Sket Dance

September 29, 2013

If you have any problems during your high school life that needs some sort of assistance, feel free to come down to the club room of Sket Dance to ask for help. Well, at least if you are a student of Kaimei High School, that is. This club that consists of only 3 members will do whatever it takes within their power to see to it that their client’s request is solved. Thus you can say that this club is somewhat an odd jobs helper and to a certain extent, a jack-of-all-trades. Just picture Gintama but confined to a high school setting. Yeah. That’s what I felt.

Initially when this series started its run back in 2011, I thought this was going to be one of those run-forever animes like you know… Oh wait, now it’s only One Piece and Naruto Shippuden left. And perhaps Toriko… As this series ran around the same time with another anime, Beelzebub, I was already resigned to the fact that this series might stretch to over a hundred. But the first surprise came when Beelzebub already ended at 60 episodes, my hope was that Sket Dance too may see an end. So after 77 episodes, this series came to an end. And I was still surprised it ended because I really thought too that it will end. Yeah, a dilemma. Should it end? Should it continue? Anyway it already ended.

Back to the series. If you like comedy animes involving high school students, you should try this one out because there are lots of moments where you can laugh out loud. Some even the slapstick kind, some breaking the fourth wall and some the retorting kind. Yes, retorts. Two of the three Sket Dance members have this tendency to retort the situations and I feel they have retort everything and even each other so much that they could have easily become the tsukkomi king and queen for the next 10 years. The situation and comical stuff can be exaggerated sometimes but that is what makes it funny. It might not even make sense but hey, who cares as long as you’re laughing?

Of course it isn’t laugh and smiles all the way. There are some drama moments that serve to let us know the character more and some heart tugging moments to show us about the power of friendship, moral values like helping others, etc. You get the point. Such long running animes too depend on their wide range of characters and each of them do have their quirks that you will learn about as you go along. Don’t worry. There won’t be like 100 over characters for you to remember. Those supporting characters have their unique personality so it makes them memorable in a way. As usual, I don’t do episode-by-episode blogs for long running anime series. They’ll just be point summaries of those that are memorable (read: I can’t remember the rest). There’s the good ol’ Wikipedia for some information and Wikia for even more information. The Fandom Post has a decent summary of each episode so I don’t really need to go rewatch an episode if I need to recall something. Maybe I should…

Sket Dance:
In Japanese, ‘Suketto’ means help and S.K.E.T. in their club name stands for Support, Kindness, Encouragement and Troubleshoot. The leader is Yuusuke Fujiwara AKA Bossun. Has an erratic personality but when he puts on his goggles, his concentration becomes intense and his marksmanship excellent. The only female of the club is Hime Onizuka AKA Himeko. The Amazon type woman who doesn’t hesitate to beat you up with her hockey stick if you piss her off. Tomboyish and speaks in a Kansai dialect, this Pelollipop and Pelocan lover (I wonder how she can stand all those horrible flavours) has a knack for doing lots of comebacks. Sometimes Bossun is her comeback partner. The third member is the bespectacled Kazuyoshi Usui AKA Switch. This otaku geek never speaks! At least he never opens his mouth. He speaks via typing in his portable notebook through some special voice software. So don’t be surprised if you hear his voice somewhat computerized. His data and intelligence gathering skill is exceptional almost to the point it is scary. You can never hide any info from him…

The student council members:
Isn’t the student council supposed to be the ones helping students in need. Sure, they still do. That’s why they are loggerheads with Sket Dance as they are like rivals with each other. Well, at least the vice president Sasuke Tsubaki views Sket Dance as. This eyelashes guy takes things very seriously and is very strict in upholding the principals of this school. It’s no surprise he always clashes with Bossun. If only the president was this dedicated. He is Soujirou Agata and despite his laidback personality, he is very intelligent and an IQ of 160! You don’t really want to mess with this guy in terms of intelligence. Then there is Mimori Unyuu the treasurer. She is a rich girl and thinks money can solve anything! All you need to do is just name your price and she can pay it! How rich is this girl?! Kikuno Asahina AKA Daisy is the secretary and don’t let her monotonous looks fool you. She has this knack of insulting people via abbreviation. What is DOS again? Lastly, there is Michiru Shinba of the general affairs. This narcissist is quite a good looking guy and popular among the girls and loves cooking.

Other students of Kaimei (selected):
* Roman Saotome – Mangaka wannabe and specializes in shoujo manga. Though her drawing somewhat sucks… has this ability to turn surroundings and atmosphere into manga-like setting. How did she do that? Has a crush on Bossun since mistaking him as her ‘Prince’ she saw in her delusion on her way home.
* Shinzou Takemitsu – Kendo club captain and samurai wannabe (because his dad acts in period dramas). May speak like one but later one develops an obsession with those Smart Phones. Do samurais use such device? He also needs those Friskies mint for some ‘power up’. Though it only lasts a short while…
* Moe Yabasawa – Fat girl and daughter of a bookstore owner. Thinks she looks hell of a pretty. Well, at least she is positive about herself. Has a ‘3’ as her mouth… Always seen most of the time trying to catch her escaped pet monkey.
* Reiko Yuuki – Could be easily mistaken as Sadako due to her ghostly features. She is of the occult club and believes in everything supernatural. Thus she is Switch’s natural rival. Technology versus supernatural. Science versus occult. The debate continues… Forever…
* Momoka Kibitsu – Actually she isn’t a student of this school. Once an ex-delinquent trying to pick a bone with Himeko, she was defeated and occasionally hangs out outside Sket Dance’s room with her other ex-delinquent girls. Ever since being scouted, she becomes an idol and her repertoire can range from being a singer, voice actress and actress.
* Chiaki Takahashi – The captain of the softball team and thus nicknamed Captain by Sket Dance. Has this uncanny believe to eat very fast. Faster than your eye can catch. It’s like the food disappears from her hand!
* Date Kiyoshi – Also known as Dante and is a big fan of visual kei subculture. Acts like one too so his words are very hard to decipher. You got to be patient talking to him because even the most simplest of things, he can’t say it straight… You need to guess…
* Kaoru Yagi – Bespectacled member of the Broadcasting Club. May seem reserve and stoic but sometimes can be very blunt and straightforward for certain topics.
* Ayumi Kuramoto – Yagi’s best friend and always helping to bring Dante to the Sket Dance’s room for help. She is the one who tells us viewers what Dante’s words mean.
* Mitsuru Jougasaki – Big bully. Although he tones down a lot as the series goes by. Has a crush on Chiaki and nobody seems to be able to properly remember his name.

Teaching staffs:
* Genzaburou Karamatsu – The principal of Kaimei and always enjoys talking about his grandson.
* Tetsuji Chuuma – Sket Dance’s club advisor and Bossun and Himeko’s homeroom teacher. His laidback attitude is perfect for Sket Dance since they are always left to do their own devices. You don’t want a strict teacher coming in to check what kind of antics they get into, right? Always busy with experimenting with odd potions and pills that often backfire.
* Remi Misora – Formerly a host of a children’s programme, she is now a staff at Kaimei. She is quite clumsy and always prone to slip-ups. Has a secret crush on Chuuma.
* Junichi Son – We almost got Sadako, now we almost have Jason! Yeah, this guy has a face that closely resembles a hockey mask of that serial killer. Thus the nickname J-Son. Despite his murderous looks, he is quite shy and often goes for marriage interviews, only for it to fail in the end because he ends up looking like a psychopath. If only women could understand the depths of his heart…
* Kunio Yamanobe – I thought this was a very aged Harima from School Rumble… Anyway this geography teacher always teaches Sket Dance very weird games (because he needs members to participate in them). Games you would probably laugh your ass off because it seems so ridiculous. Who is this Master Wong he learns his games from? Like Master Wong was always there throughout history…

Here are some of the memorable episodes of the series. I know, I know. It’s an excuse since I can’t remember them…

Episode 1: Introduces Sket Dance and their case solving abilities when a new transfer student, Teppei Sugihara becomes a victim of bullying. The culprit turns out to be Teppei himself but was under pressure by the bully. When things are set straight, Teppei manages to fit into his new school life although he didn’t join Sket Dance, something they would pretty much prefer, he got into the basketball club.

Episode 7: A guy named Tetsu wants to see his childhood friend Misaki who is coming to visit this town. Problem is, he was liaising with her under a false name due to their past misunderstanding so that’s where Sket Dance comes in. Tetsu has no time to hesitate when he learns Misaki is on a life-and-death operation in America and manages to give her to best farewell present before her a departure: A thousand pink paper cranes that resemble like sakura petals when scattered through the air. Such a heart-warming end.

Episode 8: Yamanobe wants this Genesis game to be continued and to form a club and enlists Sket Dance’s help to learn the game. Now we know why nobody wants to play this game. So ridiculous. Looks ridiculous. Apart from wearing flippers and holding nets, you need to chant what lines again?

Episode 10: Kuramoto enlists Sket Dance’s help to cheer up Yagi who has been depressed ever since. It is discovered that she accidentally possessed a CD that contains footage of someone spying on the mid-term questions. The CD owner is making Yagi to shut up by blackmailing her about revealing her past. In the end, based on the evidence and sharp observations of the video, the nail the culprit that turns out to be a teacher of the school.

Episode 11 – 13 (Bibage Battle Arc): It all began when Yabasawa wanted a lip avatar. They aren’t really interested in participating in the tournament till they discover the student council members will be in it. It is a team game of 5 on 5 so Sket Dance rope in Shinzou as their final member. However when Yabasawa fails to turn up for participation, they need to scramble for another member. The first match is a cooking match with Himeko against Shinba. No shocker for this round as Shinba nails the victory. The second match is a fighting game which pits Shinzou against Tsubaki. The first side to destroy all the orange balls on their enemy wins. At first Tsubaki seems to be taking home victory but Shinzou revives and levels the score for Sket Dance. The third game is a shooting game. Switch to face off with Daisy. Both sides are neck to neck and down to their last ammo. They fire at the same time so a photo finish is needed to see who got shot first. Switch wins. For the fourth match which is a real life love dating simulating, Mimori is up against Roman. Money always solves it for Mimori but for Roman, she took a very long winded and dramatic approach… In the end, Mimori wins because she is that guy’s type. And because to make it all down to the final decider which is between Bossun and Agata. In this card game of wits, Pixie Garden, Bossun is frustrated that Agata seems to know whether the cards he disposes are real or fakes. Agata ups the stakes that if Bossun wins, he will resign as student council president. Otherwise Sket Dance gets disbanded. In the end, even putting on his goggles did Bossun no good as Agata’s IQ allows him to stay a step ahead. The student council wins. Sket Dance is having an emotional farewell for their disbandment but Agata orders them to continue sticking around. The bet was just a joke…

Episode 14: Takaaki Uchida seeks Sket Dance’s help to become popular and at list win one of the popularity categories. But none of the attempts they do seem to make him stand out more. His desperation in becoming popular was hoping he could not let his mom in hospital worry. Of course she can see through her son’s lies. Eventually Uchida did win a category: The kindest person. All his classmates throng outside the hospital to show their support and to give him his medal.

Episode 16 – 17 (Kaimei Rock Festival Arc): Each Sket Dance member has joined a different rock group for their school’s rock festival that the principal loves very much. Bossun while practising his guitar meets a famous violin girl, Sagisaki. She doesn’t have the confidence in her violin skills. As the festival draws nearer and each of Sket Dance’s respective other band members are unable to perform due to circumstances, the Sket Dance trio decide to form their own group. Deriving a name each from their band, the trio form The Sketchbook. On the festival day, The Sketchbook rocks the crowd and Sagisaki manages to catch a glimpse of their performance. The song they perform is for her so she gets enough motivation to fly off to Germany to continue her career path as a violinist.

Episode 18: Another one of Yamanobe’s weird games… What the heck is this crazy board game Hyperion? Bossun and Switch seem to be very into it unlike Himeko. Is this a boy’s game? Yeah, they are even going to attend a world tournament. Reality check for Bossun and Switch when they find the place is some cabin in the woods and the other competing team is a Chinese pair. Now do we know why nobody plays this game?

Episode 19: The student council messes up big time a bust statue of the principal after trying to plan a surprise birthday party for him. The more they fix it, the worse it gets. Last minute before the principal could step into his office, Agata slams his face with a cake. Mimori can use her influence and money power to remake the bust but they just need a mould for his face. Conveniently, it’s there in the cake… And so the bust is repaired but the principal doesn’t remember it had this big smile.

Episode 20: Bossun and Switch attend a blind date with jealous Himeko spying on them. When the couple confess and leaves the guys alone with the other girls, Bossun and Switch become stump for words to impress. Their gags fall flat. Not funny. Finally Himeko couldn’t take it anymore and jumps out of her hiding to do her lecture and usual comebacks. Saved… Later Himeko also goes on another blind date and like deja vu, she is left alone with a couple of boys. The boys think her jokes are old fashioned, causing her to get angry. Just when she wishes Bossun and Switch are here, true enough her heroes show up to save the day but got kicked out due to being noisy.

Episode 21:  Bossun and Switch think Switch is dating Reiko since they’re frequently going out together. Seems he is helping her out to choose a personal computer so she can create a webpage dedicated to her occultism. Reiko bumps into her old crush, Kobayashi. He turned her down because of her creepy features and continues to mock her in that. This heartbreak was what made Reiko ventured further into her occult. Switch decides to give Reiko a total makeover and surprisingly, she looks pretty! OMG! Nobody would have known she is that occult girl! Even Kobayashi couldn’t recognize her and ask her out on a date. So when he did find out she is Reiko, she rejects him and turns the table on him, pushing him into a fountain. Reiko wonders why Switch went all the way to help her. Could it be he likes her? He rubbishes that thought because by helping her to buy a computer, it is a step closer to make her move away from occult and realize the wonders of technology. But Reiko is confident she will drag him down the occult road.

Episode 24 – 25 (Switch’s Past Arc): It all began when Shinzou had a quarrel with his brother, Shinpei who is in that rebellious stage and in got into some trouble with delinquents. Switch had a younger brother named Masafumi. They grew up together with another childhood friend, Sawa. Masafumi was a genius in computing and his friends nickname him Switch. They were very close to each other especially Masafumi and Sawa. Of course it is hinted that Kazuyoshi likes Sawa but feels Masafumi would be much better suited for her due to his computing skills. One day, Sawa learns from her friend, Yoshino who tells her to be wary of a stalker. True enough, there seems to be a guy stalking Sawa from a distance. In an attempt to bring Masafumi and Sawa together, Switch sends them out to buy some crime prevention goods. Later Kazuyoshi gets a call from Yoshino who has learnt the stalker’s identity: Shinji. He had a reputation of injuring a classmate with a knife. When Kazuyoshi spots Shinji lurking outside his house, he goes to chase him down. When he finds no knife on him, Shinji explains that he once dated Yukino but broke up shortly. But when Shinji revealed to Yoshino he liked Sawa, Yoshino prevented Shinji from reaching Sawa by being at her side. Shinji’s ‘stalking’ is just to warn Sawa of Yoshino’s personality. She is the one who has that unstable mind of stabbing people with a knife. Masafumi and Sawa are at the shopping district when they encounter Yoshino. She pulls out a knife and lunges at them. Masafumi uses his body to shield Sawa and paid the price with his life. In the aftermath, it is learnt that Yoshino thought Masafumi was Sawa’s boyfriend (because Kazuyoshi mistakenly and accidentally told her about this). Kazuyoshi starts blaming himself for causing his brother’s death. It is then that Kazuyoshi assumes Masafumi’s identity and took on his nickname. He becomes his brother. Sawa’s family moved away but not before both of them finally confessing their feelings for each other. The pain in Switch’s heart became unbearable so he stopped talking ever since. He completes Masafumi’s voice software to combine their voices to ‘speak’.

Episode 26: Gintama crossover! This is what happens when both funny animes collide. Yeah, Gintama calling Sket Dance their poor anime version. So we have got lots of havoc with Sket Dance and Yorozuya, lots of paranoia especially a couple of seiyuus that share characters from both sides of the anime (Gin and Switch…)! Mocking, insulting, jabbing and at each other’s throat too. So when it is time to return to their own anime, they find themselves travelling back to the first episode of Sket Dance! Then they had to travel through several episodes to search for Kagura and Shinpachi who got thrown off somewhere during the time travel.

Episode 28: Shinba has been chosen to host a cooking show during Kaimei’s first broadcasting during lunch hour. He ropes in Agata and Daisy for the job but the duo are so uncooperative that it may ruin everything. Daisy is just moody and Agata isn’t plain interested. In the end, the faint smell of alcohol was enough to send Shinba drunk and go on a flirting spree with Daisy. Helter-skelter ensues when she beats the crap out of him. All live in front of the camera!

Episode 30: Himeko is stumped why Bossun and Switch are so into those Gachapon items. Of course she got hooked too. We see them get weirder and weirder Gachapon items. I think they even bought the entire vending machine! Need to have one of those Anthony Gachapon…

Episode 31: Shinzou requests Sket Dance’s help for a complete makeover to meet this Megumi girl. After all that trial and error, this Megumi turns out to be a dude… Oh God!!! Later, Himeko tries a workout video from Biney’s Mute Amp but it turns out more annoying and irritating than ever. Is this really a workout? More like getting worked up.

Episode 33: Sket Dance investigates The Glass Man incident after a series of broken windows at school. The clues left behind led them to unveil the culprit who is actually a girl. But Bossun notices something about her and the clue didn’t fit and further investigations reveal she was blackmailed into doing so or else her old pictures of being a fat girl will surface. And the real culprit turns out to be her friend and of the Broadcasting Club trying to film it all on camera. How else would somebody know exactly when the events will unfold? Why, oh why? Love problems. Jealousy. Grudge. At least things were reconciled in the end.

Episode 34: Roman tells us the basics of how to draw shoujo manga. But her horrible crappy drawing… Her incomprehensible storyline… Then she got a new club member. So strong Roman’s art influence that her good art became crappy like hers!

Episode 35: Enigman and his assistant Quettion of the Quiz Club challenge Sket Dance to a series of quizzes. Well, we get lots of funny answers (like as though they’re not trying hard enough) before Bossun giving his intelligent and correct answer. Later Sket Dance is visited by Akitoshi Daimon whose alter ego is Enigman. Seems he has a double personality. Donning on his mask, he becomes the loud extrovert. But his normal self is a shy and timid person. That’s why he has come to Sket Dance for help on his love problems. He is in love with the girl behind Quettion and is afraid to confess. When he finally does, Quettion unmasks herself and her personality also changes. No more the loyal Enigman assistant, eh? Who would have known she had such a crude and rude personality?

Episode 36 – 37 (Himeko’s Past Arc): Himeko’s hockey stick breaks so she decides to buy a new one. Apparently the shop was in the midst of being robbed. After apprehending the robber and getting her new hockey stick in which she names it as Kunpumaru, this prompts her to be reminded of her own violent past. She first moved to Tokyo from Osaka due to her father’s work. She couldn’t fit in and was lonely till Arisa Kanou became her first friend since she had the same hockey stick. One day Himeko learns Arisa was being bullied and extorted by the worst bully in school, Kyoko Nanba due to her wealthy family background. Himeko vows to protect her and accompanies Arisa to meet Nanba on the night she is supposedly to hand over the money. Himeko got beaten up by Nanba’s underlings. To make things worse, the real boss among the gang is no other than Arisa. She hired them as their bodyguards and wanted to blend in to avoid trouble. Allying herself with the strongest is the best way to do that. She is upset that Himeko views her as weak. Himeko becomes enraged over her betrayal and turns into a monster to beat up everyone, leaving Arisa shaken and very much afraid of this devil woman. Himeko soon transferred to Kaimei but rumours of her being Onihime spreads rife. Anybody who dares challenge or mock her gets swiftly beaten up. She adopts a new hairstyle and tries to turn over a new life. Anything as long as it doesn’t make people think she is that Onihime. When Chiaki first wanted to become her friend (after seeing her powerful softball throw), Himeko was sceptical. Also, Bossun was also interested to become her friend since she had that Poppman hat. Himeko continued to give them the cold shoulder but this doesn’t stop Bossun. Slowly, Himeko learns to open up. One day, Chiaki seems to be acting strange. The kind of look that she is in trouble. Her softball accidentally dented a car of a man and he wants her to pay up at a park. Himeko is still reeling from her traumatic past and has doubts whether to go save Chiaki. Till Bossun tells her that losing a friend’s trust is worse than being betrayed. Himeko arrives first on scene to beat up the men trying to kidnap Chiaki into their car. But her stick breaks and is defenceless. Bossun then came into the picture like a Poppman hero to save the day. That would be sweet if he wasn’t shivering in fear. Himeko notes his determination to save a friend so she returns to being Onihime. When the men realize who they are dealing with, they apologize and run away. Bossun admires her strength and hopes she could lend it to a club he wants to create dedicated to helping others. Himeko views she needs to be strong like him. Himeko borrows Bossun’s shoulder to cry on. She then lets Bossun keep the Poppman getup that becomes his every day trademark. Back in present time, when Himeko and Arisa meet again, the latter regretted how she treated her and apologizes. Himeko also forgives her.

Episode 38: Sket Dance is roped in to help with Remi’s children stage programme but finds themselves trapped in a storeroom. They can’t take off their mascot outfits (useless droopy arms…) and it’s a race against time to get out before the fire burns them down! In the end, I think it looked like a horror show for the kids. Oh, Switch has no talking role in this one…

Episode 39: Another old quirky game Yamanobe brings in to Sket Dance to help fix. What the heck is this Special Mariko Broken? I think the game itself is broken. Though the gang gets hooked in playing this game (no matter how odd/stupid everything is), so epic that the cartridge finally overheats after 4 hours straight of playing. You’ll never play that game ever again. Good riddance.

Episode 41: Enigman and Quettion this time challenge the student council minus Agata to their quizzes. Otherwise he threatens to expose that picture of messing up the principal’s bust. Bossun makes his guest appearance as Quiz King Bosshuton. Of course it seems that Tsubaki is the only one trying hard. The rest seem like fooling around. Then Agata shows up. He displays his high intelligence by guessing the answers based on the sketches that everyone has drawn. And he got all of them right! Amazing! And so the student council is saved. Later Daimon seeks Sket Dance’s advice on his date with Quettion. But Daimon becomes a worrywart throwing in all the what-ifs situation. This guy is probably thinking too much. However they all came true! Date ruined. He is one sad/mad mother.

Episode 43: When Himeko saves Jin Kakiuchi from gangsters, that guy falls in love with her. He is also annoying persistent in praising her so Himeko had to tell him off she has a boyfriend. Really? So prove it. She reluctantly seeks Bossun’s help to act as her boyfriend and go on a date. Switch and Jin obviously are spying on them and it is obvious they aren’t acting very couple-like. It’s so unconvincing. In the end when Bossun assures Jin that Himeko is just some plain Osaka woman and that nothing is special between them, Himeko beats him to a pulp. Jin sees that kind of special relationship in them.

Episode 45: Nothing goes right in J-son’s marriage interview. Not even after grooming him or the words Sket Dance relay for him to say. Another big disaster waiting to happen. Also, Remi goes out on a date with another guy just to piss off Chuuma. She is saved by Chuuma when that guy’s identity is busted to be a voyeur trying to film up her skirt. Remi learns Chuuma is divorced and his daughter Suzu is currently living with him. Chuuma has reservations about remarrying again since he views it will open up a new can of worms. He won’t think about it unless Suzu approves of it. And looks like Suzu takes an instant liking for Remi.

Episode 46 – 48 (Bossun’s Past Arc): When Bossun was 14 years old, he discovered several video tapes in his mom’s closet. Watching the first few tapes, it seems to be records of his mom Akane, his late father Ryousuke (which is a splitting image of Bossun) and their friend Haru. Akane caught him in the act though she is somewhat relieved that he has not progressed further than the fourth tape. Naturally he asks the type of man his father is and Akane’s reply that he is a useless person. Bossun felt something amiss going through the photo albums. On the day he is born, Akane doesn’t look like the pregnant woman she is supposed to be. Bossun confronts Akane wondering if she is his real mom. His real mom is actually Haru. Akane first met them back in high school and the trio became best friends. Ryousuke and Akane grew up in an orphanage so they are very close to each other. Both died on separate accidents on the day Bossun was born. Bossun became depressed and becomes an aimless wanderer on his 15th birthday. He got beaten up by some punks and noticed a boy with eyelashes watching in fear but didn’t do anything to help. A man named Taisuke Mishima saved the day by threatening to call the cops. Bossun learns this guy is grateful towards his dad for saving his life. On that fateful day, Ryousuke saved Taisuke who was playing in the streets from a car. He paid with his life and before he died, he told Taisuke to be strong to help others and help deliver his presents to his wife. Ever since, Taisuke has been coming to this place to pay his respects. He passes the presents to Bossun and inside is a cracked watch, stopped supposedly on the time of Ryousuke’s death. Nearby, Bossun sees eyelashes boy being bullied. He thought of leaving him to his fate but remembering his father’s words, he goes to help him. Bossun is left wondering if this is the feeling of helping others without expecting anything in return but it did some good because the boy is inspired by him. On the other hand, Akane was driving Haru to hospital. Probably she got a little emotional to keep her eyes on the road. She had to swerve her car and as a result crashed into a doctor’s car coming in the opposite direction. The doctor takes Haru to the hospital. It is a bittersweet ending because although Haru died in the process, the baby was saved. Akane vowed to take care of him as if he was her own. Now that he has known his past, Bossun is grateful for his late parents because they risk their lives to give birth to him. He gets the resolve to start a club to help others.

Back in present time during Kaimei’s cultural festival, Bossun is approached by a man who claims to be the doctor who delivered him. First he apologized to him for keeping a secret for 17 years. On the day Bossun was born, he wasn’t the only one to have come into this world. He had a twin so he is not entirely alone in this world. That brother of his is closer to him than he think. He is also studying at Kaimei. Guess who? Bossun is shocked to hear Tsubaki is his twin brother. Before Haru died, she knew she had twins and hoped the doctor would adopt one since it would be a burden for Akane to take care of two. The doctor adopted Tsubaki and never told Akane about it till 2 years ago around the time when Bossun found out about his real parents. He felt guilty and told Tsubaki about it. His reaction was the same like Bossun’s. Instead of yelling and being angry, he left and wandered for a while. That’s why on that day when Bossun got into trouble with some punks, the eyelashes boy (Tsubaki) didn’t come to his aid because he was in shock and confused. Although Bossun can’t forgive the doctor, he knows he has been a good father as he can see how well he has raised Tsubaki. Later when Bossun meets up with Tsubaki, both realizing each other’s relationship, we find out that Bossun is the elder twin and he invites to visit Tsubaki his home for dinner. Now we know why they are so different yet feel so similar. Himeko becomes excited upon knowing this fact and loves seeing them together.

Episode 49: It’s the Genesis World Grand Prix! WTF?! Yamanobe ropes in Sket Dance and Chiaki as Japan’s representative in the unpronounceable host country. Even weirder, the ‘countries’ that participate don’t really sound like countries! Where the heck is… Oh, hell I can’t even pronounce that country. Is Wyoming of USA even a country?! And all the characters look like they’ve popped out from some shonen manga or anime. Weirdoes! In the end with Chiaki’s fast learning ability, Japan takes the championship and she is named MVP of the tournament. She thought the prize would be some all-you-can-eat special but it turns out the additional reward also makes her qualify to be part of the royal family and the prince’s wife. NO WAY!!!

Episode 50: Himeko becomes Bossun’s personal maid after she injures his hand. But it will turn out to be service from hell with power Himeko serving him. Later Jin is still not convinced about Bossun and Himeko’s relationship and goes to observe their daily interaction. While the duo don’t really admit it, it seems like they are acting like newly married couples (and at one point, mother and son?!), much to Jin’s ire. So is he going to give up his love on Himeko? Well, he’s not throwing in the towel that easily yet.

Episode 51: Tsubaki visits Bossun’s home for the first time to see for himself what his real parents look like.

Episode 52: Introducing an all-new character. Saaya the twintail tsundere. However she wants to get rid of this tsundere attitude and to start it off, she keeps visiting Sket Dance every day. Once a tsundere, always a tsundere. Later Saaya finds an abandoned owl and decides to raise it in the clubroom till it has the strength to fly away on its own. However it comes back to them. All herald the series’ mascot, Hoosuke! Despite owls having a carnivorous nature, this one is quite tame… Initially Tsubaki disagrees with Sket Dance keeping a live animal as it is against the school rules but Agata allows it. Can’t go against the president’s orders, can’t he? Oh, did I mention that Saaya is Agata’s little sister? It’s a small world after all.

Episode 53: Another new character introduced: Koma Morishita. Despite her giant stature, she is very embarrassed. When she becomes embarrassed, she displays her full force of strength. Poor Bossun bears the brunt of it. Later Dante and Koma seek Sket Dance’s help because they have fallen in love with somebody. When it turns out to be each other, Sket Dance tries to help bring them together but due to various misunderstandings of what the other says (and Bossun once more bearing the brunt of it all), I guess their love didn’t work out. It wasn’t meant to be. It was just fleeting…

Episode 54: Sket Dance especially Switch decides to expose a fraudulent famous fortune teller named Himiko Minakami when Reiko seemingly has been duped without realizing it is a scam (that bracelet as a charm obviously look cheap – and the proceeds all go to Minakami). Minakami challenges them to appear on her live show and will prove that her divination is real. It may seem so because she uses several psychological tactics to awe the audience. Her downfall came when she reads Bossun’s prediction. Sure, it is all true but how can she read his when it was actually his twin?! Tsubaki in disguise! Wow. You can never tell the difference if they dress up the same. I’m sure the audiences would want their money back. So are we convinced that Switch is doing this for Reiko’s sake due to some feelings thingy? Well, not quite. Reiko once again has her thanks for him. Switch might not believe in the occult especially fortune telling because the fortune teller does not take responsibility of the failed outcome. He wants her to continue her occult ways because otherwise there will be no meaning if he doesn’t have his rival around. Reiko will create her own fortune system to prove him wrong and Switch will use his technology to blow her away.

Episode 55: Bossun is an expert in folding all sorts of origami paper! Really! But when he cracks his head to create the ultimate origami piece, he finally realizes the address of the competition is being used as one of the origami papers in his Pegasus masterpiece. Can he risk ‘dismantling’ it after putting hours of hard work?

Episode 57: Bossun is made to reply on Shinzou’s behalf as an email friend. Likewise, Himeko gets into the same situation with Koma. Before long, they both get addicted to it and become anxious for the other’s reply, not knowing that they are actually interacting with each other. So when they decide to meet face to face and the person whom they wanted to meet never turn up but each other, you can guess their reaction when they discover the real truth. Very embarrassing, no? If only they trust each other to erase all those exchanged emails…

Episode 59: Daisy never asks for help even though she needs it. So when she gets into trouble with a group of delinquents from Tachikawa High School, she keeps quiet and bears the responsibility herself. The boss, Yabuta wants Daisy to become his woman or else he will not guarantee the safety of Kaimei students. Even when a friend leaks this terrible news to Tsubaki, Daisy is still reluctant to seek help. Tsubaki is in a dilemma and goes to seek Sket Dance’s advice. In the end, Tsubaki decides to do this to settle his own score. He’s not here to ask for his apology. He’s not here to seek revenge. Seems pretty much like that to me. He doesn’t know if it’s right or wrong but wants to punch Yabuta. As usual, big bad bullies always send their lackeys to do the dirty job. Tsubaki is overwhelmed by the other delinquents. Unexpected help arrives in the form of Sket Dance in weird masks. Don’t even ask. It’s game over when Tsubaki lands Yabuta his punch. Tsubaki and Daisy reconcile and the latter does not hesitate to seek for help if she needs it. Even if it’s the slightest bit.

Episode 60: Himeko is scouted to be the new Pelocan girl of Pelollipop commercial. However her stage fright causes havoc so the editors have to re-edit everything since they don’t have time. The end result? I don’t think that even cuts to be a commercial. Later, Bossun and Switch head to Himeko’s home to study but the temptation of preoccupying with other stuffs was just too great. So Himeko’s mom cracks the whip and becomes Spartan mom and forces the kids to study. No escape from her watchful eye! Not even daddy can help! That’s how the legend of Oniyome was born!

Episode 62 – 64 (School Trip Rhapsody Arc): For the upcoming school trip, Kaimei’s tradition has it that classes will have to skip ropes to decide which class accommodates the better rooms. Saaya totally sucks in athletic so it seems she is bringing down the class. Sket Dance trains her and despite falling short of 1 jump of the record, the class congratulate Saaya for trying her best. Because there are 8 classes and only 7 buses, the class will draw lots to see which one will split. Tsubaki curses his luck and ends up with Bossun’s class. The thought of romance on such trips must have given Saaya something to chew about. It is becoming obvious that she is starting to harbour feelings for Bossun or at least it seems like it. Wanting to know the relationship between Bossun and Himeko, Switch advises her to ask him directly. But it’s not going to be a problem because Chuuma has created dangerous and weird drugs (God for who knows what. And don’t ask). Using Bossun, Himeko and Tsubaki as guinea-pigs, Bossun and Himeko switch bodies while Tsubaki thinks he is a cat. While Chuuma tries to make the antidote, Bossun and Himeko have to put up with awkward situations and try to act like the other so other people do not suspect they have switched bodies. Not easy. Especially when it involves the bath… And Chuuma took the wrong drug which causes him to lose all his motivation. They might have to stay like this for the rest of their trip. Saaya watches the duo from a distance while Switch makes it his personal mission to watch over Saaya and prevent her from getting close to them. So much so, Reiko thought he became Saaya’s stalker! Finally, Saaya summons the courage to ask Bossun (Himeko actually) about his opinion on Himeko. She tries to answer in the way Bossun would think. They’re just friends is her reply. Then Bossun (remember, still Himeko) asks Saaya of what she thinks of Bossun. Her answer is that she isn’t sure but he is always on her mind. In tears, she is grateful to him because she now gets to mix around better with others. Bossun and Himeko decide to sleep together in Chuuma’s room and share a futon since they don’t trust each other sleeping alone. Himeko tells Bossun what she told Saaya. It made them ponder about their relationship because they are often together. Do they look like that? Himeko is afraid she might have said the wrong thing but Bossun says he would have replied the same. At the end of the school trip, Bossun and Himeko didn’t switch back. Throw Chuuma into the mix of body swapping and you’ve got another round of chaos! Oh, Tsubaki is still a cat. Nyan~.

Episode 64: In this short side story called Quest Dance, a group of 6 people with totally unrelated and hilarious class are assembled to fight the demon king. But we don’t get to see Bossun, Himeko, Switch, Enigman, Tsubaki and Saaya getting the classes they are supposed to get due to some screw up from Remi. They are left with odd classes that aren’t suitable for an RPG party. More like a comedy troupe. So it becomes a ‘race’ to claim which of the class they want to be since it is first come first serve basis to avoid getting the most crappy one as they thought. So who gets to be the slime? Bossun! He sucks at rock-scissors-paper…

Episode 65: When Saaya asks about Tsubaki’s relationship with Bossun, the other student council members misinterpret and think it’s Saaya x Tsubaki. Of course this leads to big brother Agata getting the wrong idea too and will not approve of this! Evil aura leaking out… Even asking Saaya of this, she is describing Bossun but Agata happens to think it is Tsubaki. If only everyone puts in the name, it would have cleared up everything. Saaya calls up Bossun to ask him out for tea. Tsubaki happen to be there. Oh, Agata too. In the end, all four went to tea together. Agata thinks Bossun is the third wheel trying to get in between Saaya and Tsubaki. After all that miscommunication and misunderstanding, does Agata finally understand what is going on? He thinks Bossun is in love with Saaya and there is a love triangle going on! Wrong! And so Agata keeps following Saaya around and won’t let his guard down… I guess a guy with high IQ can lose his composure too when it comes to his sister.

Episode 68: Suzu knows Remi loves Chuuma and seeing how close they are (although that dude is still dense), she wants to bring them closer. With Sket Dance, she plans to use a love potion that will make Chuuma fall head over heels with her. I don’t even know why there are so many steps just to make this love potion work. I mean, it had to be precise timing too or else it will not work. And they have to do it without making Chuuma suspect a thing. He should have guessed something is wrong when the girls are acting so obviously strange especially during lunch at restaurant where they try to distract him and make him eat the food mixed with the love potion. Just when everything has been set precisely in order, Remi couldn’t go ahead with the final step. She loves Chuuma a lot, a reason why she cannot use this plan. If she’s going to do it, she’s going to do it on her own without any help. Chuuma overheard this and confronts Remi. Remi and Sket Dance don’t want Chuuma to blame Suzu for coming up with this plan. He heard Suzu talking strange things to him. She said she wanted him to remarry not because she needed a mom but rather of because he loves somebody. Chuuma suddenly gets down on his knees to propose Remi to marry him. But she turns him down! That’s because they can’t jump straight into that without knowing each other well first. So currently they are now dating with marriage on the horizon.

Episode 69: Today is not Bossun’s day. Because the toilets are all out and he needs to take a dump. Real bad. How long can he hold it in? It’s a miracle he can still maintain his drive. He can’t even use the toilets in other outside buildings on his way home. Be it in the midst of robbery or just his plain pride. So when he finally gets back to his own home, he lands on the wrong floor. The woman is shocked to see a pervert at her doorstep because Bossun has already dropped his pants ready to dash into his toilet.

Episode 70: It will be Agata and Shinba’s last day for their respective student council post. Tsubaki and Mimori have been promoted to student council president and vice president respectively while Daisy remains the same. Agata thought it would be one of those nothing-happen days. He thought wrong because Saaya got kidnapped! He is forced to play and solve a series of intelligent riddles that would ultimately reveal the whereabouts of his sister. Although I don’t really understand the puzzles, I suppose the end answer is quite smart because of Japanese hiragana and katakana you can play the words around. So it is revealed it was just an elaborated setup by Sket Dance and the other student council members (Saaya an accomplice too) as his farewell gift.

Episode 72: With some student council posts vacant, I guess there is a need to recruit new members. Replacing the treasury post is Hani Usami. If you think she is normal, think again. She hates men. Tsubaki has a hard time communicating with her even if they’re directly in front of each other. Usami always uses a woman (in this case Mimori who loves playing along) to communicate what she wants to say. However… When Usami is touched by a man, she turns into a sexy man-crazy alter ego named Bunny. Now she hates woman and loves to flirt around. To turn her back, she just needs to be touched by a woman. And then the whole cycle repeats. Tsubaki is going to have a lot of headache… And you know how much angst he has already pent up. But that is for Sket Dance… The other would-be member is Kiri Katou. This silver haired guy is a ninja! The reason he joins the student council is to take over this school! He is also the type who doesn’t take orders from his superior and acts on his own. More headache, eh? And Tsubaki thought he at least needs another guy to correct this gender imbalance. Don’t want to make it look like a harem, eh? So have we got enough weird members already?!

Episode 74: Because Tsubaki accidentally broke Bossun’s toy car, Mimori decides to help him replace it since her dad is a collector too. They get more than they bargain for because for the first time when they venture into her enormous mansion… No, that is just an understatement… Shall calling her home an entire country would be appropriate? Because the entrance hall is freaking big like the size of Tokyo Dome! The real residence is underground. You need to sit a huge elevator to get there! What’s this?! There’s an entire civilization living underground?! For all the maids and butlers to live?! Didn’t I say it was like a country of its own? With buildings and its own transportation! Where the heck do they get the sunlight?! Pretty scary, right? Thinking how f*cking filthy rich her parents. And when they realize it is a slightly wrong car model, Mimori’s dad and the rest of the servants go into panic mode to go to great lengths just to get the correct car. Their family’s name is on the line, damn it! Buy every candy box in the world! Out of production? Call the owner to remanufacture it again! Man, the power of money. Next time, be careful what you wish for…

Episode 75: Kiri continues to act on his own, disregarding Tsubaki’s advice. Himeko learns of Kiri’s past that he was unable to stop a bully victim, Kihara back in his old school. To make things worse, the teacher Kutsuwa was the one encouraging the bullies. When Kihara finally transferred, Kiri became the next victim although he endured it till he graduated. This causes him to lost faith in relying on others. That’s why he wants to take over this school and make it a better place his own way. Fate has a funny way of reuniting people because Kutsuwa becomes a new teacher at Kaimei. He still hasn’t lose his f*cking attitude. The last straw came when he reprimands Himeko for her hair colour. It doesn’t matter if she is good now, because Kutsuwa says once a delinquent, always a delinquent. It was odd to see Himeko unable to do something. Where was her fiery Amazon personality? I guess she won’t lay a hand on a teacher she doesn’t know. Kiri has witnessed all this and proceeds to kidnap Kutsuwa. He leaves a website whereby everyone can watch live how he torments Kutsuwa into apologizing to Himeko. Tsubaki and Bossun race against time to stop Kiri from doing something irresponsible. Eventually Kiri holds back his personal grudge to free and apologize to Kutsuwa for his stupidity. However Kutsuwa isn’t going to let this go and shoots his mouth blaming everybody. Kiri and Tsubaki are on the end of their limits. Feel like punching him? Too bad Bossun was the first one to give him a knuckle sandwich since he badmouthed about his friends. In the end, Kiri and Bossun only got 2 weeks suspension from school. That’s already lucky, right? Good riddance that Kutsuwa resigns. Hope he doesn’t show his face anymore. Finally, Kiri pledges his loyalty to Tsubaki like a ninja. I wonder if this will bring more good than harm…

Episode 76: Kiri doesn’t intend to be nice to everyone else but when Tsubaki says to get along, wow, suddenly he becomes the best servant ever. Anything you need, you just get this guy to do. Very convenient. Also, to solve Usami’s problem, the student council and Sket Dance cross-dress! Yeah. The girls look more like girls who love wearing men’s clothes and the guys are just looking so much like drag queens. Even though it wasn’t successful, for a short while there, Usami’s contact with a male didn’t turn her into Bunny.

Episode 77: Saaya calls out Bossun to talk to him personally. Reminding him about that talk she had with him during the ski trip, she has finally come to a conclusion. She admits she likes him. Though she doesn’t know much about him, she loves him the way he is and how he always tries his best to help others. Thanks to him, she has changed too. Yeah, she’s no longer that tsundere. Did she just lose her charm point? But she seems cool that she managed to say it. She feels better now that she got this off her chest. Bossun is lost for words but she doesn’t expect him to give an answer soon. She just wanted to let him know how she feels. For now, they can continue being friends and she will continue to visit their club room as always.

Supporting You Through Thick And Thin
It has been a fun filled ride and quite an enjoyable one. There were many funny moments and of course moments of emotional drama. It is a good mix of comedy and drama but it mainly falls into the former category. Some of the jokes and gags are really funny and outrageous to the point you can’t stop laughing. Whether it is breaking the fourth wall or Bossun and Himeko putting up with that silly cartoonish face whenever they are in panic mode. Well, at least it had such an effect on me. A big part of the jokes rely on Bossun and Himeko’s comebacks (aside from Switch’s sarcastic replies and remarks). The way they retort many of them by blowing their top does have a funny effect. If I should say, they have this potential to become comeback masters. Oh, there was one episode whereby Himeko took up the challenge on a comeback game show with Bossun as her partner in crime and won. I guess they really have a natural knack for it. Due to the nature of the episodes, you don’t have to worry about the plot or what happens to what as they are mostly random unless it is those arcs. Even so, they don’t take up very much of your brain space. You just need some stomach endurance to laugh. Not every episode is dedicated for fun and laughs. With a handful of episodes dedicated on focusing on the past flashbacks of the Sket Dance members, we understand further about their background and ultimately how they came to be. It was quite well done if I should put it.

The many quirky characters are also what make this series a success. This show isn’t entire about Sket Dance so it is quite refreshing to have a number of other supporting characters like the student council members. After watching this series for so long, you’ll feel attached to them and you’ll get to know them better as we go along. There’s nothing much for me to comment on this section since mostly it will be repeating myself. Except that many of the characters have grown into better individuals through the trials and tribulations. Like Bossun and Tsubaki may still be loggerheads but that is what makes them the closest than anyone else. Sket Dance and the student council may be rivals but that is only because their methodology differs but their goals and ends are basically the same. That is, to help others. At the end of the day, you’ll love this bunch of characters for teaching us lots in life and of course for making us laugh. Even new characters like Kiri and Usami you’ll find them likeable despite making very late debuts towards the series’ end. Characters who make only one or two appearances and then ‘gone’ forever never to be seen again may not leave a very lasting and memorable impact but they do leave some for the episode(s) that they were featured in.

I feel the romance factor is lacking but that is only because the comedy part takes up a big chunk of the series. Still, in the end if you are hoping that there would be some sort of real chemistry between some of the characters, you would be awfully disappointed. Like Bossun and Saaya. She admits she likes him. That’s it. They remain friends. Do they plan to take it further than that? Because Bossun and Himeko are so close, it is natural to think that they might end up as a couple since they often jab each other and quarrel. From the way things are going, it’s safe to say that it is going to happen. That episode that had them mistaken each other as their friend’s email friend, when they realized their identity, the first thing that didn’t come to their mind was how lovely the other was, right? It wasn’t what they had in their mind. Their dream shattered. And it’s back to the usual jabbing friendship. Therefore it is very safe to assume that Bossun and Himeko won’t become an item. Because Saaya is not familiar with them, she is of course worried. And Agata still pretty much have the wrong idea Saaya is in love with Tsubaki… I’m not sure if Shinzou has a thing for Saaya because of her tsundere attitude. I notice he puts on that ‘ecstasy’ face whenever he experiences her tsundere moment.

There are indications that Momoka have feelings for Switch. Vice versa too? See the way she reacts lately when she sees him (although she makes very much lesser appearances as the series heads towards the end). See the way he helps her in her time of need. Is there something secret going on between this two? Nothing conclusive actually. I can’t sense any romance building up between Switch and Reiko too since the duo are at the opposite end of the polar trying to prove the other’s belief wrong. It smells like such rivalry can turn into something romantic but it doesn’t seem to be the case. Even Dante and Koma’s romance was a very short and fleeting one. Just the spur of the moment. What happened to Jin anyway? Did he give up on Himeko? Not important, eh? Jougasaki’s love for Chiaki is just one-sided just like how Daimon is for Quettion while Roman can keep deluding herself with her own fantasies over her Prince Charming. Love just doesn’t work out for these people, eh? Perhaps the real one that made it is Remi and Chuuma. Things are looking great for them, taking a little step at a time with Suzu like a family.

In addition to the comedy, I think this series tries to teach us about assisting those who are in need regardless of their status. Because no man is an island, we live via communicating with each other. We are also not perfect and thus the need to sometimes rely on others. Sometimes we might want to solve things by ourselves and not bother others but in the end the problem grows too big and gets out of hand and out of control. Sometimes we are just powerless to do things ourselves thus calling for the need to seek the help of others who might be more efficient in solving the problem. A simple and sincere gesture for help is all that it takes. Though some of the methods employed in this series are outrageous and impossible in the real world, please do not attempt to imitate them. After all, it only adds entertainment value. If getting help or helping out was that easy, then everyone won’t really need to put in effort in the first place. When you help others, you also learn something in the process and is one of the best teaching and learning experience for both the helper and the one being helped. I’m sure that there are many more moral lessons you can learn like humility and responsibility but I’m not going to turn this into some ethical lecture. You’ll know that something of value is to be learnt at the end of a chapter or in the midst of it all.

The drawing and art are quite good and I don’t really have any complaints about it. Your typical conventional standard anime character designs and looks with lots of good looking boys and girls. Very few times I think they experiment with a little different style but that is mostly when Roman comes into the picture and it gets very manga-like. The horrible kind, that is. Initially I thought this anime was produced by Sunrise since they had this Gintama crossover so I assumed both these animes are from the same company. However as I found out, Sket Dance was produced by Tatsunoko Production and they are more prominent in producing old animes from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s like Gatchaman, Mach Go Go Go, Tekkaman and the Time Bokan series. Well, at least even if they aren’t as active or popular today like their other studio rivals, they still haven’t lost touch and update themselves in making today’s animes.

If you keep your eyes and ears peeled, you will have noticed there are tons of parodies of anime, manga and game culture in this series. Well, that depends on how knowledgeable you are in this area as well. For the fanservice part, I think it is kept quite minimum. Even the most obvious ones as I noticed are those coming from Mimori. From time to time whenever she speaks, you can see her boobs bounce like it defies gravity. Like as though it was done on purpose to get our attention. The boobs. Kuramoto also provides some fanservice while she is explaining to us the meaning of Dante’s words, be it in a sauna clad in only a towel or soaking in a hotspring. Even with such fanservice, I don’t think they are anything near provoking and are just mild. It is the funny factor that will overwhelm you and the big reason this series is memorable.

For the voice acting part, the casting does fit the characters perfectly. Maybe it is because I have been watching this series for a long time so I have become used to how the characters speak. Bossun and Himeko do most of the retorts and they sound extremely funny and ‘frustrating’ when they go into this mode. Bossun is played by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Hibiki in Vandread, Natsuki in Minami-ke series) while Ryoko Shiraishi is best voicing anybody with Kansai accent like Himeko. Remember Aoi from Zettai Karen Children? Tomokazu Sugita is the voice behind Switch and of course he sounds like a computerized version of Gintama’s Gintoki and with less emotion in his speeches. Kana Hanazawa as Saaya, I think this is the first time that I have heard her voicing a tsundere character. If there are others before, it probably wasn’t as prominent as this one. Gone are the days when I stereotype her in retarded sounding character roles like Nessa in Fractale and the titular character in Kobato. The Japanese musician Gackt plays Dante here and I have this feeling the character was modelled after him. I could be wrong. The rest of the casts include Tomokazu Seki as Agata (Chiaki in Nodame Cantabile), Hiro Shimono as Tsubaki (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Megumi Takamoto as Mimori (Himea in Itsuka Tenma No Kurousagi), Yu Kobayashi as Daisy (Mariya in Maria+Holic), Yuka Iguchi as Usami/Bunny (Index in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Ryota Ohsaka as Kiri (Yuki in Tsuritama), Ai Kayano as Roman (Menma in Ano Hi Mita Hana No Namae Wo Bokutachi Wa Mada Shiranai), Satomi Satou as Chiaki (Wendy in Fairy Tail), Fumiko Orikasa as Reiko (Rukia in Bleach), Marina Inoue as Momoka (Kana in Minami-ke), Kenta Miyake as Shinzou (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Megumi Toyoguchi as Yabasawa (Revy in Black Lagoon), Mamiko Noto as Koma (Enma Ai in Jigoku Shoujo), Sakura Tange as Remi (Sakura in Cardcaptor Sakura), Jouji Nakata as Chuuma (Kirei in Fate/Zero) and Juurouta Kosugi as J-son (Arlong in One Piece).

There are many opening and ending themes in this series. Six opening themes and thirteen ending themes to be exact (including those that are just one-off for a single episode). Sadly, there is none that I am attracted to! I don’t know. Maybe it is because a big majority of the songs are of rock outfit. Also, many of those songs are sung by The Sketchbook so it was rather odd for me to hear Bossun as the lead singer. If you ask me, I think he should just stick to helping people instead of singing. Whoops. Here comes that stinging rebuke… Really. Personally, I don’t think The Sketchbook would really make such a good rock band after all. There is an ending theme whereby it is sung by the males of Sket Dance and student council. Not too good either although it wanted to convey that party atmosphere. Other than them, you’ve got a handful of Japanese rock bands like The Pillows and Everset and even AKB48 sub-unit called French Kiss doing the themes. Gackt himself only handles one of the opening themes. For the background music, I notice that most of them also have this rock feel in them. Be it slow or fast or dramatic.

Overall I would recommend this series to everybody (okay, maybe except for toddlers) since it has lots of funny stuffs and is this series’ main strength. It is the perfect tonic for those who can’t get over the end of Gintama yet but for me, it is like an appetizer for that silver haired Yorozuya guy since I am planning to watch the continuation of that show after this. Yeah, you could say I am laughing all year round and for several consecutive years. Like they say, laughter is the best medicine and helping others is the best way to help yourself. A little kindness indeed goes a very long way. And since we are all like one big family in this big wide world, shouldn’t we all be helping each other out?

To Love-Ru Darkness

September 28, 2013

I guess there are some long running animes popular enough to warrant a few season down the years. Instead of making it one continuous long running series like a certain pirate and ninja, they take breaks in between and only announce when necessary there would be a sequel. To Love-Ru Darkness is the fourth instalment of the hugely popular To Love-Ru series and is the sequel to that manga of the same name. Obviously, those watching this would be in for the enormous fanservice. What else is there? The plot was already lost at the end of the first season. In my personal opinion of course. There are some little developments for the main characters but I would say that the biggest motivation to watch this is still the fanservice more than anything else.

Taking into consideration the amount of fanservice scenes, there are of course the censored version (which is what the TV version aired) and the uncensored one (you buy the DVDs because of that). To cut things short, I saw the uncensored version thinking that if this anime is going to have lots of those fanservice moments, it will be tad annoying to see those dark shadows or bright strips of light across the scene (I have not watched the censored version so I do not know the extent of how bad the ‘censorship’ is). If a series does not have that much ecchi scenes, then sure, it is fine. But from what I predicted if there are going to be tons of them (believe me, there are for this one), it will be just irritating to see those censors. I’m not saying that I am an ecchi fan (to a certain extent, boys will always be boys and they have that perverted nature in them), imagine you have to watch a movie with lots of censors. Wouldn’t that be annoying? If you are going to watch this kind of show in the first place, might as well go all the way.

Episode 1
Mikan calls Rito to come down for breakfast but there is no response. He is sound asleep but gets rudely awakened to see semi-naked Momo on top of him. Did anything happen last night? Nana is going to beat the crap out of him. He tries to escape but comes into naked Lala just fresh from her morning bath. So early, so much fanservice. This is particularly Rito’s life ever since the twins moved in. However he is more cautious about Momo since her behaviour can be somewhat calculated and dark. At school, Rito relishes in meeting his true love Haruna. But it is somewhat ruined when Lala tells him to confess to her. Lala hopes that in this way Rito will be able to marry both of them. Of course he can’t since human laws do not allow polygamy. What’s the big deal since he is going to become the next king of the Deviluke Empire, right? Lala thought he didn’t like her but since he didn’t say no, she takes that as a yes and is very happy. The twins will also be new transfer students starting today. Thanks to the perverted Kouchou. No prizes for guessing what is on that old geezer’s head. Back home in the bath as Rito ponders about his problematic relationship with Lala and Haruna, Momo comes in because she has something important to talk. He might not realize it but there are many other girls who have a secret crush on him. He should create a harem and make them all happy as he is the most suitable candidate to be king of Deviluke. I wonder if Rito heard all that since he was freaking out while Momo’s boobs pressed against his body. Next day in class when the twins introduce themselves, Momo is an instant hit with the boys. Nana makes friends with a girl named Mea Kurosaki.

Momo thinks about the obstacles of creating a harem for Rito and turning him into a manly man. That confession to Haruna at the pool was a failure (from last season) but at least he attempted it. He did so perhaps it was an Earthling’s common sense of wanting to do the right thing. However many kings have a concubine and it is not wrong for Rito to have a harem. As the next Deviluke king, he is allowed to openly love them all and hopefully he will love her too. She feels the need to correct this common sense. She knows Rito has so much potential because the other night when she snuck to sleep with him, his hands were groping all over her body making her feeling oh so good. Was he dreaming of marshmallow? Do you fondle marshmallow like that? I thought it was an eroge scene… First, Momo wants to clear the obstacle field and that is trying to convince Yami to join this school (Yami’s original goal is to assassinate Rito). However she refuses. Suddenly Rito runs by them. He is alerted that his friends have somewhat turned into hostile mind controlled zombies. They target Yami and she realizes their strength abnormal. However she gets caught and realizes that living too comfortably on Earth has made her slow. She manages to break free when they all try to get ecchi with her. Some ‘zombies’ are also targeting Momo and Rito but Momo uses her plants to knock them out. Then a voice is heard. It tells Yami how she has degraded since being on Earth. It tells her to open her eyes that this is not where she belongs. She must return to her true nature of darkness, that is to slaughter and have no other purpose in life. It says that her target is standing right over there.

Episode 2
Mea is talking to her Master in the form of a crow. The latter wants Yami to return to her original nature because the one now is of no use in carrying her objectives. This is Mea’s mission. Momo tells Rito about the plan that Yami must assassinate Rito herself. Someone from Yami’s past is trying to provoke her to return to her former ways and she is worried she may give in to it. When Mikan teaches Yami to cook, she asks her if she would like to join their school. Momo thinks this is good timing to persuade her but it somewhat backfired because Yami agrees seeing she will have better chance to keep an eye on Rito. Momo later talks to Rito that she is adamant of going through with his harem plan. There are many girls whose happiness depends on him and that it is alright to make a concubine. If he wants, he can make them all his. She will crush all obstacles in his way. Perhaps Rito was thinking too much that he didn’t knock on the toilet door. Mikan and Yami changing. Surprisingly it is Mikan who blew her top but not Yami. That night Momo creeps into his bed and starts seducing him. This is her excuse of being his bodyguard? All over his body is more like it. Normally you would see guys running their fingers through the girl’s body like that… Anyway Rito somehow managed to summon enough strength to push her to the other side. Late that night, Yami calls him out because she wants to talk to him. It may seem she might want to kill him when Momo leaps into his defence. Yami assures if she is to kill Rito, it would be by her own decision and not the orders of someone else. She is here to ask his opinion of her cooking. What do you think? Taiyaki in miso soup? DELICIOUS?! Got to be kidding me. I know. He doesn’t want to die if he said otherwise. Momo thinks Yami likes him and gives out that sinister giggle.

Seems Yami has transferred into school. She meets Mea who claims to be a family member. Her job is to assist her in assassinating Rito. After they do that, they can return to space together and Master will be very pleased. In class, Yami thinks about Mea. If what she said was true, somebody called Master is pulling her strings. But the organization that made Yami was crushed by the special forces after the war. She is not sure if some have survived and will observe her for now. Yami is also popular with the guys so when Momo is seen talking to her, the guys are just feeling over the moon. Nana scoffs it off and tells Mea that Momo is just two-faced. She pretends to be a good girl but is really a scheming person. Mea knows they are living with Rito and wants to know more about him. Nana describes the perverted beast he is. It confuses them both since Nana calls him useless but not quite. Understand? Later Yami sits by herself. Yui sees her and talks to her. Yami is confused she doesn’t understand her own heart. Yui understands how she feels because she too is like that. Being pushed around by feelings she doesn’t comprehend. When Nana comes looking for Mea who is not around, Yami becomes alert. Rito is sleeping on the rooftop and I’m sure those sleepless nights of Momo and Yami must be causing this. So deep in his sleep he doesn’t realize Mea has crawled on top of him.

Episode 3
Suddenly Rito finds himself in a bathtub fondling Mea! She is quite infatuated with this ‘beast’. How did this happen? She says they are inside his dream as their hearts are connected right now. Mea continues to seduce him till she is forced apart from the dream by Yami. Yami realizes her Transformation skill allows her to fuse with another organism and even share consciousness. She warns if she lays another finger on him, she will become her enemy. Mea praises her and assures she will never take her target. Mea also has found out something interesting. She learns about Momo’s different character as said by Nana and also her intention to have Yami part of the harem plan, which is completely different from Master’s darkness plan. She thinks it is a race to see whose plan succeeds. Mea is officially introduced to the rest. Rito has no recollection of her. Nana warns Mea about the perverted beast Rito is but Mea is okay about that as she views all living organisms have such natural desire and hopes Rito could teach it to her. After school, Rito walks Yui back. Momo seeing that her sisters and Mikan won’t be home so early decides to make some advances to the harem plan. First she hypnotizes Kouchou to turn him into some pervert. This causes Rito to take Yui by her hand and run. Next, Momo makes it only rain on them so they are forced to take shelter in Rito’s house. So while Yui takes a shower, Momo makes it look like it is raining from inside the house and sets up an invisible barrier to prevent anybody from waltzing in. She also switches the jersey and pants Rito put for Yui’s extra clothes into just a dress shirt.

Nothing much is happening between them. Sitting around. Nothing… So Momo had to up the ante by causing a blackout. Rito panics and accidentally pushes Yui onto his bed. Momo is alerted because this is happening too fast and will make Yui return to her tsundere self. However Yui didn’t. Instead she puts her hands around his neck. Then she explains why she hates indecent people especially boys who flip up girls’ skirt. But she recently got to know it is okay for boys to be indecent. Being indecent doesn’t mean they are bad. But if he promises never to do anything indecent to other girls, she will gladly allow him. Momo revels in seeing such development but Lala and the rest have returned. Suddenly Mea fires a light blast from afar to destroy the barrier. By that time Rito shoves himself away from Yui, trying to explain he didn’t do it on purpose. Yui returns to her tsundere self. She was just joking and testing him. In actual fact, she wasn’t. Lala and co enter the room. Nana thought the beast did something funny to Yui. Mikan suspects Momo behind it all because she caught glimpse of her tail outside the window. While Momo laments not getting to the juicy part and pondering who fired that shot, Master tells Mea to do things moderately and to just observe as instructed. Mea replies she was just trying to interfere with Momo’s harem plan a little. Master announces some visitor from the galaxy will be arriving here soon.

