has caught the attention of Kirika. She hopes Kazuma can help her solve this case but there’s no need because Catherine coincidentally is here. Who the hell she think she is? Threatening the waiter with Metatron just because he brewed the tea the way she didn’t prefer. Once they learn her goal to defeat Ayano, they have reservations that she can do so. I mean, it’s Ayano she’s facing right? The one and only brute Ayano. Kazuma is mocking what she’s doing (a high level fire mage chasing lowly ghosts with her spirit beast?) so Catherine wants to challenge him. Kirika leaves him to deal with her. Just great. When she fights him, Kazuma easily destroys Metatron. He tells it straight she relies too much on Metatron. Once that is out of the way, she is helpless. Besides, Metatron definitely cannot defeat Enraiha. Catherine wonders why he is telling her all this. Isn’t he Ayano’s ally? Nope. He is not aligned with anybody. As long as you pay, he does the job. Catherine gets an idea to hire him as her coach. As usual, Ayano gets riled up just about hearing her friends gossip that they have seen Kazuma with a new hot babe. Speaking of which, here he comes now. He hands Ayano a challenge letter. In a week’s time, she will face off with Catherine. So the tsundere bombards him with lots of questions about Catherine. Hey. He does what he wants. It’s not like you care, right? Do you? Kazuma lives his end of the deal to train Catherine with a special attack. But that’s about it. You practice the rest yourself. I guess Catherine isn’t feeling her money’s worth so she tries to stop him. In the process, she trips, he catches him and she suddenly realizes her heart is beating. What could this feeling be? Ooh! Ooh! I know! It’s called L-O-V-E! Am I right? Meanwhile Juugo realizes Ayano has a rival. But this old guy prefers her to be the other type of rival. Just keep praying. Maybe it would.

The day before the challenge, pissed Ayano eats like crazy. Isn’t that bad for her body? Then here comes Catherine with Kazuma into the cafe to celebrate the end of their training. Exchange of rival insults. Could have settled their business right now if Kazuma hadn’t cooled them down. Ayano learns that if Catherine wins this match, she will bring Kazuma back to America. Will Kazuma go? Since the McDonalds are rich, he goes where the money is! Catherine gets all clingy to him so it’s too much for Ayano to take and runs away. But later she is resolved to keep Kazuma in Japan. She won’t let him go to America. So has she realized her love? More accurately, she wants him to treat her to all the expensive cuisine every night until he runs out of money. French, Chinese, Italian… What has food got to do with this? At the challenge, Ayano makes a good start disposing Metatron easily. However it’s just a trick so that Catherine could surround her with her secret technique of flaming wisps. They start attacking Ayano and she takes a beating. Kazuma notes that this is Ayano’s weakness. Because she charges straight in, she is weak in handling multiple attacks. Her friends think he is mean to tell Catherine this but he notes even if a stubborn girl gets knocked around a few times, she’ll come to realize her own weakness and take action. Ayano seems to have lost so Catherine brags about her future with Kazuma in America. Counting her chickens? Well, this was enough for Ayano to draw more strength to make a comeback. She destroys the wisps and uses some of them against Catherine. In the end, it is Ayano’s victory. They shake hands as the loser is gracious and the winner is humble. Kazuma notes Catherine let her guard down in the end, which enabled Ayano to win. Just as Ayano is about to force Kazuma to take her out to dinner, Catherine tells her to stay away from her man. Eh? True, she gave up her ambitions to take him to America, but she didn’t say she will give up on him, right? That’s right. She’s staying in Japan. And so the rivalry over Kazuma continues… They might even have another go at each other…

Episode 16
Yukari won tickets to the hotspring and brings Ayano, Kazuma, Ren and Nanase with her. Actually it’s all part of Juugo’s plan to get Kazuma and Ayano together. Even Kazuma could tell it’s his doing. So the only one who is left out in the cold unaware of this scheme is Ayano. Juugo is even dreaming that there will be no more interruptions and that Kazuma and Ayano can get it going. You know. What a man and a woman do when they’re alone. He wants to tell Genma about this when he learns he is also at that same hotspring. He is horrified if father and son meet, a fight will occur. All his plans will be ruined! It’s going to be the wrong slip up again… Genma is there thanks to Kirika. So as the girls and Ren try out the different types of hotsprings, Kazuma enter a mixed bath and Catherine happens to be there. In her embarrassment she rushes out. Note, ‘konyaku’ may mean mixed bath but it could also mean ‘marriage’. After Kazuma finishes his bath, he comes across his father. The worst possible scenario has happened. They start trading punches. So powerful that it’s wrecking their surroundings! Ayano and Ren can only helplessly watch. Ayano thinks Ren should go stop them since they love him and should stop. What if they don’t? Then she’ll at least do a decent burial for him. No way! The men only stop when Kirika mentions about Genma’s dinner getting cold. So the guys put off their fight till the next time. It will be their last. So what is Kirika doing here? She’s having an affair with Genma! For real? Enough to convince Ayano and Ren that they may have to call Kirika their mother! Can’t they tell it’s just a joke? Kazuma decides to go and have another round of bath after getting sweaty in that fight? Guess what? Genma had the same idea too. On God! Too late. Here comes round 2 of super punches! Once more, Kirika ‘stops’ them saying that the bath will close at 11pm. Once more, they put off their fight to next time. It will really be their last. Aren’t you just tired watching this?

Kazuma and Genma soak in the same bath and it’s amazing they can hold out this long without fighting. Oops. I take that back. After trading insults at each other, the inevitable happens. Again. Ayano is surprised to see Catherine at the hotspring. Seems she is baffled about the word ‘konyaku’. Noticing Ayano’s riled up face using that word, she might not know what it means but is going to use it to tick the hell out of her. She’s successful in the sense she manages to make Ayano so mad that her face contorts like you’ve never seen before. It could’ve descended into a power fight had not Kazuma come crashing in courtesy of Genma’s super punch. So they watch the guys punch and punch as they figure maybe it’s their way of communicating. You know. Let the fist do the talking. Genma’s old age means he is running out of stamina as Kazuma nails the clincher and defeats him. Then this scene brings tears to Ayano’s eyes. Kazuma sticks out his hand to help Genma up. Could it really be so? Well… It’s just a trick to let his guard down so that Kazuma could finish him off! Ayano gets pissed and attacks him. He should be ashamed of himself! He’s even taking pride in doing it! Ayano wants her respect back! The distraction was enough for Genma to land a clean hit in his face. He calls off tonight’s match because anymore, the inn will be ruined. What? He realized that after doing so much damage? Who is going to foot the repair bills? In the aftermath, Ayano treats Kazuma’s face. Kirika does the same for Genma. Though both guys give the other their dues, they still think themselves as the superior one. And then… They’re going to hit the bath again. Oh no…

Episode 17
Nanase practises her high jump. I don’t know. Suddenly she resembles so much like the titular character of Suzuka. Unknown to her, a pervert named Kousuke Utsumi is snapping pictures of her. Not only her but other girls too. He calls it art. But the girls know of his unholy activity but can’t do anything about it since some are afraid of him. When Utsumi’s photo taking gets too far on the tennis club girls, Nanase kicks the football at his face and destroys his camera. They find his bag containing pictures of them undressing in the changing room and take down all the spy cameras. After that, they beat him up. It’s cruel but that’s the only way for this guy to learn. When Nanase thinks he has had enough, Utsumi misinterprets that she understood him and felt left out since he was taking pictures of other girls more than her. He promises he will only take picture of her. The girls continue to beat him harder. Kazuma and Ayano just finish their job taking out a kid with super natural powers (the kind that has him grow muscles all over). They weren’t even surprised with his power and even ignored him. They even had time to argue about the coffee can Kazuma bought in which Ayano slyly finishes it (I think she wanted an indirect kiss). Ayano gets ticked off hearing Kirika’s name again since Kazuma wants to hand in this punk to her. On her way out, she sees Utsumi limping in pain. Next day as she talks to her friends and learns what happens, it seems Utsumi only received 3 days suspension as punishment. I guess if he doesn’t get expelled, he’ll be back with a vengeance. True enough, all the tennis club girls who beat him up end up in some kind of mishap. It’s like he went over the internet to get some power and curse them. Oh wait. He did. The last one left is Nanase. Saving the best for last? So when Utsumi is back, he becomes arrogant and cocky and wants to talk with Nanase. She plays it cool. He demonstrates his energy projection and threatens to kill her but she isn’t cowed. Admitting that he cursed the other girls, he wants Nanase to be her slave. She refuses. He gets violent and because his power is slow to generate, Nanase knocks him out with a stun gun. Ayano and Yukari are glad everything went as she planned. Now that the crime is confessed and his power confirmed, all that is left is to hand him over to Kirika.

Ayano and Yukari see Kirika in her office and Kirika is impressed with Yukari’s information and even hopes she could work for her department. Kirika notices the sudden increase of teenagers wielding odd powers. So much so they have taken this thing out on the streets and end up in street fights. Yukari remembers reading in an online forum about this that is turning Tokyo into a psychic battle but she stopped reading halfway because it sounded like a game with terms like special moves, invincible combinations and level up powers after beating a certain number of people. Kirika feels somebody is behind this and wants them to help her investigate. Ayano isn’t too sure but eager beaver Yukari gives her those puppy dog eyes. Can’t say no? Kirika mentions Kazuma is also on this case and is working with a new partner. First thing Ayano is concerned about is if this new partner is a cute girl. Rest assured, he is a guy. Ayano feels bad for the new partner because he may not be any help to Kazuma. Speaking of which, the new partner is cornered by another special power punk. Kazuma is hiding in the shadows, seemingly letting his partner going to get devoured. This is because he is letting the punk rant all he wants. He confirms the video game lingo which makes people like them reducing their sense of danger and reality. Before the partner becomes a victim, Kazuma works his wind magic to put the punk out of commission. His partner is crying and has had enough of this job! He wants to go back to being a normal detective! Wuss. Kazuma makes his way out when he a girl, Tsui Ling walks by. He seems to know her and is in shock.

Episode 18
Tsui Ling was also the girl who said she wasn’t born to be sacrificed to demons. Kazuma chases her but loses sight of her. Meanwhile the slut and wild gorilla are continuing to fight over Ren’s attention. That’s Kanon and Tatsuya if you’re wondering. They bump into a guy, Takashi Takamachi who wants Kanon to go out with him. She refuses and would rather die. When Ren tells Takashi to stop, Takashi badmouths him. In great sync, Kanon and Tatsuya take him down. Trash like him has no right to insult their friend. When Takashi is about to hit Kanon, Ren grabs him by the collar and gives him that evil stare. Though his friends are impressed, Takashi vows revenge and will call his brother to beat them up since he has super powers. Ayano is eating with her friends and she feels down because as a person who holds special power, she understands when normal people get scarred. She thinks it’s okay if they don’t hang out with her and get involved. However they know she is different and unlike jerks like Utsumi (who is behind bars now), they will always be willing to lend her a hand. Because they are friends. As Ayano leaves , she is surprised to see Catherine fighting a… Magical girl? Who the hell is this Magical C? Even surprising, Catherine shows her a badge that makes her a member of the police’s special unit under Kirika. I know she’s hard up on recruitment, but her? Ayano hears the magical girl thinking they are players of this game too and got their powers from Pandemonium. The duo team up to take down Miracle C. Catherine gets a call from Kirika and also something about Kazuma has gone missing. That interest you, Ayano? Catherine not telling.

Ren and his friends are rounded up by Takashi’s gang and brought to an alley where his brother is going to make mincemeat out of them. This guy starts throwing fireballs but of course, that would be useless against Ren, right? Ren hears him say how he powered up from Decalius who told him he was the only fire element class who upgraded. Ren also notices Youma possessing this guy and giving him powers without him knowing. He uses his purification flames to set him free. No more fire power, eh? Just an ordinary punk. His buddies all run. So much about loyalty. Talk big… Kanon and Tatsuya are surprised but are in awe with his special ability. Just as Ren questions the punk, Catherine also interrogates Miracle C in the lockup. Seems they got in from Pandemonium over an internet site. The page had nothing much except asking if they wanted more power. After clicking yes, they passed out and couldn’t remember anything and found themselves with super power. The site’s layout may be modelled after a demon summoning ceremony and it’s a contract of the soul that is activated without the affected party knowing. It’s like downloading a digital devil. But no one has ever re-entered Pandemonium again nor have they found it again. Thus a forum that has all players meet and exchange information, even setting up battles. Because winning fights will earn you experience points and you can level up to upgrade to a higher class. You’ll get a mail from Pandemonium when that happens and an invitation to his place. By just wandering around, they suddenly find themselves in a strange place and this supposed Pandemonium dude asking them if they want to upgrade. The punk describes the place and it seems like it is floating in air between 2 towers. Ren has an idea where that place is. But when they head up the building, they don’t find anything. Ren knows something is amiss and uses his flames to test. His flames hit a barrier and for that instant, they see a building. So it’s on invisible mode, I guess. Of course now that they have tapped on hell’s door, the hell master isn’t going to let them go as Ren suddenly vanishes from the sight of his friends.

Episode 19
Kirika is at Kannagi to explain her findings and request for their help. Kazuma returns just in time to sit in for the briefing. She explains to Juugo about the download phenomenon popular with teenagers which is actually in fact they are downloading Youma without knowing it. The several players they captured and testified to it, they were participating in this game out of curiosity and none understood its true meaning. Kazuma’s mind is thinking too much about Tsui Ling to hear what Kirika says. He thinks it is impossible for her to return and realizes she is a fake because the real Tsui Ling had green eyes. He gets up and leaves, going to find out who is behind this. What about this Pandemonium case? He leaves it up to Ayano. But Ayano gets a call from Kanon telling her that Ren suddenly disappeared. Can’t ignore this too, eh? They arrive at the building ground, Kazuma’s partner sends Kanon and Tatsuya home. Kazuma detects a rift above the building so he uses his wind power to open a little crack and heads in first. Kirika uses her connection to get her men to evacuate the surrounding area since there is a possibility the building might collapse. Things can get out of hand when Kazuma’s involved, right? Yeah. Call it government cover up too. Ren enters Pandemonium and notices the space really warped and continues to wander. He can’t use his wind power to destroy because Ren is held hostage and might harm him. Ayano and Kirika reach up to the rift and since Ayano’s flames may destroy the barrier and make Pandemonium visible to the public (which is what Kirika wants to avoid), Kirika who is an onmyouji uses her talisman to open a little door in the rift for them to go through. They are confronted with Tsui Ling’s lookalike, Lapis. She is the servant of Decalius and won’t let them through unless they have an appointment. Can’t they make one now? Apparently not. But since they really need to see that guy, I guess a fight is in order. Ayano clashes her Enraiha with Lapis, oversized broad sword that could absorb her flames.

Ren meets Decalius who welcomes him to Pandemonium and asks if he would like to upgrade. Don’t want it. He wants Decalius to stop this. He can’t since he has invested lots of time in this experiment. He then shows Ren the fight between Ayano and Lapis as well as lost Kazuma. He claims Ren is the most important person to their hated enemy. Is he targeting Kazuma? More precisely, he is targeting for a dramatic play. He wants to see how the trio are separated and confronted with a terrible enemy before reaching a climax for an incredible production. He gives an example of a scenario of what if Kazuma walks in at the right time to see Lapis killing Ayano. I’m not sure if the blabbing causes Kazuma to figure out their position. He wants Ren to call out his name so he can figure his position. Ren does that and in the blink of an eye, Kazuma breaks through the barrier and reunites with his brother. Kazuma recognizes Decalius as Bernhardt Rhodes. So this is what he is doing after Kazuma gave him a second chance at life and let him live? Bernhardt claims Kazuma survived because he was unworthy of their time. Kazuma guesses that with Armagest’s appearance, the fake Tsui Ling is his doing. Ayano and Lapis’ power fight ended up crashing in here. Kazuma sees Lapis and is stunned. I thought he knew she was a fake so why look so shocked? Maybe she looks too close to the original.

Episode 20
Ayano is about to finish Lapis off but Kazuma’s wind stops her. Still have those sentimental feelings? Bernhardt says he has been reunited with his dead lover but Kazuma knows she is dead because he took everything from her. He fed her body and soul to the demon. Bernhardt confirms that because he was there when it happened. Lapis was created by the residual emotions left behind by Tsui Ling at her time of death. She is Tsui Ling’s exact duplicate. Kazuma views Lapis nothing more as a fake doll. Ayano seems pretty concern about Kazuma’s past with Tsui Ling. Bernhardt orders Lapis to destroy the place. Using her sword, she slices the entire building in half to make their escape. And there’s nothing Kazuma can do about it but feel the utter frustration. Kirika shows the video to Juugo how the building in the real world was also sliced in half by Lapis’ sword. They have altered the video for the public to make them see it’s some sort of explosion. Though Kazuma saved them from doom, he has gone missing ever since. Ren thought Pandemonium is destroyed but Kirika shows a video proof that there is a new one. When Utsumi was in his cell, bloodied words appeared on the wall to ask him if he would like a class change. Of course he picked yes and escaped via teleportation. There are a handful of others too that agreed to this class change. Ayano is upset because Nanase would be his first target. Kirika assures her she has put 24 hour surveillance on her. Izumi and Catherine? I don’t feel good about this? Bernhardt’s name rings familiar bells to Juugo and Genma. He is from Armagest, a very powerful European magic society. They wonder why he is doing something this trivial. Ayano is upset once more when Kirika knows about Tsui Ling but never told her about it. There are some secrets that are needed to be kept. Can she shoulder them? Seeing the seriousness of this case, Juugo wants Kirika to tell them about Tsui Ling.

Kazuma is sitting alone on the building top, reminiscing the past with Tsui Ling. It was 4 years ago before he became a contractor. Somewhere in a little town in China, Kazuma lived with Tsui Ling and did odd jobs for the day. What kind of odd jobs? Like saving a cat. And never got paid. Can you blame him for being obsessed about ‘show me the money’? By night, he helps Tsui Ling with her little restaurant. Even some regular customers note how he has changed ever since meeting Tsui Ling because before this he used to be temperamental and get into fights. One night, Kazuma tells her about his past and how he was kicked out of the family due to no powers. He thought he could forget about home but somehow couldn’t and even thought he wanted that power he didn’t have. Tsui Ling wonders if he still wanted that power. Because if he does, he could have gone home and live in a better place than this dump. He rubbishes her thoughts because he is happy here now. Because someone sees him as he is and not because of some power. This is the greatest happiness he could have. Answering her question, Kazuma assures he will always protect her like the wind flowing through her hair. Then they kissed. Kazuma wakes up from the nightmare flashback when Tsui Ling was sacrificed and goes crazy. The police is despatched to the nearby park and are shocked to see it decimated. Like as though a typhoon just swept through the place. They see several badly injured people. One of them is cowering in fear about class change and Seeds. Kazuma vows to kill Bernhardt and rip that doll of his to shreds.

Episode 21
Was Kazuma responsible for that mayhem? He looks different. Glowing eyes. Killer instincts. Is this the Kazuma we know? Kirika, Ayano and Ren search for Kazuma but he is nowhere to be found. In an arena, the crowd are getting excited as 2 second class Seeds face each other. Rai makes a great start summoning his demons to defeat Shin. The latter got scared and wants out. But when he wishes for more powers, his eyes change, grow fangs and starts to power up. He turns on the tables on Rai by destroying his demons which causes direct damage to his body. Kazuma then drops in the middle of the match to ask about Pandemonium’s location. Since they’re not doing it the easy way, Kazuma easily takes out Rai and uses his palm to extract information from his head! Horror scene?! He is disappointed he doesn’t yield any result. He turns to Shin next. No escape. Same treatment. No answer too. But he sees Utsumi and thinks he could use him. Kirika, Ayano and Ren are on site the next morning. Kirika explains a man appearing at such battles and hunting for Seeds. He takes them to the brink of death to find Pandemonium’s location. The damage left behind seems to be caused by a wind user. Guess who? Meanwhile Utsumi has powered up and change class as he feels unstoppable. Bernhardt talks to Lapis that they have gathered enough data and is pointless to stay in this country any longer but he won’t go back to headquarters yet because the fun is just beginning. Then he says Lapis isn’t just a mere doll because he made her with a heart. She should take time to feel those feelings and someday a true will shall be born in her heart even though she is still a doll. Izumi and Catherine are on the watch outside Nanase’s house. Izumi activates her barriers when she detects and incoming attack but it was easily destroyed. Kazuma drops in and Catherine wonders what he is doing here. However Izumi tells her he is the one who broke her barriers. Kazuma easily knocks out Izumi. Catherine remains arrogant she can beat him but I guess she was a little hesitant to fight her beloved and was easily disposed. Kazuma sees Nanase walking out of the house.

Next day, Ayano can’t believe that Kazuma was the one who hurt Izumi and Catherine. Has he joined Bernhardt? Kirika dismisses it. Reports indicate Nanase was under somebody’s mind control when she left. In short, Kazuma helped Utsumi kidnapped her. She is the bait to lure Kazuma to Utsumi so he could get information on Pandemonium. Ayano still can’t believe Kazuma did this so Kirika explains she first met Kazuma 2 years ago in London. He was an unknown at that time but there were rumours spreading about a wind mage with demon-like powers that tore apart anything he touched like the Grim Reaper. Kazuma seemed to fit those rumours because he would hurt anybody to get what he wanted. So the Kazuma they all know wasn’t the real him. He changed when he came back to Japan and now he has returned to his original self. Like as though he is a different person. Now that he has gone back being the Grim Reaper, he’ll do what it takes to find Pandemonium and kill Bernhardt. Even if it means destroying the entire city or many will be perished, he’ll do it without slight hesitation. Ayano ponders if Kazuma returned to his old self after seeing Lapis. More precisely, after remembering Tsui Ling. Kirika bets on Ayano to win over Tsui Ling because Kazuma is trapped in his past and is lost. She must awaken him and make him realize his present self is more valuable than his past. Well Ayano. I guess this is your chance of all sorts.

Episode 22
What’s the problem Ayano? Now she thinks it’s impossible to bring Kazuma back to his senses. Since when did her self confidence get this low? Ren waits at Central Park and to his surprise, his friends are here. They are worried about him and want to help. Yeah, they’re fighting to see who gets to help him. Then Ren hears Kazuma getting involved in a fight with a Seed. The cocky punk gets beaten up easily. No contest. He continues to torture him for answers. Ren tries to stop him but his words couldn’t reach him. Tatsuya grabs Ren and run because at this rate he fears he will get killed. Later Kirika and the police investigate the area. She feels something amiss. If Kazuma hunts Seed and attacks them during their fight, how come this time he attacks a lone Seed? They can’t question that person who is in coma now. Ren is adamant to stop him. Speaking from experience, he knows how hard it can be when someone close dies. But what Kazuma is doing is wrong and won’t give up stopping him as he is trapped in his past. Yukari does her online research on Pandemonium. I don’t know how, but she manages to find the site and a time and place for gathering. Kazuma’s love rivals talk. Catherine didn’t like it that Kirika viewed Ayano as the only one who can save him. Because Ayano is still dense what was said, Kirika had to reword it again why Ayano can only save him. She has observed her for some time and knows she can. She wants Ayano to think of all the bonds she had with him (count those tsundere and close moments with Kazuma). So now do you understand why the present you is more important than the past Tsui Ling?

Yukari is at the gathering of the Seeds. She is surprised to see Utsumi with Nanase. He calls himself the boss class and has a message from Decalius. Tomorrow night will be Pandemonium’s descend. Those who want ultimate power will head there. However it is a race and only the first one who reaches there will obtain all the power. The place is Central Park. Utsumi recognizes Yukari in the midst. Like… After giving out all the juicy details? Yukari had to make it worse by panicking and run away. Couldn’t she just feign she’s somebody else? Now she’s cornered. Luckily she manages to send the important information to Ayano. Ayano is upset now her other friend is captured. Kirika deduces that Pandemonium won’t appear because it has always been there. Kazuma likely knows about this and was waiting there the whole time. He used Nanase as bait and follow Utsumi to find Pandemonium. From the punk’s handphone, Bernhardt must have sent him a message to defeat Kazuma despite knowing he won’t win for entertainment. As for why Kazuma didn’t destroy Pandemonium since he has found it, he’s waiting for Bernhardt’s work to be completed. Then he’ll destroy everything, laugh at his despair and murder him. That’s very cruel, no? All is fair in revenge. Ayano gets her confidence to bring Kazuma back because if she has value to him, he will not be looking at the past or Tsui Ling but the present. Everyone is glad that Ayano is up to the task and wants to know her plan? What plan? Eh? Just go with the flow whatever… Utsumi is before Bernhardt and now that he has done his bidding, he is also done being his servant and challenges him to a duel to take his spot as master. Why do these people never learn? Get a little bit of power and they think they’re helluva invincible. I think I know who the victor is going to be.

Episode 23
Genma states his intention to destroy Kazuma and Pandemonium. It’s about that Kannagi crap thingy. Ayano uses her position as the next head to take over this matter and will settle this with Ren and swears it on Enraiha. Can’t say no to that, can’t you? All the Seeds are fighting each other to reduce competition even before Pandemonium appears. Ren shows how much his powers have grown and takes out the Seeds who are targeting them. He vows to use his excess powers to protect. He’s starting to take after a certain someone, isn’t he? When it strikes midnight, Pandemonium appears and it is much larger than before. All the Seeds turn into Youmas. As they race towards Pandemonium, a murderous dark wind destroys them all in one swoop. Awesome. Look who’s here? Ren confronts Kazuma to stop his revenge because it won’t bring the dead back. Kazuma scoffs it off because the dead can’t feel anything and if they think he is doing it for Tsui Ling’s revenge, they are way off. He wants to kill Bernhardt because he wants to kill him. Simple as that. And anyone who gets in the way will die. Since words won’t reach him, I guess now it’s Ayano’s turn to beat him up till he return to his senses. She senses his power ability despite not using his Contractor power yet. Her hand is shaking and has a bad feeling about this foul wind. Then she realizes why she is so pissed off. He’s so pathetic now. She admires him and hopes one day she’ll catch up to him so that he’ll recognize her power. She can’t accept him now and refuse to believe something so ugly was her goal.

As they clash, Ayano begins to note that the Kazuma she used to know, fearing him would seem so stupid. Now that she does, it means he is weaker. It is proof she can see the limits of his power. She is so pissed this isn’t her Kazuma that Enraiha flames become crimson. Then it is history lesson time. She reminds him what he said about not choosing who to save with those powers. Those with powers have the duty to protect. He got the power to save everything so he won’t throw anything away. Remember all that? He was the one who said them, right? So what was he using his powers for? What was he trying to protect? Those words hit Kazuma hard as he remembers Tsui Ling’s words. The beast in him calms down and he starts thinking what the heck he is doing. This power isn’t to take because he swore to make sure nobody takes anything again. How the hell did he forget something that important? I guess if he wasn’t admiring how beautiful Ayano’s Crimson Flames (which is the second time – the first was when she dealt the last blow against Ryuuya) and how it sparkled like the flame of her soul, he could’ve avoided her strike. Could you believe this? Kazuma beaten? Ayano finally won against him? Ren praises Ayano for being able to use Crimson Flames but she didn’t realize she was using them! Fluke? Kazuma gets up unscathed because his wind deflected the damage though he was blown away by the impact. That sarcasm… The old Kazuma’s back! He also notes his feelings for Tsui Ling are still in his heart but right now there are more important things before his eyes. Then he kisses her neck! We would love to see more of this teasing but Pandemonium is starting to absorb all the Youma powers. So let’s hurry and go save the day. He has to take responsibility for getting Nanase and Yukari involved. So that means he can’t destroy Pandemonium in one blow, no?

Episode 24
Ayano asks if he is able to fight Lapis. He answers Lapis is made out of Tsui Ling’s residual energy and therefore is a fake and doesn’t have her heart. Tsui Ling is dead. She died right before his eyes. They enter a room where Lapis is waiting. She says Bernhardt has already returned. Yukari and Nanase are still under mind control as she notes they have fulfilled their role in luring them here. Utsumi is part of a stone and is part senile. She explains Pandemonium’s purpose to experiment fusion between human and demon and to create Homo Superiola. This involves distributing Youma’s power to people via internet then causing Seeds to fight one another to gather data about fusing them. Bernhardt’s goal is to make them suffer and be in despair and takes pleasure in doing that. Lapis cuts Utsumi in half as he is the last of the Seeds polluted by Youma to complete the summoning of Belial, the strongest demon. Wondering why Lapis is doing this since she is created from the residues of Tsui Ling’s last emotions, she wants a heart because she’s a doll. Bernhardt told her to gaze upon those suffering and dying. If she enjoys that, she will be happy, she will have a heart. Kazuma steps up to face her but I guess he still sees Tsui Ling in her and misses. Still haven’t gotten over her? Ayano steps in to fight in his place and leaves her friends in Ren’s care. The ritual is almost done as Belial is close to being summoned. After everyone escapes, they see the size of the summoning circle covering the entire area of Central Park. Kazuma knows his Contractor power and Kannagi flames won’t be enough to defeat it. They’re going to deal with this head on. Concentrate all their powers into it. Because only a few mere souls are sacrificed to summon Belial, it was enough to summon a little part of him to last for several seconds. Nevertheless it is enough to destroy Tokyo. That’s how big and great this demon is. Kazuma remembers the horrifying moments Tsui Ling was sacrificed right before his eyes. Had he only had this power then, it would not have happened. As it is already the past, he needs to focus on the present.

The trio summon all they’ve got to press Belial back down. The impact is so great that the entire Central Park became a crater! There goes the green lung of the city. Well, better than a scene of Armageddon carnage, right? Bernhardt appears before them and is impressed they could pull this off. Kazuma is worried because they are weakened and if he attacks now, they’ll be done for. Bernhardt assures he won’t do anything silly that will not guarantee his victory for he is a coward. Looking over them is Genma. Bernhardt is confident they will meet again and the next time, he’ll be serious. Kazuma wants to know what Tsui Ling’s final emotion was and what she said to him. Lapis replies that she wanted to kill him. Shocking words. Ayano felt bad and wanted to comfort him but he was faster. He hugs her. Back at Kannagi, Ayano hopes to cheer him up and thinks what Lapis said it was a lie. Kazuma doesn’t think so because he failed to protect Tsui Ling as promised so it’s no surprise she hated him in the end. His wind power awakened for the first time when he was almost killed trying to save her. When she was killed, nothing happened. It was so pathetic he can’t even laugh. Is he supposed to? Ayano is worried he wants to let Lapis kill him. He doesn’t want her to worry about him because he has decided to accept the past and protect the present. That includes Ayano. But this blows her top and almost slaps him. She doesn’t want to be protected and not to shoulder everything himself. Is she that unreliable? What is she to him? Is she somebody who slows him down or needs to be carried around? Does he want her to cower behind him during fights and give a thank you kiss when it’s over? I think the last one would be great but anyway she what she is trying to say is that she wants to help too and when he is in trouble, he should rely on someone. Kazuma smells her hair and agrees with her. Now that he is looking forward to work with his so called partner, he gives her the ultimate surprise by patting her butt!!! Now she tries to kill him with Enraiha. Right in front of all their guests. Can we just sit down and settle this peacefully instead of using violence? Maybe sometimes action speaks louder than words…

Fanning The Fire…
Seems the most amusing thing for me in this series is the interaction between Kazuma and Ayano. They are the reason why I smiled and enjoyed for most parts of this series. Some of their lines for each other I consider as witty. They are like fire and ice (wind actually), cats and dogs, oil and water. They don’t get along well but their constant arguing and loggerheads, at each other’s nerves make them an ideal pair, a match. Odd, isn’t it? So when the final arc of the series turned serious with Kazuma losing his teasing and sarcasm with his quest for revenge against Bernhardt, I somewhat felt that the show ‘died’. Where would the fun be without Kazuma’s derision on Ayano? He’s got a knack in pissing her off. Or he just loves doing it to see her reaction. How can Ayano pull off her tsundere comebacks if Kazuma is not there to harmlessly mock her?

Kazuma isn’t your typical hero or knight in shining armour. Like most heroes nowadays, they come with a dark past. The best thing about him is that he is honest with you and does not mince his words to say it in your face in what he feels and thinks. Whether it is good or bad, he lets you have it. After all, there is no point in beating around the bush, right? His suave lines make him one of the coolest characters and I never really get tired in hearing spit out his usual sarcasm. If he was in a national debate, nobody can beat him. If fairies can’t even out talk him, what are the chances the boss of hell and demons can? He is also a notorious businessman and though it may not seem like it, money is his main motivation to take on jobs. You can’t blame him for being realistic. He’s doing a dangerous job that involves the supernatural so be prepared to pay if you want to use his services. As a wind user, his power is definitely unrivalled and all those who thought they are hell of a great never knew the meaning of utter defeat till he displays his powers. Despite narrating at the start of each episode about this Contractor thingy, I find it a bit redundant since it isn’t the focus of this series or the driving force. It’s like they want to keep reminding us where he got this awesome power of his. It’s not that he uses it very often and only when is needed to (because it eats up too much energy and time). Of course as haughty and cool Kazuma may be, he is still human and his fall came when he is shown to still be stuck in his past. He knows Lapis is not exactly Tsui Ling but she was made out of her, right? So technically she is part of her. He can give any excuse that he is not out for revenge but to ordinary people like me, he definitely seems absorbed in his vengeance quest, don’t you think? Thankfully he manages to overcome that with the support of the people around him.

Ayano the other interesting half of the pair is also an amusing watch. At first I thought as the heir of the Kannagi clan she would be somewhat strict and have that certain grace. However after seeing her to be a little crude and tomboyish followed by her undeniable tsundere character, I thought she was going to be a fun watch especially with Kazuma teasing her whenever he gets the chance. With him around, not only her powers grow but her feelings for him. Unfortunately in both cases, she doesn’t realize them. We have seen enough scenes to indicate that she likes him. But as a tsundere, we also expect her not to admit. It’s more fun that way, I figure for us viewers. She can give any reasons she want about forcing loaded Kazuma in treating her to nice dinner. To us, that’s consider a date, right? She’s the kind of girl that acts on her feelings rather than her head so probably that is why she is able to pull off powerful techniques for short moments because she puts her emotion in them while making her strike. Unfortunately for her, she could never best Kazuma too. I won’t consider her ‘victory’ over Kazuma when he was filled with dark rage to be a real one because he simply opened his path and returned to the right path.

Ren also improves much as the series progresses. He turned from a cry-baby brother complex to someone who is independent and able to stand up himself to use his powers to protect others. Kanon and Tatsuya are true friends despite always fighting over him but it is proof that they care for him. I hope Tatsuya isn’t the kind that is aiming for some bromance… Oddly for Juugo, I find it strange that he tries to subtly play matchmaking between Kazuma and Ayano. When I guess when you are at that old age, you start thinking about grandkids… What else does this guy have to do as the current head of Kannagi? I mean, menial chores he gets his men to do it. He is too old and frail to do heavier stuffs. So with so much free time what else is there to think over? Maybe pairing them could teach Ayano how to be more feminine… Hah! Not a chance. Catherine’s late appearance may seem to serve as Ayano’s rival but after her rematch and defeat, it seems like she is just a secondary character. It felt that without her, the final arc could still progress. I thought I could see another rivalry with Ayano for Kazuma but looks like it wasn’t so. Perhaps she too realizes that Kazuma and Ayano make a perfect match despite how much she disliked this. I thought the same for Kirika too. Perhaps she was getting too close to Kazuma just to rile Ayano up and in the process hopes this will spurn her feelings for him even further. Because leaving it to the duo by themselves is going to take forever. For Yukari and Nanase, they could have been casted off as typical ‘minor side characters of a heroine’ had they not appear and had a little role in the final arc. Yukari may look cute and docile on the outside but her way of getting information is astounding. It’s like she is some sort of database whatsoever. You don’t want to step on her toes because she could easily find information to blackmail you if she ever wanted to.

If the series feels like it ended without anything conclusive, one reason is not because the producers wanted to leave some space if there was any reason to make a sequel. But rather, the original author of this series died a couple of years later after the anime aired so the work is left unfinished. For example about that Michael kid from the Stars and the Wisdom organization. I think he had the shortest appearance as the antagonist in this series (not referring to his height lah). Well, I personally felt even Ryuuya had slightly more appearance even if he was in beast mode. Kazuma clearly had a hand in killing Michael’s master so it is interesting to know the (bloodied) journeys Kazuma made over his exiled years from Japan. With Bernhardt and Lapis as the only antagonist that survived, surely it isn’t the end yet and there is more than meets the eye for this Armagest organization he belongs to. So was it wise to leave it hanging or risk the wrath of critics and fans by making their own ending? Since it wasn’t the latter, we don’t hear brickbats for that.

The action and fight sequences are rather okay but they are nothing to shout about. They don’t put too much focus on fighting Youmas since the main antagonists are humans and some possessed by Youma. Sometimes I feel that the fights lack certain impact that it made me feel as though it wasn’t convincing enough. You know when you pull off elemental powers like that, I should be able to ‘feel’ the impact but somehow it just feels flat. Maybe this can be forgiven since this is a year 2007 production. Feels like a very long time in anime years, huh? Another gripe is that some scenes are poor in quality in the sense that the details become very simple. It’s quite obvious so it feels like as though the producers didn’t put enough effort in some of the scenes and felt rushed to just get the episode out. And I also noticed this that in every arc somebody dies with the exception of episode fillers like the ghost buster tour at school or amusement park ‘date’. At least the bad guys. Except for the final arc that Bernhardt and Lapis got away, I guess they replaced their deaths with the Seeds as casualties. Well, people die every day, don’t they? There is a wee bit of fanservice and perhaps they serve as little teasers. Most of them coming from the wind blowing up a little Ayano’s skirt or the certain low angles. It’s like an Easter egg. The little slip shown is more like a ‘bonus’ if you can catch them.

Sadly, the romance part feels just like a teaser and serves like a distraction. As said, there are many oh-so-close romantic moments between Kazuma and Ayano but in the end, both failed to say the magical 3 words that would have made fans of the pairing very happy and satisfied. No whirlwind Gone With The Wind romance of Kazuma sweeping Ayano off her feet either. A handful kissing scenes and one even right in the very early episodes to keep us surprise but it boils down to nothing if they don’t become an official couple, right? Just like Nanase and Yukari, we just love watching over Ayano and her tsundere-cum-love-denials. After all this debate and thinking if Ayano and Kazuma could be a couple, then it just hit me. Aren’t they cousins? Oh sh*t. Not possible, right? What a damper. Even if their love becomes genuine, morally that won’t seem right. What the hell. Kazuma does as he pleases and Ayano is going to be the next head of the Kannagi. She can do whatever she wants when she takes over, no? As Tsui Ling was Kazuma’s first love, even that flashback scene felt rushed so the impact of their romance wasn’t there. Then after her death, it seems money became Kazuma’s love. Haha! Just kidding. Perhaps not. There’s some truth in there. So even in the case if he follows Catherine to America, it was just for money’s sake, right? Even romance has eluded for Ren because his first true love Ayumi died in his arms. Kanon did announce her confession intentions but I don’t think Ren would want to spoil the relationship he has now with her by taking it to the next level. Imagine how heartbroken that would leave Tatsuya, right?

Listening to Ayano’s voice, it dawned to me that she sounds familiar only because Ayumi Fujiwara seems to have voiced similar roles like her. Feisty and tsundere girls, that is. Doesn’t Ayano somehow feel uncannily similar to Mafuyu in Seikon No Qwaser and Misaki from Kaichou Wa Maid-sama? Daisuke Ono is cool as Kazuma like his other roles as Sebastian in Kuroshitsuji, Kurou in K and Tenzo in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon. The rest of the extensive casts include Rika Morinaga as Ren (Sousei Seki in Rozen Maiden), Sayaka Ohara as Kirika (Erza in Fairy Tail), Chiaki Takahashi as Catherine (Mitsuki in Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien), Yui Makino as Lapis/Tsui Ling (Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle), Kenyuu Horiuchi as Bernhardt (Sasaki in Bakuman), Masaki Terasoma as Juugo (Kanbei in Samurai 7), Rikiya Koyama as Genma (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero), Shizuka Itou as Nanase (Hinagiku in Hayate No Gotoku), Yuka Inokuchi as Yukari (Tabitha in Zero No Tsukaima), Kana Ueda as Misao (Rin in Fate/Stay Night), Eri Kitamura as Michael (Ami in Toradora), Ayumi Tsuji as Kanon (Minamo in Gokujou Seitokai), Jun Fukuyama as Tatsuya (Lelouch in Code Geass), Mami Kosuge as Kureha (Yukari in Lucky Star), Kei Shindou as Tiana (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Eri Miyajima as Mayumi (Kana in Haibane Renmei), Kanako Sakai as Ayumi (Kikuri in Jigoku Shoujo) and Tomoya Kawai as Utsumi (Logen in Broken Blade).

The opening theme is Blast Of Wind by Saori Kiuji. Somehow I didn’t find it appealing. It feels like the song is trying to have that windy feel. Saori Kiuji also sings the first ending theme entitled Hitokiri No Sora while the seiyuus of Ayano, Nanase and Yukari sing the second ending song, Matataki no Kiwoku. I kinda noticed that if the episode is somewhat serious or gloomy, the first ending theme is played since it has that darker and enigmatic feel to it whereas the second one is more for filler and happy episodes as it gives out a livelier and cheerful tune. Both ending animations are the same (Kazuma lying on the grassy slope as the main animation) except that if it is the darker theme, it is night time and Ayano extends her hand to him at the end. Otherwise it would be day time and in addition to Ayano, Ren is also present at the end. Sakai Kanako sings the special ending for the twelfth episode, Tsuki Hana no Inori. This time the animation shows Ren lying on the slopes. I guess it’s his episode anyway.

