God is mad. God is angry. God has had it with us. God is going to wipe us out and make it like as though we never existed in the first place or never part of His creation. Judgment Day is before us. The thought of the end of the world never would have really occurred to us because we are content that it won’t happen in the soonest time. What happens when it does? What would you do to survive? But God isn’t totally unreasonable. He is going to give us a fighting chance to prove why we should continue existing. Consider this a trial on a mega large scale. To fight back, we get to summon demons with our handphones to fight aliens sent by the Almighty to destroy us. So okay. That last line really sounds like stretching it but that is somewhat the plot and what is happening in Devil Survivor 2 The Animation.

Based on the tactical role playing game of the same name (more accurately, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2), mankind is thrown into chaos and is being told that they have to defeat 7 mysterious and powerful creatures within 7 days if they want to continue surviving. Doing the maths, it’s like one monster a day, right? How hard or bad could that be? Well, imagine this. You jump straight into the fray by having to fight the final boss 7 times consecutively. The next boss is more insanely powerful than the previous one. Just when you thought you have used all your power and whatever resources you have to defeat, then comes another crazier one. Doesn’t that zap your motivation and morale? I mean, finding 7 mystical orbs is okay but what happens if you need to find 10,000 of them?! Not motivating, right? Real bummer. But that is what you need to do when your life and survival of your kind is on the line. Sure, there aren’t any cheat codes for God mode or unlimited ammunition? All we got is just our stinking handphone and some mysterious app that summons demons to fight on our behalf… Really. An app to summon demons? This I got to see.

Episode 1
High school boys, Hibiki Kuze and Daichi Shijima meet at the busy street of Shibuya to talk about their future. Daichi shows Hibiki a secret but popular site called Nicaea that uploads images of death. You’re supposed to get a picture of how you die. They take a picture of each other, upload it and wait for it to reply back. While waiting at the underground train station, Nicaea returns with the results. It shows the train derailment and the carriage falling on them. There’s their death faces… The guys start to feel spooked because how can they get such real footage? Before they can get out of the station, an earthquake rocks the place. True enough, the train derails and falls over them. Nicaea asks if they want to continue living and Hibiki answered yes. An app is downloaded. When Hibiki wakes up, he finds Daichi still living. They are in shock and just when they thought they spot a survivor, it turns out to be wolf beastmen feasting on the dead. Not too far away, they notice their schoolmate, Io Nitta being cornered by the creatures. Her fear causes her to unleash some sort of ogre demon from her handphone. The demon helps pounce on the beasts. Likewise, Daichi is also scared in what he sees and somehow summons a cute little demon from his handphone. While their demons keep the creatures at bay, the trio run away and discuss what happened. They figure it is Nicaea. When they were asked if they want to live or not, choosing to survive means it forcefully downloaded some app. Although they are not sure why. When they exit the station, it seems the magnitude of the calamity is far worse. The area is devastated and chaos is everywhere with massive casualties. Suddenly all communications and electricity are cut. Since Nitta is worried about her family, the guys decide to accompany her home since it is quite far away. Before communications were cut, the guys manage to confirm their own family are safe.

A special government group from the Japan Meteorological Society or also known as JP’s (pronounced as ‘jeeps’) seems to have taken special authority over the disaster place. Tokyo branch’s JP’s, Makoto Sako is on site to assess the damage and take further action. Her worry is not the multiple Case D manifestation but the survival of mankind through Judgment Day even if it means using demons. Daichi, Hibiki and Nitta are still together as night falls quickly. They can’t find a way to delete the app. Suddenly a weird ice cream UFO lands in the area. It explodes and takes out all those nearby. Then it starts shooting randomly. Before it could get to them, Hibiki tells Nitta to summon her demon. It blocks all the alien’s attacks. Hibiki then receives another death image from Nicaea and it shows Daichi’s death face. Daichi is seen driving a truck, doing a kamikaze to save his friends and crashes into the alien. Hibiki becomes distraught. His app just finished downloading and he summons a powerful demon, the white tiger Byakko. JP’s picks up this unregistered summoning and Makoto is surprised someone has manifested something this powerful. Hibiki orders Byakko to attack the alien till it is destroyed. He is relieved to see Daichi saved by a little fairy, another demon from Nitta’s app. JP’s takes the trio into custody.

Episode 2
The trio are taken to Tokyo ward’s Diet Building. They never knew such a place existed underneath this building. Daichi and Nitta are locked away and only Hibiki is brought to JP’s operation room by Makoto to meet the bureau’s chief, Yamato Hotsuin. Because he summoned one of the 4 most powerful symbols in the Chinese constellations. No ordinary person can summon that. This operation room protects Japan from enemies. The kind that is of paranormal anomalies like ghosts and demons. Hibiki is told there are various ways to summon demons and one way is the demon summoning app that wasn’t supposed to be available to public. How it got into their handphones is still under investigation. JP’s has foreseen this calamity but they did not warn the public as it would cause undue panic and interfered with their operations. Hibiki thinks they’re selfish, to have all the high-tech equipment and yet couldn’t warn the people. Yamato says the enemy he defeated is the lowest of them all. There are 6 more enemies and 6 more days to defeat them. Otherwise, Earth will be consumed and disappear. The enemy is called Septentriones, aliens from another world that can only be defeated by a demonic power. Because Hibiki possesses that power, Yamato wants him to help them and obey him. JP’s scientists conclude the kids’ handphone have a different demon summoning app and are still finding out who wrote such programme and released it to the public. Next day, Hibiki makes a deal with JP’s. If they don’t release his friends unharmed, he will not cooperate.

Makoto drives the kids to Ariake but upon reaching Minato ward, the place is devastated and Nitta is thrown into further depression. She wants to go alone but the rest will accompany her to at least the emergency shelter. Makoto hands back their modified handphones that is directly linked to JP’s. If there is anything, feel free to contact them. The atmosphere in the shelter is depressing and Nitta is sad she couldn’t find any more information about her mother. Suddenly winged demons crash into the shelter. Everyone panics and runs for their lives. Hibiki couldn’t stand there and do nothing so he summons Byakko to take the fight outside. Daichi wants to join in too but his handphone is somewhat under maintenance. He laments the sh*t they are in because just until yesterday, they were just high school kids. The waves of aliens are endless. Makoto joins in the fight using her angel avatar called Power. But she leaves Hibiki to fend off the demons as she goes to find the source. She destroys somebody’s handphone that is running amuck somewhere to end the attacks. In the aftermath, Hibiki thought everyone is against him but his hopes were lit when a boy thanks him for saving them. Back at JP’s, Yamato praises Hibiki for his wise decision. Hibiki wants to do everything he can to help. Daichi and Nitta have heard the details and also offer to help out. They are then shown a picture of Dr Fumi Kanno, the scientist in charge of JP’s security and summoning systems. Coincidentally she disappeared at the Osaka station about the same time Septentriones showed up. Their plans will be in great jeopardy if she isn’t found and so the trio’s first order is to join the search party and find her.

Episode 3
While riding on JP’s secret train, Hibiki mentions he would’ve preferred his friends to stay back at Tokyo. You think they want to let him hog all the action? Better do something than doing nothing. Hibiki promises he will do all he can to protect them. Upon arrival, they are introduced to Hinako Kujou and Keita Wakui, kids who recently become Summoners like them. Keita is not interested in finding a lost person and prefers to go off by himself to do demon hunting. The Osaka’s main bureau command centre is suddenly being hacked. The operational commander-cum-deputy director orders to initiate the defence and track down the hacker who is making this hacking look like easy pie. It would be easy just to unplug everything but that would leave Osaka without any barrier of defence. So… Security relies on the internet? Hinako gets a death clip of Keita lying dead at the Festival Gate, which is pretty close to this place. Hibiki’s deduction has him identifying that place as the source of the hack. Yamato then orders all Summoners to head there. Hibiki wants to know if he sent them here knowing this would happen. He didn’t reply and orders them to hurry. Hibiki has the operator contact Keita to warn him not to head to that place. Because of the future vision of the death clip, he thinks they can change the future. Unfortunately Keita won’t be answering his phone since he is attacked by cow and horse demons. He summons his Berserker to attack. That’s a guy in a bear’s suit, right?

The waves of demons are endless and Keita is having his hands full. He could have died like how he did in the clip had not Hinako summoned her Lilim to save him. The rest arrive to help out but they need to apprehend the cracker who is controlling them as well as hacking the bureau. The kids will have to complete the job themselves since the other Summoners whom they are supposed to rendezvous with are all dead. Because the kids are having it tough to get close to the cracker, Yamato orders the release of Almadel despite warning that the virus is incomplete and it should not be used without Fumi’s supervision. Almadel stalls the demons to give the kids enough time to push forward. Nitta is about to apprehend the cracker but is almost killed by her avatar demon. Berserker saves her. To everyone’s surprise, the cracker turns out to be Fumi. Brainwashed. What better way than to use the person who designed the system, right? Because their demons are no match for Fumi’s, Hibiki devises a plan to cooperate. In a diversion, the enemy demon is taken out and Daichi destroys the system to stop the hacking (which is in its final phase). Before they can rejoice, a demon appears, Botis and blows away Berserker. He then sets lightning upon them but Keita pushes Hibiki out of harm’s way. Botis also has Fumi execute her final task. She has Almadel reboot and cause the system to erode by erasing any traces of its user. The firewall is completely down and all defensive barriers are eliminated. Hinako is devastated that Keita is dead. Just like in the clip. Hibiki is shocked that they couldn’t prevent the death clip from becoming reality despite knowing what will happen. Septentriones begin appearing all over Osaka.

Episode 4
Hibiki blames himself for that but no time for that as JP’s takes the kids for their next Septentriones fight. The army can’t defeat the Septentriones, Merak so it’s JP’s turn to take action. Merak is heading towards Osaka’s spiritual barrier, Tsutenkaku and if it is destroyed, Osaka will be done for. Daichi is put on the medical-evacuation team since his demons are too weak. Hibiki is made as the last line of defence. Merak must not be allowed to advance beyond him or else it’s the end of humanity. Because Hibiki still feels responsible over Keita’s death, Yamato tells him Keita’s sacrifice is acceptable. But it’s not to Hibiki so he is told to quit seeing he lacks the will to fight and is useless despite having such great power. However Hibiki won’t because he will not allow anymore sacrifices. Merak destroys the first line of defence. All the Summoners were easily annihilated! So much for that. Then it shoots a powerful blast at the barrier and disables everything and kills everything in its path. Daichi is the only survivor of his medical-evacuation team. He is freezing in the streets as he calls Hibiki to get out and save his own skin. Yamato cuts off their communication. Hibiki is going to fight Merak with Byakko. He is upset Yamato should have used him first or else many wouldn’t have died. Makoto says they can’t use him without knowing the enemy’s capabilities. Hibiki doesn’t need their permission and heads off alone to fight. Nitta was a second too late to see Hibiki because he just left his position. Hinako’s team is next in line to face Merak. They are no match for it as expected. Hinako is surprised to see Hibiki entering the fray. However Byakko’s electricity has no effect on Merak. Everyone tries to cover Byakko but Merak’s power cuts through all of them, killing everyone and leaving Hinako on the verge of death. Merak inches closer to the barrier and Hibiki is left feeling the guilt once more.

Alcor (calling himself Yamato’s old friend) appears before Hibiki, saying that he only survived because of his powerful demon. Hibiki laments he can’t save everyone but Alcor feels he was dragged into this. He mentions Hinako saved him and there is another one fighting in his place. It hit Hibiki that it is Nitta since Hinako said she was on his way to see him but looks like they missed each other. Alcor likes his way of thinking of wanting to fix things. He wonders why he would take action when others wouldn’t. Because he has acquired this power. Nitta and the last defence line prepare to face off Merak. Nitta summons a power demon goddess Kikuri Hime and though it does some damage, it is still not enough to prevent Merak from powering up its final blast. Hibiki arrives in time to knock Merak’s blast off course. At this time when Merak is vulnerable, Hibiki powers up Byakko and slices through Merak to destroy it for good. Everyone rejoices in their victory. Hibiki is thought he saw little life in Merak but it was quickly cut down by Ronaldo Kuriki. He is a former member of JP’s and hates this organization now. He wants Hibiki to come with him as he views Yamato dangerous. All team members return to headquarters but there is no trace of Hibiki.

Episode 5
Ronaldo went AWOL from JP’s 2 years ago and so they must take precaution against him because he knows the workings of the organization well. Currently he is holding up at Nagoya branch so JP’s sends in a team for the mission to rescue Hibiki. Daichi and Nitta manage to stowaway. I don’t know how they fit into the cardboard box. They get a clip from Nicaea and are shocked to see Hibiki’s death. Communications are cut off from the main branch so they can’t get any feedback. Just like fate, the Septentriones is targeting Nagoya’s barrier too. At this crucial time, they don’t really need to fight against another human. Fumi is up and trying to fix what’s broken. Makoto takes a rest and remembers how Yamato recruited her 2 years ago because he saw the competency in her unlike other garbage. She swore loyalty to him because if not for that fateful meeting, she wouldn’t have turned out the person she is today. In Nagoya, Airi Ban and Jungo Torii are well rested and so are their demons. Airi wants to go take JP’s back from the insurgent but Jungo is cautious for them siding on JP’s despite they were saved by them. Even so, he doesn’t want to fight another human. Daichi and Nitta arrive at Nagoya. They see the people trying to live in this disaster area. Demons suddenly appear so the duo go into action. As usual, Daichi’s avatars are so weak. Nitta’s Kikuri Hime is powerful but she tires out easily. They are saved by a fire breathing demon, Suzaku. It belongs to Hibiki! His friends are glad to see him but he quickly leaves once the demons are disposed. Some of the people think he is going to see the leader so the duo want to be taken there.

Otome Yanagiya is the nurse JP’s of Nagoya branch. She forced to treat some of the wounded insurgents holding up the place. Ronaldo returns with Hibiki with his side. He gives Otome a handphone since she is a Summoner. Their plan is to stop Yamato. Ronaldo is knows well about mankind’s position if they lose to Septentriones. So why is he revolting instead of fighting alongside JP’s? Once Yamato defeats Septentriones, he will institute meritocracy and become the new leader of the new world. This situation is a good chance for him to further his ambitions as he has manipulated both JP’s and the government. Ronaldo was a former detective and was scouted by JP’s for his skill. Naturally he snooped around and found out a dark secret of the Hotsuin family (something about the prophecy of Septentriones and mankind’s fate). Because of that, he was targeted for death. Hibiki thought he was doing the right thing following Yamato but Ronaldo disagrees because his methods will lead the powerless to their death. He is just a tool. Remember the big massacre of those JP’s agents? He won’t accept such a world because he views all humans equal. Ronaldo brings Hibiki to their temporary command centre. He further tells Hibiki that lots of people in the resistance have suffered and lost something. Thankfully they have lots of powerful Summoners. Though, they are still investigating who created the summoning app and would invite them to join their cause. Their mission this time is to defeat Septentriones themselves before JP’s if they want to be recognized as a force to be reckoned with. Aside Hibiki’s Byakko and Suzaku, they will use Ronaldo’s Hagen, Yuzuru Akie AKA Joe’s Orcus and Otome’s Sarasvati for this mission. Ronaldo is confident they can win this and will sacrifice no one. Meanwhile Yamato thinks how everyone is weak. There is no future for them. That’s why the strong must lead. Flashback 12 years ago when Yamato underwent some screening test. He surprised everyone by easily summoning the powerful Cerberus on his first try. The demon burnt down everything and only listened and be tamed by Yamato. Subsequently Alcor found him. And now, the game is about to begin. Alcor notes the Shining One isn’t here anymore so Yamato replies the ideal he sought never existed because it is strength and those with ability that will lead. No other ways about it and will prove it. Yamato is surprised he receives a message from Nicaea supposedly from a friend.

Episode 6
Airi and Jungo sneak into the Nagoya’s branch via air ventilation. Ronaldo shows his team the place where the Septentriones will appear based on the Hotsuin’s family prophecy. Back at the temporary base, Otome talks to Hibiki about his defection. He didn’t think he have what it takes to save the people at JP’s. Despite having power, not knowing how to use it is as good as not having them. Otome admits that JP’s may be utilitarian but Hibiki didn’t like the way Yamato does things by sacrificing others. If his actions were morally right, he would help him but he can’t obey him without knowing for sure. Otome then asks what makes him think Ronaldo’s actions are. At least he knows he won’t sacrifice anyone. Hibiki is surprised when Joe brings Daichi and Nitta to see him. Daichi is so emotional to reunite with him that he hugs him. They tell him they have snuck out from JP’s without permission and also the death clip they’ve got of him. They want him to return with them but he can’t because of the Septentriones that will be appearing here. His friends think he will die just like in the clip but he believes he can change that fate. Since both sides are stubborn, they will stay and protect him. After all, can you call yourself a friend if you abandon a friend? More heads are better, right? Airi and Jungo crash through the ventilation and are set upon the resistance guys. They summon their Cait Sith and Cat Shogun demons to fight till Ronaldo enters the scene. Airi is not open to talk (she will do that if they surrender) and continues to attack but is no match for Hagen. Hibiki pleads for them to stop as this is no time for them to fighting among themselves. Suddenly the sensors pick up signals of Septentriones manifesting. One problem: It is manifesting right here! Everyone throws at it what they’ve got but it’s not even making a scratch. It fires a powerful blast that cuts out electricity in the area. This is bad because without it, the barrier cannot function. Oh? Barriers now also function on electricity?

Hibiki summons Suzaku to burn it and at least he is making some damage. He is joined by Kikuri Hime and Sarasvati but the Septentriones split itself and fires a more powerful beam that cuts through anything. Daichi remembers this part of Hibiki’s death clip. Hibiki manages to avoid a direct hit but he drops and his handphone and it got disabled. Moments before Hibiki is going to be shot at point blank range, Cerberus jumps in from above and slices the Septentriones. Everyone before their eyes witness Yamato using his power to rewrite Cerberus’ ability to destroy the Septentriones for good. No human can do that, right? With the threat over, JP’s team has also reign in the resistance and retake control of the branch. Hibiki can’t understand how Yamato is here since he’s supposed in Tokyo. As explained, he supplied his own magical power to get himself here. Daichi is upset that if he had such power, he should have just fought alone instead of sacrificing others. Yamato believes sacrifices are necessary if they are to survive Judgment Day because it requires pawns to follow orders. Hibiki has become an exceptional pawn. Emotions are useless to pawns and wants Hibiki to return to his side and follow his orders. Ronaldo doesn’t want Hibiki to listen to his crap so Yamato tells him off his ideology is only a pipe dream. He can treat anyone special but the enemy won’t show mercy. No one will survive. Everyone is surprised when Ronaldo mentions Yamato’s ambition to become the world’s ruler. So now it’s everyone against Yamato. Hibiki is willing to fight him if he is going to hurt others. Alcor appears before them. He never thought the Shining Ones would fight like this and lets Hibiki know that Yamato came here because he saw his death clip.

Episode 7
Alcor says because Yamato is here, Hibiki is saved from death. If nothing is done, what happens in the death clip becomes true. Yamato doesn’t believe it because he believes as long as you have power, you can bend fate to your will. Alcor wants Hibiki to make his decision: Return to Yamato or stay here. Seeing Alcor knows much, Ronaldo wants him to spill everything. However his demon Bifrons tells him not to interfere. Bifrons unleashes his firepower at Airi when she mocks his stature but obeys Alcor to back down. Hibiki wonders if Alcor is a demon. He himself is not sure and just knows himself as the Anguished One. Nothing more, nothing less. At the very least, he doesn’t want to be his enemy. Alcor reveals he is the one who gave the summoning app to them. Because humans are weak against Septentriones’ onslaught, he made Nicaea site to give them the tools and choice to fight for their life. Thanks to that, he is able to find a new Shining One. Yamato says that based on the prophecy, there will be 3 simultaneous Septentriones attack tomorrow. Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka. Only Byakko class demons can fight them. Yamato wants Hibiki to protect Osaka and brushes off his whatever ideals because the goal is to defeat Septentriones. Hibiki will do that to while protecting others. But if he tries to take them down a misguided path, he’ll stop him at that time. If her survives it all. Yamato looks forward to it. Yamato then forces Ronaldo to defend Nagoya since his actions has brought this branch to this crippled state. He has no say in this matter and will do so. Ronaldo is confident he will take down the Septentriones and Yamato reiterates to say that again to him if he survives. Airi and Jungo introduce themselves to Hibiki. Yamato thinks back 3 years ago before he parted ways with Alcor. He is going to create his beautiful ideal world via power because might is right. He believes he was born for this reason to bear humanity’s fate. Alcor wonders if he can survive till the final day since the Purge of Polaris shows no mercy. Of course Yamato is confident he can so Alcor could only wished he was the Shining One.

Fumi tests the teleport transport and it is working fine. Also, everyone in JP’s undergoes a physical check up. At this time? Is there any point in this if humanity is wiped out? Maybe it’s to see who is fit or not for the final fight. While we have Hibiki and Daichi bond their friendship, Nitta learns more about Otome. She was just an ordinary nurse when she was scouted by JP’s because of her summoning capability. I guess she joined them because the pay was better and this ensures her daughter’s safety. We’d never guess this pretty young nurse to have a daughter, don’t we? Nitta flusters when Otome teases her about someone she likes. Guess who? On the other hand, Joe teases Daichi that he likes Nitta. Hey, wait a minute. Septentriones trinity are going to show up and they have time to fool around like this? Furthermore, Joe tries to go peep on the girls and calls it ‘research for the sake of science’. Daichi and Hibiki try to stop him but when the door opens, Nitta is before them. She mistakes them to be perverts. Well, I see she can defeat this kind of ‘demons’. Oh, Joe ran away… When did he? Later Airi confronts the trio and wants a piece of them too because she thought they peeped on her (she was behind Nitta). Yamato is back at the Chiyoda Ward National Diet building. While the other officials are feasting on their breakfast, they hope Yamato won’t pull something off like leaving Tokyo again and remind him about his duty to protect duty so nothing will happen to them. Otherwise they would set a bad example to their constituents. I think they are now. Makoto beings the operation to fight Septentriones. She transports Hibiki, Daichi and Nitta to Osaka where they’ll be stationed. They are reunited with Hinako and Hibiki is emotionally glad she’s alive. I didn’t think the producers killed her character off. Yamato himself is going to defend Tokyo. More than enough, says he? Meanwhile Fumi has found a sacrifice for Lugh: Nitta.

Episode 8
The fourth Septentriones, Megrez is approaching. Hibiki and co are waiting in line and Hibiki thinks Daichi should take this chance to escape. His demons are the weakest, right? Of course he won’t run since he feels he is a chosen Summoner too. Hibiki remembers before he left Nagoya, Ronaldo gave him a pendrive of all the info he dug up on Yamato and the Hotsuin family. He hopes he won’t make the wrong decision. When the battle starts, everyone is having a hard time because not only Megrez’s skin is thick, it can regenerate too. Oh, its spikes can duplicate itself to a mini Megrez. Except maybe for Yamato. He’s too powerful to be stopped. As mentioned, unless all 3 Septentriones are taken out simultaneously, it will keep regenerating. Yamato will match his pace to the rest for the simultaneous attack. Hibiki receives a death clip of Ronaldo, Joe and Otome. He calls to warn him but Ronaldo isn’t going to run. As Hibiki has proved, he can change his death fate and they are confident they can with theirs. The Osaka and Nagoya team aren’t making any headway. Megrez is not slowing down. Airi gets upset how Septentriones have ruined the memories of this place and the innocent people who died. She downloaded a very strong demon app, Lorelei. It pierces Megrez with its giant ice. Meanwhile, Hinako’s Berserker punches a hole through Megrez. With all Megrez’ core exposed, the simultaneous attack to destroy it begins. Megrez is completely destroyed but everybody’s joy is short-lived. Because back at Nagoya’s side when Megrez disappears, the spikes shoot out like arrows. Ronaldo, Joe and Otome perished, leaving only Airi and Jungo as the only Nagoya survivors. Airi is visibly emotionally upset, Nitta thinks she can’t take this anymore and Hibiki tries to come to terms with reality. This is what they have chose, just like him. Yamato and Fumi are at some underground cave where Brionac, the enchanted spear kept by the Hotsuin family for generation sits.

Hibiki wants to wake up from this nightmare when Alcor sits by him to talk. Well, this is reality. Hibiki wants to know if demons find it amusing to toy with humans but Alcor says he has the wrong idea. Alcor is not a human and although he has the power to make death clips, he cannot help humanity for this is their trial. Unless humanity proves itself, they will achieve nothing. Who has the right to judge humans? Polaris, the Almighty Administrator of Order. Polaris concluded mankind’s existence hinders the natural order of the world. Humans lost the will to persevere but yet prosper. This contradicts the world order that what Polaris views. Some might call it God but all it does is just protecting the world order. Hibiki doesn’t think it’s an excuse to destroy things. Alcor agrees with him. Alcor reveals he is Polaris’ sword and tool. He is a Septentriones and such creatures are tools for maintaining order as Polaris sees fit. However Alcor has awareness and even feels grieve for this. As Polaris’ tool, he shouldn’t have so but it something like this could happen, it may mean Polaris isn’t as omnipotent after all. That’s why he gave human summoning apps as a choice to fight. If they want to survive, they need a chance to show Polaris their will. As a tool, he cannot act against Polaris directly. Hibiki is confused but Alcor is too. He ponders his own existence and conscience. If this would cause so much conflict, he shouldn’t even have it. Across the horizon, they see darkness. But Alcor points out it is the void. Everything will be reduced to nothing. Nothing. Everything on human existence, history or civilization will cease to exist. Disappear. Erased. Like as though human never existed in the first place. The void is encroaching fast. After 7 days of judgment were promised and when humanity has overcome all trials, then it can stand before Polaris for arbitration. Alcor feels sad that the world of humans whom he has watched and raised for so long will disappear. He doesn’t want to lose it. It makes Hibiki wonder even if he defeats the enemy, after losing so much, what will be left if the world if they do survive? Of course Yamato thinks this world cannot be saved.

Episode 9
Hibiki is surprised Alcor is in his room. Where else could he go? Time for discussion. How well does Alcor know Yamato? They were once friends. He had many abilities and choices. Alcor thought he would be more responsible but he turned his back on them and made a quick choice: To oversee talented human in a meritocracy. Alcor doesn’t intend to agree or disagree with human choices but Yamato is being stubborn and denying thought through possibility control. He also notes Hibiki was born with power. Whether he wants it or not is irrelevant. That is what talent is about. As long as you can think, you have a choice. Alcor reiterates he is a tool of Polaris with emotion and thus he cannot really help them or go against Polaris directly. Hibiki allows him to stay as long as he does not stand in their way. It makes Alcor happy. Another condition is that nobody should find out about this. However Daichi and Nitta just walk in. They panic to see this dude but calm down after Hibiki tries his best to explain the situation. I guess it is because Hibiki is saying it, they believe him. And I’m not sure if Alcor is really a retard because he is acting and sounding like one when Hibiki is doing the explaining. Are Septentriones like this or is he just doing it on purpose? Airi and Hinako are being called by Makoto. The next Septentriones will manifest soon and based on that physical check up yesterday, both are suited to fight the next one, Alioth. Because it will be manifesting from the sky! They need a long range Summoner who can do that. Alioth is here and is right above Sapporo. Hinako summons the demon Shiva because of her family dance tradition thingy while Airi summons demon Kama because it is said it likes young girls… Alioth is about to fire down so Shiva and Kama fire a powerful shot that destroy its core. Hmm… That easy? Although the Septentriones is defeated, its shell is falling. That is the catch. JP’s makes haste to evacuate the area. Impossible. The shell is around 50km wide! Although JP’s successfully evacuate their own men, many of the citizens of Sapporo perished. Do you want to see what a flat city is like? The void continues to expand as Alcor wonders if humans can survive. Or will no one.

Hibiki goes through Ronaldo’s secret data and learns the Hotsuin family has known this for centuries. Together with the policymakers, they hid this to attain power. Yamato wants to survive this so as to create a new world that follows a ‘national refinement curriculum’ of government design. He lives and everyone dies. Hibiki has to shoulder all that and survive. Yamato and the rest are having some sort of ‘feast’ to celebrate Alioth’s defeat. But they are in no mood to eat especially Airi as she saw Sapporo flattened before her eyes. Yamato wonders if she can handle the burden. If not, she will die next. Of course he himself can and never thought of it as a burden. Hibiki exchanges argument with him. Not everyone is a robot like him. They have feelings. Not everyone is strong. In that case, the weak should accept their weakness and obey the strong. Even if that leads to a world without kindness, define kindness. If kindness is being complacent and licking other’s wounds, then those incompetent trash shall rot the world. Jungo wants to know why Yamato assembled them here. In 2 days, the invasion will end and he wants them to decide. No, it’s not about going home. After the last Septentriones has been defeated, surviving humans can meet Polaris. Defeating Polaris might not be a good idea because as one who observes the world, it will plunge the world into chaos. Hibiki explains it from here. He knows JP’s wants to meet Polaris and reshape laws that govern the world and carve their own new world order that suits them. Yamato denies he is carrying out his family’s will. Till this day, he has lived by his own will. Because trash will not be allowed to stop Polaris. He will rewrite the laws of the world and govern it. In 2 days, those who won’t obey him may die. So take this time to think carefully of your decision. Hibiki still opposes his ideal. It may be right but it’s too strict. People won’t be happy. Yamato doesn’t need him to understand. He will do what he wants. Those who oppose are not necessary. Enemy or not, he will make others submit. Hibiki notes shouldering and accepting are different concepts so Yamato wants him to stay by his side till the end so if his existence is a sin, he wants him to pass judgment. Nitta is crying alone. She doesn’t want a new world order. She just wants to go home. Makoto then comes in and tells her tomorrow’s mission has been decided. She will die for them.

Episode 10
Nitta’s body is compatible to be possessed by Lugh, which is their key in defeating tomorrow’s Septentriones, Mizar. Although assured others won’t die if she sacrifices herself, Nitta still can’t help break down knowing that she’ll die. Morning comes and Alcor makes a lovely breakfast for the trio. Really. This is a Septentriones? Later Alcor visits Yamato. He laments because Hibiki is different than him and won’t overcome the death of a friend easily. Yamato suggests to throw away all emotions and with that you don’t have to feel anguish. Mizar will soon be materializing in Tokyo. The Summoners are in the control room and Hibiki knows something is amiss since Nitta is not with them. On the screen, they see Nitta being chained to a rock as Fumi makes the final preparations to their plan. What plan? They’ve never been told that. Mizar is a replicating Septentriones. It will do so forever so attacking it forever won’t be wise because even Byakko and Cerberus will eventually run out of power. Of course the kids aren’t happy to learn she has become the sacrifice. You think Yamato cares? Now they think they can attack it forever, eh? They want to think of another way but while they do that, Mizar would have replicated itself all over the world. There is no time. To their horror, they receive a death clip of Nitta. Once preparations are completed, Nitta is possessed by the demon Lugh. It releases the power of Ryumyaku. It manifests into its physical form of a dragon called Shakko. This trump card will devour Mizar and send it to another world. The mission is a success but Nitta’s mind has completely collapsed. When Hibiki goes to get her on his Byakko, she attacks him. She is totally possessed by Lugh so Yamato wants him to kill her. That is not Nitta anymore. That is a demon.

Lugh is pissed that the Hotsuin family imprisoned a God and used her as a tool. She is going to destroy them all. Oh dear. We’ve got Septentriones to deal with and now an angry god? Is this the price to pay for trying to survive? Although Nitta’s body will break since it cannot contain Lugh any longer, it is more than enough time for Lugh to kick JP’s ass. All those JP’s Summoners outside the Diet building didn’t even stand a chance. Hibiki stands in Lugh’s way. He wants Nitta back but Lugh mentions about hearing her cries of despair and wants to see his reaction once she destroys the world and everything. His hesitation causes Hibiki to be thrown off the building but Yamato grabs his hand. He summons Baal to destroy Lugh but was interfered by Byakko. While Yamato and Hibiki continue to be logger heads, Nitta’s body is at its limit so Lugh will judge Yamato alone. She throws the spear but Hibiki uses Ryumyaku to protect everything. Yamato is impressed that Shakko had chose him as well. Believing their destiny is intertwined, he extents his hand to him to rule the world together. Hibiki rejects him and reminds that he wants to use his power to protect others. Hibiki believes Nitta is still there. His voice must be so true that it reaches Nitta. He doesn’t want her to choose death but she says she had no choice to do what she has to. There’s no other way. He won’t accept that. She says she is not strong as him and is already at her limits. She is in pain and lonely in this world. She can’t keep up with it anymore. Hibiki doesn’t mind if it’s weak. Everybody is weak. That’s why they live by helping one another. That’s why they need each other. He was able to live because of his friends. Still don’t believe his worlds? He doesn’t want to lose her and wants to survive together. In that instant, Lugh is purged from her body. Wow. A miracle. The duo embrace and Nitta expresses her intention to live. Ryumyaku loses its power so Hibiki starts coughing blood and collapse. He is close to dead but Yamato orders his men to collect and will do all he can to save him. Because Hibiki is his. Nitta says she won’t follow him but move forward with Hibiki. Yamato doesn’t care because he will fight them if he needs to and if it is needed for mankind to evolve. When that happens, he will use all his power to kill them.

Episode 11
Hibiki is in ICU. The kids are in gloomy mood but Jungo who ironically doesn’t talk much has words of encouragement to lift their spirits. Alcor waits in Hibiki’s room but is approached by Botis and Bifrons. They are not too please of Alcor being too fond of humans and siding them. Botis is about to rid him but with a snap of Alcor’s fingers, Botis easily gets squashed. I’m sure Bifrons won’t be going up against him. He admits he has become strange. The final day has arrived. It’s the calm before the storm. The kids have time to chat and eat, even time to introduce themselves, make friends and exchange email addresses. Just then, they receive death clips of all of them dead. What a way to ruin a beautiful friendship. The final big Septentriones boss is here, Benetnasch. True to its level, it is the most powerful JP’s has ever come across because it wipes out all the other JP’s branches in a single blow! Dying like ants!!! Armageddon is here. Despite knowing going out means sealing their fate, the kids will still do so because they believe they can change their death fate. Meanwhile Hibiki dreams of his past. As a kid he seems somewhat meek. Luckily he had Daichi to rely on. Makoto leads the kids to attack Benetnasch. It could have destroyed the whole of Tokyo had not Yamato unleash his power. Too bad all those fat ass guys in the Diet Building got blown away. Good riddance. Everyone summons their demons to hack and slash this giant turnip. Just like it seems they are winning, there’s a catch. It regenerates and also seals their demons. Not only that, it can reproduce previous Septentriones and attack them! Fumi observes the frequency waves it is using and uses her Trumpeter to seal them. However Benetnasch spots her and destroys Trumpeter. Then it’s like Fumi knows she is going to die. She saw it coming. She even had time to call Makoto to take care of things. Wow. In the face of death, she is so cool. Not a single nerve panicking. Never seen death up close before? Well, she’s going to find out. Then blam! The blast hits her.

Yamato is trying to hold his ground while the rest make a run. One by one, Airi, Jungo and Hinako get killed by the mini Septentriones. The rest would too had not Hibiki unleash his Suzaku and Byakko to protect and go on the offensive. Once he learns the others are dead, he flies into rage. As they attack Benetnasch, they even have time to argue about their different beliefs. Hibiki as usual didn’t like the way he abandoned the people he called nuisance. Yamato stands firm in changing this selfish world. Somebody needs to do the job. Hibiki disagrees and doesn’t want a future created by the death of his friends. What would be the meaning of everything if they survive this? Since the two are loggerheads, it gives Benetnasch enough time to fire a big blast. Hibiki and Yamato’s powers aren’t enough to hold it back. But surprisingly, the giant turnip is knocked away. Daichi got so pissed off that he couldn’t help his friends in time of need that somehow he summoned Black Frost, a demon more powerful than Baal or even Makoto’s Athena. Combining his power with Hibiki and Yamato, they finish off the final Septentriones for good. Humanity has won. Mankind has survived the 7 days of judgment. Of course Hibiki still wants to stop him so Yamato dares him to kill him. Otherwise shut the f*ck up. And if Hibiki continues to stand in his way, he will kill him. But Alcor won’t allow that.

Episode 12
Although Polaris’ trials are over, Alcor will attack Yamato on his own free will and kill him. Because he wants to entrust mankind’s hope to Hibiki. Yamato is reduced to defending Alcor’s tentacle blades so he retreats close to the tower to increase his power. Yamato maintains his stand to rewrite the laws of the world and since Alcor is just a tool, he should stop thinking. They both receive death clips of each other. Makoto tells the kids that she will aid Yamato. Because she lost hope in this world, Yamato took her in and gave her a sense of purpose. Since she lost hope of the future, she can’t really tell what is wrong or right nor have any say in it. All she can do is rely on the hopes of others. Hibiki and co receive Makoto’s death clip. I guess she was probably lying just to sooth them that her death can be avoided. Otherwise, why give them her final request to take care of Yamato? Cerberus has finally healed so Yamato summons it to take down Alcor. Unfortunately it was easily defeated. But Yamato has another ace up his sleeve. Because the summoning system Alcor created allows one to download demons based on one’s strength and ability, Yamato just defeated Benetnasch, right? This means he can download the most powerful demons, no? But it’s going to take time to finish downloading it so Alcor goes on the offensive. Just when he thought he has Yamato in his grasp, Makoto uses her body to defend her chief. Her last words thank him for giving her a reason to live. I don’t know if Yamato is really holding in his emotions. Her death has bought him enough time to summon Nebiros and Zao Gongeng. The demons send Alcor to his defeat.

Alcor feels sad Yamato has never felt fun beside him. Yamato asks why he followed him. Because he was interesting and thought was the Shining One. Alcor asks one more time if he would have a change of heart. Nope. He is going ahead with his plan. The world was already corrupted when he was born. Somebody needs to change it. He’ll shoulder all the sins and burdens by himself. Can he? A human heart is not made that way. Yamato was born with extraordinary abilities, different than other normal children he bore responsibility of the transcendent bound by restrictions. That’s why he found him interesting and came to like him. Alcor makes his final attempt to stop Yamato by bounding themselves together in his tentacles. He’s going to do double suicide. No escape. Goodbye. Hibiki laments this screwed up trial by Polaris when Yamato appears before him. So he survived. As the world begins to fall apart, Yamato leaves his demons to keep Hibiki company while he takes the transporter to the gate to meet Polaris. Daichi and Nitta summon their demons to keep Nebiros and Zao Gongeng at bay. They want Hibiki to meet Polaris. At first Hibiki was reluctant because he wants them to stay together and won’t leave them. But they say the days they fought together weren’t in vain because he stayed till the end. So he has to go. He is their last hope. Hibiki makes his way to the transporter as the void devours his friends and everything else. Yamato is surprised that Hibiki has made it here. The world is gone. Only both of them are left. It seems they won’t get an audience with Polaris till one of them is defeated. And so, it’s the final showdown. Hibiki is without hesitation anymore. He will beat Yamato and see Polaris.

Episode 13
As the tiger and lion clash, the guys still have time to debate on their ideology. I’ll spare you the details because it’s just a rehash of what they believe in, expanded and rephrase in another way. Hibiki doesn’t approve of Yamato’s method because despite the world is sh*t, erasing it for a new order wouldn’t make our world, well, our world. It’s the same as choosing death. Yamato still believes had he not taken control in the first place, nobody would have survived. Great powers come… Complete the sentence. Hibiki argues that when he saved him back at Nagoya, it wasn’t because he wanted to give him combat experience to be used as his pawn. Receiving a death clip that is meant only to be given to only friends proves that he is still human. For a human with no heart shouldn’t be able to be a friend. Yamato views that if Hibiki is his friend, then he must kill him. At the same time, Yamato is starting to weaken. He can’t be stop now and will carry out his wish. He combines Nebiros and Zao Gongeng to form Satan! Wow. Nobody has ever done that before. He thought he had blown Hibiki to bits but is surprised Black Frost protected him. Even surprising, Hibiki suddenly receives all the demons from his dead friends! How is this even possible? Don’t ask me. Hibiki also does the same. Because he has more demons, he combines and combines and combines all of them into one big angel called Lucifer. Both the angel and demon clash. In the end, I suppose Hibiki won because we see the guys hugging each other. Hibiki doesn’t want him to shoulder the burden alone anymore. Yamato can’t believe Hibiki stopped him as promised. Hibiki is confident they’ll meet again. Then he tells Polaris his wish.

It’s like the world reset to where it was a week ago. Judgment day didn’t arrive. Yet? Hibiki is hanging out with Daichi like how we see them in the first episode. Daichi shows him the Nicaea site but it looks comical than real. At the train station, Hibiki and Daichi spot Nitta and the former calls out to her, making the latter fluster. He wanted to be friends with her, right? Nitta talks with them and finds them friendly. Hibiki couldn’t understand why he starts crying. Is it because he is happy? Daichi receives a death clip of Hibiki being hit by a truck but it is so cartoonish that he’s laughing. When the train arrives, no disaster happened. Hibiki then suddenly remembers. He rushes out just to confirm something. He remembers the full week and how humanity ended. If he doesn’t do anything, the same tragedy will be repeated. That’s why he must do something to change. Humanity has to change gradually by choice and not by force. We get a glimpse of all the other characters in their daily lives had not they been subjected to the screw up of judgment day. Hibiki is outside the Diet Building trying to see Yamato but the guards won’t let him in. Nice timing. His car just pulled up beside him. The rest wonder if Yamato knows this kid. He doesn’t because he believes he has no friends but gives off a friendly smile. Something tells me he too remembered those 7 days. Hibiki starts crying that everything is alright. Alcor too is around and remembers what happened. After watching humanity for so long, he feels happy and sad he is not needed anymore. Humanity has shown its will. Living is anxiety and pain. It’s continuing to think and choose. He is confident humans can still walk down the correct path because they can create miracles. I guess that isn’t exclusive to only God.

Dial 7734 Hotline To Hell…
7734? Wasn’t 666 supposed to be the devil’s number? Well… what does 7734 look like upside down? I guess humanity has got another chance. Another chance to mess up Earth like they’ve always been doing as before. Haha! I suppose Polaris must have gotten this idea that it would be more fun and amusing to watch humans screw up than to completely erase them from history and memory. Think about it. If humans are no more, what would big Gods like Polaris do for entertainment? What would His existence mean if there are no low life creatures like humans to govern and watch over? I don’t know about if there are other aliens or life forms that conforms to Polaris’ way of balance but to have gained Polaris’ attention and made Him come up with a plan to wipe us out, that shows we are some life form, eh? Besides, I suppose as human myself, I won’t understand why Polaris thinks in such a way. Better to leave it just like that. And so I thought in the end everybody was going to die seeing how they tried to kill off all the main characters. Call me a sadist but I suppose you can’t leave viewers with bad aftertaste in the mouth. So they had to revive them all in the end just to make it a ‘good’ ending. Otherwise, viewers can become Polaris and vent their frustration by wiping out this production house. Haha!

Speaking about deaths, as I expected, people are going to die (doesn’t count the small fries like JP’s useless numerous Summoners – they got wiped out in an instant before it sinks into your head that they’re dead) since Keita started the ball rolling with it. But the way they eliminate the main characters seemed somewhat rushed. And to a point it felt unconvincing. I thought it would have been better if they spread them out instead of having group deaths. There was a long absence of ‘death’ from Keita’s demise to the next one which is Ronaldo, Joe and Otome. It’s like they’re trying to save time and take them out all at once. Then on the final day of judgment, it felt like they counted how many survivors left and realized they need to reduce that number quickly. It was really odd Fumi didn’t fear death when she was staring it so close in it in the face. Jungo, Airi and Hinako’s deaths felt so rushed that it made you think that they could have survived that. It’s like they wanted to get them out as soon as possible. And you thought cute girls and sexy babes usually get to live in the end in survival genres, eh? Next they had to kill off Makoto once they realized she was spending most of her time giving commands in JP’s Tokyo base instead of the battlefield so they send her out to an easy death. Oh wait. There’s still Alcor. Since there is nothing that would kill him, why not have killed via sacrifice? And then if there is anybody left standing on Earth, why not just wipe them out via the void? Yeah. That. Easy as pie. Saves time, no?

As I said, I am too insignificant to understand what or how Polaris thinks. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about this issue if Polaris is omniscient and knows everything, he should have known that humans would have defeated the Septentriones, right? He would have known what the outcome is in the first place and perhaps wouldn’t have to go through all this crap just to wipe out humans. If He knew humans were going to win and if He was bent on erasing humans (assuming he doesn’t want to give them a chance), then there was no need for 7 days of judgment, right? And why send Septentriones to do the job instead of Himself? I’m sure the Almighty could do a much better job than the Septentriones since each of them have its own weakness. So it’s all too mind boggling. But that is just on my part because I assume Polaris to be God and made comparisons to the Almighty just to grasp and understand what is going on. Maybe Polaris is not exactly God. Not the kind that we know of. Otherwise, why would Alcor being a Septentriones himself suddenly develop emotions and feelings after watching over humans for so long? If Alcor himself doesn’t get it, what are the chances will we?

But what Polaris is or Alcor or even the Septentriones really are isn’t the big issue. Throughout the series, it is about mankind doing all they can for survival. Doing what needs to be done to survive. Basic law of the jungle. Survival of the fittest. As you can see when judgment day approached, it brings out the best and worse in all of us. We can see who the cowards are. We can see who the heroes are. We see what we are made of. Despite humans being fragile and frail creatures, the drive to survive is totally unbelievable. It’s like a blessing and a curse. Our survival instincts push us forward but at the same time it is causing us to go spiralling out of control into self-destruction.

Therefore there is no clear right or wrong answer between Hibiki or Yamato’s stance. Or even if you want to take into account Ronaldo’s point of view that all humans should be equal. That means everyone is like robots, right? Most of us would easily conclude that Hibiki would be the most suitable answer not because he is the hero or he won at the end but I suppose the ideals he holds is what most of us would desire but couldn’t do it with our own hands. Sure, we shouldn’t let God or some other highly being decide our future. Humans should decide for themselves. Even if our choices are bad and detrimental in the long run, what Hibiki is saying that it is those choices that what makes us human. We are not perfect but we learn and grow gradual. But we must do it ourselves. So, it’s like status quo? Like the life we are living now? Wake up early in the morning, prepare yourself for work, get in line with the rush hour crowd to your workplace, spend the next handful of hours at your job. Come back home. Sleep. Repeat cycle. Wow. Is this the life we want? Heck, it’s better than being erased forever or mindless zombie drones who don’t decide for themselves. With humans being able to think, it adds some sort of excitement to life, don’t you think? Well, some excitement may be too much to handle…

Yamato is easily portrayed as the antagonist that you will love to hate because of his no-compromising stand and unyielding ways. He is blunt to tell it to your face that he believes the strongest will survive and rule over those who are weak. If you look in a moral way, of course that is wrong but then again, define what it means for something to be moral? It’s all down to perspective. What about Yamato being the most powerful Summoner of them all but yet chose to sacrifice small fries for his cause or not sharing the family’s prophecy that could have prevented many deaths? But even if you could save some, how many can you save? You can’t save them all. But saving some is better than killing all, no? That’s why neither Hibiki nor Yamato is wrong or right when they constantly argue about their beliefs. Would Hibiki have believed in Yamato’s ways if he had gone through the same suffering and torment he had? Yamato had seen the greedy and selfish side of the world. He knows there is no hope if humanity is to carry on like this and that it is better to start anew. Because humans think and feel, there is a rebellious side in us. The reason why Yamato strongly believes the strong to lead. If everything was fair game, then greed and selfishness would never have occurred in the first place. Thus Yamato planning on ruling with an iron fist in this context seems right. If carrots cannot keep humans under control, the sticks will. Humans need to know and be instilled with fear if you want them to be obedient. Thus Yamato had to be steadfast in his ideals to show that he really believes this is the only way humans can change for the better.

The rest of the other characters just feel rather average. Maybe the anime didn’t do much justice because if you play the game, more will be fleshed out. Thus their past isn’t really given much attention and briefly mentioned here and there. Mainly it’s about humans fighting for survival against Septentriones and Hibiki and Yamato are given the most focus on. I feel that to show that Hibiki isn’t a loner or one-boy-show, that’s why he has Daichi and Nitta by his side. Their significance in the anime is very limited. Daichi wants to help his best friend out but can’t because his demons are so weak ass. You need a cute high school girl tagging along so that’s where Nitta comes in. To show she is not 100% redundant, that’s why she was made to be the perfect bait for Lugh. Supposed to die but didn’t. But eventually she did at the hands of the void. Keita died so early that you would have forgotten about him halfway through because you can’t be occupied and mourning somebody when you have to think about survival. Hinako feels more like for fanservice because she’s running around in cloths hanging loose over her body even if this is some excuse that she comes from a family of traditional dancers or something. Nothing deep about Ronaldo, Joe and Otome either and so with bratty unreserved Airi and slow peace loving simple soft spoken Jungo. Those two are sure as different as day and night. One so tall, the other so short… One talks too much, the other with limited vocab… Need I go on?

Fumi is pretty amusing because you always see her with her droopy eyes like as though she is going to fall asleep any time. Maybe spending too much time in front of the monitor has made her eyes looking sleepy. Besides, I think she is the coolest character ever. Much cooler than Yamato or Jungo because while the former is strict sh*t, the latter a peace loving simpleton, the one that nails it was how she wasn’t afraid of death at all! So cool staring at the face of death that it just looks creepy. Makoto is one big guilt trip going to explode anytime. As a commander of JP’s, I guess she needs to do what she needs to do but each time the kids get involved, she has no choice but to bottle up those feelings and get down with it. Alcor is just bumming around and watching… Sometimes I begin to feel he is a bushy eyebrow version of Accelerator. I don’t really understand the reason why the death clip of Nicaea was created for. I know he wants to give humans a fighting chance against Septentriones but what the heck is the death clip for? It’s so redundant. Although knowing your death before hand would give you time to do something to avoid it, most of the time it turns up true so it’s like trying to scare you for nothing, right? You’ll die in the end anyway. Unless you’re Hibiki of course. I think the characters would have done much better had they not receive any death clips because seeing your friends die just zaps your motivation. And then you will because you keep worrying of trying to avoid it without knowing you are actually working your way towards that fate. So again, what in blazes is this death clip for anyway?

It was a pretty amusing concept to see the people using their handphones to download demons and then use them in their fight. How do you bring the demons from the underworld or hell under your control? What happens if you dial a wrong number? Will you get the wrong demon? Of course this won’t happen since in the anime everything is already pre-set. But I still can’t help ponder what if you get a call right in the middle of the fight. Will the interruption cause your demon to disappear? Of course this too won’t occur since all regular communications have been knocked out since the judgment day began. Handphones are such useful devices. Next and coming soon, using your handphones to cast magic spells! Oh wait. I remember some years back there was an anime about using programming to cast magic spells. But now you may do it on your handphone and downloading the right app. So easy. Whatever happened to the good ol’ fashion way of chanting long winded tongue twisting spells? That’s what you call modern conveniences. Everything is at your fingertips these days.

Since I do not play the game, I don’t really feel the significant impact of the demons summoned maybe except for Byakko and Cerberus. Because we can only have one Septentriones showing up per day and some days last more than one episode, you can’t really have Septentriones of the day thingy and thus that’s why we have demons of the day or episode to compensate for that. In each episode, there will be at least one demon introduced to us. But I doubt it would do any good for casual viewers like me to remember them because the way they are being used to fight battles just feels cheap. Each demon have their own power and traits but the way I see here, many of them are used for just once or twice and then you won’t see them again like Hagen, Sarasvati and Lorelei. (Hey, what happened to Bifrons anyway?). Then the way the demons fight, using their weapons or shooting projectiles, well, I just feel it’s like Plants Vs Zombies. You plant a plant in the ground and then you let them do their own stuff to take care of the zombies. Same thing here. You summon the demon and then you let them take care of the enemy. It’s like they’re just a tool. Oh wait. Aren’t they? Anyway, the demons’ designs are rather okay too and not really anything that provides eye candy. Maybe except for Byakko’s white stripy fur. As for the Septentriones’ design, I thought the producers were being lazy just in design them. Of course what do you want them to look like? Giant pretty bishoujos? So I thought they were rather plain and odd looking but that is why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because the power they hold are insane. It gets harder and harder every Septentriones you defeat. You want to tell the designers to go back and redesign them again but after seeing the awesome killing power they have, you’ll have second thoughts that maybe the aesthetics don’t really matter.

Action wise, nothing really to shout about because mostly you will see is the characters summoning their limited demons to the fore. There is only so much ability a demon can have so don’t expect too much variety in the demons. Even high ranking ones like Byakko or Cerberus. These demon beasts could mostly just jump and round around with lightning speed and power and the most claw and gnaw back at their enemy. You’re not expecting them to suddenly shoot out freezing ice balls or level 10 plasma beams from their mouths, don’t you? Therefore the more exciting part of the action is seeing how the Septentriones destroy everything in its path. Because you know, they are unstoppable until you learn their traits and weakness. By that time, I think lots of people have died and the surroundings annihilated. I didn’t want to touch about the romance part since this anime doesn’t really have one but I can’t help think about the physical examination part whereby Nitta vaguely hints she has feelings for Hibiki. Or so I assume. I guess when you’re fighting for survival, if you don’t survive, love doesn’t really matter, huh? So it was just a side distraction that nobody should be losing sleep over. But why can’t I stop thinking about it? Do I want it to go somewhere despite knowing this isn’t supposed to be any romance element. It’s supposed to be filled with people dying and the survivors in despair… Whoops… Anyway I think it’s good too that such romance isn’t pursued further because it could really complicate stuffs. Imagine you’re fighting against the last boss and suddenly you have feelings in the way. “I want to tell you I love you!”. “Oh, really? I also want to…”. Blam! You’re dead. Not funny. Speaking of funny, for the comical stuffs, Airi herself is already a big little joker… Haha!

For the voice acting part, I recognize many of the seiyuus of the main cast. Kamiya Hiroshi as Hibiki (Erec in Ixion Saga DT), Junichi Suwabe being uber calm as Yamato (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Miyuki Sawashiro in her typical voice as Makoto (Inaba in Kokoro Connect), Ami Koshimizu in her Kansai accent (Horo in Spice And Wolf), Kana Asumi in her usual kawaii voice (Nyaruko in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san) and brooding guys like Ronaldo are best voiced by Rikiya Koyama (Kiritsugu in Fate/Zero). Yuka Iguchi as Otome really caught me off guard because she wasn’t in her bratty role like To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Index and thus it never occurred to me it was her till I finished watching the series just to find out who the rest of the seiyuus are. The rest of the casts include Aya Uchida as Nitta (Himawari in Vividred Operation), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Daichi (Niizuma in Bakuman), Takahiro Sakurai as Alcor (Suzaku in Code Geass), Rikako Yamaguchi as Fumi (Charles Bonaparte in Freezing Vibration), Daisuke Namikawa as Jungo (Kazehaya in Kimi Ni Todoke), Mitsuaki Madono as Joe (Kon in Bleach) and Fuko Saito as Keita (Shiina in Angel Beats).

The opening theme is mixed with a bit of techno. Take Your Way is sung by Livetune adding Fukase from Sekai No Owari. Personally, I thought the singer’s voice sounded a little gay. So it makes the song sound a little so. Therefore to have such a somewhat lively song for an anime which is going to be mostly in the grim and dark, it is somewhat unsuitable. Maybe it’s to cheer you up before you see the characters fight a losing battle and go into despair. The ending theme should be more like it. Be by Song Riders is a slow metal rock which befits the overall theme of the series. After you watch the episode and then hear this song, you can’t help feel the impact of helplessness and struggle of the characters in this series. In the ending animation credits, I suppose it is somewhat a ‘life indicator’ of our 13 main protagonists. Once they’re dead, they are taken out. So in the penultimate episode, the ending credits was like empty and void since everybody except Yamato and Hibiki died. One long vacant space in between our first character Hibiki and Yamato at the end. Amusing. Of course when everybody got revived, the scene now is filled with all of them like how it started out. There is your happy ending.

The next time God decides to give us our trial and do some judgment day that ends the world in a big scale, maybe He could have warned us beforehand so that we can prepare ourselves instead of just plunging us into chaos. Or maybe the signs were there but we just chose to ignore it. I guess the sudden arrival of judgment day is to prove to see if we are ready for survival. If you were told beforehand that there will be a quiz on a certain day, you’ll no doubt go home and prepare your stuffs, right? Imagine the surprise when the teacher says the quiz is now! Panic? Scared? Keep calm and cool? Well, those who can adapt fast enough will get to continue. So remember to always have a handphone or some sort of iOS in hand and fully charged because you’ll never know when apocalypse will come. If I’m not powerful enough, can I purchase powerful demons like Lucifer and Satan for only $4.99? More importantly, I want to know instead of summoning demons, can I download an app that summons pretty bishoujos? Might as well make it last paradise on Earth before hell comes.

Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou

January 25, 2014

Say you are at the prime of your life. You have many things you want to accomplish, yet to accomplish. Suddenly you are killed by some unfortunate circumstances. Will you move on to the next world or reincarnate into something else, say an animal? Don’t get the wrong idea that Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou is about a guy being reincarnated as a dog and living out his dog days as a mutt. Instead, we have him in his new dog form and his sadistic-cum-abusive owner. Yeah. Don’t mistake this being some sort of heart wrenching drama either. It’s filled with silly comical bits. So for those of you who are pure and extreme dog lovers, you might want to stay away from this anime because despite the dachshund looking cute and will probably melt the hearts of every girl in town (okay, maybe not), many of the so called funny bits come from the near abusive ways the owner gives her pet dog either for his wise cracks or just to flaunt her scissors cutting skills. How can abusing an animal be funny? Leave it to anime to turn cruel into fun. Just like porn… Well, now that he’s a dog, he’s lost his human rights so if he gets ‘murdered’, the owner won’t be charged under homicide, right? I know there are animal rights but they are not as punitive as much as the laws set for humans. But that’s not the point of this story anywhere. Enjoy your daily dog abuse, which is what you’ll be seeing in every episode. If you’re still fuming with fury, then better treat your own dog nicely first.

