Tokyo Ravens

October 26, 2014

I am not exactly into those Japanese spiritual and mystic powers called onmyo. Normally animes like Shonen Onmyoji I would not have listed it down on my list to watch. So what was it that made me decide to have a look at Tokyo Ravens? Easy. I judged a book by its cover! From first looks, this anime seems to have good visuals. Hmm… Nice eye candy. Since it is not a period drama and set in current modern times and with cute looking girls, I guess I should give this a shot. Besides, there is going to be some comedy and maybe a little romance, right? How can I not resist this? And before I could further decide if it was a good idea to just go watch this anime based on this silly reason, I am already watching it. Oh what the heck. As usual, this anime tells of our main guy. He is from a branch family whose main branch is supposedly the best in the onmyo business. Thing is, he has no power or talent in the onmyo. Heh. That tells us a lot. They’re not going to surprise us that he has some hidden or latent onmyo power later on, aren’t they? Otherwise, why would he be the main character in the first place? And they’re not going to tell us that he isn’t just the son of some branch family and something important, aren’t they? It’s always like that. Because he is the main character. Duh. Oh, and certainly they’re not going to us that he is some reincarnation of some legendary exorcist, aren’t they? Well. One way to find out.

Episode 1
When Harutora Tsuchimikado was young, he made a promise to his childhood friend, Natsume Tsuchimikado who is also the daughter of the clan’s main family, to become her familiar and protect her. Now he is just an ordinary high school student leading an uneventful life. His grades aren’t that good too so he is in summer class. He hangs out with his pals, Hokuto and Touji Ato. The former is still serious in wanting Harutora to become an onmyo exorcist. But as Harutora told her many times, he is not interested since he cannot see or sense spirit and his family is just a branch of the main one. In short, he has no talent. Still, she has high hopes for him to become one. While hanging out by himself on the overhead bridge, he is surprised to see Natsume. She should be in Tokyo but since it is the summer holidays, it’s not surprising she is here to visit. Their casual talk turns into a little argument and she leaves in a huff. She’ll protect everything by herself. Harutora watches the TV news back home. One of the 12 Divine Generals is fighting spirits. Harutora notes the craziness in Tokyo and is glad he doesn’t have onmyo powers and doesn’t need to be that girl’s familiar. But Touji has him reflect that she might just be lonely (she is selected as the next head of the family). Harutora, Touji and Hokuto meet at the fireworks festival. Hokuto wants a box prize in a shooting game but can’t seem to get it. She has Harutora do it for her but he wasted lots of money and still cannot hit. Before his last shot, she whispers to him that if he succeeds, she will kiss him. That threw him off and he hit the target. Effective or what? But I can’t dismiss that what she say was a lie. Even odd, what she wanted was the ribbon of this box that contained a bubble blower set! A ribbon just to tie her hair? I think I know why. Since she forces Harutora to comment she is cute.

Later, Harutora isn’t pleased to see her writing her wish for him to be an onmyo exorcist. He throws down the wooden plaque and this hurts her feelings. Not long, Suzuka Dairenji, one of the 12 Divine Generals appears before the guys. She mistakes Harutora as Natsume and wants him to be part of her experiment to re-enact the great magic performed by Yakou Tsuchimikado, the Great Spirit Method called Taizan Fukun Ritual. Several jeeps from the Magical Investigation Bureau (MIB) surround them and the personnel are going to arrest Suzuka on suspicion for using forbidden magic. She is unfazed and materializes her familiar. She floods the entire are to rid of those bugs. With Harutora in her grasp, she is going to have him come with her when Hokuto comes running in. That is when Suzuka realizes he isn’t Natsume. She has him relay a message to Natsume that she will catch her. If he doesn’t, she will cut off his balls! Confirming that Hokuto isn’t his girlfriend, Suzuka brazenly kisses Harutora. Fireworks display on cue. Nice scene? I’m sure it isn’t for Hokuto who is just standing there watching in shock. Like it’s the end of the world.

Episode 2
Is Hokuto alright, Harutora asks. How could she be when she is crying and telling him straight in the face that the person she likes is kissing somebody else! Ever since then, Hokuto has never contacted him. I’m sure she’s just sulking… Touji has done his research on Yakou’s ritual. It was said a great disaster befall on Tokyo and caused the family to fall into disgrace. But many believed he was trying to complete a lifelong spell he developed to reincarnate himself especially someone in the Tsuchimikado family. Harutora thinks it is Natsume. Thus perhaps the reason Suzuka is trying to use Yakou’s magic to reincarnate somebody. Harutora gets a mail from Natsume to meet. She apologizes for putting him in danger (he told her about Suzuka’s message). She cannot go back to Tokyo since she needs to defend the altar for Taizan Fukun Ritual which is behind the house of the main family. Harutora views he is sufficient enough to protect it in her place since Suzuka is after her and it wouldn’t help since they’re near the altar. I’m sure he has good intentions to paint Suzuka isn’t such a bad person but he perhaps chose his words wrongly. Calling Suzuka a cute girl probably ended the conversation there. Before any jealousy rage can happen, Harutora suddenly coughs and a talisman falls out from his throat. It turns into a wasp and stings Natsume’s neck. It has taken her powers. Harutora realizes that was what the kiss was for. He brings her back but Suzuka attacks. He lets the taxi continue the journey while he stays back to finish this business.

He sees MIB personnel overwhelming Suzuka but she releases a huge demon spider familiar to wipe them all out. He then hears her murmuring she will bring her big brother back to life before his handphone gave him away. She teases him for ending up in a fight with that ‘ugly girl’ so he changes the topic that what she is doing is wrong. Her brother wouldn’t want this. She scoffs him off for not knowing anything. She doesn’t think highly of her parents and doesn’t consider them that since she has been experimented on even before birth. She claims it is those experiments that killed her brother. Now with these powers and a proper sacrifice (her life), she can bring him back. I guess she’s too cute to die and all the more reason why Harutora can’t let her. He wants her to think this again and stop. Her brother wouldn’t want this. In this distraction, an MIB attacks her. She becomes enraged and has her familiar attack. Harutora saves him and he could have lost his life if not for Hokuto taking the stab. She lies dying in his arms. Why do they get all romantic when it’s near death? So after she confesses she loves him, she turns into a paper familiar. This is her true form? Harutora is mad. Suzuka is still bratty. She guarantees she will kill him the next time and leaves. Harutora makes a mad dash while remembering the first time he met Hokuto. A weird girl who keeps running away from him despite always hanging out near him. So once he caught her, she told her name and they became friends. Harutora goes back to the altar where Natsume has already prepared herself. He wants her to make him her familiar. His eyes are now opened that he was running away from his duty. There was somebody trying to tell him that all along but never heeded it. Natsume cuts her own lips due draw a pentagram on Harutora’s cheek. He is now able to see spirits with her magic.

Episode 3
Natsume and Harutora ride on her Pegasus Yukikaze to reach the altar. Since persuading her won’t do, they have to fight off her familiars and a barrier is setup around the area. When Harutora falls off, Natsume summons Hokuto, a real dragon and servant familiar used by each head of the house. She didn’t use her trump card at first since she doesn’t have full control over it. While Hokuto is busy fighting a familiar, Natsume takes off a seal from the self defence sword to turn it into an enemy destroying blade. With this sword, Harutora fights the spider familiar and then cuts open its core so Natsume could fire her magic bow into it and disable the barrier. Though the spider quickly revives, raging Hokuto takes it out. By the time they get to Suzuka, they are pinned down by talismans written in her blood. She begins the ritual and some dark matter that isn’t a god engulfs them. Suzuka is happy to see her little big brother revive but then gets strangled as he claims it isn’t enough. Harutora should be happy the girl who killed Hokuto dies but after seeing her tears, I guess he changed his mind. Drawing his raging power, he breaks free from the talismans. Since his sword cannot pierce through the kid, he throws his ‘cabinet’ that he is carrying around. Natsume then uses her magic to subdue everything. Suzuka wants Harutora to kill her but he tells her to properly see off her little brother first. She bursts into tears. Natsume takes a look at Hokuto’s talisman and notices it is the manipulating type. Although the spirit has completely left, Hokuto is probably still alive. It means he the magic user for Hokuto is somewhere around. Harutora makes his decision to enrol in Onmyo Prep School in Tokyo. He is greeted by Natsume dressed and acting like a boy since it is the traditional rules. Touji is also here as he is enrolling in the same school. Natsume isn’t pleased to see this amateur. But Touji explains he has always been able to see spirits. This means he could tell the difference between humans and familiars. This sends Natsume panicking. He hints that nice ribbon of hers. Harutora is still probably dense about the whole thing till he starts wondering how come she has the same ribbon with Hokuto. Have you guessed it? Hokuto’s master.

Episode 4
Harutora and Touji enter the Onmyo Prep School for the first time. They see the principal, Miyo Kurahashi and have them express what they think of Yakou. She views Yakou as a normal person but there are many obsessed devotees who see him as some sort of God. The rumours that Natsume is his reincarnation didn’t help. The special attention she gets will probably be directed at them too. She has also met him but that was when she was a child. He loves shogi but sucks at it and then would go sulking and cause trouble for everyone. Jin Ootomo becomes their homeroom teacher and he takes them to the class to be introduced. Kyouko Kurahashi doesn’t acknowledge them because it is unusual for students to transfer at this time of the year and should have waited the following year. She suspects it is because he comes from the Tsuchimikado house. Natsume stands up to let her know her place but Kyouko is stubborn and won’t back down. Those sparks… I wonder if onmyo magic really can see it. And everyone is excited to see this showdown. Life at school must be this boring. After Natsume leaves for her special training, the guys make friends with Tenma Momoe who explains Kyouko is Miyo’s granddaughter. Her dad is the head of the Onmyo Agency and the Kurahashi is quite famous but only second to Tsuchimikado. Therefore it is no surprise that Kyouko considers Natsume her rival. Harutora scores a chicken egg for his exam and this pisses off Natsume! Didn’t think he was this stupid, eh? She forces him to brush up on this list of books he is supposed to read and she will prop him up with her special training that may have some side effects. May…

Back in his room, he remembers the familiar his father gave as a parting gift. A white fox girl named Kon materializes. Her job is to protect him and she was always around him, just that she was invisible. He has her do several tricks and is impressed she can turn invisible, float, cast fire and unsheathe her dagger faster than your eye can see. Noticing her fully tail and ears, he gets permission to touch her. You know the saying curiosity kills the cat? Harutora is fascinated at how her tail connects to the body so Kon drops her pants and shows her ass to him!!! Right at that moment, Natsume came in to give him some books to study and sees this ambiguous scene. Natsume’s reaction and consequence are pretty much predictable. And so that is how the cat or rather tiger (tora) ‘died’ for that day. In class, Kyouko wants Ootomo to leave behind those who cannot catch up (hinting Harutora). But Ootomo is not fond of the school’s policy to leave the weak behind. He lets Harutora says a few words. He apologizes for causing everyone trouble but now he is a student of this school like everyone else so his first priority is to be an exorcist. Kyouko still can’t accept it so Kon moves in to protect her master only to get abused for moving on her own. Kyouko won’t lose and summons her armoured familiars. Since this is getting exciting, Ootomo suggests they have a fight between familiars. Harutora is all geared up in kendo outfit to fight. Isn’t this a match between familiars? Indeed. He is a familiar too, right? So it’s all fair. 2 on 2.

Episode 5
Kyouko recalls when she first met Natsume in this school. She wondered if ‘he’ (remember, Natsume cross-dresses as a boy) remembers about that promise. Anyway, you didn’t expect Harutora’s wooden sword to stand a chance against that giant metal, didn’t you? Instantly Ootomo calls Kyouko the victor. Thanks to that, the rest of his classmates are in awe with him. Maybe they just want to see and touch Kon. Natsume doesn’t look too pleased he is getting friendly with everyone but Touji mentions about Harutora ending up with an argument with a friend during summer and never made up. He doesn’t want that to happen again. Even Kyouko comes to apologize to him later. Harutora could sense she was just using him to get to Natsume. She reveals they have met once young before but was disappointed Natsume told her she might have got the wrong person when they meet again in this school. To his surprise, the Kurahashi family used to be a branch family of Tsuchimikado so they are somewhat relatives. Thanks to Touji’s exaggerated lies, Kyouko gets the wrong idea that Harutora and Natsume have that very intimate relationship. Body and soul as one. Harutora strongly denies that. Natsume isn’t happy seeing him ‘frolicking’ and starts scolding him about using his time to improve himself. They need to become real exorcists quick so they don’t have to rely on anyone else no matter how hard or lonely it is. Really? Then why is she crying about it? Suddenly a thick mist kidnaps her. He is believed to be a Yakou devotee and blames Natsume for throwing King of North Star’s heart into disorder. Tenma explains before Harutora and Touji enrolled here, Natsume came into contact with the devotee, resulting in near abduction and magic battle. Because of that, Natsume has been undergoing questioning by MIB (the ‘special training’). After Tenma passes him a staff from Ootomo, Harutora wants his friends to lend their powers.

The MIB agent turns out to be the culprit. He thinks of awakening Yakou in her and will protect her as her past familiar, Hishamaru. When the friends arrive, he summons his demon familiar Kakugyouki to take care of them. As they are in disarray, they are easily taken out. He then forces Natsume to acknowledge him or else he will kill everyone. Before she could, Harutora tells her to stop relying on past familiars but her current friends. She should try to reach out to them sometimes. She gets her confidence back and mocks the agent he can never be her Hishamaru. Even if there was one, Harutora will be it. He goes crazy hearing that and orders Kakugyouki to kill everyone. This time they are in sync. When Harutora breaks his mask, the seal is broken and the agent can’t control Kakugyouki anymore. The coward flees. Kakugyouki goes berserk. After ridding the talisman seals on Natsume, she summons Hokuto to easily destroy Kakugyouki. She thanks everyone and apologizes to Kyouko for being mean. In the aftermath, everyone visits Harutora in his dorm room. Touji discovers Kakugyouki is fake since it wouldn’t be so easily destroyed like that. Everyone is surprised that Natsume is moving next door to Harutora. She’s a ‘boy’, right? She needs to keep watch on him and be close to him as he is her familiar. What did he say about relying on others? This might get complicated because Kyouko realizes she likes Natsume! She wants Harutora to help her get a date with ‘him’. He is in a pinch since he can’t say Natsume is a girl so Kyouko thinks he likes her (Kyouko). Natsume heard it but she couldn’t care less who falls for who. Just do your job. It doesn’t matter to her. Really? It doesn’t matter you say?

Episode 6
Dorm ‘mothers’, Mako Fujino and Ako Kifu are excited talking about the love triangle fantasy between Harutora, Natsume and Touji when they see Harutora with Natsume top partially undressed! They whip out their handphones and start taking pictures! Even when the other girls see this, they start squirming in delight over this handphone romance novel material! Actually this turns out to be Natsume’s ‘perfect plan’ to let someone see the illusion of her naked male body so that nobody will suspect her she is a girl. But look at the misunderstanding they’ve gotten into. Harutora wants to hang out on Sunday but since Touji is busy, Natsume views this as a date. She wears her school uniform since this is the only guy clothes she got. They walk around trying to buy clothes from store to store and Harutora is tired and starving. Won’t she ever give up? Because of her silly pride, they walk into the love hotel area. What could be worse than this? They can hear Mako and Ako coming as they talking so loud about this exciting forbidden love! Now, which love hotel did they enter to? To avoid being seen and take shelter from the rain, they have no choice but to get into one.

So in this awkward situation, don’t expect anything steamy to happen because here pops up Kon in a foul mood just to inform them about ‘enemy familiars’. Ako and Mako have enlisted Kyouko and Tenma’s help to detect where the duo are. Kyouko is in this just to prove that Natsume is innocent. Harutora can’t imagine the label they will be tagged if they ever found out but Natsume is confident she can defeat them. Kon informs of another problem. Ootomo is here too and he is really pumped up to ‘take care of this’ and ‘show his true power’. Yeah, he wants to expose them in broad daylight! Natsume begins panicking and on the verge of breaking down. Soon, everyone is surprised that they see Touji with Natsume. Seems Harutora called him for help and they manage to sneak out via different exits. Touji notes the hotel they were in was a normal business hotel. Ako and Mako are definitely disappointed to see this development because they were so sure it was Natsume and Harutora. Speaking of that guy, here he comes. Then Kon comes to return him some bath towel he forgot. This makes everyone get the wrong idea that he is in some sort of relationship with his familiar! It doesn’t help since Natsume abandoned him (she was with Touji all day, right?) and Touji ignoring him. Kon’s words make it more ambiguous that she will keep this a secret. Everybody gets turned off and doesn’t want to hear more of it. On to more serious stuff, Ootomo has found the rogue MIB agent and paralyze him. He wonders if this is enough to draw those buggers out. Speaking of those guys, Douman Ashiya is seen speaking to the real Kakugyouki about Ootomo.

Episode 7
Seems Harutora can’t even rest because Natsume is forcing him to cram everything in his head for the exams. Uh huh. He must fill his brain and not his stomach! If that isn’t going to kill him, wait for the practical exams. Although he bests Kyouko’s familiars in practice, it is only because of the magical tools he wields and those are not allowed in the exam. Touji is called by Miyo and told that this year’s exam will be a simulated spiritual disaster they must purify. So why tell him? He was a victim to the real thing 2 years ago so he somewhat has a ‘head start’ although he has been trying to battle the after-effects. His doctor is Harutora’s father who is also a graduate of this school. Ootomo sees Daizen Amami, one of the 12 Divine Generals. He used to work under him but resigned and became a teacher. Atsune Hirata is Ootomo’s successor under him. They talk about the spiritual terrorist attack 2 years ago, the Great Doll’s Festival Purification was conducted by Twin Horn Syndicate using Ghost Division as a front. Its leader, Shido Dairenji died and Ghost Division was disbanded. However Twin Horn Syndicate still exists today. Ootomo doesn’t want to do that kind of job again after spending quite some time cleaning up the mess. The main reason Ootomo is called here is that something big is happening. Some D Personage recently contacted a member of the Twin Horn Syndicate. He is Chihiro Mutobe, a former onmyo exorcist of Ghost Division and previously Shido’s right hand man.

During the spiritual disaster purification exam, everyone seems to be doing fine. Except maybe for Harutora who doesn’t know how much power to apply. Of course something has to happen. Mutobe casts his spell and turns several areas in the city to spew those black spiritual stuffs. From the symptoms, they fear it is like the spiritual terrorist attack happening again. Only the use of Natsume’s Hokuto subdues the leak. Touji starts to go into pain and wants everyone to get out of the area. A baboon monster drops in but Kon detects it is wounded and afraid of something. It should be after it came into contact with Reiji Kagami, another one of the 12 Divine Generals. This guy is powerful enough to subdue the monster but too cocky. The kind who thinks he stands above all. Everybody else are just useless. Learning the kids here are from Onmyo Prep School, he realizes one of them is Yakou’s reincarnation. He pinpoints Natsume right and mocks her about her bout with Suzuka. In that distraction, Mutobe uses the leak to heal the monster. Kagami wants to use some unethical method that Natsume opposes so he gets rough with her. This makes Harutora mad and stands up against him. Knowing that Touji is in greater pain, Kagami notices this bunch of kids are really interesting. After kicking Harutora away, he takes off Touji’s hat to reveal his ogre horns.

Episode 8
Touji once never liked Harutora. He thought this doctor’s son was looking down on the ogre half inside him. When he tried to be friends, Touji beat him to a bloody pulp and felt so good. He smiled and cried. Touji fights back and warns Kagami that if he insists fighting somebody who is trying to hold back transforming into an ogre, he is in for a torrid time. A couple of crow familiars chide Kagami for letting the monster get away although he blames something got in his way and believes Twin Horn Syndicate is behind this. His fellow comrade, Zenjirou Kogure wants Kagami to help out in capturing the beast. The injured students are taken in for treatment. Touji is unconscious and the doctors are stabilizing the seal inside him. Harutora apologizes to everyone he never told them about this but he hopes they won’t blame him and assures he is safe. They are called by Miyo and being told that because this is happening exactly like that spiritual disaster 2 years ago, they are taking similar steps and that is by using Natsume’s dragon as bait. As Yakou’s devotees may be behind this, all the reason Natsume should be safer at the exorcism department. And then they got word that Touji has woke up but escaped while nobody was watching him. Natsume lectures Harutora to go find him since with the way he is feeling now, there is no way he can protect her as a familiar. While Harutora and Tenma go find Touji, the girls are brought to see Kogure. He is going to be their bodyguard on this mission and the girls find out that Ootomo and him are graduates from the same class. Kogure introduces them to Hirata who will be coming with them today. Natsume is suspicious because his colleague once tried to kidnap her. He apologizes for that disgraceful act and assures he is on her side.

Harutora doesn’t know where to look for Touji. He bumps into a few drunkards who want to pick a fight. Till Kakugyouki threatens to side by him to make the fight more interesting. They back off. Kakugyouki points out where Touji is since he saw him pass by earlier. Harutora finds Touji at the practical exam site. Noticing he is not emitting any ogre aura but could smell his ogre scent, he tries to persuade him to come home. Touji is not easily convinced. He doesn’t know if this is himself or the ogre talking. Besides, what happens if he comes back home? Put more seals on him? Don’t you know what that feels like? Is this how he is going to live the rest of his life? Harutora reasons that is the reason why he came to this school. To find a solution to exorcise it completely one day. One day. How long will that take? How can he be sure if the ogre doesn’t go berserk first? There is a faster way. Become an ogre and get purified. Since words won’t get through, it’s time for some teenage boys fight. In the end, Touji couldn’t hit Harutora with all he’s got because he worries it might kill him. That proves that he still treasures their friendship so being best friends for all those donkey years wasn’t just for show. The love for his friends is a curse he placed on himself and nothing a mere ogre can do anything about. As long as the seal isn’t broken, he has no choice but to fight it. So accept this destiny. Once Touji calms down and transforms back, Harutora punches him unconscious. At some site, Natsume summons Hokuto to lure some nue monster as the other exorcists nail it down. When the baboon monster is spotted (now bigger and stronger), Hokuto lures it over but Mutobe activates his spell that increases the spirit pulse, setting the chain for a spiritual disaster.

Episode 9
Touji wakes up with Miyo by his side. She tells him she has loosened his ogre seal because he needs to control it and not hold it back. Just like how Kagami uses his ogre power for his own. She lets him ride Yukikaze to head where Harutora is to give him his staff. Natsume goes with Kogure and chase after the baboon while the rest try to contain the nue. They stumble upon Harutora and Kon along the way but Mutobe attacks them. Kogure will stay back to fight him and has his familiars guide the kids to go after the baboon. It’s going to take more than some talismans and bashing to bring that monster down. That’s where Touji comes in. Summoning his ogre power, he throws the staff to Harutora. His strike did some damage but it is still not enough. Only Natsume’s purification ends it all. Harutora and Touji reconcile their friendship. Kagami notes the events have increased Natsume’s credibility and would certainly revitalize Yakou devotees. Also, he notes the ogre inside Touji isn’t just an ordinary one. Ootomo confronts him and all that pep talk is actually a warning for him not to lay a single finger on his students. Kogure drops in and it seems it is not he apprehended Mutobe or he got away. Rather, he had a spell to commit suicide. They feel a strong presence entering the area. Douman greets the kids and is impressed at them. He wants them to work harder and then come over to his side. And Hirata, he sounds like he is a shady double agent since he is thanking the late Mutobe for his hard work.

Episode 10
6 months later, it is the new school term. Harutora and Touji are excited to the new students. Miyo introduces the representatives of the new students hailed to be a prodigy: Suzuka! And she puts up that unbelievably cute and super moe attitude that has the rest of the school squealing. Can’t imagine this was the crude and rude woman Harutora met. Was it a dream? It’s going to turn into a nightmare because when she spots him, she signals to him and tells the entire world he is the guy whom she had her first kiss. Thanks to that, everybody is bugging him for the juicy details. Especially Kyouko who isn’t particularly happy about this since Suzuka is supposed to be some idol of the Onmyo Agency. With the other girls squealing about this romance, I wonder how Natsume is holding it. I don’t think she can take it much longer. She goes to have a talk with him. It is not about that misunderstanding that she is worried about. During their first bout, Suzuka has seen her and this puts a jeopardy on her real gender identity. Harutora will go talk to her after school. But while he tries to correct this kissy misunderstanding with Kon, this weird girl, Suzu Saotome talks to them. A senior often mistaken as a junior due to her petite size, seems she takes a liking for lolis. Like Kon. Suzuka is putting on her arrogant b*tchy attitude just for Harutora. She loves tormenting him, right? Seems she is attending this school as atonement-cum-penalty for her previous action and this is considered her re-education. There is a mark on her forehead that seals her magic so don’t worry about her going wild again.

From her talk, Harutora realizes that she doesn’t recognize the true Natsume yet. But she can’t be too careful and puts on a disguise just in case. Not only that, every time Suzuka comes into the picture looking for Harutora (the school must be abuzz about their ‘secret meeting’ at the library – which isn’t a lie), Natsume would just go into hiding. How much longer can they take this? Harutora plays her game. Instead of giving her the reaction she wants, he pats her head and gets close to her. He takes her to a fast food joint (from the looks of it this is her first time in such establishment). She still feels guilty over what she did to Hokuto and couldn’t understand why he doesn’t hate her. She’s even crying about it. Not crocodile tears. She should not be worried about such weird things. He understands the feeling of not being able to see a loved one. When Harutora mentions about Hokuto being remotely controlled somewhere and that he enrolled here just to find that person, Suzuka just feels annoyed by everything. She makes the peeping tom come out of her hiding. Well, well. What is Natsume doing here? At first she didn’t recognize who she is but upon closer inspection, she starts smirking. Things are going to be interesting from now. Suzuka continues to put up her spunky likeable character. But Harutora and Natsume know the torment is going to continue. Hey, at least Natsume doesn’t need to hide. Or is this much worse?

Episode 11
Natsume is made to do donkey work since she is a ‘boy’, right? Harutora will go talk to Suzuka about this. Her joy is short-lived because he is such a wuss and doesn’t even come close in winning any argument. They become her lackeys. Such unsightly sight. This is certainly draining their energy. Harder than fighting demons? On a weekend, they think it’s their day of reprieve as they do not have to see her. However their handphone rings… Not picking it up? Oh, here she is. As penalty, Harutora is forced to show his room. Suzuka becomes a critic and labels everything as boring. Since he starts begging for her to go home, she decides to visit Natsume’s room. Obviously from her reaction she is hiding something and this only makes Suzuka even more curious. Definitely something big since the way Natsume is struggling and using all sorts of tricks but ultimately gets tied up. Suzuka tries to diffuse the barrier on the closet. Harutora seeing how pitiful Natsume is, squealing and worming her way to her room, orders Kon to cut her free. Desperate Natsume throws Kon at Suzuka to ruin her chanting and then summons Hokuto to protect the closet. How does the big dragon fit inside the small room? It doesn’t. Who is going to foot the repair cost? Next morning, Kon is in her physical form. It is believed that when Natsume threw Kon at Suzuka, some sort of reaction came about. Harutora wants to ask Ootomo but the girls don’t seem too happy. They seem very much toned down. Especially Suzuka who doesn’t want to make a worse impression than she already has.

Kon feels the need to protect Harutora. So she takes his vintage jacket and heads to school to watch over him. During recess, she is hiding underneath tables so everyone thinks something furry is bugging them. It becomes a big commotion when they see a tiger emblem on the jacket’s back and think it is some tiger animal! Soon the school is on alert about some mysterious tiger infiltrating the school to a point that Kogure and the Onmyo Agency barge in to quell the menace! Everyone thinks Tenma became the first victim since Kon had to knock him out when he recognized her. Suzuka finds Kon and is willing to help her get out since this will affect her reputation if she is found. I don’t know about the invisibility spell she put on but aren’t they just hiding underneath the jacket? Anyway Kogure finds them and goes all out to eradicate them! Thanks to all the smoke, he thinks he has vanquished the enemy when he cuts down the jacket. Kon and Suzuka escape outside safely but are confronted by Ootomo. That smile on his face… Not good. Harutora is amazed somebody has the same vintage jacket as he did but Touji points out it is probably his. Suzuka and Harutora got scolded afterwards, the latter for not properly supervising his familiar but he is glad Kon has returned to normal.

Episode 12
Harutora and Natsume are looking forward so much to the training camp. Despite knowing it is going to be tough, they’ve been through hell (Suzuka). So glad she isn’t around… Or is it? Can you imagine their expression when they find out Suzuka is also here based on Ootomo’s request?! Looks like it’s hell all over again. The students employ their familiars to help cook and wash. Some are good and some not so good. Some have complete control over them but their cooking turns out bad. Harutora sees Suzu and wants to talk to her but she ignores him. He summons Kon and plays dirty, molesting her tail just to bait her to answer his question if it is possible to make a simple familiar look and act like a human and manipulate it remotely. Yes, but it requires a lot of skill to keep people from noticing that it’s a familiar. Meanwhile Touji talks to Suzuka alone. He transforms into an ogre and mentions he was the victim of that terrorist attack 2 years ago led by her deceased father. Suzuka is close to tears but Touji isn’t here to talk about the past but their future. He wants to form a partnership with her as well as with his friends. As there are many Yakou devotees targeting Natsume, he hopes she can lend her strength. Because the enemy of Natsume and Harutora is also his enemy. Suzuka explains about the Twin Horn Syndicate which is actually a secret society organized by radical Yakou devotees. There are rumours they have infiltrated Onmyo Agency like her father, Mutobe and Douman whom is nicknamed D. MIB believes he has ties with that organization. Natsume wonders if she is the reincarnation of Yakou. Suzuka believes she is but is not sure yet. The reason she was interested in this Yakou thing was because she read a report by Ryou Saotome, a subordinate in Ghost Division under her father. The report contains publicly taboo points although it made lots of sense. The person’s whereabouts is missing now. Also in that report, whether someone is Yakou’s reincarnation would be clear if that person wears the Raven Coat, a coat Yakou always wears. Currently it is in the hands of the Onmyo Agency. Touji thinks of asking Natsume to go along with Suzuka’s experiments. However Suzuka refuses to help and that’s the end of it. She has no intentions in working with them in the first place.

Ootomo talks to Miyo (in her cat form). They overheard the kid’s ‘strategy planning’. As for the Raven Coat, Ootomo thinks the one in Onmyo Agency is a replica and the real one somewhere hidden in the school. He heard this from Ryou. Back at the school, Miyo is visited by Yasuzumi, the head of the Tsuchimikado family. He is here to warn that shadows are appearing in her stars. Late that night as Natsume soaks in the hotspring alone, she hears next door Kyouko teasing Suzuka. Suzuka being overwhelmed by her? When she asks if Suzuka likes Harutora or Natsume, this brings back gloomy memories. Touji thinks Natsume should just confess to Harutora but of course she can’t, giving all sorts of excuses that she needs to confirm his feelings, etc. Next day, Kyouko tells Harutora he is the key in getting Suzuka to help them. Before she can blurt out Suzuka likes him, that brat comes running to put the lid on it all. She already told her Harutora already likes somebody. That person is Hokuto. Harutora tells the truth. Although Hokuto was like his best friend, he thinks he might have liked her. He really wants to see her again. Kyouko notes only Natsume could pull something off like that but Harutora brushes it off he would have noticed it and that there is no reason for her to do something like that. You don’t say… Suzuka agrees to help out. I guess everybody is such a great eavesdropper because Natsume and Touji are seen doing so. On the journey home, Harutora notices Natsume’s ribbon. Doesn’t it look exactly like the one he got for Hokuto? So now do you see the connection?

Episode 13
Kakugyouki talks to Douman that he heard from his familiar that he has already begun to move. He is not impressed in this cheap thrill. Harutora is feeling down so much so it is affecting his concentration in class. I think it is contagious too because Tenma is somewhat the same (although Kyouko is getting overly friendly with Suzuka much to the latter’s dismay). Tenma went to ask Ootomo about his prospects as he comes from a respectable onmyo family. Sad to say, hard work isn’t the only thing that guarantees success and that one needs lots of talent as well. His late parents’ company, Witchcraft Corp made the power of familiars accessible to all people and this allowed specializing familiars for specific uses and thus increased their usability. Tenma sees Hirata outside his house. He wants to question an old familiar they used at MIB but Tenma thinks he has a better chance contacting Witchcraft Corp. Hirata slips some talisman into him and Tenma doesn’t understand how he knows his name. A talisman drops before the Onymo Agency. It turns into a giant owl familiar. It is an announcement from Douman that he will take Raven Coat tomorrow. In a meeting with some of the 12 Divine Generals that include Amami, Kogure, Kagami, Iwao Miyachi, Tougo Miyoshi and Mari Yuge, they discuss about Douman’s motive. Amami hears Hirata’s theory that Twin Horn Syndicate is likely to be behind this and they can get to this organization if they catch Douman. Since this is what Amami has been waiting to hear, the big chief of the Onmyo Agency as well as one of the 12 Divine Generals, Genji Kurahashi orders all resources to focus on interception Douman. Harutora thinks a lot about Hokuto. He is still wondering if Hokuto is Natsume. If you are one of this still unsure just like him, be glad that the truth is finally out because we hear from Natsume’s own mouth that she is Hokuto and that she likes Harutora. They feel the need to talk to each other quick. But it is not so easy when the chance arises. The words just couldn’t come out. They dilly-dally till Suzu interrupts their conversation. Next day, the students are puzzled of this coincidence that all their practical homeroom teachers have changed since their originals is believed to be called on an important mission. The breaking news reports several armoured spider familiars attacking Onmyo Prep School.

Episode 14
Miyo stands before Douman. They once met when she was a girl. He intends to take Raven Coat for his familiar. Miyo orders her familiars, Alpha and Beta to protect against Douman’s invasion. However Douman has a trump card. The talisman in Tenma’s pocket activates and it allows Douman and the spider familiars to break through the barrier. He sinks into depression and blames himself. Although he gets shelling from Suzuka, the rest are not as harsh as her. Save his regret later. They need to get out now. Miyo leads the kids up to the roof as they dispatch spider familiars after familiars. Natsume notices they are fakes. On the rooftop is the Taizan Fukun Ritual altar. Douman has found them. Natsume unleashes Hokuto to attack him but gets bind easily. Miyo wants Natsume to release Hokuto’s physical form but the dragon is unable to release itself. Douman expresses his wish to make Hokuto his familiar. Ootomo pops up. Seems they have fought before but Ootomo was more focused on running away and sacrificed his right leg. He unleashes Suzuka’s seal so she can protect the rest with her barrier. Douman and Ootomo’s magic battle begins. The latter seem to lose at first but it is just a diversion to save Hokuto and let Natsume reclaim it. Then he surprises Douman by using some ancient cage curse that the old dude himself cannot reverse. In that case, he will break out via his brute force. Ootomo continues chanting some dangerous spell and after the big explosion, he is messed up but still with enough strength. This dangerous method also allows him to confirm that Douman is not human but a rogue ghost. Douman is very impressed and satisfied with this battle. He has not felt such excitement since Yakou. He wants Ootomo to join his side but he refuses. Ootomo unleashes ready-made spells and this insults Douman. Furthermore, Ootomo plotted all of this and while they were fighting, others set up ritual fires in surrounding buildings. Although Douman admits he has blundered, but this Yamantaka method is still not enough to exorcise him. Ootomo pushes him off the building to protect his students. The old guy still lives after that fall. Hokuto catches Ootomo. Kogure finishes off Douman by cutting him in half. Douman admits his loss and will answer their questions. However he explodes. Hirata never expected Ootomo to be such a skilled onmyo and has to be satisfied to keep Douman’s lips sealed. Suzu humbly presents herself to the Taizan Fukun deity of the afterlife. It is hinted she is Douman’s familiar. She opens a sealed box and hopes there is a loli inside…

Episode 15
In the aftermath, Raven Coat has been taken away by Yasuzumi. While Onmyo Prep School is undergoing repairs, the students will continue their lessons at Meguro branch of exorcism. Harutora is in a practice match with Etou. He tries to copy Ootomo’s exorcism move but fails. He gets chided for not knowing the basics and is 10 years to early to train with them professionals. But Natsume tells him off that during the attack on the school, where were you professionals? It would have been averted if they were doing their job. Remembering the altar at the top of the roof, Natsume and Harutora investigate it only to see Takiko Souma. She is a fellow student like them and knows about them. She is also here to see the altar. They are suspicious because she knows about the Taizan Fukun Ritual. She can’t say much or she’ll get into trouble but she hints there is a reason why the altar was here. This school was originally Yakou’s private school. It was Miyo who made it what it is today and she should know the details of the circumstances at that time. Not sure if she’s speaking the truth or not, with Touji they go investigate the library for clues. Nothing. I guess they got bored enough to look at old photos of Ootomo and the rest. It must be funny for them to snicker like that. Then they see Ryou’s name. Where have they heard it before? Now the entire gang decides to go ask Ootomo but Suzu in a car passes by them. She wants to borrow Kon. No way. There is also a cheeky kid trying to speak to them but Suzu won’t let him. She says he is a relative’s son and is taking care of him.

Amami visits Ootomo in hospital to tell him about his plan to bring Twin Horn Syndicate out into the open by cleaning out Onymo Agency. This will be his last job. He also assures his students will be under the full protection of Onmyo Agency. Kagami’s familiar, Shaver is bugging him about his change of character. Kagami beats him up right in public before answering a call for some mission that has them grinning from cheek to cheek. The kids arrive at Ootomo’s room and some meet Amami for the first time. He is Kyouko’s uncle. Since Harutora is such a dense guy, he is being told that Ootomo was once part of MIB and Amami as his former mentor is just here to visit his student. Suzu could guess from the events that have happened, Ootomo was the legendary Divine General known as Shadow. Though, he has retired and became a teacher. The reason for that was probably Natsume. He became a teacher the same year Natsume enrolled at the school. Since Miyo can read the stars, she probably saw the trouble she would bring and went through the trouble to ask Amami for Ootomo. Amami ends his visit and wants Ootomo to let the kids know what they talked about on the disbandment of Twin Horn Syndicate. As for Douman, he is dead but destroyed or not, they don’t know. Confused? They ask about Takiko but he has never heard of her and doesn’t remember a student with red hair. He gets a little jolt upon being asked about Ryou. They were classmates. But he corrects them. Although written as Ryou, the name is pronounced as Suzu. Hey… Suzu’s whereabouts are unknown and Harutora can’t seem to put his finger on it. Because coincidentally there is someone he knows by that name. Duh… Oh, she never told him her surname, didn’t she? Amami and the Onmyo Agency prepare to move in while Kagami becomes the kids’ bodyguard.