Episode 4
Mea greets the visitor, Azenda the Tyrant who is quite the foul mood she is. As explained by Master, she was a renowned assassin till she was defeated by Yami. She had since fallen into disgrace and lust for revenge. This she hopes will ignite Yami’s fighting instincts. In school, Rito runs into trouble with Run. More accurately, Run starts hugging all over him. Yui berates her. Lala thinks of joining in the fun with Haruna. The latter doesn’t feel confident so Oshizu uses her telekinesis to shove Haruna right into Rito. I’m sure the other girls want to join in this fun too but not Yami. She doesn’t seem to be in great mood today. After school, she meets up with Mikan and they go shopping together. As explained by Yami, she always feels better when she hangs out with her. Mikan gives her a taiyaki keychain as present and they have a matching set. Azenda has been watching them and notes how she has fallen. That night when Yami goes home, she bumps into Rito who is just going out to do some errands. He thanks her for being friends with Mikan but Yami notes some parts of her refuses to accept such kindness. Because as an assassin, her hands are dirtied and mustn’t be happy. Rito cheers her up by saying she should do whatever she wants. So is it okay if she kills him? Just kidding. Haha. Yami pulls away Rito and dodges an attack by Azenda. She didn’t get rusty after all. Azenda is here to enjoy her revenge. Yami explains to Rito who Azenda is. An assassin she once defeated who is fast with her whip and can use psychokinesis. But Azenda says she is not proud of her power but her accuracy. She can easily use an unconscious human has her puppet. The duo are shocked to see Mikan under her hypnosis.

Yami can do nothing but avoid Mikan’s attack. She cannot even attack Azenda as she will use Mikan as her shield. Useless Rito got taken out by her own sister. Yami won’t fight back and will lay down her life to protect Mikan. Thus she takes a real beating. Azenda has Mikan violate her body. Seeing how much she has this friendship thingy, Azenda won’t be satisfied with just killing her and wants to see her cry too. She threatens to kill Mikan and send them both to heaven. Because Yami defeated her, this girl is going to die and she brings nothing but misery. Rito stands back up to defend them. Azenda is about to kill him first when her cheek is grazed by a thorny rose. It is Momo to the rescue. Azenda couldn’t care less about her Deviluke heritage and is going to kill everybody. Momo might seem playing defensive and running away but that is so that the poison in the rose could take effect by paralyzing Azenda’s body. Momo then threatens to shoot her with her powerful plant cannon. Azenda pleads for her life but Momo is not interested and fires away! Don’t worry, she’s still alive and will be hauled away by the galactic police. When Mikan wakes up from her spell, relived Yami hugs her and thanks Momo. She has learnt a valuable lesson she cannot do everything by herself. She needs to rely on others too. Though, she can’t really rely on Rito. Haha. Just kidding. Watching Mea is distraught that Yami did not fight back.

Episode 5
Mea is depressed. She talked to Yami about the other night and looks like Yami has decided to rely on others. Although they are weapons created for fighting, she views there is more to life. If Mea wants to accept her as family, she must learn about human contact and warmth. Nana talks to Mea but somewhat made her feel worse when they talk about sisters. Momo remembers Yami telling her and Rito about Mea, her closest family member. She wants Mea to learn everything about this planet when she first arrived. And then, maybe she’ll understand. Nana calls Rito to seek his advice to cheer Mea up. He suggests to do something fun with her and make her laugh. Nana brings Mea to the riverbank to play with Marron. She quickly cheers up when Marron gets friendly with her. Nana then summons her other pets. Because Marron doesn’t want to lose out on the licking part, he starts licking Mea everywhere. EVERYWHERE! The other jealous pets don’t want to lose too and start licking Nana! Before you know it, a giant octopus and squid are summoned. The squid grabs Haruna for tentacle rape while the octopus must be gay because it grabbed Rito. I think they’re playing dolls using Haruna and Rito. Ecchi version. Once Nana is freed from her licking hell-cum-paradise, she is looking for her dial to send her pets back. She realizes one of them has it in its hand. She goes to grab it but finds herself in the path of an impending truck. Mea jumps to save her but is in a dilemma whether to reveal her true form to Nana. Luckily she doesn’t have too as Yami and Lala stopped the truck in time. When all is calmed down, Mea points out she enjoyed the licking and wants Rito to lick her too. Mea feels this strange warm sensation in her heart. Is this what Yami was trying to tell her? Rito thinks Mea is a good girl deep down so Momo wonders if he wants to add her to his harem. But she thinks it will be good if Mea would come over to their side. This will force Master to make her move. Master is watching them and laments another weapon heading down the path of humanity. She views the need to change her plan and will use those emotions instead. Nana has become friendlier with Yami and even talked to other girls besides Nana. When Mea learns about Run who changes gender every time they sneeze, Lala gladly wants to demonstrate and uses Rito as guinea pig. This happened before, right? So happen that her gun ran out of batteries. Damn it. What happens if Saruyama sees this? Too late. RIKOOOOOOOOO!!! Back home, Lala forces Riko to put on a maid outfit so that Mea can smother her face all over her body. Yeah, she’s licking too. Then a perverted accident has Nana chasing her till she gets all sweaty (don’t forget the hard slap on her face). Riko takes off her clothes and takes a good look at her body. Still can’t get use to it? Little did she know Momo was behind her wondering if she is still fascinated with the female body.

Episode 6
Riko is surprised but Momo continues to molest her body. Wow. I think Momo can be hentai queen. They’re somewhat interrupted when Mea comes in. She has been watching them and is awed. She wants to know what kind of person Momo is. She also reveals the Psycho Dive she used to get into Rito’s mind and that’s how she learnt about Momo. Mea is not here to blackmail in keeping this a secret but she wants to be friends with them. She’ll be staying in town for a while and it would be boring if she had no friends. Momo still doubts her but thinks this isn’t a bad idea since it will help in luring Master out. Plus, she is too dangerous to be left alone since she knows about her harem plan and will go along with it. Momo and Mea continue to harass Riko like their toy when the transformation duration is up. Poof! He is back to Rito. And Mikan had to come in to see this orgy… Run is at their doorstep but she looks depressed. She needs to talk to Rito so Momo would gladly arrange them up. Seems she has set them up to go on a date. Naturally Momo would be tailing them. And some others too… Mea I can understand, Yami maybe but Nana? Why does she need to tag along? Does she care? To prevent him from doing anything funny. But of course. At the diner, Run tells Rito her dilemma. Her manager told her she is a famous idol now and doesn’t need a boyfriend. Rito thinks she shouldn’t worry so much as it would affect her health. Their talk is interrupted with Saki and her underlings making their entry. Saki is usual the obnoxious proud queen ranting about who knows what. Rito wants to take Run and leave but gets into a perverted accident with Rin. Now run like hell! Yui is puzzled to see Rito with Run.

At the overhead bridge, Run explains the conditions of her planet and why their race have both genders in one body to adapt to the environment. Rito didn’t know a lot about her so Run offers to tell more but she sneezes. Hi Ren. Then bye Ren. Sneeze back to Run again. When they move to the park, Run starts crying. As long as she shares her body with Ren, she can never compete with Lala whom she views as her rival for him. So she locks away her feelings for him while doing her idol job. But in the end, she realizes she can’t because she loves him as much as Lala does. She starts collapsing and feels not well. When Momo and co arrive, they see a very ambiguous scene. Nana couldn’t take it much longer and jumps out to chide Rito. Right at the same time with Yui. What’s she doing here? Who cares. Rito seems alarmed too. This is no joke. Something is wrong with Ren. Then her body starts glowing and she is in tremendous pain. Suddenly Run is popped out of her body and onto Rito. Naked. To put it in simple words as explained by Yami, when their species reach adulthood, both their genders split into individuals via metamorphose process. Momo is happy there is less one obstacle to the harem plan while Run is excited she will become the greatest idol to melt his heart. There is no stopping her. For Rito, I don’t think he sees this as an improvement.

Episode 7
Nana is still concerned about her flat chest while Momo teases her about it. Lala offers Nana to try out her experimental breast invention. I can see how this is going to end. Instantly Nana’s boobs grow but at the expense of Momo! She is not flat! Role reversal has Nana flaunting and teasing Momo and revelling in her newfound boobs. So how does it feel like to be a flat girl, Momo? The invention wears out and their boobs revert to its original size. Momo is back to her taunting self while Nana, the distraught flatty. While talking with Mikado, the twins talk about how they used to argue a lot. Because Lala’s inventions always go berserk, they had to team up and put a stop to it. In a way, their quarrel ended. On the topic of Mea, Mikado doesn’t have much information since the organization that built her was destroyed she couldn’t look up anything. She notes that if she only could find Tearju. On a weekend, Rito, Momo, Nana and Yami visit Mea’s apartment. There is nothing inside but Mea is not bothered by its emptiness. Seems this was part of Momo’s plan to discover something about Master but it yielded nothing. Oshizu thought they should ask her directly since they are friendly enough. Yami and Momo disagree. Because Master’s existence means everything to Mea and it won’t change so easily. Although they seem close on the surface, Momo feels there is a wall to her heart. When she tries getting closer, she felt uneasy. Yami feels depressed thinking that the hearts of weapons and humans are different. Rito cheers her up telling her that Mikan is his only sister. Because their parents are so busy, they often support each other. Thus they have that special relationship. If Yami feels that special something, her heart is no different than theirs. Suddenly Oshizu’s telekinetic powers go haywire (because of a dog touching her). It causes Yami to strip and slams Rito right into her. I think she made up her mind to really want to kill him.

Ren gives Rito Run’s new CD. After that, he asks him what he thinks of Lala and not to take her for granted because she is kinder and purer than he thinks. He is just letting himself spoilt by her kindness. Rito realizes he has a point since he intended to sort things out when he told Lala he loved Haruna. Despite so, he feels relieved when Lala is around. Same case for Run. Back home, Rito enters Lala’s room to ask her why she started inventing. Because it was boring and all she ever did was study, study and study. I guess that is what happens when war ends and peace reigns. As for why her inventions always fails and make Zastin angry, Peke points out that it is because of Lala’s love for her sisters. When she saw her sisters arguing, she used her inventions so they could make up. In the end, Zastin always scolded her. Rito realizes that this might be the same reason why her latest experimental invention went berserk. Rito accidentally trips on one of her rope inventions. It causes a mini tentacle rape on Lala. Rito tries to pull it away but gets entangled in a very ecchi position. Why do her inventions always end up like this? Can’t say it’s for her sisters this time, eh? The twins have been eavesdropping on their conversation. They feel bad in a way. They realize that they are the ones being childish instead of her. Thinking about it, they ran away to this planet because they felt lonely. They are glad Lala is their sister.

Episode 8
Right in the early morning we already have Rito-Momo fanservice. He is licking her tail like ice cream? What kind of freaking dream he is having to be licking her tail like that?! She stops short of making him kiss her because she wants him to do it on his own volition. Then Mikan catches her red handed. Too late to hide now. The thought that Momo has been getting closer to Rito is bothering Mikan. She’s thinking too much about it (maybe she should think about all those love letters in her shoe locker). Similarly, Yui is thinking too much about this Rito guy. You know why lah. So in order to take her mind off him, she goes to calm herself to see some cats but bumps into Haruna. She invites her to accompany her. It turns out to be a maid cafe that Risa and Mio are working. Mikan after her shopping errand suddenly starts to feel dizzy. The heat must have got to her head is on the verge of collapsing. Momo sees this and was about to rush to catch her but Rin was the one who caught her. She brings Mikan back to her home to freshen herself up. She feels better but can’t help admire the beautiful person and body Rin has. Of course they talk about Rito and Rin’s perception of him isn’t good. Another perverted beast. Mikan too has a thing to say about her brother. The usual useless big brother. Still, he means a lot to her and is different than the rest. She tells of a pool incident whereby Rito was sweating like hell looking for her, thinking she was lost. Though she was cool, he was worried sick. In a way, she felt very happy he was worried for her. Rin says she has been closer to him than anyone else and knows all his good and bad sides. It is something similar to her relationship with Saki and Aya. Rito and Mikan are there for each other and nobody can replace that.

Meanwhile Risa remembers this was the place where she had a date with Rito after he saved her from a pervert. After that she brought her back to her home and things got very passionate and steamy. All exaggerated lies!!! While this may come as shocking to Haruna, surprisingly Yui brushes that off and believes Rito is different from other guys. He might be shameless but won’t do something so rash or on purpose. Risa admits her joke went too far but is surprised she never knew Yui had such perception of him. The tsundere just wanted to explain properly since Rito is always doing his best. When they leave, Haruna expresses surprise but is glad that Yui understands Rito is a good person. That’s because Yui knows what kind of person he is. He is different from other men. Then it dawned to her she considers him special. When did she start to see him that way? Rin wants to accompany Mikan home but Momo who has been tailing and listening to everything since decides to take over from here. Momo talks to Mikan on how she envies her since she has been longer with Rito than the other girls. They have memories they don’t know about and no matter how much they try, they can never break that bond. She hopes she can someday be someone special to Rito. But for now Momo invites Mikan to join her in bed with Rito since they understand each other’s feelings better. How did it turn out like this? Rito is seen rushing towards Mikan like a very worried brother. Momo called him earlier and explained what happened. I guess some things never change. Momo notes about Rin and thinks of checking her out. In school, Yui is staring at Rito. Celine pushes Rito and his face ends up in her boobs. Now what do you think of him? Can’t believe this is your first love, eh? I know you won’t admit it. Ever.

Episode 9
Rito goes to thank Rin for taking care of Mikan. Then he sees Celine on the verge of handing Yami one of Lala’s invention. He knows it is bad news so he tries to get it away from her. Too late. It activated. This causes Rito and Yami’s hand to be bound together like a magnet. Looking like lovers, aren’t they? Well, as usual they’ll have to wait for time for it to wear off. So Rito has no choice but to accompany Yami after school to buy her favourite taiyaki and even sitting at the park. Don’t worry. I’m sure he isn’t thinking of doing anything funny. Momo envies if she only had used that invention earlier. Things are fine during dinner but how is he going to be when Yami needs to use the toilet? Yeah. She’s suffocating him by blindfolding his entire face! How about wanting to take a shower? Oh no. Can she not take a shower today? She decided to take one every day. Oh great. A towel to blindfold will suffice for Rito. Don’t want that suffocating experience again, eh? Momo wants to help them but Nana interjects. She will do it instead because Momo is too carefree around him. Is she? Is that the real reason? Things are going fine in the bathroom. The jinx starts when Rito mistakenly grabs Nana’s tail thinking it was the shower. Hey. He’s blindfolded, right? Nana squirms. He trips. Lands on Yami’s boobs. His blindfold comes off. Here comes the pain. Now his bottom towel comes undone. Get ready for more pain. Let’s say his face is like a puffer fish now. Rito has to sleep with Yami but Mikan is not worried. She knows Yami unlike Momo. Yeah. She is not worried he is sleeping next to the universe’s number one assassin. Of course Rito can’t sleep. Not because he has perverted thoughts. He learns Yami has never been able to sleep a good night since she became an assassin. She has to stay alert otherwise a surprise attack will cost her life. Yami then thought of Dr Tearju Lunatique and decides to talk to him about her past. Meanwhile Oshizu spots Mea walking alone. She thinks of possessing her to find out what kind of person she is. Inside her mind… Lots of weird things. Not as weird as this one: Lots of mini Ritos licking her!!! Sicko!!! Is this what she really wants? Diving deeper, she sees Mea mercilessly eliminating other bounty hunters. It reminds her so much of Yami. Oshizu thought she could find out who her Master is but is caught by Mea who warns her about staying inside her body. Oshizu experiences the frightening darkness and is about to be absorbed but luckily pops back out. A second late, she would’ve been killed. So now are you interested to know who she is?

Episode 10
Eve (as Yami was known back then) was created out of Tearju’s cells. You can say she is her clone but Tearju the unparalleled genius in bioengineering treated her more like her own daughter. They had fun every day and it was like mother and child relationship. Tearju taught her many things. It was when Eve’s heart was filled with light. But now she doesn’t know where Tearju is. Whether alive or not she does not know. One day, a group of scientists told her Tearju had left and that they will take over in watching over her in becoming a weapon. The institution was of course some organization in disguise as they tried to make a profit out of the war. Tearju was probably exiled because she was viewed as an obstacle. Rito gets upset and won’t forgive such people. Yami continues that the galaxy fell into the hands of the Deviluke Empire and was united. The organization was destroyed amidst the post war chaos. Rito is still mad that had not for those guys, Yami would have had a different and better life. Yami feels odd that her target is supporting her. Even odder, she feels peaceful beside her target. Momo sneaks out of her room but is caught by Mikan. She just knows, eh? Going to the toilet? There’s one upstairs. Momo tries to convince Mikan that the duo may be doing something suspicious. Not sure? All the more reason to go check it out, right? Momo wants to really enter the room but Mikan trusts her friendship with Yami and rubs her tail to restrain her. Yami thinks she wants Rito to hold her when the magnetic effect wears out. Rito is very happy. So happy that Yami got the wrong idea that he is happy to be released from her. I think he got the wrong idea and admits it so Yami knocks him out. Goodnight. Then she huddles close to him while thinking about Tearju.

Next day in school, Rito couldn’t remember when he fell asleep but is puzzled Mikan and Momo look like they haven’t got enough sleep. Then a shocking news: Tearju becomes Rito’s assistant homeroom teacher! For real?! Yeah, the guys totally love her. So once more it’s boys versus girls over Tearju… Sensei became clumsy when she sees the class divided. The boys loved it… Momo talks to Yami and wonders why she won’t see Tearju now that she is here. Their conversation is cut short when Risa starts molesting Momo’s boobs. I think she likes it. Man, she’s good. Oshizu brings Rito to Mikado. She reveals that she brought her here after all her investigations. Mikado shows him a picture of them when they were classmates and best friends. She was suspicious when Tearju was scouted by a suspicious institution. When Mikado found her, she told what happened to Eve but shows her pictures as proof that she isn’t an assassin now (her daily misadventures with Rito and the gang). It brought tears to her eyes. Although she is here now, she still can’t bring herself to meet Eve. Rito goes to see Tearju and pleads her to meet Yami. Tearju says she really does want to meet her but after abandoning her, she feels afraid and freezes up. Just then Kouchou is passing by and can’t contain his lust for Tearju. I guess I know why she was easily transferred here. He starts stripping himself and wants her to teach him with that naughty body of hers. Rito takes Tearju and run. Passing by Lala, he hopes she can do something about it so Lala slaps on his wrist an improved warp invention. It won’t warp them naked this time. Unfortunately, it warped them naked. Why are the socks the only clothes left? Some improvement, huh? Rito panics that he is naked with his teacher outside. Imagine if anybody else sees this. Anyway Rito is so panicky and noisy (because Tearju is doesn’t mind doing it with him although embarrassed) that pissed Yami who is sitting nearby had to knock him out. And so, mother and daughter finally meet.

Episode 11
Tearju wonders if Yami is still mad at her. She explains she tried to take her and run when she found out the organization wanted to kill her. However they were a step ahead of her. Tearju had a hard time staying alive, hoping from planet to planet, she heard of the organization’s destruction and tried to find her but to no avail. Then she heard of the emergence of Golden Darkness. She knew it was her but didn’t want to believe it. She can’t imagine the despair she went through to end up living that way. Although crying and apologizing won’t change the way things are now, the only thing that Yami is glad is that Tearju is alive. Mea is not a happy girl now that Tearju has entered their lives. She was told by Master as a person opposed in turning Yami into a living weapon and preferred to walk to human path and has become as foolish as them. Seeing that Mea is down, Nana needs to do something. With Haruna and Lala, they pay her a surprise visit. Haruna goes out with her so that the sisters can finish redecorating Mea’s empty room with furniture. At least she is cheered up for now. Momo and Rito talk to Tearju if she knows anyone by the name of Master. She doesn’t. But she can tell Mea is made from the same data she had for Yami as a Trans weapon. Momo gives her some plant seeds as protection which also serves as signal to Momo when they grow. Later Rito and Momo talk about Tearju and Yami’s opposite personalities. If Yami was made from Tearju, why is her breast so small? Momo wonders if Tearju should be part of Rito’s harem.

After school, Mea creeps in from the window to speak to Tearju alone. However a paralysis moves binds her. It is courtesy from Oshizu who feels the need to protect others. After touching her heart’s darkness, she notes Mea is much more dangerous than everyone thinks. Mea snubs the paralysis moves and is even in awe when it rips her clothes. No problem. She just materializes into her assassin clothes. Tearju wanted to stop them but tripped and spill the plants. Momo senses Tearju in danger and flocks to her side only to see the plants doing tentacle rape on Tearju and Oshizu. While she gets her down, Mea explains to Rito that she was just here to see what kind of person Tearju is and Oshizu is to blame for starting the fight. “Show no mercy to the enemy you are facing”. Those are the lines Master Nemesis taught her. That name rings a bell with Tearju. She remembers a project running parallel with Project Eve: Project Nemesis. It was a completely different Trans plan and from what she heard, it ended in failure. Mea admits all that. She remembers her first scene was a decimated lab and she had no recollection of who she was. Till she met Master who taught her the ways of being a weapon. Viewing her as the only one who can guide her, she wonders if Yami can still live as a human. Tearju believes so and for Mea too. Because if she is Yami’s sister, then she is her sister too. Rito adds Nana and many others would be sad if she were to leave this place. Momo tells her she can change. No matter how much she thinks herself as a weapon, she still has a heart. She too wants to be friends with her. Mea wants Rito to lick every part of her body and she’ll think about it. Of course Rito refuses but the girls are encouraging him. The point is, it is not easy to have a change of heart. She points out it is a reason why Momo is having so much trouble with Rito. She will not forget Master’s teachings yet but if they’re fine with it, they still can be friends. Bye. Momo notes she has a point but even if she said that, it indicates she accept the fact she has a heart.

Episode 12
A group of guys are in a secret meeting. They all are fans of Momo and know it will be futile to fight each other over her. Thus they will form a truce and alliance. A fan club called Venus Momo Club, VMC! All hail Momo! Don’t worry. Nana has her own fan club to albeit smaller. These guys are the ones who love small boobs! How insulting!!! Meanwhile Momo is playing eroge. Is this how she is learning for her harem plan? Just thinking about Rito turns her on so much so she starts masturbating herself. Playing with her tail, that is. All that is ruined when Nana enters her room asking help for her homework. What a waste. In class, VMC approaches Momo to inform her of the club they have formed. Momo thinks it will be fun and accepts it. But it gets too annoying when they become like her bodyguards. I mean, you need people to guide her down the stairs? Opening the door to the ladies’ toilet? Walking with her everywhere? This is no more fun. She can’t even see Rito. Momo’s grievance is only aggravated when Rito seems to be spending more time with Lala and won’t be home tonight since Lala brings him to help her father for some deadline. The next few scenes show the usual. Risa molesting Haruna’s boobs. Pushes her into sleeping Rito’s face. Lala gives Rito taste another one of her horrendous cooking experiment. Don’t know how he ended up over Yui. Don’t even want to know how he got his face in Saki’s panties. Get beaten up by Yami for another ambiguous position with Tearju. So what are all those Rito having ‘fun’ scenes for? It’s to show Momo who is feeling lonely since VMC is always ‘guarding’ her. She can’t get close to him and feels this pain in her heart. She is adamant she will have that chance soon.

While the VMC guard outside the changing room that Momo is in, they talk about Rito. The leader doesn’t think of him as a threat as he views Lala as his fiancée. But a lackey points out since Yui always brings his name up in the meetings as someone shameless, they start having this perverted nightmare that Rito may be doing something impure to their pure Momo. Rito agrees to meet Momo thinking she has information on Master. However in the storeroom, Momo quickly pushes him down and starts seducing him. She is here to talk to him about the harem plan. She starts licking his body to turn him on and awaken his carnivorous side. Did it work? Because Rito turn the tables on her and starts licking her everywhere! Even kissing her! Then when he is about to lick the part between her legs, poof! Hell! It was just Momo’s imagination! She’s still on top of him. She thinks she can do this and has mentally prepared herself. When Rito touches her, she instantly backs off. Was she afraid? Although trembling, she still plays it cool. Just before she could kiss him, the VMC guys break down the door. They are going to kill Rito. Are those guns for real?! Okay, they just shoot pellets. They think they are doing a good job protecting Momo but she snaps. See her evil aura? She tells them nicely that they were just talking normally and he is not the kind of guy they think he is. Apologize now or else. Instantly all of them grovel on the ground. Wow. Super effective. Momo not blowing her top is scary. Momo wonders how her barrier was destroyed and it turns out Mea was the culprit. She thought it was unfair for them to flirt secretly without her. Is she hinting something? Momo further ponders her reaction. She feels pathetic since it shows she’s not prepared for it. I guess she needs more training. And that means sneaking into Rito’s bed and waking him up semi-naked and sexy. She thinks they have to share this happiness with everyone. Why doesn’t Rito look happy?

OVA 1
Momo narrates about Rito’s failed confession to Haruna at the pool. Even so, her feelings for him won’t change and doesn’t mind being second or third. As long Rito loves her she is okay. Momo notices Lala in good mood and as Peke points out it’s because of Rito’s confession to her at the pool. Momo is confused seeing Rito likes Haruna. Lala explains that Rito likes Haruna for a very long time and it’s the same for Haruna. When Rito becomes king of Deviluke Empire, Earth rules will not matter and he can be with all the ones he loves. Everyone will be happy if Rito gets married to them. That’s why she is supporting them both to be together. However she doesn’t want Momo to tell this to others and wants them to learn about each other’s feelings through their own mouths. Momo is inspired that her sister is always positive and caring. Noting about concubines and its history, it is no surprise that every culture has them. Every king has them. The exception is her dad and current ruler of Deviluke Empire. When Rito succeeds him, he can have as many girls he wants and hopefully she too will be included. But noting his personality, it’s easier said than done. She thinks his confession to Lala was just to set things straight. In order for her harem plan to happen, she needs to learn about Earth’s culture and common knowledge. She also needs to know about each girl’s relationship with Rito. And so begins Momo’s plan for Rito’s harem as she steps inside the bathroom naked while Rito is bathing.

Celine accidentally drinks cola and spills her spores all over Mikan. Rito knows this is bad but surprisingly Mikan isn’t head over heels over him. In actual fact, she is. She is controlling her feelings very hard. The mere look of Rito’s face sends her heart racing. Touching him is even enough to fluster her. Man, she’s really good in controlling and not show them. Can she be a tsundere? Momo observes her and realizes what is going on. Mikan at the same time notices Momo’s cheekiness and feels the need to be on her guard. It’s Momo we’re talking about. Rito thought Mikan wasn’t looking well and tests her temperature by touching her forehead with his. At this point, Mikan can’t hold it in anymore and is going to lose it. Then she pushes him down and says his name over and over again like a broken tape recorder. When she is about to kiss him, she snaps out of it and knocks him out cold. Momo has been watching them and can’t believe Mikan managed to control herself to the end. She thinks she is not ready yet and must make her realize her true feelings. Because in time, she will gladly add her to Rito’s harem.

When Haruna is out with Lala, the latter shows her latest invention in which you can be turned into an animal. So happen Oshizu was running away from a dog so Lala runs off to help her. In that confusion, Haruna picks up her invention and it activated. She turned into a cat. She bumps into Yui but since she is frantic and can only speak cat language, Yui takes it as a sign the feline hates her and runs away. Haruna decides to go to Rito’s place to look for Nana since she can communicate with animals. She didn’t expect to see Rito who picks her up. Haruna enjoys the way Rito holds her and tickles her. I’m sure she would like to carry on but she remembers she needs to do something. She tries to get herself off but accidentally spills milk all over. And so Haruna ends up bathing with Rito. Remember in the previous season Rito had a similar experience where he turned into Marron and Haruna washed him? Now it’s role reversal. I guess he is trying to use that experience in trying to wash the cat. I don’t know. The way he rubs all over her body seems like some sex scene. Don’t you feel good, Haruna? Then the effects wear out. She’s back being human. I think it’s her boobs that smacked Rito out cold. Mikan rushes in to check but sees naked Haruna over naked Rito. Shocked? Baffled? Confused? How to explain? The most disappointed one is Momo because she feels she has missed something juicy.

OVA 2
Yui dreams of the past on how she likes cats. Then about how boys are shameless, cruel and violent. She is sure Rito is the same and won’t fall in love. Yeah, yeah. We’ve heard that a lot. Apparently she bumps into him at the shrine. They see one of those alien skunks. The kind that turns you young with its gas. Better catch it before something goes wrong. But does Rito have to put on his scary face? Of course the skunk gets scared and farts out the gas. Now Rito and Yui are kids. Then they chase it all over town just to catch it. Yeah. Everybody turned back into kids. Can I call this second childhood? You know what this means, right? Loose clothes. You go figure. So as they continue searching town, Yui thinks about Rito and how he could’ve been different that night. That night when she was ready to give himself to her. Wow. Vivid imagination. She’s even thinking ahead! Pregnant with his baby! For a girl who is seemingly anti-love, she really has a wild mind. Of course we need to have those Rito-Yui ambiguous scenes. Skunk jumps on Rito. Rito loses his footing. Tumbles over Yui. Got his hands here and there on her. Shameless. Rito is about to climb the wall to get the skunk. This scene reminds Yui of something very familiar. Back when she was young, she tried to get down a cat stuck in a tree. Since she can’t, she asked some boys but they ignore her. When she returned, she saw Rito (unaware it is him) taking the cat down. She never knew there were boys kind like him. Rito manages to grab the skunk but he slips. Thanks to Yami swooping him, he doesn’t break anything. The skunk is returned to Run. Nana offers a dial where she can keep her skunk so it can roam free instead of being bored staying at home. Next day in school, Yui asks Rito if he often goes to his father’s workplace when he was young. The answer he gives ascertains that Rito was that boy who saved that cat. She felt happy. But a tsundere can’t show that of hers so she starts chiding him instead.

Nana goes to talk to Rito. It is important. Does he like small breasts? Huh? With Tearju as their new teacher, she can’t help notice her amazing boobs. Rito says that Nana has her own charm and that size doesn’t matter. Does this mean he sees her as a woman? Nana takes off her top and puts her breasts very close to his face. He is in a dilemma as usual. Nana teases him that he is aroused and lets him have a feel of them. When they are about to kiss, angry Momo barges out of the closet wanting them to stop. She doesn’t like him taking advantage of the situation and touching her breasts. It is revealed that Momo and Nana swapped bodies for this experiment. Now this explains why Nana is so you know, gentler. How could she have come up with such a Momo-ish prank? After changing back their bodies, Momo teases Nana that Rito doesn’t hate small boobs but Nana asserts she isn’t interested in him. Really? That doesn’t sound convincing.

Rito accidentally smells a plant Celine is playing. Momo is stunned when she learns Rito has smelt it because that plant changes his personality when sniffed. First up, Rito forces Lala to give him one of her inventions. It is goggles that see through clothes. He tests them and it works. He is fired up. He wants Lala to pose in sexy positions. OH YEAAAAAAAH! Then the main course. He is going to view naked girls in school! WOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!! Looks like a school for nudists!!!! Hear him scream his head off! Must be that good, huh? Then he bumps into Yui but before he could get nastier, she slaps him. He wants to do worse things to Haruna like tearing off her clothes but Momo manages to stop him in time. She lets him get close to her. Wild Rito says his eyes have opened (who wouldn’t after seeing so much of ‘those’?) and gives the thumbs up for the harem plan. He will become harem king! But Momo gives him smell a flower that returns him to normal. She notes he will never be harem king this way. Because it is his gentle, kind and sincere self that makes him attractive. Rito is knocked out. Momo adds there is no need to rush in becoming carnivorous and will guide him down that path slowly. In the aftermath, Rito is afraid to open his eyes. Can’t see! Didn’t see! Won’t see!

OVA 3
Momo spots Rito and Haruna watching over Lala’s inventions. She was sorting them when Tearju called for her help so the duo are watching to prevent anyone from touching it. You know how screwed up things can get, right? Unfortunately for the duo, they both accidentally touch one of the inventions and they end up switching bodies. Oh dear. Here we go again. Another switcheroo. Due to the inflexible device, they cannot switch back until 7 hours later. So that means they have to endure the switch till evening and not tell Lala a thing as not to trouble her. But it’s really hard, you know. Rito in Haruna’s body tripped and accidentally molested Yami’s boobs. Yami had this feeling how ‘her’ groping resembles so much like Rito’s. If ‘she’ was Rito, Yami would have instantly killed him. Thank God, no? Risa saw this and wants in on the molestation and starts rubbing her hands all over ‘Haruna’. And then there’s this eternal dilemma: They both need to go to the toilet. Can’t hold it in forever, right? Haruna (in Rito’s body) is outside the girls’ toilet when she is confronted by Yui. Haruna tries to give excuse like wanting to see her but since Yui sees Haruna as Rito, she misinterpret ‘he’ wants to talk to her about dating. Yui flusters and beats ‘him’ up. As for Rito, he seeks Momo’s help but she notes he doesn’t really need any because he has experience doing business when he is Riko. It’s a different story when you’re in another person’s body. Since Rito can’t risk wetting himself, I guess Momo helps him. So both Rito and Haruna feel very embarrassed after relieving themselves. After school since there are a couple of hours left, they decide to hang out at Haruna’s place so as not to let Lala suspect a thing. Because Haruna’s sister left the kitchen in a mess, Haruna has to clean up. Marron senses something strange. His master isn’t as usual. But he turns into a mad dog when he sees Momo wagging her tail and starts going pervy over it. The commotion causes mayonnaise to be spilled all over ‘Haruna’. Guess what this means? Shower time. Or else you risk Marron trying to lick you clean. Can they do it? Momo says they can because it will be Haruna cleaning her own body. So we have Rito closing his eyes while Haruna washing her own body and other sensitive parts. Must be the fanservice that all To Love-Ru fans have been waiting for. We have a glimpsed through Haruna’s mind that if she was in her original body, she might actually enjoy this! Oh? She is snapped out of that fantasy when Rito tells her the way she is cleaning is ticklish. By this time, the time is up and they both switch back. You can now imagine this scene when they return to their original bodies. Rito having full view and feel of Haruna’s naked body. Momo laments how the good part was spoiled and she really forgot about the timer. She also notes Haruna’s inner fetish and thinks this info could come in handy in the future. Rito returns home with a big slap mark on his face but Lala doesn’t suspect a thing and thinks the entire day went through smoothly without any trouble. If only she knew…

Celine seems to be infatuated with some device she found in Lala’s room. Accidentally she shoots some sensor onto Tearju’s back. When she goes to teach her class, she starts feeling strange. It’s like somebody is trying to molest her breast. It then becomes unbearable in class but she puts up a brave face despite the shadow molestation she feels all over her body. Turns out that Celine is messing and pressing some sort of app in the device (which shows Tearju’s body) and this means Tearju’s body part feels molested and ticklish wherever Celine is pressing her finger on. Rito notices Tearju not feeling well and accompanies her to the staff room after class. At that moment, Celine went into berserk mode and starts pressing the app like hell. Like as though she is some sort of finger kung fu master. I feel because Tearju made her late appearance in the series, the producers are like trying to cram in lots of fanservice on her. All the shadow hands must be rubbing (and poking) her most sensitive parts. Well, use your imagination on where those parts are… She can’t take it anymore and falls down the stairs. Rito tries to save her but I don’t know how she ended up falling on top of him. She collapses when she can’t take it no more. So happen Yami saw this ambiguous scene. Can you feel the rage when this girl misinterprets what this pervert is doing to her mom? Tearju wakes up in the infirmary and learns that the device Celine was playing with was actually some sort of self massaging invention Lala created for an old teacher who is having muscle aches. With this incident over, well it isn’t really over for Rito because he is running for his life with Yami hunting him hell bent on killing him.

Trouble In Paradise
Well, I had a feeling it would end in such an unsatisfying fashion. It is like it hasn’t really ended yet. I mean, in the sense to end it for a season. Why am I unsatisfied? Let’s not talk about the fanservice yet, please. Master’s identity is not really known and after introducing Mea as Yami’s ‘sister’, where does she go after that? It looks like she is someone to add into Rito’s harem from the way things are going. The more she stays on this planet and observes Earthlings, the more she will end up like Yami’s thinking. Besides, the way she acts it’s like she’s an airhead. Almost everything she sees she will be in awe and wants to learn like as though she’s never experienced them before especially those that have to do with Rito. This is what happens when you’re a weapon for so long and suddenly experience new sensations. It goes to show Mea isn’t totally heartless. At least from what I can see for this season. When Master seemed to threaten to use Mea’s feelings in her new plan, it seems it didn’t even start when this series ended. Maybe next season?

About the harem plan, I don’t know if it is making progress or not because I don’t really see anything changing. It’s not exactly paradise now either. Rito will always be the nice guy caught in between all the trouble and because he isn’t a real pervert like many other boys, it is hard to aim for a harem ending, right? He keeps delaying, they keep delaying so it’s like it has never moved at all. But like Momo said, there should be no rush. Take things slowly and one step at a time. Besides, I don’t think the girls will run away from him, right? What are the chances of Rito turning into an evil pervert permanently? So it’s safe to say that as long as he is the lovely guy the girls are familiar with, his harem will always be there waiting for him. Sort of. That is why lots of girls flock around him. If he was a perverted guy to begin with, I don’t think he would have commanded such a large number of babes directly or indirectly. As proven, do you like the evil perverted Rito? No, we don’t. So in a way it is a good thing he stays the indecisive guy we all are familiar with. It’s so much fun that way.

Haruna and Lala seem to have taken quite a backseat for this season and although I won’t go far to say that if they don’t even appear it doesn’t matter, I felt that their impact was very much lacking. No doubt this series is more about Momo and to some point Yami, but Haruna and Lala are the big 2 girls in Rito’s harem, don’t you think? Well, maybe that could change. After all, after the events at the end of the third season with Rito’s failed confession to Haruna at the pool, maybe it is good to take a little breather for them. At least there is one part where it proves Lala isn’t just an airhead like I always assumed her to be. Her inventions going berserk may seem like disaster but they have deep meanings behind their occurrences. It shows she deeply cares for her sisters and those around her. And now that we know Haruna likes Rito, the question is when they are going to say it to each other’s face. Something tells me it is going to take a very long time… There are episodes that focus on some of the girls like Yui, Mikan and Run but that hardly brings us anywhere. Except maybe for Yui. With each episode centring on her confirming her tsundere attitude and her love for Rito is deeper than before. Just that she doesn’t to admit it and always gives us that tiring ‘shameless’ excuse. I felt that the Run-focused episode was just to see how Run and Ren split. That’s all. I suppose the joke of them switching genders at each sneeze is getting boring and inconvenient. How can Rito have his complete harem if one of them is dual gender? Thus I thought that was necessary to ‘get it out of the way’. The episode featuring Mikan I believe won’t make her turn into one of those brother complex sister. It just shows us how close their bonds are.

Although Saki was completely forgettable (had she not make that single appearance, I would have totally forgotten about her) and it is ironic that Rin had more spotlight on her. Maybe it is due to circumstances. Same case for Saruyama. I don’t think I would have remembered him too if he had not made that came of chasing Riko (the turned-zombie one was forgettable). Okay, maybe I do will remember that bugger when the series ends but it won’t be to an extent that I will be worried about this and that and the what-ifs for his case. I suppose we don’t really care for a perverted guy, right? Also not making much impact is the breast fondling Risa (I think she had her moment last season so I suppose it is enough), Mio, Zastin and Gid himself. At least Zastin was reduced to just some flashback cameo but Gid just a still picture or two. Kyouko wasn’t even featured at all. Still remember that magical girl that solves things by burning everything down? So don’t you see that this isn’t about Rito going to be Deviluke king and learning the responsibilities of carrying that title. Dealing with a bunch of girls is already burdensome. I still wonder what this Celine girl is around for. Just like the last season, she is just bumming around having fun. I don’t see her as part of Rito’s harem. I shouldn’t brush that off just yet. Every girl has their potential. Mikado and Oshizu too. Ah, so many girls, so little time. Having a harem had never been such a headache. My bad. It is ALWAYS a headache!

When Tearju first made her appearance, it suddenly dawned to me that perhaps that is why Yami was so similar to Eve, a character from the anime Black Cat. The character is designed by Kentaro Yabuki who created the Black Cat series. From my research, both series aren’t in the same universe but Yami was designed based on Eve, in which she was based on Tearju. Both even had the same seiyuu, Misato Fukuen. I guess if you want to rip off something, at least take the history with you too. Just like the other characters, when Tearju finally gets to see Yami, it just makes me go “So what?”. So they make up and reconcile. That’s about it. I thought there would be something more. Yeah. Maybe more boobs fanservice if that’s what her role is going to be. It should prove interesting since she and Master are of from the similar project but suffered vastly different outcome. There would have been some major big battle that I predicted between them but I think they don’t want to ruin the fanservice factor with some bloodbath. So let’s stick to this formula that works, okay?

So the girl having most of the screen time is Momo and of course we see her dual side. In front of the public, she is such a nice and good girl but when she is alone with Rito, she unleashes her dark and seductive side (how many girls do you know have no qualms in creeping up next to you in bed?). It is no wonder that she may be the most dangerous among the girls. Lala’s invention may go crazy but it is mostly harmless and the genius inventor is an airhead. More dangerous than Yami because unlike the blonde who has stated her blunt intentions to kill him, you just don’t know what Momo is thinking. You can never be too careful around with her. Since she is not mono-emotion (you thought she would always be that smiling, happy-happy girl, eh?), at times she can display her angry and annoying sentiments too. When she’s serious, she’s scary. You don’t really want to mess with her. Of course we love it when she is putting up that happy expression. That’s the safest of all. But I can’t say the same for Rito since she loves to play pranks on him from time to time. Nana can be on par with Yui in being tsundere. Whoever said having one tsundere is enough? Nana may not have many scenes like Yui to confirm us her love for Rito but our gut feeling tells us she definitely has hots for Rito. Imagine if Yui and Nana admit their love and lose their tsundere character, that would be no more fun, right? It will feel just plain weird. A harem needs a variety of personalities.

Rito must be the luckiest and unluckiest guy in the world. I know that sentence itself is an oxymoron but my reason for saying that is because of the fanservice situations he always gets into (for our pleasure of course). Every dude on this planet would be green with envy to be in his position. Yet, due to some circumstances, avoiding an attack or an accidental slip, he finds his hands/face in the girl’s boobs or in the lower anatomy or has his hands all over her panties. It just makes you wonder the physics of how he can end up in such situation. Calling it fate would be too convenient because it happens ALL THE TIME! So much so I think the God of Pervert must be having a hand in making him turn out this way. Some girls like it. Some girls don’t. What to do? It already happened. His pain, our gain. I hope we enjoy all the fanservice that this guy suffered to give us? Give thanks and say grace. Thank you Rito!

All of the seiyuus are retained and with Mea as the new addition, at first I couldn’t recognize her voice but then as the series progresses, I can’t help feel there is such familiarity in her voice. It’s like I’ve heard it somewhere before too and with such character. It took me some time to realize Yuka Iguchi is the voice behind Mea. She wasn’t in her annoying bratty role like To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index or Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai’s Maria. It was something close to like how Hayate No Gotoku Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’s Ruri. Just less naive. Rina Hidaka voices Master so this isn’t her usual cute girl stereotype roles like Anko in Tamako Market, Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu, Shizuka in Campione, Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index and Ririchiyo in Inu x Boku SS. The opening theme, Rakuen Project by Ray sounds like typical anime pop. The ending theme by Kanon Wakeshima is Foul Play Ni Kurari. It sounds very much like a musical stage play song. A little funny too.

After getting into so much trouble for so long, Rito should have developed some kind of immunity or sixth sense to it. But looks like the way things are going, he doesn’t. Could this mean that even though he resists some of it, deep down in his heart he still wants them? Let’s see how things work out when he becomes the next king of Deviluke. Will he change into a different person? Will he become more of a tyrant or a greater hero? Who knows? Only time will tell. I suppose that is why he wants things to stay the way as it is right now as long as possible. Because things will definitely change one day. Like Mikan who won’t forever stay his little sister. Like Yami, how despite she is still sticking around to watch Rito and kill him when the right time comes, it feels like a blatant excuse because it feels that she is more of dandere than anything. Like Yui, probably the only one to have come up with a firm visualizing future of herself and Rito. The only thing that won’t change is his nature to get into such trouble. I’ll say that is his fate and destiny.

Sparrow’s Hotel

September 27, 2013

When you check into a hotel, you would expect the highest service from the warm greetings to the front desk and the bellhop boy, right? Well, in Sparrow’s Hotel, do not be fooled by the beautiful busty babe working there. Don’t worry if you are the law abiding citizen. If you are the kind that loves making trouble and any reason would be good enough for you to pick a fight, then beware of her. I don’t know if she learns her skills from a secret ninja school because if you continue to be naughty, in a single chop she can knock you out! Is this the kind of service this hotel gives? Like they say, action speaks louder than words. And what better way than to protect the stay of the other guests? If you are looking for a very short anime lasting no more than 3 minutes each with random skits about the misadventures in this hotel and its staff, yeah, check out the gravity defying boobs this anime.

Episode 1
A group of guys see hottie Sayuri Satou entering Sparrow’s Hotel and decide to follow her but one of them got punched and was sent airborne. Satou needs to open a hotel room door for a guest but why does she keep the key in her breast? To keep it warm. Ah, I see. A guest thought Satou is going to ask him out on a date but to his dismay she was just asking if he would like to stay another night. Hotel manager Tamaki Shiokawa teaches Satou how to make beds but Satou’s tremendous strength may need a little toning down or two. Shiokawa demonstrates but Satou finds it too irresistible so she jumps on the bed. A drunk customer is beating up the vending machine since his drink didn’t come out. Satou solves the problem by crushing the apple with her bare hands to give him apple juice! At least the drunk guy gets the idea not to mess with this woman. Satou learns the meaning of this hotel’s name (some old man’s pun as Shiokawa puts it) and is impressed. She loves it even more. A customer sees how pretty Satou is and confesses he loves her. But she misinterprets his love for the hotel. Misono sees Satou sharpening ninja weapons behind! Why? As Shiokawa explains, she is the front desk clerk that protects their guests’ sleep and hotel’s furnishing with a smile. Since there is trouble outside with ruffians vandalizing their signboard, Satou leaps into action and takes them out! Another night of good night’s sleep well protected!

Episode 2
Sparrow’s Hotel is located downtown and there’re always brawls. As long as it doesn’t happen in front of her hotel, Shiokawa can ignore it. Otherwise… At least the brawlers are smart enough to know not to mess around when Satou accidentally displays her strength of kicking the trash can into the wall! Misono sees Satou’s skirt rip by the side. To his sees those ninja weapons… He asks Shiokawa on who Satou really is. She replies she hires her for special work. Recalling the interview, it seems there are lots of confidentiality in her resume. Her work experience is blank and thought it was fighting experience. Satou admitted her strong points were large breasts and assassination! She even demonstrates how she sliced the glass bottle with her bare hands! Her hobby? Staying healthy. In short, Satou is like the hotel’s bouncer. We are introduced to Business Manager Shiokawa who is Shiokawa’s older brother. She has a hard time addressing him as onii-chan like he wants. He talks to Satou and tries to find out more about her but Shiokawa stops her as soon as she starts about her top marks for PE. Some things better left unknown? Big brother is worried about Shiokawa’s safety in this rowdy place. There’s a brawl right now so what to do? Satou as ordered goes to forcefully remove them and makes a clear path. Big brother shakes her hand and is confident of leaving Shiokawa’s safety in her hands.

Episode 3
Shiokawa has got a sakura tree in the hotel but finds the dropping petals troublesome. Don’t worry. Satou will catch them all before they hit the floor! While Satou is sweeping outside, a group of people passes by. One of them is drunk and is against watching the sakura bloom. Satou immediately ‘neutralizes’ him and tells him to refrain from making a scene in front of their hotel! Holy sh*t! Since the hotel staffs will be going for sakura viewing, Satou volunteers to book for a spot. Misono gets the surprise f his life to find Satou camouflaged as the grass on the spot she picked. Satou serves the guests and uses her fingers to break open the lid! They’re glad they’re not drunk. A girl trips and is on the verge of spilling the tray of food but Satou acrobatically saves everything. She would gladly do a magic trick so drunk Shiokawa suggests her knife throwing. Satou thought that won’t be fun since she never misses so it’s not a trick! Say what?! But Shiokawa convinces her that doing something normally might go over better than she thinks. This means Misono becomes the ‘victim’. Satou throws her knives and thankfully all of them hit the apples over Misono. He still gets the frights even if she was accurate. Nearly died there… I guess I know how William Tell’s son felt. And the other people vow never to defy her.

Episode 4
Yuu Kojou is being harassed by a couple of guys outside the hotel. Till Satou neutralizes them. Kojou may look like a guest but she is the Sparrow’s Hotel Group internal spy. Meaning, she is an undercover inspector that inspects the hotel’s furnishing and staffs. All seems well and I think she takes a liking for Shiokawa’s petite size. Then she tests Misono and tries to seduce him. If he falls for it, he fails. Misono brushes her off and remains professional. Kojou passes him and it’s not that he is well trained, he knows it is too good to be true for a woman to ask him out. Kojou almost got killed by Satou’s ninja weapons. Does she need to do this just to adjust the poster?! Satou reports to Shiokawa that Kojou is a spy but not of a rival business. How does she know? Call it intuition. Better trust a fighter’s intuition, eh? Kojou passes by Business Manager Shiokawa and pretends not to know him but he thanks her for her hard work. Looks like he knows her. Kojou is tired and thinking of writing her report tomorrow when Satou thanks her for her hard work. Then she corrects herself to thank her instead. Kojou is worried that her identity may be busted.

Episode 5
It’s going to be a busy week for Sparrow’s Hotel since it is Golden Week. They have to operate at full capacity since they’re short on staff. Shiokawa has her hands busy at the front desk as well as giving orders to Satou. Including one to take out a fight on the second floor hallway! Pretend you didn’t hear that… Shiokawa notices Misono handling a group of lady guests very well. Actually they’re his college mates. Although he recognizes them, they don’t. Feels sad, don’t you think? A group of guests have another person to add but since the rooms are fully booked, they have to share. They order an additional bed but what they didn’t expect is for Satou to bring the entire bed to them! As the week passes, Shiokawa and Misono are looking more and more tired by the day. How the heck can Satou keep her freshness? Shiokawa suspects her nutrients are kept in her large boobs… Once it is over, Shiokawa is going to head home when a morning host club guy invites her out. Satou immediately tackles him! Peace will always reign… Maybe Satou should try this again using a different friendlier approach.

Episode 6
Shiokawa seems gloomy and Misono thinks it is the drop in business. Satou tries to make up but says the wrong things to the guest giving a wrong impression that the hotel’s business is failing. Then she tries to exaggerate stuffs as well too. Shiokawa reveals she is down due to her compulsive shopping. She bought quite a few feminine clothes and accessories. Asking Satou what she buys with her paycheque, it is only health equipment. But she bought too much dumbbells that her floor caved in. Now she is worried she can’t stay healthy! Shiokawa wants Misono to volunteer his body to let Satou unleash one of her moves on him. No way! He is not going to be a guinea pig so Satou can stay in shape. Not to worry. There are ruffians at the back so it is more than enough exercise for today. Misono views Shiokawa like an animal tamer since Satou does everything she says. Shiokawa is hungry but it is a week till payday. She uses her last resort to call her brother. The signal from her, in an instant he gets off from work to treat her for sushi for dinner. Yeah, it could be steak for tomorrow. Works like a charm always. Then when Shiokawa tries to but on her skirt, it can’t fit! So fat so fast?!

Episode 7
Sparrow’s Hotel is undergoing renovation to include a big bath and sauna. Construction worker Billy is using his enormous strength to put all the bricks together. It’s done in no time. He is about to leave but was stopped by Satou. He always thought something about this hotel that attracted strong people but he can’t stay. Did Satou want a fight with him? Thank goodness nothing happened because it would be costly if there are holes in the walls in their new bath. Sakai dreams of surprising Satou with his visit to stay and part of his scheme to steal her heart. Yeah, he even took a paid leave for this mischievous scheme. But does he need to shout it out in public even to the point of pointing out he is an unworthy man? But he is the one who is going to have a big surprise as Sparrow’s Hotel is closed for renovation. Wasted…

Episode 8
Kojou joins Sparrow’s Hotel as a new staff. She would have carried on listing down the things of the familiar work they do (that includes no fixed time in going home) had not Business Manager Shiokawa stopped her. Kojou is shocked that the other staffs recognize her. It is no surprise because she has this habit of saying aloud what is on her mind. Including herself as a super sadist. The moment Satou hears the word ‘spy’, she goes into elimination mode! Thank God Shiokawa stops her. You don’t want your customers seeing a bloodbath, right? When Business Manager Shiokawa comes in to check on things, he asks Kojou if there are any undesirable men hitting on his sister. This makes her think he has a sister complex. He wants her to report everything over dinner. The rest realize this is going to get more annoying with another weirdo joining the ranks. Kojou learns Business Manager Shiokawa’s sister is the world to him. So important that he made a deal with some department and transferred Kojou to this place so she could look after her and let no undesirable men hit on her. That sickening gross expression…

Episode 9
Due to a manga event nearby, the hotel is packed with cosplay people. A couple of guys are sizing up Satou’s nice body and features and think some humans do look like anime heroines. Misono sarcastically quips she is a race of fighters from a battle manga. Shiokawa couldn’t understand people carrying manga and anime in their bag. Is it some sort of punishment? Misono explains about loneliness, meetings and setbacks… Depressing, eh? Is he talking about himself? After a pair of girls check in, they comment if Misono is uke or seme by his looks. Not that he understands. Satou thought a guy made a homemade weapon. We all know it’s part of the cosplay but Satou is not convinced. Then coming out from the sea of crowd is a familiar voice. It’s Billy! He came all the way hear after hearing about ‘weapons’ but it turns out to be just for show. He knows Satou is the only real thing. Satou is eager to get into a fight with him but Shiokawa tells her that work comes first. Looks like they have to put it off to another time.

Episode 10
Because of the huge sudden storm, Sparrow’s Hotel sees lots of cancellation in reservations. What a bad day. Shiokawa hates storms. However a few people barge into the hotel to seek shelter. Since the storm isn’t going anywhere, they make reservations on the spot. See? This is a blessing, right? Shiokawa loves storms! Then she rants about the only to do in such weather is do nothing but relax. Get massage, drink beer and watch the pay channel! A drunk customer is causing a ruckus so it’s Satou’s turn to quell the problem and make sure he rests till morning. So that guy is complaining about the bad channel and everything but Satou just knocks him out with a chop. Super effective. Next morning, it is a bright beautiful day and the troublemaker slept so well that he feels so much better. Never underestimate the power of sleep. More importantly, never defy Satou!

Episode 11
Satou is seen taking on the ruffians making a scene in front of the hotel. Misono wonders if this job is too harsh for her since her expression indicates she is struggling. Shiokawa asked her before and her reply was her face turned out like this if she tries to hold back her strength. Is that good or bad? After finishing the last of the ruffians, her smiley expression is back. Sakai is devastated that Satou is not around. As pointed out by Shiokawa, she is on leave. Sakai is desperate that he wants to go to the place where Satou’s smell lingers around the most. That would be the changing room, right? No go. Only authorized personnel allowed. Misono realizes without Satou, the place is not as lively as it should. Kojou gladly announces she will replace Satou. Replace her? Can she? When a fight occurs, suddenly she withdraws her statement. Can’t handle it! Kojou thinks Satou is skipping work to go on a date with her lady power. The rest misinterpret that lady power as something brute and forceful rather than something feminine. When Satou returns, she apologizes for making them worry. She was out with a cold and lost her voice. She tried to send some smoke signal but there was some interference from a direction. However she managed to shake it off. The rest wonder if she used her lady power for that.

Episode 12
Business Manager is looking at all the wishes hanging on the Tanabata tree and notes how each is filled with envy, greed, lust, wrath and sloth. Just like the 7 deadly sins, eh? All lies but what do they get in the end? He is about to make his own wish but Shiokawa wishes that they are no longer related. Instead of being devastated, he is thrilled instead because if they are no longer related, they can marry!!! Shiokawa laments this optimistic pervert and dreads being reminded she used to write wanting to marry him as her wish. Embarrassing… Kojou sees Satou on the rooftop and wonders why she isn’t writing her wish. She says her wish already came true. Kojou thought she’s a loser who gave up everything or the luckiest person to have everything. Oops. She said that out loud. Satou praises her as the kind of type who doesn’t hide anything. She should not feel ashamed if she doesn’t correct herself because it makes her who she is. Satou reveals her wish didn’t really come true but she has this feeling. Then she jumps down the building to go fight with Billy. Is this her wish? Although Misono calls Satou a strange person, Kojou also finds her interesting. Thanks to Billy’s appearance, the fight always draws a large crowd and plays a pivotal role in the hotel’s success.

Cassowary’s Hotel
Lesson learnt in every episode: Never mess with Satou! Be afraid of her. Be very afraid. You will never know where you will end up next once she puts you out of commission. Prevention is better than cure so if you really need to fight, don’t do it in front or inside Sparrow’s Hotel. I know the hotel is in the middle of the bad part of town or is it just coincidence that the fights seem to happen right there. Or is it just an everyday affair? Perhaps the name of the hotel may make it sound like a harmless cute sissy brown bird but I think with Satou around, the hotel could earn its nickname to be one of the most dangerous birds in the world like the ostrich or rhea. You don’t want to fool around with this bird for sure.

As usual, due to the short nature of the show, it is nothing much and you just watch for entertainment without having any long term memorable memories. You laugh, you raise an eyebrow but after it ends, it lingers on in your mind for a while before vanishing into the back of your mind and perhaps in some cases, you totally forget you ever watch this. Each of the characters has their peculiarities but like I said, they are just memorable for the length of this series. Satou stands out the most not because of her humongous boobs but her ability as a bouncer and get her job done. And she puts a smile each time she does her job. Now that is dedication and service with a smile. An employee like her is hard to find. Very rare. Yeah. Very indeed. Not many hotel staffs are like her. Due to her tremendous strength, I think that’s why they don’t hire additional staff. She has so much energy to dispense if she’s not keeping the peace. And she gets her job done in lightning speed too. Ah really. Such service is so hard to find.

Shiokawa is always thinking about her business and dislikes her sister complex brother while her brother is not afraid to show his complexion. I’m not sure if Satou will take him out if he ever makes his move on his own sister. Kojou speaking aloud her mind is like a double edge sword while Misono is just the ‘normal’ guy. Billy and Sakai’s presence feels like a waste since they only appear in a couple of episodes. Though I partly get a hint why the fights keep attracted to Sparrow’s Hotel. Maybe Satou and Billy should throw a wrestling match as part of the regular programme for their guests. I can’t sense if there is some sort of chemistry between them. But I don’t think there is since all they’ve got in their brains when they meet is to test their strength. I believe Sakai has never met Satou in person as far as this anime is concerned. He always misses her. Is that a good or bad thing?

Although the animation and drawing makes the characters look a little bit funny (but still retaining bits of that typical Japanese anime standard), I can’t help notice that halfway through the series, the animation style suddenly changes. It is not very obvious but it is noticeable. I later discovered that the second half of the series (in which it was termed as the second season), the style of the art really changed (in addition to that, the opening theme for the first half is replaced with an ending theme for the second half). If you ask me, I still prefer the art from the first half. The characters already look slightly cartoonish and with the change, it looks even more cartoonish. Especially Satou. She already looks cartoonish, now she even looks more cartoonish. I thought the characters now resemble a little more like those in the anime series, Hen Zemi. It is said that the release of this series via DVD will have yet another change in art style. I don’t know whether they are going to revamp the entire thing or just remake the first or second half of the season to make the quality consistent. I guess I won’t find out since I won’t be rewatching this series. It is already on its way to the back of my mind… ;p.

If you always think that the customer is right and that cash is king, you might want to think twice again if you are visiting this hotel. Here, it is her fists that do the talking and speaks the loudest. And if you are not up to it, be prepared to find yourself to suddenly have ‘a good night’s sleep’ right in the hallway or the street. Now, if Satou was drafted into the special police force, I wonder how many criminals will be put off the streets. Definitely a much safer world but constantly living in fear? At least it makes you think twice before getting into a fight. Can I request for hotels to provide bodyguard service for my stay? For such hotels, it’s either you check in or you chicken out.