So the series isn’t that great in the overall sense as it tries to cram in lots of genres from action, adventure, supernatural, playing detective, romance and comedy and yet it has that feel that all those have been done before in some other animes and possibly better. But on my level, it still had some enjoyable moments (Kazuma-Ayano spat and the lines they say). I read many comments that many would have preferred Shakugan No Shana over this one due to the very similar traits of both lead heroines. Red hair, fire user, sword wielder and tsundere. Just that Ayano is a grown up version of Shana. I can’t really say much as I have only watched the first season of Shakugan No Shana and my lack in interest for it shows that I never had any plans to continue the series despite lasting for 3 seasons and several OVAs. If it’s one thing I learnt when dealing with fiery girls, don’t use fire to fight fire. You know what they say, play with fire get burnt. Also, fire makes a good servant but a bad master. Can we have more tsundere Ayano in maid outfit please?

Yama No Susume

June 21, 2013

I know they can make an anime about anything but I never really expect them to have one on mountain climbing. Yes, you read that right. Although Yama No Susume may be about mountain climbing, you won’t get to see little girls going the extreme mile climbing the tallest peaks in the world. Instead, this anime serves as an introduction to mountain climbing and perhaps to garner some awareness and interest in this said area. So expect to see the usual basic bonding between friends as we viewers get to learn a thing or two about mountain climbing. I mean, you don’t expect to really see them speed climbing or do extreme manoeuvres while vertically challenged in 3 minutes, right? Yeah. 3 short minutes this anime is…

Episode 1
Aoi Yukimura isn’t good with interacting with others. But she is happy she can have a happy high school life doing fun things by herself. Till an old friend, Hinata pops up. Who is she? She doesn’t remember about her till she mentions about climbing mountains. Brings back memories, eh? Hinata thinks it is fate that brought them together because now they can climb mountains together. Aoi remembers she was once enchanted by mountains. She got carried away and fell off a jungle gym at the playground. It caused her to break a bone and be hospitalized. Ever since, she got a fear of heights and turned into an indoor person. Hinata is not the kind that listens as she drags Aoi to her house! More painful memories with this girl. Whenever Aoi is around with this girl, nothing good comes out of it. Whether if it’s pulling her pants down or telling everyone the boy she had a crush on. This girl is really trouble. Yeah, Hinata thinks mixing around is good otherwise she won’t make friends or get a boyfriend. Has she ever thought she may not want all that? Guess what? Hinata’s house is on top of a mountain!!! You can’t go back now, girl.

Episode 2
Hinata shows Aoi her father’s climbing equipment. However daddy says she can’t climb straightaway yet because she doesn’t even know the basic tool. Yeah, she thought it was a tool to fend of bears when it is actually a frame to setup a tent. Daddy demonstrates how to fasten it. Aoi fears that at this rate she might climb a mountain but Hinata thanks her for hanging out with her and knew she did not want to in the first place. When they see the beautiful sunset, Aoi remembers the mountain they climbed together. Hinata’s father showed them the most beautiful scene of the sun rising over the horizon, just creeping out from the misty mountain tops. It was an unforgettable memory and Aoi hoped they could come here again someday. Aoi is touched and agrees to climb with Hinata as long as the mountain is not too high. But Hinata is dreaming big of climbing Mt Fuji or Everest…

Episode 3
Aoi thinks too much in preparing what to bring for her first mountain climbing in years. She thinks of making something good to eat and to prove to Hinata that she has her feminine prowess. Next morning, Aoi meets Hinata. Aoi is in full gear but Hinata is casually dressed in her school uniform! Aoi panics that they may get stranded and die! Don’t sweat it. Hinata takes Aoi to climb Mt Tenran which is only 197 metres high. Aoi didn’t think climbing this hill was this easy and before she knows it, she’s already at the top. She is amazed of the spectacular view of the city below. Then Hinata whips out her secret weapon which is a portable stove. Aoi shares her sandwiches with her as Hinata plots to climb their next mountain. So fast?

Episode 4
Hinata wants to do a cooking showdown. Aoi doesn’t even know she got dragged into this. She looks up the internet to find out what a kocher is (a pan that packs down small). She starts shopping for ingredients and realizes she is enjoying this. The cooking showdown begins with Aoi making a wonderful paella dish. It tastes good of course with the effort and love she puts in. It may not seem like it and even if Hinata seems to be goofing off most of the time, her mushroom sauce penne tastes delicious. Till daddy points out she cheated because that is frozen food. Just add hot water and wahlah! Dang. Hinata apologizes she can’t cook and even has daddy cook tonight’s dinner. It makes Aoi wonder if Hinata is more aware of the people around her than she appears to be.

Episode 5
The girls enter a shop specializes in mountain climbing. As they are browsing through the equipment, Aoi spots a good looking girl wearing their school uniform, Kaede Saito. Suddenly she asks Aoi a question. She is in a dilemma to choose a sleeping bag. Since she will be backpacking, climbing across several mountains and stopping along the way, she needs a sleeping bag that is light to carry but it is more expensive. Aoi thinks hard on what to say and tells her rather than giving up and compromising, it would be better not to settle and regret it later. Kaede thanks her for her help and makes her decision. Kaede asks if she is going to climb too and without hesitation, Aoi replies a yes. Kaede says this makes them mountaineers and before Aoi knows it, they exchange phone numbers. Hey. That’s pretty good for a girl who doesn’t socialize. Aoi admits this to Hinata but the latter is blunt in telling her that she already knows that. Kaede sends Aoi a picture of herself camping in the mountains to Aoi.

Episode 6
Aoi gets tricked by Hinata to select their next mountain to climb. She turns to the trusty internet for help but it lists down lots of mountain. She calls Kaede for advice and since Aoi hadn’t thought of what type of mountains to climb (you’d be surprise at the different levels there are), Kaede suggests Mt Tanigawa as it is easy for amateurs. Because of the cable car ride that Aoi is scared, she proposes Mt Takao of 599 metres. She can climb it in 2 hours and there are places along the way said to make wishes come true called power spots. Aoi gets her confidence to climb this mountain and so does Hinata. She looks forward to it but she’s not going to climb yet because the next step is to get their climbing gear.

Episode 7
The girls use a guidebook to see what gear is suitable to climb Mt Takao. At the shop, Aoi is overwhelmed by the varieties of backpacks. They ask the storekeeper and he explains the different backpack sizes for different usage and activities. Aoi couldn’t eke out a simple thank you unlike Hinata who does it so naturally. She views nothing embarrassing in asking help from others. She thinks Aoi should rely more on others. Aoi notes Hinata is the one who does nothing but rely on others. Aoi finally sees a backpack she likes but it is above her budget. Hinata offers to pay for the difference. It’s better to buy it than not and regret it later, right? Aoi feels it is the same thing she told Kaede and this time Hinata is the one who gave her a push. However Hinata wants her to pay back by tomorrow with interest. You mean she wasn’t treating her?

Episode 8
Aoi is eager to climb Mt Takao. Because she thought the mountain railway is like a cable car, she wants to climb the mountain with her own 2 feet. Hinata is walking at her pace and lagging behind Aoi, who is rushing because there are lots of places she wants to see. However she tires herself out so Hinata advises her it is better to maintain a pace rather than going fast. They stop at a rest stop, view the scenery and Aoi buying a souvenir. As they continue their climb while visiting all the power spots, Aoi wanted to give this souvenir to Hinata but couldn’t muster the courage and had to lie that it is for her mom.

Episode 9
Once they reach the mountain top and stop for lunch, Aoi is able to give the souvenir to her. Hinata suggests taking a different and tougher route down. Aoi fears that they will fall off a cliff, get attacked by a bear or even lost in a dark forest. What was she thinking? The route down seems safe and they meet a stranded girl, Kokona. Seems her sole of her shoe came off. Hinata wraps it with wire and they climb down together. They learn Kokona is here because as an animal lover, she came to find dwarf squirrels. Till Hinata corrects her that they are nocturnal and there are only giant flying squirrels on Mt Takao. Kokona becomes devastated and Aoi feels this girl is going to be more than just a natural airhead. A pain, maybe…

Episode 10
The trio traverse down the slippery river rocks. Aoi realizes Kokona is not confident since she is trying hard to walk with a broken shoe. She gives her confidence to go with her but Aoi herself slips and falls on her butt. Hope it doesn’t hurt and didn’t break her butt bone ;p. Hinata offers to lead down since Aoi might just slip again. Finally the trio reach the main trailhead and they are back to the main path. Though Kokona didn’t get to see those dwarf flying squirrels, she notes she had fun. Then they see a little squirrel in the tree. Kokona feels glad to really have come. Kokona tells them she lives in Saitama and they hope they can hang out together like this again.

Episode 11
Aoi has always thought the river beach in the summer as a different world. The kind of world she is not connected to. One day Hinata invites them to go to Hannou River Beach so Aoi calls Kokona to come over and make snacks for the trip. At the same time they can have a pyjama party. Meanwhile Hinata is hanging out with Kaede and has bought tools at a bargain. She is going to surprise Aoi with these. Kokona arrives at Aoi’s house and they discuss the snacks they want to make like French toast and omelette. The duo continue to have their girl conversation and Aoi finds it fun. She hopes tomorrow will be even more fun.

Episode 12
The quartet arrive at Hannou. Aoi wonders why everyone gathers here. To eat? To have fun? Well, duh. They start off by cooking a delicious meal for themselves before chatting. The ‘peace’ is interrupted when Hinata squirts Aoi with her water gun. It’s payback time. They continue to chat with each other as Aoi realize it’s not that they’re trying to make a boring time pass faster. She now understands people gather here to confirm that the people around them are happy. At night, they admire the night sky but Aoi laments she can’t see the Milky Way from here. Not in the city of course. Kaede says she can view it clearly on the mountain top. Aoi is not confident she can do that. Kaede gives her the encouragement that she can do it. If she tries, it will usually work out. And so Aoi takes an interest in wanting to see the Milky Way. There’s only one way to do it, right? No, not gear up as an astronaut and go into space, silly.

Scaling To Greater Heights…
So did anything much happen in this anime? I guess not. Though we have been given little insights on some of the basics stuff on mountain climbing, I notice that they are just tools and equipment to get prepared for a hike. There is no serious advice in telling you the do’s and dont’s of mountain climbing. Probably that is because you don’t see the girls climbing a mountain. They are at most considered as hills and anybody young and old can even climb them if they just have the necessary minimum stamina and the determination. Otherwise if you ask me if this anime could serve as a key in persuading people to climb mountains, I guess this is going to be a very far cry from it. Especially the technologically connected young generation who can’t part with their Smart Phones, iPhones, iPads, iPods and all the gadgets that get old fast within a month. Yeah. The mountains have been there for centuries and aeons but in the computer world, a month is like 10,000 years! Haha! Oops. Got sidetracked a little there.

I won’t say Aoi got easily hooked again by the mountain climbing but at least she doesn’t fear it as much as she did. In that case, I wouldn’t say that her phobia of heights were that bad either. Because if it was so, it is going to take more than forceful persuasion of an old friend to get back into this hobby. That’s why I thought she was just a little afraid due to that unfortunate incident. Once bitten, twice shy they say. That’s the case for Aoi. Not the type to mix around, you can say that she’s making a few mountaineer friends of her own and is making good progress. Every group needs to have a cheeky one and this is where carefree Hinata comes in. She plays an important part in getting Aoi back to find the love for mountain climbing. She’s quite a fun girl if you can put aside her cheekiness which can be annoying at times. Sporadic appearances by Kaede and Kokona don’t give them much screen time and do any justice about their characters but I believe they are good and nice people whom Aoi and Hinata can share their passion for mountain climbing.

You know that when you climb mountains and ascend to a different level, it is always associated with the change of air pressure in your ear? What has this got to do with me? Actually when I first heard Aoi’s voice, I thought it was Aki Toyosaki. That slightly goofy voice… But when she pulls off a higher pitch voice, somehow I realize she isn’t so and recognize her as Yuka Iguchi. I suppose she can still pull off less bratty voices like Miku in Senki Zesshou Symphogear. So did the pressure get to my ear? Same case for Kaede. I initially thought Yui Horie was voicing her but to my surprise it is Youko Hikasa. Not the Mio from K-ON! that I know. The cheekiness in Kana Asumi’s voice is still recognizable so I did not make any mistakes on this part as she plays Hinata. Just think of her as a saner version of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san’s Nyaruko or Miya from Amagami SS. To round the cast up, Yui Ogura is Kokona and true to my stereotypes of her voice acting roles, any soft speaking lolis have got to be her voice. See any similarities in Oda Nobuna No Yabou’s Hanbei or Campione’s Athena?

Unfortunately mountain climbing will be one of the many hobbies that I will never consider doing in my life unless there is some drastic change or miracle. I don’t really enjoy losing my breath and trying hard to catch them while trying to traverse vertically. I’m sure I’ll become an annoying kid in the backseat of the car going “Are we there yet?” every 10 seconds. Maybe I won’t understand the feeling of standing at the pinnacle of the mountain and watch the breathtaking view of clouds coating the horizon while the mountains trying to pop through them. Will just watching such spectacle on TV suffice then? After all in life, I have a different ‘mountain’ to climb. Make that heaps of mountains. The top seems unreachable and far from where I stand now…

Kokoro Connect

June 16, 2013

How often do you have the sci-fi and high school genre mashed together? Thoughts of To Aru Majutsu No Index and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun may come to mind. But how about without all the over the top power blasting and action sequences? That means all you have is just lots of drama interaction between the characters. For those who would love the sci-fi genre that involves human bonding and not too much violence, then check out Kokoro Connect. Imagine you are a high school kid. You already have enough problems for your age. Puberty, rebellious and raging hormones, secret love and crushes, homework, tests, club activities, etc. Life is already hectic enough when suddenly the last thing you need is another set of problems. The kind that only exists in sci-fi novels.

Five friends of a certain high school one day suddenly start to experience strange and odd occurrences. They have no control over it and do not know when the phenomenon will hit them again next or when it will end. Worse still, some wise guy or alien or whoever he is tells them this is part of some twisted experiment just to find something interesting. What kind of sicko idea is this? Is this what they call entertainment? Well, why or how this is happening to them is the least of their problems. Although they are at the whims and mercy of this being, going through this phenomenon puts their friendship to the ultimate test. Will it make or break them? Will they grow stronger or descend into craziness? I suppose praying to God won’t really solve your woes because if such sci-fi incidents can occur, chances are God might not even exist. All they have is themselves to rely on and to pull through each excruciating moment while discovering their true selves and others in the process.

Hito Random

Episode 1
Students in Yamaboshi High School are required to join a club. However there are some that are unable to join one because their club has been cancelled due to lack of members. Taichi Yaegase is the only member of his wrestling club. Yui Kiriyama wanted a fancy club for cute things. Yoshifumi Aoki thought there was a club that ‘hits the town’ every night. Iori Nagase had too many clubs to choose from and lets her teacher pick one. Himeko Inaba wanted to join the computer club but had a fall out with the president. All these individuals eventually ended up in a newly formed club called Cultural Research Club (CRC). Taichi, Iori and Inaba are discussing about the news article they want to publish. Iori thinks Inaba should write something erotic. It’s fine as long as Iori is the one having her pictures taken. They ask Taichi’s suggestion. He thinks both of them should strip! Inaba twists his words and will report that he commanded 2 girls to strip. Well, he doesn’t deny it but at least make his name anonymous. The remaining members come in and they have a hard time trying to convey what they want to say. Last night, both of them swapped bodies. Inaba doesn’t believe them and thinks this is a bad joke. Yui confirms this because they both woke up to suddenly find themselves in a different room. Were they dreaming the same dream?

Iori forgot her notebook and returns to class to get them. Suddenly she feels like a different person. In fact, it is a different person in her body. It’s Taichi. What’s the first thing he did when he finds himself in a girl’s body? Grope your own boobs! Is this true? Are these real? Classmate Maiko Fujishima sees her in this unholy act. She gets turned on in wanting to do it for her (I get a feeling she has romantic yuri feelings for her)! Iori (Taichi) is saved when Taichi (Iori) rushes in to bring her away. A tug of war begins. Taichi (Iori) makes Fujishima let go by groping her boobs! The duo return to the club room and realize what Aoki and Yui said were true. Of course Inaba still refuses to believe this joke. The only way to prove it is to ask something that the other would only know. She asks some adult film they borrowed and Aoki confirms this is really Taichi in Iori’s body. Inaba also confirms herself that Iori is in Taichi’s body with an embarrassing question. Because she believes Taichi wouldn’t be able to show this much emotion even if he’s acting. That’s an insult, right? Yui mentions that the body swap thingy lasted around 30-40 minutes. Just then, Taichi and Iori revert back to their own bodies. The friends return to their respective home wondering if this was just a one day phenomenon. They agree not to tell anyone since what are the changes they will believe them. Also, they don’t not want their family to get worried.

Episode 2
Seems this phenomenon continues tomorrow. Yui is in Aoki, Aoki is in Inaba and Inaba is in Yui. While lamenting this in the club room, suddenly everyone returns to their original bodies. Because of that swap, they were skipping class so Inaba, Iori and Taichi got summoned by their casual teacher, Gotou or fondly known as Gossan. Inaba comes up with a reason to let them all off the hook. Then during recess, another swap happens. A little panic here before they return back to normal. Yui is in a pinch because when Taichi was in her body, he entered the boy’s toilet! Now she’s stuck inside! Later when Iori finds out Taichi had groped her own boobs when he was in her body, she gets upset and worked up. While they’re quarrelling this pointless topic (Inaba even reveal their cup sizes), Gossan comes in. Erm, isn’t he acting a little strange? He is not Gossan. Calling himself Balloon Vine (fuusen kazura), he is the one responsible for their body swapping. He is observing them and borrowing Gossan’s body to communicate. They will be randomly swapping bodies with each other and he will be observing them although not 24/7 because for the sake of privacy. Seriously. He did this without their permission but also respects their privacy? He is doing this because they are an interesting bunch of people and he hopes that the swap will have him find something interesting. He advises them to live their lives normally and not tell anyone about this. They don’t need to think about how their personalities switch too. Inaba wants to question him more but he easily pushes her away. Not even Yui’s kick had any effect.

As the friends walk home, Iori mentions she talked to Gossan and he had no memories that he went to their club room. For the time being, they are to keep this among themselves and if they switch bodies and bump into somebody, act like the person they switch with. But after a week, seems they keep screwing up. Especially going to the toilet part. The girls are worried over their purity if the guys swapped with them. Yui notes to Iori that when they swapped, Yui’s place was void of anyone and was alone. It’s dangerous for a girl to be alone. Iori says her parents are divorced and she lives with her mom who works late. Yui still feels that is not okay. The swapping continues and Iori now in Aoki’s body asks Taichi a question about everyone having a soul, consciousness and personality. Physical attributes allow one to identify but these are not tangible or visible. Basically, bodies are the essence of their identities. So if they switch bodies, will they still be themselves? In class, Fujishima needs volunteers to help in this month’s duty to clean up the city. Taichi and Inaba had just switched bodies so the guy volunteers, shocking Fujishima that Inaba actually volunteered. In retaliation, Inaba volunteers too. During the clean up, Fujishima asks it straight to Inaba (Taichi) about her relationship with Iori. Aren’t they just club members? But Taichi (Inaba) gets cheeky and makes it clear that Iori is his woman and to keep her hands off her!

Episode 3
Now that Inaba and Taichi have switched back, he wonders why she did so. He doesn’t want to make enemies. She wants him to save her from Fujishima’s hands. Because he’s in love with her, right? Taichi disagrees with this so Inaba calls him a selfless freak. For example, why did he volunteer for this useless clean up? If he doesn’t, they’d be spared of the suffering. As for Iori, she’s the weakest in CRC and has never seen her so close to breaking down. She thinks that weakness is what she wants and will just have to protect her. She also tells him Iori likes him and needs someone to set her identity. As she is the most vulnerable, this body swap can ruin any one of them any time. Because Taichi isn’t that worried since all the troubles they ran into were minor, Inaba blows her top that he is slow. Because this phenomenon is a disaster. In the club room, if you’re wondering why Inaba and Yui are recording sultry love confessions in their handphone, it’s actually the guys body swapped with them and they’re not going to let this chance go. Of course the real duo come back and before they could run, they ring them in. Disgusted at what they’re doing, Inaba in Aoki’s body is going to strip naked and run around school. He doesn’t care if he dies socially. So I guess the guys learn their lesson never to mess with their bodies again. Or else. They are made to become their gophers doing errands. Aoki notices Yui shaking. He quickly apologizes for not noticing about her fear of men. She runs away and Inaba goes after her. Aoki feels bad because he can’t believe he never noticed this on the girl he loves despite she was good in hiding it. He has hurt her pretty bad. Later on their way out, Aoki thinks Taichi is much suited for Yui because he is the type who would just jump in to save her. He fears that she might even fall for him.

When Taichi is talking to his sister, he suddenly finds himself in Yui’s room. And she is crying. They call to meet up. Taichi is the second person after Inaba that she will reveal her reason of having fear of men. When she was in middle school, a man nearly raped her. She was able to fight her way out since she took karate lessons. But it soon dawned to her that men were really strong and had this mentality formed she could never win against them. Taichi wants to help her and prove that she can’t lose to any man. The quickest way to teach her is to kick right at the crotch! OUCH! Remember, they are still in each other’s body. What the hell is this excruciating pain?! Suddenly they swap back and Taichi is so screwed. How does it feel to get kicked by yourself? Most painful thing ever. They retreat when Fujishima is coming by walking her dog. Though Yui isn’t happy that she had to feel a man’s pain, at least it worked for her. Every guy is the same. They can’t do anything after something like that. Yui is grateful that he was willing to hurt his own body to give her encouragement and confidence. Next day in school, Yui happily thanks Taichi. Their other friends suspect something must have happened for them to be this close. I don’t think Aoki is going to buy the fact that he just listened to her. Inaba wonders how he did it. All he did was to give her a push. She is glad that something good came out of this body swapping because all she could think of was disaster. Suddenly Inaba collapses.

Episode 4
Resting in the infirmary, there is nothing life threatening on Inaba. She’s just not feeling well. Taichi and Iori walk Inaba home so the girls force him to tell what happened between him and Yui. Inaba is laughing her ass off after hearing how he did it. Does it still hurt down there? Or does his heart hurt now? However Iori seems sad. She never knew Yui was so afraid of men. Taichi says to just treat her the same as always. Inaba notes that Taichi and Iori match each other. She also reminds Taichi that his kindness can hurt people too. I know. He hurt himself. Bad. After seeing off Inaba into her home, Iori will tell him her past if he promises to treat her the same as always. At the bridge, Iori says she has 5 dads. Woah. What? Legally, she has only 3. Her second that was the problematic one because he was violent. She observed that if she did what he wanted, he won’t get mad. That was her goal. So she changed her tastes and personality to suit him. In other words, there are a few versions of her. After he left, her mom was apologetic that she never thought how she felt and should live the way she wants. But that’s the problem. She didn’t know how to live the way she wanted. Because of her multiple personalities, she didn’t know what she liked. Then this body swapping came along. She lost so much of her original self and at the rate they’re going, she’ll lose whatever little remains and before long she’ll fade away. Taichi won’t let that happen because he will always know who she is. He stops short of confessing his love when he remembers the selfless freak word.

Taichi and Inaba had a short spell of body swap and the former felt another round of pain since Inaba is sick. He wants to help but she is adamant she will be okay. Since he is adamant, she lets him know then. She can’t trust anyone. Ever since the body swapping phenomenon, whatever someone does, be it crime or not, the responsibility falls on the body’s original owner. This is worrying her to a point she can’t sleep and she hates herself for being able to imagine things like that. Taichi assures they won’t hate her but Inaba still feels everyone is her enemy. Especially Taichi. She might not have trauma like Iori or Yui but she has been distrustful of others since birth. The only way to change that is to stop being herself. Taichi believes everyone will accept her and just to tell it to them. She can’t do something that risky. Anyhow, she needs to accept herself first. Taichi is willing to tell her a deep secret. The kind that could destroy his school life. He has masturbated to Inaba before. And to Yui and Iori too. She starts laughing and then labels him a pervert (and other equivalents). Though that part of him is fine, she just feels everything is just stupid. She becomes emotional wondering if he’s trying to make her fall for him. So when Inaba reveals this to the rest, they feel she’s just over thinking things and a worrywart. They assure they won’t do anything bad if they’re in her body. With this over, Taichi feels embarrassed about his deep secret and hopes Inaba could forget about it. However she lets him in on a deep secret of her own: She has masturbated to him too. I think she’s joking!

Episode 5
The friends are hiding behind the bush eavesdropping on Aoki trying in one of his attempts to confess to Yui. He asks her feelings on Taichi. She loves him. As a friend. Though she doesn’t hate Aoki, she can’t go out with anyone right now. Aoki is relieved because he still has a chance. Inaba purposely let Taichi and Iori watch this to stimulate them. Later when Iori and Taichi are alone in the club room, seems Iori and Inaba switched. Inaba asks about Taichi’s feelings for Iori. He likes the way they are now and doesn’t want to ruin it. Then Inaba walks in. Taichi realizes he has been tricked. Iori was pretending to be Inaba. She starts crying and runs away. He then remembers it’s his own fault. He told her he would recognize no matter who she is and yet he just failed back there. Inaba punches him and wants him to go after her. He bumps into Fujishima who surprisingly tells where Iori went. He finds her at the bridge and apologizes. She proves that as long as someone else is inside, no one can tell who is really on the inside. Taichi tries to reconcile with her. He wished he could be like her because he can’t show his emotions the way she does. Despite she has multiple personalities, they are all Iori. Once they’re back on good terms, Iori wished that she could be more like him because he knows exactly who he is. No matter who she pretends to be, he’ll always be himself. She wished she could make other people feel more secure like him. Taichi confesses she likes her and wants to go out with her. Suddenly Balloon Vine takes over her body. He apologizes in advance and passes to Taichi, Iori’s handphone before jumping off the bridge! Holy sh*t!!!

Iori is in critical condition and her friends are very worried. When Balloon Vine appears in Gossan’s body, he tells them Iori’s body will die soon. They must decide which one of them will die with Iori’s body and have 30 minutes to do so. During this period, they can voluntarily switch with anybody. So, it’s like telling whom to kill, eh? But they don’t want Iori to die too. And if no decision is made, she will. Well, there’s a possibility Balloon Vine is lying. Taichi wants to be the one but Inaba is not happy with his selfless freak attitude. She thinks he may be helping others but is just doing it for himself. He admits it. He hates seeing others getting hurt and would rather get hurt himself because at least he will know how much it’ll hurt. So she’s right. He’s not doing it for others. He’s doing it for his selfless freak self. Since they need to tell Iori about this, Aoki voluntarily switches with her. So once Iori learns about this, she is willing to die because killing others and living in that body is a sin too heavy for her to bear and live with. So she has a word with each other them privately. Finally Iori (now in Inaba’s body) tells Taichi she can now love herself. Then she breaks down that she doesn’t really want to die since he confessed. She professes she loves him and since they can’t go out, she wants a memory instead. They kiss. The time is up and so Iori decides she will die in her own body. She wants Balloon Vine to promise he will not do this to anyone else. Once the switch is made, the doctor comes out. Don’t tell me it’s over! The doctor is relieved to relay the good news that she will be fine. Balloon Vine pops up and gives them a gift as apology. Everyone is so relieved Iori will live. Inaba realizes he planned this from the start. Balloon Vine says they can do a lot more than they think they can. He never intended to hurt Iori in the first place since they can’t cause such trouble for a normal good person. He even made sure her handphone didn’t get wet. Though he won’t ask to be forgiven, this experience is for their benefit. In no time Iori is back to her normal health and the body swapping has stopped ever since. However there is something that Inaba is not amused with. Taichi took her first kiss with her body, right? Now how is he going to pay her back… That devilish laughter means he won’t get off so easily.

Kizu Random

Episode 6
The body switch has completely stopped so Inaba thinks of catching up on her news article. Inaba and Taichi are the ones only in the club room and Taichi thinks she’s relieving her stress by taking it out on him. Suddenly Inaba starts undressing and goes over Taichi. Is she serious? She wants him to undress too. She falls over him and he has his hand on her breast. Aoki and Yui come in to see this unbelievable scandal. Yui is so mad that she splits the desk into half! Oh sh*t! Iori just came in and is shocked to see Yui’s hand bleeding. That night, Taichi and Iori suddenly get an impulse to call each other. They don’t know why but they just feel like they wanted to talk and hear from each other. She wonders if his feelings have changed since then.  They haven’t. Not a bit. Next day in class, Taichi learns from Iori and Inaba that Aoki and Yui are being detained by the police. Fujishima offers to tell them if they lend Iori to her for 2 hours. Iori is prepared for the worst just for her friends but Fujishima was just joking. She will tell them even if Iori refused. Disappointed after all that mental preparation? Seems several boys from another school tried to hit on girls from Yamaboshi. Yui happened to be there and went too far by beating them up. The police wanted to question her at the station but that’s when Aoki showed up and fought with them. How did Fujishima know all this? Her dad happens to be a highly ranked police. Inaba wants to make some deal with her for useful connections and Fujishima will gladly do it for a cost she’ll keep it cheap for her. The duo fear a terrible combo is in the making. Later in the club room, the gang discuss about Yui beating up boys from another school. See the weird part? Yui is supposed to be afraid of men and even if she did improve, it won’t be this drastic. Then they realize they all experienced something similar. Before they act on an impulse, they heard a voice in their head.

Then Balloon Vine pops up and confirms that they will be hearing them more often. When that happens, their body will act on impulse. To simply put it, the desires in their heart will be unleashed. I guess there is going to be another round of experiment. They’re too interesting to be left alone. It will only end if they show him something interesting. Besides, he is helping them to find their true selves. Inaba asks if a shut-in can be interesting. He puts it this way. If something is not interesting, he’ll make it interesting. The friends realize this desire unleashing phenomenon may be more dangerous than the body swap. Because you can’t help yourself and there is risk of getting others involved. Taichi accidentally points out how Inaba got on top of him. She beats him up but it’s too late because Iori got curious. Inaba just tells her the truth and the reason why she became flirty was because she accidentally saw a dirty picture. Inaba says there are 2 ways to deal with it. Empty their minds so as not to have desires or do whatever they want to avoid stress from building up. They suggest of helping each other out and deal with the situation on a case by case basis. Inaba than shoos away her friends to go home because she wants to finish the article herself. Once they leave, she breaks down. That night, Iori calls Taichi. She wants to maintain their distance for now because of this desire unleashing thingy. She feels it is dangerous considering she still doesn’t know much about herself. At the same time she is glad because with her desires unleashed, she may find out who she really is. Taichi supports her that she can see her true self in how she lives her life since looking at herself objectively is part of who she is. Once they hang up, Taichi vows to make this work. Iori too have to get it right this time.

Episode 7
Inaba wonders why Taichi came late to school. It seems his desire to sleep was unleashed. What? Seems he slept through his alarm. His sister tried to wake him up and since he didn’t, she panicked and thought he died! Mother calmed her down and sent her to school. Shortly after Taichi woke up and was told what happened. So this desire thingy can be unleashed even when he is unconscious? But this is nothing compared to Iori. She’s hiding her head in embarrassment. Apparently earlier in class they had a quiz. She suddenly felt like shouting “Yahoo!” and did just that. In the club room, the gang discuss about Yui. Ever since that incident she has locked herself in her room and skipped school. Aoki gets upset about Balloon Vine pulling such a stunt but before he have this killing intent, Inaba tells him to name 5 good things about Yui to calm him down. Taichi wants to go save her but it seems he let his emotions taken over. The rest try to hold him back. Inaba wants Iori to tackle him from the front but as they’re arguing over this method, Taichi has already calmed down. Later Inaba notes to Taichi that he is the one in the most danger this time. Because at the hospital he was willing to die for Iori. He may die for real this time. The next day, the friends decide to pay Yui a visit. However at the doorstep she tells them to go away. Since Yui’s mom just returned, she brings them in and hopes Yui would come out to see them. She still refuses. They try to persuade her not to make her mom worry so I guess Inaba uses her trump card. She will tell her 3 sizes and instantly Yui opens the door to let them in. Wow. Such magic words.

In her room, Yui seems to have got a pimple on her forehead and put on some weight due to overeating. You can thank her desires unleashed for that. But the real reason why she is staying away is because ever since that incident whereby she beat up those boys, she fears that will happen again and thinks this way no one will get hurt if she isolates herself. However this pisses off Inaba because she too thought of the same idea but remembers Balloon Vines’ words of making things interesting. So if they don’t do anything interesting, he’ll force them too. Which means he can make all of them jump off the bridge and they all will end up in hospital. She scolds Yui that for taking the easy way out, it will cause them further problems. Yui becomes scared and that’s when Inaba realizes her desire to launch a scathing verbal attack got the better of her. Next day in class, a classmate tries to ask Iori about Yui but Iori answered back in a rude way she didn’t know. This causes the classmate to tell her off about her attitude. Taichi notices Inaba not doing anything to protect Iori and it was Fujishima who stepped in to quell the situation. Iori apologizes and the matter is settled. Later Taichi meets Inaba who wants to go straight home instead of visiting Yui. She feels she would make things worse if she went. Before they know it, an argument ensues with especially Taichi accusing her of turning her back on friends. When tears start to well in her eyes, the argument stops. Back in the club room, Iori, Taichi and Aoki think of visiting Yui again when they receive message from her not to come over.

Episode 8
Now Inaba wants to be left alone. She won’t go to the club room or Yui’s house too. Taichi feels he was too harsh on her but Inaba is okay with it. Really? With Taichi, Aoki and Iori left, Taichi feels it’s best to save Yui now. Aoki didn’t like his save everybody mindset. The guys start arguing. The biggest blow came when Taichi accuses Aoki for unable to do anything during the body swapping phenomenon. It could’ve got ugly if Iori didn’t step in to stop them. Unfortunately it got ugly. Taichi pushes her away till she slams her head into the cabinet. When Aoki points out this selfless freak attitude of his that makes others get hurt, the guys suddenly realize and calm down. Relationships among the friends start to strain that it becomes obvious to their other close classmate friends. Fujishima announces the upcoming field trip and are to form groups with 5 to 6 people each. The reason she is doing this is for the purpose of love! How often do you get such opportunity? The smaller the group, the higher chance of you-know-what. Iori invites Inaba to join their group but the latter tells her to stay away. Desires unleashed, Iori argues with her at the top of her voice. After Inaba calms her down, Iori excuses herself to the toilet. Fujishima decides to she will have Iori, Inaba, Taichi and Shingo Watase in her group. Watase has a major crush on Fujishima so joining this group is a dream come true. Inaba doesn’t approve of this but as class rep and defender of love and peace, it is her duty to see that her classmates get along well. No objections!

Later as Taichi sits alone in the classroom, Gossan comes in to request his help to fix a desk. Seems he isn’t possessed by Balloon Vine. Gossan can tell Taichi is depressed and figures he got dumped. He advises him to talk to his friends. Taichi is worried because doing so may hurt them. But Gossan notes that is what being friends is all about. You hurt and cause problems for each other. Eh? What? Anyway, if they’re really friends, everything should work out just fine when you take a direct approach. On the way back, they bump into Fujishima. Gossan wants her to listen to what Taichi has to say. But Fujishima dismisses she is Taichi’s friend. She is his rival! Oh. This just got a little more complicated. So Taichi tells about the talking and the hurting. So how? Don’t talk. But you can’t do something if you don’t talk. Then talk. Eh? But the hurting? Fujishima says which is more important: Not hurting or talking and accomplishing something. There are lots of things that will go wrong if he doesn’t decide. Either way, people hurting each other is inevitable. With Taichi enlightened, he realizes everyone is worried about them, not just themselves. There is more to this world than the 5 of them. When Taichi enters the club room, no one is there. But there is a note on the blackboard from Iori saying that she has gone to visit Yui. After all, the best defence is a good offence.

Episode 9
Iori rushes back to the club room when she got mail from Taichi. He wanted to confess the big jerk he is and his selfless freak attitude of forcing his believes onto everyone. He realizes that he prefers to stay with everyone after distancing himself. It also made him realize he would rather stay and hurt her rather than being separated and not hurt Iori. Those words bring tears to her eyes because she too thought of the same thing. The plan is to tell everyone this. Taichi talks to Aoki first and apologizes first. Aoki feels frustrated because he wanted to do it first but was beaten. The guys made up and admit their shortcomings and jealousy over the other. As the guys make their way to Yui’s house, they had another round of talk. They feel that they did something during their body switch and similarly there’s something they can do when their desires are unleashed. Aoki thinks he has an idea. The guys try to convince Yui to return to school. Same answer. Not going. Don’t want to hurt people. Aoki argues that even if her desires do get unleashed, if her desire not to do it is stronger, then she won’t do it. Aoki wants to prove it to her and starts off by confessing he loves her. He adds he’s got one hell of a dirty mind on that too. He might even assault her! She starts throwing her plushies at the creep but he wants to prove he can suppress his desires. That’s because hurting her is the one thing he will never do to her. He knows it won’t happen but if it does she can beat the crap out of him. Now it’s Taichi’s turn. He asks if she has ever hurt anyone before this incident. There was when she was just practising her martial arts. However that was when she doesn’t know what it meant to hurt someone. Now she does and doesn’t want to hurt others. This proves her desire not to hurt others might be stronger. Yui is convinced and agrees to return to school. She hopes that if she gets violent, they can stop her. Aoki wants her to rephrase that as “Please protect me”. This honourable knight would gladly do so.

With Yui’s return, Iori is so happy that she goes to hug her. Like she has never seen her in 10 years. To celebrate her return, they bought too much food. I guess their desires got unleashed in the convenience store to get everything. Then it turns into a big comical chaotic mess because everybody starts getting their desire unleashed to grab the food they want to eat. Food fight! As Inaba bums around in her own room, she gets a surprise visit from Gossan. It’s not Gossan! It’s Balloon Vine! He’s here to tell her it’s not over yet. He notices her browsing the internet, something she always did back in middle school. He notes she has always been the loner type and not trusting anyone, building walls around herself. His presence here is to shake things up. He’s going to make things interesting if things aren’t. He mentions she is troubled and not because of this desires unleashed phenomenon. Pointing out a certain place is important to her, she could just destroy it if she tires of it. Judging from her state of mind, if she destroys that place, she would take down the entire world with it. Also, there is something in her heart that is just as important. Inaba pretends she doesn’t know but Balloon Vine could see through that. He thinks she might destroy that place if her feelings were found out. Inaba tells him to shut up. It is a sign that she admitted it. Once she does, there’s no turning back. Inaba wonders if he will be doing this to the rest but he says this is just a special visit just for her. Wondering why he used Gossan’s body instead of one of her family members, it’s because not many people would mind a gap in their memory. Inaba shows up at school as everyone prepares to leave for the field trip via bus.

Episode 10
Trekking up the slope, Iori’s desire has unleashed because she’s bugging Taichi to give her a piggy back ride. Inaba remains distant. During cooking, Inaba got hers unleashed when she challenges Iori to see who can cut things faster. Fujishima has her group wait before digging in their curry rice because she’s going to add in a special spice. That spice is love. I guess nobody is bothered to hear her brag since they’re too hungry. Tastes good, huh? While washing the dishes, Taichi points out to Inaba that she has a little bleeding on her fingernail. She flusters and will get the band aid herself. When she sucks her finger, Iori is stunned. She realizes something. She asks if Inaba is in love with Taichi. That’s when Inaba baulks and runs away. She panics now that the truth is out. Once Iori catches up, she wants to really know if it’s true because she was trying to get her and Taichi together so it doesn’t make sense. Since Inaba didn’t say anything, Iori blows her top and becomes more assertive while Inaba is reduced to tears. Character reversal? Just like a variation to the body swap. From what they converse, Inaba had kept quiet because she is afraid they won’t be friends anymore. You know when a boy and girl get romantically involved, friendship goes out the door. She was always alone till she came to high school and joined CRC. They are her first friends and doesn’t want to lose them. Iori dismisses her stupid anxiety because she needs to make clear her feelings and this isn’t about showing signs of weakness. Also, she shouldn’t view and compare herself as a useless person because at the end of the day, everybody will still love Inaba for who she is. Iori vows to always be her friend. Inaba is relieved because she always wanted somebody to tell her that. But she feels it is too late because she’ll get in Iori and Taichi’s way and doesn’t want to ruin CRC. Iori further shrugs off her rubbish thoughts because she’s been trying hard to keep them together. Besides, their friendship won’t end over a lousy guy, right? They both made up and somewhat renew their friendly rivalry over Taichi. I think that guy is going to be the one who is really in trouble.