Episode 16
All the agents move in to apprehend the Yakou devotees in a big sting operation. A sizeable number is arrested. One of them managed to escape to contact a comrade and warn to destroy all evidence and to meet at an appointed place. Kagami talks to Harutora and wants him to explain in detail the battle between Ootomo and Douman. I think Harutora is being quite detailed as there are some instances that leave Kagami quite surprised. Even so, Kagami still scorns Harutora for whatever. Maybe he just wants to piss him off. He questions Harutora’s goal of becoming an exorcist. So what after he achieves it? He might be spiritually tough but his handling about it is sloppy. Since he considers himself a failure, Kagami warns the meritocracy of the onmyo world. Only those with talent will rise to the top and failures will become insignificant. Maybe they become like office workers or teachers. But if he is going to try, might as well become an exorcist. At the Shinjuku branch where the last batch of Yakou devotees are holding up, led by Yoshitaka Makihara he tells them to keep calm as a spirit disaster will soon occur in this branch (because Mutobe left some magical tools of Douman there) and they will use that confusion to escape. However they cannot hold out very long as the agents are gaining ground. Makihara calls his liaison about his plan. He realizes too late it is Hirata. Hirata shoots and kills him. He is then confronted by Amami who knows he is a double agent as well. Hirata won’t go down quietly so he summons his servant familiars of Imperial pallbearers that surprise Amami. Although Amami loses, Hirata stops short of killing him and explains himself as a Yakou devotee. Twin Horn Syndicate was created to fulfil Yakou’s desire but some have become frustrated of the wait and blamed him. They turned into fanatics who have lost their way. That is why he had to kill some of his comrades. Those who follow Yakou’s teachings are divided into 2 groups: Twin Horn Syndicate who wants to fulfil his other desire and Onmyo Prep School whose desire is to raise new exorcists. Hirata suddenly realizes how come he is telling all this to Amami. He must have fallen into Amami’s spell. He breaks out but it is already too late as Amami has setup his divine fans and knock him out. It gets complicated when Hirata turns into Takiko. Etou approaches Natsume and she doesn’t understand what he is talking about the comrades fighting desperately for her, blah, blah, blah. Then it hit her. He is a Yakou devotee.

Episode 17
Etou is an ex-member of Twin Horn Syndicate. He understands the feelings of the weaklings that cling on to Yakou. He wants Natsume to bless some prayer item but Shaver cuts him. When he stabs his hand again, miasma flow out and materialize into evil demons. Naturally our kids will have to take care of it. But the funny part is that Shaver starts attacking them because he is so bored he wants to be part of the fun. I thought he was to protect them? This guy is also some sort of a masochist since he loves the pain and relishes fighting with Hokuto. When he stabs Hokuto, the dragon disappears and this weakens Natsume. He becomes mad since he wants to continue fighting the dragon. Touji and Suzuka distract him so the rest can bring Natsume to safety. It is not long before he catches up. Shaver’s sword breaks Harutora’s staff. If not for Kon pushing him out of the way, he would have been sliced. However this means Natsume is in harm’s way. The impact causes her to fly back and at the same time messes up her clothes. Everyone is surprised to see her as a girl. Shaver keeps prodding Natsume to bring out Hokuto and also calls her a liar for dressing up as a boy to deceive others. Harutora laments he is too weak to beat up that bastard but remembers the pentagram on his cheek Natsume gave him. He uses it to see the outside world. He can now see what Shaver is made off and coolly uses his talisman of different elements to bring him down. Wow. He’s acting like he’s a pro exorcist. Then he brings the fight outside so he can purify Shaver’s flames using Ootomo’s move. I think Shaver has no regrets dying.

In the aftermath, looks like there is some explanation about Natsume to do. But the one most affected is Kyouko. She’s crying and calling her a liar. Amami reports to Genji that the operation was only half successful. They only scratched the surface but the root is still untouched. Amami believes that there is someone behind controlling Suzu who pretended to be Hirata. She cannot be from some other faction but Twin Horn Syndicate because only very few people can summon Imperial pallbearers. Besides, if Suzu switched with the real Hirata, it was probably during the investigation of the infiltration in the Ghost Division, which is in the Imperial Household Agency itself. When Genji brings in Takiko, Amami isn’t pleased and seeks an explanation for there is no mistake that Takiko who is the only direct descendant of Souma left is involved with Twin Horn Syndicate behind the scenes. This means Genji he knew everything and still let them go through it all as many have died. Genji answers this is the Kurahashi family’s decision. Amami doubts Miyo knows anything otherwise she would have acted. Simple. She isn’t the head. Later Takiko talks to Genji and believes now is the time to regain Yakou’s consciousness in Natsume with Raven Coat. This will allow Twin Horn Syndicate to purify that body and return him to his proper form. Looks like it’s time to go meet Natsume.

Episode 18
Now that everyone knows about Natsume’s identity, the problem will be Kyouko. They have to prepare themselves. But optimistic Harutora thinks it is a good chance for them to become good friends and not hide anything. Natsume thanks him for staying with her for the last year. Although people keep their distance from her, eventually they want to be friends with her. But Kyouko isn’t so ready yet. Harutora has to go apologize for deceiving her and regretted what they did. She mentions the boy she met back then. No, it wasn’t Natsume because she was very sure that kid was a boy whom she made a promise with. Yup. That boy is Harutora. He thought she got the wrong person and then conveniently, he remembers that bit of the past. Yup. It’s him. And her. That promise. Of course Kyouko feels embarrassed especially about that screwed up love confession with Natsume and all. So much so Suzuka had to go lecture her about her gloominess that makes her like some tragic girl in love. It’s just painful seeing her like this. Suzuka’s ranting has her reveal about Hokuto who is perhaps Harutora’s crush. Probably she’s talking too much that she drops the poster that she never wanted others to see. So why hold it in her hands in the first place? Now she is flustering everyone will get the wrong idea (would they?) since it is about the fireworks festival the day after tomorrow. Kyouko will settle things before then and thanks her. Harutora can’t sleep a wink because now he clearly remembers that memory. How the hell could he forget in the first place? But he seems sleeping soundly in the morning and is awakened by a message from his dad. He couldn’t understand what he meant that they are alright till he sees the news that the Tsuchimikado house has been burnt down to the ground.

Six hours before that, Mari was here to arrest Yasuzumi. However Chizuru (Harutora’s mom) comes to his defence. Nobody remembers about Chizuru with all the superb nicknames she got except for that nasty one, Human Power Generator. Mari is a master in barrier attacks and before long the duo are pinned down. With Yasuzumi’s permission, Chizuru uses her familiar to attack but still couldn’t best her. Takahiro (Chizuru’s husband) easily frees them. Miyachi makes his appearance. Seems Chizuru was his former colleague. He wants Yasuzumi to hand over the thing in his package. No can do. He then tells Mari to put up a strong barrier around the area because it would be troublesome for the neighbours if he burns everything down. In the aftermath, Miyachi calls Genji to confirm Raven Coat is in his possession. Ootomo is about to leave the hospital but Douman pays him a visit. He is impersonating as that cheeky kid that Suzu passed off as a relative’s son. He is here not for revenge but to keep his promise for losing to him. He answers his question that he is no longer associated and duty bound to Twin Horn Syndicate since they tried to eliminate him to keep him quiet. The people behind this are connected to Onmyo Agency. He wanted Raven Coat because Suzu, his disciple requested it. Though, she has already left and doesn’t need him anymore. Douman believes he still owes Jin a great deal and will lend his powers when the time comes. They even exchange phone numbers! Feel free to call. Harutora and co are shocked about the developments of the burnt down mansion. Yasuzumi’s whereabouts are unknown. Takiko approaches Kyouko hoping she would guide her to Natsume’s classroom.

Episode 19
Genji is surprised to see Yashamaru in his room. He is supposed to be dead because he was also known as Shido. Genji thought he told Takiko to refrain from doing things on her own but apparently she got excited when she heard Raven Coat was in their possession. Noticing Yashamaru’s strength has increased, it would also mean Takiko who is also the Souma Princess, her true power has also increased that much. Yashamaru is now Takiko’s familiar. Takiko hangs out with Harutora and co. When the principal calls Natsume to ask about the fire, Takiko is appalled to hear about it. She apologizes and will explain everything because she doesn’t want to hide anything from her friends. She can say Yasuzumi is fine but isn’t sure where he is now. He is the one who set fire to the residence and partly it is the Onmyo Agency’s aggressive actions are to blame. By right they shouldn’t be opposing the Tsuchimikado family but if Yasuzumi has abandoned his duties, it might have caused that confrontation. She admits she is interested in Natsume because she is the reincarnation of Yakou. However she is not like those fanatic Yakou devotees. All she wants is to be their friend. And the first thing she requests is to have a match with Natsume. Takiko is disappointed that Natsume isn’t showing her true powers. Even more so when she mentions she isn’t Yakou but Natsume herself. Takiko thinks she plans on running away from her fate too. Harutora starts feeling some pain. Ootomo steps in to stop the fight. Takiko withdraws. Ootomo learns Natsume put a spell on Harutora to turn him into a spirit seer. Even more surprising, he learns Natsume is a girl. And the fight with Kyouko too. Since Natsume is at a loss, he tells her to go find her now and apologize with all she’s got since there is no harm done when sharing their feelings honestly.

Natsume finds Kyouko and explains she spent her childhood in the countryside alone. Harutora was her only friend and never thought of making other friends. That’s why it was easier for her to go to school as a boy. She didn’t realize this would hurt her till she called her a liar. Though she apologizes, it is Kyouko’s turn to have her say. She brands her unfair because she thinks she can settle this by apologizing to feel better. It was obvious that Kyouko likes her and Natsume had so many chances to say something. In the end, she used her ‘tradition’ as an excuse to leave her aside. It’s like she didn’t care about her. Natsume considers her a special friend and doesn’t want to give up on her in that sense since it has become so much fun since they became friends. She was happy. Once they cool down and wipe away the tears, Kyouko continues that she met Harutora before and mistook him for Natsume. She asks if Natsume likes Harutora. Would she fight her fair and square if she said she wouldn’t give up on her first love even after knowing that? She would. Therefore Kyouko wants her to tell Harutora the truth about Hokuto. Once she does that, they’ll be able to stand equally at the start line. Tomorrow is the fireworks festival that Suzuka wants to invite them. There is no better setting than to reveal all this to him. Kyouko makes up with Harutora by slapping him. Well, at least they’re back being friends. Ootomo sees Miyo to ask about Takiko. All she knows is that the Souma family disappeared from the military it controlled after the war. With the burning down of the Tsuchimikado residence, disappearance of Amami and now Takiko, Ootomo thinks Genji has a hand in it. Miyo wants Ootomo to resign. It means she is releasing from his shackles, leaving Natsume defenceless. Miyo would have Natsume stay by her side. Ootomo wonders if Miyo knows Natsume is a girl. This statement surprised her because she was sure the child is a boy. Takiko returns to Genji’s office looking sullen. Her other familiar, Kumomaru (formerly known as Mutobe) explains about the bout they had. Takiko wonders if she is just like the other Yakou devotees. Yashamaru disagrees because all she wants is a comrade she can trust. The question is whether the revived Yakou will be worthy to be her comrade. He shows her the Raven Coat retrieved by Miyachi and this brightens her day. Takiko calls Kyouko and hopes she can help out since she got into a fight with Natsume. It is then Takiko discovers from Kyouko’s clarification that Natsume is a girl.

Episode 20
Natsume narrates her father told her about the family’s tradition shortly after she entered junior high. Harutora’s visit increasingly became less frequent and that childhood promise was the only thing that kept her going. She saw a model in a magazine and remembered Harutora likes her and thus she modelled Hokuto after her. All the times Hokuto spent running away and stalking him was Natsume’s attempts trying to talk to him. Till he caught her of course. Natsume hangs out with Harutora. She needs to summon her courage to tell him about Hokuto. As he goes to wash himself up after spilling ice cream on his pants, Kakugyouki approaches her. He seems not impressed with Harutora that he became like that because it’s only half undone. Because the Raven Coat has moved, he doesn’t want them to put it on yet as it is a matter of life and death. Worse comes to worst, go seek Suzu for help. Genji gets confirmation from the Meguro branch that Natsume is indeed a girl. It is a big problem because Genji was there at the day Natsume was born. He definitely saw a boy. The most upset one is Takiko. She couldn’t understand why Yasuzumi would do such a thing. Genji thinks he doesn’t have any goal in mind. He simply didn’t wish for the half dead Yakou to return to life. It is probably why he set up a fake and sacrificed Natsume. Takiko won’t give up. She will break Yasuzumi’s spell and awaken Harutora. That loads of stacks of talisman… Harutora and the rest converge at the festivals. When the fireworks are on display, Natsume goes to talk to him alone. As expected in such moments, she stammers a lot trying to get out what she says. Harutora may just get the hint (the ribbon, damn it!) but it had to be interrupted. Why oh why?

Takiko is going to do something for Harutora’s own good. She explains the moment they were born, they were placed under a curse. She starts chanting and this brings lots of pain to Harutora. Natsume cannot do anything as Kumomaru intercepts her. Not even Hokuto. Even when the cavalry arrives, they are made to look like amateurs. Takiko continues that Yasuzumi has not only abandoned his duties but placed a curse on the reincarnation of his great ancestor the mislead them. Harutora is the real son of Yasuzumi and Yakou’s reincarnation. She will release him from this spell. Raven Coat is a crow familiar as it dons on Harutora. Now he looks like some tokusatsu super hero? Takiko is baffled that his spiritual energy did not decrease but increase intensely instead. Harutora still in pain couldn’t control his body as he flies away. Everyone gives chase. Natsume thinks back on everything and the words of some start to make sense. It wasn’t that Harutora had no talent in seeing spirits. He was sealed off. So when she made him her familiar, she only broke half the spell. Braving all the feather attacks the Raven Coat throws at her, she is going to fully undo the spell. Kiss is the fastest way? Once that happens, Harutora fully regains control. It’s funny that when you are on the verge of death, you get to say things without restriction. In those last few words, Natsume apologizes for not saying anything about Hokuto, confesses she likes him and won’t forgive him if he dies. She didn’t say anything about him screaming from the top of his voice, didn’t she? So she’s seeing her life flash before her eyes. She’s calm (although I couldn’t say for Harutora’s screaming voice in the background). She’s glad to have confessed. Though, she would have preferred to hear his answer.

Episode 21
Natsume is dead. Harutora is devastated. He becomes irrational. Not even his friends can calm him down. He is desperate to bring Natsume back to his dad thinking he is the best onmyo there is. He helped Touji’s problem, right? But Touji notes that even the best onmyo exorcist cannot bring the dead back. Resurrecting the dead you say? Hmm… Remember Taizan Fukun Ritual? He is looking at you, Suzuka! Oh, he was so against it and now he approves of it? What the f*ck?! The authorities are here to arrest them but Harutora attacks them and takes Natsume to flee. Nobody is going to get in his way. He is attacked by an owl familiar and crashes into a building under construction. He is pleading to Suzuka about the ritual but she won’t do it. Is this some kind of sick joke? He is going to offer his own life because he feels guilty of causing Natsume’s death? Don’t talk nonsense! Yashamaru appears and Suzuka starts quivering to see her father alive. Touji asks a few questions. He confirms the owl familiar is his and he is doing this just to mess around since those mass produced artificial familiars were able to do damage, it means Harutora’s full powers and memories aren’t back yet. When he confirms Kumomaru and him are under the same master of Takiko, they start attacking him. However they are no match. Yashamaru wants them to join his side and although he apologizes for his master’s rash actions, he is willing to offer appropriate compensation. Like the Taizan Fukun Ritual. He won’t ask for Harutora’s soul but there are conditions to be met and he can guarantee Natsume’s resurrection. Better think fast because Natsume died without any preparations so there is a limited window of time they can do the ritual. After Yashamaru disappears, the authorities surround the place and order their surrender.

Chizuru is inconsolable that Natsume is dead. Yasuzumi thinks they were too late and the Onmyo Agency’s power is increasing because of the Imperial pallbearers. Back at the school, Kyouko blames herself for inviting Takiko. Touji had to play the rational one. It’s not her fault. Neither is Harutora (who was taken in by MIB and being held at Onmyo Agency headquarters). Natsume died because of the magic the Raven Coat possessed Harutora and she went after him to get him back under control. There is all to it. Miyachi reports to Miyo that the Onmyo Agency deems Harutora is beyond the school’s ability to control him and thus are having him under his custody. Ootomo is seen by Natsume’s body at the morgue. No more Mr Nice Guy? Yashamaru tells Genji that he went to see Harutora to check the status of his awakening and if his soul of his memories and abilities are still intact. Genji warns of Ootomo and Yashamaru finds it troublesome to have him as an enemy in this situation. But Genji has the right man for the job. He calls Kagami to do the job and lifts his suspension. He looks very excited and can’t wait for it… Touji tells his friends he is going to sneak into Onmyo Agency to bring back Harutora. It might be hard to find him and they can’t sit around or wait to discuss this with the adults. Because Natsume’s time is limited for the Taizan Fukun Ritual, tonight is their only chance to do it. It could be their best chance since Yashamaru backed off for it. He doesn’t know what Harutora will choose or how he will bring Natsume back. He wants to see him one last time to see his resolve. It’s better than going back and sleep, right? Yeah. How can you sleep in this situation? All the friends agree to help out. Kyouko felt and saw a strange vision. Ootomo calls Douman and hopes he could repay his favour now. He wants him to join him in his attack on Onmyo Agency.

Episode 22
Outside the Harutora’s cell he notices a little spider familiar on the window. Only Touji, Kyouko and Suzuka show up. Suzuka is particularly upset that Tenma decided to turn tail. Well, look on the bright side. At least he won’t be in their way. Kumomaru brings Harutora to see Genji and along the way he reveals his former self and that Takiko truly wanted to be their friends because she was lonely. She is now asleep after she went berserk hearing about Natsume’s death. Harutora wants to confirm if they can really bring Natsume back. Of course. Yashamaru went on to further explain about Taizan Fukun Ritual being a big magic system and there are many ways to go about it. Suzuka only knows one method of revival. Yashamaru also believes the Yakou’s ritual didn’t fail because he is being reincarnated. It is not him who messed up but rather the system. Genji wants Harutora on their side not because he is Yakou’s reincarnation but rather he is going to be the next head of the Tsuchimikado family. Why him? I don’t know what Genji explained about how Yakou unified all of the different magic types with the help of the Kurahashi and Souma family. They tried to achieve greater heights of revitalizing magic after accomplishing some Pacific War thingy but failed to do so. Now they have a king and will take over Yakou’s great work. Harutora realizes the reason he was raised in a branch family and was quite protected. Meanwhile Douman attacks the Onmyo Agency by unleashing ghosts. Haunting the place? Even Mari is sweating in her pants on how to purify this. But it eventually is going to be a showdown between Douman and Miyachi. As for Ootomo, he is already inside the building and faces off with Kagami. Although the commotion is perfect distraction for Touji and co to infiltrate and save Harutora, Kyouko feels uneasy and hopes they will wait.

News of Douman and Ootomo’s attack reaches Genji. Quickly they try to get Harutora to be on their side although he puts down whatever differences they have cannot be resolved in the near future. Before Harutora decides, Kon pops out to remind him he cannot trust these people. Trust isn’t something he should easily give up in desperate times. Harutora knows it well but he will do anything to revive Natsume. Kon insists he doesn’t understand. These people used those around them and not one of their ‘comrades’ were smiling with happiness. If Natsume is revived, she won’t be smiling too after she learns what Harutora did. Natsume died with a smile. Thus all the more reason why Harutora cannot leave this to anyone else and must take responsibility. He will save Natsume himself. As he is the reincarnation of Yakou, he has the greatest authority in dealing with souls and will be able to perform Taizan Fukun Ritual himself. But he hasn’t got his past memories or his full magic. What did he say about doing anything to get Natsume back? In short, if he wants Natsume’s respect and smile, he must take this responsibility himself. What good will it do if he gives that to somebody else? What more, scoundrels that couldn’t be trusted. Even if he tries and no matter the result, Natsume would be happy. I guess this wakeup call is enough for Harutora to make his decision. Yashamaru regrets all this was for nothing. Kon and Harutora get defensive when Yashamaru feels the seal on Raven Coat has been broken. The spider familiar attacks and tells Harutora to summon the Raven Coat. However Yashamaru is better and pins them down and rids of the spider. The small window of opportunity for Harutora to escape disappears. But Touji can be seen outside the window. Found you!

Episode 23
Tenma goes to see Suzu who believes he is the key. Because Onmyo Agency doesn’t have their eyes fixed on him unlike the rest. That is why others who infiltrated Onmyo Agency will not succeed. He must also succeed or else she will guarantee he will never get married. Inside the research facility, Tenma is guided by a spider familiar. Thanks to Douman’s ghost causing havoc, the scientists flee giving him easier access to the room where Raven Coat is. Meanwhile Douman finds his fight with Miyachi boring and Kagami thought he could give Ootomo a taste of his own medicine by using the techniques he used against Douman. Too bad for him, Ootomo counters every one with ease and even have that bored looks on his face. It’s time to end it so he breaks some spell he put on Kagami that day which causes his eyes lots of pain. Tenma breaks into the room and cuts the rope that seals Raven Coat. It is then everyone felt the seal of Raven Coat came off. Touji rides Yukikaze to barge into the office to grab Harutora. With Suzuka’s magic distraction, they are able to get out. The kids unite including Tenma (being brought out by Raven Coat). Yashamaru won’t let them go but Yasuzumi imposes a temporary barrier for the kids to escape. Yashamaru reports his failure to Genji. He does not want him to go after them but hold on to Natsume. Genji investigates some underground cell and it seems it has been broken through. It was holding Amami. At a safe distance, Tenma tells Harutora that Suzu has a message for him. If he has decided to use Taizan Fukun Ritual, she will help out. Harutora makes his decision and announces he will revive Natsume as atonement. Tenma concludes Suzu’s message that he should not fear Raven Coat nor should be overwhelmed by it. Kogure comes by. He isn’t going to allow them to use forbidden magic. He also doesn’t want Ootomo to interfere as he will take responsibility for the kids and won’t let Onmyo Agency have them. He continues explaining about forbidden magic as a game using the world as collateral. Win and the rewards are great. Lose and it doesn’t end there. Innocent lives will be caught in it. Also, sometimes winning will destroy the exorcist’s body as it is like poison. Kyouko starts seeing visions before collapsing. She has an out of body experience and could read everyone’s stars. Then she sees everything and murmurs. There are many other worlds besides theirs. Rules considered forbidden were just decided by men. Then she sees Natsume’s soul and realizes she is waiting for Harutora to get her. Kogure is dumbfounded of this possibility. Ootomo stalls Jin so the kids can continue their mission.

Episode 24
There is a short flashback how Kon became Yakou’s familiar. With Kogure’s crows bugging them, Harutora wants Suzu to stall them. That emo brat is reluctant because she worries if Harutora dies, she will use her life to revive him back. Yeah, yeah. He promises he will come back alive. Enough? Now go do your job! Once Touji drops off Harutora, he is faced with Kagami who is going to fight him as bait to draw out Ootomo. During the battle, Kon gets stabbed. Meanwhile Ootomo and Kogure are still at it. Their fight is halted when Douman brings Amami’s unconscious body to them. Kogure warns Onmyo Agency will come after Ootomo. If they order him to do so, he will abide by it. He will back off now for Amami’s sake and feels as long as there are people who need Onmyo Agency, he will swing his sword for them. Raven Coat won’t allow Harutora to get near Kon so he discards it to protect her. In the process he gets hurt by Kagami’s sword (blinded in the left eye?) and this made Kon very mad. Very, very, very mad. She transforms into her mature form and unleashes some powerful spells that surprises Kagami. He orders Shaver to take out unconscious Harutora while he stalls Kon. Kon feels the need to force break the spell but fears she will lose those precious past memories. But screw that because the present is more important. She makes her final transformation into a full grown up form known as Hishamaru. More power enough to keep Kagami at bay. However she has not enough time to reach Harutora because crazy Shaver is going to kill him. Thank goodness Kakugyouki stops him in the nick of time. Shaver is going wild and excited he wants to fight both these powerful people. However Kagami knows they cannot win and must retreat for Yakou has awakened.

Harutora/Yakou wakes up as Hishamaru and Kakugyouki show their respect. They go meet Takiko who regrets everything that has happened. She gives Natsume’s body to them although she knows this won’t be enough to atone her sins. Harutora/Yakou meets Suzu at the altar and proceeds with the Taizan Fukun Ritual. As Ootomo drives Douman back, he notes Douman has not return his favour in full yet. In that case, he wants him to become his familiar. Douman warns he will be overcome by him. Ootomo will give him his other leg and then challenge him to another magic battle and win to earn back his freedom. Douman likes it and agrees. Harutora’s friends are waiting anxiously when Tenma gets a call from Suzu. She relays the good news the ritual is a success and both are alive. Sort of. She leaves them hanging without explaining further. They hear Kon’s scream and Harutora’s laughter in the background before they get cut. Now their goal is to go ascertain it and then give them a good scolding. Meanwhile Natsume wakes up in bed with Harutora sitting next to her. He finally knows she came to see him as Hokuto and thought she was avoiding this whole time. Natsume then confesses she loves him. I never thought this would happen but they kiss!!! This is his third kiss but it feels the most genuinely romantic one. Natsume starts to feel drowsy as Harutora then apologizes and is sure they will meet again someday. He goes onto some journey with Hishamaru and Kakugyouki.

That’s So Raven…
Uhm… What? Well, I should have expected this. I don’t know. I thought it could have ended better. I know things would have ended in a way that suggests there could be another season because in fact things don’t just end there. At least they wrap up the arc well instead of leaving it as some cliff-hanger that would piss off many fans and casual viewers alike. So as far as the ending is concerned, not one of the best but rather okay. Too bad the friends can’t be together and it felt as though the final scene romance between Harutora and Natsume was a little rushed. It’s like hell, we’ve only got a minute or two left so better hurry up in the confession and kiss… Yup. That is how it feels. Bittersweet? Because it would be darn sad that Natsume as the main character did not come back alive and do something this ‘drastic’. Heck, she was ‘dead’ for 4 episodes including the final one! You can’t have this series with just Harutora alone, right? Yeah, that’s why I said it felt a little rushed and forced because the Taizan Fukun Ritual made it look so easy. Of course. Yakou has awakened so I suppose it is a piece of cake for him.

The character development is satisfactory throughout the series and for some in the early episodes we get to know some characters a little more in depth like Touji’s ogre power. However that is just it and others like Kyouko’s sudden star reading powers awakening leaves a lot to be desired. Yup. It feels rushed as though as that power was needed as an excuse to give Harutora the push to go save Natsume. Although generally you can feel the characters are quite generic and to a point predictable. With too many characters in the fray as more episode piles up, in the end you get the feeling that it still lacks that overall satisfied feeling. You wonder about Takiko and her familiars (after all that build up, I thought they were going to fight or something but she literally handed back Natsume on a silver platter – disappointing), the current whereabouts of Yasuzumi and the Tsuchimikado family (although they’re seen alive but somewhere we don’t know), Genji and his Onmyo Agency whom I believe hasn’t seen the end of things yet (because he commented it was just the beginning) and of course the all mysterious Suzu. Again, it felt like it was just convenience for her to be missing in so many episodes and her cameos are mostly wandering around and suddenly she becomes the all important person to help with the ritual and save the day. Same case with Kakugyouki too. Made his early appearance in the first half. Sometimes he pops up here and there just to remind us he is still around and then suddenly in the final scenes, here he comes hoping into the action and making his impact. Like he was waiting for Yakou to awaken before he comes around. Oh wait. Wasn’t he?

Most of the other side characters are interesting too especially with the varied personalities of the 12 Divine Generals. Heck, if I counted them right, I think there are still a handful missing. But I don’t think I should be bothered who the other 3 or 4 generals are. From hot cool sword guys like Kogure to mad angry firebrand like Kagami, they are sure a lively bunch. I have been wondering ever since Suzuka have been punished for her actions, is there a replacement for her because it will be 11 Divine Generals if she gets her title revoked. Then again, how did she ever attain to be in such position at such a young age? Genius? Maybe. But she looks more like a brat than anything. Probably it is because her powers are sealed. Can’t blame her for being ‘grumpy’, huh? Then there is Ootomo who probably is the best of the lot since even Genji is sweating in his pants and thinking twice should this guy gets involved in his plan. He is somebody you don’t want to mess with because when you make him mad…

As for Harutora, he is your usual and typical normal guy and somebody who struggles to learn his powers but thrives better with his friends and support. You know the story. Sometimes it feels he is a bit like a wuss. No great powers, just an amateur, has to rely on his friends… I might not have anticipated him to be the real son of Yakou but my guts were telling me that something of sort of this twist was going to happen. I mean, when you have this kind of show that deals with supernatural powers and such, something of this ‘magnificent scale’ should happen, right? So do I have some sort of premonition powers as well? Or is it because after watching countless animes I have somewhat developed this ‘intuition’? Just like any other male protagonist, he values friendship, etc, blah, blah, blah. You know the story. It was really eye opening when he decided to use that Taizan Fukun Ritual to revive Natsume because it made him look like a hypocrite. Others cannot but he can? Ah, it shows he is not perfect and only human. So whether or not he will continue to be the Harutora he knows or completely turns into Yakou is another story. Or maybe he will have double and split personalities.

Natsume initially shoulders the burden of her family and learns to rely on others after she makes Harutora her familiar. What would she do now since Harutora is the real successor for the Tsuchimikado family? Note: Natsume looks better in miko priestess outfit instead of being a trap in boy’s uniform. Touji is the calmest and most rational in the group. Whenever the rest aren’t thinking straight, this guy has the best answer but not necessarily the best solution. Then there is Suzu who is most amusing among the pack thanks to her emo and bratty personality. You can say she’s not really being honest with herself because she really wants to be friends with them but that bratty pride of hers won’t allow it. It was fun in the beginning when she transferred to the academy because she was trolling everybody and making Harutora and Natsume’s life hell. Then she had to tone it down and she became less amusing and borderline annoying. Kyouko and Tenma felt like supporting extras that don’t do much. Especially with Tenma being the weakest link among the pack so to make things up for his inability to fight up front in battles, they gave him brains and intelligent which I hardly see him put to use :/. Oh, and there is Kon too. I thought she should have been more visible instead of staying invisible beside Harutora. Too cute to stay hidden and it gives that feel that somebody is watching you always… Her loyalty is commendable although at first it was funny to see her jump to protect her master at the slightest thing she considers a threat. Yeah well, anything and everything could be a threat.

I know romance and the harem part aren’t supposed to be the main focus and just side distractions especially in the earlier half of the series. Scorn me if you will but I suppose I love seeing this kind of scenes. Too bad Harutora is such a dork to see his unofficial harem but it would have been distasteful to turn this series into something like this. So the girls in his circle like him. Childhood friend Natsume is already a given. It took her the entire series of 2 dozen episodes just to say those magical words and give a proper kiss (the first one was to save his life so technically it doesn’t count). Better than nothing. Then there is Suzuka the tsundere and she plays it to almost perfection. She has to. Otherwise why does she bother to hang out with the gang if not for Harutora? Lastly there is Kyouko after everything is straightened out, looks like she is also gunning for Harutora. It’s a good thing that when she realized Natsume is a girl, disappointed nevertheless but it shows she isn’t some yuri lesbian. That would be very troublesome indeed.

The action and fight scenes are rather okay. I won’t go as far as to say the exorcists pull off flashy moves but because the tools they use to fight basically seem like magic, the reason why you see such powerful magical fights. The best one still goes to Ootomo versus Douman. It was really an amazing and majestic magical fight. Besides, mostly you’ll see them throw talisman and shout “Order!” as the basic stuffs. And some that even chant tongue twisting lines of Om Bishi Bishi Kara Kara Sowaka~… Whatever. I don’t know if this is actual exorcism chant lines or they just made it up. Because although it sounds really authentic (as I know nuts about onmyo), sometimes it really sounds funny. I also sometimes thought shouldn’t they try shortening the lines because by the time they finish it, the enemy would have owned you. But then again, higher level spells perhaps require more chant lines. Because otherwise any Tom, Dick and Harry could have easily memorized it and say it aloud.

I must say that the visuals and art are superb. They are of the highest quality I have seen in many animes that I watched these days. Although some of the familiars are CGI, especially those armoured ones, they are quite nicely done and very good down to the last detail. When I first saw the huge demon spider familiar, it feels like a magnificent sight to behold because it just looks great. The characters do not look bad themselves as every character looks good even old geezers like Douman and Amami are easy on the eye although the younger ones (good guys or villains) will definitely look better. With them having the bishonen and bishoujo look, even tsundere Suzuka looks cute despite her bratty and nasty attitude. In short, the art and animation quality is quite well done so you won’t be disappointed in this department. Unless your standards are too high. Just that I thought some characters look like other anime characters (because I have been watching too much of them) like how Harutora looks like Bleach’s Ichigo and Natsume have this uncanny resemblance to Kamigami No Asobi’s Yui.

For the voice acting part, I guess I love to hear Aki Toyosaki as Kon. This is how I got to know her. This is her kind of voice that got me to identify her. She’s really cute as Kon and it reminds me of this anime’s version of K-ON!’s Yui. Then there is also Kana Hanazawa as Natsume. Serious mode, worrying mode, funny mode, it’s all there. You can’t go wrong with her voice. Also, Ayane Sakura as Suzuka, I am starting to stereotype her voice that she is very much suited to voice bratty girls like Eno in Love Lab and Miyabi in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru.

Other casts include Kaito Ishikawa as Harutora (Ledo in Suisei No Gargantia), Eri Kitamura as Kyouko (Sayaka Ami in Toradora), Ryohei Kimura as Touji (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Hiro Shimono as Tenma (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Koji Yusa as Ootomo (Ichimaru Gin in Bleach), Shinya Takahashi as Kogure (Masao in Shiki), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Kagami (Bossun in Sket Dance), Unshou Ishizuka as Miyachi (Bunta in Initial D), Marina Inoue as Mari (Laura in Infinite Stratos), Juurota Kosugi as Genji (Arlong in One Piece), Shou Hayami as Yasuzumi (Tokiomi in Fate/Zero), Nobuo Tobita as Douman (Black Vise in Accel World), Fumi Hirano as Miyo (Lum in Urusei Yatsura), Takahiro Sakurai as Yashamaru (Suzaku in Code Geass), Junichi Suwabe as Kumomaru/Mutobe (Atobe in Prince Of Tennis), Hisako Kanemoto as Hokuto/Takiko (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Izumi Kitta as Suzu (Cordelia in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) and Takuma Terashima as Shaver (Shiroe in Log Horizon).

The first opening theme is X-encounter by Maon Kurosaki. It has a bit of techno in it but I prefer much the second ending theme, Outgrow by Gero as it is more of a rock piece. I don’t know. Watching the opening credits animation and hearing this song somehow makes me feel it is so Bleach-like. Yoshino Nanjou sings the first ending theme, Kimi Ga Emu Yuugure and it is a very slow and lovely piece. It also has some nice guitar strumming and picking in it. In fact there is a version whereby the entire song is just an acoustic versions accompanied only by guitar. Break A Spell is the second ending theme by Mami Kawada, also another rock piece (maybe a bit of heavy metal too).

On a trivial note, the next episode preview is amusing. Despite it is just a very short segment lasting around 5 seconds and nothing much about the next episode, this is mainly what I would call Kon’s corner. Simply because she is the star of this segment and hogs it for all of the time. You see cute Kon from waiting and counting down to her proper appearance and doing other very cute and adorable things or reactions that makes you want to go “Awww…” and perhaps pet her head and squeeze her. Wouldn’t you if you see Kon playing rock-scissors-paper (janken-kon?), Kon freaking out when Mako and Ako flash her some yaoi stuffs, Kon praying for Harutora to have more screen time next week or trying to hum that tongue twisting chant lines. After 19 episodes of cutie Kon and when the series turns into a grimmer note, it is replaced with sayings about magic and lies of Yakou. Say what? Who gives a crap about that? I want more Kon antics!

Overall, if you like high school teens fighting against some supernatural using mystic powers (using chant lines instead of possessing superhero powers, that is), don’t give this a miss as the action parts and the high quality visuals are the main attraction. Though it would be better if you have better interest in Japanese style magic instead of western and comic book powers. It isn’t perfect entirely as the character development isn’t strong and the rushed feeling in the final arc puts a little downer once this series ends and you reflect on everything and ponder if this series was a great one or not or if there were missed opportunities that could have made it better. Definitely this show isn’t that bad but it won’t end up in my all time favourites. And if all that doesn’t persuade you to watch this anime, maybe just watch it for Suzuka, an explosion of cute and annoying all into one. Otherwise she will cut off your balls! I haven’t heard of any onmyo magic that could bring that back.

La Corda d’Oro Blue Sky

October 25, 2014

I never would have thought that this series would have a sequel. More accurately, a sequel spin-off. It might have been eight years since the first season aired so I was actually surprised when La Corda d’Oro Blue Sky came out back in April 2014. Just like in sequel spin-offs, this season isn’t a direct continuation of the first although some of the main themes of it are still there. Although with an entirely different cast of characters, the basics still remain. The classical music, the school that teaches this music and the reverse harem. Ah, yes. That is what this series is about, right? I suppose after countless games churned out of this series (believe me, there are a lot of them), it is time to perhaps appeal to the new generation of females and steal their hearts via classical music. That would be romantic, no?

Episode 1
Kanade Kohinata was such a good violin player that the adults believe she would be the next prodigy. One day she receives an anonymous letter asking if she has reached her limit and she remained ‘stagnant’. Kanade and Kyouya Kisaragi are taking a train to go see the latter’s brother, Ritsu in his violin play in some Yokohama High School Music Festival. They witness Chiaki Togane from Jinnan High School going on stage first. Despite this being a classical music, his violin is electric. Needless to say, his performance is electrifying. Heck, with so much fan girls, I’m sure they couldn’t care less how it sounds as long as they get to see this handsome dude. Next is Reiji Myoga from Amane High School. This guy is the opposite. Nobody cheers for him. At least the fan girls are silent. Even the number he plays. It sounds so cold and haunting. It’s like he is taking out his anger on somebody. And he’s staring at Kanade. Finally the performance Kanade has been waiting for. Ritsu from Seisou Academy doesn’t disappoint but Kyouya isn’t impressed. At the end, it is announced that there will be a nationwide high school music competition. This revs everyone up to become the best in Japan. Well, it’s rare to see lots of classical music enthusiast among these high school students. Kanade and Kyouya go meet Ritsu but he puts on a serious face and makes them stay to listen to his announcement for his orchestra club. Since they’ll be participating, they are going to aim and win this thing. They’ll dominate Japan! If this wasn’t a classical music genre, I think that would have sounded like a world conquest motto. Chiaki and Ritsu renew their rivalry and vow their school will take top spot.