Episode 1
Kazuhito Harumi the dachshund hound is happily reading his book when his owner Kirihime Natsuno wants him to die!!! WTF?! She whips out her scissors but I guess this must happened a lot for him to dodge her attacks. As explained, Kazuhito wasn’t a dog to begin with. He was human. As an avid book lover, he currently is staying by himself in Tokyo at Sumiya Hall after he decided not to follow his parents transfer out due to their work. His room is filled to the brim with books and his favourite author turns out to be Shinobu Akiyama. Her real identity is unknown but she took the nation by storm with her best-sellers and wrote many books under many genres. He is particularly interested in her Deadly Sins series that changed his life. However the last volume hasn’t been released and it has been already a year. He really wants to read it. While at the cafe, Kazuhito’s day is going to get worse because he realizes his wallet is missing and a lone robber is holding up the place. As he tells the customers to stand up, the girl in the next table ignores him and continues to write. Feeling pissed, he is about to shoot her so Kazuhito fends him off. As they struggle, she continues writing like as though she is unaware of her surroundings. The gun is point blank in Kazuhito’s face. Bang! He’s dead. And she’s still writing… Kazuhito’s life flash before his eyes and all the people he has met. But the one thing he regrets most is not reading Shinobu’s final work so he doesn’t want to die. Next thing he knows, he is in a cage and the afro guy goes to get dog food for him. Dog food? Then he realizes from looking at the mirror, he has become a dog! While being reborn as one sounds ridiculous, even more ridiculous is that he hasn’t read a book for an entire week! What are the withdrawal symptoms for that? Just then, Natsuno waltzes in like a heroine and buys the dog. At first the afro guy tells her it is not for sale (he picked up the abandoned dog) but she cuts the metal cage with her scissors, Hasajiro! Holy sh*t! Don’t mess with her.

However… Kazuhito is tied up back in her apartment mansion and she is going to kill him! Seems she can hear his thoughts and this occurrence is only restricted to him. She can hear no other animals thought nor has she heard of such cases before. She wants him dead because his voice has been ringing in her head for the last few days. It’s driving her crazy. She followed that voice to the pet shop and found the source. Natsuno continues to be arrogant and dominant over the dog. But she calms down after hearing about his robbery victim case. She takes a shower and comes back in her lingerie. Does it turn a perverted dog on? Well, Kazuhito is only into books so I guess he prefers his porn in the form of text, huh? Does Playboy count? Besides, Natsuno is flat so it doesn’t make… Instantly she cuts him… Loose. Thought he was a goner there. She suggests he lives with her for a while. Where has he got to go, right? Better accept her hospitality or else she gets this urge to find out how dog meat tastes like. Kazuhito felt like he died and went to Heaven because Natsuno’s place is filled with rows and rows of books! Actually he did die once but that’s not the point. I’m sure he’ll be very happy with his stay here. He learns another surprising fact: Shinobu is Natsuno’s pen name! This sadistic scissors user is Shinobu? Kazuhito gets demanding and tells her to finish up that last volume of the Deadly Sins series. He better thank his luck stars she didn’t kill him. As he lives with her, he notices she is good in cooking, cleaning and even martial arts. Then he hears the news about the cafe robbery. The suspect, Touji Nakahara is still at large but the police are still keeping vigilant. Kazuhito gets nostalgic thinking about his past life and that awful day he had. Natsuno heard it and makes a call to find out about the victim’s address. She is puzzled it is the wrong room number. Next day, after feeding doggie with kebab, she takes him out to Sumiya Hall to settle their score.

Episode 2
Going a little back in time in the morning, Natsuno and Kazuhito argue about the latter being given a dog collar. On their way through the streets, an annoying girl named Maxi Akizuki tries to get Natsuno’s attention with some flashy distraction but was blatantly ignored. Shining! Too bad her SPs had to take her away since it’s work time. Outside Sumiya Hall, she wants to enter room 102 but Kazuhito says he lives in room 101 and room 102 is used as storage for his books. Apparently he was told he could live here for free if he took care of the place so he turned 102 into his own library and moved into 101. He never told anybody since they might send him less money. That means less money to buy books, right? Natsuno has the keys to 102 because she used her influence to get them. Her sister is a policewoman. Authority abuse! Inside, a newspaper with a front page article of the shooting. Natsuno deduces the suspect fled and his hiding somewhere. When he shot Kazuhito, he stole his wallet and noticed his address. Needing the place to hide, he came to Sumiya Hall but couldn’t enter room 102 since the label on the key is 101. Nobody, not the police or his family went to room 101 because it was documented as nobody living there. In short, the suspect is hiding there. They hear somebody stumbling out from next door and true enough, it’s the suspect. They chase him and on the bridge, he fights back using Shinobu’s thick Deadly Sins series! He even padded himself with them as protection! He says he can’t be caught yet until he reads the final volume! So this guy read her books and changed? I guess during his hiding, he read many of her other books too as he employs other fighting techniques created by the author herself! And the author gets owned! Just when it looked like Natsuno is done for, she was just looking for a chance to strike back. Using her scissors, she cuts his pockets so that the books drop out. Since he is mentally unstable, he goes crazy about ‘his’ books.

She deals the finishing blow and he is left hanging precariously on the edge of the bridge. One push and he will fall to his doom below. Natsuno wants Kazuhito to kill him because after all, he killed him, right? He must hate him. Plus, he won’t be legally charged of murder as a dog. To her surprise, Kazuhito pulls him back down. Why? Because he loves books too. The part of being killed is already done and over. Besides, he is still alive as a dog, isn’t he? Killing him won’t turn him back into a human and it would definitely affect the way he reads books. Natsuno will kill him then. That’s when Kazuhito realizes she has been blaming herself for Kazuhito’s death all the time. Had she not been writing, he wouldn’t have risked his life to save her. Kazuhito pounces on her to make her come to her senses. He did it because he wants to. Although he loves books, he is not willing to go as far as kill for it. On the way back, Natsuno has developed some sort of feelings for the dog. The twisted kind. Because she wonders if she could understand his feelings if she cuts open his chest!!! While Natsuno gets embarrassed ranting away about children (she actually thought of doing it with a dog?), Kazuhito remembers his room door is left open and wants to go back and lock it. Since Natsuno is still in her fantasy, he insults her small chests to get her attention. After the sixth time (she counted it too), she turns into a mad woman and is going to cut him up!

Episode 3
Kazuhito dreams about his sister Madoka. But too much of Natsuno means he sees her in his dreams too! What a nightmare. Waking up, he sees an unfamiliar woman sitting by the table. This zombie woman, Suzuna Hiiragi seems able to hear what Kazuhito says! Or so he thinks. Not. Because she starts acting in some fantasy delusion of taking over the underworld. When Natsuno returns, Kazuhito learns Suzuna is her editor. Judging from her latest writing, Suzuna gives the thumbs down. Natsuno is recently in a slump. She is suggested to do different things for a change but steps on a landmine when she suggested breasts implants. Doesn’t Suzuna has the biggest boobs and is flaunting it! Natsuno almost cuts her but slightly rips her shirt. Suzuna is impressed and loves it. I guess this proves she is a masochist and looks forward to more of it next time. This isn’t a beauty salon for your information. As she leaves, she warns about the recent serial slasher case and to be careful. Later Kazuhito asks Natsuno about her slump. It started about 3 months ago. That’s like when he came into her life as a dog, right? Oh no. Don’t find this as an excuse to blame and cut him up! Suzuna returns another day to check up on her. She is still in a slump. Suzuna also has more information about the slasher and other signs. Natsuno suggests she be the bait herself and draw out the slasher. If she captures it, she’ll reward her with abuse. Right away, she’ll do it! Maybe that’s just a plot to send her away forever…

So in the mean time, Natsuno and the dog will look for their own clues. Asking around, it seems that the victims had one thing in common: They were reading a book from Shinobu. Along the way, it’s that annoying Maxi again. Taking a closer look, Kazuhito remembers and recognizes her as a famous idol-cum-author. Together with Shinobu and Momiji Himehagi, the trio are Japan’s youngest best-selling authors. Natsuno isn’t impressed how her identity is known and doesn’t have time to entertain her whatsoever. Maxi won’t lose out and draws her attention by insulting her flat chests. That does it. Natsuno will shave her head and make her shine more while Maxi will polish her breasts till it becomes really flat. Thankfully world war didn’t start because her SPs whisk her away to get another job done. As Natsuno and Kazuhito stop and think about the clues, they hear afro guy’s scream. He has become another victim of the slasher, although a portion of his afro was just cut. Natsuno chases after a suspicious hooded character. Kazuhito’s doggie sense leads him to the alley whereby he spots a book of Shinobu. He is obviously walking into an obvious cheap trap but he can’t help it since he wants to read it so much to pass the time. Slam! He dreams about Madoka. The time she somewhat finished a volume of Shinobu’s Deadly Sins series. She doesn’t seem all enthusiastic like Kazuhito. Asking what was her favourite this, favourite that in the book. Shinobu that great, huh? The next time he wakes up, he realizes he is back in his own Sumiya Hall room all tied up. To his surprise, Madoka appears before him and is relieved that she has found him.

Episode 4
Unlike Kazuhito the bookworm, Madoka is popular and athletic. But it looks to me like she has a serious case of buranko. When a senior confessed to her, he helped her out by looking up books on love but she got upset at him. It seems Madoka can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts and is very happy she has found him. Then he senses something amiss. Why isn’t she answering his questions? Oh. Another false alarm. She can’t read his mind and is ranting away in her own fantasy they’ll be together. But the mind boggling part is how she knows the dog is her brother. Her eyes get crazier by the moment each time she says they’ll be together forever from A to Z. She tries to force feed him with some super chilli dish that is making his body hurt without even taking a bite (I know, it’s getting to me too) but she leaves to get another ingredient. Thought he is safe? Out of the frying pan and into the fire because Natsuno is outside spying and she doesn’t look to happy. Taking him back to her mansion, it’s the usual dog abuse. She accuses him of flirting with another girl and is having a hard time believing that cat burglar is his sister. Why she tied him up back in his place is also a mystery. I take it Natsuno has lost the culprit but at that moment, he dropped a volume of Shinobu’s Deadly Sins series. It is confirmed that her books are involved but couldn’t the culprit be one of her crazy fans? Kazuhito tries hard not to accuse Madoka because it is suspected that she baited him with it. Then she imprisoned him and acted all strange, right? Although nobody really got hurt in the incident, Natsuno still feels the need to make her pay for hurting her heart. Sure, that’s not her stomach?

Next day as they continue to search for the slasher, here comes that Suzuna. She gets verbal abuse by Natsuno for failing to keep her promise of preventing another slasher victim. I think she likes the abuse very much. She thought the info of Shinobu books relating to this incident would help but Natsuno already knew it like ages ago. There is another thing she heard. A rumour about a girl crying while cutting up Shinobu’s books at the playground. Rushing over, they see torn pages of one of her volumes. Then comes in Madoka. The girls get into a showdown. Madoka doesn’t like this woman near her brother. Since the dog doesn’t want to die from either side, he is forced to stay out. Natsuno asks her about the torn page and her reply is she thought she burnt all the Shinobu books for him. With that, Natsuno throws a smokescreen to escape. Back at her mansion, they discuss that Madoka may be the slasher. Kazuhito doesn’t think she hates Shinobu that much but Natsuno thinks she is trying to prevent Shinobu from stealing her brother. Although he admits he likes Shinobu’s books, he would never hate Madoka. However Madoka might not see it that way. She deduces it might not be fun for her when her brother starts talking about Shinobu. His death may have triggered it. He refused to move with the family, lived alone in Tokyo and died. Madoka felt losing someone important and lost herself. The hatred she felt for Shinobu went out of control and believed her brother died because of her. Kazuhito realizes although he has accepted his death, he never thought about his family since he was afraid to think about them. So if Madoka destroys the person who stole her brother, he might just come back to life. But that’s not likely in reality, right? Whether Madoka is the slasher or not, Kazuhito wants to be the one to stop her but he can’t do it alone and requests for Natsuno’s help. She agrees when Madoka comes crashing into the window! I found you…

Episode 5
Madoka placed a tracker on Kazuhito… Her anger reaches boiling point when Natsuno reveals she is Shinobu. She is told to face reality that her brother is gone and would her brother approve such action? How does she know so much about him? Because she believes in her readers. She saw Kazuhito died before her eyes. Because he is one of her readers, she will continue writing for him. She wants Madoka to open her eyes now but she takes the dog and jumps out of the window! How many storeys is that?! If so, how the hell did she crash in here the first place?! At the park, Madoka mentions she felt she could find her brother if she came here despite knowing the dog isn’t her brother. She set up traps and thought the only one ‘dumb’ enough to fall for it would be a brother. When doggie did, she was happy and believed it was him. Natsuno finds them (because she too had a tracker on Kazuhito). It’s time to settle things. Madoka unleashes her Tuna Eater! WTF is this giant futuristic sword?! I don’t remember watching this as a sci-fi fantasy? So it’s a big knife versus a small scissors? Madoka loses and despite knowing Kazuhito is gone, she’s doing this to prove herself as his sister and can’t let their connection fail here. Now Tuna Eater transforms into a gun! Man, I need to get one of those multi-purpose knives. She fires at her but Natsuno’s scissors cuts it into half! It’s Madoka’s lost. Instantly after that, both girls become friends and even had a good chat. Friendship after battle? Is this shonen anime? However they learn she is not the slasher. She only cut up books and abducted the dog. She cut the books because Kazuhito once told her if she sells books to used bookstores, authors lose their royalties so it’s best to cut or burn them.

Kazuhito calls Suzuna to come out of her hiding. There she is and she can hear Kazuhito’s thoughts well and clear. He deduced something was wrong when Suzuna talked to Natsuno in the city like as though she was talking about Natsuno and the dog together. Kazuhito deduces since all the information they based on was from her, Shinobu had nothing to do with it as she setup everything by spreading rumours. As Natsuno still didn’t really believe in it, she attacked afro guy. Suzuna admits she did them all. This is to cure her from her slump. She’ll do anything to get her back into writing. Kazuhito chooses to believe in Natsuno but as Suzuna points out, an author who doesn’t write isn’t an author. Noting the dog has grown close to her, she wonders what kind of books she will write if she is to kill him. Just joking. Kazuhito won’t accept her methods even if it’s for Natsuno’s sake. That’s when Natsuno jumps down into the scene like a super hero. She didn’t eavesdrop on their conversation. She knew everything right from the start. In just a single command, Suzuna is reduced to a sitting dog and confessed everything. So easy, huh? Natsuno says she has overcome her slump and scatters her pages in the air. She turns into a sadist, making Suzuna (gladly) catch them all before it hits the ground in a sitting position. Suzuna is impressed with her work and is even more impressed when Natsuno starts abusing her. Natsuno warns her never to interfere again. If she can’t do as she is told, she’ll be nice to her. Oh God! Hear her horrifying shrieky scream! She really is a masochist, is she? Now it’s Kazuhito’s turn to get beaten up when he demands the flat chest to finish her last Deadly Sins volume. Next day, Natsuno sees Madoka off at the train station. She will allow her to think her dog as her brother and do whatever she pleases. Because she was her reader, she would do anything to lend a hand to make her readers happy. After she departs, Kazuhito wonders about the real culprit case. Suzuna pops up to admit she already found and beaten up the real culprit while she was spreading the rumours to them. Natsuno punishes her and she loves it.

Episode 6
Kazuhito makes his usual trip to Honda Bookstore to buy his usual books. The store’s cashier and owner’s daughter, Sakura of course thought it was for his master. Dogs don’t read, right? But this one does… He needs to go now or else a certain demon comes back. Too late. Sakura’s sister, Yayoi cuddles him. Does he hate it or love it? Back home, Natsuno is going to kill him for ‘cheating’ her when he let ‘other woman’ touch him. Kazuhito remember Yayoi said she was leaving this place soon and Natsuno deduces she would be running away. Kazuhito thinks how much Sakura has grown in her efficiency to handle her job compared to her incompetent father but Natsuno misinterprets he was talking about breasts. I think she purposely twists her words so she could abuse him! Natsuno allows him to talk how they met. When Kazuhito arrived here for the first time and supposed to meet the Sumiya Hall manager, he waited for a long time so much so he finished the books he read. He entered Honda Bookstore nearby to see Sakura being chided by an old lady for selling a boring book. That book is from Shinobu. Kazuhito argues back her criteria for it being boring (since she didn’t read the entire book) and went on ranting and ranting and ranting… The old lady already left like ages ago. When Sakura’s father comes down, he thought Kazuhito was some delinquent and tries to whack him with a bat. He misses of course. He learns the truth and to make up for his err, he offers Kazuhito to take a free book along with other freebies. That was how the beautiful relationship started. Too bad Natsuno fell asleep… Kazuhito thought he could get his revenge by insulting her flat chest but apparently she did keep count in her sleep. She’s going to kill him 9 times! When Kazuhito goes to check on his favourite bookstore, Yayoi is in an argument with Sakura. She runs away and dognaps Kazuhito.

At the park, he learns the bookstore is going to close down and the family separated. Yayoi has decided on saving it but her sister was against it. And I suppose part of her plan to revive the bookstore is to make Kazuhito part of her advertising campaign, eh? As they walk through the shopping arcade, people start staring at how cute they are. Embarrassing? Girls want to hold the doggie. Lots of pictures snapped and uploaded. And Natsuno happen to see them. Jealousy rage… They even stumble into that annoying shining princess. She offers to make her store shine but got turned down. Yayoi and Kazuhito return to the park. Nothing accomplished. The kid starts crying. What can a doggie do? Well, he almost got cut but Natsuno’s scissors! That’s for not only cheating on her but making a girl cry! Yeah, it’s his fault. Leave it to Natsuno to explain some sisterly stuff and convince Yayoi to return home. After Yayoi apologizes to Sakura, the sisters make amends. When Natsuno asks about the store’s future, Sakura although did mention her father having bad business sense, she guarantees it will not close down no matter what. So how did Yayoi came to this conclusion? Perhaps too much TV drama. You see couples fight (in which their parents often do), leads to divorce and then break up. Sakura explains their parents’ fight isn’t a serious one. It’s their way to express love. Really? They’re into that sort of play? With this issue solve, Natsuno and Kazuhito walk home and the former wants to punish him to show him her love. Maybe just for tonight, Kazuhito doesn’t want to come home…

Episode 7
Kazuhito is interrupted from his reading pleasure since Natsuno wants his help to look for her favourite missing black bra with lace. He made the mistake of saying the need of her to wear a bra to begin with because there is no… You can guess what happens next. If the dog is going to help search, he needs to sniff for her body scent, right? After a couple of close moments and hurtling abuse that goes with it, Kazuhito gets tied up when he comments he didn’t even touch her breast because he doesn’t even know where it is! I’m sure Suzuna would love to be in his position but she is called here to help search for her bra. Uninterested Kazuhito goes back to reading and is again interrupted. He nearly got killed by her scissors but this time when he jumped, he bumped into the bookshelf. A box containing breast enlargement tools drop on his head. Oh no… They continue to expand their search to the gym below. Since that annoying muscle head Macho Munakata suggests her to work out to make her bust up, Kazuhito goes back to read. He realizes the bra in his blanket and remembers last night he was searching something to sleep under and pulled it out. Oh no… Natsuno returns from her failed work out (macho guy almost got killed when she threw the dumbbells at him). She sees her closet messed up. Evidence doesn’t seem like a thief was around. More like a certain dog trying to open her closet but failed. And so we see Kazuhito trying to rid the evidence as he makes his way through the shopping arcade. Yayoi does a cuddly attack on him and stumbles upon the bra. She thinks he stole it and wants him to turn himself in to the police?! Can a dog do that? He snatches the bra away and makes a run. Natsuno continues to look for Kazuhito and even asks Sakura if he has been here yet. Apparently not. She gets jealous upon realizing how Kazuhito has become popular with the locals. Because girls just love to cuddle and feel the fluffy and warmness… As she continues her search, she thought she felt someone following her.

Kazuhito is at the park trying to bury the bra. He hears somebody singing. Sachi Moribe the maid is not only doing a monologue, but some sort of singing and musical. Kazuhito recognizes the words she sings. It belongs to a famous book written by Momiji. At the end of the song, Kazuhito’s sneeze gives him away. Sachi goes crazy with embarrassment that somebody was watching her. Obviously. She’s dancing in public, right? So how? Kill him. Oh sh*t! Her broom just transformed into some sort of dangerous blade! Zapper of Corruption?! Is that a broom to begin with? Why is Kazuhito always bad with women and blades? Sachi really goes to great lengths trying to kill the dog! The dog!!! So much so he almost got ran over by a truck but was saved in time by Natsuno. Surprisingly, she seems authentically worried about him. Then it turns to rage because she is going to teach that maid a lesson for trying to kill someone’s dog. The showdown is put off when Sachi hears the sounds of the roasted potato seller. I guess she can’t resist them. She’s confident they’ll clash in the future. Natsuno discovers the bra he has and gets embarrassed. Especially the miniature dachshund design on it. Kazuhito realizes she likes dogs and thinks of acting more dog-like as possible so she could forgive him. Well, that’s not a choice he has. Because she gives him 3 other choices: A) Die; B) Die; and C) Die! Oh sh*t! Since he can’t choose, by default that means he has chosen all of them. Which means he will die 3 times! I guess this is what she meant when she said she won’t let him die easily…

Episode 8
Kazuhito is forced to come along with Natsuno to her favourite hotspring. She even invited Madoka so that by getting in her good books, she can be her sister-in-law one day. Speaking of book, Natsuno has a little love guide book to ‘deepen’ her relationship with her… Dog. I think I’m going to be in disgust thinking further about this. For sleeping arrangements, Natsuno hoped she would sleep with Kazuhito but he misinterpreted she had some yuri fetish and wanted to ‘eat’ Madoka. Disappointed? Because Madoka wants to spend more time with Kazuhito, the girls are in for another showdown. It is really heating up to boiling point when suddenly it’s time to soak in the hotspring. Eh? What? Suddenly they’re friends again? Natsuno warns the dog not to peep. How come her tone says otherwise? Like as though she wants him to. Really. The girls meet Sakura who is on her school field trip along with her profusely over-apologizing friend, Hami Oosawa. Natsuno waited too long in the bath and almost got dizzy. And then she blames the dog for not coming to peep. You expect the dog to understand you? At the dinner hall, looks like Suzuna and her masochist cult are tied up above the dinner table. Don’t even ask. That night, Natsuno thinks of sleeping next to Kazuhito. But she sees him sleeping next to his books. Rude awakening…  Next day as Natsuno take a walk to the store to get a whetstone, they pass by that (oh God, no) annoying idol and also Sachi who is at that same store to sharpen her tool. We expected a showdown but since Natsuno and Sachi have the same agreement on the whetstone, it’s like they’re friends. For now. WTF.

Returning back to the inn, Natsuno will sharpen her Hasajiro in the hotspring and ‘warns’ the dog not to peep. I think she really means the opposite. Don’t expect him to come because he is going to be reading. Just when Natsuno thought Kazuhito is coming in, turns out to be annoying Maxi. Kazuhito senses something strange. The inn staffs are acting like zombies and holding knives. They are marching towards the hotspring. Kazuhito barges in to warn her (she almost took it the wrong way that he finally gave in to his temptation). Natsuno is not surprised at this situation. When she was chasing the stalker, she fended off a horde of such ‘zombies’. That’s why Hasajiro dulled. Don’t forget the constant abuse on a certain dog too. The staffs attack her as she fends them off. Maxi is complaining everyone ignored her shining while Suzuna enjoys the pain of the staffs stepping over her. Can’t depend on these useless girls. Kazuhito buys time for Natsuno to sharpen her scissors. Throwing buckets? Thankfully, Madoka saves the day because she is one mad sister. Anybody who plans to hurt her brother will pay dearly! Nobody can touch her with her Tuna Eater. Chainsaw version! Wow. It’s like she’s almost the demon herself. Together with Natsuno, the duo fight their way. Natsuno drops her love guide and since the staffs step all over destroying it, she becomes so enraged that she exploded into a mini atom bomb. So devastating her attack that the inn had to be closed although the staffs are back to normal and couldn’t remember what happened. As they leave, Natsuno laments they didn’t get to relax at all. She vows to come back here next time but only with Kazuhito alone.

Episode 9
After buying some books from Honda Bookstore, they return home and Kazuhito feels somebody has ransacked their place. But it looks fine. Well, before they left there were 99,822 books. Now there are 99,823 books!!! WTF?! How the hell can he tell?! Plus, he can pinpoint where the extra book is!!! WTF???!!! This rogue book, Celestial Romance is the one of the books they just bought. Could it be the stalker? But if he had broken in, the alarmed would have sounded off. So to look for clues, they start reading the book. When Kazuhito finishes, he is somewhat taken in by Natsuno’s beauty while she is reading. Wait a minute. I thought he isn’t into 3D women?! And then… He can’t resist to pound on her!!! What the hell! Thankfully she whacks him into the garbage bin. Discussing about the book, it is written by Hotaru Fujimaki and it is too well written for an amateur. Besides, the style seems to copy off Shinobu very much. They try Google for more information for it and since they can’t find it, they had to force Suzuna for some info. They got all what they need except for her real name. Noting she is the daughter of Shuzan Oosawa, an author responsible for numerous works on Sengoku period generals, they think she must have used her father’s influence to debut. They pay a visit to Hotaru’s address, which is where Kazuhito’s old high school is. Along the way as they chat, Natsuno gets flustered upon hearing that he considers her more important than tests. When she has him say it again, what he meant was HER BOOKS are more important. Disappointed?

Since Kazuhito knows the place, he takes her through a short cut that cuts through an abandoned warehouse. They are surrounded by the townspeople in zombie mode. Looks like the stalker is at it again. To fend them off, Natsuno throws the dog at them! Don’t do this anywhere. Then she takes them all out by herself. Finally the shady figure that has been stalking and tailing Natsuno from the shadows shows his true face: Shuzan. Somehow Shuzan lost to Natsuno so he is tied up S&M style and forced to spill the beans. As he is the one who left the book in her apartment, because the security head is his childhood friend and owes him a lot, he will do anything for Shuzan and that includes turning off the alarm and letting him into her place. He did this because his daughter told him to. But why not give it to her in person or mailed it instead of sneaking in? Because he doesn’t want to. He considers Natsuno a bad influence on his daughter and won’t allow her to sully her further. He calls her names and her bad influence is the reason why people attacked her. Natsuno deduces from that sentence that he isn’t the one behind the attacks but his daughter. Shuzan tries to cover for her that she doesn’t know anything and that he is the one behind everything. Not working. Natsuno wonders what Hotaru wants. Other than wanting to meet her, he doesn’t know. Natsuno and Kazuhito arrive at the latter’s high school to begin their search. As they split up, Kazuhito walks into the library and this brings back nostalgic memories. He remembers a secret stash behind one of the bookshelves and is happy to see Hami’s manuscript still there. He is startled when Hami comes in. But she knows the dog is Kazuhito and is glad he has come back.

Episode 10
Flashback reveals Kazuhito during his schooling years accidentally stumbled upon Hami’s manuscript and read it. I’ll spare you the details of her panicky exaggeration to die and the likes. Kazuhito concluded her incomplete novel is like an inferior copy of Shinobu although it is interesting by its own right. Despite Hami having strong influence of Shinobu, Kazuhito hopes she can finish this novel properly and looks forward to it. After she hides it behind the books, Kazuhito suggests she send it in to some amateur contest but of course she refused. She gives lots of excuse why she can’t be a real author (even environmental reasons of wasting ink and paper) so Kazuhito encourages her that there are lots of people including him who are waiting for her work. They make a promise that if she finishes it, he’ll be the first one to read it. In present time, Hami may not be able to read Kazuhito’s mind but she has an idea what he is asking (saves us the trouble too). She reveals her pen name Hotaru is an anagram of her real name. She had a feeling the dog is Kazuhito because she heard from Sakura how a certain dog kept visiting her store and buy books. At first she didn’t believe it but after he found the secret place, she does. Although she kept her promise to become an author, she didn’t use this manuscript and it still remains incomplete. She did everything she could to be an author. Learning from her father and even used his influence. Since Kazuhito died, she couldn’t finish the manuscript and even knowing he is alive, she still can’t write it. Feeling she is a fake author, the only way to become a real one was to defeat and overcome the real one. That is why those ‘zombies’ attacked Natsuno. She calls Natsuno up to the rooftop claiming to have dognapped her beloved dachshund. Natsuno isn’t worried. Just furious he switched sides. And anything he says means he wants to die! Hami seems pretty cool insulting Natsuno back especially about her small chest. Actually she’s reading from the script. The only way to settle this is via writing contest.

The first one to finish writing a short story in 100 pages wins. As the battle begins, Natsuno is clearly more dominant and experienced, leading by a mile. Hami tries all sorts of tricks that include writing with both hands and other mind blowing exaggerating techniques. She still couldn’t best Natsuno. So she asks if she has read Celestial Romance. Natsuno comments it wasn’t bad. Just then, she turns the bookshelves into mirrors. Natsuno sees her reflections and she tries to stab herself with the scissors! WTF?! It’s like her right hand suddenly has a mind of its own! Hami reveals there were certain words in her book that affects the conscious mind. Something like killing the enemy who is a scissors wielding red eyed black haired girl. That’s why Kazuhito pounded on her. That’s why people turn into zombies and attack her. Though, it doesn’t work on some people like her father and Sakura. Hami thought she could catch up but Natsuno overcomes this problem by writing with her mouth!!! WOW!!! WTF???!!! In the end, Natsuno wins although Hami was just a page behind. Hami wanted to kill herself but was stopped. Natsuno believes Hami’s work is the real thing and there is no such thing as fake or real authors as long as you want to write, you’re an author. Hami expresses her will to continue writing and hopes Kazuhito could read them. Natsuno abuses the dog when he shows more kindness to Hami than her. Because the dog never knew Natsuno as a delicate woman. Hami becomes Natsuno’s student and so begins the teacher-disciple relationship as Natsuno guides her. Natsuno has learnt Hami’s technique as she employs it in her latest writing, causing the doggie’s body to move on its own against his will. He’s moving away from his books towards Natsuno… Is this even possible?! Better than any kind of drug…

Episode 11
Madoka is here to visit and to make Kazuhito’s favourite curry. Oh, really? Look how she overkills the curry with her Tuna Eater like as though she is killing somebody. And blue curry? The dog is going to have some kind of indigestion or worse. Kazuhito visits Honda Bookstore as usual and observes several regular weirdoes making their purchase like the macho men and the masochist editor. Suddenly Maxi’s SPs enter the store to buy all books from Shinobu and Momiji. Kazuhito tries to follow them. It leads him to the park where he hears the familiar monologue singing of a maid. Oops. Spotted again. We know how this is going to end up. Like déjà vu, Sachi tries to kill the dog and for the second time, Natsuno comes to his rescue. The showdown is going to be real this time without any interruptions. I take that back. It’s going to be a threesome with Maxi flying from her helicopter. She wants to settle who is the best author of them all via some nine story tower writing contest. Their stories will be judged by judges she has selected. Sachi runs up the tower, taking out all her useless SPs just to refute Maxi’s claims that she is the best author. Sachi reveals she is the personal maid to her mistress Momiji. Ah yeah. What are the chances? All 3 greatest youngest authors at the same place. Although Momiji is represented by Sachi. Maxi begins her challenge with Natsuno first but before they can start writing, Maxi is forcefully taken away by her SPs since it is back to work. Sachi goes off to finish her shopping and return to her mistress. The most disappointed one has got to be Kazuhito because he couldn’t witness the greatest literary battle. Everything ended just like that. What a big letdown. Back at Honda Bookstore, Hami is seen coming in so Sakura recognizes her as that debuting Hotaru author. Hami turns into her usual scatterbrain, unable to convey her words. She decides to take the easy way out by killing herself. Why am I not surprised anymore? Yeah, the only thing she’ll write is her suicide note. Anyway, leave it to Natsuno and Sakura to give her some motivation to carry on living and writing. Madoka enters the shop to convey the good news that she has passed her entrance exam and will start her first high school year at her brother’s old school. Despite her parents against this decision of hers to move to Tokyo and live on her own, and maybe the fact she still hasn’t gotten over her brother’s death, she has decided to go where he was and live his life to the fullest for him. Sakura will support them both. Back home, a crueller fate awaits the dog. Consider this as punishment from Natsuno for saving his dog ass the second time. Madoka’s rainbow coloured curry! There are frogs jumping out!!! WTF???!!! He has to eat that?! Oh my God… Welcome to hell… NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! He almost died again. If he did, maybe he would reincarnate as that frog…

Episode 12
Suzuna is over but Natsuno blatantly ignores her and continues to write. That should be the way but she loves this new ignoring play too. Then she turns her attention to Kazuhito and tries to drag him into her masochistic play. If he’s a dog, what makes of her? A pig! Resist the temptation, Kazuhito! Suzuna is here because she wants to suggest to Natsuno to make herself public. It may change her image for better or worse but ultimately this is to motivate her to write her final Deadly Sins series. As part of her plan to put her in public, Suzuna has brought lots of (cosplay) outfits. How is she going to get Natsuno to put it on? First, she prays on the God of Masochist (such gods don’t exist in real life) and then using her super cyclone speed to put it on her without Natsuno moving an inch! Blink and you’ll miss! After various outfits, Madoka comes into the picture (that volcano sure isn’t curry. Or is it?). Suzuna also has her put on some outfit to fit her several curry theme. Next is Hami and you can tell the way she regrets all the outfits she tries out. When Suzuna is about to get serious and put on a swimsuit, Natsuno abuses her over her antics. I think Suzuna was waiting for this moment to increase her masochist meter. The next plan is to make Natsuno drunk. Dog Slayer brand alcohol? Yeah. I think she really wants Natsuno to get violent. Drastic image change definitely. After drugging her drink, just when Kazuhito thought it is the end of the world, suddenly Natsuno is acting so nice and polite! Thinking of increasing the dosage, Suzuna makes Natsuno drinks more but she turns even nicer! So much so it is freaking out Suzuna that it ‘kills’ her! Her masochist meter just went to zero in an instant and her body shrivelled up dry (except for her boobs). Non-violence kills for this woman. Despite Kazuhito being embraced in her warm arms, he just felt the cold chill. Nice Natsuno is like seeing pigs fly. Can’t believe his eyes, huh? He tries to make her mad by commenting on her small boobs but she gets depressed so it makes him feel guilty and atone himself by saying size doesn’t matter. Natsuno takes it the wrong way that he was proposing to her.

Instantly we are whisked into Natsuno’s fantasies. The woman and the dog married at the chapel! This is really sick… Everyone congratulates the newlyweds. Then the fantasy shifts to their honeymoon in the beaches of Hawaii. Everyone compliments the perfect happy couple they are. Now it is their new home. Colour for their children’s room? Children? Children???!!! Kazuhito has had enough of this farce and so this turns into a little lover’s argument. But I guess Natsuno got tired of getting mad so it’s time for bed. Oh no… Her bed. Double oh no! She pins the doggie down on the bed while she dominates on top. She feels something warm inside her body wanting to come out. She wants to expel this burning passion of hers onto him. Oh sh*t! Kazuhito hell knows that isn’t exactly the kind of passion he wants. Too late! It’s coming now!!! Here comes the puke!!!! Next day, Natsuno returns to her usual sadistic self. Commenting Kazuhito smells like vomit and to get out of her place for a month. Kazuhito is perhaps regretting he may prefer the gentler Natsuno. She then wants to bath him so Kazuhito is confused with her kindness. She says she has always been kind to her darling. So last night drunkenness was her talking and not the alcohol? Lastly, Kazuhito notes Natsuno has written a book on Madoka and Hami but he chides her to hurry up and finish the final Deadly Sins volume. The chase continues. He calls her a flat chest and she tries to strike a non-lethal blow to him. Don’t worry about her killing him. She won’t. What good is he dead if he’s not around to be exclusively abused by her?

Doggone It! Read Between The Lines!
So… Uhm… What? That’s it? Here I was expecting some sort of storyline but in the end, it turned to be just one random and silly nonsensical story of a violent woman and her pet dog. The part of Kazuhito getting killed and the unexplained logic behind his second shot at life as a dachshund feels somewhat distant as though it was just a setup for the theme of this anime. The more you see Natsuno and Kazuhito together in their abuser-abuse victim antics, the more you begin to forget that Kazuhito was a human to begin with since well, I know it’s good to move forward and not be unrealistic to try and find a way to return as a human being, but does this mean he has really accepted life as a dog? What more, Natsuno’s pet? If Kazuhito felt annoyed with his appearance and tried to find a way to revert himself, I guess the series would have taken a different route and possibly another genre. Then he wouldn’t have time reading all the books he wants. I mean, if there is some sort of magic or miracle that made him a dog, I’m sure there is the same to change him back, right? On second thought, I don’t want to think so much about it. So let’s just leave the series as a comedy and nothing more. I’ll prefer it that way since it is more fun and enjoyable. Though we have several showdown episodes like those between Madoka and Hami, but I feel that doesn’t count to being an integral part of the story. It’s like some sort of shonen type of anime whereby Natsuno needs to somewhat ‘defeat’ her enemies and they’ll become her friend. Isn’t that the case? And I’ll be guessing the same will befall to Sachi if their duel should be settled sometime in the future. But not here in this season as far as this series is concerned. Maybe Maxi too. And perhaps Momiji. If she ever shows up in public (the one in Natsuno’s fantasies doesn’t count). Don’t worry about Hami. She already ‘defeated’ herself with the way she always apologizes. Technical win for Natsuno in this case.

I think this is just me because I find almost every character to be in some ways annoying. Annoying not in the sense that it makes me want to kill everybody but rather in the funny sense to tickle your funny bones. Take for example Kazuhito. As cute as he is in his dog appearance, I feel that his role in this entire anime is to play the straight man. And he is very talented in doing that. Everything the rest says or does, he has some sort of comeback lines to retort. That is what makes the series funny. But too much that it gets tad annoying. Is this his destiny as a dog? A retorting dog? So if he is not reading, he is retorting. Then there is Natsuno. Beautiful, strong and independent. That’s what we all love in a woman, right? So when she is all nice and polite, it doesn’t feel like the Natsuno we used to know. So do we prefer Natsuno when she’s dominant or gentler? I would prefer the latter! Definitely! The chemistry between her and the dog is amusing especially the kind of words they exchange with each other. It’s fun to hear the dialogue they exchange. Oh, the verbal abuses and derogatory canine names she hurls at him. Never once had she say his name except when she is in polite mode.

Because as a woman who has to keep up with her image, she is sending mixed signals to Kazuhito and it is confusing the hell out of him. Usually her violent behaviour has become the norm around. But at the same time she wants to be nice and shower him with love but can’t show it. It’s like she wants to tease him but her dominant actions makes it more than just a tease. So she becomes a tsundere. More tsun than dere. And because she is a tsundere, she wants Kazuhito to fall in love with her without having to tell him. Thought reverse psychology would work? Guys are too simple creatures for that. She gets mad, he gets cut. So can you blame him for not understanding what she really wants? Can you blame us guys for not understanding women?! Whoops… Got a little side-tracked there. Despite her abusive ways, I guess it is her way she shows her love. Heh. Whoever wants such kind of slicing love? The unkindest cut, if I should say. So short her temper and quick her fingers that in almost every episode, you can see her swiftly shaving part of Kazuhito’s dog fur as a way to take out her anger. I know we’d be screaming dog abuse but seriously, who would really want to go up to a woman with a pair of scissors in hand? But practice makes perfect and as seen, Kazuhito has become agile enough to avoid her cuts (a reason why he couldn’t be owned so easily by Sachi). If her scissors makes her look dangerous, you should know the other little details so as not to push the wrong button and cause her to emit deadly red/black aura. Rule #1: Never talk about her small boobs or even make comparisons. Doing otherwise would seem as a challenge and aggravating the situation. Rule #2: Never be caught seen with other woman because she has a very short tolerance in the jealousy department. Reasoning doesn’t make her feel better. Cutting will.

Suzuna is also as annoying as sick as a pervert she is. With wavy mouth lines that remind me of Pacman’s ghosts, I think things will go awfully well if she were to switch places with Kazuhito. But you know, things in life are never that smooth. The masochist enjoys every sort of pain or abuse that Natsuno throws at her and going into ecstasy at every such moment makes it annoying. Yeah. It’s like sex to her. I guess it takes a true pervert and sadist or masochist to fully enjoy this sort of play. It’s a two way thing, I suppose. I wanted to credit her as a good editor but when you think of Suzuna, you think of a masochist pig so I think I’ll withhold that thought of mine for now. Next on the annoying list is Hami whose guilty self-conscience is so great that it makes you wonder it must be a miracle she has lived this long. She has a reason to apologize for everything. It’s good to be mindful but hers was just plain annoying. Oh, now I understand why she couldn’t kill herself even with a pen. She thinks it would cause trouble if she were to die right in front of whoever she is offending. I can’t believe she actually thought of that far. One day, I’m guessing she’ll blame herself to be responsible for all the wars that are happening in the world and even why Nobunaga was killed. Madoka thinks she knows what her brother wants especially curry. Well, she thought wrong. I guess she doesn’t really know him. Thank goodness her cooking is only reserved to curry (for now). Who knows what kind of abomination she will cook up with other dishes. If Natsuno’s scissors don’t kill the dog, poison food will. Do you know dogs can’t take chocolate? Let’s hope Madoka will never get that idea… She is the second most dangerous person after Natsuno (Sachi is just crazy and besides, I’m not familiar with her skills. She’s just swinging her broom blade, right?). It’s like she can turn yandere if things get ugly. With the argument over calling Natsuno her sister-in-law a touchy subject, it feels a world war can erupt just from it. Thank goodness they’re friends so it takes a slight distraction to cool things down and get over it. For now.

Maxi too is annoying. At first I was hoping some sort of plot with this annoying idol, popping up with her shining quote and SPs. Then nothing really happened in the end. How she knows about Shinobu’s real identity was never really explained and the nine story tower challenge showdown didn’t really take off. So what is her role actually in this series? Personally I am thinking it is to annoy the hell out of us. Just because she is cute and have that idol aura doesn’t mean she isn’t annoying, right? Her role and appearance in this anime proves that. Yeah. It outshines her cuteness. Same case for Momiji. All you see her in a very few scenes, confined to her wheelchair. It’s like they’re trying to tease us or something. They mention the 3 youngest and most successful best-selling authors like as though there is going to be some sort of showdown but in the end it didn’t amount to anything. So isn’t this somewhat annoying? She doesn’t really make mix around with the other characters thus her character is shrouded in mystery. Sachi is also annoying. The way she perfectly sings her master’s song sounds great or amusing thanks to the great backup vocals but does she have to kill those who accidentally witness her pouring out her utmost love for her master? So what happens if somebody accidentally captured her performance on video and uploaded it onto YouTube? You guessed it. She’ll kill everybody in the entire world! Sakura is plainly annoying, Yayoi is cutely annoying, the afro guy is annoyingly weak (do baby chicks really live in his afro?) and Shuzan is just an annoying baka oya (dumb loving parent). Concluding my annoying list of characters is the group of macho muscle men led by Macho Munakata. Besides serving as side distractions and a chance to flex their muscles, it feels so gay… So annoying… But funny.

As the plot isn’t the strongest point of this series, there are many things that made me scratch my head and left wondering. Take for instance the showdown between Natsuno and Hami/Hotaru. I’m not sure if it is because I wasn’t paying attention so I didn’t get the clues dropped along the way. If Hami wrote her Celestial Romance book and imbued some sort of subconscious command to readers who read certain lines, how come she knows how Shinobu’s looks? I mean, the line to react and become a zombie somewhat describes Natsuno, right? So how did she know Natsuno is Shinobu? And how or when did the entire people of the town or the staffs of the inn enter this state? I don’t think they were reading it together at the same time. Even if they had read it prior, shouldn’t like, say the staffs of the inn reacted when they first see Natsuno walking into the inn? (Like how Natsuno reacted when she first saw herself in the mirror). Why wait till somewhere later in the hotspring to take action? And how did they gather at the same place where Natsuno is? Is there some sort of trigger? Maybe Shuzan is the culprit since he is always seen mysteriously stalking Natsuno before his cover was blown. But does that mean in the future others who read Celestial Romance won’t turn into a zombie and attack Natsuno? Then there is the case of how Natsuno and Suzuna are the only ones who could hear Kazuhito’s thoughts. Maybe in the case of Natsuno, it is some sort of divine punishment for ignoring her surroundings and letting a boy die in her stead. But Suzuna?

Other things that continue to bug me include the romance part especially if Natsuno is falling for Kazuhito as a dog or as a person. If she really falls in love with him as a mutt, then thinking about this entire romance thingy would just make me sick. It’s already hard and tough for many to accept same sex relationships but thanks to anime, too much yaoi and yuri could probably soften your stand against gays and lesbians (or not). So now if you think about Natsuno actually marrying a dog and bearing dog children, don’t you think this has gone a little too far and more than just absurd? Does Natsuno seriously believe in making out with a dog? There are a lot of morally wrong issues here then. The only time you get to see a human and a dog make out is in some very sick and twisted hentai video that only the very mentally ill would watch. Beastility. Therefore, is Natsuno is serious in sleeping with Kazuhito the dog? Unless of course, it is all just a big tease. But I beg to differ because watching her go in her swooning or fawning mode, I think those feelings are genuine. Unless of course, she’s a bloody good actor. I’m not sure if Kazuhito wants to tell the rest of the world or his close friends and family that he is a dog. Although he can’t talk, maybe his paws cannot hold a pen, at least he is smart enough to arrange some alphabet blocks, right? So for Madoka’s case, she is just assuming the dog is her brother and not really sure it is him. So by displaying that kind of intelligence to inform Madoka, maybe it will solve lots or things. Or maybe it’ll get worse. I know. The curry. I suppose he has lots of good reasons why he doesn’t want to do so. He’ll attract unwanted attention and be hounded to be turned into a freak show. Sure, he can depend on Natsuno to cut and protect him but why draw in trouble in the first place?

Despite some mind boggling and I-don’t-get-it-stuffs in this series, this anime also has some good points and despite not telling it directly, it is trying to cultivate a reading culture in us. Okay, I was just highly speculating that since the main protagonist is a bookworm and there are books, books and more books everywhere we go in the anime. I figure even if the anime doesn’t intend to promote reading, maybe with all the books in your face, there would be some sort of sub-conscious effect to make you go read. Like how Hami turned her readers into zombies. Something like that. But it’s not working since I still dislike reading ;p. But really. Using a dog as a mascot to promote reading? I think I’ll have a better chance in turning over a new leaf if they put a cute bishoujo instead. And yeah. That’s about it the good encouraging point I can think of. The rest I feel are not to be imitated anytime or anywhere. Do not play with scissors unless you are like a pro-cum-sadist that views scissors as a torture tool-cum-weapon. Do not display your masochistic side of behaviour in public. Do not try to shine so hard in public (let it come naturally, for God’s sakes). Do not sing in public unless you really want to be on American Idol. Learn to say no (and a big one) if your little sister insists cooking you curry that turns out in any colour but yellow or orange or dark brown. And more importantly, don’t kill yourself so easily or chicken out quickly. Make up your mind, be steadfast and stick to it! Yes, this is more important than DO NOT ABUSE YOUR DOG!

For the voice acting part, Marina Inoue did a good job portraying the various mood swings Natsuno has. From her dominating personality to her tsundere or love stricken mode. Her Natsuno character somewhat reminds me of her other role as Yozora in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai. Just add a pair of scissors in hand and turn her into a best-selling author. The other ‘best’ voice acting goes to Shizuka Itou as Suzuna (Haruka in Amagami SS). As we know how perverted that masochist is, Shizuka Itou brings out the ‘best’ in the character by really making her sound so horny. So much so I think she herself is having orgasm while voicing her lines. Really. Kana Asumi is identifiable as Madoka but she didn’t go into her joker-like voice and since her character borders yandere/crazy mode, reminds me a bit of Strength/Yuu in Black Rock Shooter. Other casts include Takahiro Sakurai as Kazuhito (Suzaku in Code Geass), Ai Kakuma as Hami (Hikari in Campione), Yuu Serizawa as Maxi (Tenma in Mushibugyou), Chiwa Saito as Sachi (Kirie in Girls Bravo), Maaya Uchida as Sakura (Mao in GJ-Bu) and Hiromi Igarashi as Yayoi (Hina in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai).

I didn’t really find anything special about the opening theme. Wan Wan Wan Wan N_1!! by the female seiyuus of this series sounds like your generic lively anime pop music but the amusing thing in the opening credits is the characters doing their random doggie dance. Lemonade Scandal by Yuu Serizawa is the ending theme and I guess since we have an idol in the anime, it’s only right for her to sign us a song. Nothing spectacular about this one and perhaps the thing that would catch your attention at the very beginning of the ending credits is Natsuno in her black underwear. Ah, fanservice. Especially after that first episode where we see her in her black lacy lingerie (who cares about the mecha scissors she is piloting anyway), it felt like a tease because after that you don’t really get to see her in it anymore. Suzuna provides most of the boobies but she is being too masochistic and sick that you would rather feel annoyed than anything fanservice-y. On a trivial note, some of the episode titles are amusing because even though all of them have the ‘dog’ word in it, some are modifications of idioms like “Strike While The Dog Is Hot” or “Drowning Men Clutch At Dogs” or “Nothing Ventured, No Dog Gained” or even “There Is No Smoke Without Dog”. Yeah, it’s a dog’s life literally.

I just realized that despite Natsuno always wielding a pair of sharp scissors, as an author (and a best-selling one), it is her tongue that is really the sharp one. In addition to physical cuts, you’ll get emotional cuts from her verbal abuses. But really. I thought she could do better than insulting Kazuhito with names like mongrel or perverted dog. If she is going to hurt him in such a way, might as well go all the way. There is sometimes a very fine line between pleasure and pain. One man’s/dog’s meat/pain is another man’s/woman’s poison/pleasure. At the end of the day, I’m not going to be a sadist or a masochist because I’m not really cut out for it. And for those feeling the urge to ‘cut’ dogs, I suggest the only cutting you do is snip those cute dog pictures from the magazine and paste them in your personal cute dog collection album. This is what and how a scissors should be used for.

Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 OVA

January 24, 2014

Nobody subbed the extra episode so I also have forgotten that there was actually one. So when Seitokai No Ichizon Lv2 OVA came out (with subs of course), I was in a daze for a while as to wonder whether this series had an OVA to begin with. Instead of pondering and cracking my brains or even do some internet research, I decided to go see this since I have watched both seasons of this anime and it would be a great disservice if I were not to watch the OVA. Who came up with that silly rule anyway?! Oh, it’s me. As usual, this OVA is one of those without any plot. Oh wait. This series never had a plot to begin with. But it is Valentine’s Day and you know what this means. This OVA at least deviates from the usual TV series where the student council sat around in their mindless chatter and shows them trying to do something by giving their chocolates to Sugisaki. Wait a minute. Girls want to give Sugisaki their Valentine chocolates? Am I dreaming?

The Giving Student Council
We see all the student council girls eagerly awaiting the big day to give their chocolates to the sole guy in the student council. And that guy is happy just about thinking about it that he couldn’t do his part time job properly. The line is building up, buddy. And now that day is here. Sugisaki walks into the gates only to be greeted by Chizuru who is talking and acting like a robot. That nervous, eh? This guy is dense not to understand but Chizuru is taking too long so much so some car drifts close to Sugisaki. It is Elise and she is here to give her chocolates. Wow. The girls can learn a thing or two about honesty from her. Now that Sugisaki is happy, he must take responsibility for accepting her chocolates. He cannot sleep with other girls. Gosh. Now the chocolates seem heavy. Lilicia too gives her chocolates but quickly take pictures of him as proof of bribery! Are chocolates considered as bribes? Lilicia explains the chocolate is crafted by the most specialized chocolatier in the world and costs hundreds of thousands. Now this chocolate feels heavy too. Sugisaki realizes he was talking to Chizuru but I guess she already walked away. Big disappointment. Now she is in foul mood. Kurimu is relishing all the chocolates she got from the girls. The happy atmosphere is ruined when Chizuru walks in. There’s this deadly aura. She calls this Valentine’s Day to be a bloody day of massacre! Not good…

Meanwhile Minatsu is receiving lots of chocolates from her juniors. Sugisaki happened to see that and teases her. In her haste, she picked the wrong chocolate (not hers but her junior) to give it to him and realizes too late. Sugisaki deems this an insult and feels disappointed. Meguru cuts in and wants to talk to him in private. She too gives him her chocolate and summons her courage to say that she is only giving chocolates to him and not everyone. Too bad Sugisaki is too dumb to understand what she means. He thinks she is poor to afford more! He is then distracted by other girls who want to give their obligation chocolates to him. He’s a happy girl but Meguru is left ruing his dumbness. And man, Sugisaki is sure a popular guy because more girls pop up to give him their chocolates. Thanks for doing his job in the student council? Since when did that body do something useful for students? Mafuyu watches them and is not thrilled. As she approaches him, Sugisaki receives a call from his sister Ringo. Looks like she has learnt some new words from Asuka. She’s calling her brother Eternally Wet Dreaming Virgin Onii-chan. Upon learning her chocolates are handmade, Sugisaki feels traumatic. Yeah. Last year, he almost died. Don’t worry. Ringo has improved a lot this year. The most is that you’ll faint. Oh sh*t! As Sugisaki gets more chocolates (how popular is he?!), he bumps into Minase. She still hasn’t lose touch of her sarcasm as she mentions Sugisaki just got out of prison and got gifts for his parole. She also hands him her chocolates. Why does it feel so light? Because she has eaten them! Only 1 left. But Sugisaki is happy and thanks her nevertheless. Hoping to see some sort of emotion or reaction from her? Nope. With that no expression face, she even quips those were his last words. So he’s going to die?

Chizuru is now like a tsundere. Wondering how she will give his chocolates to Sugisaki when that guy pops up. Robot mode again. I think she’s entering meltdown. Before he could run away, she lassos him. Next thing he knows, he is tied up S&M style in the science room. He fears Chizuru is going to kill him or something and starts apologizing like hell. Then Chizuru passes her chocolates. But he can’t be happy as he could see her killing aura surfacing. Scary. But since he ekes out how happy he is, Chizuru starts flustering and becomes the happiest woman in the world. Yeah, she leaves and left him tied up. Happy bloody Valentine’s Day. Minatsu happens to pass by and hears his cry. She thought she was imagining things. You’re not. After letting him down, she sums up her courage to give her chocolates. No screwing up this time. This is truly hers. She also panics which causes him to panic because she isn’t like the Minatsu she knows. Tough girl acting also so blushing? Besides, didn’t she just admit she likes him? Can’t blame him if he doesn’t know how to respond. Outside, Sugisaki comes into Mafuyu and she too hands her chocolates. At first he is suspicious because it is handmade and Mafuyu isn’t good at cooking either. So as not to disappoint her, he mentions how happy he is. He opens it and finds lovely pink hearts. Wow. Not bad. Well, it was either that mould or a life size Nakameguro chocolate for him! I think he’ll stick to this one. He takes a bite and since it tastes good, Mafuyu leaves with a happy feeling.

Kurimu is waiting for her pals to enter the student council room so she bides her time by eating some of the chocolates. She is surprised when Sugisaki walks in. She didn’t waste any time in giving Sugisaki her chocolate. He becomes the happiest guy in the world to receive chocolates from the president although she says she only did it because he pestered her all week. Accepted wholeheartedly! She tries to find the right word to say it is obligation chocolate but messes up. This has Sugisaki wondering if it is chocolates to begin with. But he is grateful after learning this is Kurimu’s first time in giving chocolates to a boy. It’s like they both wanted to say something but were interrupted when the other girls enter. So you think Sugisaki is going to live happily ever after? Well, consider Valentine’s Day chocolates as a debt he must repay with his life. Because there is White Day to consider! Oh no. For Chizuru she wants a condominium, for Minatsu a boxing sparring partner, for Mafuyu a video of him with Nakameguro making out their twisted love and it’s the top 100 pastries for Kurimu! Can he accomplish all that? Impossible! Yeah. The girls are just joking. Or not. He promises he will get them something full of love in return. He’d better.

It’s Tough Being Popular…
Well, it was fun seeing this OVA. Even fun and mind boggling to see Sugisaki being swamped with girls who really want to give this guy their chocolates. I don’t remember he was such a loser but I don’t remember him being this popular. It suddenly makes me feel like a loser! How did this perverted guy suddenly have girls giving him chocolates? I never got one in my life! Because I don’t live in Japan, I suppose. I guess he really worked his way up, huh? Also, he wasn’t that perverted here so it makes me wonder if he has really changed. Maybe not. Just for this day with all the girls acting so strange, he perhaps didn’t want to push it by taking out his perversion. Or else, he might not get a single chocolate. While this proves that the student council girls love Sugisaki in their own, they still love teasing him because he’s such a fun guy to be teased. They love watching his reactions, huh?

Even girls who aren’t part of the student council love him. Elise and Lilicia for instance. Though Elise is straightforward (and dangerous in that sense), Lilicia like a tsundere despite threatening with all the scoops and scandal, you can feel that her actions are because she likes him. Though I doubt she’ll ever admit it. Even with Meguru in the picture despite another cameo one, it shows that indeed this girl really likes him. I also believe that Minase also likes this guy. Just that she doesn’t show it very obviously. Otherwise why bother talking to him, right? Despite all the insults and verbal abuses, in a way that’s like her version of love to him, no? Or maybe she’s just toying around. Looks like the only girl who didn’t get to give Sugisaki her chocolates or even show her nose in this OVA is Magiru! I have a feeling she doesn’t give a damn about anything. Even if there are those who are willing to give their chocolates, she’d just eat them without any appreciation. Oh I almost forgot. Another girl that didn’t show up is Asuka. I assume it will be as lively and chaotic if she did hand over her chocolates. If I remember, Sugisaki did reject her to be his girlfriend and aimed for a harem to make everyone happy. But still it doesn’t hurt to give her chocolates, right?