What’s this?! Let me get this straight. The leading male in this series is anti-love? Dead set against love at all cost? The studious kind of guy who only thinks of getting in the best university and further his studies? How can that be possible in a love romance genre and even in a harem series? Who is this guy?! Who came out with this sick idea to put such an anti-love guy as the protagonist anyway? I’m sure many guys out there would be green with envy and would gladly love to switch places with him. What a waste. I guess he doesn’t want to condemn his brains to those mushy feelings of love, eh? Anyway, this series, which is another mouthful to pronounce at least doesn’t have a sister among the pack of girls who are supposedly in love with him. When you have a girlfriend and childhood friend fighting over you, that will be a handful. You don’t want to add a sister to the mix. It will be chaotic. Maybe we’ll even like it…

Anyhow, Ore No Kanojo To Osananajimi Ga Shuraba Sugiru (or OreShura for short if you are having problems trying to say that entire line) tells about Eita Kidou who is a bookworm and wants to become a doctor and his first aim for that is to get good grades. No time for love, eh? I guess the problem he will be facing isn’t the tough equations or the mind boggling medical terms but girls. Yeah. They are one of the mysterious mysteries of the universe that men can never understand nor explain for eons. Whoops. When he manages to get a very popular and beautiful girl in his class as his girlfriend (the kind that guys will die for to go out with), guess what will be their reaction? But the problem isn’t about jealous guys (I guess we guys know when to give up when we have ‘lost’), but the other girls who have harboured feelings for this lad. They’re not going to give up easily without the fight. So there’s your cat fight. There’s your romance. There’s your harem. What do they see in this bookworm anyway? Hmph. I can study like him and even harder if I wanted to and put my mind to it. (Jealousy talking here).

Episode 1
Eita once had this chuunibyou syndrome too. Burning Fighting Fighter he believed he once was and his destiny to slay the Wyvern. In reality, he looks like an ordinary high school kid and his neighbour-cum-childhood friend, Chiwa Harusaki regularly visits him for meals. He is the one doing the cooking. But unlike many high school boys, he is obsessed with studying and plans to enter a good medical school. He puts studying first and love last. Of course he has no intention to make people think he is gay. The reason a guy his age is anti-love is because of his parents. Already divorced, they abandoned him in the name of love with their new partners and his aunt, Saeko Kiryuu took him in. To repay her kindness, he vowed to study hard. Wow. That’s some big resolve. And he is damn serious about it. So even if he is in a typical anime cliché of having a childhood friend, he doesn’t really see Chiwa more than that. Some may read it as being dense. That’s why Eita cannot fathom why people fall in love. But like his best friend Kaoru Asoi puts it, anti-love people like him are even rarer. Eita’s class has their seating arranged and he is seated next to Masuzu Natsukawa, the school beauty who has just returned after spending 9 years overseas. We can see the number of ‘brave souls’ trying to confess to Masuzu only to have their advances rejected. Of course Masuzu has her eyes on Eita. She seems to be carefully observing him. One day out of the blue, Masuzu shocks the entirely class when she asks Eita to walk home with her. Eita becomes suspicious if she has lost a bet or something. But she tells him earnestly it’s because she likes him! And so all the guys never see this coming. The hottest girl in school going out with the guy who is mostly anti-love. What are the odds? You know what they say about opposites.

Along their way home when they’re alone, Eita confronts Masuzu about her lie. He is still not convinced about her sincerity so she reveals that her confession was truly a lie. She observed he was a little different than the other guys. A gust of wind almost blows up her skirt. Eita is surprised she had gone commando! I don’t know, Eita thinks another World War can break out and lead to the end of the world just because people can start fighting over the panties preference. What the hell? Whatever. Getting down to serious business, Masuzu reveals ever since she returned to school, she has had 52 confessions. That’s almost one per day. She’s getting sick of it. So why not just accept one of them to stop the confessions? You see, Masuzu is also anti-love. She views this love thing as crap! But why Eita? Because they are both the same: Anti-love. She has been observing him since they’re seated together and wants him to become her fake boyfriend. Eita views this as the other boys and girls would be rife with jealousy. Masuzu has already taken precautions for Eita never to betray her. She takes out his notebook, the one whereby he detailed his ‘adventures’ when he was Burning Fighting Fighter! Oh sh*t! Remember the embarrassment?! Seems Eita once got rid of it but must have mixed it up with the books he wanted to donate. And Masuzu picked it up at some bookstore at dirt cheap price. Even if he gets this copy back, Masuzu has already scanned many backup copies of it! So once again, will he be her boyfriend? There’s no choice, right? But Eita knows since rumours of them going out have already spread, he is confident that Chiwa won’t let this slide.

Episode 2
True enough, Chiwa confronts them. But Masuzu plays it cool. Despite being her childhood friend and knowing everything about him (please spare him those embarrassing moments), does he need her permission to get a girlfriend? Masuzu hopes she could give their blessings as they continue their ‘date’. As obvious as it is, Chiwa is jealous and vows to get a really awesome boyfriend herself. She’s been doing cliché stuffs to get a boyfriend but I don’t think it’s working. Eita thought he should at least tell Chiwa the real matter but Masuzu insists he doesn’t because it will no longer be a secret. But talking about Chiwa’s ‘problem’, thinking it is wanting to be with a popular person, Masuzu wants him to bring her to her tea club tomorrow. She invites Chiwa to join the club and is blunt that she is more popular than her and can attract any guy she wants. Then she uses the notebook as her fake past that this is where she derives her trial and error. A notebook filled with memories left behind by her first love! They can use this is their reference to make her popular. Yeah, she’s reading lines from it! So why so eager to let Chiwa join? Because if not, it will just be Masuzu and Eita alone together… Get the hint? And so Chiwa took the bait and joins. Renaming this club as The Club For Young Maidens To Recreate Themselves (or Maiden Club for short), it is a club for young girls to learn appropriate etiquette and manners. So the first lesson has Chiwa needing to pick a boy that she likes. She thinks it would be Sakagami the basketball star whom all the girls in her class are talking about. Chiwa can’t even remember his name right. Is she sure she is interested in him? Reading some lines from the notebook (Eita is so dead), Masuzu recommends playing the guitar to become popular. Even if it’s just carrying an empty guitar case. At least she will look like a rocker.

So Chiwa actually follows Masuzu’s plan of carrying the guitar case around. Her friends are excited she plays one and wants her to demonstrate. This also attracts the attention of Sakagami and he joins in the conversation. Then Chiwa pulls off some swinging moves with the case before running away. Masuzu couldn’t contain her laughter. She’s enjoying this, right? But back at the classroom, Chiwa doesn’t seem embarrassed and in fact thinks her friends really got a kick out of it. Chiwa then asks how Masuzu started dating Eita. He saw her panties (and exaggerates it with lies!). Safe to say, he got punched. Masuzu continues to tease Eita by almost lifting her skirt for him to see and sending wrong signals to Chiwa. After Chiwa leaves, Eita confronts Masuzu about the lies she is pulling. So she asks him back why he is always with Chiwa. They’re childhood friends, right? And they live next door to each other too. Masuzu was sure she would have quit the club after that embarrassing stunt but Eita assures her she won’t. Flashback reveals Chiwa was supposed to be the star of her kendo team but met with an accident. Her lower back was severely damaged. She underwent lots of surgery and rehabilitation therapies although she cannot participate in major sports anymore. She lost a ‘goal’. Now she has found something she can put her heart into again and that’s why she won’t quit. Masuzu understands his friendship with Chiwa but reminds him that they are still a couple. Even though they are fake, he is still hers. She doesn’t want him to pay any attention to other girls when she is around. How far is she going to take this lie? All the way. Because it’s all a complete lie.

Episode 3
Masuzu thinks they should fight. The reason? Quoting lines from the notebook… I wonder how many times Eita has ‘died’ ever since she started reading those embarrassing words. He might be even going crazy when he unwittingly tries to correct them! They won’t really need to fight but just put on a show. Masuzu will do the script and they will execute it 3 days from now. So when Chiwa steps into Eita’s class, the duo put up some dramatic past-life-save-the-world-power-fight. Unless you have a vivid imagination to imagine the effects, it just looks plain weird. Plain embarrassing. At the end of the drama, the class greatly applause them! They love it! However Masuzu is disappointed because everyone is calling it the greatest comedy! You mean, that wasn’t supposed to be funny?! Masuzu wants to put together another script but Chiwa says she will confess directly to Sakagami. But how come she doesn’t sound enthusiastic about it? Chiwa puts her love letter in Sakagami’s shoe locker and he turns up to meet her at the rooftop. She confesses she likes him and surprisingly he accepts! She thought she would be turned down, eh? But why doesn’t she look happy about it? I mean, she’s already got her first date this Sunday. We all know why.

Eita cooks her favourite dishes to celebrate her success but she wonders if Eita is okay with this. I mean, is he really OKAY with this? You see, she worked so hard and it didn’t pay off. What didn’t pay off? That’s why Eita is such a dense guy. She had known him for so long and if it turns out to be like this, she wished they were just normal classmates. He argues that she is like a sister to him. He still doesn’t see the point. This causes emotional Chiwa to dart out of the house. Flashback reveals Chiwa walked all the way back to Eita’s house when she should be sitting in hospital for recovery. Chiwa told him that the doctor said she had to give up her kendo due to her condition. Eita explains about his parents and how his other relatives didn’t want to take him in. He is barely holding out with Saeko trying her best to support him. He assured her he won’t go away since he had nowhere to go in the first place. That’s when he decided to ditch his fantasies (which brought nothing) and become serious in his studies. He vowed to become a good doctor to heal Chiwa. She became so overwhelmed with his determination even though his grades at that time were just average. He is confident that medical science advances a lot and by the time he is an adult, it would have advanced more. Otherwise he will advance it himself. And so that is how Eita became top of his grade but he might regret how foolish his words were since he has not made an inch of any progress.

Episode 4
Eita and Masuzu go spy on Chiwa on her date. They need to check on the progress of their club member, right? However Chiwa has been waiting for an hour but Sakagami has not showed up. Could it be he has dumped her? Right at the stroke of the hour mark, suddenly Sakagami and his friends pop up. Oh gosh. Are they delinquents? The side of Sakagami you never see? It seems they made a bet if Chiwa would actually wait there for an hour. Sakagami lost. He tells her to scram because everything was just a prank. Although they continue to mock her, she stayed there very well composed. You can’t help worry she might break down in any second. Eita wants to go save her but was stopped by Masuzu. If this event plays out right, Chiwa would become anti-love too, right? Eita chides her about the club she formed. Was everything a lie? Because she was having so much fun. Masuzu didn’t bat an eyelid to admit everything was a lie. Everything created without a shred of truth. Like he said, she is evil. He tells her off not to act evil. Even though they are the same, this doesn’t give them the right to force others to feel hopeless like them. Eita is going to save the day but Masuzu doesn’t want her boyfriend to leave her. She doesn’t want to be alone. Don’t worry. He’ll be back. Eita jumps into the scene as Burning Fighting Fighter. He spouts his delusional crap. Everyone watching must think he is crazy. The delinquents plan to leave but Eita attacks Sakagami and wants him to apologize to Chiwa. Of course he is no match for them when the guys team up and beat him up. I guess the crowd doesn’t care seeing this looks like a quarrel between kids. Eita stands back up despite taking a beating. When he says his ‘girlfriend’ is watching, we are left to ponder which of the girls he is referring to. A traffic pole is thrown Chiwa’s way. She picks it up and starts hitting the delinquents with her kendo moves. Then she apologizes to Sakagami that she doesn’t like him one bit and she did this just to get even with her childhood friend whom she got into a fight with and just picked someone random. So they’re even. They’ll forget this and won’t want to see each other again.

Eita may have lots of band aids on his face but because of his heroic acts, everyone in school knows about Sakagami’s real identity. Masuzu is absent from school and as Kaoru puts it, he abandoned his ‘girlfriend’ for another girl. When Eita walks home, he realizes Masuzu’s house is in the opposite direction of his. Could it be she really took the trouble to walk home with him every day? Masuzu suddenly hugs him from behind. Why did she skip school? She wanted to feel what it’s like to call in sick. Eita knows she was the one who threw the pole to Chiwa. Masuzu will still keep her club going while Eita will do the same and stop Chiwa from getting into more trouble. After all, she still got rejected in the end. Noting that he knows a lot about Chiwa, Masuzu suddenly kisses Eita on his lips. This is a reminder that his first kiss is with her and not Chiwa. He wonders if she is okay with this since he is her fake boyfriend. She hints that he is the only one she will want to kiss. Then it turns out she is just re-enacting a scene from her favourite manga Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Now she wants him to wash his mouth with the dirty puddle water! Next morning, Eita gets his morning shock when Chiwa is using his bathroom. She texted him her bath was broken and will be using his shower. Didn’t he get that? She wants to walk with him to school every morning and won’t let Masuzu hog him. But this is only half of the problem. Eita hears Masuzu in the kitchen. What is she doing here? Trying to make breakfast for her boyfriend of course. She texted him last night. Didn’t he get it? Because Eita doesn’t want both ladies to meet, he has to rush to both sides when they start making requests. He is going to tire out at this rate. And then the inevitable happens… Both girls see each other. “What are YOU doing here?!”. The fight had only just begun…

Episode 5
Eita discovers a love letter in his shoe box claiming she wants to restore their connection like before. Talking to Kaoru about this, he thinks the letter is from Chiwa. In the clubroom, his suspicion is a little confirmed when Chiwa sits too close to him under the pretence of club activity if she got really popular and a boyfriend. Till Masuzu smacks down her head on the bread!!! OMG! So the argument continues before Masuzu realizes today’s important club discussion: To take down hall monitors because recently they’ve been harassing them as they’re not officially a club yet. Chiwa suggests getting more club members. Masuzu starts off with creating a theme song for the club. Since Chiwa’s song sucks, Masuzu is going to use the real reference: Eita’s notebook. NOOOOOOO!!! Eita gets another love letter in his shoebox. Masuzu notices him acting strange but he is not saying no matter what. Not even if she threatens to read aloud his notebook in front of the entire school. Suddenly a bratty little blonde girl, Mana pops up before them. She is Masuzu’s little sister and dropped by to see her boyfriend. She can tell Eita isn’t really in love with Masuzu. Mana tells her sister how the people back home have known about this boyfriend thing and are upset they sent her back to Japan not to do stuff like this. Eita notices Masuzu shivering in fear. There are people she’s afraid of? Mana agrees to say report good things of her but in exchange will have Eita as her boyfriend and kisses him! She hopes to do more than that next time. After she leaves, Eita has lots to ask but Masuzu tells him nothing. There are things just like him that she doesn’t want others to know. Masuzu subsequently becomes gloomy. During the pool class, she sits out at a corner but the other girls snicker this is her way to purposely attract attention. So when she finally dips in (with all the boys blowing wolf whistle), she sinks like a hammer! Eita pulls her out and is in a dilemma whether to do CPR. The other students are just watching and egging him to get lovey-dovey with her. They are thrilled when Eita does mouth to mouth. As Masuzu recuperates in hospital, she admits that she didn’t like seeing Mana kissing him. That was what she is angry about not because he asked about her secrets. Eita assures her that kiss from Mana didn’t mean a thing and not to worry about it.

Chiwa becomes sick after she dashed home in the rain after hearing rumours that Eita got lovey-dovey with Masuzu. Eita looks after her and learns she still keeps the chopsticks from their first meal together alone and is her most cherished memories. She will cherish them even if Eita loves another girl. Eita realizes she isn’t the one who wrote the letter since there is no need to restore their connection. It will always be here. When Chiwa is back to health, as usual a morning spat with Masuzu at school. Eita notices another love letter in his shoebox and this one tells him to meet her at the rooftop. Himeka Akishino shows him the “I love you” words from a handheld console game. Eita doesn’t remember a thing or meeting her whatsoever. Himeka claims they knew each other in their previous life. In Hebrew, that line means to restore a connection with someone and her true name is Himeka Sei Heavensrain. Her name she used in her past life was Burning Pudding Princess and knows him as Burning Fighting Fighter. In fact, she knows a lot about him! Including their destiny to kill Wyverns. Oh God. Another kid with chuunibyou? How did she know about him? No, not the previous life. After all this time, why suddenly pop up? It seems Himeka witnessed Eita’s heroic attempts warding off the bullies when Chiwa was in a pinch. Seeing that made her remember everything in her previous life. She hugs him. We see this cliché scene coming up. Masuzu and Chiwa aren’t too happy seeing Eita hugging another girl. Quite a healthy libido he’s got there, eh? Himeka continues embracing him. No letting go…

Episode 6
So who is this Himeka girl they’re wondering? Eita’s ex-girlfriend. But when Himeka learns of Masuzu and Chiwa’s relation to Eita, she throws a tantrum and asserts she is the only one Eita belongs to. Surprisingly Himeka is invited by Masuzu to join the club. Because as Eita’s current girlfriend, she thought of swapping notes with his ex. She also knows all about Burning Pudding Princess and the events that led her ‘seal to be broken’. Chiwa is against this since her goal is not to be popular but to get close to Eita. Isn’t hers the same? Himeka has no desire to be popular and views it as an uncultured concept. Till Masuzu rants about being the ultimate warrior stuff, Himeka notes she has a point. Masuzu then reads aloud from the notebook Burning Fighting Fighter’s 4 angels! Describing their traits and even their voice actresses! This guy sure got them picked out. In the end, all of them couldn’t love him more if she wanted to. Eita is dying in embarrassment and has to put up with them since Himeka and Chiwa hold him back, interested in hearing everything. Masuzu wants Himeka write a poem as test if she wants to join the club but Chiwa wants to do something more practical. That bread-in-the-mouth cliché… Too bad the hall monitors stop them and Himeka swallowed the entire bread! She wakes up with Eita by her side. Eita thinks they not necessarily become couples in this life even though they were in their previous. Himeka explains about having hope for this world but nothing changed till she saw Eita. She believes he is a warrior more valorous than any other. On Sunday, Eita, Masuzu and Chiwa end up cleaning the pool as punishment. Then here comes Mana. She tried talking to father but he became angry. So much about that. Now he wants Masuzu to return this instant or he will come here himself to drag her back. Masuzu knows once she leaves for Sweden, she won’t come back. So she tells Eita she doesn’t like him anymore and doesn’t want to see his face. Chiwa should be happy she’s going away but why she isn’t? Is it because Masuzu is giving up so easily?

Himeka comes in to show Eita the poem she finished but Mana snatches it and reads it aloud. Furthermore, she mocks the silliness of her princess poem. Eita fights back but Mana’s bodyguard keeps him restrained. Eita tells Mana off that everyone has embarrassing fantasies and the thousands he had. None of those came true and he hates himself. If you stop fantasizing them, you’ll be crushed by the weight of reality. Plus, he hopes that at least one of them might come true. Mana pours cold water on it since Eita is living proof a loser he turned out. Eita is adamant her prince will come and wants Mana to apologize to Himeka. He then asserts he is Masuzu’s boyfriend, Chiwa’s childhood friend and Himeka’s ex-girlfriend. Eita then praises Himeka’s poem but there are some things she needs to express in words to show who she really is. Because Mana becomes persistent, Himeka screams at the top of her voice for her to go away and not hurt Eita when she has already found him and about to join a club. Masuzu heard everything and u-turns her decision to go back with her. She doesn’t think it is worth it to help Mana’s cheap pride. Masuzu uses her position as her older sister to make Mana apologize to Himeka and tell father she will not be going back. She will be waiting in that room for her mother whom father casted away to return. Mana is not optimistic mother will come back and feels Masuzu will end up hurt like before. She is forced to leave when their commotion starts attracting others. Back in the clubroom, Himeka officially becomes a club member. Masuzu then has plans for the club to go on a summer trip but Ai Fuyuumi from the hall monitors barge in to put a halt in their plans. In her quest to prevent them from becoming popular, she is going to shut down this club. Does she have the right to do this?

Episode 7
Eita suddenly wakes up due to the incessant banging on the infirmary door by Masuzu and Chiwa. More surprisingly, why the heck is Himeka sleeping naked beside him?! Oh sh*t! He’s so screwed. Yup. It was her first time… Himeka would gladly go and distract the duo while Eita hides behind the curtains. Of course Himeka starts panicking when there are holes in her story. Masuzu clearly smells a rat and knows Eita is around. And soon, Himeka ‘abandons’ Eita and starts squirming in her fantasies. But Eita is saved when Ai barges in. Yeah, she’s going to shut down their club thingy again. Chiwa points out she is jealous of them as she isn’t popular with no boyfriend. But Ai rebuts all that and says she has a boyfriend. She even tells his name. Some half-American half-Japanese, Daigorou Michel Murata. Who? Something fishy in her stories… Like as though they’re made up… Look at how suspicious she is acting? And so despite the club shutting down, Eita revels in it because there will be no summer trip and he can dedicate his entire summer to cram classes. He is surprised to see Ai there too. See how she reacts loudly when she finds out Eita goes to the same cram class with her. Yeah, the whole world probably knows how happy she is. Kaoru drops by and Eita learns he and Ai know each other since elementary school. Back home, Eita eats dinner with Chiwa. He seems to note that Chiwa and Ai don’t get along. Obviously. Chiwa asks if Eita asked anyone out before Masuzu. He did once during kindergarten. Before Eita could get into his studying groove, he is being called by Masuzu to meet now or else she will reveal his notebook. Yeah, he totally forgot how he still has to deal with her. Seems Masuzu knows Ai is in the same cram class with him. She has asked Ai’s classmates and apparently they have never heard of this Michel guy. So why would she tell her rivals something that instead to her classmates? This means Michel doesn’t exist. She made him up on the spot. Thus, Eita’s job is to find evidence of Ai’s fabrication.

In cram class, since Kaoru is singing praises of Ai, Eita thinks he likes her. As the dense kid doesn’t get it, Kaoru brings Ai (conveniently eavesdropping at the door) to introduce her. Kaoru warns if she keeps this up he will not help her. Ai sums up her courage to let Eita taste her bento. Since it tastes good, Ai decides to do a happy run. When Eita mentions about that Michel boyfriend of hers, Kaoru gives that shocking expression. Never heard of him. Later, Kaoru makes Ai go together with Eita for dinner. Chiwa spots them and drops in. Chiwa is distrustful but Eita believes she has not told a lie. Either he is really that dense or the very trusting kind of guy. That’s when Ai ramps up the story of her and Michel totally in love. Himeka pops up and wants to know more about their love (Masuzu must have planted weird ideas in her head). And so, Ai starts bragging all the lovely things they did and all the previous boyfriends she dated. Himeka is so impressed that she wants to call Ai her Love Master! I can’t help feel there are so many holes in her story… At the end of it, Ai may look like she has been under the weight of too many made up lies. But she is still happy because Eita treats her the same as before. She looks forward to seeing him tomorrow. I’m sure we viewers would have guessed it right at the beginning of this episode her problem, right? And for veterans, looking at the opening and ending credits have already given us the obvious.

Episode 8
Eita tells Masuzu that he believes Ai has a boyfriend. The trusting type, is he? So why can’t Masuzu trust her? Well, she’s been living the fake life for so long that she lost that trusting ability. When Eita tells her to have more faith in herself, Masuzu pecks him on the cheek for saying something nice! Anyway he is to continue investigating her. After class, Eita once more bumps into Ai and Kaoru and accompanies them to the dessert parlour. Back home, Eita finds Chiwa reading a magazine about a popular charm ritual to get someone to fall in love with you. Sounds ridiculous. Would anybody want to do that? Don’t say… Next day, Eita is being called by Kaoru and Ai again. Kaoru shows him the flyer for this year’s fireworks festival. Is he going with anyone this year? Since Eita turned down all the girls, Ai didn’t hesitate to show how happy she is. The charm works? Her victory? And she blames Eita for acting like a kid? But I guess she was counting her chickens because Eita isn’t planning of going with ANYONE. He plans to study. Ai can go with her boyfriend. What boyfriend? Oh dear. You know, that Michel guy. Ai makes up reasons that she is bloody free on that day. Before this gets any out of hand, Kaoru shows them tickets to movies in which all of them can go. Later Eita meets up with Masuzu, Chiwa and Himeka. Yup. Another one of Masuzu’s plan to expose Ai’s weakness and turn her into their servant that will do their every bidding. For this plan, she wants Eita to go on a date with Ai and make her fall in love with him. Why him? More precisely, he has no choice because Masuzu starts reading out his notebook! Eita could have just grabbed it since Masuzu is holding it the closest to him but I guess he was squirming in embarrassment and being noisy while Masuzu reads it aloud. Yeah, there’s even a visual drama of that story. Eita thought that angel of his wanted to confess to him but it turns out to be a rejection and she confessed to some other guy. Poor Eita ran away in tears. WTF. To make it less suspicious, Chiwa will also be there for the double date while Masuzu will tail them and snap a picture when Ai shows her weakness.

When the quartet meet, Chiwa’s wooden acting makes it seem like their plan is doomed to fail. But easy going Kaoru accepts it since I figure it’s part of his plan to let the other 2 get close together. As they walk to the cinema, Ai wonders if Eita remembers something during kindergarten. Not a bit. Then she asks his opinion of her clothes. Since he finds her cute, her embarrassment goes into full force. She wants to run outside. Aren’t they outside? Then she tries to make him remember how they ran holding hands like that. The moment is interrupted with Chiwa trying to strike Eita. Ai becomes disheartened to learn she is Eita’s childhood friend. When the movie starts, Ai hold on to Eita’s hand while declaring she isn’t scared. Chiwa meanwhile doesn’t want to lose out and grips his hand tightly. Pain… Somehow the storyline seems similar to their real lives. A childhood friend fighting against a future fiancée over the guy. Their names suspiciously similar too… As the fight gets intense, Ai and Chiwa start standing up and cheer for their respective characters. They’re really into it! And the poor guy, both in reel and real life gets caught in between. Even Masuzu who is in the cinema starts joining in and insults the garbage Eita is! I think Eita heard that! I don’t know how it ended but Ai looks emotionally distraught. After the movie ends, Masuzu apologizes she can’t get any pictures since it was too dark. Kaoru is about to walk Ai home when Eita wanted to point out about what happened. She brushes it off as nothing.

Episode 9
That young girl in the flashback spending time with Eita must be Ai, right? After cram class, Eita finds a notebook filled with delusions! OMG?! Worse, there are pages written with only repetitive words of “I love Takkun”! Sicko! Want to guess who the owner of this notebook is? Ai turns back to get that book but soon realizes she has taken the wrong one. By this time, Eita already has scanned through many of the pages. She chases him down the hallways giving lame excuses the book is not hers (it is obviously) and when she corners him at the stairs, she breaks down that her life is over. He can laugh at her all he wants. He won’t. Still not convinced? He even puts up his Burning Fighting Fighter act! How embarrassing. Yeah, she’s laughing so hard. But it made her feel better so she buries her face in his chest. He gives her back the book but since it is crumpled, he feels the need to make it up to her. There is one thing he can do… Back home, Chiwa bugs Eita to go to the fireworks with her and Himeka. He refuses giving that excuse study. In actual fact, he meets up with Ai at school as promised to bring her to the festival. She brings him to an old part of town where he used to live. His memories of this place gradually come back. At the hilltop, they watch the fireworks. All this was Ai’s effort to jog his memory. Who was the only person who called him Takkun? Yeah. A-chan. That’s Ai, right? So now do you remember? Apparently she colluded with Kaoru to bring back his memories but that didn’t work since Kaoru somewhat felt ‘loyal’ to Chiwa and was reluctant to help out. Ai explains how she moved away when she was in kindergarten and when she heard he enrolled in the same high school as her, she was happy but couldn’t get close to him because Chiwa was always around. It hurt her heart when Chiwa is known as his childhood friend and Ai the evil hall monitor. Things get worse when Masuzu became his girlfriend and Himeka also became interested in him. But she’ll forgive him since he remembers.

And there is one thing left… Put his stamp on their marriage registration form she made when they’re kids… Since when did they? Apparently whenever Ai asked him about something, he just agreed… And so when she asked to get married… Eita can’t stamp this because what about her Michel? She didn’t bat an eyelid saying it was a lie. Eita has only himself to blame for fully believing in that. He wants to tell this to the others but she won’t allow him. But she agrees to dump Michel if he marries her. Michel doesn’t even exist… She even quotes there is no girl in this world who doesn’t lie! Eita makes a run for it and bumping into Chiwa and Himeka I wouldn’t say he was really saved. More like out of the pan and into the fire. They take him away and luckily didn’t see Ai who was hiding behind the bushes. Imagine the havoc if they knew about the marriage registration form… Next day in the clubroom, Masuzu is furious to know he had a secret rendezvous with another girl. She saw them meeting at school. She wants a kiss as an apology. He really pecks her cheek and this makes her feel fuzzy all inside, screwing up her lines. It’s embarrassing. Then she has him close his eyes because she wants to poke it! Fortunately he ‘saw’ this coming and blocked it! Ouch, her fingers. Soon, Ai makes a stunning announcement she won’t shut down the club and will join it as their ‘master’ to guide them to the right path of love. We know what her ulterior motives are. Chiwa protests but Masuzu allows it. Himeka is in favour too. Looks like Ai is going to continue her lie on Michel…

Episode 10
Ai seems to be acting like the leader, much to Chiwa’s annoyance. Because everyone else thinks she has a rich handsome boyfriend, Masuzu wants her to demonstrate her feminine appeal to make the guy ask her out. Guess who that guy is for this demonstration? Ai is so looking forward to it. Eita is uninterested in this demonstration so Masuzu threatens to read out his notebook. Eita is forced to use his pick up lines from Burning Fighting Fighter to seduce her. Yeah, she’s willing to go out with him! Chiwa and Himeka aren’t happy that she’s hogging Eita and declaring the couple they are. Even getting married after graduation. Ai continues to be smothered by Eita so Chiwa tears them apart. Since the topic of childhood friend is being brought up, Ai proudly announces she knows Eita longer than her. Chiwa becomes depressed when Eita confirms this. Himeka joins in too. Apparently they knew each other in their past lives. Does that even count? Masuzu brings back the club to reality by announcing they’ll have a summer camp. Himeka wants to go to the beach (since she has never been to one) so this means they’ll have to go get swimsuits, right? Eita knows Chiwa long enough so he tells her that it is not which childhood friend came first but how long they know each other. After all, he has been around her the longest. This lifts her from her gloom. Happy Chiwa wants Eita to accompany her shopping tomorrow. But why does he need to seek Masuzu’s approval? I know, she’s her ‘boyfriend’. Anyway, she approves it. When Eita and Chiwa meet, looks like it will be a threesome since Masuzu is tagging along too. She did approve of this but she didn’t say anything about not coming, right? Himeka and Ai watch from afar. The latter punching poles to release her frustration.

Masuzu and Chiwa could turn the swimsuit shop into a battleground just to get Eita be the first one to judge their swimsuit. So he agrees to take a look at them and while they go change, Eita is being pulled into the changing room. It is Himeka in her swimsuit! She wants him to see her. Or hold her. I think she prefers the latter. He escapes and realizes the one in the next cubicle is… Oh God. Ai didn’t like him flirting around and wants him to see him to come along with her too. I think she is desperate to beat them all. Instead of parading her swimsuit, she is in a bridal gown! Imagine what the rest will say when they see this. In the end, Eita will see their swimsuit in order of their name (according to the seasons in which their surname is based on). No ‘winter’ because Ai just screwed up herself that she can show it to Michel. Eventually Ai gets her fair share of time when Eita suggested the kind of swimsuit that will look good on her. So happy, she hugs him. The girls threaten to tell on Michel. If they only knew he never existed… Masuzu observes how the other girls are having a swell time with each other. She views herself as the only one without any memories with him. No problem. Let’s make lots of them now. Even though they are just fake. On the way back, they bump into Saeko. She is interested which of the girls is Eita’s girlfriend. Masuzu introduces herself but she brushes her off and knows their relationship is fake! Surprised? She wants to know which of these girls he really likes.

Episode 11
Despite Eita covering up and telling all the things they’ve been doing, Saeko notes they’ve only been meeting up and drinking. Just like a normal office worker, right? She notes he is overlooking something important. I guess it’s cooking for her since her stomach is growling. What a tension killer. After devouring Eita’s cooking, she instantly falls asleep. This is normal. The rest of the girls want to know what did Saeko meant by fake. Masuzu also acts how she wants to know and doesn’t like to be accused. They revert to their original discussion of getting funds for the trip. A beach trip is expensive, right? Eita has to help them out. How? How much do human organs cost? He’s not going to sell himself… Saeko revives and provides a solution. Since she is part of game creation company, they are in the midst of promoting a new game called OreDere. There will be a publicity event at a beach resort which involves a contest. The requirement is that you need to be a girl in love. Chiwa, Himeka and Ai get excited as Saeko explains to them further. If they agree to participate, she will allow them to use the facilities. Masuzu didn’t like how she was sidelined. Saeko explains her job is to create various characters in games and to come up how they will fall in love so she exactly knows how much they like somebody. It is because they are creations these fakes look real, even more real than the real thing. That’s why she is good at telling when people are really in love. Since Masuzu insists she is Eita’s girlfriend, Saeko has them take a love app test. Everyone gives their answer to the question if this ‘boy’ gives them a manga to read. Coming in at first place is Ai. Surprised? Well, her tsundere kicks in. She doesn’t like him but she likes him. Confused? So embarrassed so goes out running. Next is Chiwa. Why is she not in first place? Because they’ve known each other for so long and so close, there’s this danger they’ll be in the friends-forever zone. Himeka is third and is the opposite since she puts her feelings first. It doesn’t take a genius to guess who is dead last. She got that spot because her answer is too perfect. Saeko might have believed her if she has dated for a year but it has not been 4 months and she gave such a perfect answer. Suspicious, isn’t it? So does it mean Masuzu can’t be in love? In that case, Saeko allows her to join the competition. Masuzu will win it and have everyone recognize her as Eita’s girlfriend. Saeko ups the ante because the winner will get to be his wife and as his guardian, she will duly stamp the marriage registration form. Oh, Ai. You must very happy to hear that.

Later Saeko talks to Eita if he wants to turn this into a harem or battlefield. For the latter, prepare to learn self defence. For the former, make sure he has a good plan for all 5 of them. Five? Saeko wants in too? Otherwise, stick to just one. Eita asserts Masuzu is his girlfriend but she brushes off that girl hasn’t said anything about her true feelings once. Conveniently Eita gets a message to meet Masuzu so he goes off to this ‘date’. She hopes he won’t get stung. At the park they meet, Masuzu wonders why everyone likes a preachy bookworm like him. Plus, he stole the hearts of the other girls, that makes him guilty. Masuzu learns more about Saeko that she’s a kid in an adult’s body. She is in shock that she could tell her acting. She must be losing her edge. All this while she had been perfectly acting out to fool adults and this time it really shocked her it didn’t work like before. Eita too was pretty confident he could pull it off. Since they are already this far, they can’t back out now. If the rest finds out they’ve been lying, there’s no telling how they’ll react. Masuzu is confident she’ll win the contest and force everyone to acknowledge her as his girlfriend. Of course he must help out. Eita hangs out with Kaoru and Ai after cram class. Kaoru puts his head on Eita’s shoulder when the latter invites him to the trip. Don’t tell me this guy has feelings too?! It will be complicated if so! Eita notes Ai is good friends with Himeka. She’s her master, right? After all her job is to turn her into a normal girl so she will give up on Eita. She hopes he could stamp the form before the rest gives up. No chance. That night as he is packing, Eita receives mail from Himeka on what to bring. Contraceptives?! She doesn’t even know what that is. Across the window is Chiwa and she is very excited and looking forward to tomorrow. But one thing bugs her. She has always felt Eita’s relationship with Masuzu is weird. She can’t put it in the right words and feels like as though they are acting. When she gets a call from Ai, Eita notes they too have become friends. Looks like Masuzu is the one alone. When everyone meets up the next day, Masuzu makes a bold start by grabbing on to Eita’s arm.

Episode 12
Eita and Masuzu try to act like lovers on the train but it seems the other girls aren’t buying their fake performance. Himeka revels in seeing the beach for the first time while Masuzu attracts the stares of the guys. But she notes how the other girls aren’t even looking at them. They might be having so much fun themselves. For the watermelon splitting game, Eita is to split it. No stick, so use his head. Yes, his head to smash it! All the girls give him directions but they seem to be teaming up against Masuzu. Eita decides to believe in Masuzu and follow her words. It leads him to the world’s softest ‘watermelon’! How does it feel to grope her boobs?! He got punished with the words “Shameless” sunburnt on his back. When Chiwa and Himeka go out to buy ingredients, Ai talks to Masuzu in the kitchen. She has seen Masuzu being asked out by guys behind the gym only to see them crying and yelling later. She too doesn’t like to be asked out and understands this is her way to fend off those persistent guys. But if this is her plan and why she started dating Eita, then she won’t forgive her. Masuzu avoids answering the question when she purposely peels the onions too small to send Ai into frenzy. Later Masuzu tells Eita they need definitive evidence to prove they are lovers. Buying items won’t do. They need to kiss each other casually. She doesn’t think it will be a problem for them anti-lovers since a kiss won’t mean anything. But she does realize the implications of this. It will turn into a battlefield. That’s why she is giving him the chance to back out on this and won’t use his notebook against him. It is his decision to kiss her or not.

As part of the plan, Eita is to feign tiredness and retire to his room. Before that, he will give Masuzu a good night kiss. Eita initiates the plan but Masuzu seems hesitant. Chiwa interjects and gives Eita and Masuzu a present each. Seems all of them have this Z logo handphone strap. Actually it’s a kanji word for otome (maiden). It was Himeka’s idea and Ai found a store to do this. Chiwa thought they should have something in common now that they’re an official club. She couldn’t tell Eita since Masuzu will find out. It will be hard to give after the contest, that’s why she wants to do it now. Eita realizes they were not trying to break them up. Masuzu is touched by their act and admits they really got her. Masuzu talks to Eita that she couldn’t kiss him then in that situation. She might have hated him if he forced her. When she was touched by the girls’ gesture, it reminded her of an ugly creature she is. Even though they are rivals, they can still give presents. She knows he can’t win tomorrows contest but won’t back out as she has thought how they would feel and should participate and accept whatever decision that comes. She realizes the pain Chiwa must have felt when she took him away from her. Masuzu shows the note Eita wrote that he vows to become a doctor and heal Chiwa. Once this trip ends, she will free him. Next day, the girls leave for the event early. Except for Masuzu who wants to be alone in her room for the time being. Eita walks around and I don’t know how Mana crashes her bicycle into his butt! I don’t know how, he got his hands on her butt. After insulting each other, Eita tells what is happening. Mana explains Masuzu was the jewel of the family. An accessory. A tool for her father to show off to his high society. So he took her away from her mother. Masuzu behaved exactly like he expected and was perfect. Daddy never expected much from Mana the way she is since Masuzu could pull it off flawlessly. Masuzu kept up with this till she finally went crazy. As she continued to trick herself, she forgot who she really was. She thanks him for getting to like her sister. Eita asks if there is a person who could stand Masuzu, who would it be. The answer is obvious. Someone who could stand being with a liar is her accomplice. The crowd builds up in front at the OreDere event and Saeko officially begins the contest.

Episode 13
By the time Eita reaches the event, it has already begun and Chiwa is the first contestant up. She introduces herself and also explains the guy-cum-childhood-friend whom she is grateful and in love with. At the end of her speech, she confesses she loves him. Next is Himeka but she is too scared to go on stage and is cowering behind Eita. Ai tells her to get her ass on stage because she is the one who is trying the hardest. In order for Himeka to stop being scared, Eita tells her to use anything. Can she use him? He suggests to say “I love you” 10 times. She didn’t understand it at first but when he puts it in a fantasy-like way that it’s some sort black magic incantation, she takes up his offer and for everything she says or does, she loves him. Even if he hates her, she will love him. Their intimate moment has been captured on film so the crowd is cheering on them. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with the other girls. We won’t get to see Ai since she got disqualified for her ‘preaching’ attitude. Disappointing, eh? After several other girls, the last contestant is Masuzu. At least she is here. But the first thing she says is to apologize and have no right to participate because she just broke up with her boyfriend last night. She is on the verge of tears when Eita walks up to the stage and reminds her she is the president of the Maiden Club and to continue acting till the very end. He is here to play as her boyfriend. But Masuzu feels he has real girls around him so why waste time on a fake like her? Because the answer is simple. Eita yells out he loves her. So loud that it’s just deafening. He admits when he first met her, he really hated her stinking attitude despite having good looks. He couldn’t help laugh he knew someone so horrible and therefore a horrible girl like her can only have a horrible guy like him as her boyfriend. Because she is the only one he’s got. Masuzu tells him off she hated him the entire time. She hated him for having better grades. She hated him for sitting next to her. She hated him for being childhood friends with Chiwa. She wanted to make sure he got what he had coming. She was happy when she got her hands on it but felt sad. The more he got to know her, the nicer he was. Masuzu couldn’t tell if her tears are real or fake so Eita decides. She is his girlfriend and wants her to stay that way. The ultimate scene: He kisses her on the lips. Sealed with a kiss. Heartbreaking scene for you-know-who, eh? In the end, some other loli girl won the contest. The best result among the gang is Chiwa as she just got an honourable mention. That night, none of the girls came down for dinner with Eita.

Next morning, Eita finds Masuzu lying on top of him. She is here to make sure last evening’s confession was all fake. All part of the plan? He sheepishly admits so and hates her. He would’ve broken up with her a long time ago had she not hold his notebook hostage. Masuzu describes the vile person she is but at the same time loves him very much. Then she gets intimate with him. Is she broken? But girl got interrupted when Saeko wants to speak to Eita. She fears he has walked down the battlefield route and is worried. She suggests doing the opposite. Make the other girls hate him. First he enters Himeka’s room to tell her she is not the Burning Fighting Fighter she knows but some Villager A implanted with false memories. Guess what? Himeka got so impressed with this development and hugs him even more (she’s now calling past life as back story?!). First mission failed. Next, he heads to Ai’s room. She’s still sore. He has her show him her marriage registration form. He knows ripping it will end his woes but remains hesitant. He spots her teddy bear but since he couldn’t remember it, Ai scolds him for not remembering and breaks down. In his panic, his finger accidentally got paper cut and his blood acted like a seal for the form. Ai becomes the happiest woman on the planet thinking he has agreed to their marriage. I guess he failed her. So can this guy get it right with Chiwa next? She’s trying to be calm and reasonable. Especially mentioning about her petite size. Then she surprises him with a kiss on his lips. What does this mean? She has grown a little taller, right? Then she confesses she loves him. Then was in public. Now it’s private. He could have gotten along with the flow had not Masuzu stepped in. She saw everything and wants to join in. Confronting each other face to face (with Eita caught in the middle), Chiwa tells her to read the atmosphere and come back here only in 9 years. They have this smirk on their face… So has the battle begun? Sparks are going to fly…

A Harem Is Always A Battlefield!
Somehow I don’t seem to feel satisfied with how it all ended. It’s like back to square one. The girls will always hang around Eita. That’s not a bad thing if you’re aiming for a harem, right? Then prepare for a battlefield! From the way Chiwa and Masuzu confront each other at the end, I smell that the cat fight is going to get much more uglier. But that is just my expectations. I’m such a sadist in seeing girls fight over a guy… Yeah, I’m the worst. After all the beans had been spilled and the cats out of the bag at the OreDere event, I am sure that the girls will not hold back and pull back their punches. It just got worse when Eita tried to dissuade them from loving him but got more than he bargained for. Seriously, he really took up Saeko’s advice to make them hate him? Is that truly what he wants?

It makes me wonder if Eita really did fall in love. Was that confession to Masuzu really fake? He doesn’t sound convincing when he said so. So the question is, did he really fall in love with Masuzu? Likewise, did Masuzu really fall in love with him despite her usual cool aloof exterior? Were they just lying to each other to assure that they are still on track on their fake mission? I don’t know. It seems pretty confusing. But if you ask me, personally deep down inside I would say that Eita and Masuzu indeed like each other. Maybe not to the point where they’ll rush and do lovey-dovey stuffs together. Yet. For both of them who are anti-love, they must be very good fakers and actors because they can manage to pull off a lovely kiss on stage in front of everybody. Faking such a kiss would be even hard unless you are a pro actor or you are truly in love with the other person. That’s why the last bit when they tell us viewers that it was some sort of fake scheme, I wasn’t really convinced. It was just to throw us off a little and make us wonder if they are truly in love or still planning to continue with this fake game. The more that they play this game, I feel the more they will find their feelings for each other to be genuine. Don’t you feel that over the entire series? The things they do for and to each other even though they gave some excuse or pretence, it feels like the real motive behind it was because they care about the other, don’t you think? So at the end of the day, I don’t think we need Saeko or everyone else to approve that they are a real couple. Maybe that public display of affection did the ultimate trick to fool others. Otherwise, in my books they are already a couple whether they know it or not. And when Masuzu says she’ll free him at the end of the event, did she really free him? Or is it just her way of saying she is freeing him from the fake stuff and be her true lover.

It shows that humans do change. Eita was so bent on being anti-love that he was the one who experienced the ultimate love that all harem lovers would envy. He has got 4 beautiful babes with different ‘status’ going after him. A girlfriend, a childhood friend, a fiancee and an ex-lover. What more could a guy ask for? They should have thrown a secret admirer into the mix. Sticking around to get his notebook seems like a lame excuse. I’m sure a smart guy like Eita would have figured out a way to snatch his notebook from Masuzu’s grasp. If he was that desperate, he might have taken much more extreme action instead of the ‘soft’ approach of playing her fake boyfriend. I know. I wouldn’t want it to happen that way too. I am here to see a harem romance comedy not some bloody serious cat and mouse game. Besides, even if hearing his delusional words were embarrassing, it wasn’t that embarrassing enough to make him take drastic action, right? You can say that he is paralyzed upon hearing those words but wouldn’t that indicate he can live with it? In the end, can I say that Eita isn’t an anti-love person? Even though it might be irritating to see this guy is quite dense about the girls’ affection for him when it is so bloody obvious and written all over their face. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to look at it. It is the same for Masuzu claiming herself to be anti-love. Once you understand her position, it is easy to sympathize why she would go through all. She was so perfect that she lost touch of herself. She became her father’s tool that she forgot what is like to be a normal human. Can I say Eita is her knight in shining armour then? Did you notice Masuzu came to rely lesser on using his notebook as a threat? Maybe she wants to keep it as a keepsake? The pretending game could have gone on without suspicion had not for Saeko’s keen observation. I think she is a very good character analysis person due to the nature of her job. But even she can’t tell which girl Eita would end up with.

Despite the name of this anime, you don’t really see the girls engaging in ‘battles’ in every scene. Sparks didn’t really fly nor did any all-out war come to be in the final episode so in a way it was one reason why it was a little downer. But they do ‘fight’ often when they get the chance. Besides, don’t expect it to get physical because that wouldn’t be funny anymore. Many are confined to their catty conversation especially Masuzu has her way with words around a situation and with Chiwa her ‘sparring partner’. Her ‘training’ of being perfect must have paid off in a way since she doesn’t push the panic button in such situations and is very cool. Chiwa may be her rival but don’t put down this petite girl as she has a genki and upbeat attitude that makes her not afraid to stand back up. Ai is the most emotionally unstable girl. I feel she is that way. Her sudden mood swings make her funny. Really. One moment she is tsundere and the next she can be so happy over the moon that she can run halfway around the world. I think she is the most ‘noisiest’ girl among the pack due to her delusions. I feel Himeka being the weakest challenger since she is very soft spoken and not as assertive as the rest. She is the quietest and doesn’t talk much so if you size up the girls on who has a better chance, my opinion is that she’ll be in dead last in the overall aspect. I get a feeling that everyone besides Chiwa has her own delusions. Eita and Himeka have their obvious chuunibyou, Ai and her sick ones and Masuzu is in her own delusion that she is a perfect fake and can fool everybody every time. I feel Mana’s arrogance over Masuzu was her way of wanting to protect her sister. It shows she still cares for her. If she did not, she wouldn’t have come all the way to Japan just to tell her what is going on, right? She wouldn’t have even cared and would have taken Masuzu’s place to be her father’s next jewel. Speaking of him, I’m sure this is not the end of Masuzu’s problems yet. I have a feeling her father won’t let her go so easily. After having shown her off in his high society and now she turns her back on him, I am certain he wants to salvage his face value.

It’s nice to see that the girls have their fair share of screen time to be with Eita so all have been given their fair dues in their ‘fight’ for him. It is rare for a harem romance comedy to do so without the element of fanservice. I don’t remember having seeing any panty flashing or bouncy boobs zooming in just to get our attention. There are scenes that would get very close to that (when the wind blow Masuzu’s skirt or she almost lifts them to let Eita see) but you won’t get to see anything further even if you are inclined to tilt your head and hope to see something. It never worked, silly. Such fanservice would have made it funnier and attracted ecchi fans or it could have ruined it. I’m glad that this series is still enjoyable without relying on fanservice. Just wish to see more ‘battles’ among the girls. I know I already admitted I’m the worst. What do you expect from an otaku like me? At least Chiwa, Ai and Himeka didn’t really gang up against Masuzu. Even though they are rivals in love, they are still friends since they are of the same club. If it was only that simple in real life. Any girl would have wanted to kill off the competition in its early stages instead of dragging on like this. Such indecisiveness would never have dragged on so long in real life.

The drawing and art are rather okay although I won’t really go so far to classify the girls in the bishoujo category as they lean towards more of cute. That’s because their facial details are simple. But I do find the colouring to be somewhat light. Like it is a little bleached. A bit like Senjou No Valkyria. A-1 Pictures produce both these animes and others like Shin Sekai Yori, Sora No Woto, Fractale, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens and even the popular Fairy Tail. Notice how these animes have their character designs slightly different than your standard bishonen or bishoujo look? Although they also do produce animes with hot looking characters like Kuroshitsuji and Ao No Exorcist. During scenes when Masuzu reads out Eita’s embarrassing notes, we can see the sketchy scribbling animation of his past delusions spread out across the scene. Some vivid imaginations he got there.

On a trivial note, the next episode preview is amusing because it tells us what the next super popular item is. That so called popular item will be featured in the next episode although I can’t say it will be a prominent one. Besides, I don’t think it will make you popular too despite the way they narrate how it can make you well-liked. At least not that I can see it work here, right? A guitar case? A homemade steak? Hebrew language? A notebook? A traffic cone? A movie ticket? A bento? A yukata? A swimsuit? A psychological test? A handphone strap? Well yeah. Maybe some of them may sound tempting like a popular item but it boils down to how well you use them. So it’s fun to spot them popping up somewhere in the next episode or how they are being used. And the way I see it here, they’re using it wrong! At least not in the context of getting popular the way they wanted. I wonder if she has developed some feelings for Eita. It doesn’t look like it now but you’ll never know. Imagine if Mana starts calling Eita her onii-chan. Yeah, he can add an imouto to his harem. You’ll never know. Even Kaoru too. That ambiguous leaning-his-head-on-his-shoulder thingy seems to give us an impression that he might. Who knows? Still water runs deep.

It has been a long time since I have heard Yukari Tamura in a leading role. So as Masuzu, she brings out that perfect and high class feel with some pride to her character (sounds like the elder Kyou she voiced in Ben-To). Though she didn’t put on her trademark high pitch or deadpan voice, she is still recognizable. Ai Kayano is a riot with Ai especially when she goes into her tsundere mode. Too many emotions, girl… It is just different from her other anime roles usually those who do not expend such emotional outburst like Inori in Guilty Crown, Mei in Sukitte Iinayo, Mashiro in Sakurasou No Pet Kanojo, Shiraume of Ben-To and Kikaijima in Medaka Box. I couldn’t guess it was Hisako Kanemoto as Himeka since she sounded so deadpan and lacking her lively “~de geso” trademark in Shinryaku! Ika Musume. Other casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Eita (Yuki in Tsuritama), Chinatsu Akasaki as Chiwa (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), Kaori Nazuka as Saeko (Nunally in Code Geass), Nao Touyama as Mana (Kanon in The World God Only Knows) and Risa Taneda as Kaoru (Saki in Shin Sekai Yori). The opening theme, Girlish Lover by the quartet of Maiden Club sounds like your typical all-girl group pop while the pop-ish ending theme is Wonder Tale, a solo by Yukari Tamura. I guess this is where she showcases the cuteness of her voice but not overdoing it too much.

Just because of one traumatizing event of being abandoned in the name of love, doesn’t mean you have to be anti-love for the rest of your life, right? It’s regrettable that Eita couldn’t grow up with the warmth and love of his parents but can he solely blame love for that? So the bottom line of this anime shows that even love comes knocking on the door who has shunned the idea of love. Perhaps Eita hasn’t really shut the door tight yet that’s why he is able to do what he has done as seen. It tells us to give us a second chance at love. Though having a harem may be a headache and inviting a potential perilous battlefield. Oh, what the heck. Just grab the chance you can. It’s nice to have lots of people loving you, right? We are after all only human. It is perfectly normal for humans to fall in love and have a little harem of their own. Oops. Maybe not the last bit. So if that opportunity arises where I suddenly find myself popular among a group of girls who really love me for who I am, I certainly would like to give it a shot. I’ll sort out the decisions later. I’m still waiting for that chance, though… Still waiting… Any time now… Won’t it come? Sighs… Some people like Eita have all the luck in the world.

Kimagure Orange Road

September 21, 2013

Blast from the past. It is that time again to go pick another retro anime. Since I am not into those tokusatsu or sentai kind of animes whereby you ride ‘futuristic’ planes and fight with ‘futuristic’ weapons against monsters and other invaders of Earth, I decided that my type of going retro would be romance. More precisely teen romance. After my stints with such genres in the past like Marmalade Boy and even Maison Ikkoku, the thought of how similar Kimagure Orange Road may be to this led me into watching this title. At first I wasn’t really putting much hope in this anime in the sense that it is quite old school. You know, 1987 production. That is a very, very, very, very, very long time ago. Like how a month in the world of iPads, iPhones and Tablets are equivalent to 7 centuries old (in terms of obsolete), animes that are 3 decades old and beyond feel like a century old. After all, if I had too much expectation in the first place, it is the very source of getting disappointed in the end. Okay, so I’m being bias here but I’m giving this series a shot. Hey, I’m watching it, right? Well, more like watched since I’m done with it and already blogging about it.

The plot for this series is simple (it’s back in the late 80’s, things were not very complicated back then). A simple teen romance and love triangle. But to add a little twist and spice, one of them have supernatural powers. Yes, you read that right. High school kid Kyosuke Kasuga and his family recently moved into this new city. The reason they have been hopping from places to places their entire lives is that the family possesses supernatural powers. Well, only the kids as they took after their late mother. Kyosuke and his twin sisters Manami and Kurumi have them and those said powers range from telekinesis to teleportation. I guess when we live in a time where information is scarce, having others learn your supernatural power means a great risk. Your neighbourhood won’t accept you. So you have to go. Well, this is purely my speculation why they had to leave. And in the recent city they’ve just settled in, Kyosuke falls in love at first sight with the beautiful Madoka Ayukawa after climbing up and counting the 100 steps up the stairs. A little ‘argument’ ensues because she was sure there were only 99 of them. She finds him interesting and lets him keep the red hat that he caught and was blown away by the wind. And so Kyosuke decides that he will no longer move and will do what it takes to settle down here and win her heart. If it only was that simple. He’s got to deal with what other teens go through that age. Love triangles, tested friendships, annoying classmates are all part of growing up. Aren’t they? Just how far would he go for the sake of love?

Despite the TV series having 48 episodes, several OVAs and a couple of movies to its name, I find it hard to get more information of what I want about it over the internet. Wikipedia covers just the very basic of what this series has to offer and nothing deeper. The very short and incomplete episode summary at TV.com didn’t help much either. I’m sure the series has got its own fan base but I suspect that it won’t be as big and popular as Rumiko Takahashi’s works like Ranma 1/2 or Maison Ikkoku. Or maybe it is just me being bias that if I don’t see many fan sites dedicated to this series, it means that it isn’t as popular as I think it is. You have got to be an old person or someone who loves retro stuffs and perhaps it is just a coincidence that fans of this show don’t put up their devotion and dedication to this series online. So with another excuse of my failing brain memories, it is a reason why this series’ blog is kept short and maybe missing lots of other stuffs (because I can’t remember). Should have taken notes while I was watching… (Edit: I later found out this fan site with very short summary of the episodes. But it’s better than nothing).

Kyosuke Kasuga – As the main character, his most notable trait is his indecisiveness. Yeah, even his friends admit this is his most standout trait. Well, at least it shows he isn’t perfect. But still… Do girls really like their guy indecisive? Thus the reason he gets into and cannot get out of the love triangle. He knows he is in love with Madoka but yet his pervy little self somehow make him unable to resist other girls in some situations. That’s why he is so indecisive…

Madoka Ayukawa – Might be the girl Kyosuke falls for at first sight and is glad to know is also in the same school and class. However she has this delinquent status and is known as The Pick (she plays the saxophone, by the way). Even groups of gangster guys are no match for her if they all take on her. Shame on them. Of course as the series progresses, you’ll notice her secret crush on him.

Hikaru Hiyama – Madoka’s best friend and also another tough talking chick. She is the other girl that completes the love triangle between the main trio of characters. She first fell in love with him when she accidentally saw him using his powers (although she might not think so) shooting a basketball perfectly into the hoop. Is that what it takes for her to fall for him? She calls him “Darling” and annoyingly clings to him whenever she gets the chance. Even if it is right in public. There is this annoying bit of her. Because she is so lovey-dovey with him (at least in her own head), the slightest little ‘scandal’ that her darling might be cheating on her sends her into weeping heart break frenzy. This does not happen once or twice but many times! And almost every time! Doesn’t she have faith in her own man?

Manami and Kurumi – Kyosuke’s twin sisters who are a year junior than him and go to the same school. While Manami is more reserved and her role is like the family’s homemaker, it is Kurumi that is the livelier and air-headed one. She often forgets about not using her power to the point it will let others almost find out despite being numerously reminded by big brother not to use it. Here’s the catch: Kyosuke ends up as a hypocrite himself because I noticed he uses them for his own benefit in certain times he is in a pinch. It really makes no difference, eh?

Jingoro – Kasuga’s fat pet cat. May be the series’ mascot but is always seen trying to run away from the household. Can you blame the feline for doing so when he is often the target of Kurumi’s magic power abuse? He can never leave… I don’t think 9 lives are even enough to save this cat’s skin as sometimes the accidental accidents he gets into Kyosuke gives him the very fright of his life.

Yuusaku Hino – This petite tanned karate kid is Madoka and Hikaru’s childhood friend. He has a secret crush on Hikaru but is never reciprocated. Definitely only one way. I know it’s good to persevere and not give up but the rate things are going, she is never going to look at him. Look at it this way. The reason why he is always willing to bend and do whatever Hikaru says is his own naive thought it might get into her good books. Unfortunately, Hikaru always and I mean ALWAYS orders him to do things for Kyosuke’s sake. He has no right to say no and when she raises her mean tone, it’s a sign he must do it. Can you blame this guy for wanting to beat up Kyosuke all the time? But he can’t because Hikaru has got her eyes on him… Patience…

Seiji Komatsu and Kazuya Hatta – Kyosuke’s troublemaking and perverted classmates. Your typical ‘best friends’ when they get you into trouble, leave you in the lurch in times when you need help the most and even spread rumours. Yeah, best friends alright. Besides, the duo seems to be targeting Manami and Kurumi to become their girlfriends. Not that the girls notice. Not that they are successful. Losers. Comic relief of the series.

Ushiko and Umao – This pair of lovers seem to be a running gag of the series. Almost in every episode they will make a short cameo in different scenes, outfits and themes while declaring their love for each other. “Oh Ushiko, wherefore art thou?” and then you have the same reply “Oh Umao, wherefore art thou?”. Do we really care if their relationship goes anywhere or not?

ABCB – Pronounced as “a-bu-ka-bu” and is a cafe where Madoka works part time along with the friendly owner known as Master. He knows about Kyosuke and Madoka’s feelings for each other and sometimes tries to smoothen their relationship. I remember that high school students are not supposed to hold part time jobs and thus Madoka wants this to be kept a secret when Kyosuke discovers this. However when the rest of the main characters start streaming in and treating this like their own place (it’s a good place to hold personal events like parties too), I just thought that rule doesn’t seem so important anymore. Unless the school staffs do not patron or pass by this cafe or our friends do keep a very perfect secret about this.

It’s like he’s her father – You know, Kyosuke seems to be very concerned when he hears even rumours that Madoka is seeing another guy. So he goes all out his way trying to ascertain that and even tries to stop it discreetly. So what is he? Her father? It’s not like they are dating, right? And he can’t stand the thought that she is going out with another guy. If there is ever one. What is he? Her father?! In the end, it is the case of jumping the gun too soon and he often blunders and messes up to his embarrassment.

Takashi the father – Speaking of dads, Takashi is Kyosuke and the twins’ dad. He lacks any power and is a photographer. There is one point he hires Hikaru to be her model and theme for his photo exhibition and even employs Komatsu and Hatta as his assistants. We know what their intentions are. Fooling around.

Hikaru dies – Apparently Kyosuke also has this power of premonition in his dreams. He saw a vision of Hikaru dying and goes all out to date her. I mean, doesn’t anybody really confirm first if she is really dying? Yeah, they even ‘booked’ the entire park just to be so lovey-dovey with each other and when everything is exposed that Hikaru isn’t going to die, they were just poured cold water. What? Just like that?

Breaking up is hard to do – Kyosuke dreams of another premonition that he and Madoka will break up. And they’re not even a couple. As usual, he does everything he can to prevent that from happening and when nothing bad happens, he later finds out that his premonition is played backwards if he sleeps upside down. This means if he dreams of something bad, it actually means it is something good. WTF?! I guess this is how the line of getting up on the wrong side of bed came about. Sort of.