Just when Iori realizes her desires has stopped being unleashed, Balloon Vine takes over her body. He is here to warn Inaba that although this desires unleashed phenomenon will soon be over, Taichi is in danger. He has fallen. And Balloon Vine didn’t have a hand in it. Inaba becomes devastated thinking Taichi must have fallen over the deep abyss where the garbage is and rushes back. Although Taichi is messed up, he is fine. Turns out he was trying to save a stuck kitten on a tree when the branch broke. Inaba is so relieved that the first thing she did when she goes up to Taichi is to elbow him in the gut! That’s for the unnecessary worries. Then she breaks down and cries uncontrollably. I guess it’s making everyone panic. Did Taichi say something wrong? She won’t stop crying… After the field trip and back at school, Inaba meets Taichi privately. She musters enough courage to confess she loves him. Shocked, stunned, feel honoured, feel happy, blah, blah, blah. You know that response when a girl confesses to you. But… He’s in love with Iori. Inaba laughs and is relieved because it’s not like they’re dating yet so she still has a chance to come in between them and snatch him. I suppose getting him is easy. It’s just the part about fending off Iori… She’s is telling him this because it’s going to be fair game to the finish. She even told Iori about this confession plan of hers. To shut Taichi up, she kisses him. That’s payback for the time he took her first kiss. Inaba leaves and becomes somewhat hysterical. Relieved. Laughing. Crying. Happy. Sad. Just realized she kissed him. It was one helluva crazy day. Inaba returns to the club room and is cheerful than before. Though she can still be her old nasty self if you push her.

Kako Random

Episode 11
On New Year’s Day, Taichi and Inaba are married with kids. JUST KIDDING!!! Seems Iori, Yui and Aoki have turned into kids and like the children their age, they are restless at the shrine. Fujishima spots them and has a feeling she has seen them somewhere before. Taichi says they are relatives. Of course we know they aren’t so we go back in time on the last day before winter break. In the club room, the blackboard had everyone’s name except Taichi’s and a time 12pm-5pm. Suddenly Yui and Iori feel hot within their body and they shrink! They become kids! Although they can identify everyone well, they don’t know why they are here and have the mindset of a kid. The rest think Balloon Vine is at it again. Then when it hits 5pm, the kids turn back into their usual self. So the quintet discuss about this time regression thingy. Iori and Yui have no recollection when they were turned into kids but it seems they vividly remember the memories during that age like it was yesterday. To prevent others from seeing this phenomenon, Inaba suggests that between the stated period, they can hideout in a building near her house that will be undergoing demolition. Taichi goes home and gets teased by his sister about hanging out with his girlfriend on Christmas. Suddenly his sister changes personality. He thinks it’s Balloon Vine but the voice somewhat denies. She is Balloon Vine but is not. Confused? Split personality? She puts it as not the Balloon Vine he knows. Anyway she wants Taichi to be a knight. It will be bad if all of them turned into kids so it’s his job to make sure nothing bad happens. She will keep watch but wants him to keep a secret about her. Otherwise she will make this phenomenon last forever. Next day, Taichi sees Yui arguing with an old friend and karate rival. Chinatsu Mihashi is not pleased Yui broke her promise though Yui doesn’t remember and has long quit the karate club. When the friends meet in the building, once the clock strikes 12, Inaba and Aoki turn into kids. Iori and Yui are so awestruck by Inaba’s cuteness that they start doting on her! I think they are the ones being creepy. So can you blame Inaba for being scared of them? Aoki surprises everyone when he recognizes Yui as Nana’s big sister. Then just before the clock strikes 5, they realize the kids are in kiddie clothes. What happens when they grow big? Yup. They rush to change Inaba but she is too scared to let go of Taichi. I guess that is what happens when you dote too much. So while the guys manage to avert their eyes in time, Inaba is shocked to find herself naked!

The quintet discuss the disturbing theme of having no memories during that 5 hour period. They think Taichi may be the only one who won’t get regressed since his name is not on the board. They also think Balloon Vine should pop up and explain to them but feel he is taking too long this time. Yui asks Aoki about Nana. Who is she? Nana Nishino was a girl who once lived near him. He once dated her during middle school. However she moved away. Yui wonders if she would look like her if she was in high school. No reaction from Aoki. On the way back, Taichi talks to Aoki that he wasn’t himself back then because he would’ve declared how much she loved Yui anyway. Aoki says Taichi has not experienced the regression so he doesn’t know. Because the memories of the period stayed fresh, it’s confusing him. He remembers he loved Nana so much and wonders when he stopped loving her. Is it still there or gone forever? What does it mean to love someone? Yui is looking at old photos during her time with Mihashi. Her sister, Anzu sees this and mentions to her she bumped into Mihashi earlier in the day. She asks why Yui stopped karate but Yui suddenly breaks down and cry. Next day, Taichi meets Iori on his way to the building. Iori wants him to pay attention of how she was as a kid if she gets regressed. Then she mentions about the chance to relive one’s past and do something different because if she does, she would want to redo them better. Iori and Aoki turn into kids this time. Because cheeky Iori is happily clinging to Taichi like her big brother, this doesn’t sit well with Inaba. They’re love rivals, remember? She pulls his ear when Inaba notes how they are in perfect sync, just like a couple. Inaba likes the sound of it and goes off to treat her. Taichi wonders if this is what Iori meant by changing her personality depending on the situation. Inaba asks him how she was when she turned into a child. She was pretty scared of Iori and Yui. Inaba reveals she was always afraid of something. She still is. Thinking everybody has a secret or two they don’t want others to know and sometimes it’s better off not remembering some things about yourself, she is afraid that one day this might someday ruin all of them.

Episode 12
Their worst fear is confirmed: Iori turns into a toddler. Did Inaba get the wrong idea that the guys want her to feed Iori with her breast milk?! While taking a walk, they come into Anzu and Mihashi. They are suspicious of Yui and want an explanation. Inaba takes Aoki and Iori to run while leaving the rest to Taichi. I don’t know how they explained it that it isn’t a love triangle and the baby doesn’t belong to any one of them. But it was good enough for Anzu to return home. Mihashi isn’t done yet. Learning the CRC she joined, she wonders where the cool Yui has gone too. The current Yui is goofy and nothing compared to the old one. Yui asserts she doesn’t remember any promise so Mihashi is going to fight her and open her eyes. Bring it on. Well, Yui lost. She agrees to leave after they promise to explain things to her later. Back at the building, Yui takes out her frustration on little Aoki who still thinks she is Nana’s sister. Once the regression is over, Aoki feels confused if he loves Yui because she looks like Nana. New Year came and went and the day after, Yui regresses to her old self when she is afraid of men. At the end of the day, Mihashi bugs Yui for her answer. Yui is annoyed by her persistence as she doesn’t want to remember about her past. Aoki thinks it is no harm hearing her out but she lashes at him a half hearted guy who loves her because she looks like his old girlfriend has no right to tell her what to do. Aoki replies she isn’t doing this right because she’s not confronting her problems, but running away and making excuses to give up. Oops. I think he just made her tear up. So I guess Taichi has to talk to her alone again. She remembers her promise. Before Mihashi moved away she wanted to fight her in the Nationals. She totally forgot about that, gave up and lived half heartedly. Suddenly Yui confesses she loves him. But it’s just to make an example that if someone kept saying that to you always, would their feelings change if there is no real response? And if the confessor stopped confessing, what should the other person do? Yui used to think she was strong and didn’t rely on others. Now she’s depending on everyone, can’t return the favour, gave up her dream and feels empty.

Everyone except Yui are at the restaurant when Aoki remembers something important. He forgot to be laidback. Huh? He wants to go see Nana now. Taichi accompanies him and on the train, Aoki reveals he had a classmate who died in an accident. She worked really hard and looked what became of her. He’s not saying her efforts were useless. It made him think to enjoy life to the fullest. That way, he can consider his life as awesome when he dies. Aoki meets Nana outside her house. She’s surprised to see him. He confesses he loved her so much but now has someone else whom he loves even more. I hope Nana doesn’t get the wrong idea the person he is in love with is Taichi! No way! They say their goodbyes and their chapter comes to a close. When they return, Aoki confronts Yui. He says living the moment is important to him that’s why he got confused when he remembered his past. He went to see Nana to confirm his love. He really did because he was living life to the fullest. Now he is trying even harder. He was in love with Nana. Now he is in love with Yui not because she looks like Nana but for who she is. This time it’s tears of joy and Yui’s turn to have her say. She knew it all along that she hated herself. She admits making excuses to give up on everything. She used to hate losing. Since when did she stop caring about winning or losing. Thanks to him, she can be strong again. She sums up her courage to hug him. She is relieved that she can do it if she tries. By this time, Aoki regresses to a kid. Yui vows to make him recognize she is the one and only Yui. That isn’t necessary because Aoki could clearly tell who she is. The rest conclude that Aoki have sorted things out that’s why his head is clear. Inaba worries this phenomenon will be a problem if it drags on till school starts. Taichi assures this won’t last long. That blooper causes Inaba to be suspicious that he knows something. Spill it out now!

Episode 13
Taichi tells what happen with his encounter with Balloon Vine The Second. Because of this, The Second possesses Iori’s body and regrets picking Taichi. Now he is going to pay. Taichi regresses to a kid and this time the times are uncertain. It’s no more the usual 12 to 5. Anybody can change any time. Now they can’t even go home. But Iori wants to go home just to talk to her mom when she regresses into a child. Dead into the night, she returns back to normal and since Taichi is still awake, they talk. Iori can’t help think about redoing her past because it leaves her feeling guilty and regret. After watching how amazing Yui and Aoki were, she doesn’t think she can be like them. Morning comes, Yui has a little trouble telling her mom on the phone about being away last night. Shortly, Iori mom calls to say her second dad wants to get back together. Iori panics and tells her friends her story. But she thinks this may be her chance to redo things differently. If she had done so, everything would have worked out better. There were so many choices and she feels she chose the wrong one. Then she gets a call. This time from her second dad. Seems pretty frantic. Now Iori is frantic. Then she regresses but only for a minute. She wants to go save mom because she loves her. Just when she really needs to go, her friends tell her to hold her horses. Iori clearly remembers what happened then and breaks down. Inaba tells her off she’s in this mess because she didn’t tell anyone and tried to do everything herself. Her friends believe that if it’s her problem, it is also theirs. All she needs to do is to say it and ask. With that, Iori requests their help. The quintet rush to Iori’s place but Aoki turns into a kid. Yui offers to look after him and will catch up once he returns to normal. Outside Iori’s house, they hear plates crashing. Iori bangs on the door but she regresses into a baby. Taichi and Inaba take her and run away.

Balloon Vine (in Gossan’s body) meets them as Iori returns back to normal. He says the phenomenon is over now and he didn’t appear sooner because he had things to take care off. Because The Second had her own ideas and acting on her own conscious, he made sure that will never happen nor will she meddle in their affairs again. Balloon Vine asks Iori if she wants to do things differently. Because he causes her a bit of a problem the last time, he feels he can make it up to her by offering her to return to her past and redo things. Iori doesn’t think it’s possible. She always wanted to be herself and mommy might be happier. She won’t even cause anybody trouble. Taichi and Inaba hold her hand and say the love her the way she is. After Iori composes herself, she rejects his offer. She is who she is now because of her past. Redoing those past mistakes would mean she right now is a mistake. She wouldn’t be here had she not lived her past the way she did. Therefore, she won’t redo her past. Everyone then gathers outside Iori’s house as her mom lets them in. Her dad went out for a while so Iori asks mom if she loves him or feels happy around him. There was a time she would but now she’s not sure. She let him lived back here again because she thought Iori was trying to find something. Iori mentions about redoing her past. All she cared was if mommy was happy. Mommy on the other hand doesn’t mind putting up with him if Iori is happy. But Iori can’t be happy if mommy is not happy. That settles it. The father returns and starts banging on the door like crazy. What are they going to do? Call the police? Mommy will handle it herself. Once she opens the door, she starts scolding him and tells him to scram! That guy turns into a coward and even apologizes! He even promised never to return! Wow! Don’t underestimate this woman. It only proves he was just all hot air and a tin can. In the end, Iori decides to be thankful instead of holding a grudge. It was the only way she could move on. Because of him, she is here now. Oh, not forgetting her friends too. Yui makes up with Mihashi and thinks of taking up karate again. She renews their promise that if they are going to face each other, it’ll be at the Nationals. Taichi narrates their lives return back to normal. It is unclear if Balloon Vine will show up again and stir things up. But as long as they’re together, they can get through it.

Michi Random

Episode 14
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Taichi confesses to Iori he loves her and wants to go out with her. However she turns him down and wants him to forget she ever said she loved him. It’s no wonder that Taichi sinks into depression on Valentine’s Day. They’re in the middle of their fourth phenomenon courtesy of Balloon Vine. Three days ago, he tells the CRC members they will have emotion transmission. They will randomly feel the emotions of others whether they want to know it or not. The timing and whose emotions they feel will change at random. You’ll know you will receive it when you suddenly receive thoughts of the person. The person whose heart was probed will know who receives them but those on the receiving side won’t know who else receives them. Inaba asks about The Second and Balloon Vine answers ‘they’ have taken an interest in him since he has become more interesting. Inaba wants to get back at Balloon Vine and others who are observing them so that they will stop this phenomenon experiment on them once and for all. Except Iori who seems to be spacing out. Fujishima could tell Taichi is having love problems. She even guesses right Iori rejected him. That’s because she’s the class’ Love God. Whatever. Anyway this is happy news for her because this means Iori is one step nearer for her for the taking. She tells him to stop moping and go out with Inaba (she could guess that too because it’s pretty obvious on Inaba’s face) so that she’ll have a brighter chance with Inaba. Taichi receives Inaba’s feelings on whether to give him chocolates or not. When he returns to the club room, he finds out from the rest that Gossan may quit their club as their advisor. Because it’s his turn to do administrative work next year, he can’t handle 2 clubs at the same time. He is also the advisor for Jazz Club. Obviously they want Gossan as their advisor because he doesn’t check on them and leaves them to their own device. If they get a serious advisor, they can kiss their freedom goodbye. They decide to check out the Jazz Club to see what they’re up against. Guess what? Gossan is playing the saxophone like a pro! Wow! As club member Shouto Shiroyama points out, they have a good reason to keep him.

The CRC members further discuss it is going to be tough to take the Jazz Club down. Yui and Aoki receive transmission and find out about Inaba’s crush on Taichi. So Inaba no choice has to spill everything that she and Iori are head to head in seducing Taichi. She assures it won’t turn into anything messy. When everybody learns Iori turned Taichi down, Inaba becomes upset because it seems like her feelings were tossed away. Iori tries to calm her down but the transmission makes Inaba hear Iori’s feelings that it’s none of her business and her selfish attitude. Iori then receives Inaba’s feelings, something which the latter quickly brushes off. However it’s too late because Iori ‘broke’. Later Iori and Inaba talk. Iori tells her she doesn’t want to go out with Taichi anymore and thus not to mind her. Inaba thinks she should rethink her decision because of this phenomenon which is impairing their decision making. Iori says there is no difference with Balloon Vine’s or external influence. Iori and Taichi confessed only because of the body swapping. Besides, does Inaba really want her and Taichi to start dating? Later Inaba calls Taichi to talk. She receives his feelings he has trouble choosing between them. Taichi praises both of them and I think Inaba loves to hear all that. She gives him her chocolates. It’s a day late but what the heck. Though Inaba doesn’t know what to do, at least she knows she loves him. Back in the club room, Aoki isn’t happy Yui gave the same chocolates to Taichi that she gave to him. Obligation chocolate? What about all the other males she has given to? Her classmates and dojo mates… Well, it shows that there is progress in overcoming her fear over men. Of course this also irks Inaba that Yui may even like Taichi. But she brushes it off and likes him just as a friend. Then they get down to business to discuss what they shall do for club presentation to outdo the Jazz Club. Iori comes in and since she’s being gloomy, she decides to leave. Not even Aoki could stop her. Aoki walks home alone thinking how he thought if he be himself, everyone would go back to being themselves. That didn’t work. Balloon Vine walks up to him to ask him what he can do. Noting he is the most useless out of the 5, he says it’s not that he’s not doing anything, rather he can’t do anything. Receiving Yui’s thoughts on him, Aoki feels if Yui is thinking about him, he can fight harder than everyone else. He asserts he will be himself. Not interesting? Then quit experimenting on them. Balloon Vine walks away hinting this may be the last time he’ll ever talk to him.

Episode 15
Shiroyama tries to confess to Iori but she doesn’t want to hear it. He tries telling her good points so she tells him off he’s just like everybody else who love her good side. He doesn’t even know the real her. Later Kaoru Setouchi (supposedly who likes Shiroyama) confronts Iori about her sh*tty attitude. Iori tells it back to her she’s the same with a straight face. Rumours have gone around about Iori’s rejection and she doesn’t even care about dismissing them. Taichi tries to talk to her and give her some encouragement but her feelings transmitted to him to stay out of this because it’s none of his business. Taichi then hears Inaba’s feelings to disband CRC. He meets up with her to talk about it. She admits she has been thinking about it for some time. Because Balloon Vine sees them as a set, if they disband, he may not see them as a set anymore and stop the phenomena. Of course this isn’t guaranteed it will happen this way. More importantly, Iori’s negative attitude is affecting the entire class and they need to do something about it before her reputation gets worse. Taichi wonders if she’s okay that they will have to separate to stop this phenomenon. Of course not. She wants them all to be together. Taichi thinks the same too as Inaba makes him repeat his last line about wanting her to stay on. With emotion. Then Taichi shouts out loud his rejection to get over it. He feels better. Back home, he talks to his sister about the Valentine chocolates she gave. He thought she gave it to him as a lover but she laughs it off her love for him is just brotherly. She gives him her first kiss on his cheek. He is damn happy about it. Oh… Those feelings got transmitted to his friends. Disgusting lolicon… Or rather, siscon… Yui notices Iori being indirectly bullied by the other girls and she doesn’t fight back.

Iori decides not to enter CRC to help with the rest complete the presentation. Yui receives Inaba’s thoughts that she’s scared while Aoki remains positive that they’ll be here for Iori if she needs them. Yui then goes to talk to Iori and this time she wants to save her like how she did then. Iori tells her off she is tired of this ‘getting back to normal’ crap that everybody is telling her as no one sees the real her. Yui hears Iori doesn’t want to be friends anymore so she tries to salvage the talk by saying she’ll still be her friend even if she changes. Really? Which part of her does she wants to be friends? Will she still be her friend if she turns into a vicious criminal? When she hears Yui’s thoughts that she won’t be the Iori they know, I guess Iori made her point and leaves. As Yui waits at the bus stop, Balloon Vine pops up to talk to her. He asks her opinion of this phenomenon. At first Yui’s thoughts of asking for help reach the guys. But she decides not to rely on anyone and is ready to take down Balloon Vine if needed. She’s scared and hates this phenomenon. But she won’t run away. Everybody is trying their best so she’s going to do it too. Balloon Vine thinks this is a bad idea and should stop it as nothing he says will have any effect. Noting she has become stronger than Aoki, it has her less interesting than him. Ironically this is what makes it interesting. Taichi arrives on scene first after Balloon Vine has left. Yui admits her talk with Iori failed. Then she lectures about him going soft and doesn’t know what Iori wants. Iori’s bad streak continues. Her favourite hair clip breaks, she got into a fight with mom and she overslept. Now it’s Inaba’s turn to talk to her. She wants her to tell everything. Because she wants to save her like she did for her. It’s what friends do. Iori chides her not to force her ideals on her. Because she is persistent, Iori will let her know straight from her mouth what she thinks. She doesn’t understand Inaba. First, Inaba forced Taichi and her to date. When she was ready to do so, then she gets in between them and confessed she likes Taichi. So when she rejected him, she got mad. So what is it that she wants? She fans up her feelings, get in her way and screw up everything. Has she ever thought how she felt? That’s why she should be the one asking what she wants. Inaba is left speechless.

Episode 16
CRC minus Iori are hurrying up to finish their presentation. Gossan comes in to check on them and because both they and the Jazz Band are working so hard, he’ll be rooting for both sides. The gang are surprised that he acted like a real teacher for once. Iori is on the verge of breaking down. She’s had enough of others believing in her that she’ll return to normal. She doesn’t deserve those good feelings of her friends. Taichi and Inaba hear Kaoru and her friends badmouthing Iori. Taichi stands up to tell them not to believe in the rumours surrounding Iori. Proof? He admits he loves Iori and went a bit too far and almost come upon her. That’s why Iori can’t trust anyone and if there is anybody who should be blamed, it should be him. Everyone is shocked that Taichi tried to rape Iori so Fujishima calls her dad to arrest this criminal. Just kidding! Inaba punches him in the gut and takes him out to talk. Unknown to everyone, Iori just heard the whole story outside class. Inaba berates Taichi for making this his fault but he feels he had no choice. Even so, that didn’t solve the basic problem. Fujishima comes by and thanks them that with Taichi’s actions, the rumours on Iori will be a thing of the past soon. She will come up with something to clear Taichi’s name. The reason she never intervened like she always does was because she thought about it and realized it wasn’t something she should get her nose into. She decided to watch her classmates grow and develop from afar. So she’s their mother now? Iori is confronted with Kaoru and her friends. They think she set up Taichi to say those things and know about their showdown with Jazz Club. Iori doesn’t give a damn and notes she isn’t even in the Jazz Club. Except maybe for Shiroyama. Kaoru gets enraged and almost loses it if not for her friends. Then Iori heard her planning to do something but can’t make out what it is.

After the exams, the CRC members return to finish their presentation. To their horror, their room is trashed. There goes all the hard work. It would be easy to suspect the Jazz Band but they’re spending extra hours practising so they don’t have time to do this. Instead of getting angry and moping about, Taichi suggests redoing everything again. So it won’t look nice but they’ll have to make it up with the content and the way they present. Iori then sees the chaos and becomes upset. Taichi hears her thoughts how she is going to kill the culprit. Inaba gets a call from Fujishima. She gives her Kaoru’s number. Taichi and Inaba confront Kaoru to warn her somebody is after her life. She feigns not knowing anything. Iori is here and is going really going to kill her. Her enraged face is enough to scare Kaoru. Taichi and Inaba hold her back so that Kaoru can live longer. Then they have a thorough talk with Iori. Because Inaba wants to share her pain, she reveals her most embarrassing secret. She likes Taichi so much that she even dreams of doing erotic things with him. She is even going to list down the positions! I think Taichi is the one more embarrassed. The bottom line is, she never would’ve accepted this but now she doesn’t need logic or prove anymore since she has faith in herself. Iori tells them to cut the crap because she’s still not convinced. She lashes out she is tired of all this. Tired of being the tragic heroine. How many times does she have to suffer to be torn to shreds? What kind of Iori do they want? The happy Iori? They realize they’ve been forcing Iori to put up an ideal version of her they want. She can’t do that anymore. Her true self is a dark and cold person. She could have pulled it off if she had lived a normal life but ever since Balloon Vine came into their life, her life is messed up. She got her body possessed, nearly died and turned down his offer to redo her past. Now it’s Inaba’s turn to lash back. She calls her stupid for trying to live up to everyone’s high expectations, failing to live up to it and ran away. She should just do what she wants to do since it’s her damn life. What does Taichi have to say? When he confessed he loved her, it was because he never saw her real side. It’s only natural she rejected him. Now that he does, he hopes his confession this time will get through the real her. He will always love her regardless of which Iori she is. Because he wants to be her friend. Iori wants some time to think about this. As Inaba heads home, she hears a group of guys discussing how they trashed the CRC (Kaoru ordered them to). Inaba confronts them but they silence her. Her friends hear her feelings pleading for help.

Episode 17
The delinquents take Inaba to the school’s warehouse. Her feelings enable her friends to know where she is and rush to her side. Except for Iori who is lying around wondering to go or not to go. After thinking about Taichi’s word, she finally makes up her mind. She’s had it with this and will do what she wants because it’s her damn life. She gets up and rushes to the warehouse. Kaoru is with the delinquents and they are putting the blame on her that all this happened because she told them to mess up their presentation. Taichi and co enter to confront them. Knowing they aren’t the kind up for conversation, the guys punch one in the face. Yui makes use of her karate lessons and the one from Taichi to knock out the other. Crotch attack! But the third delinquent holds a knife to Inaba’s throat. Nobody do anything rash. Then Iori comes in. She offers to help him out since she has a grudge with these guys. The rest think she is betraying them but in her heart she is wishing like mad for it to happen. Iori goes up close to the delinquent like as though she wants to kiss then. Then her feelings transmit to the rest to save Inaba. Yui instantly knocks him out. After Taichi unties Inaba, she hugs him in relief. Iori eases herself. She was scared the entire time she put up that act. The friends talk to Kaoru as they learn why she asked those guys to mess up their room. She never wanted to but her friends kept pressuring her to do it. Iori wanted to slap her but instead gave her some palm push. Was it too hard? Kaoru felt bad and apologizes. Iori asks about her bad girl attitude. Something to do about the guy she used to like. Iori notes they are the same because she looks like a girl trying too hard to be someone she is not. After making Kaoru spill out what she wants to do in her life, Iori wants to be good friends with her. They are alike after all. Later the rest praise Iori’s stunning actions while apologizing they were trying to force their ideals on her. They never expected her to be friends with Kaoru. No normal person would have done that. Well, she’s done on what is normal and not. Suddenly one of the delinquents pops up from behind to get his revenge. He strikes with a metal bar but Taichi protects Inaba and gets hit.

In a dream-like state, Taichi and Iori talk. They talk about how they were in love and glad they loved each other. Iori wants to reset their relationship. He wakes up in the infirmary room (because school is much closer than the hospital). Inaba is so relief. Taichi hears her feelings on how much she loves him. Taichi asks if she would like to go out with him. After a streak of embarrassing reactions, she agrees. Balloon Vine approaches Iori to tell her this phenomenon has ended. She accuses him of for choosing the worst possible time to transmit her worst possible feelings. He chose precise moments to make things worse even if he said they were random. He did it to make her hate herself. Balloon Vine isn’t sure if he did that but seems he didn’t deny it either. But he tells her the things she did was something that she decided for herself. He adds that they’ve reached a nice point and never imagined he would be like this with them and wonders if himself is strange. In the aftermath, Kaoru has a total makeover that nobody recognizes her! She loses the bad girl attitude and is much prettier. Everyone is surprised she and Iori have become good friends. Did anything happen? Bet they didn’t know. Fujishima assures Taichi that the delinquents will never touch them again thanks to her father. Bet you don’t want to know what underhanded tactics she did. CRC do their lively presentation in the hall and even add in a few unscripted lines. The one that hints to everybody that Taichi and Inaba are dating. Embarrassing the duo may be (and in a way confirming it), the crowd goes wild. After the presentation, Gossan goes to see the CRC and commends the efforts they put in. Of course he also finds the Jazz Club to be pretty good. So he has decided. He is going to mentor both clubs! Can he do it? Well, all he needs is to be CRC’s moderator and will supervise the Jazz Club’s practice during his spare time. That’s great but just a little problem… All this wouldn’t have happened if he had decided this earlier! Inaba twists his arm as revenge! All the effort for nothing… Though it may not look like it, Yui and Aoki are getting closer. She helps him study for his make-up exam because he knows he doesn’t want to be left behind a grade. Inaba and Taichi are officially dating and she has no problem getting very close to Taichi even if they’re in public. Why hesitate, right? Iori regains her popularity. Spring arrives and the CRC gets ready to recruit new members. Anybody weird enough to join them? Noting that Balloon Vine hasn’t showed up since the last school year, they’ll still keep alert for who knows when he will strike again when they least expected it. The road is long ahead and as long as they plant their feet firmly on the ground, their hearts will always be connected with one another.

Hearts Aflutter…
If there is one thing that is certain, the sci-fi phenomena did change the quintet. It could have been just another boring and uneventful day at CRC so was it a blessing in disguise for them? Despite how cruel and selfish these phenomena may seem, but it allowed them to discover their true selves as well as others. With the body swapping phenomenon, they are able to feel what it is like in the shoes of others. For desires unleashed, feelings that they never could express aloud and kept under full control are done without hesitation. Emotion transmission has them knowing what others think and feel. Time regression allows you to relive your childhood days again albeit for a short period of time. Perhaps life could have been more peaceful had they not discover their other side and they may go through life without ever knowing them. It was not to be as they are forced to face their inner feelings and deal with it without anyone else guiding them. I don’t consider Balloon Vine’s warning and announcement to be any much of an advice. Now that they have gone through a series of emotions, they understand each other better and possibly if something similar of this sort happens in the future, they’ll be much prepared for it. Though I can’t say that they will be perfect in handling such phenomena when the time comes.

As you can see, the main quintet of CRC may look like ordinary students but just like everyone else, they have deep and dark secrets that they don’t want others to know. Like Yui, she was once afraid of men and God knows how long she put up a brave front just to act normal. It feels like a ticking bomb and anytime it could explode and turn her into a man hater. Once she identified and got over the issue, her life is pretty much tolerable. Aoki is the most carefree among the lot and that doesn’t change much after realizing the need to live life to the fullest. But at least now he knows why he does it and not doing it blindly. Inaba’s character feels like she has a double personality. At first we know her as having a distrustful personality and rarely putting up a smile. She even scorns her own big brother. Then when her secret feelings for Taichi were revealed, her character turned into one of a normal high school girl in love. In short, we see her displaying much more emotion than before that it makes you wonder if she is the Inaba we know at first.

Iori I feel is the character that this series focused most and emotionally bears the most brunt from the random phenomena. First she had trouble accepting her multiple personalities. It really bugged her to which of her various personalities is the real her. Well, to me if I was her friend, interacting with them normally like she had always been seemed fine. So couldn’t she just picked this one and go with it? Of course she would spam you back with that ideal crap thingy and it’s not for us to decide what kind of Iori she wants to be. Then came her conflicting feelings with Taichi and Inaba. Again as an outsider I would have thought she should just stick with the current personality she is familiar with. That will be fine provided if Taichi doesn’t know her other personalities. But now that he does, he even accepted them, said he will love her no matter who she is, isn’t that good enough? So I don’t really understand her problem when she couldn’t love Taichi back. Sure, the phenomenon is wrecking havoc in their lives but that just feels like an excuse to run away. So I guess to maintain her sanity, she resets her relationship to give the green light to Taichi to date Inaba. Now that they are dating, I’m not sure if Iori intends to still seduce Taichi. It’s fair game now, right? It got me thinking. Maybe Taichi got rejected so many times by Iori and despite his constant assurances he loves her, his feelings changed and moved on with Inaba. Doesn’t it feel like that? Taichi is the centre among the friends is the same selfless person from start to end. He loves helping out others and puts them before himself. Who could forget the painful crotch lesson he thought Yui? I don’t think I can even do that.

Balloon Vine remains the biggest mystery. His actions baffle us as he claims he is experimenting on the quintet to find something interesting. However why or what is his intention is not the main focus of this series because as seen, it is how the friends handle and resolve the phenomena. But still I can’t help think the strange creature he is. His existence itself raises lots of questions. What interesting thing does he intend to find in this experiment? It is indicated there are others like him so is he acting alone or under orders of higher up beings? What is The Second’s relation to him? There are surely equally, if not more interesting groups of people elsewhere in town or over the next city so why is he sticking with this same group? Sure, you would want some consistency in your test results but only them? Even so, are we sure they are the only ones subjected to this experiment? Who knows? Maybe there are other groups being experimented on. We just don’t know since their cases are not related. In the end, we don’t get a single clue or idea of what Balloon Vine is or his ultimate goal. Even he himself hinted that he might not know the answer. That’s one way to be interesting, right? Or maybe, I’m just speculating because I think he is trying to fine or define something with himself but is unsure so he tests it out on the CRC gang.

The other side characters don’t really have much impact except maybe for Fujishima who often helps out Taichi and the rest indirectly. Now that Iori is a free woman again, is there any chance of her trying to make Iori hers? She has a weird personality which makes her interesting in a way too, right? So why isn’t Balloon Vine making her part of his experiment? Gossan feels sloppy as a teacher but he is fair and nice. He got possessed so many times by Balloon Vine and it makes me wonder if this guy ever starts getting worried about the lapse in his memories? The eternal happy look on his shabby face indicates he isn’t too bothered. I suppose he is the kind of guy who doesn’t keep track of time. More of this and he’ll soon start questioning where the hell has his life vanished too when he starts getting old and reflecting back during his middle age days.

Something about the art and drawing of the characters that made me think how familiar they are to another anime series. Hey! Don’t they look like rip-offs from K-ON!? Don’t you think Iori resembles very closely to K-ON!’s Ui? What about Yui? I thought she had that uncanny resemblance to Tsumugi and Ritsu from K-ON! Just change her hair colour. Inaba may be looking like K-ON!’s Mio if she had longer hair. If Taichi was a girl, he would probably have looked very close like K-ON!’s Yui. Same case with Aoki. If he was a girl and had longer hair, he could’ve been Tsumugi’s clone! And maybe it’s because Fujishima is a bespectacled girl, it made me draw comparisons to K-ON!’s Sawako who also wears a pair of glasses. This anime is produced by Silver Link who also made Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu and though, Cube x Cursed x Curious and Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne. Something about Iori that bugs me. Something that can’t take my focus away from her face for most of the time. No, it’s not she is that pretty but rather her mole on her chin. That little dot beneath her mouth… Can’t… Help… Stare… At it…

In the voice acting department, Aki Toyosaki displays one of the most versatile roles ever. Because of her role as Iori who has multiple personalities, her voice changes to suit the different types of emotions that her character goes through. When she was the carefree Iori, her airheadness almost made her sound like K-ON!’s Yui or other airhead characters that I am familiar with. Then when she breaks down and starts lashing out, it is a different side of her that I never hear of (or at least not very often). She did move away from the stereotypic airhead characters roles like Medaka in Medaka Box and Kunieda in Beelzebub but her trademark voice is still there. Maybe it is just me because I feel that Miyuki Sawashiro casted as Inaba makes her sound a little too mature for her character. She does play high school girls’ role before like Kanbaru in Bakemonogatari, Ayane in Kimi Ni Todoke and Naze in Medaka Box but somehow I just feel that her voice doesn’t suit the character right. Kenji Fujiwara (Ladd in Baccano) doubles as both Gossan and Balloon Vine. But it is his performance as the monotonous latter that nails it. Try speaking like a zombie with no emotions whatsoever for most of your lines. Other casts include Takahiro Mizushima as Taichi (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome), Hisako Kanemoto as Yui (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Takuma Terashima as Aoki (Yamaken in Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun), Shizuka Itou as Fujishima (Haruka in Amagami SS), Maaya Uchida as Mihashi (Rea in Sankarea), Haruka Tomatsu as Nana (Lala in To Love-Ru) and Sumire Uesaka as Kaoru (Sora in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai).

The first ending theme is Paradigm by Eufonius. Maybe it is because of her voice that makes this anime pop to have that sci-fi feel in the song. The second opening theme is Kimi Rhythm by Masaki Imai. Somehow I don’t find the male voice singing this piece to be suitable. The song is okay but it’s just that from the flow and direction of where this anime is heading, I thought it didn’t really fit. Each different arc has a different ending theme. They are sung by J-rock band called Team Nekokan featuring another artiste. Kokoro No Kara for Hito Random’s arc features Junca Amaoto, Cry Out featuring Atsuko is for Kizu Random arc, Rekka Katakiri is featured in Salvage for Kako Random arc and I scream Chocolatl has Lia for the final Michi Random arc. All feels like anime pop with the exception for Salvage which is rock based. On a trivial note as each arc passes, the blackboard of CRC gets cluttered with more and more random notes and doodles. So who wants to go to Disneyland? Who wants some curry? Who is going to do something erotic? Who marries who again? Girls to do killer cosplay? Steel cage death match? Are these serious matters? Maybe to them.

Browsing through Wikipedia, I noticed that the light novel which this anime is based on is still ongoing. There are many more random phenomena and arcs so it’s safe to say that Balloon Vine or whoever behind these experiments targeting the CRC members isn’t gone for good. I just hope with so many sci-fi phenomena that they have gone through, it won’t break them and turn them into emotionally unstable human beings. So far so good as we have seen. They might have been able to overcome the flurry of different emotional states but being human, there is only so much one can take before snapping. We see how close Iori was to that. She even had a dice with death. Sure, they have each other as support to lean on. But not trying to be a pessimist, can that go on forever? If the day ever comes that they break down and lose their sanity, I feel that they will have lost to Balloon Vine. So better be strong and hang in there!

As humans are complicated creatures because of the different feelings and emotions we experience, I am guessing that this series is trying to hint to us what we are supposed to do when we are confronted with feelings that we do not like or are unfamiliar with. They come spontaneous so you have to deal it with them right now or sooner the better to minimize damage. How would you react if somebody you know starts displaying emotions that you never knew he/she could? Would it surprise you if you yourself one day discover emotions that you have never experienced before? Human emotions easily change. One second you’re happy, then the next you can be sad and gloomy. You can’t explain it in words sometimes. Sadly in the real world, you don’t need to have these kind of sci-fi phenomena because people these days are overly sensitive and edgy. You have to be extra careful in what you say or do otherwise… Lawsuits, revenge acts, ostracized, etc. I suppose having negative feelings is part of being human. But don’t forget, we too have beautiful feelings and it is a balance of both that makes us human. Interesting bunch aren’t we humans? So Balloon Vine, maybe he should take up the challenge by getting every human in this world involved with body swapping, desires unleashing, time regression and emotion transmission. Because there is this celebrity that I want to swap bodies with and want to know if ever there are any feelings harboured for me that goes beyond idol-fan relationship… On second thought, maybe some feelings are better left not known.

Code: Breaker

June 15, 2013

Have you ever felt times that the law wasn’t sufficient to deal the perpetrators justice? Have you ever felt that sometimes you want the culprits to get their deserved justice that you pray that they die a horrible death? Yes. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. It’s like fighting fire with fire so sometimes it is necessary to fight evil with evil. And since many of us ordinary people lack the power to do just that, that is why all around there are secret vigilante groups bringing in justice from the shadows. They don’t give a damn about the law and will bring swift and rightful justice to all those who have done wrong. Sounds like a lot of escapism fantasy story, eh? Yeah well, we have lots of them in today’s TV, movies, comics and video games. Code: Breaker is one of these. They are a group of secret people with supernatural powers that go round dispensing evil that the law is unable to do so. An ordinary girl somewhat gets involved with them and learns more about the truth about these Code: Breakers as well as the dark and hidden truth about its operation. Hey, they are vigilante groups. Nobody ever said they were angels sent by God, right?

Episode 1
Sakura Sakurakouji is on her way home by bus when she sees several people at the park being burnt to death by blue flames. Being the responsible citizen she is, she gets a police officer to the site. However there are no traces of any burn marks on the ground. Is she dreaming? At school, Sakura is quite a popular girl, admire by both sides of the gender. Last night’s incident is still bugging her and before everything could sink in, the guy whom she saw burning at the park, Rei Ogami becomes her classmate as a new transfer student. Funny isn’t it, life? I guess she can’t hold it in and asks Ogami to meet her. Rumours spread throughout school that she is going to confess! So as all the busybodies try to eavesdrop, Sakura questions Ogami about last night but it seems he doesn’t know anything. He takes off his glove and there is no burn scars as she suspected. The glove is a reminder for him never to hurt others again because he hurt someone with this hand a long time ago. Sakura feels embarrassed but Ogami walks away coolly, hoping they could become friends. Sakura’s friend, Aoba Takatsu thought she got rejected and again the rumours spread. All her fan boys become enraged and Ogami earns their wrath as public enemy number one. Sakura continues to observe Ogami but it feels like she’s stalking him. Thinking he will return to the crime scene, Sakura waits at the park and fails to befriend a stray dog. Ogami shows up and surprises her by easily befriending it. He learns that its owner, a homeless person was killed by a ruthless crime syndicate called G-Falcon. They have a tattoo all over their body and commit crimes whenever they like. The police turn a blind eye to them and nobody can punish them. It’s not that she wants to become a vigilante, she feels sorry for the homeless man who died the same way he lived: Nobody noticed him (but she did, right?). Ogami tells her he won’t forget, no matter what happens and believes in the eye for an eye justice. She thought he was referring the Code of Hammurabi and they both ease up.

At school, Sakura learns Ogami’s part time job is taking out the trash. Well, at least that’s how he puts it. Speaking of which, he gets a call from his employer now. Guess which ‘trash’ he is supposed to eliminate? Sakura. As Sakura tries to befriend the dog, she hears a scream of a homeless guy. He is being beaten up by G-Falcon members. I guess calling the police won’t help. They want information seeing that their buddies went missing a couple of nights ago at this park. Sakura then realized what she saw was true. The thugs sense she knows something and surround her. But she won’t spill anything so they fight her. Isn’t it shameful? A group of guys losing to a girl armed with only her aikido? Of course they play cheat and zap her with a taser. The dog jumps to her defence but was beaten up badly. Now it’s Sakura’s turn to jump to its defence. The result? She got beaten up further and they’re on the verge of killing her. That’s when Ogami pops up. He analyzes the dog’s remaining life and then strangles it to death! I guess that will ease its suffering… Then he metes out his punishment by burning one of the thugs with his blue flame. I guess this confirms it. The rest of the G-Falcon guys think they can defeat this guy. How wrong. They all got burnt. Not a single trace. Ogami then approaches Sakura and starts to burn her!