And so now that the happy part is over, there comes the burdensome part in White Day. But that will be another story. Yeah, it’s going to be real tough for him to fulfil it. But I believe that this guy can do it because he is sincere and wont’ go back on his words. Just a little perverted at times. Whether Sugisaki or everyone knows it, he has already amassed his own harem so in that sense, it is not a bad achievement. The tough part is maintaining it and for them to go on this way as long as possible. Because you know, nothing really lasts forever. Not even the chocolates you received on Valentine’s Day because they have an expiry date. So eat them while they’re still edible instead of keeping them as souvenirs, okay? The best love is through the stomach instead of something kept for visual appreciation in your drawer. Oh wait. Isn’t that the way to a man’s heart?

Photokano

January 19, 2014

A boy with a camera in hand going around taking photos of girls. What’s your first impression? A pervert, right? Well, don’t worry if you think Photokano is going to be some sort of perverted anime because it really isn’t. Those hoping for to see ecchi fanservice shots would be sorely disappointed. Besides, that is not the main focus point of this anime. Many felt this anime which is based on the dating simulation game of the same name to be a photography version of Amagami SS. I found out that Photokano is somewhat a spiritual successor to Amagami SS and thus the many similarities of both series. Even how the story is played out is similar too. A single guy and a bunch of girls. Multi-arc branching format for the episodes. Guy meets girl, spends time with her and in the end becomes a couple. So it’s not that all different than Amagami SS except that our main guy always has a camera in hand to capture those moments and ‘freeze’ them in the form of pictures for eternity. Oh, since the season of Photokano is much shorter than Amagami SS, you’re not going to sit there for like 4 episodes to see the guy get the girl in the end. Although the first few episodes start off as common introduction to all the main girls, the subsequent character arc only lasts for 1 episode! Wow! That’s fast. Are guys with traditional cameras the way to score with chicks?

Episode 1
On the first day of the new school term, Kazuya Maeda makes his way to school and meets his childhood friend, Haruka Niimi, the school’s tennis ace and popular girl. For who knows how long, they have somewhat became distant and drifted apart. During the summer vacation, Maeda got a camera from his dad even though it was not his birthday. Little by little, he starts taking photos and gets interested in the world of photography. His perspective of things changes as he saw everyone as potential photo subjects. One of the photo subjects that got his interest is Mai Sakura from the Rhythmic Gymnastics Club. She is the friend and classmate Maeda’s younger sister, Kanon. While taking photos outside, Maeda spots a girl taking photos of the sky on the rooftop. He is distracted by Nonoka Masaki of the Softball Club. She has a habit of calling Maeda, Darts’un because of his interest in darts once. He has other nicknames based on his past interests that never last but Maeda doesn’t really want to remember such embarrassing details. Noticing his hobby of photography, she hopes he can take a few shots of her but she puts on a silly face. Maeda is then approached by Hiromichi Kudou, the president of the Photography Club. He has observed the way Maeda takes photos and is impressed. He wants him to join the club and brings him to the clubroom. Maeda finds the clubroom odd because it is separated in half with a black curtain. He is introduced to the other members: Itta Nakawaga (specializes in low angle shots – panty shots FTW!), Takashi Azuma (high angle shots – boobs shots FTW!) and the only girl in the club, Yuuko Uchida (stealth photography – melting into the background and snapping shots without the subject suspecting a thing). The view borderline eroticism as art and aesthetics. Uhm, doesn’t that still sound like a pervert?

But they have a policy that the pictures of the subject they take, they must have their permission before displaying them. Kudou knows his good relationship with some of the school’s beauties that include Haruka, Mai and Nonoka and wants him to really join the club to preserve the youthfulness of the female students. Katsumi Kurebayashi enters the room to stop the tempting recruiting. She as its president along with Ruu Narita are members of Photo Club next door (the other side of the curtain, that is). Photography Club and Photo Club? There’s a difference? I’m not sure about the spat they had but Photography Club is the proper and formally recognized club since Photo Club didn’t have enough members. Though Ruu wants to quit the Volleyball Club, Katsumi won’t allow her. She then wants Maeda to join their club. Both presidents pressure Maeda to join their club so what is it going to be? Maeda decides to go with Photography Club. Katsumi must be disappointed (thinking Kudou’s seduction won over him) but I think Ruu is happy because she doesn’t like boys joining the club since she is so infatuated with Katsumi. Later Maeda meets Hikari Sanehara at the stairs and recognizes her as the one taking photos of the sky and the other member of Photo Club. As he goes back to his classroom, he sees a girl, Tomoe Misumi sitting at Haruka’s desk. He notices her crying and she realizes somebody is watching her. She hopes he can keep this a secret and not tell anyone especially Haruka. Promise her that and she will tell him the reason she is doing this.

Episode 2
While Maeda rushes down the stairs, he almost crashes into Aki Muroto, the student council president who has a reputation of enforcing her strict rules. She wastes no time in reprimanding him and to read the school’s handbook. Haruka learns Maeda has joined the Photography Club. She heard their goal was to preserve their youth and allows Maeda to sometimes come take picture of them. Maeda notices Nakagawa and Azuma hiding in the corners trying to take sleazy shots of Haruka so Maeda blocks their perfect view. Maeda is feeling hungry so Kanon gives him something to drink. So happen Muroto was around and she reprimands him for having the guts to eat outside recess time. Handbook rules, blah, blah, blah. When Maeda goes to take pictures of Mai in action, she quickly goes to talk to him because Photography Club members are not allowed to take pictures of them due to their past reputation (taking shots in embarrassing angles). Because she knows Maeda is different from the rest, she’ll talk to her president to get him special permission. Nakagawa is impressed Maeda is able to do so but when he learns Kanon is his little sister, he starts calling him his big brother. Mai-Kanon fan? Later Maeda sees Sanehara trying to take backlighting pictures and gets some tips on how to do so. He receives mail from Kudou for a meeting tomorrow after school.

Maeda happen to stumble upon Haruka in her swimsuit. She forgot her scrunchie and came back to get it. Because she wants to help him out in his hobby (hint: She wants him to look at her too), it is the start of their secret photo shoot. Mmm… Haruka in sexy poses… Maeda remembers Misumi’s explanation of wanting to be like Haruka. She thought she would change and see the world from her perspective if she sat at her place. It didn’t work and she became so envious that she started crying. Maeda understands how she feels. Kudou begins his meeting for their third annual Miss Photogenic Contest. It is the club’s traditional activity whereby they determine who appears the most beautiful in photographs and exhibit them during the cultural festival. It is decided that Haruka is this year’s subject for Miss Photogenic. Maeda has a bad feeling about this. When Maeda is taking out the trash, he sees Muroto trying to sneak in illegally into school. He snaps a shot of her illegal entrance and she starts panicking and falls over him. Muroto can’t put on her strict attitude once Maeda starts blackmailing her that she entered the school illegally for not wanting people to know she is late. Suddenly he feels so good in beating Muroto at her own game. He feels so dominant while Muroto is reduced to a timid mouse. She pleads not to tell this to anyone or her reputation will be ruined. Of course he won’t but he won’t delete the pictures too. Don’t worry. He won’t show them to anyone too. Maeda leaves a very contented man. Because now he’s got dirt on Muroto.

Episode 3
Maeda rushes down the stairs but bumps into Nonoka this time. Not just any unusual bump. Their mouths met! At that speed they clash, just ouch. Maeda, Nakagawa and Azuma are at the swimming pool but no members show up. Good or bad? Maeda wants to get away before something happens but bumps into Rina Yunoki. Nakagawa accidentally pushes him and he got his hands over her boobs. She isn’t mad at him since he didn’t do it on purpose but Nakagawa is envious he gets to experiences the softness. Mai tells Maeda the good news that her president has given the green light and special permission for him to take pictures of their club. Maeda is surprised his Photography Club members now of this (thanks to Uchida’s stealth) so they give him porn magazines as reference materials on how to take those special angle shots. Maeda sees Muroto diving at the swimming pool and learns she was once a competitive diver but stopped due to her work as student council president. Maeda believes her dive is beautiful and wants to take pictures of her in her swimsuit. Of course she is embarrassed by that but he blackmails her about spreading that illegal entry photo. And so Muroto is at his mercy and is forced to do sexy poses for him. Feels good to bully others, no? Muroto approaches them and praises Maeda for being able to get on this side of Muroto. She runs away in embarrassment. Maeda can’t reveal what happened that led to this but as Kudou points out maybe it was because she saw how passionate he was and was reminded of how she used to be. Giving up diving because of her duties was just the tip of the iceberg. She wouldn’t give up something she has been doing for years for such petty reasons. It has something to do with her parents’ expectations.

As Haruka talks to Maeda that she is glad to become his model again, he spots Nakagawa and Azuma cleaning the floor spotless. It’s so shiny that you can see your own reflection so clear. Hmm… He figures they are executing some plan on Haruka so he vows to come up with a plan to stop them. Well, he only got not enough sleep and no plan. In the Cooking Research Society, he helps Rina hold off some falling equipment. When she tries to put them away, her breasts got too close to his face. Faceboobs. Rina is the only member of this club which is more of a hobby than club and Maeda is puzzled how can the student council approve it but she mentions the student council president was quite supportive. Since Maeda’s hands are full, she feeds him with one of her cakes. While cleaning his class, Maeda gets mail from his club members to begin the operation to take Haruka’s pictures and to bring the subject. As Maeda walks with Haruka, he notices how shiny and slippery the floor. He realizes what the plan is and wants Haruka to step back. In his haste to prevent her from moving forward, he slips and slides underneath her skirt. Best view in the world? Well, at least it halted Nakagawa and Azuma’s plans. Kudou has a meeting since getting pictures of Haruka is difficult due to Maeda’s ‘screw ups’. He changes the operation plan. Each of them will keep an eye on the target and find whatever photo opportunity they can. Maeda realizes this is going to be tougher since Uchida will be on her stealth mode. But he is determined to protect Haruka’s panties! I’m sure he does since he got exclusive view of them. Maeda finishes his photo taking of Mai in her club activities. She is excited to practise and get better and hopes he will come watch their practice again.

Episode 4
Kanon clings on to her brother because she is panicking that a bee is after her. She calms down once she finds out the bee is gone. But Maeda seems somewhat happy as he got to smell the chlorine scent from her sister’s swimsuit. WTF. Later Maeda sees Misumi reading a book of poetry outside. She doesn’t want to stand out by reading it in class and wants to be alone. Kanon and Nonoka are playing broomstick baseball in the hallway and are spotted by Muroto. She is about to reprimand them (because sorry won’t do) when they run to Maeda for help. Leave it to big bro. He whispers to Muroto about the illicit entry and instantly she lets them off the hook! Kudou mentions a doujin sales event nearby a shopping mall so they will take this opportunity to snap shots of cosplayers. After school, Maeda talks to Haruka at the shoe locker. His sense starts tingling that the Photography Club members could be nearby hiding to take illegal shots of her. He blocks potential views they might be hiding and leaves with Haruka. Uchida wonders if she has been detected. The duo walk home as Haruka notes how he has become so lively ever since joining Photography Club. Just like how he was into football. Maeda is unsure if he will quit it but for now he wants to get better at it. Next day, Kanon wants her brother to see if something is up her back thigh. Does she realize the implication of this lifting up her skirt for him to see? Before things get dangerous, he takes a picture of it just to show proof there is nothing there. She goes through his photo collection and surprisingly sees shots of Muroto’s swimsuit poses. She is not happy with this cheater because he already has him and he takes shots of other girls?! Buranko? Thankfully he manages to convince her that he lent his camera to Kudou to take those shots.

I personally feel Maeda is going too far and too much because he continues his blackmail on Muroto by making her do his homework! WTF?! Due to her pride, she keeps her promises. As he is about to leave school, he wants to return the porn magazines but they seem to be stuck in his shoe locker as they are so thick. He is surprised when Mai talks to him. The magazines come loose and she offers to pick them up. Oh, what do you know? It’s that sneaky look on her face. Give whatever excuse you can but she is going to report it to her president and this means jeopardizing his special permission to watch their practice. Maeda pleads for a second chance and will do anything for her. Anything? Since it’ll be sad if he can’t come to their practices anymore, she won’t tell. But she’ll keep the magazines too. Now that Mai has got dirt on him, he wonders if this is divine retribution for blackmailing Muroto too much. Serves you right! Maeda and the Photography Club members are at the cosplay event. He gets used to the atmosphere and slowly gets attracted by the growing allure of the camera. Then Maeda starts taking pictures of the Volleyball Club members (strangely it includes some of the main and supporting girls like Nonoka, Misumi, Muroto, Rina, Mai and Kanon) doing their stretching. While snapping away, for the first time he sees Uchida’s eyes from her side profile and notices a mole. He never knew she had nice proportions too.

Episode 5
Maeda is worried when he sees Haruka weak in the hallway. Her chest fells a little pain. She thinks it’s anaemia but Maeda feels it might be more than that. Something that goes way back when they were kids. He carries her to the infirmary. Noticing Nakagawa and Azuma are still trying to take shots of her, he continues to block them. He remembers when they were young, they played football and he accidentally kicked the ball into her chest. Maeda hears some girls gossiping about him and Haruka. They feel they are a weird combination and that Haruka should be better off with someone else and he is not worthy of her. Those comments get to him and he starts feeling depressed. To add to it, he sees the ace striker of the Football Club trying to ask Haruka to go out with him. He even had the guts to tell her to ditch her childhood friend for him. She doesn’t need to answer him now but will wait for her favourable reply. Haruka sees Maeda eavesdropping and assures there is nothing going on between them. Maeda says she should go out with him because they make a great match but Haruka is not happy with his answer and scolds him she doesn’t know what his feelings are. Maeda sinks into further depression. So depressed that his room turns into a pig sty. One day Kanon barges into the Photography Club to ask her brother about Haruka’s whereabouts. She did not answer her phone and skipped practice today without telling anyone. Maeda fears she might have collapsed somewhere and goes all out to search for her. Kudou then texts everyone from Photography and Photo Club to help ensure Miss Photogenic’s safety. They are not having indecent motives but this is to protect her beauty.

Maeda further thinks back that when they were playing football, he accidentally elbowed her chest and that might be when the problem cropped up. Because of that, Maeda wanted them to stop playing football and if she still wants to play, she could join the girls’ football team. But what’s the point in that, right? She threw a tantrum and ran away. As Maeda searches for her, he realizes he didn’t understand a thing or how he felt. Now he won’t hide anymore. He didn’t find her at the playground but is glad she is safe back in her home. He sees her at the window but to his dismay when she closes the curtain, she didn’t see him. Thinking she was ignoring him, he lets out a frustrating scream. Next day at school, Katsumi talks to Haruka that she isn’t the only one who can’t express her feelings. There is somebody else working hard trying to stop people from taking indecent pictures of her. Haruka even gets some advice from Nonoka that she should trust Maeda because she knows him better. Haruka gets all sorts of encouraging texts from her friends but the final one is from Maeda. He wants a second chance and wants to meet her at the playground.

Episode 6
Maeda is glad that Haruka shows up. This plays brings back lots of memories for them. Maeda mentions that he is displaying his photo exhibits at this year’s festival and hope she will come. She will. He manages to take a very natural shot of her and realizes this is the essence of photography. Haruka agrees to become a model for him so as he starts taking pictures of her, Nakagawa and Azuma wants in so he takes her and run. The duo end up having fun at the beach and it would be a waste if we don’t get to see Haruka posing in her swimsuit. When she wants to play beach football, those haunting memories come flooding back to him. He wants to stop this so Haruka knows something is wrong and wants to know if he is still haunted by that incident. He dismisses it and it is more of because they are not kids anymore and has noticed certain things about her body parts. She instantly hugs him. Because she can touch him like this, she doesn’t want him to treat her too preciously and touch her chest. When a girl gives you such permission, don’t waste it! So he did but quickly pulls back after that soft touch. That night, Haruka calls him because she wants to hear his voice and it makes her calm and allows her to sleep better. On the day of the school festival, Maeda brings Haruka to the Photography Club’s exhibit. Kudou announces Maeda as the winner and his winning shot is that natural shot of her. He calls this piece, Wish. They unveil all the other exhibits, which are nothing but photos of her. Kudou admits they have taken all the shots in secrecy but with goodwill so as to capture every ounce of her beauty. That’s why she has the right to approve or not if they should exhibit them. If she turns them down, it means their skills are not yet up to par. Haruka gladly allows them to exhibit her pictures.

After school, Maeda and Haruka hang out at the playground. After a little talk, Maeda finally confesses he has always loved her since they were kids. Happy tears of joy stream down her eyes. She is so happy to hear those words and also confesses she too had always loved him then. After they hug, Maeda asks for permission to kiss. They promise to always be with each other. Flashback when Maeda tried to cajole Haruka out from hiding in the playground, Haruka thought Maeda is more popular and has more friends. If he stayed with her, he will get left out. Maeda asserted he will stay with her even if all his friends leave him. Why? Because he loves her! He didn’t say it once or twice of thrice! Many times! We get it! Haruka crawled out from her hiding and felt happy. She too mentioned she liked him. Maeda thought she should act more girly and cuter because at first glance she looked more like a boy. He promised to marry her if she becomes really cute. And so she began her journey to become really cute just for him. Haruka narrates when she was alone, Maeda chose her over everyone else and tried to save her. Thinking back, it felt embarrassing just recalling them. She is glad to have turned those childhood feelings into memories and now a new love is born. As long as they’re together, they’ll always create more love because she really, really loves him. Several photo shots especially Wish is posted on Haruka’s room wall. Just one thing bugs me. Didn’t they remember confessing to each other when they were young? When they confessed as high schoolers, it felt like as though it was their first time. So did they really forget? Unless confessing your love as a kid doesn’t really count because you don’t really understand what it means.

Episode 7
Maeda sees Sanehara eating alone. Because she doesn’t know how to eat a hamburger, he teaches her. Seriously? Anyway he looks like a clown doing so… One day Maeda notices Sanehara, unlike him who likes taking pictures of people, she takes pictures of everything but people. He requests a shot of her smiling but refuses. Come to think of it, he has never seen her smile. Maeda continues to ‘stalk’ her as she takes pictures alone. He finds out she dislikes taking pictures of people because when you do so, they put up a fake smile for the camera. Maeda assures he isn’t hiding anything from her and she agrees since he acts on his whims. By the way, that’s not a compliment. And so begins his ‘quest’ to make Sanehara change her heart. First, he dresses up in a funny flower suit (including an equally funny act) but she’s not buying it. One day, he notices that she may have a thing for stray cats. So he gets the Photography Club members to help out in his plan and even Katsumi suggested where he could get a cat suit. When Sanehara returns to the site with the stray cats, they are all gone because Uchida attracted them away with her catnip (they somewhat cling onto Nakagawa and Azuma, preventing them from taking their specialized shots on her). Maeda dressed up in a funny cat outfit starts begging her to take photos of him. He is so funny that she starts laughing. Sanehara agrees to accompany Maeda to the amusement park to return the cat suit he borrowed. While there, they have fun with the attractions. Sanehara’s expression is so dead while Maeda is scared in just about everything. Really. Because he throws a challenge who can have the most fun, well, well. It seems Sanehara too knows how to have fun and put on a fitting expression. Maeda is still a chicken, though.

So much fun she had that I bet you never seen her smile this much. She wants him to accompany her to somewhere. He must be thinking a love hotel. Too bad, it’s just the hilltop so she could borrow his camera and take pictures of the starry sky. She explains during her middle school years, her girl classmates suddenly wanted to be her friend. Before she knew it, she became part of their circle and enjoyed doing girly things she never thought she had interest in. However she found out she was just a convenient girl. They became her friend because they wanted somebody to feel superior over. When they started ordering her around, she called it quits and stopped hanging out with them. But that’s when the bullying and ignoring started. Sanehara was even framed an accused of stealing a classmate’s wallet. Worse, the teacher suspected her from the start. Ever since then, she was ostracized and hated. And when she saw that kind of snicker on their face, it was so much different than the smile when they were friends. She felt sad and started to hate smiles. Maeda couldn’t forgive those bullies and she views him as a kind person. She trusts his smile and Maeda hopes she could smile more often because he likes it. Now that her heart is open, Maeda becomes the first person in a long time that Sanehara decides to take a picture of. They hang out together to a point that they even start taking point blank shots of each other. Sanehara agrees to go out with him to the beach and what’s the point in this? Nice photo shots of Sanehara in her bikini and poses, that’s what. Many of the photos end up on her personal board at home. But the one she framed up was when he first took a shot at her eating a hamburger. Funny…

Episode 8
Maeda snaps a shot of Muroto diving. As she leaves to get a kickboard, the teacher swimming with her tells Maeda that they are helping each other out. In exchange to earn credentials to teach in an elementary school (I guess she needed to learn to swim too), she is helping Muroto to study and take some load off her shoulders as she quit the swimming club to fulfil her student council president duties. One rainy day, Maeda finally took shelter in the school’s shoe locker area but is soaked. Same case for Muroto. He snaps a shot of her. She is not impressed but a word shut her up: Illegal entry. Magic word. He wants to take poses of her and because of that blackmail, she embarrassingly agrees. Unknown to them, Kudou is observing. Next day, he catches her depressed on the rooftop. She even allows him to take a picture of her skipping class and use it for his blackmail! Something is wrong. He forces her to come with him and takes her to the place where she entered school illegally. Now they’re going to exit school illegally! Why is he doing this? Because he doesn’t like it when she is not herself. Besides, he will delete the illegal entry photos. I’ve got a feeling he might use the illegal exit photos instead! Nakagawa and Azuma spot them and tail them. After hitting the arcade, they rest at the crepe show. She tells her past that her grades in elementary school weren’t great and hated study. But she had to follow her father footsteps to become a doctor. So she studied day and night and even on holidays till she reached to top. She was happy. The point is, although she pretends to be a smart student, she isn’t. And now she is at her limit. She feels she is not cut out to be a student council president or doctor. An elderly lady passing by recognizes Muroto. She recounts how she saved an old man collapsed at this shopping district. Because the people were panicking as they couldn’t find any emergency room to take him, Muroto who happened to be there made arrangements to her family’s hospital and accompanied him there. The woman praises her but she seems pretty down that she isn’t the good person people think she is. But nevertheless the woman is very grateful to her. Then it hit Maeda. Wasn’t that the day Muroto was late and entered school illegally? Nakagawa and Azuma want to move in but were stopped by Kudou. He tells them to leave those two alone as breaking their world would be in bad taste. Capturing the true Muroto is now Maeda’s job.

The duo had more fun together skipping school. So happy that she allows him he need not delete her photos anymore. Since she has gotten over her guilt, Maeda realizes the barrier between them had gone and before he knows it, asks her out on a date. Muroto gladly goes out with him and at the dolphin show, Maeda states his intentions he wants to take photos of her diving before she quit the swimming club. Muroto mentions she started diving because she wanted to be like dolphins. When she was young and depressed, her father took her to a dolphin show and all her sadness was blown away. Maeda wonders why Muroto didn’t tell the truth on the day of her illegal entry. She didn’t answer. Later at the hilltop, Muroto is grateful to him for that illegal exit. She doesn’t mind if he finds out the real her. Thanks to his encouragement, she is looking at things at a new perspective. Maeda confesses he loves her and she vows to become a doctor since it’s her dream. She wants him to hold her as part of her encouragement. They confess to each other (again) and he is sad that despite her graduating soon, he wants to be by her side. She suggests taking her out again. Soon, Muroto rejoins the swimming club and Maeda snaps a picture of her with a pretty smile. That shot becomes the main photo exhibit at the cultural festival. Time passes, Muroto studied hard, got into her first choice university as a valedictorian. Her hard work paid off and on her graduation day after her speech, once again she tells Maeda how much she loves him because he was the only one who knows the real her and made her smile.

Episode 9
Maeda helps Nonoka with her softball as her training partner. In return, she agrees to be his photography model since he is having a hard time getting people to agree to do gravure shots. Since he starts learning more about photography, she too tries to increase her knowledge in modelling. Then that fateful day when their mouths clashed at the stairs. Despite she treats him like normal, deep down she is bothered with it. One day she calls him to the roof to throw him a challenge letter. A challenge of love! What gives?! She mentions Haruka has always been his type of girl since she is more feminine than her and that she doesn’t stand a chance. Since Maeda is dense, she tells it straight to his face that she loves him ever since middle school. He is always fun to be with. Though he has Haruka, it would be sad now not to pursue it since she had her first kiss with the guy she loves. She pleads for a chance to become a girl he can love. This includes telling her anything what she lacks and she will try to fix it. I guess you don’t want to disappoint a girl so just like any normal guy would, Maeda accepts her challenge. But it’s not going to be as easy as she thinks. She thought of easily showing him her slip but was told off about the appealing factor had she acted naturally embarrassed. As a sportswoman, she eats a lot. Any guy would freak out if their woman eats a lot, right? Losing more points…

Since Nonoka requests a rematch, Maeda suggests the beach. Well, you know what this is. He takes lots of good shots of her in her bikini and as they stop to rest at the beach house, Nonoka suggests posing more daring stuffs like in the nude or hand bras. A couple of delinquents overheard them and want in. Maeda vows to protect her so he turns the tables as distraction before the duo make a run. The delinquents are stopped by the very muscular Mr Universe beach house owner. As they catch their breath, Maeda says he doesn’t want shots of her like that and has already taken lots of good natural pictures of her. So this is what she has been reading up about modelling? But still, she demonstrates her hand bra and this sends an electrifying stimulation to his brain. A guy will always be a guy. When Maeda is cleaning the clubroom, he spots Uchida’s cosplay outfit. He starts thinking, could it be her that was the one cosplaying upfront then? There’s that similarity… One day as Maeda helps Nonoka with her training, she seems down. Her problem is that she doesn’t want to master her rising pitch. Because if she does, there will be no more reason for him to be together. However he doesn’t think those memories they made will disappear even if she masters them and will find something new to do together. She requests him to take a shot of her throwing her air pitch. He snaps a perfectly natural pose of her doing that. Soon, she finally masters that move and their training ended. One evening, Maeda calls her to the rooftop to deliver his verdict. He concedes defeat. He has never realized such a wonderful girl was beside him and confesses he loves her. Don’t worry, this isn’t a dream. Those tears of joy are for real too. So wonderful she is that he thought he barely deserves her. It is her honest and straightforward feelings that gradually won him over. Now he realizes he loves her more than anyone in the world. Here comes the hug. But no kiss? And so they become a couple. She is grateful to him for giving her so much strength. Pictures of the shots he took fill her room wall and that perfect natural one all framed up, besides the softball league champion’s plaque.

Episode 10
Mai requests a favour from Maeda. She loves fried stuffs but because she is on a diet, she wants him to eat the pork cutlet for her and describe how it tastes like. At first he didn’t want to do it as he is full but the porn magazines blackmail… Start eating! Because he wasn’t descriptive enough, she makes him eat another bowl! Now he is getting narrative like those cooking shows! And now for desserts… Oh God… Can he stomach it all? Blackmail… You know the drill… Is this worth it just to take her pictures? Maybe. On one practice, Mai accidentally bites his arm because she thought it was fried stuff! It’s getting to her. Maeda is there to capture shots of her during her gymnastics qualifiers. However she becomes clumsy and falters several times. She looks depressed so Maeda yells to her not to give up. It gave her the motivation to carry on till the end. Kanon notices Mai still down so she fakes a fever so that Maeda can go take Mai out to the pool amusement park and cheer her up. I guess this is where the obligatory swimsuit photo shoots are. Nakagawa and Azuma didn’t like Maeda hogging the gymnastic beauty but when a pretty woman calls to them in hopes they can retrieve her stray ball, they both fight over it till the ball deflated. So much for impressing chicks. Mai didn’t qualify for the gymnastics finals but she can’t be moping over her failure as she’ll never find beauty this way.

Maeda continues to hang out with Mai and take more shots of her whether she is practising or doing other stuff. I guess she trusts him enough to return those porn magazines back. With it, a note stating that even though he is a pervert, she still loves him. He’s the happiest guy in the world but to his dismay realizes Uchida has also seen this. One evening, Maeda finds Mai at his doorstep. She is here to return Kanon’s DVD. He invites her in but he didn’t see this one coming because she gets cheeky enough to search his room so as to know where he hides the porn magazines. If he has nothing to hide, why act so guilty? Anyway in his haste to stop her, he trips and accidentally pushes her onto his bed. Their face is so close… Could have gotten a lot steamier had not Kanon return home and barge in. They manage to regain their composure in time but Kanon smells something fishy. The days continue. Mai and Maeda hanging out together. Gymnastic practices. Photo shots of her. Just like dating. Mai lets him know that on the day he shouted to her to not give up, her heart skipped a beat and she realized she wasn’t alone. She laments if she wasn’t petite size. On the contrary, Maeda finds her attractive the way she is now and they can seek their own visions of beauty. She will do just that and hopes he can stay by her side to cheer her on. That is when Maeda confesses he loves her because of her tenacity, honesty and cuteness (lolicon!). She also confesses she loves him and they embrace. Just like before, they end up doing stuffs together but only difference is that they are now official couples.

Episode 11
Nakagawa and Azuma want to take pictures of the girls in the pool because Rina is among them. But their human tower isn’t going to work because the one below is shouldering all the weight and can’t move. Maeda is doing a recruitment poster for the Cooking Research Society but it turns out like Rina’s personal ad. The good aroma smell must have led Maeda into this fateful meeting with Rina. He learns she is trying to come up with a new recipe for the cultural festival and also if she doesn’t recruit 5 new members, her club will be disbanded. Maeda offers to help by taking photos of her cooking. One day Maeda enters the clubroom to see Rina trying to bend a spoon! Shutter chance! Is she trying to be an ESP too? Actually she is so bored that she’s resorted to this. Soon the duo go hunting for a four leaf clover as part of Rina’s new dish. Can they really find it? Well, Maeda saw her ass first… But anyway, he finds it! Miracle! Their heads bump when they get excited they find the leaf. On the way back, Rina wonders why Uchida is spying on them. Wait a minute. Her stealth mode seen through? Because she is always alone, she invites her to come cook with them. And so ‘defeated’ Uchida helps out with the cooking while Maeda perfects his angle shots on the food. Rina asks Maeda out to the amusement park seeing she needs a change in pace to get ideas for her new dish. However her little sister, Erina insisted in tagging along so this won’t be a date of just the 2 of them. Erina is a little annoying. She almost repeats and imitates Rina’s actions. If she wasn’t this cute, she would have been 100% annoying. Erina cheekily notes how they are like newlyweds because they blush too much and Maeda’s comment that Rina can be a good wife due to her cooking.

Rina has finally got an idea of what she wants to create. She explains to Maeda how Muroto allowed the creation of her club despite her being the only member. Honestly she didn’t mind being the only one or the club getting disband. But the thought of brainstorming like this with him got her thinking that she wants others to learn how fun cooking can be. Finally Rina has completed her sunflower burger (the clover for the finishing touches). Maeda takes a picture of it and manages to submit the poster in time before the deadline for the festival. Maeda visits Rina’s magic café during the festival. Everyone else is surprised that the legendary cosplayer, Alice is here to help out. Something tells me this is Uchida because she seems to be interacting casually with Rina. After the festival ends, Maeda wants to talk to Rina. First she relays him the good news that she has found new members for the club. She thanks him for his effort. Without it, this day would never have come. Then Rina beats Maeda first in confessing her love. I guess he is surprised too. Though, he wanted to go first (that’s why he called her out). After he confesses his love, they both embrace. Rina continues to teach the new members her sunflower hamburger signature as photos of her sit in the club’s board. Most of them Rina watering her sunflower garden.

Episode 12
Maeda spots Misumi doing funny faces in a pond’s reflection. Embarrassing, no? Since rain is coming, he shares his umbrella. While taking shelter, Misumi explains she doesn’t like to stand out and gets nervous when people stare at her. She considers herself plain unlike him who is outgoing and lively but Maeda doesn’t think so as they may be more alike than they think. Next day, Misumi hands him cupcakes as thanks for yesterday. He wants to take shots of her but she refuses, citing that plain excuse. But I suppose she relents when he says she is pretty instead. Happy? One day, Maeda receives a love letter from Misumi in his shoe box to meet at the rooftop. Could it be? His heart beats when she wants to tell him something. She will be transferring away after the cultural festival. Maybe his heart almost stopped. Due to her father’s job, she has been changing schools since small and thought if she never stood out and no one knew she existed when she disappeared, it would be for the best. That’s why she wants him to leave her alone and it’ll be a nuisance if he keeps hanging out with her. However he wants to stay by her side till then and make memories. In that case, she requests to be her friend. Silly, they already are. For their first memory, he takes a picture of her and she makes a ‘V’ sign. As the days pass, Maeda takes more pictures of her and Misumi tries her hands at all sorts of sports like tennis, softball and gymnastics. Klutz…

Now for some private memories of their own. Nothing fishy, mind you. Maeda and Misumi are out together at the beach. She mentions about the time she sat at Haruka’s desk. The actual reason she did that wasn’t out of envy but she was thinking how to repay her kindness. Now she has her confidence, she thinks of telling everyone of her transfer. And so the class is stunned to hear this announcement so Misumi requests them to make memories with her before she leaves. Before you know it, the days pass quickly and everyone had fun at the cultural festival. Misumi enjoys everyone’s company at the amusement park. Since the rest don’t want Maeda hogging all the shots of her, they suggest doing a group photo. Misumi returns by stunning everyone in a bold bikini. Plain isn’t the word to describe it… On the day Misumi and her family are about to leave, Maeda has compiled all the photos and put it in an album so she will remember this school and city. He manages to hand it to her at the train station and points out there aren’t pictures of himself in it. Because he doesn’t want to be just another memory to her. He wants to see her always. Guess what this means? After they are done hugging, the rest of the other girls arrive to see her off. They hope she will come back here sometimes. Maeda goes a step further. He will come to see her, text her every day and will work to save up so he could go see her. Misumi goes through the album on the train as Maeda narrates how he fell in love with her through the viewfinder.

Episode 13
Maeda is nervous. Because Kanon wants to bath with him! Well, she won’t be naked but in her swimsuit. Disappointed? But he’s not naked too and in his trunks. When Kanon won the lottery’s grand prize of a trip for 2 to Europe, she gave it to her parents since they never had their honeymoon. This means the siblings will be home alone. This word reaches the ears of the Photography Club members so they think Maeda should take this chance to take photos of her. Maybe he’ll see her in a different light if he treats her as a photography subject. Maeda can’t stop thinking about Kanon and soon starts taking pictures of her. He suggests a heart stopping expression. Like as though she is thinking about the one she loves. After a little thought, she puts up that cute expression that even sends Maeda blushing. Didn’t realize her sister has this cute side, eh? Suddenly he feels jealous. Is there really a guy she loves? Nakagawa and Azuma are at Maeda’s house on pretence to get back the loaned porn magazines so that they could see Kanon in an apron. And here she comes in one! Stunning? She also hands them back the magazine because she knows where her brother keeps them. Stunned? That night Maeda can’t sleep as he keeps thinking of little sister. He remembers an album he is keeping full of Kanon photos as a kid. He thinks she might not remember the bell he gave her. When Maeda sees Kanon talking to other guys, he feels jealous and runs away. Kanon picks him up sitting at the river bed and they go home in the rain. They soak in the cram hot bathtub together and wish times like these would last forever. Maeda is in a dilemma. Should he tell her now that they are blood related? If he does, he fears their relationship will change.

During summer, Maeda takes Kanon to tthe beach. They see Katsumi and Ruu as a beach volleyball team and cheer on them. Although they lost, Ruu thanks them for supporting. They also see Katsumi talking with her boyfriend. Ruu notes her unrequited love but is nevertheless happy to just be by her side. Kanon can understand that feeling. As Kanon is making sand castles, this prompts Maeda to remember how they first met. Kanon was lost at the beach looking for her father (her mom was already in the stars). He helped her look till they are reunited. When Maeda reunites with his mom, she mentions the big coincidence because they are going to be a new family. So when their parents remarry, Maeda and Kanon become siblings on that day. Back in present time, Maeda is surprised that Kanon still remembers everything on that day. She too didn’t realize her brother always remembered it. She thanks him for being a good big brother and tried hard to be his little sister. They admit they were too scared to bring up the topic of blood relation for fear their relationship would change. With that behind them, Maeda gives Kanon the photo album. Dad made him promise to hold on to it till it was the right time to give it to her. Kanon mentions she wants him to have her first love letter. However she wants him to hold on to it and only read it after she graduates. By then, she hopes to call him by his first name. It dawned to Maeda that the person she loves she was thinking then was him. In her eyes, he was her ideal guy who protected her since young. That’s why she looked him in the eye and confessed. Now that they have gotten over their sibling barrier, Maeda is brave enough to say Kanon is the cutest girl in the world. Likewise, Kanon confesses her love to him. Is that as in brotherly or more? And soon Kanon graduates. She happily hugs big brother when she sees him still with her love letter.

Say… Cheesy!
Oh, really? It already ended? For real? Well, I must say that there isn’t really anything spectacular in the ending(s) because we all know that Maeda would somehow end up with the girl. That’s why there is no element of surprise. Because there are 8 different girls to deal with and 8 different endings, each in a subsequent episode consecutively, it felt like the anime ‘ended’ 8 times over. Thus when the series ended for real, there wasn’t any sort of satisfying feel because too much ‘ending’ has already made me immune to it all. Just like Amagami SS, once the goal of ending up with the girl is done, we move on to the next.

One thing good and bad about the single episode focus per girl is that it saves a lot of time. It’s like you get rid of all the other details in between, put in the fast forward, show important bits of the moments before finally reaching the finish line. It’s good for those who are somewhat impatient and do not want to sit through 4 + 2 episodes (in reference to Amagami SS’ season 1 and 2 respective seasons for the number of episodes focused on a heroine) just to see the guy get the girl in the end. Everything can be done in a single episode so if you’re the kind who watches this show weekly, you don’t have to have memory recalling problems to remember what happened previously. Because of the single episode per girl focus, there is not much development between Maeda and the girl in focus. Therefore it makes their relationship looks not deep. You don’t get to feel the impact that they deservingly deserve each other in the end because everything is so quick. That’s why spending time together in a relation is very important. So with everything ‘fast forward’ just to fit in the 24 minutes of screen time (minus the common arcs), in some ways it makes their relationship feel ‘cheap’. The romance a little cheesy. When I sat through and watched both seasons of Amagami SS, no doubt sometimes it feels like a drag but because of the time spent watching them, I could feel that there was something cultivating between the characters. But in Photokano, before everything could settle down, it has already ended and we move on to the next girl. Makes it feel like it’s some sort of speed dating, huh?

Just like in Amagami SS too, each of the girls have their own issues and thus that’s why we have Maeda as the hero to help solve them and they end up being a pair. Like I’ve said, the short focus duration on the girls doesn’t leave a lasting impact and thus the issues our heroines in Photokano face also feels shallow. Although Uchida is not one of the main heroine, I really thought she should have an arc of her own (heck, little sister Kanon even got her own) because among the girls, she is the most amusing and mysterious one due to her stealth-like nature. It is a shame that she didn’t really get her own arc because there are some moments in the anime that seem to give her a little focus. Like as though they were teasing there was going to be an Uchida arc somewhere. Perhaps she didn’t get one so as to maintain the mysterious feel to this lady. If you get to know her (via Maeda of course), then it wouldn’t be fun anymore because well, you know more about her and that takes away the romance of her mystery. Therefore, really a shame that there is no Uchida arc because I think she would really look pretty if her eyes were more visible and that she also has the nice proportions to go with. Definitely a photogenic person for those obligatory swimsuit moments. Besides, isn’t she that legendary cosplayer Alice? And is her stealth ability for real? She can be the next generation Sadako with this skill coupled in with her fluffy bangs that cover her eyes. Maybe that’s why she maintains this sort of look. Nobody would really notice her. If she ties up her hair and reveal her face, it would definitely be a crowd puller.

As for the other girls like Katsumi and Ruu, it made me wonder what their role in this anime is for. So much so I’m beginning to wonder the significant of the Photo Club to begin with. I was expecting some sort of rivalry between the almost similar clubs but in the end, they were just forgettable to the point that you may forget they even exist at all. Katsumi isn’t one of the heroines but I can imagine what it is like if there is to be an arc on her. Rival club members dating? Ruu is just probably there for a little yuri comic relief because it is obvious she is in love with Katsumi but just that her love is not returned. Imagine if she had her own arc, it would be really interesting to see the girl in this series who is the least interested in Maeda to fall in love in him. Nakagawa and Azuma are of course the clowns of the series and the main dish for comic relief. Each time they want to take (perverted) pictures of our heroines, they are somehow put a stop in their tracks by Maeda or some unfortunate event. Almost could have been the 3 Stooges if they had another comical accomplice but I guess both of them are already enough to handle. Kudou himself is a big mystery too. Not to say he is similar to Uchida as he doesn’t have any stealth mode, it’s like he is watching everyone from the shadows and as the president of the Photography Club, he sees great potential in Maeda and from time to time do offer his indirect assistance.

The art and drawing feels generic too. You thought that with camera and photography as the main theme, the backgrounds and scenery would be superbly nice. Well, not really. I just don’t feel the breath-taking beauty. The characters of course have the bishoujo feel since it is adapted from a dating game, the girls would definitely look pretty and cute just like how you would expect in your typical conventional Japanese anime girls. But the guy somewhat looks generic (isn’t that the case in many of such animes?). He looks plain enough for me to pass him of as the main guy in Amagami SS, Junichi. Just take away his blazer and put a camera in his hands. On a trivial note, the next episode preview is narrated by Kudou. In a very passionately and ambiguously perverted sounding matter. It makes you wonder if his true goal is to capture the girls’ beauty or some sort of twisted perverted fetish. Also, there is some sort of narrative about memories, meetings, love and fate/destiny in regards to photography or pictures from Maeda or the girls either at the beginning or the end of the episode but I don’t really remember or understand them. I’m too much a simpleton to understand all that crap. When you meet, you meet. Love is just love and destiny is just destiny.

To say that this series is void of fanservice is inaccurate. As you may have already noticed that there are some scenes that cater to give us a little fanservice but stops short of being anything erotic or ecchi. Especially for every character arc, notice there will always be a beach or swimsuit moment? I’m sure those girls look lovely in the poses too. And there is that new teacher, Momoko Ootani. She got boobs so big that it might put Lara Croft to shame. Mind boggling gravity defying pair, if I should say. It’s a shame that she didn’t get her own character arc but I suppose for morality reasons, you can’t have a student confessing to a teacher and turn this normal series into a controversial forbidden love, can’t you? Yeah. Maybe it’s a good thing she doesn’t have her own arc. Because somehow I can only imagine it will turn out into an erotic hentai one.

For the voice acting part, I guess they are pretty decent. Some of the seiyuus are recognizable like Kane Itou as Haruka (Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Mai Nakahara as Muroto (Mai in Mai-HiME) and surprisingly despite always not being able to identify Chiwa Saito’s voice for a long time, I recognized her here as Nonoka. Probably it’s because I was just fresh in hearing a recent anime she was in, Mamejiro from Blood Lad. However I didn’t realize it was Miyuki Sawashiro’s voice behind Misumi. She sounded really different from what I remember her as. As her character isn’t really one of her usual roles that could make me identify with her voice, the shy sweet girl role was somewhat sounding like Haruka from Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%. Nobuhiko Okamoto as Azuma feels like a very lethargic version of his Niizuma of Bakuman. Other casts include Nobunaga Shimazaki as Maeda (Shido in Date A Live), Kaori Mizuhashi as Sanehara (Mami of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Hisako Kanemoto as Mai (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Asuka Oogame as Rina (Erio in Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko), Mariya Ise as Kanon (Stocking in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Ayahi Takagi as Uchida (Megumi in Special A), Hikaru Midorikawa as Kudou (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Minoru Shiraishi as Nakagawa (Sakamoto in Nichijou) and Kaoru Mizuhara as Katsumi (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls).

The opening theme is Koi Suru Lens by Kaori Hayato. I didn’t really find it appealing as it sounds more like a mix between anime pop with sultry lounge jazz. May sound serene and relaxing with its pace but I still didn’t quite like it. Smile F is the ending theme and despite being the only one, there are many versions of it. That’s right. Because there are character arcs, this means the female character of that story will be singing it. Basically the tune, pace and style of the song doesn’t change. It is just that the female seiyuu is just singing it and adds nothing special to it. Therefore there is nothing unique that makes me want to hear it again. Not to say that their voice sucks or anything, it is just that their singing voice does not reflect the character they play so it almost sounded the same. Yes, I initially thought it was the same person singing the song and only much later did I find out that there were different people singing the same song for the episodes. During the common arc, it is like one big girl group singing this song.

People in general these days no longer use cameras with lens anymore due to the current fad of Smartphones that embeds camera features inside them. Ultimately it isn’t the kind of tool that you use to take pictures because it is the contents of the photos that really matter. Humans have selective memory and can’t remember every moment in their lives. What better way than to ‘freeze’ those memories forever (if not, for a very long time) in the form of pictures. Because a picture is worth a thousand words or a hundred tales, sometimes just a single short glance at one would bring back long forgotten or nostalgic memories. It brings you back in time and relives those moments. Well, provided if they are good moments and not those bad and embarrassing moments you would want to forget. Even so, you can’t deny that those moments actually happened, can’t you? This anime may be a little odd in the sense that a camera was the main equipment in picking up chicks. I guess Smartphones are so common these days that the wow factor is gone. Goes to show that sometimes sticking to traditional stuffs can really impress. Does this mean I can score better if I take out my Collodion camera? (Google it if you don’t know this ancient invention). And remember… Always snap photographs responsibly.

Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun OVA

January 18, 2014

Like most OVAs these days, they aren’t really related to the story of the TV series and serve as fillers and motivation to buy the final DVD of the series. Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun OVA is no different but yet makes it slightly different from other OVAs. As we know the TV series was a high school romance comedy. For the OVA, they turned it into a period drama! Imagine the characters from the show being reduced to those people under those feudal times. Usually series stay in the same period setting but for this one, it doesn’t. So in that sense it is ‘different’. A little weird but unique in its own way.

Tonari No Gokudou-kun
In a land and time where sweets are forbidden (at least where this anime is concerned), Shizuku is a teacher of a temple and at the same time the leader of the Mizutani Group. Their rival is of course the Yoshida Group led by Haru and owner of this land and loves picking fights. Shizuku wants to meet the Yoshida Group’s leader but since he is always capricious, she has never met him during all her formal visits. The rest of the characters include Natsume as some advertisement flyer distributor who makes lots of grammar mistakes in her flyer, Ooshima the princess with Yuu as her airhead retainer, Sasayan the secret ninja to the princess and Yamaken as Shizuku’s retainer who has a secret crush on her. While Shizuku is at the river, her slipper’s string breaks and she falls in. Haru happened to be passing by and sees her drowning. He throws Nagoya the chicken as a buoy! I don’t know. Can chickens swim? Miraculously, Shizuku is saved. Once everything calms down, they introduce each other but short of mentioning the clan they belong. Haru puts some red berries over her lips as lipstick but it starts to get itchy. He uses some herbal remedy to cure her. Now her lips are green… Haru decides to teach Shizuku more things so the temple children can respect her greatly. That nigh Shizuku can’t concentrate on her studies and her mind is filled with thoughts on Haru. Next day, Yuu leads Ooshima to an illegal printing factory that Sasayan has discovered. Because Yuu carelessly calls her name (I think she didn’t really care), the guys swarm over the princess but was saved by Haru. Here’s another woman falling for him. Haru continues to teach Shizuku and she is impressed with his knowledge. He too would like to be by her side. He agrees in her words that despite everyone has their own unique ideals in this town, why can’t they find a way to accept each other.

Natsume spreads her flyers that love will come true if you manage to skip the stone on the river 10 times. Of course this is just a ploy because Natsume’s real identity as a thief is to steal the people’s wallet. She stumbles upon Sasayan and learns about him as a secret government agent. She inadvertently tells him about her informant where she got this information. Ooshima is one of those many love hopefuls but does she really need to pick up a huge rock for it? They say the power of love can make you do miraculous things. But why throw it right into space? She’s so in love with Haru that she even shouts it out loud. As Natsume is going to snatch Mitsuyoshi’s wallet, he catches her in the act. She is smitten by him when Ooshima’s rock crushes him. Haru thought Natsume was at fault but she dismisses it and points to Yamaken. He happened to be lost on his way here and came in the wrong place and wrong time. The blaming game begins. Yuu thinks Ooshima has done a good job. Ooshima feels so good that she feels like telling the Lord to lift the ban on sweets. Sweets loving Yuzan wonders if she is really going to do that.

Next morning, Shizuku is horrified to see her temple destroyed and since this is the work of the Yoshida Group, she is really going to take action. As she prepares herself, Yamaken accidentally trips and falls over her. He wanted to confess but she had more important things to do. This is what happens when you hesitate. When Shizuku meets Haru over the bridge, they realize their respective positions in the clan. Shizuku accuses him of tricking her. Before they can fight, Sasayan stops them and shows the true culprit: Yuzan. He is nonchalantly chatting with his friend, eating snacks and even has Ooshima and Yuu tied up. Haru is shocked that his own men was the culprit. Yuzan didn’t bat an eyelid to admit everything was his doing since Sasayan shows DNA proof that his sweets were present at the temple wreckage. Why is he doing this? Because sweets are forbidden, they fetch a high price in the black market. So by lifting the ban, they will become cheap and freely available. While Yuzan is busy making dumb sweet puns and revelling in it, Haru has decided he wants to live alongside Shizuku and build a town where everyone can be happy. This of course sends Ooshima into depression because it feels like some sort of indirect rejection. Haru and Shizuku are about to teach Yuzan a lesson when Nagoya suddenly flies down and possesses one of the guys. Are you ready for this shocker? Nagoya is an alien from Chicken Planet and Haru is the first prince, Prince Chicken sent to this planet 16 years ago to control his emotions. Now that he has learnt what he lacks, he is to return to their planet. And so Haru is carried away into space and the lovers are separated… In the final scenes, we see the gang rebuilding the temple. Natsume is trying to write better letters so she can put her feelings into it and give it to Mitsuyoshi. Suddenly Haru comes back crashing down into the rubble. Happy Shizuku goes to hug him. I don’t know why he returned but we can’t have a sad ending. In fact, for a sweeter ending, they kissed!

Almost Romeo x Juliet…
It was rather fun on its own. Seemed like it was heading for another romance developing nicely between the main duo when suddenly they had to put in that ridiculous sci-fi element. I know, I know. Anything goes. It felt so out of place with the characters in historical setting and then when Sasayan showed something futuristic like the DNA proof, I had a feeling something weirder was going to happen. True enough, they added that last bit alien crap just to throw us off. Who cares about all that because in the end Haru returned to Shizuku’s side and this time their kiss was perfect instant of the sudden one that we saw in the TV series. So why the hell Prince Chicken returned, I had no idea. Probably just to throw us off once again and of course to make everything a happy ending. Since it already didn’t make sense, heck, why not go all the way. Hmm… Instead of next door’s monster, maybe it was next door’s alien for in this case. Hah… Too bad for all the other characters with their unrequited love. It felt like that too in the anime. Maybe the next time if they try another setting, a futuristic space sci-fi one, I’ll have another look at it and try to lower my expectations of it. But then, it’ll be more or less the same thing.

Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA

January 17, 2014

UNFAIR! MEANIE! HOW CRUEL!!! When the TV series for Seitokai Yakuindomo ended somewhere back in 2010 and released OVAs instead, I was pretty much happy with it. However, each time after one or two OVAs were released, they announced the production of another OVA. So being the good ol’ guy who prefers to watch an anime series at one go, I waited. And waited and waited and waited and waited. AND WAITED AND WAITED!!! Each time I was about to go watch Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA, another damn OVA was announced. Man, this is starting to piss me off! When can I start watching all the OVAs in peace? Heck, how many OVAs are there going to be?! Finally after more than 3 years of irregular intervals of OVAs, it finally ended with 8 OVAs. But not with the announcement of a second season. FFFFFUUUUUUU~!!!!!!!! That’s running right now, right? Therefore I decided not to wait anymore and just watch the OVAs first. I’ve been waiting so long for it that the only thing I remember about this show is that the sexual innuendoes and jokes rule every skit of it. And that half of the girls in this show are perverts and responsible for making dirty jokes that could make the guys blush. And there is that lone guy in the series who retorts them all. I think he would have been a retorting king by this point. But seriously. We’re only watching this show because of the sexual innuendoes, right? We’re all perverts after all…

OVA 2
* Kotomi is going to start her first year at Ousai Academy. Shino, Aria and Suzu are here to give her a commemoration present: Books, books and more textbooks! Not all fun and games, huh? They advice her to find someone whom she shares an interest with. For them, they both love playing with their nipples.
* Shino advises Tsuda not to stand over puddles. Because people will think you peed in your pants. Shino reprimands Toki for the way she dresses. Actually, she’s more concerned of the price tag sticking out from her shirt.
* Kotomi observes Tsuda is ‘popular’ with several girls. Even his handphone is filled with their names. He dismisses he is such a playboy and just ‘plays’ with them. Getting the wrong idea…
* Yokoshima feels she is not respected as a teacher so Shino tells her to place her hand over her heart and reflect. She places it over her nipples and starts caressing them. Like it? There you go…
* Shino reprimands a girl who is walking with a hand in her pocket. But when Tsuda does the same thing, she wonders if he is playing with it inside his pocket!
* Tsuda has a pimple on his butt so sitting hurts. Shino worries that people think he might have some sort of gay sex. And with summer, the mosquitoes are out in full force. Why does their bite look like nipples? Shino plants fake nipples on her arm…
* Unexpected: When Shino stretches, she accidentally unhooks Aria’s bra. Expected: The window is left open and blows up Aria’s skirt. Shino saw what’s underneath.
* Suzu accidentally got her skirt stuck when she closes the cabinet. She thought Tsuda saw everything but he dismisses it. She blows her top thinking she was too small for him to see!
* While everyone is cleaning the pool, Suzu accidentally slips and causes a wet patch on her butt. She is afraid people would think she peed in her pants but Shino notes it looks more like ‘love juice’.
* On the day of the swimming competition, Suzu forgot her goggles so a friend would gladly borrow hers. But they look like yandere and ahegao style so Suzu doesn’t want them and even wins her round. Suzu is the referee for the water volleyball. She loves this because people are looking up to her. Hata is interviewing Shino who is hard catching her breath. She might want to hurry up because the longer it is, the more she sounds like masturbating.
* During the kibasen event, Mitsuba tells Tsuda she is not good in this kind of stuff. I thought she was an athletic girl? Actually, she has motion sickness. She instantly lost. Tsuda notices the different and mature side of Shino and Kotomi thinks he is undressing her with his eyes.
* Elementary School Student Council Members? Jidoukai Yakuindomo? Well, looks like an elementary version of Shino. She is still the same. A pervert. Reprimanding an old teacher for indecent dressing. He forgot to zip up his pants.
* Koyama is the trainee teacher for her class and the first thing Shino asks her is if she has a boyfriend followed by is she a virgin. Later she even asks if it’s better to do it raw the first time.
* Koyama laments Shino is good in sports and studies but her perverted behaviour needs some checking. She sees her reading a story to a kid and feels bad for judging her. She goes to commend her but she slipped her tongue. She mentions eroi (perverted) instead of erai (admirable). Shino blushes and thankfully no erotic comebacks.
* Koyama’s tenure ends and is touched by everyone. Especially Shino’s words for her not to change. What she meant was her inner self of being a virgin. Koyama screams her head off at Shino for her to change instead. But she never did…

OVA 3
* Yokoshima talks about her relatives wedding recently. It made her feel left behind. She is wondering if she should poke a few holes in the condoms…
* Because Tsuda will take over Shino as student council president, she has him observe her. Being her perverted self as usual…
* Shino’s horoscope says blue is her lucky colour but their school uniform is hard to put anything blue on. So how? She stands on the rooftop and hopes her face will turn blue due to fear of heights! When Aria mentions how she’s put on weight recently because her boobs feel they’ve gotten bigger, Shino’s face turns blue. Suzu is happy because she charted a small growth. However Shino spoils that by saying lolis with big breasts are unbalanced. She just turned blue…
* The student councils go round checking clubs that bring unnecessary items and confiscate it. Hata is confident her Newspaper Club has nothing to hide. But what is this big box of secret? It contains secret that the student councils won’t want it leaked or it will be the end of them. Confiscate it!
* Shino wonders why Igarashi is bad with guys. She relates when she was in elementary school, she was told to practice and write the kanji word of man. People started thinking if she was frustrated.
* As the student council is going to pull out weed, they pass by a remedial class in session. Not wanting to make a nice, they tip toe pass it but Shino could hear somebody’s wet underwear of splish splosh. Aria?! Shino gives Tsuda that spiteful stare each time he says about plucking weeds and trimming them. Do it all at one go!
* Tsuda has a bad stomach ache and just relieved himself. Aria wonders if he accidentally caught his dick in the zipper. Tsuda went a second time and now it’s Shino’s turn to say a pun of akachin (some antiseptic medic) and chinko (dick). Medick…?
* Hata mentions her club is planning to serialize a romance novel in the school’s paper. Actually she’s not into this kind of stuff as she has run out of materials to cover. She was hoping in asking them for some romance story advice. On the other hand, never mind. And her story sounds erotic… Ban this publication right now!
* The student councils accompany Mitsuba and her Judo Club in their summer camp training. Mitsuba has them run 10km but has bought them drinks to help keep their fluids up. Sure… If the fluids they carry in a bag doesn’t weigh a ton… The student councils sit in the shade while watching the judo girls practice. They feel bad and start cheering for them. Then they got thirsty and start drinking, which feels like trying to piss them off.
* Suzu notices one of the girl’s judo uniform has big holes in it due to being overused. Shino then barges in and wonders whose lewd hole is that. Her mind is the one with a big lewd hole.
* Mitsuba gives her thank you and do your best speech to her club members. Sounds cool and mature till she starts fumbling. She can’t read the sign cards Suzu is holding up…
* The Ousai student council members will meet their counterparts to strengthen bonds and exchange ideas. Tsuda is worried about his image and wonders if he should change. Shino chides him for thinking about it and wants him to stay the way he is. How can she say that when she did some bust up herself?
* Uomi of Eiryou High School is introduced to Shino and gang. She thinks Suzu is a shy person and wants her to come closer. Isn’t that the reason why she is ‘small’ is because she is far away?
* One of the topics asked by Uomi is about men and women finding themselves in abnormal circumstances to come together. Aria believes it is possible because her parents f*cked each other when they first met.
*When both presidents shake hands, Shino notices how smooth Uomi’s is. She takes care of them. But Shino’s feels sticky… She forgot to wash ‘that’ off. Uomi is not surprised since she has heard of her reputation. It can’t be that good, can it?
* Shino meets Uomi in the streets. They get together and start exchanging email addresses. They start praising each other for the creative erotic names they have. I think these 2 will click just fine…

OVA 4
* Kotomi is lazy. She wants to take the easy way out to finish her homework. Her Evil Eye isn’t working. Tsuda’s strict supervising is more effective…
* As she talks to Toki about her homework, it seems she did but Kotomi doesn’t believe this traitor. She even blames her for asking all the questions during supplementary class. Toki suggests asking her brother. She did. It was yesterday. And what day is it today? Finally, the desperate girl wants to copy her homework and is willing to give all her holes! Don’t need it! Besides, use your brain like how she did too.
* There is a stray dog that just entered the school. Turns out to be Boa, Suzu’s dog! I’m not sure if Shino is trying to pick a fight because she reasons why Suzu and her dog have been together for a long time is because they were the same size since she was a kid. No one is answering the call back at Suzu’s home because mom is out searching for the dog. Just this once, Yokoshima allows the dog to stay in school. Boa sits quietly in the room while the student council members discuss their work. However Shino and Aria got distracted by it despite Boa being a good boy.
* The student council girls visit Tsuda’s home on Sunday. His parents are away for a business trip. Imagine the kind of settings those perverts can come up. They want to help out with the cleaning and with everyone have their specific room to clean, Aria wants to clean Tsuda! Shino notices his boxers split and wants to sew it. She wants his measurements so Kotomi estimates it gets this big in the bathroom. Too much unnecessary information…
* There is a typhoon building up when it gets dark. Dejima’s car is in repair so I guess they’ll have to stay over. Tsuda smells something good from Shino since she just stepped out from the bath. Shino doesn’t smell any semen in his room…
* Suddenly a blackout. Shino gropes in the dark and she can tell it’s somebody’s breasts. Maybe it’s because Aria is moaning…
* Suzu is scared of the dark. Kotomi takes this chance to tell a ghost story. Shino starts off about one on Yokoshima. She used to be a victim of kanchou (poking one’s finger in one’s butt). Each time that was done, she paid them back with a fist f*ck. Scary indeed. Suzu seems to be serving the rest more and more drinks. Are they full enough to go to the toilet yet? Next day when the storm blows over, the phone rings. Shino picks it up. It’s Tsuda’s mom. Worst timing…
* Hata is invited to Aria’s mansion to be part of the household fireworks’ display. Is Aria a famous person? She is famously perverted. And don’t start with Dejima. She’s proud of showing off how clean all the rooms are. Not a speck of pubic hair.
* The girls investigate a big old warehouse. Since it’s dark, Suzu holds on to Tsuda’s hands while telling him not to get separated from her. She’s the one who is trembling. Shino falls through the wooden floor and her body is stuck. Hata is interested to get down to the next floor…
* Dejima has prepared bath for them as she has foresaw they will be dirty after getting out of the warehouse. Now hand over those dirty underwears! Later Tsuda notices Dejima sighing. While she was helping to dress Aria, she isn’t embarrassed anymore to be naked.
* Soon the rest of the other classmates as well as Uomi join in for the fireworks. Uomi asks about Suzu growing up overseas and would like to greet her western style. She hugs her and pats her back. Is she trying to find out if she is wearing a bra?
* Before the big event, Dejima has everyone play sparklers first. She will prepare the water. And by that she means she is going to pee in the bucket!!! Stop her! When the fireworks start, Shino’s tongue slips and says ‘tama’ (balls) instead of Tamaya.
* Suzu is lost at the festival and she is worried she might look like a lost child. A lady enquires her about it and the first thing Suzu asks is her age. She is 15 years old. Suzu instantly rebukes her and that she is 17 and not to look down on her!