Madoka gets hitched – And so that is what Kyosuke thinks after seeing with his own eyes a wedding ring on her finger. You know the vow of speak now or forever hold your peace? Yeah, once more he goes all out to try and stop the wedding. And of course another jump-to-conclusion scenario as it turns out Madoka was just helping out to stand in for her sister’s wedding in a mock rehearsal. Phew. Relief or what?

Madoka leaves for America – Apparently Madoka’s parents are famous musicians and they plan to settle down in America. That explains why she is good in sax. The saxophone. So once more, can Kyosuke stop the love of his life from leaving? Otherwise his existence in this city would be meaningless, right? In the end, Madoka stays back and only her family went. Kyosuke is happy again. Say, I just noticed something. If her parents are famous musicians and Madoka’s status as a delinquent, shouldn’t everybody or the media know about this? There would be some sort of scandal, right? Unless people in this part of town don’t really listen to that kind of music.

Hikaru all dressed up – Get this. In her attempts to attract Kyosuke, Hikaru dresses up like a mature woman. Wearing makeup and mature women clothing. Not only the entire school went ga-ga over her but Kyosuke thinks he could be falling for her too! This is how strong his love for Madoka is? I’m thinking if any sexy lady comes up to seduce him, there is a high chance he might agree to go date her. Dangerous. That’s how dangerous his indecisiveness is.

It’s… A UFO!!! – Yes, Kyosuke and the gang saw those UFO bright lights in the sky even though Kyosuke knows it is a prank played by Kurumi and attempt to capture it on film as proof (so as to hide the fact she used her magic power). They never really did and we are left to imagine whether the UFO exists or not because we ambiguously have a glimpse of those real lights. Why not? If Kyosuke’s power exists in this anime’s context, what are the chances that aliens and UFOs will?

Double date – How can a man be at 2 places at one time? Kyosuke is trying to prove that is possible when in the same day he has got this rare chance to study with Madoka in the library and go to the pool with Hikaru. Teleporting between both places must be very tiring. This irks Madoka very much (because he had to go missing in between) and after seeing him so tired, she calls off everything. Feeling guilty, Kyosuke puts all his effort in his homework to prove to Madoka that he was serious.

Surf’s up – The gang are staying at the beach and heard of a legend that some big wave appears once in a while. And that time is now. So big this wave that it scared the sh*t of all the other surfers and they leave. Except for one lady who is determined to ride the wave and get over her boyfriend’s death (the wave claimed his life when he was riding it). Because she became injured the night before, Madoka takes up the challenge. Just when she is about to fail, Kyosuke uses all the power to save her from drowning.

Stranded – Kyosuke and Madoka got stranded alone on an uninhabited island after the strong current sweeps away their boat. Lots of moments together and the best part in the end is of course ruined (they almost got to kiss) when a helicopter rescue team finds them.

The Prince Of Tennis – Kyosuke and the gang end up participating in the tennis club’s field trip. Kitakata the popular club captain is a hit with the girls. The kind of handsome guy whom girls will die for. Because Madoka coaches tennis to Kyosuke, Hikaru misinterprets this scene and becomes upset girl again. Kitakata uses this chance to date Hikaru in her darkest moment and she agrees out of jealousy. But when a rowing outing goes awry, Kitakata’s true colour is seen. He can’t swim. Kyosuke becomes the hero. A little peck as a reward. Everything is forgiven. Kitakata tries to hit on Madoka but gets all his teeth punched out.

Things that go bump in the woods – Kyosuke happens to bump into this girl wandering around in the woods, Kumiko. In short, she likes him. Guess what? They went frolicking in the mountain plains! Then the rain starts to pour and they take refuge in an abandoned cabin. What is the best way to dry the wet clothes? Take them off! She tries to seduce him and his very unconvincing answer to say no feels very weak. It’s like a few more push and he’ll give in to his temptation. When the rain stops, Madoka comes looking for that guy who never returned. And what is the first thing she sees in the cabin? A pair of close to naked teens. Slap! Kumiko did all the explaining that it is her fault. She will be undergoing a dangerous operation and thus became desperate (sex was the way?). They gave her enough encouragement to face surgery. She undergoes it and it was a success. All’s well, ends well. I just thought Kyosuke was a spineless chicken…

Two timing? – Because Kyosuke spotted Madoka going out with an elderly man, again he goes into his save-Madoka-from-any-guys-who-wants-to-date-her mode. However he finds himself ending up spending time with his lady called Yukari who seemingly took over Madoka’s job at ABCB. Thought he saw Madoka going into a love hotel? Yeah, he himself entered one with Yukari though nothing happened. Is this his way of getting back at Madoka? For what?! Then it turns out the man Madoka was with, Shu is her cousin and part of a rock band and Yukari is his bandmate-cum-girlfriend (they were having a little lover’s quarrel). Madoka became a new member of the band and due to practice thus her frequent ‘sightings’ with him.

Kazuya – Kyosuke and the twins’ cousin who came to visit. Just think of this cheeky brat as a mini version of Kyosuke. Yeah, they really look alike. Kazuya also has secret powers and that would be mind reading. Furthermore, nobody can accuse of a 5 year old when he gets pervy, right? Kazuya takes advantage of that like touching Madoka’s breasts! Much to Kyosuke’s chagrin. Things get a little out of hand when Kazuya tells Hikaru that Kyosuke likes Madoka instead. If she easily believes this kid’s words, then I’m sure she’ll easily believe Kyosuke’s rebuff. Yeah. That. Hikaru’s problem may be solved for now but it’s not over with Madoka yet since she is jealous that Hikaru hugs him. Kazuya tries to further help Kyosuke get closer to Madoka but unfortunately his indecisiveness… You can guess what happen. Oh, Kazuya’s family has moved in next door. Looks like he’ll be staying around a lot longer than usual.

Hypnotism – Kyosuke is such a weak wuss that he can actually hypnotize himself! One such event is when he turns himself into such a popular hunk that all the girls start vying for his affection. Really. A loser suddenly becomes big winner? Besides, he is no more his indecisive self! How would this sit with Madoka and Hikaru? Not good of course. In the end, Madoka still likes him for his indecisive self and this returns Kyosuke to who he was. Really. It was better when he is indecisive? Yeah, we’ve grown used to that Kyosuke. And Kyosuke still has this problem of shooing away all the girls. I bet they’ll go away in time once they know he is back to his indecisive self. There is another case whereby he got hypnotized by Kurumi and becomes a mindless robot to do anything as anyone orders. This includes Komatsu and Hatta’s order of stealing female lingerie for them! Can you believe it he is doing all this for them?! The ultimate order came when he is supposed to take nude photos of Madoka. Well, she thought she would gladly play along with his prank till she realizes he is doing it for real! He returns back to normal when a set of confusing orders from different people snaps him out. Another episode whereby Kyosuke isn’t the one who got hypnotized but Madoka! To his surprise, Madoka becomes his servant and does anything that he tells her. Even to a point of getting naughty. Hikaru nearly catches him with his pants down. Then it turns out that Madoka was just putting up an act. Wow. That was very ‘brave’ of her. She sure did a convincing job to fool everyone including us viewers that she was under the hypnotism spell. So she really did let him get a little ecchi on her…

Body swap – And apparently we also discover Kazuya has this mind boggling ability to swap bodies. Just knock each other hard on the head! Kazuya and Kyosuke switch bodies. Hikaru thinks she has the swell time of her life dating ‘Kyosuke’ but Kazuya in his body being a kid becomes a jerk. Meanwhile Kyosuke in Kazuya’s body experiences things he would never have had he been in his normal body. Bathing with Madoka… Ah, the age of innocence.

Manami’s day out – I guess Manami has been so stressed lately that she tries to dress up and attract her own boyfriend. Had not Kyosuke realize this pretty babe is her sister, I bet that he would have dated her this instant. Of course Manami gets into trouble with delinquent girls so it’s up to Madoka and Kyosuke to come to her rescue. This event led Kyosuke to appreciate her sister more. Be thankful for it.

Kurumi’s turn – Now it’s Kurumi’s turn to have a boyfriend. It’s true, she is in love with a cool popular football club guy, Hayami. Worse, Kyosuke thinks Hayami likes Madoka. So to stop that two timing guy, he has Manami dress up as Kurumi and ‘ruin’ the date. They’re twins, right? Can’t tell the difference when they switch. In the end, it is heart break for Kurumi because she learns he will be leaving the city. Because of that, Madoka asked Hayami to date Kurumi to make her feel better. Though Kurumi throws her tantrum, she has to let things go when they see off Hayami at the port.

Cat in heat? – When Jingoro acts strangely, could it be that he is in love with another cat? It turns out that he was just longing for his mother and thought the cat he saw was mommy. A sad end because Jingoro got scratched all over his face. Looks close like his mom but actually not. Case of mistaken identity? Besides, doesn’t he remember his mom’s smell? Unless the scent is also very familiar.

Madoka x Yuusaku? – What’s this? Madoka and Yuusaku eloping? What’s more, they are going on a lover’s suicide? You know what this means for Kyosuke, right? Please get your facts right first before…. Oh, too late. Turns out Madoka was just helping Yuusaku do his karate training for an upcoming tournament. And at the tournament, Yuusaku isn’t doing well and needs to hear the voice of beloved Hikaru to ‘power up’. Upon Kyosuke’s request, I’m sure Hikaru goes on about to cheer for him. It seems Yuusaku is heading to win the tournament but when he sees Hikaru and Kyosuke so close to each other, he loses spirit and loses the fight. This is how flimsy his love for Hikaru is?

Going back in time – Now, here is a new discovery. Kyosuke discovers a new power. He can travel back in time if he falls down the steps! Painfully. Serious. Don’t even ask how. He is quite upset nobody remembers his birthday. So when he finds out everyone was going to throw him a surprise party, he tries to stop his other self (earlier in the day he hypnotized himself to not trust anyone and almost raped Madoka!). I don’t know about the time paradox of this series. It was like it wasn’t given much thought. I mean, Kyosuke interacting with himself so casually? That didn’t happen in the past and the way it seems, I feel it’s more like he is thrown into an alternate world. So when everything is fixed, there can’t be 2 Kyosukes, right? One of them has to go. Which one? At first they want to be the hero but realize how scary falling down the steps might be. And they both tumble… Back in real time when everyone celebrates Kyosuke’s birthday, here is the mind boggling part. The other Kyosuke comes in and surprises everyone! So how will they get out of this fix? You don’t. Because it ends here. And we are left to wonder if this ever took place because subsequent episodes do not show the effect and outcome of this. What a big letdown.

Going back in time 2 – This time it is a Christmas event. The good part of playing a multi-branching arc dating simulations is that you get to date different women, right? And with this concept, Kyosuke goes back in time so as not to disappoint the girl he is going out with for the Christmas party. Be it Hikaru or Madoka, if he favours one, the other won’t be happy and miserable. Bad end. So how? Aim for a harem ending! Get both girls to come with him to the party! Good ending. But it is ruined when grandpa and grandma pass by showing off their magic and turning it into white Christmas (complete with flying reindeer and all). Kyosuke’s desperate attempt to stop them has him fall down the steps again. And he ends up right at the beginning of everything. So is he going to redo everything again?

Love mushrooms – The gang are hiking the mountains apparently after hearing there is some legendary blue mushrooms when eaten makes the person reveals the truth about his/her heart. I’m sure there is a reason why the young ones want to get their hands on it. Of course when Kurumi pulls off her prank again by turning all the mushrooms blue. Hikaru throws her tantrum again when she misinterpret the close proximity between Kyosuke and Madoka (he had to save her from a snake’s bite). This time so ‘awesome’ her tantrum that she endangers her own life by crossing a rundown bridge. Could have almost died! In the midst of the life and death situation, she can still tell him to eat the mushroom?! I guess if he doesn’t love her, it’s the end of the world for her. And she is saved and Kyosuke doesn’t need to eat the mushroom because his act of saving her is proof that he loves her. Or so she thinks. Just when Kurumi’s magic wears off and everybody didn’t find any blue mushrooms, there are a couple of them hidden right beneath the tree roots.

Grandparents – Living near the mountains are Kyosuke and the twins’ grandparents. Because they have no qualms in using their magic freely (who is going to watch them? The bears? The birds?), Kyosuke had to tell them to be reserved. It’s hard when you are so used in using them. Grandpa also reveals how Takashi and his daughter, Akemi met and fell in love. Takashi was photographing in the woods and helped a pet eagle that belonged to Akemi. She was touched by his kindness and they fell in love but grandpa opposed their union because she had powers unlike ordinary people. To prove his love for her, Takashi had to climb the mountain to get pure snow ice for his whiskey. Takashi successfully did so (albeit with a little help from Akemi) and grandpa had no choice but to hand his daughter’s hand to him. Grandpa and grandma know their grandson likes both the girls. Grandpa vouches for Madoka while grandma thinks it is Hikaru. If Kyosuke is already this indecisive, this makes things even worse, right?

Exposed! – While filming their own movie, Komatsu and Hatta thought they saw Kyosuke using his power of teleporting when he fell down the stairs. They go all out trying to record this proof. I mean, they were really cock sure that Kyosuke is an esper despite many refutes from the guy himself. Not that convincing, eh? They even convince Hikaru to act the part in a dangerous stunt so that Kyosuke could use his power. In the life and death situation, Komatsu can really be an ass because he cares more about filming the proof rather than saving Hikaru and Kyosuke who are falling to their deaths. In the end, he had to use his power to teleport them to safety. On the big day they are going to show their video proof to everyone (and they really believed it), Manami uses all her power to ruin the tape’s screening so everyone gets back at them for cheating. Phew. Safe. I can’t believe on the screening day, Kyosuke was just ‘calm’ despite knowing he can kiss this life of his goodbye. Why the heck is he still even in school? I can’t believe Takashi too had been counting his chickens because he was already packing up and ready to move to another town. Thank goodness he doesn’t have to now.

Tap Gun – This is what happens when you blend that famous Tom Cruise’s naval aviation action film with Godzilla. In this haphazard film by Komatsu, Jingoro the giant cat monster terrorizing the city while Madoka and Kyosuke are rival jet fighter pilots from different countries trying to take down the monster. There is action, there is drama, there is love, there is suspense, there is even some comedy. There is even a little heart wrenching scene when Madoka dies due to the stray missile she shot but was backfired by Jingoro and Kyosuke sacrificing himself to avenge her. Because we can’t end this as a tragedy, they ejected from their seats before their jets got destroyed. Turns out Jingoro the lonely pet came to the city in search for the twins and they gladly leave with him in the end. This ‘movie’ could have ended with Kyosuke and Madoka kissing (because that’s what the hero and heroine should do at the end) but was stopped by Hikaru who demands the script to be rewritten. Nobody else can kiss her darling.

Stopping time – Apparently another power that Kyosuke makes use of but this one isn’t really his own. Grandpa gave him a watch to stop time and he uses it to his advantage for his tennis match and perhaps to get a little naughty with Madoka. So when the watch needs to be rewinded, he uses it again and he himself freezes. It was supposed to set up a kissing scene in which the ‘princess’ kisses the ‘prince’ awake. Madoka was in the lead to do it till Hikaru had to show up and do the honours. Remember when Kyosuke slept upside down he will experience the opposite dreams? So here, if he rewinds the opposite, he himself will have his time stopped. What… The…?

Another love rival – There’s another love rival for Madoka: Sumire Hoshi. Yes, she is a girl. Sumire is clingy to Madoka to a point she is annoying. But Madoka can’t do anything about it since she threatens to kill herself because life will have no meaning if she doesn’t have her. Some logic she’s got there. All this trouble just because Madoka saved her from delinquents. This girl is bold enough to frame Kyosuke for rape just to break them up. Hikaru suggests to get Sumire off the hook, Kyosuke and Madoka need to put up an act to confess each other. Can they act the part? I mean, can they? Stammering… Hesitating… Eventually Hikaru thought it was really a bad idea and tried to stop them. In the end, Sumire now chases after Hikaru. Was her love this flimsy?

Love, chocolates and body swap – Yes, once more Kyosuke becomes the unfortunate victim of Kazuya’s body swap on Valentine’s Day. Plus, Kazuya is having tooth cavity and passes the buck to Kyosuke when they swap. This makes Kyosuke looks bad because he had to miss an appointment with Madoka. Things sort of revert back to normal when all sides meet, Kyosuke and Kazuya finally banging their heads to revert back and Kazuya’s tooth cavity drops out. I know it’s silly, Kyosuke still gets punished for standing up Madoka and ruining her borrowed scarf but she still saves him some hot chocolate drink at the end of the day. Not everything is lost.

OMG! What’s that?! – There’s this very long OOoohhh! AAAaaahhhh!!! Hhhhhuuuuhhh?! EEEeeehhhhh?! Woooooooooweeeeeeee! expression from Hikaru because she saw Kazuya’s little dick!!! Never seen one before? I guess so. By the way, it was Kyosuke in Kazuya’s body then. He got his naked butt seen by Hikaru and Madoka…

Hikaru dies… Again – You know you are watching some sort of exaggerated premonition of Kyosuke when you see that Hikaru’s death affects the entire nation! Just because Hikaru had a little sneeze and nobody got concerned about it, suddenly it’s like she was like some grand celebrity with the entire nation in mourning. Digging up her grave won’t bring her back, Kyosuke. But you can’t blame this guy when this dream is just part of grandpa’s manipulation on him (his sisters thought of teaching him a lesson after hearing he wasn’t really that concerned with Hikaru’s health). So lesson learnt, he rushes down to the bridge to see Hikaru. Thinking she is going to drown herself, he soon discovers she was just drifting her teddy bear away, a symbol of leaving behind her childhood. So, this show he still cares for Hikaru, eh? But will it sit well with Madoka?

On a snowy mountain together – A trip to the snow mountains has Kyosuke and Madoka trapped in a gondola for the night due to a slacking operator staff thinking nobody is out there. God, he doesn’t check, doesn’t he? Kyosuke discreetly tries to use his power but it turns awry and they could have died but I don’t know how Kazuya came to rescue them. Even if Kyosuke did telepathically communicated with him (who was somewhat sleeping then), how did that little kid bring them back when all their friends passed out in the disco?

Double first kiss – Kyosuke napping under a tree was woken up by Madoka. The words he said made Madoka remember a promise she made 6 years ago to wait here. This was the place she got her first kiss. That should sound the alarm for Kyosuke. And so courtesy of grandpa, he gets thrown into yet another time slip back to 6 years ago whereby he meets young Madoka whom he thought was a boy. The person Kyosuke saw was Madoka’s sister kissing her boyfriend then. Young Madoka got into trouble with some football bullies. Kyosuke saves her by using his powers to avoid her from plunging to death. Because he thought she should be more feminine, she takes up his advice. Once more, trouble comes looking for young Madoka. Do bullies always like to pick on young girls? Kyosuke uses his power once more and so angry he was that his power powered up and scared away those bullies. Later he buys her a familiar red hat. Before they part, she kisses him and makes a promise to meet at this tree 6 years later. Then he is surprised to see the current Madoka. Back in real time? Apparently not. Grandpa did his prank again and somehow sent Madoka back in time since she was looking for him. Kyosuke reveals he has powers to her and apologizes for keeping it from her. However, she finds it cool. She also admits the first person she loves is an esper. Also, she will be leaving for America soon as her father is ill. When Kyosuke goes to get something to eat, he had to fall down the stairs to go into another time trip. But this time he enters a parallel world where he doesn’t exist. He gets into trouble with his pals who think he’s some sort of troublemaker (Hatta and Komatsu as police? Unthinkable). Despite parallel world Madoka doesn’t even like him, she stills help him out from trouble. He too reciprocates by helping her out in her time of need. He goes into another time slip when he falls off her bike. On the other hand, Madoka meets her younger self. The young one wonders if the older one likes Kyosuke because she would like to grow up to be his bride one day. When Kyosuke reunites with Madoka, the odd part is how Kazuya comes into this time slip to bring them back. How? What? Huh? Just like that? Back under that tree, Kyosuke and Madoka hug and kiss. So there you have it, his double first kiss.

OVAs – 8 more episodes after the TV series. Kyosuke and Madoka got trapped in a cave after a ski accident and battled a bitter love ghost to free her; Hikaru got mistaken as a daughter of a millionaire in Hawaii and gets kidnapped so Kyosuke and Madoka goes to her rescue; Kyosuke switches body with a goldfish first and then Jingoro; Kyosuke’s cousin Akane visits him and she has the power of making others see illusion. She tries to break up Kyosuke and Madoka but gets infatuated with Madoka instead; Kyosuke switches body with a famous idol, Mitsuru Hayakawa. How is it feel to be the attention of girls now?; While Madoka replaces Yukari as the lead singer of Shu’s band in a singing competition, Mitsuru uses this platform to state his intentions of quitting being an idol and confess the girlfriend he has due to that life changing experience; Akane forces Kyosuke to become her boyfriend just to convince her friends she has one; Madoka suspects her father is having an affair with one of his orchestra staffs so she prematurely runs away from home and stays with Kyosuke for the night till she realizes it was just a misunderstanding on her part. Hey! I noticed something. All the OVAs do not feature Yuusaku!!! Where did that guy go? No need for an angry guy like him, eh? Hey! Kazuya is missing too!

Whimsical Love…
Uhm… How shall I put it? Let me be blunt. It wasn’t as enjoyable as I thought it was to be. No doubt that this is old school anime and animes at that era are ‘like that’ but I can’t feel annoyed by the many characters. I suppose they are the main reason why I didn’t enjoy this show. For example, take Kyosuke. His indecisiveness is already so annoying. It makes him sound so sissy. Really. And then he had to sometimes go play the hypocrite because he firmly tells his sisters not to use them but he himself uses them for his own convenient. It may look like the dire situation calls for the need for it but looking back at some of them, I don’t think they were that dire. Like when he played stalker on Madoka just to find out if she is really with some guy, he constantly uses his teleport to get from one place to one place.  Another big boo-boo is his indecisive love for either Madoka or Hikaru. Lots of indication points that he likes Madoka. No doubt about that. But yet, he is unable to tell Hikaru that otherwise. Maybe he doesn’t want to break her heart. Doesn’t that just make him weak? Maybe Hikaru won’t listen. Doesn’t that just make him not assertive enough? Maybe he wants a harem of his own. Yeah, maybe that feels like it. Had he broke her heart by telling her he wasn’t interested in the first place, there wouldn’t have been this love triangle. He wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Where would the fun be then? It might risk his relationship with Madoka too. And it goes to show that if there is another pretty girl daring enough to seduce him, he might just swing her way. He is that indecisive, right? Annoying.

Another annoying character is Hikaru. Sure, her lively and energetic squeals may make her appealing to some but that is also what makes her annoying. Sometimes it feels like she is an airhead, a bully and a very emotional unstable girl. An airhead because it seems she is quite carefree with her surroundings. A bully because she always makes Yuusaku do her bidding although it is partly that boy to blame for being so submissive to her following his blind love. Being a very emotional unstable girl seems to describe her best and the most annoying trait of all. You see, just the slight rumour that Kyosuke may be two-timing her, she goes into some shock tantrum mode. She hates him. Then when it’s not, all is forgiven. She loves her darling again. I mean, come on. Have some faith in the guy you love! This doesn’t happen just a few times but as I remember, all the time! The mushroom seeking trip was the ‘ultimate’ one. She is going so far as to die just because she thinks Kyosuke doesn’t love her? Where’s the proof in that? You thought that after a while, she might learn something or two to be patient but noooo. Somewhere towards the end of the TV series, you see her kicking up her usual and furious tantrum again because there were rumours Kyosuke hang out with Yukari. Once more, Yukari and Shu had a quarrel so Yukari had Kyosuke hang out with him the entire night in her room. Doing nothing. NOTHING! So he had to go all the way to show her that it wasn’t so and regain her faith in him. So where’s her trust all this time? Thus it boils down to me thinking that if the Hikaru and her best friend Madoka were to ever have a showdown between their love over Kyosuke, it might just end up ugly and bloody. Imagine, best friends turning against each other because of a guy. For now their friendship seems safe.

Madoka is perhaps the level headed and coolest character in the series but also the most whimsical or unpredictable one. Though she acts quite mature and like an adult among the rest of the characters, her whimsical attitude stems from her treatment to Kyosuke. In today’s terms, she might be considered a tsundere. Sometimes she’s nice to him, sometimes she is just a little cold. But as the series progresses, she warms up a lot to him. Because of wanting to preserve her friendship with Hikaru and her ex-delinquent status, she doesn’t necessarily show her true feelings in front of everybody. Meeting Kyosuke is a blessing since she gets to stop her delinquent habits like smoking and cutting class. But the one thing that bugs me still is how everyone doesn’t fear her anymore as the series goes on. When it started, everyone feared her. Like she has some sort of monstrous reputation. So when we get to know her more, that delinquent status seems to have vanished along with it. Don’t Komatsu and Hatta, the ones who told Kyosuke the delinquent Madoka is and to stay away from her, now act like they are part of the circle of friends? But Madoka’s delinquent past is hard to shake off and there are still delinquents who want to pick a fight with her, regardless of boy or girl. They think they can best her. Think again. Hope they learn their lesson but what are the chances if a guy has no qualms grouping up to beat up a girl?

The other characters are okay too. Some annoying, some not making much impact and one just pitiful. Komatsu and Hatta are annoying bunch of friends and their loser status means they go around heaping more trouble on Kyosuke with their irresponsible and perverted schemes. If his life wasn’t this complicated already. Friends from hell you really don’t want to have. They’re the kind of losers who would try to hit on any nice babe walking past them on the street. Thank goodness they never give them much attention. Kurumi is the biggest airhead of all but she is less annoying than Hikaru since she doesn’t take up that much screen time. Manami fares better but again, she doesn’t have that much screen time. One or two their name doesn’t necessarily equate to such ‘justice’. Yuusaku is also another character experiencing various high-lows in emotions. He got lots of angst especially towards Kyosuke for getting to close to Hikaru. The slightest thing he wants to pound him but Hikaru’s “NO! You stop it!” makes him totally chicken out. Several times he tries to confess to Hikaru but ends up being a nervous blob. Even Kazuya once tried to help him out but was just too nervous for his own good. Can you blame the kid for giving up? If he isn’t man enough to do this, he can forget about ever getting Hikaru to look his way. Ever. He’ll always be her lackey. Kazuya is just a cheeky brat while Takashi is seen almost half of his time blowing his top telling of his kids not to use their power. Master is an understanding and supportive character. But as usual, lack of screen time. He is only confined mainly to ABCB. The most pitiful character is Jingoro due to the constant ‘abuses’ he gets from Kurumi. Any cat would have got a heart attack each time if somebody forcefully soars them through the air and slamming him into somebody else or something. Cats don’t fly. He sometimes sleeps in Kyosuke’s bed and if that guy ever wakes up on the wrong side, you can say the cat can get another fright of his life. And as the series continues, you will notice how Jingoro doesn’t try to run away anymore. Given up? If you can’t beat them, stay with them. After all, where has this feline got to go if he runs?

To sum up the romance, drama and comedy factor, I would say they are just mediocre. The love triangle isn’t that complicated as it is mainly just between Kyosuke-Madoka-Hikaru. We know Yuusaku will never get Hikaru unless it’s a dream likewise Komatsu and Hatta will never get their hands on Kurumi and Manami. What happened to Sumire anyway? The drama and things started out slowly in the beginning but I guess that is okay to build things up. However because it is more of the same thing, I can’t help find myself to find it a big bore. It was really hard to stay focus and at many times I caught myself being distracted with something else. Something else that was happening in reality instead of the anime! That’s a bad sign. My feelings are exactly summed up like Jingoro’s actions for the mid-intermission. Yes, the place where the family cat is featured most prominently. It was quite boring that I wanted to let out a big yawn just like what Jingoro did for the first mid-intermission. Somehow I had insomnia so I didn’t fall asleep as I watch. Because there was no improvement like I was hoping for and the boring-ness of everything continued, I wanted to turn my back to the series just like how Jingoro did when he faced his back to us viewers for the second mid-intermission. Finally I thought that the rate that this anime is going, I thought all my bones and muscles were tensed up for sitting too long and would just slip and fall off my chair, just like what Jingoro did for the third mid-intermission when he tumbled on his side. I believe it wasn’t his weight that caused the imbalance. There are still some decent smiles to the funny bits but they won’t make you turn into a laughing riot. Sometimes it is because of the silliness of the circumstances that causes you to laugh at it all.

So as I persevered till the end only to get our main duo to hug, kiss and somewhat a sign that they confess to each other, was it the reward that I have been waiting for? At least Hikaru wasn’t in it because who knows what might have happened if she sees this scene. It’s good she and the rest of the other characters were kept out of the final 2 episodes of the TV series so as to focus on them as the series closes. Speaking of the final arc of time travelling, I guess the time paradox thingy was rather okay but also felt ‘cheap’. Kyosuke was the one who determined the encountered fate with Madoka. She could’ve died but he saved her. They promise to meet again later but how come Madoka doesn’t remember him? Sure, he never said his name but don’t you think he would have looked awfully familiar then when Madoka meets him for the first time at the steps? She remembers the promise, she remembers the kiss but she can’t remember his face… How odd. What is even odder is that Madoka met her young self and by some theory that I don’t understand, they should’ve vanished from the face of the Earth? Okay, so they didn’t touch and come into contact. But still, when Madoka grows up she should have memories of meeting herself back then, right? So such loopholes, some accounts that don’t make sense and certain episode endings that never made sense (especially the one that involves 2 Kyosukes) made it a mind boggling watch.

There are many moments that hinted it would be Kyosuke and Madoka but something had to happen and it won’t go through. Like the final OVA episode, I thought that was the closest you would ever get to see the duo together. Madoka was drunk and could have easily been taken advantage of but we know Kyosuke is such an indecisive guy and also such a good guy, he doesn’t want to do this when she is at her weakest moment. He could have achieved his dream but that would make him (and her) hate himself for the rest of his life. (On a side note, the last OVA seems to indicate that Kyosuke may be right – there were 100 steps as counted by Madoka herself). The Hawaiian trip OVA was the best episode among the series. Simply it felt different. Because there were gun shots and car chases in it! Yeah. Really different and refreshing after the usual bored-to-death love romance comedy with some magic powers. Besides, the thugs who spoke English really sounded like Americans instead of some Japanese doing their ‘Engrish’ accent. I also thought the OVA episode of Kyosuke switching bodies with the goldfish and Jingoro was interesting too. Nobody knew where he was and ironically he became into the possession of Madoka and Hikaru. They like the fish and cat because it reminded them so much of Kyosuke. His indecisiveness. The best part was when Kyosuke the cat saved sleeping Madoka from her closed up house filled with gas, she wanted to kiss the cat as reward but their bodies switched back to their original. So Kyosuke kissed his sister Kurumi instead and got beaten up. Best timing ever. His first kiss went to his sister apparently.

Another mind boggling thing that I have been wondering ever since early in the series is about the effects of the Kasuga family’s powers. Think about it, each time the family has to move into a new place each time their power is discovered. I do not know how many times they have moved but from what I understand or believe, it is a lot. Which brings me to this question. In that case wouldn’t lots of people or at least a handful of them who discover it will know them? I don’t recall them having mind erasing powers but maybe they were hypnotized into forgetting. Assuming that those other normal people didn’t get their minds altered or whatsoever, shouldn’t they have made a big deal out of it? So big that it spreads throughout entire Japan. Well, perhaps having supernatural powers back then is a big deal but don’t you think after having moving around a lot, the rumours might have spread and the Kasuga family would have been ‘famous’? Grandpa sure didn’t hold back using his magic in public. What do they think? Some CGI effect? Was it so advanced then? Assuming the people who discovered their power aren’t the kind who would just sell them out for 15 minutes of fame, then don’t you think the Kasuga family wouldn’t really have moved away on a constant basis? That is why it is mind boggling about their moving if their power is really found out. Unless they already make preparations to move out when they think their power is about to be discovered. Maybe. We saw once how they almost jump the gun, right? Now that Madoka has known Kyosuke’s family power, she’s not going to rant about and tell everybody, right? It’s more like a so-what to her. If it’s Komatsu and Hatta, then it’s a different story.

The drawing and art is of course, wait for it, from that era so the old school anime style drawing makes it no difference that many characters look ‘like that’. Sometimes even thinking that how the characters look like those from other series. Like Kyosuke and Madoka look like teenage versions of Maison Ikkoku’s Godai and Kyoko respectively. Or even the main characters in Ranma 1/2. Other character types are stereotyped too because delinquents have this one kind look that you can tell from a mile. Super famous idols to have this one kind look too. And plain unimportant extra background characters are as plain as day. There is a tinsy bit of fanservice too but it is nothing very provoking. Whether it is Madoka changing, bathing or coming out of the shower, it is considered quite mild. Maybe in that era would it be considered as bold? The most fanservice-y episode ll must be the Hawaiian adventure. I thought a big chunk in the front of it was to dedicate in seeing Madoka and Hikaru in their swimsuits as they have fun on the beach. There might be others but perhaps I have forgotten. Not that appealing… ;p.

All is not lost for this series as I find that some of the music is quite good although they are 80’s kind of music. Night Of Summer Side by Masanori Ikeda serves as the first opening theme but it is the least favourite of mine among all the themes. Instead, the second opening theme, Orange Mystery by Hideyuki Nagashima is considered the best among the songs. I won’t say that this moderate rock song will even enter my top 100 all-time favourite anime songs but at least it sounds pleasant. The rock outfit, Kagami No Naka No Actress by Meiko Nakahara serves as the third opening theme and I feel funny seeing the animation of mostly Jingoro running away from something. Running and running and running… Where to? Don’t know (to escape his torturers of course). But just like my sentiments like Jingoro, I feel like I want to run away from this series… 80’s style pop Natsu No Mirage is the first ending theme while the disco beat second ending theme, Kanashii Heart Wa Moete-iru are both sung by Kanako Wada. The interesting thing about the second ending animation is the sand art-like animation as it changes from one shape to another. Finally, Dance in the Memories by Meiko Nakahara, I find this the third ending theme’s lyrics to be very repetitious. Imagine the chorus lines just going “I just dance in the sweet memories…”. For the OVAs, the opening theme is the pop rock Choose Me by Yuiko Tsubokura while the ending themes are the pop rock Tokidoki Blue by Yuka Tachibana and the sultry jazzy Mou Hitotsu No Yesterday by Kanako Wada. There are several insert songs too but I don’t find them as appealing.

They say the true ending for this series lies in the movie but I by the time I reached the end of all the OVAs, I was already tired. Coupled in with my weird prejudice as never having watched an anime movie in my life made it more difficult to catch it. However I won’t say I regret watching this series and despite things not up to my expectations or they fail to impress me, it is still an okay watch since, you know, it is an old anime from that era. Romantic comedy from that era. Why should I use my ‘superior’ expectations to complain about this retro? Yeah, use that excuse to blame or support everything I have for this anime. Plus, many of the reviews I read online, they had lots of good things to say and praise it so much that my blog for this series my sound like blasphemy. Either they are golden oldies type of people who love anything old and classic or there is something wrong with me. It goes to show I’m not really the retro kind of person. As usual, the over used line of power and responsibility, Kyosuke needs to take control of that if he wants to need a normal life. Using it a little bit sometimes doesn’t hurt but still, of all the powers that we see, I suppose it is the power of love that our main characters that gives into. So whether you have powers or not, a different type of species, old or new, the notion of people falling in love and traversing all obstacles along their way will always be a timeless classic. You don’t need to use magic to get love. Love itself is already magic!

Magical Star Kanon 100%

September 20, 2013

I suppose Tenri-hen wasn’t enough so they had to release an OVA spin-off of one of the characters. Kanon to be exact. So before we get our next season of The World God Only Knows, we have Magical Star Kanon 100% as our appetizer. And as the name suggests, Kanon takes centre stage for this OVA instead of Keima who only makes a stinking cameo appearance. This is Kanon’s episode for Kanon fans. And how she uses the powers of magical girl to catch a Loose Spirit with that moe blob Elsie. Magical girl? Just watch it.

Who Is Imouto?
Don’t get the wrong idea that since Kanon is a pretty popular idol, this entire OVA will be about her concert. Singing all the way. Wrong. Nothing like that. Elsie loves Kanon so much that she wants to see her (ironically they go to the same school). Then it is like God smacks her with a sign for that chance because today is the day Kanon will be holding an audition to find a ‘little sister’ for her weather forecast programme. Eager beaver Elsie heads over but was only kicked out because she has not registered earlier (I suppose they don’t take final walk-ins) and she is not a little girl. How rude. She is over 300 years old! WTF. Then her sensor starts beeping and she sees a Loose Spirit entering the building. Feeling the need to catch it, she barges through security to look for it. But has the Loose Spirit taken over Kanon? Because when Elsie follows the scream, she sees little Kanon! She has turned into a young girl! However her sensor doesn’t detect she has been possessed by a Loose Spirit. Kanon is of course in a panic as she still has a job to do and can’t go out like this. Don’t worry. Elsie will help her. I think I’m starting to worry. First, she calls Keima for help. That guy isn’t interested because he is playing his video game than to give a sh*t about her problem. Loose Spirit is her specialty, right? So do something about it yourself! Because Elsie took too long talking, Kanon has wandered off herself.

The security finds Kanon and thinks she is a lost girl and one of the audition participants. Even her manager, Okada thinks how similar this little girl is to Kanon and takes her to where the participants are waiting. How ironic. Kanon auditioning to be her own little sister! Kanon meets the other girls and one of them, Kozue seems to have low self confidence if she could win it. A shocking surprise for Kanon: The grownup Kanon walks in onto stage! Who the? What the? That is obviously a fake and Elsie knows because her sensor is ringing like mad. Of course she is kicked out when she points out the fake. The audition begins with the little girls each doing their own talent. The production staffs are puzzled with ‘Kanon’ because she is acting odd and not responding to them. Elsie talks to Kanon outside that she suspects the Loose Spirit is impersonating as her so it could find the girl with the largest gap in her heart. When it is Kozue’s turn, the fake Kanon stands up. Before anything can be done, Elsie barges in with mini Kanon in her hand to claim this is the real one. Seriously. Will anybody believe her? Kanon thinks hard and the only way to prove it is via her singing. She starts singing and this causes the fake Kanon to go berserk. It starts attacking the place and kidnaps all the little girls.

I don’t know how but because this is like some sort of dream, Kanon uses her magical power to transform herself and fly up to the roof. Don’t even ask. The Loose Spirit is sucking the essence out of the little girls when Kanon confronts it. How is she going to deal with it? She’s going to sing of course. It is the only effective way to deal with it. The light in her song weakens the Loose Spirit and reverts herself back to her normal size. I’m sure Elsie can’t screw up now in containing the Loose Spirit, right? Right. Phew. Thank goodness. Kanon collapses but with a smile. When she wakes up, the rest of the production staffs are puzzled that everybody had just dozed off. Was it all a dream? But apparently Kozue is awed with Kanon because she saw her doing her magic. Kanon hopes it would be a secret between them. Elsie goes home, happy with her catch and pondering if she should team up with Kanon instead of stupid Keima. But she feels something amiss. Like her capture was incomplete. A little Loose Spirit then touches her and she shrinks into child size. So this is the culprit. Looks like another chase is on. Lastly, Kozue wins the audition to become Kanon’s little sister.

The Magical Girl Idol God Only Knows
I guess this OVA is fairly okay. Those who are fans of the series and especially Kanon would pretty much like this although there is nothing much to shout about. Elsie is still a klutz but there is promising hope that she can still improve. I’m praying a lot for that to happen. The best point of this spin-off is just the songs and Kanon as your typical idol sings them in her typical cheery and upbeat style. Not to say that I am totally in love with them nor have I become a Kanon convert, but I get this sunshiny feeling when I hear all the songs she sings for this OVA. Especially the ending theme, Kimi Iro Love Song. It’s quite fun to hear it and with cute lyrics like “I need your pika-pika”, you certainly can’t go wrong there. So with Kanon aside, I hope now that I am ready for the next season of the main thing. Maybe Elsie and Keima should try a musical and sing their way to capture those Loose Spirits. Nah! I prefer seeing him being the suave smooth operator.

Little Busters

September 15, 2013

At first the thought that this anime is about playing baseball turned me off. Baseball wasn’t really one of my favourite games so I was ready to give Little Busters the big pass. However, something must have caught my attention and made me changed my mind that instant. Something, I swear. But I can’t remember what it was. Was it because when I read that this series was made by Key, the company that was responsible for creating visual novel games-turned-animes like Air, Kanon and Clannad, that I thought this anime was going to be somewhere along the lines of those animes? Yes. Something like that. The main boy of the series and a group of girls. Each of the girls has their own problems and issues to deal with. Boy helps them out and solves their woes amidst all the drama. Girl becomes happy at the end after the problem is overcome. Oh, did I mention about a little supernatural effect thrown in? Does this sound familiar? Yup. This is basically how Key stories work and so it is no different for this anime.

But unlike the other Key works that I have mentioned, there isn’t going to be just a single male lead. Okay, there is still a leading guy but the other male characters that support him have their fair share of screen time making them a lot more prominent (although the main guy will still be the most prominent feature) and hence not reducing them into some unimportant comic relief and side jokes. Those Key animes also feature some sort of romance but for Little Busters, I don’t quite feel it here. At least not that I can see it happening. Riki Naoe might seem like the weakest among the guys in the group but he is our main protagonist and the one responsible in later helping out the girls with their problems. As a kid, he too had undergone hellish times and was at the lowest and darkest period of his life. Till this group of friends brought him out from that despair as he once more learns to love and enjoy the things in life, sweet and bitter. Because of this experience, he understands what the girls who are facing testing times are feeling. He will not sit back and will do all he can to give them a second chance like how he was. It’s the only way he knows to reciprocate the kindness shown to him. To protect those smiles and their fun filled everyday life.

Episode 1
The news that Kyousuke Natsume has returned has everyone up and excited. So excited that probably Masato Inohara is having a fight with Kengo Miyazawa at the cafeteria. And Kyousuke is sleeping… Riki hopes he would do something about this so Kyousuke decides to add in some rules. People are to throw anything to them. The first thing they grab will be their weapon. Kengo grabbed a water pistol. Masato got a cat. WTF. Kyousuke’s sister, Rin didn’t want the bully to take advantage of the weak (she’s referring to the cat) and beats up Masato. After learning the fight started out due to some stupid conversation, unhappy Masato wants to continue the fight. Rin gets a three-section-staff and Masato… An eel pie. This guy’s not good at picking things, eh? Needless to say, Masato gets owned again. Riki narrates this scene is normal to him. When he was young and lost his parents, his confidence was at its lowest. Till these four turn up and let him join their gang. Little Busters is what they call and vanquishing evil is what they do. The first task they did was eliminating bees. I guess Masato was brave to put honey all over his body but he didn’t expect the rest to breathe fire at him! At least that got rid of all the bees. The quintet discuss Kyousuke who has successfully got a job as a publisher in Tokyo. He walked all the way there… Since Kyousuke wishes that things would last like this forever, Riki suggests they should go round the neighbourhood looking for evil to vanquish like they use to. Kyousuke agrees but he wants to form a baseball team. First, he makes Rin the pitcher and her pitch is so damn hard that Masato flew away and broke the scoreboard! Kyousuke nicknames her, Godly Lack of Control. They will be using a shed by the school’s baseball team as their base. Currently the baseball team is in some sort of trouble so they’re practically non-existent. They ask why Kyousuke want to form a baseball team. To exist as his own individual. Huh? Because nobody would think that somebody looking for a job will play baseball. That will be his individuality. Kengo can’t be part of the team since he has kendo practice.

That night when Riki is doing his homework, Kyousuke summons his usual gang to the room to announce that Little Busters already have their first match. However as Masato points out, they lack members. Kyousuke wants Rin to find those members and since she is the kind not good with strangers, he gives her an earpiece and they’ll relay what to say. She heads back to the girls’ dorm to recruit but nobody seems interested. Till she bumps into the future softball captain, the arrogant Sasami Sasasegawa. She thinks Rin is insulting her. Because Rin is scolding the guys listening, Sasami thinks she is being scolded and sends her underlings to teach Rin a lesson. Rin lost. Next day in class, Riki sees Kyousuke reading his manga. Just that sight of his is very much divine and girls all over school would jus flock to class just to catch glimpse of him. There is something about this guy that draws people to him. But next year, Kyousuke won’t be here as he’ll be graduating. Riki thinks of helping out with the recruitment since all this was originally his idea. This leads him to the rooftop whereby he catches a girl knocking her head under the water tank and her sweets scattered everywhere.

Episode 2
Komari Kamikita seems like an airhead. Riki helps her out since she got stuck but realizes her skirt got stuck. She freaks out when she realizes he saw her anteater print panties. Komari shares her sweets with him and reveals she loves them because it makes her happy. She hopes that being happy, others will be happier too. Riki then tells her about Little Busters’ recruitment. She seems interested in baseball but doesn’t really know what it is. Riki doesn’t feel she is suited for it. During lunch, Kyousuke comes in and informs they’re going to form a band! What about the baseball. Oh, he was reading a manga on bands and was spurred by the moment. When Kengo uses his chopsticks to grab a fly, jealous Masato wants to show off his muscles. He punches the fly but it drops right into Kengo’s soup. Another round of fight. Somebody throw them weapons! Kengo gets a ping pong bat while Masato gets a soap. He sucks, doesn’t he? Needless to say, Kengo wins and gives the nickname of The Man Who Lost His Brain Somewhere to Masato. In class, Riki hears the girls badmouthing Rin because she ditched her class chores probably to play with her cats. True enough, Riki finds her doing so and reminds her about making other friends, something she feels she doesn’t need. One of the cats has a message tied to it and it says it will reveal the secrets of the world as long as she accomplishes the tasks given. And the first task is to clean up an old shed. Riki narrates he has this sleeping disorder since young call narcolepsy. He would suddenly fall unconscious, disconnected from the world for who knows how long.

Rin also gathers Kyousuke and Masato to help clean the shed. Look how dirty everything is. It’s going to take a while. Komari then comes in and she wants to join Little Busters. For real? As proof, she is wearing mittens. Mittens? You know, those hand gears they use in baseball… Oh boy. This isn’t starting off well. She is happy to see Rin the school’s idol and hopes they can be friends. Rin of course is still shy of interacting with others. After cleaning the room, Kyousuke decides to test her to see if she is fit to join. First, he asks a quiz on what is necessary for baseball. Guts, bravery and friendship! He agrees and passes her! WTF?! Riki reminds the need for some physical aptitude so here we have Komari trying her very best but she seems to suck. Can’t even lift the baseball bat… Didn’t even realize the ball rolled under her feet… Not looking good. Finally, the last test is the quiz and it is the same as the first question. What do you need in baseball? Same answer. Guts, bravery and friendship! Same reaction. Kyousuke passes her and welcomes her to the team. What was the aptitude test for anyway? Happy Komari hopes she can be closer to Rin but the latter is still having trouble being with her and runs away. Komari goes after her and I don’t know how she could even trip. At least this breaks the ice as Rin goes to check to see if she’s alright. Komari then suddenly gives her a tickle attack! Just when it seems things might be heading for a happy ending, Riki suddenly has his narcolepsy attack.

Episode 3
Riki reminds us of this chronic disease where he falls unconscious and wakes up later and having no dreams at all. It was like nothing of that sort ever happened. His friends never complained about it so it is some sort of assurance to Riki that everything will be alright. Kyousuke then has Little Busters practice in the early morning since the girls’ softball team isn’t using the field. In class, Masato messed up Riki’s idioms book and wraps it in a plastic. Haruka Saigusa is here to look for Yuiko Kurugaya to borrow her idioms book. Since she is not around, she takes Riki’s instead. He tries to take it back but bumps into Kurugaya’s desk. All her test papers fall out and all of them are 100%. As narrated, Kurugaya is a genius but comes to class as and when she feels like it. While Riki is at the vending machine, Kurugaya suddenly pops up and takes him to her own garden cafe. She plays a prank by making him sit on a broken chair. Why is she doing this? Because it’s fun. He looks like the type that wants to be picked on. So Kurugaya asks Riki about the strange hobby he has formed with his friends. His reply is that it makes him feel where he belongs. When the bell rings, Riki realizes he is late for class and dashes back. Haruka is not happy about the condition of the book and tells him to look inside. That is one hell of a scream… During recess, Masato confronts Kengo in yet another one of those stupid conversations.

They are about to fight when Kurugaya kicks Masato. The muscle brain thinks she wants to pick a fight with him and threatens her. However she is not cowed and threatens him back. Kengo lost interest and leaves, warning Masato not to underestimate her. They make a bet that if Kurugaya loses, she must change her name to Cuckoogayer and if Masato loses, Kurugaya will broadcast his most embarrassing secrets to the world. Before the usual match starts, Kyousuke drops in and offers to be the referee. You know the rules, right? So start throwing those weapons! We know how this will end, right? Masato gets a pop up pirate. Who the heck threw Kurugaya a sword!!! Even if it is fake!!! Kurugaya moves in inhuman ways to stab Masato, who is reduced to some dodging puppy. Masato is like a real joker. He thinks his pirate can turn the tables. Well, it didn’t. Weak. In the end, Kurugaya kicks him out of his senses. Then she admits she lost for breaking the rules. Do you want this kind of victory, Masato? Not happy, he decides to go train in the mountains. After Kurugaya leaves, Masato returns. So fast? When Little Busters practice, Kurugaya drops by and she can’t stand how they are having so much fun by themselves. She wants to take part and enjoy this sunshine of youth with them. In other words, she wants to join them. And so we have another member recruited. Thank goodness she is on your side now, eh?

Episode 4
Riki helps a foreigner and transfer student, Kudryavka Noumi AKA Kud to move her stuffs into her room. After that he goes to Rin who laments there is no letter for another task. She notices a cute bandage on one of the cats. Later she finds out it was put on by Komari so she wants Riki to say thanks on her behalf and leave him some sweets for her. Riki goes to see Komari at the rooftop but she is sleep talking. Their heads bump and she wakes up. As they chat over snacks, Riki asks if she has a brother. However Komari says she is an only child. The brother she has only appears in her dreams always reading her a sad story book about eggs and chicks. She doesn’t remember much since she forgets most of it by the time she wakes up. At the same time, she’ll also feel lonely. Later Riki tries to find if there is any such book at the library but to no avail. Then he goes see her again but notices her much sadder expression this time. She found that storybook in her home’s shed. The story of an egg that hatched into a chick. It grows up to be a hen who forgets she was an egg and lays one. The process repeats itself. Like it never ends. Even though the end has the hen finally remembering, it is the part that they forget which makes her feel sad. She thinks her brother drew this book because the name of Takuya Kamikita is written at the back. She tried to ask her mom about this name but she said she never heard of it. It felt like mommy was trying to hide something. And if she really did have a brother who ran away, why couldn’t she remember him? Rin tries to cheer her up with her cat talk and Riki has her loose translator. It cheered her up so she invites them to come to the retirement home this Sunday for some volunteer work to spread the sunshine.

Apparently the rest of Little Busters also tag along because they can’t practice on the field being used by the girls’ softball team. And some like Kurugaya had nothing else better to do. Everyone is awed at how the old folks are familiar with Komari. It’s like she’s their personal star. The rest aren’t too positive if they can click so Komari tells them to yell out “Alright!” when they feel down. Looks like they’re motivated. As the rest do clean up, chores and even put stage performances for the old folks, Riki goes in to clean the room of a stubborn and loud grandpa, Kojirou. Despite grandpa telling him to stay away, Riki will not budge and will clean his messy room. At the end, grandpa likes his work and hopes he can come back and clean another time. Of course he will. Komari is impressed he could clean Kojirou’s room because she has never been successful. She tries to enter his room but got scared away by his loud scream. Poor girl. Riki didn’t like how he treated Komari but when Kojirou realizes Komari’s name, he wants Riki never to let her near him. Seems he knows her. Why? Because he is Kojirou Kamikita. That’s why.

Episode 5
Little Busters practice baseball. Kurugaya didn’t like how Komari gave her a cute nickname. Rin is still afraid to call Komari’s name and mispronounces it. Disheartened Komari runs away and tries. This prompts Rin to call out her name. Well, there you go. Later, Komari tells Riki that she dreamt about her brother again. It feels like he is calling out to her and might be looking for her somewhere. Riki thinks her brother died. So he goes to see Kojirou to ask more about Takuya. Riki thinks he might be in hospital and Kojirou says he is right. As for where he is now, he believes Riki knows that answer too. He doesn’t want him to pry any further if he cares about Komari. He will say nothing more. That night, Riki can’t sleep as he can’t help think about Takuya. If he died, why wasn’t Komari being told? To avoid her becoming sad? That can’t be the only reason. He takes a walk and sees Komari trying to sneak back into her dorm after buying some snacks. She freaked out at being spotted but a big relief to realize it was only Riki. She invites him to the rooftop to watch the starry sky. The first of several shooting stars, Komari makes a wish that Riki could see more than he does now. With more shooting stars in the sky, Komari makes more wishes like wishing for everyone’s happiness. By the sixth one, Komari dozes off and Riki wishes whatever secrets there were, it wouldn’t be something sad. The last shooting star saddens Komari because it reminded her of the little match girl story whose life disappeared with the last shooting star. Just like her brother when she wakes up from her dream. She invites Riki out on a date this Saturday to help her look for something she lost: Her memories.

Riki meets up with Komari as she takes him to a place where she used to live. Ironically she doesn’t have much memories of this place. She thinks it is sad when you forget things you don’t want and remember things you have to. Riki notices a hospital at the hilltop and wonders if this is where Takuya passed away. The lake’s beauty was too tempting not to go boating. But Komari puts another sad look when she realizes she can’t see the bottom of the lake. She thinks losing something is sad. Riki asks if she really wants to meet her brother. Wouldn’t meeting him in her dream is good enough? Komari wonders in that case if he would like to be her brother. She’s just kidding. She tries to sit next to him but the boat rocks and she falls into his arms. On the way back, it suddenly rains. The lightning scares Komari. They notice a dead cat in the drain. Upon knowing it isn’t moving, Komari is paralyzed in shock. She starts crying when her memories return. Flashbacks of her time with Takuya are mainly seen spent at the hospital. They watched the stars together and he even promised to go boating with her. Then one day, he tells her all this is just a dream.

Episode 6
Riki takes Komari back to his room to shower. When she comes out, she tells him everything she remembered. Takuya’s health wasn’t good and always stayed in hospital. They played together, watched the stars and he told her stories. One night when he was telling her this hen and egg story, he realizes his time is almost up. So he told her he might not be here anymore when she wakes up. But there is nothing to be sad about because all this is just a dream. When morning came, Komari found his lifeless body. Though devastated, she psycho herself this was all a dream. It’s nothing sad. Rin and Kurugaya come in for some girl reinforcement and take her back to the dorm. However Komari doesn’t want to leave her brother’s side. She thinks Riki is her brother. Riki had no choice but to play along and assure he will still be here when he leaves. Later Riki tells the rest of his friends what happened. He laments she has remembered what she didn’t want to know and he too didn’t want to know this truth. Because of so, her self defence mechanism kicked in by viewing Riki as her brother and she lost that sunshine smile of hers. Kyousuke tells him now that he has known the truth, he can’t run away. He is the only one who can save her because if he runs away, he can never solve things. Next day Riki talks to Komari and tries to assert he is not her brother but to no avail. She doesn’t even remember the night they watch the shooting stars together or even care about the hen and egg book when it got soaked in the puddle since she is confident her ‘brother’ will draw another one.

Riki later tells this to Kojirou. He feared this would happen and apparently this is not the first time. She experienced this many times before. Death triggers this. When Kojirou’s wife died, she fell into this state. Give her some time. In a few weeks she will return to normal and forget everything. Including she had a brother. That’s why Kojirou who is nearing his time didn’t want her to be near him. He knows the impact it will have on Komari. Riki wants to know where Takuya’s grave lies so he can do some thinking. Riki then realizes what he should be doing. He is going to draw another book. His drawing sucks but he will do all he can. His friends do all they can to support him be it food or drawing utensils to keep him going through the night. When day breaks, Riki has finished his book. Then he confronts Komari and tells her the harsh straight facts of reality. He is Riki and her brother is dead. This causes her to break down. Then he shows her the hen and egg story. He added his own version whereby the chick saw many other chicks hatching and realized it has lots of friends around. He continues by telling her of his own situation. He once cried like that till Kyousuke and his Little Busters brought him on their adventures. He hopes she would do the same and run forward with them and smile. Then she can write her own story. The subsequent pages of the book are blank and with that, Komari returns to her normal self. Emotional Rin is the first one to hug her. Komari realizes if she keeps crying, everyone will be sad. She has accepted the fact Takuya isn’t here anymore. It may be a sad thing but there are so much more wonderful things out there.

Episode 7
Masato forgot to do his homework. So Kengo suggests he give that Osaka aliens zap his notebook to oblivion. Don’t ask. Because Rin calls him an idiot, Masato wants to fight her. You know what this means. Throw any weapons into the ring! While Rin has her army of cats, Masato gets… Nail clipper? Yeah, he is going to cut her nails so short she can’t open the can lid. And that he did but Rin earns victory when she orders her cats to scratch him and he crashes into a table. Masato earns the nickname of Trash. So while everybody starts calling him Trash, Kyousuke reminds Riki to recruit more players for their baseball team. I mean, he successfully recruited Komari and Kurugaya so he is the best person for the job. Along the way, they see Haruka playing Guess Who by herself. Don’t ask. Riki asks if she wants to play baseball. Kyousuke has her undergo a membership test. Putting on the glove, it seems like she is playing toss and catch by herself. Kyousuke realizes something and has her change the glove. Seems she is a left hander and when she pitches, the ball flies up high in the sky. Suddenly the discipline committee members are here to apprehend Haruka. She has skipped detention and used a doll as substitution! Haruka runs away but their playful dogs ring her in. Next day, when Kengo enters class, he falls prank to a bucket of water and got his foot stuck in one. Masato didn’t do this. It’s Haruka! She shows no signs of remorse when she explains how she set up this yesterday and got bored while waiting so she left. When the discipline committee members come in to look for Haruka for taking buckets without permission, Haruka takes Riki and run! She throws marbles to make their clean getaway. The duo then are confronted with Kanata Futaki, the president of the discipline committee. She warns Riki for raising trouble with his rowdy friends and has yet to decide his punishment for breaking the table (even though it’s Masato and Rin’s fault). Later Riki learns from Kurugaya the uncompromising person Kanata is.

Riki remembers he forgot to bring his gym clothes for practice and returns to the classroom only to see Haruka patching the table back. She did quiet a good job but she worries she will still be let off leniently as nobody trusts her who lies all the time. All the time? When the duo walk to practice, once again Kanata and her girls confront her. They accuse her of unlawfully acquiring cans from the vending machine. They check her bag and find 4 cans. Haruka says she got lucky playing roulette. Of course they view it as impossible and take her away. Riki didn’t like how Kanata accused Haruka without prove. It’s like assuming she is guilty from the start. When the girls mention about her crimes of skipping class and that winning the roulette is like unfair to those who pay, Riki takes out all the money he has to pay them. It’s okay if they can get payment for those cans, right? Riki’s pals who aren’t sure what’s going on, help to chip in to pay. Haruka decides to drop this and punish her the next time she causes trouble. Haruka couldn’t believe Riki believed in her. He believes that she isn’t the kind of person who lies although she plays pranks once in a while. His friends are still wondering what the heck all this meant so Riki replies Haruka wants to join Little Busters. Kyousuke has her undergo a membership test by asking what the glove smells like. The scent of youth! She passes! WTF?! Masato thinks it’s okay for her to join since having someone stupider than him makes him look better. Haruka and Rin team up to call Masato a retard. His new nickname…

Episode 8
Little Busters are running late for class so Kyousuke wants Masato and Kengo to throw Rin into class. Great cooperation. I wonder if she can reach the moon… Anyway Masato earns her wrath later. Then they see Kud playing Frisbee with her dogs, Strelka and Belka who are also helping out with the discipline committee patrols. She introduces to them and how her grandpa sends them from Finland to keep her company. When she invites them to play Frisbee, Riki notices how good she is at catching and wonders if she would like to join their baseball team. She doesn’t know much about baseball since it isn’t popular in her country. Don’t worry. Komari and Haruka know nuts too. Kyousuke has her tryout by catching his throws and she catches all of them perfectly. With that, she is officially part of Little Busters and she is happy she made her first friends since coming to this school. She has to leave since she receives word grandpa has sent her packages. Later Riki and Masato go check on her and see her having trouble bringing in the packages. Despite girls’ dorm is off limits to boys, they help her anyway. Just hope they don’t get caught by a certain ice queen. In her room, she explains her quirky taste because her grandpa loves anything Japanese and thus the fusion. Learning Riki and Masato are roommates and childhood friends, she wishes for that too since she has a hard time making friends as she always moves around. I don’t know why but Masato suggests Riki be her roommate. And then he gets depressed just thinking how lonely she will be. They send Kud’s request to her senior, A-chan so she will put up a memo for it. Unfortunately, Kanata has caught the guys in the girls’ dorm so there are no buts about it (she is also the girls’ dorm manager). Reprimanding time. Even Kud. So the trio relate their ‘nightmare’ to the rest how Kanata was lecturing stuff and all during their detention.