Episode 2
Sakura wakes up in her own bed. Did everything happen last night a dream? Her parents found her lying outside the house and are happy that she’s fine (they look young enough to be her siblings!). Sakura asks about punishing evildoers but father says it isn’t right even for revenge. At school, Sakura continues to ponder about last night being burnt. At class, there’s that Ogami devil sitting nicely in his place. Ogami butts into Sakura and Aoba’s conversation. Sakura panics when he puts his hand on Aoba’s shoulder. Thinking he will burn her, she comes between them. Everybody thought a love triangle is going on. Sakura wants him to tell the truth about last night but he feigns he doesn’t know. Sakura realizes he is trying to shut her up because if she does tell, he’ll burn everyone. Sakura tries to keep her distance with Aoba, fearing Ogami will burn her. But Aoba takes it the wrong way and thinks she is avoiding her because she likes Ogami. Once again, Sakura confronts Ogami to tell him to come with her after school. Round 2 of misunderstanding. After school date… Sakura hopes Aoba can wait because once it’s over, she’ll explain everything. Yuuki Tenpouin must have saved every Nyanmaru cat plushie from the crane game. He doesn’t want to take them home and gives it to the storekeeper. He asks what colour he likes if he was going to burn. For Yuuki, he likes blue since it’s the most beautiful. Later Yuuki glomps on a cat mascot who is tailing him. Turns out to be his employer who sends him the picture of his next target.

Sakura takes Ogami to a crowded street so that he can’t make his move. Asking him straight, Ogami didn’t bat an eyelid to confess he did those killings. Because it is his job to take out trash. Useless vermin. So does it give him the right to kill? Yes, because he is evil. Sakura thinks he should turn himself to the police to atone for his sins but he starts laughing like a maniac. Sakura is worried he doesn’t understand the magnitude of what he has done. Still, she wants him to turn himself in and let the law judge in. Unfortunately that isn’t possible. As laws exist to judge a person, he is not a person so the law cannot judge him Even if this means burning down everyone here now. Ogami takes off his glove and prepares to burn Sakura. Luckily she swings her bag so that is the only thing that got burnt. She tries to run away but he caught her hand. Sakura thinks she’s done for this time but Ogami withdraws. Then he messes with her face. WTF. Seems he wants to observe and not kill her. He adds that his wish is the same as hers. Wanting useless vermin to get a taste of their own medicine. Killing those who deserve who die. He is the evil who judges evil that the law cannot. He is that does not exist, Code: Breaker. Asking if there is anybody she wants dead, all she needs to do is to say their name. Sakura becomes terrified and says he can’t do that no matter what (flashback of something horrible). Sakura allows him to observe her. In exchange, she’ll also observe him so that he won’t kill others. Ogami warns her if she tells a single soul about him, he’ll not only kill her but all those she told and those around them. To show how serious he is, he shatters the glasses to send the crowd into panic. Back home, Sakura’s thought are heavy on the kind of eyes Ogami had when he kills. Ogami gets a call from his employer about Sakura. He decided not to dispose her because she is a rare specimen. The kind that won’t burn. Elsewhere Yuuki confronts his target, Hitomi who is fresh off in disposing an SP. So he wants to destroy the world? Yeah, whatever. A big power fight is coming up.

Episode 3
Yuuki’s fiery sonar power is stopped by the ice powers of Yukihina. Hitomi disappears along with him and Yuuki wonders if he is planning a massacre. I guess if Sakura and Ogami are going to keep watch on each other, it means walking to school together, right? How do they look in the eyes of the public. Especially Aoba who is already misinterpreting the entire situation. It’s worse when Sakura isn’t really clear in her words. But Ogami will have to face the wrath of a jealous fan boy. Hands off her! Sakura thought Ogami might burn him so she quickly steps in to disarm him. She makes her stand that nobody is to touch Ogami. If anybody wants to fight, they should fight her. All the fan girls: So cool!!! All the fan boys: Sh*t! NOOO!!! Later Sakura takes Ogami around school. Her friend, Nenene Fujiwara has a penchant of giving names for Sakura’s twin peaks. Since Ogami sort of agrees with her, Nenene considers him her friend. She decides to let in a little secret and takes off her glasses. She has different set of eye colours. This causes Ogami to grab her head. Once he calms down, he apologizes for mistaking her for someone he knew. After school, Ogami gets a call from his employer for another job. Sakura comes by and notices in his basket is a puppy belonging to that stray dog. She feels guilty. Had she been stronger, its mother would not have died protecting her. Sakura follows Ogami to what she thought is where he lives. Turns out to be a yakuza office! They’re in the midst of some dealings. So he is here to take out the trash? Sakura points out the police are already here so he doesn’t need to be a hero. He points out, the police in this room are on the take. Ogami gets straight to the point he is here to kill them. Though the yakuza members don’t take him seriously, their boss Nitta wants to hear him out. He even invites Ogami to work for him since it is easy money and that they are short of manpower since he took out the G-Falcon guys. He shows him bottles of drugs and an addict. To ensure ‘repeat customers’, all Ogami needs to do is to kidnap his family via persuasion. And with the police on their side, he doesn’t need to be worried of getting caught.

Sakura chides them for the despicable thing they are doing but they all laugh at her. They are going to kill her but that’s when Ogami starts his burning spree. There is no need to waste time to reason with these fools. Once everyone is burnt to a crisp, Sakura is mad that he shouldn’t have killed them because there are other ways. What other way? If he hadn’t killed them, the number of victims will keep growing. Besides, Sakura’s words fell on deaf ears. What else more is there to say? In the next room, another drug victim lies around like a zombie. Sakura wants to help her but she feels so useless that she prefers to die. Ogami grabs her neck and is going to strangle her. Then she reverses her decision and wants to live. Ogami ticks her off for being spoilt. She should crawl and suffer through life and shouldn’t act spoilt if she wants to life. Even after all that if she still wants to die, then find him. He’ll definitely kill her. Sakura then hugs him. Can he feel this warmth? She can feel his. She knows he is fighting for his own reasons. That’s why she will also fight and won’t give up till her words reach through him. Unfortunately he doesn’t understand people nor does he care if they understand him. He knocks her out. Ogami then knocks on the car window of the police chief Takata who is waiting for his cronies. When he mentions he has killed them, Takata immediately recognizes him as a Code: Breaker and flees. He calls Hitomi for help but he doesn’t give a sh*t. Ogami catches up and is about the burn him but Toki Fujiwara drops in and uses his magnetic field powers to kill Takata.

Episode 4
Ogami is before some council. They note he was appointed as the sixth and final Code: Breaker and are impressed with his timely manner on how he carried out his duties. They want him to eliminate some politician but all Ogami is interested if he has anything to do with Hitomi. They say it’s his job to find out. Ogami burns them and despite just being robots, he doesn’t like it when someone orders him around without showing their faces. He asserts he takes up the jobs he wants. He is not their lackey. Just a part timer. Sakura finds herself sleeping outside her house again. She lies to her parents that she has joined the outdoor club and this is part of her training. Though they support her, they know she is lying. Because of that silly looks she pulls. And they know she’s doing it for the good of somebody’s sake. When Sakura leaves, she sees Toki waiting for her. Do those different coloured eyes look familiar? Toki is here as Ogami’s replacement since he screwed up. Noting that they are friends, Sakura hopes he could tell Ogami to stop killing people. Toki is getting too close to Sakura when Ogami butts in. He tells Sakura not to listen to a word this liar says. Of course guys with egos like these means they are going to let their fist do the talking. What do you know? All it took is a woman to stop their power fight. And her grasp is much more painful than their element. On the way to school, Sakura questions Ogami about what they talked earlier on. Something about ‘work’ and Lost form. He didn’t reveal anything. Sakura sees Toki waltzing into school so she had to excuse herself from class to go confront him. Even the teacher is suspicious of this kid from another school. Seems he is here to check out this school and they can call his school if they don’t believe him. Sakura sees his school emblem and realizes it is a top school for the rich in Japan. She’s fascinated. And so Toki sits in Sakura’s class. Another hottie for the girls to fawn over.

Sakura wants to have lunch with the guys and talk things over this Code: Breaker thingy but the rest of the class sees it as some love triangle. Sakura hopes Toki can talk Ogami out of killing people because each time he goes do his job, he hurts himself. Toki says all Code: Breakers have their goals. In order to achieve that, they are willing to take on dirty work. Like protecting someone. The mood is ruined when Toki gropes her boobs. Instant beat down! Why is it okay that his sister could do it but not him? Sister? Yes. Nenene. See the similarity? Oh, there she is now, groping her boobs like as though she owns them. She tells her that her brother is here to see her but Nenene says she has no siblings. And with Sakura’s senior, Masaomi Heike is having his tea on the rooftop, the talk is called off. Sakura continues to follow Ogami to his job. She learns Code: Breakers do not exist in this world. Even if they have families, their identities are erased and no one knows of them as long as they are one. Meeting up with Toki, he says that sister thing was a lie but Sakura can tell it is the truth because of what he said earlier. He became a Code: Breaker to protect his sister. The guys begin infiltrating in what looks like a normal residential house. Toki’s magnetic field ability easily disarms the security and bends open the door wide open. But the SPs are waiting for them. He is able to stop their bullets but Sakura distracts him before he could return the bullets to them and kill them. All the SPs suddenly turn into stone and crack. Out comes a couple of weirdoes with weird powers. As noted, this is actually a government facility that researches special abilities. It’s time to rock. Literally.

Episode 5
Suddenly the big baddies run out of power and they retreat inside the building. Worse than Ultraman… Sakura wonders why the government is doing such research and to her surprise, Code: Breaker is also part of the government acting under the Prime Minister’s orders. That’s why politicians and policemen can’t run from them. They stumble into a room filled with children in bed and drops. Seems they are children with special powers that the government has gathered from across Japan for some purpose. In the basement, there is an operating theatre and the chair is filled with blood. The head of this facility, Shigeru Tabata makes his entry and this convinces Sakura that the government has a hand in this because he is part of the Diet. Toki breaks open the wall to see lots of strange foetuses. Seems Tabata has been doing illegal organ harvesting on them. Now our big baddies have returned and all powered up, they quip how they’re saving people because those children are weak and useless and thus harvesting their organs for a greater good. Ogami agrees with them. But are they useful to him? If not, he doesn’t need them. And he doesn’t need their organs either. At least this power fight lasts longer. Sakura notices something odd about their cylinder. The guys try to power up more but finally run out. Then inside those cylinders is a kid each! They criticize them for being weak. The kids hate those guys so much that they want them dead (because they killed their siblings before that) so Ogami and Toki kill those heartless bastards. Sakura is devastated when the kid dies in her arms. Before they die, they are relieved that the baddies are dead and thank them. Now all that’s left is to kill Tabata. Sakura wants Ogami to stop but Toki tells her the reason why heroes are called so is because they kill baddies in the name of justice. Before Ogami could burn Tabata, his daughter Chisa appears.

From the way this happy little kid is talking, Sakura realizes Tabata was harvesting organs all this while to find those compatible with Chisa’s. Tabata says his daughter can’t wait for years for donors and since these children are going to become murderous dogs of the government in the future, might as well stop them now and harvest their organs for good. But does that give him the right to kill others even if it’s just for his daughter’s sake? It still makes him a murderer. Before Ogami can burn him, Sakura punches Tabata. She is upset that he trampled lives of others. He sacrificed people to a point that a kid wished somebody’s death! Then she hugs him. That kid was warm before his body became cold. She believes he was warm too. There’s no good reason for someone who’s alive and well to die. Tabata agrees with her. He decides to become the villain and attacks Ogami the hero. Chisa couldn’t believe daddy is the bad guy going to be burnt by the super hero. Just like that, Ogami burns him. Chisa becomes enraged he killed her father. Despite being a villain, he is still her father. She wants to kill him but lacks the strength and passes out, Ogami tells her to keep living and come and kill him because he won’t forget her. Sakura despite knowing his method feels wrong, feels he acted in a heroic way because he gave her a reason to live by playing the villain. Ogami asserts he is evil and no matter how wrong a person is, once he has killed them, he is no longer a super hero. Tabata’s secretary, Tsuno contacts Hitomi, assuring the research data is safe. Toki confronts him and knows he is the one pulling the strings on the other end. Tsuno pleads for help but it seems he has outlived his usefulness so Hitomi did something that made Tsuno killed himself. The Prime Minister learns of the research facility and his team moves the other children out to another facility. Out of the frying pan into the fire, if I should say.

Episode 6
Tabata’s death has been passed on in the news as a fire. Toki sees the Prime Minister and is disgusted with his special ability research. He thought he wanted to ease the burden on Code: Breakers. He says he is only acting as a father for him. Toki is still angry about Nenene because it was a promise he become his dog to kill evildoers and Nenene will be left alone. Ogami’s Code: Breaker colleague, Rui “Ouji” Hachiouji comes to see him to deliver him a message. Eden is unhappy that he put Sakura in danger by taking her to Tabata’s mansion. His new mission is to protect her. Ouji will do her own investigation on Sakura as to why Eden assigns a bodyguard to a rare species. Noting he has been overworking himself lately, she cautions he might go Lost at this rate. Sakura is relieved that he has some friends within Code: Breaker and should make some friends with his classmates too. Ogami dismisses they are his friends although they share the same goal. And he’s not interested in finding friends. When they enter class, everyone is acting strangely. Like they’re hiding something. Aoba takes Sakura way to the one place where Ogami can’t follow: The girl’s toilet. He is suspicious his cover might be blown. Meanwhile Heike is having tea right in the middle of the corridor and reading aloud his erotic novels (he calls it fine art). He sees Ogami passing by and notes he is in his dead zone. Sakura stops Ogami from entering class. After he forces his way through, the class gives a surprise welcome party. They hope he can get along with them. At the rooftop after Ogami reads all the letter presents from his friends, he is about to burn them but Sakura stops him. He says when people die, objects remain. That’s why he likes the clean them up first. Don’t worry, he has memorized every one of them.

The Prime Minister receives report that the number of missing agents has risen to 43. He knows Hitomi is behind this. Speaking of that guy, he has all the missing agents in his placed. All turned to stone. Something about starting a new world. Ogami and Sakura see those missing agents forcing themselves into their school. Ogami burns them and it seems they are already dead. These corpses are being controlled by somebody else. He knows only Hitomi is capable of that. However Ogami starts to grow weak. They are saved by an SP lady. Hey! Isn’t that their teacher, Miyuki Kanda? She’s part of this too? Some of the agents are heading deep into school and they need to evacuate their unsuspecting classmates. Ogami wants Kanda to protect Sakura while he stops the rest. Ogawa has run out of juice when Yuuki comes to his rescue in the speed of sound and knock them away with his sonar power. Now it’s Heike’s turn to join the fray as he binds the agents in light strings. So I take it. He’s a Code: Breaker too. Why am I not surprised? Once the attack is over, Ogami passes out for real. As Heike points out, he has already become Lost. That is the unavoidable destiny of all Code: Breakers. Looks like Toki too has become one. He has shrunk into a kid!

Episode 7
Thankfully Ogami’s life isn’t in danger. Kanda explains when a Code: Breaker overuses his ability, he becomes Lost, their ability will disappear and cause anomalies in their body. It will take a full day for him to recover. Kanda introduces herself as an agent of Eden and tasked to support Code: Breakers. Sakura learns the pecking order of Code: Breaker and Ogami is at the lowest, 06. That’s why he has special support staff assigned to him. Heike = 02, Yuuki = 03, Toki = 04 and Ouji = 05. Before Sakura could talk who is 01, Kanda changes the topic. Sakura suggests her place to let Ogami rest. I didn’t know she’s the daughter of a famous Japanese yakuza!!! How ironic!!!! Her parents welcome Sakura and her friends and bring them to the guest room where Toki is waiting. He is still a kid. Different Code: Breakers have different Lost form. Sakura’s mom throws them a party. Little Toki gets drunk even on juice (maybe it’s his Lost form) and went too far teasing Heike he has no eyebrows. Punishment time… Because Sakura’s righteousness sounds like Yuuki’s favourite Nyanmaru character, he takes a liking for her. That night, Heike and Toki discuss about Hitomi’s action. It is indeed strange he sent his zombie agents to attack Sakura and Ogami. Something feels wrong. If he wanted to kidnap Sakura, there would have been many other easier ways instead of doing so before Ogami’s eyes. If he had wanted to attack Ogami, he would have concentrated his army on him instead of dividing them. Next morning, Ogami wakes up and is fine. Kanda apologizes for not being able to protect him but he knows those agents were controlled by a special ability by ex-Code: Breaker, Hitomi. Oh, he is 01 by the way. Ouji gets orders from headquarters to head to Sakura’s place. She feels odd because there are many Code: Breakers there. It’s like gathering them all.

Sakura’s dad notices Ogami admiring a katana blade so he lends it to him. He can tell from Ogami’s eyes that he has killed many. He too once walked that path. He has lost the fear of taking lives and this means he also lost interest in life. However if something happens to Sakura, he’ll make sure he’ll pay dearly for it. A lightning bolt strikes the house. Hitomi is kidnapping Sakura. Yuuki certainly couldn’t hold him back so what makes Ogami think he can with this katana? Well, looks like he has unfinished business with him. Heike and Ouji manage to distract and steal Sakura from Hitomi’s grasp. Now the entire line-up of Code: Breakers are here. Ogami wants to know why Hitomi turned evil. He wants revenge against Eden. If that’s the case, he’ll cut him down. Hitomi says he is still a dog of Eden. He doesn’t even need to lift a finger to keep Ogami at bay. Yeah, he seems to have a pretty hard time getting near him. Not even Ogami-Toki combo could work. Ouji and Heike steps in. They’re not going to let him have the rare species. Hitomi shows why he was worthy of his 01 code as he creates the largest electric ball and fires at them. Sakura jumps to their defence and surprises everyone by absorbing it. How did she do that? Wasn’t that shocking? (Pun intended). Did she know what she was doing? After seeing something so interesting, Hitomi decides to give up on her for today. After all, there is no reason for him to fight them anymore because the outcome was decided when all the Code: Breakers were gathered here. This is just a distraction as Yukihina has frozen all the agents and kidnapped the Prime Minister. On a side note, Yuuki turns into a cat in his Lost form! Cute?

Episode 8
Toki isn’t so interested in saving the Prime Minister who is his father and leaves. As they plan their next move, Sakura announces she is fine despite taking in all that current. Ogami didn’t like how reckless she was because she could’ve died and her reason she jumped in like that was because she doesn’t want to see anyone die anymore. Sakura learns a little more about Hitomi, the ex-Code: Breaker who went missing 3 years ago. If he wanted revenge, he could’ve killed the Prime Minister instead of kidnap him. There must be some other plan. The other Code: Breakers lament Hitomi has changed so much because the old him would never do this. It’s like as though he is a different person. They once respected him as their leader. Toki went to see his sister and that brief moment she recognizes him before reverting back to who-the-hell-are-you. Ogami sees a photo album of Sakura and her parents. Most photos have them entwining their hands. It’s their custom of handshake and to cheer each other up. Noting there are no photos of her as a toddler, she says she was adopted. How’s that for revelation? Later her father fills in Ogami with more details. Sakura was found covered with blood at their doorstep though unharmed. That’s why she becomes extremely sensitive to death. He pleads he can keep her safe. Ouji and Yuuki also had some nostalgic talk. Ouji was the only survivor when her family was killed. She felt guilty each time. Till she met Hitomi and she realized she couldn’t sleep because of being emotional. After that she felt like an idiot each time she broods over her past. Sakura feels guilty for bringing Ogami here and brought harm to her yakuza guys. Well, it sounded like they were talking big. Because no doubt they claim their injuries are sustained, but back then they got their ass whipped so bad that they didn’t stand a chance. The guys feel they are at fault for not being stronger would have felt guiltier if Sakura hadn’t brought back her friend when he’s being chased by baddies. Sakura wants to become stronger and on the spot starts her training. The other Code: Breakers feel nostalgic that this was how it used to be when they gathered around Hitomi. Ouji and Yuuki believe they can bring him back.

With Toki reuniting with the gang, they spread out and search for any clues they can find, including old places where they did their jobs. Anyway it’s all cleaned up without a trace since it is Eden’s job. Kanda is summoned to some of her superiors who are actually the teaching staff. They never told her Sakura is a rare species because she used to be Hitomi’s subordinate and there’s a risk that they might come into contact. Their job was also to keep an eye on her so that she won’t collude with Hitomi. Kanda is upset that they didn’t trust her because she is now Ogami’s subordinate. To prove she is loyal, she is determined to eliminate Hitomi. Ouji meets Heike and she suspects him of something because he has never been careless before. Heike shows his true colours as he prepares to fight Ouji. Suddenly the bridge explodes followed by a building in a distance. Ouji is forced to use her shadow ability to keep it together. Heike says this is where Hitomi’s plan starts and now that it is her cue to exit the scene, he takes her out. Yuuki can only watch in horror. Sakura wanders in the street and chances upon Heike. He brings her to what he calls the Code: Breakers’ secret base. Excited, isn’t she? In the room, there are clocks all over the wall and the Prime Minister is tied up! What is the meaning of this? Heike plans to betray Code: Breakers and join Hitomi. Now that he has brought the rare species to him as offering, he asks Hitomi whom he addresses as Ace, if he could join him now.

Episode 9
The news report the terrorist bombings around the city. Though Hitomi doesn’t reveal his plan to Sakura, he assures he won’t do anything to her since she is a rare breed. He’ll keep her secure her here while the explosions continue. Would you believe? He wants to save Code: Breakers. Kanda and Ogami receive a mysterious mail to pinpoints Hitomi’s location. Hitomi doesn’t trust Heike 100% yet because he was able to sniff out this place easily. Heike credits his information network and since he knows his intention, he doesn’t want Eden to capture him and will assist him. Because he understands his anger and grief more than anyone else. Sakura gets upset to learn Ouji got hurt so Heike pins her down and tells her off that she doesn’t know the feelings of someone who does not exist. Kanda is on the scene first so Hitomi sends Heike to do his first job. Ogami learns from Yuuki that Ouji has been done in. They head to the building only to find Heike waiting for them. Yuuki stalls Heike so that Ogami could go face Hitomi. Kanda is under Hitomi’s control. She tries hard to resist but it’s no use. Ogami is going to burn every bullet she shoots at him till her clip empties. However Hitomi has already instructed her to kill herself once she reaches down to the last bullet. So it’s either Ogami gets a bullet in his head or Kanda. Ogami won’t let that happen because he’ll finish her off with his own hands! Kanda fires, Ogami burns. Now it’s down to the last bullet as she turns the gun on herself. As usual, Sakura can’t let this happen and with the puppy’s help to loosen her ropes, Sakura jumps to the rescue. It’s like she neutralizes everything and frees Kanda from the mind control. So now the reason why he is scheming this. The clocks in this room represent all former Code: Breakers who died while on duty. That is when their time stopped. They dispense evil that the law couldn’t judge and nobody notice them. They don’t even get a tombstone erected. This is the least he could do for them. And all of them were acting under the orders of the Prime Minister.

More explosions will rock the place. This will cause the people to be in fear. This event will climax after more people have died along with the Prime Minister. Once these people living in the fake peace realize from the bottom of their hearts, they want to kill those who brought them this atrocity. It is then a hero will appear and save them and dispense justice. That’s right. Code: Breakers will eliminate the evil. By doing this, Code: Breakers don’t have to die without being unknown. Ogami understands his idea of judging evil in the open. He too doesn’t like Eden and before you can think he is going to jump ship, Ogami refuses Hitomi’s offer because Code: Breakers who judge evil are still killers. There is no need to reward that. Ogami burns all the clocks and tries to drill into Hitomi’s head that he doesn’t understand because he involved innocent people in this. Ironically, he is the one who hated most when innocent people died. Ogami and Hitomi are going to lunge at each other when Yukihina enters the room to tell Hitomi they have no time for this. Ogami can’t burn his ice. Yukihina targets Sakura but luckily Toki makes his late heroic entry. Too bad Hitomi and Yukihina are leaving with the Prime Minister in their hands. Our heroes have to make haste and leave too because this building is fitted with bombs. Sakura is adamant that they should release the Prime Minister and goes after them. Well, it’s a surprise she willingly follows them in their car just to protect the Prime Minister.

Episode 10
When Hitomi was 16 years old, he was appointed as a Code: Breaker 06 by the Prime Minister. Over the years, he diligently took his job seriously and was dedicated. He also saved others and among them included Kanda. He had a dream where a world, children could continue smiling and no one had to suffer. Till one day a fellow Code: Breaker 05 got killed in the line of duty. He is upset he couldn’t do anything and despite his death, Hitomi got promoted to take over his place. On another mission with his fellow Code: Breakers, an ambush killed his entire team and although one baddie got away, the terrorist group got disbanded and the mission was deemed a success, Hitomi becomes distraught that such victory is meaningless if they sacrifice too much. Hitomi observes that one of his colleagues got done in by her own powers rather than the enemy. There are a handful of cases such as this. He wants Heike to investigate how much Eden knows about their powers. Now that Hitomi has been promoted to 01 and the Ace, Hitomi won’t let anyone else die. So the current group of Code: Breaker that we know are all those he rounded up as they go around eliminating evil. Hitomi was the respectable leader he was. He observed Ogami as having incredible talent but thinks he is dangerous as he is too wrapped up in destroying evil. Even in a mission, he went to pursue the baddies instead of rescuing a kid. Luckily that mission ended in success. Hitomi talks to Ogami that although it is Code: Breakers’ job to eliminate evil, it is not all they do because they are to protect others. That’s why they are given special powers. Even if they lose their lives in the midst, he is okay with that as long as someone’s life can be saved. If Hitomi dies first, as long as Ogami remembers him, he will live on in his heart. What if Ogami dies first? He assures that will not happen.

One day, the lone baddie who murdered Hitomi’s ex-colleagues returns. They go into action and Hitomi is obviously out for revenge. The baddie still notes he is a dog for Eden despite having so much power. He offers them to join him and live the life they want with their powers. Of course they refuse because if they turn evil, other Code: Breakers will hunt them down. Hitomi is clearly superior this time and controls the baddie to kill himself. At the end of the day, Hitomi is pleased that everyone did well in their job. If they keep this up, they’ll be the greatest team ever. When Heike returns with information about special powers going berserk, Hitomi becomes upset to learn the interval between an ability user’s Lost form becomes wider and wider in time and when they are unable to go Lost, they will lose control of their ability and die. This is what Eden termed as Code: End has happened many times before. What upsets Hitomi more is that Eden knew about this and kept it a secret from them. What a cruel fate to be dealt with. Hitomi calls Ogami out to meet. Seems like a pretty normal conversation. Ogami hands him their next assignment tomorrow. That’s when Hitomi thought these kids can’t run away from Eden. To tell them the truth would mean delivering their death sentence. He is going to let them live a normal life even if this means going to negotiate with the Prime Minister personally. But he next morning, Ogami learns from the reports that Hitomi has attacked the Prime Minister, killed many of his bodyguards last night. This Hitomi has been stripped of his Code: Breaker title and labelled as a criminal. Ogami felt betrayed that he broke their promise. In present time, Hitomi ties the Prime Minister up the Sky Tower. In his bid to fix this broken world, he announces to the public that in 60 minutes, he will be executed along with 50,000 of the citizens as he has planted bombs all over Japan. Escape is futile.

Episode 11
The series of explosion begins. Yuuki uses his sonar to detect the locations of the bombs across Japan. How is he going to disarm 1,500 bombs???!!! Toki and Kanda soon get a mysterious message revealing the exact bomb locations and of course the Sky Tower where the Prime Minister is held hostage. Yuuki wants to stay behind to disarm as many bombs he can. Ogami is first to arrive inside Sky Tower so Hitomi goes to face him. The usual reminder. What you’re doing is wrong. This isn’t justice. Blah, blah, blah. Not listening? Let’s fight. Well, Ogami is going to cut him down with his katana. I suppose he powered up because the katana doesn’t get burnt by his flames. He also wises up in using the flames as conductor to divert Hitomi’s lightning to the ground. But is it enough to stop him? Sakura has the little puppy bite its ropes. But since they were hung from high above, I guess the puppy can’t reach Sakura. So how? Sakura bites hers! Don’t worry if she’ll mess up her teeth because with the help of the power fight, Sakura is blown free. Once the power fight is over and miraculously both sides have not become Lost yet, Ogami questions why he attacked the Prime Minister that night. What actually happened was Hitomi went to talk to him. He didn’t approve of his request and knowing Hitomi won’t back down, all the SPs surround him. So the attack on the Prime Minister was a lie created by Eden. True, Hitomi had to kill some agents on his escape but that was enough for Eden to label him a fugitive and casted him as a villain.

Hitomi’s request was to have Code: Breakers live normally in society. As this means exposing their existence, the people would probably panic. Eden feared this and thus he was hunted. In order to change Eden, his only choice is to change it from outside although this method may seem cruel. But he’s not doing it for just Code: Breakers. There are many children with special abilities in Japan quarantined. Strong ones grow up to be drafted into Code: Breakers. As long they are confined in that state, they’ll never be free and he wants to save them. Sakura still feels he is wrong to do this. What about the people he protected? He says they weren’t worthy of his protection. He considers those who devote themselves for peace as foolish so it’s unworthy to give up your life to protect such people. What’s so bad about that? Of course Ogami won’t accept this side of his because all those he protected and tried protecting are fools. Toki arrives at the Sky Tower and is faced with Heike who will do all he can to prevent Hitomi from being interrupted. Toki’s motivation to beat him is that he will take over his 02 position if he kills him. Heike has a trick up his sleeves as he uses his light powers to clone himself with equivalent strength. I think Heike got distracted by the puppy that allows Toki to destroy his clones. Meanwhile the yakuza are doing something good for once as they locate the bombs and prevent the public from getting too close to it. Guess what? Not all the police force are bad so they too help to evacuate the people. Yakuza and police working hand in hand? I’d like to see that in real life instead only in times of crisis. But time is ticking down and Yuuki is still doing his best leaping from building to building to disarm the bombs with his sonar waves. Ouji has returned from hell to face off with Yukihina.

Episode 12
Toki arrives first to greet the Prime Minister. However he has thoughts of abandoning him instead of saving him. Ouji is preventing Yukihina from taking the children with special abilities. She vows to save everyone. Including Hitomi. Ogami continues to make Hitomi realize where his old self went. Hitomi ends up telling him as a Code: Breaker he is just a dog of Eden. All those he had killed were under Eden’s orders. Each serving to give them the upper hand. They ignore all sorts of evil and choose to label those who are inconvenient to them. Once more he offers his hand to bring justice to the world together. One more Ogami refuses. Though he knows Eden is evil but Hitomi is evil too because he involved innocent people, killed many to achieve his own goal. Taking those words from his mouth, Ogami will fight till his last to protect those people. I guess all that talk has fallen on deaf ears. Hitomi blasts him away. Ogami now has entered Lost mode. Time is ticking down. Sakura’s father and his gang have found the locating where bomb signals are being sent out from a van. They are surprised to see a couple of young kids with special powers guarding it. Sakura’s father doesn’t want to use force and instead tries to persuade them to give up. Likewise, Sakura does the same for Hitomi. Considering her a pest, Hitomi strangles her knowing his powers won’t work on her. He is going to let Ogami feel the helplessness unable to protect. When the time is up, the final explosion didn’t occur. Seems Yuuki has already destroyed the van. Heike reveals himself as the one transmitting all the information. Defected once more? Just as planned… Yukihina realizes the explosions aren’t happening and wonders if the mission has failed. He enters the room to find it void of the children. Ouji was buying time to relocate them to another location. This was also part of Heike’s plan. She pretended to be killed to fool Hitomi and put a stop to his plan. Yukihina disappears when Yuuki enters the fray.

Hitomi is now upset and lets loose a burst of electricity. He assures he won’t go Lost. There is one reason why he held this ‘final stage’ in the Sky Tower. Because if all else fails, he can detonate the bombs by emitting his electromagnetic waves from this spot. The Prime Minister wants Toki to quit stalling and save him but Toki lets him have a little taste of looking death in the eyes by dangling him on the edge before pulling back. Then he gets cocky. He knows Toki will always be Eden’s dog and won’t have the guts to kill him. Otherwise he would have used Nenene to replace him as a Code: Breaker. That was the deal. Toki kills on Nenene’s behalf to keep her safe. Although frustrated, Toki says he can kill him any time but he won’t to prevent himself from becoming the same as him. Hitomi charges up when the tower is engulfed in dark shadow. Ouji and Yuuki burst into the scene. With everyone bugging Hitomi why he has changed, I guess he has to tell them he missed those days they were working as a team. As long as Eden is in charge of Code: Breakers, their fate to die like dogs and pawns will never change. But to involve innocent people? Hitomi doesn’t consider them innocent at all. The people who continue to live in peace do not know their existence while they fought for peace risking their very lives. They don’t even realize they’re being protected. Kanda still remembers the kindness he did for her. But Hitomi isn’t swayed. Once again, Sakura tries to stop him. Since he didn’t strangle her fast enough, Hitomi realizes his power is gone. Ogami takes off his ring and a very powerful flame discharges. Holy smokes! That ring was like his limiter, no? He is going to burn every evil out of him.

Episode 13
So powerful Ogami flames are that he can even dispel the most powerful electric attacks. Finally Ogami burns Hitomi. Probably he didn’t have the heart to do so after saying all that because Hitomi is still alive. Hitomi realizes he is reaching Code: End and his powers are going berserk. He also realizes his buddies know about Code: End. At least he doesn’t get to die alone. When he first noticed symptoms of Code: End after leaving Eden, he knew he had not much time left. To live and to reform Eden. What can he accomplish in such a short time? Even if his plan is now in shambles, he is going to kill the Prime Minister. Ogami stops him. It descends into a powerless fist fight as Ogami gives him his piece of mind about doing things all by himself but ended up sacrificing many. Hitomi notes that there were agents of Eden everywhere watching not only Kanda but the Code: Breakers as well. Had he contacted them, they would have tried to stop his plan. Then once they get involved, they too would be hunted down. Just like those who are about to die, Hitomi becomes sentimental. He thanks them. He apologizes. Have good things to say about them. Ogami didn’t like how pathetic he has become (I guess he got the most emotional too) because if he dies, he can’t become the champion of justice and it would be like dying in vain. But Hitomi considers everyone here as champions of justice. Because they stand out under the light of the sun, he is sure no one else will die in loneliness. The mood is ruined when the Prime Minister rebuffs it all. He is sure that with such few deaths, this incident will soon be forgotten. Sakura wonders why he couldn’t just listen to Hitomi. After all, he chose him. That’s right. He admits choosing wrongly and hints of choosing a better Code: Breaker next time. That’s when Hitomi snaps and goes berserk. He won’t let him play around with people with special abilities anymore. He is about to kill him when his buddies restrain him. They don’t want him to pile up more evil and to let them handle the rest. Hitomi feels relieved and with his own power going berserk for one last time, Hitomi closes his eyes forever. Ogami reasons that Hitomi has took too many lives and in the end paid with his. Toki gives his own father a punch when he comments the good grief that Hitomi is dead.

In the aftermath, the police got all the credit for handling the situation while the people are relieved the ‘terrorist’ got what he deserved. The Prime Minister brags of the success to Heike. He praises Heike for planning this and making Ogami cornered as much as possible to make him display his true power. Heike isn’t amused and doesn’t consider this a show as he claims. But the true fight now begins because he wonders if Ogami is powerful enough to counter The One Being Sought. His power worked smoothly this time but it isn’t guaranteed it will run wild in the future. He’s not worried since they have the rare species with them as she could easily kill those flames. Noting the plan is going on smoothly because Hitomi was only chosen as a Code: Breaker because of Ogami and Sakura. Pitting Hitomi and Ogami together went well since it was able to draw out the latter’s power. Just as planned… Now he feels ready to stand up against The One Being Sought. You use poison to fight poison. Just when he feels safe that nobody could injure him, a sudden burst of electricity within his body sends him vomiting blood. Don’t worry. He won’t die from that shock. Hitomi’s parting gift? Sakura leaves for school and doesn’t see Ogami but Yuuki instead. All he tells her is that if she ever needs help, don’t hesitate to call him. Later a short meeting with Ouji reveals that it was Yuuki’s way of saying goodbye. Now that things have returned to normal, all Code: Breakers have been reassigned to other areas and this includes Ogami as well. I guess that guy left without saying a word. Maybe he’s not good with goodbyes. Then it’s Toki’s turn. He has information on Ogami that interests her. Sakura passes by the park to see it filled with flowers and the children playing with them. Ogami’s parting gift and tribute to the fallen? Sakura narrates that even if nobody knows about Code: Breakers, this doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. She knows he does exist in everyone’s heart and is not alone. And as long as everyone in Code: Breakers is around, Hitomi will live on. That’s why nobody is alone.

OVA
After all that dark and serious theme, it’s time to let loose some steam. Divided into several segments, the first one starts off with Valentine’s Day. I’m sure you can guess where this is going. Sakura has several missions on this day. Firstly, she is going to prevent Ogami from throwing away all the love letters he receives. How? This means she will PREVENT anybody from giving it to him! So everybody else takes it as a sign she’s overprotective of her ‘boyfriend’. Fan boys: F*ck you Ogami! F*cking lucky bastard!!! Why are they thinking he’s going to eat Sakura? Toki got a sack full of chocolates while Heike receives one from Nenene, in which big brother disapproves of her giving to this pervert. To punish him, Heike is going to make him eat a chocolate sculpture of a naked woman! Kanda meanwhile slips and gives free fanservice to the boys as she tries to make chocolate. In the end, she joins Heike eating his chocolate sculpture. Sakura gives her chocolate (that has her face on it) to Ogami as well as a scroll that conveys his feelings (“KILL!!!!”). Then she becomes pushy and forces him to eat the chocolate! What does this scene look like, especially to those heartbroken fan boys? By the way, the chocolate was made by Sakura’s mom. So why so aggressive wanting him to eat now? Because she remembers he said he hate to leave things behind. So if he eats it now, today will become an unforgettable memory for him. So is he going to eat it now? No way! She’s not giving it up… In the end, the one who receives the most chocolates is… Can you guess… The stray puppy!!! Put you human guys to shame! A month later, Sakura drags Ogami out to the cafe just to discuss what he should give in return to her parents for White Day. Anyway she can’t think on an empty stomach so she orders. Lots of food. Toki invites himself to join them. He suggests Ogami become her butler or host and even mentions about giving his body warmth as present for White Day. Not interested. Heike comes in with candy for Nenene. What is this super see through candy? Big brother no approve! Turns out to be floss candy instead. Ogami decides to treat Sakura to this meal and the rest could understand the implication of this. Meanwhile Sakura’s mom got a bunch of lovely roses but her dad gets loads of chrysanthemum!

Going back in time when Kanda was serving under Hitomi, she goes to see him after finishing his job of zapping baddies. He notices the bracelet she is still wearing. It had a symbol of a little bird and he gave it to her when she was crying over the loss of her parents as consolation. She has treasured it ever since. Heike then arrives to report that Code: Breaker 06 has been killed in action. Hitomi is saddened by his death because he was only 17 years old. He wants to take on more jobs, especially the dangerous ones but Heike doesn’t like the idea to take additional burden because a Code: Breaker’s death is of his own doing. Hitomi wants a replacement and Kanda vows to leave it to her. Speaking of which, Eden has just given orders to Kanda to be in charge of the new 06. Hitomi realizes she has matured and displays an electric bird as symbol that ‘she has left the nest’. She wanted to confess something but Hitomi stops her and advises never to have feelings for a Code: Breaker because they’ll end up leaving her. Then he falls asleep (his Lost form). And so Kanda recruits Ogami as the new 06 and vows to pass Hitomi’s wisdom and beliefs to her new master. The final segment is a short TV episode of Nyanmaru. We see Nyanmaru having a tough time against the baddie duo of Time and Lime. So some goddess, Tengyou appears from the sky to give Nyanmaru the green light to use his Great Nyanmaru Punch. After all that dramatic power up, all we see is Nyanmaru singing and dancing a children’s song! It lasts for over a minute when suddenly Nyanmaru punches!!! What the hell is with that sudden song end? Is it a wonder why the punch is so stamina draining? Yeah, so the baddies after all that big talk finally decides to resort to fleeing. Maybe next time. And so, once more peace is upheld thanks to Nyanmaru! On a side note, the duo asks if he has a shorter punch. Yes he does. It’s called Nyannyan Nyanmaru Punch (what a long name…). He is going to demonstrate it. Well… Just after into the first sentence of that children’s song, Nyanmaru suddenly punches! Definitely very much shorter time taken.

One Bad Deed Deserves Another…
Meh. That’s how I felt when the series ended. Not to say that this series sucks but there are lots to be desired from. At least from my perspective. Browsing briefly from Wikipedia, I saw the other characters and numerous Code divisions and other types of rare species. So you can say that what happened in this TV series was just the tip of the iceberg of what is to come. Probably if they feel like making a sequel anyway since there is quite a potential. From what I can see this season, after Sakura gets introduced to the world of Code: Breakers and their operation, the story arc quickly focuses to that of tracking down Hitomi as a terrorist and taking him out. Then when it ‘suddenly ends’ in the sense that Ogami suddenly leaves and didn’t say a word or two about goodbye, doesn’t it just feels hanging? I mean, mission over, time to move on to the next. Not even a word and there you have it, Ogami’s vanishing act. So can he suddenly just leave Sakura and his classmates just when they are about to get close and warm to him? I don’t see anybody getting worried and I’m hoping it is not implied that they got brainwashed by Eden or something.