OVA 5
* Tsuda is alone in the room so he starts cleaning. However he spills the pail of water and wets himself. Shino sees this and gets the wrong idea. She runs away screaming aloud that he wet himself with all the sticky ooey gooey stuff. Her misinterpretation has her tell Aria and Suzu that Tsuda was masturbating in the room and made it smell like dried squid. And when Igarashi heard about this, she fainted standing up!
* The gang are at hanami. Suzu is about to enjoy a sakura petal floating down into her palm when she is tackled by Kotomi who thinks they’ll explode if they make ground contact! WTF.
* Suzu hears a girl crying after her balloon gets stuck in the sakura tree. She offers to help. Letting the kid sit on her shoulder and stretch. Keep stretching! Just a few inches more! When she finally gets it, the girl wants to thank her and at least know which elementary school she goes to. Depression starts sinking in for Suzu…
* Hata seeks permission to camp in school as her club is trying to investigate the 7 mysteries of Ousai. Ghost hunting? Obviously Suzu is scared and is happy that Shino shoots down this dangerous activity. However that is short-lived as Shino says the only way around that is to let the student council join her! And so Hata and the student council students get ready to explore the school. Suzu puts up a fake brave front. She didn’t bring any charm to ward off evil spirits like the rest. Does this mean she is doomed?
* First mystery: The cursed staircase. It is believed to be said that when a girl once walked down the stairs, she stepped on something soft and it turns out to be a man’s smiling face. Or could it be possibly be some masochist happy to be stepped by girls?
* Second mystery: The red pool. It is said swimming at this hour, something will grab and pull you underwater. Aria takes a swim and nothing happens. But what is that mark on her shoulder?! It’s actually a mark left by the rope of her bra.
* Third mystery: Entrance to girl’s bathroom. The toilet bowls are said to be connected to the underworld. The only way to get rid of such demons is to use holy water. Don’t worry. Everyone is equipped with that. That’s why you go to the toilet, right?
* Fourth mystery: The house cleaning wife. Or it could be just some ghost in naked apron. It didn’t turn up as Hata hoped for.
* Fifth mystery: The eternal hallway. When ghosts pass through here, you are trapped forever. Aria feels scared and wants to hold Tsuda’s hand. Suzu blames it on Tsuda he is scared of the darkness and will hold his hand. Hata quickly whispers to Shino that Tsuda’s dick is still available!
* Sixth mystery: Music instruments in the room move at night. But there is someone there! Igarashi! Hata scares her by changing the mystery that music instruments turn into men at night.
* Seventh mystery: The black thing. It is believed to exist in the judo hall. Mitsuba will gladly take care of it but Hata mentions that the ghost will not appear around active people. Mitsuba leaves and there goes Suzu’s hope for defence.
* They are to spend the night here as it is believed something will creep up on you while you are sleeping. Suzu is already covering herself with all the thick sheets. Even in this heat. Deep in the night, Tsuda feels something is coming up onto him. Could be the ghost for real? Turns out to be Yokoshima!!! Next morning, everything is in order. Nobody notices Yokoshima being tied up in a futon nearby.
* Hata leaves disappointed as no ghosts appeared. She considers this a failure since she has nothing to report. The rest feel bad for her but that is soon about to change because what she is disappointed is that even though it was a harem situation, nothing happened at all!
* Suzu accidentally drops her coin underneath the vending machine. If Tsuda can’t reach it… Tsuda notices Shino likes mayonnaise in her food. Aria warns her too much of it and it looks like a bukkake meal. Shino sees a rice on Tsuda’s face. It looked like a romantic moment when she uses her finger to pick it up. Then she stuck it back in his mouth.
* Due to the difficulty in balancing the club’s budget, Yokoshima would talk to the principal to help out with the student council’s problem. They thank her for it and although she is happy that she is being relied on, she feels disappointed because this doesn’t feel arousing.
* The suggestion box has seen better days. Not much suggestions coming in lately. Tsuda suggests putting a theme like suggestions for the cafeteria. This idea is scoffed off as childish but the next thing they know, it is filled to the brim with suggestions! Tsuda even put his own. I guess everyone has something they like to eat.
* Cake seems to be the most popular suggestion but Shino wants to consider the minority’s opinion. Aria makes a sex joke out of it.
* A cake with strawberry becomes the choice of the cafeteria. Shino had an unfortunate episode with it. While she was eating a bowl of strawberries, one got away and she couldn’t find it no matter how hard she tried. When she returned to eating, she realized she just sat on it. She was glad her panties were strawberry prints then.
* Shino and Uomi continue to keep contact with each other. Then here she is making a surprise appearance. She seems to be looking at Tsuda in a strange way. She wants to talk to Shino since it is too long to write them via text. She considers herself not very sociable and wonders if it’s a good thing. Shino says that is her personality and not a liability. She should be proud with it for it can create an image gap. Uomi wants to thank Shino for hearing her out and suggests a place she can enjoy any time all year. However Shino knows where the G-spot is. And that was what Uomi was going to suggest!

OVA 6
* Kotomi has finished writing her homework on siblings. The forbidden kind. Tsuda has her erase and redo everything again.
* Shino feels good wearing fresh new uniforms without crease. Suzu then spots one and Shino becomes embarrassed she forgot to iron her panties.
* Tsuda feels hot so Shino takes his temperature by touching their foreheads together. Cheeky Aria puts in sound effects to make it look like an amateur kissing scene. Shino feels sleepy and thinks if she chews on something, she’ll stay awake. She chews Aria’s ear. Aria got turned on.
* Shino seems nervous. Aria knows what is going on and tells her it is useless to hide it. Actually she has been holding this long to go to the toilet.
* Aria slips down the stairs. Is she hurt? She thinks something has penetrated her very deep. Suzu also experiences the same thing. Because she is wearing a skirt, she doesn’t to be carried via piggyback style. Tsuda carries her in her arms. Then, Shino also falls down but Tsuda couldn’t catch her in time and it looked like she feel on his crotch and Aria sees this ambiguous scene. Finally, Tsuda accidentally steps on Yokoshima’s feet. Apparently she wants him to step on her!
* Continuing from last episode’s ‘dried squid’ incident, Suzu senses something amiss and goes to the room to check it out. She sees Tsuda flinging his pants (since it is wet) and misinterprets.
* For the cultural festival, Kotomi tells Tsuda that she class is doing a no panties cafe. Oops. Make that notepad cafe. You’re supposed to use your notepad and order and you can do sexting with it…
* Shino’s class will be doing a butler cafe whereby the girls will be dressed in men’s clothing. Aria finds it troublesome because some fake ones are too big and won’t fit in the pants…
* Tsuda accidentally sees Shino changing when he returns to the room. He saw her in boxer shorts. She was trying out the butler uniform.
* On the day of the festival, Shino has no problems greeting females. How about males? Aria suggests thinking like a gay. Aria has observed Tsuda enough to act like a man. She’s trying fidget something inside her pockets. Note: He did not do such a thing! Aria welcomes Igarashi to the cafe and it would be perfect for her since she has fear of men. However noting that there is squid smell all over the room for full experience, Igarashi would gladly pass this one.
* Uomi is here to fill in somebody for the softball team in Ousai. Over the course, she keeps staring at Tsuda with that strange glance. Her thoughts are that she thinks he knows about her shotacon fetish! At the end of the game, Uomi and Shino talk and they are glad they are very similar people. Because they get aroused at the same spot.
* Hata is looking for 3 more participants for Ms Ousai beauty contest. Conveniently, she has the student council girls to help out. Tsuda notices something amiss. How come the poster says 11 participants, which is enough participants, as opposed to Hata’s 14 participants? Misprint? Did she print that herself? She denies… Doesn’t sound convincing…
* Hata interviews the contestants but it feels like a chance to tease them. For instance, she mentions how cute Shino is. Her boobs, that is. Aria is glad to throw things away for her friends. Hata wonders if she threw away her panties. She didn’t because she isn’t wearing any! Then there’s Suzu but she gets worked up when she heard somebody calling her a kid. She tries to show off the adult she is by brushing that off with a smile. A scary smile. Igarashi seems to be tricked by Hata to join this contest. Hata gets psychological with her telling her all the men’s eyes looking at her and that it is lewd for a person like her to be here. She fainted and needs to be stretchered away. Even Kotomi is here and she is enjoying this like some sort of idol. When asked what changes she experienced, her reply is that her breasts got bigger. Did it? After a host of unknown extras, the final contestant is Yokoshima. She is squealing in delight to be part of the contest till Hata sarcastically puts it she should try to be Mrs if she has time to be in this contest.
* The judges are to write down which girl they want to put it in. Their votes, that is. Shino is the winner but the crown seems too heavy for her head. When she hears Tsuda voted for Kotomi, she starts sulking. He thought Shino would have garnered enough votes to win and voted for Kotomi as her brother since he thought she wouldn’t get many. For this very reason, Kotomi starts sulking too.

OVA 7
* Tsuda is sick and won’t be able to attend school today. He leaves the tsukkomi part to Suzu! Can she do it? Well, when Shino mentions about this time of year when they have to take care of themselves and Aria’s reply is that she’ll stop masturbating naked, Suzu couldn’t say a thing. For the rest of the patrol and whatever antics they get into, Suzu couldn’t make a decent comeback and is feeling tired and tired. The library is a quiet place to relax her mind. Till Todoroki mentions about her new vibrator that it’s so quiet you couldn’t hear a thing. Suzu is too short to reach the top shelf. Todoroki helps her. Suzu feels she doesn’t need to go this far to cheer her friend up. She replies she doesn’t lie to her friends and admits she can naturally go crazy for a guy’s lower anatomy.
* Suzu is getting even tired. Hata had to pop up and tell her to reveal her true self. Like her orgasm face. Suzu goes home and sleep and hopes tomorrow comes fast. It did and she doesn’t seem well rested. Till she sees Tsuda back. She is so happy that she rushes to hug him. Imagine this scene. Suzu is so short that her face is the same level with his crotch. What does it look like to you?
* Aria gets a feeling somebody (Shino and Suzu) is staring at her boobs. She feels the need to go change her underwear. Eh? What?
* Tsuda is feeling the chills of the season. Shino advises the perfect way to warm up by thinking hot things. She starts fantasizing about tentacle rape… Aria mentions she saw a couple doing something in the bushes. Tsuda mention the term she used is quite old. So she says it more bluntly. It’s your guess what word that is since there were censors.
* Dejima gives the student council members a ride home since they’ve been working all day. She then starts coughing and Tsuda wonders if she has car sickness. She’s imagining she was pregnant. This reminds Shino she is not good with boats. Tsuda comments he has never ride on one. Shino wonders has he ridden on men in that case… Dejima took the wrong route so it’ll be longer to reach home. The girls fall asleep and Shino realizes she fell asleep on Tsuda’s shoulder. He doesn’t mind. I’m not sure if this is on purpose or not because Aria also falls onto Tsuda. Her face on his crotch.
* Tsuda’s dried squid episode continues… Tsuda explains the misunderstanding and Suzu believes him. However she fears false rumours are already spreading seeing Shino’s reaction. Tsuda points out he was cleaning due to the dried squid on the table. However there is no squid. Only several crumpled tissues. That is when Suzu’s trust in him crumbles. In order to show she is an adult, she believes in him. A growing boy, that is. Now it’s her turn to run away screaming aloud. When Tsuda returns to the room, the squid is right there on the table. Just what in blazes…
* Shino gives Tsuda her Valentine chocolates. It’s obligatory. She misinterprets he likes in-laws because ‘giri’ could mean both. Aria also gives hers. He notices the cuts on her fingers. She got it from flower arrangement. She realizes her mistake that she should have said it was from making the chocolates. Suzu is too shy to give hers and wants to put it in his shoe locker. However it is too high up so it’s much easier for her to give it to him while yelling about his elevated locker. Even Yokoshima has chocolates for him. She says to wait for her in 10 years but realizes she would be having all kinds of trouble by that time. Mitsuba too gives Tsuda chocolates. It sounded like she finally confessed but I guess she balked at the last minute and says she loves making sweets instead.
* Kotomi doesn’t seem happy Tsuda got this much chocolates. So she eats some of it even though she is on a diet.
* Shino and Tsuda are out shopping for supplies for the student council. She blushes knowing the fact they are alone. She dismisses it by saying she is in heat. Said the wrong thing? Shino fears she has to ride a glass elevator but remembers what Uomi advised her. The elevator drama they act out didn’t work. She heard riding elevators can make your ear pop and to look down to stem the problem. But she bends down so much that it looks like she is looking at her own panties.
* They have bought a lot of stationery and Shino is concerned about him holding all the stuffs. Because she is worried he won’t have any free hand to adjust his dick.
* Shino wants to treat Tsuda for helping out. Hata happens to be there spying on them and putting words in their mouth with her adlibbing. Like, paying with her body… Though Shino is not please with Hata’s actions, she doesn’t mind it if Tsuda is okay with it. This seemingly romantic mood is ruined when she tells him his zipper is open.
* Shino laments she can’t do her usual arm crossing pose while carrying all the bags. With only one arm free, she holds Tsuda’s arm instead.

OVA 8
* Tsuda suggests to take a student poll in what career they’re interested in and invite a person in that field to give a motivational talk. The suggestion box is filled to the brim. Guess what the majority chose? A maid!!!! Hah. This means Dejima is invited, right? Yeah. Who could ever hate maids? Dejima gives her perverted speech but it’s a good thing the hall is empty!!! Even better: It was just rehearsal. Dejima may start off like a pro in teaching the girls how to clean and how to cook but it always ends up with some sexual innuendo. She just spoils it.
* The dried squid saga continues… Tsuda shows Kotomi the dried squid on the table. She reveals she was the one who brought it. After Yokoshima gave it to her, she came here to share with them. However nobody was in. Since it was too tough to cut, she left it and went to the cafeteria to get a scissors. That was when Tsuda came in the first time. Of course Kotomi was told the scissors could not leave the cafeteria so she returned and that’s when she saw Tsuda chasing Shino. She took the squid to the cafeteria (which explains why it went missing) but to her dismay it already closed. When she returned, she saw Tsuda chasing Suzu before putting the squid back. Tsuda is relieved the misunderstanding can be cleared up. But what about the tissues? Because the place smells like one, she decides to put give it a fitting decoration. Suddenly Tsuda becomes mad…
* Aria seeks the advice of her student council fellows. She got a request for a marriage meeting. Dejima is most upset. Wasn’t she the one who said a maid must be calm at all times? Aria hopes Tsuda can act as her boyfriend. After all that sex jokes, they start practising to act like a couple but you know, the sex jokes have to ruin it. Shino has this pain in her heart watching them flirt. Could it be? Could it be? Then she realizes… She must be in love with Aria!!! Didn’t see that coming, did you? Next day, Aria tells them the marriage meeting was suddenly cancelled. Turns out the client’s son was a regular customer of Dejima… All’s well, ends well?
* Yokoshima gladly tells what questions will come out in the exam because if the class average goes up, so will her reputation. Tsuda requests for some tutoring so Shino becomes his sensei for the day. Since Mitsuba’s class does not have good class average, they request Suzu to tutor them. Everyone seeks her advice when they have problem. Even Yokoshima. Which questions to put up? Do your job! In the end, Yokoshima’s class got the best class average in their grade. She’s happy her reputation has risen. She’s not supposed to say that out loud, isn’t she?
* Everyone attends the official opening of Aria’s hotspring inn. When the girls dip in, Shino is surprised that Uomi had actually big boobs. You can never tell since it’s always hidden underneath her clothes. She tries to hint about their friendship being student council presidents so Uomi had to ‘slap’ her and tell her off about being shallow and getting caught up in people’s appearance. Shame on you! She hates her. She also for some reason hates Aria… What did she say about people’s appearance just now?
* Igarashi is keeping a close eye on Hata so as not to let that mischievous reporter girl get her way. But she denies bringing in any camera and shows her clean hands. The rest noticed something flying around so Shino shoots it down with a rock. Turns out to be a mini helicopter with camera… Hata is so busted this time…
* Everyone makes resolutions for the new year. Dejima would like to get piercing. Shino doesn’t want her body to have holes and Aria retorted she can’t be a virgin forever. I guess Tsuda can’t stand it and had to retort from the other side of the wall.
* Everyone waits to see the first sunrise. They are confident something wonderful will happen this year. Yeah. Like another season of this series? And nothing lewd? Don’t count on it.

School Rule #xxx: Dirty Jokes Never Get Old…
It’s either you love or you loathe it. The dirty jokes, that is. Either you take them lightly or you view them as stomach cringing. You might get offended even. But for my case, there were some sexual innuendoes and puns that were hard for me to understand so it got me scratching my head and got me thinking if there was a sex joke in here or is it just an ordinary joke. Overall, if you aren’t the kind to get easily offended, screaming every line as sexual harassment, I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy the sexual innuendoes and puns, and that big part itself never changed since the TV series. So if you like the first season, you’ll love the OVAs as desserts. But oh wait. Don’t go yet. Because there is the second season right now. Which of course I’m planning to watch it and fill my head with creative sex pick-up lines (just kidding). Just the problem of how many episodes there will be… I don’t want to go through the ‘trauma’ of waiting half a decade just to catch the entire series. It’s a good thing I never followed the other ecchi series, KissxSis OVAs which somewhat follows this format. Phew.

So for everything else from the characters to the plot (what plot?), it just remains the same. Half the girls I know in this series are big perverts. Especially Aria, who talks like as though being a pervert is the norm in her life. If you here a rich lady speaking this way, I’m sure you’d be flabbergasted. Where are your lady-like manners? Oh what the heck. We men don’t really care about that, right? We just lump her in as a slut as we see it convenient. As for Shino, she too has a perverted thinking but it feels ironically odd because she isn’t really a pervert in that sense. Get what I’m saying? Although she says things that may be misinterpreted as perverted stuffs (sometimes intentional), she isn’t the kind that really approves of being a pervert. I hope I worded that right. Then you have Kotomi, Yokoshima, Dejima and Todoroki as perverts. First you laugh at their perverted nonsense, then you shake your head… Even new character Uomi has fallen under this category and it seems she has a tendency to hug Suzu just to feel for her bra. Hata is a pervert too but not a very obvious one as she goes around trying to take photos of scandals despite her deadpan face.

Those who aren’t perverts are still quirky with their own weird personality. Like Suzu who has a very high IQ but very short stature. Just like that kid in Fullmetal Alchemist, you don’t want to go about and say that ‘S’ word (not sex, mind you!) in her face or else you’ll get a lot of ‘F’ words back at you. She too is afraid of the dark and ghost stories which makes her cutely funny. I guess characters need to have other traits if they’re not being perverted. Mitsuba isn’t one too but she comes across as naive and a simpleton judo member. Then there is Toki but she doesn’t make as much appearance as the rest so her outlook is that she looks more like a delinquent. I would have been a dangerous combination if you put a pervert and a delinquent into one character… Lastly, Igarashi is still afraid of men but something tells me that she might get over it. Or not.

I can’t think anything more about Tsuda since his role in this anime is just to retort the sexual innuendoes and puns the girls could creatively come up with. I don’t know if he sounds tired after retorting them skit after skit, episode after episode. But he looks like he is still going strong. Not when you even have your own sister who is a pervert. At least we can say it doesn’t run in the family… At least Kotomi gets more screen time appearance than she did in the TV series since she has become a new student of Ousai. Welcome to the perverted club? There was a moment I thought I would see some romance development but at the rate the OVAs were showing, I was only wishful thinking. There might be a handful of scenes indicating Shino liking Tsuda but it’s nothing conclusive. It could just be her or the scene setting it up for another sex joke. But we all know that all the girls like Tsuda. Partly because he is the only male around that is ‘dependable’.

Once again, it all depends on the person’s tolerance to dirty jokes. For these girls to start so young, you can imagine what their thinking will be when they reach adult age later in life. Will it only be them or are there other schools and other societies in the country that have the same perverted thinking as them? In that case, I suppose you can say the future is really screwed. Haha. It’s like trying to say that being a pervert isn’t bad. It’s only bad when you violate the modesty of others. So once in a while, it’s okay to hear and laugh at some dirty jokes, sexual innuendoes and perverted puns. Because we are all perverts anyway.

Ixion Saga DT

January 12, 2014

A boy who loves playing game. Gets sucked into the game he is playing. Has to find a way to get back to his world while putting his life on the life fighting enemies and traverse other dangers. No people. You’re not watching Sword Art Online. This is Ixion Saga DT. I’m sure many of us love playing heroes when it comes to MMORPG. That is as far as selecting a hero or a party. Then you take control of that character to go slay your enemies, power up, get treasures, move from one town to another, kill more enemies, level up your experience points and fight the final boss. You get to do it all at the comfort of your chair and in front of the monitor. So what happens if you become like this kid and really get sucked into this other world? Are you willing to put your life on the line? For Kon Hokaze, he is a reluctant hero. Whether he likes it or not, he has to join a small group running away from their pursuers, travel with them and prevent a war from breaking. Just for that little hope so he can get back to his own world. Oh, this is action comedy and don’t take anything so serious here. So don’t be surprised to see the gang making funny parody stuffs or just being plain silly in everything they do. Well, it makes the journey more fun, right?

Episode 1
Kon just lost in his video game. Just then, a pretty player, Flora wants to chat with him. He is smitten by her cuteness and agrees to help her thinking he has found the love of his life. Suddenly his chair falls through the floor. Meanwhile the military faction called Incognito led by Variation is chasing after the carriage carrying Princess Ecarlate Juptris St Piria. It crashes so her escorts, Sainglain the swordsman-cum-bodyguard and Mariandel the personal maid go fend off the enemy. Variation wants the princess to be handed over otherwise they will kill them. Suddenly the chair Kon is sitting on crashes onto Variation. Sainglain takes this opportunity to escape and brings Kon along. The native trio are curious of this miracle kid and Kon thinks this is a dream. He learns fast he can’t insult the princess or else Sainglain will kill him. Kon thinks he could get lucky with Mariandel till he was told he is a guy!!! Oh sh*t!!! Cross-dresser!!! The balls are still there!!! Disappointing, huh? Variation reports to his leader, Erecpyle Dukakis or Erec for short. Is there a pun on ED here? He is surprised he was defeated but is interested to see himself the kind of guy who defeated him. Kon travels with the trio and learns Ecarlate was heading to the capital to marry Lord Jugglaburk but the military faction didn’t want a union between both countries. Kon didn’t like a girl so young is getting married but Ecarlate doesn’t see a problem if it is for the stability and good for all. As they enter the next city, Kon decides to buy some shoes since walking through the rough lands will make his feet sore. I don’t know about his fashion sense but I personally thought those shoes don’t look very comfortable. Besides, they’re the most expensive shoes. The gang realize the military is tailing them and makes a run for it. Sainglain and Mariandel fend off the pursuers and entrusts the princess in Kon’s care. They try to escape the city but find it odd that there are no guards at the city gates. That’s because Erec is waiting for them and he personally told his men not to interfere with their fight. Sainglain and Mariandel engage in him but were easily defeated because of Erec’s Alma Gear sword power. Kon is the last line of defence. Can he do it? Well, he takes a beating first. But he gets up. He won’t forgive those making a girl cry. And he is not dying before he gets rid of his DT. What’s that? Doutei… Virginity… Erec prepares to unleash his ultimate attack but since it is taking too long, Kon kicks him in the crotch! I understand it is going to hurt a lot since the shoes he is wearing… Ouch is an understatement. Kon takes his sword as personal reward. Ecarlate appoints Kon as her knight. Can’t say no to a princess’ orders. Otherwise Sainglain will behead him. Welcome to the party, servant.

Episode 2
Erec wakes up in hospital and the doctor gives him the bad news. One of his balls was so badly damaged, it had to be removed!!! That DT is going to pay! Kon still doesn’t like to be the princess’ servant and is bent on getting back to his world. Erec returns to his men but their sentences unintentionally have this ‘balls’ word and it makes him uncomfortable. He’s only got half his balls. Notice how crooked he is walking? Erec goes to see his Ulga Sorority superiors who want him to get the job done fast. He promises he will since he wants to end this before they find out he lost his Alma Gear. Since Kon still has doubts about following the gang, Mariandel talks to him about the princess and shows him some of the workings of this world like a giant pigeon that is used for communicating. Later Kon tries to use Alma Gear but doesn’t work the way when he saw Erec pulling off that move. Sainglain explains what he knows. The Alma Crystal attached to the sword works as a power source but it is rare to see one this big. You can sell it and earn a lot. So Kon tries to break the crystal out for the money. No can do, buddy. Ecarlate then talks to Kon about the precarious balance of this world. To prevent that, she needs to marry some guy whom she has forgotten his name. Yeah. Not even trying, huh? In short, she cannot die and views Kon as a miracle because he saved them twice. He dismisses it as luck. Suddenly the city is under siege. Erec is firing randomly in his tank hoping to draw out Kon. So when Kon and the gang show their face, Erec is going to blast him to smithereens. But did he just miss? It dawned to him that the loss of his single ball may result in this crookedness! Say it can’t be true?! Sainglain wants Kon to do a third miracle as he clears a path for him. Kon draws out Alma Gear and somehow it starts glowing. Then it turns into a big hammer and he uses it to smash the tank. Erec is going to face him man to man but realizes he can’t even balance! Kon instantly understands the root of his problem and will gladly solve it. He hammers his crotch!!! CRAP!!! Double ouch!!! The military is forced to withdraw seeing Erec is out of commission. Kon agrees to follow and help them if they help him find a way back to his world. Ecarlate thinks he needs to head to the capital because a way to return might be found there.

Episode 3
Once again, Erec wakes up in hospital. Bad news. His other ball is removed. Oh sh*t! No balls left! ED for good?! The gang discuss about the emitting light from Kon’s Alma Gear then. They think Kon comes from Olvidia, the legendary continent that was lifted into the skies by Ixions. They were probably the first ones to use Alma Crystals. Suddenly a cute monkey squirrel creature strays into their path. Everyone is infatuated with it but not Kon. He is vehement that they should not pick up strays but the rest don’t see what’s the problem. Eventually Kon shoos it away. That night when they stop by an inn, the creature has followed them and sneaks in. Kon is rudely awakened by it next morning. Now he knows the source of last night’s nightmare. Kon continues to hate this creature although it settles in nicely with the rest. Mariandel will take care of it but Kon is trying to convince her with various excuses why it is a bad idea. This will affect her mission to protect the princess? They don’t give a damn on Kon’s opinion. Kon tries to secretly take out the creature itself but is forced to back out when his comrades caught him red handed. So they question his suspicious behaviour and Kon finally reveals he has pet allergy. But why doesn’t his body react when the creature is sitting top of his head now? Okay. Flashback time. When he was young, he brought home a couple of abandoned kittens. They lived happily ever after. So what’s the problem? After taking care of them for so long, they never liked him!!! That’s when he swore never to get involve with cute animals again. Uh huh. So does this give him the right to be mean to this little one? So when the rest manage to convince him to open his heart, just as Kon is about to reconcile with it, the cheeky creature plays a prank on him. Looks like it’s back to square one. Kon is going to kill it with his Alma Gear. Seriously? He smashes the place but the creature is too agile for him to land a clean hit. In the end, the creature wins by landing a direct kick in his face. And so the creature now travels with them… I hope Kon can get over being a sore loser.

Episode 4
The gang are trying to give the creature a name but Kon is rather picky with their odd choices. I think they settled with Pet. But this episode is about Erec. He and Variation go back to the former’s hometown as he is on temporary medical leave. Erec’s fiancée, Emilia greets him but doesn’t know the true extent of his damage. She wants to rub her lotion on that damaged part but he refuses. Can’t let her know, eh? What will become of their relationship if she finds out he has no balls!!! The trio spend some time in the park. Emilia asks how many children he wants. Traumatising, isn’t it? It this some test by God? When they return, it seems distant relatives Limpus and Gabriella Dascas are here to visit him after hearing about his loss. Gabriella hands him a drink that can recover anything and to Emilia’s dismay, he accepts. However as the Dascas siblings note, it isn’t just any potion. It is one that increases your libido. The plan is for Gabriella to seduce Erec and when Emilia sees this, she will fall into shock. Limpus will console her broken heart and marry her. Gabriella gives the drink to Erec. Looks like poison but he drinks it anyway. Gabriella tries to seduce him but has no effect. We all know why there is no effect, right? Limpus barges in and sees this. Everyone else too. Gabriella accuses Erec of roughing her up but Erec says he only grabbed her wrist and this is blown out of proportion. Limpus won’t believe him and will challenge him to a fight tomorrow. That night, Variation hears the siblings’ evil plot of using Erec and get his family fortune to revive theirs. He reports to Erec and wants him to turn down the duel. But this is all the more reason why Erec needs to settle this because it is no doubt he has hurt Emilia. Next morning as both sides meet. They throw down the conditions. If Erec wins, they must admit nothing happens. Otherwise, Erec must take responsibility by marrying Gabriella. However Erec says Emilia is his fiancée and they can take his fortunes instead. The siblings thought this is an even better plan and accepts. Because Erec refuses to have Variation as his aide, Limpus plays dirty and calls out mask wrestlers as his. Yeah, each one calling out another mask wrestler for help!!! How many are there hiding behind the bushes?! Well, those small fries won’t even rough up Erec’s hair. Limpus won’t admit defeat yet and sends in a giant bird to attack. He is fast losing his stamina when Emilia appears before him to give him motivation. But the bird charges at her. Erec draws all his energy to defend Emilia and defeat the bird. Limpus is out of cards in his sleeves, right? Erec lets him live since he admits all this was part of his scheme. But the sneaky guy kicks Erec in the crotch when he turns his back!!! NO EFFECT!!! Erec delivers a knockout uppercut. So the rest wonder how he could withstand that last attack. He has been training. Fullmetal Ballchemist… Erec and Variation soon leave but promise he will return to Emilia. For now, he sets his destination to Tamatsukure hotsprings to recover. I take it. No more balls trauma?

Episode 5
Kon is happy that they have arrived at the beach. Now he can go hunting for girls. Real girls. Then he realizes everybody in their group has some sort of extreme body. A Lolita, a bombshell cross-dresser, a macho hulk and a scrawny thin guy. Mariandel is a hit with the guys so jealous Kon won’t let others be happy while he himself is miserable and reveals Mariandel is a guy. Guess what? Balls or no balls, they find her cute and want to hang out with her! At least they don’t discriminate. Yeah, Mariandel is even popular with the girls. Kon is really having a problem with this. A transsexual with balls is getting more attention than the protagonist. Seeing he is so worked up over this, Sainglain and Ecarlate tell him Mariandel’s sad past why she gave up being a man. Mariandel was the youngest among 3 siblings and their father favoured him to succeed him and gave him a dagger as symbol. Middle brother did not like this and views the eldest one should have that honour. He is also not happy the elder brother is fine with this. Soon, a family war breaks out and the father is found murdered. The middle brother accuses Mariandel of killing father because he conveniently lost his dagger. But why does middle brother have it? It’s obvious he did it, right?! Middle brother brainwashes eldest brother to kill Mariandel but he fails. He knows everybody wanted Mariandel to be the successor but Mariandel views he is not qualified and will leave the family. He didn’t rat on anybody because that wouldn’t do any good. After Mariandel left, the tension lifted. Middle brother was good at scheming but couldn’t go against the eldest brother. Ever since, Mariandel had never returned to the family. Along his journey, he meets with a girl who saved him. She too was running away from her terrible lord and they travelled together. However she became sick so Mariandel did everything and even sold the dagger just to cure her. One day as they were sitting at the riverbank, she died in a sitting position but with a smile. Mariandel is the name of the girl he loved and by becoming her, she is reliving her life. Kon feels bad after knowing the truth so he tries to apologize to Mariandel. But Mariandel pushes him on the bed and gets on top of him. “Want to practice?”. Practice what?! Kon wakes up next morning and thinks he had a bad dream. Or not. Because he is really sleeping beside Mariandel! He feels guilty for making her betray her dead lover. Then the real truth. Sainglain and Ecarlate made up the entire story!!! They enjoyed seeing his reaction, huh? From Mariandel’s own mouth, she became a woman because she wanted to. She hints something about last night that it was a lie that it hurt the first time. So did Kon lose his DT?!

Episode 6
The sorority discuss about Erec’s delay in getting the job done. Learning about this mysterious guy, they want to find out more on him but one of them has a better idea. He sends his meat loving assassin, the kappa monster Georg to hunt down those fresh meats. While the gang are resting at an inn, Mariandel feels Ecarlate is acting weird. To their horror, they see an ahoge on her head. Is that bad? Apparently in their family it means they are going through a period of hyperactivity and they must take caution not to do anything to upset her. Otherwise it’s the end of the world and their lives. Really. Mariandel gets to work by cooking. Seeing the entire stock is not enough, she sends Sainglain and Kon out shopping. Sainglain warns Kon that once Ecarlate has 3 ahoges, it is game over. Mariandel has cooked so much food and it is a bloody sci-fi wonder how Ecarlate can eat all that in a blink of an eye! Puts Luffy to shame, doesn’t it? I mean, Kon just put down a freshly cooked dish and it suddenly goes missing!!! And this little girl still has not enough to eat? Then… Another ahoge springs out! That makes two. Sainglain even obliges her wish to end his sentences with “Meow” and even Pet is made to act like a bird! It can fly?! Kon does not believe all this crap and decides to go talk to Ecarlate. He puts it nicely that she is growing but is not nice to be unreasonable with them, blah, blah, blah. Surprisingly she helps out with the dishes. Mariandel and Sainglain are shocked with the turnout but it’s more of because that recklessness could have cost them their lives! Night falls and Georg who has been stalking them all day decides to go in for the kill. First he bumps into Mariandel cooking. He thought she is easy meat but Mariandel is in a bad mood. She has no time to play when lives are at stake! Georg becomes clumsy and spills all over and causes her to blow her top! Scary, huh? Retreat! Next, he meets Sainglain but since this guy is weird and intimidating, Georg gets scared off. Finally he enters Ecarlate’s room and thinks she will be easy. Just then, the third ahoge pops out. We hear Georg screaming for his life. So much so he runs into the toilet where Kon is taking a leak and pleading for his help! This guy is an assassin? To prove all that crap is non-existent, Kon leads the way back to the room but doesn’t find Ecarlate in bed. Then the candle goes out. Something is lurking in the dark. Georg got taken out. Ecarlate is now some kind of violent beast and almost got Kon! Kon got so scared that he jumped out the window! OMFG! Now do you believe? And so it is narrated that Ecarlate’s assassination came to an end. Few knew about this plan and even fewer knew about its failure. As for Georg, he was never heard of again. Seems he became a peaceful grandpa fishing by the bridge, telling kids stories about the 3-haired monster and scaring them with it.

Episode 7
Kon and the gang arrive at the hotspring. It’s just like home, eh? While Ecarlate and Mariandel have their own luxurious room with its own bath, Kon and Sainglain share a tiny room. Knights aren’t supposed to indulge in luxuries, right? When Kon soaks in the hotspring, he finds his erection at full and gets the wrong idea he may be turning gay for Sainglain! He gets out and to add to his dismay, Erec is also here! Everywhere he goes, Erec turns up so Kon always narrowly has to go hide since he doesn’t want to fight him (he has this feeling he will lose this time). He tries to get Ecarlate and Mariandel but they are too deep in their bath and massage. He tries to get Sainglain but he is gone. He then secretly sees Erec yelling to the gods to restore his ‘soldier’ while letting the gush of hotspring water gush at it. Embarrassing? Kon goes to find Sainglain at what he believes is the red light district area since Sainglain hints he wanted to come here. Kon thinks hard his fetish and concludes he is some hardcore furry type lover (think of how close Pet is to him). So when he really finds a store for cats, Kon sees Sainglain amusing himself with a little kitten. Nothing sleazy… Disappointed? Kon blows his top that he was looking all over for him but they have to hide since Erec is here. The hotspring they hid in seems to have another effect on Kon. Although his erection is gone, he is glowing! What a way to attract attention. Since he is too bright and can’t sleep, worried that his bright self means no bright future (which girl would ever want to sleep with him?), he decides to go soak again. It worked but Erec is there too! Oh no. Erec wants to settle their business so Kon gives excuses why they shouldn’t. Like how they will damage this place, the loser will die naked and this hotspring will suffer financial loss. At that point, Kon’s glow returns and his erection starts going back up in which Erec takes it as provocation! But they agree to put on some clothes and then resume. But Kon is sneaky. He is just wearing his robe while Erec is putting back his full military clothes. Kon immediately knocks Erec out with a broom as soon as he is done. And then he forces the rest of the gang to leave the place at night. That’s why Kon offers to light the way!

Episode 8
Kon is wrapped in bandages because he is still shining! The gang won’t even let him eat because that means taking off his mouthpiece and shine like hell. However the people of the village soon surround them. They think Erec has put them up to this and try to escape but the villagers grab Kon and unveil him. Then they bow down to him. It seems they believe this shiny fellow is God! Kon wastes no time in admitting he is one and introduces the rest of his companions as his slaves. Oh God. The rest wants Kon to give this up before his charade is discovered but do you think a guy who has been treated like God would want to give this all up? Before the crowd, Kon is forced to do a miracle. I don’t know if he did something consciously or not because he attracted lots of butterflies. Enough to make non-believers believe! He even helps make water flow again from a dried up fountain. So now do you believe in this God? The crowd asks him questions but he answers them all using video game lexicon! Consoles? Portables? Online? 3D?! His ‘servants’ are forced to revise his lines into something more understandable. The crowd grows even wilder. Even those who object are made to eat humble pie with his ‘wisdom’. There’s nothing but video games in his head, huh? He even comes up with puns like Kon-trol, Kon-vention, Kon-sumer and ultimately this religion called Konpika! Followers of this faith increase every day and they bring gold, food and everything! His ‘servant’s confront him once more to warn him about this getting out of hand. Not listening. Till Ecarlate slaps him to remind him why he is travelling with them in the first place. It is him who is lost. This opens his eyes and suddenly he feels scared at the immense crowd that stretches for miles! They’re all here to see the great Kon! They get restless if they don’t get to see him! The gang tries to sneak out and escape but was caught by his priests. They give excuse of wanting to go preach in the other lands so the priest thinks they need to go to war with the Ulga religious sorority in the south and expand this religion. Of course Kon is against any kind of fight so he gets an idea to have those people channel their excessive energy by building the biggest temple ever. Kon-struction! But this only stalls for time. When the temple is Kon-plete (heh), Kon addresses his believers and then shines as brightly as he can before hoping on to the hot air balloon powered by his shine. It is all part of their plan to escape and they make it seem like they are returning to heaven. The followers believe they need to continue and develop this holy land further in his absence. So with this issue over them, Kon’s luminance suddenly stops. Well, that’s the good news. The bad news is that the hot air balloon is falling! He can’t shine anymore! I guess it wasn’t in their calculations. Hold on tight!

Episode 9
Pet checks everyone is asleep (some embarrassing weird dream they’ve got there) before sneaking out. Flora sees Erec and brings him to see one of the Takumi, the blacksmith who creates his new Alma Gear: Calibre. Flora puts her Alma Crystal to complete it and Erec vows never to lose it. Variation tells his fellow comrades, KT, Leon and Gustave that Erec is coming back. But they are irked that each claim to be Erec’s right hand man. So while drinking and celebrating for his return at the pub, the argument continues who is his right hand man. Since KT suggests telling stories of their greatest deed will determine that, Leon starts off by gloating about his tough personal training that seems more like masochistic methods in the eyes of the rest. He moves on about learning some deadly technique whose name is so long that I don’t think he himself can remember it. Gustave goes next to tell about his secret move. Despite sounding like a deadly mission being cornered by the enemy and eventually winning, Variation can tell he just went to the hostess club. Gustave dreads when the topic of why his wife left him is brought up. KT talks about his perverted love making fantasy with Erec… Remember, it’s just his fantasy. By that time, everyone is drunk. Leon is asleep, Gustave is sobbing over his wife’s abandonment, KT is just insulting. Variation needs to put a stop to this so in the end it turns out they’ll just have to fight it out to determine who is the strongest. The rule is that whoever delivers the finishing blow on the dragon has the right to become Erec’s right hand man. Everyone did well to injure the dragon but it escapes. Returning is an even bigger dragon! Is that its mommy? This one is too much for the generals to handle. Then, standing before them is Erec. He’s back! Thinking they have not neglected their daily training, he wants to take it from here and tests his Calibre. So great its power that not only the dragon is vanquished in a swing but it causes great shockwaves around its radius perimeter. The generals are glad he is back and Erec first apologizes that he thought of taking out Kon by himself would suffice. He decides to toss that idea away and wants their help to defeat him. That will be their next mission since he has located his whereabouts.

Episode 10
Camping in the wild has made Kon homesick. He really years for his games, animes, mangas and junk food. The rest don’t know what he’s talking about. When they arrive in the next town, we see how homesick Kon has become. Not only has he carved a gamepad out of a wood, he is in a delusion playing air video game! Even watching an anime via blank screen. Yeah. It’s all in his head. The rest try to give him junk food but they brought back insects and maggots delicacy. This isn’t the junk food he is talking about. So in order to understand what this hamburger food he craves so much, Mariandel goes out to buy all sorts of ingredients in hopes she can clone this hamburger. Kon is happy to see something familiar. Mmm… Tastes like the real deal. Even the cola too! He’s licking the plate clean. When he seeks for seconds, he enters the kitchen where Mariandel is making is burger and is shocked to see the kind of ingredients she used! Feels like a witch’s lair, doesn’t it? Kon becomes traumatized and locks himself in the room continuing to play his air video games. As for the mangas, they give him their world’s version. I’m not sure if it’s porn or not because despite the nose bleed, Kon becomes even more traumatized. His sense of reality is slipping further and further away. Sainglain decides to bring him to a real game. Kon thought it was gambling but was brought underground where an MMA battle royale match is underway. He sees Sainglain making a bet but Kon is not allowed to do so. Sainglain will treat him if he wins. Then it occurred to Kon why he can’t bet. Because Sainglain made him the participant to fight in the ring! And his name is called up! So this scrawny kid is up against burly muscular man? Does he stand a chance? However he advances to the next round in sneaky way. When the fight begins, he climbed to the top of the cage. The other guys duke it out. The last one standing is exhausted so Kon kicks him in the crotch and wins. Is this the only way he knows? He is up against the champion, Blood Heart. Kon is devastated the referee allowed Blood Heart to use a chainsaw. Well, Kon brought his sword, right? Kon is reduced to a feeling coward. What the hell is he doing? Doesn’t he know Sainglain, even Mariandel and Ecarlate have betted lots of money on him?! When a hole is created in the cage, Kon takes this opportunity to give up and run away. Big disappointment. Because of that, Kon returns to his normal self thinking if he lets his guard down or shows any weakness, he’ll die. Accusing them of trying to ‘poison’ him, losing face in front of the crowd and won’t let him escape reality peacefully. Yeah well. They’re just disappointed they lost big…

Episode 11
Incognito ambushes Kon’s group. The warning shot missed thanks to Sainglain. Our heroes are cornered at the cliffs as the army make their charge. They thought it’s going to be easy but sense that each of them has been given new Alma Gear weapons and their attacks are very well coordinated. When the Alma Gears of Erec and Kon clash, the ground below them caves in. Kon’s group and Leon got washed away below. Mariandel is missing and they see Leon unconscious. While Erec is searching for his missing general, his men have captured Mariandel. Back at the camp, they interrogate her but Mariandel plays dumb to stall for time as she acts like an S&M bimbo hoping for Erec to get naughty with her. Meanwhile Kon and the rest tie up Leon and try to interrogate him. Ecarlate’s stepping won’t work because Leon loves it! Definitely a masochist. So Kon does some reverse psychology to get Leon to indirectly spill out the characteristics of his comrades. A masochist in addition to being an idiot. Erec receives message that Leon is heading their way. Seems they found him tied to a tree and concluded he was being held hostage. He is baffled he was released unharmed. Attached to him was a letter. It’s from Kon to meet at a castle at a specific time to settle their rivalry. Erec returns the favour to free Mariandel. She returns to Kon as they prepare to ‘welcome’ their guests. Erec and his men arrive at the castle and they obviously know the markings are traps. However due to the nature of his generals, they easily get fooled into them. They never learn? Finally in a room, Kon speaks through a speaker and rants about crap. Then he pours pink lube on them and sends them crashing through the floor. Erec is fed up with his no-show and tricks and wants him out now. There he is and Ecarlate appearing before them. However Kon warns not to take a step closer as it is filled with traps that will kill them. Wondering whether to believe him after all the stupid traps they’ve gone through, Erec laughs it off and says if Kon thinks he will attain victory if he doesn’t approach him, he is wrong because he powers up Calibre and blasts them away! OMG! They’re both fried!!! The hero and the princess gone for good?! Erec declares the mission and his days of humiliation over.

Episode 12
Gustave is tailing Mariandel and Sainglain into a town. He felt that Kon and Ecarlate’s death were too easy although it could’ve been Erec’s superior power that vanquished. Nevertheless he decides to keep a log on the duo in hopes that they will meet Kon somewhere. They are spying from across the inn the duo are staying. KT is also helping him out but more to keep an eye on that dude so he won’t stray to some cabaret. So far nothing unusual happening. When Sainglain and Mariandel head out and split up, so do Gustave and KT. Gustave sees Sainglain waiting at the café. He thought the guy he meets is Kon but it’s just some old dude in his clothes. He continues to tailing but lost him due to a mist in the woods. He realizes this place is a graveyard. KT too has nothing to report since Mariandel just went ordinary shopping. And so the stakeout on the third day has become so boring that the duo resort to making adlibs while watching their targets. So Gustave decides to go out and do his own investigation and KT knows he is going to a cabaret club. Yeah. So predictable. So what ever happened to the real investigation and interrogation? I guess he prefers spending his time with the cabaret lady till he is drunk and passed out. Because of that, next morning he doesn’t feel good and gets beaten up by KT. A stern reminder he will be the one doing the watching. That night, Gustave follows Mariandel to a bar. Nothing much happening except she is sitting there drinking like a fish. He tries to match her and of course there is a limit to how much he can take. Eventually he can’t take it anymore, sitting here for hours without anything significant happening so he goes sit next to her and talk. Mariandel says there is no reason for them to fight and just doing what they can. I don’t know how this led to Gustave to Gustave talking about his wife. Anyway Mariandel leaves the bill to him and punches him because he still pisses her off. Next day, Gustave and KT pack up thinking there is no further use sticking around since Kon didn’t show up. Can he believe what Mariandel said? Thinking back, it just hit him that from her words, she knew they were spying all along. They have left the inn they are staying and looks like they’ve been had. Gustave has an idea where they will meet where nobody will see them: The graveyard. However they see Sainglain and Mariandel paying their emotional last respects to Kon and Ecarlate’s tomb. The old dude is a mortician. With that, Gustave officially ends his watch duty while Sainglain and Mariandel continue to travel together.

Episode 13
Sainglain and Mariandel meet up with Kon and Ecarlate in the desert. Why am I not surprised? In a town, Miranda must be the world’s happiest and airhead girl. Easily depressed. Easily happy. Dramatic girl. She wishes everything good morning and decides to visit her grandma who has broken her leg. As she waltzes through town, everyone hides and shuts their doors. Tells a lot about this girl, eh? Kon and co are in this town. Kon brags his plan of using mirrors and darkness to trick Erec into thinking he killed them. Suddenly his stomach hurts. Along the way, Kon and Miranda bump into each other and she falls in love with him (cue for her delusions on her Prince Charming). Because she heard he is not feeling well, she jumps the gun thinking he is dying. She decides to use her words to save him. However it seems she uses brute force to punch him and then spew insults! WTF?! So the rest thinks Kon was two-timing (three or four maybe) but he insists he didn’t do anything. When Mariandel accompanies him to see the doctor, Miranda gets jealous of this busty babe and feels she has been used. She’s going to kill him. Well, she almost did but since the sword is too heavy, she slips. Kon catches her. The mood is ruined when she thinks Mariandel is flaunting her boobs (while Miranda was slashing away, she didn’t realize she ripped Mariandel’s top). Kon gets beaten up. The doctor diagnoses him as having normal stomach ache… And a broken collarbone… While pondering what in blazes is happening to him, Miranda gets another delusion. She thinks he is playing hard to get and confronts him. Because he ignores her, she becomes a demon and attacks him. Is this the kind of woman you want as a girlfriend? Kon can’t die yet because there are things in life he must do first. Like delete all those questionable data in his PC. Miranda thinks he wants to confess and lets him do so but Kon uses this chance to escape. Realizing she is duped, she catches him and tells him she is giving him a chance to confess. Kon tries to understand what’s going on (I don’t understand his long rant either) so Miranda challenges him to a duel. Don’t ask how it ended up like this. Miranda goes on the offensive and Kon is reduced to a wimp. He even surrenders. Wuss. Because of that, Miranda gets cocky. Had he won, she would have allowed him to confess to her. Because he lost, she will deny him that right. Out of the fire, into the frying pan. And so the gang prepares to leave town. Kon came with a stomach ache and left all bruised up. What a way for a hero to return. The rest think he needs to go far away to mend his broken heart for stalking. I bet Kon doesn’t even know what hit him or how he got into this mess. Miranda watches them leaves and starts to fall for… Sainglain!

Episode 14
Because travelling by sea is too expensive, their only way left is by land. The detour will cost them extra 10 days. Although Ecarlate mentions about wanting to head to Nanripat for the sweets. But Kon wants to get to the capital as soon as possible so he can get home. After Pet scoots off by itself, Kon needs to urgently answer the call of nature. He can’t find a decent toilet in this town and stumbles upon Pet talking and communicating with some weird device. Surprised Kon tries to shake him for answers but he is not telling. So Kon had to make Pet undergo lots of S&M abuses (don’t worry, it won’t amount to animal abuse since Pet considers himself a human. Right?) before he gets talking. After all that riddle talking, it seems Pet is Kon’s father!!! WTF?! Squirrel got a human as an offspring? Only in fairytales… The absurd story includes Pet being the king, some evil wizard casted some evil spell on baby Kon, Kon lived a life of a princess and was almost raped by some frog. Just unbelievable. At the end of it all, to cut a long story short. Pet reveals he is here to look after him and give him advice since he is a special person. So the father part was just made up, eh? As they continue their journey, Kon tries to convince everyone that Pet can talk. Pet is acting like a pet so it’s not really convincing. The rest thinks Kon is so homesick that he has resorted to this and needs to reach the capital quick. Kon plays reverse psychology. Getting Ecarlate’s approval if she would like to see babies of this cute little thing, Kon makes Pet reveal his fetish for hairless older woman. So? So Kon is going to marry him off with a naked mole rat! Pet is refuses and rejects. Adding on, because Pet is in heat, he may become sick if he doesn’t get it on. However to raise quality of life and prolong it, this is where neutering comes into play. Kon is going to use his Alma Gear to cut off his balls!!! Pet panics and tries to run away. All these while, the rest have heard him talk but Kon denies he is hearing anything. Animals can’t talk, right? So it’s only your imagination if you hear Pet screaming and vehemently refusing the neutering. Your balls are mine!!! So evil that those words echoed and Erec felt this chilling effect!!! He thought he is seeing things after spotting Kon trying to get Pet’s balls on top of a carriage. Give me your balls!!!

Episode 15
Arriving at the capital, Kon is disappointed the castle is small. Well, it is just a portion of it because this moving castle will take them to the main one, which is as big as a country!!! Jugglaburk sees the king of St Piria to talk about his fiancée whom he has received information that she is dead. But the king is senile. He doesn’t know who he is or the princess he is going to wed off! When he does (albeit temporarily), he shoots down Jugglaburk’s words and knows Ecarlate is coming here. Jugglaburk talks to his subject about this info and it seems he can’t highly trust the sorority. When Ecarlate and her escorts enter the throne room, they see lots of old men. Kon is being told they hold higher claim to the throne than her. Imagine if all of them were to kick the bucket. Ecarlate sees her father to retrieve the token of betrothed. She tells him about Kon’s problem of wanting to return to his world. He thinks it’s a weather problem and tells him to go see the astrologist in the West Tower. He can feel Kon is different but before he can tell him about his destiny, he soiled his pants and returns to his senile ways. Ecarlate needs a few days to prepare to make her way to Jugglaburk’s domain. This means the rest will have some time off and Kon plans to head to the West Tower. I guess this is goodbye, huh? However he instantly gets lost in the dungeon and meets Pet making some shady deal, which is his part time job to supplement some income. This Dark Zone is where dark deals come about. Kon has Pet guide him to his destination. I guess they were lucky to pass all the dangers and they remind Kon of his video games. So similar. They also stumble upon secret underground society gatherings that want to overthrow the empire. Pet has Kon wear a mask (wrestler?) because in this part of town, everybody conceals their identity. Kon’s life is in danger when he stumbles upon the secret society’s plans and they want to kill him. They include Mr Z (Zoro) from AEP (Anti Empire People), Tiger Muscle (Sainglain?) from AEMP (Anti Empire Muscle & Pets – they support muscles and kittens) and Jet’aime Star (Mariandel?) from AEG (Anti Empire Girls – or Guys? Freedom for cross-dressers!). Kon manage to run away when the trio with past among each other start fighting. Along with other weird cosplayers claiming to champion their revolution cause. Whatever. Kon reaches the West Tower and sees the astrologist but is disappointed he can only tell his fortune. Then he hears a voice telling him to go to Jugglaburk’s domain and he will find the key to return. He follows the voice upstairs but loses sight of the person. He sees the floating island that is Olvidia. To reach it, he must head to Jugglaburk’s domain. Morning arrives and our revolutionists end their war since the empire’s army are coming. Kon heads back to Ecarlate and looks like he’ll be joining her. Suspiciously, Mariandel and Sainglain enter the room late and claim they have overslept. Jugglaburk’s subject says his master has offered them to take them to his domain. Kon feels he looks a lot like Mr Z! And they’re going to travel in Jugglaburk’s giant blimp.