Asking the rest of their pals if they need a roommate, Haruka and Komari already got theirs so it’s not possible. Rin? She’s too shy so she can’t take her in. Kurugaya? Well, she wanted to be alone but the thought of having this cute loli with her just thrills her. She hugs Kud almost to the point of suffocating her. Riki realizes how dangerous she is because she might not be able to control herself after seeing Kud coming out of the bath in pyjamas! Let’s look somewhere else. Riki notices his classmate, Mio Nishizono. They don’t talk much and she has this very faint presence in class. They ask her if she needs a roommate. Apparently she has lots of books. And she recently had an ‘avalanche’. She doesn’t think Kud can pull herself out if that ever happens. That much, eh? At the end of the day, nobody has become Kud’s roommate but she’s happy to be part of Little Busters. They hear a couple of girls badmouthing Kud that she’s a funny little foreigner with strange things in her room. Kanata tells them off for taking a magazine out of the library. Then surprisingly, Kanata as the unlikeliest person and least to be even considered, becomes the one to offer to be Kud’s roommate since her room is too big and Kud can move into her room. Of all the people… Riki and Masato think she can turn her down if she wants to but Kud is more than happy since thanks to them she has finally found a roommate.

Episode 9
Little Busters practice baseball and though Riki notices everyone happy, he knows this won’t last because Kyousuke will graduate next year. Later Riki goes to talk to Rin playing with the cats and hopes she would get along better with the other girls in the team since the original Little Busters can’t always be with her all the time. Rin notices a message on the cat’s feet. After a long time they have their second mission: To save the cafeteria. Rin thinks it’s the croquette soba that is disgusting. Asking the cafeteria lady, she cites no problem and that somebody requested croquette soba to be on the menu. That person is Sasami. She won’t allow Rin to insult her favourite croquette soba and sends her girls to teach her a lesson. As usual, Rin lost. When Riki is in his room, Rin suddenly barges in because there is an emergency. Taking him to the cafeteria, all the cafeteria ladies are gone. It seems all of them had some emergency and had to leave. How is everyone going to eat then? Now is usually the time those ladies prepare meals for the students. So, this must be the big mission to save the cafeteria. Rin adamant to complete this mission takes the initiative to gather Little Busters for this favour. What are they going to make? They can’t make everything on the menu, right? With Riki’s help, Rin suggests to pick 3 things to serve and make it like a combo dish. Everyone gets down to work preparing the food. Slowly the students start streaming in. Some are surprised at the meal they get. Some get lots of pudding. Some don’t. It’s havoc out there and in the kitchen as well. Riki is glad to see Rin so lively around other people. However one thing still bothered him. How did the writer of that letter predict this crisis? And then it came without warning. After a long time too, Riki’s narcolepsy strikes. By the time he wakes up, it is night fall. Kyousuke comes to get him since the rest are waiting. At the cafeteria, they’re waiting for Riki to join them in a combo meal feast. This idea was thought up by Rin who felt she couldn’t have done it without him and everyone else.

Episode 10
Yet another baseball practice by Little Buster but with Kyousuke reminding them their first match is closing in, guess who have the honours to find the last remaining member? Oh Riki. You’re honest and good with people, right? The ball flew too far so Riki went to search for it and accidentally bumps into Mio sitting under the tree. Seems she is a little bruised from getting hit by the ball. She hopes the people playing baseball would be concerned of the safety of others. She might be joking about telling Riki to execute himself but the monotonous tone she said it doesn’t seem funny… When he looks back at her, he notices how lonely she is. On another day, Riki sees her at the same spot again and accidentally scares the birds she is feeding. She gives him her bread crusts for lunch. Wondering if she likes birds, on the contrary she hates them because they fly away without a word. They’re ungrateful too as she feeds them every day. Those with wings cannot be bound to earth. That’s why she feeds them. As long as they eat, they don’t fly. However she feels it is futile resistance. Riki begins to notice that Mio is always under her umbrella no matter the season. Every recess, she always sits under the same spot reading her book. He never even realized she wasn’t in class. He begins to hear badmouthing by other classmates that she doesn’t talk to others and must be shadowless. Riki talks to Kyousuke about this. He thinks Mio is always looking at the world alone. He could have been looking at the same way had not Kyousuke reached out for him. He thinks he can do the same for her and will try to recruit her into Little Busters.

On another chance, Riki sits next to her and talk. She likes books. This one she is reading is quite important to her. Her very self is written in it. Because Riki is eating while talking, she scoffs him off if his parents ever taught him manners. He says he doesn’t have parents and it made her feel a lithe guilty. But he has Little Busters as friends. Those same friends who vanquish evil and struck her with a ball? Yup, them. He invites her to join but she declines. As for whether she has a weak body or not, she will tell him another time when she fully trusts him. Later in the day, Kurugaya looks for Riki and tells him to help Mio find her lost book. She knows he won’t say no. Great way to dump her responsibility, eh? Mio left her book on her table before she went for gym. When she returned, it was gone. Riki knows he can’t suspect the classmates without proof and starts looking. Mio feels it’s okay not to search since she will buy another book. It’s the words that matter and she has read them so often she has recited them by hard. Still, he will look for them. But she wonders what good it will do by placing unnecessary burden on her. So what if there is someone with malicious intent to hide her book? Riki acknowledges there is evil in this world but there is also as much good. Kurugaya comes in and has a theory. When Mio changed, she accidentally dropped her book. There were 3 people who changed later than her and picked it up. Because she is the shy type, she thought of waiting for the right chance to give it back to her and put it under her desk. She has also deduced who this person is. True enough, that girl takes out the book from her desk and hands it back to Mio. She is grateful so Riki asks what the book is all about. It is a collection of poems by Bokusui Wakayama. The page she is reading at is about a lonely white bird floating between the vast blue sky and sky. Sounds like a sad poem but she views it as one with hope since the bird is not tainted by blue. Riki goes off to practice baseball and hopes Mio could come and watch at least once. She agrees to watch them play today. There is a little smile across her face and Riki has a feeling something great is about to start.

Episode 11
Kyousuke plans to do kimodameshi (test of courage) but Rin wants to chicken out. Masato scares her by telling some ghost story of some girl in a toilet. When knocked on the door, the ghost girl will ask what dress colour you would want to wear. Red, you’ll be covered with your own blood. Blue, your blood will be sucked out. Yellow… You die of being stuffed with bananas! Is this supposed to be a funny story? Kyousuke has hidden talismans in the school building so the rest are to form groups to retrieve 4 of them. Rin-Komari-Kud head in first. Kud summons the dogs for guiding help but they are trained not to go into buildings. Rin summons the cats but without training, they came and go. I guess it’s just them then. The first room, Komari entered first and got freaked out. Rin slaps her to wake her up and blames some slapping demon since her cheeks hurt. Masato and Kengo despite being a team, race each other to be the first to get the talisman. They burst through whatever traps set and almost scared Rin’s team when they thought they saw a yellow ghost (Masato wrapped in some yellow paper). Riki-Kurugaya-Haruka team is cool. Nothing scares them as they collect the talisman after another. Kurugaya got bored so she decides to watch Riki and Haruka from the back to see them get scared. Then she decides to play the ghost and scares the hell out of Komari. She’s out cold. Kurugaya wanted to get naughty with her but blows into her ears to wake her up.

Kud felt something swoosh behind her head. She panics and runs off while Riki chases her. They bump into Masato and Kengo. The guys leave them to enter the principal’s office since they feel somebody is watching them. When the office locks by itself, ghostly hands appear so the duo fight their way. When Kud pushes the panic button as she senses there are real ghosts, the rest of the gang head back out to Kyousuke. He cancels the kimodameshi and decides for them to go ghost busting. They try to sniff out the ghost but something shadowy is zooming among the darkness. Kud has roped in Mio to help out. She advises them to make it bright by turning on all the lights and make loud noises. The gang did as told, making the shadowy spectre run from them. Finally when they got it cornered, the ghost turns out to be an eagle. Kyousuke remembers it as Pi-chan. When he came back from Hokkaido, a young eagle followed him. They grew close but since they can’t keep eagles as pets, with a heavy heart he had to send it home. Looks like Pi-chan has flown all the way down here to see him. Give the bird a hug! By morning, the gang sees off Pi-chan and they’re glad it wasn’t a ghost. Masato and Kengo just got out from their predicament. Kyousuke suddenly turns pale when he hears them being held up at the principal’s office because he didn’t put any traps or talisman there. Masato shows him the talisman they’ve got so sleepy Mio advises him to burn it. Freaky?

Episode 12
The girls of Little Busters are helping to collect donations. Kyousuke is moved by Komari’s words to be happy so he decides to donate. But in his wallet is only 5 Yen or 10,000 Yen! With a heavy heart, he decides to opt for the latter when Komari says they are collecting kindness. A 5 Yen with lots of kindness is priceless. He is even more moved to donate the bill. Riki suggests breaking it down to smaller denomination so he pays on his behalf first. Masato and Kengo try to outdo each other by donating more than the other. Why start with only 50 Yen? Riki thought he saw Mio in the distance but in the blink of an eye, she disappears. Realizing she is still an outcast, Riki invites her to be their manager. No, not an idol or some yaoi manager, but Little Busters’ manager. Easily she accepts. She is welcomed to the team though Riki has to remind Kyousuke that they are still short of a person for a full team. Mio can’t stand the sun and therefore won’t go on the field. The girls want to exchange her handphone number but she doesn’t know how to use her handphone. After Kurugaya helps her out, Masato seems desperate wanting to add him. Because it looked pitiful with just calls from Riki (90% of it) and Kyousuke. Surprisingly all the girls decide to add him to their list. He’s one happy guy. But he thinks it’s better to just have all Riki on it. Don’t even think about it! Then he goes a step further by asking to add his email address… Kyousuke suggests they should do tanka poems for a change. Mio lectures them about the history of tanka. I think everybody is asleep and one already close to dead! Just teach them how to write it, okay? I don’t know how it works but it sounds funny.

Later Riki goes talk to Mio at her favourite spot under the tree. Mio is still unsure of calling Little Busters as her friends since this is her first time spending time with so many people. Riki feels she is trying to deny the way she is living. Why not just accept it? Too late, she says. She explains the reason why spends her time reading lots of books as her favourite author once said stories are written and read to rebel against the fact that you only live once. She wants to read all the books in the world but her life is too short to even complete a library. She feels sad. Noticing a paper airplane in the sky, she continues it will eventually fall to the ground but wouldn’t it be great to ride it and fly somewhere far away? Riki felt an uneasiness welling inside, as though she wanted to disappear. He asks if she was at town last Sunday because he thought he spotted her but didn’t think so since she had no umbrella. There was also another trait different about her then: She was smiling. She gets up and leaves, thanking him as she has gotten an idea to write for her tanka. Next day, Riki is surprised Mio is absent. He notes if Masato or Kurugaya is absent, people would have remarked it but if it was Mio, no one would notice her. Think again because he overhears several boys talking about Mio. They thought they saw her in town but brushed it off since she was without her umbrella and the kind of person who won’t skip classes. See? They notice that too. Then Riki looks outside his window and underneath the usual tree, there is umbrella-less Mio. Smiling.

Episode 13
When the lightning strikes, Mio is gone. She continues to be absent for days. Riki is worried everyone has forgotten about her. Even his friends! It was like she never existed! Like as thought the world was dreaming and her existence slowly fading away. One day, Riki is relieved to see Mio by her usual tree. He thought she would fade for good. But she says if she were to disappear, no one will remember she lived. She noticed that the last few days everyone had already begun to forget her. She gives him her poem book as she believes there’s a reason why an insignificant someone like her was born. He can forget her but not the poem. She is going to where the end begins and if he would like to accompany her. So the beach is where the end begins? She has Riki tell about himself and Little Busters. She reveals she planned to come here sooner but after meeting him and Little Busters, her resolve shook a little. Such hope grew in her heart but what is going to happen now will not change. It’s something she wished since a long time ago. She wanted to be like that white bird unconnected to everything. Suddenly the umbrella-less smiling Mio pops up! OMG! Twins?! No. She is Midori and has a livelier personality. She wants Mio to go now but Mio wants to stay longer. Midori thinks she is afraid that Riki will find out. Too late. When her umbrella is blown away, Riki is shocked to see she has no shadow!!! This is the reason why she always has her umbrella open. Suddenly, narcolepsy time. Riki wakes up back in his room. He has no recollection why he was at the beach. Mio wasn’t in his memories. Several days pass and everyone including Riki has forgotten about Mio. Although Riki feels like there is something missing. Someone is missing. But who?

One day while rushing to class, Riki accidentally drops his books. He spots the poem book and his memories of Mio suddenly come back. He asks Masato what happened to her and he casually answers she is in class. In class, there she is. Everyone knows her. Everyone is friendly with her. She is friendly with everyone. Wait… Isn’t this Midori? Riki felt something wrong. Was this how Nishizono used to be? Did he get it wrong from the start? As he sits under the tree reading the poem book, Midori drops by and is impressed that he is the only one who could tell the difference between them. She hopes he would call her Mio like everyone else. He disagrees because if he does, he’ll forget about her. Riki thinks Midori is Mio’s shadow but she hints he isn’t exactly correct. She shows him that she too doesn’t have a shadow but unlike Mio, she doesn’t make a fuss about it as everybody doesn’t notice. She is sure everyone including him will forget about Mio. He vows he won’t so she steals the book and even tries to rip it so that he’ll forget faster. But she drops this tactic since she is confident he will forget her in no time. While hugging him from the back, she mocks that he is desperate to hold on to his memories. His memories of her are slowly disappearing. It’s getting harder to remember her. And in no time, he will see her as Mio.

Episode 14
Riki is already starting to forget. But he’s still holding on to what he can remember. So Midori tries to hasten this by asking if he remembers the clothes she last wore. She even plants fake memories like she wore glasses. Riki’s mind is confused so just the mere words from Midori would seem like as though Mio had such a trait. He starts becoming disillusioned. How much of Mio did he know? How much of it really happened? How much was made up in his head? He talks to Kyousuke about this but he points out only he can solve this as nobody knows Mio better than him. He apologizes he cannot do much this time because he might be just like everyone else. But there is one thing he can advise him on: Don’t trust words of others except his own. Believe in yourself. For her sake, Riki will not forget. Will not forget. Won’t forget. Mustn’t forget. Forget who? Oh dear. One day he remembers the tanka competition she entered and rushes to the hall to see if there is any tanka she wrote. There is one that resembles the conversation they had about the white bird and paper airplane. He firmly believes the real Mio exists. Midori pops up asking if he wants to see where Mio is even if it makes him sad. She throws him a question. If air is transparent, why is the sky blue? If water is crystal clear, why is the sea blue? Where does the blue come from? Riki finds Mio at the beach and vows to bring her back. But she is reluctant to do that as Midori is the new Mio from now on and forever. Wanting to know more about Midori, she explains that she started reading when she was young. She noticed herself in the mirror looking lonely and started talking to it. Before long, after Midori pops out from the mirror, they both started playing together. Of course her mother is devastated to see Mio talking to herself and has her undergo treatment. I believe the doctor terms it as imaginary friend. Mio gradually starts to forget Midori from the treatment when her appearance became less frequent up till a point she totally forgot she ever existed. Till she read the poem of that white bird. She realizes she lost an important part of herself. Ever since that day, she always holds an umbrella. Midori disappeared because she forgot about her and thinks she hates her. She feels she is the one who should have disappeared and will always wait for her to come back so that she could switch places with her.

Mio thanks Riki for the warm memories and laments she wanted to stay in his circle longer. She wants Midori to be part of that circle now. She wants to be free being Mio. In her desire to be eternal, she wants to be alone. This is goodbye. Riki couldn’t catch her in time as she disappears from his sight. He cries, knowing the fact he will soon forget about her when he stops. Then he gets a call from Midori. Yeah. He remembers her. She tells him there is something he needs to do and it’s not crying. He’ll bring Mio back so Midori is grateful for her short time around. Riki assures her because he didn’t forget Mio, he will never forget about her too. Then he rushes into the sea. He thinks back that during his darkest moments, he too wanted to disappear. He could have been forgotten by the world had not Kyousuke reached out his hand for him. That’s why this time he will reach out his hand for her. He reasons that she doesn’t need to be alone. Even so, that’s why they communicate and try to understand each other. She will truly become Mio Nishizono by being with them. Mio and Midori reconcile. The latter notes this is what Mio truly wanted. When she communicates with others, she will become the real Mio Nishizono. Then they will become one. Riki and Mio are back on shore. She reiterates that they’re alive, living in this world. Now that she has made peace with her existence, Mio joins and interacts with Little Busters like normal in their daily activities.

Episode 15
Out of the blue, Kyousuke asks Riki who he likes most. Does he have an answer? Riki tries to be like him saying none in particular. Kyousuke drops a surprise by saying he loves Riki! Is he joking? So does Riki like him? When he says no, Kyousuke seems heartbroken! Oh sh*t! Riki had to chase him all the way to dispel the misconception. He loves everyone in Little Busters and therefore he loves him! Man, this looked like a yaoi scene. Riki then gets mail from Rin to come to her room. Alone. He better sneak in quick without getting caught because Kanata is doing her rounds and she is quite fired up tonight. Riki learns that the girls have bribed Rin with cat food to call him over for their pyjamas party. Yeah, he is going to be their toy for tonight. Oh no. He wants to leave but he can’t since Kanata is patrolling. I guess the girls took this into account. First thing in order, they want Rin to take a bath but she doesn’t want to. Then they blindfold Riki and tie his hands up as Kurugaya forces Rin to make a choice who she wants to bath with. Riki? No way! Kurugaya? That’s worse! So she settles for Komari. In the meantime, Riki is being fed like a pig with cakes. Torture… Once Rin comes out, Kud wants to bath with her so it’s second round for Rin. After Kurugaya and Haruka, it is Riki’s turn. They have prepared pyjamas for him. Bad feeling about this. There is a camera in Mio’s hand. I can see where this is going… True enough, Riki’s fear comes true because the clothes he needs to wear after bath is the school’s female uniform. Or does he plan to walk around in the towel? Riki looks cute in the outfit! Mio takes a snapshot. She’ll treasure it. Oh dear. The ruckus has A-chan giving a friendly warning to them for being too noisy. Otherwise a certain scary discipline officer will drop by herself.

The night continues with Kurugaya being bold all over Riki. Haruka can’t stop taking photos of them together! The rest think of sending it over to the other guys! Oh God… Then they play sword fighting using rolled up newspapers. Kurugaya adds a penalty that the one getting hit most must confess who they love. It’s everyone for themselves! It’s getting noisy again… I was pretty sure they would team up against Riki but Komari seems to be getting hit the most. Rin can’t stand the bully and faces off with Kurugaya while it is Haruka versus Mio. So noisy that Kanata has brought her entire squad and barges open the door! Oh sh*t! She sees Riki and wants him to come closer. Is his identity busted? She just fixes the ribbon. Noting that ‘she’ is an unfamiliar face and an outsider, Kurugaya covers for Riki by saying she brought ‘her’ in. Kanata expects a written apology from her tomorrow and gives the girls one last warning. Wow Riki. Your cross-dressing is perfect. So the girls think. Riki sleeps with them (in a different bed of course) till morning breaks. He changes back and leaves while thanking Kurugaya for the cover. Outside, he is surprised to see Kyousuke. Oh, his bags underneath his eyes. Yeah, they were up all night trying to figure out which one of them should go save Riki. They played lots of stupid games just to decide. In the end, it was never decided (Masato and Kengo are still at it) so Kyousuke came himself. Riki is disheartened that the girls actually sent a picture of him cross-dressed to Kyousuke. Yeah, he thinks Riki is pretty cute. Hey. Riki is blushing! Oh God. Tell me that they don’t swing this way.

Episode 16
Masato didn’t like how Haruka stole his pork cutlets and challenges her to a fight. Great. Battle time. Throw in the weapons! Let’s see… Masato has got a camera and Haruka a set of toys. Masato starts snapping away and Haruka poses like a cutie. Yeah, no damage done. It’s Haruka’s turn so she unleashes her fury of moves with ridiculous names and pound Masato for ultimate victory. What nickname did he earn this time? Space Idiot. Riki, Rin and Komari see Haruka fixing an old bench. This is the bench she always sat on. She was alone when she first came to this school and the first person to talk to her was Riki. Of course he might not remember that. Then Kanata shows up. She chides Haruka for peeling of the ‘Do not sit’ sign and trying to fix it. The bench is old and is going to be replaced but Haruka doesn’t want so. Kanata goes on to run her mouth the troublemaker she is and then mocks her how she has Riki defend her again. Her committee members are here and Kanata orders them to destroy the bench now, much to Haruka’s dismay. Riki didn’t like how she is being too harsh on her but Kanata warns them if they cause any more trouble, she will have to restrict their club activities too. She then takes away Haruka to a committee hearing for all the violations she had made. Man, that’s a bloody thick book… How many violations has she made?

In the hearing, they read out the countless violations. I don’t think it will even finish in a week. But Haruka objects to the tampering of the vending machine. The committee is adamant in blaming her due to her frequent troublemaking attitude. This causes Haruka to have flashbacks about how people around her were telling her off how useless she was. The last straw came when Kanata accuses her of being at fault. This causes Haruka to go into a fit and tells them to shut up and not look at her like them. She becomes violent. Trashing the furniture, biting those committee members who try to restrain her. Only Kurugaya manages to calm her down. She tells her not to do anything rash. In the end, Kanata has Haruka suspended while Kurugaya and co are to clean this place up. Haruka says she hates Kanata very much. The feeling is mutual too. Riki narrates how that fun loving Haruka wasn’t there. He knows Kanata is playing the villainous role as the discipline committee to uphold discipline in school. He understands she is voluntarily taking a role that everyone hates. But why is shy targeting Haruka? Next day, it gets worse. There are writings all over the blackboard and posters scattered everywhere. It reveals Haruka is the daughter of an ex-convict and murderer. This talk spreads like wild fire throughout school as Little Busters work hard to remove every single one of these lies. Then they find Haruka crying alone in their club room. She thinks they hate her now since she has kept it a secret. Of course they do not hate her. Since it has come down to this, Haruka tells them the whole story. The Saigusa family is an old and respected family. So they started a tradition to ensure their heir. The women of the family will take 2 husbands. One of those husbands was Haruka’s father. Kanata is also part of the family. Haruka and Kanata are twins. Now that explains why they look so familiar. I had a hunch they were twins when I first saw them.

Episode 17
After the twins were born, their 3 parents couldn’t take it. Her father, Shou went to the main house and started getting violent. He was arrested for attempted murder and his criminal status destroyed the Saigusa’s reputation. They kicked out the parents but raised the twins. Haruka was put under Saigusa’s care while Futaki, another branch of the family took in Kanata. But after that incident, Futaki family dominated over Saigusa. That’s when they learn of a shocking secret. The twins are from different fathers. Eh? What? Say that again? A woman consummate with 2 men can have children from both simultaneously? Don’t think so much. Science not working here… Since only their parents knew which is which, the Saigusa family held an emergency meeting to determine which is the heir and the other the murderer’s daughter. As 2 of the parents’ whereabouts are unknown and Shou said nothing in prison, both twins were judged against each other in everything. Needless to say, Kanata outshines Haruka in every aspect. It was decided that Kanata is the heir to the family and Haruka mistreated and abused. Anything that goes wrong even for the slightest and unrelated incident, she gets blamed. Even beaten up. I wonder if they blamed her for running out of toilet paper too. That’s why Haruka purposely did pranks just to piss Kanata off. She enjoys seeing such reaction. Since she didn’t belong to her family, when she entered school, she tasted her freedom. Till the flyers showed up. She is worried she will lose this place and thinks she shouldn’t have been born in the first place. Now it’s Riki’s turn to work his magic. He too once felt like that. But Kyousuke gave him hope. Nothing good can come from rejecting yourself. She is an important member of Little Busters. She is the mood maker of the gang. This is her home. Haruka is overwhelmed with emotions. They then practise baseball so Haruka can smile again. But Kanata had to show up. Haruka accuses her for distributing those flyers. Kanata won’t say. She warns her not to drag her friends into more trouble. Even if everyone hates her, she doesn’t mind. At least she thinks she is not weak.

Haruka makes her chiffon cake for Riki and Rin to taste. Looks horrible. So dry like it can scatter in the wind. But do they have to lie to say it’s good? She admits she sucks in cooking but can cook well as long as there are eggs. Chiffon cake has eggs, right? But why doesn’t it… Anyway Haruka is going to see Shou today and ask him who her real father is. He has just been released from prison and knows where he lives. They see a useless bum drinking in the park. Must be him, right? Shou tells her to go home but Haruka stands her ground. However Shou still will not say and this causes Haruka to run away in tears. Riki says Haruka has been suffering for a long time and just wants to know who her real dad is. But Shou doesn’t think it will do her any good even after she finds out. That night back at the dorm, Riki sees Kanata talking to the Saigusa main family in their limo. She got slapped when she says distributing those flyers was too much. Riki confronts Kanata. She thinks they are pitying Haruka. He disagrees and from the way she says things, he views Kanata is worried about her. Kanata went on to ask if life is like a zero sum game. If happiness is fixed, when one is happy, does it mean the other becomes unhappy? When Riki asks if she knows who Haruka’s real father is, Kanata chides him off for asking something so heartless. Who does he think he is? Can he really save her like that? His earnest reply is that he just wants to help those in need. Back in bed, Riki ponders how he can free the trapped twins from a manmade web of chains. They may be fighting against something they can’t see. Next day, Haruka bakes chiffon cupcakes for him. Wow. Improved a lot. Suddenly she asks Riki if he loves her. Shocking? Even more shocking, the real Haruka is standing behind him. Oh wait. Or is that Kanata in disguise. Oh sh*t! Which is which?! Can’t tell!

Episode 18
So the one who made the chiffon cupcake is Kanata in disguise. Haruka accuses her of wanting to show Riki she is better than her at everything. Haruka is stumped because Kanata once told her she was allergic to eggs. Or so she believed. Haruka wants to give Kanata a piece of her mind but the latter continues to mock her she wanted to be the tragic heroine and make someone pity her as the unhappiest person in the world. When Kanata leaves, Riki had this feeling that it is Kanata’s heart that is tearing up as much as Haruka. Kud talks to Riki that she doesn’t think Kanata is a bad person. As her roommate, she is quite kind. However she saw something horrible on Kanata but can’t say it. Riki confronts Kanata on why she had to lie to Haruka. When they were in elementary school, their families wanted them to take picture of something they cooked during home economics. Of course it was again to judge them. Haruka was doing omelette and if Kanata made the same thing and won, Haruka would be beaten up. So she made something else. Anyhow Haruka still lost and got beaten up. So when she asked Kanata why she didn’t make omelettes, she lied she was allergic to them just to protect her. She believed it till today and became her only hope against her. When Riki tells this to Haruka, she is not happy and thinks he is trying to say it is not Kanata’s fault. Then is it her fault as usual? Not hers too? Well, if it’s not Kanata’s fault, then who else is there to hate? Haruka runs away. Kyousuke states she has been rejected for ages and she needs to hate someone to carry on living. Riki is worried her dark emotions will overwhelm her. Kyousuke replies only Haruka can find the answer. She must find out what she wants. Riki later goes to talk to Haruka on what she wants. But will finding out whose father she belongs to will solve everything? She thinks it will. But what happens if Shou is Kanata’s father? Then they will tear her apart. Haruka thinks she deserves it. Really? Is that what she really wants? Riki says if they keep forcing each other to be sad, neither will be happy. She must find something from the bottom of her heart. Something more important than hate. And so Haruka has finally decided.

She calls Kanata to talk. She surprises her by going down on her knees to ask who her real father is. Kanata thinks somebody became God and saved her. Riki denies anybody turning into one. It’s just this world and them. Kanata warns her if she really wants to know even if she would lose the life she had until now. She isn’t worried because she has friends. She doesn’t want to hate anymore and won’t run away. Kanata starts explaining. For a long time, she was giving anything she wanted as long as she beat her. Even so, their suspicion on Kanata being the daughter of a criminal never disappeared. The Futaki family loved whipping her whenever she goes soft of Haruka. They loved giving her more scars. Kud should know because she saw the scars on her body. She put up with the pain and couldn’t sleep thinking just how to best Haruka. Kanata worked hard to secure her succession because if neither was good enough, they no longer had any use for them. Because they didn’t want their reputation tainted, they ordered her to hate Haruka. They instructed her not to do sisterly things she wanted. Because if she doesn’t do so, Kanata would take her place. Kanata wasn’t afraid of getting beaten up. It was saying no. They even threatened to kill one of them. That’s why she is forced to be hard on her. Kanata thinks she won’t be forgiven for doing so many bad things to her but Haruka hugs her and apologizes. Because she kept thinking she was the only one who had a hard time. Flashback reveals the twins received secretly hair balls from their parents. They made a promise to go see them one day hand in hand. Both sisters reconcile.

Then they go see Shou. Kanata says she is leaving the family so he can tell Haruka the truth. The parents were raised under Saigusa and as childhood friends they were close. So they were forced into marriage but Shou notices her mom loved the other guy more. He wanted to get out of the picture to leave them alone. After the twins were born, the Saigusa family was angry when the duo tried to run away with the twins and tried to snatch them. That was when Shou came in to stop them. He wanted to protect the twins from this twisted family at all cost but failed. The trio wished for them to be born. He hands them a letter from their mom who can’t wait for the day she sees them both again. Before he could answer Haruka’s question, she doesn’t want to know it anymore. She thought everyone in the world hated her. She just wanted to know if there were evil people. She now knows no one is at fault so she doesn’t need to know whose kid she belongs to. She can love herself. That’s all she ever wanted to know. The twins are back to friendly terms as they go see their parents who are doing fine by themselves…

Episode 19
Kud is so cute when she mispronounces her English words. I know it’s bad of me not wanting her to improve… Her friends encourage her since she is always travelling and has no proper time to study. But they are surprised to learn she is a year younger than them and due to the credits she got, she managed to skip a grade. Because Mio hands out the proficiency test forms, the gang gets an idea of tutoring each other with their best subjects. Komari is good in English and tutors the lot. However she starts off with having sweets. And she almost forgot she had to tutor. Anyway Kud needs to improve. A lot. Next is Mio with maths and physics. She ignores Haruka’s foolishness to continue her tutoring. Since Mio is among the top, they wonder how she does it. Is there a secret? Just listen to the teacher and do your reviews. The look on their face tells us they never did it a single bit. During lunch, a group of girls seems to be watching Kud with glee in hoping she does or says something funny. Then they ask Riki if she is doing well in her practice. Because they are making bets to see if she will fail. They did not hesitate to say they love her when she is in her cute foolish self. Of course Little Busters are here to tell those b*tches to GTFO. Kud may seem discouraged but she won’t let that get to her and will continue the night with more studying.

The gang learn more about Kud. Her grandpa is Russian and raised Kud by himself since her parents are always busy. Grandpa was part of the Soviet’s space agency so they travelled around the world. She never stays in a place for long except for a tiny pacific island called Tebwa. So tiny it’s not even listed on the map. Kud was born there. Most immigrants there hold dual citizenship so Kud holds Tebwa and Japanese citizenship. When Kanata returns a difficult subject book to her, the friends are amazed she can comprehend such subjects. Ironically for a genius, she falters in exams because of her tendency to get nervous and mark in the wrong columns. Kud has never gone to school in her early days so simple things like time limits and answer sheets are completely foreign. But she is ever ready to rant about difficult subjects and this shows the depth of knowledge she has. The problem is she gets easily distracted and is too anxious. True enough on exam day, she is already starting to feel anxious. Yeah, it’s like bad luck sticking to her too with the pencil breaking and all. At the end of the test, Kud realizes something and becomes devastated. Seems she has marked in the wrong columns again and laments she wasted everyone’s time despite they have helped her so much. I guess it’s the remedial classes for her. Haruka notes she has failed her test too and will join her. But Kurugaya notices that she didn’t and scored high (despite depending on her trusty pencil to get the answers – can you believe she scored 85%!!!!). What does this mean? It means she lied so that Kud won’t be alone. What are the others going to do? When Kud enters the classroom, she is surprised to see Little Busters waiting for her. It gives her enough encouragement to work harder.

Episode 20
While Little Busters are practising baseball, here comes obnoxious Sasami and her underlings. Because Sasami in her reflex kicked away a cat, Rin won’t let this slide. Kyousuke suggests a match. If Sasami wins, they’ll leave. Otherwise she must apologize to her. Let’s say Sasami didn’t even get a chance to hit any of Rin’s pitch! And her pitching speed is super fast! Wow. She powers up when her cats are on the line. Sasami didn’t really admit defeat and just leaves. Not even an apology. As Rin is playing with her cats, another message is tied to one of them. It seems their mission is to help ease somebody’s lovesickness. Rin doesn’t understand what lovesick is and really thinks it’s some disease. She and Riki go see Aikawa, the person supposedly who have this ‘disease’. Yeah, Rin is being pushy and really thinks it’s a disease when Aikawa describes his heart being tight when he thinks about her and that he can’t study when he has her on his mind. He doesn’t plan to confess since he has no confidence as rejection only will make it worse. But Riki thinks he shouldn’t give up so easily. So who is this girl he likes? Sasami. Suddenly Rin is enraged in hearing her name! She’s on fire! Even the cats are snarling! She can’t accept Aikawa described her as smart, athletic and popular because she believes Sasami is otherwise. Riki doesn’t want her to shatter his dream. Rin will help Aikawa meet her since she is close to her. Really? Well, she’s starting to think of that plan now… Komari invites Rin to their pyjamas party so Riki thinks this is her best chance to ask the girls. But the girls misinterpret and get excited thinking she is in love. Definitely not you, Kurugaya. And Mio thinks the bond between Riki and Kyousuke is so strong that Rin is only a hindrance. Not that! The best way is of course to ask Sasami herself. And Rin asked it straight in her face on her hobbies and all. Yuri misinterpretation her when Rin says she wants to know everything about her. It is revealed that she likes Kengo.

So they ask Kengo and he knows her because they always greet each other in the hallway (obviously she’s trying to make a pass). But Kengo doesn’t have feelings for her. Then Rin tells Aikawa about it all. Such a heartbreak. Sasami loves Kengo but he has a chance since Kengo doesn’t like her. So to win her heart, Rin comes up with a plan for him to be strong. He has to beat up Kengo. He isn’t athletic. How about music? Aikawa likes hip hop and maybe he can sing to her in his own words. Aikawa takes up her advice but screws up in his lyrics. She is a cicada? Only gets worse. She thinks he is mocking her. More heartbreak… So it’s back to beating Kengo. Rin and Riki plan and cooperate to take down Kengo to make Aikawa look like the hero. It’s always easier on paper because in real life, Kengo easily dodges everything and takes down Aikawa with his judo throw. Since Rin called Sasami to watch, she admires Kengo even more now. You can’t imagine how low Aikawa is feeling now. Since Rin is persistent, Riki wants to back off for now. He asks her if she had fallen in love before. Because they both had not, they were rushing into fixing things. Riki re-reads the message and it seems they are to ease the lovesickness and pain of unrequited love. Rin calls Sasami again. She apologizes and hopes she can forgive Aikawa. She wants to get her handphone number on his behalf. Why doesn’t he come to see her himself? Rin describes his lovesick symptoms. Because Rin for once got Sasami’s name right, she agrees to give it to her as she knows how it feels like to have such pain in her heart. Rin gives the number to Aikawa and he is one very happy guy. Even with restrictions like one mail per day, he is very grateful. With this case solved, Riki wonders if Rin will fall in love for real one day. As Little Busters practise baseball, here comes arrogant Sasami again (surprisingly she messed up her own name). She wants to know Kengo’s favourite food. Rin, on Masato’s cue to lie, tells it to Sasami. She really believes it. When she finds out, both girls prepare for a showdown. The rivalry continues…

Episode 21
Rin seems to have improved in her pitching and also learnt a few curveballs. After that everyone starts cleaning up the clubroom but Haruka makes an exaggerated statement it will destroy the universe. Thank goodness nobody listened to her. Masato’s muscles are so shiny… Later, the gang learns of the meaning behind the names of Strelka (little arrow) and Belka (white). In Russia, sometimes people give names that mean the opposite of what you intend. Kud adds about the 13 dogs that went to space. Strelka and Belka are among them. Even her name was taken after one of those dogs who went to space. Masato: Her ancestors are dogs! That night, Riki sees Kud out in the field performing her own Festival of Stars ceremony. It is a ritual that her people in Tebwa do. She invites Riki to help her out. Kud shows the cocoa she mixes that will be used to draw a family crest over their body. She reveals her real full name as Kudryavka Anatolyevna Strugatskaya. Care to say that again? The people of Tebwa believed a god had one of his body part cut off and turned into an island. So they wrote the god’s name on all sorts of things so they won’t forget. Then it becomes a tradition to draw family crests on their bodies on this festival. The symbol Kud’s mom thought up for her means a good gear of the world. Kud then wants Riki to draw the crest on her back. She has to strip her top for that, right? Riki just drew spirals. While he does that, she sings a Russian song her mom taught her. She has not seen her for a long time and she is the kind of person who loves space. Her mom also taught her the 4 stars of the Yuzhny Krest, which is the Southern Cross.

Next day on the news, TASA (Tebwa Administration Space Agency) announces they will be conducting a rocket launch. Kud sees her mother being interviewed and she will be the one piloting the rocket. When everyone is waiting in front of the TV eager for the launch, Kud is nowhere to be seen. Riki goes to find her and sees her sitting alone. She feels the launch will go well without her watching. Kud adds that her mom has worked hard to achieve her dream of going into space and now that time has come. Because of that, grandpa always took care of her and travelled around the world. Kud once asked him about mommy (since she always only sees her in pictures) but he replied she was always busy and thus Strelka and Belka are here in her place. One day Kud managed to see her mom in person. She told Kud about her dream of being a cosmonaut. Kud looked up to her very much and wanted so much to be like her. Suddenly she starts crying. If you feel it’s like a bad premonition, well then… Here comes Rin calling them in for an emergency. Over the news, it is reported that the reactor exploded during lift-off. Oh no… Kud is so shocked to hear this that she collapses.

Episode 22
Half a day has passed since that incident and there is no news of whether there are survivors. Due to the contamination of the area, people are not allowed in or out so any updates on any information are scarce. Riki laments things beyond their control always happen so Kyousuke says that is how the world works. The most important thing is not let the tragedy defeat you. When Kud wakes up, she remembers she was in prison. It is soon learnt that Tebwa’s Embassy has given Kud a plane ticket back to Tebwa since she is the daughter of a national hero.  The rest are contemplating if she should go back. Some say yes because to confirm her mom is alright but Rin doesn’t think so because she thinks Kud will suffer more and should not see sad or scary things. Riki and Rin see Kud sitting by the river bank. She tells them she has remembered everything. She can’t go back to Tebwa because she came to Japan to escape. When Kud told mom she wanted to be a cosmonaut, she was elated and was happy she named her so. Kud soon enrolled in an aviation school but it was tougher than she thought. The other kids mocked her for being slow. Since she felt like an embarrassment to her mother, she dropped out of school half a year later and escaped to Japan without telling her. She considers herself useless. Then after they tell this to the rest, they have another round of discussion if Kud should go back. Riki personally feels she should because he is worried about her mom. However if she isn’t ready, she shouldn’t. Kurugaya thinks she should go or else she will regret it. There may not be another chance to see her mom. Even Kanata thinks Kud should go so she could move forward. However Kud doesn’t want to since she is scared and will send back the air ticket to the embassy.

Even Kyousuke talks to her and promises her that Riki and the rest will not criticize her for whatever decisions. But she apologizes and runs away. This has Riki to think that telling others is easy. Because there is no right answer and whichever way Kud chooses she will regret it. It is sad he is not strong enough to tell Kud to face this. When a classmate passes him the itinerary for the upcoming school trip, he doesn’t feel enthusiastic. As he is about to call Haruka, mysterious visions start flashing in his mind. What was that? Riki then sees a box next to the incinerator. Upon opening it, he sees all of Kud’s space models, books and a dog tag ID (sorry Masato, nothing you can eat here). Riki decides to take the box back and do a research. The dog tag ID’s name appears as one of the 13 dogs that went up to space. He thinks this is Kud’s mom’s ID. Later he returns the box to her seeing that he doesn’t want her to throw away her dreams. He realizes the cap and mantle she wears is from her mom. He tells her no matter how much she denies everything, she cannot extinguish her true feelings. She loves space from the bottom of her heart. She doesn’t need to be like her mom. She just needs to find what she can do. She can be her own gear and chase her own dream of space. It doesn’t matter if she is weak or worthless, she still loves her mom. Kud breaks down and blurts out how she wants to see her. On the day she is to leave, she tells her friends that she might not return to Japan as said by the embassy people. But Riki and the rest are confident she will. Kud says she was trying to be someone else when she was with her mom. No matter where she went, everyone laughed at her as weird. That’s why she was always alone. Now she has friends who accepted her for who she is. That’s why she’ll come back.

Episode 23
Watching the news has become a habit for Little Busters. But the situation gets worse in Tebwa. Armed rebel forces who opposed the launch have being their uprising since the government was too slow in responding to this incident. And there are casualties too! Oh sh*t! All they could do now is pray. Kud is taken to grandpa’s hideout. He tells her that her mom may be alive because the astronauts got off in time when they got the anomaly notice. She may have been injured in helping others. That night when word confirms that she is really alive and coming to see her, grandpa wants Kud to stay behind while he goes get her. But that joy turns into despair because Kud thinks mommy must hate her a lot for running away and can’t face her. Suddenly a rocket launcher rips the place open. Though Kud is alive, the rebels have found that woman’s daughter, the traitor who wasted the nation’s resources. Riki holds a space engine part of Kud’s. They can’t help continue worry but are confident she will keep her promise to return. Riki is devastated when he learns the good luck charm Kud made him say before her departure amounts to a curse so Kanata and Kurugaya explain that it is Russians’ tradition to sometimes wish the opposite as it is bad to be greedy because if you wish for everything, your wish won’t come true. Mio is confident she will come back because she believes in her smile and she is an important member of Little Busters. Kud is tied up in some dungeon cave. Despite being negative, thinking about Little Busters gave her the motivation to not give up as she tries to break free from her chains. She vows not to run away again.

Riki narrates if this world was a giant clock, it would be made of an infinite number of nameless gears. No matter how small a gear is, interacting with each other makes us move on. We can change the world through a compounding of little things. Kud is an important gear to them and without her they cannot move. Riki wishes so hard on the space engine that Kud thinks she has heard the voices of everyone even though it is an illusion. In a magical moment, the space engine disappears from Riki hands and into Kud’s! She uses it to break free. But while she does so, Riki feels the pain. Kud treks through the cave and comes out at the edge of the island whereby she sees the starry sky and the Southern Cross. It’s like she has gone into space. A few days later, the news report the situation in Tebwa has subsided and the rebellion has lost momentum. Life returns to normal although it will be a long way from full recovery. Little Busters happily practise baseball as Riki shows a mail from Kud saying she is alright. She met her mom and they talked about everything. Mommy said because she left her alone at a young age, she was the one who drove her to a corner. She was happy when Kud wanted to be a cosmonaut but she doesn’t want to force that dream onto her. She should live her own dream and become her own gear for what she holds dearest. Kud returns to school and to a very warm and emotional welcome by Little Busters. Welcome back!

Episode 24
There is another letter tied to the cat and this time it wants Rin to do a puppet show. Of course Riki is starting to doubt if getting the tasks done will ever yield the secrets of the world. Nearby, they hear several kids quarrel. Seems the boys deliberately destroyed a panda puppet. The girl wanted to do a puppet show for her friend tomorrow and now it is destroyed. Rin says she will fix it up and to the show. They go back and tell Komari who has written lots of stories with her sketchbook. Take your pick. Riki notices one about a boy and a girl with 8 dwarves. They will solve each of the dwarves’ worries one by one and after they solve them, the dwarves will disappear. Soon the rest of Little Busters heard about the puppet show and decide to join in. But writing a story is no easy task since we have Kurugaya whose story starts off with a scary mystery, Masato and his dumbbell friendship (really!), Kyousuke with his traditional story that turns into some super action power and finally Mio doing a sci-fi action (newlyweds against aliens? She even demonstrated with her action figures!). However Kanata breaks them up seeing it is past their curfew. Komari assures Riki that she will help Rin out. Komari shows her one of her stories that involves a penguin riding a star flying through the sky. Because Rin doesn’t know how to sew, Komari teaches her. Rin couldn’t stay up and falls asleep. She realized everything is late when morning comes but saw Komari already done most of it. Rin finishes up what she can and heads off. At the river bank, Rin puts on the puppet show to the kids as promised. They are amazed with her story and leave satisfied. Rin goes off to tell Komari about her success. This leaves Riki to wonder how the person who wrote the letter knows what is going to happen. He felt something strange. Even when seeing Komari’s dwarves story, he has a feeling he has seen it before. Rin returns but couldn’t find Komari. Fear that she is missing (as told in the dwarves’ story), she rushes to look her and eventually finds her staring at the sky on the rooftop. She was making a wish on a star for Rin’s success. Because she has 2 hairpins resembling a wishing star, she decides to give one to Rin. But Rin will leave it to her to decide that wish.

Episode 25
Shortly after Rin left, Riki fell into narcolepsy. When he wakes up, he once more thinks about that dwarves’ story. He is certain he has seen it somewhere before. It was like he was forgetting something important. Kyousuke surprises everyone that Little Busters will play their first match soon. It is against an all-star team that consists of captains from different clubs like football, basketball, judo, swimming, tracks and even an ex-baseball captain! Oh sh*t… However Little Busters is still short of a member! Riki will go find the last one but Kyousuke says he has done enough. It is a matter of time the last one will join. Seems he has a particular person on his mind. Riki isn’t sure who that person is because it can’t be Kengo as he wouldn’t change his mind. Speaking of him, they see him talking to Miyuki Koshiki of the archery club. She is the daughter of a famous line of professional archers but a disease took her right eye. Masato thinks they are flirting. But suddenly she starts crying. They leave them alone. During recess, Kyousuke introduces Little Busters to some of the captains of the all-star team. Way to go. Trying to demoralize your own team, huh? Well, Rin is certainly afraid already. Kengo advises her to control her feelings because if she feels anxious before the enemy even before the match, she has already lost. Masato then runs his mouth that he wouldn’t believe it coming from the mouth of a guy who flirts with a girl. Immediately the entire cafeteria is abuzz with this. Masato and Kengo were about to fight but Koshiki butts in and apologize. She was just asking Kengo for advice. He was just comforting her like anyone would. Koshiki is sad that she practised archery her entire life and now it amounts to nothing. Kengo tells her she can find another way of life but she chides him for not understanding as he is a strong person who never once lost hope.

Suddenly an announcement is made that all students are to stay in their classroom. It is Koshiki and she is planning to jump from the roof. Riki, Kyousuke and Masato rush over. They see her shaking and know she doesn’t want to die. The teachers are trying to persuade her to come back but Riki notes they do not understand her. When the teachers rush to grab her, the guys move in to restrain them but was threatened they could be punished. Koshiki slips and Kengo is seen running and diving down to save her. The trees break their fall. The only small price paid was Kengo’s fractured left arm. Also, because he pushed a teacher out of the way to save her, he has been suspended from all practice sessions with his kendo team. Koshiki is sad she has taken his dream away and can’t participate in the tournament but to Kengo that is all it means. He wants her to promise never to do something like that again. Since he saved her, she will not throw away her life easily. To prove he can do other things than kendo and find another way to live, Kengo surprises everyone by trying out baseball. He wants Rin to pitch her hardest. No one believes he can hit with one arm or even run in that condition. He doesn’t care. The first few pitches Kengo might miss, but when Rin starts getting serious, Kengo gets serious and with all his might hits a homerun! And so Kyousuke welcomes the final and ninth member of Little Busters. Now they’re complete! Hooray! Yeah, who would have thought Kengo would change his mind and play baseball. This is what bugs Riki. Was Kengo the person Kyousuke had in mind when he said it was just a matter of time the last member joins? Something that nobody could have predicted but Kyousuke did. There is something important Riki must have forgotten… Kyousuke then makes another important announcement. The captain of Little Busters will be Riki! Kyousuke will no longer lead this team and from this moment Riki will be the leader. Bet you didn’t predict this either, eh?

Episode 26
While Riki contemplates if Kyousuke is joking as usual, here comes in Kengo the most enthusiastic person in the world about playing baseball! He loves the game! He loves Little Busters! What gives?! He even made a jacket of Little Busters of his own! Wow! He just elevated himself to a bigger idiot on par with Masato! So it is true that Kyousuke has handed the leadership to him and wants Riki to make his first order. Riki is not sure if everyone is okay but they assure him he has their support even if he looks less reliable. After the disastrous roll call (guess who the enthusiastic one was?), Riki makes his first order with field play. However Kanata reminds him that he has been sent a message they can’t use it today as it is closed for maintenance. Bummer. First order failed. So while Riki gets his head together, once more he remembers about his past. How Kyousuke introduced him to a world of fun and brought him out of despair. Riki tells Kyousuke how he his worries and sadness disappear when he is with him. He wants to always follow him. But Kyousuke says he can’t do that forever. He is not as small as he think and is just unaware of the scale of things he has done. He has observed him helped others and overcome their hardship to save them. The Little Busters are here today because of the people he gathered. That’s why he can’t follow him forever and wants him to grow stronger. When Riki is doing more thinking, he is surprised Haruka visits him (actually she is hiding in the locker to surprise him). Since he is pessimistic about taking over Kyousuke’s role, Haruka mentions without him, she would still be full of hate and would be crushed by it. Now she believes this world can be filled with light after watching him make everyone happy. That’s why she’ll always support him.

Then Mio comes in to hand him a data of the players of the all-star team. He can use this to strategize. It is her way of being useful to him. If not for him, she would have resigned to her fate to forever be alone that no one would remember. To her, he is her miracle. Riki is then invited for a snack break on the rooftop. It’s Komari’s turn to be grateful to him and how he taught her never to run away from sad and painful things. She shows him the hen and egg picture book in which she drew the Little Busters as the chicks. Everyone is happy because the place is sunny. And that place is sunny is because of Riki. He gathered them all here. He has helped them so much so now it is their turn to help him back. He might not realize this but his kindness is his strength. That kindness that drew them all together. Riki is much confident now and is going to tell his team the batting order and fielding positions. He tells Kyousuke he might be need now but wants to become stronger to support others. Kyousuke adds in that they had their fair share of fun. Every story must come to an end. Time passes, things change, people grow up. There will come a day they won’t be together anymore. Kyousuke is graduating a year ahead of them, the reason Riki thinks he told him not to rely on him. Kyousuke is confident even without him, Riki will keep going. Little Busters take the field as Riki rallies his team to do their best. It’s not about winning or losing. Give everything you’ve got and have a great game. Their first match with the all-star team begins. I think they can get by since the guys are distracted by the moe and cute girls! Oh yeah… But well, all-star team may have captains in several filed but that doesn’t mean they are good in baseball, right? In the end, Little Busters win! Everyone takes a commemorative photo as Riki wishes how fun times like these would last forever.

Little Wonders! Mission, Continue!
Seeing the rate at which things are going, it wasn’t surprising that it was just begging to warrant another season. True enough, we get such announcement right at the end of the final episode. Besides, there are a few things which are unsolved. Like as we all would want to know, who keeps sending those mysterious task messages. Are there really secrets behind this world? What about Riki’s narcolepsy that he reminds us from time to time? His memories? That dwarves’ story? Komari’s wishes? Feels like there is more to that than meets the eye. Especially when Riki keeps reminding us from time to time about this mysterious coma of his and his tragic past. Despite with many of the issues of the girls from Little Busters solve, I’m sure you have noticed that Kurugaya and Rin have not had theirs. So perhaps this is why the need for another season. I am sure that everyone in Little Busters will have their own issues and personal demons to confront to and Riki will have to work his magic in pulling them out. Also, the end teaser for the next season seems to be grimmer. Little Busters fighting among themselves? That’s a surprise. It won’t be all fun and games like we mostly see this season and hence an indication where the puzzle will fall into place and the big picture complete.

For this season, I guess the flow of the story was pretty good. At least it kept my interests afloat. Whether it is one of those girl’s arc or a standalone fun filler episode, each episode is nevertheless fun to watch and enjoyable in its own right. Sometimes I thought that the few supernatural elements may make it seem a little unrealistic like how the space engine in Riki’s hand vanished into Kud’s palm or when Mio had no shadow. I have to remember that I am watching a Key production and just like in Air, Kanon and Clannad, there are some supernatural elements as well and this makes it part of the magic and mystery. That’s why when I was watching this series, I somewhat felt that kind of familiar feel like when I watched those other Key animes. The kind of drama that was being played out and the kind of emotions evoked during such scenes. All too familiar. Although I thought that some of the arcs ended a little rushed. For example when Kud’s arc came to a close, it felt that the dying down of rebellion and the Tebwa situation returning to normal were rushed. What happened to her kidnappers? Not important, eh? For Haruka’s arc, when Kanata left her household, can I really believe that they would really just let her go like that? Or maybe they will since they never really fully trusted her in the first place. But it goes to show that the more important focus is on the girl and not the source of her problem. I kinda noticed something too. During the arcs when it gets grim, the sky will always be raining especially in the initial parts when the issue is climaxing. It’s like their heart is crying and is reflected in the sky. Except for Kud’s arc and the most was a cloudy sky. Maybe she has shed so much loli tears that it is unbearable to turn the sky into such. Heh. Just kidding.

Whatever has about Riki, his strengths and weaknesses have already been said in the anime by his friends so if I am to say it here, I would just probably be repeating them. What Riki wants is just simple. For others to be happy. If one of your friends is sad, wouldn’t it affect you and feel sad too? Happiness and sadness are infectious so why not do the former instead? As someone who has been through hell and back, he definitely doesn’t want to see another soul in such torment. So you can say that one good deed deserves another. What Kyousuke did to bring him out of despair has borne fruits because now he is guiding others out with his hand. And in turn, perhaps those girls in the future will repay such kindness by helping someone else in trouble. So you see, it is a never ending cycle. Just like how when evil can work in such way, Riki chose to bring good via this method. As said, he might seem like the weakest among the boys but it is his incredible gentle touch that serves as the glue that binds the gang together. However Riki isn’t solely to be credited for what makes up Little Busters. Everyone has a role to play and they are an important member of the team, no matter big or small. It is their individuality that makes up Little Busters and why the gang is dynamic.

Kyousuke acts like the big brother and despite looking like the leader, he is one of the most mysterious characters of Little Busters. What I can see is that he always observes his team especially Riki. He gives lots of good advice when the time calls for it. From the start, it feels like Kyousuke has been grooming Riki to take over his place in Little Busters. This is highly speculative but I suspect he may be the one behind those mysterious task letters. So why a baseball team? Maybe it has the most number of players in a team so this in turns means more people gathered at Riki’s fingertips. How many can you gather for a team sport like basketball? Hmm… Maybe he should’ve gone for assembling a football team… Masato is the biggest idiot in the series since all he got in his head is muscles. Yeah, he loves his entire body filled with muscles. That’s what you call being a muscle brain. He really loves them. Sometimes I feel, no wait, a big majority of the time I feel his role is to be the series’ whipping boy and comic relief. But when it comes down to his friends, he still cares for them in a big way too although there is nothing much he can do. Kengo I thought he was some cool guy like Kyousuke and even if he was an idiot, he was much calmer and reserve. Then when he joined Little Busters, he became another big idiot. Like the team needs another idiot. Is it big enough for the 2 of them? Well, nobody seems to mind. Kengo’s case is like the unpredicted. You think that somebody is never going to change or do something. Then all of a sudden, a little event makes that person u-turn. I guess the moral of the story is to predict the unpredictable and to always keep your options open. The person who is most likely to oppose something at the beginning usually ends up joining its cause. Also, it is good to try things out because like in Kengo’s case, he was cocksure that baseball wasn’t going to suit him till he had a little taste of it. Now he is singing heaps of praises about it. Talk about a sudden change in personality. Is this really the Kengo we know?

It goes without saying that the girls of this series have undergone the most change. Of course not without Riki’s intervention. Komari is able to let go of her past and face reality head on. Mio realizes that there is much more to life than being alone. Even if nobody else remembers her, she can always count on Little Busters for that. Haruka does not hate and despise the world and especially her twin sister. This affects Kanata who is no longer being the strict ice queen, though she still has to enforce her rules as part of her duty. Kud maybe clumsy and silly but she can stop pretending trying to live up to the expectations of others and be her true self. I just wonder her case about being a genius. She seems to know lots about the stars and space but if she is going to pen her thoughts down, she becomes scatterbrain. Rin who was once afraid of even talking to the same girl members of Little Busters is now more open up and can freely talk to them without having the need to cower behind Riki or Kyousuke. However Rin is funny in a way because sometimes she can be pretty blunt with her words. She doesn’t hold back words or mince them so you might feel a tinge of ouch in your heat when she tells it straight to your face. I believe a cool beauty like Kurugaya has her own set of problems too but we’ll leave that for next time. Just like Kyousuke, she has this mysterious feel around her. Perhaps it is because she has no arc of her own so we do not really know much about her. Except the fact that she is ‘dangerous’ and a ‘pervert’ to a certain extent. Don’t ever leave cute young girls alone with her! To sum it up for these girls, life has gotten much more interesting ever since they joined Little Busters. A whole new world of happiness just opened up before them. Even though Sasami isn’t part of the gang, I have feeling that we might run into her next season. She is funny because she is arrogant and loggerheads with Rin, who can never pronounce her full name correctly except that one time. Yeah, it’s practically like a tongue twister.

One of my favourite funny moments is the spontaneous fights among the Little Busters. Well, Masato certainly has participated in all of them since he is the one initiating it. It is amusing to see people throwing in ‘weapons’ that could range from sports equipment to everyday equipment like dice, harmonica, pen and eraser. It is fun to pause and watch what kind of items they throw. Sometimes it makes me got WTF because of the items they throw in. I saw somebody throw in a bomb amidst all that mess!!! For real?! Hope it’s a dud. Yeah, anything goes. Would you believe it, a love letter caught my eye too! It just makes me laugh on the thought of what happens if they picked up one of those. I’m sure it will be a hilarious moment to see them improvise how they will be using it. But of course Masato will always ‘lose’ because you can’t have cute girls losing to him, right? Even when Kurugaya forfeited her victory, it was actually her who won, right? Oh, and speaking about baseball, the real match was only at the end, right? So it dispels my fear at the beginning that it would be a baseball focused series. Even so, they were just snippets of the game. The other funny moment when Masato gets a new insulting nickname or Rin masters some type of pitching. An onscreen announcement will be made as though they have levelled up to it.

I’m not sure if there are romance stuff here because unlike Kanon and Clannad whereby the series has the main guy choosing one of the heroines to be his girlfriend in the end, there doesn’t seem to be any such sort of chemistry between the members of Little Busters. Not that I can see or sense. It feels more like everyone is happy being good friends and teammates with each other. It is definite that all the girls love Riki because of his kindness and support but you don’t see them having dilemma or problems about the feelings of their heart when it comes to Riki. Not the kind where it aches so bad with just a thought of him. So it avoids the show falling into the harem pitfall. Which is a good thing because I personally feel that Riki himself won’t be able to choose or even make a decision if he is in such position. The closest for this type of romance is I guess Aikawa’s love for Sasami even though as for now it seems unrequited. I hope there is nothing going on for those who would love to see the Kyousuke x Riki pairing. Despite Mio seemingly like an ardent fan of this, let’s just hope it is just a joke. I know that single episode may have hinted something but I would like to brush it off as one of Kyousuke’s pranks. I hope. Now that Kengo is very much in sync with Masato after he turned into Little Busters biggest enthusiast, I hope there won’t be such a pairing either. The world is doomed if they are to. But I am assured with Masato being a muscle brained guy, he won’t really understand about love and all. I hope.

As said that Little Busters is one of the many visual novel games created by Key, the drawing and art seem to differ very much to Air, Kanon and Clannad. That is because the latter trio were produced by the production studio Kyoto Animation. The visuals and style in Little Busters resemble more like Angel Beats, the only other show that Key was directly involved in its production. Key collaborated with J.C. Staff for this series. So you have lots of cute girls, good looking guys and even cute boys (Riki?!) in their style. Loli Kud is so moe that you can die so many times by nose bleeding to death over and over again. Even hearing her trademark squeal of “Wafu!” may send you into some moe ecstasy. So moe that she has her own spin-off game in which she is the main heroine, Kud Wafter. Wafu! On a side note, I suppose this series is so popular that there has been lots of spin-offs manga.