When it is time to go home, Ritsu says they are going to be living at the student dorm of Seisou called Linden Hall. He has their stuffs moved in too! Who the heck is he to authorize this without their permission???!!! Ritsu asks them if they are content with what they are now. Don’t they feel moved in that performance? He wants them to fly in a bigger sky with him. Kanade thinks a lot in her room. She remembers Ritsu leaving them to go study at Seisou. He was that determined. Going even further back in time, Ritsu told her he met a fairy and gave her some ring. He hoped they will attend Seisou together. This and that letter made Kanade decide to go with the flow and attend this school. Kyouya is not impressed. Heck, he is against it. But since he can’t leave Kanade alone, he also decides to join. Obviously they join the orchestra club and Ritsu doesn’t waste time in announcing they have applied to enter the competition. He also knows those he wants to play in the competition. Ritsu will be the first violin followed by the club vice president’s Daichi Sakaki in his viola. Haruto Mizushima will be on cello duties. For the second violin, it will be double-cast of Kanade and Kyouya. Wow. Just joined and they got their big break already.

Episode 2
The other club members smell cronyism. Did Ritsu choose them just because they are childhood friends? Thus it is decided that they will be tested in 2 days to see if they have what it takes to appeal to the rest. Kyouya isn’t fond of this thing and thinks of just failing it. Kanade tries to find a room to practice but everywhere is filled with eager students practising their pieces. It is like they haven’t given up on being part of the ensemble. On her way home, she sees this guy, Sousuke Nanami trying to throw his cello in the river! Remember people, don’t pollute the river! There is always the garbage bin. She bumps into him to prevent the unthinkable. He laments that if he had gotten rid of it, his pain and suffering would end. Oh, really? She brings him back to the dorm hoping Ritsu will solve his problem. But what they see are Haruto and Kyouya arguing. The former tells him he is no good but the latter is stubborn that he didn’t want to be picked. This causes Sousuke to blow his top at Kyouya. Telling him off that he is lucky to be part of the ensemble where others could on dream and never got that chance. Once he calms down, it is explained that Sousuke is Haruto’s childhood friend and took cello classes together. Although he goes to Amane now. Sousuke is troubled because he was rejected the ensemble and expelled from his music club. He believes it is his fault for not meeting expectations. When he first saw Reiji played, his heart was so moved that his dream was to be part of his ensemble. Now that dream is dashed. This makes Kanade do a lot of soul searching. She feels guilty that she was lucky to be picked over others. So much thinking she does that on the day of the test, she’s wandering around and reliving past nostalgia of her time playing violin. She looked so happy then. A strange girl, Nia Hasekura snaps her out and mentions about fairies living in this academy. She reminds her about the test and this makes Kanade scramble. She reaches in time to start playing. The moment she does, everybody is wrapped in awe. So now you believe? This makes Kanade remember the fun in playing violin. After that, Kyouya doesn’t disappoint either. Everyone now accepts them after hearing such awesome work. It made them feel the joy of when they started playing their instrument for the first time. Sousuke is determined not to give up too.

Episode 3
Kanade and Kyouya tag along with Haruto and Sousuke to Amane. They meet some cocky musician who looks more like a punk, Takafumi Hido who doesn’t hesitate to put Sousuke down. Of course there is the kind gentle handsome guy, Sei Amamiya. Inside the usual room where Reiji practises, Kyouya is somehow attracted to the nice violin and instinctively goes to touch it. Before his fingers could get closer, Reiji punches him!!! His eyes and tone really say “Don’t you dare touch his f*cking violin!”. He recognizes Kanade and in typical baddie fashion, vows to crush her. WTF?! Sousuke says he wants to rejoin so Reiji tells him to earn his place with his own power. Kanade must have some scary nightmare after hearing Reiji’s declaration. She wakes up with Nia by her side but she soon disappears. She learns Daichi and Haruto will be living in the dorm as they are part of the ensemble it would help raise their natural sense of unity. Nia is also a residence in this dorm and she is a journalist. Ritsu has everyone practice right after breakfast. Because Kanade cannot concentrate, Ritsu has her play another piece. At the park, she hears Sei playing a toy piano to the kids. It is not coincidence they are here. He is looking for her. Because he wants to fall in love with her!!! WTF?! And it’s pretty odd that Kanade agrees to hang out with him as he takes her to places. Like on a date. I’m not sure if he really, really, really loves her because a flashback reveals the chairman of Amane, Alexei Zhukov once told him his music lack love. Uh huh. So is he trying to cultivate love like this? Yeah. He is even wondering what love is. After a meal, he was like, I really love you. She’s in shock. Who wouldn’t? And then he wants her to say it just to feel how it sounds. And she did. Hey, I don’t believe she would take saying those 3 magical words so lightly. Then they go practice but at the end he doesn’t feel it is that good. It’s like he is getting desperate wanting to know what love is as he tries to kiss her! Thank goodness Kyouya who was looking for her the entire day somehow found them. I don’t know how he found this place but thankfully the kiss didn’t happen. Sei still looks sad, wondering about love and his music needs it. Whatever. Kanade practises alone back at the dorm and the rest could hear she is much more solid than before.

Episode 4
Kanade sees Arata Mizushima on a winning streak at the vending machine. How many cans can he carry? She is surprised that he is living at Linden Hall too. Arata is Haruto’s cousin and part of the orchestra club of Sendai’s Shiseikan High School. Among the other members include Kouhei Iori, Wataru Kano, Shirou Hozumi (looking like a gang leader more than anything. Look at his ‘X’ scar right across his face!) and their president, Yukihiro Yagisawa. The quintet will be staying here for the tournament. Unlike Seisou’s ensemble consisting of string instruments, Shiseikan’s ensemble is all wind instruments. Before Arata can turn this into another date episode with Kanade, the rest of them tag along to town. They see Chiaki and his ensemble, Toki Housei and Mutsumi Serizawa holding a guerrilla concert to the public. Of course, the fan girls would be just swooning over him. After their flashy performance, Chiaki notices Kanade and wants to see her skills so he makes her go play on stage by announcing to the public that she will play next. She plays a decent piece but Chiaki feels disappointed. If she continues like this, mediocrity will be her limit. Oh, it’s that taboo word again. Toki can’t stand the heat so they go somewhere cool to relax. Why Linden Hall of all places? Since Ritsu is here, Chiaki doesn’t hesitate to tell him that Kanade’s mediocrity will have them eliminated in the first round so forget about reaching the finals. You know what they say about underestimating your opponent… And then with BBQ ingredients arriving just in time (from Hozumi’s dad as thanks for letting live in the dorm), it’s a great time to break the ice for some nice BBQ. Kanade and Daichi notice Toki feeling weak so they let him rest. Toki tells Daichi that he is the weakest link in the ensemble. Daichi tells Kanade how he ended up in this school and club. He wasn’t much into classical music till he heard Ritsu play. He was moved and touched by his sound as well as clear goals. He might not have much experience in practising compared to those playing since childhood but he is going to believe in Ritsu who picked him as a member. And so the tournament is here. Our 4 big schools pass the first and second round with ease. The top 8 made the cut for the third round. Kanade as usual is somehow late for the draw of the third round. She bumps into Reiji’s sister, Shiori (Lacus Clyne? Euphemia?). Guess which school Seisou will face first? Shiseikan. Too soon? But they just became friends…

Episode 5
Kanade practises but can’t keep focus since Hozumi’s scary face keeps popping up in her mind. She got exhausted by the heat but Hozumi catches her and even helps keep her hydrate. Arata’s luck continues because he won lots of lottery at the convenience store that entitles him to free tickets to the pool. Having fun at this crucial moment? To relief stress I suppose. So while Arata, Kanade, Kyouya, Iori, Kano, Haruto and Nia cool down, Hozumi and Yagisawa continue their practice. Victory is only on Hozumi’s mind to restore the wind orchestra club back to its glory. At the end of the day, the Shiseikan quintet receive bad news that their club is being disbanded in favour of the new brass band club. Arata remains positive that all they need to do is to win. Oh yeah, Kanade heard it too. And even though it’s not her problem, her face is laced with guilt. WTF. Nia tells them the reason why that club only has 5 members. Based on her investigation, that club has been banned from entering all competitions last year due to one of its members getting into an act of violence. Hozumi? Kanade cannot believe it. He’s such a nice guy despite his scary looks. Believe it. Once the Shiseikan quintet get together, they remember the teacher wanted to expel Hozumi or else the club will be banned from competitions. But Yagisawa will not allow it. Iori admits that it was his fault because Hozumi was trying to save him. That’s how he got his scar. He should be the one to quit. Yagisawa believes nobody is quitting because he doesn’t believe in abandoning his comrades when they can play beautiful music at the same time. So they get revved up to win this. Amane and Jinnan easily secure their spots in the semi-finals. Looks like Sousuke is back on the team at the expense of Hido. That guy is seething in anger… Kanade wanted to congratulate him but seeing that they are enemies in the competition, he maintains his distance. What’s wrong with these people? Shiseikan start their performance. Hozumi remembers how the other wind club members quit and blamed him as long as he is still in the club, the club has no future. They left for the brass band club but you know those who stayed back. Their sounds of unity reverberate to a standing ovation. Now it is Seisou’s turn and Kanade is still having this dilemma. Is she going to let Shiseikan win? She still thinks she is inferior? What’s wrong with her?

Episode 6
Kanade is too worried that everyone could pick up the shakiness in her sound. At this rate they’ll lose. Ritsu then takes the lead to save his ensemble. It is a dangerous move since if you have noticed there is something wrong and painful with his left wrist. With Kanade calming down and everyone else following Ritsu’s rhythm, everyone in the hall feels like they are flying in the sky with pink butterflies! Shiseikan is looking like they know they’re in deep sh*t. The end results: Seisou wins. But of course. Why don’t both sides look happy? I know the loser won’t but Kanade? It’s like her fault, right? Hozumi gets down on his knees and apologizes everything it’s his fault. Even scary guys can cry. Kanade sees this and feels guilty but was made to ‘shut up’ and watch. Hozumi feels bad that they lost so miserably but Yagisawa doesn’t think so. He is proud of today’s performance. It was one of their best. No matter who criticizes their loss, it doesn’t change the fact of how they played today. Then everyone reconciles and starts anew. So now you relieved, Kanade? Just then, Ritsu’s left wrist starts acting up. He is rushed to hospital as Daichi explains. Although he is okay, he has to be admitted for a few days for tests. Now the blame game on their side continues. Kanade as usual, it’s her fault for putting stress on him. Haruto thinks it’s not her fault since he had this problem before she came and it is the orchestra’s club for being unable to support him. Okay, Okay. Nobody is to be blamed. Kyouya is just pissed. But can Ritsu make it for the semi-finals? At this rate he won’t make it. Kyouya is still pissed. If Ritsu can’t be the first violin, would it mean Kanade have to take over? She doesn’t have the confidence. Kyouya freaking pissed. So don’t ask him what to do. Because they can’t forfeit as it will be Ritsu’s last high school performance. Yeah. Why don’t you do it without the brothers then? That night, the Shiseikan guys lure Kanade and co up to the observatory room to show them fireworks as thanks for the hospitality. They renew their rivalry and promise a greater fight next year. Hozumi talks to Kanade that it wasn’t just Ritsu but all of them who beat Shiseikan. So if she gives a half baked performance in the semi-finals and lose, he won’t forgive her. That is supposed to be words of encouragement… Ritsu is discharged early but since he can’t play, he makes Kyouya as the first violin. Now this guy has had it. The ultimate pissed off mood ever.

Episode 7
Kyouya is not going to do it. To prove his point, the poor chair got abused. He needs to chill out. But there is some good news. The Shiseikan guys got approval from their teacher to stay till the competition is over. They will cheer for Seisou and they will also win it for them. Yeah, it would be sad to see a bunch of handsome guys go home that early. Ritsu strictly supervises his ensemble (minus Kyouya) and he can even tell off Kanade to get out if she’s not taking this seriously. But he maintains Kyouya will be the first violin. Believe in him. Meanwhile Alexei talks to Reiji that he must win this competition for his deceased parents blah, blah, blah. Alexei is his adopted father. I guess during the break is when Kanade and co get enough time to blame themselves for their shortcomings. Just do you best, okay? Kanade talks with Ritsu and she knows he is the one suffering the most despite putting up a brave front. It is safe to say Jinnan is Seisou’s next opponent since Chiaki barges into their practice just to confront Ritsu why the hell isn’t he participating. Is he blind? Can’t he see his arm bandage? Actually he hints that as long as he is not playing, Seisou has NO CHANCE of winning. So fix that wrist of his. And that is supposed to be his words of encouragement? Kanade must be desperate to ask him what she needs to do to bloom. Of course, only she must find that out herself. Kanade is troubled thinking about this so Yagisawa brings her to see Chiaki practice. This is his passion, resolve, etc. They see his father entering the room to condemn his playing style. He also wants Chiaki to forfeit the tournament but he won’t. Seems his father is against Chiaki playing using an electric violin but Chiaki shows his conviction to stick to this music style till the end. Kyouya continues to wander aimlessly and thinking about the past. Kanade is worried enough to go look for him. And when she does find him, he is saying they will definitely be defeated because as long as Ritsu is not there, their loss is guaranteed. How does he know even without trying? Because he knows. He feels he will be a disappointment even if he took his place. It will only frustrate him further. He wants to run away. Quit school. Stop playing violin. Just escape. Heck, he doesn’t even know what to do. Kanade for once gives good advice. It is because Ritsu believes in him. Of course Kyouya will never be Ritsu. Kyouya is Kyouya, Ritsu is Ritsu. He plays his own sound, they play theirs. And there’s the big hug to calm it all down. So are you ready to go back? Yup. He’s ready to play. He has got lots of practice catching up to do.

Episode 8
The Jinnan guys are counting their chickens… Kyouya is back to practice and he is on fire. It’s like he is on a different level. He even has personal Spartan training with Ritsu just to find his own sound. Kanade talks to Yagisawa who tells her about Chiaki’s determination to compete with Ritsu. Two years ago they were competing finalists in a competition that Ritsu won. A reason for that was one of the judges was Chiaki’s father and he gave his son all duck eggs! His father is not a judge and only a sponsor in this tournament so he was looking forward to this rematch with Ritsu to seek his father’s approval. Ritsu notices a violin string Kanade keeps. It snapped in a competition she played in when she was young. Ritsu fixed it and she has been keeping it as a charm ever since. However Ritsu doesn’t remember it but Kanade could vaguely remember he was very mad after that. Did something like that happen? The first semi-final begins with Jinnan taking the stage first. Their playing and coordination are great as ever. You can hear those Chiaki fan girls applause and scream in approval. Next up is Seisou. Kyouya takes firm control of the ensemble as he leads the way. So great their music that people start to see birds flying high in the sky!!! OMG! It’s reaching the stratosphere! Hey, there isn’t any air here. But what the heck, it’s astronomical! With that loud applause (I wonder if any Chiaki fan girls converted seeing they too were applauding) and Chiaki himself admits defeat, it is no surprise that the official results also announce Seisou advancing to the finals. Chiaki is impressed Kyouya has improved and matured a lot although he still paints Kanade as mediocre. However they find her interesting and want to raise her so care to transfer to Jinnan? No way! Of course that goes without saying that since Jinnan has been defeated by them, they must win the competition on their behalf. An even sweeter note for Chiaki is that his father somewhat acknowledges his great performance. Meanwhile drama is building up in the other semi-final with Amane facing off with St Cecil High School. This devil woman, Saeka Enjoji is going to make Reiji suffer like hell.

Episode 9
Alexei wants his assistant Ryoko Mikage to do a background check on Kanade. More drama for Amane because Hido still can’t accept Sousuke replaced him. Reiji tells him off his music is just noise. It doesn’t meet his standards. Beware of guys like him who seethes anger in silence… Saeka confronts Reiji before she takes to the stage and will make him pay for he did to her brother, Alan. He doesn’t remember. Doesn’t care. Well it seems Alan must have seen the devil when he competed against Reiji. He became so scared to hear him play that he couldn’t stand on stage again. WTF?! Big wuss!!! Ever since, Saeka has only lived to avenge her brother and crush Reiji. The crowd finds it odd that Saeka who has been playing violin successfully is now resorting to flute. She plays a slow and sad song. It has an effect on Reiji and Shiori! OMG! They’re weakening! Seems they were in a car crash that killed their parents. The siblings barely survived the cold winter. This song was being played on the radio. Yeah. Traumatic memories. I wonder how Saeka knew it was this song. Then again, it could be her observations on him. But that’s another story. Kanade offers to go find Reiji on Shiori’s behalf. He snaps out when he sees Kanade. However he won’t accept her sympathy even if he dies. Although she cannot remember, he vows to crush her for that humiliation. He might be that angry kid in her vague memory. Thanks to that, Reiji is fired up. Saeka is dumbfounded to see him standing. His playing is so intense that his ensemble has a hard time following. Heck, the scene turns into one that he is sucking the souls of everyone!!! Darkness!!! WTF?! In the end, Saeka fails to avenge her brother. I hope the judges didn’t get scared and make Amane win. Even with the win, it’s not all rosy for the rest. Sousuke still cuts that forlorn look while Alexei notes Sei’s playing still lacks love. So Sei goes to see Kanade again and really wants to fall in love with her. They spend time together again and they admit their own story they aren’t that good. He brings her to Alexei’s beautiful flower garden as he believes in pure beauty. I don’t understand what Sei is ranting about beauty and art, etc. He gives her a blue rose that she takes well care of. So later we learn Sei may not be really interested of falling in love with Kanade. He doesn’t care about others taking an interest in her as long as he gets the desired results. Ritsu makes Kanade the first violin. Oh, now it’s her turn? Is he playing musical chairs? Are you up to it, girl? Don’t wilt now even if she’s thinking about the ferocity of Reiji. Finally Alexei notices some love in Sei’s piano play. Ryoko returns with her research. I don’t know if she stole a photo album with pictures of young Kanade. Alexei believes she is that girl from that event.

Episode 10
I presume Jinnan has so much free time after their loss that they can renovate Linden Hall and start flirting with Kanade. I also presume they’re going to stay here? Back at Amane, he tells the ensemble that Sei will forfeit himself from the finals and leaving to study overseas under some teacher since he has achieved his goal. Reiji will not allow his plans to change. Ryoko brings Kanade to see Alexei. He wants her to join Jinnan and entrust everything to him. He wants to blossom her ability and then be part of his Russian Opera House Philharmonic whom he is a conductor. Nia interrupts them and doesn’t want Kanade to join him. Oh, he is her uncle. Before they leave, Alexei’s words that only she can defeat her enemies and rejoice in her victory made her remember those hazy memories. So that pissed off kids was really Reiji. Back at the dorm, Nia explains her uncle will do anything for his music ideals. This means getting anyone and then tossing them away if they do not meet his standards. She doesn’t want him to get involved with him. During practice, Ritsu doesn’t seem impressed with Kanade’s play although technically it sounds perfect. He asks what she wants to do with this ensemble. Is this the performance she wants? On her way back, she is enthralled by the sound of a violin coming from the graveyard. She is surprised to see the famous violinist, Tsukimori playing a tribute to his late precious supporter. She didn’t waste time asking how she could sound like him because she feels she is missing something as this is her first time playing as first violin. He explains about someone telling him about the word beauty. Are the beautiful sounds she finds and her other members the same? After that, Chiaki and Toki pick her up in their Mini to go show her some fireflies’ sanctuary. Yeah well. Another explanation about beauty and Kanade seems to put the pieces together. Now she knows what she wants. Cheeky Chiaki thinks of letting him kiss her if she wins. When she gets back, she has everyone practice again to hear their sounds and make some final adjustments. On the day of the finals, as they leave the dorm, the Shiseikan guys are giving them a loud verbal cheer. I thought they sounded like yakuzas… I also thought it was embarrassing if I was the one receiving that cheer… Of course the reminder, win or else. Yeah, they even bought victory charms from the shrine for them. Lastly, Shiori approaches Kanade and pleads for her to save Reiji.

Episode 11
To save Reiji is to beat him in the finals with her true performance for his clock has stopped moving 7 years ago. Shortly after that, Kanade gets kidnapped. As the finals start in 5 hours, everyone is worried where she could be. Arata thought Kanade dropped her charm and returns it to the gang backstage. That is when they knew something is wrong. All the guys even from other schools start searching for her. Kanade wakes up in a room with Hido. He will release her once he settles his score. Reiji comes in and Hido has been waiting for him. He wants Reiji to reinstate him back into the ensemble and blabs about his dream to play with him in the competition. However Reiji stands by his decision that his music sucks and that he is a rat. Hido becomes so mad that he starts swinging the pipe. In the confusion, Reiji protects Kanade and gets hit. And now Hido is sweating in his pants. Wasn’t he trying to kill him in the first place? Like the chicken he is, Hido asserts this is not his fault and runs out. He bumps into a cupboard that conveniently drops and blocks the only exit. Just great. Meanwhile Sei is on his way to the airport when he thinks of dropping by Linden Hall. Then he hears Kanade is missing and from Nia’s investigation, Hido might be behind this. He starts rushing off to find her. Since the issue of 7 years keep harping, Kanade wonders what the fuss is all about. What has she done to him? Don’t remember? Good. Because he is being scary, her memories return. Yeah, being scared right out your sh*t brings back your memories.

7 years ago, the duo were in the same competition. Kanade had no spare violin strings since hers broke and Reiji gave his extra one to her and even tuned it for her (not Ritsu). They both played the same piece. At the backstage, Kanade overheard Reiji talking to Alexei about the promise if he wins and he will guarantee something for Shiori. Although official results are not out yet, Alexei can tell Kanade is the superior one. You can blame this guy for saying big words to kids and scar them. He tells Kanade right away that she is the winner and that there can be only one as the rest are miserable losers. That’s not all, Kanade gave away the victory to Reiji in which he considered an insult. He also has big words for her. Uh huh. He will hate her for the rest of her life and drag her to hell!!! Woah! No wonder a girl like her got so traumatic. No wonder she can’t remember. Don’t want to remember! Of course now Kanade feels guilty that she is responsible for his suffering. But if he hates her, why did he protect her? That humiliation changed him. Perhaps this is the only thing he can be grateful to her. He has practised so much that he is now undefeated. Only Kanade can defeat him. Sei sees Hido wandering around like a zombie. He sees Kanade’s handphone in his possession and forces information out of him. Then he calls the rest about it and they make their way there to rescue them. They’re so glad she is alright. One hour left to the finals. Can they make it? Chiaki and Toki’s mini should do the trick. But only cutie Kanade gets the lift. Before they left, Kanade told Reiji she will win for the sake of everyone who helped her and of course for Shiori. Time to settle it all on stage.

Episode 12
Before the start of the finals, Alexei goes up to Kanade to apologize for his student’s actions. Then he wants her to forgo this competition which is just some game and farce to go travel the world and perform. Everyone isn’t happy. Especially Kyouya who is close to blowing his top. Alexei adds that this competition’s purpose is to discover diamonds in the rough like her and was worried Reiji would have crushed her. She declines his invitation (Reiji laughing back at Alexei) and will do so no matter how many times he asks. The competition is where she will spread her wings and there is no other sky for her. He regrets he has shut her door to the future. Although he backs down for now, he warns that she must not make the same mistake 7 years ago when she is a kind hearted person. She still is now. He hopes she won’t get crushed by her own kindness. And so Kanade now fully remembers every detail of that competition 7 years ago. When it was her turn to play, she stopped and walked off stage. Reiji was bloody upset over this walkover victory and thus the unforgiving hatred. Now he has waited for this day as Amane goes first. Everyone has their own sound and it impresses the audience. But Reiji… What the heck is that dark matter revolving in the middle of the hall?! Is everyone going to get sucked into it and die???!!! I know he is being merciless and dark but this is too much. Seisou is next up and of course we hear Kanade’s thoughts of not wanting to run away anymore and her thanks to everyone who has helped her here. So much so everyone experiences a healing nature! Woah! Birds and butterflies fluttering everywhere! Enough to make bad kids like Hido repent and see the light! Everyone except Reiji who is still trapped in his ball of darkness! He remembers the disappointment 7 years ago and the humiliation which is much worse than death. It is confirmed that he was the one who sent her that letter. But eventually Kanade’s music is so great that the great light even shines into Reiji’s darkness. And Kanade is descending like a goddess and extends her hand to him! Will he finally be conquered?! Yes he is! Therefore it is no surprise that Seisou wins this competition. They are the best in Japan. So is everything forgiven? Well, I thought Kyouya who is the most angst ridden guy could turn into the most emotional one. After being presented with the trophy, Kanade is invited to play an exhibition piece since she is the first violin. She takes joy in playing her violin as we hear the thoughts of some of the guys on her. Ritsu remembers talking to a fairy about a girl who plays the violin so beautiful and wanted her to meet that girl. The fairy turned into that ring. Everyone is soothed by Kanade’s sound. Even Reiji is finally smiling.

Music From The Heart
To put it in a short sentence, everything feels rather okay and nothing extraordinary. Because I am not a classical music enthusiast, I don’t really know how to enjoy those featured pieces unlike everyone in this anime. Heck, I was paying attention and ‘distracted’ by their inner thoughts that overlap with the music as they play it. And because this season is just about a national high school competition and we see the main school go on to trump other big schools along the way and become the champion, it feels just ordinary.

I feel that the character development is weak considering that with only a dozen episodes and so many handsome guys in this show, there is hardly any time to go deep into their backgrounds. Even so, it would be just for that particular 2 or 3 episodes when Seisou faces them. Then they’ll be just sticking around just to remind us that they are still around although not really relevant. So you get the case of too many hot guys hanging around with nothing much ado. Even for the guys are Seisou, there is nothing deep about them or their personal issue (for example, Kyouya’s concern of always being compared to Ritsu which was easily solved when he was just told to play his own way). Daichi and Haruto feel like secondary characters and while Kyouya and Ritsu feel like although they have some sort of potential and connection with Kanade (believe me, everybody does), it somewhat fizzles out. Their past could have been explored but it was just limited to short flashbacks. Nothing deep. Some of the guys in the other schools have their goals and ambition but it just feels too shallow. Just like I said, once they get defeated, it is over for them so it is up to Seisou to carry that ‘burden’ and win it for them. So really. Winning is everything? Looks like it.

Therefore the romance part is a big disappointment for those who are really hoping to see something solid. Even a casual viewer like me does not particularly feel the romance blossoming between Kanade and the guys. I know I won’t be expecting every damn hot guy to come after Kanade but even the potential ones (the ones I think would be in the running for her attention) like Arata, Sei, Kyouya and even Reiji but it all falls flat. Arata is more of a playful kind and from the way I see it, he just loves hanging out with her only to have Hozumi put his foot down and remind him about concentrating on practice. Sei originally was using her as a stepping stone to perfect his music and till the last moment he only realizes he truly loves her. But even that makes me hard to believe because of his poker face. Kyouya who has been with Kanade for a long time could have shown some potential in this although I won’t put my hopes high for him. However he spends more than half his time in angry mode which just effectively I think kills off his candidacy chance of being Kanade’s lover. And Reiji… I was thinking he would turn out to be a tsundere ;p. Guess not. So these are the ‘front runners’ that I was guessing to see if this romance thing ever materialized but sadly, it was just all about the music and competition. Because the other guys like Daichi and Haruto don’t even show us a hint of any such interest in her, what more poker face Ritsu. In short, being a reverse harem genre and such a weak romance segment just makes this series a let-down. Besides, I don’t feel much of a bonding between her and the guys.

As for the characters, for most of the time I view Kanade as weak being the protagonist. She has a kind heart and that greatest strength is also her greatest weakness. Every time she hears her opponent having some sort of issue that the only way for them to solve it is to win the championship, she is being ‘paralyzed’ with this fear that if they don’t win, it won’t be a happy ending for them and doesn’t even hesitate to forfeit herself. If she does this to everyone, she will never get off the ground. So what she gives way? See what she did to Reiji? What about others? They might just say, “Gee, thanks. See ‘ya” for all we know. Of course with her devastating memories of that incident resurfacing, it is a good thing that she has decided not to run away and face the music (pun intended). Sure, she is stronger and elegant for now. But I feel it is too late because the series has already ended. She is also weak in the sense for being lost in her goal and unable what to do. It took her almost the entire series to figure out what she wants. And that is thanks to the help with some of the guys. She was also unable to concentrate in her practice as her thoughts were filled with worrying about the unnecessary. See? This is what her kindness gets her into. And who cares for her? Even Ritsu doesn’t show mercy if she doesn’t put her heart and soul into her music.

Reiji seems to be casted as the ‘antagonist’ of the series because of his scary face and the darkness aura he gives out. I guess even in classical music clubs you can find delinquent/scary looking characters. Heck, almost everyone had this potential. Only Hido lives up to his true delinquent looks but finally repented. I don’t even know how this guy ended up in the orchestra club. At least it is better than being out there in the streets doing crime. Reiji as the antagonist is perhaps a blessing in disguise for Kanade since with him around, she is put on her toes and after all that hatred, even a guy like him has to succumb to the good side. Well, there are 2 sides to a coin. I’d say that Kanade and Reiji spurred each other to greater heights. If not for that humiliating incident, Reiji would not have become such a cruel and merciless violin maestro and in turn help stimulate Kanade’s growth when they meet again. Without him, she would still be flying in that narrow sky. So would Alexei be the main antagonist then? But what he says is true. Competitions like this are cruel because out of all the competitors, there can only be one winner. Everybody else are losers. Dog eat dog world. I give him points for being frank and honest, don’t beat around the bush. But I thought he should have worded it better especially when he is talking to children. You know how such words can scare and scar them for life. At least he does not discriminate when it comes to music. Young or old, a musician is still a musician. And though he has not change a bit, the only positive side I can see to his ambition of having the best is that, well, only the best deserves to be on the global stage. So work hard if you want to catch the eye of this guy. Otherwise, you are not worth his time (and the world’s) or you drop out.

Other characters feel rather okay or just average and like I put it before, too many characters so there is hardly any proper time to give proper focus to them. Even among the Seisou guys, you see hardly any development going on. You just get to see some of them with ‘notable’ traits like Kyouya is always defined by his angst so much so you wish this guy took up some anger management class. Then there is Arata the happy-go-lucky guy of the series and his extremely good luck is some sort of a running joke. Too bad his luck couldn’t be extended for his school to beat Seisou and win the competition. Then there is some sort of rivalry between Daichi and Toki but for whatever reasons since they both know each other and occupy the same position in the club. Then there is this quiet taciturn Mutsumi who acts like a butler to Chiaki and Toki if he is not playing with them. Ritsu feels irrelevant the more the series progresses. Ever since his wrist gave in, he has sat in the side-lines just watching over his ensemble. If the producers killed him off, I think I won’t even realize he is gone ;p. I thought this was going to be his big show seeing how he talked like it was very important to him. But I guess it doesn’t matter since he let Kanade and Kyouya to take over the limelight. All for the music and his school, right? The most ridiculous one I find was Saeka’s brother with his stage trauma. I don’t know. It just feels ridiculous. After her defeat, no more of them is heard (although you can still see them enjoying Kanade’s music in the finals – at least Alan seems happy). It’s like her story was just to tell us about Reiji and Shiori’s traumatic past.

At least this season there isn’t any magic or fairies (unless you count that last episode 2 second cameo appearance). In that sense it seems more down to earth. I mean, the last season had a girl who doesn’t even know how to play the violin and she got a little help from a fairy to pull off some magic and ‘con’ everyone that she could play. This time, at least Kanade had some talent and skill in the violin and thus no need for such magical creatures to butt in. The only magical moment is when the ensemble starts performing and you can tell it is so damn good that Kanade’s ring starts to magically glow and transport everyone in the hall to experience a whole new exciting panorama. I know it is exaggerated stuff but each time this happens, I can’t help laugh since it reminds me of those food themed animes where the food taster goes into a different universe and ecstasy as a sign the dish is unbelievably delicious. No words could describe it. Same case here. It’s just like sex for your ears, huh? This is highly speculative but I think Nia may be a fairy because of the way she pops up nowhere and gets her information. Despite she is a journalist but the kind of information she gets feels suspicious.

The drawing and art as compared to the first season seems to have the characters looking, well, less mature. While the ones here do look like high school students, the one in the last season has some of them looking like young adults. Personally, I think Kanade looks cuter than the last season’s main female ;). Then again, it must be that era of anime since the first season was way back in 2006. Most probably it is because a different studio produces this season. TYO Animations may look like a new company with only a few animes under its belt (notably the Tamayura TV series). That is because it is a newly formed company via merger with Yumeta Company, the studio that did the animation for the first season. Of course both seasons have lots of hot looking guys. This is what the series is about, right? Great classical music + Handsome guys = Perfect recipe for capturing the hearts of girls. If you’re into classical music, that is.

A fun fact to note is that many of the casts who lend their voices in the prequel return to voice new characters in this sequel. For instance Reiko Takagi who was the voice of Hino in the last season takes on another heroine as Kanade this time. Because most seiyuus tend to have flexible voices, you can’t really tell it is them unless you really know how they sound as most of them voice characters which are opposites of what they voiced in the prequel. For example, Jun Fukuyama voiced the sleepyhead (and probably gay sounding) Shimizu the last time. This time as Kyouya he is so full of angst. Just like his other angry character roles like Kassim in Magi. Kishou Taniyama who was the voice as Tsukimori is now Chiaki. Since both characters make their appearance here (although the former limited to just that one cameo scene), you won’t really be able to distinguish them (at least not for me) as both characters are poles apart.

Other returning casts include Katsuyuki Konishi as Ritsu (was the voice of Ouaski in the last season), Yuya Uchida as Daichi (Kira), Satoshi Hino as Reiji (Etou), Kaori Mizuhashi as Haruto (Lili), Kentarou Itou as Yagisawa (Tsuchiura), Daisuke Kishou as Arata (Yunoki), Yuki Masuda as Sousuke (Amou), Akemi Satou as Nia (Fuyuumi), Mamoru Miyano as Sei (Kaji), Masakazu Morita as Hozumi (Hihara) and Hideo Ishikawa as Toki (Kanazawa). It’s like having a reincarnation, eh? I guess that is why this is called a sequel spin-off. New casts joining the list are Kenyuu Horiuchi as Alexei (Sasaki in Bakuman), Hiroaki Miura as Hido (Mitsubachi in Katanagatari) and Risa Shimizu as Shiori (Sasha in Michiko To Hatchin).

The opening theme is Wings To Fly by Maestro Fields, which is basically up of the seiyuus of Kyouya, Ritsu, Chiaki, Yagisawa and Reiji. The opening line of the violin play is quite exciting as it is closely similar to that all-female string quartet, Bond (namely their Viva and Victory pieces). Then they had to ‘spoil’ it with the guys singing and turn it like a boy band style of singing. How I wished they retained just the violin parts. The ending theme, Andante is at a much slower pace and although it sounds like another boy band song, there are different versions to it. More accurately, after ever 2 or 3 episodes, you will hear the boys of the different schools singing their version of it. That means you will have all the 4 academies having their turn doing this track. And if that is not enough, the final episode has all the guys from the 4 academies singing it! I’m not sure if they’re trying to be like We Are The World. But heck, I can’t even tell the difference. Being a classical music genre, there are of course some classical music but due to the lesser amount of episodes compared to the first season and the focus more on the story, there aren’t as much classical music to grace your ears. And for a guy like me who doesn’t appreciate classical music much, I do not know or recognize the pieces featured here.

Overall, this series isn’t going to stick in my memory banks in the long run because if you talk about animes with classical music, Nodame Cantabile comes to mind and even the first season for this series I feels still fares better albeit a bit silly with magic and a fairy. I am not a fan of reverse harem animes but since I have been watching quite a number lately, this one isn’t the best either and there are a handful of others that could easily best this one. Say, Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 1000% or 2000%. Replace classical music with pop idols and you get that anime. Maybe they should try making a harem series using pop idols too. On second thought, that wouldn’t be such a good idea. Over the top cat fights, shameful mudslinging, confrontational showdowns and distasteful seduction that would mar their idol career. You wouldn’t want to see that to your cute girls like that, would you? That would be a disaster and nothing near music to your ears.

Inugami-san To Nekoyama-san

October 24, 2014

Are you a cat lover or a dog lover? Well, it doesn’t matter because you still can be friends, right? And so it is in the case of Inugami-san To Nekoyama-san. High school girls who somehow have animals in their names (and showing certain traits of that animal), meet and become somewhat best friends. Somewhat. Because it is their quirky behaviours that make their friendship go through high and low periods. Attracted to each other but yet so uniquely different. You know what they say about attraction and opposites, right? And the one caught in between the madness is a friend of theirs who also has to become some sort of moderator to quell the situation and prevent it from getting more insane than it is.

Episode 1
Despite her name, Yachiyo Inugami is a cat person. Because she is the type who prefers to be subdued rather that to subdue. A masochist in short. Then there is Suzu Nekoyama. Also despite her name, she is more of a dog person. But she looks so much like having cat traits and others think she is more of a cat person. When Nekoyama’s friend, Aki Hiiragi introduces her to Inugami, Inugami wants to cuddle her but Nekoyama slaps her away and won’t allow her to touch. Nekoyama loves dogs because she can teach them things. Inugami displays dog obedience to her. Nekoyama gets a wrong idea about Inugami and Aki’s relationship. She thinks too far they are yuri. Inugami on the other hand thinks Nekoyama is in heat and dreams… When Nekoyama thought her gym clothes is missing, Inugami could point out it was in her bag. She knows because of her smell… Creepy! As Inugami owns 3 dogs, Nekoyama would like to come see them. She is enthralled in petting them, etc while Inugami starts to film her and finds it most relaxing. Inugami warns Nekoyama not to lick her dogs because they are dirty. In return, she licks her! It makes Nekoyama feel even dirtier. Because Nekoyama wants to stay with the dogs forever, Inugami suggests they get married. This is because if she said yes it would sound like she was only after her dogs. Inugami’s face lights up further. Fancy some sort of marital affair?