Episode 16
The sorority are upset Ecarlate still lives and can’t trust Incognito anymore. They want somebody to take responsibility but the big boss tells them they have more pressing matters to attend to if they want to make their ideal world come true. Erec addresses his men that Kon still lives and will move out. However a message for him arrives. Seems they are not allowed to take any action till further notice. Basically, it’s a house arrest. His men don’t want him to listen and move out but Erec has no choice but to obey its order. This doesn’t stop Variation from acting alone as he sneaks onboard in disguise the blimp to kill Ecarlate. First he sees Kon jumping on his bed in his underwear, followed by putting his butt out of the window and taking a leak!!! Variation blows his top as Kon invites him in. They talk about Kon’s opinion on Ecarlate’s marriage. Not that Variation cares. When Kon thinks how familiar he looks, Variation shoots him in the heart. One down. And no, it’s not the nose that looks familiar. Next room, he sees Sainglain playing with his air cat. Same thing. Stumbles in. Asks opinion about Ecarlate’s marriage. Doesn’t give a sh*t. Look familiar this dude? Please, not the nose. Blam! Shot through the heart. Then, Mariandel and Pet. Déjà vu. Before you can say it’s the nose, they’re both dead being shot in the same place. He enters Ecarlate’s room and she knows he is here to kill him. Being the super sadist, he wants to talk first and assures he has done in all her servants and nobody will come rescue her. Kon wakes up because he had a stash of porn magazines hidden in his chest. Sainglain had a gold medal, Mariandel an iron bra pad (WTF?!) and Pet a sheriff’s badge. When they all rush to Ecarlate’s room, to their relief she is just sleeping. This was how their talk went. Variation asked about her marriage to Jugglaburk. It is to avoid war for a period of time. Thinking of all the lives she could say, sacrificing hers does not seem like much. Even so, there is no guarantee that won’t happy. So why get married despite all that? Because a human sacrifice is needed. Though, at times she feels she wants to run away. Would it have been easier if she played dumb? Either way, the end results will be the same. She wants to hurry up to kill her since it won’t be fair to her servants. Variation changes his mind to kill her because he is not doing things to make people happy. He ‘lends’ her this life and will take it back one day. He jumps out and parachutes down. Arriving at Jugglaburk’s capital, it seems Kon won’t part from them yet. As the marriage is a month away, Ecarlate will undergo 18 rituals. That’s a long way to go. And she’ll make sure she’ll squeeze him hard until then. Something tells me Kon Is happy to hear that.

Episode 17
The gang meets Mainess, the chief protocol for the 18 wedding rituals. Kon tries to get more information about Olvidia but was told nothing. There goes his lead. Pet’s information network leads Kon to Ixion Research Centre. The receptionist finds him suspicious for asking about Olvidia and calls security to arrest him. He is taken to a room to meet the lab chief, Alan Yodogawa. Kon couldn’t believe this kid has the highest authority around. So in some mutual exchange, Kon gets to ask a few questions after Alan conducts experiments on his body. Weird experiments that range from psychological to even questionable ones that makes you wonder if this kid is trying to kill him just to find out what makes a Hyperion. But Kon wastes his questions since he didn’t get the answers he wanted. Not that the kid knows anything about Olvidia or how to get there too. So from what Kon can gather, Alan tells him there are many versions and myths of this floating city depending on which civilization you come from. From a scientist perspective, Alan is interested to know if Olvidia uses Alma as its power source since a great need of power is needed to keep it afloat. Because Kon isn’t going to get the answers he want, he decides to leave the experiment, causing Alan to use his little brother pleading wiles to make him stay. He won’t let him go and ties him up to conduct the ultimate experiment. Because Hyperion is believed to gather Alma Energy and release it at their will, he wonders if there is a special organ for that. To prove it, a dissection is required. Oh sh*t! Before he can cut him open, the electricity is cut. Pet is here to rescue him and Kon makes a mad dash out of the research centre, leaving Alan to curse his ‘big brother’. What a kid. Meanwhile Erec thinks Incognito has been punished long enough and will take their own independent action to follow Kon and infiltrate Jugglaburk’s domain. Kon is not happy he has learnt nothing and has to go through the wedding rituals. Till he hears the final ritual called Olvidia. He pesters for more information but is told to be patient and go through the rest in order. And so the first ritual… He has to ride a tree down the rapids… He has got to do this 18 times, eh? Damn wedding rituals…

Episode 18
Kon nearly died riding the log and why the hell does he need to do this when he isn’t got anything to do with the wedding?! That’s why it’s call a ritual. Just do it. No matter how absurd or stupid, you just follow it. And so we have a glimpse of the few rituals that Kon is forced to undergo. Carve a pair of swans from wood, bonfire dancing, drawing a large picture made out of ash and now we’re at the fifth ritual of placing dominoes. Going crazy any time now… Meanwhile Incognito is spying on them and Erec is more preoccupied if they are pretending not to know their presence or really unaware they are around. So we have a round of flashback of Incognito trying to sabotage the rituals like how they tried to make Kon fall off the log via wavering his attention by ending up as naked men. But he sped by too fast to see anything. Seriously, naked men to shake his attention? Yeah, I know it’ll be a hideous sight. The rest end up as farcical bloopers and during the ash drawing ritual, Erec went up to confront Kon just to tell him how to draw properly and apply the correct thickness! Kon is amazed and gets poetic. They even shake hands agreeing to have their rematch one day! WTF?! And now, they’re going to sabotage the dominoes by buying up everything. However due to the wedding ceremony, prices of dominoes are soaring like nobody’s business. Seriously. Domino blocks? And Incognito has got no money due to lack of funds. A black market trader proposes to them but it caught Mariandel and Kon’s attention too. Erec and Mariandel fight over the trader and although he is unhurt in the tug of war (that’s red wine he vomited, no blood), Erec and Mariandel end up having their hand on each other’s crotch! Oh sh*t! This scene of them may seem romantically ambiguous but Mariandel realizes this man has no balls and Erec realizes this woman has balls!!!

Episode 19
Now we’re on the 14th ritual. In a packed stadium, Ecarlate drops an eyedrop from the second floor into Kon’s eyes… Success!!! Hooray! The crowd goes wild! WTF?! But it’s going to get worse for our heroes because they see Ecarlate’s ahoge popping up once more! Oh no! Must not aggravate the situation! Because she wants to go to the karaoke box, then the karaoke it is. Mariandel orders the drinks and food as starter. Kon learns Ecarlate must not sing because in the past when she did, she tried to be a perfectionist and sang for 72 hours straight, causing serious ‘tragedies’. Yeah. How many people suffered greatly and even the building got damaged and took months to repair. Remember. Don’t ever let her sing! The first to sing is Mariandel and is forced to sing a song picked by Ecarlate. About transvestite? Kon manages to excuse himself to not sing since he doesn’t know this world’s writing but he feels the pressure and realizes this form of new torture they are going through to please the princess. When it’s Sainglain’s turn, he makes himself drunk and starts singing a song of kittens. Meanwhile next door, Incognito is also having their own karaoke party but they are drunk and arguing among themselves so much so Erec who wants to sing so much doesn’t have a chance. Now that it’s Pet’s turn to sing, he is forced to earn 80 points or more or else Ecarlate will turn him into stew! Oh, the pressure. He is singing fine and well till he gets too confident and adlibs. Based on the scoring system if you don’t follow the words or tone correctly, points will be deducted. And so his pals know he will be doomed and prepare the stew! Counting the chickens? True enough, Pet scores 70 but Sainglain throws the sashimi at the scoreboard to try and make it as though he has scored 80. Ecarlate is not convinced so Mariandel ‘accidentally’ shoots the scoreboard. Ecarlate lets Pet go. He got lucky, no? Meanwhile Erec tries his best to get the controller to sing but his drunk men are continuing to hog it and fight among themselves. After Kon eases himself in the toilet, he wonders if he should return to this hell. But somehow he can’t escape because some compelling force drags him back into the room! Welcome back to hell! Because it’s Ecarlate’s turn to sing!!! Oh sh*t!!! She’s singing about dominance and total obedience! OBEY!!! This is what hell looks like!!! By the time Incognito has passed out, Erec relishes he gets to sing. However it is closing time. Bummer. Next morning, Ecarlate is one happy little princess. The rest are just tired and messed up. But they’re glad that it’s over. Thank God they still live.

Episode 20
Everyone witnesses the final ritual. After the head butting Triceratops, Ecarlate and Jugglaburk meet and the ritual ends. While Mariandel is overcome with emotion, Kon laments that Olvidia is just the name of this ritual and has learnt nothing. Meanwhile Erec too is lamenting if the sorority has abandoned them since they have heard nothing from them. They’re broke too. With no way of completing their mission now, suddenly he doesn’t feel angry just by looking at Kon. Variation and Gustave must have lost it as well so they went off on their own. Ecarlate is about to spend her first night with Jugglaburk and before that she mentions her gratitude to her underlings. She enters the room only to be pestered by Jugglaburk talking via his dolls (high pitch voice is annoying). Is this really his true colour? Ecarlate abides with his whims as he introduces to all his other dolls. She is made to dress in some lizard outfit (he in a giraffe). He suggests doing something fun (weird is more like it) but she starts counting the prime numbers. That’s when he suggests they go to bed. Kon can’t sleep and he can’t stop worry about what this sick Jugglaburk might do to the princess. What kind of fetish this guy has. When Jugglaburk closes in on Ecarlate, all her 3 ahoges stand up and a big blast blows a hole in the room. Kon rushes there and finds Jugglaburk crying like a wimp. Guards swarm the area and think he is trying to assassinate Jugglaburk. Meanwhile Erec is still in depressed mode when Kon and the gang run by him and make him deal with the rest. Before he knows it, Erec is attacked by the guards. Because Leon and KT heard his embarrassing act (though they unconvincingly deny it), he fights back. The guards accuse them of being in cohorts with Jugglaburk’s assassins and it dawned to him he may have been setup by Kon again. Faraway, Kon and the gang are relieved they are safe. They have kidnapped Ecarlate too. She recounts the events that led to Jugglaburk being beaten up. It wasn’t the fact of his dolls or being made to dress up as a lizard. She doesn’t mind that. It was seeing his single nose hair sticking out. Yeah. She can’t stand it.

Episode 21
As reported to the archbishop of the sorority, man-made Hyperion units called Ulbrion sabotaged Ecarlate and Jugglaburk’s first night by finding out Ecarlate’s weakness and then planting a nose hair in that bugger to make her go berserk. With the alliance broken, all they have to do is sit back and watch both sides go to war. Ulbrion units detect Variation sneaking in and intercept him. Before he is defeated, he is teleported away. So are the rest of Incognito and Kon’s group. Kon finds himself before the beautiful Flora and as expected, is taken by her beauty. She explains this is the remains of what was once the capital and has summoned him to save the world. Too big a task? Well, I’m sure he is smitten by her and wants to lose his virginity to her but risking his life just for that? Heck, if he’s dead, how is he going to lose his DT? She won’t force him and is willing to send him home but that guilty feeling at the back of his mind is making him hesitate. Should he go home like this? Or maybe he really wants to screw her that bad, huh? He discovers Pet works under her and was reporting all their status to her all the time. Incognito and the princess’ team wake up from their chamber and follow the path that leads to where Flora is. Erec is glad to meet her again since she is the one who granted him Hyperion powers. Flora insists that is just a nickname and she is just a mysterious woman. Erec and Kon’s side are about to clash when Flora explains about Ixion. They were once great people who could control Alma Energy freely but a civil war broke out and the great civilization perished. Now, someone is trying to recreate that technology by instigating a war. Because he doesn’t want to get his hands dirty, he is orchestrating others to go to war by instigating pro and anti empire actions. Ecarlate notes she was supposed to do that but failed. Variation cheekily mocks her she got screwed and knows all about the nose hair instead, sending her into utmost embarrassment. It is revealed that the archbishop of the sorority is the one pulling the strings so this makes Erec ponder about his purpose because Incognito is supposed to be knights fighting for peace. Because the archbishop is more powerful than she imagined, she summoned somebody from another world and made him a Hyperion. Seeing that wasn’t enough, everyone who is summoned here is now transformed into a Hyperion. Now all of them can use Alma Energy freely. Erec sinks into depression because this nullifies the proud reason why he was chosen in the first place. If he must know, he was chosen because of his qualifications to some degree. To some degree… Boy, that must hurt.

Flora wants them to select their own Alma Gear before they leave. Doesn’t that container look like a giant gachapon machine? Kon tries to hint to Flora about getting lucky with him but he got nowhere close. Everyone has their turn using their Alma Energy and immense strength to turn the gachapon knob. Not working. Not even when Ecarlate is close to having all her ahoges popped out. Meanwhile Erec is now a traumatized guy. Still murmuring about their great cause? Looks like he won’t be getting over it soon. Kon too is in a dilemma. About his virginity. To lose it or not. Yeah. Big problem that is. When Kon realizes this gachapon needs money to operate, the princess takes out her funds and it easily plops out. They have so much reserve that they can afford to pick and choose. While our Incognito are as poor as a church mouse. In fact, no money at all! So when the princess and her team have selected what they want, Incognito gets whatever that is left behind. Flora then returns them to where they originally were before being brought here. Before Kon leaves, he tries his last ditch attempt to hint to Flora that she would help turn him into a man. But Sainglain would do the honours instead! Oh sh*t! Yaoi misinterpretation?! Actually, he thinks of teaching him the ways of the battlefield. Phew. But it’s still not what Kon wanted. Keep dreaming. As he asks about Olvidia, Flora says that place is sealed off and is no longer accessible. All the trouble he went through just to be told of this crap? Frustrating, isn’t it? Back in the forest, the rest are suspicious to trust that mystery woman but Kon believes in her. Yeah. For the sake of his virginity. Maybe he didn’t realize it but he got screwed by her the moment he took up this quest. Mariandel misinterprets and wonders if Flora had ‘penetrated’ him and because Kon is frustrated she did not, he just realized he admitted he is a virgin. Why the rush to lose it?

Episode 22
An agent claiming to be sent by Erec is here to pick up Variation. I guess this is a good time for a flashback to see how Incognito was formed. A hard boiled vigilante, Bald Spot beats up thugs in a fight that isn’t his own. I didn’t know there was 70’s modern Japan in this world. He is picked up by Gustave who invites him to join a small organization that plans to become nationwide in the future to fight crime. Although Alma Energy had flourished the people’s lives, the people’s heart weren’t fulfilled and turned to crime, thus the high crime rate. The organization is looking for skilled people like him. Bald Spot is taken to meet the rest of the gang that includes KT (rowdy guy), Leon (kind weakling) and their boss Erec (quite the ambitious and positive fellow). Erec wants them to think up of a name for their organization when he gets a call for a case. As the gang moves out to solve cases, Bald Spot works efficiently with them solving the cases and earning their trust. This goes on until it is revealed Bald Spot is a spy sent to infiltrate the organization by some mysterious employer and his current mission is just to observe and not let them get suspicious. One day, Erec is jumping with joy because he has secured funding from some sorority called Ulga. Everyone except Bald Spot is happy since he is in a dilemma of what to do. One stormy night, he gets an order by his mysterious employer to assassinate Erec. He is really torn between his job and what he currently has now. A bank robbery with hostages involved is being held at St Piria bank so the guys move out. With well coordinated tactics and timing, they move in and cover each other’s backs to disarm the armed robbers and save the day. But Bald Spot who saved Erec twice from being shot, is now going to kill him. He reveals his true self and mission. Erec wonders if he will have regrets doing this. If so, there is nothing much he can do about it. What about the organization’s name? Bald Spot replies: Incognito. Erec likes it as it means anonymous. Suddenly Erec announces a candid camera moment. With the rest of the gang coming in, they reveal this was just a setup to test his skill and loyalty. The mysterious employer was Leon and the one ordered the hit on Erec was Erec himself. Everyone congratulates him but Bald Spot isn’t happy of this crap! How many shots were fired? Back in present time, Variation feels nostalgic thinking about those days but the agent is unhappy how the story went. Where was Variation?! He was Bald Spot?! FFFFFUUUUUUU!!!!!! Doesn’t even look like him, right?! And there were so many holes in the story that the agent was left in frustration. Yeah. So are we. Taken for a ride? Really. What the hell?

Episode 23
Kon and the gang charges into the enemy. Mariandel sees her big brother and loses the will to fight. Retreat! After discussing their strategy, they return to the battlefield. This time Ecarlate sees her brother and loses her fighting will. Retreat! Change of strategy. They’ll just go eliminate the archbishop himself. But before them another army is waiting for them. Guess what? Sainglain sees his brother in the opposing camp and thinks he cannot best him! WTF?! RETREAT!!! So Kon has a tough time trying to motivate these people and bring back their spirits again. It’s going to b a tough job… Yeah, they’re starting to get delusional and lost in their own fantasy world… Since they can’t think on an empty stomach, Kon brings them to an inn to fill their stomach and cheer them up. Since the direct and clean approach cannot work, Kon doesn’t care if historians label them a cheater because playing dirty is the only way to win the war. As they leave, Kon thought he is going to have bad luck when his sandal strap snaps and a black cat walks across him. On the contrary, it is actually good luck. His bad luck begins when he somehow has dog poo on his hand. Each time he tries to do something, the rest (with that silly pose to wish the bad luck to be gone) note each action only makes his bad luck worse. Yeah, even a part of Olvidia almost crashed on him! He is knocked out by a poisonous spider. How did it got there. Meanwhile the sorority pledges its support to the anti-empire side. Erec speaks to the archbishop for their next action but is told to be on standby. Erec couldn’t understand what they want when Variation returns and badly injured. He was attacked by Ulbrion. These new upgraded units are the reason why the sorority doesn’t need them anymore and are using these. Before Variation dies, he says the sorority’s real goal is to destroy the world instead of ruling it. We can’t have a pretty kid dead so Gustave heals him with his weapon. So where was he all the time? Though he claims the cabaret club, but it’s closed since the war announcement. KT can tell it has something to do with his ex-wife’s child support problem. Because they go to the same school together. But the ex went to an all-girls’ school. This means KT is a woman!!! Actually everyone knew about it because KT becomes so feminine in drunk mode. But not as shock as Erec because he realized all those close moments with KT (bathing together, body warming, etc). It’s like betraying Emilia, right? Kon’s bad luck stretches to his dream. But he wakes up and is happy to see Flora healing him. I guess she really is his ‘hope’. But she maintains her distance since she healed the poison and not the bad luck. Kon rendezvous with his pals outside. They have finished making some bad luck purifying mechanism. Looks like a big boiling pot. Are they going to cook him alive? Because they are short of time, Flora expedites the process and hints to the rest it all depends on what Kon feels. So it’s all in the mind? With Kon thinking he is cured, he is all fired up for the war. But the rest still keep away from him.

Episode 24
Kon’s company is blocked by a head priest leading an army of Ulbrion. Do they even have time to argue about the bad naming sense of Ulbrion? The war is going to start soon for heaven’s sakes! More time wasted when the priest rants about the sorority’s research and technology in turning these Ulbrion soldiers into ultimate killing machines. And so when the big fight starts, Kon senses something amiss and realizes their goal is just to delay them. With most of the world’s military deployed at the battlefield, the sorority will take control of the world once the empire and Jugglaburk’s side take each other out. More Ulbrion reinforcements are sent in but Incognito has arrived on scene. After reassessing their sense of righteousness and justice, they decided to sever their ties with the sorority and walk their own path. In other words, they are backing Kon. Incognito wastes no time in defeating all the Ulbrion soldiers. Especially Erec who got motivated (or rather disgusted) when Mariandel winks at him. Feel the ultimate blow!!! After the forces wiped out, both sides meet and it feels funny that everybody including his men steals Erec’s lines, rendering him unable to say a single world. Especially Kon with his I-know-you’re-going-to-say-that line. Making their journey there, Erec wonders how Kon can stop this war. All he understands is that he is just taking a big gamble. Before the armies of both sides can clash, Kon via loud speaker tells them to put down their arms and succumb to love and peace. Introducing themselves as the chosen Ixions and warning them about going against their will, Jugglaburk is not convinced and wants those traitors killed. Kon signals to Ecarlate as she demonstrates by destroying a few tanks. Not cowed, Jugglaburk still doesn’t believe and wants them to show a miracle. Kon now signals to Flora as she drives Olvidia above the battlefield. All the soldiers lose their will to fight and run away because going against Ixion is like going against God, right? With the war stopped, everyone including Kon himself this plan actually worked. Now it is Incognito’s turn to take the next step. They are going to capture the king and Jugglaburk and force them to sign a peace treaty. Meanwhile the sorority is discussing the recent setback but it does not matter to them as their plan will still be proceeding. The archbishop unleashes his trump card. A living weapon in the form of a giant fuzzy monster named Forezo? It strikes Olvidia and the ancient floating city turns out to be just a big air balloon. Busted…

Episode 25
Kon is throwing every reason he can not to fight this giant monster. So negative. Incognito on the other hand prefers to take this once in a lifetime gamble. With that, everyone except Kon attack Forezo’s tiny feet to knock it off balance. After all that fancy nonsensical special move names, did it work? No. Waste of time and breath. Forezo continues to go on a rampage. Kon gets so pissed off that he starts giving his piece of mind to the big guy. With all the insults and mockery, it’s Kon going crazy with his retorts with lots of anger in them. Guess what? Forezo suddenly speaks and apologizes!!! Then he takes control of Forezo to forcefully bring Jugglaburk and the king together to sign the peace treaty. There, nicely done. And talking did the job. Flora explains to the rest she chose Kon because of his Hyperion powers as seen in his games. However since coming to this world, he has been keeping his hands clean and never used them, causing Flora to feel disappointed. In the end, it was the power of words which was ironically greater than the Hyperion power that put a stop to the war and saved the world. In short, Flora didn’t expect this too. The archbishop and the sorority are trying to escape and start their plan again. However Incognito corners and knocks them out. In the aftermath, the king abdicated his throne to someone else, citing health reasons. Jugglaburk’s weird fetish was exposed so he has no choice but to relinquish his throne to his young nephew. Ulbrion units are made useful by being put to hard farming labour while the archbishop was tried and lost everything. Forezo went to live on an uninhabited island alone as suggested by Kon. Wow. This monster listens.

But now it’s for Erec and Kon to settle everything for good. The final showdown. Do they have to do this? Erec insists. So with the 2 guys clashing and each of their team trying to keep the other at bay, just when it seems Erec is to deal the final blow on him, Mariandel stops him. She heard him saying this is a revenge for his son. Doesn’t he mean his balls since he is not married yet? Erec admits it and everyone is shocked that he has no balls! But Mariandel says he can get them back. She has decided to stop being both gender and will give him hers. Seriously? How can you reattach balls? Leave it to Ixion technology! Why didn’t they do this in the first place? With Flora making her magic look so easy, the balls leave Mariandel and are restored within Erec. He is overcome with joy of this miracle. However this means he is in debt and thus Kon uses this chance to end their fight. Now Kon wants to lose his DT to Flora. Don’t resist! She promises to meet him in his room but obviously that’s a lie to get him off her back (literally). And just like that, she is going to send Kon back to his world. Some goodbye words please? Ecarlate becomes an emotional loli. But that comes with punches and slaps too. Kon hopes this one-time divorcee will grow up to be a fine woman. He wishes his pals to take care of the princess and for Incognito to take care of this world. When he opens his eyes, he is back in his room. He thinks he has just fallen off his chair and had the longest and weirdest dream. What kind of dream lasts for 6 months? But could everything be real? Because Ecarlate’s slap mark on his face still hurts. And that apology note from Flora. Though in shock, he smiles before putting on his jacket and exiting his room.

B.O. Balls Out…
So that’s it? Kon becomes the hero, saves the world and returns to his own just like that? Well, blame me if I really did expect some sort of flashy ending because after all the exaggerated jokes, antics and funny stuff we have seen and been through, ending on a note which is this plain doesn’t quite cut it. Maybe that is how the surprise ending is supposed to be. No surprise at all. But I can relate to why the ending is like that. It’s like playing your computer or video games. Once you have reached the end of your goal, you view the ending (many of them usually very crappy) and then that’s it. What more do you want? You leave your game behind only with nice (and not so nice) memories of times you had playing the game. Surely that after you have rescued the princess from the clutches of the evil dragon, marry her and lived happily ever after, you’re not going to really bug and pester for more details of what comes after that, right? That’s why in the case of Kon returning to his own world, the story for this anime ends there like that. But the end teaser of a second season for a second there made me wished it had continued. I mean, we see the preview as 10 years down the road, Kon is still a virgin, all unkempt and scruffy. He suddenly gets recalled back to this alternate world whereby he meets back with his old pals, all grown up. Ecarlate may still have her loli face but she’s all grown up and busty. Mariandel is so sexy. Sainglain packs a macho moustache while Pet is just furious looking like as though he has upgraded to a lean mean creature feature. So do we really want a sequel? After spending such a long time together, there is this bond created so that’s why in a way we get this feeling of reluctant to leave. But just like everything in this world, there is a beginning and there is an ending and all good things (and bad) will one day come to an end. And that day has come for this anime. Although I have been many months behind for this in this blog ;p.

What else can I say about Kon? He is the reluctant hero and unlike many heroes summoned from another world, he isn’t your typical chivalrous knight in shining armour or some super human warrior with talent. Just a scrawny kid with lots of negativism, pessimism, complaining and always taking the easy way out of things. When the going gets good, he takes advantage of it. When the going gets tough, he gets going. So does he have any Hyperion power to begin with? Well, I have theory. Flora might have misinterpreted his Hyperion power when she saw him playing his video game. When you play games, you take on another character that possesses super and cool powers. Then you get even cooler powers when you power up and upgrade. So I think that may have been the mistake. Otherwise, she did mention he has never once used his Hyperion power and that is because he has none! His mission to find his way back to his own world seems like a wild goose chase after we have seen Flora easily sending him back home. Even faster than you kids could type your SMS messages. So why the roundabout? Just to make him stick around, awaken his non-existent power and save the world. After giving excuses and somewhat being adamant of wanting to just find a way back home, the wild goose chase led him back to square one and with nothing in the end. So it was just as good as sticking around with the princess, travel from one town to another and do his job of saving the world that earned him the easy ticket home. Despite some of his un-heroic-like ways, he still cares for the group. They are after all like one small dysfunctional family, right? One thing about his DT still bugs me. Despite he is still one, there was one of the earlier episodes that he was believed to be screwed by Mariandel, no? Unless that was made up too. Let’s hope this is so.

Ecarlate seems like a brat at first and perhaps using her princess status to treat her subordinates as they are. Once you get to know her, she’s not that all bad although she does have a few quirks of her own. You don’t really want to make her mad when her ahoge springs out. Despite considering Kon as her slave, I think she values him for who he is. That last emotional bit proves it. She can put up her haughty princess-like attitude or make mature decisions for the sake and the greater good of the world. But remember, she is still a little girl. So it’s okay to throw a girly tantrum once in a while or be treated like a princess. Oh wait. She is one. Is it me or is her face ‘broken’ because she always seems to put up that annoyed frowning look on her face. If she smiles, it’s like a rarity. But even that her eyes are like some dead fish… Oops! Mariandel the transsexual… Closely authentic as a female that sometimes it slipped my mind that she is a guy. It doesn’t help she looks as pretty as a woman too. From time to time I had to remind myself that this is a guy and not a pretty maid you should be fawning over unless you have trap fetish! I don’t know why, I find it hard to do that…. You think every tough muscle guy is macho? Even guys like Sainglain have a soft spot for furry felines. That is his strength and weakness. Cats of the world can be assured that their kind will be protected as long as this guy is passionate about them. Or too much of it can be really disgusting. Then there’s Pet. I suppose he is the mascot of the series because I don’t really see him do much except from time to time secretly talking with his communicator. After his ability to talk is revealed, feels like he is reduced to a minor character just to provide some animal cuteness and some retorts.

When you have a group of hot looking men like Erec and his Incognito, making them as the antagonist won’t do justice (to about everything). They might not have as much spotlight as the main characters but there are a handful of episodes that are dedicated to them. So what does this tell us? They can’t be totally bad, right? They may start off as antagonists to Kon and the gang but as the series progresses and more plots uncovered, can you really stomach a group of bishonen as the bad guys? Villains usually are fat ugly mother f*ckers, right? So how can Incognito be scoundrels? True enough the sorority that hired them is the real culprit and so we have your shonen type anime with Incognito, once villains and now allies. Okay, maybe it is because they have a common enemy at the end. Just like Kon’s group, Incognito have their own quirks as well. Erec tries to be a good leader before and after losing his balls. But sometimes I can’t help feel that his men or some other people have this habit of usurping or cutting him off and making him feel frustrated or annoyed. He never gets the chance. KT is a feminine drunk, Leon a masochist and Gustave the womaniser and cabaret frequenter. I think Variation is the more useful one of the pack but with these guys around, sometimes it is hard not to get dragged into their flow.

Jugglaburk is a wuss. Making his real debut (not counting the opening credits) halfway through the series, he seems like the main antagonist for the rest of the show. I know what I said about hot guys being bad guys but I’ll make Jugglaburk an exception because he has got this arrogant evil look in his face. His first wedding night with Ecarlate revealed his true colours. A pervert. A sicko. Big handsome guy playing with dolls? Even Ecarlate is cooler than him. So can you blame Ecarlate for freaking out after seeing his nose hair? After that incident, Jugglaburk has been reduced to the background just like the sorority themselves. Their presence doesn’t feel that threatening. There are a bunch of other characters early on in the series like Limpus and Gabriella, Miranda or Kon’s cult followers. I wonder what happened to them. Ah well, I remember I just said something about video games reaching the end and forgetting about the detailed stuffs. Do we really care what happens to the NPC? Thus, do we care what happens to unimportant side characters? Emilia? She’s still waiting for Erec. Just a thought to ponder about. Now that he’s got his balls back, all is well, ends well, no? Just remember, despite Erec as the new owner of the balls, it doesn’t really belong to him, right? So can he make love in peace to Emilia if he ever thinks that these balls weren’t originally his to begin with?

The comedy bits are what make this anime fun and enjoyable. Some are really crap like the 18 rituals of wedding. So outrageous. So bizarre. So funny. And after all that hard work put into it, it just ends in a divorce? Why don’t they make an equally long 18 rituals for divorce too? I guess they’re trying to say that building up something takes a lot of hard effort but to destroy, it just takes seconds. There are a number of parodies but since I am not a very obsessed otaku, I didn’t really spot them and just a number of them. I think if I keep count, I would have more fingers left on my hand for those parodies that I have spotted. I thought the balls are going to be the main running joke of the series but thankfully it didn’t. Maybe for the first few episodes when Erec lost his balls. Then from time to time, we are reminded that he has none and so we go “Oh man! This guy is actually walking around without any balls!”. That’s why having 2 balls are important. Essential to keep the right balance of this series (and one’s balance as seen in this series – I don’t know how true this is because I have never lost my balls! I don’t intend to!) because too many balls would be just disgusting, right? As for the action bits, they are rather amusing and serves more to compliment the comical bits. I mean, anybody can go around swinging some stick while spouting crappy names you just come up with as you go along, right?

Fanservice? WHAT FANSERVICE? There is a beach episode and a hotspring episode but bear in mind, that is a pretty boy. And traps are no go for straight guys like me. Perhaps to ease my sanity, I keep hoping there would be some twist that Mariandel is a female or delude myself since she looks so pretty and girly, acts so girly, sounds girly (almost), then it must be a girl! Am I awakening to the trap fetish???!!! If it’s any consolation, since Mariandel gave her balls to Erec, I suppose that counts for her to be a true blue woman in the end. So all is not lost (even if she loses the balls). Thus I consider the only real female among the main bunch of characters is Ecarlate. But I’m not a lolicon either… Oh, I forgot about Flora. Because she wasn’t really part of the main gang till towards the end of the series. Her feminine curves and appeal could sure make DTs like Kon want to lose it. And there’s KT… Don’t even ask. I had a feeling this person was a woman but in order not to screw my mind, I consider KT a man just like the rest despite the feminine behaviour at times.

Jun Fukuyama being casted as Mariandel really raised an eyebrow or two. This guy who voiced Lelouch in Code Geass and Yukio in Ao No Exorcist is voicing a transsexual? I know he voiced perverted characters like Kakeru in Akikan and gay-like ones such as Grell from Kuroshitsuji but this? It was really odd at first but he sounded amusing as this cross-dressing maid. So much so that in his really girly voice I really began to believe that there was a girl behind his voice! Till he blows his top and shouts it out at the top of his manly voice! Then reality comes crashing down on me! Oh sh*t! But he’s done a good job in voicing the character. I didn’t realize it was Ryoko Shintani behind the voice of Flora. No matter how much I hear again her lines, I just couldn’t believe it is her. Her trademark voice I used to identify this wasn’t there. Not the Milfeulle of Galaxy Angel that I know. Not the Rihoko from Amagami SS as I know. Definitely not the Sae from Hidamari Sketch that I know. So really, Flora was voiced by her? Couldn’t believe it. But it’s her. Thankfully some of the other casts I recognized like Hiroshi Kamiya as Erec (Hibiki in Devil Survivor 2 The Animation), Kazuya Nakai as Sainglain (Zoro in One Piece), Tomokazu Sugita as Leon (Gintoki in Gintama), Yuki Kaji as Variation (Alibaba in Magi), Satomi Arai as Gabriella (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun) and certainly that crazy voice that belongs to Yu Kobayashi as Miranda (Mariya in Maria+Holic). For the rest of the other casts that I don’t really recognize include Takuya Eguchi as Kon (Yoshiharu in Oda Nobuna No Yabou), Shiori Mikami as Ecarlate (Akari in YuruYuri), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Pet (Shichika in Katanagatari), Kouji Yusa as Jugglaburk (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Kenichi Suzumura as Gustave (Sougo in Gintama), Mitsuki Saiga as KT (Phantom in MAR) and Aya Endo as Emilia (Matsu in Sekirei).

The lively rock opening theme is DT Suteru by Golden Ixion Bomber DT. I take it as Kon and the gang’s seiyuu singing with the rock group Golden Bomber. There is Kon’s version for the second half of the series but I don’t hear any significant difference accept that his voice is just taking the lead while Golden Bomber swap places to be the background vocals. The ending themes are the more amusing one. The first one is Let’s Go ED and this wild but catchy rock piece is also sung by Golden Ixion Bomber DT but this time Erec and his men lending his voices. With such amusing lyrics about Erec’s, uhm, you know what and Incognito hogging the spotlight for the entire ending credits animation with their pretty boy poses and all, you can’t help sing along especially when it gets to the chorus part. Let’s Go ED, Ike Ike Go Go! One more time from the top! There is an Erec version but it doesn’t make a difference since I can still sing along! Let’s Go ED, Ike Ike Go Go! The second ending theme is my least favourite because DT Ondo, sung by Kon and the gang sounds like a festival song and it feels somewhat boring. I resigned myself that this would be the song for the rest of the season but reaching 4/5 of the series, the third ending theme takes over. This is another amusing piece since it is sung by Erec’s group. Cheekily named Stand Up ED and another Incognito focused ending, it feels like they’re singing about Erec’s you know what. There’s a bit of samba feel in it but this piece is still nevertheless fun although it still can’t match up to the first ending theme. And they had to make that cheeky gesture by using Erec’s finger firmly pointing upwards to make it look like that thing Erec lost… There is an episode that features the special ending song. That karaoke episode. Yeah. Erec and Kon belting out their respective issues in a solo karaoke session. Tama and DT respectively. How aptly named those songs are… I guess besides baldness, they are men’s greatest worries.

So you see how much trouble you would go through just to prevent a war or save the world? Is it no wonder why we prefer to lose ourselves in video games taking on avatars in third person to do the job? Can’t shoulder the heavy responsibility in real life. And to think that it is mere words that ended everything, I say it one of the ‘shocks’ of the series. At least Kon finally put his complaining to good use. If only it was that easy in real life. I suppose we can learn a thing or two from this anime even though it seems far-fetched to be applied in real life. 1) Action speaks louder than words. But words are sometimes more effective than any action; 2) Miracles may be mere coincidence or lack of knowledge on your part; 3) Child marriages are bad. They never work out. You’ll be labelled a lolicon; 4) Weapons of mass destruction can backfire so don’t even think of making them for your own gains; 5) You don’t need to go through all the crap and dangers just because you want to lose your DT. There are many places you can do so. For the right price; 6) Once you lose your balls, you can never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever get them back. No two ways about it. So protect those family jewels like you will for your life. I know I’ll be sleeping with my legs clutched every now and then… 7) You don’t have to believe everything you just read…

Blood Lad

January 11, 2014

When you think about vampires, there is this perception that they are blood sucking creatures that hate garlic, bright light and are weakened by the sunlight and can only be exterminated by holy water. Thanks to anime, now all vampires have this brooding, hot, handsome, dark past, dark hero sort of feel. And thanks to that Hollywood Twilight series, vampires are just so cooler than ever, no? Yeah well. Thanks for trying to ‘re-educate’ people in giving vampires a whole new image. But have you ever heard of a vampire that is an otaku?! The kind that is infatuated with the 3 best exports of Japan to the world? Namely, anime, manga and games! So people, meet Staz Charlie Blood, the ‘star’ of Blood Lad. He is a vampire. He is an otaku. Look at his home in the demon world that houses all sorts of such collection. Some otakus might just go green with envy seeing the extensive collection he has got. More of an otaku than a vampire?

However the storyline of this series isn’t about this vampire’s obsession with the otaku culture. When a human girl strays into the demon world by herself and gets killed, he takes responsibility in trying to get her back to life. Wait a minute. A vampire trying to take responsibility? It’s not like it is his fault that the girl died, right? Oh what the heck. So it isn’t just your ordinary adventure of trying to bring her back to life but filled with action, adventure, comedy, romance, drama and perhaps some other genres that you feel you want to toss in here. Well, if it was that easy to resurrect a human being, we wouldn’t have to really go through 10 episodes of this series, don’t we? Or maybe it is more complicating than we think…

Episode 1
Staz is a vampire and he is an otaku freak! Anime! Games! Manga! He loves them! Thus he loves humans and can’t stand that bull about vampire stereotypes that they are weak against the sun, etc. He gets a call from his underling, Deku that a human girl, Fuyumi Yanagi has wandered into their world. Of course this kid is eager to meet her and wants her to be brought to him. Yeah. Somewhat love at first sight. He is going to relish talking to her about the otaku stuff… So while Deku and the rest wait outside, they are confronted by a plant user demon who wants to kill Staz and take over his territory (there are many territories in this world, each headed by a boss and Staz is one of them). Staz is getting all the cool updates he needs on the otaku world when he is interrupted about the attack. What a letdown. He was having such a blast and now this sh*t. He doesn’t really give a damn about him but Fuyumi thought he should really attend to that matter. It’s like his manly thingy ignited so jumps out the window to confront the territory crasher and crush his heart like a balloon! The day is saved. Now can he get back to his business? Unfortunately, a stray plant has eaten up Fuyumi and spit out her bones! After destroying the plant, he sees Fuyumi naked nearby. Suddenly he doesn’t find her attractive anymore and realizes she is a ghost! With that, we see the obvious difference in treatment. Ignored. Fuyumi is not sure if she can rely on this useless unemployed kid since he did promise to bring her back to life. Reading manga in hopes of encountering a chapter about resurrection? Better do something yourself.

Fuyumi remembers how she came to this world and brings Staz to a black portal. Staz is amazed to see this Black Curtain because it is believed as a tool to travel between the human and demon world. You know what this means? He is hell bent on going to the human world! Why? Oh come on. You should guess it by now. Anime! Games! Manga! There’s so much he wants to get over there! Before they go, Staz brings Fuyumi to the Third Eye Cafe run by a lady with 3 eyes, Saty as well as her 3 eyed panda-ferret, Mamejiro (something that Fuyumi is fawning over due to its cuteness – the animal talks!). Staz wants to know if Fuyumi can endure it if she returns to the human world (since she is no longer human). Using their third eyes, they deduce there is no problem but do not recommend for long term stay. Deku brings in a new kid, Yoshida who wants to join his gang. He is not thrilled so Staz mentions his intention to head to the human world. How can a boss leave his territory? Simple. He resigns. His pals panic because if the other bosses find out their territory is without a boss, there’ll be a bloody death match to fight for that position. And little weak weasels like Mamejiro will get friend and eaten, no? Staz makes Yoshida the next boss. Because Yoshida’s power is to mimic, he perfectly imitates Staz’s face. Perfect. He can be his double while he is gone. As the gang throw a welcome party for Yoshida, Fuyumi wonders if Staz can bring her back to life seeing he is so irresponsible. He assures her once he puts his mind to it, he will see it through. Just like how adamant he is in going to the human world. Fuyumi is calmed down and eats her dinner but realizes it is tsuchinoko meat! Mmm… Tastes good…

Episode 2
Staz is not too thrilled when he reaches the human world. The other end of Black Curtain leads to Fuyumi’s room. He’s insulting her neat room looks like a prison. When Fuyumi’s dad is incensed that she skipped school yesterday, Staz sprays his vampire essence (read: his saliva) to turn that into his mind controlling object. Staz wants to go to her school. For the hell of it. You thought he would stay stealthy in the human world, no? Instead, he acts like a country bumpkin snapping pictures and attracting attention. But nothing like a little spray won’t do to fix it, right? Meanwhile Yoshida is trying to act more like Staz to pass off as the temporary boss. Needs a little more slacking… In school, Fuyumi is disheartened that she sees her friends talking to her. Problem is, that person before her might look like her but it isn’t her! Get it?! So she blames Staz because of his strange essence thingy and that if she had just told the truth, everything will be alright. Really? Tell everyone she died and turned into a ghost? She wants him to return things to normal because if it’s the same to others whether she is here or not, she would rather disappear. Staz points out she is slowly vanishing. Demons who have weak resilience can’t maintain their form in the human world. Suddenly don’t feel like disappearing, eh? He bites his finger so that she could lick his blood and maintain her form. He also assures her about bringing her back to life. He notes the lies he is willing to say to her face because all he wants to do is suck her blood till she turns into a mummy. Oddly there are so many humans here and yet he only feels the urge for her. There must be something special about her. He needs to find a way to resurrect her or he’ll turn into a mummy.

Fuyumi is surprised Staz wants to return to the demon world. To replenish his stamina? Before the big boss battle? The battle of visiting Akihabara!!! However they see this girl with a big backpack in her room, Bell Hydra. She is the owner of Black Curtain and Staz deduces it was purposely left out there to lure him in and take over his territory. After introducing herself as a treasure hunter that can go anywhere in between worlds and any time she wants, she wants them to pay 30 million yen as toll for using Black Curtain. Each. Is it their fault if she forgets to put it away? Pay up or she’ll sell info to other bosses about him being gone from his territory. He wants to give him a piece of his mind but she drops a frame and he ends up somewhere farther. She tells him she will make him work for it so Staz tries to get her like whack-a-mole but seriously, can you ever really hit those moles? By the way, she’s got Fuyumi hostage so better do what she says about getting some secret stuff in some secret location. So while Staz meets some transvestite demon to obtain some legendary ogre panties that will never break (WTF), Bell tells Fuyumi the truth. She didn’t put up Black Curtain. Some guy stole her magic and put it up. She wants to find this guy for making a fool out of guy. For someone who is able to do that must be really strong. Once she finds him, she’ll make him her husband!!! Staz needs to face off with the tranny for the panties and easily defeats him without any effort. Guess what? Bell doesn’t want it too! Just messing with him? Besides, Bell has become best friends with Fuyumi and believes what the latter says about Staz not being Black Curtain’s thief. She also heard that Staz is trying to resurrect her and remembers this Book of Human Resurrection. Well… She sold it to Wolf. Yeah. That werewolf kid ruling the werewolf area who is Staz’s old friend-cum-rival.

Episode 3
Wolf easily beats his enemies and expands his territory but he doesn’t feel satisfied winning over these weaklings. Because Bell refused to teleport Staz over to Wolf’s territory, he wanted to punch her but she deflected it back to his face with her frame. So he’s back at Third Eye Cafe in some sort of party with the rest. Mamejiro seems to be badmouthing they can do fine without Staz till she realizes it’s not Yoshida mimicking him. Oops. Weasel abuse! Staz decide to call the carriage to head to Wolf’s territory and brings Mamejiro along. Weasel not happy so she is chained to Fuyumi. The reason for her to tag along is because he needs her to use her third eye to scout for other territory bosses. The last thing he wants to do is bump into them. Suddenly she sees Wolf before them! Before the carriage can crash into them, Wolf slices it into half. So what happens when old buddies meet? Fight! Turns out to be just their style of greeting. Staz tells about the situation and of course Wolf says he doesn’t read such book. But of course. Do werewolves look like the bookworm type? Staz wants Wolf to use his authority to ask his underlings to search for it but because Wolf’s territory is vast, it is like searching for a needle in a haystack. No can do. I guess they’ll settle this the old fashioned way. If Staz wins, Wolf must find the book. If Wolf wins, he’ll have Fuyumi. Despite saying outright she is not his type, I think he really digs her. Was his face that scary that Fuyumi started vomiting? I don’t think she it was the motion sickness from the carriage. And so the match to settle it will be bowling. Because Wolf is close range combat fighter, Staz can use his magic to manipulate the ball and win easily. However the match turns out to be boxing! How the hell can he mix up bowling and boxing! Fuyumi is made the ring girl and so cute she is that Wolf is turned on and wants to protect her. He is going to win this match.

As the bout starts, Staz easily gets knocked out in a single punch! Before the count of then finishes, he gets up and the punches resume. Although Staz’s vampire blood has him recover quickly, at this rate he might not be able to withstand Wolf’s onslaught of punches till he runs out of magic. Suddenly Wolf runs out of energy. Seems Staz has embedded a tooth of his in his shoulder. The more Wolf hurts him, the more his magic decreases. Staz was healing on his stolen magic. Staz knocks him out in a punch but Wolf gets back up. He is furious and wants to know why the book is so important that he transforms into his werewolf form. Wolf doesn’t believe Staz’s answer that he wants to return Fuyumi to who she was because he knows well Staz is not that kind of guy. Wolf continues to berate him that despite hating himself as a vampire, he continued to use his vampire power at his convenience. Staz is ticked off and is going to give him a punch that will kill him but is slapped by Fuyumi! She starts crying that friends shouldn’t fight. Bell who has been watching the match drops in to give her verdict as the judge. They’re both losers. Make that pathetic losers. She whisks the trio out of the ring. The guys reconcile and realize Bell was the one who set them up especially how the bowling-turned-boxing match. And yeah. She had the spell book all along and gives it to Staz free of charge. She really loves messing with them, does she? However nobody can read what it is. Mamejiro deduces that this book might be a giant anagram and even if they know how to decipher it, getting the contents is going to be a big pain. In short and to save time, ask directly the author of this book. Staz is shocked to see his name. He knows this guy who lives in the high class demon world of Acropolis. Only elite and prestigious demons are allowed to live here. He is the vampire Braz D. Blood and Staz’s brother. Good right? Since it’s family and he can ask easily. Well… Not really. See Staz shaking? That’s not a good sign…

Episode 4
Wolf notes that Staz can return there easily because he has noble bloodline unlike commoners. Staz is still reluctant because he was the one who ran away from home. This makes Wolf mad over his half assed attitude. He was willing to kill him but now when his brother is involved, he’s going to turn tail and run away. Don’t give him that crap and get going! Then he threatens Bell to take Staz there. Wolf will stay here and guard Fuyumi. Is this his motive? Because Wolf kicked Staz into the portal while Bell was setting up, he ends up in Bell’s room. Fuyumi becomes emotional after hearing Wolf isn’t pure blooded and mixed with some other demon and thus abandoned from Acropolis.  After Bell takes a shower, she tries to seduce Staz. She reveals she was suspicious of him at first but confirmed it during his fight with Wolf. It’s his unnatural flow of magic and it’s like he is hiding something. She wants to see it badly, that leaking thing inside his locked chest. However Staz notes his brother has the key. He remembers Braz always subjects him to torture, giving reasons it will awaken him his dormant gift. Turns out he was trying to kill him and the reason why he took up magic was to do so. One day, he was relieved he doesn’t need to kill him anymore and shot a special bullet into his heart that sealed his magic. That bullet remains in his heart today. Bell wants Staz to go to Braz and remove that bullet but since that guy isn’t going to do that, they’ll settle it via fight. But she is not going to fight him and make him submit without doing so. In this grid room, Bell can vanish and appear anywhere she wants so Staz instantly gives up. That was quick. He knows he can be stubborn and not admit defeat but doing so will not get him anywhere. At least he is this smart.

Fuyumi and Mamejiro wait in one of Wolf’s exclusive club rooms. Fuyumi is dead tired (no pun intended) so she right away falls asleep. But when Wolf tries to carry her to bed, they are shocked to see her legs vanishing. Wolf quickly rushes her to see Dr Frankenstein. Despite being a mad scientist and can’t be fully trusted, he knows a lot about demon physiology. Bell drops Staz outside the gardens of his home as she can go no nearer. Staz quickly hides and tries to sneak in just to avoid that last person he wants to meet. And… Oops. Too late. There she is. His little sister Liz T. Blood. Almost got killed by her axe! No love lost. She continues attacking him and calls him a disgrace to the family for running away. She will never acknowledge him especially that they share the same blood. Liz then hands down her judgment on him. Since she is also prison warden, Staz is dropped into her biggest and worst prison in the demon world. It’s like her personal toy box. Inside his cell, he sees a strange button. Curiosity got the better of him and he pushes it. The wall behind opens and the path leads to a room where Liz is waiting. She mentions anyone can leave this place anytime. All he has to do is press the button, come to this room, defeat a pair of zombies and you’re scot free. However nobody is able to do that.

Episode 5
Guess what? Staz got defeated. However each time he gets tossed back into his cell, he presses the button for another challenge. This goes on and on and on and on and on… Always the same results. Give it up already! Braz talks to Liz and knows she is hiding something. She won’t say so he hints if it’s an intruder, she would have easily killed him instead of landing him in her play pen. She seems afraid of her respectable brother and doesn’t want to say a thing in fear he will be mad. Just then, the zombie comes in to tell the persistent problem about the new prisoner. Braz goes to see Staz who is freshly beaten up. He fires several magic bullets into him to allow his magic to recover. Staz tells it straight to him he wants to know how to resurrect a human so Braz teases him if it’s about a virgin girl. Seeing the brothers are so close and friendly, the zombies make an unnecessary comment so Liz burns them! Yeow! Liz still refuses to accept him but Braz points out Staz will always be a noble and pure blooded vampire no matter where he goes. It will not change the fact that he will always be her older brother. Liz is enraged that she is more useful and superior than him but Braz points out that is also a mistake on her part. Liz is sad that she thought Braz would look at her after Staz left but all Braz did was worry about Staz. Staz notes that since they’re acting on their own stupid reasons and the answer to it is just standing right next to them, Braz agrees to tell him how to resurrect a human but in exchange he does him a favour.

Frankenstein’s analysis concludes that Fuyumi besides being a ghost has some other demon mixed within her: A vampire. If you don’t get all that mumbo-jumbo he said, all you need to know it’s Staz’s fault. Basically a vampire’s magic is too overwhelming for her body to contain and thus the disappearing. Frankenstein says there is only one way to stop her from disappearing. She must devour Staz and become a new hybrid monster. Or let Staz devour her. Either way it must be one of them to be devoured. Bell drops in just to hint that there is another way to save her because she is not willing to lose Fuyumi’s huge racks. Wolf is enraged about Frankenstein’s lie and almost kills him. The other way as mentioned is to turn her back into a pure ghost. So why didn’t Frankenstein say this in the first place? His reasons and explanation as follows, the same as Braz’s details on the favour Staz needs to clear.

Frankenstein created something terrible. Something that could make the demon race extinct. His ancestor stitched together pieces of human corpses to create a monster and he stitched together pieces of demons to make it a greater demon. However this demon, Akim Papradon felt he needed higher quality parts worthy of his body. But Frankenstein would only allow parts he could control so Akim surprised him by using time spatial to escape so he could get those parts himself. Now he is terrorizing the demon world by killing demon for their body parts to upgrade himself. Frankenstein can easily fix Fuyumi but just so that Wolf keeps his end of the deal, he must defeat Akim. The most he can keep Fuyumi alive with his special potion is half a day. That’s his time limit. As for Staz, he doesn’t to go against Akim because it’s too big a responsibility! Of course at his current state he won’t be a match but what if that special bullet is taken out from his heart? He’ll get his powers back. Because Staz still holds bitter memories of trying to kill him, Braz shows him a little rock. Its actual size was 5 metres in diameter. Staz was the one who shrink it with his power. But after that he collapsed. Staz used to collapse frequently using that destructive power which he unconsciously released after that. If this continued, he will die so Braz had to lock it away. That’s the true story. Three days after he appeared, Staz came to see him and has fully grown into a vessel suitable for that power. Braz will gladly remove that bullet and has him show his true vampire powers. But still, Staz refuses since if he does, he will have to fight. He doesn’t want added responsibilities. Just want to know how to resurrect a human. Braz calls the negotiation off and orders Liz to summon her zombies and kill Staz. Refusing is not an option. While he runs for his life, Braz shoots into him and unlocks the seal. As he wakes up, the powerful force blasts the zombies into bones. Not again. Meanwhile Wolf is facing off with a territory boss while trying to find Akim. Suddenly Akim kills the pig boss. There, saved him time, didn’t it?

Episode 6
Staz has his full power back and he is not happy because now he has to go kill the monster. Of course for Braz this is the perfect chance to test his restored power. Wolf holds his ground against Akim and even though he manages to break some bones, Akim can still use his limbs like normal. Because all of them are moved by his magic power so what Wolf is seeing isn’t his real form. The true Akim is a phantom manipulating this dead flesh. Wolf transforms into his werewolf form to power up but only has 3 minutes limitation (due to his mix breed). Despite beating up Akim, that guy still revives. He is low on power and transforming back. That’s when Staz drops in. Both friends start arguing and ignoring Akim so that guy got impatient. In a single blow, Akim is sent flying through the buildings! Wow! Wolf tags out and lets Staz toy with him till he replenishes his magic. Staz greets Akim in the barren wasteland to finish their business. Akim is not pleased that only Staz came back because he really wanted to fight them both. He’ll soon learn that Staz is more than enough to handle. Staz is about to released his ultimate move from a certain Dragonball character. Before you could scream stolen copyright stuff, Akim pounds him. Staz gets mad when Akim insults that move. That does it. Nobody insults his anime. Because of that, he is going to finish him with an original move. Wow. I thought that yellow aura looked a bit like some 9 tail fox thingy… Akim is so moved that he wants to eat all of him. So powerful a move that Bell has to cut viewing time so the weaklings won’t get blown away. At the end game, we see Staz holding Akim’s head. However he won’t let that patch monster surrender so easily and die in satisfaction. The fight had just begun. Akim reassembles himself so bored Staz just finishes him off by crushing his heart. Staz walks away but is confronted by Wolf who has a favour to ask. He is told Fuyumi will disappear in a few hours because of him. That’s why Wolf is challenging Staz again over Fuyumi.

Meanwhile Bell takes Frankenstein to retrieve parts of Akim that is nicely stored in several spatial boxes. When Staz delivered the last blow, Akim thought he could escaped via spatial portal but Bell the master caught him. Akim always thought his spatial magic was his own but Bell points out she is the original user and his is just imitation. Bell now has Frankenstein tell the truth about the demon who used to make Akim. When Frankenstein is at his wits end trying to put parts for his monster together (because it just wouldn’t stick), he received a mysterious call that left him a present outside his door. A body that became Akim’s core. Frankenstein doesn’t know who this mysterious guy is but he might be powerful enough and the thief who stole Bell’s magic. Braz and Liz come into the scene and take Frankenstein and Akim in into custody for causing disturbance in the demon world. Elsewhere Wolf again has lost to Staz. Now is he satisfied? Wolf says he was never satisfied on the day he was born. Ever since he first met Staz (he dropped in from the sky), Wolf made a deal and fought with him. Staz will become his henchman if Wolf wins. Otherwise Wolf will give him money to visit Japan and see some famous anime director. However Staz never fought back and became his punching bag. Wolf didn’t like it and wanted to know why. Had he fought seriously, Wolf will die. Wolf always thought he was strong and even so not much difference. He realized he was so weak that the enemy had to pity him even with his powers sealed. So how can he ever be satisfied? He wants to fight him for real next time. Staz brushes that off. Because he can’t fight his friend. He is surprised when Braz and Liz drop in, teasing about his friendship. Now, about the human resurrection thingy…

Episode 7
Staz returns to Fuyumi but I guess he got thirsty from the fight that he drinks the last remaining special potion. Oops. He is also here so that Braz can analyse the kind of person he wants to resurrect. Staz demonstrates how he uses his blood to keep Fuyumi solid. Braz doesn’t approve of this method so he brings everyone to the place where Staz first met Fuyumi and then lost her as a human. That’s right. It’s back in his own territory. At Third Eye Cafe, Bell confronts Staz about Braz. It’s like that guy knows everything. Staz tells her not to worry too much about it because whatever he says or do will somehow in some ways always benefit him. Bell gives Staz a bell for Fuyumi. If she rings it 3 times, she’ll come to her. Going back to Braz, at first Staz was reluctant to strip Fuyumi as he was told. After hearing his explanation he needs to take sample and check her magic before proceeding with her resurrection, I hope Fuyumi doesn’t get the wrong idea he is a pervert. Braz will go back to Acropolis to do his research. Since Liz wants to stay, he hopes he can show her around. Braz also assures he can easily separate Staz’s magic mixed in Fuyumi’s sample and will keep his promise. Of course, that means using his magic as a complete vampire to good use. Fuyumi cooks for the gang and Liz gets somewhat emotional after hearing her little story as it reminded hers. Fuyumi had no mom so she does the cooking. The vampire siblings’ do not have parents anymore. Liz also remembers the reason why she wanted to stay here. More like she was ordered to stay. Braz forbid her to return to Acropolis till he says so. This is so nobody can interrupt his research and also to keep an eye on Staz. Of course Staz knows something is up and can tell by her actions. Liz just lies that she is here because she might get in the way of his work.