I do not remember about Yui Horie’s other roles voicing young boys but as Riki, I felt it was kinda odd. Not to say that she sounds bad and as usual I got used to her in Riki’s role. But the thought of Yui Horie, the one whom I often hear voicing sweet girl roles, if not mainly female roles ranging from emotionless to villainous, to voice a young boy’s part just feels odd. I won’t go so far to say it doesn’t match but I just can’t bring myself to just accept it wholesomely and settle in with her voice completely. It’s like hearing Yu Kobayashi voicing Clain in Fractale. It just feels weird. The rest of the casts include Hikari Midorikawa as Kyousuke (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Tomoe Tamiyasu (Futami in Recorder To Randoseru), Nobutoshi Canna as Masato (Makoto Waltz Seiga in Guilty Crown), Katsuaki Arima as Kengo (Deep Snow in Rave), Ryouko Tanaka as Kurugaya (Hikari in School Days), Natsumi Yanase as Komari (Chihiro in ef series), Naomi Wakabayashi as Kud (Ritsuko in The IdolMaster) and Sora Tokui as Sasami (Nero in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). Yuiko Tatsumi (Riko in KissxSis) did double roles as Mio and Midori just like how Keiko Suzuki (Kanako in Clannad) did hers as Haruka and Kanata. All the opening and ending themes are sung by Rita. The opening theme is the same name of this series and the lively rock pace fits well with the theme of the series. The main ending theme is also another lively piece entitled Alicemagic. Both these songs as I found out were taken from the visual novel game and remixed. The other ending theme is Ame Nochi Hare, which is a much slower ballad. I noticed that many of the background music in this series have this Air, Kanon and Clannad-like feel. It invokes some sort of emotion just hearing them. Sometimes I thought I would be mistaken myself if I am not watching Little Busters but those shows.

There are many underlying themes to learn while watching this series. Like the importance of friendship and relying on your friends for help (not all the time of course. That makes you a leech). There is a reason why humans were made imperfect it is so that they could communicate and help each other out and to improve themselves to get better. If men were so perfect, we wouldn’t have to put up with all these issues in the first place. Riki’s tragic past is regrettable but it was also a blessing in disguise because it turned him into a better person. It tells us that by helping others, the goodness and happiness have a multiplier effect. You can see the magnitude and end results of Riki’s help. When you are down in your darkest moments, it tells us not to give up hope even if everything seems hopeless. Even if you have given up believing in God, don’t believe in your friends or those who believe in you. Because certainly they have not given up on you. We see how the girls with support from Riki gave themselves a second chance and in turn they become better people themselves. There is more to life than just wallowing in negativity.

Perhaps the secret to this world is to stay happy. It isn’t about completing the task to find the answer. The answer perhaps lies within the task that is currently being done. Notice how the tasks are for the betterment of something? You don’t need to pray so hard for a miracle. Little miracles of joy are happening every day if you open your eyes and take a good look around. Maybe if I had such fine friends in the first place, I wouldn’t have turned into a useless anime otaku addict. Or maybe I’m still waiting for that prince (or princess as I prefer) to extend that helping hand to reach out to me. In the mean time I will just watch more animes, the only thing that I can do while waiting for that person to come. If he/she ever does. Hope that person then would be a maid… ;p.

Da Capo III

September 14, 2013

OMG! OMFG! I don’t believe this! It actually happened! When I first heard that Da Capo III was scheduled to be released as an anime back in January 2013, it really caught me by surprise. After all, I really believed that this series have really ended ever since the last time the TV series for Da Capo II Second Season ended a long time back in 2008. I was really sure there was never going to be another Da Capo forever. Oh. That Time Paladin Sakura OVA, I don’t really consider it as a proper Da Capo TV series. Apart from being surprised, I was also jumping with glee (okay, maybe I wasn’t jumping but you get the idea of happy I was) and feeling a tad nostalgic when this series finally had another season. This series always gives me a nostalgic feel as it was one of the very first animes I watched when I became an anime junkie. Yeah. That feels like a very long time ago.

Of course this being the fifth season (Da Capo I and Da Capo II had 2 seasons each) and the ‘third’ in its title would indicate that this would be s new storyline with a new bunch of characters although the setting is still set on the crescent shaped island of Hatsunejima. As usual, the characters have that very similar look to those in the past Da Capo series. There is one looking very much like Nemu, another like Sakura, another like Aisia and also one resembling Azusa. Oh wait. Azusa isn’t a Da Capo character. Whoops. As the story goes, ever since the events of the last Da Capo series, the everlasting sakura tree has not bloomed since. Yeah, that was 20 odd years ago. So much so it became like a distant memory to many of the people of the island. Some still believe in its magic. The main protagonists are of the Newspaper Club of Kazami Academy. When a strange event that causes the everlasting sakura tree to bloom again overnight takes the islanders by surprise, they go all out to investigate this phenomenon. Of course, it wouldn’t be really a Da Capo series if you don’t have that single, the one and only guy in the club surrounded by a bevy of beauties. I can see where this is going. Yeah. The girls are more interested in that guy and having him more on their mind than this story. I think I’m going to get all nostalgic again over this harem series…

Episode 1
We are introduced to the Newspaper Club in the meeting. The club president, Ricca Morizono and the rest of its members Aoi Hinomoto, Himeno Katsuragi, Charles Yoshino, Sara Rukawa and the only boy in the club, Kiyotaka Yoshino. I’m not sure if Ricca’s speech is so boring that Kiyotaka had fallen asleep. Not only him. Aoi too. She wants to sleep for another 3 decades! Maybe she should just sleep forever. The rest whisper into her ear the secret word of the need to get to work. Instantly she springs into action and starts stripping to change. Wow. Fanservice this early? Back to their discussion, Ricca thinks they should use the theme of magic for the next issue. Ricca’s determination is to beat the Unofficial Newspaper Club as they are gaining popularity. In short, it’s Ricca’s personal grudge against Suginami who is the president of the unofficial club. It is decided they will do a special edition on the graduating class. Since they are going to use the theme of magic, what better way than to pay a visit to the everlasting sakura tree. Rumours once had it that it was supposed to grant any wish. In addition, it blooms all year long before it withered into a normal one 20 years ago. Ricca believes there is something magical about it since her father was alive to see them during his time. So the Newspaper Club gang are at the sakura tree making their wish. You won’t know if you don’t try. All of a sudden, the sakura tree starts to bloom in full! What did they do? Has it revived? Then each one of them gets a mail simultaneously. However the words are jumbled up. An unknown sender. Did somebody send this by mistake? More perplexing, the date of the message dates back to 1951. Blast from the past? A prank? Ricca thinks the date is part of the message someone has sent them from that moment over a century ago.

Kiyotaka and Charles are back in their room discussing about the possibility of the revived sakura tree to perhaps grant their wishes. Charles becomes persistent in wanting to sleep with him. He’s got no choice whether he wants it or not. He tries to hint the implications of doing this as she is now an attractive woman but it is that precise reason why she is doing so. Next day, the TV is rave with news about the shocking revival of the sakura trees all over Hatsunejima. At the school gates, Suginami waits to confront the Newspaper Club (his assistant Mikoto truly adores, admires, respect this dude whatsoever). He is here to declare war on the official club as his next article will unravel the mystery of the sakura trees blooming. To make it more interesting, the loser must do what the winner says. Kiyotaka is not interested but as usual, Ricca accepts the challenge. If the Newspaper Club wins, the unofficial one must disband as long as Suginami is in this school. But if the unofficial club wins, Suginami will take Kiyotaka as his personal partner! Why? Because he wants him!!! Oh sh*t!!! Is that an open declaration that he loves him???!!! I’m sure Mikoto is so devastated to hear that. Ricca is confident that their club will win since their bond cannot be broken. So don’t worry Kiyotaka. Easier said than done. Are we motivated to win yet? Everyone except Kiyotaka… Lastly, sitting by the everlasting sakura tree is a familiar petite blonde…

Episode 2
Kiyotaka’s buddy, Kousuke Edogawa must be praising how popular Kiyotaka is getting. Actually it sounds like a jealousy rant because Kiyotaka is in a club that has the school’s best beauties! Yeah, he thinks he is hogging them all! In the club room, Ricca discusses with her members about last night’s incident. Especially about the mail they receive, could it be some error or is there a chance that others aside them have received it. For the latter, it might not be possible as Ricca has asked the students and they do not receive it. So it is only exclusive to them. Ricca suggests splitting into groups. Four will head into town to get more information about the sakura tree and the remaining two will investigate deeper into that message. They’re going to draw lots so hold no grudges. In the end, Ricca drew the short end of the stick and the one ended up with hard feelings. Because she didn’t get to be on Kiyotaka’s team to go interview the townspeople (hint, hint). Hey, it’s her idea, right? And she was so confident about it… The rest of the episode feels like Charles-focused episode. Charles wants to cook for Kiyotaka but he knows she’s a bad cook despite eating all the food she cooks every time. He is ‘saved’ when Himeno comes in with proper dinner.

At school, Charles tells Kiyotaka to strip because she wants to fix back his button. Then she talks about wanting to repay and rely on him. Since they’re family, she hopes he won’t hold back. And as repayment for fixing his button, she wants to eat his home cook dinner. I think she wanted a kiss but it’s too early for that. Charles is so happy looking forward to it that she spaces out during her student council meeting. Kiyotaka and his team interview the people in town. At the end of the day when they’re about to head back, Aoi realizes her house key is missing. The key to her workplace is also attached with it. Everyone agrees to help retrace her steps and find it. By night fall, thankfully Kiyotaka has found them. Happy ending? Not when he reaches home. It’s dark… There’s a lonely figure munching bread all by herself… Oh no! It’s Charles! It’s the incredible sulk! Did he forget his promise?! Worse, he forgot to text her about what he was doing. As he takes a bath, he remembers how Charles first came to live with him. As atonement for not making dinner for her, Charles wants to bath with him. This isn’t good. Or maybe it is. She enters the bathtub with him but he can’t take it anymore and wants to leave. She won’t allow that. Finally, that familiar petite blonde wanders around town in the dead of the night.

Episode 3
While conducting his investigation in town, Kiyotaka catches glimpse of Sakura. She is surprised that he’s talking to her (duh?). She ‘vanishes’ when a gust of wind blows the sakura petals across. Sakura continues to wander around and meets Utamaru (“Nyaa~”). They become best friends and continue wandering. Kiyotaka researches for past articles about the everlasting sakura tree and finds several mysterious incidents reported before it wilted. Guess what? All the articles are written by the Unofficial Newspaper Club. Do they exist way back then? Annoying Mikoto probably wanted Kiyotaka to show some respect for the club but he manages to get away with a little seduction, telling her face is cute. On his way back, Kiyotaka catches Sakura falling off a wall before continuing his investigation. He visits the everlasting sakura tree once more and is surprised to see Sakura there. She is devastated that Utamaru is gone and can’t find him. Kiyotaka agrees to help find the cat and finds it stuck atop a tree. Sakura is delighted to be reunited with Utamaru. When Kiyotaka asks her name, she thinks a while before replying the same as the cherry blossoms. Kiyotaka treats Sakura to sweets since her stomach is growling. After she is charged up, she wants to play with him. Not that kind of hentai play lah! At the beach, she plays sword fighting with Utamaru (amazingly she lost to the cat!) followed by tag. Then they go pick some shells at the rocks and draw pictures in the sand (OMG! Sakura drew a very surreal image!!!). Kiyotaka stays by her side as she falls asleep after playing hard. It is sunset by the time she wakes up. It’s time to go home so happy Sakura leaves with Utamaru. Kiyotaka gives his last sweet to her. He notes her as a strange girl since she starts calling him “onii-chan”. Because Sakura is thinking too much, Utamaru steals her last sweet. There goes dinner…

Episode 4
A Himeno focused episode this time. Kiyotaka goes to check on her since she is running late for school. What a wake up morning call because he sees her in her undies while dressing up! Pink lingerie! WOWWW!!! Morning fanservice, me like! The odd part is that he continues to ogle at her while trying to give excuse how she has matured into a fine woman! Does he need her to tell him to get out???!!! Yeah, I bet he enjoyed looking at her. So do we ;p. While taking the bus, it suddenly breaks when a pedestrian suddenly jumped into the street (thankfully nobody died). This causes Himeno to fall off balance and Kiyotaka catches her. His hand got hold of her butt… Going to release his grip any time? Himeno wanted to invite Kiyotaka to her lunch but her friends got to her first. She has a hard time saying no so it turned out too late when Kiyotaka hits off with Kousuke to the cafeteria. Of course that guy wants to know if their relationship has progressed. Especially if they’re doing this and that. The Newspaper Club meet to compare their research data. Himeno has found out that their former principal may know something about this sakura tree and its powers because she disappeared after it wilted. Coincidentally, she shares the same surname as Kiyotaka and Charles. Is she related? Not that they remember. When she shows how their former principal looks like, Kiyotaka is shocked that it looks exactly like Sakura. Later at town, Kiyotaka is oblivious to Himeno’s feelings so she leaves his side. Kiyotaka spots Sakura and Utamaru and accompanies them at the playground. He thinks back of all the good times he spent with his childhood friend Himeno. Sakura spots his sad expression and assures she will be here for him. As he helps her make a sand castle, he asks if she knows anything about Yoshino. Apparently her puzzled face means she doesn’t.

Late that night, Himeno texts Kiyotaka to meet. She wants to spend some quiet time with him. For the question if he is lonely, it is more of regret because although they’re having more fun together in the Newspaper Club, it feels like they are having lesser time together. It’s like a relationship he thought that will never change has changed. She wants to hold his hand like old times. Even though they’re embarrassed by it, they manage to do so. Himeno relishes every second of it. Next morning, Kiyotaka learns his lesson to knock before entering. Since there is no response, he enters her room to see her still sleeping. Worse, she is sleep talking of something erotic! She wakes up only to find herself nearly indecently dressed and that he has heard about her dream. At the bus stop, Kiyotaka continues to ask her what was it that she is dreaming. She doesn’t want to tell him. He teases her that judging by her reaction, it was something erotic. It would have been fine if they had talked about this somewhere more private. There are other people at the bus stop too, you know. And they look more embarrassed than them, hearing them talk aloud such lewd and private topic. Then Kiyotaka got himself in a corner. Doom if he says he wants to really do such erotic thing with her. Doom if he says he doesn’t want to. So which is it?

Episode 5
Kiyotaka talks to Sara about her amazing grades and in no time she can skip up all the way the main campus. He might have to call her his senior. Well, I think she prefers the way things are. Suddenly Charles comes smothering Kiyotaka with her faceboob. He doesn’t want her to show too much skinship. Okay. She’ll reserve the rest back home. Back home?! This embarrasses Sara. More embarrassing, Kiyotaka have no qualms telling her how close they are at home. Sleeping together and bathing together. Doesn’t he feel embarrassed even though Charles is his cousin? If he doesn’t, Sara sure is. Sara demonstrates her exceptional rationale in class when the teacher asks her to interpret a sentence (I’m too stupid to understand that line of “Everybody dies eventually”). After sports practice, Kiyotaka helps Sara keep the equipment. Classic cliché situation. The teacher accidentally locks them in. They’ll have to wait… To pass time, Kiyotaka asks her why she came to this school since her grades could have qualified her to other better schools. On the day she was born, her parents dreamt at the same time of her wearing this school’s uniform. They think it’s some kind of omen. Sara thinks it’s fate and good too because she gets to meet him. Suddenly… She needs to go to the toilet and can’t hold on any longer! Now, where have I seen this situation before? Oh, some perverted hero anime and some incest sister anime… Luckily Himeno is outside as she was looking for them. She heard Sara crying for help. When she opens the door, Sara rushes out in tears. Oh boy. She must have misinterpreted the entire thing. That smile isn’t cute. It’s scary!!! Later Kiyotaka teaches Sara practice her softball swing. Mmm… Seems ambiguous. I think she likes it. Not the lesson. The feel of this. It took him long enough to realize this looks fishy. Can’t finish the lesson now? As he picks up the balls, Sakura and Utamaru come by to help. Having fun, aren’t they? After school, Kiyotaka follows a stray cat and it leads to Sara sleeping underneath a sakura tree with other cats. Cute… He puts his jacket on her but this wakes her up. She gets embarrassed when she learns he was watching her while she was sleeping. And he can’t help tease her too because she’s cute when she’s mad. Though she forgives him, as penalty she’ll confiscate his jacket. Maybe she wants to keep it. Lastly, she hopes he can forget that sleeping look. How can a guy like him forget a cute girl’s face? Seriously? But he’s glad to teach her softball swing again.

Episode 6
Ricca takes Kiyotaka to the clubroom by hand and even made him lunch. Truly the envy of the other guys… Her plan is of course to have lunch with him alone because he has been spending too much time with the other girls. Like living with Charles (because they’re cousins), Himeno always comes over from next door (that’s what childhood friend are for), working at the same part time job with Aoi (she always needs the extra help) and coaching Sara’s softball team (he wants to help the genius fit in). Ricca reveals she formed this club so she could spend time alone flirting with him. She can’t refuse others who wanted to join since she was happy to have people joined. Besides, making newspapers are so much fun too. She believes they are connected by the red string of fate and swore to each other in their past lives. Later Suginami talks to Kiyotaka. Even though they are enemies, he thinks it is a good idea that they still share information about their reporting. Kiyotaka can’t trust him yet and Ricca butts in. Suginami leaves but not before offering that his doors will always be open should Kiyotaka become stuck in his investigation. A guy in a hurry pushes Ricca. Kiyotaka catches her. So close their proximity that they could, well, anyway they did not. When the Newspaper Club gather to update their investigation findings, Kiyotaka mentions the strange little girl he always met, Sakura. This led the girls to misinterpret he is a lolicon. After school, Kiyotaka turns back to give Ricca her lunch. It’s already evening… They eat together and she’s really happy he was worried for her. But she’s not happy that he doesn’t have any ulterior motive to kiss her or even hold her hands. Well, he’s the kind of guy who is nice to everybody.

Since she wants him to be especially nice to her, Kiyotaka has to take her out for a night date. That includes taking photos, dressing up, eating ice cream and a free accidental fanservice view of her pantsu! Ricca is a happy girl at the end of their short date even though it feels like forever. He asks if Ricca really loves him. Of course she does otherwise she wouldn’t have kept repeating that they are destined lovers. When he brought her lunch, she was very happy. She’s harping on their past lives thingy because sometimes it makes her upset that she is the only one who can remember those fun times. It’s like she is the only one who cherished those memories and that he ‘betrayed’ her. Because in their past lives, he had a good look at every inch of her body. She is willing to show it to him now. Really? Maybe some other time. But she’s going to make him remember it all one day and make him say he loved her since 100 years ago. Next day, Sakura and Utamaru wait for Kiyotaka at the school gates. They are happy to see him. The other girls meet Sakura for the first time and think she is pretty cute. Learning that she calls Kiyotaka her ‘onii-chan’, they really misinterpret he is a lolicon.

Episode 7
Kiyotaka knows Aoi is sick but does he really have to feel her forehead with his own in front of the other girls? Can you sense a different kind of temperature rising? And so Kiyotaka gets permission to carry Aoi back home. Along the way they meet Sakura and Utamaru. She’ll promise to play with her once she gets better. Back at her home, Aoi requests him to change her clothes. This involves stripping her, right? Why so reserved? Do it already! We all want to see her underwear. She’s even telling you where she keeps her underwear! Yes Kiyotaka, just like Aoi said, we trust you! And so in this awkward moment, Kiyotaka takes every piece of clothing off Aoi. Oh yeah! Then with his eyes close, her bra. Oh lala! Her panties. SWEET! No turning back now. I mean, he should turn his back. Perhaps Aoi realizes this is getting too much so she dresses up on her own. Damn. After that, Kiyotaka goes home. Next day, he tells Sara to leave a message that he won’t come in for club activities today. She understands what is going on and asks would he help her should she be in trouble. Of course he would. Kiyotaka is at Aoi’s place to cook. The mother of all guys’ dream: Aoi in naked apron! But wait! Why isn’t Kiyotaka looking excited? Such a disappointment! Even Aoi is tempting him to look at her! Such a disappointment and let’s say that the food had more sex appeal than Aoi. Big disappointment… As they eat, Aoi gets permission to call him ‘onii-chan’ since he is like her ideal brother. Then she wants him to sleep next to her till she falls asleep. Well, nothing much happens. Aoi huddles close to him and loves his warmth. Maybe hinting about her big boobs but nothing much. We trust this guy to not do anything funny to her despite given the green light to do anything to her. Even if that was just a joke. Next morning when he returns home, he has to face the wrath of Himeno. She was worried sick last night that he never came home and never called. Will sorry do? She understands it is for Aoi’s sake but he better be prepared for Charles for she was even more upset. Himeno feels he is somewhat lightly dressed. That’s because Aoi is hugging his jacket asleep. Maybe she’ll develop some kind of sick fetish. So back in the clubroom, Kiyotaka is going to get an earful from the girls. Especially Charles who is going to continue this back home. So it’s not over… When Aoi returns all healthy and normal, she attributes it all to Kiyotaka whom she received lots of power. The girls become suspicious when she calls him ‘onii-chan’. Since when did that happen? And looks like today’s club discussion will be a total different matter when Aoi mentions they slept together but did nothing else. This is going to be one hot topic of discussion.

Episode 8
Kiyotaka won a prize to the indoor pool. Since Sakura happens to be there, he invites her. Little did he know that the other girls are also there too. Call it a woman’s intuition. Yeah, they just know. How come he didn’t invite them? How he didn’t tell them? And why Sakura? Oh dear… That’s the least of his problems. He has to pick which one of them has the best swimsuit. Ricca is somewhat upset that his lower anatomy has no reaction! Maybe he’s gay… He is ‘saved’ by Sakura when she invites him to play. Yeah, he might be a lolicon for ditching the other girls… So we see the girls trying to vie for Kiyotaka’s attention but ultimately Sakura distracts them and he goes with her. Lolicon… Then there is Charles’ top slipping off, Sakura teaching Sara how to swim and Himeno finally getting her swimsuit praised by Kiyotaka. During the slide, Kiyotaka sees Mikoto scared but that tsundere acts tough and in her struggle, they both slide down (in 69 position). She loses her top at the end of the ride and the other girls begin to think the perverted guy he is. Kousuke is also here and relishes his swimsuit harem. Just when he thought he had spotted the perfect girl, it turns out to be his sister Shiki. Sister is going to teach brother a lesson. Say goodbye to his harem. Bold Ricca has Kiyotaka rub lotion on her (even if they are indoors). She makes him rub lower and when Sakura’s voice startles him, he finds his hands grabbing her ass! Then the girls enter a swimsuit competition and onstage they flaunt their sexy swimsuit and poses. I think all the guys got turned on except for Kiyotaka. Maybe he is really gay… Ricca as the last contestant struts her stuff when her top comes lose. Sakura jumps on stage to prevent any free show. In the end, Sakura won the contest. I think the judges are lolicon. Yeah, how can all the girls with such voluptuous boobs lose to a flat chest? When Sakura notes she prefers Ricca’s boobs because when she felt them touching her back it made her feel relaxed, Aoi decides to grope Ricca’s boobs to test that theory out. Does she swing this way too? At the end of the day when everybody parts, Sakura stumbles upon a girl who knows who she is. Is this Minatsu?

Episode 9
Kiyotaka needs to make haste to the toilet. However Charles is occupying it and the door wasn’t locked. He saw her ‘very relieved’ face. Gosh… Suginami seems to have planned something with Kiyotaka and Kousuke. Of course Kiyotaka wasn’t listening but Suginami has no time to explain and leaves. Then Kousuke keeps bugging Kiyotaka about the kind of dress he would prefer his girl to wear when they first have sex!!! WTF?! I know Kousuke has his preference… Kiyotaka tries to bluff him that Shiki is around. Yeah, that sister scares the hell out of him. Apparently the second time using this trick, she’s really there. In fact, she was there the entire time! Because of that, the duo are ‘captured’ by the student council and ‘tortured’ to spill what they are planning with Suginami. At least Kiyotaka isn’t as bad as Kousuke who became Shiki’s ‘stepping stone’. A smoke bomb is thrown in and Suginami only saves Kiyotaka. He couldn’t care less about the rest because remember, it is only Kiyotaka whom he considers his life partner. So jealous Mikoto had to curse Kiyotaka to get diarrhoea. Suddenly her stomach feels bad… That’s what you get… Suginami gives Kiyotaka a capsule. He knows there is something fishy about this and wants to return it but Suginami wants him to hold on to it and that this will help him in his time of need. Kiyotaka on his way out of school, sees Kousuke continue to be reprimanded by scary Shiki. God save his soul. The student council president, Elizabeth stops him and hopes they could have a private chat. She seduces him into revealing his plans with Suginami. But the rest of the student council members pop up. Especially Ricca and Charles who aren’t satisfied with this ‘cheat’. But Kiyotaka must be more wary of Tomoe Gojuin because she is going to kill Kiyotaka with her wooden sword! Luckily Kiyotaka manages to make his escape by deceiving her with the oldest trick in the book. “Hey! Look at that cute cat!”. Well, Utamaru is really there but Tomoe is still looking for the cute cat. Poor Utamaru… At the beach, Kiyotaka wants to hand back the capsule but was told to continue keeping it. Opening it, Kiyotaka is surprised to see it. Well, Suginami puts it as something he needs ready to climb the stairs to adulthood. Anyway Kiyotaka knows he doesn’t need it. Back home, I guess he calls Mikoto just to piss her off. I mean, he was really worried about her diarrhoea? Charles comes out from the bath and wants to seduce him like Elizabeth but he had to bring up the topic of seeing her in the toilet this morning.

Next day in school, Mikoto confronts Kiyotaka. Here we go again. Kiyotaka can deduce from her pity life that she sits around at home doing nothing. Though she claims it as waiting for Suginami’s orders. Never did receive them, eh? Mikoto is brought to tears seeing how ‘eventful’ Kiyotaka’s life is. So pitiful of her that he decides to take her out this weekend! Serious?! Well, Mikoto is tsundere after all. He then gives her the capsule. She happily takes it seeing it’s from Suginami. Of course we hear her shocking reaction once she finds out what’s inside it. And so, Mikoto did really wait for Kiyotaka at the café. He is surprised Aoi is working here too. Looks like Aoi is not happy he is ‘dating’ another girl. The tsundere dismisses anything like that when Aoi reveals she saw her happy face while waiting for him since this café opened. That was like 2 hours ago! How many coffee cups did she have?! Kousuke is spying on him but is made to treat Shiki to parfaits. Or else… Kiyotaka brings her to the amusement park. I don’t know who this girl Mikoto suddenly became rival with because they challenge each other to the games and the extreme one came in during the air hockey whereby both sides cheated (like breaking the disc) just to ensure they beat the other! Kousuke lost Kiyotaka when he tailed him to the amusement park. Then Shiki had to make him go all scared when she accuses him out loud as a failure being a stalker. His life is really hell. Kiyotaka and Mikoto ride the Ferris Wheel. He learns she doesn’t have many friends because she considers herself that way. She feels she is always outside the circle. He thinks she is over-thinking because if they didn’t like her, they wouldn’t have even talked to her. She wonders if they can do this the next time. Of course. Back to tsundere mode. But we know she’s very happy. Later that night he gets mail to meet Suginami. He gives him the website of a detective agency called Amakase. This is to help him investigate the sakura mystery. The bill? It won’t cost a thing. Just tell them that the Unofficial Newspaper Club recommended him. That’s all. He also thanks him for keeping Member #1 (Mikoto) happy. Kiyotaka is outside the detective agency as Minatsu welcomes him.

Episode 10
Minatsu further explains she is a robot and wants to prove it with her rocket punch. However nothing happens. As her assistants, Yuzu Kohinata and Yuuhi Takanashi put it, such feature wasn’t installed in her because of the trouble she would bring. Despite looking like a human, she is more ‘unique’ than high-tech. Because she needs constant bananas to run on! So back to the case, when Minatsu learns he is recommended by Suginami, she knows he is here for the sakura blossoming case. Meanwhile, Himeno, Charles, Sara and Aoi are enjoying tea at a sakura viewing sight and discuss about magic. Aoi, if she had them, hopes to make the day longer so she could work longer. Workaholic… Of course the other girls if they had magic would want to do something for Kiyotaka. I guess it’s something embarrassing that they can’t say. Kiyotaka shows the jumbled message to Minatsu. She says that the magic of the everlasting sakura tree is real. Minatsu was a student at Kazami Academy and had all sorts of experience with it, good and bad. Her assistants too had friends who experienced such magic and some of them experienced hardships as a result of it. This makes Kiyotaka ask what is magic. Minatsu replies it is something that grants shape to people’s feelings. As for the jumbled message from the past, she thinks of one possibility: Another parallel world. Her interpretation is that the members of the Newspaper Club from the other world used the everlasting sakura tree to try and communicate something to their counterparts in this world. Kiyotaka didn’t understand what Minatsu meant when she said she recently met someone she shouldn’t have met. But when that time comes, she hopes he could gently reach out to her.

This prompts Kiyotaka to remember the first time he met Ricca. She practically leapt out right in front of him. He thought she mistook him for another person but she was adamant she had found him. What did he do? He stole her heart. Love at first sight? She explains how they’re connected in their past lives. Kiyotaka goes to have lunch with Ricca in the clubroom. She’s sleeping. But she wakes up and chats with him how this room allows her to be who she is and will always protect it. She wants to flirt with him over lunch but he reports his findings and this magic thingy. Ricca is happily surprised because she never thought he would say such words. Despite it doesn’t mean Kiyotaka has believed in their past lives, it feels that their distance is shrinking and that he believes in her more than he used to. Also, ever since the sakura trees blossoming, her dreams had been clearer. It involves a giant escalator descending from the sky, an island with an underground lake where sakuras bloom, a western academy, a foggy city, a clock tower and a girl beneath it which she believes is herself. Is this London? Ricca feels the need to investigate further to get Kiyotaka to know her better so in her haste she falls on top of him. Want to stay this position longer, Ricca? She makes a surprising move by kissing him! Sure, you can attribute it to her feelings of love flowing out spontaneously but Kiyotaka hopes she won’t just kiss him out of the blue. Yeah. She’ll ask him beforehand next time. When the duo arrive at the everlasting sakura tree, they see Sakura and Utamaru. Sakura looks sad. Ricca thought of patting her head and upon contact, visions of her dream flash before their minds. Sakura gets scared and runs away while Ricca is left in shock.

Episode 11
Sakura is feeling guilty. She blames herself for being selfish and the one at fault for making everyone suffer, including her onii-chan (Junichi?). During the meeting, Ricca is more spaced out than usual so the Newspaper Club ends it for today. Ricca feels the memories of the everlasting sakura tree flowed into her. Her memories are somewhat confused. She remembers a flashback. A couple that looks very much like Ricca and Kiyotaka moved into Hatsunejima. The planted a sakura seed which eventually bloomed into a large tree as their own family expand. Sakura looked like her granddaughter. Himeno thought she spot Sakura walking alone and drenched in the rain. She couldn’t find her and calls Kiyotaka about it. He goes off to find her but to no avail. Sakura wants to be alone and dreams back during the time with Junichi. And Nemu… Yeah, that sibling thingy. If you remember. Ricca has found Sakura. They talk and Ricca learns because of Sakura’s wish, everyone got hurt. She thinks Sakura that is why Sakura is running away without doing anything. Ricca tells her a story. Ricca once travelled with a girl named Jill. After 10 years, Jill decided to part ways and gave Ricca her magic wand. Because she can’t use magic anymore once she found someone she love or wanted to protect. Jill thanked her as she was able to meet her special someone but it’s been a pleasure for Ricca. However it didn’t end there. Jill became a victim of witch hunting. If she had her magic, she would’ve been saved. If Ricca had set foot earlier, she could’ve done something. It was too late when Ricca found dying Jill. Ricca felt guilty for taking her magic away during their travels. However Jill had a final request of her. She didn’t want her to hate others and hoped the world will be a wonderful place where flowers can bloom. After Jill died, Ricca blamed herself, hated it, got stuck and ran away. But she remembered in the end, Jill was smiling. Although she still doesn’t know what to do, she doesn’t want to run away anymore. Sakura realizes if she keeps walking, she might get to see Junichi again. With that, Sakura is back to her happy self once more. After she leaves, Kiyotaka arrives and only sees Ricca there.

Episode 12
Ricca leads her Newspaper Club members to meet Sakura. She has something important to announce. She will be leaving this island today and wants to spend her happy last moments with them. And so everyone helps make happy memories for Sakura. From shopping to taking photos to the video game arcade and eating sweets. They feel sad that a friend has to go. Kiyotaka wonders what happened so Ricca mentions she only learnt of Sakura’s departure yesterday. If this is what Sakura has decided, she wants to watch over her. The fun continues at the beach and watching over the island atop a lighthouse tower. After that, Ricca and the girls decide to part just to give Sakura more time to spend alone with Kiyotaka. Even Utamaru understands. So what are they going to do? Sakura wants to go on a date. I don’t know if it makes Kiyotaka look like a lolicon… They walk to the place where they first met before heading back to school. Sakura notices the graduation banners and it will be that time soon for Kazami seniors. Sakura feels sad about graduation and wonders what Kiyotaka will be in the future. Undecided, of course. When night falls, Sakura and Kiyotaka are at the last stop. The everlasting sakura tree. When she touches it, it brightly glows. We see Sakura making a promise to young Junichi. From what I deduce next (and remember), at the end of the events of Da Capo II Second Season whereby Sakura cut her hair short and used her powers to merge with the sakura tree to save Yoshiyuki, she appeared at this place when the sakura tree bloomed for the first time in 20 years. Now she is about to go meet that special someone although she isn’t sure if she’ll meet him. Kiyotaka is confident she will and she notes how similar Kiyotaka resembles to him. His kindness and all. Kiyotaka says she can come back anytime. She is glad to have met him. Soon Sakura floats up and the glowing sakura tree bursts out a bright light. Man, I thought it was an atomic bomb engulfing the island. Sakura is able to reunite with Junichi. Next day, all the Newspaper Club members receive a mysterious mail to come to the everlasting sakura tree tomorrow evening. Hey! Isn’t that grownup Sakura?

Episode 13
Kiyotaka and the girls head to school. Another usual day with the sakura trees in full bloom. They talk about the upcoming article they should do for graduation and also their inability to unravel the mystery of the sudden sakura bloom. Thinking that this evening’s meeting will unravel everything, Kiyotaka thinks they should write from a different perspective. The other girls feel suspicious because ever since Sakura’s incident, Ricca and Kiyotaka seem to have grown a lot closer. For the next few scenes, it is like the rest of the girls try to tussle for Kiyotaka’s attention. Whether being Charles doing her shameless skinship flirting with him in public, Sara trying to invite her to coach softball again and Aoi clinging on to his arm like her own pillow (including throwing in that naked apron offer). Then Himeno calls him to meet at the courtyard. She is serious in wanting to know his feelings for her. But that is ruined when Charles jumps right into him followed by Aoi and Sara. It’s no surprise that guy is really tired so Kousuke the stalker confronts him on how lucky this celebrity is. Yeah. Tired of trying to choose? Envious, isn’t he? I’m sure Kiyotaka is also envious of Kousuke’s position that he is not in such headache position. Ricca finds Kiyotaka alone at the rooftop and joins him. He gets a feeling they will see Sakura again and wants Ricca to tell anything she remembers of their past life. Because she remembered more about Sakura so he thought she might have something to do with their past. Ricca tells one of her stories again. No, that’s not what he is looking for. So does he mean about the night they become one? Before she can go further, they are interrupted by Suginami and Mikoto. He points out that they have been neglecting their club duties for getting involved too much with Sakura and reminds them about their competition. Apparently Ricca conveniently forgot about it. Anyway she doesn’t care about it. Eh? What? She takes Kiyotaka away but the other girls come looking for him. They want him to make it clear which one of them he chooses. Oh God. Oh dear. The moment he dreads. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. Who is it going to be? Because Suginami has obviously been snubbed, he orders Mikoto to drop a flash bomb. This allows Kiyotaka and Ricca to get away.

Away at somewhere else, Kiyotaka wants to continue their talk on their past life but Ricca isn’t so interested in that. She’s more interested whom he is going to choose. Whatever happened in the past doesn’t matter anymore. The present is more important. What is more important now is how he feels about her. She wants him to kiss her. What? Hey, at least she gave notice. I guess they took too long so the other girls have arrived. Now he must make a decision. WHO?! He wants… He wants… He wants things to stay the same like this forever. THAT’S IT?! What kind of indecisive answer is that?! That’s not even answering their question! How disappointing. I am surprised that the girls accept it! I suppose if he really did choose, everyone will be unhappy. Those not chosen will be sad. The one chosen will be happy but also feels guilty for causing the heartbreak. So yeah. Stay neutral. When they go to the everlasting sakura tree, they see Sakura popping out from behind. Introducing herself as Sakura Yoshino, she thanks them for taking care of her other self. She explains they have all met before in a different place but it seems they don’t remember a single thing. Sakura relishes all the fun times they had together and the final promise they made in the end: When the sakuras bloom, go to the promised place. She is the sender of that mysterious message. It took a bit of time but she is glad to see them again. Kiyotaka doesn’t understand but suddenly starts feeling very nostalgic. As Sakura puts it, he was the one she was most attached to. Eh? I Do we really need another rival at this time? That’s another story. But this explains why the loli Sakura always wants to hang out and play with him. Now Sakura is going to tell them the long story of everything. She shows them her magic of making sweets from her palm. The only magic she can do for now to make people smile. I think it’s really going to be a long story. So she summarizes for us. There was a girl, a sakura tree, a promise and a modest wish. A precious feeling that remained unchanged throughout time and seasons. It is a tale of beginning and that dream-like dream repeating just like da capo. Switching to a different scene, we are at London beneath the clock tower. Sakura with her hair cut short and a sakura tree branch in hand seems lost and confused. She encounters friendly Ricca and Kiyotaka and they help her out.

Wither The Magic?
Uhm… So that’s it? To put it bluntly right from the start, it wasn’t as enjoyable as I expected it to be. My expectations were too high? Well, as the series reached its end, I lost that nostalgic feeling of this series that I always had. I had so much of them when I first heard about this and then it just withered… I don’t know if it is gone forever or not. Firstly I would say that the plot is the main problem. So what exactly is this season about anyway? What does it plan to achieve? I know there is always the harem factor in the Da Capo series so it is quite expected and welcoming that each of the girls has their fair share of a dedicated episode to them. Heck, even Mikoto had hers. Why not Shiki then? We probably don’t want to see how she torments her brother. This focus-a-girl-per-episode takes up at least half of the series. What does the other half do? Beats me? Trying to solve the mystery of the blooming sakura trees felt forgettable. Like a side distraction. Even if it never bloomed, I am sure Kiyotaka would still be frolicking around with the girls. Or let me put it the other way round, the girls will still be frolicking with him. There might be something I am missing or did not understand (since I did not play the visual novel game that it is based on). And then comes this ending about grownup Sakura and whatever crap on this da capo story thing. I no understand… They added a teaser right at the end with a London setting (I read the game itself has this place). So? SO?! I don’t get it. Therefore, when it is all over, I can’t help feel a little letdown. This season was just mediocre. Perhaps that itself is an overstatement.

There was also no magic whatsoever. Magic in the sense like how Junichi could make sweets with his hands or Kotori’s mind reading abilities. I guess this is true since the everlasting sakura tree withered, all the magic that comes from it just disappears. So with the magic of the sakura tree gone, it is like the magic of this series has also somewhat diminished. We don’t know if Ricca’s tales are just made up stories or some surreal dream. But I don’t think she is the kind of girl who would lie. Or maybe she’d do anything to get Kiyotaka. I hope I’m just thinking too much. Even though with the everlasting sakura tree blooming back, there is no magic seen. Probably some of the people who could use magic have forgotten or lost touch. At least in the final scene whereby Sakura shows them her little magic, it proves that it does exist and not merely some fabrication of one’s imagination. Or perhaps Sakura has become the greatest magician and illusionist. Hah. I know I’m thinking too much on this one.

The characters play a big part in this series but in this season I don’t see that impact. Kiyotaka as the usual main protagonist is just like his predecessors Junichi and Yoshiyuki. Nice guy. Helpful guy. Indecisive guy. I expected somewhere along the lines that he won’t end up with anybody despite we saw Junichi ended up with Nemu in the first Da Capo series (or Kotori if you watched Da Capo If). There are indications that Ricca could be the one since it feels she has more screen time with Kiyotaka (excluding Sakura). Can you believe it that the girls who had pent up all their feelings for this moment of truth, only to be told he wants them to stay like this forever? Is he saying he wants a harem? Are they implying they are okay to allow a harem? Well, I suppose things won’t get serious if nothing is confirmed. When in doubt, just delay it. It seems to work here. So the other girls. They’re just typical. They all love him. Full stop. I have nothing else to add. Except maybe the Nemu character design must be popular because her design has been reincarnated for the third time here as Himeno (Yume for Da Capo II). Sara’s favourite line is “Fuketsu desu!” (“That’s dirty!”) whenever she sees Kiyotaka and the other girls in some ambiguous position. Like as though she doesn’t harbour any herself? And no Kotori look-a-like! Boo hoo! Well, Shiki looks close enough… It’s amusing to see her reign in her brother. I think she loves it. That feeling of control. Controlling somebody and Kousuke is her unfortunate victim since she can’t control Kiyotaka’s heart. Oops. Just speculating. Why isn’t she or Elizabeth or Tomoe taken an interest in Kiyotaka even though if they are just minor characters? I don’t think we should add to any more of Kiyotaka’s women woes. As for Mikoto, she’s a tsundere… She won’t ever be part of Kiyotaka’s groupie.

Sakura also feels very lacking in this season. I thought she would make more of an impact but we just see her bum around, play around and hang out with Kiyotaka when she gets the chance. It’s a good thing he didn’t turn into a lolicon. He’s already got his harem reputation to deal with. Worse, yaoi with Suginami! Man, he’s got all the sexual deviants covered… Ahem. So how Sakura got lost or transported to this time due to events of last season and all that crap, I don’t understand. Then that moment she bumped into Minatsu. So what? Did she remember her role when she saw her, thus making her final decision? I wished it was something that simple. I also thought there was something more and mysterious to Suginami. You know, since he appears in all Da Capo series looking the same so I thought he must be some sort of local god or something. So whatever happened to his dream of making Kiyotaka his life partner? Why that? Seems we didn’t care enough to find out. Maybe it’s because we won’t want that to happen too. If he’s going to fall for someone, at least be it a girl. It would be tad shocking and disappointing if he had chosen Suginami. Yeah. A real outrage. The girls, the fans, the viewers, everybody. Even his initial challenge was thrown out by Ricca. Don’t care about that anymore, don’t we? Since the show is going to end soon. Hence, I felt Suginami was really redundant as the series goes by. His appearance in the final episode was just to remind us that he was still around with Mikoto. Like as though he didn’t really matter. Finally there is Kousuke. You always need a loser guy in this kind of show as comic relief just to make our main guy stand out. All he ever does is complain about Kiyotaka’s harem. That’s all he does in this season. Minatsu’s cameo appearance only serves to make us ponder the possibility of parallel universe and alternate worlds. So what? So the characters and such plots only serve to bring down the worth of this season. Utamaru… Still around… Nyaa~. Don’t even know what its significance is for this season besides being Da Capo’s mascot. Well, sakura and the cat are something that this series must have, right? It’s its trademark.

Sadly I don’t even feel the impact of the romance factor despite having focused episodes on the girls. That is because one main reason is that this season, the fanservice level has been really upped. I don’t remember if the previous Da Capo seasons had this much of fanservice but this one really go for broke and could have turned into an ecchi series. They already started out the first episode with Charles’ skinship and followed by her bath scene in the next episode. Who wouldn’t like to see a girl like Himeno sleeping in her undies? Ricca is quite the teaser girl because sometimes she flashes us her panties. Fanservice mode reaches its high during Aoi’s episode when she has him take off her clothes. You can’t get better than that, can’t you? If all these fanservice is not stimulating enough for Kiyotaka, I am afraid I have to label him as gay. I’m not sure if you buy the DVD and you will be able to see tits. Probably Himeno and Ricca had some proper potential for romance but you know, it didn’t turn out well. Himeno ends up the most holding his hand and Ricca still ranting about her past life with him. At this rate I don’t think he’ll remember them. Ricca’s kiss was just to throw us off balance for a while. Though it is nice to see the girls’ background relationship to Kiyotaka, somehow I wished that they would have expanded it a little further instead of just making it a quickie. Oh, right. This show is dedicated to fanservice and Sakura. So real romance thrown out of the window and almost all the girls love Kiyotaka. Simple. At least Kousuke can take heart that even though he has no girlfriend, he still has a girl always by his side: Shiki. Yeah. That’s a demon and not a woman. I’ll bet he’ll say that. But it proves that he is not totally a loser when it comes to girls, right? Or maybe he is… The first Da Capo had lots of drama while the second had tear jerking elements. So I thought they wanted to make the third one more light hearted and thus the excessive fanservice.

The one thing that I will give credit too is the drawing and art. It is nice to see the sakura petals blossoming and scattering everywhere throughout Hatsunejima. Sakura trees are a lovely sight to behold although their life span is short. This island never had this problem till those events 20 years ago so I suppose everybody took it for granted. Now that it is back, although everybody is amazed with its return, instead of trying to find out why it happened, better enjoy it while they can before it withers again. The background and scenery are also well done but the main highlight is still the sakura. Needless and goes without saying, the characters are still the typical trademark design of Circus, the creator of the Da Capo series. Personally, I feel that Kiyotaka is the least handsome guy compared to all the leading guys in the Da Capo series. Even to all the other side character guys too. I think Kousuke looks a bit better than him. Really.

For the voice acting, the very one thing that bugged me in this series was that Yukari Tamura wasn’t the voice of Sakura! It was indeed shocking. When I first heard her, I was appalled. But not to the point of disappointment. I mean, Sakura had a different voice actress in her Time Paladin spin-off. I thought at least Yukari Tamura would be retained but it seemed Hitomi (Primula in Shuffle) did the honours. But her squeaky loli voice did make Sakura sound like a cute loli. As I suspect, the only guy who has voiced in all Da Capo series would be Daisuke Kishio (Kaname in Vampire Knight). He is the voice of Suginami and it fuels my speculation who this dude is. Like he is able to transcend space and time and is always in every Da Capo series. The same look, the same voice, the same attitude. Also retained is Haruko Momoi (San in Seto No Hanayome) as the voice of Utamaru. The rest of the casts include Yuuki Ono as Kiyotaka (Arai in Kimi Ni Todoke), Emi Nitta as Ricca (Malga in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon), Mikoi Sasaki as Himeno (Hercule in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Ui Miyzaki as Charles (Aisia in Da Capo Second Season), Hiro Shimono as Kousuke (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Sayaka Aoki as Shiki (Kyon’s sister in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu) and Arise Satou as Mikoto (Christina Sierra in Mobile Suite Gundam 00). Erika Kaiho and Chiyo Ousaki make their voice acting debut as Aoi and Sara respectively. It is the only voice acting roles so far by them at this time.

The opening theme this time isn’t helmed by Yozuca. Instead, Sakura Happy Innovation features the voice of the quintet ladies of the Newspaper Club. Although sounds like your typical anime pop, it didn’t really appeal to me. What is more intriguing is the strange dance that the girls put up. Personally I don’t think it is that cute. It just looks odd. It feels like they are going Kyuuuunnn~. Watch it to get what I mean. Not going to be as infectious as Gangnam Style. There are 2 main ending themes and they are sung by the usual alumni of Da Capo opening and ending theme singers. Yozuca is featured here in her slow rock ballad called Aitai Yo. The other ending theme is Meguru by CooRie. She still sounds like how I imagined her to be. But somehow the tune of the song reminds me of Sora No Manimani’s Hoshikuzu No Surround, a song which she sung for that anime. The special ending theme for Ricca focused episode is Reflection by Emi Nitta, a slow-moderate pop piece. In that episode too, Yozuca sings the insert song, Futari Dake No Melody. CooRie also sings a handful of insert songs like Kimi Ga Suki and Kimi Ni Saku Hibi. These songs have this easy and calm feeling and pace to them and they enhance the mood of the scene.

I’m not sure if this season would warrant a second season because based on its predecessors, each has a second season to their name. Maybe. Big maybe since nothing has been heard of yet. I guess some of the teasers and other revealed plots towards the end are for. A big probability of another season and you might have guessed it from why this series is named so. It goes on forever and ever. The same thing. Just different time and characters. Maybe there is still some magic in that. That’s why even though I am a little disappointed with this season, if there is going to be another season or some spin-off OVAs whatever, I will definitely watch it. For nostalgia’s sake. For old time’s sake. I hope the magic of it all will be restored then. Otherwise, not even wishing hard on the everlasting sakura tree could even save it.

High School DxD OVA

September 13, 2013

Before they released the much anticipated second season (which is running now), they released High School DxD OVA as an appetizer before the main course. It may be almost a year since the first season ended and to some that may have felt like ages. So to whip up those craving for perversion once more, I guess it is necessary to bring back those old perverted memories and feelings of this series with a single OVA episode. This is actually the fourteenth episode of the first season but if you want to talk about plot and all, don’t bother about it. Besides, although this series is a rare one whereby the plot is interesting, the main reason you’re watching this show because of the fanservice and tits, right? RIGHT?!

I’m Searching For Breasts!
Rias gives the green light to Issei and Asia to follow and observe what the demons do on their usual job. First, they follow Koneko to play a fighting video game with Morisawa (Koneko beats him flat – no pun intended). Next, they follow Yuuto and it seems this pretty busty lady, Mika is expecting him and wanting the usual. Does he provide such service? Actually, the usual is for Yuuto to cook for her while she catches up on sleep after a busy day at work. And then it is Akeno’s turn. What could possibly be wrong that the powerful president of a large company needs her help? Assassinating a rival?! Nope! Sexual service?! Well… It almost seems that way since the president is putting up such an ambiguous satisfying face and moaning with Akeno in S&M outfit. She’s actually massaging his feet. What a way to relief stress, huh? Finally, Rias too gets a big job herself and this time her entire team follows her. Archaeologist Professor Nishiura has excavated a coffin from some Egyptian ruin. The demons feel some evil aura from it. As explained, all those involved got into some sort of misfortune. There is some sort of curse on it. But the first thing Issei sees is a pair of hieroglyphs that resembles boobs. Nishiura continues that to lift the curse, a beautiful busty woman is needed. All those who got misfortune were old scientist guys. I guess this explains it. We know what kind of mummy is locked underneath it. Rias takes a closer look and her boobs accidentally press against the boobs hieroglyphs. The coffin opens.

Issei takes a closer look when he is suddenly possessed by the spirit of this mummified shaman, Unas. Issei is reduced to a spectator in his own body. Unas claims himself to be a high class priest who has been cursed by a high level female demon related to Archduke Agares, a lineage only second to the Demon King. In his quest to increase his power, he summoned the high class demon but during the negotiation, he got cursed into a long slumber. If they want Issei’s body back, they must undo the curse. Well, Rias doesn’t want anyone else messing with her cute servant, eh? There are 3 curses that need to be removed. First, Rias must where a skimpy outfit and dance. Oh yeah! Belly dancing! Shake those hips! Shake those boobs! As proof it is not some perverted rip-off, a seal of the curse disappears. To lift the next curse, he must be kissed by a beautiful lady. Unas targets Koneko since he thought she was looking at him passionately. Actually she was trying to determine if the pervertness was stemming from Issei or Unas. Unas tries to force kiss Koneko and Issei fears he will be punched instead. Or maybe she might just give in and kiss him. Not a chance. Punched! Unas falls back and trips. Asia tries to catch him but also trips. Accidentally she kisses him on the cheek. Second curse lifted. The final one must have him fondle the breasts. Who has the biggest breast? Akeno, that’s you. Wow. Issei must be enjoying this possession. But he won’t let Unas do it because he heard his thoughts that undoing the curse means his revival. That’s something bad, right? Issei and Unas are fighting each other with the former trying to restrain his own body from doing something perverted. But Unas tries to convince him about this supreme moment of bliss. Imagine if he can sink his face into Akeno’s boobs. Not a bad idea, eh?

Once Unas does that, the curse is totally lifted. Issei’s worst fears come true. Unas has revived and he is going to avenge Agares for sealing him. Rias had her suspicions on him from the start. She just wants to know why he was cursed. He reveals when he summoned Agares, he got enthralled by her beauty and wanted her to be his wife slave. Of course when you summon something such high class, it needs something of equivalent value, right? That’s why she got pissed and cursed him. And so it is decided they will beat the crap out of him. No, erase him from the face of this earth. Nishiura even gives his permission as long as they don’t destroy the coffin. However Unas binds the girls with his bandages. Why does this tentacle rape scene always happen to them? Rias hints to Issei to do that so he boosts his Gear and touches the girls. Their clothes break and this sets them free. Although they are in their birthday suit. While Unas is revelling in such a beautiful sight of naked ladies, they use this chance to blast him with all they’ve got. No mercy. So back home, Issei more or else gets an idea what demons have been doing as their way of life. It’s almost similar to what they have been doing. Akeno comes in with another request from Nishiura that he has unearthed a coffin from the ruins of China. Rias wants to pass this job up and to some other high level demon due to the recent incident. Issei is one disappointed pervert…

Curse Of The Pervert
Well, it seems pretty (in)decent for an OVA. At least they don’t have tits in your face every 5 seconds. I guess that’s bearable. Enough fanservice for a single OVA. Don’t be so greedy. So does it bring back the memories and nostalgia of what this series is all about? The main characters are still the very same as how I remember them from the first season. Rias the cool leader, Issei the big pervert but also has a big heart (I guess he is still a long way from being his own harem king), Akeno the carefree and sometimes sadistic with an eternal smile on her face, Yuuto the gentleman, Koneko the stoic and emotionless, and Asia the naive cutie who still has trouble about differentiating which side she belongs to. When will she remember that thinking about God will only land her major headaches if you pray or mention His name? I guess it seems that even if you are a pervert thousands of years ago, you’ll still always be a pervert when you wake up from your slumber. Some things never change. Won’t change. I’m sure Issei can relate to how Unas feels to a point. Except that don’t mess with his girls. Well, they’re not entirely his yet. But you get what I mean. I remember I said the last time in my blog that I am looking forward to the sequel and that interest still has not diminished. I won’t start right away but once I am ready, I know when to begin. There is no rush in trying to finish it, right? Take your time. The pervert and fanservice aren’t going anywhere.

Maze Megaburst Space

September 8, 2013

It’s time for another gender bender anime. Yeah. The kind when the boy can transform into a girl and vice versa. For long timers, we all know that the most famous boy-girl transformation comes in the name of Ranma. But this time, this gender bender series doesn’t have such transformation when being splashed by water. It is time based. Aha. Cinderella Boy? Hey. I’ve covered that anime a long time ago so don’t think I have gotten senile that I have forgotten the animes that I have blogged. Maze Megaburst Space has the main character switching back and forth their genders too but it isn’t at a fixed time at midnight that they do so but rather when the day becomes dark and vice versa.

That lucky or unlucky character to have such characteristic is Maze. Yeah, the titular character already. Anyway by day time, the more sensible female version makes her appearance but when night falls, the horny guy who wants to sleep with woman and turns into some sort of sexual predator comes forth! Oh yeah. This got to be interesting. How often do you get characters of clashing personalities in the same body together? What are the odds for comical hijinks trouble? For simplicity so as not to get myself confused, I will refer to the Maze in their respective gender as their real name. When Maze is female, I will call her Mei and when in horny male mode, it will be Akira. Otherwise, if ever there is a need to refer to them both, I will use Maze.

The plot of this 1996-1997 retro anime is about Mei/Maze being thrown into another parallel world. Amnesiac in a strange world, she meets and journeys with a group of oddball characters and gets involved in a war that would determine the fate of this world against an evil organization whose powers are rapidly expanding and to return a princess back to her rightful throne of her kingdom. Sounds like your old school action adventure, eh? Well, there’s a little old school mecha too. Not the type you see in Gundam or Macross. Looking more like armoured aliens… This series first started out with a couple of OVAs before its TV version and finally a movie. Are we ready for some mega space adventure? Somehow I’m more interested in seeing what kind of adventures-cum-trouble Akira would get into…

OVA 1
Princess Mill Varna narrates how she was being pursued by the Jaina Holy Group when she was saved by Mei. Soon she joins her and the rest of her gang, Asterote “Aster” Reighe, Rapier Sarris, Solude Schfoltzer and Woll Dolnard in a journey to Babylon. Mill takes a liking for Mei and despite knowing her weird transformation because she thinks it is interesting. The gang are in another skirmish with Jaina Holy Group and are winning. Brothers Gorgeous and Chic know their forces won’t win and decide to withdraw. Gorgeous vows to make them regret for scarring him. Yeah, the narcissist considers himself the most beautiful person in the world. While the gang are resting in the woods, Solude tries to make a perverted move on Mei but is stopped by Mill and Rapier. Do they want a piece of her too? But night falls and Mei becomes Akira. He doesn’t want them all to fight and make love together. Too late because Mill has thrown a giant rock on him. Meanwhile Gorgeous is making some deal with the Duke of the Grand Duchy of Babylon, De Den Den. If Gorgeous tries to lie to him, he will have his 3 most trusted servants slit his throat. The gang continue their journey when they sense somebody spying on them. Turns out to be a fairy named Randy. She wants to get out of Babylon and head to Palania but travelling alone for a weak fairy is dangerous and wants to journey with them. But their next stop is the capital of Babylon, Babylonia. As they enter, they see the big structure in which Randy points out as the Tower of Babylon. The city is gloomy and the citizens poor because of the tower because De Den Den wants built to leave his name in history. Construction has stopped because there are no more funds. Humans and fairies are treated poorly because of the tower. Suddenly Prince Nuts come by and wants to invite them to a palace feast as welcome them to Babylon. More like he has fallen in love with Mei. Mill won’t hand her over to him! The rest feel suspicious because it is like they knew they were coming here. For now, they just accept the invitation and eat. Wait a minute. The meat is made out of wax. I know they’re poor but this? Luckily there are rice and pickles to eat. They are being entertained by De Den Den’s daughter, Princess Mix who puts up a fabulous dance.

Once they are done eating, Mill wants to leave but De Den Den won’t allow them. After he grabs Mei, the rest are sent falling through the floor. Mei realizes this is a trap but can’t use her phantom light power. De Den Den reveals that this tower has the power to seal in phantom light power. Mei goes numb as her food was laced with drugs. Her party members are wandering in the underground tomb when they stumble upon one of De Den Den’s servants, Robulos the monster bird. I think they’re deliberately ignoring him and playing dumb. But it gets dumber because Robulos says the only way to leave this maze-like underground tomb is to… Play a quiz game and answer all 100 questions! WTF?! Guess what. The questions are related to the Maze anime series. And Mill got the first answer wrong. Down she falls. De Den Den has locked Mei up and to prevent her from escaping, he strips her clothes. Mei wakes up and is told by Randy what happened. The reason she knows a lot was because she and her fairy pals used to help out in building the tower. Because Fairies have greater phantom light power than humans, it makes construction easier. They could use phantom light power because the central tower wasn’t completed then. So when the kingdom had no money to even buy materials for construction, the fairies escaped and fled to other countries. That’s why Randy wants to escape with them. But first they have to save their friends. Suddenly somebody opens the door. It is Mix. She didn’t like how her father mistreated his guests (she was told to stop sticking her nose in daddy’s business). Mix explains her father only thinks about the tower’s completion and is doing this because somebody has agreed to fund him. Perhaps Mix took the wrong time to enter it is time Mei turns into Akira. Though he understands what is happening and is willing to forgive her provided she sleeps with him! He’s raping her! Meanwhile Robulos and the rest are still in the midst of their Maze series quiz. I guess they’re both neck to neck, even. Falling even deeper. Gorgeous prepares to get his revenge on Maze.

OVA 2
Suddenly Akira saves Mix from a monster like a true hero. Then he screws her! WTF?! Phew. Just a dream. But wait. Did last night’s rape happen? It’s morning and Mix finds herself sleeping next to Mei. Just then, De Den Den enters the cell. He plans to engrave her name as a contributor to the tower. He sold Mei to finance the tower’s construction. To him, the tower is a symbol and proof of an excellent ruler since it cannot be destroyed by phantom light power. Mei disagrees because a nation is about the people. It’s no use when they die, right? De Den Den vehemently disagrees with her view and changes his mind to engrave her name and locks her up. But Randy shows Mei the keys hidden in the vase. When Akira and Mix were doing that last night, Randy took the keys out of the keyhole and hid them here. But just as they get out, Nuts invite them to relax in the indoor pool. Mei agrees because she can’t leave without her comrades. So Akira really did it, huh? Nuts take a liking for Mei’s boobs because it reminded him of his mother’s. Meanwhile Robulos continues his quiz with Woll. I guess the others couldn’t take the trivia and went ahead through the labyrinth. So they come out into a depressing storage room. They are faced with another one of the 3 servants who protects this tower, Poseidon. What seems to be a very intimidating shadow turns out to be a little rodent. Now that his identity has been busted, Poseidon activates self destruct. Everyone scrambles for cover but where’s the explosion? 48 minutes left and counting… Mix confronts her father and wants him to let the captives go. Because he refuses, she won’t listen to him anymore. Mei learns from Randy that all fairies are female. How do they mate? During a certain period in the year, they become a human female. They will then find a human male and have sex. And Randy thinks Nuts should be perfect… Suddenly Catalinian Monks from Jaina drop in to attack. Arriving in time too are Aster and co from underneath. Let’s rock and roll! Mill and Nuts become loggerheads over Mei. Mei notices Mill in possession of Poseidon. 10 more seconds to self destruct! Throw it away! When it explodes, they see a beautiful light above. It is the phantom light seal.