Episode 2
Inugami never knew there was this cute petite girl sitting behind her, Mikine Nezu. She loves eating cheese (but of course) since the way it melts in her mouth makes it lewd and she likes it. Inugami believes they can get along fine. Because she is a night person, she finds it hard to stay away in the day especially in class. When Nekoyama learns Inugami made a new friend, she panics and tells her she’ll never forgive her if she leaves her. Jealous? This has Inugami smother her with lots of love and assure her love for her will never change. Got more than she bargained? Nezu hopes Inugami could join a club she is in. Registered as Assorted Living Beings Club, Nezu introduces Inugami and Nekoyama to Yukiji Ushiwaka, the president of the club and her ‘wife’. They explain all the club does is drink tea and relax. Nezu takes a liking for Nekoyama because they are both short. Didn’t that sound like an insult? But she agrees that they can be friends since their partners are tall lazy people. Aki is introduced to Nezu as the latter notes of their interesting pairing. One short, one tall. Aki thinks that the 4 of them make a cute idol unit.

Episode 3
Inugami looks like she has a devious plan. She is going to switch this catnip tea with Nekoyama’s during recess and once she drinks it, she will fall unconscious onto her knees and she’ll endlessly pamper her! Of course you do realize Aki is going to stop this. Nekoyama couldn’t understand why Inugami is so happy greeting her or why Aki is lending her wooden sword. During recess, Inugami and Aki are having a leg battle under the table. Trying to interfere? Nekoyama wonders if they’re flirting shamelessly and looks as though they have something to hide. Inugami tries to force the drink onto her but Aki blocks and the drink ends up spilled all over Nekoyama. Now what? Nekoyama is drunk and totally dominant. She makes Inugami lick all her wet places. She even invites Aki to do the same. Like hell she will. The killer move comes when Nekoyama pecks on her forehead and sends Inugami into nose bleeding frenzy before collapsing next to her. In the aftermath, Inugami didn’t learn anything because she would really love to get addicted to it. As for Nekoyama when she is sober, she would really want to forget those bad memories…

Episode 4
Since Nekoyama didn’t pass the eye test, Inugami insists she go get some glasses after school. Would this be their first after school date? Please keep your enthusiasm in check. To her friend’s surprise, she seems to be a regular at this optician. Because the beautiful ladies are all wearing glasses. Not surprising… Inugami tries to make Nekoyama pose in certain angles with glasses and comments on how old Aki would look like in them. Inugami wants to her to continue this abuse since she is a masochist but Aki won’t comply. They get too friendly fooling around that it pisses off Nekoyama. What were they here for? Once Nekoyama has bought her pair, she isn’t wearing them home. Since Inugami insists, she puts them on but becomes dizzy as she is not used to it. She becomes dizzier when Inugami holds her hand. This is just to help guide her. But Aki tells Nekoyama not to be fooled by her consideration because Inugami did this as she knew this would happen. That ruined the mood for her.

Episode 5
Nekoyama is shocked that Inugami and Aki have gone karaoke together before. She has never. So Nezu offers to bring her there as part of their friendship deepening among shorties. Nekoyama becomes picky in certain songs she doesn’t want to sing. Songs that cats don’t really like. Because Nezu’s microphone goes dead, she shares with Nekoyama. Although Nekoyama doesn’t find it bad singing with another, she gets embarrassed when she realizes their faces are too close. Nezu continues to tease with some close proximity. Then the telephone rings to signal their time is up. Do they end or extend? Since Nekoyama cannot decide, Nezu extends their time. Nekoyama gets fired up and starts singing (horribly). It’s no wonder her throat feels sore since she has been singing loudly for an hour. But Nekoyama had a fun karaoke in her first session and thanks her. When Inugami hears about this, she is screaming in disbelief. She should have been invited! It doesn’t get better when cheeky Nezu teases how cute Nekoyama was. Inugami goes crazy…

Episode 6
Nekoyama has to put up with her elder sister’s hangover. Not that Tamaki could remember anything anyway. Just when Aki got her day off from club activities, she is busy babysitting her little sisters, Kiri and Kaede when Inugami had to call to bug her to go shopping. Of course Aki refuses but here Inugami is at her doorstep anyway. And so Aki has to tag along with Inugami to the pet shop and it seems Nekoyama is there too. I didn’t know Nekoyama was good at sarcasm when she notes Kiri and Kaede being so cute that she didn’t notice them (what does this make of Aki?). Nekoyama hints jealousy when she asks why she wasn’t invited. Inugami says she doesn’t want to bother her on her day off. How kind… I guess she wasn’t kind enough for Aki. Yeah, even the lolis are quipping their big sister lets people take advantage of her. On the way back, Nekoyama wants to say something to Inugami. Could it be the words she longed for? Actually she wants to walk her dogs. Dream come true. Inugami gets distracted by a cat and they end up in a silly argument over nothing. So Nekoyama is okay with them being together but not Inugami with cats?

Episode 7
What’s this? Sora Sarutobi hates Inugami?! I can think of a few reasons… Anyway one morning we see Inugami dragging and rushing Aki along. Seems they are late to do some task but the attendance sheets and handouts are missing. Work of a fairy? You wish. Sarutobi did it in her place. No, she’s not the fairy you dummy. She’s your class rep! Sarutobi didn’t bat an eyelid to say she hates her. Did she do something bad? Aki deduces it’s because of the ‘dog’ and ‘monkey’ thingy. Sarutobi dislikes using animal references in their names and if she is going to continue using it, she’ll shut her up. But I get a feeling Inugami is going to like that mouth gag… Sarutobi continues to carefully watch Inugami complete her task. Inugami can make it sound so lewd what she is doing… A ploy to make her mad at her? Oddly they are having lunch together as Sarutobi asserts she still hates that animal reference. She doesn’t look convincing especially saying that with a banana in hand. Sarutobi doesn’t want to make friends. But Inugami likes the way they are now and wants to… Get intimate with her! Wait a minute! Sarutobi believes it?! That doesn’t even sound romantic! Sarutobi retracts her statement that she doesn’t like her and Inugami pretends not to hear and wants her to say it again loud and clear. Jealous Nekoyama is watching… Her jealousy flames are burning so brightly… She is pinching Aki’s arm so hard…

Episode 8
Nekoyama wonders who this Hibari Torikai girl is as she is always absent (she spends most of her time in hospital due to her weak body). When Aki quips nobody has ever met her, she thinks she is a ghost! And when Torikai pops up before them, it freaks them out! She starts to get depressed because she is unsure if she herself has become a ghost so our friends have to assure they can still feel her. Torikai makes friends with the duo and even gives them nicknames. Since she likes to make jokes about death, Aki warns she will beat the crap out of her if she hears any more of those. She’s not listening… Inugami is introduced to Torikai. She thinks a pretty ghost girl has appeared before her! Sarutobi is also a friend with a certain banana lover… I think I know who she is. Sarutobi reprimands Torikai for coming to school on her own. She could have called and they could have come together. Well, Torikai did many times. Only, Sarutobi can’t read her heart, damn it! Torikai thanks Sarutobi for being around. Those words weigh heavily on Sarutobi and Torikai wants her to welcome that heavy love with open arms… I think I know why Sarutobi is always this moody now… When Nekoyama and Aki notice Torikai didn’t turn up in class today, suddenly they here this ghostly voice from Torikai that this girl was never in this class in the first place. Remember what Aki said about beating the crap out of her? Say sorry now!

Episode 9
Wait a minute. Inugami and Nekoyama fighting?! Is the world going to end?! And Aki is caught in between. If it’s about who is cuter, she’s going to punch them. Thankfully it’s not. Nekoyama takes Aki and leave. Inugami calls Aki a traitor. Anger directed at the wrong person? So Aki is forced to hear what this ‘lover’s quarrel’ is all about. It all started when Nekoyama’s curly hair got worse during rainy days or when she just woke up. When she thought of straightening it, Inugami gave that death stare. Scary sh*t. Inugami scolds her for wanting to do that and from their long-winded-it-doesn’t-matter-at-all argument, seems Inugami loves the way Nekoyama’s hairstyle is and since she won’t have it any other way, Nekoyama snaps because what she does with her hair is her own business. And then they start screaming and getting overly emotional about not being lovers or anything. Inugami can’t shrug off that harsh rejection. Nekoyama wants to shrug off that statement! Aki’s conclusion? Well what do you know? It’s just a lover’s quarrel. Nothing to worry about.

Episode 10
It’s the pool lessons. Inugami jumps in and earns the reprimanding of her friends, in which she pretends not to hear of course. She laments their swimsuits don’t come with name tags. Then she starts imagining if it does and Nekoyama forgets to write her name, she’ll write it for her. It just gets erotic… Nekoyama stays by the side like Torikai. Because the latter feels the chlorine might melt her. Of course Nekoyama like a cat dislikes water and she knows Inugami would come after her as soon as she enters the pool. Then here she is splashing a gush of water over her. Inugami makes the cutest pleading face to persuade her but it’s not working. Nekoyama oddly starts to have a strange fantasy on Inugami because from this angle she looks hot and sexy. Till Inugami opens her mouth of wanting to see Nekoyama drenched in water that it ruined the mood. Since Nekoyama didn’t swim, she has this uncomfortable feeling she may be missing out on something. The part whereby your friends rub and dry your hair with a towel. That fuzzy feel food feeling… Anyway she blames the pool and feels tired and goes to sleep. Ironically she is the one who barely did any swimming…

Episode 11
Nekoyama is sick and thus it is logic she stays home. Suddenly Inugami’s world comes crushing down! It’s the end of the world! School sucks… No mood… Depression… Nezu gives her a much needed motivation by saying sick girls are 30% cuter. Nekoyama’s fever is rising and fears she could see things. Well, she knows she is not seeing things when Inugami is here! Appreciate the consideration but don’t skip classes just for this! Inugami starts acting weird. On a pretence that she will take her cold, she gets close to her face and then… KISS!!! Her first time taken? Thank God it was just a dream. But thinking about that still makes her feel embarrassed. Then she hears Inugami assuring her it’s alright and patting her head. She can fix that if she wants. Is this a dream too? Nope. Nekoyama bangs her head on the wall repetitively and hopes this is a dream. Not working. Aki is here to visit too. Because Nekoyama says she is going to stay here for 6 months, Inugami doesn’t mind catching her cold. She prepares to get close… Is the dream coming true? Thankfully she gets a hug. Aki takes Inugami and leave so Nekoyama can rest. She wonders how they got in. Ah… Tamaki. Big sister is amazed she really does have friends.

Episode 12
Aki, Inugami and Nekoyama are at the stalls for the fireworks festival. Inugami is not pleased Aki is not dressed in her yukata and wants her to go change this instant! Well too bad she won’t she came here straight from her club. They meet Nezu and Ushiwaka too. Ushiwaka notices the Blue Hawaiian flavoured shaved ice Inugami is having. Since it makes her tongue blue, she takes the liberty to wipe it off her lips. As they continue their fun at the festival, they notice their other classmates and teachers. They don’t think Torikai would be here and will be sick in bed at home while Sarutobi would be by her side. True enough it is. Inugami couldn’t stop resisting hitting Aki with a yo-yo balloon while Nekoyama always wondered what goldfish tastes like. Yikes! Then everyone watch the fabulous fireworks.

Episode 13 (OVA)
While taking a dip in the hotspring, Inugami wonders why Nekoyama is keeping herself wrapped up. Because this way she cannot wash her if she covers herself! Flashback reveals Aki won a lottery for 2 to the hotspring and only invited Nekoyama. She wondered how Inugami ended up coming. Inugami is furious that she is left out and was not in her thoughts. How could she be so mean? I mean, Aki realizes Nekoyama was the only person she would love to bring along on this trip. Inugami further accuses her of trying to plan something to take advantage of Nekoyama and forces her to let her join in. Now we know why Aki doesn’t want to bring her along, eh? Inugami calms down and takes up Nekoyama’s advice that they should make the most out of it. That’s why she brought a video camera… Aki throws it away into the snow. Inugami apologizes for getting carried away. Then she slowly lets her fingers run through Nekoyama’s thighs… And she gets beaten up and left behind in the hotspring. When she returns to the room, she is appalled to see the duo so close having a meal. That was the whole idea of leaving her behind, right? Inugami throws a tantrum about being left behind again and asserts they should do things together. But the duo continue ‘flirting’ and ignoring her. More heartbreak for Inugami when Nekoyama says she likes Aki (in the sense of friends, that is). Inugami isn’t really convinced when Nekoyama also says she likes her. I mean, she says she thinks she likes her but doesn’t necessarily mean it, right? What Nekoyama meant is that although she can say it straight to Aki’s face, it makes her blush thinking about saying it to Inugami. They find Nekoyama blushing to be quite cute. When it’s time to sleep, Inugami creeps up pretty close to Nekoyama, scaring her away into the arms of Aki. The next day they leave refreshed and they wonder where to go next with Nekoyama. Inugami thinks it’s best to leave Aki out the next time and the feeling is mutual for Aki.

Call The Zookeeper…
Wow. They almost had all the domesticated pet/farm animals anthropomorphise as humans. So… where is the rabbit? In addition to the dog and cat, you got a mouse, monkey, cow and a bird so where is the rabbit again? You can’t leave out those cute furry little bunnies, can’t you? Don’t even mention goldfish… Or hamsters… Oh wait… What was this show about again?

The characters as expected are quirky. The only downside is that the series is too short for them to be fleshed out but still that doesn’t mean you can’t find them enjoyable. With airhead Inugami’s masochistic and berserk mode combined with Nekoyama’s tsundere and timid personality, there is no doubt room for lots of fireworks to go off not only between the duo but those around them as well. Nekoyama has this yandere potential too. Notice how jealous she gets when we see Inugami getting friendly with others? At the same time she is being tsundere with Inugami. She wants her to be close but not close enough since we all know how perverted that doggy girl (that ‘B’ word just feels derogatory) can get.

Aki I suppose is the only one not having an animal reference so could she be the zookeeper of them all? Her role seems to lean more towards keeping the balance and sanity of the duo. She is like playing the straight man each time such situation arises. Compared to the rest of the characters, she is like the most normal. But then again, she has been retorting and making jabs so often that I don’t think you can see her character as normal anymore. Other minor characters are okay too and add to the dynamism of the main characters. From Ushiwaka’s humongous boobs (udders?) to Nezu’s crafty personality (cheese turns you on?) to Sarutobi’s lively scathing (like a monkey) and Torikai’s sickly behaviour (her name is some sort of bird disease and hence her sick persona), it is fun to see these characters mirroring the animal names they carry.

There are mild hints of yuri but I don’t think it would constitute to anything major. Major as in, think of Sakura Trick (if you have seen this anime, you’ll know what I mean). You won’t really feel it and think Inugami and Nekoyama are just very close and quirky friends. Even those lewd fantasies or Nezu calling Ushiwaka her ‘wife’, the yuri factor just feels mild. Sometimes it won’t even cross your mind. At least not to me. Unless you have a very yuri mind… Okay, so that Nekoyama getting drunk part and having Inugami lick her all over may feel a little more like it. Just like the last episode whereby Ushiwaka swiping Inugami’s lips, I thought it was a cue just to remind us about this mild yuri theme. Besides, all the characters in this anime are females.

The art and drawing are pretty okay. Nothing to shout about but nothing to complain either. As long as the girls look pretty then everything is fine, right? Right. Just be prepared for lots of those ‘sparkly bubbly scenes’, like the kind where they start to fantasize or in awe/ecstasy. At the end of each episode, there is an end card illustration illustrated by different people. However I thought some of the styles look quite similar to each other especially those cute looking ones. The anime studio of Seven produces this show and it seems they are no strangers to producing short anime series. Their notable works include Morita-san Wa Mukuchi, Ai Mai Mi, Shin Strange and Recorder To Randoseru.

The upbeat and lively ending theme is Zettai Fukujuu Sengen but the duet of Inugami and Nekoyama (Sumire Uesaka and Nao Touyama respectively). Surprisingly this song is addictively cute and you can’t help but want to sing along sometimes. The lyrics fit the theme of the series and it is fun to sing along. Really. Try it out. Wan wan wan neko ga suki, muchuu de nani mo mienai. Nyan nyan nyan inu ga suki, sunao ni I love you… See, isn’t it fun?

Overall, if you want to watch something that doesn’t take up too much of your time (because you might be a busy person whatsoever) but at the same time want to watch something heart-warming about a quirky friendship (yes, this anime can be considered to be heart-warming believe it or not), give this anime a chance. It will be good worth for 12 x 3 minutes of smiles. So whether you are a dog a cat or some other animal type, despite all the differences, it shows that we can still get along just fine. Well, define ‘fine’ actually. I guess the norm is that nobody says anything out of the ordinary if you’re a dog lover or cat lover or even a human lover. But I wonder what they will think if you specifically mention you love girls instead… And I’m a maid lover so…

Log Horizon

October 19, 2014

A popular fantasy RPG game that allows you to enter its world and experience the true RPG feel of slashing monsters, hunting for treasures and levelling up your stats. No, we are not talking about Sword Art Online (or even the .hack series). No doubt that one is still more popular but don’t discount Log Horizon too. Many would feel that Log Horizon is somewhat similar to Sword Art Online due to the fact that the setting has players trapped in the virtual game world and cannot log out. But the similarity ends there. In this anime, many players from around the world find themselves trapped in a game after they released its latest expansion pack. Focusing on the players from the Akihabara of Japan, it chronicles the adventures of these trapped players as they have to survive and adjust to their new life. That doesn’t sound that all bad, doesn’t it? Well, if you are really stressed out from the realities of life, this may be the ultimate getaway…

Episode 1
Shiroe like many other players of the MMORPG, Elder Tale, find themselves stuck in this game in Akihabara (where the game’s server is located) and cannot log out. Some just confused and many are just wallowing in depression. He meets up with his friend, Naotsugu as they discuss about how today was supposed to be the update of a new expansion of Novasphere. The next thing they now, they’re stuck in this world. This isn’t a dream and they need to find out more about this world as they don’t know when they can return to their own world. Shiroe is called by a fellow assassin whom he has teamed up in many missions before. He asks for a gender changing potion in which Shiroe is in possession. The guys are shocked to learn Akatsuki is a petite girl. Because Naotsugu is an open pervert, Akatsuki usually knee kicks him in the face before he finishes his sentences. I suppose this will be a running gag throughout the series. The trio agree to stay together but short of forming a guild themselves. Akatsuki feels indebted to Shiroe and will follow her ‘master’ anywhere. They get food to eat but they all taste so plain… This is what data bits taste like… They are then called by the Crescent Moon Alliance guild leader, Marielle. Marielle loves big hunky men like Naotsugu while her assistant, Henrietta is smitten in cute little things like Akatsuki. The trio are briefed about the situation. Guilds are trying to recruit members, the game servers in other regions in Japan are working fine and the inter-city transport gates aren’t working. However because of the expansion pack, this may not be the Elder Tale everyone is familiar with. Marielle knows Shiroe isn’t fond of guilds but offers him to join. Besides, Debauchery Tea Party is gone, right? Shiroe declines. Debauchery Tea Party isn’t a guild but a group of individuals banding together to complete large scale battles called raids. Shiroe was their strategist. Naotsugu wonders if you can escape this world by dying. The only way is to experiment. They head to fight some monsters. It is harder to use the commands to attack but after watching Akatsuki just using her body to feel the motion, it is much easier to swing your hands instead of inputting commands with your fingers. More natural. Shiroe narrates today is the day whereby hundreds of thousands of Elder Tale players found themselves trapped in this online game. The day they will call as Apocalypse.

Episode 2
Good news: When you die, you do not die in real life and get resurrected in the cathedral. Bad news: This means you’re still stuck in this goddamn world. Shiroe narrates to us about classes and sub-classes and also remembers about Crescent Moon Alliance telling them about PKs (Player Killings). Because players cannot die, incidents of PKs have increased to steal their items. Although PKs are prohibited in towns, ambushes are laid in the outskirts instead. Speaking of which, the trio come into a band of cocky PKs. They think they’re easy meat. Because Shiroe is a brilliant strategist, we see them unleash several spells and counter attacks (couldn’t bother to remember them) that sends them back to the cathedral. Akatsuki even took out the hidden ambushing members of the PKs. There go their trump cards. Later they discuss that because they lack any goals and are bored, the reason why many resort to PKs. They need something to occupy their minds to stay alive and sane. Shiroe and co are called by Marielle again. A member of their guild, Serara is stuck in Susukino. They plan to go rescue her but since the distance in Elder Tale is half the distance in real life, they still have to travel far and fight monsters. The situation at Susukino is much worse than here but thankfully Serara was saved by a kind soul and is hiding in his shelter. Marielle plans to assemble the highest guild members for a rescue mission and wants Shiroe and co to take care of the guild while they are gone. But Shiroe thinks. The journey will take long and all their best players are going. One conclusion: This mission is sure to fail. There is another alternative but is in a dilemma whether to get involved or not. His pals know what he wants and just do it. Shiroe offers to go on that trip as this is the best option. They ride horses and even ride the rare griffons to save time.

Episode 3
The gang have to travel underground through a complex maze to reach the other side of the mountains since the airs in this area are filled with wyverns just like in the game. While taking a break, they talk about telepathy ability in which is only available to the friends on your list that you must add face to face. We see Serara levelling up her maid abilities cleaning the house, cooking and washing because she is so bored. At least better than the dangerous outside. She is currently living in the home of Nyanta, the cat musketeer who saved her. As for Crescent Moon Alliance, they are trying to gather several guild leaders in a meeting. Shiroe and co continue to trek through a longer path in the maze because they want to avoid fighting with packs of low level rat-men and risk the spread of disease. Their pathway collapses and Shiroe drops like a rock. Akatsuki dives down to save him while Naotsugu pulls them out of the water. Shiroe remembers he wasn’t much of a social person so he ended up playing Elder Tale. He made ‘friends’ but it seems they were only using him for advice to get rare items. Till he met the Debauchery Tea Party members and words of their leader that the best part of adventure is experiencing new thrilling things attracted him. Continuing their journey, the guys are surprised to learn Akatsuki is the same age as them. You think she’s just a little girl? The zone suddenly changes and they think this is one of the new Novasphere updates as this wasn’t here before. They are faced with a giant rat-man. Shiroe’s strategy has them defeat this rodent in no time. When they break out of the cave, they see a beautiful sunset scenery. Watching it on your monitor is different. Experiencing and seeing it with your own eyes, priceless. Meanwhile the situation in Susukino is getting worse. Demikas, the leader of his Brigandia guild is rampant and merciless in PKs and stealing. However he is most upset that Serara and Nyanta are still not to be found and orders his men to find them. He won’t allow anything to go against his will.

Episode 4
Shiroe and co arrive at Susukino and want to avoid fighting to deaths. Although they will be resurrected at the cathedral, because Serara’s server is in Susukino, she will be resurrected in that local cathedral. Serara is hiding in a safe zone, the reason Brigandia cannot find her. Shiroe finds Nyanta and Serara. Seems Nyanta is Shiroe’s superior. Nyanta agrees to follow them back to Akihabara. The entire town is filled with Demikas’ punks waiting to pounce of them when they leave since there is no PKs zone inside towns. True enough, Demikas and the rest are waiting outside. Nyanta suggests a one on one fight and since Demikas refuses, Shiroe proposes his right hand man, Londark who seems to be the more powerful one. This works Demikas up and he walks right into their palm and start fighting. While we have more terms explanation from Shiroe about cast times and cool down times, Naotsugu joins in the fight to distract the rest. Shiroe has Serara heal everyone on his signal and when the time is right, Shiroe unleashes Thorn Bind Hostage on Demikas for Nyanta to cut and slice the vines, rendering him down to his last HP. Akatsuki takes out Demikas’ healers in a sneak attack and narrates about their coordination and teamwork that allows them to pull off such techniques. Something she could not do. Demikas is not repentant and wants to kill them so Serara deals the last blow that sends him back to the cathedral. But Demikas is still seething in anger even in death and will remember Shiroe. They summon griffons and make their quick escape into the sky.

Episode 5
While camping out in the woods, Shiroe and co are surprised Nyanta can cook meals that taste so awesome!!! Real meat! To get such real taste, stop ordering from the menu and make them from the natural ingredients. Another point is that Nyanta’s sub-class is a chef so he is able to cook unlike the rest whose meal becomes charcoal when they attempt the same. As they properly introduce themselves, Akatsuki gets to know Shiroe, Nyanta and Naotsugu are from Debauchery Tea Party, the reason why they can work together so well and possess high level techniques. But she cannot believe Naotsugu is part of the legendary team. When Shiroe ponders about Serara’s age, it reminded him about the twins, Touya and Minori. As they were beginners in this game, he taught them using the Teacher System. He saw them briefly during the Apocalypse and guesses they might have joined a guild. The gang take shelter in a nearby farm since a storm is building up. They interact with the NPCs whom Shiroe feels they are more human than them because despite being unimportant characters, they have their own little back story and emotions. Adventurers and players like them with super strengths and power make them seem more inhuman. Meanwhile Touya and Minori are probably regretting joining some guild seemingly mistreating the new players. They can only blame themselves for being weak. When they are about to depart for a mission, Touya hears Shiroe’s voice (he and his gang just reunited Serara with her guild members). He wanted to go to him but I guess he had to follow his boss’ orders.

Episode 6
A welcome home Serara party is thrown. Food tastes good thanks to Nyanta and it seems Shiroe has given Henrietta permission to hog Akatsuki!!! Sold out! Shiroe talks to Marielle about the current situation. Guilds are falling into their ranks now based on their size. Big powerful guilds are cutting off smaller ones and monopolizing hunting grounds although cases of PKs have diminished. She mentions about the meeting with smaller guilds a few days ago to form a joint council but it ended in shambles as everyone argued about their own petty goals and selfishness. Also with Novasphere’s expansion, the level cap is now raised from 90 to 100 and big guilds like Black Sword Knights and Silver Sword are aiming for 91. There is also the case of players using EXP pots, which is basically like cheating since it gives players increase in stats. Players below level 30 are given this so as to attract more newbies to the game. But a guild called Hamelin is gathering new players claiming to help them. However they are selling their EXP pots to guilds who want to raise their stats. Speaking of which, Touya and Minori are in this guild. Shiroe observes the current situation at Akihabara and his disdain and thus dilemma for joining guilds. Nyanta offers his words of wisdom. He then calls Minori and knows about the twins’ situation. Minori forces herself to hold back her tears. She is happy to hear his voice but yet couldn’t bear anymore of the suffering. Shiroe has a meeting with Marielle and Henrietta to request for their help. It’s time to repay the favour. He wants them to help save a pair of twins in Hamelin. He is also serious in wanting to clean up Akihabara. He is saddened that everyone is living in a pathetic state here. Being in Akihabara feels unpleasant and thinks everyone is underestimating this world too much. For a start, he needs 5 million gold. Holy cow! Crescent Moon doesn’t even have that much. He mentions the money isn’t important. It is everyone’s hope and goodwill. He believes lots of people loves this town than hate it and the more people like that they know, the higher chance they can win. Marielle is happy and breaks into tears when she learns Shiroe has finally formed his own guild. He calls it Log Horizon.

Episode 7
Marielle is dying since she has stacks of paper to approve. I don’t even know why a small guild like them has so much paperwork. Shiroe knows Henrietta has a master’s degree in business admin in the real world. Because this world has no rule of its own, they can make their own as they have no time to think over where they can get their money. So Crescent Moon opens a burger stall in Akihabara with the real burger taste as their selling point. Since it’s a bit pricey, the other players are sceptical. Till they take a bite… FREAKING AWESOME!!!! They want more!!! And so word spreads about this real tasty burger. They’re raking in the gold. Can they keep up with the orders? With Naotsugu and fellow Crescent Moon members, Shouryuu and Hien nonstop hunting for meat in the forest while Nyanta and other chefs cook the delicious burgers. Although they make a killing and their burger is a sell-out, they cannot reach their 5 million gold in time since they can serve at most 1,000 customers per day. They’ll take 4 months to achieve that and Akihabara alone itself has 15,000 registered players. In exchange for Henrietta’s hard work, Akatsuki once again is ‘sold out’. No escape! Shiroe and Nyanta call out to meet a friend, Soujirou. He has his own small guild, Caravan of the West Wind Brigade. Soujirou is puzzled Shiroe called him out since he thought he didn’t like because when he was invited to join his guild, he declined. Of course it was Shiroe then who had a thing against guilds. But after the Apocalypse, he realizes he needs to make a place on his own. Soujirou agrees to help him out since he believes in him. I’m sure being an extra manpower at the burger stall to attract female players isn’t just the plan. He knows there is far more to it. With things going well, Shiroe initiates the second phase of the plan.

Episode 8
Marielle and Henrietta are in a meeting with a fellow friend, Karashin from Shopping District 8. They are to negotiate for ingredients and of course it isn’t going to be just a simple one. With Shiroe as the mastermind, Crescent Moon Alliance is going to get the best deal and achieve their goal. Because they have invited a couple of other guilds to join, they make it sound as though Karashin cannot miss out on the deal now so in his desperate move to seal it and stay on, he accepts their terms in their favour. Soon, the leaders of the other guilds arrive. Michitaka from Marine Agency and Roderic from Roderic Merchant Guild. Knowing that they want profits, as long as they can make them bear that in mind, negotiations will go their way. It gives them the advantage to reveal or withhold information but they can’t lie. Henrietta explains they are about to embark on a huge quest that they couldn’t do on their own and need the help of others. The quest also requires 5 million gold. At first they are sceptical as no quests cost this much but with the Novasphere expansion, it could mean the reward must be mega huge. Hearing that Shiroe is behind this quest attracts their attention. In return, Crescent Moon Alliance will give the full details of the operation as well recipes and copies of all the cook books they are using. As they have collected 500,000 gold, another 4.5 million is needed and so each guild can contribute 1.5 million each. The guys agree to the deal and even try to get the edge over the rest by suggesting they can be the sole sponsor. I guess the negotiation is a success. Meanwhile Minori narrates how she came to this world. She was shocked although Touya was getting used to it. They were a victim of PKs and lost everything. They were desperate and sought help to whoever offered them. That’s how they ended up in Hamelin. Minori feels she has no right to seek Shiroe’s help as she is weak and powerless unlike Shiroe who earned his keep. Touya also tells Minori he did see Shiroe once but didn’t go ask for his help. He had those same thoughts. Many of the big guild masters receive and invitation from Crescent Moon Alliance for a round table talk in Akihabara. Shiroe contacts Minori and tells her tomorrow he will be saving them.

Episode 9
Notable guilds of Akihabara are invited to the round table conference. Combat guilds like DDD, Black Sword Knights, Honesty, West Wind Brigade and Silver Sword along with crafting guilds consisting of Marine Agency, Roderic Merchant Guild, Shopping District 8, Grandeur and Radio Market. Not forgetting Crescent Moon Alliance and Log Horizon. Shiroe chairs the conference and explains his goal to improve the situation in Akihabara. William Massachusetts of Silver Sword decides to bail on this conference since he is a combat guild and doesn’t care about the state of the city. Meanwhile, Akatsuki, Naotsugu, Shouryuu and Hien are absent as they are waiting in position before the plan to let the kids in Hamelin escape begins. All they need to do is run straight into the door of Guild Building when the cost is clear. Shiroe begins his case about certain guilds locking up others due to the EXP pots and his journey to Susukino that he saw a guild taking control over players and NPCs that the place is in total chaos. Therefore they need laws to bind them. But what if there are those who oppose this? What if a big guild with sizeable members isn’t willing to follow this law? Shiroe shows his trump card that he has purchased Guild Building. He is its rightful owner and can ban or allow players to enter or leave. Because banks are also located in Guild Building and with the transporter to other cities disabled, this means their only access to money is in Guild Building. It’s like blackmail, no? They wonder how he got the money to purchase this building. Those 3 guilds admit. They seem disappointed that the recipe was this simple but were told how is it not worth 5 million gold? Also, the money wasn’t for a quest but to form this round table conference. Hey, it was their own assumption that they thought it was a quest, right? Meanwhile the locked kids of Hamelin begin their escape. Touya and Minori have a little obstacle before they made it through the door. But Hamelin’s leader, Schreider somehow goes through and attacks them. Akatsuki saves them and puts him on the blacklist and out he goes. Shiroe mentions his 2 goals. First, to restore life to this town and the world in the long term. Second, to create laws that bind people. Isaac from Black Sword Knights still isn’t thrilled so he wants Shiroe to tell them specifically what Log Horizon has in mind.

Episode 10
In addition to bringing back life to Akihabara, Marielle reveals how to make food with taste. With this discovery, it leads to the idea of inventing stuffs. The crafting guilds have created a prototype steam engine. Now that there is a rush to invent things, this will lead to people purchasing and run the economy. Also, people will have something to do like going hunting to earn money so they’ll buy weapons and hire bodyguards. Shiroe mentions the need of safety too. The laws and human rights they make need not be strict but they need to lay down some rules like banning if some goes overboard like imprisonment (since death is no longer absolute). He also wants the laws to apply to NPCs in this game termed as People of the Land. Because they are the indigenous people while players are the outsiders, if they can’t govern themselves, their relationship with them will erode. They also bring up the topic of going to war with the People of the Land. The round table conference ends with everyone agreeing to participate in this plan. Hamelin has been shut down and since the members are barred from entering Guild Building, they left town. All the imprisoned children are now under the care of Crescent Moon Alliance. With news of their cooking and invention spreading, it has also attracted People of the Land to flock here. But some have noticed a certain number of them have begun to move. Today is where Log Horizon moves into their own building. Crescent Moon Alliance also moves into a bigger hall to accommodate more members. Other guilds pay them a visit, some with moving in gifts. Michitaka relates a problem of pricing in this world because the process from the real world is different. Lastly, Touya and Minori want to join Log Horizon because they want to learn more from Shiroe. There is no reason not to accept them, right? Welcome aboard. Meanwhile the League of Freedom Towns Eastal, a kingdom called Maihama consisting of People of the Land report to their lord Sergiatte Corwen of the developments in Akihabara.

Episode 11
Touya and Minori are training under the eyes of Naotsugu and Akatsuki. Marielle throws a tantrum that she wants to go to the beach to experience summer. She worked her ass off, you know… And so under the guise of a summer training camp for new players under level 40 sponsored by the Round Table League, Marielle gets her beach holiday. At the same time, a messenger of Sergiatte requests an audience with the Round Table’s leader. Shiroe expected them to make a move. The plus of having this audience is that they will get more valuable information about the People of the Land. On the downside, they may get caught up into their politics. If they don’t participate, they lose that valuable chance to know more. Will this eventually lead to war? Shiroe doesn’t think so as those people were made to be far weaker than the adventurers. Because the audience falls on the same time with the training camp, Shiroe can’t attend the latter as he is needed for his skill in bureaucracy and information analysis. Tagging along are Akatsuki, Henrietta (because for a certain loli ninja), Michitaka and DDD’s Crusty. They arrive at the Palace of Eternal Ice, a kingdom built on magical ice by an extinct ancient race. During the ball, Sergiatte greets them and Crusty seems to have that air of nobility with him to talk with the lord like normal. Shiroe notices that the other People of the Land are not talking to them and maintaining their distance. Not because out of respect for their lord but rather they lack information on them too so they are being wary. As they want information on them too, they have to be careful in their conversation not to give away too much. Sergiatte introduces them to his granddaughter, Lenessia. Meanwhile the training camp goes on fine and Naotsugu announces the newbies to train in a dungeon. However it will be just them all by themselves.

Episode 12
When Sergiatte suggests them to dance, Shiroe is made the scapegoat to do so since Crusty views himself as the Round Table’s representative and wants to speak with the lord more. Shiroe isn’t alone, though. Henrietta guides and dances with him since her other class is a bard. Later, Minori contacts Shiroe as she is worried about tomorrow’s dungeon training. He assures her as long as she remembers the basics in the notes he left her, she’ll be alright. Shiroe and co discuss about if they have brought any additional cooks because the conference will last for 10 days and the terrace of this size, they’re expecting lots of guests. There are 25 nobles in Eastal, this puts their population strength on par with Akihabara. Shiroe has an idea what the nobles seek. To learn the scope of Akihabara and Round Table’s ambitions and try to win them on their side (some are worried the adventurers are trying to rule their city and want to get them on their side for fear of being left behind). In short, they need their power but won’t act like their inferiors. Most likely Crusty will be bestowed a noble title. There is a possibility that nobles will try to talk to individuals or guilds for offers. Since it’s impossible to monitor everyone, they need to establish some rules and understand how they think. This is where Akatsuki comes in as Shiroe sends her on a recon mission. Meanwhile the trainees begin their dungeon adventure. They form into groups. Touya and Minori’s group includes Serara, Isuzu the bard and some arrogant and talkative sorcerer, Rundel Haus Code or simply Rudy. He thinks he is so awesome. But the boys click because they view fighting up front is the best instead of the girls’ idea of having a strategy meeting. Even in the darkness, Rudy thinks others are trying to outdo him by providing a brighter light. WTF. With normal skeleton guards appearing, they make their move. Rudy gets cocky with their victory. But there are more skeletons waiting to ambush. Touya cannot handle them all and they’re targeting Rudy. Since Minori’s defensive spell is taking too long to activate, the only strategy left is to… RUN!!! Pathetic! Meanwhile Crusty declines an offer to drink with a noble to go meet Lenessia.

Episode 13
Due to many invitations by the nobles, the guys split up and decide which ones to attend. Lenessia thinks about the meeting with Crusty. It was just an excuse to get away from that pesky noble. Not only he can tell what she is thinking, it is like his words contain sarcasm aimed at her. Lenessia is so used to the praises from others that she sometimes feels that half of them are because of her position. She witnesses Crusty and the other guards in a goodwill fight. He suggests that the strongest knight be given a reward and that is for Lenessia to accompany them to tonight’s banquet. Who approved this anyway? She has no say and all the guards are motivated. But needless to say, Crusty ends up tops. Naturally. All according as planned. Later she talks to him about freedom. Despite adventurers are free, being that takes resolve. Meanwhile Touya and co are still having it tough in the dungeon. For the umpteenth time they still can’t beat those skeletons. Is it because they lack the power? Michitaka and a noble are talking about food production in the land in which is booming. However the big problem is that transportation on land over long distances tends to be attacked by monster. His request is not for him to defeat the monsters but to use his new transportation technology over sea. Lenessia accompanies Crusty at the ball. She is forced to put a fake smile which makes her look odd. A couple of her friends join them. They also watched Crusty in the sword fight earlier on and are very impressed. Lenessia couldn’t understand why he is so polite and elegant to them instead of her. She knows that underneath all the sugary and polite words contain sarcasm somewhat aimed at her. Once they leave, Crusty reveals he has a little sister in the real world. Lenessia’s actions are very similar to her, that’s why he knows what she is thinking. And thus being with her eases his tired heart and he hopes he can sincerely repay her kindness at the conference. Shiroe catches Akatsuki dancing alone outside! From her recon report, it seems the People of the Land see them as enemies mainly because of their power but mean no direct harm. She also heard them not knowing where the Izumo Knights are. Suddenly Regan of Miral Lake appears before them and wants to speak to Shiroe.