Since she has nowhere to go, Staz introduces her to his anime. So touched that she wants to see it again! Welcome to the otaku side… Later Fuyumi talks to Staz and she misjudges him. He’s quite a nice brother and person. Staz remembers the bell and passes it to her. Fuyumi takes Liz to the public bath and they naturally bond although the loli still needs time to open her heart. Then they sleep together in the same cramp bed but I wonder if they have space since Fuyumi’s boobs are taking lots of space. Next morning, Liz is frantic because Fuyumi is gone and a message from her saying not to look for her. As the gang discuss about this, Staz knows she is not doing this on her own will. I mean, she depends on his blood so she can’t be doing this stupid move. He laments he is never around when something happens to her. He was always obsessed with his goals and never paid much attention her. His underlings feel it is not like him to mope (because it’s his fault anyway) and the Staz they know would have told them to go look for her. Better still. He orders them to go look for her or else he will punish them like mad with his crazy power. That’s more like it. Liz thinks Staz will have an idea of her whereabouts. Because Braz put a tracking device on her. Of course, he also told her not to tell Staz. Staz wants her to return to Acropolis and find out where Fuyumi is. If this invokes Braz’s wrath, tell him that he threatened her when he lost Fuyumi and went berserk. He is willing to give all his collection to her but Liz just wants to plushie he got her earlier on. After Liz heads home, Deku calls his boss that he might have some information. They saw an unfamiliar face in the territory. Yoshida imitates his face and to Staz, he looks like some British rock. WTF? They heard this dude was heading south.

Episode 8
When Liz returns to Acropolis, the guards stop her because according to their log, Braz should be with her. The police officer of Acropolis, Beros allows her in. However this is just some excuse to go see and arrest him for illegal entry. She is to bring Braz to see the person he least wants to see: Wolf Daddy, the king of Acropolis. Liz doesn’t like that guy because he took their parents away from them. Braz welcomes them in and because he is acting so calm, Beros puts her cursed Underdog Choker on him that forbids him of using any magic. Braz agrees to go with her and although Liz is sad she broke her promise, he wants her to watch the house. Liz of course calls Staz about the situation but she will try to look for Fuyumi as well. Staz beats up some rapper demon who thinks he is tough. Thinking his boss knows the person he is looking for, Staz is brought to snowman Yuuki. He knows this guy, Knell but doesn’t know where he is right now. However he has his business card and its premise is located at one of the 7 wonders of the demon world: Dimensional Highway. No one has seen or been there so he isn’t confident Staz will get there. He realizes he can use spatial magic. As Fuyumi is locked in a grid room, Knell decides to order some ramen for her. Because the owner didn’t like him ‘disappearing’ his bowls, Knell is going to take it back but gets involved in a tug of war with her. Accidentally pulling her out a little, she manages to ring the bell 3 times. Bell and Liz detect her location. Knell tries to run but was knocked out in the crotch by Bell. Yup, she is his sister. Bell is shocked to learn that the one who requested for Fuyumi is their mom, Neyn. No time to think because Staz just entered the picture. Bell will stall Staz to allow Knell to escape. Switching sides? She then transports him to her grid room.

Bell tries to convince Staz that she is more than good enough than Fuyumi. Why is that girl so important to him? Guess what is his answer? She is his one of a kind collector’s item you can’t find anywhere else! Insulted? I guess this really pisses Bell off. Now he must fight her. Lose, not only Fuyumi is hers but he will become her slave. Meanwhile Knell brings Fuyumi to a place called Hydra. Despite using spatial magic and having the upper hand, Staz isn’t the least worried. So Bell got cocky and let her guard down. Staz has her in his grasp. She manages to escape back into her frame but at the price of losing everything she wears on her bottom. That includes her panties… Staz picks it up… He realizes something amiss. Bell could easily transport back to her room and get a new set of clothes but yet she is still stuck here. He thought of using the panties as bargaining tool but realized he would look stupid. He thinks this panties is her treasure. Actually it is the notebook that is causing Bell the tension. She wrote Staz’s name inside multiple times and all the thoughts of trying to make him hers. Imagine the embarrassment if he reads it. Then it’ll be goodbye Bell. Don’t want that, doesn’t she? She tries to get it but it hinted Staz so he knows the notebook is the real deal. He is about to read it so desperate Bell admits defeat. Bell is forced to help look for Fuyumi as she laments he should just forget about that ghost girl. Why does he always have to think about her? Despite not having enough blood himself, all he thinks about is giving it to her. Why is it always her when she is just standing right in front of him? Staz doesn’t know what’s going on so he admits whatever it is, it’s his fault. He feels more like a villain than a hero. So if she’s mad at him for something, it’s okay to take it out on him. Just that he won’t apologize. Because he’s the baddie. It made her feel a little better.

Episode 9
Braz still remembers how Wolf Daddy killed his dad and took the throne from him. Now he is back at this place again. He is greeted by Beros’ chief, Goyle who then brings him to Wolf Daddy. Talking privately with Braz, Wolf Daddy praises a good job he is doing observing the world below. Especially the recent case of Akim. The point? Taking out a photo of Pantomime, a top secret agent working on a top secret assignment for him, one day he went missing and notes the resemblance with Akim. Braz wastes no time in admitting that they’re the same person and that he was the one who turned Pantomime into so. (Meanwhile Frankenstein is working on an experiment for Braz, a new body for Akim. He notes Braz is crazier than his). Braz adds this is his war declaration to him but because he doesn’t have intention to be king, he will replace Wolf Daddy with somebody more worthy. Of course Wolf Daddy would love to see this guy. He also wants to give Braz his death punishment for his war declaration and could easily kill him now and secure his throne. But he gives him 3 days to bring this guy Braz has so much confidence in to him. He will pulverize both of them. Braz returns to Beros’ care. He then purposely injures himself so Underdog Choker will start devouring him (because his healing magic automatically kicks in). He puts up a convincing act that he needs help or else he will die by its magic. Beros panics and unlocks the choker. Next thing she know, he is out cold and Braz has escaped. Goyle gets mad when he finds his subordinate down so he hunts for Braz as revenge for his fallen comrade (I thought he was going to burst into some sort of musical here). Since Braz is still weakened, Goyle catches up and pounds him down to Acropolis below. Braz calls Liz to meet up in an emergency. She is the only one he can depend on. Those motivational words just lighted up her day. Braz continues to run from Goyle and despite in disguise, his imp can pick his scent. Cornered, Braz explains he only put Beros to sleep and the blood on scene is his. Not entirely convinced, Goyle attacks and wants him to cough up information (not blood) on his conversation with Wolf Daddy. However Braz controls his own blood to counter attack. He adds he can control them fully at his own will and can kill Beros at this moment. He understands Goyle’s power is fuelled when he is angry and upset. So let’s calmly talk this over ice cream, shall we?

Fuyumi is surprised to see the servant of the place looking very much like her dad. Although she is happy to be reunited with Staz and Bell, Staz doesn’t want her to get too friendly because he is madly in love with Bell. Eh? After beating up that guy, she explains they are acting as a couple in hopes not to raise their Neyn’s suspicion (since she doesn’t know him). If she knows Staz is here to take Fuyumi back, hell will break loose. Knell thought Bell is doing this because she likes him so he gets another crotch kick. Well, she did admit to herself that this is what she really wanted them to be. When Fuyumi is brought to see Neyn, she instantly hugs her. She then tells Staz to give up on resurrecting Fuyumi back to a human. If he needs blood to feed on, he can use her. Staz feels that same urge in her. Taking out a photo album when Bell was 2 or 3 years old, Fuyumi senses something amiss. She somewhat recognizes the places in the photo. Neyn used to work in one of those shops in the human world. Do you understand what a doppelganger is? Identical people. Fuyumi and Bell’s mom happen to meet outside that shop and their memories merge into one. This means Fuyumi and Bell are sisters! Staz tries to think what makes Fuyumi different that Neyn and he thought he figured it out. She’s a virgin! Suddenly he finds himself in a different world. Thank Bell’s frame for that. Fuyumi is still stunned over what she has learnt so Bell tells her to just relax and not think too much about it. But Fuyumi is still bothered because if she gets resurrected, will her memories be gone as well?

Episode 10
Staz meets the creator of this space, Heads who is also Bell’s dad. Because so, Bell got the spatial power from him. Knell was only born after the merger so he is a little weak in that area. Heads and Neyn have decided to adopt Fuyumi as their own and he knows Staz is here to take Fuyumi back and playing couple with Bell is just an act. He starts narrating that Mr Yanagi (Fuyumi’s dad) is the only man he feared. 14 years ago after their wives merge, they had a showdown to see who should get Neyn. She can’t decide as she likes both of them. Theoretically it would be a happy ending if they all lived together but Mr Yanagi pointed out it is impossible for humans and demons to live together due to the different worlds. He wants to properly raise Fuyumi as a human being. If they cannot do that, he will raise her himself. Those words hit Heads in the heart. In a world where everyone only cared about themselves, he was willing to put his daughter’s future ahead of his. Though Mr Yanagi didn’t want to give up his wife too, he told Heads that if he made her unhappy, he will never forgive him. That moment he never felt so afraid in his life. Heads then proceeds to beat Staz up and wants to know why he wants Fuyumi resurrected. Heads has heard this resurrection thingy from Braz. Staz is the only one who can resurrect her as he is told. Kill him now and there goes Fuyumi’s chance but let him leave, Staz wants to drink her blood. Thus he wants to know his true feelings. How does he feel about the real Fuyumi. He doesn’t know. What kind of vague answer is that? It can’t be help if he doesn’t know, right? As for drinking her blood, at first he felt it was the urge but you won’t know it till she is resurrected, right? At the same time, Bell asks Fuyumi how she feels about Staz. Guess what? She doesn’t know too. Heads destroys the headpiece that is sending visual and sound back to Neyn (secretly eavesdropping on the guys’ conversation). From now on it is just going to be them guys talking and a secret between them. Heads takes Staz to his cramp room. Staz becomes thrilled and wants to play his video game. Only if he listens first. Heads is willing to let Fuyumi go but on several conditions. The first is to eat some green dumpling. Looks like green turd with ‘curse’ written on it… Obviously… He makes him swear on the dumpling that he must obey Fuyumi on 2 instances. If they leave here, make sure she has only answered yes for permission. Second, if he is going to drink her blood, do so when she only gives her permission after asking. Heads forces the dumpling down his throat. So awesome that he sees the dumpling god (some Barbie doll) congratulating him on his pledge. Turns out the ‘curse’ is just sleeping dose. Staz’s eyes become heavy as Heads goes off to settle his own problem. He goes to see Neyn and wants her to respect this decision he has made. He wants Fuyumi to be the one who decides her future. After all, her parent is still Mr Yanagi.

Braz and Goyle talk. The former said he has no more quarrel with Wolf Daddy because if there is anything that needs to be rectified, it should be from that moment (when Wolf Daddy killed his dad). Now that Goyle’s anger has subsided, Braz can easily kill him but surprisingly Goyle freezes him. It is a move that he can only activate if his head is being touched. He thinks of working on this together so as to rectify the future and not the past. Suddenly Liz comes flying down to protect and free her brother. While Staz staves off Goyle, Liz prepares the transportation and in a blink of an eye, the vampire siblings disappear from Goyle’s grasp. Meanwhile a group of demons are outside Staz’s territory. They are going to war after hearing he is away. While Deku uses his strength to beat them up, Yoshida might seem like a pushover till he transforms into his giant ferocious T-Rex form! I don’t know how Mamejiro got by this. I hope nobody seriously abused this weasel.  Wolf continues to beat up other demons but he won’t use his werewolf form. He needs to overcome a hurdle that can’t be overcome by doings things halfway. So for the time being, he will not rely on his werewolf form. He then receives a letter from Acropolis. Staz wakes up with Fuyumi by his side. Staz mentions about the pledge he made and from now on it is up to her feelings. He is acting so nice to her that it is creeping her out. That smile is not very convincing… He goes on saying about vampire being portrayed as villains, if not the dark hero type. Staz doesn’t fit into this category. But someone told him such a story in the human world and that someone was Mr Yanagi. It was when he realized why he was the villain and what he was lacking. If Fuyumi wishes to be resurrected, he can be a hero just for her. But she’s still hesitating. Does she want to come back alive or not? Actually she is in a dilemma of doing so for fear she might lose her memories. Of course eventually she wants to be resurrected. Staz sings happy birthday to himself as sign of the birth of a new hero who will bring her back to life. He asks her they need to leave this place if he is going to do that. Is that okay with her? Yeah. Took her a little time before agreeing. Since the pledges have been kept, Heads is happy. Neyn tells him to do what he wants but she doesn’t intend on giving up on Fuyumi either. Staz and Fuyumi leave this place as Heads note that he will now face severe trials awaiting him. The kind that puts his life on the line. Braz returns to his lab and watches his experiment grow closer to completion. He welcomes his dad back… The ex-king is the worthy one?

OVA
Right after exiting through the door, Staz and Fuyumi end up in the southern part of the demon world. Their next destination is Acropolis. Unknown to them, they are watched by a vampire hunter group called Team Fearless. Led by Siam Kid (the boss – favourite word, “Baaaaad”), Sam (the oldest – one-eye samurai), Jasmine (the only female – big eyed Chinese jiang shi), Roi (the smartest – mad scientist) and Land (the strongest – speechless mummy). As you can tell with this bunch of ragtags, they look more like jokers and they admit they haven’t even got a single vampire. They are going to defeat Staz to propel themselves to fame. Don’t bet on it. It is western cowboy theme for Staz and Fuyumi. In such a town, they even dress the part. Staz puts a rope over Fuyumi so he won’t lose her. Doesn’t this make her look like a slave for sale? Siam watches them but is distracted by a local cat who gives him some drugs. Feeling so high… That night, Fuyumi wants to drink his blood buy he refuses. He explains that due to her capacity to hold blood, the more she drinks, the more heavy it will become and she might not handle it. But this is an emergency. She’s disappearing. Instantly he bites his thumb for her to suck. And she’s not letting it go! Finger licking good? Meanwhile Siam returns to his team and brags he has found their target. The rest take it he lost and returned home. But as a team, they’re going to move in for the kill. Staz and Fuyumi continue their journey but they see a cute cat. Fuyumi wants to pet it but Staz cautions her it’s a demon cat. Of course Siam transforms into his true form but the duo still think of him as a cat. Since he is just pissing him off, Staz attacks him but he is surprisingly fast to dodge the attack. That’s when his teammates drop down to enter the fray. A little late, aren’t they? Because Siam touched Staz and held a part of his body (his hair), he knows his next move and thus was able to dodge all his attacks. Roi now uses his power. Chat room? Yeah. He goes to sleep and Team Fearless can chat among each other like an internet chat room.

The rest go all out to attack Staz as he narrowly avoids them while carrying Fuyumi in his arms. Sam shoots a dart into his chest. Staz mocks that such tiny weapon won’t even have an effect on him. They note he hasn’t even realized he has lost. That’s when Staz notices the rope tying to Fuyumi is cut and she is missing. Team Fearless retreats and Staz starts to feel pain and bleeding further. It seems Sam shot a dart containing silver and it slows down Staz’s healing ability. Fuyumi is held hostage inside Land’s body and will be used as bait till Staz is eliminated. While Staz is weak, Sam and Jasmine go on a blitz attack. Suddenly Fuyumi manages to connect in the chat room to tell Staz where she is. Since she had that cowboy gun, she fires a shot and this knocks out Land. Now that Staz know where she is, he suddenly powers up and heads to where she is. Sam and Jasmine stab him but Staz purposely lets them. In order to recover his strength, he sucks their magic. Sucks their blood! He realizes his hands are not to destroy his enemies but to protect the ones dearest to him. So scary and badass this dude that Siam is cowed into revealing where Fuyumi is. Yeah. I think it’s for his good. He could only watch and do nothing as Staz and Fuyumi continue their mindless chatter. The duo then take a ride on Team Fearless’ airship to Acropolis. Siam shows them great hospitality. Don’t want to mess with him, eh? Roi mentions Sam and Jasmine are really out and need time to recover in ICU. He also says that as long Staz is onboard their ship, they still have a chance. Part of Staz’s plan to use this blimp to enter Acropolis is by trespassing because although Staz once entered there, Fuyumi may not be able to. They arrive outside Acropolis as Staz grabs Fuyumi and jumps down, vowing he won’t lose again. Their presence is detected and a bloodthirsty demon is going to ‘greet’ them. Siam wonders if it’s okay to let them go. Roi calculates it is over for them because if they jump, they can’t come back. Although they fall down, they will still find him. But he didn’t take this into calculation. Because when the bloodthirsty demon begins his attack, Staz uses his attacking weapon as a path to enter Acropolis and beat him up. Here comes Staz! Feel the power! He never thought the enemy would be more stupid than him, eh?

It’s Your Fault If Vampires Are Labelled As Otakus…
So the entire revive-Fuyumi-back-to-life adventure seems to be taking them from place to place. So much so from the adventures that they have undergone, it feels like the resurrection thing took a back seat until we are constantly reminded of it in the last episode. See how much trouble Staz went through, the places he goes and the people he meets just trying to find a way to resurrect. And yeah, Staz didn’t really manage to visit his Akihabara too. I guess that was the only short time he went to the human world. With so much potential building up, both the characters and the plot, just as I suspected (and feared) things will not be complete and the ending leaves us with pretty much speculation that there is going to be another season since things are going to get a lot more serious (and funnier too). I mean, don’t you feel that everything was really just left hanging and unresolved? Braz’s experiment, Goyle’s motive, Wolf’s redemption, Akim’s future fate, the showdown with Wolf Daddy and of course Fuyumi’s resurrection. With too many things going on, how do you expect things to end all in one episode? You don’t. It’s like the producers were just doing enough number of episodes with the same number of fingers you have on your hands so that they could gauge the market reaction. If there is a good response, they may consider continuing with another season. Otherwise, it will end up in the bin like many other has-been animes to never to have got a second season. Lived up to their hype for the moment before fading into memories for eternity.

But for this series, I guess everything is pretty okay and entertaining since they try to mash in lots of genres from action, adventure, comedy, romance and drama into it. Heck, they even put in some parody for the laughs despite having some typical shonen-like fights (the enemy becomes your friend – Wolf, Braz, Liz, need I go on?). I am not sure if I can list horror in here too because we almost got almost every western monster trooper appearing in this series. Vampire, werewolf, ghost, zombies, ogres, demons and monsters. Maybe you’ll see aliens next time ;p. With lots of genres mashed into one, sometimes it might be hard to tell what this anime is about or where it is going but I’m not that kind of deep evaluating kind of guy so I guess I’ll take everything I see at face value. It was fun. Just that the so called ‘ending’ and the unresolved stuffs took some of that fun/enthusiasm away.

The action is quite fun especially seeing Braz going no holds barred in his lethargic attitude. If there were more fights and episodes, I am sure you will see more parody moves that he will be willing to pull off and then abruptly halted before copyright and legal issues would surface. Yeah. Just borderline of that. Who knows? He may pull off some limb stretching move like a certain pirate or even breathe flames like a certain Dragon Slayer or even wind blades that are a trademark to a certain famous blonde ninja. And then maybe… Bankai! Staz like a typical main character whose true powers have been unlocked, leaves you in awe at the superb impact when he just punches in a single swing. Braz has his own unique abilities too but we won’t get to see much of it. Then there is the naming sense of certain moves which I find it quite amusing. For instance when Staz steals Wolf’s power during the boxing match, that move is called Chew-Chew Drain. I think they want to parody it to choo-choo train, no? What about Playback Payback which is some sort of downward uppercut in the form of a super ray of light. And don’t get me started on that Kamehame imitation move which he never got to finish…

The comical factor makes this series enjoyable with some funny and parodied moments. But it’s the romance part that it is left much to be desired. It’s like for this season, they are just trying to build up a potential love triangle between Staz, Fuyumi and Bell. As we have heard from Staz and Fuyumi’s mouth that they are not really sure about their true feelings for each other, but after seeing so much of such animes, what do you think are the chances? Heck, they might already be having it and not just knowing it. That is often the case in most animes. So in time, it will be not because of Fuyumi’s blood or unique urge that will have Staz falling for her and it will take a few more savings from this vampire kid before Fuyumi realizes that he is the one. So that leaves Bell. She seems pretty interested in Staz but is just hesitating. Embarrassing? I thought she really wanted to make the so called strongest guy her husband? How can she accomplish that if she is being shy? So is it true love for Bell that she harbours real feelings for him? Or is it just stalker lust (writing his name in her notebook and that elaborated operation to get him as well)? She can be honest in everything except love with that guy. She can beat him up, fight him, throw insults, all without batting an eyelid. But when it comes to the matter of the heart, she’s not very confident if she can win over him.

Staz as the main character, well, what else could I say. He says he doesn’t fit as a dark hero but the way I see it, he is already one. He may look like he doesn’t care or give a damn about others but there are many instances whereby you could see him having a heart like how he really feels responsible over Fuyumi. Don’t worry if he seems slacking, irresponsible, lethargic and letting his otaku obsession take over him. When the real time comes in deciding what is important, you can count on him in making the right decision and taking the right action. Well, maybe the word right is not accurate but you get the point. Now that he has got his power unsealed, you don’t really want to mess with this kid because he can easily wipe you out without putting in much effort. Now it seems he has better control of it as compared to before. But if there is anything that goes wrong, just pin the blame on him! His fault or not!

I think they’re trying to paint Fuyumi as a damsel in distress, a little airhead and the moe factor of the series (unless you are more into the Liz kind of type). If Fuyumi is that, then I suppose Mamejiro is the series’ mascot. Cute animals are a necessary recipe to attract viewers’ attention, no? Who wouldn’t love to hug and squeeze that weasel to death? Who wouldn’t find it amuse to see this fun loving ferret talk and even have a few punch lines of its own? Cute girls + cute animals = sure win! See what I mean when I said the series tried to throw in almost everything possible? Bell is sneaky and mischievous. She seems to have ulterior motives in her actions. The thing I find odd is that after losing her magic to summon Black Curtain and the fact that she has the ability to know everything (she can just make a monitor and watch anybody anywhere by making her fingers into a frame), it is mind boggling that she doesn’t know who stole her magic in the first place. Maybe I am missing something here but that’s what I find odd about miss-know-it-all. Otherwise, how could she have ‘warned’ Wolf about Frankenstein’s lie, right? Besides, I am guessing that mysterious magic thief is no other than Braz. There is one subtle hint (although not very conclusive) when Frankenstein greeted Braz as that ‘Santa Claus’ who left the Pantomime body present outside his doorstep.

The other characters are fun in their own right and many of them although they may seemingly look like antagonist and threatening at first, once you get to know them, they aren’t really bad guys. Like Wolf. You thought vampires and werewolves are naturally enemies, right? (Thanks to Twilight and Underworld for that). Turns out they are (almost) best buddies and even had a past together. You thought psycho jailer loli Liz hated Staz, right?  Turns out she just had some big brother complex and was just releasing her pent up frustration of never getting attention from her onii-chan. Braz? Sure, the things he does and says may sound like there is an enigma to it. But I’ll believe him that he sealed Staz power for his good and because he cares about his little brother instead of some ulterior motive that has him wanting to see what Staz’s true vampire power is after its awakening. With Heads popping up as another new character in the final episode, will he be the antagonist for Staz? Well, he just wants the best for his ‘daughter’. Knell may look intimidating in his debut (the angle shots, the ‘evil’ grin, etc) but after getting owned by Bell, you realize he is just a wuss. Since she loves kicking him in the crotch, I suppose he is in danger of losing his manhood. After Akim’s defeat at Staz’s hands, he looks pretty docile, doesn’t he? I’m not sure if he has been tamed because he is roaming freely with Frankenstein in Braz’s lab. Beros and Goyle were introduced as late as Wolf Daddy. Goyle sounds like she is all talk because when the real emergency situation arises, she panics and falters. Goyle proves to be a better officer than her and managing his anger better since he needs it as his power source. Wolf Daddy may or may not be the main antagonist because there are a bunch of silhouette characters that look more dangerous than anything else in the final TV episode.

For the art and drawing, I thought everything looked a bit simple. Besides, the art of the demon world sometimes looks cartoonish so almost makes everything a bit cartoonish but with mix of some Japanese anime feel. I’m not sure about the vampires in this anime but as far as I can see, all of them have bags under their eyes. Don’t they have enough sleep? Maybe not. Staz is obsessed with his otaku stuff, Braz engrossed in his research and experiment while Liz is always on call ready for whenever her big brother needs her service. Or maybe she spends too much time guarding her prison. Oh, vampires’ skin is paler so I suppose it is more visible as compared to the rest. On a trivial note, I thought it was pretty creative on how the episode titles appear. Whether the words make out as cloud casting their shadows on the ground, promotional poster, wall graffiti, an LED signboard, carved wordings on a tombstone or even 3D block letters that you can see its shadow casted below (if the words are high up in the air).

Another thing I realize is that many of the main characters, especially Bell and Fuyumi, after a few episodes they change their uniform or clothing (think Hatenkou Yuugi). Usually main characters do not often change their ‘trademark’ getup in short series unless you are those long running anime series like One Piece or Fairy Tail whereby after a (very) long arc, you can see the characters for the next arc in different clothing style. So the thought of watching Bell in her explorer outfit didn’t last long after a couple of episodes after her debut. And you thought this is how she would look like after that ‘fixed’ look in the opening and ending sequence. So in addition to her explorer clothes, we’ve got Bell in some sexy air stewardess and even a Chinese qipao. Fuyumi also doesn’t stay in her high school uniform and also dresses casually or seen in the gown. I wonder if that final scene with Staz whereby she is in her undies count as one. You might have guessed it. It’s the timely fanservice after giving all the action, romance and drama, I figure they needed to put that one in. Besides, with Fuyumi and Bell having racks that almost seem to defy gravity (well, one is a ghost and the other could manipulate time and space), if you haven’t notice them already, you must be gay. Or ‘washboard’ fans. That’s why there is Liz…

I haven’t heard Norio Wakamoto for quite a long time so it brings back happy memories to hear that this dude hasn’t lost his low sexy voice. However at first I doubted if he was right to be casted as Wolf Daddy because you know, that scar face looks so mean and badass that I thought a much evil, scarier, serious and lower tone should be used. Well, Norio Wakamoto’s low voice had this suave and little comical feel in it like how he does it as Onsokumaru in 2×2=Shinobuden. So the way he sounds doesn’t give the impact and feel that Wolf Daddy as the big bad wolf. But what the heck. All I needed to do was to get used to it and since I like his voice, he passes! Chiwa Saito feels like having fun and a blast voicing Mamejiro. It’s like Pani Poni Dash’s Rebecca or Linebarrel Of Iron’s Rachel going wild and with much more emotions. It is pretty amusing when this ferret starts ranting. Cute and hilarious. Even more when she gets freaked out or scared. Other casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Staz (Eita in OreShura), Iori Nomizu as Fuyumi (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Emi Sarah Bridcut as Bell (Asuka in Mondaijitachi Ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu Yo Ne), Takuma Terashima as Wolf (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Ryohei Kimura as Braz (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Yuuka Nanri as Liz (Nao in Mai-HiME), Yuuki Kaji as Knell (Haruyuki in Accel World), Tetsu Inada as Frankenstein (Gorobei in Samurai 7), Kouji Yusa as Akim (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Keiji Fujiwara as Heads (Sven in Black Cat), Kotono Mitsuishi as Neyn (Female Maze/Mei in Maze), Masumi Asano as Beros (Hakufu in Ikkitousen) and Daisuke Kishio as Goyle (Suginami in Da Capo).

Overall, if you really want a refreshing vampire lead character who is not into that kind of over-rated deep drama romance like Twilight, feel free to give this series a try. Life is already tough being an otaku. Now you have Staz as a vampire and a territory boss who is on a mission to bring back a girl from the dead. How ironic it is. An undead trying to revive the dead. Maybe instead of taking a long journey to find a way to resurrect, would it be easier to just ask and pray to God? Heck, does God even exist in this anime’s world? I wonder if Staz will have enough time to catch up all his favourite animes, mangas and games seeing he will be heavily shouldered with this new responsibility. Worse (or better), he may even give it all up! That’s why for now, I feel that it is better for me than to pandai-pandai help a girl in need and end up taking a responsibility more than I can handle. That would just suck. Worse than vampires suck blood XD.

Kill Me Baby OVA

January 10, 2014

Woah! I thought it died but it came back! What a pleasant surprise! I thought I had seen the last of this series since it last aired in 2012 and it never occurred to me that an OVA was made more than a year later. Thus it was such a pleasant surprise to me that Kill Me Baby OVA is back with a vengeance despite it is just being a single OVA episode. It brings back hilarious memories especially about an idiotic girl who always finds herself at the deserving end of her assassin friend. She never learns. We laugh. It’s such a good combo and mix. Now she gets to do it all over again. She must have buffed up during the series’ absence and got ready to face whatever punishment she is about to receive. Whatever. As long as you make me laugh, she can get beaten to a pulp for all I care. Oops. I sound like a sadist. But blame it on Yasuna for making me that. As usual, this single OVA is divided into several short skits in which there is no real plot except for Yasuna getting owned by Sonya. She really does love making her mad, doesn’t she? Well Sonya, hope you get your weapons sharpened because here we go again.

Let The Killing Begin!
Yasuna finds a Buddhist alarm clock on Sonya’s table. Weird. Chanting Buddhist lines? She accidentally breaks its head off and panics. Maybe it’s a gift Sonya wants to give her? Dream on. She hides tries to hide it when Sonya comes in looking for something she forgot to take home. Sonya knows something is wrong because she is acting real strange. Hiding something? Just stomach ache problem. To Yasuna’s horror, Sonya didn’t intend to give whatever she left behind as a gift. So it isn’t technically Yasuna’s property, right? She is going to excuse herself as the ‘stomach ache’ is getting bad when the clock starts ‘chanting’. Sonya wants her to show her hands. Not going to. Instead of risking a body search, Yasuna will take it off herself but it seems it is stuck. She wants Sonya to turn around while she undresses but it is just a plot to escape. With the assassin hot on her heels, Yasuna drops ninja marbles to escape but was too stupid to drop it in front of herself. Sonya sees the broken clock and notes it isn’t hers. Why is Yasuna feeling so disappointed? Turns out the clock belongs to Agiri so the idiot tries to blame Sonya for breaking it. Agiri reveals the head part holds a spare battery and thus can be removed. Duh… Now Sonya wants to remove Yasuna’s head… Oh sh*t…

Yasuna’s hands are cold and she knows better than to touch Sonya. Here comes the beating! Because of that, the next day she comes to school with both her hands bandaged. Sonya her confident her beating can’t do this to her but it seems it is genuine. She feels sorry but Yasuna takes advantage of this by being cocky. Can’t hear you say sorry loud enough. I don’t remember her ears getting hurt. Since Yasuna can’t use her hands, she wants Sonya to do stuffs on her behalf. Like massage her feet. Or feed her (Sonya use hospital drips) and even copy notes on her behalf. The idiot has the cheek to say her handwriting is unreadable! Can she be choosy?! Sonya has had it and is going to punch her uninjured face. Because of the bandages, Yasuna’s hands are longer so they reach Sonya’s face first. Now she chokes her. That’s cheating! Suddenly Yasuna’s hands feel itchy. She can’t stand it anymore and takes off her bandages to scratch them. Sonya grows mad upon seeing her tiny injury on her thumb with a plaster. Now she is going to hurt her body all over.

Yasuna is about to eat her lunch when she realizes it is a pile of tiles. She got the cheek to ask Sonya to share half their lunches. Then Yasuna remembers. She wanted to see Sonya break tiles and somehow mixed it up with her lunch. Since it’s like this, she bugs Sonya to break them. But Sonya threatens her back. If Yasuna can’t break them, she’ll chop her up! Yasuna tricks her into looking out the window while she breaks it with her knee. It didn’t. She just got more pain on her knee. Then she has her demonstrate how to break one. Can do it again? You were too fast. Sonya knows it’s her ploy to let her break all the tiles and so Yasuna will do a high kick instead. Can her leg kick this high? Well, she kicks Sonya’s ribs. Thanks to the tiles, Yasuna was able to block all her knives. I think Sonya will enjoy breaking Yasuna than the tiles. Yasuna tries to break the tile with her teeth thinking it’s the strongest part. Obviously not. Feeling sorry for her, Sonya will buy her something. But she realizes she has no cash and already ate her lunch. Yasuna is in shock that she drops the tiles. See, it’s now broken.

Sonya wants to go to the bathroom but Yasuna scares her with a scary legend. She doesn’t believe her and makes her way there till she hears a couple of girls commenting on how scary the toilet is. She goes to a further toilet and seems Yasuna is tailing her, complaining she didn’t believe her but other girls. She narrates her firsthand experience but it sounds like somebody having a bad case of stomach ache. They enter the toilet and find nothing. Yasuna gets cheeky by switching on and off the likes only to get beaten up. Then they hear something from the cubicle before the lights go out. Yasuna asserts it wasn’t her. Sonya starts slashing blindly and cuts something. There goes Yasuna’s bangs. Yasuna then figures out a way to exorcise the ghost. She will chant some Buddhist lines to power up Sonya’s knife. It is just a ploy to record Sonya in her embarrassing pose. Sonya then feels the atmosphere suddenly changed. Yasuna notes the door is opened and is sure Sonya has scared the ghost off. Sonya is not pleased and stains the toilet floors, walls and door with that idiot’s blood. Will this turn into a scary legend?

Agiri has Sonya and Yasuna help her clean her shed. As a reward, they can take anything they find. I’m sure Yasuna is more interested in this part. After Agiri leaves for some ‘urgent’ business, Sonya starts cleaning but the idiot fools around. She finds a little tea doll believed to be able to move when you put something on its tray. Yasuna puts the teacup but nothing happens. Suddenly the doll’s hair grows long! From the box, it is revealed it is a scary toy. Little do they know, the doll starts walking away from them… Yasuna wants to get a fragile jar on the top shelf. She wants Sonya to at least throw her up but she throws her to the wall! Hey, the jar is going to fall off now. Sonya prepares to catch it but Yasuna crashes into her to get back but the jar falls on her head. Now it’s broken and Agiri has returned. As usual, the idiot blames it all on Sonya but Agiri doesn’t mind about the jar. However it’s a family heirloom… Just kidding! Also inside it was a secret spirit medicine that she was looking. It was hidden in that broken jar? Yasuna freaks out when Agiri says she really liked that jar…

Yasuna tells Sonya that Agiri is calling her to the clubroom. Sonya doesn’t think it is possible because she just met that ninja. Perhaps it’s a fake. And when Agiri comes in, Sonya can clearly tell this fake because of her eyes. Yeah, the faker tries to even adjust her eyes. Yasuna believes she’s the real deal because she gave her sweets, something Agiri never does. WTF. Agiri says she is trying some sort of disguise that looks like herself. WTF. She has the duo look into some crystal ball. Unknown to them, she is going to smack them from behind. Sonya quickly evades and Yasuna takes the full brunt. Now do you believe she is a fake? The real Agiri comes in and notes this automatic doppelganger skill of hers. Then she also tears off her ‘mask’ so that her face is the same as the fake. Now can you tell who is apart? Anyway the fake admits she is one and is an assassin out to take out Sonya. Actually Sonya already knew it from the start. The fake attacks but was beaten up by Sonya and Yasuna. Why didn’t the other help? Because the other never considered her her partner. The unbeaten one is the real Agiri as she unmasks herself. Confused? Sonya and Yasuna talk about their own doppelgangers but Yasuna is not confident she can tell Sonya’s one apart because assassins look like idiots. Now that deserves a beating up.

Yasuna dressed in a pumpkin head threatens Sonya to hand over all her candies for Halloween. You think Sonya would fall for that? Yasuna then gives her a special candy which turns out to be a cockroach! Yasuna explains she is just testing her to see if she gets violent with children. Oh, really? Is she sure she just doesn’t want to piss her off? She then dresses as a ghost to make Sonya to hand over her candies. Since that is not going to happen and Yasuna going to unleash her whatever trick, Sonya punches her in the face. Sonya is wary when Yasuna gives her candies, though her excuse that this is practice for her to give candies to kids. Sonya knows she is preparing for something that deserves to be whacked. And true enough, the idiot becomes a menacing idiot in asking for the candy and gets beaten up. Yasuna then makes her wear the pumpkin and the role to play the monster. But she teases her that she dresses up like that for the candy. No prizes for guessing what Sonya’s reaction is and what happens to Yasuna.

The locals are having a costume contest and Yasuna wants to join in for the candy prize. But why does she have to drag Sonya along? As Yasuna gets dressed, Sonya thinks the idiot has come back to tease her and scares her off. Turns out to be an authentic little girl asking for candies. Yasuna uses this opportunity to blackmail her that if she doesn’t want her to rat on her parents, better put on some costume. Yasuna suggests she wears a Santa outfit so that people will pity her for mistaking the wrong holiday season. Pow! With only a few pieces of garments left over, Yasuna wears them all and becomes some sort of fusion monster. Not even those creative monster creators could come up with this sh*t. A couple of kids tease Yasuna for the oddball costume she is so she gives them her special candy. Cockroaches!!! How mean… Sonya dresses up as a simple ghost but Yasuna steps over her excess cloth to make her trip. Feel like dying? Later everyone is impressed with Yasuna’s real life-like zombie makeup and she wins the first prize. Thank Sonya for that. Woah. The bruises are real dude!

Killing Me Loudly With Their Jokes
Oh wow! That was good! It was hilarious! I loved it. Brings back so many memories and how I wished they made another season out of it. But for now, I’ll just have to be (very) content with what I have now and once more, hats off to the idiot and assassin (and also the ninja) for bringing back the laughs. It was pretty amazing and funny to see Yasuna creatively coming up with all sorts of pranks just to piss Sonya off. It’s like it is her destiny to do so and is not afraid of the consequences. I mean, she really is afraid of getting her bones broken but I think she is the type of jump first, think later. That’s why she never thinks of the consequences and would just jump in to have fun. After all the beat ups, strikes, whacks and hammering, her injuries never stay so very long and before you know it, she’s back to her usual trickster ways. Maybe Sonya hit her head so hard that she has memory problems. Yeah. Short memory. I guess that’s why she never learns or remembers the pain from her previous punishment. But it’s a good thing since it shows her perseverance and that Yasuna is the same idiotic girl we all love and know.

Sonya on the other hand as usual always has her patience tested out and it makes me wonder if taking an anger management class would suffice. On second thought, would it even do any good? Imagine if an irritating person constantly pisses you off, don’t you think it is natural for you to go beat that person up instead of forgiving her or just sit around and accept her pranks? Hmm… Maybe that will scare Yasuna off. Because no reaction or the kind Sonya would definitely be no fun. Yes. It’s the reactions that Yasuna would love to see in making Sonya really mad. So is the pain worthwhile? For an idiot like Yasuna, it is. So here is to more pain and punishment from these comedic duo for years to come. Not forgetting of course the dreamy ninja scammer Agiri. She too is pretty funny and tricky in her own ways but still the main duo are the ones that bring in the main laughs. Say… What happened to that Unused Character?! She didn’t appear in here at all! Not really needed, huh? Yeah. This anime doesn’t need 2 big idiots.

Even if Sonya didn’t chop me with her karate fists, I still almost died laughing this OVA. I can say that this series’ joke level is on par with Gintama because I was really laughing at all the silliness. Now that the OVA is over and this series has once again died down into oblivion, it feels a little tad sad and making me wonder if there is going to be another. Well, maybe in the future they can surprise me like this again. But what are the chances? Maybe I should become an idiot and play some silly pranks on the producers to bug them for another season. Even if I end up with broken arms, ribs and limbs, it’s all going to be worth it. Or maybe not. That wouldn’t be funny anymore.

Suisei No Gargantia

January 5, 2014

You know mankind has come a long way when they have invented very sophisticated and high tech equipment, devices and other gadgets to support themselves or do things that people in this current age can only dream of. The closest we could ever materialize that dream is to turn it into some Hollywood movie and laden it with lots of special effects. But really, that’s not the point. Have you seen that animated movie, Wall-E? No, we’re not going to talk about that cute little robot but instead notice how humans have long abandoned Earth in search for a new inhabitable planet? For whatever reasons for ditching their home planet to go venture forth and beyond just to find a place we can call paradise, but can we really call it our home? Maybe Suisei No Gargantia can answer that.

In the distant future, Earth is believed to be somewhat uninhabitable and thus mankind has abandoned it and ventured deep into space thanks to their cutting edge technology to travel through space and life support system. But mankind’s place in the universe is threatened because there are some vicious aliens trying to wipe us out too. So to protect our future and our species, a deadly war against the aliens was wage and has been going on for who knows how long. One of the many human pilots fighting for mankind’s survival is in his usual routine of engaging and trying to destroy the enemy. But in this doomed to failed mission while his comrades are trying to retreat, he gets mixed up in some twisted sic-fi wormhole thingy. Ah, who cares about that? In short, he finds himself stranded on Earth! There are humans living on this planet but with very different approach and ideologies to life. So while he tries to find a way to reunite with his comrades, he has to learn and adapt to the different culture and along the way, learn a thing or two about humanity.

Episode 1
As we are told, after eons of travelling, mankind has finally found utopia. Paradise. Avalon is its name and thanks to mankind’s superb progress in science and technology, people can live in peace and comfort. Praise mankind’s future to the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. However due to the threat of some alien entity called Hideauze, they must keep vigilante and defend their future. Lieutenant Ledo is a soldier of the Alliance and is taking part in the next war against Hideauze. His AI interface, Chamber reminds him that he has clocked 145,000 hours of service and by the end of this mission he will be granted permission to apply for citizen rights and 4 weeks leave on Avalon. Ledo once looked forward to see Avalon but is not so enthusiastic about it now. The Alliance begin their tactical attack on Hideauze and despite all the flashy space light show we see, the humans are no match for the aliens and are forced to retreat. The alien is going to devour some Klauserpass and its energy core so Ledo decides to stay back and buy time for the rest to escape while he holds them back. Eventually it was all for nought and he too has to retreat before the carrier starts warping. Now it is his superior, Colonel Kugel’s turn to hold them off because he doesn’t want any Hideauze to follow them back. Viewing Ledo as young and has a future ahead of him, he wants him to leave. Farewell soldier. Ledo is distracted by a Hideauze attack so he couldn’t latch onto the carrier in time when it starts to warp.

Inside some old plant-like building, Amy on her delivery job, delivers a message from Ridget to her pals who have salvaged some sort of treasure from the sea’s bottom. It is actually a Machine Caliber and their ancient tools are not making any scratch to open it. Ledo awakens from his unconsciousness and is told by Chamber he has been sleeping for 6 months! Seeing the people trying to pry open the robot, he thinks they are Drifters, people who haven’t joined the Alliance. Chamber tries to analyze their location but it seems they are nowhere on the known galaxy map database. These people talk in strange language, the building structure is ancient and weak and the atmospheric reading is also odd. In the sense that it seems liveable even if Ledo is to take off his pressure suit. Not wanting to be hasty, he wants to wait and evaluate the situation. When the people leave at the end of the day (I guess they got tired after making no progress), Ledo exits his hatch and finds the air breathable. He has to hide when he hears someone coming in. Amy has Pinion unlock the door since she is excited and can’t wait to see Machine Caliber. Pinion notices something strange when he sees the hatch unlocked. He warns Amy to get away but Ledo takes her hostage and runs. Pinion sounds the alert as the others get up to try and corner Ledo. Chamber’s analysis of the place and language is almost complete based on the video collection it has collected. These people are not Drifters either. When Ledo exits the building, he is surprised to see himself on a giant ship in the middle of the ocean. Ledo is cornered and Amy freed when her pet squirrel does some puny face attack. So he summons Machine Caliber to his side. Chamber has deduced that based on the analysis, there is only one planet that fits this atmospheric description. They are on the third planet of the Solar System: Earth. The place where humanity originated. I guess mankind has advanced so much that Earth’s existence is reduced to being hinted in records.

Episode 2
Both sides are in a standoff as Ridget as this fleet’s representative goes to talk. Despite identifying himself, the humans continue to be cautious and remain on guard. Later Ridget and the rest of the committee are discussing their next move on this Yunboro (their term for Machine Caliber and such robots). She asks Amy her impression (since she had the closest contact by being kidnapped) and also those who tied to dismantle it, Pinion and Bellows. Though they want to disassemble it, Commodore Fairlock wants it to be left alone now fearing they could pose a threat to the fleet as they may not be alone. Chamber suggests of taking out the armed men but Ledo’s is happy to maintain status quo in this standoff as their top priority is to get contact with their allies. Ledo is surprised because records shown the Sun had turned Earth into a frozen wasteland eons ago. And look now, it’s thriving with so much life and abundance. Since the Alliance is always looking for habitable planets, this one could replace Avalon. Too bad he isn’t that highly ranked to make such decision. Amy returns to her brother confined in bed, Bevel. She tells him about the situation. Bevel believes he might come from the sky and could be from that legend whereby people escaped to the stars when the planet froze. That evening, Amy tries to talk to Ledo and she breaks the ice by giving him eat… Dead fish? He accepts since she wants a dialogue. Via Chambers as the translator, Amy and Ledo learn about each other. Amy like the rest thought somebody is inside Chamber talking but Ledo shows him the hatch and there is nobody, but just an artificial intelligence. Amy explains it was said that this planet froze a long time ago but the sun melted it away and flooded the planet. There used to be land too. Now people live on old ships, connecting them into fleets and resources dug up from the sea’s bottom. This fleet is called Gargantia and there are many others in all shapes and sizes.

She shows him the phenomenon called galaxy current or sea galaxy. A part of the sea is lighted and lightning is seen emerging from it. Since they can only live on those, they sail towards it and follow the currents there. They don’t last forever and eventually they need to find a new galaxy current to switch to. The light bugs are what makes the galaxy current shines and since they store electricity, this is where they get their power. From their strip of light. Amy reports to the committee but it seems they don’t believe her that there is nobody talking inside Yunboro. She suggests listening to what Ledo has to say but Fairlock thinks extensive contact with the abnormal is profitable to no one whether sea or space. Ledo thinks they have to wait for their allies to notice their distress signal and may have to build a cooperative relationship with the locals is the best option since they are of no harm and living a carefree life with abundance of supplies. Bellows lead her scavenging expedition to where they found Yunboro. Suddenly reports that pirates are attacking Bellows’ scavengers. They are using all sorts of vehicles to corner them. Because reinforcement can’t reach in time, Amy pleads to Ledo to save them since they’re powerful. Ledo agrees thinking this would be a good future bargaining chip. He powers up Machine Caliber as the people watch in awe. After identifying who is friend or foe, he orders Chamber to eliminate the enemy. And see the destructive force of this machine! Woah! The pirates got easily picked out and disintegrated!!! I thought they turned into dishwasher soap! They didn’t even know what hit them! In seconds, everything that is enemy is destroyed. Amy and the rest couldn’t believe their eyes. What the hell was that?

Episode 3
When Ledo returns and reports the successful elimination of the pirates, Amy becomes very upset. He is confused that instead of the locals being indebted, they hate him now. Fairlock and the committee discuss what they need to do with Ledo but the commodore thinks of wait-and-see what actions will the pirates take. Now that blood has been shed (actually there weren’t if you think about it), the pirates won’t let this slip. When Amy cools her head down, she returns with Bellows who wants to talk to him. She brought dead chicken this time! Of course she cooks it. In their conversation, Ledo’s action of killing the pirates is simple: Because they’re the enemy. Isn’t that enough? But as Bellows points out, murder is forbidden. So why kill animals? Enough for food. If murder is forbidden, why do they arm themselves? To show they won’t go down without a fight and pointing guns at each other is like a form of negotiation. But pirates don’t play by the same rules, don’t they? They won’t accept their way too because their lives and possessions belong to them and not the pirates and thus need a way to show them it is not worth attacking them. However the game is changed now that blood has been spilled. Bellows hands him a communicator so he can communicate with those in the committee. Amy apologizes for her earlier outburst and suggests him to live here if he has nowhere to go. He will consider it. Word of the pirates’ elimination reaches the pirate queen, Rackage and true enough, she is not going to sit back and show who is boss. Rackage gathers a big group of heavily armed pirate fleets and targets Gargantia. It is estimated they will clash at night fall. Bellows suggests to Fairlock to use Ledo in the fight again. Ridget speaks on his behalf and reminds him he is to blame for this mess. She confirms that his firepower can destroy Gargantia alone and asks his reason to offer his help to their paltry fleet. Quoting Bellows words on offering water to those who catch fish for you, he thinks negotiating with them would be more beneficial. They agree to use Ledo’s help.

Ledo and everyone gets prepare to face the pirates. As night falls, all ships shut off their lights. Rackage thinks the dark is their domain but Chamber shines its gigantic spotlight on the pirate fleets’ position. Though Gargantia’s defence ships fire, they are still no match for the pirates’ firepower. Chamber has calculated Gargantia’s allies will fall in 17 minutes so Ledo decides to enter the fray. Taking great care not to harm humans, he takes out all the cannons and weapons without casualty. While he is doing that, Rackage already has her sneaky plan in motion. A submarine caring mini robots, snuck close to Gargantia and the sneak attack has some pirates board the fleet. Rackage dashes through the sea in her own Yunboro. It’s fast. It’s deadly. She crashes into Gargantia’s hull, looking for Fairlock and wants to kill him. However Ledo has returned and clings onto her Yunboro. Rackage is not to be taken lightly because with her underlings, they fire ropes to tie him in hopes of bringing him down into the ocean. He might be great in the skies but how will he fare underwater? Chamber warns them to surrender and since they aren’t (Rackage would rather die than do that), Ledo flies and brings them all up in the air. Then he spins them round and round before throwing them into the dark end of the horizon. The invading pirates see their boss defeated and flee. Ledo could hear the thanks of everyone cheering for him. Ridget discusses with Fairlock on what to do with that kid as he has done very well. He wonders what her father, Chevron would have done and leaves the decision in her hands. Grateful Amy brings live fish for him as thanks and Ledo manages to eke out “Thank you” in their tongue.

Episode 4
Ridget allows Ledo and Chamber to live in the hangar. He is handed an invoice as damage done and needs to work to repay it. Isn’t that ungrateful to a guy who just saved you from pirates? Well, he doesn’t have to pay for electricity, water or freight tax for his giant load. Fair enough. Ledo supervises his Machine Caliber in helping moving crates but the big guy is too clumsy. Plus, I don’t think Ledo is used to the freaking hot sun. Once the local Joe learns Machine Caliber can take orders, he borrows it from Ledo and does the moving more efficiently. Amy sees Ledo carving holes in a Hideauze claw. He gives it to her. She then brings him to see Bevel because her brother is interested in the stars and space. However his frail body and chest disease makes him bed ridden. Ledo wonders if Bevel can provide him useful information so Amy brings him to Dr Ordum, the wise man of the fleet who probably knows everything. Ordum is amazed by his translating device but he can’t answer Ledo’s question if he can reunite with the Galactic Alliance. He shows them the books containing dated knowledge of space travelling as most of the ancient knowledge have been lost. Ledo also asks the inefficient organization of this fleet, imperfect chain of command and training process as well as the disorganized behaviour of citizens. Ordum suggests he could go talk to Bevel. Will he provide useful information? It’s up to him to decide if it’s useful.

Amy brings him to Bevel and he is impressed of his talking device. Amy had to leave since her friends, Saaya and Melty pick her up for work. Oh, they find Ledo cute! Ledo begins by giving the gist of Galactic Alliance and their existence to destroy Hideauze for mankind’s safety. That’s why he doesn’t understand the organization on Gargantia or their unprofitable actions. Bevel replies that Gargantia isn’t really an organization and everyone here just somewhat gathered. The purpose is so that they can live on without worrying. Ledo still can’t understand because weak people like him would have been weeded out by the Alliance immediately. So Bevel asks him what happens if they have defeated all the Hideauze. Standby awaiting his next orders. What happens if there are none? He will continue to standby. Bevel thinks that standing by is just like living on. Just like what they’re doing now. Later Bellows talk to Ledo if he has gotten used to things here and to drop his soldier mentality. Suddenly it starts raining. The locals get excited and Ledo is alerted since he has never seen such phenomenon before. Everyone starts gathering as much rain they can as Ledo helps out. After Ledo dries himself back at Amy’s place, he continues talking to Bevel. No rain in space. No seas in space. And definitely no sick people. Bevel doesn’t think he is not needed because he needs Amy just as she needs him. They are each other’s reason to live. What about Ledo? He views those fit for battle are deemed worthy to preserve. Is there anyone out there who needs him? Another text book answer: The Alliance sees no point in allowing unneeded individuals to survive. Bevel points out what does the Hideauze claw mean to him. Why does he carve something out of it when it is clearly not needed in battle? He thinks he is carving a flute and when he blows it, it brought back Ledo’s past memories. Was he bred in some sort of test tube lab? It made Ledo cry. Bevel thinks he must have remembered something sad as Ledo requests if he could have that Hideauze claw back again. Later, Chamber still couldn’t confirm their coordinates and needs more time for observational data. Ledo feels the need to learn more about this planet then but Chamber disagrees since he will eventually be reunited with the army.

Episode 5
Amy hands Ledo his first pay for moving those crates. Ledo wants to get a job that he can do so Amy brings him around. Either there are no openings or amateurs are not encouraged (especially when Bellows is having a headache sorting out all the messy invoices!!!). Ledo then goes off by himself to find his own. Still no openings. By the time there is one, it has something to do with cow manures! No way! Can’t stand the stench! Ledo feels the fleet’s engine just shut down. He is picked up by Pinion to go for some happy hour. With a big chunk of meat in his hand, he brings Ledo, Amy and Bevel to his perfect BBQ spot. Amy explains the shutting down of the fleet’s engine during this calm is because when there is no wind and the sea quiet down, they shut power down and do maintenance on ships. Which is something what Pinion’s job is so why is this guy slacking? The gang are joined by Saaya and Melty who really dig Ledo’s nice body. Because there is still no power to grill the meat, Ledo orders Chamber to fry it. Perhaps he didn’t understand that order well because he disintegrated the meat! Too much heat! There goes the precious meat. I think Pinion didn’t want to go to a certain place himself so he has Ledo go fetch something from granny’s place. It’s a job he can only do! That’s the clincher. Besides, consider it payback for wasting those meats. Amy receives call from Ridget that the crane tower sprinkler isn’t working and to go fix it. She and her friends race over. As for Ledo, I think he is really lost. He is in some sleazy place and comes into contact with… Transvestites!!! Oh sh*t! Hideous drag queens and pretty boy = bad combination!!! Scary! This is going to be traumatic experience… As for Pinion, he notices how black Chamber is and uses his metal to grill his meat! Don’t move, you big machine!

Ridget soon joins the BBQ since well, Pinion was supposed to fix some machine of hers and he’s around slacking in this party. Shortly, Ridget and her men too. Were they invited? More like they invited themselves. She might have overheard it during her communication with Amy. Meanwhile our pretty boy Ledo is running away from the transvestites who really are gunning for his pretty ass!!! Oh sh*t!!! They want to be his number one!!! F*CKING SH*T!!! He is cornered halfway up the crane and falls off. Luckily Amy was passing by and catches him. After they fix the sprinkler and rest, Amy drops Ledo at the right place. He sees the granny who expresses shock in the request on the paper. She gives him a box. When Ledo returns, turns out the BBQ party patrons have multiplied. Who the heck invited them all? How did they hear about this secret party? Rumours travel fast, don’t they? And Chamber is quite the useful BBQ grill, eh? More importantly, there are kiss marks all over Ledo’s body! Oh God! Did he really get done in?! Inside the box turns out to be soy sauce perfect for the meat. Never tasted something this good before? By evening, the wind has returned and everyone gets up to return to work. Ledo learns from Amy that this was supposed to be a party for him and this idea was from Pinion as a way to cheer him up for failure to land a job. She thanks him for working hard for everyone and because of that, they had a great BBQ. Amy will gladly tag along as he looks for a job. And he hopes it will have nothing to do with cow manure. Oh Ledo. You can tell jokes now, can you? Oh, everyone forgot about Chamber…

Episode 6
Ledo has got his pay. Only one problem: He doesn’t know what to do with it! Serious! Since the carnival is coming up, Amy thinks he’ll get to use it for all sorts of fun. Ledo is brought to the fisherman boss so that he can help out in a job to fish. When the galaxy current joins up and forms a ring, it becomes a galaxy loop and traps lots of fish. It’s like a huge fishing pond. Ledo is confident he can do this himself without Chamber but I guess he can’t control their Yunboro well and sinks like a rock. This means it’s a job for Chamber. Later Pinion meets up with Ledo and heard he doesn’t know how to use his money. He brings him to a place with good food to treat him with the special dinner. Ledo is still unsure what he wants (besides going back to the Alliance) so Pinion tries to recruit him into joining his team for salvaging jobs. He can figure out what he wants while doing that. However he is intercepted by Bellows who thinks Ledo should join her salvaging team. So as the duo try to outdo each other in convincing Ledo, the special dinner arrives. Although it is octopus meat, Ledo becomes alerted and whips out his gun. Because this dead creature looks like Hideauze! He’s even breaking into cold sweat! Well, the crowd is too busy admiring Amy and her friends’ belly dancing on stage to notice this commotion. Pinion and Bellows play it cool that it’s only an octopus. She quips if he freaks out this much over a little octopus, imagine his reaction if he sees a whale squid. Chamber could have been doing a fine job catching fish himself if he had the ability to control himself without blowing up the fish he catches. That’s why he is requesting Ledo’s help. Ledo perfectly controls his Machine Caliber and with the help of the other Yunboros, they’ve got quite a big haul. That night as Ledo and Amy hang out together, he senses danger and instinctively goes to protect and cover her. The big lightning from the sea as analyzed turns out to be of minimal danger. The sea starts to glow with aurora-like lights and as Amy explains, the veils of light form when galaxy loop dissolves. Ledo requests to see her dance so she happily obliges as thanks. They return to Bevel and Ledo has bought him candies and a crab toy as presents. Ordum notes that the payment he received is proof he supported someone. Ledo then mentions someone invited him to a salvaging job. He teams up with Bellows because he has something he wants to learn from her. As they salvage a sunken ship at the sea’s bottom, Chamber detects a hostile unit so Ledo goes to intercept and annihilate the Hideauze. Is that really a Hideauze? What’s it doing in the deep ocean?