They see Mix making her way precariously to it to destroy it. De Den Den tries to persuade her not to but she slaps him and tells him off that if he wants to be great and remembered by the people, he must do respectable acts and guide his people. Meanwhile Robulos and Woll have reached the hundredth question. They’re right above the burning lava. Robulos throws a trick question and Woll gets it wrong. Since he doesn’t want to die alone, he pulls Robulos down with him. I guess he chickened out so he flies away while Woll rides on him. I’m not sure why the seal is sitting on very fine wires so when it snaps, of course everything falls, right? In great timing, Robulos busts out from underground and accidentally destroys the seal when he crashes into it. Solude saves Mix from her fall. The tower begins to collapse but Gorgeous won’t have them leave and has them play with his Undeader monster. Once Solude takes the rest outside, Mei and Mill combine and form Dulger and battle Undeader. At first they are losing but when the sun sets, it is Akira’s debut. He is mad. He’s scolding so loud that Mill thought they were directed at her. But I think all that shouting gave him the extra willpower to power up Dulger and transform into something badass to destroy Undeader and kill Gorgeous. The Creator, leader of the Jaina Holy Group learns of Gorgeous’ failure and wants Chic to kill Maze in his place. In the aftermath, Babylonia is in ruins. De Den Den doesn’t care so much about it anymore because he is happy reunited with Mix. Mill and Nuts continue to argue that they will marry Maze. Aster, Solude and Rapier secretly have that aspiration too. But Mix claims she is the one who will rightfully marry Maze because last night they did that. That…

Episode 1
Mei wakes up from a nightmare about several dragons telling her to die. She gets up from the wrong side of the bed and is appalled to see her house in a huge mess. To make things worse, she realizes her house is in the middle of a dense jungle! Did she go back in time to some primitive land? She calms down and tries to think. Another round of panic because she can’t remember who she is, her family or friends! Not even her own birthday! Suddenly coming barging in to hug her is Mill who claims she is her saviour. How? Her house dropped out from the sky and squished her pursuer. Oh… Mill brings her out to show the real deal. Mei goes berserk thinking she has killed somebody. Mill insists it is a demi-human. Mei tries to rationalize this is all a dream. Not working. Her denial was so loud that it attracted several Monkey Vikings. Mill screams, Mei screams. Now run for it! The get cornered by demi-armour, fell down a gap, got washed away by an underground stream and just when Mei thought she spotted real humans to call for help, Mill realizes too late those are her pursuers from Jaina. What a great day they’re having, eh? Though they attack, Mei finds it weird she could deflect it. Whatever the reasons they are after Mill, Mei vows to protect her. When they attack again, Mei this time was agile and moves faster out of harm’s way. She didn’t even know what she was doing. However Mill doesn’t want to get Mei hurt and involved anymore and agrees to go with them. She explains she was a princess till yesterday when Jaina launched a coup d’etat and took over her kingdom. In the process her parents were killed.

But the baddies will still kill her because they don’t remember their contracted stated she should be brought back dead or alive. In her desire to protect Mill, Mei unknowingly unleashes a bolt of light known as phantom light as the rest term her as a Luminator (one who uses such power). The baddies call forth their demi-armour so Mill to does the same. The little transformation scene here looks like a mild tentacle rape version. Only difference is that they’re not naked. The legendary Dulger is her family’s heirloom and Mill wants Mei to go havoc with her powers in this rom-armour. However Mei is too distraught at everything to think straight, despite her might display of strength. While she is trying to understand everything (or rather still in denial), the sun sets and out comes Akira! He has no qualms in using his power to destroy his enemies! Even unleashing the most powerful Maha Faiger power! I think he even enjoys it. Since Akira was so cool, Mill takes a liking for him and I guess he also vows to protect her. You know, guys dig girls who love them. Meanwhile Mei is still confused in where she is and who this Akira guy who is Maze as well. She’s going crazy not knowing anything anymore.

Episode 2
Aster and Solude are talking about the Jaina when the bar owner warns them to be careful what they say because they can be ring in. Then comes barging in a group of Royal Knights who want to teach Aster a lesson about justice. Apparently earlier in the day they were trying to rape a girl when Aster beat them up. Some just they serve. However they were all just talk because they got easily beaten up. The bar owner thinks they can’t leave this town alive but when he learns of their identity, he realizes they are famously known as demi-hunters. The Creator orders Gorgeous to kill Mill and Maze because the latter possesses the same Luminator power. He gladly accepts this mission and will show the world that there is no greater power than his beauty. Mill explains to Akira that other nations won’t interfere because they see Jaina’s coup d’etat as just a family feud. Jaina is a new organization that represents the new national religion appointed after the coup. She wanted to seek help from Aunt Cassandra from the Royal Family of Bistal, the neighbouring country next to Bartonian but was chased by Jaina into this forest. Akira uses his charm and vows to help her with ulterior motives to get inside her pants. I don’t know what this is but it seems Akira and Mei suddenly had this internal bickering among each other how they should save Mill. Eventually Akira is victorious. Perhaps the internal fighting took too long and before he can embark on his passionate and pure love with Mill, day breaks and it’s Mei’s turn. Mill is confused about this gender bender thingy but nevertheless loves both of them and decides to call them onee-nii-sama (big sister-brother).

Gorgeous sees the Portmery Border Troop leader, Thanus and his men. He wants Thanus to hand over his army under his command. His men disagree the way he is treating their hero. Gorgeous agrees the heroic deeds Thanus has done but notes time has changed. Originally this troop was created to counter Palania advances but is now reduced to a mere pawn to capture Mill. Gorgeous will give them till evening to prove themselves. Thanus wants his men to be patient because if they disobey, they will get disbanded. Now all they need to do is put their trust in the guerrilla he sent out to capture Mill. Mill is like a leech to Mei. But she starts crying when she thinks she hates her. Of course she’s back to loving her when Mei says she doesn’t. Her cry attracted Aster and Solude. Solude is bored of travelling with him and thinks of making new friends. Yeah, she’s targeting for Mei! When they crash into them, they both rub Mei’s butt! Never seen this kind of clothes and ass before?! Wow. That was sure a long high pitch scream from Mei. Of course this alerts the guerrilla nearby. As they continue their journey, Mei chides them she’s had enough scares for today despite their assurance they are harmless. Mei doesn’t want them to follow but they find her interesting. Suddenly they are attacked by demi-armours. Aster and Solude go into action in taking them down to let the duo escape. However a mid-demi-armour emerges from the ground to grab Mei and is about to stomp Mill. Aster and Solude learn about Mill’s identity and are in a dilemma whether to help her since mid-demi-armours aren’t their specialty. What the heck! Just attack it! It’s enough to set Mei free as she destroys it with her phantom light power. Solude now thinks they have become the same fugitive level as them, thus the reason they should journey together. Besides, she finds Mei a turn on although not very powerful. Meanwhile Gorgeous is pleased that Portmery army is under his control while Thanus rues his failure.

Episode 3
Gorgeous orders the army to search for Maze and has Thanus join in too. One of Thanus’ men has captured a fairy named Randy in the forest. They plan to use it to track Maze down since it can detect phantom power. However Randy is not pleased she thought she’d help out Maze to spy on them and never knew she would be captured and used against her pals. Mei and co are trekking through the forest and it will be a couple of more days before they reach Bistal. Aster notes if Solude had her Foll Rana power, they would’ve reached faster. But going long distance depleted her power. As they stay for the night, Mei is in an awkward position. Aster and Solude flank her. They have ulterior motives… They’re slowly molesting her skin from her thighs right up almost to her breasts! Luckily Mei moves (almost making those idiots kiss each other) and goes to sleep with Mill. Deep in the night, Solude plays cheat by sleeping next to Mei when Aster is deep asleep. Solude runs her fingers through her unbuttoned shirt and really likes it. Till she realizes her breasts are missing! She got the fright of her life to see Akira instead. Yeah, Akira was awakened from his sweet dream. Now he wants sweet reality! Here comes to pervert! I don’t know how long Solude was beating him up because it is now daylight and reverts back to Mei. They learn about this peculiarity as Mei is disheartened that she has to turn into a guy every night. Aster and Solude do not mind at all if she turns into a man at night. Because they’ll find a way to do her in during the day!!! And Mill asserts onee-nii-sama is hers.

Suddenly they realize that they’re being surrounded by Thanus’ army. Because of their feared reputation, Aster and Solude are in a pinch. Mei wants Mill to combine and summon Dulger. Then she picks the duo up, screams like a girl and runs through the army. That’s her plan? Doesn’t seem very much like it. The army chases them till Dulger is immobilized with emerald demi-armours. Mei is still reluctant to fight back because she hates fighting and doesn’t want anybody getting hurt. During all that, the army continues to pound her with full force. Then Akira and Mei are having some inner thoughts argument. Akira wants her to attack, otherwise switch places. Can they? Oh, it’s already night fall. Too bad Mei. You can’t stop the switch. The man is coming out. Akira goes wild and unleashes Maha Faiger to burn the entire army!!! Woah! He enjoys his victory! Only Randy is safe since she used a protective barrier on herself. And perhaps Thanus too because he was close to Randy but is still badly injured. Randy picks up a dropped emerald and makes her way. Gorgeous who has seen the devastating attack starts getting poetic about beauty and all that crap. He is glad such a worthy foe has appeared before him to be slaughtered. Yeah, that’s one hideous Undeader monster he summoned…

Episode 4
The king is one pissed guy. Learning Thanus’ army has been wiped out but that Thanus dude is still alive, he wants his men to find and execute him for such humiliation. Then he blames what in blazes Jaina is doing because as long as Mill is alive, his position is unofficial. This guy needs some anger management class. Mei wakes up from another dream. The kind that she is arguing with Akira and trying to convince Mei that this is not who she is. Since Aster and Solude are away searching for food, Mei takes this chance to bath in the river. She mustn’t waste precious daylight. Thinking of a way to get to Bistal, she hears a voice telling her the fastest route. She is Randy and is excited to meet Mei. Mei thinks this is another dream. One weirdo after another. And so Randy decides to join Mei in her journey and wants to be with her. She praises her Dulger and phantom light power but Mei scolds her that it is nothing to brag about. She doesn’t want to see people killing each other and just get Mill safely to Bistal. That’s it. Night falls. Akira is tied to a tree! He is one mad guy. Apparently Mei has taken precaution to have Aster and Solude tie Akira up when he appears. Mill feels sorry for him so Akira uses his charms to convince her to release him and have their night of romantic squeezing. WTF. She’s really about to do it but Aster takes her away. Suddenly the forest becomes dark. Gorgeous has unleashed his Undeader upon them. Randy explains Undeader is what happens when a human and demi-armour fuses and becomes one entity. It is so strong that the human’s soul will be eaten up. Plus, this one is remote controlled by a special Luminator: Gorgeous. Akira doesn’t care about all that crap and wants Mill to combine to unleash Dulger.

However Undeader is still stronger and Dulger takes a beating. Akira is full of rage, cursing his luck. Mill is full of apology, blaming herself for getting him into this and doesn’t want him to hate her. With so much anger, Akira uses Maha Faiger to turn the tables on Undeader. But before he could go wild, the day breaks. Oh no. Although Mei has come to the fore, she passes out. Because they share the same body and mind, Mei is not mentally tough as Akira during battles when the effects are carried over. Gorgeous thinks the Heavens are on his side and could even create some poetry about the death Mill is going face. Whatever. Then he turns Undeader into its true form. It consist souls of the dead, those in pain and anguish. Among them are Mill’s killed parents. She becomes distraught and her piercing screams are enough to awaken Mei. She sees this horrible sight and becomes mad. Make that a very mad woman. For the first time she hates somebody so much that it powers up Dulger and burns Undeader. Gorgeous is left reeling the burning effects too. That’s how he got his face scarred. The Creator assigns Chic to a mission. Mill is grateful for Maze saving her and relieving her parents from their suffering.

Episode 5
Thanus’ men betray the king to free him. They know they will be charged for treason but the last straw came when Thanus was made a scapegoat. Learning that Jaina is having ulterior motives in pursuing Mill, Thanus fears their paths will cross again. Mei and co are resting at the lake. Mill is worried about Mei since she has lots on her mind. Mei assures her she will do anything to not make her feel lonely. But is that permission for her to strip her naked?! Aster and Solude join in the fun. Could’ve gotten out of hand if not for a girl from the Lors tribe running into them. She is escaping from the Zork tribe who are hunting her down. Since the Zorks are being aggressive and attack, Mei in her fear accidentally unleashes her phantom light power to zap one of them. The Zorks flee upon knowing she is a Luminator. This saddens Mei for she saw the fear in their faces when she attacked. The Lors girl brings them back to the village chief and he is delighted that they finally have the warriors to stand up against the Zorks. In other words, become their bodyguards, right? Mei laments she is drawn to fight again. She goes out for a walk and hears the cries of baby Dai. She goes to pacify her and Dai takes a liking to her. Her father, Saber sees how Mei resembles his late wife Sasana. Mei cannot understand how their tribes can fight. Is there other ways to settle their dispute? Saber thinks kindness cannot solve everything. Mill misinterprets when she sees Mei with a baby in hand. A young married couple? She won’t lose out and starts crying like a baby. Just great. Two babies crying by her side. Feel like crying too? Meanwhile, Bossman of the Zorks addresses his troops about the developments in Lors and plans to take them down. When some of his men want reward for the information they brought him, Bossman has his crazy swordsman, Tsurugi give them their ‘reward’. He cuts them all down!

Zorks launch a night attack on Lors. Our heroes get into the action with Akira going to wipe them all out for interrupting his adult time. However he and Mei start arguing which causes Akira’s power to diminish. If not for Saber’s help, Akira could’ve been sliced. Tsurugi pilots a mid-demi-armour and burns everything. Akira wants to bring out Dulger but it seems Mill cannot summon it. She fears their heart is not synchronized. It is then Mei feels it is her fault when Mill lashes out they don’t care about the world or her anymore. Akira tells Mei off that her half assed kindness doesn’t solve anything. Compounded with Saber’s words, I guess it was enough for Mei to give back Akira some firepower. Now he can relieve some stress by throwing his phantom light power around. So powerful that he doesn’t even need Dulger to destroy the mid-demi-armour! Bossman orders the retreat and Akira wants the Lors to go after them. However they are being swiftly attacked by Jaina’s assassination squad, Catalinian Monks led by Chic. The left as soon as they came and it seems Solude has been kidnapped by them. Mei feels guilty that her hesitation caused all this. Tsurugi curses his luck when a voice calls out to him, asking if he wants the power to defeat his enemies. Yeah. He’ll sell his soul to the devil just to annihilate every one of them.

Episode 6
Tsurugi gets an electrifying power up. If you know what I mean. Mei feels guilty for all that has happened and decides to go to Zork to settle things. Saber will also accompany her since he has his own business to take care. Mill and Randy are left to care for Dai and their incessant crying is going to kill Aster. Outside Zork’s headquarters, Mei is surprised that Saber knows the area well. A frog nearly gave away their presence because it jumped into Mei’s shirt! With one hand over her mouth, Saber uses his other hand to take it out. And the stupid Zork guards think that’s how the frog sounds. Saber wants Mei to go ahead and save her friend as the Zork guards became alert when they learn of an intruder. Solude is pathetically chained in the dungeon. She hopes to see Mei one more time. And here she is freeing her. Happy, isn’t she? Saber confronts Bossman and he is going to exact revenge for killing his father. However he is attacked by Chic who won’t let Saber kill Bossman. Not until he sees the master of phantom light. Solude and Mei arrive in time to send him feeing with the latter’s phantom light. Solude then takes them all and fly away. Saber reveals to Mei that he once had a happy family. However Bossman killed his father who was the previous head of Zork to take his position. During the attack, Saber was heavily injured. He wanted Sasana to take Dai and run while he becomes a decoy. However she became the decoy instead because she knows he can’t die yet till he avenges his father. She got killed subsequently. Saber was banished from the village.

Bossman and his men return to Lors village to burn everything down. Our heroes arrive in time to stop the bandits but Tsurugi in the strongest diamond demi-armour form starts attacking everything, killing even his own allies. Aster and Solude are easily taken out. Saber protects Mei from being mince meat since he can’t lose her the same way he lost Sasana. It is then Mei got the strength to protect everyone with her life and finally summons Dulger. So happens that the sun has set and now it is Akira’s turn to be the hero. However Tsurugi seems to be using some sort of refraction powers and there are many of his demi-armour clones. Dulger can’t hit it physically since it is only a refraction of light. Guess what? Akira doesn’t give a damn and burns everything down with Maha Faiger!!! Real or fake, everything will burn!!! Tsurugi is killed as Randy picks up the diamond. Saber and Bossman have a final showdown. Of course it ends with Saber victorious. His revenge is over. The Creator notes how this is just a test mission for Chic as Gorgeous is already making his move in obtaining the most powerful Undeader. Saber and Mei part ways. Mei and co continue their journey and as usual Mill and the rest fight over Mei. Yeah. Want to make babies now, eh? Though Saber notes kindness can’t solve everything, sometimes true kindness can be a strength.

Episode 7
Aster and Solude fight off a bunch of demi-armour soldiers so as to let Maze get away. Suddenly they are attacked by a blonde with a crossbow that shoots iron rods. Solude knows it is Medusa and is targeting her. She goes off to confront her. When they meet, Medusa mocks her for still being weaker than her. If not for Aster coming to save the day, Solude could’ve gotten a rod inside her body. Aster and Solude rest in the forest as she says she needs to settle their score before reuniting with Maze. Flashback reveals Solude and Medusa trained together in a dojo under the same master. Medusa was always better than her and one day she offered Solude to follow her since she has the ability to make her stronger. But it only goes downhill from here. Medusa would do anything it takes to get better even if it means killing her own dojo mates. This causes the others to drop out till Solude and Medusa were the only ones left. In the end, Solude witnessed Medusa killing their master. Solude then attacked Medusa but ran out of ammo. Medusa then considers Solude her enemy since she turned her weapon against her. She left with an advice that if she wants to survive, she must always save the last one. The next time they meet, Medusa will kill her. Morning comes, Solude ties up Aster to go to her rematch. Medusa also thinks back when she told Solude if she could kill her master. If she could, it means attaining the power superior to her master. Solude didn’t like this idea. The showdown begins in an abandoned cowboy town. Both sides go all out against each other till they are down to their last ammo. Seems Melissa is relishing this fight as Solude can only thrill her. Solude gets tricked by a decoy and loses her last piece. Medusa corners her and is about to pull the trigger when Aster comes barging in (how did he untie himself?). The distraction was enough for Solude to land her hidden last piece into Medusa. I guess she took up Medusa’s advice after all. When Aster tells Solude how lucky she was since Medusa’s crossbow was out of ammo, it dawned to Solude that Medusa wanted to die. In her last breath, Medusa departs her last advice not to reach the heights she has attained. Medusa dies in Solude’s arms and is happy her final moments were just like those old times they had.

Episode 8
The gang finally reach the capital of Bistal. This place is impregnable because it is filled with phantom light disablers so Jaina would think twice about invading. However Mill becomes depressed because she doesn’t get along well with Cassandra. As they walk through town, they see attendants of Prince Leyric bullying a woman. Mei steps in since the people are afraid of them. She slaps one of them TWICE! They attack back but get beaten up by Aster and Solude. Rapier steps in to order them to stop as these people are guests of the Royal Court. However they won’t have it this way since they are only loyal to Leyric. Rapier stands her ground so they back off but will be back. Mill and co have an audience with Cassandra. Mei’s guts tell her something is wrong. Because Cassandra’s eyes aren’t smiling. Cassandra wants to reward Mei for bringing Mill here and has her come closer. After putting on a choker, Cassandra announces Bistal will wage war against Jaina. To seal this pact, she proclaims the engagement between Mill and Leyric. Mill protests but Cassandra this is what her late father wants as this will strengthen the bonds between their nations. The soldiers surround the rest since they reportedly attacked Leyric’s attendants. Rapier is forced to shut up since Cassandra asserts her authority she is speaking on King Nauclif’s behalf. Aster and Solude won’t sit still and fight the guards. Mei is dropped through a trapdoor. Since phantom light disabler is on, Aster and Solude retreat through the window. And during this entire time, Leyric was just licking his lollipop…

Rapier talks to her king about this but he tells her to stop because he knows he no longer possess the power to stop Cassandra. He just wants to live his remaining days peacefully. He wants Rapier to stop coming here too often and praises her beauty as a woman. She should wear a dress once in a while. Rapier is surprised by his words. She is his vassal first and cannot be a woman because it goes against everything. Mei wakes up to find herself in the deep underground labyrinth. Randy explains the choker prevents her from using her phantom light power. She thought Akira will think of a way to get it out but it’s already night time and she isn’t transformed yet. Good or bad news? She finds a wounded knight nearby who curses Cassandra for her atrocities. If the king was only healthy, he would’ve put a stop to the injustice. He wants Mei to survive this ordeal so that his death won’t be in vain. Then he dies. Just like that. Mei becomes emotionally upset that she almost killed a passing rat! Meanwhile Mill is crying in her room. She throws a tantrum when Leyric’s attendants force her to greet the prince. Leyric isn’t thrilled and leaves (still licking the lollipop). Leyric grumbles to Cassandra that all Mill is interested is in that transvestite so he doesn’t give a damn. He is upset Mill won’t do as he says like everyone else. Cassandra assures she will make all his wishes will come true. Outside the capital, Chic realizes the barrier won’t allow Jaina to launch a massive attack. He sends Jipha to do the job from inside. Mei walks blindly in the labyrinth till she collapses. She sees visions of the modern city she lives in and herself. She is rudely awakened when an old man prepares to stab her with a knife.

Episode 9
This old guy, Woll is actually trying to silence Mei so as not to let his rat meal get away! Introducing himself, he was the ex-Prime Minister of Bistal. To make up for scaring her, he takes her to his ‘home’. Woll has been living here for 2 years since his failed coup to stop Cassandra’s tyranny. That woman is hell bent on making her son the king of the continent. Leyric is still sulking over Mill’s stubbornness to follow his orders when a candy seller lady offers him a lollipop. He likes her and wants her to be his servant. Mill escapes from her confinement to go rescue Mei. Rapier remembers her past whereby she came from some legendary family. Her father was upset he got a daughter instead of a son and forced Rapier to grow up as a man. Her identity is discovered by Nauclif during her stint in the military academy. It is a crime punishable by death but the kind king forgave her and approved her as the academy’s female student. Rapier pledged her loyalty to him even if it meant sacrificing her womanhood. When they see Mill running past, they get her to spill what is happening. Nauclif wants Rapier to assist and protect Mill and gives her his royal ring. It will serve as a guide for the labyrinth because it was once used as an escape route for the royal family. Mei is dreaming of her modern world again. It seems she went to see Akira. She is abruptly awakened when Cassandra’s assassins make their appearance. Woll uses his bombs to make their escape. Too bad he ran out of them. Mei ignores the pain of the choker to try and use her phantom light power. Not working. It’s thanks to Rapier’s swift slicing that saves them from death. Mill happily reunites with Mei but their happiness is cut short when Cassandra’s Luminator Squad kidnaps Mill. Randy uses her crystals and they teleport away. We see clips that Mei and Akira may have combined into a single body when they’re transported to this world.

When they wake up, it seems Akira is now out. And the choker is still on his neck. Is this the doing of the crystals? Rapier is suspicious on this guy but is somewhat amazed of this gender bender thingy. Akira is eager to go save Mill since it’s his duty as a man to save a woman. Rapier hesitated for a while before Akira tells her that she is a woman. And a pretty one too. Rapier denies that and spews that knight thingy crap even if Akira said the same words that Nauclif did. Since the argument is going nowhere, Akira forcefully kisses her! It’s a good way to shut her up. I think. When they get out of the labyrinth. Akira has Rapier summon her demi-armour to fly back to the palace. They are attacked by other demi-armour guards along the way. The choker breaks and Akira runs wild with his phantom light power. Hey. Isn’t it day time? So shouldn’t the female be out? At least the day looks bright. Elsewhere, Leyric must be dumb enough to show the candy lady the crystal that keeps Bistal invincible. He brags how powerful he is and is willing to give her anything. Anything? How about Bistal kingdom then? I guess there is only one answer because the lady kills him! Cassandra prepares Mill for the wedding as she awaits her son. But only the candy lady appears. She transforms into Jipha, Bistal Invasion Force’s chief commander. Now that the barriers protecting the kingdom are gone, Jaina begins its attack. Cassandra is devastated when she realizes her son is dead. That’s what you get for being a bad queen.

Episode 10
Bistal falls into ruins. The noble knights run for their lives. Shameful. So where has all the pride gone to? Cassandra wanders aimlessly like a crazy woman hallucinating happier times. Jipha is about to kill Mill but here comes Akira to her rescue. Since Jipha summons his demi-armour, it’s time to summon Dulger. Rapier goes back to save Nauclif. The king is wounded and knows he has not long to live. He gives Rapier the Bistal sword, Astenus to be given to Mill as the rightful heir. He wants Rapier to help Mill rebuild the nation. Because Rapier will not live him, Nauclif finally scolds her to be responsible. How could she let her fellow men suffer the atrocities of Jaina? Who will save them? Who will guide them? She must accomplish what he couldn’t. How could she call herself a knight if she doesn’t realize this? Seeing Woll for the first time in many years, he too gives him a mission.  The survivors must live on and fulfil their responsibility. He can’t go because he can’t forsake Cassandra. However this won’t do for Rapier as she still wants to be by his side. Aster knocks her out and they escape the capital via labyrinth. Nauclif goes to Cassandra’s side to comfort her. Woll and the rest watch the capital burn from a distance. When Rapier comes to, she rushes back to the capital and destroys the wave of demi-armour guards while getting pounded herself. She enters the room where Nauclif and Cassandra are. His wife playing them a song amidst the fire. The building starts to collapse. At least Rapier is not stupid to die with her king. She jumps out of the building and cries her heart out. Meanwhile Akira is having a hard time against Jipha. Once he figures out his demi-armour’s weakness, he stabs the crystal inside his mouth and kills him. By morning, Jaina has taken over the capital. Woll says their only hope left is to head for Palania where they can plan their rally. Rapier vows to follow them and carry out her orders. She hands Astenus to Mill and pledges her loyalty to her. They begin their journey to Palania.

Episode 11
The gang enter a town in the midst of a festival in conjunction to coronate a new king, Farmount. The Mei and Mill got separated and end up getting cornered by ruffians. A playboy named Gold is about to save them with his flashy entrance but Rapier cuts the ruffians’ clothes to send them running in shame. Rapier doesn’t trust this Gold guy but he wants to help them find the rest of their friends. He brings them to a restaurant whereby the girls see how popular he is. Contrary to the peace they are seeing, Gold tells them there is trouble brewing. The king himself is trouble. Because he has always been wearing a mask and seldom appears in public unless it’s a big deal, there are some groups planning a coup d’etat. Especially by the Minister of Treasury, Den Marsh who is believed to be corrupted and evil. As he is a smooth operator, he is hard to be nailed. There is also a rumour that Jaina has a hand in this plot. So are they interested now? Pochomkin dismisses Chic’s assistance and will show him he can do it by himself. After all, Chic has failed to even capture a couple of ladies, right? Chic warns him they are not to be underestimated. Gold leads the ladies to an alley whereby the ruffians surround them. Seems Gold is in cohorts with them. Initially he is supposed to save them and earn their trust but anyway it worked out. With the narrow alley, Rapier can’t unsheathe her sword. They throw sleeping gas at them. Mei dreams of Akira leaving her. When she awakens, she and Mill find herself before Den Marsh. He won’t tell them anything besides the fact that he has been told to fetch them. Mei wanted to use her phantom light power but it couldn’t materialize. Did the sleeping gas suppress it?

As they are taken to his mansion, Mei is confident Akira will do something about it. Besides, it is already night fall. Poof! Out comes Akira! But wait! It’s not really him! It’s Mei in Akira’s body! She’s just in a man’s body! Sounds so gay… It’s confusing Mill. Randy leaves trails of her fairy seeds in hopes Rapier would pick up their trail. Fortunately she did. Mei and Mill are waiting in prison as the former laments how she has come to depend on Akira unconsciously. She always wished for him to disappear and now he really did in the time she needs him the most. How can she protect Mill? What can she do? Is she giving up? She views herself as an ordinary powerless woman. They are taken to a room whereby Den Marsh introduces them to Jaina’s Pochomkin. Thanks to their visit to Palania, their ambitions have become one. Jaina is banned in Palania and thus Pochomkin’s restricted activity. That’s why he had Den Marsh capture them in exchange for his support for the coup. When he becomes king, he will make Jaina the national religion too. Oh, so typical of them to blab their evil plans. They’re so confident that they’re going to execute Mei and Mill perfectly. Guess what? Gold crashes in and claims he has nailed Den Marsh this time. He wants them to give up since they’ve been caught red handed by his crescent moon.

Episode 12
Gold easily dispatches all the guards. Suddenly dropping in from the roof is Ran Chiki, Gold’s friend. He is supposed to give Mei an antidote for the phantom light power suppressor.  However Mei refuses since she doesn’t want anything from a suspicious person or associated with Gold. If Mei says no, then Randy and Mill support her. Ran feels insulted so he tries to force the antidote down her throat! All this amidst the chaos… Eventually she sticks it in and Mei immediately collapses. Before Mill and the rest can become mince meat, Rapier enters the scene to save them. She is wary of Gold but he wants her to trust him and assures no harm will be upon Mei. Den Marsh unleashes his special ninja squad to attack. I don’t see any difference in skill. The heroes still best them. Gold clashes sword with Pochomkin. I don’t know. Wouldn’t it be easier to fight without carrying Mei around? Shouldn’t he put her down or at least with Mill or Randy? Mei is inside her heart. She enters an area to see Akira surrounded by lots of woman. Is this his harem? He’s frolicking and having a good time. This upsets Mei and she is on the verge of crying. At least this brings Akira’s attention. She was so worried about him. She called him and there was no response or acknowledgement whatsoever. She is sad she can’t even use her powers. They hear Mill’s cry. That’s when Mei revives. Oh wait. Isn’t it Akira in Mei’s body? Yeah, anyway he/she is going wild! Shooting his/her phantom light power and burning down everything, laughing like an evil maniac! In the end, Den Marsh is arrested for treason along with Pochomkin. All this while, Mei has to take Akira’s place in the harem… Are those women bi?

Den Marsh is put on trial before the king. He tries to plead his innocence, his long years of service and accuses the ladies of being spies. When Farmount mentions about Gold witnessing his misdeeds, Den Marsh pleads he has never heard him in his life. Farmount unmasks himself and he turns out to be… GOLD!!!  Den Marsh is so screwed. He is found guilty and will be paraded before his execution. Pochomkin won’t give in yet and easily escapes his chains (just like that?). Outside the city he summons his giant demi-armour. Cue for Mill and Mei to summon Dulger. Despite the opponent being bigger and stronger, Dulger pulls off some wind technique to blow Pochomkin away into the forest. But the battle tide is turned when Pochomkin hides underground to deceive Dulger. Not even the random firing of her Faiger power could do anything. Pochomkin grabs Dulger from behind and is about to do the finishing. Mei is at a loss when she hears Akira’s voice. If she’s having a hard time, might as well switch and he’ll finish the job. The mere thought of sitting through his harem is nightmarish enough so Mei gets the determination she needs to finish Pochomkin off. See? So easy. In the aftermath, Farmount will acknowledge Mill as the heir to the throne. He notes he might fall for Mei after seeing her helping out at a restaurant. He got beaten up by Ran for being unfaithful. Ironically, Mill wasn’t the one to leap and proclaim Mei as hers.

Episode 13
The Palania army is preparing for the decisive battle. Farmount talks to Mei about her problems. She wants to support Mill but is scared to death of fighting and doesn’t feel right piloting Dulger. Farmount can promise her everlasting peace. I guess he is trying to hint about marrying him and the smooth talker is about to kiss her. Mei doesn’t even resist. Till Ran comes running in to ruin everything. She accuses Mei for being a thieving cat and tries to cut her amidst his fantasies of becoming one with his king. Oh God… I suppose the chase went for too long so Akira comes out. Suddenly… Ran realizes Akira is his type and loves him!!! OMG! Thankfully Akira isn’t into this kind of love and runs for his life!!! Farmount takes Mei to the excavation site of Palania where they dig up demi-armours. I guess they weren’t made. There is a gigantic one unearthed and Mei has a bad feeling about it. As the Royal Luminators are accessing it, suddenly the demi-armour activates and swallows up everything in the site. Looks like it’s an evil demi-armour. While Farmount orders the evacuation of the workers and the summoning of the demi-armour squad, Mill and Mei summon Dulger to keep it at bay. But it’s the most powerful demi-armour they have ever faced yet. They take a good beating. When Mei wakes up, she finds herself in a devastated landscape. Don’t worry, Mill is around. On second thought, worry. Mei picks up a soda can and to her surprise she knows how to open it despite not having memories on what this strange thing is. They are suddenly attacked by a demi-armour but another one saves them. Its pilot, Kyle Juzeis takes them back to his base seeing that it is dangerous for civilians to be out here.

The research lab is conducting some experiment on phantom power. Safe to say it failed. Too low. Mei and Mill are brought into a room for an examination. Their phantom power is unreadable. Too high? The chief of this Phantom Light Power Research Institute, Mayfield Sis Lujenvarnar goes to see them and thinks they are mankind’s hope. Guess what? She looks like Mill! Just put on some glasses. Hearing out Mei’s story, Mayfield guesses she is from the future. She explains how demi-armour came about. Mankind found some infinite, inexhaustible and non-polluting source of energy called phantom light power. Further research shows a new form of life can be sustained by this power and thus the mass creation of cyborgs into apparatus for human use. The demi-armour we know is known as fell-armour here. In an attempt to create the ultimate fell-armour, it resulted in a devastating outcome. It materialized a creature called Yumir and it caused death, destruction and mayhem. So the one Mei saw in the future must be it. The distortion of the energy between Dulger and Yumir must have caused the time distortion. Once revived, Yumir will destroy the world. No ordinary fell-armours or phantom light power can defeat it. For Mei to get back to her world, they must eliminate Yumir, the cause of her displacement. She takes Mei to a room whereby Dulger is being created. You know, all this while Mill has been an annoying girl. Pressing buttons and messing up the operations on her own. Can’t she sit still like Mei told her too? Why is she so naughty and disobedient? I know Mei didn’t scold her but shouldn’t anybody get annoyed with her ‘itchy fingers’?

Episode 14
All Dulger needs is a pilot. The person commanding it needs to have more than the average phantom power. Guess who? Before Mei came into the picture, Mayfield and Kyle were scheduled to pilot it. But Kyle is not happy that Mei is given the opportunity to pilot it. Mayfield orders him to leave them and hopes Mei can help them out. Then night falls. Mei turns to Akira right before her eyes. He will help her with anything as long as they can do ‘that’. He’ll follow her anywhere too. Where is she taking him? I don’t know. It’s some room whereby Akira got zapped from head to toe. Electrifying, eh? It hurts all over. Late that night, he sneaks out via air vent to Mayfield’s room. He thought he is going to get lucky with her but he didn’t realize Mill followed him. Saddened by his lecherous ways, she gives out a blood curling scream. Next day, a fell-armour sent by Yumir invades the base. All the stupid guards just stood there shooting it despite knowing well their bullets can’t harm it. Kyle also gets owned doing the same. Because Mei can’t stand seeing Kyle die, she lets loose her phantom light power on the fell-armour and destroys it. Kyle is taken in for treatment as Mayfield hopes Mei and Mill can help pilot Dulger. Mill is in the midst of the preparations when Yumir turns up. Mayfield wants the forces to stall it as long as they can. Mei makes her way to Dulger when she bumps into Kyle. He is more cool-headed now. Revealing part of his body is made of machine for battle purposes, he was upset to see Mayfield placing so much faith in her. Mayfield is his childhood friend and he vowed to avenge her father’s death. He realizes they’re fighting against the same enemy and believes she leapt through time to pilot Dulger. That power belongs to her alone.

Yumir is making steady progress towards Dulger. Nothing can stand in its path. Mei is increasing Dulger’s output when suddenly it stalls. They need more time so Kyle goes to stall Yumir but gets crushed. The scientists have no choice but to increase output even if it will risk Mei’s life. Mayfield refuses to do that but Mill says to believe in her. Mei is within herself and feeling scared. Akira tells her off her whining won’t get her anywhere but she says she is not as strong as him and doesn’t want to experience this again. Then Kyle appears before her. At least his words are kinder. He tells her Dulger is their sum of their past, present and future and that she was chosen by Dulger. Now Dulger appears before her. She realizes it was Dulger who was calling her and giving her strength. It’s why she managed to get this far. Now that she has accepted Dulger, the output reaches it max. Yumir crashes in to attack Dulger but it disappears along with Mill. Dulger fights back but is still weaker to Yumir. Thankfully it is night time so Akira turns hero to pound Yumir and destroy it for good. In the end, Dulger returns to its own time. To show Kyle is not dead, we see Mayfield picking him out from the rubbles. Back in the future moments before the Royal Luminators access Yumir, it turns out to be just a shell with no power. Close by, a worker digs up another mysterious relic. It is a moulded figure of Mill! Remember she was fooling around the facility? I guess she really left her mark in history.

Episode 15
The girls are rushing. To where? A Palania hotspring believed to make you look younger by 5 years. And there it is! Everyone dips in except for Mei. They try to convince her to do so as she is reluctant and worried about Jaina’s attack. Well, sometimes you need to relax and prepare yourself, right? Once war comes, you won’t get to enjoy this. Mei finally relents so Mill and Solude are in competition to strip her. Meanwhile Randy notes she is closer to collecting all the 5 crystals, one for each phantom element that constitutes the universe. She already has 3 and the remaining ones are sapphire and topaz representing water and earth respectively. When the girls throw Mei into the hotspring, a light explosion occurs. Mei resurfaces but doesn’t find the rest around. Is this a joke? As she wanders about, she stumbles upon a modern apartment. Hey. This place feels familiar. She follows a familiar man to his room. It’s Akira! He invites her in. Suddenly her clothes change and he hugs her. He says she must have got some lecture from his dad but doesn’t want her to listen to him or anybody else. Because they’ll always be that. Mei then remembers. Akira is her big brother. Mei cooks for him and feels excited about it. But she gets a surprise. What is adult Mill clinging her arms around Akira for?! She’s his wife???!!! Get this too. Rapier considers herself as Akira’s mistress! Oh, not forgetting Solude loves Mei. The ladies begin arguing over their love for Akira and Mei! What the heck is going on?!

In reality, Ran is shocked to see the ladies encased in a bubble over the hotspring. Randy laments she didn’t do her research enough. This hotspring has some phantom power that causes those who soak in it enter a dream world whereby they can live out their deepest desires and fantasies. In short, they will only feel rejuvenated in their mind and not their body. However if this doesn’t stop, they will forever be consumed by the hotspring and be trapped forever. Randy can’t do it since a fairy’s power isn’t enough. She wants Randy to enter their dream and bring them back. What if he gets trapped too? Don’t worry, as long as his determination to return to reality is stronger, everything will work out fine. This is his chance to show his real love for Akira. Because true love always triumphs over fantasy love! Well, that was certainly enough to convince him. Night fall has fallen so Akira takes control now. He doesn’t care who loves him. It’s all their love towards him that counts! Behind his closet he unleashes several mini Mill clones! Then they go on some training with Rapier chasing after them only to be stopped in some yuri fashion by Solude. Huh? Then here comes Ran clones rushing towards Akira. This is the only love he doesn’t want. Mill and Ran clones clash and in the end Ran clones emerge victorious. Here comes the true love!!! NO WAY!!! Meanwhile Mei realizes she must leave her ‘big brother’ and return back to her friends. The apartment disappears as Mei’s scream brings her back to reality. Her wild power causes the entire hotspring to go dry. Akira is still traumatized from that nightmare. He’s not going back there ever again! The ladies trek back come morning and they feel tired than before. But Mei is left to ponder if that Akira she saw was her brother, was it a reflection of her deepest desires then?

Episode 16
Thanus’ army successfully conquers another stronghold. Palania seems peaceful thanks to Farmount’s efforts. But Rapier sees a wagon carrying cannon. Could there be a war looming? Mei is taken to Farmount because he wants to introduce her to someone important. Well, actually she already knows him. It’s Saber! Saber is here as Thanus’ messenger. Thanus wants to present Farmount with all 14 strongholds within Bistal territory which he recently seized. Since they are all located at the border between Bartonian and Bistal, this would mean disrupting the balance between both nations and a war will erupt. Farmount accepts Thanus’ offer. The army of Palania prepares to wage war against Bartonian as Mei laments going back to war. To relieve her of her worry, Farmount kisses her!!! Kiss, interrupted courtesy of a very jealous Ran. She accuses Mei for trying to seduce his love. It doesn’t help when Farmount says she told him she was madly in love with him. Did she? Ran wants to fight with Mei but Farmount’s tactical advisor, Yoriki throws a smoke bomb to confuse everyone. Worse, Mill wants a kiss too or else she’ll kill herself! Later Mei goes to talk to Saber before he leaves for his tribe. Mei couldn’t help think back about her dream whereby she hugged Akira as her brother. She gets bombed out of her fantasy when Ran comes looking to pick a fight with her. He accuses her of flirting with Saber now. He starts blasting away and just when Mei is cornered, day turns to night. Akira deflects the blast and knocks Ran away. Akira wants to fight him but it seems Ran concedes defeat and wants to love him! Look who is the seducer and flirter? As usual, Mill and Ran fight over Akira. Maze sure has it tough, eh? Meanwhile Gorgeous enters some palace and activates some demi-armour. He is willing to give his life as long as he has the power to destroy Maze and Dulger. Early next morning, Mei wakes up to see Farmount training hard. Yoriki says that’s his way of remaining calm. In war, one’s life becomes precarious so she believes what he meant what he said to Mei yesterday. She personally prefers him to stay as the hopeless flirt. The Palania army moves out for the war. Once more, Mill becomes the insecure brat wanting Mei to assure she loves her more than Farmount or Saber or else she won’t sleep well. Once again, Mei had to reassure she won’t do anything to make her sad. Since Mill continues to hog her, the rest doesn’t take this favouritism well and try to get a piece of Mei too. Even in war, Maze sure has it tough, doesn’t she?

Episode 17
Thanus rallies his man on the night before the big battle. Likewise, Farmount does the same for his troops and their morale is boosted because they have Dulger on their side. It’s not all serious on this side because Solude helps Mei put up some makeup. She gets turned on and wants to have a piece of her. Luckily it turns to night so Akira would gladly have her attack in any direction she wishes! Lost interest, eh? Then he tries to seduce Rapier but since he ruined her makeup, he got kicked out. This is followed by Mill and Ran fighting for his affections in too much hideous makeup. Not what he wanted… The Palania army standby before the attack. Even Ran is in his own demi-armour, Griffol so he can show off to Maze. Not that Mill would allow it. The battle begins and Palania makes great headway. Mei overcomes her fear of the battlefield to bulldoze her way through enemy demi-armours. Even if they gang up against Dulger, as long as she puts in her determination, she is unstoppable. Farmount wants to join the battle since he can’t let Mei shoulder the burden. But Yoriki plays her horrible violin to make him change his mind. Dulger is then confronted with a bud-armour piloted by Gorgeous that contains the sapphire crystal. Gorgeous uses some mind attack trick to absorb Mei’s consciousness. Mei becomes like a vegetable and trapped in her own mind, she witness herself killing Mill with her own hands. All her friends accuse her as a monster and killer. Although they fight back, Mei kills them all. Mei is on the verge of breaking down so Gorgeous offers to relieve her pain. The only way is to kill herself. Mei is about to strangle herself but is saved by Akira’s appearance. She feels his warmth when he hugs her. Akira vows to always protect her. He frees her from this mind prison. Mei becomes serious in taking out Gorgeous. Just before she lands the final blow, The Creator beams to him a very power phantom light power. Gorgeous uses this chance to punch through Dulger’s armour. Dulger defeated? Maze finally dead? Ran got so upset that he charged without thinking and got owned. Mei is unconscious and bleeding heavily while devastated Mill turns into a screaming broken tape recorder. The Creator feels Maze’s phantom light power dissipating and revels she cannot threaten her existence anymore. Now no one will stop her from achieving her ambitions.

Episode 18
Thanus feigns defeat so he can flood away the enemy and wipe them out in one big swoop. However everyone else back at the main camp is devastated because Maze is dead! Mill becomes inconsolable and is hell bent on revenge and doesn’t give a crap about her position or whatsoever. Farmount was a little cruel to remind her that she is still the princess of Bartonian so she runs away in tears (in louder in her cries). Ran felt disappointed with him. Ran wants to help Mill take her revenge and will pilot Dulger. The rest of Maze’s friends too will assist her. Yoriki informs Farmount that their troops have not been informed about Maze’s death since it would demoralize them. Speaking of which, they are losing ground. Farmount wants to head into battle but Yoriki pleads to him not to go. Not as a military officer but as a woman. He apologizes he can’t and needs to avenge Maze’s death. When he summons his royal demi-armour, Dracoon, Randy senses the topaz crystal within it. And I thought she said collecting the crystals is worthless now that Maze is gone. Hard to give up on it, eh? Gorgeous easily pounds Dulger. It’s nothing without Maze piloting it. Even their friends get owned. Till Farmount shows up that they have a fighting chance. Meanwhile Mei’s spirit somehow makes its way to where The Creator is. They kept calling her the Eraser who threatens their existence and goal to become God of this world. They try to eliminate her but her phantom power activates a protective shield. Mei thinks if she rids this being it will free Mill from her suffering.

Farmount defeats Gorgeous but with Chic coming into the picture, he beats up Dracoon and destroys the demi-armour. Randy collects the topaz. Gorgeous wants to kill everyone with his own hands (so he can be beautifully satisfied) and starts off by pummelling Dulger. Mill doesn’t view this as such a bad idea as she can reunite with Maze. This only serves to anger Gorgeous as he is going to make her wish come true. Mei senses Mill in danger and instantly whisks back to the battlefield. Everyone is shocked to see Mei putting up a powerful phantom light power against Gorgeous. Chic realize the power is getting dangerous and wants him to retreat. I guess he was blinded by revenge so his demi-armour got destroyed. Randy collects the final sapphire crystal. Mill emotionally reunites with Mei. Thank goodness this isn’t a dream. Gorgeous still isn’t out yet and wants to kill Mei. Both sides summon their phantom light power. So powerful that the crystals start reacting. A big bright light engulfs them all. Mei and her friends are missing. Only Farmount is left behind. The Creator senses Maze gone from this world. Mei wakes up and hears familiar vehicle sounds. Does the sight of skyscrapers bring back familiar memories? Yup. She’s back in her own world.

Episode 19
Seems Mei getting used to her old life. But even as a college student at Shakunan, she is getting no peace because Mill and Ran are still fighting over her. In front of everybody. Now, if you add Solude to the equation… She is a bar hostess while Woll the bar master and Aster the construction worker. They’re getting used to life here too. Despite everything back to normal like Mei wants, she can’t feel happy because they are still in the midst of the war when this happened. Plus, she dragged them along with her. Rapier and Randy snuck into some office to do their research for any clues to return back to their world. No such luck. Wait a minute. Rapier can use a computer? Were there computers back in the other world? Anyway Rapier asks Randy why she wanted to collect the crystals. The fairy doesn’t know either since she heard the voice of the forest telling her about the long awaited appearance of a Luminator and demand the 5 crystals. The duo leave for the night. Little do they know that Gorgeous has also come to this world. At the pedestrian crossing, he secretly attacks them and causes an accident. Everyone is surprised to see a fairy in the midst of the commotion. Rapier and Randy make their escape. Mei is outside Akira’s house. She remembers Akira transferred into her class despite being a year older due to the fights he always get into. Because Akira’s name can also be read as Mei, her friends note that there are 2 Meis and decides to nickname them Maze. The duo spend some time together till one day Akira blew his top at their father who intended to separated them. Akira accused him of wanting her to succeed the family and protect his darling heiress. Akira then leaves on his own accord. Rapier shows the rest the weapon that was used to attack them. Cautioning that Gorgeous may be targeting Mei, they also believe Maze is his other target. Aster skips his work to go look out for Mei outside the school girls. Mei not in sight and his intimidating structure seems to be scaring away the girls. Mei enters Akira’s home. Feels like that déjà vu dream how he greeted her as his sister. He thought she got another lecture from father and doesn’t want her to listen to him. After he hugs her, Mei wants to set the record straight. She says she is Maze. Not just their nickname. Both of them are Maze. Mei exists is one half of Maze. The other half is Akira but it’s not this kind hearted Akira now (yeah, the rowdy perverted one). Confused? It’s going to be a long story so can we sit around and listen? Apparently the good thing is that we don’t because Gorgeous blows a hole in the wall. Peek-a-boo, I found you, Maze.

Episode 20
Mei and Akira run away from Gorgeous but Akira gets injured in the process. They continue to flee. He continues to chase. Mei can’t fight and involve innocent people so she runs and hides in Shakunan. Mill’s inbuilt Maze-is-in-danger antenna senses Maze in danger and rounds up Ran, Woll, Solude and Aster to go save her. So who is going to manage the bar? Rapier and Randy are doing their research through the yearbooks of Shakunan. They find a book that tells of a legend of people being able to use divine energy. Sounds very much like phantom light power and Luminators, no? According to the book, one such person was born 600 years ago in the Ikaruga village. That’s right, Mei and Akira are Luminators of the same lineage. Randy heard that this village was founded by settlers of the Ikaruga tribe. That’s why descendents of Ikaruga attend this college. Mei tells Akira everything and he believes her since he has witness her powers. He too feels uncertain like her. To do away with that, it boils down to 2 options. Either Mei returns to her true self or he merges into her. He always wished to be one with her and knows she feels the same way. Their talk is interrupted by Gorgeous. He points out that is the very reason why he must kill them. Before the Eraser in them awakens. The cat and mouse game continue. Mill and co arrive outside the gates of Shakunan. Gorgeous is about to kill Maze but luckily Rapier comes into the scene. Mei realizes she can’t summon her phantom light power. Gorgeous explain this place acts as a barrier created by the Creator to finish off the Eraser who rebels against Jaina. In short, it has properties of phantom power disabler. It also alters the space-time thingy so Mill and the others outside can’t come in. Mill got so worried that she tries to locate the source of the barrier which is inside the college’s basement. I guess her love was so strong for Maze that she telepathically tells Mei where the source is and to head there and destroy it.

Upon reaching, Mei is shocked to see a large picture of The Creator and the 5 crystals. Leave it to Gorgeous to explain again. When the God that was born at Ikaruga village possessed the unique ability to manipulate phantom light power, that energy existed at that time wasn’t enough to satisfy God. So God travelled back in time to govern a new world by phantom light power. That God is of course The Creator of Jaina. That means The Creator is a distant ancestor to Maze. Out of fear than an equally capable Luminator might be born, The Creator built a school armed with phantom barrier to suppress the Ikaruga descendant’s power. Since phantom light power maintains equilibrium, the appearance of one would create imbalance. That would be The Creator. Therefore another Luminator with an equal amount of power was chosen to vanquish the catalyst. That would be Maze. Mei and Akira’s longing for each other was what awakened their Luminator status. Mei realizes their wish came true. Maze was born not by accident but by design. Their status as Eraser stems from the fact that they are born to erase the imbalance. Enough talking already. Gorgeous gets ready to kill Mei. Akira protects her with all he has got. He vows to always protect her. Mei can’t bear the sight of Akira nearly being done in. She suddenly summons a very powerful phantom light power to destroy not only the barrier source but the entire college! Gorgeous never expected Maze to be this powerful but is confident as long as they are in this world, they can’t beat him. He flees when reinforcement arrives. Worried Mill as usual goes into hugging madness over Mei. Like she has never seen her in centuries. Akira vows to protect Mei no matter what till the day they unite as one Maze. They will become true Maze again. But they’ll have to wait for the crystals’ power to be restored.

Episode 21
Randy is getting all the information she needs to snag her own prince charming. I wonder if she’ll be okay. The beach episode sees Mei and the gang arriving at the beach for some fun in the sun. However Mei continues to be cautious because the rest are too lax in letting their guard down (Gorgeous may attack anytime) and she still is in a dilemma over Akira. Sleeping Randy suddenly bursts out of the basket. And what I meant was, she has grown up into human size! She explains to Mei that for only today she will become human and find the love of her life. So the duo go around having fun since Randy wants to enjoy life like a normal girl. They are interviewed by a host who is searching for the perfect summer angel. Randy takes this opportunity to announce she is looking for a summer fling and requests for somebody to be her love mate! She’s serious. Instantly, you can see all the guys turn into wolves as they fight to vie for Randy’s love. Perverts… And I think the rest of their pals would want to have a hand in it if not for Ran causing mayhem with his phantom light power. Solude has no choice but to teleport them away from the chaos. But Mei realizes they have forgotten to bring Randy along. She explains about Randy’s condition and Woll simply puts it as mating season for fairies. I’m sure Mill and Ran are interested to know more about this love… Mei rushes off to find Randy and hopes she won’t do anything rash. Randy is wandering around and several beach delinquents try to hit on her but she doesn’t find them hot and leaves. But they’re not going to let her go and force her to come with them. That’s when Akira comes into the scene beating the crap out of them. Not even weapons or ganging up could they lay a finger on him. Randy is excited and feels Akira is the man she is looking for. After they run away from the incoming cops to a secluded spot at the beach, Randy tries to seduce him with what she has learnt over TV. But Akira doesn’t seem interested so she had to chase him all the way. In the end, she wants to know if she is that unattractive. Akira can’t accept her love because there is someone else he loves. Due to circumstances, things aren’t going well between them. In spite of all, he is willing to protect her as promised. Randy understands and gives up. The day ends with Randy turning back into a fairy. Mei thought she saw Akira standing at the beach but was interrupted by her pals. The next time she looked back, he’s gone. But she’s glad Randy is back to normal. Back home, Randy tries to improve her seduction skills with a doll while Mill and Ran bug Mei to teach them how to make babies.

Episode 22
Mei suddenly gets a call from father that he wants her to transfer to an overseas college. Akira snatches the phone to warn him from ever calling again. Randy draws an insignia to Rapier and Woll that might serve as the key to recovering Maze’s lost memory. Suddenly an earthquake rocks the area. Woll notices that this is happening every day and only in this area. Meanwhile Chic seeks The Creator’s permission to jump through time and space to look for his brother. They reject his request since his duty is to destroy Palania as soon as possible. They remind him how they picked the brothers up from the wasteland and gave them a chance to serve their cause. Solude and Aster encounter several zombie guards. Solude’s phantom power is erratic although they manage to destroy the zombies. Telling this to Rapier, she explains it as Homeostasis. Excessive phantom light power is eliminated as nature’s way to keep the environment in balance. If this keeps up, their powers will eventually disappear. Gorgeous was waiting for the right time for them to lose it and attack. There is a way to solve this. Randy shows the insignia, the Sacred Seal of Ikaruga that extracts dormant phantom energy from nature. It can be infused into Mei and Akira to stimulate Akira’s memories and awaken his consciousness as Maze. It will bring back the true Maze and the 5 crystals so they can return to their own world. The drawback of this shock treatment is mentally and physically taxing and worst case scenario is that it can be fatal. Akira does not agree with this method to sacrifice Mei and takes her to leave. Mei hopes Akira understands their difficult position but he doesn’t care if the world goes to hell because it has nothing to do with them. There is nothing worth if Mei has to die. Along the way, zombie guards pop up to ambush them. Their skin is saved thanks to the rest. Akira tries his best to protect Mei but is powerless and gets pinned down. Feeling useless but remembering his vow to protect Mei, suddenly there is a burst of phantom light power from Akira destroying all the zombies. Akira agrees to do the risky procedure since they can’t run away from fate. If this is their only way to the future then so be it. The gang head to Shakunan as Mei and Akira prepare to undergo the ritual. The duo seem to be in pain as the ritual starts. Mill wanted to interrupt and save them as she rather stay in this world rather than see them suffer. So much about having faith in them like the rest, eh? However an earthquake interrupts everything. Gorgeous makes his entry and shows off his new power by incorporating Undeader into his body.

Episode 23
This bud-armour isn’t just any ordinary bud-armour. Because it is absorbing all the life force out of everybody and converting it into energy! Even Gorgeous’ body is taking its toll but he doesn’t care as long as he gets to destroy Maze. Solude wants Rapier and Mill to help Mei and Akira continue the ritual while the rest stall Gorgeous. Meanwhile Chic defies orders and prepares to jump through time-space dimension. The attack on Gorgeous begins but they’ll soon realize that this is going to be one tough fight. Because the bud-armour is really tough! No matter what they throw or stab into it, it’s like there’s no effect. Gorgeous wanders around looking for Maze while grumbling about turning this world beautiful by his standards. It’s like he’s obsessed in finding them. He manages to disrupt the ritual once more and grabs Mei to put some serious pain in her. Suddenly a portal opens from above. He hears Chic telling him not to pursue further because he will die. They must live as proof of justice. Of course Gorgeous never forgot that and shoots the portal close. Perhaps Mei’s scream made Akira wake up. Now he is glowing with phantom light power! Can you believe it? Better believe it. Must be his vow to protect Mei. Must be his determination that Mei is his woman! With that, Akira merges into Mei and the rowdy master of the night returns. Mill would have screamed her head off if she wasn’t unconscious. Oh wait. Akira purposely woke her up just for that. Yeah, her onee-nii-sama is back! Since adult play will have to wait, they need to finish this up first by summoning Dulger. The power battle begins and Dulger beats Gorgeous in every aspect. Gorgeous refuses to accept this unbelievable power so he goes all out to destroy them once and for all. But you know, baddies like him won’t win. Dulger’s power is so great that it nullifies whatever evil power Gorgeous has. In the final head-on blow, Dulger emerges victorious and Gorgeous is killed. Is there beauty in death? All the crystals are restored and everyone warps back to their native world. But it’s one war to another. The other one still isn’t finished, right? Chic, holding his dead brother’s naked body in his arms, vows revenge.

Episode 24
The Creator blames Chic that his selfishness has made Maze return before their invasion on Palania. They want him to kill Maze and rectify the situation. No need to remind him. He is going to do it to avenge his brother. Farmount and the rest of the troops gather in a meeting to discuss their strategy. When Maze and co transported to the other world, both sides entered a ceasefire as they both lost their powerful troops. With Dulger back, the final push is now at hand. Suddenly Rapier starts getting drunk. Aster, Solude and Mill are partying like nobody’s business nearby. The smell of alcohol was enough to turn Rapier drunk? Farmount agrees to join them seeing that they need to loosen up before the big war. Then everybody realize Maze isn’t around. Mei is sitting by herself talking to Akira. They talk about their feelings and even though they know how each other feel, Akira wants her to express them it words. It is the only way that they can truly be one Maze instead of Akira and Mei. Mei calls Akira adorable and sends makes him embarrassed since it does not sound manly. Randy then comes by to give Mei the crystals against the fight with Jaina. They serve as power booster to phantom light power. A Luminator is the only one who can control all 5 crystals and harness its power. Randy’s last words worry Mei because it sounded like a farewell speech. Meanwhile the Jaina king is not happy that things are getting out of hand and demands to see The Creator for some accountability. However Chic kills him as he has no longer need for this puppet fool.

Dulger and the troops make their way to Bartonian for their final battle. Mei converses with Akira and to Mill, it sounds like she is talking to herself. It’s confusing the hell out of her. Despite having Mei, Akira is still bent on sleeping with the other women. The big battle begins with Maze’s friends and even Thanus lending their support so that Maze could advance ahead. As she nears the shrine, she hears The Creator’s voice. They tell Maze if they defeat them now, what role would Maze serve after that? What will become of them? Because they are the Eraser summoned here to maintain balance of phantom light power, it means they are mere aliens in this world. The crystals allow her to travel through time-space dimension so once she serves her purpose, she will be forced back to her original world. The Creator adds Maze shares their same fate. When Maze crushes The Creator’s ideal, that is when Maze must also abandon hers. Is Maze willing to abandon their dream of being one and protect this world at all cost? Or will Maze bury herself and her dream right here? Mei is left shaken by this dilemma when Chic attacks and pins down Dulger. He is going to make them feel the humiliation, pain and loneliness the brothers experienced.

Episode 25
Dulger is able to break free when Mei goes into Giga Faiger form. Aster and Solude want to provide backup but was told by Randy not to. It is Maze’s decision to make and they can only watch. Mei thinks back how kind everyone has been to her and how much she loves this place. Chic seizes this chance to concentrate his most powerful attack on her. He was so bloody confident she had been done for but surprise, surprise. Mei revives with lots of steely determination. She vows she won’t disappoint Mill and this world. So powerful her power up that it blasts away Chic. Now this one you can say for sure that Chic is dead. Due to the crystals, Akira and Mei are able to freely swap places. Yup, now it’s that rowdy guy’s turn to take control and beat the crap out of The Creator. Suddenly the entire place starts shaking. Coming out from beneath the ground is a very gigantic giga-armour monster called Shiva. The Creator’s true form, I suppose. And so The Creator rants how powerful this armour is, blah, blah, blah. How they abandoned their own body to become part of it, blah, blah, blah. How they formed Jaina and became its glorious numero uno, blah, blah, blah. Yawn… Akira doesn’t give a sh*t about all that. In fact, he insults them that now he knows why they are so bent on capturing Mill. After losing their body, they got stuck in this territory. So they stalled for time with Jaina acting as their limbs. With war and chaos ensued, their mutated body was corroding the earth. The Creator isn’t some God. They’re just some freak wanting to eat up this land. Enough talking. Let’s kick ass! On Randy’s cue, this time they have permission to assist Maze in taking down all those ghostly tentacles. So now they’re allowed to help?