Sakura may start off as the main protagonist. However I feel that as soon as the storyline moves to that on focusing on Hitomi, she became very much a secondary character. Sometimes it feels like she is just tagging along for the sake so that we don’t forget who she is. Of course there are moments when her appearance does make an impact but it still boils down to that feel that of a secondary character. I mean, what can an ordinary high school girl do? Of course, she is no ordinary girl because she is deemed a rare species. Although it is not mentioned in the anime, by the way her special ability works, one could have guessed that she is a rare breed because of her nullification powers. Yup, she cancels out the powers of other Code: Breakers. That’s why she cannot be burnt. That’s why she cannot be zapped. Nothing happens to her. Therefore it may be a hint that she is also one of those children with special abilities (that short flashback in one of the early episodes if you recall). Otherwise, how do you explain she was left at the doorstep and covered with blood? And those ‘dead eyes’ she had then was pretty much similar displayed by other special ability children. Sakura has a strong sense of justice but sometimes it is sad that the way the world and society operates, any other normal people would have been easily put down and turn a blind eye. So how strong can Sakura stay true to her principles and beliefs? Let’s hope always. An amusing thing about Sakura is that she may be dense when it comes to trying to express herself in public. Right till the end, she doesn’t seem to realize that her actions in trying to shield Ogami makes everyone think that she is in love with him and very protective of him. I guess nobody is perfect. Perhaps this is the comic relief of the series. So for those hoping for some romance brewing between them would be sorely disappointed. There is none. Never going to be any. The fan boys are just driving themselves crazy. Blame yourself for not being as cool as Ogami. Speaking of the stray puppy that always follows her ever since, to me I thought it felt like excess baggage. You know, it is just following Sakura here and there and at points I’m sure it tried to be helpful but how powerful can a puppy’s bite be? Thus it is something that follows Sakura around like her shadow but doesn’t do anything that leaves any great impact. Maybe this is the series’ mascot. Nyanmaru? For those who are cat lovers, maybe.

Each of the Code: Breakers have their own past and goals to achieve, the reason why they stay pretty much in this business. For Ogami, it was a little ironic that at first he started out as someone who is calm and cool but then when Hitomi gets into the picture, he shows more emotions than anyone else. Like I said, nobody is perfect. They may be possessing super powers but they are still human beings. Indeed it is sad that he was unable to reform Hitomi in the end but at least he knows the truth. All Hitomi wanted was recognition. How would you feel if all the hard work you put in goes unrecognized? There could have been other ways but will it be effective? What would you have done if you were in his shoes? The other Code: Breakers are quiet okay. Toki serves to balance up the interactions with Ogami with his livelier personality. What’s the use of having good looks when you don’t take advantage of it? You’ll never know what goes on in Heike’s mind even if he displays his perverted fetish of erotic books. His goal has always been for the benefit of Code: Breakers so it won’t be so appropriate to label is defection as something to suit his own goal. Kansai-ben Yuuki acts and talks stiff but his heart isn’t because he’ll protect his friends and what he treasures most. I don’t know what else to say about Ouji to round up the gang of Code: Breakers. Nothing really that stands out (not referring to her flat chest lah – the reason why many had problems wondering if Ouji is a man or woman) and shares the same bond with the other Code: Breakers. Then there is the mysterious Yukihina. Who is he? What is he? What is his goal? What temporary alliance did he have with Hitomi? Now that he is gone, I’m sure this isn’t the end of Yukihina yet. With the short appearance of The One Being Sought, it goes to show that everything isn’t over yet by a long shot and the small puzzle pieces are gradually falling into place into the big picture.

The main theme of this series is of course justice and evil. However as from what we can see, how much justice is considered justice? How evil is considered evil? From Code: Breakers to the typical villains and ordinary citizens on the street, all of us have different perceptions of beliefs on what constitutes justice. So to say what someone is doing is called justice won’t be 100% accurate. Some will say that what the Code: Breakers are doing to weed out evil is justice by meting out punishment via eye for an eye. But to some (like Sakura), can you see it is also in a way wrong? Even though it is true that in your quest for revenge or justice, an eye for an eye is justified. But remember, two wrongs don’t really make a right. You can’t take a life no matter how rotten a person is and how much he deserves to die. Isn’t that supposed to be God’s job? But then again, you can’t ask God to do a man’s job, can’t you? That’s what I think. That is why what amounts to be right or wrong totally depends on how strong you hold your principles and beliefs. However if there isn’t anyone going around to kill baddies, the crime rate would have multiplied and wrongdoings will spiral out of control. Even so, is that the right way? Which brings us back to square one of this question: What is the right way? Due to human nature to favour conflicts, I say it is going to be tough because even though it might seem the most peaceful way, I guess nobody is going to sit in class to listen to your lecture about doing good. I know educating is a power tool but practically is it possible? But one thing is certain: You do the crime, you pay the price. At least in this anime. All corrupted government officials and police on the take got sent to their maker after they were found out or outlived their usefulness. If only this would happen in the real world. But with so many villains being taken out and the number of crimes still high, it only goes to show that crime is such a thriving business and nobody learns from it. So do you think Hitomi was in a way right that he wants to wipe out almost everyone? Well, start everything on a clean slate.

And the most important lesson of all: If the top government is corrupted, you can be sure that the system downwards will also be corrupted. As we viewers have been told what Eden is about, it doesn’t seem to be a rosy picture. After all, if you are in such powerful position, you can control information and influence the way you think. That’s why don’t you think the Prime Minister from this point of view is the most corrupted and vile bastard that we viewers would love to hate. He shows no sign of remorse in what he does. If he really did, I don’t think he would have been so suitable to be in this position. So that’s why while he is still holding his post, go and do things the way he deems fitting for his ends and Eden’s. Until the day he gets busted for good, enjoy it while it lasts. So where’s the justice? Is this his justice? You go think about it. Of course, Eden being viewed as the bad guy is from the point of view of the Code: Breakers. To be fair, we need to hear their side too but since we don’t, I guess we have to make do with whatever information has been told to us about Eden that they use Code: Breakers to do their dirty work. I mean, you are the government and supposed to govern with righteousness. You can’t soil your name (or else you lose in the election – but that’s another story) so you use somebody else’s name, a hidden dark organization to dirty your hands. Even if Code: Breakers know how corrupted Eden is, what can a handful of them do? They probably have more super power agents that have a loyalty of a dog to go after you. So if you want to play safe, go with the flow for now. Then maybe after working their way up, they can try to change Eden from inside. Provided if they haven’t given in to the temptations of their version of justice.

There are a few things that continue to puzzle me even after watching the end of the series. If Code: Breakers are told that they cannot maintain a normal social life, ironically don’t you see that they are doing just so? It is just that their real identity of Code: Breaker and what they do is not known to the public. When I say social life and it was mentioned that nobody knows of them, I mean, NOBODY should really know them. Sakura may be a rare species so it is an exception that she gets to continue to interact with them. But then when you see Ogami transferring in as a new student, he might want to choose not to be sociable but can’t you see his other classmates were more than happy to be his friend? So… Shouldn’t he not have any friends or anybody should know him if what is stated that Code: Breakers cannot have a social life is true? Doesn’t a fair amount of people in school know about Heike too? Aside from his Code: Breaker identity, that is. So how come only Nenene got her memories mixed up? Maybe she was an ex-Code: Breaker, that’s why. Maybe I’m missing some point. Like Sakura said, nobody may know about Code: Breakers but they didn’t say anything about not existing. And even if the latter part is true from the higher ups’ point of view, it doesn’t necessarily need to be true.

Youko Hikasa once more voices strong willed ladies and as Sakura, it is no different than her other roles like Rias in High School DxD, Erica from Campione and Houki from Inifinite Stratos. Nobuhiko Okamoto as Ogami also sounds somewhat similar to his other role as Usui in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama. Both may sound suave but in the case of Ogami, he is not out to attract the attention of girls. Other casts include Kenichi Suzumura as Toki (Sougou in Gintama), Shinichiro Miki as Hitomi (Urahara in Bleach), Subaru Kimura as Heike (Kanba in Mawaru Penguindrum), Toshoyuki Toyonaga as Yuuki (Shun in Kimi To Boku), Mitsuki Saiga as Ouji (Phantom in MAR), Yuko Kaida as Kanda (Ryoumou in Ikkitousen), Jouji Nakata as Prime Minister (Giroro in Keroro Gunsou), Kenjiro Tsuda as Yukihina (Inui in Prince Of Tennis) and Yukana as Nenene (C.C. in Code Geass). The rock outfit opening theme, Dark Shame by Grandrodeo seems to be to my liking as it sets the pace and mood for this series. The ending theme, Shiro Karasu by Kenichi Suzumura is also rock based but I didn’t quite like it.

The drawing and art of the series seem to cater to hot bishonen and bishoujo. Many of the main characters are good looking. But I can’t help feel that some of the characters have this familiar look to some other anime character. For example, I thought Sakura looked very much like Akiha from Tsukihime. Maybe it’s her hair band and long hair. Besides, I feel that her eyes are bigger and rounder than your typical anime character. Or perhaps it’s just me. When Heike made his first appearance, my mind went, “OMG! What the heck is Kyousuke Hyoubu from Zettai Karen Children doing in this series? Is he so cool and big that his own series spin-off wasn’t enough (speaking of which, both shows were running concurrently in the same season although the spin-off series continued to air when Code: Breaker ended) that he needed to make his appearance here? Or is he just a clone?”. I thought Toki looked very much like that Tamaki guy from Ouran High School Host Club too. Doesn’t Nyanmaru look a bit like President Aria from Aria The Animation? I have a feeling I have seen the similarity of the other characters somewhere too but just that my mind is to cluttered with anime, thus I can’t recall them when I’m writing this. Besides, if you put all the good looking people of Code: Breakers together in a row, I thought they had this uncanny similarity to the main guys of Starish from Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission serves as an eye-catch. Although it is just the name of this series, they have various patterns and creative designs. Reminds me of how Bleach did it for every episode. Man, hundreds of episodes which translate into hundreds of different motifs. I won’t say this series’ design are mind blowing but at least it is something different and unique rather than the typical ‘single design’ we see in many anime series and those that shoots a random pose of the characters.

People in power and authority are supposed to protect us and what happens when they misuse and abuse their power? You need some kind of watchdog in this world to keep tabs on what they’re doing. So even if you have vigilante groups formed and bringing in their own justice to watch over the authorities, what happens if they turn bad? Are there any other groups to keep them in check? And so the vicious cycle of violence goes on. I guess this is only human nature. Imagine if everybody in the world had such good nature and no criminals exist. You don’t even need vigilantes. You don’t even need the police or army. Wouldn’t life be boring? Peace or excitement, you decide. So if you ask me in the event if I have super powers and would go around doing such vigilante acts, let’s just say that I’d rather show mercy instead of justice. I’m more of a peace lover and pacifist after all :).

Nozoki Ana

June 14, 2013

I can’t believe it. In the shortest span of time ever, I never thought of watching 2 animes that are very close in borderline hentai. After my somewhat distasteful stint with Kagaku Na Yatsura a few days ago, now it seems I have stepped on another landmine in watching another very ecchi anime close to breaking into the hentai category. As usual, my naivety had me thinking that Nozoki Ana was just going to be ordinary ecchi fun but I guess I was wrong. It surprised me. Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice? What brings Nozoki Ana close to being hentai is that there is sex. Yes. SEX! However, it is not your standard or typical hentai because even though you can see bare tits, the genitals are never shown. Or at least kept hidden that you don’t even have the need to mosaic it out. That’s why it is not hentai but yet feels a little like hentai.

Basically, this single OVA that lasts longer than usual (almost 43 minutes) is based on the manga of the same name. The OVA was released as the limited edition of the manga’s final volume. What a way to promote your work after it has concluded, no? But the anime like the manga itself isn’t just for anyone. It’s for mature audiences, if not perverts. Heck, who am I to call others that since everyone in this world are in a way a pervert. If the word voyeurism rings and dreaded alarm in you, then you better stop. The basic premise is that a kid finds a hole in his room and happens to stumble upon seeing somebody else in the other room playing with herself. Blackmail, peeping fetish and before you know it they both start peeping on each other and get wind up for more than they bargained for.

Peek-A-Boo…
Tatsuhiko Kido just moved into his new apartment in Tokyo for his studies in a local university. He notices a hole in the wall and peeping through it, he sees a girl masturbating!!! Emiru Ikuno somewhat knows he is peeping and looks back through the hole and surprises him. Tatsuhiko then goes over to explain himself but as she is about to close the door on him, he stuck his foot in between and accidentally falls on her. Now it looks like he just assaulted her. Worse, she takes a picture of them in this ambiguous position. Oh no. Blackmail. She agrees to erase this picture on one condition. They take turns peeping on each other on alternate days. The one getting peeped on must act normal and because she likes naked bodies, she wants them to show their bare selves. Tatsuhiko doesn’t want any part of this and wants to seal up the hole. She threatens the photo and to leave the hole as it is. Tatsuhiko leaves in a huff and tells her to do whatever she wants. Next day, it’s his turn to peep so he just took a little peek to see her beginning to masturbate! He thought she was just joking? She’s getting real! He gets freaked out and vows never to do this. I guess he can never run away from this fate because he soon learns Emiru is in the same class with him! What’s more, the same circle of friends that his best friend Yonezawa decides to call out for a karaoke outing. Tatsuhiko makes friends with Yuri Kotobiki and Makiko Terakado. Tatsuhiko confronts Emiru to forget about all that happened but she doesn’t want to. In fact, since it’s hard to continue like this, she doesn’t want them to stop exhibiting to each other. Tatsuhiko is not amused and leaves. When the friends part, Yuri thinks Tatsuhiko was staring too much at Emiru and was checking her out. He dismisses something of that sort. Yuri hints she was jealous that he might get taken away by her and wants to come to his place.

Back at his place, she asks if he has a girlfriend. No? That makes things easier. Tatsuhiko is worried about the hole and has a feeling Emiru is peeping since it’s her turn. Suddenly Yuri kisses him. One thing led to another and to Tatsuhiko’s fear, he can tell Emiru is watching. And masturbating! I suppose he understands the meaning of voyeur sex. Wanting to get out of her sight, Tatsuhiko suggests moving to a corner of the room to have sex. However Emiru uses a straw to squirt cold water on his back! It’s a sign. She wants to peep! No choice, Tatsuhiko moves back to the centre of the room with an excuse for more room the manoeuvre. At first his mind was clouded on Emiru watching them that he couldn’t focus on sex. But I guess Yuri was so damn good that he started to forget that he was being watched. Just as it was getting good, Yuri’s handphone rings. Sex, interrupted. It’s her father calling to check on her. Oh sh*t! Looks like they have to call it a night and resume it some other time. She’s serious about it. Soon, Tatsuhiko goes over to Emiru to confront her about her voyeurism. She points out he was the one who told her she could do anything. Tatsuhiko is fed up and couldn’t care less about the picture. If she wants to spread it over the internet, be his guest. Emiru continues to blackmail him. What happens if Yuri finds out he made love to her was because of voyeuristic lust instead of genuine love? Can she handle it? He can’t seal that hole too. Tatsuhiko is so mad that he wants to punch her. She remains cool that it’s her first time seeing a scary face of a man.

Tatsuhiko continues his daily life like normal so much so the peeping hole became part of his normal life. Not that he peeps through it. He continues to not associate himself with Emiru in class. Yuri snatches him into an unused room and wants to continue where they left off. However he excuses himself that he is busy with his part time job. The truth is he wants to save enough to rent a room in a love hotel. Can’t do it when he knows somebody is staring through the wall, eh? Makoto Horii notices Tatsuhiko checking out Emiru too much (because he is always looking over his shoulder when they pass). Does he have a thing for her? That’s because Horii tries to get close to her but was unsuccessful but Tatsuhiko has no problem in that. Later Makiko tells Tatsuhiko that Horii is a player and has ulterior motive. Since she is good in observing people, he wants to know more about Emiru. Don’t get the wrong idea. She doesn’t know much. Emiru may look cute on the outside and isn’t somebody who hides her own self. Makoto returns only to see Emiru inviting Horii in. She knows Tatsuhiko has come back and winks at him. Tatsuhiko won’t be fooled and resists peeping. Seems Horii and Emiru are talking normally. Then he mentions about this rumour that Tatsuhiko raped Yuri to make her his woman. Emiru laughed so loud that even next door could hear. She tells him he is a bag full of lies and the kind of person she hates most. Horii forces himself on her. Tatsuhiko peeps only to misinterpret that they’re getting it on. He is about to leave his room when he hears a cup broken. Peeping again, he is horrified to realize she is being raped. What is stopping him from taking action is that this might be one of Emiru’s tricks.

Emiru manages to whack Horii’s head to get away. She huddles away to the window but Horii continues his advances. He is going to make her submissive but she mocks his boasting so much bigger than his ‘little buddy’. Because Tatsuhiko’s one is bigger. Horii is enraged and goes into full steam in raping her. Suddenly a clock is thrown in, breaking the glass window. The other neighbours are alerted this time so Horii zips up his pants and leaves. He’ll get her next time. Tatsuhiko was hiding outside the balcony so Emiru lets him in. Cleaning up, she admits she was putting a brave front but inside, she was about to break. She thanks him for saving him and notes he was watching her. He asks if ‘that part’ is safe. She shows it to him and can check it out for himself. This is a token of gratitude for saving her. Her body would have been soiled anyway had he not stepped in. He expresses this is what he hates about her. On the contrary, this is what she likes about him. Tatsuhiko is still perturbed with Emiru that he couldn’t focus in his class. Till Yuri probably gave him the right tonic. Sex. This time they are doing it for real at the love hotel. But as Yuri cleans herself, Tatsuhiko can’t help think that sex can turn violent in an instant after witnessing Emiru’s rape. He doesn’t feel his sex drive anymore. He surprisingly gets a call from Emiru. She knows he is at a love hotel with Yuri. Guess what? She is playing with herself while talking on the phone. She even fantasizes about Tatsuhiko was the one who raped him and climaxed 3 times! She even cheekily says she’ll reserve her ‘hole’ anytime for him and if he wants to peek at it, he can do so anytime. Tatsuhiko becomes mad and was about to slam the phone when Yuri comes out. Then he intensely f*cks her. He wants her to go out with him and be his girlfriend. She doesn’t want him to be so serious first. Let’s take one step at a time. The continue having sex and before Tatsuhiko realizes it, he got his sex drive back. From now on, he wants to only think of Yuri and fill her head with only her.

Yonezawa invites his pals to the beach. Tatsuhiko sees Ana walking alone to the storeroom and follows her. She’s tired of the sun and people staring at her. So is he concerned about her that he followed her? Anyway she whisks him to hide in a locker since somebody is coming in. Now Tatsuhiko gains experience in peeping others have sex because the couple starts f*cking in the storeroom! Worse, in such an enclosed space with Emiru, she is getting very turned on! What’s more, she is using his dick to masturbate!!! Once everything is over, Tatsuhiko and Emiru return to the sea. She apologizes for giving him a love bite on his shoulder during that ‘intensity’. It’s so hot that Tatsuhiko won’t even get mad. So hot that Emiru didn’t even want to peep then. Tatsuhiko starts laughing because it’s the first time he hears her whine. While they have fun splashing in the sea, Yuri sees them and has that concerned look on her face. That night back in the room, Yonezawa knocks out first. But instead of bringing him back to his room, the girls think it is okay just to crash here. After all, everyone is so tired what could happen? You don’t say… Tatsuhiko wakes up in the middle of the night to see Yuri on top of him. She wants to get down and dirty with him NOW! I guess there is some sort of excitement in doing it with other people around sleeping. Tatsuhiko tries to finish up early because he knows Emiru is watching. That devil is already masturbating watching them. Yuri can feel he is trying to end this fast. She assures him everyone is so tired and that the already know about their relationship. If they are seen, so be it. She also mentions about watching him having a good time with Emiru. So he has to make up for that part with her. F*ck her till his condom rips? Tatsuhiko notes they’re putting up a free show for Emiru to see, he also notes the difference of staring and being peeped up because it’s like he is under some intense pressure. He admits peeping is an arousing experience because now he is totally turned on. He fears he is becoming a pervert like Emiru and won’t be able to call her that anymore. That’s his concern? Then he starts seeing visions of Emiru in his sex. He feels bad for lying to Yuri in this way. Though he doesn’t think of Emiru as someone special and not interesting in peeping, the image of Emiru he had been trying to remove from his mind started to appear unconsciously before him.

Which Hole Do You Prefer To Look Into?
This is strange… Somehow I find myself not to hate this single OVA as much. I’m not saying that I enjoy watching this show but there is one reason why I find this one more tolerable than Kagaku Na Yatsura. Because the sex part and ecchi scenes were more down to earth. That’s right. No exaggerating wild fantasy scenes that only exists in the deepest mind of the truest perverts. No tentacle rape. No weird liquid. No oversized boobs and although Yuri is busty, it isn’t to a point it was ugly and unsightly. Due to that, I could say that I find this more stimulating that Kagaku Na Yatsura. Don’t get the wrong idea. While I still stand that I do not enjoy hentai genres, but as a guy sex is in its way is still a fascinating topic. And since this isn’t really hentai stuff, am I saying that I somewhat take certain pleasures in watching this? I don’t know. Maybe yes and no.

So for Tatsuhiko, now that he has gotten involved in this perverted peeping business, whether he wants to get away from this totally is going to be rather tough. Sealing the hole in the wall won’t solve the problem. Another hole might surface. But I don’t think that’s the main problem though it is the source that started it all. For him to say that he doesn’t want to be called a pervert is like lying to himself. When he did in Yuri the first time or she letting him have a first taste of entering manhood, is he not a pervert already? Look at the way he handles Yuri during intercourse? Nothing ‘creative’ but isn’t that natural? Well, maybe there is a certain degree to what constitutes a pervert. Like I said, everybody is a pervert in his/her own ways. For now he is able to keep his libido focused on Yuri but now that he can’t get Emiru out of his mind, it signals that he would have feelings for her in the future. After all, he already has a taste in voyeurism sex. It’s not that he doesn’t like it. No one should be jumping to conclusions that Emiru and Yuri are sluts. Emiru doesn’t go round sleeping with anyone and her masturbation is her little secret of self pleasure. As far as we know, Yuri manages to stick around with only Tatsuhiko so there is no issue of multiple sex partners. Yet. When a girl invites a guy to have sex with her, it is hard (pun intended) to turn her down, right?

It is still yet to be seen what would happen if Yuri finds out about the voyeurism and how everyone involved will deal with it. Can’t say that sex will be the answer anymore, huh? Who knows? Yuri may be into voyeurism sex too because when she was having sex with Tatsuhiko while everyone was knocked out during the beach outing, she did state that she didn’t mind if they were found out. So it might be a sign that she is okay if her close friends catch them in the midst of it. But it might be a different case if she gets to know about Tatsuhiko’s hand in voyeurism. I mean, it would be okay if others watch them doing it. But watching others? As the OVA itself isn’t conclusive because of certain issues like Horii’s near rape on Emiru. A guy like him won’t let this case go so easily. He’s not done with Emiru yet. Of course it’s best to read the concluded manga to find out more. I have a feeling that Emiru is starting to show interest in Tatsuhiko as well because he saved her from Horii. Her fascination on him may have begun when he first peeked on her but it picks up after that incident.

I have watched so many ecchi and perverted shows that it feels like I have a thing for them. Well, I can’t discount the fact that I am a pervert in my own way just like everyone else in their own. A closet pervert. You need not know what it is ;p. If this is the future of how ecchi animes are going to be and the standard affair, I have to be really careful in picking what animes to watch then. It’s no more judging the book by its cover or skimming briefly and quickly over the synopsis without thinking deep enough. After all, expectations are the root of all disappointment. It should be already be questionable that I am even watching this sort of genre. Thankfully I didn’t develop any fetish on voyeurism after watching this. I know many people in general don’t like to be peeped on. It’s like invasion of privacy. But if nobody ever finds out, wouldn’t that be okay? What has been seen cannot be unseen…

Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun

June 9, 2013

We’ve had countless animes whereby both protagonists with totally different personalities fall in love with each other. Even if it is not instantly, at least the trials, tribulations and misadventures that they go through together usually gives us a feeling that they’ll eventually end up together. Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun doesn’t feel any different. Shizuku Mizutani is your typical studious bookworm girl. Her only goal in life is the land a lucrative job and dedicates her time studying. Sorry guys. She’s got no time for high school romance and all that sort. On the other hand, there is Haru Yoshida. I’m not sure if calling him eccentric describes him accurately. Would weird do any justice either? He is the kind of guy that leaps into action before he thinks. And because of his zero social skills, he quickly gets into fights.  To him, violence solves the problem. So what happens when you put a diligent girl and a troublemaker boy together? Yeah, clash of personalities. Clash of ideals. Fireworks are going to start. That’s the odd thing about love. Opposite attracts. Then there are other characters into the fray which makes it the mandatory love triangle equation. Love was never an easy topic in the first place. But you can be certain that their lives will forever be changed with each other’s company.

Episode 1
Shizuku narrates she sits next to Haru who hasn’t come to class ever since getting into a bloody fight on the first day of school. He has earned a scary reputation among the students when he put several seniors into hospital in that fight. Yes, the ‘bloody evidence’ is still on that wall. Did anybody bother to clean it off? Ironically, all these events don’t interest Shizuku because her goal is to become the smartest girl and earn 10 million Yen annual income. Yup. She’s a study-holic. However she is tasked to deliver notes to him by her teacher, Saeko Ninomiya. At the batting centre run by Mitsuyoshi Misawa, Shizuku sees firsthand Haru’s craziness when he loses his temper over a game and then jumps right out of the window! After Shizuku leaves, Haru pulls her away and accuses her of being ordered by the teacher to be a spy on him and to tell him to go back to school. He is cool once he discovers the truth and becomes her friend. She’s not accepting the fact that he’s her friend yet. Saeko is impressed she manages to pull off this errand and thinks she could persuade Haru to return to school. Although his suspension is lifted and the seniors are the ones at fault, if Haru quits school, it will be bad on her conscience and she won’t sleep well at night. Not a chance. That’s your problem. Shizuku makes her way out of school and is ‘kidnapped’ by Haru. He brings her to the riverbed to show her a stray dog he found. Only thing is, it’s not a stray dog and it belongs to some owner! Shizuku remembers she isn’t fond of animals. When her class pet rabbit died, she didn’t show any emotion, causing her classmates to label her as Dry Ice. Then at the fast food joint, this blonde guy Kenji Yamauchi AKA Yamaken and his friend want Haru to lend some money. Using the friendship thingy, Haru happily gives them. Then Haru asks if today’s school was fun so Shizuku just tells him if he wants to go to school, just go. He can’t. He’s scared because everyone is afraid of him. But Shizuku is the first person who hangs out with him being scared so he doesn’t need to go to one right now. Shizuku says real friends shouldn’t use him for money and though she is no expert, she would rather have no friends at all than to have friends like that. Haru pours the drink over Shizuku’s head and calls her a bad person. In retaliation, she throws her drink at him and runs away.

Saeko wants Shizuku to tell Haru that at this rate he’ll be expelled. She goes to the batting centre to leave this message to Mitsuyoshi. He tells her to chill and have a game. While taking out her frustrations, she overheard Haru’s ‘friends’ lamenting he has stopped lending them money. To her surprise, Haru is sitting behind her. She leaves and tells those ‘friends’ if they really consider Haru their friend, they should be honest with him. One of them wanted to get rough but Haru grabbed him by the collar and tells them to leave. Haru walks Shizuku home and along the way he starts crying. Tears of happiness I presume. She hugs him and assures he will have friends. He is confident that he might go to school if she’s around. Then he confesses he likes her. In a sexual way. She thinks he is misunderstanding the situation as he never had friends before. Whatever the case, he’ll always love her. So Haru turns up at school. And like the country bumpkin he is, knows no shame because he even stripped himself in class! A month passes and I don’t know how Shizuku puts up with his wacky behaviour after another. He’s becoming like an annoyance. Following her around and keep pestering her to try some monja at some store. Saeko thought she saw Haru being rough with Shizuku and though scared, she gives him a book on how to treat women gently. He immediately tests his gentle hug on Shizuku. Shizuku continues to study and has always been the top scorer till recently somebody beat her to it. That’s why she couldn’t represent the students to make her speech at the opening ceremony. Haru is bugging her so she tells him off that she’s studying. Instantly he points out to the solution to the problem. That’s when she remembers Haru was that speaker who got first place and made the speech.

Till the midterms are over, Shizuku considers him her enemy. Haru wonders what so special about studying because every problem has an answer. How hard can it be? Perhaps it’s the way he said it that pissed Shizuku off. Shizuku is brought to a class that had some boys Haru once beat up for trying to rob him. She just sat there and continued her studies. Haru went looking for her and once he finds her, he gets so upset that he wants to kill them! Shizuku tries to stop him but in his rage, he accidentally hits her face! That’s when Shizuku has had it with his friendship games. She tells him he’s just a waste of time to disappear. Since then, Haru leaves Shizuku alone and she is able to concentrate on her studies and achieve first place for the midterms. However she doesn’t feel happy about it. Then she goes to the batting centre where Haru is hanging out. He thought she wanted to rub it in to her. Instead, she wants to thank her for saving her that day and it made her happy. Now that he has calmed down, happy Haru continues hanging around her and doesn’t mind her studying since she likes it for some reason. If it’s something she cares, he cares about it too. Shizuku feels embarrassed because it’s like she’s being cared about right now. Shizuku accompanies Haru on the way home when he suddenly kisses her on the lips! Was he trying to imitate something from the book he’s reading?! Though he doesn’t feel his heart fluttering like before, he still loves her. Shizuku just stood there. Stunned. Embarrassed. Confused. WTF moment.

Episode 2
I suppose the only way Shizuku could deal with that shock is to eat her heart out at the monja store. I think she couldn’t care less about her weight gain right now. Shizuku reminds us how she cared about nothing else but studying. What is she implying? The recent test has her scoring top again. However Haru would’ve secured that place had he only wrote his name on his test paper. That’s the least of her problems now. Seems Haru has ‘kidnapped’ a stray rooster on his way to school! But all her mind is on now is that sudden kiss… She can’t concentrate. Suddenly classmate Asako Natsume begs Shizuku to help her study. If she fails the makeup exam, she’ll have to waste her summer holidays on remedial classes. Shizuku refuses. Because if she’s stupid, she should take remedial classes. Natsume vomits after eating too much monja. Her reason is that because she is cute, boys will fall for her if she’s a light eater and thus shunned by other girls. Her reason for not wanting to take remedial classes is that there is a gathering of her online community. Shizuku still refuses but Haru wants to come along and agrees to coach her. I wonder if she can handle this hell teacher. She has to. For the sake of her gathering. Later Shizuku asks does it really matter to Haru that people doesn’t like him. He notes she is special and wonders if she has ever felt empty inside. The kind of darkness that surrounds you all around. It scares him. While Shizuku studies alone at the library, classmate Souhei Sasahara AKA Sasayan suddenly talks to her. He’s interested in her because he likes her. Not another weirdo. Is this a joke? He has been observing her and Haru. It’s amazing she got him to come to school. He knows Haru. Sort of. Because they went to the same middle school and he basically never come to class for 3 years! Before Sasayan leaves with his baseball team, Shizuku has a favour to ask of him.

While Natsume is on the verge of death (she didn’t understand what she is being taught), Haru is running away from Saeko who is trying to tell him it is illegal to bring the rooster to school. Natsume feels despair and thinks smart people like Shizuku won’t understand her feeling of being lonely. She wants to get close to people. Shizuku helps her to study. Oh, here is news. The makeup exam is tomorrow. Despite not scoring very high, she was exempted from remedial class. 32 points is the highest she has scored in her life. Serious. The gathering came and went as Natsume blames Haru for ruining everything. She didn’t get a chance to talk to the girls and Haru got into a fight with a guy. She got shunned. She quits. Saeko barges in to give an earful about the rooster but Shizuku mentions that Sasayan volunteered to take care of the rooster. Haru is looking for Shizuku who is nowhere to be seen. I think she wants some peace and quiet away from this dude. She dozes off on the rooftop and when she wakes up, Haru is next to her. He won’t let her leave and makes her lie on his lap. The first time she’s ever skipped class. She starts to notice the blue sky and the other sounds in the background. She felt good. That’s when she is grateful to have met him and confesses she loves him. Thanks to Haru, her world and her values are changing.

Episode 3
Shizuku realizes the embarrassing she said. She tries to give excuse she was lying but Haru acts mature. He feels better about it. Sasayan can’t keep the rooster at his home so they think of getting permission to keep him at school. Saeko is reluctant because it’s tough to get anything from those old geezers. Surprisingly, they gave their approval! So the meeting on how to take care of Nagoya (the rooster’s name) and make a coop for him. Natsume and Sasayan wait outside the batting centre for Haru. They see Mitsuyoshi giving some handsome guy cash who tells him not to come back. At the store, Natsume and Haru start arguing about an expensive coop that Haru wants to get. They have no budget. He insists. Roosters don’t work, right? Shizuku bumps into Yamaken and his friends. Sasayan thought they were going to attack her and throws his basket at them to escape. But Shizuku is slower than a turtle. She could’ve been caught if Haru hadn’t thrown one of them back and cause a scene. Out at a safe place, Sasayan calls Natsume to finish the purchase since they can’t go back there as the guys may still be waiting for them. Haru wonders what has gotten into Shizuku. Normally she wouldn’t have cared to take care of Nagoya or spend her precious weekends with her friends. She says nothing happened and he believes her. With all the necessary materials to make the coop, suddenly it feels a lot harder than it seems. Then Yamaken and friends pop up. They just want to talk. They felt bad about what they did to Haru and wanted to apologize but he’s ignoring them.  Shizuku thinks they’re selfish to expect him to listen after hurting his feelings. Yamaken deduces she is in love with him. She denies. Then she gets an idea. If they want to make peace, they can help in finishing making the coop. Yeah, she build something without lifting a finger. The coop is finished and though not cute (as claimed by Natsume) at least it’s decent. I think Nagoya likes it.

When the friends leave, Haru walks Shizuku back. He talks about luck and misfortune cancelling out and balancing each other in the end. Because if meeting her was his luck, it balances out everything that has happened. Ever since he met her, only good things happened. That’s when Shizuku gives up and declares she loves him. But he was relieved when she took back her words about loving him before and now she has really fallen in love with him. Haru loves her but notes his love is probably different than hers. He thought she would leave him once she realized that. In that case, they should start all over again. Shizuku will wait for him to fall in love again before she confesses again. Haru can’t go home after getting a message from Mitsuyoshi. Where else is he going to spend the night? What do you think Shizuku’s dad is feeling when her daughter suddenly brings back a guy? And they’re both so casual about it. So casual that Haru treats this place like his home and walks around topless. Shizuku is in a dilemma whether to look or not and when she does, he’s already fallen sleep. Meanwhile the handsome guy, Yuzan comes looking for Haru at the batting centre. Mitsuyoshi tells him he is not around. But Yuzan notes he can’t run away forever.

Episode 4
Haru is really treating this place like his own. Yeah, he even coolly notes there is a spirit in this house because last night he felt something watching him. Shizuku points out that’s her brother, Takaya. When the final exam scores came out, Haru beats Shizuku to first place. Despair time. So she goes to see Saeko to reconsider some of the marks on her questions but from what I understand, Saeko is ranting about her failed relationship instead. It reminds Shizuku that she was rejected by Haru. How can she make him fall in love with him? How did she start to fall in love with him? Shizuku notices Haru staring at others and tells him to stop it. It scares them. Besides, she likes it when he smiles. He takes up her advice and guess what? He suddenly becomes popular with the girls! There’s a group following him around! Though, he is still the same crazy weirdo we know. Of course in a way this makes Shizuku jealous. During sports day, Shizuku wonders why Sasayan cared so much for Haru since he never talked to him before and only recently. That’s because he owes him. A couple of girls are bugging Haru when Chizuru Ooshima requests their help to set up for the next event. They leave it to her to do it. Haru wonders if it’s okay since they’re supposed to be friends. The girls mention they never talk to each other although they’re in the same class. Later Ooshima accidentally drops a sports equipment on one of the guy’s head. She becomes very scared. Though he won’t pursue this case any further, he calls her useless and pushes her away. Haru didn’t like that and wasn’t joking when he replied back to one of the girls that he would oblige in making her bleed. The guy punches him. Haru fights back and beats him up in a one-sided fight. This made Ooshima even more afraid. Only hearing Shizuku’s voice calms him down. She takes him away to run when the teacher arrives. While washing up, Haru wonders if he has done something wrong. This happened before and when he looks up, everyone was staring at him, stunned. Though Shizuku can’t say his way was right, she notes he is a kind person. They almost had a very private moment together till Sasayan had to pop up to remind Haru about their next match.

Haru hopes that Shizuku would come along with him if he wins the next match. She agrees. And without any sweat, Haru wins it so she has to tag along to the river with the other friends for their summer vacation. Mitsuyoshi reveals he is Haru’s cousin. He wanted to point out about Haru’s older brother but Haru doesn’t want him to be a blabbermouth. The vacation ends and they drive back to the batting centre. However upon seeing Yuzan, Haru immediately runs away. Like it was some sort of reflex action. The friends talk to Yuzan and learn he is Haru’s big brother. He seems like a pretty nice guy. Upon knowing Shizuku had a part in helping Haru go back to school, he hopes she won’t give up on him and to keep an eye on him. After Shizuku leaves, Haru snatches her away at the alley. She almost died of a heart attack. He was waiting here the entire time? Even weirder, his concern was if they smashed the watermelons together. They didn’t. Mitsuyoshi cut it for them. He asks about Yuzan. Haru hates him but doesn’t want her to pry further. She invites him to her home since she has watermelons for him to smash. She notes she thought she knew him but apparently realized she doesn’t. Haru wants to do something for her since she’s always there for him. She wants him to take her out on a date.

Episode 5
Haru causes Shizuku to blush when he says out loud he gets to see her every day. I think everybody else heard that. In class, Haru notices Shizuku doing maths year that they should only learn next year. Shizuku gets mad wondering how he knows the answer without studying. Remember the time he skipped middle school the entire year? He wasn’t bumming around. He was studying. All topics covered in high school. Ooohhh… Then he asks is there anywhere she wants to go for their date. Yes there is. The library. As they leave school, they see girls gathering around a hot guy waiting at the gates. It’s Yuzan! Instantly Haru disappears! Wow! It’s not even the case of blink and you’ll miss. But Yuzan is here to see her. Haru hiding in the bushes realizes he should‘ve grabbed Shizuku’s hand and run. He pops up, scaring Ooshima. First she’s scared of him but when he realizes she is a class rep, he is amazed by her and thinks it is her glasses that made her so! When Haru notes she is a nice person, her heart skipped a beat. I guess you can tell what this means. Haru suddenly gets a message. He becomes fiery and leaves.

Shizuku seems to be accompanying Yuzan who is bragging about all the different types of sweets he had (I want to taste them!). This is a bait to draw Haru. He sent him a mail with a picture about their location but I guess Haru got lost. Yuzan and Shizuku talk and he learns that they aren’t really a couple. She loves him but he doesn’t feel the same. It’s a different kind of love. Down to business, Yuzan says he needs Haru to quit school and come back home. Haru was a big troublemaker before he entered middle school. Dad kicked him out but now he suddenly wants him back. That is why Yuzan is here. To bring him back. He knows it won’t be easy since Haru hates both of them and based from what Mitsuyoshi said, he has no intention to come home. Thinking Shizuku will be lonely if Haru leaves, he hopes she could help him out. However Yuzan shocks Shizuku that he wants her to help him keep Haru here. They gave up on Haru a long time ago and now he is coming to school. Something must have happened and it’s because of Shizuku. The conversation is interrupted when Haru almost smacks Yuzan with his bag. He takes Shizuku away but she wants him to hear Yuzan’s side of the story. Still don’t want to? Yuzan puts it this way. If he continues to be a coward running away, Shizuku will have to take his place like today. Their father never thought that Haru would go to school and now he wants him to quit so he can enrol him in a school he can influence. But if he learns how to function in society, there’s no reason for him to force him to come home. Yuzan can convince dad about this so Haru just have to play his part in going to school. It’s a win-win situation and a pretty good deal.

Later Haru chides Shizuku for talking to Yuzan. Now what? He’s her father? She just wanted to know more about him. Still, he doesn’t want her to hang around him. She refuses because he has no right to order her around. Till Haru brought up that love subject again and causes them both to go red. As Haru tells Shizuku more trivial stuff about himself, Shizuku gets this urge to touch him, giving anxiousness as an excuse. She touches his cheek and says she’ll be sad if he leaves but if there is a place he wants to be, he should just say it. Of course there is. He wants to be by her side. Shizuku remembers Haru’s words that he was afraid of losing her. Now she understands what he meant. In school, Ooshima seems anxious when she comes up to thank Haru for saving her the other day. His beautiful smile made her blush even further. And Shizuku had this prickly feeling in her heart seeing this scene.