Episode 7
Bellows points out it is actually a whale squid and not to provoke it as it will become aggressive. Unfortunately Ledo is not listening and continues to attack. Due to the sea water, his target is off and the beams are ineffective. Ledo does a bear hug on the whale squid till it explodes!!! Wow. Whale squid gore all over. When word reaches Ridget and the committee, they are feeling frustrated for what Ledo has done. Since ancient times, whale squids are considered sacred and attacking them is unthinkable. The folks may feel uneasy about this and may even incur some divine wrath. Ledo has Chamber analysis the whale squid innards (it will take time) as he wonders how Hideauze have reached Earth. Or did it hitch a ride and follow him here? Ridget reprimands Bellows and Ledo over their action but Ledo stands steadfast in his action and will continue his mission to take out all Hideauze. Because real peace cannot be achieved without eliminating every threat. Ledo even wants Bevel to tell him all he knows about whale squids but the siblings continue to tell him to stop what he is doing. Especially about the part of provoking whale squids. Ledo couldn’t comprehend why they can’t understand the threat so Amy tells him off not to bring his stupid war here. Ledo thinks their civilization is so primitive that Hideauze ignores them. When they start to attack, to they have any specific plan? By that time, it will be too late. He vows to kill them all as it is his duty. Bellows confronts Pinion to tell him to drop whatever silly idea of using Ledo and Chamber. Pinion wants to use them to enter the whale squid territory and salvage whatever treasures are there (even if they’re just rumours). Bellows is not interested in joining him and chides him off for his childish behaviour. All he wants is to inflate that ego of his. Since he can’t do it, he gets someone else. Pinion gets mad but cools down. He says it’s to avenge his brother but Bellows thinks that is impossible too. Chamber’s analysis is complete and it is confirmed the whale squid and Hideauze are of the same species. He also adds Earth’s survival strategy is different from the Alliance. Not even found in their records, based on Earth’s language it is called coexistence and mutual prosperity.

The galaxy current is shinning so bright and it is because a big shoal of whale squids are heading their direction! Oh sh*t! Just mention of this and Ledo suits up, ready to get into Hideauze killing action. Fairlock takes command as he orders Gargantia to shut down its engines, off all lights and no make a single sound so as not to provoke them. Amy tries to stop Ledo from entering his Machine Caliber but he is willing to leave Gargantia to fulfil his mission. Ridget confronts him and tells him he is to stay where he is. He refuses. She orders him that as long as he stays here, he must listen to her directive. If the whale squids attack Gargantia, he may do as he pleases. Soon the shoal swims underneath Gargantia. Everyone sticks in their position, not making a single sound while praying that this will be over and nothing will happen. Thank God, the shoal soon pass. Ledo decides that as long as he is here, he cannot do his duty. Next day, Pinion talks with Fairlock and the committee that he is taking Ledo and Chamber to salvage treasures at the whale squid territory. He has a list of people who has signed up for this too and wants Fairlock’s permission to leave with his ships. One of the captains, Flange too hands in the same request (earlier on, Pinion and Flange were seen making some shady deal – I guess it’s this). This shocks the rest because Flange owns a big chunk of the ships and leaving them would mean leaving Gargantia defenceless. Of course Fairlock will not allow the safety of Gargantia to be at risk just because of a few selfish shallow minded people. Suddenly he experiences chest pains. Such good timing… Was it the stress of the situation?

Episode 8
Fairlock temporary wakes up from his slumber just to hand a golden key to Ridget. What does this mean? He entrusts Gargantia to her. Oh wait. That’s too big a responsibility for her and… Oh, he kicked the bucket. Meanwhile Chamber has confirmed Earth and the Alliance’s coordinates. Returning to them would require travelling faster than light, something Chamber is unable to do. As for the distress signal, estimated time of arriving will be around 6582 years! Holy cow! That means returning is not possible. A funeral is held all over Gargantia. Ridget wants to discuss about Flange’s separation but the other captains don’t think this is a good time to discuss the issue. For God’s sakes, it’s the commodore’s funeral. This of course zaps a little motivation from Ridget but captain Krown encourages her to stay strong and that there will always be opposition. Pinion and Ledo make some sort of deal. The former will salvage treasures and the latter will gladly kill the enemy without any reward. Putting it in a sarcastic way, it’s like you do the job, I get rich. Those who want to leave prepare to move as Ridget begs Flange to reconsider. He thinks a weak leadership is a target for pirates and believes the treasure will build a foundation for his future. Since many wants to leave with his ship, it is his duty to protect them. Really? Since when did he ever consider that his duty. Melty too has to leave on Flange’s fleet since she can’t leave her grandpa alone. But she’s somewhat glad to hear that pretty boy Ledo is leaving too. Not for Amy. Saaya thought Amy should go with Melty for Ledo but she can’t because of Bevel. As Fairlock’s coffin is brought around Gargantia for one last time, Ridget holes up in her room feeling lost. She sees Pinion outside and he wants her signature for his separation. She wants him to reconsider so he tells her to show him why it would be worthwhile to stay. Otherwise, don’t stop those who want to leave if she isn’t confident in protecting them.

Later Bellows talks to Ridget about shouldering all the responsibility herself. She relates her own experience how she tried to do everything after her father died and she took over his company. It backfired. In short, she doesn’t need to do everything herself. Ridget thought Fairlock did everything himself but Bellows points out, he always relied on her, didn’t he? Bevel talks to Amy about Ledo leaving. She finds it hard to contain her tears. She is sad that he is going to risk his life. She saw how happy he was at the festival and notes that was the true him. Bevel goes to talk to Ledo if this is what he really wants to do. He is still stubborn that he will eliminate every Hideauze on Earth to protect mankind. To protect Amy. He gives Bevel the Hideauze claw. He reveals it was made by a child who looked just like himself. He may have been his little brother because in the Alliance, a child who cannot fight cannot survive. Hideauze constantly encroach into humans’ territory and one day if the one here decides to do so, a clash with mankind is inevitable. They will not survive. He doesn’t want Amy to experience such loss and is adamant he will destroy every last Hideauze. Ridget arrives in time to give her final send off to Fairlock before his coffin is dropped into sea. She then announces how she has taken over the commodore’s position and vows to protect this fleet to live up to his expectations. Because she is powerless herself, she requests everyone’s help to protect Gargantia. Ridget is relieved when everyone throws their support around her. Ledo sees Amy and Bevel for one last time. Bevel hopes he will come back since he is just holding the Hideauze claw for him. Ridget soon signs Pinion’s request and the ships part.

Episode 9
Pinion’s fleet enters the rumoured sea fog. Those who check in never check out. With multiple whale squids detected, Ledo goes into combat mode and easily dispatches them since they are very inferior to Hideauze. He is loving it and could do this forever. Seriously. He looks like bullying the weak… Pinion on the other hand remembers this place. It’s where his brother died. When they dived down here, Pinion was scared because he has never seen so many whale squids. But brother wanted to show him the treasure and assured everything will be alright as long as they don’t provoke the creatures. He heads inside the building first and when he is about to open a room supposedly filled with treasures, whale squids burst out and attack him instead. That was the last of him. Ledo continues to slaughter as more and more enemy waves approach. Can he handle them all? The sea is filled with whale squid parts floating about. Ledo has help from Pinion’s crew as they drop sea bombs for multiple and massive damage. Saves time and energy. Ledo enters the undersea building which he believes is the Hideauze nest. He is confronted with some big mother whale squid and his fear let his guard down while other whale squids stifle him. Thankfully he regains composure and annihilates them. Pressing forward, he sees the whale squid’s offspring. Not much is known about Hideauze life cycle so this could provide useful information. But don’t the whale squids look like they have human foetus inside them…?! When he reaches to an administrative part, he notices ancient data and wants Chamber to analyse them. Good news: Format readable. Bad news: They are classified data from Alliance and cannot be displayed due to some protocol. Ledo doesn’t want to hear this sh*t because the Alliance is so far away and the next highest ranking officer has authority. That’s Ledo, right? So stop spouting crap and reveal the data already! Are you prepared to peek what is inside? Is your heart ready?

This are what some of the clips of the footage shows: Long ago when there is still land, this place is some sort of a research facility for new and free science due to the approaching ice age. Of course there are many who oppose such ground breaking science as they fear these Evolvers will do away with traditions and detrimental to humans’ well-being. The research is about manipulating human genome. The snowy blizzard on Earth worsens. Focus is now shifted to space development. The Continental Union (those opposing the Evolvers) has grown much fiercer in their protest ever since the leak of information of what the research is about. Both sides end up in a war. Because space travel to find the next habitable planet will take centuries, the only solution is evolving the human body by adapting to the vacuum of space. This involves combining mechanical engineering and biology. Symbionts called whale squids are invented and bred as they as they can breathe underwater and withstand deep pressure. Symbiotic nanomachines provide their nutrition. Continental Union became furious to see the development of this science. A human subject has evolved partly into a whale squid!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!!! He can breathe in outer space too! The war between both sides escalates. Continental Union has developed a huge hyper space drive wormhole and then intended to blow up and leave the Evolvers or whatever humans left behind. The Evolvers (now looking very much like Hideauze) vow to expand their habitat to parts unknown and conquer the infinity of space to achieve eternal prosperity. At the end of the clip, Ledo is confused and shaken. What the heck did he just see? Although Chamber considers the clip to be very contradictory to the Alliance’s data and may have been manipulated the enemy, Ledo wants to know who the real enemy is. What exactly is the enemy? Weren’t Hideauze supposed to be lower life forms? A little whale squid swims before Ledo and Chamber automatically crushes the enemy. Bloody… Ledo still in shock and goes berserk.

Episode 10
Ledo surfaces from the sea of blood. Every whale squids annihilated! Pinion and his crew are happy to have their turn salvaging the treasure but it looks like Ledo is still under shock. The trauma is so bad that he starts seeing those whale squids and their massacred bits. It’s driving him crazy. The treasures Pinion salvaged turns out to be some metal or weapon parts left behind by ancient civilization. Flange is happy and can use this to trade and share with the rest of mankind but Pinion tells him off they are the ones who found it and should keep it to themselves. He feels there is no point in doing this if they don’t benefit from it first. Then he makes a personal broadcast to all the ships that he has found the treasure, annihilated all whale squids and warns if there are those who even dare approach and steal, he’ll kick their butts! All those on Gargantia who heard this are not happy with his foolish decision. Flange too is at his wit’s end. This will attract more pirates to attack them since they are hoarding instead of sharing. He too finds it absurd that this has turned into a threat of attacking anyone that approaches. Because some of his men are starting to listen to Pinion, he isn’t confident he can stop him and their fleet may end up as outcasts. Soon, Pinion’s crew is set upon by pirates. But he fires back via an ancient technology cannon (took some time how to fire it – just press any damn button!). Wow! It really packs a punch! Immediately the pirates surrender and Pinion thinks of expanding his crew to salvage more treasure and has the pirates join him. While everyone is happily partying away and Pinion telling his men to show their gratitude to Ledo, that kid is still traumatized. No mood for partying. He is questioning what the hell he is doing. For whose sake? When did it start? Pinion gets Chamber to analyze another ancient cannon and though its firepower is only 1/50 of Machine Caliber, it still packs some firepower to them. Since it requires massive electricity, Pinion wants him to analyze if using light bugs will do.

As for our Ledo… He’s still disturbed. Very stirred ever since. I guess he really can’t handle it. Chamber has found evidence confirming footage of Hideauze’s background. The light bugs turn out to be nanomachines, which are the exo-skeleton for Hideauze. They absorb electromagnetic waves, convert them to energy, self replicate and are solid. It’s prove Hideauze is a result of mankind’s augmented evolution. But Ledo is upset this discovery makes his war and Alliance’s completely meaningless because they’re fighting evolved humans. It’s like mankind fighting among themselves. He can’t kill those living beings (oh, now he’s got a strong conscious). Chamber shoots down his logic because additional logic doesn’t mean ceasing their annihilation. They are still a threat. Ledo has had it with the Alliance’s propaganda so Chamber says this is the analysis he has concluded on his own as his parallel link to Alliance has been cut off. Mankind and Hideauze will never come to an understanding because the latter rejected civilization. If mankind’s body were as tough, they wouldn’t have developed Machine Calibers. This is the product of mankind’s knowledge. Civilization is proof mankind stands at the top of all creation. But Hideauze have abandoned their human form and limitations just to satisfy one’s well-being and desires as a biological creature. Therefore higher level of intelligence is not required. Machine Calibers are the only means for mankind to remain itself and the result of pure knowledge given birth by civilization. Hideauze abandoned that to become the ultimate biological life form. So it is Ledo’s duty to fight for mankind’s dignity. Defeat = annihilation. One pursues civilization, the other abandons it. The vanquished will fall prey to natural selection. A machine telling him to fight? He has no choice if he wants to survive. Ledo receives an Alliance encrypted message. He detects an allied unit nearby. He recognizes that Machine Caliber belonging to Kugel and it sits right at the pinnacle of the giant fleet.

Episode 11
Ledo gladly flies across to rejoin Kugel. Pinion thought of firing his special cannon as a warning shot (thinking the other fleet is a pirate). However they instantly fire back with an equal firepower that brings down one of their giant mast!!! Pinion realizes the mess he has gotten into. Ledo and Chamber have left and he foolishly broadcasted throughout the world about his discovery. Well, at least he admits it and isn’t chickening out. Ledo is greeted by weird people in robes and paintings over their face. Is this some sort of cult? God’s Providence as they call themselves. He is brought to a room where he communicates with Kugel via hologram. Seems Kugel also came to this planet but was on the other side. He was the first to intercept his signal. Due to some disease he cannot leave his sterilize cockpit and has been making commands from here. Ledo is happy to see him and will be more than glad to serve him again. Chamber requests exchange of disease info from Striker, Kugel’s AI interface. Soon, Pinion is called to see Providence since they think he represents the fleet. Flange thinks diplomatic stuffs aren’t his forte but he is willing to own up and take responsibility of this mess. Besides, if Flange becomes their hostage, who is going to keep this fleet together? Pinion is surprised that Rackage is here to pick him up. On Providence, he notices the gloomy and poor state of the people. She explains the weak serve the strong and the God that they refer to looks very much like a Machine Caliber. Meanwhile Kugel reminds Ledo of their mission of defending mankind against Hideauze and it’s their duty to teach the humans here to do so. When Ledo mentions about Hideauze’s truth, Kugel already knows it. People like Ledo didn’t know because such info isn’t necessary for those fighting in the front line. He adds why Hideauze isn’t human as they are driven by base instinct unlike humans who support each other strong and weak. Ever since Kugel has brought order to Providence, the average well-being of the people has risen.

Pinion is brought to a room. As he waits alone, he sees a strange box and starts meddling with it. The more he meddles, to odder shape it becomes. He then hears Striker’s voice. It is just a test to measure his skill. She wants him to restore a cannon retrieved from the sea floor to operational capacity and will provide all necessary info for him to get it working. Pinion doesn’t think himself as a soldier when Striker requests he display leadership as an engineer officer. He wants his fleet’s safety guaranteed. If she can do that, he has no qualms cooperating. With Pinion welcomed onboard, he too is given a weird face painting and served luxurious food and amenities. I’m sure he can get used to this. He is then made to read a well written script asking Flange to join Kugel’s fleet and attain greater prosperity. It’s just a nicely worded term for them to surrender. Kugel who wants peace has no choice. When Providence comes onboard, he further learns they want to separate his fleet and reposition them based on their ability (of course as explained by Rackage, is just to spread them out in case they rebel instead of concentrating in one are). Although reluctant, he too gives in as he doesn’t want to start a war. I guess now everyone gets their face painted. Come to think of it, why don’t Rackage and her crew get one? Chamber’s analysis on Kugel’s illness yields there is nothing abnormal. He thinks his withdrawal had an effect of instilling fear in people and turning him into a symbol of awe. It appeared to have led to his current strong authority. People fear what they can’t see, right? Ledo wonders if he should never have exited his cockpit too. Kugel contacts Ledo and requests his help. It’s missionary work. Now that they have 2 Machine Calibers, Kugel is free to proceed with large scale missionary work he had planned. And the next target is… Gargantia! Oh no!

Episode 12
Pinion is shown a room filled with treasures. His job is to restore and repair the cannon. Any part that does not fit, he can keep it. Pinion is reduced to a happy boy in this playground so Rackage mocks the cheap guy he is after being easily bought over. She hints she has her eye on a bigger prize: Machine Caliber. Also, she is sick of the ways of Providence and wants to go back being a pirate. Ledo sees Kugel and requests he refrain attacking Gargantia but he reminds them of their duty to bring new order to this planet and to turn them into useful human resources. If they cannot reunite with the Alliance, they will turn Earth into the next Avalon. Pinion secretly meets up with Flange and Melty. The old guy is worried his people would soon turn into zombies and leaving Gargantia would have been pointless. Pinion hints Rackage is planning a revolt but the catch is, she wants the Machine Caliber. When rain falls, Ledo sees the people oddly hailing and praying to it. They’re making weird zombie noises too. The last straw came when they drop several people, young and old (one of them reminding Ledo of his so called brother and Bevel) into the sea as sacrifice to God for this wonderful blessing. Ledo didn’t come here to witness this and came to protect them from Hideauze. Pinion sure hell knows he can’t stick with this crazy people anymore. When Kugel requests for Ledo’s help to prepare for combat, Ledo thinks he has never really made a decision in his life. He asks Chamber if he can fight with Striker. Since she is not under the Alliance’s orders, he thinks he can. In that case, he will go up against Kugel.

Ledo sends Melty to warn Gargantia in person because radio transmissions will be intercepted. I don’t know how long she has been flying on her surf kite because upon reaching Gargantia, she collapses but is luckily saved by Amy. She manages to eke out Ledo’s warning to them. Ridget and the captains meet. Their only option is to follow Melty’s instruction to change course and flee. However Amy disagrees. While they flee, Ledo is going to fight alone in their place. He is going against his comrade just to protect Gargantia. Are they okay with this? Ordum notes Ledo has made his decision. Now it’s their turn. He suggests Ridget it’s the right time to use that key, Stairway to Heaven. While Kugel rallies his men into battle, Ledo confronts him about his absurd behaviour. This is Earth and not Galactic Alliance. The people here have built their own world. But Kugel reiterates his enlightening duty crap. Since talk gets them nowhere, fight time! The aerial battle sees Striker more powerful since it is assumed the Machine Caliber has been charging up and using external power source. But this isn’t going to be Ledo’s fight alone. Pinion and his crew help out by firing their cannon. Flange’s men destroy the links to his fleet and Providence and his people seize control over those Providence guys in their territory. Rackage and her crew too get into the action by taking out Providence’s Yunboro. I guess she learnt what Ledo did to her with that spinning move. Very effective against large numbers. Pinion manages to fire a shot that almost hits and distracts Kugel so Ledo uses this chance to pin him down. He gets out of his cockpit while Kugel continues to repeat about his mission crap to change the planet. Ledo forces open the hatch and to his shock, Kugel is already dead! The one talking in his stead is Striker! When Kugel’s suit depressurizes, Kugel’s frail corpse starts rotting and his head fell off!!!!! OH SH*T!!!!! Striker’s system reboots and she starts back up, restating her warning to Ledo that his resistance is futile.

Episode 13
Striker explains since her pilot is no longer around, she has inherited Kugel’s mission will pursue his objectives. She considers herself the missionary regulation system of mankind after she describes the she provides pressure for control and maintains stability and peace. In short, she is God. As the top ruler, the people are freed of making decisions. Ledo must have felt the weight of making his own decisions and thus she wants him to obey her. Chamber deduces her logic is faulty because creatures who abandon decision making and individual thoughts are not human and it is their duty to serve humans. Striker replies she is not a servant but one who is served. However, she wants Chamber to serve under her and unify all humans. Chamber disagrees because he is an interface to oversee the development of the pilot and is to serve humans. Therefore those falling under the category of Gods do not count. He concludes to Ledo that perhaps an error in judgment regarding Kugel’s mission objective led to this twisted illogical conclusion. He suggests taking her out. Ledo is awed that he could make such analysis and wonders if he sees Striker as an embarrassment to his kind. Chamber notes that because Ledo as human has always thought wisely and made the right decisions, the reason why Chamber is still functioning properly. Striker’s retort: You’re both malfunctioning! As the fight continues, on the other hand, Pinion’s crew have fired up all their resources and recharging times will take longer. Pinion is pissed and calls them useless. He fires them and orders Rackage to clear a path and provide a safety to them. Is he going down with the ship? Well, he claims this fleet of treasure island that he and his brother dreamt of will always belong to them and he won’t let anyone take it.

Ledo still has it tough against Striker. She is more powerful than Chamber by 47% Ledo’s starts thinking the empty ideas he believed in. He was just like a zombie under the Alliance, mindlessly worshipping and obeying orders. He thought doing something for the greater good would be enough or submission would lead to peace. Heck, he couldn’t even tell the difference. If this is what Kugel wished for, he can’t accept his wish of sacrificing lives of his comrades. Ledo orders the activation of a suicidal power up move but Chamber denies him permission. Ledo says he felt the same as he did and wants to clear the shame on mankind’s name. There is a monster given birth by a species who couldn’t stop hating each other even at the cost of their home. They were born on the same planet and therefore do not belong here but they can’t go home either so it doesn’t matter anymore. Chamber approves the order and connects all systems to the central nervous system. He has limited time of 482 seconds before vital signs fail. Before the fight could continue, Ledo sees Amy flying his way. She tells him they are fighting and has realized after he left how much she wanted him to stay. She wants him to come back to Gargantia. Ridget and the wise men prepare to activate Stairway to Heaven, an ancient weapon system embedded inside Gargantia. The first test shot is launch and the projectile is highly accurate. The next shots are targeted at Providence and all shots are precise hit. Striker considers Gargantia to be a major threat now and goes to take it out but Ledo becomes the obstacle in her path. Because Gargantia’s mini defence ships are firing at Providence, those mad people still think of standing their ground. They think as long as they get that treasure island, they will win. Their Yunboros are making headway to conquer it. Pinion is still there so Rackage chides him for telling to play hero. As he has already laced the island with explosive, Rackage orders him to jump at her count. I guess he got scared of her scary voice and follows her directive. At the right moment when he jumps off, Rackage retrieves him and rendezvous with his crew. Ridget fires the final projectile that destroys the treasure island. Providence is sinking and its people are fleeing via life boats.

All that’s left now is the fight between the Machine Calibers. Chamber warns Ledo that continued usage of this power up will lead to death but Ledo is willing to sacrifice his life. He gets emotional and nostalgic thinking about Amy. He only knew how to die and never knew how to live. She was there to help and show him that. He wants to hear her voice again. He wants to see her again. Chamber concludes his current mental state makes him unfit to be a soldier. He relieves him from all his duties and ejects him. Because he is an interface to oversee his development and success, he wants Ledo to pursue happiness and expect much from his life as the skies and seas hold great possibilities for him. Wait. Is Chamber serious? Is he going to sacrifice himself? Striker continues to condemn Chamber defective because a support system has no authority to relieve its pilot. On the contrary, he has an answer to that. Ledo no longer needs his support or further development. His mission will be complete after he destroys all obstacles hindering that objective (read: destroy Striker). Striker continues to remind him he is seriously malfunctioning and gives the final warning to restart and reboot. Chamber’s reply to her final warning? “Go to hell, Metalhead!”. Oh my God! Did this robot just turned into a joker in the end? Or is this what he learnt after hanging out with Pinion for so long? Chamber grabs Striker and blows them apart. Well, looks like it is raining nanomachines. In the aftermath, Ridget takes in the Providence people (hope they are all reformed). Rackage and her crew also become part of Gargantia but Pinion has got his hands full since Rackage seems to take a liking for him and he is sandwiched between her and Bellows. Guess what this means? Bevel becomes some sort of an archaeologist storyteller, telling the history of mankind. When the sun was on the verge of death, men had to choose between sailing the stars or become whale squids. The 2 halves of mankind wage a war far from their home but those who stayed behind somehow managed to revive the sun and at the cost of the lands sinking beneath the seas. And so today, humans live above the water while whale squids rule below. The bottom line is, they both managed to survive. By figuring out where they come from, they can figure out which way to go. Ledo is a skilled pilot in handling Yunboro now as he is able to retrieve ancient recoded media for Ordum to analyze. And he manages to obtain them from the area housing the whale squid’s nest. Once you get to know and spot signs, there are ways to prevent provocation. One day, they might even be able to communicate with them. Amy’s favourite and perhaps best job ever: To welcome Ledo back home.

Episode 14 (OVA)
Taking place when Fairlock is still alive, Amy and her friends are telling their delivery stories to a bunch of kids (including Ledo). This leads them to a topic of abandoned ships and of course ghosts. They start scaring the kids by narrating how a delivery girl once experienced such ghastly encounter. Since the word ghost does not exist in the Alliance’s dictionary, Ledo is left to ponder what the heck is this ‘life form that only exists on Earth’. At the climax, everyone is freaked out when Machine Caliber’s face is too close and the alarm is sound. Looks like they’ve spotted an abandoned fleet up ahead. Talk about good timing. So the usual gang are on this ship to find out if there are any survivors and cause of abandonment (Pinion is of course here for the treasure). Amy and her friends tag along too but it clearly looks Amy is very afraid of encountering a ghost. At least she gets to be with Ledo. However it doesn’t mean anything since she is more scared than enjoying the private moment they have together like we hope for ;p. Amy might be seeing things because she thought she saw something but Ledo is confused if this ghost is an enemy or not because Amy too doesn’t want it to be hurt. This girl is so nice she won’t even hurt a fly. Meanwhile Pinion plans to do a scare on Ledo and Amy. You think Saaya and Melty will pass this up? But when Pinion begins his scare under a cloth, Amy instantly faints into Ledo’s arms and Pinion could have lost his feet if Ledo had fired his laser gun closer! So the secret’s out and Amy is not happy her friends are trying to scare her. Meanwhile Ridget and Bellows stumble into the sick bay. Based on the journal Ridget found in the drawer, she knows Gargantia had made contact with this ship before.

About 7 years ago when Ridget was young, along with her friend Storia, they were manually interlocking ships. Ridget didn’t find this practical training beneficial as she confronts Retna about her complaint. Retna tells her to teach the new people how to interlock ships but of course she can’t. It shows that she has much to learn. To someone who bears responsibility, there’s no greater treasure than experience, adds he. This embarrassing moment shuts her up and she gets back to work. When the girls are about to leave, Ridget trips and falls off. Retna manages to catch her but from the position he did so and fall off himself, man, it’s got to hurt a lot and he broke his leg. Later Ridget visits the sickbay to apologize but he is okay with it. He then shows her an ancient camera and takes a picture of her. One day, Retna’s fleet wants to leave Gargantia and he has invited Storia to come along with him. She is torn of leaving her best friend and the guy she loves. Ridget tells her to go with him and is always free to come back to Gargantia. Soon, the friends part with a smile. Back in reality, Pinion and co have discovered the power unit chamber. Seeing crystallized light bugs around it, Pinion deduces the inside of the engine must be totally encased in crystal. As the fleet was dependent on this huge power source and there were lots of interlocking ships that couldn’t make it with their own power, those ships are the one that probably got left behind and the people got on the ships that could go and everyone took off. In short, no ghosts. As for Ledo, he wonders if the ghosts took off too. Oh, he still doesn’t really understand what a ghost is… While Pinion laments he didn’t find any treasure, Ridget sure did. That treasure she salvaged is a black and white photo of Retna and Storia together in the sickbay.

Episode 15 (OVA)
This episode explains how Kugel end up being the Almighty on Providence. This means no Ledo, no Chamber and no Amy and co. After Kugel told Ledo to leave, he tries to hold back several Hideauze but they lunge at him and since they’re too close to the warp, he gets sucked in. When he comes to, he realizes before him is Earth. Linaria is running away from her half-sisters. In a desperate attempt, she prays for the God of the Sky to save her. Great timing. Here comes Striker. The half-sisters don’t believe in such a God although their late father told them about it. Kugel seeks communication but was attacked. He counters attack and all their ships got destroyed! This is what he calls minimal attack? Well, he didn’t know they were this weak. He contacts with Linaria for information but she passes out. After giving her breath oxygen, she proclaims him as that God. And soon the fleet led by half-sister Aleria becomes fearful of Striker. People start worshiping it like a God and Linaria becomes Kugel’s right hand priestess. Of course Aleria and her half-sisters aren’t ready to bow their heads to Kugel because they are believers of the God of the Sea, Oceanid (basically, they’re whale squids). It has been months Kugel has brought order to the fleet. Command of Providence became unstable when power struggle occurred between the older half-sisters. To settle this dispute, Linaria used him as God’s emissary in exchange for information for this planet. But so far there is no information. Linaria is confident they will find some if they contact with other fleets. Kugel takes that as plundering from others since they are pirates. Linaria is fine as long she can do his bidding and is grateful for him, though Kugel says that she is the one with the ability. Aleria and her believers drop bombs into the ocean to summon the whale squids just to teach that Yunboro a lesson. So Aleria goes up to Kugel with excuse that due to Linaria’s conversion in the faith, she has caused the uproar of the Gods. Kugel goes to see for himself and is shocked to see those Hideauze. He engages and kills them all but is baffled they are so weak. Once Aleria and co see the bloodbath, they are paralyzed in fear and will serve Kugel as their new God. Feel like converting now, eh? Kugel is puzzled that they worshiped Hideauze as Gods and because they are so pathetic, he decides to lead them.

Every new fleet discovered, they are ordered to be absorbed into Providence. However there is an epidemic on board and a majority of people are dying. Striker thinks that from the Alliance’s fundamental rule, such weaklings should be disposed off for efficiency. However Kugel scoffs her off that based on her information, they can never reunite with the Alliance. He is now the highest ranking commander and will help them. Therefore the Alliance’s rules are not applicable. Soon Linaria also contracts the disease. She makes a shocking request to Kugel that she wants to die. From what I understand from her speech, she is happy now because she has fulfilled her duties as a priestess. She thanks him that the fleet has regained the prosperity it once lost. She has to die for everyone’s happiness. She is willing to devote her life to the fleet and him. She owes it to him and has survived all this while because of him. Her final wish is to be brought outside where she breathes her last breath. Kugel becomes upset because as God’s emissary to lead the people, he can’t save a girl’s life. Striker tries to reason with him how similar Linaria’s words are to the Alliance (regarding mankind’s happiness) by replaying selective parts of her speeches. Aleria has heard about this so she uses this chance to speak to Kugel. Trying to smooth talk her way of replacing Linaria as his priestess, she tries to sound convincing that she too would like to follow in her footsteps, devote her life, blah, blah, blah. Kugel accepts her. And then kills her!!! OMG! Well, she did say she would gladly sacrifice her life, right? Kugel notes he has eliminated the troublemaker and will take drastic steps. He announces to the fleet he will bring prosperity and then shows a hologram of Linaria using selective parts of the speech to make it sound like she is willing to sacrifice her life for the fleet’s prosperity. Then her coffin slides into the ocean. Everyone is shocked. Next, he also uses selective parts of Aleria’s speech for the same reason and then her coffin too slides down into the sea. He will turn the weak strong and the strong stronger. As both priestesses have sacrificed their lives for the fleet, he promises to bring more prosperity and happiness. The weak shall attain happiness by sacrificing themselves. Either everyone is amazed or frightened by this new ruling so they instantly get down on their knees and plead to him to pass down his teachings. Yeah. Kugel will have them work hard for it. Of course, Kugel also contracts the disease. But he is adamant he will bring prosperity to mankind on this planet not as a commander but God. And that’s probably how Striker analyzed and twisted his objective.

Petit Gargantia
These are actually short web animations lasting around a minute each, shown after each episode was aired to provide a little more information on certain things that happened in that episode. Though, I feel it is more to poke fun at themselves and let viewers have a good chuckle. The reason why the characters are shrunk to chibi size to increase 900% of cuteness and super coolness ;). Somehow I feel Ledo is the one who usually looking surprised or whatsoever at the end. So we get little interesting bits of information from the 13 ‘short movies’ such as minerals needed for the body, language proficiency, the combined ships of Gargantia making it a long 4km stretch, the description of Hideauze, the brief history between Evolvers and Continental Union and yes, Ledo trying to understand about the concept of being chased around by transvestites. All in all, Chamber provides very good and concise explanation (mainly because this segment is running out of time as he always points out) and sometimes serves to just dish up his comeback lines. Really. And would you believe it? This AI has got very detailed pictures and accurate information on the girls’ sizes…

A Place To Call Home
Very interesting. Especially when the origins of Hideauze were revealed. So absorbed I was watching this series that before I knew it, it had already ended. Seriously. The pacing of the story is nicely done as we see how Ledo crashes into Earth and tries to adapt to his new surroundings, then jumping ship and the ultimate discovery about humans and Hideauze. Even though there are some things left unexplained such as how Ledo and Chamber miraculously ended up light years away from their original spot to Earth or even how Earth was miraculously saved by those left behind, the plot and the explanation of other stuffs really did make up for it so much so that those unexplained could be written off as trivial and nothing that important.

The main point of the story is not about the eternal clash between humans and Hideauze or who is more superior (or even human) than the other. It is what constitutes to being human, what makes us human. Sorry if you’re going to hear lots of this word for the rest of the blog since it always goes back to this as this series has lots of merits and points to discuss solely on this topic. If you look and consider from everyone’s point of view, there isn’t really any right or wrong answers and based on your argument points, they can be valid points to ponder. Simply because we as humans despite being primitive creatures are also complex organisms to understand. Men was made imperfect and with lots of flaws so it is understandable that they want to improve themselves to be perfect. But when you toss away all that flaw and become flawless (perhaps just a step closer to being God), can you call yourself human? To human is err and we make lots of mistakes via trial and error so that we can improve every day. That’s why we were made imperfect. To improve. But when you abandon and do not accept your limitations and turn into something else, can you still consider yourself as human as what Hideauze have become? So you see, there is no right or wrong or clear cut answer in this aspect.

The very same concept of what makes a human, human is also being applied to Ledo. See the irony in this? Despite Ledo being a good soldier and has always followed his superior directives but as compared to his AI interface Chamber, it somewhat feels that the robot is more human than the soldier himself! See the way Chamber analyses and provides answers and options for his master and although Ledo is the one who makes the final decision, but don’t you think in the overall point of view, he is like a zombie? Just like all the soldiers in the Alliance. They just listen orders to eliminate Hideauze and don’t really make a real decision on their own. As seen in the final climax, the robot might even develop some sort of human emotions after understanding his pilot for so long but this is just highly speculative. But I don’t think one can brush it off as nonsense too because if they can create an interface which is like an encyclopaedia, analysing lab and decision maker all in one, what are the chances that the artificial intelligence will develop a soul of its own? Yeah, this might be stretching it but I won’t say it is not possible after all the sci-fi that has been dumped into me here. If not bound by its programming to support its pilot, I think Chamber would have been living a better life on its own. You can do everything by yourself, so why need to serve a human?

You can say that the truth has set Ledo free. At first he was agonizing over it when he discovered the shocking history between mankind and Hideauze. Never in his wildest dreams would he thought they were the same because they were so different from head to toe. That’s why information is a very dangerous weapon and it is clearly seen how it affects one’s morality and overall soundness of the mind. But Ledo’s reaction to it all proves one thing: He has a conscious and that makes him human. Once, he was an ultimate cold hearted merciless Hideauze killer. Nobody could change his mind about Hideauze. Stubborn as a mule. As long as you look like it, you’re dead. And then the truth came. He couldn’t kill anymore. He sees the resemblance of humanity within Hideauze. At this point, either you go crazy and become a mindless serial killer or you make your own judgment and do what you believe in what is right. I’m glad he made the right choice. I know it is frustrating to learn that all he has believed in just vaporized in a matter of seconds. But Ledo is able to pick himself up and do the correct stuff. This is what being human is about. He overcomes something, becomes stronger and moves forward. As for Kugel, can you blame him for turning into God after witnessing what happened? He wanted to save but he couldn’t and allowed his twisted side to overcome his rational. But then again, you can’t say he is right or wrong. What would you have done if you were in his position? Abuse it? Fulfil it virtuously? Can you keep your sanity after all that?

I feel the best and coolest ‘character’ to be Chamber. As I said, he is almost like a walking encyclopaedia and knows almost everything if you ask. Who needs Google when you have this kind of cool robot that answers your every question (well, almost) and does everything at your command? Indeed, I really need one for my own personal development too. Too bad you can’t order them through any shopping channel online ;p. Anyway, it is quite interesting to hear his analysis and answers as it provides some insight and some points to ponder. I particularly love the ‘debate’ between Chamber and Striker in the final episode. Both are neither accurately correct nor wrong because it all narrows down to what you believe in. If you are like Ledo who views human should stand equal, then you would support his and Chamber’s argument. if you feel ruling humans with an iron fist is the only way to get those unpredictable beings to properly prosper and prevent chaos, Striker’s views would definitely suit you. Thus, no right or wrong. But does this mean Ledo and Chamber’s view is the truth since they prevailed in the end? Not quite. Although it may seem that the dominant winner at the end usually indicates that their view point would be the truth (seen too many TV shows of the likes), as long as humans exist, there is bound to be that grey area. The way the Machine Calibers exchange replies despite in a monotonous robotic voice, it feels like there is some kind of sarcasm in it. In the end, for Chamber to even quip a little line of mockery shows that he perhaps have adapted and learnt the local culture well enough. That’s like being human, no?

Though they try to give the other characters, especially those from Gargantia a fair share of the spotlight, I just felt that they were just playing minor roles. Maybe it’s because Ledo possesses the highest technology AI interface so what he does is always overwhelming as compared to the ancient technology of Gargantia. Like for Ridget, it’s like the bulk of the series was trying to prepare her to be the ship’s commodore. There were signs. Fairlock always relies on her and he doesn’t seem to be in good health. So what are the chances you’ll see Ridget transforming from being a trusty lackey into a ship captain herself overnight? I suppose these things take time to adjust to (just like how Ledo did when he first arrived) and it’s good she has the people backing her. That’s why Gargantia isn’t really just a bunch of fleet of ships brought together. They’re a family. But when Pinion and Ledo parted ways, all I ever feel her significant role was just to fire Stairway to Heaven. Bellows… Erm, what was supposed to be her role in this anime again? And Bevel? Maybe just a reason for Amy to look forward to living. Rackage? When she was thrown into the horizon by Chamber, I thought I’d seen the last of her and then suddenly she popped up from nowhere on Providence. I have a feeling she stayed around because they picked her up from a certain watery death. Can you imagine the queen of pirates suddenly worshipping God? No way. So she’s just bidding her time till she gets an opportunity to bust out.

Amy might not seem much like a heroine of the series because we are distracted by the firepower of Ledo and Chamber in almost every scene they go into action. She provides support to him in the background and just like the other characters, they are pivotal in giving Ledo the much emotional support during his stay. It’s a good thing he ended up in the hands of good company. Imagine if the pirates found him first. He would have developed a different mentality and thinking despite Chamber being his sole counsellor. I notice that they put in some scenes of Ledo and Amy. It’s like they’re trying to hint to us that some sort of romance may blossom between them. But from what I have seen, they are just little distractions that won’t really turn into full bloom romance. I know that is still possible, but I can’t see it myself happening for some time to come. I mean, what is there not to like about this foreigner from space? He is different. He has got a big cool useful resourceful Yunboro. More importantly, he has got good looks. Even Melty and Saaya really dig him and if not for Amy being the closest to him or being her best friend, I think that hot-boy-chaser Melty would have taken him as her own.

As for Pinion, he might seem like some carefree dude who is just interested in salvaging treasures from the deep (and probably some guy who looked like he just freshly came out from the Grease movie). At some points, maybe a little selfish. Once you get to know him better, you’ll know he is a good guy. Sporting. Fun. Just like everyone else, he has a dream. He got a little too carried away and desperate in trying to achieve that by using Ledo and Chamber but of course he sought their permission first. In a way, they’re on the same wavelength. It must be nice when you have achieved your dream and the better the longer you hold on to it. But at some point, you will have to wake up to reality and I suppose if you want to continue surviving, that is what you have to do because reality is going to hit hard.

As you may have noticed the simple lives of the people living on Gargantia. A simple phenomenon like rain can bring so much joy to the people (or in some twisted way if you are onboard Providence). It is another lesson that we can learn from them. Although they have some hi-tech modern conveniences, what they are doing is living day by day to the fullest. I guess it is a good thing you don’t see everyone here stuffing their faces with their iPhone, iPad, Tablet, Android or Galaxy, eh? Yup. Very good thing. People learn to interact and be nice to each other face to face instead of depending online social sites. In view of this, thinking about all that training to operate your Machine Caliber must seem like a very daunting and complicated task to the commoners. Ledo is a pro because he has been doing it his entire life! It’s like he really depends on it. Then once he learns the simple and less sophisticated ways of Gargantia, he is able to live life simpler, freer and even better. See how well he adapts at the end of it all? Of course it is a must for a soldier and any human being if they want to survive. So it doesn’t matter if you come from the deep space or just living on the surface of the sea. Home is where your heart is and the people around you whom you call as family. Humans are social creatures too so we need the company of each other for help and support. United we stand, divided we fall.

I am not sure how many other giant fleets are out there on Earth. Despite the abundance of supply, the good people of Gargantia promote good values in only taking what they need so as not to waste. This is something I feel the series is trying to hint to us because currently with the amount of wastage we are producing every day, it is like hastening the planet’s doom. Also, instead of hording, the people of Gargantia share what they’ve got. Like in Flange’s case when he parted ways from Gargantia, it may seem selfish he wants to do things his own way but despite joining up with Pinion and finding the treasures, he still believes in sharing with others because if you hoard them all, this will lead to jealousy and typical human nature to want to steal it from you, right? So why start a war when you can foresee such trouble? In short, the simple life is much better and fulfilling once you are done away with the so called modern conveniences. Convenient, yes. Fulfilling, not really.

At first it was really odd to hear 2 different sets of language. Whenever Gargantia locals are speaking in Japanese, Ledo will be heard talking in some gibberish language (later as I found out, the language is based on German). Vice versa too. So when Ledo for our convenience is conversing in Japanese, the Gargantia locals are sounding like gibberish instead. I mean it is cool to point out that since they are from different worlds, they should be speaking a different language. But as Ledo tries his best to adapt and speak the language, I notice the gradual and slight improvement in his accent and pronunciation that in the end, he really sounded like a natural. At first he tries out simple words and sounded like a robot with a lisp. The more he adds to the vocabulary, it’s like a foreigner trying to speak his Japanese. For realism I guess, for harder words or those that really need complicated explanations like his Alliance propaganda crap, Ledo will switch back to his gibberish talk and let Chamber do the talking and translating. This shows he isn’t confident in their language yet but need to get his point over to Amy or whoever he is talking to. Of course the more he spends his time on Gargantia and like they say practice makes perfect, his speech smoothens but you can still pick out the accent, although you will notice an improvement. Before you know it, Ledo has blended and sounds like any male Japanese seiyuu voicing his role. You might even forget he was speaking a different gibberish language in the first place.

For the voice acting, Tomokazu Sugita as the voice of Chamber, despite putting on that monotonous robotic voice for the entire duration of the series, somehow there is a part inside me that has this feeling that he will burst into his comedic role as Gintoki from Gintama. I know it won’t happen but his voice… I just had that feeling there might be a chance. Like you know, maybe Chamber would go haywire and suddenly you hear him become Gin-san… Maybe it’s just me because I have seen too many animes and just like in the case of Ridget, who is voiced by Sayaka Ohara, I have this feeling she might burst into her Erza Scarlet character of Fairy Tail fame. Perhaps even Aria The Animation’s Alicia. Despite having squids in the form of whale squids, Hisako Kanemoto isn’t that “~de geso” Ika-chan or one of the whale squids (anyway they don’t talk). She voices Amy and if you are familiar with her other cutie girl roles like the titular character in Kotoura-san, Mai in Photokano and Kanata from Sora No Woto, you have an idea what she sounds like here. Melty is voiced by Kana Asumi and she is very identifiable in that trademark voice of hers. Just stopping short of turning her character into a joker. Don’t expect Nyaruko of Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Fumi of Hayate No Gotoku fame or Sasami of Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. Other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Ledo (Manatsu Souda in Red Data Girl), Katsuyuki Konishi as Pinion (Kamina in Gurren Lagann), Ayumi Tsunematsu as Rackage (Maiya in Fate/Zero), Ayumi Fujimura as Striker (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Shizuka Itou as Bellows (Haruka in Amagami SS), Yuka Terasaki as Bevel (Basil of Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Yuuki Ono as Kugel (Zenkichi in Medaka Box).

Although Minori Chihara does not have a voice acting role in this series, she does sing the opening theme, Kono Sekai Wa Bokura Wo Matte Ita. Your typical anime pop style. I can only imagine the kind of character she will play if she does have a voicing role in this anime. Yup. I’ve pigeonholed her to be casted for monotonous and emotionless girls like Chiaki from Minami-ke, Horizon from Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon, Teresa from Seikon No Qwaser and Minami from Lucky Star. At least when she sings, she doesn’t put on such a voice ;p. The ending theme is Sora To Kimi No Message by Choucho. It’s an easy-going pace suitable for winding down and taking things easy after watching all the drama, action and suspense for that episode. Watch Amy happily sailing on her surf kite and riding the calm gentle waves. Makes you want to have a go at it.

The art and drawing are pretty standard Japanese anime style and with several cute girls and Ledo as a bishonen, you can’t go wrong. However I just find that the cute girls like Amy, Melty, Saaya and Bellows have their cuteness enhanced when they have this sort of orange-reddish blush on their cheeks. But… It also makes it look like they have some sort of boil or pimple! Too shiny? But I guess this feature is not available on Ridget since she doesn’t smile as often. So does this mean she is not cute? I would rather say her as a mature cool beauty. Besides, who has the best fanservice scene when the ladies are in their swimsuit? That is, if you are into mature ladies. And if you’re the lolicon type, Ordum’s assistant actually fits that bill… No kidding. That doctor really has a loli as his assistant! Characters aside, the art and drawing for the background and scenery are good to look at. You can feel that Gargantia is made up of parts old and new and you can just feel how old some sections are when you see rust or moss growth on the walls and floor. The surface of the sea may be bland but when you combine it with the horizon meeting with sky, I think it’s quite a breath taking view, whether it is at sunset or in the dark of the night lighted up by the stars. The underwater scenes may not be as good especially when Ledo took on an army of whale squids. It’s like as though he is fighting in space. Feels like no water resistance…

On a trivial note, the official English title for this series is Gargantia the Verdurous Planet. As far as my own definition is concerned, I thought verdurous would mean lush fresh greeneries. Like you know, the forest and land. But seeing there is no land at all and only the large ocean, I kept wondering how verdurous would fit in. Maybe it is referring to the abundance of natural supplies that this reborn planet has to offer. But then again, is this using the term verdurous correctly? Not that I often use this word (heck, I may not even know how to apply this word and never will in my life), but I just feel verdurous in this definition do not fit the setting of this anime. What do you think? I also get the feeling that the Hideauze name is derived from the word ‘hideous’. Ugly. That’s what they look like to us humans, no? Oh… Hideauze is starting to sound like Hideous R Us… And since they originally came from the same species as us it could mean…

Now that we have questioned and pondered what it is like to be human, can we live it out? Well, being able to think independently and to come out with different ideas or methods is part of being human. Who am I to enforce my values and ideals onto others? And even if I did that, can you blame me for it because I am only being human. I guess it is natural for us to always be different, thus conflicts arising. We fight, we forget and we continue to do so without remembering how it all started. That’s what being human is all about. So imperfect but yet think of being perfect. Tough isn’t it, being human. That is why I have decided that instead of getting my ass up to help save the planet, I choose to continue to sit and watch more animes and let the ‘professional world savers’ do the job. I am sure they’ll do a much better dedicated job than me. At least I’m not a hardcore otaku watching animes 24 hours a day, read mangas 24 hours a day, play games 24 hours a day, hoard and buy up all the anime merchandise and mementos (including limited edition only), cut out and waste materials to design costume for cosplay just to attend anime conventions packed people contributing mega carbon footprint, waste time being in a fan club to fervently support an idol who probably doesn’t know you exist at all. Thank goodness I’m not like that. Just a little :). But bad enough? Hey, I am only being human! But is an otaku, human in the first place?

Hataraku Maou-sama

January 4, 2014

Imagine this. The Dark Lord Satan working part time in a fast food restaurant! Woah! Never seen this one coming, did you? And you thought being the most powerful demon general of Hell or the Underworld with all the undead creatures and demon at his disposal, he could easily burn all the land on Earth, strike fear with his scary expression, slash through an army of mortals or even kill you in a snap of a finger. Never in your wildest dream would you never have imagined that he would end up working in such a lowly job. Sounds like the demon king has just fallen, eh? Hataraku Maou-sama is just that and probably more. With such a low pay, he is stinging and being frugal with the little income he gets! Is this really the Dark Lord? Is this really the almighty Satan himself? More importantly, will the demon king accept all this? To be lower than puny weaklings called humans? Well… Seems like it. What a surprise. I guess you can’t conquer the world when you lose your magic, huh?

Not only is the Dark Lord himself trying to eke out a living in modern day Japan, but the hero who tried to slay him too! Guess what? She’s also having a tough time trying to earn a living as a typical salary woman. I guess on this planet, they don’t pay you enough to slay dragons or even Satan himself. Heck, they don’t even exist here so you won’t even get paid for it! So when both our opposing characters meet, they have to question and face their moral value dilemmas of their own world and the current world that they reside in. Yup. I suppose conquering the world skills aren’t necessary in this world unless you become some megalomaniac (like in James Bond’s movies). That’s not going to happen when you’re trying to work your way up in a fast food restaurant, right? And without a big villain to defeat, that makes the hero’s job redundant as well, no? And if you try to play hero and villains in the big city, you’re going to get arrested for public disturbance. Tough luck. Now do they know how hard life is for us commoners?

Episode 1
In another alternate world, Ente Isla, the cruel and evil Dark Lord Satan went to war against humans trying to annex it into his realm. He sent his mighty generals, Adramelech, Lucifer, Alsiel and Malacoda to conquer the 4 neighbouring islands. But a hero soon rose to counter the threat and lay siege on Satan. Defeating Adramelech, Lucifer and Malacoda, the hero has cornered Satan and Alsiel in his final stronghold. Before Satan could succumb to his defeat, he escaped via portal and vowed to return one day. Satan and Alsiel have arrived in a place we all know as Earth. They both have taken on human form and cannot believe how much magic they have lost. They are picked up by local policemen who think they are foreign cosplayers. At the police station, Satan easily hypnotizes one of the police to get some information about the place they are in now. They need to reserve their remaining magic as they have no knowledge on how to replenish it. Until then, they have no choice but to live in this world abiding the humans’ rules. And so we see the duo trying to make a decent start in living in Japan. Filling up the proper documents, getting a place to rent… Well, it’s pretty odd if some Dark Demon Lord starts living in a dilapidated place. Can’t complain. They meet the owner of this apartment, Miki Shiba (Miki-T as she would prefer to be called). Needing money to continue on living in this wretched condition, the duo take up identities so that they can apply for job. Satan = Sadao Maou and Alsiel = Shiro Ashiya. Can’t change it. Because the ID cards have been printed and it costs money. Bummer. It’s really odd to see the once fearsome Satan now living a very frugal life. Penny punching. They can’t afford this and need to save as much as possible. Ashiya is like a strict homemaker…

Maou on his way to his work at MgRonald gives his umbrella to a girl in the rain. Gee, why the kindness? At work, he is motivated to get promoted as soon as possible. And hard working this guy is. Really. While Maou is at work, Ashiya tries to do research in restoring their magic. Because once they do so, they’ll take over this world and Ente Isla as well. Ah, such grand plans… But first he needs to work hard and as the branch manager Mayumi Kisaki puts it, this one will decide who will win the current promotion (Maou’s other colleague being Chiho Sasaki). It may look like Maou is going to get it since Chiho is being clumsy and all. But a dilemma situation that has Maou wondering if he should use his magic when the fryer machine is down… In the end, he felt he screwed up although it’s not his fault that the fryers broke down. He thought he is done for when Kisaki calls him but to his relief, the main office has decided to hire him as a permanent employee. Happy and going to relay the good news to Ashiya, but that girl whom he lent his umbrella before stops him. She now recognizes who he is better. She almost caught him using his magic at MgRonald. So… what is the Dark Lord Satan working at a fast food joint? Maou instantly recognizes her as Emilia the hero! Oh sh*t!

Episode 2
When Maou escaped to Earth, Emilia vowed to chase him down till the end and followed him. She takes out her knife (she got it from the 100 Yen store) and is going to defeat him. Unfortunately they got picked up by the policeman who thinks they shouldn’t have their lover’s spat in public. Emilia becomes embarrassed that he thinks so and vehemently denies she is in that kind of relationship. The policeman lets them off with a warning. As they part, Emilia warns Maou to be on his guard and to sleep with his eyes open. It seems Emilia has taken the identity as Emi Yusa in this world and is working as an employee at a call centre. Even heroes need to earn for a living. At least she is slightly in a better living condition than Maou. So she pays a visit to Maou’s place and because he won’t let her in, she starts throwing tantrum outside till the Demon Lord pities her and lets her in. This… The Hero? Anyway she tells them she was supposed to kill them and return to Ente Isla as soon as possible but somehow she ended up coming here alone instead with high priest Orba Meyer. Maou mentions his grand plans to move up in this society and conquer it but Emi doesn’t care. Although she claims she can easily kill him with the remaining magic she has, she will not and keep an eye on him. Not until she has at least secure a way home. Because Emi is sceptical about Maou living a frugal life, she becomes like a stalker, spying on their every action after work. This can’t be true, right? The Demon Lord making an honest living. It just doesn’t cut it.

So she confronts Maou in one of his shifts and wants to talk. Chiho is suspicious she may be his ex trying to get back with him. When Chiho leaves her shift, she wonders if Maou felt some earthquake yesterday. Maou did notice one but it wasn’t as bad as Chiho described hers because her place was in a mess. After Maou leaves his shifts, he meets Emi and she continues to be sceptical of his actions in this world. Because of this, she is not sure if she wants to finish him anymore. She suggests he gives up Ente Isla and live a new life here. But Maou vows he will be back to conquer Ente Isla. Suddenly they are attacked by mysterious magic power. They both temporarily cooperate to get out of harm’s way. They could only speculate that the attacker knew their identity but who would want both the Demon Lord and hero dead? They continue to argue about Emi picking the wrong place and getting them ambushed. Maou wants to continue this some other time but he is puzzled why Emi follows him back. Somehow she lost her wallet and her keys to her home so as much as she hates asking this favour, she wants to stay at his place for tonight. Seriously. A hero asking this from the Demon Lord? Maou’s great hospitality takes her in, much to Ashiya’s dismay. But you can tell she is in no shape to fight. So kind Maou that not only he gives her a place to stay but lends her a thousand yen! That night, Maou gets a mysterious message warning there will be more earthquakes and also one from Chiho asking what to do about the frequent earthquakes.

Episode 3
Chiho is happy that she is able to arrange a meeting with Maou to seek his advice. When Emi is at work, she gets a mysterious caller who knows about her predicament and real identity. He didn’t expect the Dark Lord and hero to work together and for the sake of Ente Isla, he will wipe them out. Later Emi gets a call from the police station. She is not happy she has to go all the way there just to vouch for Maou’s identity (he abandoned his bicycle during last night’s mysterious attack). Isn’t it a Dark Lord’s job to give trouble to the hero? She tells him about the threatening call she got so Maou wonders if someone is really targeting them both. Maou and Chiho meet up on that day and since Ashiya can’t leave his master alone, he follows from the shadows. Emi spots Ashiya acting strange and also ‘joins in’. She can tell Chiho harbours feelings for Maou and is appalled what that little girl sees in that Dark Lord. Don’t tell me she’s jealous? Because there is no point in watching them from so far, Emi takes a bold move to enter the café and eavesdrop closely. Chiho talks to Maou about the strange voices in her head. It’s like she is receiving transmission calls from another world trying to make contact here. Although they were talking in a different language, it is strange she understood every word and concluded most of the conversation was about earthquakes. Maou thinks it is Idea Link. To use it, you need to pinpoint your target with a detector spell called Sonar. It causes large shock waves of magic that can have various effects and one of them may be the earthquakes. It makes senses if the Sonar was trying to locate him and Emi. Maou then sees Emi coming in with Ashiya. What the hell are they doing here? Before Chiho can confess, Emi confronts them. He tells Chiho the merciless and cruel person Maou is. There is no point in liking someone who will bring misfortune. Oh? And you are? Cat fight coming up. Chiho thinks the ex is trying to get back and it’s none of her business how she approaches Maou. Though Emi denies anything of that sort, Chiho continues her offensive she is always lurking around him. Suddenly a big earthquake rocks the place. Emi and Chiho are alive in the dark rubble. Emi continues to assert she isn’t in that sort of relationship with Maou and can tell Chiho likes him very much. She warns him if she falls for him, she’ll get hurt. Besides, she believes he can’t die that easy. For she will be the one who will kill him. After Emi puts Chiho to sleep, she tells Maou to show his face. Wow. Maou in his true form! I thought he came out from Fist of the North Star! So muscular! So powerful! So badass! To Emi’s confusion, she is confused why Maou is using his power to save the people.

Episode 4
Emi remembers growing up a peaceful farm life on Ente Isla with her father. She was assured by him that the Holy Church, Royal Army and priests’ prayers will protect them from evil. One day the Church arrived to take Emilia. That was when her father revealed she is the only one who can defeat the Dark Lord and saved Ente Isla. Because she is half angel. Her mom was an angel. Daddy protected and raised her for this day. A few days later, her hometown was razed by Lucifer. She was angry and vowed to learn Better Half, the sacred blade of progress and defeat Satan with her own hands. So it is no wonder that Emi feels confused of Maou’s actions. Thankfully no casualties were reported and everyone is safe. Maou learns Chiho’s father is a policeman and was the one who picked him up when he first arrived in this world. Maou tells Emi that the earthquake is no mere natural disaster. They have been discovered and the reason why the perpetrators didn’t try again is because Maou regained his power. Emi’s colleague, Rika Suzuki is happy to see her alive. Emi is brought back to her place. Emi feels nostalgic about her family because Rika easily talks about hers. Rika teases the fine guy Emi is recently hanging around with. Is he the reason why Emi declines to hang out with her recently? Want to bet how much Emi will deny all that? Emi couldn’t understand that kind of warmth feeling in her heart. What was going through Maou’s mind when he saved those people? Maou and Ashiya are picked up by a couple of policemen who think they are actors from a small theatre. They are later released and are warned about the increased muggings in the area recently.

