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.

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