Dulger takes a direct hit and Mill can still be so annoying wanting to have Akira’s assurance he’ll never leave her side. WTF. Hello, we’re in the middle of a fight. He promises he won’t leave her and they both wanted to seal it with a kiss. If only they weren’t positioned that far from each other. It doesn’t hurt to try and stretch a little, right? Are they that hard up to kiss? Anyway Mei has to warn them to put this off or else… Oops. Too late. Shiva has absorbed Dulger. Akira throws Mei out so that he could get absorbed himself. Oh no. That princess is going hysterical again. Akira treks through the darkness as The Creator tries to play mind games with him. You know. His destiny cannot be changed. It is the same as theirs. Even if Maze defeats The Creator and stays, another Eraser will be sent to kill them to maintain the balance. So what? So what????!!! Yeah, that’s what Akira tells them. In fact, he says they are not the same like them. They came to this world because they are able to love each other. Maze powers up to blast The Creator with the most powerful phantom light power ever. Shiva goes into meltdown after The Creator is killed. Now there is one big lump of sh*t in the middle of the city. Everyone is happy victory has been attained but it is short-lived. Suddenly a portal opens up and this is what everyone fears. Maze is going to go back to their original world. Before Mill could turn into a cry-baby, Akira and Mei’s devoted love for each other destroys the crystals and allows them to stay here. So yeah. Rejoice everyone! Happy ending for everyone. They get to party and frolic. Woll surrounded by bevy of beauties? Shows you even old farts get the girl in the end. Akira is seen violating Rapier while Ran is close to violating that guy too. Aster and Solude pass out from too much drinking while Mill sleeps next to Mei.

Nothing A-Maze-zing…
Just like what the end title said. There wasn’t anything that amazing so I guess it’s back to my usual middle fence answer that everything was just okay. I have to admit that when the series first started out, things seemed pretty interesting and intriguing. We don’t really know who Maze is or why she was brought into this alternate world so there was the romance of the mystery in those initial parts. With the early episodes like random stand alone fillers, it reminded me so much like Bakuretsu Hunters. It was fun. It was amusing. And then when Maze started to go back in time to the creation of Dulger, that’s when I felt it went downhill. I don’t know. I just felt things weren’t so great after all when the revelation of things and the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place. It posed lots of questions to me but I was too tired to think further. Like about The Creator and Maze being related. Go back to the past to just rule something because the future is too tough. At least that’s what I understood. What crap is this? Then it shows you’re not that great after all, right? Even though they are descendents, there is no love lost. And Maze, do they really yearn to be one? I mean as in one mind, one body? I thought it was just an expression of speech. They really seem to want it this way. Now that they are staying in this world, won’t those people they know back in their original world suspect something amiss? Who cares? Do they care? Maze certainly doesn’t.

Maze as the lead character, I admit that I was pinning my hopes in the interesting part of this series in Akira’s wild sexual escapades. Maybe I was expecting too much. I was. It was funny and amusing to see him turn into that wild night master and terrorize and woman he sees. And then it would be awesome how things will backfire on him. Yeah, that was what I thought it would be. There are such parts but kept to a minimum (you can’t really see sexual scenes in this series, can’t you?). Like as though that wasn’t supposed to be the main course. It wasn’t. Then when Maze’s real identity is revealed, it is like he has toned down a lot. Very much. No doubt he is still that wild person, but somehow I feel he lacks the oomph that I first got to know him. He was the wild guy filled with a fiery angst who would burn everything down with Maha Faiger without a second thought. He was the wild guy who would pounce on any woman to satisfy his libido for the night. Once he realized his heart belongs to Mei, he softens up.  No more fun. Although that won’t stop him from flirting. Guys will always be guys. As the series progress, we get to see how Maze progress and develop. Mei didn’t want to hurt or kill others and that caused more harm to others. I know it’s noble and that prevention is better than cure but sometimes you have got to fight fire with fire. So when she is able to overcome this, she manages to control and use her phantom light powers more effectively. She doesn’t hesitate and this strengthens her determination.

Mill has been the most annoying character from the start. I thought she would relatively improve as the series goes by but I was very wrong. Instead, she remained the same onee-nii-sama leech that we all know. So annoying and useless that every time she starts squealing and yelling about her favourite onee-nii-sama, I feel like wanting to strangle her and bury her 100 feet deep underground. Yeah, that’s practically her role in this anime. Just some moe blob that just fawns over Maze. And I sad she is like a leech to Maze because the moment Maze is somewhere else, she’ll go into bawling mode. So that girl can’t even take a toilet break without that loli breaking into a piercing cry? Jesus. She can’t do anything more than that. As if she is just some auxiliary support whenever Maze needs to call out Dulger. Don’t care about her status as a princess, is this only how useful she is? Truly irritating. The only other redeeming factor is that her presence gives Maze the strength in wanting to protect her. Protecting something makes you stronger, right? Otherwise, I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Mill is just plain irritating. To the bones. I certainly don’t want this kind of girl in my harem. If I ever get one.

The other characters, well, felt really like side characters. I can’t say that the series can go on without them but I do not feel that impact that they could have make a great difference. When in battle, they’re just there to show support by hacking and slashing (or throwing needles if you are Solude and bombs if you’re Woll) their way through waves of enemy grunts or do some pot shots for boss enemies. When not in battle, they just frolic around and have fun. Aster and Solude loves to drink and feast, right? Rapier is so serious that it made her insignificant. Randy the fairy doesn’t have fighting attributes so her role is reduced to just collecting crystals for Maze and imparting some information. It made her role small. Yeah, pardon the pun. That Woll guy is even more insignificant. The old guy perhaps gets the least screen time among Team Maze and if he does appear, it will either be some consulting position or throwing bombs if in battle. Farmount the good king doesn’t seem to make an impact either. After revealing his real identity, the role he takes on leading his troops to war makes him, well, insignificant. Like he didn’t matter. They just show him because he’s the king or so we won’t forget him. Same case for Thanus. So that guy became Farmount’s ally and aided the good in kicking out Jaina. So what? Same case for Saber. Do you still remember him in the end even though he said he was going to aid Farmount in his quest? So… Did I miss out anybody? Oh yeah. Ran. I felt that boy (sometimes I have this dilemma he may be a girl) is somebody to rival Mill and give her a run for her money over Maze.

Even the baddies feel the same. The Creator was always stuck in the same room giving lip service like some sort of mysterious sage. And when it comes to the final boss fight, I won’t say they went out with a whimper but to me I thought it felt a little cheap that Akira’s words done them in before the super phantom power blast. Could have saved all the trouble in the first place if he had unleashed such a power. Then there’s Chic and Gorgeous. They were like doing covert missions in the beginning. Gorgeous to power up himself with a powerful Undeader while Chic going around spying on Maze and co. And when the brothers die, did their past (which wasn’t that deep either) really matter? Do we care? Do we pity them? So everybody here is insignificant. Hah. My high standards sure made me feel everyone should have had a better role. Yeah, I may need to write the script again and reboot this series. But that’s the thing. Even though they do not seem to contribute much, to Maze they have been by her side even though they started out as annoying weirdoes. It is that important bond that made Maze decides the path that she wants to walk.

Speaking of love and romance, I doubt that you can consider everyone’s fascination of Maze that. Maze (especially Mei) is such a popular person. I can say everyone in the gang likes her one way or the other. Don’t even need to say about that annoying Bartonian princess. That one will always forever be on the top list. There must be something about her that attracts them. However as the series passes, I feel that everyone (except Mill and Ran) didn’t show that much enthusiasm over Maze as they started. Remember how Aster and Solude really wanted a piece of Mei? What happened to that? Where did that perverted passion go to? It was like everybody gave way to Mill and Ran. I thought Farmount would really go serious with his love for Mei but that didn’t amount to anything much. Yeah, what do you expect when the annoying Mill keeps screaming about her onee-nii-sama every 5 seconds. If not, in every freaking episode!!! I think I will go nuts if I hear that again. What about Ran? Does he like Akira or Farmount more? From the way I see it, it is shifting to the former. Thankfully there won’t be any such yaoi scenes. So in the end, it is Akira x Mei = Maze. It’s like trying to tell us to love ourselves first.

Talking about the action, they are pretty decent since we are talking about and anime in the late 90’s. You get your sword slashing action but you get more demi-armour and phantom light blasting action.  Nothing inspiring. Nothing awesome. But it wasn’t that boring. While on this topic, let me note that for the first half of the series before Maze and co meet Gold/Farmount in that arc, at least there is one death of a minor character. Somebody just needs to die. Especially the-baddies-for-the-episode. They’re just forgettable in that sense. And then when Cassandra and Leyric perished, man I thought more people are going to die and the body count would increase. Of course this changed when Maze went back in time. For the art and drawing, as usual, 1997 is considered old so it really has ‘that era’ look and feel. Maybe it is just me that I thought Mei looked really plain… I’m sure they did their best trying to design different demi-armours and even creatures of the other world but I wasn’t so impressed. Like I said, those demi-armours looked like aliens and sometimes I feel they are suitable to appear as monsters for Ultraman to fight. On something trivial, something bugged me during the mid-intermission. If I am not mistaken, that sexy grownup female shown is Mill, right? So it made me wonder if she would transform into her true form which is this. Sadly, she never did. So I am left wondering if this chick is just somebody random or what Mill looks like when she grows older. I can’t imagine this sexy babe still squealing over Maze then.

The opening theme is Kokuu No Meiykuu by Seikima II. Though this rock outfit sounds okay, what makes it ‘cute’ is some of the words in the lyrics as especially the rhyming chorus. “Maze of the haze”, “Maze in null space” and “Maze in our face”. Don’t they sound cute? Or are they the worst kind of lyrics around? The first ending theme is Junk Boy by Kaori. I find this piece off because it is like a disco beat with some hip hop element in it. Then we see the characters in chibi form dancing about. It makes me go WTF. The second ending theme is Happy Mania by Tamao Satou. The song title for this rock pop piece sounds fitting because it’s about a girl frustrated in love and got broken hearted once too often. So I guess she went on a love spree and thus some sort of happy love maniac when she sets her first sights on this next guy. Yeah, the lyrics of this sad love song sounded funny although I kinda liked the catchy tune of this piece. Really. Hmm… I noticed something trivial. Don’t all the themes last almost 2 minutes? I’ve heard so many anime opening and ending themes and the standard duration should be a minute and half. So when I first heard them, I thought it was taking slightly longer than usual.

To sum it up, this show isn’t going to be a classic or gem. If you need something light with humour, action and adventure, this is something to pass the time for the average run. If you have so much free time to spare like me. Really. So let’s see and to sum up what this series is mainly about. Having a strange ability to change your gender depending on the day. Sent to another world in the past to fight and vanquish the evil that would be your future descendents. When not fighting, unwilling becoming a popular guy/girl and get chased around by your motley crew. Well, this certainly is one crazy mega burst adventure. Just one point to ponder. If Akira and Mei are now in one single body, in the even if they ever need to make love, how would they do it?! Maybe that’s what you call masturbation, playing with yourself. Haha! Oops.

Vividred Operation

September 7, 2013

A group of lolis armed with some sort of high technological armour suits-cum-weapon fighting against unknown enemies that pose a threat to mankind. Don’t forget the loli fanservice too. If you think I’m talking about Strike Witches, you might be forgiven since there is quite a familiar resemblance in Vividred Operation. Well, I have never seen Strike Witches before so I can’t compare. But there is a connection between both series. The director who helmed the Strike Witches series directed Vividred Operation as well. Ah, so there is your connection. And as I read in many comments on the series, the most obvious thing about this series is… Butts. Behind. Ass. Mmm… Nothing better these days than to watch lolis’ ass, eh? I guess having too many big boing-boing shows going around has become too ubiquitous and boring. If you like your animes as described in the first sentence of this paragraph, then do check out the ass series.

Episode 1
Akane Isshiki narrates how science has solved many of the world’s problems as everything is powered by energy from the sky. All thanks to Incarnate Engine perfected 5 years ago built by her grandpa, Kenjirou. It sits on an artificial island called Blue Island. Kenjirou also made the only flying bike in the world for Akane that she names Puppy. Back on her home island close by, Izu Ooshima, after praying at her late father’s alter, Akane ‘disrupts’ grandpa from his research work to eat with her sister, Momo. I guess spending so much on research has made them somewhat poor too. At school, Momo tries to help put a baby bird back up in its nest but she froze since she is afraid of heights. Eventually the teacher did it. Meanwhile, Akane’s friend, Aoi Futaba prepares to make her return to Blue Island as she departs in a civilian aircraft. A distance away from Blue Island, a mysterious mechanical monster is shooting down Blue Island Defence Force jets with its beams. The Admin Bureau Chief, Yuuri Shijou speaks to the Prime Minister who believes it is the work of a terrorist. Humans who want to steal their technology. But she thinks it may be those beings called Alone as termed by Kenjirou. Because nobody paid heed 7 years ago, he was blamed for the accident and was forced into exile. Kenjirou believes the incoming threat is from Alone so as he is about to complete his greatest invention, BOOM! The entire room blows up. It may look like a funny cliché scene but it may not because he is dead!!! OMG! Akane and Momo tearing up! But wait again. It may turn into a funny scene because Kenjirou’s consciousness is now in a weasel doll that Akane gave him! WTF. I don’t understand that mumbo-jumbo how this happened. I suppose this series needs a mascot too. Kenjirou is proud to show them the fruits of half his research life: A key.

Suddenly the announcement has the islanders evacuate immediately as possible. Momo as tasked to take care of the house so Akane and grandpa head out over to Blue Island. They see the Defence Force trying to fight Alone. Kenjirou remembers 7 years ago when the some plant went into meltdown. Akane was hanging on to her mom Mashiro. Mommy couldn’t hold on any longer and let go. Kenjirou knows Incarnate Engine is its target. For whatever reasons, it must not fall into its hands or Earth will be doomed. As the Defence Force continues to fire, a civilian aircraft flies into the war zone. It got slightly hit but a jet piloted by Lieutenant Mizuha Amagi covered for it. The aircraft is out of control and is in risk of crashing into Incarnate Engine. Akane rushes to the building top and though it is good the building didn’t suffer any damage, the aircraft is sitting on the ledge. Akane’s trauma and fear of heights prevent her from getting closer to save Aoi. However when the plane starts falling off, Akane dives down to save her without second thoughts. That is when the key activates and transforms her into an outfit called Palette Suit that I think looks like a military orchestra symphony. Kenjirou explains this is the power of his ultimate invention called Vivid System. This is the only power in the world that can stand against Alone. He will have them dock now.

Episode 2
Aoi is given her own key. Now it’s her turn to transform. The girls are able to fight on par with Alone. Akane has her Naked Rang (boomerang) that can deflect Alone’s beams to save jet fighters in the beam’s path and put some damage on the metal while Aoi’s Naked Impact (hammer) allows her to play baseball and do a homerun. If you don’t get that, it means deflect beams far away in a single swing. Kenjirou contacts Shijou and needs her cooperation. She informs all the Defence Force personnel to lend their support to the girls. They finally deactivate Alone by hitting its weak spot. The most obvious and vulnerable spot right in between its four legs… Kenjirou wants the girls to dock and this has them the need to kiss each other. Yuri fans will be disappointed because they aren’t going to kiss on the lips but the forehead. The operation begins as they are able to see each other’s memories. However an error shows up. Kenjirou sums up the failed operation as one of them unconsciously rejects the other. Akane doesn’t believe him and thinks the error on his part. After all, she believes their friendship is foolproof. How come Aoi doesn’t look so sure? Flashback two years ago sees Akane and Aoi first met when the former almost hit the latter with her newspaper delivery. Akane gave her a delicious tomato. Aoi was a frail and weak girl and was mostly confined to her room but that didn’t stop Akane from visiting her from the outside.

Rei Kuroki shoots her arrow at Alone to reactivate it. Now it is meaner, more powerful and redder. Well, its beams can blast away an entire mountain! Naked Rang cannot even dent it. Naked Impact may do the job but its scattered parts explode. That’s when Aoi apologizes to Akane that she is the cause of the docking’s failure. Because they both entered each other’s minds, she was afraid she would find out about that fact. The fact that she hates tomatoes! She pretended to like it because she wanted to be friends with her. Akane of course knew she hated it because she was having a hard time trying to eat it. She knew Aoi was trying hard because she doesn’t want to disappoint her. She believed they could be best friends. With that, Aoi’s hesitation clears up as she kisses Akane’s forehead. Hey both combine into one body and with cooler suits and weapon. Vividblue Operation is what this is called? They whack and destroy Alone with their Final Operation via Vivid Impact hammer. Crisis over for now. Next morning, Momo is worried about Akane going off to fight such monsters. I guess for now she is the only one with such powers to stand up against Alone. When they arrive at school, they are very surprised because there is no school! I think it was destroyed in the path of the beam. Conveniently, Mizuha tells them they’ll be transferring to a new one.

Episode 3
Akane is running late on her first day at her new school. Nothing like a little power abuse to use her Palette Suit to cross the sea, eh? Arriving the beach side of National New Ooshima School, she catches a glimpse of kendo girl, Wakaba Saegusa. The distraction causes Akane to crash into the shed and Wakaba thinking she looked like a familiar person goes to attack her. To her astonishment, Wakaba failed to land any hit on her as Akane escapes. She is devastated her Tengen Rishin style lost. Meanwhile Shijou talks to Kenjirou about Alone. It was difficult to hide the events from the press but at least the girls’ identities aren’t found out. As for Alone, it is unknown whether their goal is to steal the energy or destroy Incarnate Engine since they are drawn by its energy. They can’t afford to let Incarnate Engine fall into their hands as it operates 95% of the world’s energy. Homeroom teacher Mizuha reprimands Akane for using her power in public since she’s supposed to keep it a secret. However Akane mentions that Wakaba has already seen it. Guess what? Akane and Aoi will be the new transfer student in her class. And so… Wakaba couldn’t keep her piercing stares off Akane for the entire duration… Akane notices a camera robot next to her desk and was being told it is Himawari Shinomiya who rarely comes to school. During recess, Wakaba challenges Akane to a fight. Her reply? Run away! Wakaba gives chase and notices how athletic and flexible she is. Till Wakaba bumps into Momo. Feeling guilty for causing the accident, she rushes her to the infirmary. Akane thought her sister got kidnapped! Learning Momo’s sister is Akane, she requests to send a message to fight. She feels the need to fight because the reputation of Tengen Rishin rests on her shoulders and cannot let this end in defeat.

Back home, Wakaba practises rigorously till her father had to advice her that winning all the time isn’t true strength. Knowing when to use it is what makes a person strong. Next day, Akane is resigned to the fate she’ll be chased all over again. Then she sees a very beautiful love letter in her shoe locker. Actually it is a challenge letter to face Wakaba at the beach. Akane takes up the challenge and duels with her. Akane uses her crazy style of flipping and even wielding 2 swords to fight off Wakaba. But Wakaba loves it. This feeling of kendo she had forgotten when she started out as a child. Akane is also having fun with her match but it’s to be put on hold when an Alone emerges from the sea. Akane and Aoi immediately transform to go fight it. Wakaba isn’t sure if they can beat that monster but Momo is confident they can because they’re fighting for everyone’s sake. The words of Wakaba’s father rings through her mind. This is true strength. Because Wakaba also wants to fight, Kenjirou (where did he pop up from?) gives a key to her. Convenient. How the heck does Wakaba know what to do and say to transform? Like she’s a natural. With Wakaba now in the fray, Rei fires another arrow to turn Alone stronger. It’s docking time. Akane + Wakaba = Vividgreen Operation! In one slash, Vivid Blade is enough to put the Final Operation in the monster. Wakaba is glad to be part of the team and views Momo as cute. Sorry Kenjirou, not you the weasel.

Episode 4
As the trio fights off another Alone, Himawari watches the action from her multiple monitor screens back home. She sees young girls fighting it. Kenjirou is called to the Bureau because there are signs that a hacker has been accessing their classified date on Alone and hopes he could trace it out. He tracks it to Akane’s class and is suspicious about the camera robot. Himawari too is surprised to see the weasel. Before she could get a closer look, all signals go off. You can thank Akane for that baseball pitch. The trio decide to return the broken camera to Himawari and apologize. Inside her room, it is close to freezing since she needs the air-conditioners to keep her computers running. Himawari will forgive Akane about the camera in exchange she lets her examine the weasel. Serious? The mention about the word ‘friend’, this causes Himawari to assert she doesn’t need one. Trying to change the subject, they see a picture of a building on her wall. She explains the outflow plant that transmits energy from Incarnate Energy all over the world. The girls think they should go visit it and help Himawari dress up. While outside the outflow plant that is fully automated, Himawari thinks they don’t understand the significance of Incarnate Engine. Akane believes their feelings are the same since science and technology are meant to make people happy. Kenjirou confirms Himawari as the hacker though he notes she isn’t as good as him. Suddenly an evacuation order is given at the outflow plant. An Alone appears and starts rampaging. Himawari knows if it breaks down, energy to the world to will be stopped. She laments she knows how to fix it but can’t get inside it. That’s when Akane and the rest transform and do their usual stuff. Akane carries Himawari into the plant so she can do her hacking. Himawari realizes they are the ones fighting Alone all this while.  This Alone seems tough because the Nakedness of it all can’t even stop it (Naked Rang + Naked Impact + Naked Blade).

Himawari manages to fix the system but the roof crumbles. She remembers how a bully victim pleaded her help to stop the bullies. In the end, the victim deflected the accusations at her. That’s why Himawari didn’t believe in friends or promises. She thinks Akane is no different. But surprise. Here she is saving her ass. Akane then gives Himawari her own key. You can pretty much guess what happens. Now they’ve got a new teammate whose Naked Collider acts as a shield to prevent Alone’s beams from destroying Blue Island. You could have also guessed this pattern. Rei fires her arrow at Alone, it powers up more than before, time for another docking. Yeah, I knew it would be this pattern this time: Akane + Himawari = Vividyellow Operation. Hey! Did I just see Mami from Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica?! Vivid Collider may look like a power up version of Naked Collider but doesn’t Vivid Engine acts like a familiar gun weapon from Mami? The awesome blasts destroy Alone. Nothing can survive that. Back on the ground, Himawari can’t believe Akane is Kenjirou’s granddaughter. Well, at least she is certain genius isn’t hereditary. Because Akane can’t fix her camera. Can any normal person? As for the camera, she doesn’t need it anymore because she’ll be going to school from now onwards. When the weasel makes his appearance, Himawari goes into ecstasy, claiming she is his number one fan and wants him to sign an autograph. And then all the jargons and terminologies of his theories start shooting out from this eager beaver’s mouth. What did she say? Catch all that?

Episode 5
Akane thought she saw Rei at the dock. Her distraction almost had her crash into the forklift. By the time she looked again, Rei is gone. The quartet have plans for the summer school. Akane notices Rei alone and invites her to join their group. She refuses of course. When Akane asks about this morning, Rei doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Meanwhile Kenjirou and Shijou do more research on Alone and from their observation and analysis over their random pattern, it seems a third party is controlling them. Rei returns to her empty home and only has a parrot she talks to as company. Sad? Suddenly Crow flies in. Earlier today, she saw Rei saving a kid from a falling metal beam. She was not to interfere. Since she is hesitant in destroying this world, she activates the feathers mark on her neck which causes her excruciating pain. Crow reminds her that her heart transforms Alone. The stronger her emotions, the more powerful the reborn Alone will be. Crow lets her off with a warning to keep her mission in mind unless she doesn’t want to see her world revived. As heard from Rei herself, destroying Incarnate Engine is her mission but using Alone isn’t the only way. She tries to infiltrate Blue Island but the security robots spot her. She makes her death defying escape and dives back into the sea. Next morning, Akane spots Rei unconscious on the beach. Rei wakes up in Akane’s home as the bubbly girl nurses her wounds. Thinking Akane is lonely, she replies although her father died when she was 7 years old and her mother recuperating in hospital after an accident, she has Momo, grandpa and her friends, that’s why she won’t feel lonely. Rei asks if she would take the chance to revive her parents. Akane would love it but only if it is not at the expense of others. She will always treasure those around her.

Rei starts to panic when she realizes her key is missing. She calms down when Akane’s phone rings. It is grandpa and she is needed on scene since another Alone has appeared. At the same time, Crow sees Rei and tells her she is needed for a duty. Akane joins her friends to fight Alone. Their shape gets weirder and weirder, huh? I don’t know. This one looks like a coffee maker… Rei dreams whereby her family and everyone she knew were obliterated. Then Crow appeared before her and offers her to change her fate with their help as they exist in the gaps between beginnings and endings.  They have the ability to resurrect her world. Rei wants all those she knows to be revived. Of course there is a condition for that. Weakened Rei tries to fire another arrow at the Alone but she is too weak and passes out. Again she finds herself back in Akane’s house. She sees the key beside her and is happy. She learns Akane and her friends went searching by the beach she was found unconscious, thinking she may have dropped it there. Akane once more invites her to join her group for the summer school but Rei pushes her away. Though she is grateful, she doesn’t want her to be nice to her anymore. Later Akane visits mommy at hospital and tells her about her attempts with Rei. Mommy says if she isn’t giving up on being friends with her, as long she never forgets her affection for her, she’ll come around someday.

Episode 6
Akane and her friends leave for Shikinejima for their summer school. Of course grandpa has his own plans and drags Momo into it too. Mizuha has the quartet surrender their keys because it will be a pain if they lose it in the deep ocean. So, she too is part of Kenjirou’s plan to strengthen the girls’ friendship power. Akane and co pick up garbage on the beach but as usual, Rei snubs Akane’s call to join them. Because Rei saw Kenjirou’s secret submarine, he had to knock her out or else she will jeopardize their plan. He will have her play a role in the girls’ training. Himawari sees a “Don’t push” button on the butt of Akane’s swimsuit. Pressing it initiates a countdown in which her swimsuit bloats up into a ball. It’s some invention created by Kenjirou as a tent. But the girls don’t want to enter it because she is stark naked underneath… Suddenly they get a ransom video from Alone. Do they talk? It wants them to come to their base or else it can’t guarantee what will happen to Rei. It sounds fishy. Trap or no trap, they’re going to rescue Rei. So fishy this Alone that there are signs to point where the base is! Kenjirou starts off by unleashing an easy robot. Wakaba easily takes care of it with her Tengen Rishin style. Himawari sees a “Don’t push” button on the robot and it unleashes lots of bugs, something Wakaba is afraid of. Of course Himawari knows they are insect scout robots but Wakaba continues to panic and brings Himawari along with her. The girls are separated. Rei wakes up in the cabin and wonders if her identity is discovered. She needs to get out.

Kenjirou activates traps for the girls. Akane and Aoi are running away from a boulder. It suddenly pops like a balloon courtesy of mysterious girl (Rei in a poor disguise). Rei also disables all the cameras around the island. Then she saves Wakaba and Himawari who are running against the conveyor belt flow. Otherwise they’ll be plunging several hundred feet below! Of course everyone except Akane knows who this mysterious girl is. The frustrated weasel unleashes his ultimate bear robot but to his dismay it is easily destroyed when Aoi drops a rock over its head! The mad weasel now wants to show he means business and rides his own mecha to confront the girls. Going overboard? Anyway all his missiles are made out of balloons… Akane sees the mysterious girl. The latter tells them to escape but Akane won’t because they are here to rescue a friend. Before Kenjirou could fire his ultimate cannon, Akane has Aoi press her swimsuit button to bloat up. She jumps into the cannon and causes the mecha to explode. Apart from being totally naked, she’s alright. Back at the beach, Momo reveals to the girls about grandpa’s plan and is very sorry about it. Aoi, Wakaba and Himawari go apologize and thank Rei for what she did but as usual she feigns not knowing what they’re talking about. Kenjirou is proud as he justifies to Mizuha that his plan to bring the girls closer worked. Their bonds are closer than ever thanks to this training. Sure, pal. Whatever. Mizuha hands him the bill for the training expenses. Can weasels take a loan?

Episode 7
Mizuha reprimands Akane for sleeping in class. Can’t help it since she’s been fighting Alones late at night. The test is coming up and if Akane doesn’t buck up, she will have to undergo remedial classes. This might affect her part time job in Team Vivid, something which they can’t afford. Since Akane doesn’t want the military to cheat and revise her score, she’ll have to work hard the old fashion way. It is decided that everyone will gather at Akane’s house for a group study. The other girls think of inviting Rei but as usual, she gives excuse she is busy. Asking once was fine, twice was annoying but by the third time… Yeah, she’s talking to her parrot about her woes when Crow shows up to remind her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine. Rei doesn’t understand why she needs to attend school but Crow tells her to do her part of the agreement and it’s not her place to question their decision. Rei laments that she can’t depend on Alone to destroy Incarnate Engine. If she only knew about its weakness. Then she stumbles upon an article that makes her realize Akane is Kenjirou’s granddaughter. This means she is forced to join the group study. Actually while excusing herself to go to the toilet, she snoops around to find Kenjirou’s laboratory. The odd looking fridge caught her attention and she freaks out upon seeing Kenjirou’s frozen body inside! Somebody’s got to preserve the body while he currently occupies the weasel, right? Instantly Rei is knocked out by Wakaba. When she wakes up, she finds only a watermelon inside. Was she seeing things? Everyone takes a break at Akane’s little farm. She lets them taste their cucumber with mayonnaise. I think I’ll pass on that. Rei finds her odd so Aoi explains that tingling feeling when Akane wants to make friends. She didn’t understand it at first but soon did after meeting Wakaba and Himawari. It’s like Akane is the centre of their solar system. Aoi bites the tomato and doesn’t hate it. Rei notices a twin tomato as Akane believes it is some sign of good luck. When she asks about Rei’s wish, she suddenly remembers her past and crushes the tomato! Don’t waste food please. She remembers she has something to do and leaves. At the same time, Team Vivid is being called into duty (coincidently, Rei too) because another Alone has appeared on the mainland. This one is knocking out anything electrical in its path causing it to malfunction. Its path is clearly towards Blue Island but look at the wake of the blackout it leaves. It will destroy Japan at this rate. The girls go into action and easily destroy this weak Alone. Vividyellow finishes the job with Vivid Collider. However the Alone resurrects because Rei fired her arrow at the last minute right before it was destroyed. More powerful than before, it takes Akane out by blasting her out of the sky.

Episode 8
Akane is rushed to the emergency room for immediate surgery. Thanks to her Palette Suit, she is still alive but her condition is not safe. Can the other girls afford to be by her side? Because what about that Alone? As of now, it seems to be clinging on to Skytree and regenerating in some cocoon. Even though it is protected by its own barrier, it can retaliate by unleashing a devastating beam upon anyone attacking it. The army found that out the hard way. The girls are told to rest since staying up would make Akane worry about them too. Their morale at all-time low, Kenjirou wonders if he has gotten arrogant. Despite holding many invention patents, they’re still poor and Akane is forced to support the family with her part time job. It’s his selfish satisfaction to toss abandon everything and atone for that accident 7 years ago. Everyone is briefed on the situation and how to tackle the Alone. Kenjirou says their Palette Suit can only protect them so much and even though Vivid System is the only effective weapon against Alone, without docking, they don’t stand even 1% chance of defeating it. And it seems Akane is the only one who has this docking ability. In view of this risky mission, he can’t send the girls to take on this Alone, predicted to hatch tomorrow morning. Shijou has no choice but to see the Prime Minister to seek his approval to use a saturated attack using the very powerful SGE bomb. They know the massive destruction it will cause. There is no other choice left. They need to abandon Tokyo for the sake of the world. If that thing reaches Blue Island and takes out Incarnate Engine, the world will be done for. So what is just one city? Tokyo undergoes massive evacuation as Aoi spots Rei alone (she is looking for the other Team Vivid members because Crow warns her not to rest on her laurels after taking out just one of them). Rei is surprised everyone was worried about her after she left. Even surprised to learn that Akane will forgive her no matter the reason for crushing the tomato since she believed she had her reasons.

Dawn arrives and before Mizuha sets out on her fighter jet, the trio of Team Vivid decide to join in the fight because of that friendship thingy. The plan is simple but needs to be perfectly timed or they’ll be doomed. Aoi distracts the cocoon with her Naked Impact. When the beam starts shooting at her, she must avoid at all cost. Then Himawari will use Naked Collider to keep that beam hole open for a few seconds before Wakaba’s Naked Blade sticks the SGE bomb into the Alone. Rei fires another arrow at the cocoon despite Crow’s advice she should do it after Alone emerges from the cocoon for it to be stronger. Better do it now than later, no? Things are going as plan till Wakaba can’t nail it deep enough and gets flung away with Himawari. Alone emerges from the cocoon and is about to fire at Wakaba and Himawari. Aoi can’t reach them when she hears Akane’s voice. The Naked Rang that she brought with her activates and it gives her the much needed booster and speed to hammer the bomb deep. It explodes, Alone is destroyed and more importantly our girls are safe. But not everywhere is good news because Rei weeps at yet again another failure. Since we’re not ending it with such sad news, the most important good news of all is that Akane has recovered and doing well in hospital. Back to her spiffy self. Aoi is so happy that she breaks down in tears. Glad to have her back.

Episode 9
Wakaba helps clean Himawari’s room. Since Himawari wants to see some factory in person, Wakaba agrees to take her there this Sunday in exchange she puts on this really cute dress. As they walk around town, everyone can’t take their eyes off this cutie. Yeah, even several guys try to ask Himawari out! Thankfully Wakaba the bodyguard keeps them away with her piercing stares that speaks “Don’t you dare think about it you mother f*ckers!”. Along the way they pass by a shopping mall owned by Aoi’s dad. They see Aoi and Akane in mascot outfit (is that a lavatory?) handing out balloons to kids. Continuing their walk, Wakaba is surprised to bump into a scouting model. As you’ve guessed it, they want to test shoot Himawari. Though Himawari isn’t interested, Wakaba gladly gives her permission. Since when did the bodyguard become her agent? The photographers shoot Himawari but Wakaba notices she could’ve been cuter if she smiles. Next day in school, Himawari is tired from the shoot and isn’t interested any further. But eager beaver Wakaba tells her the editors loved her photos and want her to model for a full shoot. She even gave her details and it will be this Sunday. This doesn’t sit well with Himawari so she calls Wakaba stupid and runs away. Then it hits Wakaba. This Sunday is supposed to be the factory tour. She goes to apologize to her and will tell the editors to cancel the shoot. She was happy when everyone thought she was cute. But Himawari will go to the shoot so as not to make Wakaba look bad. But not for free of course. In exchange, Wakaba becomes her personal servant for the day. And she happily obliges every whims and fancies. Wow. This girl is almost everything. A kendo master, a superhero, a bodyguard, an agent and now a servant. Hehehe…

While Himawari sleeps during the break, the staffs switch her hairpin with a more matching one. Wakaba sees the hairpins lying in the sands and picks it up. The rain has the beach shot called off so they end it in the shopping mall. Himawari realizes her hairpins are missing and rushes back to the beach to search them. She has no time to talk to Rei standing there. However the tide is high but she continues to look for it. Seeing this, Rei notes she too won’t give up her dream and leaves. Wakaba finally finds and catches hold of frantic Himawari. She shows her the hairpins, much to her relief. Himawari treasures those hairpins because it was a gift from Wakaba. She thought she would hate her if she loses it. Of course not, silly. Since this series won’t be complete without an Alone invasion, the girls scramble to action when they get the signal. This Alone is now diving down from the orbit straight to Blue Island. Vividblue is having a tough time handling this one but with Wakaba and Himawari arriving at reinforcements, Final Operation is no sweat. Rei is left to rue yet another letdown. Crow blames her for wasting time. Himawari shows Wakaba the factory tour schedule. They’re going through all that? What’s more, here is a year’s worth of factory tours she intends to visit. Say goodbye to her Sundays!

Episode 10
Rei reminds us of her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine. Because her world ended at the hands of a berserk Incarnate Energy, she is tasked to destroy Incarnate Engine in this parallel world. Crow visits her again and notices the more this drags on, the more disobedient she becomes. She puts on some pain for her so Rei dares her to kill her. She backs off. This makes Rei confirm she can’t kill her and is just a pawn to them. Also, Crow has no clue when or what kind of Alone will appear. Crow will not reveal any more details despite her attempts to make her angry. If Rei knows the next Alone’s appearance, she will use multiple arrows on it to make it grow stronger. Crow cautious her that firing the last one means the end of her life. It will be the same too if she fails to destroy Incarnate Engine. Apparently the feather mark on her neck indicates how many more times she can fire the arrow and it looks like she has 4 chances left. Himawari’s hacking manages to get a visual of that arrow. She reports it to Kenjirou who now has a chance to trace the third party firing it. He then talks to Shijou who wants him to reveal what actually happened 7 years that led him to predict Alone’s coming. During that accident, he saw a much intelligent and higher being. It projected its thoughts into him. Seems they wanted to know if humans are fit to use Incarnate Energy because this form of energy is powerful enough to upset the balance of the universe. So you can say those entity sent Alones to test whether humans deserve to have a future. Rei visits Akane to apologize for crushing her tomato. Of course she forgives her but if she really wants to make it up, stay for dinner. Akane runs out of her mayonnaise so she uses Kenjirou’s invention but it goes boom. The place is messed up but this causes Rei to laugh so hard. As they bath together, Akane is curious about her feather mark. Then she herself proudly shows off her birthmark at her butt! Too bad we won’t get to see it.

Akane also wants Rei to stay for the night. Rei asks Akane if she knows anything about Incarnate Engine. Not the slightest bit. Then she wonders why she wanted to be friends with her. Akane replies she knows her secrets (gasp!). She saw her happily playing with birds and helped saved a kid once. She got this tingling feeling and knew she wanted to be her friend. Not just her, everybody else too. Rei felt very happy. When she first arrived, she tried not to make friends and distanced herself. Despite that, they reached out to her. That itself made her happy. Akane wants her to make a promise to come back here again. Even if Rei did, she knows it won’t happen since she knows tomorrow evening the next Alone will appear. She plans to stake everything on it and this will be the last time they’ll see each other. Next morning after Akane returns from her part time job, Rei has already left. Also, Rei is absent from class. Team Vivid is called to the Bureau after school as Kenjirou points out Himawari’s effort has allowed him to trace who the culprit is. The next time the culprit fires, they’ll be able to track it down. Soon the alert goes off with the appearance of Alone. Of course Rei already knew before hand and is on scene early and fires and arrow to power it up. Before she could fire the next, the security robots discover her and chase her. This allows Vividgreen to destroy the Alone and then look for the culprit. Too late for Rei to fire another arrow. As she tackles the droids, she finally comes face to face with Akane (she is closes to the culprit). Though Akane is shocked, not as shock as Rei who thinks Akane knew her identity from the start. She believes Akane approached her to be her friend to keep an eye on her. She accuses her of the one meddling in her plans all along. Akane dismisses all that but Rei is not buying it. More heartbreaking was the tears in Rei’s eyes and how she really felt happy when she said she wanted to be her friend. Now she feels betrayed and calls Akane a liar as she gets restrained by the guards.

Episode 11
More shocking when Rei thinks all 4 of them are in cahoots from the beginning. Rei is taken to the Defence Force headquarters’ lowest chamber for interrogation. Analysis over her physical composition reveals that despite looking like human, she isn’t really one. In other words, an alien. Team Vivid are not allowed to see Rei till the interrogation is over. As she is the greatest threat to Earth, they cannot let their guard down. Plus, it is uncertain if this girl is really Rei because all her documents are forged. With nowhere else to go, the quartet visit her apartment and finds it lonely (Rei freed her parrot in the last episode). Her room has a magnificent view of Incarnate Engine. The girls discuss their conversations with Rei and try to piece the puzzle of the thing that she wants to retrieve so badly. Kenjirou is in discussion with the other generals and he points out that Rei is somewhat like beacon to guide Alone to Earth. Think about it. They are unable to detect Alone till they’re close to Incarnate Engine. They don’t just approach but suddenly appear. Plus, Rei’s wavelength seems to be the same as Alone. The generals believe that as long Rei continues to live, more Alone invasions will occur. They want to execute her now! Akane and co don’t know what to do if Rei is on Alone’s side. But they know they want to talk to her again and clear up the misunderstanding that they are liars. Only one way to do it. Yup. So the girls get into their Palette Suit, fly across town and barge into the headquarters, destroying all thick walls and doors, knocking out army personnel who get in their way. Seems like they’re through playing cute good girls. Mizuha knows they’re coming but will close an eye on this. Likewise, Kenjirou knew this was coming. Just that Akane took longer than usual. Akane heads down first while her friends keep the security company. Rei continues to shun Akane as she tries to break the glass with her Naked Rang. She tells her that tingling feeling she got when she first met her and her earnest feelings to be friends with her. She’ll tell her all about herself if that is what it takes to know more about her. Still can’t believe why she go this far? Because they’re friends. That good enough for you?

So when the gang assemble, Kenjirou questions Rei about her mission to destroy Incarnate Engine via Alone by those beings. Rei couldn’t answer so Crow responds on her behalf. She introduces herself as a speaker for the supreme beings who rule over time and space in all dimensions. Something like God, eh? But why are such ‘supreme beings’ afraid of Incarnate Engine then? They believe low beings are toying with powers beyond their capability and this can upset universal balance. Rei reveals her world was destroyed when Incarnate Energy went berserk. If she followed their orders, her world would be restored. Though her friends pity her, Crow is disappointed in Rei for letting her down. Even more so the rest of them for letting her live. Had they kill her, the Alone invasions would have stopped. Kenjirou reveals that during the heated discussion with the generals, he will not allow Rei’s execution due to friendship and compassion. Something other than air, water, food, etc that humans need to continue living. He vows to find a way to prevent Alone from detecting her. Kenjirou believes if they throw away friendship, they lose their right to live. This is proven in the bonds of Team Vivid through their battles. But Crow is not convinced. Rei who controls Alone is set as the greatest pitfall of this test. Had Rei been killed, this universe would have automatically failed. However she doesn’t consider them passing this test yet. Crow is proud that she has brought many worlds to their doom and since they do not wish for lowly beings to access Incarnate Energy, no world must ever pass this test. Then what the hell all this is for?! Isn’t this just indiscriminate destruction?! More absurdly, Crow considers herself fair and neutral because she must correct this improper conclusion. Oh great. The bird is talking nonsense. She wants to take Rei’s arrows but she won’t let her since she will lose her world forever. Crow believes there is no need to bring it back and cannot imagine that they wished for its return. It’s her duty to make the future they desire into reality and. So the agreement was all a lie? Crow swallows Rei whole. It looks like a comical scene how she devoured Rei but at the same time feels creepy! Crow then swells into a humongous being.

Episode 12
Akane, no use regretting you couldn’t save Rei. That’s because this fallen angel Alone is so powerful that it’s taking out the army in a single swipe! Kenjirou’s gadget allows him to analyze Crow and finds Rei is still alive within her. Crow tells Rei how she has obtained so much power due to Rei’s arrows. It’s like she has ascended to another higher form, close to those supreme beings. See how power corrupts even the most intelligent beings? Now that she has no use for Rei, she wants her to enjoy the show of how she will bring apocalypse to Earth. To do that, she is going to suck all the power from Incarnate Engine. Akane picks up Rei’s key amidst the rubble. I know it’s good to try again and never give up but the army should have gotten it when firing all they got again didn’t even scratch Crow one bit. Not even when the release all the SGE bombs. I guess this is it. Kenjirou has resigned to his fate that the world is coming to an end. The Incarnate Engine he created backfired on him. Crow sucks all the energy Incarnate Engine as the world’s energy quickly reduces. How does it feel like to regress back to the dark ages? Even Rei has a heart. She doesn’t care about reviving her world and at least wants this one to be spared. But noooooo. Crow had to remind her how a world gets destroyed just like hers. So if technology power won’t work and military power doesn’t have any effect, what else is there left? The power of friendship! Remember that?! Yeah, Team Vivid is going to take down Crow with that power. So we get to see Akane docking with everybody to unleash their Vivid powers. First, Vividyellow’s Vivid Collider puts some real damage over Crow’s body. Next, Vividgreen’s Vivid Blade slashes across her body. Finally Vividblue’s Vivid Impact whacks open a hole so Akane can fly inside and reach Rei. Once she does, they dock. Akane + Rei = Vividred Operation! Hey! Shouldn’t it be Vividblack or something? Oh hell, who cares?! Just kick some Alone ass!

Vividred powers up so much that Crow is starting to shiver at the kind of power they’re producing. It’s the kind that is the dawn of the universe! Woah! And they manage to do it with the power of friendship!!! Not to be cowed, Crow summons all the energy enough to destroy the energy. Both sides are on collision course that will determine the fate of the other. And the result between Vivid Punch and super-duper-power-that-can-destroy-the-entire-universe is… Drum roll please… Of course Vivid Punch wins! OMG! Is this the true power of friendship?! So great that Crow is even destroyed! Unbelievable! The girls happily reunite while Kenjirou notes he has lots to learn and is going to restart his research back from square one. Because Akane and Rei dock, they saw each other’s memories and feelings and understood. Safe to say all misunderstanding has been casted away. Suddenly the supreme being appears before them. To show us they are fair and not jerks, it decides to restore Rei’s world. Eh?! What?! Can meh?! Oh yeah. They’re supreme beings. A door to her world appears before Rei as Akane passes her the key. I guess this is farewell, huh? However Rei gives Akane her scarf and says this isn’t farewell. Because she’ll definitely come back to see them again. In the aftermath, Team Vivid girls continue their ordinary daily life, Kenjirou has returned to his original grandpa body and Mashiro is released from hospital. One morning when Akane goes about her newspaper delivery job, a talking parrot lands on Puppy’s handle. Then it flies off to a very familiar looking girl. Guess who is back?

Vivid Ass, Naked Butt Operation!
ALL HAIL THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!!! Don’t you just love a good ending? Don’t you just love it when you get to see a group of cute girls defeat the mightiest of the mightiest beings in the universe solely motivated by the power of friendship? Yeah, it’s something that no amount of money can buy. It’s something that all the research in the world can never uncover. All lo and behold! The power of friendship is the most powerful weapon against enemies! Oh yeah. And after beating the crap out of them, you can use that same power to hang out with your friends and have a jolly good time. Oh wow. The power of friendship. So great. Don’t even underestimate it. Embrace it. Overall, I guess this show is really okay despite the imposing theme of friendship but I suppose this is good since it motivates you to cheer on the girls to kick Alone butt. At least that is what it did to me. Although I know Team Vivid will always prevail at the end, even one or two desperate situations, I was confident that they will emerge and make a comeback simply because of their close-knit friendship. So when they go into action together as a team, or more accurately as friends, you can’t help but cheer and support for them no matter how absurdly powerful the enemy is or how outrageously exaggerated the power (theirs and the enemy’s) or situation is.

The characters are typical and nothing that deep. With Akane as the ‘leader’ of the pack, her liveliness and simple ways is what glues the gang together. As evident, when she was knocked out and put in ICU, we can see the friends’ morale sinking lower and lower. But it’s good that they are independent too because they manage to get themselves out of the rut and get back to serious Alone bashing duty. This is what Akane would have wanted, right? And yes, attribute it all to the power of friendship. Each of the girls has their little quirks but the characterization isn’t deep enough for you to connect with them, although they do learn a thing or two after becoming friends with Akane. Akane ‘s other quirky bit is she likes mayonnaise. She could give Gintama’s Hijikata a run for his money the way she eats everything with them. Aoi isn’t that very shy and weak girl anymore and doesn’t hate tomatoes. Wakaba has finally understood the meaning of true strength. Though, I feel she has a thing for Momo. Or perhaps cute girls because she loves the idea of dressing up Himawari in cute clothes. Himawari the great hacker may still sound monotonous and sometimes the way she calls Rei a weird girl makes me wonder if it’s the case of the pot calling the kettle black. They’re both weird, right? I think Himawari’s obsession with buildings is the first ever character that I know who is infatuated with structures. She should have been an architect. Rei’s character is confused and caught in between what she truly desires. She wanted to revive her world but the more she lingers about and fails in her mission, the more attached she has grown to this world. It is so evident despite hearing from her own mouth that she will get the job done. You can see her hesitate and it tells us that she is not willing to destroy Earth. So when she finally learns the value of friendship, because true friendship don’t make you yearn the destruction of others, that’s when she begins to wake up and see things with her own eyes. If not for this twisted mission of hers (how can destroy something bring another back?), Rei loves plants and animals (especially birds – except Crow). You can see her smile and love for it. She is at ease whenever she is with them. You can say they keep her sanity in check.

The action of this series might be exaggerated with lots of power, but who wouldn’t when you have cute girls in cute suits that could be as destructive as a weapon. It’s fun to see them flying around and unleashing their Naked and Vivid powers, though it is practically pretty much the same move and it lacks variation. I mean, to finish off an Alone, you either see them use some Naked weapon individually first, then Akane docks with somebody to unleash their combined Vivid weapon for a Final Operation. Speaking of Naked and Vivid, some of the naming terms that Kenjirou or the girls give can be quite funny. Especially the Naked weapon. Why the hell Naked? I don’t see it naked or anything close to that? Maybe it lacks the final power up for that final oomph so that’s why it is ‘naked’. I don’t even know what I’m saying. Thankfully there is no Naked Butt weapon… If they turn this into a hentai series, then maybe there is such a ‘weapon’. And if you are wondering about the Vivid term, perhaps it is also a play on the Japanese word, ‘bibite’ which is as well a sound effect to mean tingling. A vivid girl like Akane aptly has this spider-sense-like tingling feeling when she finds a person interesting.

There are some mind boggling things that I find about the series. Such as how the first few episodes see Akane went on a ‘recruiting spree’ and her friends easily becoming part of Team Vivid. It makes me wonder how can they easily convert and engage the system so fluently. I mean, Akane conveniently has a key for them to transform and then wahlah. Here they are in a certain coloured suit with powers. If Rei had joined the group, I think they could also double as Power Rangers. Haha! And it also feels like a magical girl series especially when they transform. How can you pack so much metal into that Palette Suit and still make them look cute and great? Another eyebrow raiser is the fact that Kenjirou became ‘stuck’ in a weasel stuffed doll for almost the entire duration. Let me guess. Many would felt it would be better to see a weasel ranting rather than an old crazy dude, right? Yeah, there’s your cute mascot factor. You need one to complete the cute girls line-up. Kenjirou might be a brilliant scientist. So brilliant that it makes me wonder how he can come up with inventions that scans the Alone’s attributes and such. It’s like he almost understands those creatures. If he can make his Vivid System as the only weapon against Alone, why not equip the entire military with such power? Oh right. The cost. The poor bugger hasn’t got a penny for a decent meal. Or maybe Vivid System only works on lolis… I think I’ll buy this argument. Shijou and Mizuha don’t seem to have any major impact in the series and are quite forgettable. It feels like that they are just there to support the main characters and to prevent the weasel as seen from talking to himself when he explains things.

On to Alone and supreme beings. Those mysterious beings might be powerful but I just can’t help wonder whenever they pop up, they have to be at such a distance. Shouldn’t they pop up closer to Blue Island? I know it’s to give time to the girls to suit up and attack. Enough time for them to destroy and win the day. Well, it is confirmed that Rei acts like their beacon. Even so, shouldn’t they just have appeared closer? Their designs, well… All I can say is that they come in all shapes and abilities. Some look okay, some look typical and some funny (that coffee maker one…). As for the supreme beings, the way they are being described as if they are gods. Look at this, Rei’s world was finally resurrected! What does this tell you? They’re gods, no? I am not sure if Crow is acting on her own or on their behalf when her job is to see that lower beings never use the Incarnate Energy. I know we are lowly beings so we don’t understand what higher intelligent beings meant when they won’t allow us to use such energy. So we just call them prejudicial killers since assuming they’re at the top of the food chain, then nobody else below them gets to use them, right? So why bother to test worlds that they know they’re going to fail or make them fail eventually? Just keep it to yourselves, stupid! Not so intelligent after all, eh? As far as this anime is concerned, Incarnate Energy seems to be doing a good job. And yet, Crow doesn’t think it is so. I speculate on this part that she is acting on her own. And just like I have said, even the most intelligent beings get corrupted by power. Not so intelligent after all, eh? Maybe their definition of justice is different. Can’t argue since we’re low life beings. If Crow really wanted to destroy Earth, she should have done it herself instead of using Rei. Of course, she’s just following orders from the supreme beings. But really, if she really desired that, she would have done so a long time ago. In the end, the power of friendship even surpasses the power of the supreme beings. To say, that if you got unwavering friendship power, you can even stand up to the power of God! Gasp! No, this is not illogical. This is the power of friendship as I have told you!

No blog or review on this series would be really complete if I do not mention the ass fanservice. I think. Yeah. Asses. Although you won’t see those butts popping up in your face every 5 seconds, rest be assured that there will be butt shots in every episode, whether it is a close zoom up from their behind or at a distance. And those tight shorts and hot pants make them look even hotter, no? There’s your dose of butts to get your motivation up for the day. Not like this is going to serve as the butt of any jokes. Because of those shorts underneath their skirts that all the girls wear, don’t expect to see any shima pantsu or animal prints. A real bummer for those who loves this type of fanservice. Only the transformation scene there is a little fanservice scene whereby you get to see the girls in their underwear. But it is nothing much fanciful. Just boring plain white shorts/hot pants underneath…

The opening theme is Energy by Earthmind and sounds like your usual lively anime pop. The kind that gives you the motivation to cheer on Team Vivid with the power of friendship. There are several ending themes. A total of five of them and six if you include the opening theme that served as the ending theme for the first and last episode. I feel the ending themes being played out reminded me of how they did it for GJ-Bu anime. For the first half, we have ending songs that reflect a certain character or two before the second half becomes a fix theme for all. It is no different for this series either. Except that they only last for 1 stinking episode. But most of them are duets between Akane and the rest of her teammates. It begins with We Are One is between Akane and Aoi, followed by Stereo Colors by Akane and Wakaba, and finally Akane and Himawari for Stray Sheep Story. The only song which is not a duet and Akane doesn’t have a hand in it is Arifureta Shiawase by Rei. This lyrics of this slow ballad aptly reflects the loneliness and desire of Rei’s heart. The final and fixed ending theme that involves all the girls (Team Vivid + Rei) is Vivid Shining Sky. The liveliness is similar to the opening theme, just that you turn it into an all-girls group.

I think we’ve learnt our lesson here. The next time some unknown aliens attack us or even higher beings that decide to test us in the name of some twisted reasoning to eliminate our existence from the face of this universe, never ever and do not depend on the military might. After all the spending and budgets on military firepower, they amount to nothing when they take on something that is so un-human. When our butts are on the line, all you need to do is to put your faith in a group of little girls with the tenacity to kick ass and believe in the power of friendship! Yeah. That is the word of the series. Word of the day. No buts about it! Bun not intended. Oops, I mean pun not intended.

Ro-Kyu-Bu OVA

September 6, 2013

Hmm… Am I seeing some sort of trend here? Before yet another anime that gets a second season, we have an OVA released. It feels like some sort of appetizer before the main course, no? It’s like trying to jog our memories and make us remember what the first season was all about and to whet our appetite for the coming season. However, Ro-Kyu-Bu OVA as I found out wasn’t released as part of some DVD release thingy. Instead it was bundled together with some PSP game of this series. But nevertheless, it still feels like an introduction to the second season (which is in the midst of its run at the time of this blog). If you remember the lolis playing basketball and the single guy who is coaching them, yeah, that’s what this anime is about. But don’t get your hopes up in seeing any real developments although you can just feel it is about Subaru and the girls. Subaru and the girls. Subaru and the girls. Like always. Subaru and the girls. Oh. What was this series about again?

Tomoka No Ichigo Sundae
What seems to be Subaru and Tomoka trying to get each other to take a bath first, be disappointed that we won’t get to see them going in together because it turns out Tomoka wants Subaru’s help with her homework. Meanwhile the other girls are about to errands for a girl from the cooking club (they’re supposed to cook something for Mihoshi). They think of preparing it for Tomoka first so first they will need to head to the library to do research before the supermarket and buy ingredients. So as Subaru coaches Tomoka, he didn’t realize he was getting too close to her. He flusters. He gets away. Her eraser accidentally drops. She goes to look for it underneath her table and he almost caught glimpse of her ass. Suddenly she freaks out thinking she saw a cockroach. She clings on to Subaru tightly but upon closer look, it is just an almond chocolate. Once they calm down, they realize Tomoka is sitting on top of him! Subaru’s mom, Nayu walks in to give them drinks as refreshment and I think she misinterpreted what she saw. Taking that kind of break, huh? However she seems pretty cool about it. In fact, I think she’s rooting for it. The other girls are researching in the library when Maho spots a yaoi book. Saki doesn’t want her to look at it and accidentally she tumbles over her. Wow. Now this looks like a yuri scene.

Subaru and Tomoka after realizing they’ve been watching a basketball video too long, decide to go out to the living room for a while. To their surprise, Tomoka’s mom, Kaori is here to pay a visit. They are sent to do an errand to buy ingredients for lunch. Lots of flustering from Tomoka because she misinterpreted about the lobster is only reserved for wedding days when Subaru picks it up. Then the fishmonger notes how the duo look like newlyweds. They bump into the other girls (on their shopping errand now) who do not hesitate to tease them as newlyweds. Seems they have texted to Tomoka about their intentions but she never replied. That’s because she forgot to take her handphone when she left home. The girls are about to depart to Mihoshi’s house but Subaru suggests using his home’s kitchen and he can contact Mihoshi to come after it’s done. I suppose they don’t want to pass this up, right? Would they not want to visit Subaru’s home? While cooking, the lobster leaps out of the box and clings on to Airi’s body! This is one pervy lobster because it is holding tight to her clothes?! Maho pulls it out. I don’t know how hard it was but her bra came out too. Thankfully Subaru had his eyes closed. During lunch, Kaori wonders if Tomoka is dieting since she’s not touching her food but she flusters. Petite Hinata couldn’t see the pot so Airi thought it was her height. Before she turns into depress mode, Hinata sits on her lap like a comfy cushion. Feeling good? Hinata tries to pick up the tofu. First time it slips but the second time it breaks. Before the tofu can fall onto Tomoka, Subaru pulls out her right leg and uses his hand to catch it. Woah! What the hell is this scene?! For that moment did you see her pantsu?!

Hinata didn’t like leeks so she feeds Subaru. Soon, all the girls want to feed him. Maho has prepared dumplings and from her cheeky look, we know she has put in some mischievous prank even though she assures it is something ‘edible’. Airi is first to eat it and she suddenly starts coughing. What Maho put in was pepper but what she didn’t realize it is hot pepper! Quick! Water! Nayu prepares yogurt for Airi to wash her throat. Maho thinking she needs another helping rushes but slips. She spills it all over Tomoka. What does this scene look like? White sticky thing all over her… Suddenly Kaori takes off Tomoka’s clothes!!! Thank goodness Subaru saw this coming and closed his eyes. And Kaori wants him to wipe it off her daughter?! That’s not going to possible, right? While the girls take a bath, Maho repents her action. Kaori thanks Subaru for taking care of Tomoka and saving her back then. He says he was the one who has been saved by her. She is glad he is around and hopes he will take care of Tomoka. The girls have finished their bath and see how friendly Kaori and Subaru are. They think Kaori is trying to hit on him. Well, I think Kaori likes that idea too. He’s such a popular guy after all. Saki remembers the recipe they should be making. They make a strawberry sundae with marshmallow and chocolate chips for Tomoka to taste. Yum! After getting their energy recharged, they practise their basketball. Subaru feels he is forgetting something. Don’t need any reminder now because here comes Mihoshi. She is one pissed woman. She was waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting… Nobody came so she went over to check what’s holding up. And what does she see? She’s going to get her revenge… Oh Subaru, you’re so screwed this time.

Subaru And The Girls…
Well, just like how the first season like, it’s always about Subaru and the girls and less about the basketball. They are already close to him and they can only get closer. Just short of dating him. Yet. I don’t think this will ever descend into some cat fight over him since the girls themselves are good friends with each other. The first half, in fact this OVA if I should say, is mostly Subaru-Tomoka so I guess fans of this pairing would be delighted. Lots of such close moments between them. Blushing here, flustering there. The kind where it makes you want to scream out “Just confess you like him already, girl!”. Then there are nearly-nearly fanservice, something which the TV series has a little of but there is only so much you can have lolis for fanservice without making this series into a dirty one, right? It is the cute moe factor why anyone would want to watch this show. So yeah. Because I didn’t think the first season was that bad, I’ll have my go at the second season. I mean, what else is there to expect? Subaru and the girls… That’s not really a bad thing, right? Subaru and the girls… Subaru and the girls…