Episode 14
The duo are taken to Regan’s huge library base. He is actually a magic scientist instead of a mage and his research specializes in magic. He explains the different types of magic based on their scale of effect and the ultimate world class magic that can alter the laws and fates of the world. This magic called World Fraction has been used 3 times and the third being the Apocalypse. Shiroe wants to hear the entire story for the first 2. It’s going to take a while. Around 350 years ago, several races lived in harmony and the land was more prosper than today. But the race of alves whose forte is magic technology were despised for that. Their numbers are small and reproductive system slim so other races destroyed them and those who survived became slaves. After the alves’ nation was destroyed, 6 bent princesses called Luquenje were born and simultaneously sought revenge. The world plunged into chaos. Although Luquenje was on the verge of defeat, that was when the first World Fraction was used. The result created demi-humans like goblins. None of such creatures existed 300 years before. They were created using the souls of those who died in the war. The battle with demi-humans rages on and that’s when humans created other races like animal people. However demi-humans are able to resurrect (respawning in gaming terms) and this made them undefeatable. That’s when the second World Fraction was used. Around 240 years ago, that is when adventurers came into the picture. Regan mentions Shiroe’s name was mentioned around 98 years ago in the history books.

Shiroe tells us that time in Elder Tale flows differently in the real world. An entire day in this world is equivalent to 2 hours. This means 98 years is around 8 years and a few months, the same time Shiroe started playing this game. 240 years ago translates to 20 years, the same time the first beta game was released. Regan continues talking about Spirit Theory that includes psyche (magic points) and anima (hit points) and some technical theory why people resurrect but lose experience points as penalty. As resurrection magic also works on People of the Land and the similar system of adventurers resurrecting in cathedrals are used by demi-humans, there is a possibility that memories are damaged or lost during death. This is a hypothesis he is currently researching. If all that seems confusing to you just like Akatsuki, Shiroe puts it in simpler terms like how a player behind his computer plays this game using the avatar in this game. So losing life is only restricted to inside the game and not in the real world. But since the Apocalypse, it is possible that both their psyche and anima are united so their memories and experience points of their characters have become one. If they die, they lose their memories. But many have died and revived since although nobody is making a big fuss and it may be of miniscule scale. However there is a possibility that people may forget about the real world. Shiroe doesn’t want anyone else to know about this yet. Meanwhile Touya and co are still frustrated that their training isn’t making any progress. Rudy practises hard by even making a simulation of the dungeon layout. Minori finally sums up her courage to tell her teammates something or else nothing will change if she stays quiet.

Episode 15
Because she knows nothing about everyone, she needs everyone to explain about their weapons, spells, their functions, effectiveness, etc. So once everybody starts talking and comparing, they realize the reason why they lost against such low creatures. They make plans to take advantage of their skills and spells so they can work together in combat more effectively. They put their plan into good use till they clear the dungeon. Victory at last. Meanwhile Shiroe is making high level documents when he gets a call from Minori who reports and explains everything. Shiroe is happy that her team is doing well. Isuzu is talking to the girls and they can’t help wonder that Rudy is handsome but don’t feel the attraction. Then when she talks to him, she sees the similarities of a golden retriever dog. That’s why. She wants to add him to her friend list but this action cannot be proceeded. Meanwhile, a huge army of demi-human fish are invading land and attacking the trainees.

Episode 16
Nyanta scouts ahead on a griffon. There is a huge army of goblin army marching here over the mountains. They easily numbered at 10,000. They inform this to Shiroe and in turn via some telepathic network he communicates with everyone from the Round Table. It isn’t only demi-human fish and goblins but other demi-humans like hobgoblins and ogres too. Shiroe believes this to be the Goblin King’s return event. In the game and twice a year, the strongest goblin is crowned king. Players are given a week to take it out before its coronation. If they do so, they are rewarded rare items. Thus a popular event among gamers. Failure to do so means the goblins will multiply in numbers and all its clan will unify under the new king. Since the Apocalypse, everyone was busy trying to live and raising their levels and forgot all about this. There are also heroes born from the People of the Land who are more powerful than adventurers. They are the Izumo Knights but nobody knows where they are now. Anyway, a big war is inevitable and some will die. This has Shiroe tell Crusty and co about the risk of losing one’s memories if one dies. Shocked at this revelation, they want to know which memories and how much. He doesn’t know. Crusty believes him because he has died a few times and there are some memories of his world he cannot recall. Of course he can’t remember those forgotten memories, duh. However he doesn’t think it is something to fret over because failing to act for fear of the risks is akin to a living death. Lenessia’s father sees her and informs of the advancing goblin army to Maihama. He will return there but wants her to stay here with grandpa to help him out since all the lords will be gathering here. Nyanta’s group spot lights from torches over the mountain. But it is not the big goblin army and rather a medium sized raiding one. They think they are going to raid the nearby town of Choushi for its food. Rudy wants to go attack since it is better than sitting around doing nothing but Isuzu disagrees since it is dangerous. There are also reasons not to help the People of the Land. Minori gets permission to go ahead an act as an advance team. Of course this is just a ploy to just go there. She doesn’t have any other plan. Upon arrival, the town is destroyed. Touya gets upset when he sees a couple of goblins and attacks them. This makes him determined that there is no reason why they should not help. If you want to help, isn’t it enough? But can they do it without the numbers? Minori has a plan. They are not going to protect the people. Instead, they attack the goblins first.

Episode 17
Minori’s group begin their sporadic attacks on the goblins, luring a small group out and them finishing them off. Rinse and repeat. Meanwhile the lords are in a conference among themselves and discussing about the goblins’ invasion and the next city that will probably fall. If they don’t want to rely on the adventurers, their only way is for all the lords to unite and attack. They take a break and a couple of them discuss that everyone wants to make Lord Kilivia’s city of Tsukuba as bait for the goblins to attack due to its strong defence. Once the goblin tires out, they can attack and finish them off. Although, the city would lose some lives and rural lands. Asking the adventurers would be a better choice since they are immortal but they don’t want to be in their debt. So to avoid showing their vulnerability, they need to get more information out of them even if it means lying. Lenessia heard all this including the plot not to tell them Izumo Knights are missing. As Shiroe and co are called in for the conference with the lords, they can see that the lords are doing what they can to withhold information on their side while trying to get them spill out their opinion. If that is how they want to play, then there isn’t going to be any holding back. Michitaka’s role is to play the aggressor in turning their request down. He doesn’t think it is the adventurer’s obligation to save them or do what they want since they are not people of their cities. The heated discussion carries on, to a point where Kilivia is seemingly blamed that he is acting for his own benefit to seek for adventurers’ help instead of a collective agreement by the lords. Lenessia then walks into the conference. She wants Crusty to accompany her to Akihabara where she hopes to personally plea to each adventurer to come fight as volunteers. She gives everyone a lecture about respect, weakness and freedom (borrowing that line from Crusty). And so Shiroe and co along with Lenessia are on an express griffon flight back to Akihabara. Shiroe is impressed with her. She was nervous during it all but managed to keep her composure. He never thought she could do it. When she told them about respect, she seemed to perfectly understand it. Something that everyone was about to ignore, including them. She may have saved the land from the dead end that their forefathers have founded.

Episode 18
At Akihabara, Crusty needs to attend to his guild so he leaves Lenessia with Shiroe and Akatsuki. They head to Karashin’s guild where she tries out the hamburger for the first time but accidentally drops it on her dress. Probably this is all part of Shiroe’s plan to make her change into some armour. Then they gather all the adventurers as Shiroe makes his opening statement and the goblin threat. He also states they do not have any obligation to save Eastal and will gain nothing. If they are selfish, there is no need to save it. But he has them hear out Lenessia. Introducing herself to the crowd, she quickly moves on and apologizes that her people still have not taken any action and she feels ashamed they were even talking to force them to protect their cities. She is also sorry for herself that she is here to seek their help to protect her land despite they won’t have enough to pay them for what it is worth. But as the princess of this land, it is her duty to protect it and she hopes they will protect the freedom with their goodwill as she would. I’m not sure if it is her cuteness and beauty that made the adventurers support her. They could have opened a fan club at this rate. With such roaring approval, Crusty immediately sets course for their first military expedition and will lead the army with Shiroe as the strategist. Shiroe feels speed is important because as long as they don’t know where the goblins will strike next, they will be at a disadvantage. Crusty will lead his army to Narashino Port on Ocypete, a prototype steam engine ship while Shiroe will lead his to some safe park with no nasty monsters. It will make a good operations base. Sergiatte speaks to Michitaka and Henrietta privately. He believes Lenessia’s action may risk splitting the league. Some of the lords are thinking they are working secretly and separately with the Round Table. He wants to exterminate the goblins first as questioning their intentions will not get them anywhere. He has also abandoned the idea of having the Round Table join them and be made nobles because he realized they are of different leagues. It is impossible to make them part of their alliance so he suggests a non-aggression pact and treaty. Of course Michitaka can’t make a decision and would best leave it to Shiroe. In that case, Sergiatte will have to let Lenessia take responsibility for this. Lenessia talks to Crusty. She felt down ever since she went to Akihabara because there were so many things she didn’t know. It was like she was a caged bird. Even she cannot guarantee in protecting the adventurer’s freedom, she still wishes for it and that is her desire. Crusty begins his military strategy and divides his men into groups. His answer for invading goblins: Kill them all!

Episode 19
Crusty’s team begins his offensive against the hordes. Crusty shows why he is the big badass leader as he swings his giant axe that takes out several enemies at one go. He is enjoying slaughtering every one of them. Shiroe discusses the strategy of the battle. Winning is easy but the hard part is when the goblins disperse and they may run in all directions and into towns. That’s why they have to maintain a formation that encircles them. The team at Choushi is also important because they need to keep the demi-human fish at bay or else breaking through would mean their formations will be under attacked. But it is going to be tough since they spotted a thousand of them coming from the sea. Overwhelmed definitely. Touya and co wants to go attack first. Is there a reason to say no? I don’t know why the trainees are the ones doing the job while the instructors are just giving lip service. Especially Naotsugu and Nyanta who are commenting on their growth, especially Minori is fighting so much like Shiroe. Because Shiroe has this strategy of looking ahead 30 seconds into the future so he can predict and control the flow of the battle. Isuzu’s warning system in the forest sounds. The goblins have return. With the other trainees handling the demi-human fish, Minori and co will take on the goblins. Our young ones win easily at first but with a couple of Dire Wolves and hobgoblins coming into the picture, the fight gets much tougher and Minori and Serara cannot heal their comrades fast. Minori recalls Shiroe’s lessons when taking on difficult opponents. However Touya’s HP is dropping drastically and he is cornered. At this rate, he is sure to die. That’s when Rudy comes to wrestle with the wolves and takes serious damage. He rides them to lure them away before doing some self sacrificing move. Of course you would be thinking it would be easy to heal him but all their healing spells aren’t working. Why? As Isuzu reveals, Rudy is a People of the Land. That’s why they cannot add him to their friend list. Hey. Shouldn’t they sense something amiss when they couldn’t heal him? Unless he was never in need of healing. Rudy told Isuzu about this and hoped she would keep it a secret but she feels sad that despite he works extra hard, he cannot become an adventurer as he dreamed since the People of the Land cannot be one. Since all healing spells cannot work, the last resort is to dial 911. Call Shiroe, that is.

Episode 20
Shiroe makes his way there on a griffon while instructing Minori and Serara to take turns using their revival spells on him (something about the anima and psyche link lesson Regan told him). Once he reaches there, he is going to use a new magic spell and has them agree not to tell anybody else. Shiroe begins his mana channelling by taking the magic power of everyone to distribute it to Rudy. He then uses a revival incense to forcibly connect his mind and body to bring Rudy back. It works. When Rudy mentions about death being a natural process in a battle, Shiroe won’t allow him to call himself and adventurer if his resolve is low. He lectures them about the lesson learnt in their training wasn’t strategy or tactics but the resolve to survive and fortitude to do whatever it takes to do so. Because Rudy’s resolve is lacking, he suggests he signs a contract with him. As the leader of Log Horizon, upon immediate effect after signing it, he will make Rudy part of Log Horizon and the status of adventurer. The guild will give him missions fulfilling his position. This contract thingy is a new magic in Elder Tale. Like how Nyanta figured out the secret behind delicious cooking, Shiroe could have possibly found something new in this binding contract made out of the game’s best ingredients. Though, he won’t know what kind of effect it will have. Rudy is glad to sign it. He wants to be an adventurer and as long as he can save people, he couldn’t care less about the glory. As part of the process, he is to die once and revive at the cathedral. Meanwhile Crusty and his team finally crush the Goblin General and he looks like a mad serial killer doing it. The team at Choushi are also successful in defending the town. Minori asks Shiroe why he brought up the terms of adventurer and resolve to Rudy. When Elder Tale was a game, it was just a word they used for players. Now he views it as a name for his companions who travel the world with him and find a dawn no one has ever seen. Rudy wakes up in the cathedral, delighted with his adventurer status. Isuzu is the first to greet him but beats him for doing something so reckless. He is forced into submission to apologize for making everyone worry, promise never to do it again and will do whatever she wants.

Episode 21
Everyone is celebrating victory despite the goblins aren’t wiped out yet although they are being cornered and the Goblin King is still in its headquarters. This is all part of Shiroe’s plan because it is more important to build relationships with People of the Land first. The Round Table and Eastal signed basic trade and peace treaties so there are many quest requests to go fight the goblins. Shiroe hears a storyteller telling the children about how a People of the Land became an adventurer thanks to a magic. He is surprised because that sounds exactly like what he did with Rudy. Meeting Regan, he too noticed his new power when he saw its light in the sky and considers it as a world class magic. He also notes he saw another world magic in the opposite sky direction. Someone else has created a new form of magic. It could be from Minami. Shiroe narrates the 5 main cities of Akihabara, Shibuya, Susukino, Minami and Nakasu have changed since the Apocalypse. Many of Shibuya’s joined Akihabara. Susukino did not change much and are still ruling with oppression. Long ago, the land was once united as a whole. Unified Westelande Empire was swallowed up in a history of battles with demi-humans and Luquenje and died out. The Cowen family is distantly related to the Holy Empire Westelande Where Minami is located. An event similar to the Goblin King’s return called Demon Festival of Suzaku has occurring at Minami. The nobles there haven’t noticed yet and the Izumo Knights may have been involved again.

As Lenessia dances with Crusty, she remembers what grandpa told her. It wasn’t the people of Eastal who requested for help but Lenessia herself. Although they express their deepest gratitude, they have no obligation to do more. Simply put it, no reward money or compensation. Remember what Lenessia said about taking responsibility? Yup, she will have to undertake this one. They will be setting up an embassy in Akihabara and Lenessia will be their ambassador. Serara is torn between Crescent Moon Alliance and Log Horizon (because beloved Nyanta is here) so the cat guy dances with her to sooth her mind. Minori hears several people badmouthing Shiroe as they think he takes advantage of other people’s weaknesses. Because Shiroe isn’t joining the party, Akatsuki feels down. So much so not even Henrietta’s harassing doesn’t bother her. Maybe she really wanted to dance with him. Though, she gives excuse she feels she wasn’t much of a use in the last battle. Shiroe of course denies that. Since everybody else is dancing, he also dances with her. She’s been practising, right? Isn’t that what she wanted? Two amateurs dancing… Few days later, Lenessia arrives at Akihabara and Shiroe lets everyone now about the lost memories rumour. Naturally many are scared but many made no big deal out of it. Life goes on. Minori hears even more people talking behind Shiroe’s back that the people in the Round Table probably knew about this memory loss thingy all along. Soon, autumn is coming and Marielle wants to throw a festival. Don’t worry, she’s already got it all planned out. Scale Festival, she calls it?

Episode 22
Things are quite lively since the festival is just tomorrow. Henrietta goes to see Shiroe holing himself in his room doing paper work. She advises him to take a break because the festival is a good time to get closer to his guild mates. Akatsuki pops up to hand him a red bun. Is that all she is here for? She is stammering and nervous to ask him something. She’s taking too long so much so Minori beat her in asking Shiroe to join her in a cake buffet. If they go as a couple, it’s free. Although Akatsuki also gets to go, she is now cracking her brains on what to wear. Even more stressed out that her rival is a middle school girl. Have you ever seen Akatsuki act like this before? I know asking Henrietta for fashion is out of the question but seeking Karashin and Michitaka? Eventually she gets a kimono and the trio didn’t expect that they have to eat 12 whole cakes for it to be free! But Shiroe is the one who is going to suffer. Not only there is a competition by the girls to feed him, the other people are staring with jealous eyes at this lucky bastard. He couldn’t make a strategic exit and void making a fuss! In the end, he is so bloated and fat and they couldn’t finish the cake. That night, Akatsuki talks to Shiroe alone. Akatsuki hints that she went with him not because for the cake. His great mind couldn’t understand what that means. I don’t know why she starts rubbing his forehead. Master-servant role play? Minori sees this and runs away in tears. Her heart is in pain. She realizes they are both in love with Shiroe. Hey, wait a minute! Since when did this show turn into a love romance? Touya finds her and she admits she likes Shiroe. He knows about it because he is her twin and the way she acts is quite obvious. He understands why she likes him because he too admires Shiroe. Minori gets the wrong idea that he likes him too! Touya says there isn’t a problem. She is just hurt since she hasn’t lost or done anything.

Episode 23
The festival continues into the next day. Akatsuki seems trying to hint to Shiroe to notice her hair accessory. He couldn’t even see it if it was right in front of his face. All he sees is his paperwork. Disappointed? So much so she didn’t even flinch when he told her Henrietta needed her help. Yeah. Better to go see what she’s up to rather than trying with this dense guy. Minori goes to help Karashin and organize all his bills and invoices. He thought her sub-class is scribe but it is apprentice. Minori talked to Shiroe that she wanted to change her sub-class but was unsure of what to pick. He suggested that and if she becomes someone’s student, she can copy that person’s skills. And so Minori chose Shiroe to be her teacher as she wants to be useful to him and help his reputation. Some of the other stuffs happening in this episode include Naotsugu going on an eating spree in which he calls ‘food inspection’ just to stamp cards for a prize (switched by Akatsuki anyway), more time together between Lenessia and Crusty, Nyanta stopping some noble from causing a ruckus in a bar (his cool factor in Serara’s eyes must have shot up) and Crusty and Isaac talk about the irony of Shiroe who brought business to Akihabara and enough influence on the place. They wonder if he is really a strategist or a gambler. Crusty thinks he is like a cursed sword. At a bazaar, Shiroe helps quells a People of the Land when he demands to buy everything instead of sticking to the rule of limited purchase per customer. He finds it odd that he gives up easily after all that arguing. He also notices many others are in some sort of argument. There is something wrong but he can’t identify the cause. When Minori contacts him and reports many basic maths errors and overlapping paperwork mainly by the People of the Land, it is then Shiroe realizes somebody is attacking Akihabara. He laments he let his guard down and didn’t notice the signs. Now they have the advantage. He has Akatsuki find Isaac to get a report on their security. He rushes to his office while some clown guy, Lord Marves will be reaching here soon.

Episode 24
Shiroe deduces the method of disturbances in Akihabara is to destroy the Round Table’s reputation. Isaac contacts him that Marves has arrived. He is some big shot Westelandeian merchant nobleman. It could be a problem because in the game, there were no quests about removing someone from power. Given that many People of the Land are involved, someone higher up must be pulling the strings. Destroying the Round Table would also mean taking advantage of the confusion and interfere with the Eastal-Round Table treaty so that Eastal will not monopolize the benefits. Shiroe doesn’t want the festival to be cancelled as it would show their weak problem solving skill. If they’re expecting a counter attack, they’ll give them one. The challenge now is to get help from as much people as possible but without them noticing. Minori continues with her paperwork and puts forth what she learns from Shiroe and even gives good advice to cool the stressed workers. Shiroe continues to think of the link between the random disturbances. From road blocks to unfounded rumours to even quarrels. The more he thinks, the less he can visualize the enemy. Are they making things up randomly as they go? He is so frustrated! Have you ever seen him like this?

While he is sitting outside, Soujirou comes to talk to him about the cake buffet he had. Because he is popular with girls, the fan girls join him in and the cake owner send out more cakes. However all the cakes were finished and there were none left. So he brought more people till they ran out of cake? This gives Shiroe an idea. This could be the best counter attack plan. He thanks Soujirou and the fan girls squeal with this possible yaoi pairing… And then his evil aura starts to show… Lenessia is holding a banquet as thanks for the adventurers. Marves and his bodyguards enter the place. He becomes rude to adventurers who approaches him and even has his way with Lenessia. They cannot fight back or this would mean war. Marves mentions about the fresh seafood he brought and needs a warehouse to maintain its freshness. He has sent proper documents and an identical message to Sergiatte but has yet to receive a reply. Shiroe’s strategy is that Soujirou’s fan girls take turn patrolling (under the guise of a group date) around Akihabara and this helps quells the problem before they start. You lose your drive to fight if you’re surrounded by such cute girls, no? Shiroe learns that Marves is here and suspects if he is the one behind this, he’ll be after the other party he’s negotiating with: Lenessia. If the goal is to tear Akihabara people apart, they just have to make this festival more fun. Lenessia’s maid confirms there were such authentic documents from Marves and could have missed them during the mess up. This has Marves think of their inefficiency since he requested it for so long. Lenessia can only stay quiet. She doesn’t know what to do. Apologize and settle this peacefully? Shiroe walks in and is here to get her.

Episode 25
Crusty and Michitaka are also here. Shiroe seems to deliberately paint Lenessia at fault. Crusty then shows Malves’ letter. The lord is surprised like as though he never wrote it. But it’s his signature. He changes the subject that his seafood needs warehouses to store and was told all the warehouses of Round Table are full. Well, the Round Table’s, that is. Michitaka offers he can store them in his Marine Agency. Malves looks panicking. Like as though he may not have the goods. Like as though he is lying. He then leaves and claims he feels unwell. After that, Lenessia follows them to attend the outdoor fashion show. There is also a meet-and-greet session with her. Shiroe thinks Malves might be the mastermind since all attacks have ceased. Minori still hears people badmouthing Shiroe for being the bad guy against Lenessia unlike Crusty who was the hero. She talks to him and he confirms he did it deliberately. Because in Lenessia’s book, Crusty is the hero and he is the villain. Minori wonders if doing this hurts him. He never thought about it and was afraid this might affect Log Horizon’s reputation. He thanks her for helping him out too. He was once afraid of making a guild. Being strong on your own is meaningless unless you use that power for others. If there is something he can do, he’ll work his best to not cause them problems. It is Akatsuki’s turn to eavesdrop. She heard their conversation. She felt stupid and guilty. She was always by his side and yet she never knew.

Later Shiroe sees a People of the Land named Dariella who will tell him about Minami. However he knows she is Nureha, the guild master of Plant Hwyaden and leader of the west using a never-seen-before spell that controls information. Shiroe has done his research well. He knows Plant Hwyaden is the guild that overseas Minami and has won over its People of the Land and even making their guards as their servants since the Apocalypse. They gathered enough wealth to buy the cathedral, gain authority on adventurers and made very one of them join their guild (although this stems out discrimination as there is only one guild). Nureha wants Shiroe to join her and be by her side. She admits the cutting off of information was done by one of her subordinates and the attack on Akihabara was Malves’ idea that got out of hand. She praises him for dealing with it well. He wants to know the truth so just for him she begins explaining she was a plain Jane that nobody notices. Till she played Elder Tale. However it is the same. Nobody noticed her till that very person told her she had talent. That’s you, Shiroe. She thinks Shiroe is on the verge of finding Fraction, a way to go home. He dismisses it because all it is confirmed is that they disappear. She tempts him to join her and he might be able to confirm it. She will give him more information than he can find in Akihabara. She thinks he has no reason for doing all this to help Akihabara and can use her as an excuse to do whatever he wants. Whatever he desires she will give it to him. Because she wants him. However he slaps her. I take that as a rejection. Thinking about his fellow Log Horizon members, he says he now has a reason. Accepting her would mean turning everything into a lie and ruining everything they worked hard for. He doesn’t remember her but if he did tell her she had talent, he can’t use her as an excuse. He can be her enemy more than a friend whenever she decides to find a reason. Nureha now wants him even more and will definitely get him someday. At the end of the festival, Shiroe joins his Log Horizon members. Nyanta knows he wants to say something. Everyone throws their support behind him. It seems Shiroe has intentions to rebuild other towns. They also need to raise their levels and train hard. But he has something bigger in mind. Something bigger than them returning to their world. Shiroe sees Regan and tells his plan to leave Akihabara. Regan wants to accompany him.

The Glasses That Rock The Cradle Rules The World
Big alert! Big alert! Big news! Big news! What could be so urgent? Well, I guess they saw it coming because right at the end of the final episode, Akatsuki makes that ‘shocking’ announcement that there is going to be a sequel. How could it not? Because with so many potential development (especially Nureha who could well be the next big antagonist for the next season) and foreshadowing of things to come, it would be a shame just to end it like that and leave it forgotten. Well, there is always the novel to read but that is a different matter. So I guess the adventure doesn’t end here. At least not for this anime.

I won’t say that this is the best adventure themed anime there is nor would I even dare compare this to Sword Art Online in so many ways, I would say that Log Horizon does well to stand on its own for a fantasy adventure anime. It might not be perfect as there are still many things unresolved (Izumo Knights’ disappearance, anyone?). This is expected because just like the players who were suddenly trusted into this Elder Tale world, they too are in the dark of the new workings although there are many things and the basics essentially still remain the same and familiar to those who have played it well enough. Basically the flow of the storyline is paced well enough for casual viewers like me to at least grasp what is happening overall even if I wasn’t that keen in going too deep into the workings or even the game terminologies like the types of magic and spells cast.

Because I am not an aficionado in RPG games, the battle strategies might seem generic and simple but I feel that there are more to it. Shiroe tries his best to explain to us the several terminologies and even some of the spells casted to unique fighting skills of certain classes. I am not sure if it is very comprehensive but it should be enough for casual viewers to quickly absorb them. Of course for me I wasn’t really paying attention and I couldn’t be bothered remembering some of the terms despite they are not very hard to pronounce or the kind that would twist and tie your tongue. I know. The immense worlds of fantasy RPGs can be scary especially the time you devote playing the game and learning all the rules, tactics and terms. If this series was a game instead of its original novel, I’m sure it would do great because it doesn’t feel that they pull out all those terms from thin air and there are some logic and significance to it.

Which brings me to this case that this Elder Tale might not be actually a game but a different world by itself. Although we have been told that players were stuck in the game, never once we have glimpsed the real world where they have come from. Therefore it is only logic that for whatever reasons that made them came to this world, it feels like a different world altogether because the NPCs have a life of their own unlike in games we just find them as interactive mindless drones and the experience of your senses is just so real instead of putting on some NerveGear and warp yourself into a virtual world. The coincidences with several important events that link both worlds are cleverly woven (from the beta testing to resurrection) and I thought it was quite an ingenious idea. It might be a game we are playing on our computer but it might just the very real thing as far as the other world is concerned. Therefore I would come to conclude that they aren’t actually stuck in a virtual game but got transported to a different world. This makes more sense. Of course having the setting of being stuck in a game makes more sense than suddenly a cloud of mysterious dust befall on people all over the world and transport those with over ten thousand gaming hours to this alternate fantasy world.

On to the characters, each of the main and supporting characters is unique in their own sense and has their own personality. They are fun and memorable in their own way. A downside with having so many characters thanks to the countless number of guilds of all sizes as well as their members, it is hard to give everyone their due screen time. Especially some of those crafting and combat guilds from the Round Table. Well, it’s a Round Table so everyone should be equal, right? Heck, if it was, they would have called this anime series that. What was this anime’s name again? Yup. So you get most of your character focus on our Log Horizon members especially our Villain In Glasses. He is a brilliant tactician to sum it in one word. Composed and calm, he thinks and plans ahead so much so you might think that he is writing out the outcome of the scene and that he is the screenplay, editor and director himself. That is why he is so well respected by those who know him. A great leader and also a great motivator as well because everyone looks up to him and listens. But Shiroe too isn’t perfect. Like his initial rejection to form guilds till he finally realizes that you just don’t form one just for fun. Like with the rest of his guild members, he grows and learns with them. So it’s a big win for everybody. You can thank him that his grand vision to turn Akihabara into a lively city is now bearing fruit. Otherwise, it would be a dead town with ‘living zombies’ wandering with no aim. He makes this place the place that you want to be.

Other Log Horizon members are okay too although I somewhat find that Minori gets more screen time compared to the rest since they focus on her trying to be a good student of Shiroe and learning in his footsteps. At least from where I can see, she has grown into someone who was once powerless and weak into a girl who can independently guide her fellow comrades in battle and come up with the best strategies. She could be the future Shiroe. All she needs are glasses! Hah! Speaking of which, I think the series is trying to paint that those wearing glasses are superior, scheming and sly people. Aside Shiroe, Henrietta and Crusty are the only people who don glasses. It might be more than just coincidence that they command quite the power and influence. Hmm… I wonder if they have glasses as some sort of a rare super item. Glasses FTW! By the way, I do not have glasses fetish, mind you.

I feel Akatsuki’s impact on the overall series starts declining ever since the Eastal arc came about. It was just funny to see the running joke of her beating up Naotsugu before he could complete his perverted sentence and then asking Shiroe for permission to get physical. I suppose at the start of the series, there weren’t many people in the guild. Heck, it wasn’t formed yet. So in that sense Akatsuki gets to ‘hog’ Shiroe for a considerable amount of time before Touya and Minori joined and the guild expanded to Rudy and Isuzu. After that, Akatsuki seems to be casting a gloomy look for most of the time, as if worrying if her master still finds her worthy or not. Nyanta as the p0lite and wise mentor doesn’t really do much either. Most probably it is to let Shiroe decide since he is the leader.

Marielle and Henrietta I suppose are the only members in Crescent Moon Alliance that made their presence felt. At least to me. Others felt like they were just cameos or something but essentially it boils down to the big duo of this guild. If Shiroe is the main star in the strategy department, then Crusty is the main star for the PR and noble side. Sometimes I can see how similar they are. Must be the glasses. A lot of scenes involving Crusty seem to be with Lenessia. Trying to hint something? So if the focus isn’t on Shiroe or his Log Horizon members, we have the drama of Crusty and Lenessia for entertainment. Especially with Lenessia can’t help think of the sarcasm he subtly aims at her. It’s like she’s a nice target for it. Yeah, why pick on a weak and lovely cowardly princess? Of course he means no harm. Just teasing.

The action bits are okay but nothing that impressive. Because I am not really familiar with things, it feels like they can just make up anything and cast the spell or summon an attack on the enemy. If you want to see hack and slash all the way, this isn’t going to be your anime since you would see more of Shiroe as the strategist coming up with tactics first. Besides, won’t you get bored if they keep on fighting the same thing even though they are different monsters or different levels?

I wasn’t going to expect a big development in the romance department so it surprised me a little when that little bit in that episode made it sound like it was going to be some sort of a romance drama with Akatsuki and Minori in the running for Shiroe. If it did, I would really love to see how this guy uses his strategy to get out of such situations. And then maybe all the guys in the harem animes can use this tactic. So for now there isn’t any sort of development in the relationship between them except that they are precious guild members at most. At least it just lets us know who loves who. There are a few in fact. Obviously we could tell from Serara’s look that she is into Nyanta ever since he saved her. But not strong enough that she would leave her guild and join Log Horizon. In fact, I think that is what Serara is being reduced to if she isn’t fighting alongside her comrades. Then there is Crusty and Lenessia. I can just feel it between them although nothing official is said. My guts are telling me… I wonder what happened to Shouryuu’s love for Marielle. It was obviously written all over his face that he likes her but slowly as the episodes go by, this feels neglected. Like it didn’t matter. And then there is also Rudy and Isuzu although the latter might take a liking for the former because he looks like a dog, but my guts tell me it goes way beyond that. I mean, you don’t treat your dog like that, don’t you? Finally there are Marielle and Henrietta with their unhealthy fetish and love for Naotsugu and Akatsuki respectively. Yeah, I suppose I can’t call that real love but what the heck. Especially with Henrietta obsessing all over Akatsuki every time that it sends the latter into automatic shivers. Not even an assassin could escape from this ‘death’. Death of too much loving obsession. Haha!

The art and drawing feels average. The characters look average although not horrible but they aren’t the kind that you would classify as bishonen or bishoujo. Even Rudy as the one closest to being a bishonen, after a while you tend to realize he just seems rather okay. Crusty too. I have a feeling he is supposed to be good looking. He is as far as this anime is concerned. But then again if you look t the style of the art on the overall aspect, it just feels normal. In a fantasy world with different types of races and beings, of course there is the diversity. Sometimes I wonder if the big armours guys like Crusty and Isaac wear would be bulky. I don’t know, I get the feeling that it looks bulky although it doesn’t restrict their movements. Also, I have this feeling that they are just skinny people underneath that metal and the armour just buffed them up and made them look big. Though, I hope I am wrong. The designs of the monsters also feel average. There is nothing extraordinary about them. They don’t look menacing at all although some like the demi-human fish look odd. The background and scenery… Rather okay. As usual. Strangely despite this being a fantasy adventure, most of the scenes are in towns especially Akihabara. Journeying to exotic places or even dungeons and caves are very rare. Heck, there are no flying islands!

On a very trivial note, I figure that Shiroe’s motto at the end of every (normal) episode preview by Akatsuki somewhat tells us the different major arcs for this season. Well, you only get 3 different versions of them actually. For the first 9 episodes, we hear him say “This is our reality”. So once the Round Table has been established, for the next 9 episodes we’ll be wondering what the heck he means by “Always look 30 seconds ahead” for this Eastal adventure arc. By the time it is finally revealed this strategy of his, the motto changes to “We will change the world” for the balance of the episodes (Goblin King’s return event and Scale Festival arc). Here is another trivial thing (if you can call it that): There is no fanservice! And no, Lenessia in her half armour doesn’t constitute that.

In the voice acting department, generally it feels okay and nothing that extraordinary. Just that Jouji Nakata as gentle Nyanta adding “Nya~” in every sentence of his somehow makes him feel a little gay. Reminds me of that creepy narrator he voiced in Amagami SS. Just add “Nya~”. The casts of the series (selective) are Takuma Terashima as Shiroe (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Emiri Katou as Akatsuki (Kagami in Lucky Star), Tomoaki Maeno as Naotsugu (Takeru in Maken-Ki), Nao Tamura as Minori (Ayuko in Aiura), Daiki Yamashita as Touya (Theo in Galileo Galilei), Ayahi Takagi as Henrietta (Mikako in Sora No Otoshimono), Yumi Hara as Marielle (Yuuko in Tasogare Otome x Amnesia), Takahiro Sakurai as Crusty (Suzaku in Code Geass), Mariya Ise as Lenessia (Levi in Fairy Tail), Tetsuya Kirihara as Rudy (Natsu in Fairy Tail), Eriko Matsui as Isuzu (Benio in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Misaki Kuno as Serara (Kate in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Satoshi Hino as Isaac (Saito in Zero No Tsukaima), Hiro Himono as Soujirou (Keima in The World God Only Knows), Hiroki Gotou as Michitaka (Yokoshima in D-Frag!) and Keiji Fujiwara as Regan (Sven in Black Cat).

The opening theme is Database by Man With A Mission featuring Takuma of 10-feet. I somehow feel that the rock pace of this song isn’t suitable for the adventure theme of this series. I imagined them as a Japanese rock version of Tears For Fears… Really. I seem to prefer Your Song by Yun*chi as the ending theme although it is a generic anime pop. Maybe it’s the cute squeaky voice? And perhaps the chorus where she ‘screams’ “Zuttooooooooooooo…”. There are a few varieties of BGM music too but not that appealing to me that I would really want to rush out and buy the soundtrack album. I wonder if they will sound great or suitable if they were ever released in a game instead of an anime series.

Overall, Log Horizon is an anime for you if you love some fantasy adventure and nothing too flashy or confusing. It also teaches us a lot of things. Whether it is the real world or virtual reality, the applications to survival is mostly the same. The most important of all is that those who change the world are those who dare to dream and take action. We can all be inspired from Shiroe and although we don’t have to be as smart as him coming up with brilliant strategies, the important part is that we do the best we can. And when everybody plays their little part, it becomes the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Everyone has their role to play no matter how small. So are you ready for another adventure? I already have. Been adventuring through anime over the years and it’s not going to stop any time soon. Your mind is the greatest gateway to take you to places.

Mahou Sensou

October 18, 2014

How cool would it be that you an ordinary person would one day get the chance to wield magic and even go to school to learn and hone your skills? Sorry people, this isn’t Harry Potter or the likes. Instead this is Mahou Sensou. As usual, we have an ordinary kid. So ordinary that he is the most ordinary of the ordinary. Nothing special. Just normal. Really. Unless you consider his fake relationship as a couple with a childhood friend as normal. Yeah, that’s not normal. So whatever the problem is, now he is going to face another one (some call it change in destiny) when he encounters a girl with magic at his school. And before you know it, he is whisked away to the magic world and to a magic school (sorry people, he didn’t get there in some Hogwarts Express or something). And just like his dark past, magicians too have theirs. Are you ready for this magical experience of a lifetime?  Be warned… Don’t get your hopes up, though…

Episode 1
Mui Aiba pleads to her brother, Tsuganashi to come back but he asserts he is not her brother. Takeshi Nanase is also having some issues with his life. He would rather be anywhere including hell but here even. He meets up with classmate, Kurumi Isoshima who thinks the hostility between him and his younger brother Gekkou wasn’t his fault but an accident. Takeshi sees Mui collapsing and takes her to the infirmary. She is sleep talking and hugs him thinking she is her brother. Once she wakes up, she beats him up. Still weak, she falls off and their lips met. First kiss? She gets so upset that she fires her magic gun. Thank goodness she missed at that range. When he is able to see glowing smoke, she starts apologizing. And he can see some butterfly too in which Mui quickly shoots down the scouting bug. Then here comes in Tsuganashi and his henchmen. They want to run but Tsuganashi uses ice to trap them. Takao Oigami wants to finish this. As long as he doesn’t use magic, Tsuganashi gives the green light. It might seem like a mismatch at first. Oigami’s badass blade against Takeshi’s wooden sword. Thankfully Takeshi is skilled in kendo and is able to hold his own although it eventually breaks. Then some magic of his activates as he uses it to use Oigami’s break to break the ice so they can escape. The rest recognize Takeshi as a magician using Evasive Magic (ability to evade all sorts of magic thrown). Kazumi Ida sees Takeshi being chased around and asks one of the chasers, Hotaru Kumagai what is going on. She attacks him with her syringes.