Episode 6
As we know, Shizuku is probably jealous as she ponders how to get rid of this feeling. So irritated that she messed up tying her hair for the first time. Ooshima narrates how she got sick during the first week of school and missed making friends. She regrets coming here and is all lonely and should’ve gone to the same school with her other friend, Yuu-chan. On a side note, Haru is surprised Nagoya laid an egg! Roosters lay eggs? Obviously a prank! What more, the egg is boiled! So when Ooshima hears Haru is always with a certain girl, she gets dispirited. While the class is choosing a class rep, Shizuku notices Haru wearing glasses and trying to show off. Natsume bugs Shizuku about Haru’s encounter with Ooshima because she too knows she has the eyes of a girl in love. Probably Shizuku excused herself with her falling grades and excuses herself. For the first time she realized that other than studying, she wanted to look Haru in the eye but couldn’t. Later Haru talks to Ooshima. He is sad that he wore glasses and didn’t get chosen as class rep! That’s his intention?! Haru seems to be pretty blunt when he asks Ooshima if she has friends. He tells her he too never had any at first but now has some. He is also blunt to answer her question that Shizuku is the girl he loves. So when Natsume comes by and misinterprets this situation, Haru somehow aggravates the situation by saying she has no friends. Thus it suddenly becomes an operation to help find Ooshima a friend. WTF. How did this even happen. Why is even Shizuku part of the operation? Ooshima is so embarrassed. Shizuku seems upset and leaves. Another excuse that she can’t concentrate on her studies? Shizuku mouths off that this is Ooshima’s problem and that she should do something about it herself if she’s unhappy. Haru notes he spiteful attitude is what he hates about her. Likewise, she also hates his self righteous attitude. Oh no. Tension rising. And poor Ooshima doesn’t understand what’s going on and is caught in between. Is she the cause if this?

Later Ooshima sits alone and Haru comes by again. She asks what he meant about being in love with Shizuku. Is it the romantic kind? He couldn’t answer. Natsume comes by and invites them to join them. But it feels like another tension rising because Ooshima is sitting between Shizuku and Haru. He wants to know why she is ignoring her. She tells him straight her chest hurts when she is with him. She can’t focus on studying and doesn’t want to see his face. Haru didn’t get it and thinks she is sick. It upsets Ooshima so much that she had to tell him off that Shizuku cares about him and is worried. She even scolds him for having no balls! She said that out loud! She runs away but Haru catches up with her. He thinks she is trying to overachieve things and it’s tiring. Just work on achieving what she can. Ooshima feels better and is convinced she is in love. Shizuku notes how studying made her feel complete because she is rewarded for the effort put in. So she confronts Haru to apologize and wants to remain friends. Haru is shocked with her answer. Shizuku feels her mind should be focused on studying. Haru blushes when he thinks back about Ooshima’s words about being romantically in love with her. One morning Shizuku calls Haru out on a date. That’s fine but the library? Well, she’s been studying all by herself while he occupies himself with the Rubik’s Cube. Natsume and Sasayan visit the batting centre and learn about Shizuku and Haru’s ‘date’. Natsume feels down because Shizuku never confides in her or tells her anything. Mitsuyoshi advices her that it’s probably because Shizuku has never done it before and once she realizes she can’t do everything alone, she’ll open up to her. Love requires more than 1 person and she should be there when Shizuku needs her. But Yuzan isn’t optimistic. Noting honesty isn’t necessary a virtue and that Haru is a coward, he might run away when the time comes. I guess Haru is bored that he doesn’t have anything better to do but to stare at her. She tells him straight she is no longer attracted to him. She can’t control her emotions lately and can’t let her grades suffer as a result. She is not a genius like him and needs to work through a problem several times for an answer. Haru asks if he is a distraction now but she disagrees since the problem stems from her side.

Episode 7
Haru remembers his late aunt Kyoko who suddenly came into his life to take care of him. The school is preparing for the cultural festival. Ooshima bumps into Haru. She took up his advice and worked hard. Now she has loads of work to do. But she feels better overall. Haru brings up that topic of being shot down by Shizuku. It’s not that he got rejected by her. When Ooshima talked to him about that, it opened his eyes but realized was too late. Ooshima in a way feels in a tight spot. One hand, Haru still hasn’t given up on Shizuku and on the other, she still has a chance with him. She wishes him good luck anyhow. Haru learnt something from Kyoko (something about you can’t pick back up spilled water), that’s why he doesn’t want to make mistakes. Natsume has been eavesdropping and can’t help drop in. She thinks he should just go tell her how he feels if he has time to ponder about this. She adds Shizuku may not be responsive but that’s what makes her attractive. As Shizuku is not interested in her, she doesn’t insult her with names like the rest. Anyway, if he continues to get rejected, don’t give up trying. Haru remembers how hard he tried to push Kyoko away and caused trouble. She doesn’t want him to deny his strengths. Then on her deathbed, she told him humans will always wither away if they’re alone. The only cure is to seek other people. She hopes he would find that person one day. Could that person be Shizuku? Speaking of which, Haru goes to bug her (she’s dozing off at the library). He catches her off with his words that he was ‘thinking about a dead person’. Here comes another surprise. He confesses he loves her. It takes a few seconds for Shizuku to compose herself and control herself in not doing any embarrassing reaction. Good job. Then he tries to kiss her! Thankfully she pushes him away. Does love make him feel those urges? At least he is honest. Despite the confession, Shizuku won’t go out with him as requested so they started arguing. The following scenes that ensue, Shizuku felt a sharp pierce in Haru’s stare like as though she was in constant danger. Life isn’t fair when the midterm results are out and once again Shizuku loses top spot to Haru. Second fiddle again, I guess.

Later Shizuku gives Haru tickets to the cultural festival. He licks her hand! She warns him she’ll get mad if he does that again. Quarrel again. She wants him to give her some personal space (at least 2 metres) or else she won’t feel comfortable with him. I guess Haru didn’t like it so much so he made a very defensive barricade for Nagoya’s coop and names it after Shizuku! Shizuku stumbles upon Sasayan and his friend making plans to make money at the cultural festival. But first they need to get a good spot and that’s the tough part because the seniors will hog them. So during the festival committee meeting, the seniors flex their muscles by taking up all the good spots. The juniors have no chance. Shizuku stood up and defied them to claim the best spot. Haru is there too and repeats her claim. The senior didn’t like him and when he pushes Shizuku away, Haru punches him! In the end, they got the worst spot. As Haru pulls weed as punishment, Ooshima learns about the incident and advises him he shouldn’t solve things via violence if he cares about Shizuku. She was mad because she was worried about him. Haru felt relieved because he thought it was his madness that made her go crazy. Ooshima starts to have this feeling that she might regret falling in love with the wrong guy. She mentions about the not giving up statement he said the last time. She is willing to take the risk as she isn’t ready to throw in the towel yet. However Haru couldn’t remember he said that. What a mood killer. A few metres away, Shizuku heard their conversation. As Shizuku is going to stop by her cram school, she sees Yamaken and his cronies beating up a couple of guys in the alley. Yamaken also goes to the same cram school with her so they walk together to see their mock test results. Shizuku got first place while Yamaken took third. He takes a swipe at her wondering if she enjoys watching people less smarter than her. Shizuku admits it feels good to look down on others. Returning to the cronies, we see them pathetically trying to beg from Natsume to give them tickets to the cultural festival. See? It’s fun to see idiots like that, right? Shizuku gives hers to Yamaken. On her way home, Shizuku meets Haru. She tells him she won’t fall for him because it’ll be cruel to keep his hopes up. He’s fine with that. He just needs to change her mind. Then he tries to kiss her but manages to control himself. Embarrassed and flustering Shizuku leaves and feels she didn’t do anything wrong. But she can’t help wonder why this is happening to her again.

Episode 8
Shizuku is the zombie nurse (Binbougami’s Momiji?) of the haunted house. Somehow she doesn’t seem to be putting much effort into it. Not scary. Not cute. She still has lots on her mind especially about her decision on Haru. If she was still alone, would she doubt herself like this? She happens to see Yamaken. That guy has a very bad sense of direction but his pride won’t allow him to admit it. They return to Nagoya’s coop. Haru and Yamaken’s cronies happen to be there. Haru didn’t like Shizuku being so close to Yamaken but Yamaken provokes him further that she doesn’t mind his touch compared to his. Haru swings a punch but he evades and Shizuku got hit in the face! OMG! Shizuku enforces the 2 metre rule. Stay clear of her at all times! Natsume tries to console Shizuku. The latter knows Haru is such a selfish and childish guy but why can’t she break free of him? Thinking she is seeking her advice, Natsume says that his fixation on her is because he doesn’t want to be alone. She brushes it off since she is just someone accessible to him. A sign she doesn’t trust him? For the rest of it, Shizuku wants Natsume to stay out since it’s not her business. Now it’s Yamaken’s turn to console her. He doesn’t want to be blamed for letting her get punched when he is clearly the cause of it. He tells her his version why she can’t break free of him. Due to her expectations, his words and actions fulfil some of her own hope. She wants him to meet her expectations but she never met his. As they walk through the festival corridor, Yamaken wonders if she feels lonely after chasing everyone away. Shizuku doesn’t feel so because she’s never felt lonely. Yamaken brushes that off because she can’t feel lonely if nobody is around. That statement hit Shizuku and she starts to realize. Yamaken then sees Yuzan with Mitsuyoshi at the festival. He quickly grabs her and hides in the nearest empty classroom. Seems he had some traumatic experience with that dude. Shortly, I guess Haru also must have seen him and hides in the same room. But he has Ooshima with him. It looks like a scene he is forcing himself over her? The duo watch Haru and Ooshima’s ‘interesting’ conversation. Haru asks how she would feel if he tells her he likes her. Because each time he says this to Shizuku, things only get worse. Yeah, he may need to resort to force. Ooshima throws that question back at him. What if she says she likes him. He didn’t think she was serious at first until she puts it in a male-female attraction thingy. That’s like having sex, right? Then the worst possible combination: Yuzan enters into the room.

Meanwhile Mitsuyoshi stumbles upon heartbroken Natsume. He learns she wanted to help Shizuku but was given the cold shoulder. She views Shizuku as her friend as is worried that if girls get into a fight, their friendship is over. Mitsuyoshi assures her it won’t end as long as it comes down to how badly they want to be friends. By now, a crowd has gathered around the room. Why the hell is Haru taking Ooshima hostage?! I know he is panicking but this? Yuzan asks him if he is willing to hurt her. Haru frees her and escapes via window. Yuzan wanted to speak to Shizuku but Yamaken gets in the way. He remembers him and passes Haru’s boots to her to give it back to him (he fled without them). Shizuku returns the boots to Haru and they both admit they’re stupid. She does away with the 2 metre rule. Shizuku notes once the mistakes are identified, it is easier to correct them. Haru gets up and goes to apologize to Ooshima. Likewise, Shizuku goes to apologize to Natsume. She got so emotional that she cried. At the end of the festival, Shizuku is caught off guard by Haru. She thought he was sleeping and wanted to touch his hair. He pulls her close to him and asks if he has a chance with her or not. Haru learns about Shizuku’s insecurities as she is worried if her grades will be affected if she goes back to love him so much. That’s why she decided to go back to studying. She needs to study or else. Haru suddenly hugs her and she remembers this comforting warm feeling that made her heart beat like mad. It was the time she rested on his lap and looked up the blue sky. She didn’t understand what this feeling was then but now she does. She asks Haru to give her some time because she wants to think about their relationship.

Episode 9
Shizuku wakes up to find Haru reading in her room. Did he just break in? Well, he tried to enter the front door but her dad seemed surprise. He forgot today had no school and didn’t want Haru to tell anybody. Shizuku smells something suspicious and goes down to confront dad on why he is not at work. It’s odd to see the daughter reprimanding the father. This means he must have screwed up something big time. The truth is, his shop business folded about 2 weeks ago. He kept quiet so as not to shock her. Shizuku takes action by calling mom. Her response? Go and die! I guess Shizuku must have mastered the art of saying with that tone and expression exactly like her mom’s. Why not? This is the sixth time it has happened. Holy cow! Six times?! How useless can this guy get? Haru hears from Shizuku’s dad as he thinks Shizuku and Takaya must be lonely. His wife works that’s why they’re able to get by. Shizuku had little friends and preferred maths to dolls when she was young. Haru points out she has friends now. Later Haru meets up with Sasayan and Natsume at the batting centre (since Shizuku wants him to butt out of her own family affair). The guys talk about girlfriends. Sasayan hints he had one but got dumped. Haru hints something good happened between him and Shizuku. Which is practically nothing. No progress. Natsume is shocked when Haru told her that Shizuku said she wanted to think about their relationship. That was about a month ago. Now you know why no progress? Well, seems Shizuku stopped by and overheard them. Totally forgot about that, huh? As Shizuku and Haru walks home, she tells him she wanted to be like mom. She once wanted a goldfish but it’s not like she wanted a pet. After reading up and buying food for it, it never materialized and felt disappointed. That’s why she concluded it would be disappointing if she built up her expectations. It made her realize she must be lonely then. Haru then grabs her hand because he has something for her. Guess what? He is fishing down by the drain for crayfish? What a letdown. And here she had her hopes up for something…

Yamaken must be really bad at directions. It’s the fifth time he has asked the librarian for a certain book and his pride doesn’t allow him to let her show the way. So it’s a miracle when he finally finds the place. But Shizuku is also there. So they talk about studying and Haru. He gets irritated just talking about that guy. Meanwhile Sasayan and Natsume are eating at a café when a couple of girls whom Natsume knew walk in. She tries to hide herself but I don’t think that tiny book could do the trick. The girls recognize her and start gossiping about Natsume among themselves. Some love thingy that happened back in middle school. Natsume is on the verge of breaking down when Mitsuyoshi greets her. Then he has that look on his face which says “What are you b*tches staring at” and so those bullies scoots off. Wait a minute. Has she fallen for him? After Shizuku and Yamaken part, he goes crazy thinking back how he drew a diagram to analyze Shizuku’s state of mind for her! So he’s helping her out of courtesy? His body actions don’t seem like it. Shizuku remembers how her mom decides to work because dad was a failure. So he stays home to watch the kids and even Shizuku on one occasion asked him why he was such a failure. Regarding Yamaken’s question of why she wanted to know it will be all or nothing, because it’ll be a waste of time on anything uncertain. Shizuku goes pick up Haru. Still fishing! Caught nothing. Yamaken passes by in a taxi and happens to see Shizuku. His reason to go see her is to return her pen. But when he sees Haru with her, he hesitates. Not until Shizuku leaves, Yamaken throws the pen to Haru for him to give it back to her. Haru is suspicious he has Shizuku’s belongings. He asks straight if Yamaken likes Shizuku. He hints maybe. So you got a problem with that? Haru puts on a worrisome look on his face knowing he’s got a rival.

Episode 10
Shizuku has to come to with Natsume’s Christmas party. They stop by a fast food joint to get some food and run into Yamaken and his cronies. The idiots want to join Natsume’s party and initially Yamaken didn’t want to come even if Shizuku invited him. But when Haru tells him off he can’t come, he changes his mind. Haru doesn’t want him around because he said he loved Shizuku. Oh dear. Did everybody hear that? Yamaken shrugs it off and says he was only joking (which of course is a lie!). I guess Haru bought it. So the Christmas party turns out to be at the batting centre… Sasayan is about the make his way there and chances upon Ooshima. He invites her to come. Upon arrival, perhaps it isn’t what she had in mind because she’s getting creep out when the cronies start to take a liking for her. Annoying. Yamaken wonders what Shizuku will do now that her rival is here. Shizuku dismisses Ooshima as one and is just a girl in love with Haru. It’s not her problem. That’s all. Ooshima feels odd to be among the weirdoes. Because the cronies are fighting over her, Natsume and Haru are engaging in some riddle while Shizuku is cramming her face with whatever book she is reading. Haru gets too close to Shizuku (casually putting his arms on her shoulder) when the guys talk about elementary school. Haru can’t remember some pushing incident he did but doesn’t’ care about it since he has Shizuku now. Ooshima notices Shizuku is studying for the winter session cram school and Yamaken also announces he is also taking that same course. It’s when Haru feels jealous. I’m sure he confided in Mitsuyoshi about joining one but they don’t have that kind of money. Besides, I don’t think he needs it either. He’s a genius, remember? Shizuku thanks Yamaken for that talk the other day. She has decided to talk to Haru very soon.

Later Natsume confronts Yamaken to stay away from Shizuku and Haru. With Ooshima passing by, Yamaken points out what about her since she too confessed to Haru during the cultural festival. Natsume says Ooshima knows her place but it only brings depression to the latter since she got the wrong idea. At the end of the party, Haru confronts Yamaken to stay away from Shizuku. He declines his offer to be his friend in exchange for Shizuku. Because he has Shizuku, he doesn’t need him. Yamaken wonders what if Shizuku likes him more than Haru. He can’t answer but I suppose he was about to do something unholy. Something like pushing Yamaken off the stairs! But Shizuku pops up so he stops and walks home with her. On the way back, Haru wonders if Shizuku could just study fine without the cram school. Shizuku asks if he is jealous and he admits he is. Shizuku realizes this is what jealousy feels and since it’s no point telling him not to worry, she decides to make her feelings clear. She confesses she loves him and rest assured he can trust her on that. So does that mean she won’t attend the cram school? Dream on… So Haru is like an annoying mother-cum-stalker trying to persuade her not to go there. As well as to stay away from Yamaken. Till she tells him off she makes her own decisions and not to interfere with her studies. Left speechless… You know Haru is the persistent kind, right? After class, he continues to follow and ‘order’ her to go straight home after class and not go anywhere else. What is he? Her mother?

Episode 11
I think Yamaken is trying to ask Shizuku out for dinner. Too bad she brought her own. As Yamaken narrates the elitist he is, he can’t help wonder how the heck he ended up in cram school. I don’t know. Maybe he likes a certain girl? He also narrates how he has no trouble getting women because there are some who are just dying to date him. But you know what they say about things that are easily obtained.  He pulls Shizuku aside when she was too fixated on her place cards than watch she was going. This makes jealous Haru to punch him softly in the back. Shizuku and Haru ended up arguing about the latter continuing to follow her around. Yamaken makes a cheeky gesture so Haru throws his can. Yamaken dodges and the can hits Shizuku! Grrr… Don’t lose your top yet, girl… Be patient. In class, I guess Yamaken wasn’t watching his pride when he makes a comment that people are divided into smart and stupid. That’s the difference between him and them and she should have no problems understanding it if she dates him. Eh? Doesn’t it sound like he’s hitting on her? His heart skips a beat when Shizuku touches his head (where Haru punched). She wants him to stay away from Haru and her too. She’s not bragging but rather it shows her that is how much appeal he has. Yamaken can’t help smile on this ‘victory’. Think you’re appealing?

On the way back, he bumps into Haru. Yamaken can’t let his guard down because he feels Haru was really trying to push him over then. Flashback reveals Haru and Yamaken knew each other. Yamaken told him off he always get bullied for showing off and also never to watch himself. Other flashbacks include watching Haru violently beating up a guy at school like a monster and when Yamaken’s buddies were bashing up some guy in the alley, Haru accidentally got in the crossfire and thought Yamaken did it and beat the sh*t out of him. Yamaken thinks Haru has changed but the latter feels it is Shizuku who is the one who keeps changing. He is afraid she may leave him behind. That’s why he is always looking up. Haru tries to let him off with a little threat but Yamaken is not cowed. Is this jealousy he wonders. Haru sits in the rain remembering his past with Yuzan. They had nowhere to go and it was useless if they even ran away. He clearly remembers telling him he was the reason why they were brought to this house. He always wished Haru never existed. Haru is snapped out when Shizuku passes by. He calls her his hero because she always there whenever he wants to see her. He suddenly hugs her and whispers in her ears “I love you”. He wonders he has to suffer and show restraint. What restraint? He wants to barge into Shizuku’s class to mess up everything. Do that and everything is over! That’s why he’s restraining himself hard. He doesn’t want her to hate him or leave him behind. He wants peace of mind. He wants proof. He wants her! Not so fast, buddy. Shizuku is lost for words. She thought everything would work out if she told and showed him how she felt. She guesses they are out of sync now and doesn’t know how to fix it. In another one of the classes, Yamaken thought Shizuku wanted to eat spaghetti, thus it’s his chance to take her out for dinner. He never thought she could bring pasta in a container to class. Maybe next time.

Episode 12
Natsume enters the batting centre and is nervous with Mitsuyoshi around. She sees Sasayan and his friends. One of them, Shimoyanagi wanted to talk to her but is super nervous. His friends are laughing like mad behind. Natsume didn’t like this one bit and leaves. Did they upset her? Sasayan catches up with her and hopes she can forgive them. She explains that’s the reason she hates boys because all they care about is their own fun. He thinks it’s her fault for letting it get to that point. She tells him about female friendship thing but Sasayan points out Shimoyanagi didn’t do anything wrong in particular. She reveals she was just irritated. Shizuku is busy with her studies, Haru is in a bad mood and is having trouble talking to Mitsuyoshi. Sasayan thought she likes him. Natsume flusters and dismisses all he said. Haru drops in and is one happy guy. Apparently Shizuku made a promise to go on a picnic with him after New Year as long as he stays away from her studies. I guess he got ‘bribed’. So for the rest of the year, everyone did their own thing. Natsume chats with her online friends on New Year’s Eve and even lies about the fun things she had done. Suddenly she gets a call from Shizuku on how to record a TV programme and can’t find the instructions. Music to her hears. She must have been waiting for this moment. Then she couldn’t take it anymore. Because she is so lonely, Natsume heads down to Shizuku’s home just to help her programme it. She’s staying for the night. Oh, Haru is there too. He says she shouldn’t feel lonely because she can drop by anytime. She observes them and wonders if she can still spend time with them once they become a couple.

In the dead of the night, they get a phone call from Sasayan and realize they’ve overslept. It’s already 1am and they’re supposed to head for the shrine. Well, it’s packed with people. Yamaken and his cronies are about to pick a fight when Haru jumps in. The cronies manage to convince him their opponents are the baddies so they start the brawl. Yamaken realizes if Haru is here, then Shizuku too must be around. He finds her and tries to buy her dried squid but she pays him back. Natsume brings Shizuku away seeing that Haru is in a fight. She sticks out her tongue to Yamaken he’ll never get her and gets ‘crushed’ in the forehead. Shizuku is about to tell Haru to stop when she got elbowed by him in the face. Ouch. Luckily she manages to keep her cool. They bump into Ooshima along the way and she is with her friend, Yuu-chan. They take their fortunes and only Shizuku got good luck. Natsume is in a dilemma because she wants to root for Ooshima. She tries to persuade her to love somebody else than Haru but she’s cool with it. Ooshima wonders if Natsume has anyone she likes. She claims she doesn’t. Everyone converges at the rooftop of the batting centre to watch the sunrise. Natsume is surprised when Mitsuyoshi talks to her because he notices her gloominess. He adds boys that age are sensitive and could be a little nice to him. Natsume says she doesn’t know how to act after being mean the last time. Then she shouts out to the sky she hates boys. On the other hand Mitsuyoshi says he loves girls but he can’t fall in love now because he has got all this debt. But love is wonderful because it changes people for the better or worse. Natsume explains her delusion of building a kingdom for Shizuku but he points out she knows that isn’t true herself. Natsume hints of being together with him. Sasayan overheard that and goes apologize to Shimoyanagi that the plan backfired. Haru and Shizuku are super disappointed that they stayed up all night and couldn’t see the sunrise. Flashback at the shrine reveals Shimoyanagi still feels Natsume was mad at him. Then they bumped into Yamaken and his cronies before both groups go their own ways. Just before the countdown, Sasayan tried calling Shizuku but no one picked up. Natsume woke up and takes a snapshot of Shizuku and Haru sleeping close to each other.

Episode 13
Thanks to the building blocking, they can’t really see the sunrise. I guess they’ll just make do in seeing it rise from behind the building than the horizon. Haru says everything is fun when he’s with Shizuku and hopes they can do it again next year. Shizuku spends the next few peaceful days studying since her dad and brother are away visiting grandma. Just when she thought she hasn’t heard from Haru since, here comes that bugger through her window! He’s in a frantic. He’s looking for something but won’t say what it is. He expects her to know! Want to guess what he’s searching for? In a huff, he just leaves but left behind his handphone. Next he bugs Natsume but she too can’t understand what he’s looking for. This time Haru leaves behind his net. Next is Sasayan at school and by the time he leaves, he dropped his goggles. Sasayan calls Haru to find out but is surprised Shizuku picks it up. They can’t tell what Haru is searching for. Natsume goes to the batting centre but no one is there. Shizuku shortly arrives too. They’re both looking for Haru but he’s not around. Shizuku hands Haru’s handphone to her so she could give it back to him. Yamaken and his cronies are at hospital (one of them had appendicitis) when Haru suddenly runs pass by. He came across a wild boar… Anyway, besides the gloves he drops on purpose, this time he loses a set of keys. Why is this guy keep dropping things? I hope he won’t lose his clothes by the time this run around ends. By evening, Sasayan makes his way to the batting centre and finds Natsume waiting. Meanwhile Yuu-chan spots Nagoya along her way and snaps a shot and sends it to Ooshima. She calls her and tells her about the rooster. Shizuku remembers she has to buy rice and goes out to do her shopping. On the way back, she sees Yuu-chan holding Nagoya and is lost.

Yamaken and co now come into the batting centre to return Haru’s belongings. His cronies are absolutely happy Natsume is around. She apparently isn’t. Soon, Shizuku and Yuu-chan come in. They think Haru has been looking for Nagoya. They decided to find him but where to start? For all you know, he might have gone to where no man has gone before. Shizuku deduces from his getup and situation she saw him this morning, he may be down by the river. Why? Who knows? Yamaken and Shizuku don’t want to join the search and leave. Yamaken’s co initially didn’t want to find Haru too but with Natsume giving her piece of mind about caring for friends, I guess they suddenly know the meaning of compassion. Shizuku realizes Yamaken is lost and since he doesn’t admit it, she leads him back to the main road. The rest continue to search and Sasayan thinks Natsume should wait back at the centre in case Mitsuyoshi or Haru returns. I know what he’s up too. But Natsume declines. In actually fact, she really wants to see Mitsuyoshi but is too damn scared. Yamaken’s crony who underwent appendicitis surgery suddenly has his wounds open again and starts bleeding! Oh sh*t! Shizuku sees Haru as she walks back up to her home. She tells him they have found Nagoya but he isn’t aware that the rooster was missing. Eh? Wasn’t he looking for it? Apparently not. He was looking for a glowing bug. Something like a firefly. Do fireflies come out in winter? He spotted it this morning and wanted to watch it with her. It probably would have been prettier if she was with him. Then they see the firefly before it disappears. Shizuku did a research that indeed a species of firefly was active during winter. But to what they saw was a bug or not remains a mystery. Shizuku narrates Haru sometimes looks like having fun and other times he looks distant. She wonders if she can one day look into his eyes with honest and sincere affection. She notes the light she saw was pretty. Very much prettier because she wasn’t alone. Finally, Mitsuyoshi returns to the centre to see Yuu-chan waiting with Nagoya. Who’s she?

Next Door’s Weirdo
Nothing much happens… What the hell is this unfinished hanging? Feels like everything hasn’t been settled yet and then the series just ends. WTF? Nothing resolved too. Perhaps the reason why it wasn’t extended to another season was because it was getting boring. Yeah, I somehow gradually felt that as each episode passes. Sad to say, this kind of ending made it worse. Not to say that this drama romance anime had anything very unique that makes it stand out from the many other similar drama romance animes that I have seen. Therefore, uninteresting plot and direction + nothing much dramatic happens + not much progress and development between the characters and the love polygon + unsatisfying end = one hell of a big yawn fest and bore. It’s amazing that I didn’t fall asleep. I didn’t even take caffeinated drinks or coffee to stay awake.

Just as Shizuku narrated from the start and at the end of the series, she said she had lots to say about Natsume, Sasayan, Ooshima, Yamaken and even Nagoya. Yes, she even had something to say for the rooster. I guess 13 episodes weren’t enough. Or did it feel like she didn’t even say anything about them throughout the series? What was it that she wanted to say about them? Probably some love relationships and their friendship I’m guessing. Her monotonous expressions at first were amusing because it’s like she’s a bookworm zombie but it gets tired after a while. It’s funny when she shows a little more emotion especially when she is flabbergasted, surprised or blowing her top. You can thank Haru for that. Sure, that guy is eccentric and may not act like in the society would view appropriate. But he’s a nice guy once you get to know him. And if you can put up with his quirks too. His weird ways of doing things may amuse you but you too will learn to get use to it and that won’t be fun anymore. It’s somewhat predictable he is going to do something weird. The question is what he is going to do.

So that’s why it is also funny and a mystery how Shizuku and Haru can end up falling in love with each other despite them short of being acting like romantic couples. How long will that take? Maybe give them another season and they still won’t make any progress. Even if they speak their mind, it still didn’t get them anywhere. Is it just me or do I notice that sometimes when Shizuku wants to stop Haru from getting further into a fight, she gets accidentally owned by him. In a way, that’s like abusing your girlfriend, right? She’s already come this far, what are a few knocks to her head? Okay, maybe she should be worried about that. One thing is certain. Ever since they both crossed into each other’s lives, their lives have been changing in different directions. Shizuku may still be targeting to be Japan’s top student with high grades and landing that dream job. But she’s not as obsessed as before. She now has true human friends instead of her book as companion. She’s learning things that she can’t learn through textbooks but via life experience. Haru may always top her in grades but when she finally beats him, the satisfaction wasn’t there and not what she expected. With Shizuku around, Haru gets to control his feelings better and not rush into every fight to let his fist solve the problem. On a trivial note, the opening sequence and the promotional poster has Shizuku holding Haru being chained by the neck. What are they trying to imply? Haru is her dog? She will have full control over this ‘monster’? She needs a leash to keep this wild guy restrained? I suppose this subtly hints about their relationship. Shizuku trying to put some control in their relationship the way she wants. The 2 metre rule (which she later revoked) and telling him to stay away from her cram school classes are just some of the signs that she’s in control. I am confident Shizuku won’t easily lose control of him.

As for the other characters, because of the unresolved love triangle (as it is mainly focused on Haru and Shizuku), it is one of the reasons why I felt this series was a letdown. So what Ooshima had a crush on Haru. So? Is she still gunning for him or not? After that school festival incident, things on her have just about toned down. You just see her here and there so as not to forget about her. Besides, she would have been quite forgettable by then. It’s odd that for one incident it took to save her, it is understandable that she likes him and after so many moments with him hearing him out that his heart is with Shizuku, it is certainly enough to put a girl with high ambitions to give up. And even after witnessing Haru and his weird antics, does she still really like him? She can bail ship now since it’s the perfect chance. In the end, nothing really conclusive about Ooshima and Haru, right? Yamaken’s body action clearly points to that he has feelings for Shizuku. He won’t admit it but we know. He knows Haru is going to be a pain and a big obstacle but doesn’t seem to take any proactive action. Is he fine the way he is now? Does he love watching from the sidelines and just pray for some miracle that Shizuku would suddenly grow tired on Haru and turn to him? He sure doesn’t look like he is in a rush (or maybe he just looks like it) and perhaps could certainly wait. Yeah. Keep waiting. His cronies are a bunch of idiots but at least they seem fun and carefree and in a way honest with their feelings. I suppose they like Natsume being pretty and all not because they want to pursue any serious relationship to begin with. They just want a cool chick to hang out with. Say, what happened to that appendicitis member anyway? Did they rush him to the hospital or he just died from excessive loss of blood? See, this is what happens when you don’t wrap things up properly. Even if they’re just minor characters and the scene was probably for comic relief, at least you want to know what happen to them, right?

Natsume too is having her own problems with love and as hinted in the final episodes, she clearly does like Mitsuyoshi. And what is his reply? Man, that guy doesn’t even give an answer. So where does this leave Natsume? I guess it is not as bad as an outright rejection so she still thinks she must have a chance. Just that she is too chicken (sorry Nagoya, not referring to you for any pun whatsoever) to confront her feelings despite being a different person when she’s online. Her minor case with Shimoyanagi wasn’t resolved either. He wants to apologize but couldn’t get the chance. Then the story ended. Good luck waiting for next season. If there is another season being made. Sasayan feels like he is just some observer amidst everybody and everything. From the way he speaks and acts, I don’t think he has anybody in particular he likes. So in some cases maybe for Natsume’s, he tries to play matchmaking and as seen tries to give her a fighting chance for Mitsuyoshi. The biggest mystery of all is Yuzan. At first he was painted like some sort of antagonist wanting to bring back Haru. Then he may not be as bad as we think he is. Whatever happened to him after the school festival? It’s like he came and gone. I almost forgot about him when the series ended. So what was the deal with their dad anyway? There is a deeper and darker secret behind it and I’m guessing that Shizuku would find this out once she gets to know him better. That’s another story. Amusingly, it’s funny to see Haru bolt just the sight of Yuzan. It’s like a natural reaction and I think this super fast disappearing act could make him the best street magician or the fastest 100 metre sprinter. Yup, even breaking the world record at the way he ‘vanishes’. Too fast for the naked eye to see.

I’m not saying that this series should have more screen time on Nagoya seeing that I get the feeling the rooster is this series’ mascot. Perhaps the only segment that Nagoya hogs the screen time is during the next episode preview. I don’t know. You just see Nagoya bumming around. What do you expect to see a rooster do? This isn’t some cartoon or fantasy so you’d be sorely disappointed if you’re expecting Nagoya to suddenly get up and speak or wield a sword and slay duck demons. Hah. My imagination must have run wild after finding this series to be really boring. One funny bit that I clearly remember involving Nagoya is when Shizuku tried to boo and scare it when she thinks it is staring at her! I think the chicken got scared out of its life. Nearly died of a heart attack. Then maybe they all can have fried chicken for dinner. Mmm… Tastes like chicken. Of course lah!

Hearing Haruka Tomatsu as Shizuku, the first thing that she reminded when I first heard her was I thought she was the grown up version of Hitoha from Mitsudomoe (a character she voiced in this anime). They sound almost similar as both are in a way bookworms and they have that no-expression look on their face. Other casts include Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Haru (Yuuji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Kana Hanazawa as Ooshima (Chiaki in Mouretsu Pirates), Ryota Ohsaka as Sasayan (Yuki in Tsuritama), Takuma Terashima as Yamaken (Umehara in Amagami SS), Tomoyuki Higuchi as Mitsuyoshi (Takaomi Sudou in Guilty Crown) and Yuuichi Nakamura as Yuzan (Tomoya in Clannad). Atsumi Tanezaki makes her debut as a supporting role as Natsume. Both the opening and ending theme have this shoujo-esque feel. Q&A Recital by Haruka Tomatsu is the lively opening theme while White Wishes by 9nine is the girl group pop ending theme.

I have to admit that there are some funny moments too but the long and draggy love romance drama that didn’t go anywhere somewhat spoils it. Maybe they are trying to tell us that love takes time to nurture and you can’t rush it. That’s why this season was probably not enough to cover it. Hey, I’m here to watch a satisfying love drama not to see a cliff-hanger, okay? You can hear the words Shizuku says about what she realizes and observes as she goes along in her relationship with Haru. I think they are notable but they aren’t going to be remembered or listed close to the most memorable quotes in the history of this genre. Besides, I did say that this series had nothing unique to offer besides Haru’s odd behaviour so there is nothing much that stands out. Thus if you ask me, I would have preferred other animes of this same genre like Kimi Ni Todoke, Sukitte Iinayo and even Bokura Ga Ita because the relationship actually went somewhere despite the slow pace of the typical romance drama. Also, did you notice there are no ecchi/fanservice elements? Therefore, this show is purely for fans of the romance genre.

Despite how I said that this series was boring and the likes, even if they made a second season, I would still love to watch it to find out more about how the love relationships between the characters will be resolved. No doubt it would be Haru x Shizuku as strongly believed by many viewers and fans. But you can’t dispel the other slim possibilities. Life surprises you when you least expected it so there is that slight chance that will upset the balance and herald a new revelation. Who knows? Hopefully it will be resolved by then and won’t leave it hanging like how they did it here. That’s how I would prefer my love situations to be solved. The longer it takes, the more complicated it becomes to get over with. Feelings of awkwardness set in, more love rival appears, unforeseen circumstances pop up, just to name a few. Simply because it’s love. You know, it’s complicated. You can’t solve that with any maths equation you learn in class, can’t you?

About after a month of my country’s most hotly contested elections ever in the history of the nation, it is time for some healing and moving on. There are always winners and there are always losers. Like politics that I loathe, it gets dirtier and dirtier every time with all the insults and underhanded tactics, both sides accusing each other of this and that. It will never end. It’s already over, damn it. And thus despite everything still in the midst of settling down, I too decided to calm myself by watching an anime that is related to elections. Not that I got involved in my country’s general election anyway. But reading too much aftermath stories of the elections seemed somewhat depressing. So I stopped reading (like I should have a long time ago) and started watching Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate OVA.

The OVA as some dubbed it as the thirteenth episode as it is released with the final volume of the Blu-Ray discs. This OVA takes place after the end of the TV series whereby Yuuki has won the coveted student council president post after his touching and heart moving speech against all odds. This OVA doesn’t really bring much except it is some sort of cooking competition between Chisato and Satsuki over you-know-who. This OVA also gives the minor characters who appeared as cameos back in the TV series a little more of the spotlight, though I doubt that would change anything. Heck, this OVA doesn’t really change anything or add any developments to the storyline. You just watch this as an extension and not hope for something more serious or conclusive. Of course the other reason why I am watching this is because of the sweets. Mmm… Yummy… Now let me have that taste of the legendary Oojima Roll already!

Crossover!
The Food Research Club will be celebrating Yuuki’s election victory. He thought he would have a nice rest for the weekend but didn’t expect to find himself to help Chisato in making sweets. We know her cooking skills sucks big time. But after she puts up a teary performance how she really wanted to cook something for tomorrow’s party, I guess Yuuki can’t say no and will help her out. Before they could start, Satsuki comes in as she needs his help for some duties in the student council. Life is going to get busier and more hectic. However Chisato won’t hand him over just like that. So which is more important? The Food Research Club or the student council? More importantly, who ranks higher? Chisato is the president of her club and despite Satsuki being a club member as well, she is the vice president for the student council. Who should Yuuki listen to? The showdown continues as the girls argue they should hog and monopolize Yuuki. Then the quartet of Mao, Matsuri, Kimika and Ayumu come in. They are here to return the school uniform they borrowed. Learning that the girls are in argument over Yuuki, Matsuri suggests they have a cooking contest. Whose sweets that Yuuki finds the most delicious, the winner gets the right to hog all of him. At first the duo disagree but Matsuri makes Yuuki know his intention that he wants to taste their sweets. Plus, this is Chisato’s great chance to practise on her cooking. So with the quartet splitting up and lending a hand to the contestants, Yuuki is made as the prize. Who wouldn’t want to put in their best since it is Yuuki at stake.

Yuuki hears Matsuri fondling Satsuki’s boobs. He got so interested that he goes to take a peep! Wow! It’s getting real hot in there! Till Chisato punishes him for his voyeurism. As the girls continue to bake, we see some of their antics like how much Chisato sucks in cooking so much so Yuuki had to give his vocal opinion on what not to do. But you know, she’s too slow. She let the butter melt in the microwave oven, pour all the hotcake mix into the bowl and rolled out the dough too much that its thinness is so thin that you can see through it! Will she be alright? Then there is Kimika with her itchy fingers because she is touching and pressing almost every button on Non-chan’s weird inventions. I know she is curious but you know what they say about the curious cat, right? And we all know how ‘destructive’ Non-chan’s food inventions are. So much so one of the inventions caused cheese to splatter all over them. Looks like they have to borrow the uniforms they just returned.

The girls have finished their baking and now it is judging time. However Chisato and Satsuki want the other to go first. Seeing how tense both sides are, Yuuki lets them try his Oojima Roll to calm down. Satsuki is ecstatic with the heavenly taste and starts praising it. Till she realized how embarrassing her ranting was. So… Who is going to go first? Chisato decides to call off this contest seeing that after tasting his Oojima Roll, it is unfair for their ‘inferior’ sweets to be judged by the ‘master’. Even Satsuki agrees that such ‘conflict’ is unproductive. Matsuri objects that they should chicken out now and the need to see things through right till the very end. Since they can’t decide, Matsuri will decide. Satsuki goes first. May I opine that shouldn’t Yuuki choose whose he wants to taste first in that case? Yuuki tastes her cake and finds it delicious. Now it’s Chisato’s turn. Let’s hope it won’t taste like sh*t. Sorry, but you know the kind of comical situation whereby you put something in your mouth and then you just vomit it out? Yuuki takes a bite from her cookie. Guess what? It tastes great! She has outdone herself. He also adds that the other club members would love to taste them.

Before we could hear the results, Satsuki says there is no need for that and concedes defeat. She explains her approach was to make a cake that Yuuki finds delicious and happy. It wasn’t just for the sake of competing. When he tasted it and said it was good, she was the one who felt happy. But in Chisato’s case, it isn’t only the one who ate the food felt happy but the person who made it as well. She never realized this is what sweets are all about. Yet she tried to disband this club for its lack of achievements. It took her this long to realize something this important and admits she wasn’t qualified to compete in this contest in the first place. She now knows this club strives to make others happy. Everyone then have fun eating the delicious sweets made.