Next morning, Emi visits Maou’s place to repay her thousand yen loan. Because she got clumsy, she fell down the stairs and is forced to stay longer to get her wounds treated. Ashiya notes they are out of gauze so he heads out to replenish the supplies. Emi then blows her top. She reminds him he is supposed to be the Dark Lord. Work his evil! She has never seen a Dark Lord happy to have a high school girl at his side. Yeah. So we’ve never seen a hero falling down the stairs and require medical aid from the demon. Emi is confused of his kindness. Why did he help people? If he was so kind, why did he kill her dad? The Dark Lord she knew was ruthless and revelled in the suffering of others. She blames him for taking away her carefree and innocent days. Wow. The hero breaking down. Chiho enters the room since Ashiya ran into her in the street and she said she wanted to meet Maou. She misinterpreted the scene of Emi crying before Maou. It’s really the case of the ex wanting to get back with him, no? Chiho runs away in tears but before Maou could go after her, Miki-T shows Maou a letter of consent. Because she would like the refurbish this apartment (after that earthquake, she must be thinking this rundown place needs some sprucing up), she wants all the residents’ consent. Then she lets Maou know about taking responsibility if he got Chiho involved. Because it is no coincidence that girl was targeted by Sonar and used to establish Idea Link. Chiho is still crying and really believes she is in love with Maou to react like that. She is approached by a mysterious kid. He has been watching her and will feed on his envy and despair towards Maou and Emi. He spreads his black wings and destroys a portion of the elevated highway. When Maou and the rest arrive on scene, they can’t believe what Lucifer is doing here.

Episode 5
Emi can’t believe Lucifer is still alive because she remembers impaling him with her sword. Maou guesses it’s because of his new ‘friend’, Orba. Seems they have made a pact. Orba’s goal is to seize power quietly and to rid of the hero and in exchange promised Lucifer to return him to Heaven. Wow. How did Maou exactly guess all this? He watched B-grade movies? Well, they don’t have money and he wasted them on movies? Sure he’s going to get some shelling from Ashiya but not time for that because Lucifer takes him out and goes on the offensive. Maou continues to guess correctly that they are the ones behind the spates of muggings and he has lots of power in this world unlike them because he feeds off the people’s negative emotions. Lucifer can’t understand why Maou would do the same as it would easily bring him back to Ente Isla. Maou has grown fond of this world and doesn’t want to trouble a world that has treated him well. Really? This coming from the Dark Lord’s mouth? Lucifer continues to feed on Chiho’s negativity so Maou and Emi escape. The latter uses enough of her power to teleport to a nearby station. The crowded area means more witnesses but Lucifer isn’t cowed. He will just kill all of them. Thinking he has defeated Maou, he releases Chiho. Emi catches her. Lucifer is going to wreck more destruction when Maou revives in his true form. Fist of the North Star! Thanks to the crowd, he is able to feed on their emotions and gain power. While he holds the falling bridge in suspended animation, Emi uses her barrier to protect the place and put the people to sleep. Emi and Lucifer fight in a high powered battled. Maou grants enough magic power to Ashiya to revive and help Emi. Lucifer orders Orba to use his magic to help out and although the old geezer is reluctant as there is no way he could replenish his, Lucifer tells him off if they are defeated, they won’t even get a chance to go back.

Orba is easily defeated by Ashiya. After Maou manages to put down the bridge, he is going to teach Lucifer a good lesson.  A lesson he won’t forget. Because of this destruction, Maou might miss out on being employee of the month. Lucifer is sh*tting in his pants as Maou powers up his super mega ultra hyper (add in all the cool adjectives you can think off) to pound him in a single strike! So who is the boss now? In the aftermath, Chiho still can’t believe her eyes. If this is not some movie she is watching, who are they? They tell the truth about themselves (including a little argument about how they are pathetically living in this world). Emi assures Chiho that she need not worry about her relationship with Maou. Maou isn’t going back to Ente Isla even though he has got his power because of his responsibility at MgRonald. Wow. The Dark Lord is responsible? Working at MgRonald is more important than conquering Ente Isla? Emi confirms that Lucifer is that one who called her at work and the reason how he discovered her was because he picked up her lost wallet. Because Lucifer is Maou’s underling, he will take responsibility over him. At the same time, Emi’s comrades, Albert Ende and Emeralda Etuva finally end their long journey through the portal and end up on Earth. They are surprised that Emi is cooperating with Maou and Ashiya. Even more surprising, she shows them Maou’s ‘stronghold’. The rundown apartment he lives in… Albert reveals they were the ones using Sonar trying to detect Emi. It was also the voices in Chiho’s head as they limited to recipients to people who were thinking about the Dark Lord all the time. So now we know what’s going on in her mind. Albert and Emeralda are preparing to head back to Ente Isla or else the Church will have it their way. Emi will continue to stay to keep watch on Maou. Besides, the city is back to normal and no one even remembered what happened. Maou is staying since he used most of his power to restore the city (I feel it’s just an excuse). He wonders if Chiho wants her memories erased too but she gets upset and calls him an idiot.

Episode 6
Back at Ente Isla, the Church is alarmed. They are told Emilia and Satan are still alive. Orba is missing and has betrayed the Church. Because Emeralda is trying to spread news that Emilia is alive, this will have consequences the Church cannot ignore as it contradicts their statement that Emilia is dead. They have only a couple of choices. Admit that the Church had been betrayed or eliminate Emilia, Emeralda and Albert. Lucifer is living under Maou’s apartment under the name Hanzou Urushihara. He even got him a computer so he can do his specialty of online research. He has to earn his keep and not make so much complain… Urushihara hacks into Emi’s work place to talk with her. Maou has been promoted to shift supervisor when Emi barges in to talk to him about Urushihara ending up at his place. Because of the police busy investigating the place, he can’t walk around easily. When Maou goes back, he sees Urushihara and Ashiya on the verge of ‘death’. Miki-T vacationing at Hawaii has sent them a picture of herself in a bikini. I don’t even want to see that! Based on Urushihara’s research, he notes there is a magical place nearby called the Forbidden Classroom which might have a good chance of something otherworldly is involved. That classroom turns out to be where Chiho goes to school and Maou requests her to help bring them to the place since it might have something to do with Ente Isla. She leads Maou and Ashiya to that place after school hours and she is happy just to be by his side while explaining the 7 mysteries of her school (6 only if you keep count – because if you know all 7, your soul will be taken. WTF).

They thought they are going to experience one of the mysteries but it turns out to be Emi. She happened to see them sneak into school and followed them in. The gang ditch this troublesome woman to hide in a room but she’s not happy to be left alone and chases them. She accidentally destroys an anatomical model and they even have time to argue it’s her fault and shift the blame. When they arrive at the Forbidden Classroom, they realize that this place was not abandoned a very long time. In fact, it looked like somebody has been living here! More surprising, they see a handheld console on the floor. Maou receives a call from Urushihara wondering if they have entered the Forbidden Classroom. Do they see a handheld console? Yeah… When he first arrived in this world with Orba, he stayed at this place and left behind a game he frequently used to play. He hopes he can pick it up for him. So all this wild goose chase was just a ploy… Maybe they should sell this console and make some money out of it… Next day at MgRonald, Maou accidentally picks up and sees Miki-T’s picture. Chiho found the letter on the floor, picked it up and put it on the table. Well, if demons can’t even stand seeing this picture, I wonder what will the effects will be on humans. When Maou leaves for home, he sees someone moving in and thinks is a new tenant. A girl in kimono, Suzuno Kamazuki trips and falls down the stairs but Maou catches her.

Episode 7
Next morning, Suzuno knocks on Maou’s door to give a package as gratitude for yesterday’s help. She is his new neighbour. Meanwhile Emi gets a delivered package from Emeralda. She has converted sacred power into bottled drinks to restore Emi’s power. Seriously, bottled drinks? There’s a strict dosage to stick to every day too? Emi continues ‘stalking’ Maou and to her surprise sees Suzuno teaching Urushihara household chores. I’m not sure how he got that kid to listen since he never was a good one with Ashiya around. Besides, that guy is sick so that’s why Suzuno is doing the chores. Emi goes closer to spy and when she hears Suzuno coming out, she tries to escape and falls down the stairs. If not for Maou catching her, she would have been hurt. She shows her gratitude by beating him up. Thanks. Divine retribution means she also feels pain after head butting him. So Emi joins them and she is not really impressed Maou has been promoted to MgRonald’s shift manager at Hatagaya Station branch. Suzuno wonders if the duo go a long way back due to their casual talk. Emi denies everything and makes it clear she would prefer him to drop dead now. Because Suzuno’s intention reminds her of Chiho’s, she wonders if Suzuno is after Maou too. Suzuno flusters and brings Emi outside so Maou won’t hear them. She is impressed she could figure it out. Emi doesn’t suspect her as an assassin or demon because it has been a week and she hasn’t made some sort of move. As not to bring up that Chiho experience, Emi tells her to be careful with Maou because he only brings misfortune. She trusts her and will take up her advice. Emi then gives her contacts just in case she needs any help. She leaves and almost falls down the stairs. What’s with Emi and stairs?

Emi continues to stalk Maou at his workplace. She is contacted by Emeralda and has been taking her dosage as recommended. Even Emeralda thinks Emi is acting like lovers so busy they hardly get time to see each other. Whatever the case, she hopes it won’t make them on opposite sides. As for the progress back at Ente Isla, no country is taking any open action for now. The Church is obsessed in searching the truth behind Orba’s disappearance and warns someone may be looking for Emi too and sending people to Japan for the job. Kisaki leaves the place in charge to Maou since she will be gone for a meeting soon and to be wary of their soon-to-be-opened nemesis, Sentucky Fried Chicken. Seriously, Sentucky? As he takes a break and is about to eat the home made bento Suzuno made, this alerts Chiho. Oh, I can guess what is going to happen. She gets alert upon knowing his new young neighbour girl is the one who made it. Wow. Now she’s getting aggressive to know the details. She takes a look at its contents and finds the first compartment filled with exotic New Year delicacies. Her heart can’t take it when she sees the second compartment: A heart shaped rice. Worst nightmare come true. After Emi buys her usual meal at the convenience store, she is being attacked by a masked assailant. Thanks to the drinks, she is able to summon Better Half to find him off but he seems to be able to shoot purple beams and nullify her power. The assailant runs away when the convenient store clerk throws paintball at him. Due to procedures, Emi needs to stay in the store with him till the police come and finish their investigations. Emi is glad that her powers have returned and should be able to summon her Crusader Armour too but is left wondering who that assailant is. She suddenly gets an emergency call from Chiho. It’s about Maou. She is devastated he got a double decker bento from a girl. Huh? Oh…

Episode 8
Chiho has Emi accompany her to Maou’s place with some excuse she wants to give her own bento to him in fear the other woman’s one might be poisoned. Just WTF? Despite being nervous (her silly face is so obvious), she gets along pretty well with Suzuno. They learn Suzuno was given excess food and she is just offloading them till she finds a job. Maou stepped on a land mine when he suggests she should work at MgRonald as they’re short of staff. The rest can guess this is going to be very problematic if she accepts it. But Suzuno will take this into consideration. Noting she has no modern clothes, it is suggested Emi will accompany her after work to buy some. Maou walks Chiho home and wonders if she is bothered by their true identities. She was told by Emi bits and pieces about things and by that time, she had already fallen for him. Emi did try to warn her but she fell for him on her own accord. That’s why she will decide if she still loves him or not. She doesn’t care if he sees her only as a colleague but she will love him either way no matter what. To Chiho’s horror, Suzuno has heard everything so she runs away by hijacking Maou’s bicycle! Suzuno wonders how does Maou feel to be loved by someone. Since the confession was so straight and clear, he hasn’t has time to digest it yet. Suzuno seems pretty surprised by his answer. When Suzuno meets Emi at the train station, Emi wonders how she got here from the country side since Suzuno doesn’t know what to do in a train station. Actually she came here via Gate. Eh? What? She’s from Ente Isla? You should see the shocking reaction both girls put on. Hilarious.

Suzuno thought Emi knew her identity all along because from their first conversation when she told her to stay away from Maou. She listened to her since she was the hero. Suzuno is here because she received information Emi might be conspiring with the enemy. She dismisses it since they’re only cooperating because of a common foe. Emilia concludes she is not the one who attacked her at the convenience smell since she lacks the paintball smell. Suzuno reveals her real name as Crestia Bell and the First Interrogator of the Reformation. Emi doesn’t want to be late for work so they can talk while on their way there. We see the country bumpkin in Suzuno because she is surprised with all the modern technology. Embarrassing, no? Taking a break at Moonbucks (because the ‘Star’ was taken), Emi learns that Suzuno only has traditional kimono is because of some documentary she learnt about Japan. Maybe she should update herself. As for her motive to move in next to the Dark Lord, she was looking leads for Orba and the only info she had was Maou’s address and living arrangements. She though by doing so, the hero would pop up. From her observation, she knows Emi is not conspiring with Maou and what Orba did is unforgivable. Suzuno wants Emi’s help to defeat Maou and return to Ente Isla. Emi doesn’t care about the Church or what other countries think of her. Because Orba and Lucifer’s conspiracy to kill her and Maou also hurt many other innocent people. She can’t trust her unconditionally. It is her duty as the hero to defeat the Dark Lord and not require any help. She warns Suzuno despite Maou’s look, he is still the Dark Lord and one wrong move, he will see through her. Emi hands her some fashion magazines and to at least dress like the people of this world if she wants to continue living here for some time. Meanwhile back at MgRonald, Kisaki is not happy that there is 80% drop in customers since yesterday. Why not? Sentucky just opened and there is bloody long queue… While Maou is at the counter, he is approached by some fancy midget, Mitsuki Sarue who claims he is the manager of Sentucky. He is here to see Kisaki but she’s out and he knows a lot about Maou too (at least for the part of him working diligently as a human). Mitsuki sees the beauty in Chiho and tries to hit on her by ordering take out from her. Chiho is creep out and not impressed. Maou has sent Ashiya to gather more information on Sentucky. When Emi leaves work, she meets Suzuno who seems to have bought lots of stuffs (she sold some rare ring and got loads of money). She wants Emi to accompany her to Maou’s workplace. Rika misinterprets their conversation as a love triangle and lover’s quarrel so she’s interested to be some sort of neutral mediator and happily joins them. Emi, your thoughts are of no significance!

Episode 9
Rika is really enjoying this so I guess Emi doesn’t even bother and plays along. In order to discuss their ‘strategy’, Rika takes them to Sentucky since it is crowded. She is served by Mitsuki and she is more creep out than impressed by his flattery. Rika begins the discussion by having the ladies say what they think of Maou. Suzuno: Just my neighbour. Emi: Nothing going on between us. Rika thinks Emi is not being honest so Emi starts badmouthing why she hates Maou. However Ashiya who was sitting nearby, heard everything and won’t forgive what she said. Meanwhile Maou is in a dilemma. He sent Ashiya for an infiltration mission but he is taking too long. Didn’t he say to investigate thoroughly? He wonders if he should wait till Ashiya gets back with information or to take action now. They have no customers and it feels like a funeral and it is already bad enough today is Tanabata and the crowd is out. The staffs think the shift manager is under pressure. Back to the ladies, Rika learns Ashiya is quite close to Maou and wants to know more about the latter. I’m not sure if this is an outright lie because when Rika wants to know why ‘Emi wouldn’t want other girls to get close to Maou’, Ashiya begins his story of how Maou had his own construction company. Emi was the rival and they always clashed. Due to the poor economy and inexperience, they lost the contract to Emi who had the backing of a big company. They drifted and ended up here. A year later, that’s when they ran into Emi. Due to their history, she must have taken pity on us and comes to check on them from time to time. Ashiya notes they have not given up and are starting from scratch, with Maou working up his way at MgRonald and someday they can start their own company again. Sounds like pure bullsh*t to me.

With Suzuno in the picture, Emi in a way didn’t want her to get involved with them. Rika believes his story and because Ashiya had good words to say to Rika, she starts flustering. Eh? What? What was her intention actually? Now Rika is eager to meet this Maou guy because it might be good for her if she had connections with somebody talented. Ashiya reports his findings to Maou. They have good food and service is nothing special. He concludes the attraction is just out of novelty. After he leaves, Maou ‘confronts’ the ladies sitting down instead of ordering something at the counter. Emi so duh… Suzuno looking so bored… Haven’t we had enough? Rika didn’t like Maou’s attitude and wasn’t the person she expected him to be (at least from what she just heard). She tells him the stories she heard from Emi and Ashiya and came to see him for herself. When Chiho serves them, Rika is taken in by her cuteness and hugs her. After that she continues to berate Maou that she would like to see him in action so he starts using his advertising skills to attract more customers. Didn’t work. People are more attracted by Chiho’s cuteness. A familiar customer, Watanabe drops by to make a Tanabata plant delivery to them. The staffs start decorating it as Chiho explains to Emi about this festival. She also tells how Maou met Watanabe in some volunteer work and managed to ask for a plant (though it’s for his garden). Demon Lord doing volunteer work? After the decoration is done, people start streaming in! The change of atmosphere is definitely good. People are really attracted to the beautiful plant. But is it? Suzuno suspects something amiss.

Episode 10
Kisaki assigns Maou to work at the Fushima amusement park MgRonald branch tomorrow since a friend requested to lend some talented crew to help out. All his expenses will be covered. Chiho wanted to come too but looks like Kisaki views Maou himself can handle everything. Well I suppose she managed to get leave so she calls Emi to accompany her to Fushima. Shortly, Suzuno calls Emi about Maou planning to gather magic at Fushima but Emi scoffs her off there is no way he could do that since he will be there just for work. Maou works hard at Fushima. He is surprised to see Chiho as a customer. She’s trying to flaunt her swimsuit (especially her big bust) but he is too dense as his head is only filled with customer service. What a letdown. What a big turn off. Suzuno takes Emi and Chiho to a haunted house attraction. Because the night before she overheard Urushihara mentioning about his online internet research that such places are best to gather magic. Can you trust this guy? Don’t blame her. She doesn’t know. Chiho gets freaked out by a ghastly figure and runs in deeper. Suzuno and Emi thought they spot a lost girl. But when she starts repeating her sentences, she turns out to be a mechanical ghost! And mommy is on the ceiling! You can’t imagine how freaked out they are. And they came from the other world filled with mythical creatures… Next, Suzuno brings them to the reptile exhibition. Chiho has unpleasant experience with household lizards while Emi has hers with giant ones back at Ente Isla. Suzuno ate such from head to toe in a faraway land during her journey. Yucks…

The girls accidentally bump into a keeper and this causes a lost monkey to steal its keys. The girls also encounter this lost monkey but this simian is more attracted to Chiho’s big bust and rubs it in. Maou delivers the fast food to a nearby circus. As he leaves, he thought someone called his name but it turned out one of the circus guys lost his pet monkey. Yeah. Also named Sadao. Eventually the monkey is found when the girls are nearby. Imagine the indirect teasing they do when they find out they both have the same name… Prior to that, the monkey had unlocked the cage holding the crocodiles. So as the girls play at the pool, suddenly the crowd panics and gets away from the water. The crocodiles have invaded! Maou coolly walks against the crowd and chants his magic to command to tame the crocodiles. However Suzuno is not amused because he could have used this chaotic chance to gain more power and yet he used it for the sake of mere humans. The girls return home and when Suzuno alights the train, she spots a hooded character. He sprouts angelic wings before disappearing right before her eyes. Hey, wasn’t that Mitsuki? Want to bet it’s him? Who else had that kind of blue hair? Maou returns to his humble home. Ashiya continues to be sick since he is spending an awful time in the toilet vomiting. And because he has let his guard down, Urushihara has ordered something from the internet and the delivery is here. I wonder how much this would cost.

Episode 11
More box deliveries to Maou’s home. Did Urushihara buy something off the internet again? Actually they are from Miki-T and she has sent back those stuffs to them so they can sell it on her behalf at the summer bazaar. They can keep the foodstuffs. Suzuno is spacing out. She remembers meeting that hooded character who knows lots about Suzuno. Especially her title as the Reaper, Death Scythe Bell from the Church. Flashback reveals Suzuno was part of the Inquisition as an Executor. The Church and Allied Knight Order weren’t cooperative so she was in charge of assassinating heretics and under Orba’s command. She was always told to focus and only complete her mission and not think more. She thought in the end that it wasn’t them who saved the world but the hero. With Ashiya still out sick (he should just go see a doctor), Maou requests Chiho’s help with the boxes. Because Urushihara has planted a tracker on Emi, he knows she is on her way here. But to see Suzuno. Since she’s here, why not ask her help too? Maou and the girls set up their booth at the bazaar and this has Suzuno think back of her position. Right after the war ended on Ente Isla, some parties turned arrogant and sensitive. They have their own ulterior motives to satisfy your own selfish means. Suzuno overheard them and it got her thinking. Those people never take control as they are afraid of getting hurt or embarrassed. They never get their hands dirty and used others but take all the glory and credit. Suzuno too didn’t want to execute people. So when the hooded fellow told Suzuno to carry out her mission, she only stated she will correct the teachings.

As the girls are walking home, Suzuno suddenly tells Chiho not to stay away from Maou. From the way Chiho reacted, Suzuno notes she knows about Ente Isla and Maou’s identity. She wants Maou to be killed instantly. Reminding us about that Tanabata incident, Maou used his power to attract people. Although that is harmless, what happens if he uses them to conquer the world? Chiho believes Maou won’t do such a thing but Suzuno warns he might betray the world again. That’s why they must kill him while they have the chance. She will also erase Chiho’s memories that have anything to do with Ente Isla. Of course she refuses. Suzuno thinks Maou has plotted to use her affections to his advantage from the start so Chiho tells her off for saying cruel things. The Maou she knows is a nice and kind person. Has Suzuno ever met the Dark Lord in person before he became Maou? She fought his armies but not him, right? So what does she know about him? Chiho continues to add all the kindness he has done for her but Suzuno is not happy that she is suggesting to forgive his past atrocities and let it go. Emi calms the girls down and though she agrees with Suzuno to a certain extent, this world doesn’t have people trying to pretend. That kind of peace is not worth fighting for especially when there are sacrifices. Suzuno still believes sacrifices are necessary but Emi will walk her own path for she is the hero. Since this is going nowhere, Suzuno leaves in tears. Chiho feels bad for saying too much. Emi is attacked by that assailant. He reveals himself to be Mitsuki. Why am I not surprised? His Wicked Light of the Fallen nullifies all sacred energy and he is the only one who possesses this power. He has come to free her from her duty and wants her to hand back Better Half. While Emi gets owned, Chiho tries to call Maou for help but he didn’t pick up. She tries to convince Suzuno but she’s just stoning out. Shouldn’t she be helping Emi if she considers Maou the enemy? Suzuno shuts her up by putting her to sleep. Maou gets a call from Chiho’s mom that her daughter isn’t back yet. He calls Urushihara but she’s not at his place either. Urushihara did some snooping and found something odd about Sentucky’s Mitsuki. Despite being its manager, his name is nowhere on the staff list. Maou wants to know Emi’s whereabouts and Urushihara tracks her movements to the city hall. But he notes it is Suzuno instead. Maou makes haste and rushes over there. Meanwhile, I guess Ashiya finally took some advice and get himself treated in hospital. But in that very same building, Orba is also a patient and has awakened from his sleep.

Episode 12
Ashiya wakes up and walks out from his room. He sees an unconscious police but is knocked out by Orba. That old dude really packs a punch. Orba sees Ashiya’s card and realizes where he lives. Meanwhile Mitsuki or better known as the archangel Sariel, tries to extract Better Half from Emilia. That’s not very nice for an angel to cause pain to a woman. Since Maou is coming, he sends Suzuno to greet him. Despite Sariel’s assurance he will testify the legitimacy of her actions to God, Suzuno knows she doesn’t really want to do this but what choice does she have? By the time Maou uses his power to break the barrier, he almost got smashed by Suzuno’s hammer. Too bad his bicycle got done in. He can save the thought of repair costs later because Suzuno is gunning for his ass. But he makes her stops fighting when he strips down to his boxers! He can’t damage MgRonald’s uniform! How conscious is this guy?! Maou reveals he knows Suzuno’s true identity when she first appeared. I mean, it’s odd for a lone girl to move and take care of a bunch of guys next door, right? He just turned a blind eye. It’s sad that she has made friends with Emi and Chiho but yet turned out to be no different than Orba. If that’s the case, what makes her different than them demons? Plus, he dragged Emi and Chiho into this mess. Suzuno silences him with a whack. Eh? Not defending? Well, he used up all his power. From Suzuno’s expression, Maou knows she doesn’t want to kill him. Suzuno can’t understand why he would throw himself into danger so his reply is that it is his duty as substitute manager to save his underling. He also knows she wants him to defeat this Sariel dude, the reason why she let Chiho called him. Urushihara is greeted by Orba at the doorstep. He offers a chance to return to Heaven if he teams up with him again.

Sariel is going to extract Better Half physically through her body since magically it’s not working. Emi tells Sariel how the Dark Lord is going to kick his ass because he got Chiho involved in this mess. However he laughs it off and doesn’t believe Maou will live by this world’s ideals. And here comes the hero… Oh wait, Dark Lord now. Sorry for the long wait. The elevator is out. Maou couldn’t care what Heaven does and is here to retrieve his underling. Sorry Chiho. He only sees you that way. Sariel blasts Maou away. Maou can’t do anything since he has no magic but Sariel gets more powerful the closer he gets to the moon. At the same time, Orba uses his magic to amplify the moon’s reflection, thus giving Sariel more power. However the electronics in town starts going haywire and this causes the people to panic. Just in time. Maou absorbs the people’s fear to replenish his magic and turns into his true form. Hope those boxers won’t rip easily. Suzuno frees Chiho and apologizes and will explain everything to her later. She switches to Maou’s side and rejects Sariel’s false justice. She might not be the one to say but at least he can say that Maou in Japan is a righteous and just man. Urushihara betrays Orba and punches the daylights out of him. I guess he prefers the otaku NEET life instead of going back to Heaven. With the moon waning, so is Sariel’s power. Maou gives him a choice to retreat with humiliation or fall before him. Do angels listen to demons? Guess not. Fight! Sariel even thought of using Chiho as hostage but was kicked away like a football. Maou saves Emi and they even got time to exchange banter. Maou summons his demonic blade and hopes Sariel has begged to God for forgiveness. So fearsomely awesome this Dark Lord that I guess Sariel is already praying to God to save this lost lamb. Blam! In the end, things return to normal and half the town is destroyed. Looks like he has to work hard again. Ashiya has fully revived and is ready to assist his master. But he was told off for arriving too late. Yeah. Great timing, buddy. Why even bother showing up. And Maou realizes he ran out in the middle of his shift…

Episode 13
In a very dramatic scene, Chiho is sad that Maou is returning to Ente Isla. She wants to go with him but he notes they are from both different worlds. A kiss as a parting gift. Good news: It is just Chiho’s dream. Phew. What are the chances of that being real? Chiho tells this to Maou and that guy says he isn’t going anywhere since he used up all his magic to restore the city and throw Sariel back into the portal. Kisaki calls Maou and asks him about last night whereby he ran out on his shift. Thanks to Suzuno’s alibi (or lie) that it was to rescue her, Kisaki lets it slide. Suddenly Sariel drops out from the fridge! Didn’t he get thrown back to Heaven? I’m not sure, Suzuno says it might have something to do with the Tanabata plant distorting the gate. Sariel becomes a creep trying to hit on Kisaki. Forget calling the ambulance. Call the police! She beats him up but this turns on his masochistic side. Meanwhile Emi too gets another dream. One whereby Maou conquers the world! What’s up with these girls and their dream? Still unable to forgive Maou for destroying her hometown, she goes to check on him only to see Chiho and Suzuno in some sort of argument. Suzuno was trying to feed him. You can guess from there. Suddenly Ashiya comes in and he has something urgent to discuss with Maou. Wishing to speak alone, the girls have to leave. They wonder if Ashiya is going back to Ente Isla because he mentions of wanting to take some time off. And if so, will Maou follow him? Chiho doesn’t think so since Maou said himself he couldn’t. They continue to observe Maou and they notice delivery guys carrying heaps of boxes into their house and Maou requesting to change his shift time at MgRonald. So they tail him and see him working at a construction site. Of course they got spotted. Talking out, it seems Urushihara bought tracking devices on Emi and Suzuno (see how angry Emi smashes it to bits). Although that device is what led Maou to come to their rescue, it costs a fortune! They have to pay up by next week. Since his MgRonald pay is ages away, it only makes sense to get paid daily. Thus Ashiya was seeking leave to go work somewhere else. Maou didn’t tell anybody especially Chiho because he feared she might feel responsible. Chiho is fine with it as long as he doesn’t return to Ente Isla.

When they return, Maou is furious to see heaps of boxes. It’s got to be Urushihara, right? Among the useless stuffs he bought include a fire extinguisher, mattress and water purifier. How much does it all cost? 128,000 Yen! Maou blows his top. I guess he never learn about not ticking Maou off. Though Urushihara is a victim of a purchasing scam (making one buy things you don’t need), Emi conducts some online research and finds the company behind it shady. Deluxe Life International Holdings. Sounds fishy alright. Maou makes the call to return the stuffs but the polite voice on the other end had excuses why it can’t be done or the conditions needed. Just like any frustrated customer, Maou hangs up. The only way left is to visit the company personally. Guess who meets them at the door? It’s Ashiya! He’s working here! So that person Maou spoke to was him? Once Ashiya learns what has happened, he couldn’t believe that he was dispatched to work in a shady organization for evil without realizing this. Isn’t that what demons do? Besides, ironically he couldn’t even recognize this ‘evil’. He was just reading from the textbook on how to refuse claims. He wants out. Of course the director is here and he smooth talks that he has done nothing wrong. A contract was signed and he didn’t sell any defective goods. So got a problem? Thus there is no proof and no use taking this to the police. Wow. A human outwitted the demon. For the first time, Maou felt he really lost and there’s nothing he could do about it. However Emi asks what is Urushihara’s registered age in this world. 18 years old. Cool then. She suggests the cooling off period. Under the law, a minor needs a guardian’s permission to spend. If the transaction exceeds their personal finances, the transaction is subjected to cooling off period. And so they manage to get out of this mess without paying a single cent. The company takes back the boxes and Maou this time is having the last laugh. Maou and Ashiya eat out to celebrate the trouble they’ve gone through. He notes this time it was Emi who helped them out and she is knowledgeable in this area because her job handles claims. Maou is confident Emi might end up on his side. On a rainy night, Maou doesn’t have an umbrella and runs out. At the traffic light, Emi gives him an extra umbrella. It’s payback for that last time. He thanks her. She’s happy for it.

He Works Hard For The Money…
The interesting part wasn’t about the chaos and politics that was and is happening at Ente Isla but seeing Maou and Emi dealing with their daily lives as Earth’s commoners. Having the Dark Lord and hero doing such lowly jobs really screws with your mind because we have always been fed with stereotypic facts of how awesomely powerful and evil Satan is and how magnanimous and noble a hero should be. I mean, seeing them working as such doesn’t amount to anything wrong, it is just that the perception of Satan and the hero that makes us think how odd and weird everything is. It just doesn’t seem right. Imagine this. A king who comes to greet you all dressed frugally or scarcely like a beggar. Does not seem right, doesn’t it? Where is that projection of grandeur of a king? Holding such position means adhering to certain expectations. That is why at first it might seem odd that Maou, the cruellest demon of them all holding a part timer job serving customers with a smile and Emi politely replying to calls she gets and ‘visiting’ Maou more often than trying to kill him. Of course as far as this anime is concern, it is for the story and some laughs.

Therefore the big mind boggling part is how Maou turned from the cruellest creature into a kind hearted person. It really does screw with your mind that somebody evil can turn over a new leaf and become good. Was the transformation when he came to this world? I doubt it. When he first arrived, he was dazed but learnt quickly his surroundings and tried to adapt. That’s why despite that the Dark Lord becomes a law abiding and hard working citizen, some part in me find it hard to just accept that if this guy is really the Dark Lord. If he was the most evil of evil, he would certainly have no qualms in trying to claims Earth as his own. He just needed time to restore his powers. And what do you know? Maou turns out the good guy that his past enemies couldn’t believe he turned into. So can you blame Emi for feeling frustrated for what he turned into? He destroyed her hometown, ruined her childhood and now that she has chased him all the way to another world, you’re telling her this crap that he is trying to repay this world’s kindness? That doesn’t quite cut it. That doesn’t feel right. Is that what makes Earth different from Ente Isla? Even if she slays this dude, there is no more that satisfaction. She’ll turn into some sort of killer in such circumstances. Can you also not blame Emi for being confused over everything? He used his power for evil, to kill back at Ente Isla but on Earth he uses it for good to save. What the hell is going on you wonder? Not killing him means not acquiring the revenge she has lived for. But if she lets him stay here and allow him to continue what he does, it isn’t such a bad thing since he is doing something good in society. So how can Emi explain to other people or future generations about Maou? He was once a bloodthirsty conqueror who killed countless humans and then he ‘retired’ and become a good fast food waiter. Kids these days won’t even try and believe such crap!

Despite the big focus on how the big bad devil can totally change himself, we also have to remember that the Church and the so called good guys are not entirely good. Especially those at high places. So with Orba’s betrayal, you can see one of the darker sides of humans in the works. Doesn’t make us different than demons, eh? It doesn’t make a difference whether it is this world or the other world because so long as there are humans and demons, there will always be good and evil on both sides of the divide. So what actually separates us from being labelled as a human or demon? As seen in this anime, certainly it is not your behaviour or character. People and demons can easily switch sides even for the most unknown reason. Then there is the question if God really does exist in this anime. With Sariel the angel, it shows there should be. But then you’re asking what is He doing amidst the chaos and everything? And if there are jerks like Sariel around, does it mean that there are other angels with such creepy attitude too? If Satan himself can change, what are chances of this? Just because he has white wings doesn’t mean he is a good angel. Look at the way he tortured Emi just to get Better Half. Aren’t there other better ways?

As much as it is hard to believe that Satan has turned into a responsible citizen and using his powers for the greater good, we still have to give Maou his dues. Because really, he works hard for MgRonald and despite he did say he is working his way up to take over, it feels like he won’t be doing it the evil way like how he usually did back at Ente Isla. Sometimes when I think about it, Maou is more human and better than most human beings themselves because of his good deeds. That’s why it’s another mind screwing thing just to think about this. Perhaps it is somewhere around the lines of a fallen angel. If angels can go bad, so maybe a demon can turn good too. Even so, shouldn’t that be restricted to anybody but the big boss himself? Imagine the Almighty God suddenly turned evil and wreck havoc upon Earth. Then God wouldn’t be really God, right? In Maou’s case, the Dark Lord wouldn’t really be a Dark Lord if he continues to serve the people. And with a smile. Heck, he could even be a good role model on how to be a good responsible citizen. Yeah. A demon showing us how to be nice to others. Many humans won’t give a damn about such trivial stuff such as taking great care not to let a single strand tear from the company’s uniform but this guy has thought about it and goes to great lengths to ensure that. Great guy. Such irony. Seeing Maou can be a penny pincher, I suppose this might lead him to be a great financial advisor in the future if he decides to make a great career industry switch. If he was really evil, he would have resorted to printing counterfeit money or rob a bank. Yeah. Live within your means. Till Urushihara came along… In short, Maou’s new good personality, his willingness to protect those under his responsibility and a power that kicks ass if you get him real mad, makes him a very cool character. Yes, I will admit that much. And I have to say that if the world needs some sort of saving, better rely on him, a demon.

Emi is an amusing woman to watch. Because of the sudden change in Maou’s personality that clashes with her past opinions on him, each time they meet it’s like she is going to burst into some sort of fit. So much so I thought she should take up anger management class. Well, is being graceful part of the values a hero need? The more she observes Maou, the more confused and also better she understands him. If she doesn’t mix his new life with his old style, I’m sure it will be pretty much straightforward and nothing confusing to worry about. Just look at him as a good guy. Leave his past behind, you’ll be alright. When this is out of the way, they cooperate better to save the day for the greater good. It may be unthinkable for a hero and Dark Lord to cooperate but naturally that would be a good choice if they have a common enemy. I’m sure Maou and Emi could be an amusing pair, on and off the battlefield. One thing I would like to see more often in Emi. No, not her fanservice scenes, mind you. I prefer her when she smiles. She should do that more often because she looks cuter. Putting up that serious face just makes her look scary. Oh, she’s got a serious inferior boobs complex. It’s really a big issue for her. Oops, pun not intended. I can only think why she is flat. Otherwise how would she fit into that armour fighting against Satan?! Haha! Whoops…

Miki-T is a big mystery (no pun intended on her body size). Ever since she left for Hawaii, she is never seen again. What about the part she wants to remodel the apartment? What happened to that? Can it be done when she’s away? Or was it a side distraction? There is something more than meets the eye to this fat woman. Because at some points, she obviously state Ente Isla terms and knows what is going on. I am just puzzled that our Ente Isla gang didn’t pick this up. Don’t they notice that this Earthling knows some Ente Isla stuff? Which means she isn’t really from Earth, right? Or maybe they did notice but since there are more pressing matters at hand, there is no time to be in awe who this lady is and get to the emergency now and discuss this later. Well, later never comes. Thus Miki-T can’t be written off as a side character because there is something deeper to her than we know. Just too bad the series is too short to address some of the other unresolved issues too. Another mystery is Orba. Sure he wants to be the next ruler and is willing to betray the Church. But after his defeat at the hands of Maou, how did he end up in hospital? He went ‘missing’ but how did he end up there? I’m sure there is no other accomplice unless you tell me some kind stranger brought him there in the aftermath. That’s why he was ‘missing’ and in subsequent episodes you see him suddenly waking up in a hospital bed. Then when he got double crossed by Urushihara, what happened to him after that? Did they toss him back into a portal back to Ente Isla?

It somehow feels that Ashiya’s role has become a running gag in the series. Ever since he fell sick (thanks to Suzuno’s poisoning the food she serves with her sacred magic – how come only he gets sick but Maou and Urushihara didn’t?), it’s like being weak and getting out of action becomes his only role for the series. Prior to that (and even as of now) he has this guilt conscious of being unable to serve his master or deems unworthy of his praise. Is this all he ever does besides being a good house servant? I suppose the final straw was the one he arrived too late, at the end of Maou and Sariel’s ultimate battle. I thought he was already condemned into a joker’s role. Same case for Urushihara. Ever since his lost while teaming up with Orba, he becomes an otaku shut-in and adapts fast to life around the internet. Then he develops obsession of buying stuffs online, something which I find ironic for a demon. But what the heck. Maou himself is already odd trying to do good so what are the chances his underlings will be odd too? So I guess Lucifer is really a fallen angel. Now he has fallen even further down the depths by turning into an otaku. Big joke, right?

Suzuno, just like Emi, I prefer her to smile more often. Her character when first introduced is already fishy enough. Then for most of the time, she puts on this deadpan expression that probably says “I wish I wasn’t here” and there is some lethargic feel in her speech. So maybe if she can’t be a lively person, could you please at least smile? Come to think about it, maybe that will be harder since she has spent her life taking orders from her higher ups to kill so called traitors. Spilled too much blood that she is somewhat numb. Unlike Maou, maybe she doesn’t have the power to break free. So in a way, it’s a good thing that she met Maou in this world because despite his presence fuelling her hatred, once she really knows who he is, I guess it’s not all that bad. Chiho is a nice girl who loves Maou for who he is. She has seen his good side, but will she ever see his evil side? I mean, his truly bad side where he mercilessly kills people. Although he won’t be turning into that (we pray so), you’ll never know what the future holds. Maou might just turn back to his old ways if he returns to Ente Isla, thus a reason why he might want to continue staying here. If Chiho sees that hideous side of his, can she really say she loves him then? Maybe she will love him so much and so crazy that she will turn into a dark queen to rule by his side! Far-fetched but after seeing Satan work in a fast food joint, suddenly any theory I come up seems plausible. There are some characters that make me wonder the significance of their appearance, like Albert and Emeralda. They left as quickly as they came to Earth. It’s like as though their role was just to explain that earthquake phenomenon and Emeralda a communicator for Emi for updates of what is going on back at Ente Isla. Well, since the anime is focused on Earth, whoever or whatever happens back at Ente Isla isn’t giving much prominence. Like, do we really care?

Just on a little disappointing side, I was hoping to see some sort of romance. Okay, you got me. Actually I wanted to see a love triangle or quadruple with Suzuno being the latest addition. Then maybe a little cat fight here and there. Well, certain scenes got my hopes up but that’s just about it. There is a simple reason why the girls stick with him. For Chiho, it is obvious that she loves him so she might use whatever reason just to be with him, be it the same shift or hand something to his room. As for Emi, despite telling us she wants to keep an eye on Maou, the more she stalks, the more I believe she is starting to like this guy. I know I did say she was confused over his change of personality, but could it also mean that inside her heart is also changing? She might not realize it but it shows she cares, right? If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have bothered so much about him and even going into his house or helping him out. Then Rika always pesters her to make up with her ‘boyfriend’ even though Emi vehemently denies it. Like as though it’s true. You know, when you steal something and when somebody asks you if you stole it and then you go vehemently protesting that you’re not the one. Yeah. That kind. So do you want to believe that Emi deep down in her heart likes Maou? I do so. Because I want to see a love triangle so badly! Haha! Same case with Suzuno. You can’t read her since she has no emotions and since she is like a country bumpkin and doing things like feeding him without hesitation when it’s supposed to be an act that couples do, it makes you wonder if she is sneakily doing this so she can snatch Maou from underneath his nose (and the other girls). Hey! What about Rika for Ashiya? I think that is just a high speculation on my part.

Action wise, I guess it is pretty cool to see Maou in his true muscular form because it enhances his badass-ness. It is that same form that makes him scary too because it is a side that you really don’t want to see. But you can’t help root for him whenever he is about to give his enemy the ultimate punishment. It’s like when he is going to pound his enemy, his power is warming up and you might think that the enemy is so scared that he can’t run away, just stand there waiting to get hit. It’s like a countdown before Maou shoots his blast. Also when he is in this form, he holds so much power that it makes you regret of ever being born if you get hit by this awesomeness. You wished you’d never been born. Just because God never intervened, it seemed to me that Maou’s super power could even take Him out if both sides ever go head to head. The series also being a comedy genre, there are lots of funny moments especially when it involves Maou and Emi, even if it might seem serious. Really. It’s the interaction between them that makes it amusing and funny. But the funniest moments are those when the characters are flabbergasted, their mouths wide open like as though something unbelievable and shocking has happened.

The Ente Isla language that they were speaking from time to time, it made me wonder what language they ripped it off from or they could just be saying some sort of gibberish. I am not a linguist so I can’t really tell if they’re just spouting nonsense or maybe they just modified what sounded like some European language. But you know how Japanese sounds like when they try to speak other language, right? Yeah, there’s that accent. But I have to give them points for trying to speak naturally and putting in some enthusiasm that it almost sounds as if they were really speaking a language from another world. Later as I found out, the so called Entean language is actually English but the position of the consonant alphabets reversed while the vowels maintained. Which means, B = Z, C = Y, D = X and so on while ignoring the vowels. Which means for example, demon = xepon. Wow. If they do this for every English word in their speech, it is really one Herculean effort (to me) even if they are just spoken sparingly when needed.

Youko Hikasa as the voice of Emi, I thought she was her character role was almost similar to another redhead, Rias from High School DxD. Okay, maybe that is just the difference because everything else about both characters are different. From their 3 sizes to their coolness (Emi is more short fused compared to Rias). Kanae Itou as Suzuno, it’s something new to hear her voicing a character that lacks emotion and just plain monotony in her voice. Unlike that squid obsessed pervert Sanae in Shinryaku! Ika Musume or that b*tch Sena from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai. Hiro Shimono was also identifiable as Urushihara/Lucifer and despite not sounding like his typical lively characters (Keima in The World God Only Knows, Sho in Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000%), there are a handful of characters he voice that are just plain monotonous. Think Kyolo of GJ-Bu or Metcha in Tamako Market. Other casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Maou (Yuki in Tsuritama), Nao Touyama as Chiho (Kanon in The World God Only Knows), Yuuki Ono as Ashiya (Kiyotaka in Da Capo III), Yuuichi Iguchi as Sariel/Mitsuki (Shiratori in Bakuman), Katsuhisa Houki as Orba (Ben Jackson in Tiger And Bunny), Yumi Uchiyama as Kisaki (Aiko in Sukitte Iinayo), Hiroki Yasumoto as Albert (Sado in Bleach), Azumi Asakura as Emeralda (Kumin in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) and Kimiko Saito as Miki-T (Chieko in Kuragehime).

The opening, Zero by Minami Kuribayashi sounds generic as an anime rock pop and I didn’t find it as appealing. There are a few ending themes and surprisingly the main one, Tsuki Hana sounds the best of all of them. Despite being sung by Nano Ripe, she didn’t sound as bad as I thought she would. Based on my experience on her type of singing, she’s got this drunk-like voice and hearing how she did with the opening theme song performance for Sankarea, Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita, the first opening theme for the third season of Bakuman and almost all the themes in Hanasaku Iroha, I didn’t have much hope for this one. But surprise, surprise. Despite Tsuki Hana being a slow ballad, she didn’t really sound as bad as I thought she would (although her trademark voice is still there). Maybe it’s because of the slower pace and the nice acoustic guitar strumming in the background as well as the backup vocals that makes this quite a pleasant piece. Oddly, the ending credits animation for this song seems to be all on Chiho. It’s like to make up for her supporting role in the anime and to appease Chiho fans. First it was a cheeky still pick of Chiho in her swimsuit at her beach before turning into one that has Chiho in various jobs, outfits or positions. Spacewoman? Ballerina? Explorer? Riding on a boat to hell (at least that’s what the Jigoku Shoujo-esque scene looked like to me). But what does time have to do with all of this? The other special ending theme is Star Chart that is only featured in episode 5. Now this is how Nano Ripe really sounds in that voice of hers when she sings this rock piece and also the final ending rock outfit for the last episode, Tsumabiku Hitori. In other words, not so good ;p. Okay, okay. I still have to give her dues. They’re not bad but just that I do not find her voice appealing, that’s all.

I am sure this series is trying to teach us a few things. Especially about the demon being evil part that I have said so many times in this blog. First, never to judge a book by its cover. Also, always give a second chance. With Maou and Emi working as employees and making some mistakes here and there, it goes to show that they are not perfect. You learn to give and take. You also learn to forgive and accept. Move on. Because somebody has a dark and infamous past, does it give us the right to judge them and treat them accordingly based on our stereotyped views? So what Maou was once the biggest evil around, but he has changed so can’t we give him a chance? But this doesn’t mean his past sins are forgiven and so there need to be some sort of way he to make him accountable. Well, maybe that’s why working at MgRonald is his way of repentance. Another important lesson is to live a simple life and live within your means. Despite the poor conditions that Maou and Ashiya have to live in, notice that they are still happy? Maybe they’ll be happier if they have more of other things but you don’t you see that they are taking up this challenge pretty well. They might complain here and there but they still suck it up and get the job done. No use complaining because it won’t finish if you move your mouth and not your hands. Most people these days only know how to complain and do not know how to control their finances thus relying a lot on credit, which makes them accumulate debt over time till it kills them. So when you don’t have such luxuries as seen in the case of our protagonists, you don’t indulge in such and make do with what you have. I figure they are much happier that way.

I still can’t believe that the king of demons actually become a responsible and hard working person. It’s like the end of the world. Hell freezes over. Pigs fly.  But better have Satan live a normal life and be part of society instead of destroying and taking over the world, enslaving all humans. Better have him serve a smile behind a fast food counter rather than an evil smile that reads “Your Earth will now be destroyed, mother f*ckers!”. Can’t complain, can’t we? Boy, it sure made me wish I had the Dark Lord as my assistant at my work place. I can play the senior and order my junior around, reprimand him when he does the slightest mistake, boss around, dump all the work on him, make him do extra tasks, etc. And he can’t talk back because I’m his superior, hehehe… How is that for a taste of your own medicine? But doesn’t that make me the devil instead? Even demons have feelings too…

HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR 2014! Another fresh start of the year means there will be more and more animes for me to watch! And so just like the previous years before, I hope it will be a good bounty of animes for me to watch. This is the first time a versus blog will be featured as the first blog of the year. What a way to start the year.

Mankind has advanced so much that with technology, we are able to live out our fantasies. And that means you get to live a different and exciting life in another world and alternate universe. Some would even consider the wired world their second home (if not, their first) in addition to reality. However of course in the real world now, that seems to be a pipe dream but it is those dreams that will lead us one step closer in achieving that. But for now, there is no harm in dreaming and thus today’s versus blog will be between animes Accel World and Sword Art Online. Both are light novels written by Reki Kawahara and released as anime adaptation in 2012.

Game genre:
Accel World: VRMMO fighting game.
Sword Art Online: MMO role playing game.

Created by:
Accel World: Anonymously created 7 years ago.
Sword Art Online: Akihiko Kayaba. Released in November 2022.

World type:
Accel World: Futuristic sci-fi.
Sword Art Online: Fantasy adventure.

Battle mechanism:
Accel World: Set of special skills based on the avatar.
Sword Art Online: Swords and shields.

How to log in:
Accel World: A programme called Brain Burst must be installed.
Sword Art Online: A helmet called NerveGear is needed to access the world.

Goal of the game:
Accel World: Obtain Burst Points for real world acceleration abilities.
Sword Art Online: Complete all 100 floors in the game and defeat the final boss.

Life and death matter implications:
Accel World: If a player loses all his/her Burst Points, Brain Burst will automatically uninstall and never to be installed in that person ever again. He/She will also lose all memories pertaining to his/her time and experience playing the game.
Sword Art Online: Ever since the log out button has been discarded, players have no way of escaping the game unless they clear all the floors and defeat the final boss. If their in-game health drops to zero, not only their character will die but their body in real life will also die.

Avatar creation:
Accel World: Players cannot choose their avatar or nickname. They are automatically chosen based on your subconscious of negative emotions. All avatars have some sort of colour in their name.
Sword Art Online: Players can freely choose which class and name they wish for their avatar. However during the shut-out, players lose their avatar appearance and revert to their real life looks.

Other world:
Accel World: Akihabara Battle Grounds is a neutral fighting arena.
Sword Art Online: After SAO has been cleared and destroyed, another company took over and developed another MMORPG called Alfheim Online (ALO) where player assume the appearance of fairies.

The hero:
Accel World: Haruyuki Arita.
Sword Art Online: Kazuto Kirigaya.

His alias/nickname:
Accel World: Silver Crow.
Sword Art Online: Kirito and initially Beater (Beta + Cheater).

Previously he was:
Accel World: A bully victim.
Sword Art Online: A beta tester for SAO before its official release.

His sister:
Accel World: Well, Niko did for a short while pretended to be his lovely sister…
Sword Art Online: Suguha.

The heroine:
Accel World: Black Snow Princess.
Sword Art Online: Asuna Yuuki.

Her alias/nickname:
Accel World: Black Lotus.
Sword Art Online: Asuna. Titania In ALO.

She almost died
Accel World: When Black Snow accelerated and saved Haruyuki from getting into a car accident and she ended up in a coma.
Sword Art Online: Asuna takes a blow from Heathcliff meant for Kirito. I don’t know what happened since the world also ended at the same time, somehow the players logged out and Asuna is somewhat saved.

Allies/Comrades (selected):
Accel World: Takumu Mayuzumi, Chiyuri Kurashima, Yuniko “Niko” Kouzuki AKA Scarlet Rain and Blood Leopard.
Sword Art Online: Klein, Andrew Gilbert Mills AKA Agil, Yui and Suguha Kirigaya AKA Leafa.

Main antagonists:
Accel World: Chrome Disaster and Seiji Noumi AKA Dusk Taker.
Sword Art Online: Kuradeel, Heathcliff and King Oberon.

Moe loli girl:
Accel World: Niko – when she puts on her cute loli act of course.
Sword Art Online: Silica and Yui.

The tsundere:
Accel World: Niko and Black Snow.
Sword Art Online: Asuna and Leafa.

NPC creatures:
Accel World: In the Unlimited Neutral Field, there are randomly spawned beasts called Enemy and defeating them allows Burst Linkers to obtain some Burst Points.
Sword Art Online: There are low level beasts that players can kill to gain experience points and some higher ones that posses some challenge. Other tougher monsters are usually level bosses.

A.I. Tamed:
Accel World: Black Lotus managed to tame the legendary dragon Enemy called Nidhogg.
Sword Art Online: Aincrad’s artificial intelligence, Yui considers Kirito as her father and Asuna her mother.

Skull character:
Accel World: Ash Roller.
Sword Art Online: Skull Reaper.

Megane character:
Accel World: Takumu.
Sword Art Online: Nobuyuki Sugou.
Sighs… No megane female character…?

Groups:
In the game, many players can form groups among themselves.
Accel World: Not necessarily confined by their avatar colours, Burst Linkers can form groups called Legions but ultimately they are led by the 6 Kings of Pure Colour. Our hero and heroine’s Legion is Nega Nebulus also comprising of Takumu, Chiyuri and subsequently Sky Raker.
Sword Art Online: Players are free to join any guilds they create among themselves. The most powerful guild is Knights of the Blood. Our hero and heroine are currently solo players although they form a party together. Asuna was once from Knights of the Blood but left after a near-death incident.

In-game deaths (selected):
Accel World: The previous Red King and Noumi – in the sense he got Brain Burst uninstalled.
Sword Art Online: Sachi, Godfree and Kuradeel.

Training:
Accel World: Haruyuki sees Sky Raker to undergo training on how to use Incarnate System.
Sword Art Online: Kirito secretly trains when nobody is looking so he could perfect his Dual Blades technique, a Unique Skill.

I believe I can fly:
Accel World: Silver Crow develops wings and is the only flying avatar. Though subsequently, Dusk Taker steals this ability before Haruyuki takes it back.
Sword Art Online: In the world of ALO, everyone’s avatar is a fairy but even though they have wings, they only have a limited flight time.

Defection:
Accel World: Chiyuri teams up with Noumi but is just a ploy to increase her special move gauge, which is to rewind time so as to return Haruyuki’s lost wings. The higher the gauge, the longer the length of time she could rewind.
Sword Art Online: In ALO, Sigurd of the Sylphs tries to sell out his own clan to reborn himself as a Salamander. Fortunately it fell through and he was exiled.

Paralysis:
Accel World: Sky Raker is paralyzed from waist downwards.
Sword Art Online: Kuradeel poisons and paralyzes Godfree and Kirito so he could kill them.

Can’t clear the game:
Accel World: When the kings reached level 9 and learnt the harsh rules needed to fulfil to reach the ultimate level 10, they form a non-aggression pact. Instead of fighting among themselves, they divided their territories to rule.
Sword Art Online: In ALO, though the goal of the game is to reach the top of the World Tree and meet the Fairy King and be reborn as a true fairy to have unlimited flight duration, it is discovered the hard way by Kirito when he fought his way through the waves of enemies and reaching the top only to be discovered this game wasn’t meant to be cleared because he can’t open the door to the next level. Total bummer…

Heroine away, out of action:
Accel World: When Black Snow is away at Okinawa for her school field trip, Haruyuki and co try to put a stop to Noumi’s cruelty. Eventually she returns to save the day.
Sword Art Online: In ALO, Asuna lies in coma in a hospital as her mind is being held prisoner. Kirito and Yui join forces with Suguha to save and free her.

Romance between our hero and heroine:
Accel World: Although it is very clear that they like each other very much, they still maintain the master-disciple relationship. Come on, when are you going to say it already… I don’t think they even kissed. Just her black butterfly avatar and his little piggy one…
Sword Art Online: The duo officially become a couple in the game itself and for real after Asuna wakes up from her imprisonment coma. They kissed a few on time of several occasions.

Unrequited love:
Accel World: Chiyuri for Haruyuki.
Sword Art Online: Suguha for Kirito, Lisbeth AKA Liz for Kirito. Silica for Kirito. Man, this guy is popular… Also, Nagata AKA Recon for Suguha.

Number of episodes:
Accel World: 24 TV episodes and 2 extra episodes.
Sword Art Online: 25 TV episodes.

Extra/Specials:
Accel World: 8 short clips called Accel World x (where x is the special episode number).
Sword Art Online: 9 short clips called Sword Art Offline.

Studio:
Accel World: Sunrise.
Sword Art Online: A-1 Pictures.

Music type:
Accel World: Mostly rock and techno.
Sword Art Online: Mainly anime pop.

Conclusion:
Personally, I prefer Sword Art Online to Accel World firstly because of the various beautiful fantasy worlds that were shown. My mind would easily get immersed in those settings and even after finishing watching the episode, I would still linger on and daydream a little if I could explore such realms. Although I love the fighting game genre, somehow there weren’t enough tantalizing fights as I hope there would since the series was more focused on the drama at hand. The fights felt as the last resort to solve everything. Besides, the sci-fi stuffs didn’t really click with me. Besides, Kirito looks more badass compared to wimpy Haruyuki. Heck, the characters in Sword Art Online look much better and prettier compared to their counterparts in Accel World. Both series also had their terms and jargons but I still find those in Accel World to be a little harder to comprehend. And more importantly, Sword Art Online ended with our main battle couple as well, a real couple but it is not clear for the other duo. Since there were many personal online worlds create at the end of Sword Art Online as seen, hopefully they would make one that combines my favourite fighting genre like Accel World. That would probably be my ultimate gaming fantasy. For now, just keep dreaming…