Mui apologizes to Takeshi that it is her fault for turning him into a magician. The smoke from her missed shot must have turned him into one. She is trying to get back her brother whose memories were rewritten by Ghost Trailers a community of magicians who seek to overturn the philosophy magicians. Ordinary people would be freaked out to see magic and this leads to anger and disdain. Therefore magicians hide their existence. But some do not like the idea like Ghost Trailers. However some magicians want to live and coexist peacefully like Subaru Magic Academy where they can learn to do so. Kurumi catches them flirting and wants an explanation but Oigami and Ushiwaka found them. Ushiwaka attacks Kurumi with his magic wasps but Mui protects her. Though they get scratched, he receives some sort of divine punishment called Gift. If magic is used to attack a magician in the Living World, you lose all your magic. Eh… What? Mui still has hers because technically she attacked Takeshi before he turned into a magician. Looks like Kurumi too just turned into one. But how come her boobs grow big!!! Ida comes in having taken care of Hotaru. Oh, he too starts to have magic. Fire coming out from his hands? WTF is going on? Takeshi finishes his business with Oigami with the help of Mui who distracts him with a light screen and enables Takeshi to strike at his neck (with Kurumi’s wooden sword). In order to protect them, Mui has them follow her to the other world called the Ruined World. It is a mirror of this world where magician lives. It’s like the Apocalypse. So Takeshi, does hell look like a better place to live than this?

Episode 2
After the girls get their wasp stings treated, Mui brings them to see Momoka Shijou, the principal of Subaru Magic Academy. Looks like a high school girl? She begins with a little history. A full scale war between Ghost Trailers and a coalition of other magicians known as The Great Magic War happened 16 years ago (a year before they were born). Ghost Trailers’ leader attempted to eradicate all humans by using Last Requiem spell but the 15 community magicians combined their powers to split the world into 2. The Ruined World is the result of Last Requiem raging through it and is steadily collapsing into nothingness. A pact was made after the war. Magicians will continue to battle in the Ruined World and the winner will rule the Living World. To ensure magicians do not fight in the Living World, Wiseman a magician of the highest level cast the Gift spell. Although normal magic is allowed and Ancestral Magic (magic affinity decided by the magician’s individual qualities and personality) isn’t. The 6 classes of Ancestral Magic are Evasive, Illusion, Destructive, Black Magic, Accelerative and Corporeal. The leader of Ghost Trailers is currently missing after the last war. Communities are magicians sharing the same ideology. They are of Wizard Brace who believe in living harmoniously with non-magicians unlike Ghost Trailers who advocate magic supremacy. Momoka has them decide if they want to stay and study magic here or go back to the Living World. Choosing the latter would be dangerous since they have their magic intact. Why not just lose it then? The choice is obvious for Takeshi. He asks if this academy is safe from Ghost Trailers. Momoka assures it is because Ghost Trailers would rather recruit soldiers from graduates. It’s easier that way. Since Takeshi stays, Ida will too. Peer pressure makes Kurumi tag along (she was egging Takeshi to go home, right?). They will be taught the basics and put into Class C. Mui although an advanced magician will be placed with them too as punishment for her recklessness.

In class, homeroom teacher, Makoto Hitouji teaches them about Aspect, tools that act as a focal point that magicians project their power. Since Takeshi doesn’t have one, Mui is assigned to take him to the shop to choose one. Along the way, Takeshi learns Mui’s gun is her Aspect and named Arthur. It is not unusual for magicians to name their Aspect. As Mui’s father was a magician too, it makes her a pure blooded magician because she inherited magic naturally. Katou the old shopkeeper guy brings the duo in. There are lots of tools lying around. Takeshi wants an Aspect to be like his wooden sword. There is a metal blade that looks like it. Katou mentions the previous owner was also an Evasive Magic although now she is living a normal life. This weapon was used during that great war. Takeshi notices a magic circle on it and as explained, if he puts his own magic on it, it will have synergistic effect. Katou warns bearing another magician’s Aspect is dangerous so he tests him out by attacking it. The sword activates and turns into its gun shape but Takeshi’s strength is draining fast and the sword returns to its normal shape. Katou is impressed he can hold on till the cartridge was regenerated. The cartridge allows him to use other people’s magic and he can load it with 3 special bullets that will let him alter the shape of the sword based on another magician’s magic. Finally, the previous owner named the sword Twilight. Takeshi accepts this as his Aspect. When they get back, the class is in a mess since Ida’s fire power went berserk. It’s pretty normal for beginner’s right? That’s why they are in Class C. Meanwhile Kippei Washizu waits for Violet North after she has finished slaughtering magicians because they saw her beautiful face. They return to the castle where their Sleeping Prince awaits them.

Episode 3
The rookies are practising their magic. But the most eye catching one is of course Kurumi. If you aren’t taken in by her beauty and boobs, you’re gay. Mui gives Kurumi tickets to a love fortune teller. Can’t miss this chance, no? Kurumi notices Mui’s well endowed boobs and it becomes some misunderstood talk about Takeshi rubbing them. What? Because some girls give Mui that scorn look, Hitouji explains about the over 50 communities that exist. Seven of them are of the International Magicians’ Association and have voting rights. They include Wizard Brace as the leader, Eclipse, Club Oz, Ancient Pendragon, Spriggan, Bishop of the Camelot and Phoenix Foundation. As Ghost Trailers is not part of it, each community have their differing opinions on them. Wizard Brace is the most against them and as Mui is a member, her brother has become a traitor and thus that treatment. Takeshi could relate something similar. Gekkou called him a traitor too. Later Takeshi catches a few boys trading photos of Kurumi. He is going to confiscate all of them. Why? Because he is dating her. The guys give up since they don’t want to mess with another guy’s girl. Look how much photos they have taken! Mui overhears this and she starts avoiding him. It’s that guilty feeling. Kurumi went to see the fortune teller and was told that to beware of her unrequited love for Takeshi and warns of his wandering eyes. Kurumi didn’t believe her because she trusts Takeshi will not cheat on her. She becomes agitated. Even more when Mui admits that she kissed him on the day she saved him. So much so Kurumi runs and runs and I’m not sure if she purposely bumps into Takeshi and wants to force him to kiss her. She doesn’t believe a kiss with any girl is an accident. She constantly reminds him that she is her boyfriend. Speaking of which, he thinks it is time to stop pretending. Thanks to that, Kurumi stops hanging out or practises with them. She’s going solo.

Then it’s like she’s being a real b*tch too because she caught Takeshi and Mui talking and she’s like confronting Mui and demanding what-the-hell-were-you-both-talking-about. Enough to scare the sh*t out of the shy girl. When a guy confesses to Kurumi and wants to go out with her, she drops the bombshell she is still dating Takeshi despite they are fighting. Surprised, he touches her shoulder but this brings back traumatic memories and paralyzes her. Takeshi tells this guy to f*ck off and never go near her again. Better take that advice. Takeshi explains that Kurumi’s beauty attracted lots of guys who want to date her. One day she had a bad experience with a stalker. She stopped coming to school and Takeshi as her childhood friend was the only guy she trusted. They made a promise to pretend dating to keep the guys away. They will only stop if they have found someone they love. Of course it isn’t before long the both of them reconcile. I mean, they don’t hate each other, right? Meanwhile, Gekkou thinks of making up with Takeshi too. Flashback 2 years ago when Takeshi told him he is dating Kurumi, he was shocked because he knows too well that they don’t suit each other. He thinks Takeshi is taking advantage of her vulnerability after that stalker incident. Gekkou was probably sulking that he didn’t keep his eyes on the road and didn’t see the car coming his way. But looks like you can forget about the reconciliation because he is back to his incensed look as he thinks Takeshi wants to take everything from him and run away. Kurumi sees all the photos of her in Takeshi’s pocket. Getting the wrong idea? However she lets him keep one. Kurumi wonders if Takeshi made up with her because Mui asked him to. If not, would he have cast her aside forever? Who is it that he likes?

Episode 4
Mui sees the fortune teller who tells her about her brother’s whereabouts. Because of that, she is deemed missing by her friends when Kurumi notices she hasn’t returned to the dorm since last night. Takeshi thinks she went off to find her brother in the Ruined World and will go look for her. It’s dangerous out there. Yeah. He’s worried about her. Because they share a lot in common. He understands her bit of trying to get back her beloved brother. Since Takeshi is going, I guess Ida and Kurumi are coming too. They sneak out of the academy and get a firsthand look of what devastated Tokyo looks like. It is in the midst of a big battle. They ignore the advice of the Box Concierge (the person that oversees the passage connecting the Ruined World and Living World) to return since it is getting very dangerous and run straight out of the safe barrier to start their search mission. Meanwhile Mui has found Tsuganashi. As big brother mentions, the fortune teller thingy was a trap and Tsuganashi was ordered to bring her back alive. She won’t give up trying to convince he is her brother but he pays no heed and knocks her out. At that time, Takeshi and co arrive and he is clearly upset to see what happened. All that rage isn’t going to do him any good since Tsuganashi is much superior. So much so Ida gets trapped in a frozen crystal in his place. Just great. Now he has more people to save. Ida wants him to save Mui first. Besides, he owes him one. Flashback when they were strangers, Takeshi saved his little sister Futaba from being harassed by shameless punks. He was even told off that a big brother should never let go of his sister’s hand.

Takeshi better hurry his fight with Tsuganashi because Ida is running out of oxygen. Tsuganashi is going to end this fight seeing Takeshi can’t even use Liberate. I don’t know what Takeshi did but with a great swing of Twilight, he breaks Ida free from his captive. Kurumi heals Mui while Ida charges up the special bullet with his flames. When it is filled up, Takeshi loads it into Twilight and surprises Tsuganashi by defeating him. Mui wants to get her brother but Takeshi senses it is not over yet. Kippei drops in and is impressed. He hopes they can join his group but has to flee since reinforcements are coming. Back at the academy, the quartet receive a lecture from Momoka (who is also injured from the war) that they could have been killed (the greenhorns are having trouble controlling their magic even during practice and training). She wants them to promise never to do anything like that again. Takeshi cannot do that. Because Mui won’t give up, so will he. He wants to help her and do whatever it takes even if it means fighting Ghost Trailers. Momoka will give them a chance. Meanwhile Violet isn’t pleased Kippei failed to get Mui despite handing her on a silver platter. Kippei mentions about Twilight and its user she can definitely find him at the school where she teaches.

Episode 5
The students are to take an Ancestral Magic test in a building that houses an illusion world. If Takeshi and co pass this, they will be given a chance to retrieve Tsuganashi. Different Ancestral Magic types face different tests like Corporeal Magic (Kurumi) facing the labyrinth, Destructive Magic (Ida) running away from zombies and Evasive Magic fighting off with mechanical spiders with machine guns and Takeshi in particular is running away from a charging rhino! He is surprised to see Oigami but it seems the latter doesn’t recall who he is or the fight they have. He doesn’t even remember he was from Ghost Trailers. Of course as revealed by Hitouji and Momoka, his memories have been rewritten because they need to get as much magicians on their side for the war. Violet unleashes some Black Magic that causes havoc to the place. Oigami saves Kurumi from a golem’s attack. He doesn’t remember her. He took in enough injury to be withdrawn from the test. The quartet cooperate to find their way to reach the goal. They fight another golem and Takeshi uses the special bullet filled with Ida’s magic to destroy it. Violet doesn’t seem pleased that the Twilight she knew wasn’t like this back then. Because it belonged to her. She has enough for today and withdraws. For the winter holidays, Takeshi won’t be going home and Kurumi is upset because this means he will be breaking their promise for going to the shrine for New Year’s Day together.

Kurumi is pouting at home when Gekkou pays a surprise visit. She hopes the brothers can reconcile. Learning that the duo are still pretending to date, Gekkou assures she won’t need to do that anymore because come next term, he is enrolling in the same school as her. Takeshi and Mui train hard. Little do they know, Violet takes a strand of Takeshi’s hair to find out who he really is. Really? Shouldn’t she just check the school register? Mui gets a little fever from the training. Boy, she acts funny. Like as though she is drunk. He brings her back to her room and she acts lovey-dovey with Takeshi, thinking he is her brother. She hugs him, makes him stay with her and even takes off her bra just to keep his face warm in her chest!!! WTF?! And then we hear a loud crashing sound. Oh. It’s Kurumi. Sorry for interrupting. She kicks him out! Better run! When Mui wakes up and thanks Kurumi for coming back early (unaware what has happened), Kurumi kicks her out too. Emo Kurumi starts crying and then turns into a baby!!! WTF?! Mui finds Takeshi and hopes he could soothe his girlfriend but he admits that they are just pretending to date. Kurumi sees Oigami at the library. She apologizes for having him to save her that made him withdraw from the test. He gets close to her and this freaks her out. Oigami, you dummy. Takeshi, you dummy. Yeah. Everybody is a dummy. At the end of the vacation, Takeshi and co are given permission to participate in an operation to retrieve Tsuganashi that is scheduled to begin soon.

Episode 6
The operation to retrieve Tsuganashi begins. Momoka gives Mui a special bullet that contains Binding Magic that can seal another’s power. Be careful. She only has one chance. Oigami and Hotaru are coming along too. It is because they are going to meet Kippei and Tsuganashi and exchange prisoners. Before Oigami goes, Kurumi thanks him for saving her so he tells her to get strong so she won’t cry along and gives her some weird item that may prove useful. Once both sides exchange, Momoka and Kippei enter a doorway themselves while the rest of Wizard Brace and Tsuganashi attack each other. As expected, Tsuganashi owns them all so it is up to Takeshi and co to chase him down. Momoka and Kippei are in a showdown. She blames him over the death of somebody but he asserts his innocence although she claims there were witnesses alleging that he was at the scene. Their magic battle beings and Momoka needs to kill him quick because his Destructive Magic melts everything around within a time frame. Just when she thought she killed him in some box explosion, here he is looking fine. He believes she is acting desperate because Kazuma Ryuusenji will soon awaken. Once that happens, she fears her past deeds will be brought to light. Momoka sucks Kippei up into some black hole in time. Takeshi and co are faced off with Tsuganashi in his ice tower. Ida messes up charging the special bullet and it causes it to backfire on Takeshi. Mui becomes desperate to reach for her brother and it made Takeshi feel guilty of his own. Mui keeps calling and trying to cling to her hopes unlike him. His voice never reached Gekkou. Even if it did, would it make a difference? Mui tries to make Tsuganashi their happy times together. He doesn’t believe and hurts her. Cue for the guys to drop in and tell him off what kind of a big brother hurts his little sister. Mui continues talking about his smile that makes her happy, blah, blah, blah. Surprisingly tears flow from his eyes. I guess he does remember something. He goes crazy and charges. Mui loads the special bullet and shoots at him. In the aftermath, Momoka lives and was retrieved by school nurse Nanami Hyoudou (she has somewhat an unhealthy obsession with her). Mui is one happy girl because her big brother is by her side back to his normal self. Can’t be happier than this, can she? Kippei goes back to Violet who teases him about losing his candidate for the Fifth Class. He is unfazed because he has found a new one. Isn’t that Gekkou?

Episode 7
This weird nightmare. Takeshi is on the verge of death. Kurumi kisses him before she is taken away by some tentacle monster. WTF. Tsuganashi becomes Takeshi’s magic instructor. Mui gives Takeshi chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Big brother messes with her that she likes Takeshi and should come out and say to clear things or else this dude will misunderstand things. Don’t worry. That guy is dense enough. Oh, Kurumi has chocolates for him too. Takeshi has another weird dream. Happy Mui rushing to a giant pudding but falls through the clouds. WTF. Tsuganashi notices about the dreams he is having and says that magic sometimes causes nightmares. If it gets too serious, go see Nanami. Takeshi learns that Mui injured her leg because she tripped down the stairs while rushing to get pudding. Hmm… He collapses and is rushed to the infirmary. He dreams of Kippei and a mysterious woman by his side. Nanami saw this strange woman next to Takeshi so she slaps him awake. She realizes the grave situation of his nightmares. Twilight has been giving him some and they are usually predictions of that future that will come true. Since she saw Twilight manifesting in her human form and if she is using his mana without his permission, it’s time to put the leash on her. From now on, he must not sleep with the sword otherwise all his mana will be consumed and he will die. Apparently he didn’t listen so he gets another nightmare. Momoka summons him and gives him the option of handling over Twilight or obey certain instructions. However he wants to follow his option of wanting to witness the prophetic dreams with this sword to find out something. Momoka lets him know the only way to get Twilight under his control is to fight her in his dream.

Under the watchful eye of Momoka and Nanami, Takeshi dives into his dream with Mui tagging along. Summer beach? Mui in a bikini? Cliché? How about him falling on top of her and her bra coming undone? WTF. But it gets serious when Takeshi spots Twilight. But soon the scene changes to a cold icy tundra. He sees his mom apologizing something about Gekkou. Then Gekkou attacks and blames him with magic. Twilight reappears and claims he is not worthy of wielding her. She is disappointed he is not that person whom she is finding. She wants him to withdraw but he won’t despite having no chance to beat and his magic power draining. So Twilight attacks Mui thinking that he will withdraw for her sake. But Mui tells him not to give up and find a way to subdue her. He remembers Momoka’s words how the relationship between a magician and his Aspect is like a parent and child. It reminds him how his mom never gave him anything. All he wanted was her acknowledgement. Then it hit him. He apologizes to Twilight that he never gave her what she wanted. Although she asserts she doesn’t have such wishes, he insists since she didn’t kill him and it proves she does have a heart. He will acknowledge her existence by giving her a name. She is Towa (Eternity). With that, she backs down and accepts him. A month later, Takeshi do get nightmare sometimes but he tells her to go easy and let him sleep peacefully. Takeshi and co will soon be second years. He promises to protect Kurumi. And Gekkou has finally gotten into the school he wanted.

Episode 8
With the new school term, Takeshi and co are tasked to help register some of the new students. They are surprised Ida brings Futaba to register. Since when did she become a magician? Something about him not wanting to let her go to a friend’s party because she was the only girl. He blew his top and accidentally burnt her hair. Something like that. Futaba is so nice and cute the rest couldn’t believe they are blood related. They are. 100%. Here is another big surprise in store. Gekkou is here too! So I guess the bath is where the guys talk things out and settle things heart to heart. Seems Gekkou wants to move on and seeks his forgiveness, blah, blah, blah. But you know, something just doesn’t feel right. Even Hitouji thinks Takeshi should help guide him since Gekkou sees the world in a different way. Then Takeshi has to get this nightmare. Evil Gekkou trying to steal everything from him to get even. He wakes up to find Kippei sitting by his window. Not a dream. He isn’t here to fight but to tell the real history of Wizard Brace. Back in the 8th century, Wizard Brace monopolized magic and killed weaker magicians. Of course he didn’t learn this in class but will be able to tell the difference once he uses his Strike Vision. Kazuma is the leader of Ghost Trailers and his best friend and graduated from this same academy. He turned down the offer to join Wizard Brace because he didn’t like the idea of them using him as a murder tool. Of course he is summoned and given the ultimatum. They even use his parents as hostage. Kazuma will not be cowed and attacks back. As a result, his parents were murdered and Kazuma formed Ghost Trailers to save other magicians threatened like him and to rebel against Wizard Brace. It is true Kazuma killed many people but those are from Wizard Brace who are much worst as they killed hundreds more.

20th century in Tokyo, the first Great Magic War led by Kazuma against Wizard Brace. He is surprised that his other best friend, Tsukiomi Fujikawa defended Wizard Brace, Youko Chigi and died. Youko Chigi is now known as Youko Nanase, Takeshi’s mother and one of the 15 great magicians. Who knows how Kazuma must have felt for his right hand man to betray him like that. He never realized he got his heart stolen to Youko. I don’t know. Was it this shock that had him in slumber for nearly 2 decades? Kippei is telling him all this because he wants him on his side. If he won’t return, at least return Twilight as it is a memento of Tsukiomi. He won’t either. But he is forced to make a choice because now he is a magician. Choose Ghost Trailers or Wizard Brace. Because Takeshi didn’t choose any, Kippei notes he still has hope. He will be waiting and believes he will come to him eventually. If he wants the truth ascertained, go ask Momoka. And so he did. After asking a few questions, he must have seen something terrifying with his Strike Vision and makes his leave. Momoka wonders if Kippei had put ideas into his head so as to judge Wizard Brace of its dark hidden past. Kazuma awakens for a while and then falls back to sleep. Kippei notices he did awake but as Violet says, today is not the day he will be waking up based on her readings. It will be on X-Day. 15th June.

Episode 9
Right on the dot, Kazuma wakes up. Yeah, he’s been sleeping for 17 years. Time to go slaughter Wizard Brace, act two. Suddenly a red dragon attacks Subaru Magic Academy. The place is in chaos with red hooded people attacking anybody from Wizard Brace. Ida goes to find Futaba but gets knocked out by a slab of concrete. Mui thankfully has his cool brother around. Don’t mess with him. Momoka comes face to face with 3 pests and realizes that Pendragon are aligning themselves with Ghost Trailers. The trio thought they could control the air to beat her but Momoka is a step ahead of them and sucks them into some black portal. With Violet showing up, she is more than just fired. She’s dead. Unfortunately and ironically, Momoka got defeated so easily. Takeshi and Kurumi find Gekkou. With that coat he is wearing, they realize he is part of Ghost Trailers. He is here to get them. He explains he became a magician after Kippei taught him some magic and that this magic is God’s way of granting permission to beat the crap out of Takeshi for what he has done to his leg. Twisted and evil. Gekkou is fast to beat up Takeshi who has no chance of responding. Gekkou will be also taking his Twilight since Violet was targeting it. Since he won’t, Gekkou twists everything that Takeshi can’t stand it unless everything belongs to him. So now he is going to kill him and even transforms to some Nephilim form to do so. Takeshi is out and Kurumi is clinging on to him with tears. This just breaks your heart, Gekkou boy? Even more upsetting is the fact that Kurumi kisses Takeshi so she could use some healing magic on him. He kicks Takeshi away and takes Kurumi and Twilight along. Takeshi could hear Towa’s voice. She shows him a vision whereby Gekkou will kill his mother. She wants him to come find her. When Mui finds Takeshi, she sees Violet by his side.

Episode 10
Violet has no time to play with her and summons her familiar to fight Mui. But Mui gets backup from Ena Kisaki and her team of Bishop of the Camelot. Violet flees. Ena is Tsuganashi’s ex-girlfriend. Because Takeshi is too weak to stand up, he is sent to the Living World where Camelot treats him with their facilities. First thing he wakes up and he’s got a nurse cosplay fanservice by Mui? But whatever romantic time you’re thinking they’re going to have, it is ruined when Ida comes in seeking his solace because the Specialized Magic Agency of Wizard Brace that oversees magicians gifted with exceptional magical abilities took Futaba away. Takeshi wants to go save Kurumi but since Ghost Trailers have more than one hideout, it won’t be easy finding her. Mui remembers picking Kurumi’s item (from Oigami) at the scene but chooses to remain quiet. Kazuma rallies his people to being the next war. He is going to destroy the 7 communities and build everything from ground up. Kippei kills Wiseman so that the Gift won’t be in force anymore. This means all hell breaks loose in the Living World. Sure, now they get to mess up this beautiful world. Takeshi pleads to go see his mom so Ena and Tsuganashi escort him back. Ena also gives Youko a letter of request from her community. It is to take charge of Takeshi’s training. Since Takeshi wants to become strong to at least protect himself and rescue Kurumi, Youko puts on the ring and the harsh training begins. Gee, training amidst the chaos? Thankfully no interruptions. And so we hear Takeshi’s reason to get stronger. He doesn’t know a sh*t about this war or which side to take but he will put his life on the line to save Kurumi if it means fighting Ghost Trailers too. After some time, Youko is feeling a little exhausted since the ring drains her life force in exchange for her to use magic. Mui talks to Takeshi and gives him Kurumi’s item which is something magicians use to teleport to a predetermined place. They can trace Kurumi with this. She didn’t say anything at first because she fears he would go off recklessly to save her. Now he is stronger and wiser so it’ll be alright. Mui apologizes for dragging him into this. He apologizes for not being strong enough. Okay, okay. We get the idea. Don’t cry… Kurumi wakes up from a horrible nightmare. She was besides Takeshi’s body impaled by Twilight. She is surprised to find herself looking like Takeshi in the mirror.

Episode 11
Kurumi thinks that kiss made her turn into Takeshi. But she reverts back when Gekkou comes into the room. Kurumi doesn’t believe Gekkou likes her for real and only wants to take her away from Takeshi. He got into a fit of rage that it allows Kurumi to escape. Time to play tag. She bumps into Oigami and pleads for help. With Hotaru, they agree to get her out since they don’t quite like Gekkou. If not for him, they could have been Kippei’s right hand men. As they walk through the maze of their base (which was once Pendragon’s headquarters), they stumble upon Gekkou. Hotaru kisses Kurumi so she could look like the former. The real Hotaru becomes bait to lure Gekkou away. Kippei then wants to talk to Oigami so Kurumi is left all alone to find her way out. This is one bloody big maze… She enters a dark room and Kazuma takes her into a portal. Youko teaches Takeshi incantation to shorten his time to cast spells. He has visions of his younger days with Gekkou. He asks why she never told them she was a magician. Because she was not a good one. She wanted to tell him something too but is too exhausted for it. I hope it isn’t just a sorry. Now that Takeshi is stronger, he is going on a rescue mission. He isn’t going solo since Mui and Ida will tag along. Using Kurumi’s item, they teleport inside Pendragon’s castle. But Oigami and Hotaru stand before them. Time to see if the training pays off. Takeshi fights Oigami while Mui and Ida take on Hotaru. It isn’t long before Ida knocks out Hotaru. Oigami notices Takeshi has become stronger and will not hold back. But with Mui’s support and his Strike Vision that can see several steps into the future, he bests Oigami. Losers must tell everything, right? And so he did. Takeshi could sense the truth that Oigami tried to help Kurumi and thanks him for it. Now leave it to him to go rescue her. At the same time, Takeshi didn’t realize that Kurumi was learning truths he could never have imagined and the nightmare in the form of Gekkou was preparing to come true.

Episode 12
Takeshi rushes home only to realize his worst nightmare has come true. Gekkou is covered in blood. You know what this means. Though, he believes Youko attacked him first and he did it in self defence. Takeshi is one mad guy. But his rage means nothing since Gekkou has absolute control over Towa and summons her to beat him up. She stops short of killing him. Like as though he was just teasing him to show off how powerful he got. Gekkou tells us a revelation. The accident 3 years ago wasn’t Takeshi’s fault as they believed. It was Youko’s. It was her plan along with the leader of Camelot to take Gekkou out of the picture. Her plan ended in failure and when she saw Gekkou limping with that injured foot, she couldn’t bear to hurt her son anymore. Why? The sons will never know. But just for us sake viewers, we see Youko lying in her pool of blood thinking back why the heck she would kill her own son. To prevent Gekkou from becoming another Kazuma. Anyway since Takeshi and Gekkou can no longer see eye to eye, the fight begins. If having the brothers fight isn’t bad enough, now here comes everybody from both sides to join in the fight. Ding! Ding! In one corner we have the blue team of Wizard Brace and in the other corner the red team of Ghost Trailers. Round 1 (or whatever number you wish)… Fight! Everybody starts blasting each other to bits. Yeah, it can’t get messier than this. Gekkou drops the bombshell that he wants Takeshi to kill him. Because he is so sick of everything. Everybody wants him dead. He has nowhere to go. So just kill him. Oh, but Takeshi the ever kind brother wants to show us he isn’t such a bad heart so he extends his hand for him to leave Ghost Trailers and come home with him.

I’ve seen this coming from a mile because it was just a ploy and oldest trick in the book just to get his guard down. Once close enough, Gekkou strikes! Oh, and all in nice timing, Kurumi who has been looking for Takeshi finds him and the first thing she does is use her body as a shield against Gekkou’s Twilight. Oh sh*t. How can you kill a cute girl!!!! Takeshi is mad. Gekkou doesn’t think it is his fault (nothing is ever his so I suppose not even faults). Takeshi lets out his rage while Mui heals Kurumi. Fight, fight, fight and still Gekkou continues to blame Takeshi. This guy is good in blaming. Momoka who has been observing them decides to move in when she should have done it a long time ago. I don’t know what black hole she unleashed but where Gekkou and Takeshi stand, it’s one freaking huge crater now. Then we see Kazuma healing Youko and something about him calling her his mother. He believes everything is set in motion to the future they envisioned. He asks Violet why she is so damn loyal and her reply is that he saved her life once and back then she vowed to be loyal to him even if he changes. Takeshi wakes up back in Subaru Magic Academy. Hmm… Everything seems alright. Then he sees Hitouji as a student and Youko a teacher. Does this give you a hint that you went back in time? Yeah. It’s 1998. He sees Momoka, Kippei and Tsukiomi hanging out together as students. But there is something off. Gekkou is part of the gang! What the hell?! A dream? A nightmare? However Gekkou hints that he might know who Takeshi is when he gives him that menacing look. Back in the real world, Mui and Kurumi can only wonder where Takashi has gone.

Magical War-farce
ATROCIOUS! APPALLING! UNBELIEVABLE!!! This is definitely one of the worst endings that I have ever seen in my life of bad anime endings! Leaving us in such a crucial cliff-hanger definitely doesn’t sit well with me. And probably a lot of other viewers too. It is no wonder I read there were many people upset about the ending. I thought it was going to suck so I braced myself for the worst. Seriously, nothing in the world would have prepared me for this. It feels like the producers ran out of budget or something and they leave it in such a way just to gauge if there are enough sales made from the DVDs, maybe they’ll just an OVA and produce that unaired episode whatever. What do they take us for? Fools? They could have at least show one more stinking episode just to tie things up even if it won’t be a good one but at least tie things up. It’s like they too were trying to sabotage this series by making things end like that. Therefore this ending isn’t any much of an ending as it leaves everything hanging on a very precarious balance. Very dangerous. Not good.

The plot and story feels haphazard. They try to put in some twist in the story and even maybe a surprise or two but it is hardly anything but that since the awful ending ruined it all. Yes, sad to say that this series will be remembered by that unpleasant cliff-hanger which overshadows just about everything else. Just mention of this anime, and that sort of ending comes to mind. Not anything else. Because bits and pieces of the story are only revealed, I believe there is more than meets the eye for this world and magicians are like sneaky people you cannot trust because from what I have seen, it is like both sides cannot be trusted. Each sides has their own dark hidden past and ulterior motives to hidden agenda so you don’t really know who to believe or what is going on except for the fact that magicians just want to kill each other. There could be a lot of potential of this series but because of the chaotic pacing and all, some questions are left unanswered and only raise more questions than anything. For example, what Youko wanted to say to Takeshi. I am sure it is more than just a mother apologizing to her son, right? It has got to be important but unfortunately I think it wasn’t that important enough if she was going to collapse out of that little fatigue than tell her son and instead leave him wondering and hanging.

There is also that mind boggling thing of what Kurumi learnt from Kazuma. Yeah, maybe she discovered she and Takeshi are blood related. NO WAY!!! Remember what Kippei and Violet said something about the candidate for the Fifth Class? Don’t remember? Doesn’t matter because it never really did. And if the war has been ongoing on for many years (assuming it still continued after Kazuma’s slumber) and the rate we see the magicians die in the ferocious battle, don’t you think the population of magicians would have dwindled a lot? Where do they get the extra people to die? Clones? Or like Takeshi and co, they just recruit them from the Living World. Ironically if magicians are powerful enough to kill each other and yet they get persecuted by normal people without any sort of power (mutant or superhero types even), it is just lame to think that they would let ordinary folks step over their heads. I know they want to live in peace but when a bunch of unruly and irrational mob comes knocking on your door, you don’t sit down quietly and accept your fate of being burnt at the stake. Oh yeah, there’s that Gift thingy in force. Damn…

The characters and their development are weak and you won’t be very impressed at the direction things are heading. Like Takeshi, in addition to being a rookie in magic and a weakling (although he powers up, he is still nothing near powerful than other magicians), he is quite a confused kid. I won’t blame him since he is suddenly thrown into a world of magic and only became a magician for a year or so. He doesn’t really have a clear goal in his life and for the current anime season, it is just to become stronger so that he could help Mui and subsequently rescue Kurumi. In the end, he never did get to do that because ironically it was Kurumi who found him. So much for that. And Mui doesn’t need his help much since her brother is always around. So much for that too. I believe I have never met a main character who loses his familiar and got him used against him in a season. So when he just got control of Towa only to lose her to Gekkou’s hand, it feels like a slap in the face. It’s like he lost the sword, his familiar and the girl (Kurumi). What else is there to lose? His anger? Haha! Because of that, you don’t really feel Takeshi bonding with Towa whom I thought was going to be some major kickass character. Sadly, no.

His friends like Kurumi and Ida feel like as though he won’t be alone in this world and has some buddies to back him up for whatever reasons. Because for Ida I feel he is like a joker rather than a sidekick or supporting best friend or anything. Just for variety’s sake instead of focusing everything on Takeshi, sometimes they distract you with Ida and this guy isn’t better than Takeshi since he can’t control his flame powers. Gekkou is just annoying sh*t. He is the kind of character you would love to hate because he blames everything on everybody else and makes it their fault. It’s bad enough he already whines about it. Now he acts like as though it is his right or something and thus walking the path of becoming a future antagonist.

Due to the nature of the series, the other characters like Momoka, Kippei, Kazuma, Violet and even Youko have their secret past which I believe should be interesting but you know once it is revealed… The ending… It just zapped my interest thinking about it. There are some characters in the series whose fate are left hanging and their status unknown like Futaba, she got brazenly ‘kidnapped’ by special agents and who knows if they are loli raping her in some secret location nobody will ever find out. Hitouji’s fate is also unknown since from the last time we saw him during the attack on Subaru Magic Academy, he was certainly being killed off. At least that was how it looked like. What happened to Oigami and Hotaru? I don’t see them joining the big bad battle in the end? I don’t understand Youko’s reason for wanting to kill Gekkou and then couldn’t do the job when she failed once. So what the hell is she doing letting him live with them all this time while knowing very well about him becoming the next Kazuma? Whatever this means. I mean, she already tried to kill him once so why the guilt? She knows the problem but doesn’t get rid of it. Mother’s love? Yeah, I agree she isn’t a good mother then. Look what mess everything has gotten into now. Who do you want to blame this time?

They try to put in some romance in this anime too but it falls short and flat. I probably got my hopes up a little and really wishing there would be some sort of love triangle going on between Takeshi, Mui and Kurumi. Personally if the ending was going to suck like this, I would have preferred them to turn at least an episode or two into some mindless romance filler. With Kurumi being such an emo, I think she is faking her fear out of men just to have Takeshi stay by his side. Sure, she is traumatized by that but I have a feeling that time have healed that phobia and is just using as an excuse. Just like how Mui is using the excuse that it is her fault for turning him into a magician to stick close to him. Just short of taking the ultimate responsibility of marrying him and becoming his wife! Haha! And I am not sure if Tsuganashi is going to like that because he is showing us mixed signals over Mui. On one hand, he doesn’t bat an eyelid teasing Mui coolly about her likings for Takeshi but on the other hand and in the latest scene we see him disapproving Takeshi would ever become Mui’s girlfriend when Ena hinted something of that sort. So which is it? Is he some siscon too like how Mui is with her buranko fetish? Unless those prior teasing were just teasing as he didn’t believe his sister would date this dense guy.

As for the action part, it is just pretty okay and nothing to shout about. You get your characters casting some sort of spell which thankfully isn’t hard enough to pronounce like some Latin tongue twisting scientific name for something. It just bugs me that when magicians die, it feels like they just disappear. It feels funny even though it wasn’t intended to. And you’ll see a handful of non-important magicians from both sides of the divide meeting such fate. You see that extra standing there one moment, then blam! He gets hit with some magic sh*t and he turns into nothingness. Just imagine him exploding into a few squirts of ink for death. Yeah. Sometimes I feel that the producers didn’t really want to put in all the details and just give this ‘ugly’ death to them. It’s easier on the art, right? You don’t need to draw blood or entrails spilling out. You die, you disappear. No traces of you left. And the pretty odd part for me was when they killed Wiseman, shouldn’t they have done it a long time ago and not wait till Kazuma wakes up? I know he is revolutionary and charismatic to some but isn’t the cause more important? God, been waiting for 17 years… And it just doesn’t make sense that one old guy is controlling the Gift and Kippei just waltzed in to kill all his useless security and ultimately that old geezer himself. It’s like WTF.

Despite the art and animation being decent enough with bishoujo and bishonen concept, there isn’t anything spectacular about it. The backgrounds sceneries aren’t impressive either seeing that you’ll be spending most of your time in the Ruined World or at Subaru Magic Academy, which aren’t exactly picturesque either. Magic effects also seem generic especially those flame or magic aura emitting effects look a bit sloppy. Probably they wanted to distract you and throw in a few cheap fanservice shots mostly from Kurumi and Mui but that hardly get us anywhere. It’s like saying please excuse us for the bad production so accept a few fanservice shots as consolation. It is still unexplained how Kurumi could get her endowed figure while using her magic. I suppose that is why we call it cheap fanservice. Heck, if she doesn’t even know why she could shape shift into others by kissing, what are the chances would we? Maybe just like Ida, she doesn’t have full control over her powers and this is an effect to show it is going out of control. And if she is too emo she turns into a baby. Oh dear. But yeah… Hope she never controls them so we can ogle at her busty figure…

For the voice acting department, there are some I feel didn’t really fit the role. For instance, Mamoru Miyano as Takeshi (Light in Death Note, Zero in Vampire Knight), I know his voice sounds boyish but as Takeshi it just makes him sound so weak and a wimp, which is basically almost what the character is. Then there is Kazuya Nakai as Kippei. After being accustomed to hearing him as One Piece’s Zoro and Gintama’s Hijikata, it just feels odd to hear him voice the role of an antagonist. Because I feel that the way he talks he might break out into some joke or something. Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch Code Geass) as Oigami was exuding lots of manliness in his voice so I didn’t recognize him at first. Nao Touyama as Mui wasn’t as lively as how I used to recognize her like Karen in Kin-iro Mosaic and Yui in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru. The other casts include Asami Seto as Kurumi (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Kenichi Suzumura as Ida (Sougou in Gintama), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Gekkou (Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Tsuganashi (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Mikako Takahashi as Momoka (Ayumu in Hayate No Gotoku), Daisuke Namikawa as Kazuma (Jellal/Mystogan in Fairy Tail), Yuuka Nanri as Towa (Karen in School Rumble), Atsuko Tanaka as Violet (Caster in Fate/Stay Night), Mao Ichimichi as Ena (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda) and Fuji Sakita as Hotaru (Ao in Yozakura Quartet).