A Taste Of Heaven…
Oh… It ended. And I didn’t get to taste any of their delicious sweets. Boo hoo! Too bad for me. But at least it left a nice warm and fuzzy feeling inside my heart (too bad it wasn’t my stomach) knowing that they made something good enough for me to imagine it was definitely delicious. In short, I think that is what the highlight of this OVA is about. The delicious sweets and Satsuki’s understanding of the Food Research Club isn’t just some slacking club with members who sit around eating snacks. There is a deeper understanding to it all and it is a good thing that with this accidental competition, she gets to cherish and value the contributions of this club. After all, isn’t that what snacks and junk food are really about? To make people happy. Forget about the calories and little nutritional value it has because snacks are good for you too. Yes, good for the soul! Yum. I feel like I want to take a little bite now…

It is very obvious that this OVA didn’t even feature any other characters of the series and those in the same club also did not make their appearance. So we don’t really get to see that dramatic love act that we sometimes see Yuuki playing out with Mifuyu, the monkey combo of Kii and Ai, Michiru’s ass showing fanservice or the funniest one being Yume’s gay remarks for Yuuki and his Yaoi Stick. Like I said, no major developments with all the characters and despite this being Chisato and Satsuki focus OVA, it doesn’t feel like they’ve gotten anywhere closer to Yuuki. Don’t hope for such romance to happen here. Now that I have calmed down, I hope that the dust will settle for everyone in my country involved in the recently concluded elections. Don’t get stressed out over something that is already over. And remember, when you are stressed out always take sweets and you will feel better. Why? Because STRESSED is DESSERTS spelled backwards! That’s why chocolates, sweets, candies and cookies will always have my vote.

Kagaku Na Yatsura

June 7, 2013

Oh God… I think I have sinned… I swear… It caught me off guard… Really… I didn’t know… I really didn’t know it was a very close borderline to hentai… I know it’s my fault for not reading and even if I did read, my skimming was so fast that when I saw the words “science trouble romantic comedy” in the synopsis, I thought Kagaku Na Yatsura is just going to be a harmless ecchi comedy. Yeah… Define harmless… This is more than ecchi! Like I said, it borderlines very close to hentai and at any second it could just crossover to that category. Only difference why it didn’t was because nobody ended up having sex and the bottom part of the female’s anatomy is not shown (that includes the mosaic part even in hentai categories). Another reason why it never crossed my mind it is closely hentai is because if a series like this gets released and announced via normal channels, it can’t be that bad, right? After all, those usually looking hentai shows would have gone underground.

This is what you are going to see and expect for 3/4 of this show. There are a couple of girls in this show that have boobs so big that they may have jumped straight out from a hentai series. So big that it makes Seikon No Qwaser and Manyuu Hikenchou look like babies. So big and bouncy that you think it is filled with bags of water in it. So big that it looks… Ugly. To me. What is the use of having such large boobs if you’re not going to mess with them, right? So this is what this show is about. You see these girls with big boobs getting molested or masturbated. Yes. You read that right. Don’t worry. For those of you who like flat chests, there is a character that is as flat as a washboard. Either way, they’re going to get done in too. So you have been warned. Unless you find such unholy acts stimulating, you better quickly turn your attention elsewhere and walk away while you still can. I’m already a goner.

Boobs, Boobs and FaceBoobs…
The episode opens with clueless guy, Haruki Komaba not realizing he has been brought around the city by Airi Kuze. He didn’t realize it was a date till she pointed it out. So they meet Haruki’s love rival along the way, the oversized breasted Ayana Hizuki. This airhead gives us our first stimulation by being molested by her older sister, Touko who is in invisible mode. Ayana’s sensitivity means she cum easily… You get the idea. Airi notes that the Kuze and Hizuki families are rivals in trying to master the abnormal science. How does Haruki fit into all this? Since he is their childhood friend and knows their work very well, the club he chooses to join will prove which of them is superior. And of course will earn the right to marry him. I guess he didn’t hear the last part before. However, because Airi formed the Mechanical Science Club while Ayana the Chemical Science Club, Haruki got confused and eventually joined them both. Maybe that’s why things are getting worse. So this is the only plot you’ll ever need to know for this anime. Or you don’t even need to know it because the masturbating starts NOW!

Airi knows Ayana is her rival but what does Touko have to do with this? She knows Ayana is not assertive and that’s why she is needed. She tries to convince Haruki to join them by rubbing her equally big boobs over Ayana’s to stimulate her. Join and he can enjoy this double service every day! You think he can resist the temptation? Airi takes Haruki away for their date. Touko knows she can’t leave them alone and hatches a plan. She knocks out Airi and kidnaps Haruki. Away at a secluded spot, she lets him molest her breast. Does he like it? Well, he prefers if the 3 of them have fun together. Greedy. But at least he’s honest. Since Touko is an abnormal scientist, she is going to solve this the way she knows best: Drugs. Oh sh*t! The kind that makes you obey her every command! Double sh*t! Airi intercepts and they both fight. But when Airi lets her guard down, Touko sticks her syringes into her. On her command, she wants Airi to embarrass herself in front of them. Airi’s multiple mechanical hands start tearing her own clothes and masturbate herself. Ayana comes into the picture and this distracts Touko. Airi uses this chance to steal her drugs and give them feel her wrath. The sisters get stuck in some sticky glue as Airi uses her mechanical hands to molest and masturbate them. She ups the vibration mode and turns them into sleazy yuri hentai sisters. I’m not sure if Touko is enjoying this but she kisses Ayana who is already cumming for God’s sake, how many times already? At the end of the day, Touko calls it a draw and leaves with Ayana (who is still cumming I guess). Airi cancels her so called date with Haruki since the mood is ruined and the schedule all messed up. Was there ever a mood to begin with?

In school, the gang heard they have a new school nurse. Guess who? Damn right. Touko. Oh no. Her true intention is to lure Haruki into Ayana’s club. As Ayana points out being a school nurse is important to hear out students’ problems (relating some stress she got when she turned into part animal), Touko decides to do so by using drugs! WTF?! She opens a clinic for counselling personal problems. Guess what? She’s got lots of students rushing in to solve their problems! I guess teenagers have got lots of problems of their own. Success. So good that Haruki even thinks of getting one. More surprisingly, Airi wants one. So what is her problem? She wants something to make her boobs big. Haruki tells her that a girl’s worth is not measured by the size of her boobs. She is not convinced because he always kept staring at the sisters’ humungous melons and zaps him. He comes clean he is a boobs man. The bigger the better. Touko knows she has drugs to enhance her boobs and gives them to Airi. However she didn’t feel them grow big. Oops. Wrong drugs. It makes her boobs more sensitive. Why waste the chance? As Airi is ‘paralyzed’, Touko takes the opportunity to molest those little pair of molehills till she cums. When it’s over, Airi gets back by making Touko drink her own drug. Touko turns invisible and tries to escape so Airi searches for her and accidentally makes Ayana drink them instead. Oh dear. Her breasts are already so sensitive, could you imagine the hell when she’s drinking this? Even the shirt she is wearing is turning her on! So take it off! Not working because it feels like the air is licking her breasts! How sensitive can her boobs be???!!! Touko has no antidote and since the drug is mixed with the breast milk, the only way is to milk it out dry. But Ayana remembers she created an antidote but it’s back in her club room.

So the gang take her there and they are confronted with Ayana’s pets who are concerned of their master. She tells them to let them pass to take some medicine or else they’ll have to squeeze her breasts a lot to make her squirt it out. Oh God. I think she just worded it wrongly even though I know what she is trying to say. The pets start thinking. This or that. Since they hate medicine, I guess they’ll have to squeeze it all out. Damn. I saw this coming. Why the heck do they all have tentacles???!!! And so you can’t leave out the very much tentacle rape scene if you’re in this kind of genre, can’t you? And so, another round of masturbating and cumming as those tentacles molest and squeeze out… Use your imagination… But don’t use your hand!!! Yet!!! The pets detect Touko isn’t well too and proceed to give her their own molesting medicine. What about Airi? To prevent the same fate, she clings on to Haruki and claims he will suck out her breast milk! How the heck did he get involved? I guess he can’t let this opportunity slip too because he is sucking on her small tits and finds it very nice! I think Touko climaxed 3 times… After all that stimulation (I think they must have squirted out lots of breast milk to feed the entire school), Touko promises to make a better drug but Airi will not rely on her. She will use her own sexy charms to seduce Haruki. Ayana wishes her good luck but Touko but even Airi feels that she needs to be aggressive too. Where’s the fun if you don’t have an equally aggressive rival?

The Science Of Porn!
Oh God. I think I almost died… I think it’s a miracle I somehow made it through without ‘drying up’ myself. If you’re thinking I enjoyed all that, then the answer is a big NO! At first it may seem funny how the girls get into such ambiguous situation. But when the stimulation starts to drag and the excessive moaning making it unbearable, it really started to get to me. I admit I did have a few laughs but after a while, it doesn’t seem funny anymore. I know I could just cancel my viewing and watch something else but I thought I should hold out a little more. After all, there is only one perverted OVA episode lasting less than 30 minutes. How bad could that get? Very bad. If you’re a person who isn’t into hentai, it could seem almost like an eternity. So unless you are a true pervert and a great fan of hentai and love seeing the faces of girls in orgasm, I think this series just serves as an appetizer and there are other ‘worst’ stuffs in the hentai genre out there. I wouldn’t want to know. Only true perverts may understand how to appreciate this kind of art.

So do you care about the plot? It may seem interesting on the outside as stated in the synopsis on how Haruki gets into ecchi trouble when the girls extremely use their abnormal science to seduce him, but you don’t really see that here, do you? Do you care about the characters? Are you ever concern of how Airi ended up being part robot or why Ayana is part dog? Unfortunately this OVA introduces nothing except maybe to awaken our horniness. I’m not really into this genre as said so I can’t say if the quality of the borderline hentai is what is going to be set as the bar for future ecchi series. By the way, isn’t it the same scene all over and over again? Girls getting molested around their different body parts, lactating, moaning, big breasts, small breasts, sexy positions… Don’t you get tired of that? The same kind of thing shown in just a slightly different variation but with the main ecchi theme being played out? I guess that’s why porn never dies out. You can watch the same thing a hundred times and never get tired. So are you very stimulated after watching this? No? You must be gay. What does that make me then? Let’s say I prefer my woman not having oversized boobs that may seem like they’re going to explode any time or so flat that you can’t tell if it’s her front or back. Call me a hypocrite or a pervert. Everyone has their own perverted tastes.

Now that porn isn’t just a form of art, this anime proves that even with science, you can still have porn! How is that? Porn transcends both the art and science category. Don’t they both complement each other in that sense then? Even if the ladies here don’t master the abnormal science like they’re supposed to, I think they’ll become great porn stars! They’re such naturals, don’t you think? They are easily stimulated, viewers are easily stimulated, they get satisfied, viewers are also satisfied, happy ending. What more can we ask for? I guess it is only human nature to talk about sex and get horny. Whether it is science or art, we humans still have our basic instincts to get by. But remember, even if it is porn, don’t do drugs. And oh yeah. It’s not the size that matters. It’s the performance ;).

The end is near. Just like the vicious cycle of life, everything that came into existence will hit its peak before its decline and ultimately its demise. Like humanity. If Armageddon or the end of the world doesn’t hit us first, then the slow and gradual path of our decline to extinction would be in store for us. So was it better to be wiped out like the dinosaurs when a huge meteoroid slammed into the world? However, don’t get the wrong idea about this series that I am going to blog. Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita isn’t a gloomy dramatic and depressing anime about human life on the decline and the verge of extinction. Instead, this is a supernatural comedy. Yes, you read that right. Be prepared for some laughs instead of tissues to wipe away those tears and runny nose.

Our main protagonist is a nameless girl whom we all shall officially call Watashi (that translates as I, me or myself). I guess this is only so because different characters in the show call her differently. What’s the purpose of having a name when humanity is decaying away and no future to remember you? But that’s not the point. Watashi is a mediator from UNCC (United Nations Conciliation Commission) and her job is to mediate between humans and fairies. Yes, you read that right again. I’m not sure if somewhere in the history of mankind that these little 10cm tall creatures with a permanent smile on their faces (can they ever open or close their mouths?) popped up. But unlike humans, you could say that these creatures are the most ‘prosperous’ beings in terms of technology. They have this unexplained ability to come up with mind blowing technology that we humans won’t understand. Simple yet mysterious. The next mankind?

Unlike many other animes that go in chronological order, this series is one that doesn’t really follow such order. At least for the arcs. I remember watching Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s episodes was a major headache because of the plot jumping here and there so it’s quite difficult to put things together in perspective to understand. However for this series, due to the random nature of each arc, you won’t really feel that strain of racking your brains to understand what has happened. There will be minor factors to point out and make you realize that this episode’s timeline is definitely somewhere before an earlier episode but whatever major happening in that arc stays in that arc. No worries on whether or not it will have a major impact in other arcs or not. Good or bad thing? Maybe humanity has declined so much that we don’t even bother putting up stories that are in chronological order anymore.

The Fairy’s Secret Factory

Episode 1
Watashi arrives in Camphorwood Village to help out the locals as a mediator. I suppose she is famous enough to warrant several fan girls. Not that she is too happy about her popularity either. Because all the men are going out for a communal hunt, Watashi is left in charge of them women and wants to lead them. Especially turning all the chickens that stopped laying eggs into meat. Guess what he meant? Can’t see the picture? Now what do you do with a knife in hand? I suppose the fan girls are only good at fawning so that leaves Watashi to do the dirty job of ‘murder’. Then suddenly it’s like the chickens know they’re going to die and do a Chicken Run! They’re escaping! There goes their meat. And looks like the community won’t have any since the men returned empty handed. Back at her home with Grandpa, Watashi notes how they should be happy with what they have and don’t mind forgoing meat for several days but this shortage isn’t just affecting humans. They are also affecting fairies. Yup, these cute little beings may not look like it but they possess supernatural technology. It’s Watashi’s job as a UN mediator to liaise between humans and fairies. The fairies love sweets, candy and chocolates but due to the shortage, Watashi puts it that they might not be getting them sooner. How does next year sound? Don’t worry, she has made her own gum but the fairies aren’t pleased since unlike sweets, you can’t consume them. But when Watashi mentions about mankind’s slow path to extinction and the scarcity of materials, the fairies hope to spend more time together. While the fairies frolic in a wooden box, Watashi tastes her own gum. Horrible. Next day, Watashi receives word from UNCC office that suspicious items are being circulated in the village. There is a pile of goods on their table and the brand indicates they are from Fairy Co. Humans should be grateful but they’ve become too scared to touch processed foods from unknown sources. But thanks to them, the marketplace is livelier again. Watashi’s mute assistant whom I shall call as Assistant (duh!), shows a bunch of supplies in his hands. Despite not able to say a word, Watashi can understand him perfectly. Can she read minds? Assistant didn’t trade or use vouchers to get them but got them free. Oddly, the stock is resupplied when no one is looking. The food tastes what it expects to be so Watashi has Assistant take them back to Grandpa to test if they are safe to eat. She spots a hair growth tonic among the supplies. Next morning, her hair has grown back to waist length!

Remember about the chicken incident? Watashi thought that incident would be forgotten but it seems there will be a meeting to discuss about the issue. For 6 gloomy hours, there were only deadlocks and arguments. Till Grandpa suggests that they spread out and search for them. This has Watashi to learn about a business strategy: Never hold meetings because the outcome is determined before the meeting begins. So as Watashi and the fan girls are looking for the chickens, suddenly they see a real headless skinned chicken! It’s dancing and flashing its butt to them! What the?! They try to catch it but it escaped. Watashi can’t let the people know about her ‘failure’ so she uses information manipulation and intimidation to tell the fan girls to keep it a secret or else… Unfortunately rumours of the running headless chicken spread to the entire village. Heck, there is even a photo of it! Since that’s the case, Grandpa says they have to investigate. Well, Watashi wasn’t planning to slack off but she thought she could close this case before anybody finds out. Isn’t that the same? Upon closer inspection, there is a logo of Fairy Co on the chicken. So how do you track a company that is operated by fairies? Use a fairy as a compass! Make sure to pay chocolates as payment. So Fairy Co… The cartoonish building is made out of blocks and jigsaw puzzles? Anyway they see a nearby cabin, thinking it is the main office. Noticing everything inside is manmade and not designed by fairy, a human receptionist then greets them. He briefly introduces Fairy Co as a company with 200 years of history before giving them a tour to the food factory. Seems the machines make food ultra fast but it tastes bland. I guess that’s what you get as trade off if you manufacture something by the masses. Receptionist doesn’t know about the distribution of these foodstuffs since he was hired only 3 days ago and still learning. After all, he had the easiest job of standing around while his clothes and food are taken care off. Watashi theorizes that the fairies restored the factory operations but Grandpa cautions that the presence of a human makes it suspicious. Next, a robot bread called Loaf explains how bread is made. Then it goes on to make an amazing statement that bread these days taste horrible. He wants Watashi to eat him as pity for his existence. I think she lost her appetite. What’s more, Loaf splits himself into half! Holy cow! Is that blood?! That’s not strawberry jam either?! WTF?! Bread bleeding blood? Well, at least it’s fresh. Haha! Anyway the ‘blood’ is mixed carrot juice bread made for kids who hate carrots. So now do you want to eat him? No thanks. Watashi completely lost her appetite. What a waste to the loaf… Watashi narrates that she really wouldn’t want to learn the secrets in this factory but as a mediator of UNCC, her duty is to solve the mystery.

Episode 2
Receptionist adds he never met his employers as everything had been handed down via writing. Suddenly they realize Grandpa is missing. Receptionist goes to look for him but he never came back. Watashi and Assistant got lost. She decides to use the fairies help in exchange for something fun. Assistant wants to do the honours of telling a joke but the sketchbook narrative about a village with 7 children and how they all tragically died and the culprit was the last child, it made things even worse for the fairy. Now he’s all gloomy. Then Watashi and Assistant got separated when the conveyor belt starts running. Watashi almost got disposed by a chewing machine had not been the unseen hand of God (at least this is what she calls it) pulls her away. She is surprise to see Cultural Director here. Seems in addition to being director of UNESCO’s cultural division, he has been made this factory’s manager. He got promoted from that receptionist job and from the sounds of it, this guy is power and position crazy. Of course he panics when he hears Watashi is here to do an inspection. Yeah. That dreaded word. She accuses him of illegal goods smuggling but he doesn’t know what’s going on. She nails it directly about taking responsibility, compensation and punishment. Although he has never met the upper management, Watashi makes a deal that she will go see them and talk to them (because Director won’t give up his position). But when Director thinks about whistle blowing would lead to heroic actions to public support and thus the new factory CEO, he agrees to accompany Watashi for this greedy evil scheme of his. However he falls right down into a hole. Watashi walks through the corridor and has a feeling they were all separated on purpose. She enters a room to see the upper management completely made up of… Headless skinned chickens!!! Pok! Pok! Pok! Because she can’t understand chicken language, a fairy pops up to translate them. I think Watashi doesn’t want to hear their evil gloating and profanity on the human race. The fairy then gives her a pair of spectacles to have a clearer view of what the chicken says. Literally. There are subtitles now! The chicken gloats about turning this factory into a weapon of mass destruction to destroy humans and fairies without ever knowing what hit them. Too bad Watashi was busy adjusting the specs to have a clearer view of the subtitles that she didn’t read what the chicken said. Summarize it! In short: Kill all intelligent life forms and take over Earth. So what now? She takes out a knife. All the chickens got scared! Going to cut them, no? Note all the profanity they say in chicken language! While she got distracted with the fairy, the chickens drop a cage on her.

Suddenly Assistant comes in to take film shots of the chickens. This causes the chickens to flee for their lives but Assistant closely tails them and continues to film. Watashi gets out of her cage when she realizes perhaps the unseen hand of God has bended the metal bars for her to go free.  Now we see the mass murder of chickens. When Assistant is chasing the chickens, they ran through the entire factory. The chicken workers got so scared that they ‘committed suicide’ by jumping into the manufacturing machine! WTF?! Now you’ve got canned chicken, bread chicken and even chicken t-shirts! Assistant corners the chickens on a cliff and with no way left, they all jump to their deaths. Oh Watashi. How the hell are you going to explain this? When she returns to the factory, she sees Grandpa, Receptionist and Director in a room that could be opened from the inside. Then here comes the train with food. Guess what sandwich this is? Yup. Chicken sandwich. Don’t you feel pity for chickens? Grandpa concludes that it wasn’t just the chickens that gained intelligence but other foodstuffs like sardines and jams. Just that they weren’t equipped with any faculties to express it. Now that the evil chickens are gone, what is going to happen to this place? Well, Director is certainly promoted to CEO now. Time to gloat it. Grandpa thinks they should tear down this place but Watashi says the fairy is gone. As a matter of fact, he shows them a packaged fairy. He guessed they were packaged up when the chickens took over. Watashi frees all of them and in the end, the truth eludes her since the fairies didn’t really answer her question about operating this factory to help out with the shortage. Next morning when she wakes up, to her surprise, her own hair passes the hairbrush to her! She realizes it was the one who saved her from the disposal machine and bended open the cage. Wow. Now her hair has a mind of its own. Lastly, the village children are dreading their weed soup. Oh God. They’re going to have this for the rest of their lives unless a miracle of birds raining from the sky happens. Suddenly several skinned chickens drop down on their feet! It’s raining chickens! Thank you God! Let’s feast on the meat! Since then, skinned chickens have become offerings for children. And as oddly pointed out, whenever chickens are touched by human hands, they generally stopped moving. I guess a good chicken is a dead chicken.

The Fairies’ Subculture

Episode 3
Watashi is stuck in a space where there is nothing but whiteness. To see how she got into this predicament, we go back in time whereby her graduating classmate, Y came by in a newly bought steam car. From what I understand, she used 3 years worth of vouchers to start on the down payment. That’s a long way to go… Though Watashi doesn’t consider Y her friend, she notes they are ‘partners in crime’. Y is working on the Human Monument project, a structure dedicated to celebrate human history, technology and culture. From Y’s ranting, Watashi summarizes she is not serious in gathering data and planning to fool around. The owner of a large mansion recently passed away and inside it is a treasure trove of photostat machines all preserved well. There are also lots of discs and she plans to use the machines to print out what’s on them. Watashi reads a homoerotic manga at the bookstore and is captivated not by the odd homo storyline but the art and drawing techniques that she calls lost technique rather than lost technology. Y starts printing the manga and plans to conduct more research on it. From the way she puts it, she is getting hooked and totally loves this dark subculture and wild fantasy. Soon she comes out with her own homoerotic manga called The Camphorwood. Volume 1. Yup, there’s going to be more. And it’s in full colour and fully laminated in B5 size. Isn’t she supposed to be working on some monument project? Soon, volume 2 comes out. Watashi fears the fairies would find out about this because of their tendency to have fun and copy others. She hopes Y would keep it an underground secret but it’s too late. She has mobilized logistics to spread the culture around! If there was once a category called fanzines (doujins), Y’s The Camphorwood has given birth to a new genre called manzines! Just think of it as something yaoi. Not long, Y starts receiving boxes of fan letters! Some totally love her work while there are detractors who complain about her work distracting them from work. But it was interesting, right?

Soon there is a rise in competition because there are several other manzine publishers copying hers. Y is devastated but Watashi points out this is how culture spreads. Y won’t give up easily yet when she notices Assistant. She never new Watashi had him and accuses her a traitor for living the good life. Plus, this relationship makes it hetero instead of homo, thus defying this current subculture craze. With the new influx of manzine publishers, there are even clubs formed, seminars offered and a huge crazy following. Doesn’t this feel familiar in a certain time? Y finally realizes a new manzine called Cinnamon and it becomes the greatest manzine ever. Soon she starts living the indulgent and luxurious life. That might not continue because her logistics decide to ditch her manzines claiming there were too many of them to stock in their trucks to a point it is not enough to stock other supplies. Distribution is on her own. That’s when Y comes up with an idea to hold a manzine fair. See that long river of fans waiting to get into the hall? Yup. Very familiar scene, no? The fair begins with competition among publishers very intense as manzines are given away free. In the end, Y wins the battle of giving out the most copies because she was on home ground and utilizes her photocopying machines. But I guess it’s victory for everybody too since every volume went out of stock. And oh, Watashi didn’t even buy a single copy. Good girl. One day as Watashi looks for Grandpa and Assistant, she doesn’t see them around but stumbles upon a manzine book on Grandpa’s table. She flips through to see empty panels and before she knows it, she is absorbed into the book. Nothing but whiteness all around. Y is also there. Could they be in a blank panel? Well, sound effects in kanji words seem to pop up from above their head.

Episode 4
A door opens and they head into the next panel to see Assistant. Because a door didn’t open, they figure they need to do something exciting for that to happen. Assistant suggests they create their own drama. What kind of drama? Play chess. Boring! Soon they feel the panel descending and the room slightly darker. When Y theorizes they’re inside a manga with empty panels, there should be some background and props. Assistant starts drawing and whatever he draws comes to life! Even the bread tastes good. With that, they feel the panel ascending and the brightness resumes to normal. Also, the door opens to the next panel. This one feels a little small so Y pretends the ceiling is crushing her for her friends to escape. This excitement opens the next door. Y deduces if the manga is interesting, it ascends otherwise boring ones will descend. This is for the sake of popularity and if they become boring, the manga becomes cancelled and for them, it might be something grimmer. Maybe they will lose their lives? Don’t joke around. Figuring out the lighting indicates their popularity and how many readers are reading it, the more interesting it is, the more readers will open up to read. And so the trio went on creating their own exciting drama in different panels. From battle mangas to sports to love romance and even food themes. As they are resting, Watashi remembers she forgot her knife left behind in the previous panel. Assistant draws a door to go back and what Watashi sees are fairies. They are editors of this manga? So all this is their doing? They say they can leave once there is an ending or the series gets cancelled. You don’t want to know what happens if it’s the latter. Y learns to end this manga, they also have to retain their popularity. They come upon a board that shows their rankings. It seems there are other similar mangas around and they are lying in sixth spot. Y decides to make it exciting like the fair but ends it with a cliff-hanger by confessing she is a killer. Watashi knows this is going to be a pain but plays along anyway. Although she killed nobody, the suspense was enough to lift them up one spot. Yeah. Whatever. The story is falling apart since Y is turning everything upside down.

So Y goes on a cliff-hanger spree as every panel ends with some shocking revelation. “I am… Your father…”. She didn’t say that but you get the idea. The greatest entertainer is the greatest swindler… By the 178th panel, they achieve top spot. Now what? Assistant cuts a hole in the panel to check the editors’ comments. Their comments allow them to track how well they are doing. So Y continues doing what she does best so much so both the story and commentary become random. What the hell? Then they start dropping places because people are getting tired of the same old thing. When Y sees a winch and activates it, she notices the panel becomes bigger. She uses this to do some cool cowboy action-cum-posses (think of it as a full page spread) and this increases their position. But it soon becomes old and they’re on the descend once more. Since they’ve mixed every bloody genre, they have to spend time fixing the story and eliminate loose ends till they ended up in some variation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their popularity plunges so Watashi tells Y that the readers have lost interest in her style. So how unpopular are they now? Not only they have no colour but they turn into simple sketches! I guess they’ve hit rock bottom. As Watashi falls, the fairies fall along with her. She laments how an old mangaka is deemed useless with no skill once his manga gets cancelled. The fairies throw her a penalty, which is a letter to say she has to carry on the family business. Watashi notes she’s already doing that. Watashi is awakened by Grandpa back in the room. Y and Assistant are just waking up too. Was it a dream? But that fanzine is missing now. Noting how hard the fairies’ manzines are, she puts it on the ban list.

The Fairies’ Homecoming

Episode 5
A little monolith seems to have fallen from space and made a crater in the land. But Grandpa thinks it’s a prank and since it isn’t space worthy to satisfy him, I guess that’s the end of it. At town, Grandpa introduces Watashi to Director who is here to inaugurate the Human Monument. There will be lots of exploration to be done especially the city ruins near Camphorwood. Watashi wonders if it can be done since there isn’t enough electricity around for bare necessities but they assure her they discovered a functioning satellite and will use it as charge up. Since Watashi is part of the exploration team, she has to be involved. From her tone, I could say she rather not participate. So running errands for Grandpa, Watashi remembers 3 days ago she bumped into a fairy but she was too busy to talk to him. She felt guilty for ignoring him and lamented she should have paid more attention to him because fairies have a habit of making an impact like an asteroid. Then she meets a bunch of them. They are saying goodbye because the electromagnetic waves are coming and will kill them. Well, they tried to warn her, right? Time is short so they give her a book to read and a charm. You’re on your own. From what I understand from the book, the number of fairies you meet per day determines how lucky you are. Say a disaster befalls on you, the more fairies you meet, the higher chances you have from being saved but they all seem absurd. The lesser the fairies, you’ll still be saved but these ones seem more down to earth. Of course, no fairies mean you lose or die. At the town square, Watashi notices a strange girl. This girl, Pion (so she thinks) could tell Watashi was analyzing her. Seems she has memory loss. Although she has not forgotten about her mission, she has forgotten about the location of her companion. Maybe they moved? The only description she can provide is “Oyage”. If Watashi comes across any leads, be sure to tell her.

The exploration begins as Watashi is paired with Assistant to look around a small park since Grandpa won’t have them searching critical areas like the power collector or else they would lose electricity. They stumble upon a weird building and enter its elevator. Assistant presses a button and I think the elevator ‘jumps’ through different floors.  Coming out, they see a skeleton with words inscribed “Oyage” next to it. Seen this somewhere before? Have a bad feeling? They have no choice but to advance and after walking a considerable distance, they open the door to find themselves high atop the city centre. They finally receive incoming call from Grandpa (there are no signals inside the building). Grandpa can’t come to their aid since he doesn’t know their position. The batteries died out. Just great. Continuing through the maze, Watashi decides to have a drink. It’s their last water. The charm breaks and falls into her cup and out comes a fairy! I don’t know how it contorted itself into this shape to survive the waves. He’s okay here since there are no waves. Using the fairy as compass, they go search for water. Apart from a familiar monolith among the junk, the fairy points out the water. Isn’t that a nasty green slime? Well, that’s what they drink. It starts attacking and melts the knife Watashi uses to defend! Hostility! Oh, there are others too. They come in different colours. Run! In an examination room, they on a computer to see a blueprint of the place as well as its logic behind the building’s design. Due to fear of the waves, this city is designed to shut them out so you can say they are like shut-ins. They got so used to living safely that they become afraid to go out. A slime attacks them and Watashi hits it away with the monolith. Did she win? Perhaps not because the slime activates a vicious robot dog! Before Watashi becomes part of its kill statistic, Pion pops up and smashes the dog up. She thanks Watashi for providing the electricity.

Episode 6
Pion’s search for her companion led her to this place but she ran out of battery. However she claims she is totally human despite operating on a power subsystem. Watashi realizes the slime acts as a cradle to recharge and the monolith disappeared after contact with the slime. As they wander around, Pion is convenient to have around has she has tremendous strength and can download the entire map of this place. Suddenly they are attacked by a guy in a robot. Looks like this dude doesn’t remember his name or mission too. Watashi guesses he is the same type as Pion. Calling himself as Otarou, he won’t allow them to take him back and sends his bulldozer to rid of them. Pion fights it but causes the ground to cave in. Everybody starts falling in. Just when Watashi and Assistant finally find water, here comes Otarou trying to kill them. I don’t know if that is even called justice. He summons his slimes-cum-servants to transform into a… Huge black cat! Watashi immediately surrenders, putting a damper to his fighting spirit. Assistant wanted to fight too but was taken away by her. Now who is he going to fight with? Out from the lake comes a giant Nautilus. As the cat beats up the squid, Watashi notices slime and fairies are flying out from it. I don’t know how the fairy merged with it by collecting slimes and playing with it. Then Watashi receives call from Pion that she has defeated the bulldozer but is now recharging. But she can fire a microwave beam at their location. They just need to make sure the cat stays in a certain place. Watashi asks the fairy for help but it seems it lost its motivation. Where did all the hype went? As instructed, Watashi throws the fairy into the squid and it becomes more powerful to fight back. With the cat in the middle of the lake, Watashi cues Pion to fire as the microwave roasts the water and defeats the cat. Otarou is bent on killing Watashi when Pion drops in to save the day. Because of the hole in the ceiling, the electromagnetic waves flood the area and it seems Otarou is disheartened that his memories will come back (because he is programmed to self repair when that happens). Likewise for Pion, she realizes something. She isn’t human. We all knew that… After everyone gets out from the building, Grandpa picks them up but he looks mad.

Later Watashi and Pion go to see Otarou in the tent. Watashi has discovered their true names. Otarou is Oyage, which is actually Voyager. Pion is Pioneer. Watashi remembers they were probes sent by humans to explore deep space. But were they in humanoid form? Pion says when she ventured into space, she felt cold unlike here. The difference triggered her self-conscious. Oyage disagrees because they were self aware from the beginning. The first thought he had was not wanting to venture into space. It has nothing. A decade ago, a signal started to message them to report their date. They wanted samples so he used this as an excuse to return. He notes they still have to go back and travel the void space till they finish their final mission of discovering alien life form. Pion says they are probes and must carry out their orders. But is she prepared to follow them through? He points out on some of her missions, she decelerated near Uranus, analyzed and concluded something and got scared of some result. Why did she chase him down then? She did not receive any orders to do so. It’s because she too wanted to come home. Tears start trickling down Pion’s face. Oyage notes this place is warm. Do they need to go back out there in the cold? Pion says they have to because their homecoming is over. In the aftermath, the exploration team rejoices after learning about the probes because it would provide them data on human history and accelerate Human Monument project. They’ll be heading back to space the next morning. However Grandpa comes rushing to Watashi that the generator is damaged and their link to the satellite is lost. Somebody sabotaged them. Well, Watashi is a bad liar and actor, right? Seen it right through her teeth. Grandpa hands her over to the authorities and she got interrogated. Well, at least she destroyed the evidence. They got so mad at her that they even forgot why they were mad in the first place! Thankfully the punishment was light and she wasn’t stripped of her mediator position because she is on good terms with the fairies. Wow. Connections saved her skin. However Grandpa would have her hair cut as repentance. Later Pion thanks Watashi that because they lost their electricity source after their generator got damaged, their mission is postponed indefinitely. They don’t have much battery capacity left because 1 hour of winding = 1 minute of energy. Well, at least this is the best they could manage.

The Fairies’ Time Management

Episode 7
The fairies are happily eating their sweets and think more humans should make them. Well, they’re lucky to have them since the decline in human population means a decline in the number of confectioners. The fairies would love to make clones in that case but was quickly shot down by Watashi. That’s morally wrong. While taking a walk home, she thought she saw a dog in a distance. Perhaps it’s the hazy mirage that she saw the dog turned into a human. Watashi dislike the idea that Grandpa asked her to pick up his assistant at the rental home near Lamb and Olive around 1pm. Noting her watch is spoilt, Grandpa gives her a new one. That’s a sundial, no? Can she read sundial? Apparently some woman gave it to Grandpa before he met grandma. Besides, he pointed out she wasn’t his first love and though beautiful, they were separated before long. Along the way, Watashi meets a fairy who gives her a banana to eat. No taste. What the heck did she just eat? The fairy promise the next one will have taste before disappearing. Nearby, Watashi sees a group of fairies kicking ball. Thing is, the ball looks like a head of a fairy! It was when Grandpa passes by in his Roman chariot and lectures her about a thing or two to go pick up his assistant. Watashi meets the doctor in charge of Grandpa’s assistant but was told he went missing. Watashi goes into the forest to look for him. She happens to meet herself. Clone? But she is unaware this pleasant woman is herself (at least that’s what I think) and they casually chat. They arrive at a hearth in the forest and before Watashi realizes it, she slips on a banana peel. Next thing Watashi knows, she is outside UNCC’s office. She saw herself again but disappeared. She also felt a little dizzy and her memories a little fuzzy. Then it’s like a sense of déjà vu. Grandpa told her to go pick up his assistant. She needs a new watch so Grandpa looks around and couldn’t find one till he realizes the sundial on her wrist. Watashi denies stealing it because she would’ve stolen a mechanical one. After meeting the doctor, a fairy gives Watashi a banana. It tastes good this time. Then here comes Grandpa in his chariot. Unsurprisingly, Watashi somewhat knew what he was going to say. Then meeting herself again at the hearth before slipping on the banana peel. Yeah. She knew this was going to happen.

Watashi finds herself being given a banana once more. She spots that dog again in the distance. Umpteenth time lecture by Grandpa followed by that talk with the doctor. Watashi learns the assistant despite unable to speak, is smart enough to wonder who he was. Watashi feels ashamed for disliking on him in the first place.  At the hearth, this time there are 2 selves of hers! Casually chatting with them, guess what happens next? Yeah. Banana trip! The entire déjà vu reruns again and this time there are about a hundred clones of herself making sweets at the hearth! They claim the fairies wanted sweets and that’s why they’re making them. Watashi talks to the fairies who confirm they made the hearth and found lots of help. Watashi thinks she has been here multiple times but can’t remember what she was doing here. The fairies say she won’t because this place is disconnected from the past. To put it in an easier word: She’s in happy land. Say what? Happy for whom? Then they give her a new banana model to eat. Banana has a new model? What’s new with it? You eat it and you slip on it. Wow. The scene restarts again as Watashi realizes her sundial is gone but she has a feeling she knows the assistant is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Seeing her clones making sweets, she too can’t help join in. Yeah. She’s making banana spring roll. Remembering her mission, she asks if everyone had seen the assistant. They know she’ll find him soon and when asked about his description, they ask her back what she would like him to be. On closer inspection, she notices no one wearing the sundial and then… Another banana slip. The fairy thanks Watashi by giving her a new banana model as gratitude since they had lots of sweets. The fairy claims everything will return to normal and that the disconnect is gone. With Grandpa turning up, he asks about the sundial in which she realizes it is lost. As they enter town, they see lots of dogs wandering around and amidst the pack, the Hawaiian shirt assistant is petting one of them.

Episode 8
This feels like a replay of the previous episode but with several parts in more detail. On the first time Watashi was told to pick up Grandpa’s assistant, she was told he wasn’t an ordinary person and is somewhat undefined. He was a sole survivor of some ethnic minority and was passed around before ending up in Grandpa’s custody. Grandpa can’t really describe his traits because he doesn’t leave much of an impression. If he had to describe him, he was probably a buff kid. Then meeting the doctor, Watashi notices the word she uses to describe him: Obscure. On the third round in meeting the doctor, Watashi finds it odd that even though the doctor spent time with him, she never actually met him. Though she has all his records but the moment she took his eyes off him, she forgot how he looks like. As though he vaporized from her memory. Bad memory? Maybe but the thing is, she is unable to recall anything about him. Worse still, she can’t even remember his personal traits. Adding to that, because he grew up alone without parents or friends, no one taught him language. Watashi wonders why a smart person would wander around for what purpose. She was motivated to find him this time till she stumbled to the hearth. By the fourth time, the doctor even felt strange about her conversation with Watashi but continues her description on the assistant. Since no one was around to define him not had he seen others and been defined and was a blank canvas, perhaps all he wanted was a personality. Watashi thinks the problem itself is lack of understanding. In one of the déjà vu, Watashi thinks she spots the assistant in the Hawaiian shirt (which I later found out was Grandpa in his younger days!). She goes to talk to him and he seems pretty energetic. Yeah, he talks. Seems like a hyper active happy kid who doesn’t hesitate to sweet talk Watashi! He wants to procreate! Before Watashi could lecture him about sexual harassment, he throws her an apple to eat and wants to be known as Ringo Kid. Hope nothing strange in this one. He surprises her by touching her boobs! She’s going to sue him! Another surprise is when he pecks her cheek.

Watashi walks with him as he rants about why he is interested in procreating and wants to enjoy his life to the fullest. He notices her sundial and becomes interested in it. He thinks she doesn’t want it and takes it but Watashi says she’s only lending it to him. He wants her to become his girlfriend but she’s clearly not interested. How can a hyper guy like him be sincere? True enough when a pretty girl passes by, he changes his attention to her and before long, he agrees to follow her around town. Watashi wanted to reason he came from another planet. Like that was possible. On the fifth time, she notices her sundial missing but seems to clearly know some of the assistant’s traits. Watashi joins her clones in making sweets and gathering banana ingredients from the fairies, she didn’t understand the latest banana model that tastes great but sends her too far back (I’m guessing too far back in the past). Then when she asks if they have seen the assistant, upon closer inspection she notices not all of them had the sundial missing. Some of them were wearing it and some were wearing her old watch. Watashi describes the assistant and one of the defining traits she would like him to have is to leave a lasting impression on others. The clones agree since they too feel the same way. I guess it’s impossible to lie to yourself, eh? On the sixth time where they meet the assistant in the town filled with dogs, when Watashi meets him, the first thing she asks is if he has found what he was searching for. Watashi realizes he has managed to understand his identity that was developed alongside other people. Because he never had parents, he had to cheat a bit. This means he was listening to others on what they had to say about him as he was unable to discern his own identity. And it was at the tea party where he could learn it. However Watashi couldn’t remember about the tea party. Ah well, human memory isn’t that reliable. Yeah, even Grandpa couldn’t recall about the sundial. Back at the office, they notice the dog Assistant brought. When asked what kind of dog it is, they are surprised he talks for the first time. Grandpa understands this Time Paradogs are dogs created to restore space-time by offsetting temporal paradoxes. Whenever someone travels through time, the universe cancels out the paradox and gives it the shape of a dog. Understand all that? Don’t worry, I’m as lost as Watashi. Watashi welcomes Assistant and shakes his hand.