The opening theme is Senkou No Prisoner by Yuuka Nanri and there is nothing appealing in this generic anime pop rock. The ending theme is another rock piece entitled Born To Be by Nano. Although it overall doesn’t appeal much to me but if I had to say the most appealing aspect would be the funky bass lines. At least the ending theme sounds better than the opening theme in my opinion and I would prefer to hear the former if given a choice.

On a trivial note, the next episode preview is the most amusing segment of the series. It features a cartoonish witch girl named Mahoko whom I believe could be the mascot of Subaru Magic Academy. She rants (or gets side-tracked) just about anything from her debut in previewing the next episode to her favourite zunda mochi food to promoting some green vegetable juice to cattle mutilation and UFO abduction (WTF) and the ultimate breaking the fourth wall of worrying if the next preview segment will be still around because this means she won’t be able to spam us with her cutie ranting. Now, this is what Nao Touyama sounds like. At least, the version of her that I could instantly recognize. It usually ends with Mahoko saying the name of a spell which I believe is the ‘spell of the episode’ like Melt Projection, Blast Fog, Electric Blow or Last Requiem. Yeah, there is always at least one new spell casted. Otherwise, what is the name of this series again?

Overall, this series is just mediocre but compounded with that very bad last episode, it made everything worse. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to watch this show if you are strictly not into stuffs that are below average (assuming you have considerably high standards). Weak characters, disorganized plot and for the umpteenth time, the horrendous ending, you may be better off staying away from this. Unless you’re just like me who has too much time on his hand doing nothing important except busy watching animes, then I suppose there is no harm trying. Always give things a chance even if other critics put it down by a mile. Just don’t get your hopes up by expecting some sort of miracle. Because just like the Ruined World, this series feels like steadily collapsing into nothingness. Not even any sort of magic spell could save it.


October 17, 2014

To non-Japanese and especially those who are not familiar in the world of traditional Japanese arts, the term geisha may bring to mind the misconception that they are prostitutes. Oh, if there was some sort of material that would just dispel this mistaken belief. No, I don’t want to read a thick textbook of history or even look up Wikipedia for reference. Aha! Do an anime about it! Oh yeah. How else can you tell the world about geisha who are skilled women performing various Japanese arts, music, dance and games? So that is why there is Mitsuwano albeit it is only a single OVA episode. However this isn’t going to be some documentary about geishas. In fact, it is about maiko. Mai what? Geisha apprentices to put it simply. This OVA chronicles the 3 friends whose dream are to become the best maiko and their trial and tribulations.

Every journey begins with…
Mai Ichinose, Midori Aikawa and Riko Kikudzuki are best friends and dream to become maiko one day. They look up to their seniors, Kazuha and Shino. Being apprentices, they sleep on wooden pillows and make breakfast every day for their ‘grandma’ who is also the landlady of the place they are staying. After that they head to the maiko school to learn and practice more dance by a maiko instructor. There is a school excursion in Kyoto and several girls request the trio to take photos of them. They become excited to learn they are maiko. Mai remembers she was here before on her own school excursion. She got lost and separated in the rain. While taking shelter, she met Kazuha. Had it not been for her, she would not have gotten into the world of maiko. After that, the trio stop by a draper store whereby the owner is an old friend of grandma. She has the best kimonos in town. She mentions that this year’s Gion Festival will feature a dance recital organized by the tourism association. It is a good chance for aspiring maiko to take the stage. Speaking to Kazuha about it, she confirms about it and they are participating. However she notes there can only be two. This sends the trio worrying because this means only 2 of them will be chosen. Midori thinks she will be the one left out as her dance isn’t as good. Don’t give up yet. Regardless of whether who gets pick, they vow to work hard. But testing times are here when Midori gets scolded harshly by the maiko teacher since her movements are so stiff. She sinks into depression and does things by herself instead of hanging out with her friends. She even practises late into the night alone. Of course this worries her friends and this is also affecting their morale. Especially Mai who feels that they have become distant when they were always together.

Before they know it, Gion Festival is already around the corner. Instead of moping, Midori suggests Riko to ask grandma since she is her niece. When grandma realizes that they already know about this, she figures it is time to make a decision. This only worries the trio even more. As usual, Midori believes her inferior dance means she will be taken off. Stress levels are getting higher. Riko feels guilty that if she knew this would happen, she wouldn’t want to perform at the recital. Midori scolds her for even thinking of passing up such a chance. Mai starts thinking and then it hit her. Why must only 2 perform? Why can’t they all perform together? She goes to ask grandma directly to let 3 of them perform but grandma doesn’t understand what they’re talking about. Aren’t only 2 of them will get to perform? Grandma clarifies that the recital is for all Okiyas (lodging house a maiko lives during the length of her career as one) so everyone must participate. The restriction is for 2 performances. When she said it was time to decide, it was so that their programme won’t clash with other Okiyas. This means the trio can perform together. What a big relief. See? Had they ask in the first place and not jump to silly conclusions. So the trio confront Kazuha about the way she put her manner of speech that caused much stress among them. She apologizes and hopes they give it their best. On the day of festival, we get a glimpse of the trio’s dance on stage.

Lead The Way…
Despite the slow drama that may not amount to anything much to some, at least the use of maiko as the setting of theme is something refreshing and eye opening. It is one of those lesser known tropes of the Japanese culture and it is a bold step to make this as some sort of ‘experiment’ perhaps to gauge the audience’s interest in this subject. It’s a good try although I doubt it will get many interested. Since this is only 1 episode, it isn’t fair to judge them entirely as it won’t be such a good idea to spam knowledge bits about maiko. You won’t get to learn much about their world from this single OVA but it is safe to say that their profession in general DOES NOT OFFER sex services! Even if you still think that geishas are prostitutes, blame some whatever rule that states if something exists, there is porn to it.

One of the good points of this OVA is that the art and drawing are well done. Especially the background sceneries and the buildings that are quite pleasing to the eye. I am not sure if the streets are modelled after the real ones in Kyoto, though. The character designs are also okay but I can’t still get over the fact that putting too much makeup makes them look less pretty. Actually this is my personal point of view. Even in other traditional Japanese arts like Kabuki, Noh or even Chinese Opera, personally I feel putting too much makeup on the face despite it is all part and parcel of it feels like overkill. But of course, without those makeup, it wouldn’t really be maiko or geisha in the first place.

Also attracting me to have a look at this OVA is some of the seiyuus. It is surprisingly pleasant to hear Yui Horie (as Mai), Rina Satou (Midori) and Sayaka Ohara (Shino) in this little anime. Riko is voiced by Nozomi Sasaki (Nanami in Bokura Ga Ita) and Yumi Hara as Kazuha (Marielle in Log Horizon). The ending theme by Yui Horie, Kono Basho De isn’t too bad either since it has that calming and soothing feel. While this OVA may be passed off by many who would prefer to watch flashier and popular series, there is still no harm to watch something that will make you understand a little bit of Japanese culture and heritage. However even though the calming pace and drama of this single OVA, I feel that I am really not quite interested in this world of maiko and geisha so even if they turn this into a full fledge anime series, chances are that I might not want to catch this one. Better stick to the overused and familiar tropes, huh? And if they use the cheap way out by flooding it with fanservice… Then just maybe. Just maybe. But that would be doing a big disservice to the industry.

Mikakunin De Shinkoukei

October 12, 2014

Arranged marriages. Not really the in-thing today. Modern society and today’s people won’t be caught dead in entering one of these. But anyway, when was the last time I saw an anime with the arranged marriage as its theme? I don’t really remember but the retro anime Ranma 1/2 was the more famous one. And recently we have one too. Mikakunin De Shinkoukei – Engaged To The Unidentified has that element too but it differs a lot from Ranma 1/2 since there isn’t going to be wacky martial arts and ‘shape shifting’ characters. Instead, we have a girl who just breached her big one-six birthday and what does she get for a present? A future husband! No, not a surprise birthday party or a big birthday cake. Not even an iPhone or expensive dress or jewellery. But a guy her age. Who the hell came up with this? As usual, because such arranged marriages aren’t opposable and you can’t undo this ‘spell’, the only way is to live together and try to get along, right? And you know what they say about people who have been living with each other quite some time. If adjusting to the new life is tough and having nobody else outside the family know about this, wait till she learns there is more than meets the eye to her future husband. No, he is not already married with children for goodness sakes!

Episode 1
Kobeni Yonomori wakes up on her 16th birthday but her siscon sister Benio might have ruined it with her over exaggerated drama. She gets a surprise when mom, Akane mentions that one of grandpa’s kids will be staying with them, Hakuya Mitsumine. He isn’t some sort of birthday present, isn’t he? Worse, he is her fiancé! Great. Just what she needs on her 16th birthday. So what is this excuse that there aren’t enough potential brides in the countryside? Anyway, grandpa’s words are absolute. Although Akane notes that they have met before when they were young, she doesn’t quite remember. But they’ll get another guest soon. Mashiro is Hakuya’s little sister and will be staying to keep an eye on her absentminded brother. Mashiro tries to act like a noble but Benio has another fetish for lolis and you can tell she will be public enemy number one in Mashiro’s books. She’s going to develop some sort of trauma with this sicko around. All Kobeni is concerned about is if they will have enough for dinner so she goes out to shop for ingredients. She slips on the slippery snow but Hakuya catches her. He asserts she is important to him and will always protect her. She explains an accident she got into when she was young so she doesn’t remember anything prior to that. He pats her head. Kobeni wants to know if Hakuya and Mashiro have any particular food they like. Hakuya will love anything she cooks. He’s not sucking up to her, isn’t he? Walking to school together, Kobeni doesn’t want this fiancé thingy to be found out but too bad her classmate-cum-friend, Mayura Momouchi already finds out about it because Hakuya gave it away while introducing himself. Not only Hakuya has transferred into her class but Mashiro too! And nobody is stumped why a loli is enrolled here! Too cute to question? Even more baffling (only to Mashiro) is that Benio is worshipped like some sort of role model. It’s like she has this Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality. Everyone adores this pretty, polite and smart student council president. No Mashiro, you’re not hallucinating. Can’t accept it? Believe it! And so Mashiro clings on to Hakuya’s back like a leech, vowing to avoid that lolicon as long as she is in this school. Can she? Kobeni is proud of her sister because people used to compare the sisters. Hakuya pets her head and says that she is her own person.

Episode 2
Mashiro still cannot accept the role model student Benio is. Oh look, here comes the serial lolicon. Know the true meaning of fear! Benio tries to lure her in with tea and scones by inviting her to her student council office. Mashiro tries hard to resist it. During dinner, Mashiro talks about Kobeni not having her memories but Hakuya reminds her that they are not to talk about the past as long as they live in this house. Of course Mashiro couldn’t understand why he is doing this. Kobeni was saved and survived thanks to him and his powers. But Hakuya blames himself if he had done his job right from the start, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt in the first place. He doesn’t want her to marry him just because she feels indebted and wants to keep this accident a secret. Loli Mashiro gets more trauma when she starts believing those UFO kidnappings and UMAs as discussed on TV. The world is scarier than this, believe me. As Kobeni falls asleep, she sees vignettes of her past memories. But it isn’t exactly clear. Something about her in the mountains. In class, Mashiro and Mayura discuss about Kobeni having great wife prospects. Her cooking, great child bearing hips and those big boobs… Mashiro shouldn’t think about the last one because it’s just depressing… Oh come on, how old is she? She’s got a few more years, right? Right?! The trauma begins when Benio joins in the conversation. But everyone sees it as some sort of refined conversation. Are they blinded by her charm? Mashiro finds it hard to believe that there may be some super hypnotic thingy that enchants the students. She is shown Benio’s achievements and they aren’t fake. So now you believe? Not really. She thinks there are multiple Benios! Benio extends her invitation to join her for tea again but student council vice president, Nadeshiko Kashima knocks Benio and takes her away. This will some sort become the running joke of the series whenever Benio can’t stop fawning over Mashiro at school. Mashiro can take heart that there are some decent people around. When Mayura wonders if they are living together secretly, Mashiro admits it and doesn’t believe it should be kept a secret. Oh. Everyone heard…

Episode 3
Three is this deluded wonderful dream Benio is dreaming of. Kobeni and Mashiro love her! And she calls Nadeshiko just to tell her about it. This is going to be another running gag… Mashiro is picky with her food but for Hakuya, he doesn’t mind what Kobeni cooks. Anything from her is delicious. Benio can’t stand this romcom situation. During gym, Kobeni doesn’t excel in sports while Hakuya is just standing there at the goalpost… Like a statue… Again, Benio tries another invitation trick to Mashiro but is cut out by Nadeshiko. She instead invites Mashiro and the loli accepts! Benio records all that Mashiro does into her brain and it gives her the will to carry out her duties. Hakuya accompanies Kobeni to buy ingredients for dinner. Since he isn’t the kind that talks much, she is feeling a bit awkward of this silence. Although she feels he is weird, she views him a good person. They buy personal bowls Hakuya and Mashiro since they have been using the guest bowls as Hakuya experiences firsthand the fearsome discount bargains at the supermarket. It’s like a warzone with all the mamas and aunties haggling and fighting for limited discounted stuffs. Next morning when Kobeni wakes up, she sees Benio sleeping next to her, staring with that happy smile. She just wakes up and feigns ignorance. Hakuya receives a letter asking how life is going and especially if Mashiro can eat sticky foods. Mashiro starts panicking and will reply that letter. So she lies that she loves natto when apparently she prefers all that strawberry jam scones they just made and had. Benio wants to help with the laundry but Kobeni doesn’t feel it is necessary as she will only end up doing more work later on. She sees Mashiro’s animal prints panties but was scolded by Kobeni for screaming like a pervert. Despite in depression, she still got the cheek to browse through underwear catalogue for lolis… She probably wants to buy Mashiro panties now that she knows her size. To her surprise, Kobeni comes to talk to her. Not because to ask of her 3 sizes, mind you. She wants to know why she didn’t oppose to her being engaged to Hakuya since she’s such a siscon. Not because she is jealous or anything. Benio explains they once went to grandpa’s house in the mountains when they were young. She fell off a cliff and Hakuya saved her life. When she slipped, Hakuya dove down after her and it resulted in them both getting hurt. Somehow Hakuya made it back alone after making sure she was rescued. It made Kobeni feel guilty and the worst for forgetting such an important incident.

Episode 4
Kobeni falls sick thanks to that shock. Benio blames herself because it was supposed to be her who accompanied grandpa but wanted to play with her friends. It’s her fault that’s why she doesn’t want to tell her. Kobeni disagrees but since she is still weak she is put back to bed. With Kobeni out, Mashiro realized the worst possible scenario. I think you know what it is. Never realized how important Kobeni was, eh? Kobeni dreams of falling off the cliff and patting something furry. As Kobeni will be taking a day off from school, Hakuya wants to stay back too. Benio disagrees so all want to stay back till Kobeni yells at them to j just go. When Mashiro cleans Kobeni’s back, she sees the scar of the fall. She couldn’t remember much still as she was out for a month after the fall. When Kobeni is fine, she couldn’t dare look Hakuya in the eye. He takes it the wrong way and dashes out of the house in super lightning speed. Kobeni goes after him and manages to find him. He is still feeling guilty for her getting hurt but she disagrees. They end up arguing that the blame is their own till they realize they’re late for school. Mashiro seems sounding like she is covering something up when she mentions about pulling strings about turning first period into study hall and Hakuya crossing mountains and valleys to get to this town. While Benio rues that something must have happened between Kobeni and Hakuya to level up their relationship, Mayura is ecstatic to learn about Hakuya saving Kobeni incident. She views them as soul mates. Kobeni wants to get to know him more but doesn’t know how so Mayura goes asks on her behalf. What does he like? Kobeni. He said that with a straight face! Mashiro adds Kobeni is important to Hakuya. Without her, he can’t go on. She was the first person his age he met. In short of this complicated family issues, he loves her and Mashiro won’t know what to do if the engagement is broken. She can’t imagine him being single for the rest of his life. Nadeshiko warns Benio not to meddle in the affairs or will end up being hated. She doesn’t think that is such a bad thing too… Back home, Hakuya and Mashiro discuss how they are going to tell about their family. Mashiro thinks they need to get closer or she will not understand. Hakuya receives a letter from home that someone will be coming over to check on them.

Episode 5
Mashiro is appalled Benio got an animal pyjamas for her. When Kobeni tries asking her real age, Hakuya tries dodging the question and even presses her cheek. She gets flustered when he pats her head again. Then she learns about somebody coming over here. Mashiro is panicking because part of the letter says they want to find out if Mashiro can eat sticky food. Since Kobeni is the perfect housewife, it is most likely their attention will be turned to her. She tries to overcome he hatred for natto but I don’t think balancing it on her head will do the trick. As Kobeni goes out to buy ingredients to welcome the guest, she meets a lost lady in purple kimono. She guides the way till they reach their home only to realize this lady is Shirayuki, Hakuya and Mashiro’s MOTHER!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!! This petite young lady is their MOTHER??????!!!!!!! I don’t know what to believe in anymore. Seems Shirayuki got distracted in buying lots of snacks along the way. She didn’t forget. Here is the natto for Mashiro. The loli apologizes of her lie. She figured out this much. She then touches Kobeni’s boobs and likes her fine body. She will welcome her into their clan whose numbers are diminishing due to development as they are losing their habitat. Eh? What? This is the ultimate revelation: Shirayuki didn’t realize her children have not told Kobeni that they are not humans! That is when Kobeni remembers who Hakuya is. He is a dog! Kobeni is going to fall sick again after hearing this big shock. A reason why the siblings never told her yet. She can’t take such surprises. Not everyone possesses a mind like steel like Benio. Maybe she’s just a pervert. Shirayuki talks to Kobeni that Hakuya gave half his powers to her when her life was in real danger. Because of this unhuman power, she falls sick every now and then. Shirayuki leaves and she hopes Benio won’t tell this to anyone or they’ll lose their habitat. As part of her powers, she can jump to great lengths. Who needs transportation? But before she goes, she has Kobeni remember how she used to stroke Hakuya’s head back then. She thanks her for treating him well. Kobeni realizes the reason why he pats her head. He thought it would make her happy like she did. Shirayuki is distracted by a melon bread van. What did she say about no more detours?

Episode 6
Akane talks to Kobeni and knew the Mitsumine family aren’t humans. She found it hard a first but Kobeni wouldn’t be here if they were ordinary humans. Benio didn’t like the fact that Akane never told her… That Shirayuki looks like a loli! Kobeni ponders over their human form so Mashiro mentions about being able to control their transformation. This makes Benio want to see animal ears on Mashiro. Kobeni would like to see Hakuya in his dog form but he won’t transform. Because they’re in public. Mashiro didn’t do well in the test so she reveals she didn’t skip grades. She just happened to blend into the crowd. But Kobeni is impressed that she is learning high school stuffs so it means she is smart. As Mashiro and Kobeni talk about Hakuya, this reminds Mayura that Valentine’s Day is near. You know what this means. Since Hakuya isn’t aware of that they, she can surprise him. Kobeni observes him and the way he sleeps or spaces out feels like dog. She pats his head like how she used to and scares him. Benio cannot stand this romcom scene and goes to harass Mashiro. The girls go out to the chocolate store and since Mayura’s family runs a huge confectionery store, their brands are all over the place. Mashiro gave into temptation to buy some UMA chocolate series. She got lots of Nessies… Kobeni makes chocolates as she wonders if she is going to marry Hakuya one day. Benio expresses her dilemma to see Kobeni in a wedding dress (or 10 of them) but at the same time doesn’t want to let her go.

Kobeni manages to give those she wants her chocolates except for Hakuya. What is she hesitating for? Because Mashiro teases her, she threatens to cook dishes she hates for dinner! Benio thinks she can win Mashiro’s heart with a huge purchase of UMA series. Actually she screwed up and got horses (uma = horse in Japanese). Kobeni is about to give Hakuya her chocolates at the rooftop. But seeing that there are other couples blurting out their love, it embarrasses her and she runs away. That reminds Hakuya today is Valentine’s Day and he hears depressing comments of those who didn’t get a chocolate. He concludes Kobeni hates him! Meanwhile Mashiro’s obsession with the UMA series continues. Trying to get that elusive UMA? More Nessies! But Mayura saves the day because she made arrangements with her grandpa to get leftovers that are meant for disposal. This shows they weren’t popular in the first place. But… Not Nessies again! Hakuya is in foul mood when he gets back so Kobeni wonders if he dislikes chocolates. Kobeni brings 2 towering chocolates back. After Kobeni gives Akane her chocolate, she manages to give to Hakuya. Benio ruins the mood as she can’t stand this anymore and hijacks Kobeni and Mashiro. They’re hers. Her waifu! Her loli! All hers! Akane has to deal with the collapsing cake tower while Hakuya is happily in his own world. Ah, such a simple guy.

Episode 7
Mashiro is feeling the chills from Konoha Suetsugi, the student council secretary. Does she hate this loli? Why of course. Because she is a Benio fanatic. Flashback reveals she was lost in this town when she first came but polite Benio helped her. The rest is history. So she decided to attend the same school but to her dismay she didn’t know she had a sister. While she accepted that, she couldn’t accept that Mashiro pipsqueak who suddenly entered the scene. She feels it is unfair for her to get special treatment. Her friend, Niko Oono from the newspaper club offers to help by doing some research on them. However with her giving Kobeni thick questionnaires to fill and snapping shots of Mashiro, Konoha feels if Benio finds out about this, she will be hated for life! She tries to stop her but Niko assures she will do a good job. She suspects about Mashiro being an elementary kid but enrolled in high school. Something smells fishy. But Hakuya takes away her camera and deletes the photos and warns her not to bother them. So she observes them the old fashion way without the camera and takes notes. Kobeni helps Hakuya in his studies since he didn’t do well in the test. Mashiro wants to use the toilet but the corridors in the evening feel scary. She rushes there with her eyes closed. Since Niko is around the area, she makes haste to hide in the toilet. But it hurt her hip so she starts moaning. Mashiro thought she heard voices of a ghost and runs out. Now she thinks she sees a monster. Actually it is Konoha but with the sun at her back, the shadow makes her scary. She starts talking in a crude way to refute but Kobeni heard this. Kobeni asks Benio about her but it’s nothing important that she should know. Speaking of Benio, she heard Mashiro is afraid of going to the toilets and will accompany her! That’s even more dangerous! But Benio takes Mashiro’s hand anyway. Konoha is trying to find Benio and sees this but can only frust in silence. She cannot accept this and starts fantasizing about Benio. This makes her talk funny and of course, Kobeni heard her. She composes herself and wants to talk to Mashiro. Okay, so now what? Mashiro can smell she is from the mountains but Konoha tells her off not to be rude to Benio. Mashiro objects and that it is Benio who is being rude to her. It all sounded like Mashiro bragging and they end up calling each other an idiot. After Konoha runs away in tears, Mashiro mentions that Konoha is like one of them. Hakuya also noticed but never said anything since it didn’t really matter. Once Konoha calms down, she wonders if Mashiro and Hakuya are of the same species.

Episode 8
Thinking Benio shouldn’t know about their true identity, Kobeni doesn’t want to tell her this ‘secret’. Of course this only makes her more worry. What the heck is this secret thingy? Kobeni also talks to Konoha that she knows about her and won’t rat her. However due to her ambiguous words, she thinks she is blackmailing her! Benio continues to be worried about the secret. It’s a big thing to her, you know. I’m sure Nadeshiko has fun messing around with her like the secret is that Kobeni is a boy or their relationship has taken to a new level. But she better be careful not to say too much. Who knows when she will go crazy. Oh wait. She is. When Kobeni and co are out shopping for clothes, the skirt didn’t fit her well so Niko who was secretly trying to observe her notes she is concerned about her big butt. The rest tell Niko to stop doing this because it’s not nice. Although Niko backs down, she doesn’t give up yet. So she calls Konoha and tells her about Kobeni’s worrying big butt! Konoha needs to ascertain if Mashiro is the same kind with her and wants to talk alone. Her daydreaming causes her to spill endless photos of Benio! Saw that, didn’t you? The journey to the rooftop suddenly becomes a competition to out-walk and outrun each other. Benio sees this and thinks they’re fighting over her! Since the rooftop is too cold to talk, they jump down to outside the gym. Benio asks Kobeni about the thing between Konoha and Mashiro. Not wanting things to get complicated, she replies it has nothing to do with her. Ultimate shock. This confirms it. She has gone nuts. Wondering why Mashiro is taking too long, Kobeni goes to check on them. When Konoha accuses her of sneaking into Benio’s house just to get her, Mashiro starts crying! Hakuya calms her down with a chocolate bar. Hakuya doesn’t feel good when he starts remembering Benio’s harassment over his sister so Konoha thinks he too is after Benio. After all that denying, Konoha now laments those poor souls don’t see the greatness in Benio. Which is it? Konoha takes a good look at Hakuya and although he is not her type, she remembers her mom telling her that guys of their species are rare so when you see one, grab ‘em! Konoha wants Hakuya to marry her. What are the chances of Kobeni hearing that? Yeah…

Episode 9
Kobeni is so shock that she falls down! This alerted the rest but she brushes it off and walks away. Hakuya goes after her. Mashiro tells Konoha to lay off since the duo are engaged. That’s news to her. Why, she even thought because of that, she might be related to Benio because same species only marry each other, right? Kobeni is still shocked thinking that Konoha likes Hakuya but he reminds her he is already engaged to her. Niko overheard this and bug them for details but Hakuya has her go ask Konoha instead. And so she did go bug Konoha but from the way she talks, Konoha could guess it is an arranged marriage. This means they are not agreeable to it and she still has a chance. Mashiro is fuming over her argument with Konoha because the latter accused her of being here just for Benio. She felt insulted. Back home, Benio also heard something of that sort and wants to take full responsibility by marrying Mashiro even if she doesn’t understand what is going on. Mashiro doesn’t give a damn. Now Benio bugs Kobeni for details. She says probably her popularity has caused everyone to feel jealous and fight over her. Happy? Later Kobeni panics when Mashiro tells her she already told Konoha about their engagement and this should lay her off. But what happens if Niko finds out? Never thought that far… Speaking of Konoha, there she is and she reiterates she hasn’t given up yet. Since Kobeni will be disturbed over this, Mashiro suggests a bribe and that means taking pictures of Benio. Kobeni talks to Konoha in private and hopes she wouldn’t reveal their engagement. She wasn’t planning to. But Konoha wonders if they aren’t agreeable to this, why didn’t she just break up? Otherwise they wouldn’t be doing this the right way. Suddenly Kobeni starts crying! Konoha feels she is in big sh*t when Benio sees this. Oh no. Is she going to think she made her sister cry and will hate her? Nope. Benio didn’t realize they were such good friends and even hopes they get along. Benio then notices Mashiro snapping in the corner and sees all the photos she has taken in her handphone. Now she thinks she has a secret thing for her. It just worsens everything. Back home, Kobeni makes Mashiro a chiffon cake but it tastes awful since Benio walked into the room. She gives Mashiro a picture of herself complete with her autograph! Kobeni talks to Hakuya and wants to clarify she didn’t want people to spread rumours about them and not because she was against their marriage. Mashiro interprets that runabout speech as Kobeni is saying she likes him. Shocking? I know it is to a certain big sister. So much so she purposely pushes down Hakuya! Mashiro notices White Day is coming up and it is Hakuya’s chance to prove how manly he is.

Episode 10
Benio is just pissed. But she can’t take it out on Kobeni or Mashiro and vents her frustration on Hakuya instead. Despite knowing they are engaged, she refuses to accept it! Kobeni couldn’t understand her sister’s selfishness so Mashiro spills it out that it is because she implied that she likes Hakuya. Instead of discussing about her, they should discuss about what to give on White Day. Holding hands? But with Mashiro in between? Mashiro tells Mayura that Hakuya and Kobeni’s relationship has levelled up. Hakuya even looked up the meaning of lovey-dovey though it makes Kobeni feel embarrassed. Mashiro and Mayura leave the room just to give space for them to be alone. They are about to go home together when Benio spots them. Mashiro is not with them and she worries the loli will be without protection! She jumps down from the second floor just to confront them! Mashiro shoos Benio away, accusing her of interrupting their time. But they are left trembling in fear when they see Kobeni’s scary face because she realizes they were spying on them. Konoha has a lot on her mind especially with what Kobeni said to her about keeping it a secret and not like standing out. Since Niko is bugging her for something to write, she eventually tells her something. An article although is 80% about Benio, there is a small section on Kobeni’s great cooking. Benio would love to cut it out but she soon realizes the threat of nasty scumbags taking notice of her. Konoha feels bad that she might have done something to upset Benio and Niko realizes the article has nothing newsworthy. Kobeni is surprised to learn from Mashiro that she is similarly half like them since Hakuya gave half his powers. This means she has some mysterious power too although it won’t work like how it does in those fantasy shows you see. Mashiro wants her to forget about Konoha and work her relationship with Hakuya and can even wear matching clothes. Benio interrupts and says she has already done them with Kobeni in the past. Mashiro suggests Hakuya to get something matching and Benio tries to compete with him. Hakuya didn’t walk home with the girls so that he could detour somewhere to buy Kobeni a present. He stumbles upon Kobeni who gives him a handkerchief as a present. She hopes he could keep this a secret because who knows what will happen if Benio finds out. Oops. Too late. She is just right behind you. The stress is killing her… Since it has come to this stage, Kobeni has no choice but to give Mashiro and Benio each a handkerchief present. She thought of waiting to give them back home. Hakuya seems disappointed so Mashiro tells him he needs to get an even better present.

Episode 11
You don’t even want to know what Benio is doing with the handkerchief. Telling Kobeni about the article she saw, she complains that not enough praises were written about her but at the same time nothing more should be said or else it would attract unwanted attention. So which is it? Anyway she has exercised her power. Niko laments to Konoha that Benio forbid her to write anymore articles on Kobeni. Konoha starts feeling guilty she is the source but Konoha has this rebel spirit and won’t back down! Oh no. Hakuya is under tremendous pressure on what to get for Kobeni. That evening as Mashiro is returning from buying her UMA goodies, she decides to use her leaping power thinking nobody is looking. To her dismay, Niko saw her but luckily the sun was to her back so she didn’t see who exactly it was. Hakuya gets mad at her for not being careful and this causes Mashiro to cry. This sends alarm bells ringing to Benio. Instead of ticking him off, she thinks of taking advantage of this situation. Don’t… Niko tells Konoha about some flying humanoid she saw and is going to write all about it. Konoha can sense she is talking about Mashiro and realizes the deep sh*t she is getting into. Niko assures Hakuya she won’t write anymore articles on Kobeni but this makes him get the wrong idea that she is not worth it. Because he can’t put it in right words, he tells Kobeni she is the best. Konoha misinterprets that they are this close and gets jealous of them, telling they should go on a date and do lovey-dovey things together. This gives Mashiro an idea that they should do so on Hakuya’s treat. Of course Benio won’t stand for this since she is left out (Mashiro is tagging along too) but thankfully Nadeshiko is here to take her away to do some charity work. This sucks… The trio go see some alien movie. Mashiro is super impressed, Kobeni is just stunned while Hakuya… He slept the whole way. They have more fun on their outing. You don’t know what you’re missing, Benio. A gust of wind blows up Hakuya’s hair and Kobeni sees a scar over his right eye. They brush it off but Kobeni knows it better. She feels bad that it is her fault that caused it but like Hakuya always says, she is not to blame but his own weakness. The tension is disrupted when Benio comes to pick them up like a possessive over-worried woman. It’s only 4pm. Mashiro hopes Kobeni can forget about the scar. Can she? Don’t think so. Hakuya and Mashiro receive another letter from home. That reaction… Can’t be good. Next morning, Kobeni goes to wake them up for breakfast but realizes they are not in their room. All their belongings are gone too.

Episode 12
The family thinks the duo will come back and it must have been some urgent business. They would have said goodbye if it was so. It is so much quieter without them around. Then Mashiro receives a new mail from Hakuya about them heading back to the mountains. So they really did leave. Mayura learns about this and thinks Kobeni should go after them since she knows where they come from. But she is worried about leaving her family but Mayura views at times like this she should be selfish. Hakuya is her fiancée so she has the right to go visit his house. And so without hesitation Kobeni makes her way to the rural snowy mountains. What are the chances she is lost? Hakuya and Mashiro are picking edible wild plants when Hakuya thinks he heard Mashiro’s voice. They find her taking refuge in a cave. They explain they just came back to collect those plants and it is common sense for kids to go home to show their school report card. As for why they took every belonging, they wanted to change their winter clothes into spring ones and leave their old textbooks at their place. I guess you can blame Hakuya’s message for not being clear enough. As for why he didn’t read or receive Kobeni’s message, simple: There is no signal in the mountains! Once Kobeni feels relieved, she collapses as she is developing a slight fever. Best of timing, a snowstorm hits the place and they are forced to stay put in the cave. They can use their powers to get her out but Kobeni will freeze to death. Hakuya goes off to find help while Mashiro stays behind to keep her company. Kobeni dreams that she fears people she loves leaving her. She fears Hakuya and Mashiro are doing the same. In a daze, she walks out of the cave and wanders aimlessly (the storm has resided).

Mashiro was out gathering firewood and is devastated to see Kobeni gone. Hakuya also came back with help but they have to start looking for her. They see Hakuya’s coat that he gave to her on the ground. She must be close by. Kobeni wakes up near a cliff. The snow cap breaks and she falls off. Déjà vu? Hakuya comes running faster than The Flash and saves her in time. He carries her back as Kobeni asks why he needs to hide the scar if it isn’t her fault. He doesn’t want her to be bothered by it. Of course she would. She doesn’t want him to keep something that important from her. They are engaged after all. Hakuya promises he will never do that again. They reunite with the rest and at the same time a helicopter finds them. You can’t imagine how happy Benio is to see them alive and well (they borrowed Mayura’s father’s company helicopter). Well, at least her idiocy is alive and well since she wants to warm up their bodies with her love. But she is the most pissed one too since Hakuya and Kobeni must have spent a lovely time together alone in the woods. Life returns to normal for everyone. Kobeni and co move up a grade and everyone remains in the same class. Did Mashiro use her power again? Niko is now focusing into UMAs and are devoting her articles to it. Mashiro and Konoha continue to be rivals, teasing each other a UMA. Needless to say, Benio is still obsessing over sisters and shows no sign of slowing down. This is worrying… Everyone (minus Konoha) has a nice nabe dinner. Hakuya again praises Kobeni’s delicious cooking. Although she is embarrassed but doesn’t mind it.

Hakuya won the raffles’ grand prize for a trip to the hotspring for 5. Looking through the catalogue of which inn they want to go, Mashiro is fixated on the UMA Village. Even Nessie appears here? Looks like the choice has been made. Mayura tags along since Akane can’t come. But Benio… We know what she is already thinking. At the inn, Mashiro tricks Benio to wait in another hotspring. Don’t want to get into the same bath with that monster, would you? Benio lies waiting and when she thinks they are coming, she springs a surprise. Turns out to be a monkey. Yeah, the monkey got scared of her. Mashiro is relishing to go discover UMAs since it will be a waste just soaking around. Suddenly she is attacked by a UMA! No, it’s Benio! The hotsprings are connected underneath. That night, eager Mashiro dresses up the part and leads the rest to go hunt UMAs in the forest. A mysterious sound attracts her but when she approaches to investigate, it freaks her out. It was just a crow but it sent Mashiro running and jumping as far as she could. Benio wants to bring her back and starts chasing her. Yeah, I think it scares Mashiro even more. The more she wants to run away. Run for your life! So when the chasing stops, Mashiro blames her for everything. Don’t worry, she’ll take responsibility by marrying her and they can live their happy lives in this forest. No thanks. They hear somebody coming. Could it be UMAs? Turns out to be Kobeni and Hakuya. Too bad scaredy cat Mashiro already fainted. Thanks to Hakuya’s keen sense of smell, they are able to get back to the inn. At that moment, they thought they saw Nessie in the lake. Next morning, Mashiro laments she should have taken a picture of it instead of standing there in awe. The local newspaper also reports sightings of a couple of UMAs flying and chasing each other in the air while howling. Isn’t that Mashiro and Benio? Mashiro blames her again but don’t worry, there is always the option of marrying her to take responsibility and turn this place into paradise.

Mashiro wonders why Benio and Nadeshiko are so close. Kobeni explains that she used to live nearby and the trio used to play together. Mashiro cannot accept ‘Benio’ and ‘getting along’ exist in the same sentence. Kobeni continues her narration, a time when they were at the park. Benio seems to have this sister fetish ever since Kobeni was born as she has a camera with photos nothing but Kobeni! Then they play house, Benio actually eats the leaf! Also, Nadeshiko as the ‘child’ accuses Benio the ‘father’ as a sex offender. And Kobeni as the ‘mom’ didn’t realize she was ‘married’ to a sex offender. She doesn’t even know what it means. So Nadeshiko couldn’t explain it well and says it is something like Benio. That’s when Kobeni says when she grows up, she wants to become a sex offender! Oh God. No! Now it’s Mashiro’s turn to explain about the remote village they grew up. As everyone there is old and the young ones moved to the city, Hakuya and Mashiro are the only kids around. Of course Mashiro is just bored. Hakuya can do anything and stay at it for hours whether it is studying or fishing. One day Shirayuki had to go do an errand and warns Mashiro not to peek inside the tea cupboard. Of course the bored child had her curiosity got the better of her and opens it to find a box of chocolates. She thinks mom is trying to keep it all to herself. She would rather have this instead of the dried potato snack Hakuya offered her. Naughty Mashiro then ate some of the chocolates and Shirayuki laments that she went against her warning. The reason she hid it is because she could share with them this surprise once she got back. But since Mashiro ate her share, I guess there is none left for her. Boo hoo! However Hakuya saves the day and gives his to her since he doesn’t like sweet things. Back to the present, with Benio now chasing after Mashiro, Kobeni tells to Nadeshiko that they were talking about the younger days. Nadeshiko clearly and only remembers the part where she wanted to become a sex offender! Like what Benio is doing now to Mashiro… Glad she didn’t become one. Who knows the chaos if there were 2 sex offenders…

Unimaginable Fiancé Occurrence – Engaged To The Weird
Uhm… Honestly, I feel that this series is a little letdown. Kobeni and Hakuya are supposed to be the main stars, right? However their romance feels like it isn’t going anywhere. It is just as in a snail pace. It is like it is the same from the start till finish except with just slightly better off than before. It was weird for Kobeni at first to suddenly know a guy who is going to be her future husband. She was opposed to it but it doesn’t feel it was so vehement that she would rather slit her throat than be with this guy. Okay, so I exaggerated but you get the point. At least she was giving this guy a chance. Hakuya is like 100% into Kobeni although he doesn’t show it so of course he has no protests. And because they do not really fight and quarrel, you don’t really see the ‘development’ growing between them. They’re quite nice with each other since day one so it gives the impression like they have accepted this. Even so, like I said there is no other development in this area after that for them. In this sense, the romance between them is disappointing. I know they should take it slow and easy but it didn’t do any good to the series. At least for me. And with that kind of ending, it just made it even more disappointing.