The Fairy’s Survival Skill

Episode 9
We see a fairy being bullied by his peers! This leads to an appeal letter sent to Watashi and to sum it up, it’s an SOS. Grandpa explains that due to the boom in fairy population, there had been cases of bullying and thus a stressful life. He reassigns Watashi to take a small group of fairies to a remote island. She may be there for at least a year. No way! Too bad she has no say. At the beach, she tries to lift the gloom of the fairies by talking about building their own nation. We see they are in need of serious emotional help. Yeah. They want a tyrannical and oppressive country. They even have a name for it: Fail Country! Serious emotional problem these little dudes have. That’s because the pier Watashi is on gives way. Before it sinks, Watashi and the fairies hop onto the boat. Next thing they knew, they are stranded on an island with nothing. What’s worse than that? Stuck with gloomy fairies. When Watashi accidentally accepts her title as the new nation’s queen, it lifts their spirits. On day 2, they build a nice antique cabinet for their queen but she would’ve preferred a bed instead. Thinking they’re good woodcraftsmen, she is about to ask them to make a boat to escape when she realizes they multiplied. They ask if it is okay to stay on this island and build a new nation. Too bad Watashi vaguely hints that she would help out and it was misinterpreted that she accepted that. By the end of the day, at least Watashi had a decent bed. A fairy gave her a list on inventions to create. Religion is also a creation? Anyway all those on the list are no-go. By the third day, Watashi notices some walls and doors around her bed. Then she goes off to tour around the island. We see the fairies booming in growing fields and even industrial plants! At the end of the tour, her home is completed! Complete with toilet too! She even had clothes made out from the island’s finest spider silk. At the end of the day, they even have electricity! Pineapple powered! Now she can have hot water bath. This is this life.

I’m sure Watashi enjoys her reign as queen as development and civilization life progresses on this little nation. That’s only the fourth day. Wow. By the fifth day, Watashi makes sweets to appease her entire nation of fairies! However soon, the cocoa crops failed and she notices the lake’s water quality changing. Blame it on the industrial wastes… When a fairy shows her a lily plant that tastes like candy, Watashi notes that despite fairies are unable to make candies, they can cultivate plants that produce them. She orders all research to be poured into breeding different strains and flavours of this plant and by day 7, the island mushrooms with colourful candy plants. Watashi continues to make sweets as a hobby instead as duty so everyone spend their free time in celebration. With nothing else to do, she even allows the construction of monuments as the fairies wish. Just like any civilization, there is bound to be a time it will fall. That comes in day 8. How quick time has passed. Monuments have popped up all over the island to a point there are not plants left. The environment is destroyed and the water plant is down. Oh my God. Seeing the dire straits they are in, Watashi wants them to take down the monuments and make water their priority. Gloomy times are here again. Electricity became scarce, genetic manipulation on plants was banned to allow the land to heal and sweets were rationed. The fairies no longer had work or entertainment. She realizes she needs to make a decision. On day 9, Watashi wants to tear down the remaining monuments and make a boat for the main land. It’s time to say goodbye. More gloomsville… However she feels like something is trapping them because it kept raining. Only the island is raining and by the 14th day, after she explains her plan to leave the island, it dawned to her that the gloominess of the fairies was contributing to the rain! That bad, huh? Then the island is flooded. Morning comes and Watashi finds herself stranded but on the main land. The island has disappeared. The fairies want her to be their queen over their new nation again but she dismisses them. I guess that removes the evidence. Grandpa and Assistant come by, worried of not hearing from her. Grandpa notes there was a sizeable island that house 3 rare species of spiders… And from Watashi’s guilty reaction, he has a feeling she had something to do with it… So who is responsible for the spider’s extinction? Watashi gets up and returns to her familiar everyday life.

The Fairy’s Earth

Episode 10
Watashi is one of the 12 last members of graduating class before the school was sent packing. She was sent to Camphorwood as a researcher and mediator under Grandpa. It beats working in the fields anyway. He assigns her to manage the books, an easy job like she wants. Despite that being true, she says she merely wants to match her job with her physical strength. Grandpa takes back what he said and thinks she should suffer a bit. He has her go observe the fairies in the places he marked on the map and is given only a bread as lunch. That’s harsh. How should she greet them? Is there any customs? None. Just go with your guts. She didn’t meet and fairies on her visit to the dump. She reports back to Grandpa who tells her on the contrary there are many hiding there. He lets her read the journal of his predecessor on his encounter and observations with the fairies. Seems he stated out enthusiastic and with each passing day and the crazier it gets, he becomes less motivated. Why are there only steak and wine? Though Watashi wants to have an easy life, she won’t have it by doing nothing. Returning to the dump, she sets a trap for the fairies to lure them because she remembers Grandpa telling her they love sweets and fun. She even brought necessities to observe and record. After falling asleep and waking up, she spots a bunch of fairies munching the sweets and having fun. She wanted to make a good impression to meet them but she trips and sends all of them running away in fear. She sees 3 of them hiding in a trap and ‘kidnaps’ them home. Realizing they are still scared, she thought of telling a joke. I guess it’s a bad joke because she asks if they want to eat snacks or become the snack! They wet their pants but don’t worry, fairies urine are made of pure water. She breaks the ice by giving them leftover candies. Easily pleased. That’s bribery, no? The fairies wonder if she is God. She dismisses it and puts it this way. She is the old humanity while the fairies are the new humanity. Watashi gets a hang of their crazy conversation. Seems they don’t remember they come from the dump or when they are born. In fact, did their number just increased by one?

Because they don’t have names, Watashi decides to name them as she wants to be their friends and doesn’t want to reduce them to numbers. After all that fooling around, she names them Cap, and Nakata while the remaining duo name themselves Sir Christopher McFarlane and Sir Chikuwa. Grandpa could tell Watashi’s distress looks because she is trying to figure out names for the rest of their buddies! She already has 50 of them. He compliments her on a job well done for being friends with them this quick but warns her to prepare herself tomorrow since she plans to check on them again. To her surprise, the place is no longer a dump but a futuristic metropolis! Remembering Grandpa’s words, when fairies gather, they will do something fun. Watashi’s appearance in the metropolis has them activate a robot defence. But since she comes in peace, I guess all ends well. Then she sees Nakata. What happened to the other trio? Surrendered? She realizes they are not very organized and don’t have good memory because Nakata doesn’t remember about the name thingy last night. She is here to give names to his friends when all the fairies start lining up to be named! Oh God! Noticing how fast they multiply, she puts her foot down, causing them to ball up. She apologizes she can’t name them but hands them a dictionary to pick a name of their choice. The fairies are overjoyed and call her God. Next day, Watashi is surprised to see a monument of her! She is officially God now. Imagine if this spreads to the fairies across the world. She’d be in their history books. Not bad, maybe? She passes the God title to Nakata. He tries to touch her back but she says only a person can be God once. Soon it becomes havoc because Nakata tries to pass his status to other fairies who are running away. God becomes the devil as the fairies evacuate the metropolis and in 10 minutes, it all crumbles and becomes dump once more. All that’s left is her statue. But it beats having a bad reputation, right? Grandpa sees her statue and notes how they must have really loved her. The destruction can’t be helped as sooner or later it will happen because this is how current humanity operates. He praises her for a good job well done of making this far in a few days but advises she must take it easy while dealing with fairies. He pushes her and she accidentally bumps and destroys her statue. I guess that in the end can’t last too.

The Fairy’s Secret Tea Party

Episode 11
This flashback was when Watashi first started schooling at 10 years old. She had to start from the lowest grade but will skip grades if she proves herself to be more intelligent than she is. On her first day, she finds her dorm room locked and a riddle note that tells her the key is behind eternity. She assumes that time only stops when the clock is broken and heads to the clock tower. She finds another riddle message that tells her she will only find the key when the animals are sick. She gives up and returns waiting outside her room, only to be given a reprimanding ticket by some assistance robot called Ryobo 230r. After showing she is locked out, Ryobo removes the lock for her. Next day, she bumps into Y who tosses her the lock. She was excited when she solved her first riddle but became disappointed and thinks she’s a bore. The other girls think she’s bullying another student. In class, Watashi remains reclusive, not wanting to befriend anybody. Not even to a nice girl named Curly. Despite doing well in the test, Watashi became the target of bullying because she is older than everyone. But Watashi didn’t fight back. She accepts her fate and in a way ‘shields’ the bullies and blames herself at fault. The Principal sees her studying diligently in the library and is glad Grandpa sent her to study under him. They were good friends. He is impressed she is reading up a difficult subject on fairies. Despite her hardworking attitude, he notices she has hard time making friends. She declines his offer to help in any way. One night Curly visits Watashi in her room because she heard she will be advancing a grade due to another superb showing in her test. Curly felt sad she had to go but Watashi puts it this way. A problem will go away and everything will return back to normal. Watashi hints that Curly is the mastermind behind the bullying, the reason why they can’t be friends because the ‘truth’ will come out. She also accuses her for being sympathetic with her so she could control her. One evening at the ruins, Watashi manages to save a fairy from several naughty boys trying to dissect it! Back home, Watashi talks to the fairy and is surprised he is happily living alone. The fairy gets depressed when she hints being alone is not fun. She tries giving it a sandwich but I guess he settled for a sugar cube that he could munch on. The fairy is happy as Watashi introduces him to a book with myriad of sweets and candies. Due to ingredients shortage, she can’t really make lots of them. The fairy hints that he will disappear. Is it because of loneliness? Not if he gets more sugar cubes. Ryobo continues to always malfunction outside her room. Watashi always straighten it back to its path and thinks maybe it has an outdated map in its memory and perhaps the floor layout changed.

During dinner time, the bully boys accidentally bump into her. Once more, she cleaned up her own mess and took the blame. Curly wanted to help her but Watashi remains suspicious of her as the mastermind. Curly dismisses everything and sets it straight she approached her because she wanted to talk. Why won’t she open up? Because she doesn’t want to get to know anyone. That includes Curly. That night she wakes up screaming. She’s finally at her limit. Enough is enough. She realizes she is lonely. She really wanted friends. She did not want to be laughed at. It hurts when they bully and make fun of her. She wants to quit school. The fairy pops out from her pocket and provides a simple solution: Join him. Watashi couldn’t remember what happens next. She was able to focus on her studies and skip grades. However Curly too has advanced the grade but this time she bears the brunt of the bullying since she is younger than others. Everyone ignored her. One day, Watashi helped Curly retrieved her skirt from one of the bullying. She dismisses she was helping her out but it was enough for Curly to be happy. She wants Watashi to be her sister! No, her mother! She’s the only person she could trust. Watashi panics and decides to try reverse psychology. However claiming she was being sympathetic so that she could laugh at her backfired. Because Curly is happy that she cared. Soon Curly becomes her roommate. How did this happen? Curly forged Watashi’s signature as consent. Oh dear. Future con artist. Noticing she has baked lots of cakes, Watashi don’t want her finding out whom she baked them for and lies that it’s because she wanted to be more social. Though, she can’t remember what it is that she didn’t want Curly to find out. Curly invites her to be a member of the tea circle called Wild Rose Society. From the way Curly is bugging her, I guess she has to come. Upon meeting the other members for the first time, the first thing Watashi asked was how to quit. Not interested, aren’t we?

Episode 12
So as Watashi becomes part of the tea circle, the bullying also stops. She impresses them all with her sweets and even had lunch with them. Can she refuse? One day, she notices a torn page from a book that looked like a building blueprint. The rest point out it must be that girl Y whom they call Silver. She was a member of this club before Watashi but always kept to herself. Wild Rose Society’s main activity is to study the legend of the fairies’ tea party and it was what Y was interested. Of course since it’s a time consuming activity, all they do is offer new interpretations on those researches. A year later, Watashi advances another grade, leaving poor Curly behind. Watashi is now the same grade as Y. She didn’t like those girls in the society and points out their beauty is only on the surface. One day Watashi spots Y in a hurry and dropped a book. Watashi picks it up and makes a list of books missing from the library. This leads her to Y’s secret room. Y is shocked that she is able to find it. Watashi found this location after doing some research based on the hints from the torn page and Ryobo’s constant bumping into her wall. Y thought she couldn’t solve simple riddles like the one she gave her a year ago. However Watashi easily explains her answer regarding that riddle. It was based on Solomon Grundy and the key was to find a copy of that book that was returned on a Friday (because Solomon Grundy fell ill on a Friday). The reason Watashi didn’t continue was because she thought more riddles would greet her instead of the key. Now it’s Watashi’s turn to hit Y’s nerves. To summarize, she points out Y’s fetish for ‘relationships of boys who are more than friends’. Yaoi. BL. Get the picture? This secret room is a painstaking assemble of that collection. Because of her pride, stubbornness and superiority complex to preserve her fake image, she used this hidden room to indulge in her fantasies. But Y mentions she joined Wild Rose Society not to access such books. But rather they invited her as she was having trouble fitting in. She was hoping to find a club where she belongs. Y hopes she won’t tell this to anyone and is even willing to make a deal.

Walking through the dark corridors, the school seems to have lots of unused spaces that are uncharted. Never think before building? She is going to show them the real personalities of the Wild Rose Society members. First up is Hana’s room. There is a diary that meticulously details all those who upset her. In short, a grudge book. Hey, doesn’t Watashi’s name appear too often? But she was so nice to her? Yeah. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The closer you are to her, the higher your chances of upsetting her. Next room belongs to Majou. There is a heavy book. Inside contains all the hairs from the girls she collected!!! FREAKY!!! And because she is obsessed with Watashi, there are a few pages dedicated to her! With her hair strand! FREAKY!!! The next room sees a couple of them stripping, drinking, badmouthing, uncouth and the entire place messy like a pig sty. Guess whose is the last room? Curly might seem like playing doll but she’s treating it as Watashi! What is more disturbing is the fact she randomly snaps and takes out her loneliness frustration on the doll! In the end, she stabs it furiously!!! Oh sh*t! How can Watashi go back tonight?! So have you freaked out enough yet, Watashi? Can you stomach anymore of this? Y points out the rarity in finding someone you can trust. In this particular environment, the weird ones are left unchecked. That’s why Y tested Watashi then. She had no hidden sides and is a bad liar. Plus, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with these mentally unstable girls. A brat that is easy to understand is more relaxing to deal with. It is then that they both team up to secretly find the real fairy tea party. Their weird combination drew lots of attraction but they manage to make the fifth grade by then. Because there wasn’t any bad blood, there was a reconciliation party for Y and the other Wild Rose Society members. But soon, those members graduated and left and once more they were alone. Only Watashi, Y and Curly were left. They have yet to find the fairy tea party and continued searching in hopes that they would solve the mystery and make everything clear before they graduate.

The trio venture into a room containing very old Ryobo models. Wondering who put them here, Watashi thinks it’s the fairies when she suddenly remembers about them. She rushes back to the ruin pondering who on Earth she could have forgotten about them. However she couldn’t find any and the boy she asked told her he had never seen one. The next day, an announcement was made that the school was going to be torn down. A graduation ceremony was held but it was a sorry sight. Curly breaks down in Watashi’s arm as she neatens the curtains as her last duty of the society. Back in present time, Y visits Watashi and tells her how she stayed in school after graduation. Turns out she got a job but that job was at the school. She also brought a yearbook which she compiled herself. Before she leaves, she asks if Watashi knows anything about those robots. She has one in her trunk. Watashi takes Ryobo and in her room, the fairies confused her by saying it can be fixed but not restored. That’s because unlike humans it has no soul. Then popping out from Ryobo is that fairy she first met at the ruins. Watashi is overcome with emotion. That night she dreams of having a fairy tea party with the fairy. Despite not remembering much in detail, she notes once she wakes up, everything will slip away like dreams always do.

Specials

Of course when you buy the DVDs, there are little short specials called The Humans’ Law Of The Jungle that lasts around 2-3 minutes each. Due to the random nature of this series, the specials are also as random. Just that they are probably too short to be made into an episode as a whole. But it’s still fun to watch as we see the trouble Watashi gets into when she tampers with tools believed to be made by fairies.

Special 1
As part of Watashi’s job as a mediator, she is inspecting several suspicious goods circulating in the village. One of them includes a bottle with a spare cloud. Don’t ask. She thinks the goods lean more towards pranks than dangerous but she collects them just in case. Another tool she found is a spoon. When it actually got stuck inside her head, she takes it out to find it filled with flour. She continues to scoop up endless amount of wheat flour from her head to make sweets. Is this what her brain is made out? Though the result is that she has a mountain of wheat flour, she has shrink into fairy size!

Special 2
Watashi knows the spoon is the cause of her shrunk in size and notices the number on it decreasing. When Grandpa comes in, she is happy to see him. However he thinks she is a fairy and couldn’t understand a word she says. She tries hinting him via hand signals to convey what she says but somehow everything looked simplified. Still, Grandpa doesn’t get her and thinks he will tell Watashi that the she is here. Now that Grandpa has left, it is up to Watashi to venture out to seek the help of other fairies to return to normal. Unfortunately she got attacked by a bird! Food!!!

Special 3
Luckily the bird got stuck with Watashi’s egg shell helmet. She runs and stumbles into a house. Yameta the hamster greets her and he seems to be proud that they are the sole intellectual civilization on Earth. Whatever. Yeah well, do rodents make light bulbs? Talking about that, Yameta explains it was invented by the brightest hamster in the family but was eaten by their natural predator, the weasel and died. Then another hamster rushes in to report another of their friend has been eaten by a weasel so everyone goes off to do an emotional burial for him.

Special 4
The hamsters are running away from the weasels’ attack. Contrary to our beliefs that weasels are cute looking creatures, they are quite the evil blood thirsty vermin they are! Too evil! Watashi’s spoon gets caught in a can but in a way it saves her life because the weasel’s attack sends her flying away into the air. But she drops into the river. Thankfully she is pulled out by a frog. Actually, a fairy underneath that sophisticated frog suit. Frog prince fairy? Don’t they look different from conventional fairies? They look more like mini elves.

Special 5
Watashi is taken to the fairy village. They try to figure out her solution but she concluded there wasn’t any so let’s give up. Yup, she starts having fun in the village, indulging in leisure activities. One day there is a problem of them unable to acquire any sweets but Watashi thinks she can make some. She scoops a spoon fill of flour from her head as the rest notices the number further reduces. Soon Watashi passes out. When she wakes up, she finds herself shrunk another half size. The fairies are amazed with this special phenomenon and hypothesizes that the spoon was converting her thoughts into flour. In other words, it can convert mental abilities into powder. They think if it was so, it wouldn’t be fun without scaling one’s height with the intelligence lost. So the one who made this was thinking this was an idea of fun? Watashi thinks not. She can’t understand why the rest are laughing. This is a serious issue. Is she laughing too? Maybe she’s going mad. Maybe she’s scared. Somebody help her…

Special 6
The fairies bring Watashi to God’s house. Supposedly somebody who can make sweets and give people names. Say, isn’t this her own home? Feeling nostalgic? Noticing flour around the place, they proceed to make sweets. Little does Watashi know, the number on the spoon soon drops to single digit and before she knows it, she passes out. All she feels is just to sleep and worried if somebody would feed her pet ladybug. A cookie comes up to her. It smells good and she eats it. Mmm… Tastes good. When she wakes up, the fairies have finished making a mountain of sweets and are ready to dig in. Suddenly it dawns to Watashi that the sweets are her brains! Don’t eat them! Because… Because… Because they’re poison! In the end, she ate all the cookies by herself. At least she didn’t grow fat. She returns back to her normal size and though the number of the spoon sits at 280, she remembers it used to be 322. So this means some of her brains are missing, eh? Maybe that’s why there are some things she can’t recall. Being back to her normal size means that the hamsters look like normal non-talking furry rodents and the weasel… It’s not so threatening at all. So cute! Was it all just an illusion? Watashi tickles and feeds it.

Regression Depression…
If I should say, this series is quite entertaining and fascinating by itself. Although there are many instances that still baffle me, but if I take it lightly with a pinch of salt, I find this generally enjoyable. For example, the time loop arc was a little confusing to me and I had so many questions of what happened about this and that so much so that I had to go online and do a little research and read up on that arc’s summary before understanding the gist of it. Had I never found out Ringo Kid was Grandpa, the big question mark would have still be hanging around my head on the big difference in Assistant’s character then and now. The play on the word Time Paradogs with Time Paradox and its explanation was equally confusing. Why didn’t everybody remember about themselves when they see themselves or someone familiar? Like shouldn’t Watashi have recognized herself or Grandpa recognizing Watashi when he meets her as an old man? So you see, thinking for answers about these questions only brings me more headaches. So if I accept it at face value, everything will be alright because it all ends well, right? Did it? Ah well, my memory isn’t that good anyway. First sign of decline?

The decline of humans isn’t the focus of this series but Watashi’s misadventures with the fairies and other characters. Thus despite the fact that we know humans are on the gradual path to extinction, it doesn’t feel so due to the several comical and baffling moments. Especially the headless chicken arc. That was hilarious! You will know the true meaning of fear when you see headless chickens trying to take over the world! Or the part where Loaf splits himself in half! Such light hearted sides take our attention and focus away from that setting. Sometimes it just feels that the place is just uninhabited and void of humans and a country that is just poor. Well, my perception of when human is on that self destruction path, it should be an aftermath of a great war so much so you could see rubbles of buildings laying waste all around. It isn’t that noticeable in Camphorwood. Maybe there wasn’t any big war to begin with. Besides, there is no indication to say how long humans have been living such a declining lifestyle. It could be years or decades. It could be many centuries that have passed.

Watashi as the main heroine is an amusing protagonist. While on the outside she may look like a caring and polite person, she is also to an extent cunning, scheming and manipulative. It’s like she has 2 sides to a coin. It is not that she is a bad person, what she usually does is that she tries to take the easy way out of situations that are seemingly difficult for her to handle. Otherwise, she would just go with the flow. What makes her funny (and why mainly this series is funny) is because of her comebacks, retorts, punch lines and sarcasm. Yes, it is her ability to rebuff the situation with her witty sarcasm that makes it funny and the reason why I look forward to hear her talk and pay attention to her speeches. In addition to her sweets baking skills, it’s like she has a knack for retorting since the situation usually doesn’t go her way the wishes. If stand up comedy was alive, I think she could make a decent living as a comedian. Too bad when humanity is in decline and the basic necessities are scarce, you don’t need someone who tells jokes just to lift the gloom, right? Or do you?

The fairies are of course the biggest mystery in this series. How they make their technology super fast or multiply in a blink of an eye are equally mysterious. We are not even shown a hint of how something happens because when it happens, it happens. Most likely our tiny human brain won’t comprehend if we even were explained. So whether it is true or not they can make inventions and even phenomenon that only God could make (such as the time loop), it is best to not think too much over this. After all, what would you get once you have unravelled the mystery? Where would all the fun be? There is a reason why they kept themselves hidden from humans and only Watashi is an exception due to her skills in making their eternal favourite sweets. Also an amusing bunch themselves, they aren’t that perfect (in humans’ eyes of course). Seems that they favour quantity over quality so the things that they make tend to end up with inferior value. Maybe the more the merrier? A herd mentality too? Because if one fairy wants to have fun, the rest would love to join in. They also seem not to comprehend about things like life and death. It feels like because of their short attention span and disorganized memory, they live for the moment. Be happy now. Whatever comes, it comes. And even if something bad is going to come, they could make a ‘joke’ out of it. Even if it’s some negativity. Easily depressed? Well, at least they don’t stay long that way if you know how to make them happy.

The other characters in the series seem sufficient and only to support Watashi as the protagonist. Grandpa may be the coolest character due to his cool ways and doesn’t lose his composure easily. I wonder about his hobby of collecting guns. Did you see the vast collection on his walls? I’m not sure if it is banned but after all that fighting and wars, humanity has declined in population so it makes no sense to kill each other anymore now that everyone is struggling to even have the basic necessities. Everybody has his own quirks. Just like Assistant. That single episode he spoke proves that he is no mute. Why can’t he just open his mouth and talk like everyone else? Maybe he is one of those rare people who would prefer to speak through his actions. Literally. And how Watashi could understand every single word he says is indeed mind boggling. I don’t think she is wild guessing. After all, being with him for so long, she could understand more or less what he wants to say. Y’s yaoi fetish proves that such subculture really dies hard in the future. But do you think that having such a depraved fetish is considered a decline in humanity? Who am I to say such interests are immoral? To each his own. Despite this quirky fetish of Y, I guess you could say that she is a better friend to Watashi compared to the other mentally unstable girls of Wild Rose Society. Yeah, everyone is in serious need of emotional help. Whether or not humanity is rotting away, such personality problems have always been a thorn in society. Talk about driving human to extinction with such creepy dark personality problems.

The production studio of this anime is AIC ASTA, which is one of the many divisions under the big company of AIC. Under this name, they were the ones who did Sora No Otoshimono series, Bamboo Blade and Tokimeki Memorial animes. The drawing and art may seem simple and sometimes like sketches. Sometimes feeling like a show for younger audiences in the sense that the surroundings are colourful enough. But I guess this is to keep in line with the comedy theme. That’s why this is one reason why I feel humans aren’t on the path of decline. Even in supposedly dark and ruined places, it doesn’t feel scary at all. When technology that involves the mysterious fairies, the buildings and inventions can range from realistic to cartoonish. Cute yet scary.

Mai Nakahara plays Watashi and when I first heard her, I thought how similar she sounded to her other role as Juvia from Fairy Tail. Just loose the lovey-dovey fawning. Despite Assistant had no lines throughout the series and that single line is all you ever going to hear, I am surprised that Jun Fukuyama was the one voicing him. No matter how much I strain my ear and replay that line again and again, I just couldn’t make out it was him. He is neither like Code Geass’ Lelouch or Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon’s Toori. As for the fairies, there are several seiyuus who voice them. They include Hisako Kanemoto, Satomi Arai, Yumiko Kobayashi, Chika Kobayashi, Saki Ogasawara, Asami Sanada, Satomi Akesaka and Nozomi Sasaki. I can’t differentiate them because they sound nearly the same. Picture this kind of voice. Try talking like a cute alien without emphasizing too much on your emotion. Yup. That’s how fairies generally sound. Hearing Pion’s voice too, I thought it was somewhat familiar. Till she went “~de arimasu”. Then I was like, doesn’t that sound like Ricotta from Dog Days? Who else could it be but Nana Mizuki! The other casts include Miyuki Sawashiro as Y (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Unshou Ishizuka as Grandpa (Bunta in Initial D), Nobuyuki Hiyama as Oyage (Madarame in Bleach), Natsuko Kuwatani as Doctor (Yue in Mahou Sensei Negima), Hisako Kanemoto as Curly (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Ryoka Yuzuki as Ryobo (Ino in Naruto), Kazuya Ichijou as Director (Zafira in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha), Kurumi Mamiya as Loaf (titular character of Hamtaro) and Tomomichi Nishimura as Principal (Anzai in Slam Dunk).

Listening to the rock opening theme, Real World, it very much reminded me of the opening theme in Sankarea. It’s no surprise seeing both songs are sung by Nano Ripe. I think I’m starting to identify her unique ‘drunk’ voice by now. The odd and amusing about the opening animation credits is the funny dance that Watashi and the fairies are doing. What the heck are they doing? Pushing air?! I don’t think this will become as famous or catch on like Gangnam Style but imagine seeing a bunch of little fairies led by Watashi doing this ‘exercise’. Weird, no? I tried it out a little while myself but quickly lost interest. Besides, I don’t have that much stamina to ‘push’ vigorously. Hearing the ending theme also reminded me of another familiar song. I noticed how Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume reminded me of Zettai Shonen’s ending theme. That’s because both of them are sung by the same singer, Masumi Itou. She too has an ‘odd’ voice that’s why I was able to recognize. Imagine a woman trying to put on a falsetto voice. Is it coincidence that both these series also deal with the supernatural fairies? The one in Zettai Shonen is slower and have a more enigmatic feel while this one is livelier, happier and more fantasy-like feel.

The declination of mankind perhaps tries to tell us to appreciate what we have now and not take things for granted. But do humans really learn from history? Take a look at the great empires in the past from Rome to China. After a period of prosperity, it is followed by downfall and before you know it, the dynasties are over and become part of history. Notice that in this series you don’t have the people fidgeting with technology? Can I say that it is a big relief for once not to see people sticking iPads, iPhones, Tablets and other electronic gadgets in their face? So it proves that in dire times, people do can live without them. Therefore be thankful in this age of plenty. People are just struggling to survive. Therefore the other lesson is to live each day to the fullest. You would appreciate things more that way. Of course, back to basics is another key point as seen without technology (not including help from the fairies), people still manage to get by daily albeit it would be better if they had some modern conveniences that cover their basic needs.

It might not happen now or in the nearest future but perhaps this is a sign and of course that one day just like everything in this universe, it will come to an end. But no use thinking about it now because it’s not going to happen so soon, right? Hah. Typical human lethargy. The end of the world at the end of 2012 didn’t turn out true either, right? But look at the way we are devouring Earth’s limited resources and polluting them. In a way, we are digging our own graves right at this moment. Whether or not mankind will gain the ability and technology to travel deep into space to leave the dying Earth (like as in Wall-E), that is another different story. Well, if it is going to be a slow decline to extinction and greatly affects the quality of life to the point it becomes a painful dystopia so bad that one couldn’t imagine, I’d rather have a meteoroid smash into Earth right now to end it all. No anime = no life! :)

Every country has their own peculiar culture. It is after all a big world out there. Even within countries but different states or prefectures, due to the distance between civilizations, there is bound to be also differences in local culture. That is why there are so many dialects in many countries around the world. For those who know about the Japanese, do you know well about their other dialects too? Well, I have this feeling that Boku No Imouto Wa Osaka Okan is an anime that will help me understand better about the quirky people of Osaka. Hah. Not that I am even interested in Osaka in the first place. Hmm… Maybe this anime is also some sort of poking fun at the stereotypes of the Osaka culture…

I suppose the motivation to watch this anime was because it was only 3 minutes long! Yes, the early 2013 season seems to bring in lots of short flash based animes and this is the first one to get my ball rolling on the list of such similar animes. Our main protagonist is Kyousuke Ishihara who lives in Tokyo. He has a sister named Namika who lived separately from him in Osaka for 10 years. Starting this spring, Namika starts living together with him and has returned even weirder than he could imagined. Yeah, it’s like she’s bringing back the Osaka culture back home.

Episode 1
Kyousuke shows her around town when she is attracted by some snack. He buys imagawayaki for her and from her reaction, apparently this bread doesn’t exist in Osaka. After tasting the goodness of it, she realizes it is just like kaitenyaki back home! Say what? In Osaka, imagawayaki = kaitenyaki. That’s how they call it. So we see Namika telling Kyousuke how things are named differently back in Osaka. Meat manjuu = pork manjuu? Iced coffee = reico? Milk = fresh? Parking lots = Motor pools? Though for the last one, Osakans still use parking lots in their normal conversation.

Episode 2
While watching TV, Namika seems to have something aloud to say in every scene. She thinks Kyousuke is too quiet watching TV. Maybe it’s just her being noisy? That’s how Osakans are when watching TV. Then when they talk about some local celebrity, Mieko Numakami, no how much Namika says about her, all Osakans supposedly love this lady. Namika makes okonomiyaki and mixes lots of ingredients in it. Apparently there are several styles for okonomiyaki and each household in Osaka has their own style.

Episode 3
It’s going to rain as Kyousuke notices Namika showing off her umbrella holder on her bicycle. A what? Apparently in Osaka, it is a must to stick your umbrella holders on the basket covers of a bicycle. In class, Namika’s friend, Kaede shows her cute memo book. Namika also shows off hers and makes her guess its prize. 2000 Yen? Only 550 Yen! Well, Osakans love asking people about price of stuffs and show off things they bought cheap. Kaede invites Namika to buy bread with her but she declines she is in the mood for tofu. Kaede feels it’s a shame these discount tickets will go to waste and instantly Namika is all for bread. Can’t resist a good deal, can’t they these Osaka people?

Episode 4
Namika starts giving the teaching staffs and friends candy. That’s because Osaka girls start to carry a candy bag when they enter high school. Later, Kaede and Kyousuke watch Namika being confessed by 3 different guys! Each of them are popular, have athletic ability or from a respected rich family. Each time, Namika replies she’ll think about it. Kyousuke confronts her and wants to know what gives because she is getting their hopes up. However she says she rejected them. Eh? I’ll think about it = I’m sorry (rejected). Namika reveals why she turns them all down. It’s because they are boring. Boring? Well, Osaka girls love their guys funny. That’s the important quality they look for.

Episode 5
Namika starts praising that somebody won and the tactics they used in the game. It seems if they start saying that first thing in the morning, it could mean that their Hanshin baseball team has won. Then she talks about some of the players in the team and comments about them. Despite what Osakans have to say about their team, they love them when they’re weak. Kyousuke’s muscles feel sore due to yesterday’s workout so Namika suggests some bizarre remedy. Basically if they make weird suggestions that don’t seem logical, they won’t even admit it or give up. Namika buys lots of cheap stuffs for Kyousuke even if he doesn’t need them. Is this how Osakans do it? Cheap people buy cheap stuff and love to give others? Don’t feel cheap, eh?

Episode 6
Kyousuke accompanies Namika to Shibuya to shop since she’s somewhat scared to be alone. First thing at the shop, she wants to buy an item that’s not for sale, asks for discount, gets another item not for sale to increase the discount. To top it all, she even asks for freebies! Who says she’s scared of being alone? She’s one scary customer. Yeah. Osakans love to haggle and ask for free stuffs. When Kyousuke suggests animal prints, Namika thinks he’s making fun of her. Then she chooses all sorts of odd designs and patterns… A reporter stops Namika to interview her about the trend in Shibuya. Like any other Osakans, she may say she is reluctant in front of the camera but continues to show off whatever she’s got in hand.

Episode 7
A typical Osakan Namika is, she tends to mispronounce and mix up English names of products and stores. Like when she says Autobucks, it is actually Starbucks. In addition to that, they do not admit their mistake and carry on unfazed. For the umpteenth time, it is Frappuccino and not Jalapeno! Namika buts a kebab to eat on the go and finds it hard to eat. As mentioned, adult Osakans love eating while standing or walking. Namika expresses how much fun she had in Shibuya to Kyousuke. Thing is, she’s rather loud talking about it in the train? Osakans aren’t ashamed of speaking out loudly without second thoughts.

Episode 8
Kaede talks to Namika about Mikami the school nurse’s failed marriage meeting and if she is still single by the time she is 35, she has to go back to her hometown. She is already 34 this year. Namika keeps asking weird questions and doesn’t seem to be listening because she’s also asking questions that Kaede have obviously said earlier. Yeah, she even thought Mikami should just marry Kyousuke then. Didn’t really think it through, did she? Kaede talks about another teacher Onodera who isn’t into relationships now but Mikami was eyeing on him. Namika wants to know if he is the good or bad guy because Osakans wants to know early if you’re friend or foe. Namika haggles for discount when she buys lunch for 3 people. Since she can’t get that, she persuades the canteen lady to give little extras. She’s really good at this, isn’t she? She can really be a good businesswoman.

Episode 9
Namika follows Kyousuke by train to school since her bicycle blew a tyre. She laments she needs to buy a ticket but remembers she has a pass card. Osakans call them Icoca or Surutto Kansai. When Kyousuke asks about the path she takes when she returns from school, she puts in lots of words to describe just about everything. Lots of them. What could be explained in a single sentence is expanded to possibly a paragraph. No kidding. Namika realizes she accidentally swapped her gym clothes with her brother’s. Since it will make a good joke, she’ll wear it. This means Kyousuke must be having hers, right? She can’t wait to imagine the hilariousness when he puts it on and even to the point of wearing her bra! But later she is sorely disappointed to learn that he borrowed his friend’s gym clothes. He’d be embarrassed if he wore hers but she says it defeats everything because what is supposed to be a joke is now a plain mistake. Apparently Osakans love to make jokes out of mistakes.

Episode 10
Namika is confused with the complicated train lines in Tokyo. But when an old lady asks her for directions, she confidently gives random directions to her! It seems Osakans will gladly give directions to others even if they don’t know it themselves. Also, when Namika casually talks to a foreigner, she continues to speak in her Osaka dialect. Kyousuke thinks the person sitting across is a celebrity. Instantly Namika goes up to her to praise her how much she loves her show (despite not even knowing the show she acted in) and will root for her. I suppose it’s their nature to shake hands as long as he or she is a celebrity regardless of whether they know them or not.

Episode 11
Namika brings Kaede to the restaurant where Kyousuke works part time. She wants Kyousuke to treat them more than just customers because they’re siblings. So they want service in addition to cheap food too? Well, cheap food is something given! Good restaurants for Osakans include good food, cheap price as well as courtesy. Namika finds her meal too salty and complains. Now she’s into that? Kaede is okay with it but Namika advises her to speak up because many customers who don’t complain end up never coming back to the restaurant again. Namika tells Kyousuke that he can’t serve this kind of dish to others and better tells his chef quick. To Osakans, complaining about a restaurant’s shortcomings is true kindness. And after all that complaining and getting a replacement, Osakans never forget to say thank you before they leave.

Episode 12
When eating lunch together, Kaede notices that Namika attaches –san to food names. However she mentions that not all food names will have the –san attached to it because it will sound weird. So how do they decide when to put the –san suffix? It all boils down to senses… Namika could tell that Kyousuke and Kaede are trying to talk in Osakan dialect. Whether they are being considerate or not, she doesn’t want them to try so hard because Osakans don’t really like it when their dialect is being spoken incorrectly or others sounding so fake trying so hard to speak it.

Culture Shock?
Weird, no? Of course anyone who isn’t familiar with the Osaka culture would deem all those notes and points by Kyousuke about the Osakan habit to be weird. But really, what makes them weird? Is it because it doesn’t conform to the norm of the majority? In short, every culture is unique and weird in their own ways. Thankfully I didn’t turn into an Osakan addict after watching this. Hah! You think I’d be brainwashed with just a dozen of episodes, eh? Well, some people spent their entire life in their home country and when they go abroad just for a couple of years and return home, they start acting like a foreigner! Yeah, they let the culture took over them.

I suppose all those references that Kyousuke made are real or at least true to a certain extent. No point in making them up, right? Like the naming of certain words, it is like a calling a rose by any other name. And the things they do may seem brash and crude but that is how they are. Think you are more refined? Define that anyway. Though each episode is short, I can’t help notice that there is a certain pattern at the start and end. Each episode starts off with Kyousuke narrating about his sister who lived in Osaka who suddenly returns to live with him and he finds her weird. Is it me or do I notice each time this narration of his starts getting faster and faster till he finally has that don’t-give-a-damn tone in his voice. And each time he narrates that while looking at Namika (who in turn looks back at him with that smirk and look), she will come back with a punch line that is very much perverted such as wondering if he masturbates to his sister (?!), having perverted thoughts or used up too many tissues. Otherwise she would be unashamed in her actions in asking him to shave her back, the type of panties she wearing, if her boobs had gotten bigger or wondering if she should pluck out her armpit hair. The ending is quite amusing because we see Namika in the bath (you little fanservice there) as she sings about today’s topic in her Osaka tune. It might be the same song, just that she changes the lyrics to that topic. Each time her song ends, Kyousuke will quip a rebuke it. The final episode has got to be the ‘best’ one because Namika just went “Lalala, lalalala, lalalala…”. Not even trying…

When they made an anime that has Osaka or Kansai-ben, my first thought is that they’re going to use Ryoko Shiraishi in it. True enough she is featured in this anime since my stereotypic views that she is the best person for this accent for she has played several characters speaking in this dialect. For example, Himeko from Sket Dance, Aoi from Zettai Karen Children and Zelnogrard from Busou Shinki. But to my surprise, it is Kana Asumi who helmed the role of Namika! Well, I’m not that familiar with the Osaka accent but I thought Kana was pretty good. Partly because I always viewed her voice as a ‘joker’! Haha! Forgive me, but yes. I do love it when Kana Asumi does voice such comical characters. So she isn’t your usual Hidamari Sketch’s Yuno or Amagami SS’s Miya. Ryoko Shiraishi is the voice of Kyousuke instead and she sounds very much like Hayate from Hayate No Gotoku and her other boyish roles. At first I thought Aki Toyosaki was the voice behind Kaede. It turned out to be Yuka Iguchi instead. She sounded a little goofy, a bit like Yui from K-ON! so I thought it was her. Surprise, surprise. I guess this shows if it isn’t that bratty voice like Index, then I wouldn’t have recognized her. Here’s another surprise. All other minor extra characters are also voiced by Yuka Iguchi! I knew it was the same seiyuu but I never thought it was her because since they’re trying to give a different tone and voice to almost every other character while using the same one. It’s a good try but you’ll know it (apart from the credits) when you realize one character is doing a falsetto voice and the other a lower voice but all have this feeling it’s by the same person.

I’m not sure about this but I think Kaede has a crush on Kyousuke. This is just judging from her reactions when she meets him in person. But I guess that isn’t the focus of this series. Looks like Kyousuke would have to put up more of his sister’s habits as long as she continues to live with him. For better or worse, she is still his sister. Looks like Namika’s Osaka habit is going to be staying for a long time. If not forever. Can you say she is a true Osakan? Well, at least she is not afraid to show where she comes from and not cowed into embarrassment or lose spirit if somebody ever mocks her about her Osakan ways. Like they dare. Namika would scorn you first thing and you will be the one running away with tails between your legs. So yeah, the lesson of this story is that you can never beat an Osakan! Don’t even try to argue with them. Because. That’s how it is!