Therefore the most amusing and also the most annoying parts of the series go to Mashiro and Benio. I believe they are supporting characters and supposed to be side distractions but instead I have become distracted and amused by their quirky love-hate relationship (more of love from Benio and hate from Mashiro, that is). You can say that they take the centre spot from the boring romance of Kobeni and Hakuya. The sister and loli obsessed big sister becomes the biggest comic relief whenever things involved Kobeni and Mashiro. It is like her cue to become a dumb fixated big sister that will do and say anything just to have them. In a way, giving a chance for them especially Mashiro to shoot her down with comebacks or refusals or something. Her Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide personality either amuses or annoys the hell out of you. So much so the only solution I see for her to constantly put up her goody-goody behaviour is to have fans surround her 24/7. But she might get into little sister withdrawal mode… As for Mashiro, she is exuding so much moe as a loli that I feel that they are trying to convert us into lolicons. Thankfully, I resisted the urge. Almost everything Mashiro does from the way she talks and the way she acts gives off an air of moe-ness. Diehard lolicons should find her cuteness overwhelming and could have nose bleed to death. Borderline cases may fall into her charms while others may find it annoying. Yes people. Sad to say that this show is about Mashiro and to a certain extent, Benio.

So the only thing commendable from Hakuya and Kobeni’s relationship is that it teaches us to get along. No use b*tching about it. You’re going to live with each other for the rest of your life so might as well be nice to each other. Besides, Hakuya has already accepted Kobeni and likes everything about her and what she does so you can be very sure that this guy will never ever cheat on this girl. He will never go astray. Heck, he might even do a Rick Astley of never gonna give her up, never gonna let her down, never gonna run around and desert her. You bet he too isn’t gonna make her cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie or hurt her. Okay, maybe some of the things he needs to work on but that basically sums up what Hakuya’s personality is and his love for Kobeni since he isn’t much of a talker. Isn’t she lucky? Maybe that is one reason why she isn’t really opposed to it all.

The rest of the other characters somewhat fail to make a big impact and as I have said and reminded for the umpteenth time, Kobeni and Hakuya who are supposed to be the main stars didn’t shine as much and instead Mashiro and Benio are the ones who steal the show. Then we have the curious case of Konoha too who is confirmed to be as of the same species as Mashiro and Hakuya. The love triangle could have been something (I hope) especially with Konoha throwing down the gauntlet of wanting Hakuya to marry her. But then, it fizzled out and I am not sure if she has given up on this. Because Benio is her number one, right? But having the common sense to propose to Hakuya (no matter how unfitting and illogical it would seem) shows that she too has some brains to think about her future instead of devoting her life to some student council president. She would be totally devastated and go into meltdown if she ever sees her true colours. Niko’s enthusiasm in journalism is just about that. Otherwise she isn’t anything much except somebody who makes Konoha sweat in her pants from her brash actions.

There are a few things that are just curious in this series. We might not have seen exactly what Mashiro and Hakuya’s species is like but it is very much hinted towards something furry like a dog. Now think about this. If Kobeni and Hakuya actually get married, don’t you think it is like man and beast marrying each other? It’s like marrying your dog too, huh? What would be the implications of it? How would their offspring look like? The last anime I remember that a normal girl went on to live with some half-beast guy was Inu Yasha. Oh yeah. Remember that ending? Also, I am not sure if those species are aliens or creatures that are natural of this planet. You know, like werewolves or something. We don’t know much about their habitat except that humans are encroaching upon it and are losing out. But from what I can see, Mashiro and Hakuya (and even Konoha) did well to adapt in the city, right? Maybe they are young. But how many old folks of their species still live in the forest? And I suppose they have to be really old because look at Shirayuki. She’s a mother and she looks so young! Perhaps as young as Mashiro! She can be a legal loli to some! So really, do these creatures really need the wilderness? Adapt or die out.

Another point is about their grandpa. If grandpa’s words are absolute and made this arranged marriage, so is he one of the species too? He must be one heck of a powerful dude that nobody would even dare break his word. I bet not even Benio and despite she is opposing the arranged marriage, it is because she is facing Hakuya. I am sure she won’t say the same thing to grandpa’s face. So powerful is that old geezer whom we never seen his face that they could just not go ahead with the marriage. I mean, he doesn’t need to know, right? There is no signal in the mountains too, no? And if they don’t return home that often, they can always play and pretend that they are engaged. Not having thought so means Hakuya and Kobeni aren’t so much against this arranged marriage thing. Any girl her age these days would have screamed her head off instead of accepting her fate.

Oddly, Mashiro at first has this tendency to fear anything that is aliens or UFO. From a human’s point of view that may sound silly sometimes considering the fact that they are ‘not humans’. Maybe it is like how some other animals view humans as scary. Despite her fear for the extra-terrestrial, she loves to collect those UMA series toys. Sometimes I think those creatures look scarier than aliens. At the rate Mashiro is getting Nessie, maybe she’ll get to see the real one in Scotland after all. Haha! Speaking of powers, it is also hinted that this species also has some sort of super power although you can’t use and flash it like you see in superhero movies and comics. Aren’t you just curious to know what it is? Like for Mashiro it could be that hypnotizing spell, the reason why nobody questions a loli is in high school. Simple. They’re all lolicons! Haha! Just like how Benio has this mysterious spell that has everyone fawning and crowding over her. To them, she exudes an aura of grace and perfection. But to those who really know her, she’s your worst nightmare. Only difference is that she is family. She really needs to see a psychiatrist.

Besides Benio calling Nadeshiko and spam her with her complain or complaints, there is this other little running gag of the series. The one whereby I believe is Hakuya’s past time of building some house model from sticks. Each time he is near completion, somebody would just barge in and crumble all his hard work. Hakuya is left in shock while the perpetrator is unaware of all the trouble caused. And when this little gag ran for the last time, the culprit is Hakuya himself. On a trivial note, I just noticed that Kobeni and Benio’s name have the red colour (more accurately, vermillion) in it. Even Akane’s name is. As for Mashiro and Hakuya, they are of the white. Just like Shirayuki, which literally means White Snow. I don’t know about this colour coded meanings given to the names or it could be just a big coincidence. Yeah, a coincidence like UMAs and aliens.

The drawing and art seems pretty okay with the characters looking a bit of that cute look. Their details are simple and nothing over complicating. Dogakobo is the studio producing this anime and their art style can almost be seen in their other works such as Mangirl, Love Lab, GJ-Bu, Koihime Musou and YuruYuri. The only gripe I have is that at certain parts, you can see a white glow over the outline of the characters. It is as though they are being protected in some kind of magic bubble to keep them squeaky clean. I don’t know. I find the thin strip and layer of line to be quite jarring. Sometimes I think the producers forgot to finish colouring in the lines and this is a result of it.

Yuri Yoshida nails it as Mashiro. You can’t beat her in making the loli sound so convincingly cute. This is her debut role and so far the only voice acting role she has. Eriko Matsui (Isuzu in Log Horizon) is equally convincing as Benio in displaying her Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde personality. Wataru Hatano as Hakuya and Ayane Sakura as Nadeshiko are totally different than the livelier characters that they usually voiced. You wouldn’t notice that Hakuya was the same person who voiced Fairy Tail’s Gajeel and that bratty voice of Ayane Sakura is just missing in Nadeshiko unlike her Eno in Love Lab, Suzuka in Tokyo Ravens and Miyabi in Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouta Ga Iru. The rest of the other casts are relative unknowns and don’t have a long list of other anime roles to their name. They include Haruka Teruji as Kobeni (Amsterdam in Fantasista Doll), Manami as Mayura (Hiroko in Saki Episode of Side A), Saki Fujita as Konoha (Ao in Yozakura Quartet), Asuka Kakumoto as Niko (Maiko in Isshuukan Friends), Yui Watanabe as Akane (Yuri in Teekyuu) and Yuri Komagata as Shirayuki (Aki in Mangirl). I guess you could say that the studio engaged unidentified seiyuus for the job. Haha!

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Mikakuning, which is actually made up of Haruka Teruji, Eriko Matsui and Yuri Yoshida. The opening theme, Tomadoi Recipe may be a generic anime pop but I like the opening guitar parts which make it sound like a rock n roll music. It’s quite catchy actually. The opening credits animation feels like a big teaser too. Because there are a few fanservice pictures of Kobeni slot in between the montage of images during the opening play. It’s like as though they’re trying to get our attention with this cheap trick because hell we know there isn’t any real fanservice in this entire series! It made us go, “Whoa! Kobeni in her bra…!!!!!”. Then you’d be left wondering if there are any scenes of that sort in the anime. None. Maybe those pictures are from naughty Benio’s secret sister collection… For the ending theme, Masshiro World (no typo error here) is of course Mashiro taking the lead. Again it feels like a song to exhibit the cuteness of Mashiro and trying to convert us into Mashiro lovers. You can’t rap as cute as her, I tell you! And yeah, if that isn’t enough, we’ve got Mashiro clones jumping and dancing on stage and finally a full screen portrait shot of the loli herself. Can’t get enough of her? The insert song for the final episode 16-sai Tte Iu No Wa Tokubetsu Na Kanji Da by Jun Ichikawa is quite a slow and lovely piece.

Overall, this is not the best romantic comedy out there and I would just put this one as mediocre. If you are looking in this department anyway. Otherwise if you want to see some loli obsession, I think this show has more potential in this part compared to other areas. So in conclusion, stay for Mashiro and Benio for the laugh out loud and funnily annoying moments and only take the ‘blossoming’ romance between Kobeni and Hakuya with a pinch of salt. And despite the suspicious and suggestive name of this series, this is not an alien themed show. How cool would it be if Mashiro and Hakuya would be aliens? But then again, this trope of my-fiancée-is-an-alien/vampire/witch has been done many times before. In a world so abundant of technology and information, arranged marriage is so outdated. But getting hitched with a person you just met on some social site isn’t that the same as being in an arranged marriage? Because you are suddenly marrying that person you just know. Just that your parents didn’t decide it for you.

Tonari No Seki-kun

October 11, 2014

There are times in class when you just can’t seem to pay attention to the board. Maybe the teacher is such a boring person. Maybe the subject is very dry. Maybe the weather is too hot for you to give your concentration. Or maybe you just aren’t interested in it all. So what are you going to do to pass the time? Why, you do your own thing at your very own desk. I don’t know. Say, play cards, play your handheld console or maybe re-enact some epic crossover fight between your action figures of GI Joe VS X-Men VS Avengers VS Batman VS Transformers VS Ninja Turtles!

If you still have no idea how to pass the time by, then by all means you can refer to this wonderful little anime, Tonari No Seki-kun. This guy has no qualms in boldly ignoring the ongoing lesson in class and does whatever he likes just because the guy who sits in front of him is big enough to shield him from the teacher’s eyes. He is the master of killing time. Yeah. I guess this is the advantage of sitting right at the corner back. Nobody pays you any special attention. Except for his neighbour who is often distracted by the things he does. Annoyed but can’t take her eyes off what he does, eh? So do you see? Isn’t this little entertainment more interesting than the lesson in front? Let’s just hope she didn’t miss anything that will be on the test…

OVA Part A: Flag Topple
Toshinari Seki pours out sand from a pail onto his desk! He sticks a flag on top and neighbour Rumi Yokoi recognizes he is playing that flag topple game as he carefully removes the sand without toppling the mini flag. When the sand mountain gets brittle, he uses spray to moisturize and harden it. Then he whips out some sophisticated optical equipment like as though he is going to do some grand operation on the mountain. He carves it out until it is like a thin tower! Now he barricades it like as though it is some fine piece of art. The teacher calls him to solve a problem on the board. Since it is a very delicate situation and the slightest movement will destroy everything, he slowly gets up. Since he is taking too long, the teacher thinks he doesn’t know and calls Yokoi to do it. Startled, she immediately gets up and this causes the mountain to crumble. Oh no! Seki gives her that it’s-your-fault- death stare. Although afraid at first, she won’t be pressured and returns that death stare to him that it is his fault for not paying attention in class. He backs down and Yokoi feels she has grown a little stronger. Just a little.

OVA Part B: Cat
What is this? Seki taking out a cat from his bag?! This gives a whole new meaning to cat out of the bag? He is gentling petting it and Yokoi can’t help but fawn in delight. Cute, no? Before she knows it, he is petting another cat on his lap. So good that they’re giving out the purr of approval. Yokoi continues to heavily fawn over their cuteness but that soon turns into frustration and jealousy because she wants to touch them too. How come he gets to play with them all by himself? She tries to bait a cat by swinging her ruler but Seki’s foxtail did the trick to keep the cat in place. Not ready to give up yet, she takes out her fried shrimp but Seki is already feeding it fish. Yokoi feels so frustrated that she silently cries. Seki notices her and nudges if she wants it. Oh, how kind. Of course, yes please! Unfortunately… Seki continues petting both the cats while Yokoi gets the fish… Seki you idiot! That’s not what she wanted!!! The frustration continues…

Episode 1: Dominos
As usual, Seki is not paying attention in class. He whips out eraser after eraser from his bag. I think his entire bag is filled with them! His intention: To make a line of dominos! Yokoi’s advice to stop is of course fallen on deaf ears. He even puts the finger to the lips sign to her! Yokoi is too focused in watching him build his elaborate domino set so much so she didn’t realize the teacher called her. She gets up abruptly when she does and this startles Seki as he accidentally drops an eraser that starts the domino effect. Though, he manages to stop it. He gives Yokoi that it’s-your-fault stare! Seki has finally finished his domino piece. There is a large firework set that will go off at the end. Yokoi panics but Seki has already begun his domino. See how it falls… When it finally reaches the end, Yokoi fears the worst. Nothing happens… The fireworks are all in Seki’s head. Phew. After all that tension, she lies flat on her desk but the teacher thinks she is being lazy. She tries to point out it is Seki’s fault but he has already kept all his erasers and on his desk are books and appropriate learning materials. Eh? What the? Was she imagining things?

Episode 2: Shogi
Seki brings shogi pieces this time. He even drew the board on his table! His tapping is loud but the others don’t give a damn. But he isn’t going to play ordinary shogi. This is Yokoi’s vivid and dramatic interpretation of the drama Seki is playing using the pieces. The gold general betrays and kills the king to take over his throne (the king’s piece is broken in half). The army turns against him but Seki presses some buttons on his table to unleash trapdoors! How the heck did he modify his desk???!!! Because of that, the rest of the army fear him and return to their position. The enemy has surrounded them and the fake king flees to leave his army to fend for themselves. The original king returns to save the day but his piece further cracks. Yokoi is sure enjoying this dramatic piece, huh? Because the baddie returns to taunt the fallen king, Yokoi won’t tolerate anymore of this and shoots her eraser to the baddie to make the piece fly out of the window. Score! But now she risks Seki’s it’s-your-fault stare.

Episode 3: Desk Polishing
Yokoi notices Seki polishing his desk. Then he takes out all the cleaning and professional tools! He’s serious! He starts scrapping that the shavings get stuck on the guy in front (he didn’t even notice). Then he polishes real hard so much so it becomes so shiny and could reflect the sun! Now that his is done, he wants to polish Yokoi’s desk! No way! Leave it alone! Not even a 500 Yen bribe will make her give in. As time passes, because he keeps sighing and sighing, Yokoi felt pity and decides to give her pencil board for him to polish. Happy Seki starts his work with lots of passion like as though he has been given a reason to live. Her pencil board is so smooth and shiny. Yokoi is most impressed that she can see her reflection like a mirror. Suddenly the static electricity goes up to her hair and they start standing! Now that’s what you call a hair raising story! Haha! I thought she would turn into some Super Saiyan… Oh, Seki too got the same effect.

Episode 4: Go
Seki starts playing Go on his desk. Yokoi thinks she can concentrate in class since she doesn’t know much about the rules of Go. However she notices him making a story and character from the pieces! Black bear and white bunny?! She sees him make them fight together in some anything-goes match. She is torn between focusing on in class and seeing this dumb play. So much so she doodled the match in her notebook. Just when she think she cannot make out the messy pieces anymore, Seki combines both characters into one! But there is another fight coming up from the same character of inverse colour. His shadow? Yokoi is so engrossed in watching the developments (even painting the shadow character as the bad guy) that didn’t realize the teacher was calling her. He reprimands her for fooling around but she points out it is Seki’s fault. His desk is clean. But wait. She has proof. She shows him the doodle she draw. Hang on a second… Doesn’t it make her the one who is fooling around?

Episode 5: Eraser Stamp
At the science lab, Yokoi notices Seki carving his eraser with a chisel to make a personal stamp. Then she notices Seki trying to hide his stuff from Akiyasu Uzawa, the guy who is sitting next to him. Yokoi concludes Seki is very wary around this carefree guy and fears him more than the teachers. And this could be her lucky day because this will keep Seki in line and she can concentrate on her class. Soon, Seki continues his carving so much so his eraser now looks like a real stamp. Bored Uzawa takes a look into Seki’s pencil box and then uses the stamp pad to stamp Seki’s fingerprints. He then gets bored of it. WTF?! After that Seki takes out another eraser. Yokoi thinks he is going to carve another stamp but it turns out this is a stamp holder in the guise of an eraser! She is amazed by his ingenuity as Seki admires his achievement. The teacher tells his students to take the notes as it will be on the test. He is going to clear everything on the blackboard. Yokoi and Uzawa scramble to write it all. Uzawa messes up and realizes he forgot his own eraser. He takes it from Seki’s hand but when he starts rubbing, it breaks! Uzawa doesn’t even care why it is fragile and continues writing. Now you know the true fear of Uzawa? First time defeat for Seki? But definitely Yokoi continues her losing streak since she didn’t manage to copy the notes…

Episode 6: Disaster Drill
There is going to be a practice for a disaster drill today. But Seki doesn’t give a damn and is playing with his robot toy. Mini Optimus Prime? Heck he even has time to play house for the robot family! When the drill starts and everyone gets under the table, Seki is seen to be so uninterested, slacking off. Worse, the robot family is the one taking the drill seriously! Even during the evacuation, the robot family is the one being serious but Seki is just chatting with his friend. So much so Yokoi develops an admiration for the robots. At the assembly, Seki is laughing so hard with his friend, he accidentally kicks the robot family. This makes Yokoi mad. When he starts looking around, he finds them in Yokoi’s possession. She gives back that death stare that the robots do not belong to him! Back in class, Yokoi continues to give the robots a nice family treatment for the rest of the class. It wasn’t till the end of the school day that she realized she wasted a great deal of time on this…

Episode 7: Note Passing
Yokoi notices the class passing around little notes. Seki is doing it too but he has a bunch of them! And he is stamping them! Yokoi gets one from her friend Tomoka Hashino. Seems Seki is acting like the post office. Give him a note and he’ll stamp on it and pass it around. Since her friend is waiting for her reply, Yokoi thinks of using this chance to tell Seki off by writing a letter that he should pay attention in class. However he rejects her letter because it is not folded in standard regulation size! You got to be kidding me! And after she does, she is made to fill out a form specifying its delivery method! By the time she is done, the ‘post office’ is closed! Is there a conspiracy to not receive her mail? Of course those who can’t make it can deposit in the mail at the back of the class. Yeah. There is a real mailbox there. Yokoi stretches to deliver her mail without getting up. Although she manages to do so, her chair topples. She manages to go undetected by sitting on air. At the end of the day, Yokoi is pissed that Seki didn’t even empty the mailbox and went straight home. If all else fails, she goes to put a letter directly into his shoe box. Little did she know, a classmate saw this and a strange rumour soon starts circulating…

Episode 8: Shogi Part 2
Noticing Seki has brought his shogi pieces again, she thinks this time nothing will surprise and will be able to pay attention to class. Big mistake. Because this time all the army is against a single pawn! Then he added a new piece called princess and Yokoi thinks this is just like some foreign movie of a forbidden love between a soldier and the princess. She is so excited to know what is going to happen next that she can’t miss a single move! Unfortunately the single pawn gets mowed down by the army and beaten up badly. The pawn and princess turn into husband and wife. With the power of love, the husband counter attacks the army. Yokoi is so rooting for them but the turn of events when the wife is taken hostage and the husband being unable to do anything gets beaten up. She can’t take anymore of this when she notices a piece by her feet. It is the gold general and beneath it is his true identity as a father. Could it be the brainwashed father of the pawn? Yokoi is going to shoot the father back as reinforcement but Seki blocks it with his textbook wall! The teacher calls Seki to read the next line. Yokoi revels in this chance because it means he has to pick up the textbook. However Seki has made a wall of shogi pieces. She shoots through and tumbles the wall. A happy ending for the reunited family! But now they are left to scramble to find the page they’re supposed to be reading.

Episode 9: Needlework
Seki knitting in class? Yokoi is impressed but not so because knitting is her forte and can be considered a master. She has knitted so much and her work almost perfection that people think they are not knitted. As she observes him knitting, she criticizes and comments on his techniques and equipment used. She analyzes the thing he is making and the effect it would turn out and she is pretty confident the end product won’t be as good because if he is making a stuffed animal toy with those afghan stitches, he will fail miserably. In the end, it turns out to be a cactus. But something about it that Yokoi can’t take her eyes off it. Then it hits her. The toughness but yet gentle skin and texture that breathes life into it. She admits defeat and feels sorry for taking him for a beginner. She wants to cuddle it but this freaks Seki out as he untangles every fibre down to nothing! Evidence destroyed! Yokoi is so mad that she gives that death stare to make it back! But Seki pretends to pick up his book while trying to ignore Yokoi’s constant pressures. Maybe he was paralyzed by her scary looks…

Episode 10: Golf
Art class is the only time that Sakurako Gotou is able to be near Yokoi. She sits behind her and wonders if they can become friends. Yokoi notices Seki playing golf today. There are holes in the old table… Gotou misinterprets Yokoi’s intense look is that she is in love with Seki. There was that rumour… Seki is going to putt the ball into a hole on Yokoi’s side. Gotou gets flustered misinterpreting their ‘stare’ at each other. When the student in front passes back notes to Yokoi, she accidentally hits away the ball. This causes Seki to sulk so she apologizes. From Gotou’s view, she couldn’t understand why they are already fighting. Could it be they can communicate without talking? More misinterpretation when she thinks they are already living together and doing adult stuffs. Seki wants Yokoi to put up a golf flag but Gotou sees it as some adult yes or no flag. Since the golf ball is missing, the duo look under to find it. Gotou thinks they are kissing underneath the table in the middle of class! During recess, Gotou talks to Yokoi and mentions she saw what she did with Seki and doesn’t think it is appropriate. Yokoi agrees with her and is glad somebody else understands. We know Yokoi means a different thing but can you guess what Gotou is thinking when Yokoi mentions about Seki who is always like that but she can’t help being drawn into him. And then it keeps escalating… Nevertheless Gotou will support her and Yokoi is glad to hear that. She won’t give up and thinks they can become good friends. But this makes Gotou feel they are more distant than before.

Episode 11: Mountain Climbing
Seki takes out a cute little bear and Yokoi is excited to watch him play this cute little thing. But what is this tense atmosphere she is feeling? Wait a minute. There is another bear climbing up the back of the person in front of Seki, Takahiro Maeda. It is slowly climbing up as Seki is pulling its strings via clipper he clipped on his collar. Yokoi is terrified Maeda will notice but also feels the nerve wrecking bear adventure as he gets stuck at the collar, the violent shaking of Maeda when he uses his eraser and when he almost discovered it as he scratches his neck. The little one finally makes it to the summit and Yokoi is squealing in victory. However another violent shake causes the bear to be flung out the window. Luckily Seki pulls it back up with the string. He wants to hook the clipper on Maeda again but he turns back and gives that death stare causing Seki to back off and pretend he is sleeping. She smirks that this is what he gets for taking his games too far. Serves him right. However Maeda also gives her this stare! It’s like it’s her fault too for being an accomplice! Cower in fear! When everything seems to return to normal, Seki is going to try again. Does he ever learn? But there won’t be another mountain climbing achievement since Maeda continues to keep watch on his back. With that death stare…

Episode 12: Remote Control Car
Seki brings his mini remote control car but Yokoi is surprised that he is studying! Upon closer look, he is studying the traffic laws! He passes! Does he need it to operate the car? Anyway he sets up a complete set of a driving school. He controls the car to turn the corners and bends. At the slope, the car flips over. He becomes depressed and keeps everything. Next day, he continues with this game. But Yokoi notices his fingers covered with band aid. Did he undergo some intense training last night? This time he is successful and reaches the finish line. As reward, he gives himself a driver’s licence. It’s fake of course. Since he is punching his hand in the air, the teacher thinks he wants to solve a problem on the blackboard. Seki hints to Yokoi to give him an answer but she’s not helping. He tries to bribe her with a driver’s licence. She thinks it’s cool but this means she must take the test too. Forget it then. Seki panics. You’re on your own…

Episode 13: Pool
The students are going to learn about life saving but as usual, Seki is fooling around. His robots are the ones who are taking CPR seriously! The class has some free time at the end so the teacher allows them to use the pool. Seki goes to play with his friends and abandons his robots. Yokoi is pissed and takes them to somewhere less visible. Hmm… A mini pool and deck chairs? When she goes off to swim, Uzawa picks up a robot and throws it into the pool. Panicking Yokoi wants to go save it but Maeda’s butterfly stroke causes a huge tsunami (at least for the little robot). Then she sees it hanging on to Gotou’s hair. By the time she reaches there, it is already gone. Because Seki already took it and returned to play with it. When time is up and everyone has to leave, Yokoi is still it the pool desperately looking for the robot. It’s not there… Everyone thinks she is still a child at heart.

Episode 14: Lunch
Yokoi is impressed with Seki’s cute octopus shape wieners. But… He eats them violently!!! In fact, his entire lunch is just octopus wieners. She intends to ignore him or it will ruin her lunch but can she? She is horrified to see him stabbing the octopuses like a sheesh kebab and devouring them! He is like a Titan! Attack On Octopus Wieners?! Then there is an octopus warrior looking strong. Is he going to fight back? Too bad he got eaten just like any other wiener. When Seki chokes, Yokoi puts up that evil grin and feels he deserves it for toying with lives. Her friends find it creepy like as though she is an evil person trying to plan something. How can she explain Seki is the evil one? Then she sees him not finishing his lunch. Could it mean the wieners are spared? Happy Yokoi face. Her friends are finding her expression odd. But nope. Seki gives them to his friends! Total annihilation! Now she is crying. Her friends just couldn’t understand… To add salt to injury, Seki takes out another container containing… Cute rabbit apples for desserts! Stop! NO MORE DEATHS!!!

Episode 15: Paper Sumo
Yokoi is absent with a cold. This means Gotou will take her place in observing Seki’s quirkiness. For a change? She thinks Seki is gloomy when he takes out a paper sumo set and starts playing. Could it be that Seki and Yokoi are in some fight to be doing this in the middle of class? Seki puts bandages on his sumo and Gotou fears the worse that their fight is so bad that Seki resorted to playing childish games to fill his heart’s void. And the bandages represent his wounded heart. Each opponent the sumo faces is getting ridiculously colossal so Gotou believes he is beating himself up over it. But the more she watches, the more confused and the more she couldn’t understand. Frustrating, huh? She feels the anxiety in needing to do something to help them when she accidentally kicks the stool in front. This causes it to hit the table and rumble to sumo set. Seki thinks it is the ghost of Yokoi who did it! She must be cursing him from home! He feels scared but in Gotou’s eyes, she sees a passionate look. He puts away the set and she thinks he is back to his senses. Love prevails! The next day, Yokoi is back and she is healthier than ever. Gotou is so happy that they have made up and Seki must be feeling at peace now. Yeah. He’s sleeping…

Episode 16: Shogi VS Chess
Shogi again? But this time he has lined up western chess too. Because they are in the audio visual room and watching a video, Yokoi thinks the darkness means he can’t play well. However she notices the shogi pieces being dropped off the desk and the chess pieces cornering them. Why aren’t they fighting back? Is it because the chess pieces are black? Can’t see in the dark. Yokoi can’t stand his dirty way of fighting and is going to use her eraser to intercept. But it’s too dark for her to aim. She gets frustrated that at this rate they will be wiped out. Then she gets an idea. Before Seki is to take out the king, he notices a piece on his table. Didn’t he take it out earlier? No matter. Take it out again. The more he takes out, the more pieces he notices come back. Actually it is Yokoi picking them up and throwing them back. Seki gets scared that the pieces are haunted like zombies and quickly puts them away and starts chanting his prayer lines. Yokoi claims victory and this is the punishment he’ll get for playing dirty. The best part is he doesn’t know she is behind this. As she is about to get back to her seat, she realizes her skirt pinned down by his chair. Trapped! Nobody will help you in the dark…

Episode 17: Fukuwarai
Seki is wearing a blindfold. He is playing fukuwarai (a Japanese version of Mr Potato Head). He arranges the face in a funny way (because he can’t see) so much so Yokoi chuckles and attracts the class’ attention. Once everything passes, she takes a look again and sees him perfectly assembling his fukuwarai. That good, huh? Since he has got a lot of parts, he makes a family of it. Yokoi watches this family’s child grow up via several important occasions but can’t help notice that they are drifting apart. Could it be that they are not getting along well? With the kid now like a delinquent, Yokoi doesn’t want to see a broken family and is going to do something to help. She rolls up her textbook and hopes of blowing them close together again. But right at that exact moment, Seki moves his hand into place and he felt this very cold chilling wind blowing. He takes off his blindfold and in the midst of being freaked out over what he has just felt. Was it a ghost? Yokoi is glad that the family is together again. What a happy ending.

Episode 18: Card Trick
The teacher doesn’t have enough notes. This means some of them have to link their tables together and share. Oh God… Yokoi and Seki… Pray… However Yokoi thinks with their tables linked, he is unable to pull out his toys as usual. She smirks at his helplessness. She might have laughed too soon because he pulls out a pack of cards from his pencil box! Behold! Seki the magician! He is obsessed in trying to impress his tricks to her. What’s with the deal with the ace of diamond? Yokoi tries her best not to react and ignore Seki’s tricks because if she doesn’t, it is a sign that he will be impressed. Since Seki continues to bug her and the card is even there when she turns the notes, she crumples the ace of diamond! Serves you right! Now can she study? When the teacher calls Maeda to read, there is that card on his butt. But how? Didn’t she crumple the ace of diamond? She’s still trying to resist reacting as she reasons there are 2 ace of diamonds. Yeah. Nothing can surprise her. When Seki turns the crumpled card over, it is the six of spades! How?! What?! When?! Why?! She is more surprised when the card is missing from Maeda’s butt and Seki pulling it out from his mouth! Surprised? Well, this one is the surprising finale: The class just ended! Ah, that reaction… Classic.

Episode 19: Glasses
Suddenly… Seki is wearing glasses! He didn’t wear them this morning so does this mean he is going to study for real? He takes out a mirror and takes a good look into it. Maybe he is trying to see if he looks good in them. Then he takes out a bunch of glasses and tries them on. Because he looks so serious, Yokoi fears to tell him off. She tries to ignore him but can’t help comment on the glasses he put on. The one with the black frames looks good on him (her opinion by the way) but she has to look away each time suspicious Seki looks her way. Then he proceeds to try on other weird glasses. Yokoi still prefers that other one. She becomes upset at his poor fashion taste so much so she has to give him that death stare and death snare to guide him back to choose that black pair. He settles for this one and Yokoi feels happy, feeling she has accomplished something. For the next few periods, she observes Seki in his other time killing activities but he has never put on his glasses since. It causes her to blow her top. What’s her problem?

Episode 20: Flipbook
Now Seki is drawing in the corner of his book for some flipbook animation. Yokoi notices he is writing words too and curious what he has written. It’ll be too fast to read since he is flipping the pages. To her dismay they are all the same! Wasted her time worrying. Then he takes out a mini recorder and starts recording. It’s like he is trying to become a pro animator or something since he is looking so serious. At the end, he gives a thumbs up and a satisfied smile? Curious, Yokoi? When nobody is in class, she sneaks back in just to see how he finished his flipbook. The animation is pretty decent and he was recording sound effects. It matches the animation as it plays along. Pretty well done. Then there is some singing towards the end and thankfully it sounds like a professional singer. There are even lyrics in the animation (those words). Good enough for Yokoi to let her imagination soar. In the end, there is this stamp of Toyama Model Shop and a commercial like as though it is promoting the store. She is shocked to hear whose voice is that. Turns out to be the owner of a hobby store Seki visits twice a week and he has him pre-record that line.

Episode 21: Bag Inspection
Yokoi is being called by the teacher because she looks distracted lately. But of course… She is in a dilemma whether to tell on Seki. Because if he gets scolded, she’ll be suspected and it will be awkward for her to face him. She then overhears the other teachers talking about the surprise bag inspection today. Maybe the teacher will take away his toys and calm him down. Evil look on her face… In class, she observes Seki playing with the robot family again! They’re having backpacks. How adorable. Then it’s inspection time. Curse you, Seki! Of all days, why must he bring the robots! She fears the teacher will destroy them. She tries to hint to him about the inspection but he makes the robots inspect their backpack! The teacher is getting closer so Seki puts all his toys into a box and hangs them out the window. It would have been a great idea but he didn’t hide the robot family! Then he puts the mother and child robot in his lunch box while father robot stands there looking impressed. Hurry up! Oh, the tension! I swear if she has a weak heart, she would have died of a heart attack. Yokoi can’t bear to watch as the teacher reaches his place. He finds nothing in violation. Where is the robot? Father robot is hanging on the backseat! Yokoi is so relieved that the tension is over but when he gets to her, he takes out the CD in her bag. It belongs to Tomoka and was supposed to give it back but was too worried about the robot family! She gets pissed when Seki puts on that astonished look at her. She is seething with anger and this prompts the teacher if she is really okay because she just looks distracted. She briefly mentions about the robot family but the teacher thinks she has family issues. Anyway he confiscates the CD and will have to write an apology letter at the end of the day. Yokoi is so frustrated while Seki continues to happily play with his robots. Curse you, Seki! Back home, Yokoi’s mom gets a call from the teacher who wants to pay a home visit. She wonders if she has done something in school. NooOOooOooOooooOO!!!!!!! It just goes from bad to worse for her. Poor Yokoi…

Special 1: School Camp
Yokoi’s class is on a class trip outdoors. Her group (which includes Seki. Oh God…) is to hike from the boarding house to the observation area. She is relishing the outdoors and believes nature will take her troubles away. Will it? She notices Seki looking restless. When they come across a sign that warns them of the Demon Lord’s castle, everyone starts laughing hard. Except Seki who is shivering in embarrassment. Yokoi remembers she overheard a conversation with a local officer and Seki. Something about how he was quite a prankster when he was young and they left his ‘masterpieces’ untouched. Yeah. I guess he drew up that sign and is supposedly that Demon King. Yokoi feels bad for him and tries to get everyone to move along. She sees Seki quickly hiding the sign in his bag! They pass several more signs like the boiling pond, dragon grave (equipped with a ‘dragon killer’ equipment which is no more than a ruler) and lost forest but the rest of the group’s reaction is the same: Laughing hard. Seki’s reaction varies. At one time he admires Yokoi because he thinks she is standing up for her (when she just finds it hard to laugh alongside the rest knowing the culprit is right with them). Then he gives that death stare to her thinking she might have discovered his Demon Lord identity. Yokoi tries to be natural and laugh with the rest. But now Seki is depressed? Finally when they reach the Demon Lord’s castle, it is a prop tied up a tree. Seki is looking satisfied as Yokoi realized it wasn’t about hating his childhood past but this game wasn’t up to his standards. When Uzawa unties the rope holding up the prop, Yokoi spots a big picture frame falling down. It is a hand drawn picture of a knight hero as a reward for slaying the Demon King! And Seki left his name there too! It would be a total embarrassment if anybody is to see this so Yokoi goes to great lengths to hide it. Since her back is too small, she puts it under her t-shirt! Why the heck is she going so far for him?! Once at the observation tower, she hears other students talking about the ‘attractions’. Making it worse, Seki is enjoying the scenery without a care. Yeah. Why the heck is she trying to be responsible for his embarrassing past? Needing to get rid of it quick, she throws it into the river below. Uzawa thinks he saw a fish and with the guys (including Seki), race to go catch it! Heart pounding moment for Yokoi. Thankfully they couldn’t catch anything. Yokoi finally feels liberated and enjoys her freedom. On the way back down, she spots the picture floated down to the boiling pond. Again, why the heck must she pick it up and hide it under her t-shirt? The water is damn cold and she could have just feigned ignorance. Everybody laughs at her for trying to wash her hand at this ‘boiling pond’. Including Seki! That is the last straw. She is going to take this picture back to her home and couldn’t care less anymore. Seki felt a cold shiver down his spin. Unknowingly, his fate is now in the hands of a new Demon Lord!

Special 2: Snow Play
Yokoi sees Seki creating a cute snow bunny. Aww… How cute! However he puts it in the middle of a frozen pond and tries to crack the ice! Is he going to drown the poor bunny?! Evil! Yokoi wants to talk to him first but since he is getting more violent, she throws a snowball at him! Bull’s eye! He takes the bait and goes to find the culprit. He thinks the sound of the guys nearby must be the one. Yokoi is hiding nearby and now that the coast is clear, she goes to rescue the bunny. However she made it worst by putting her hand on the ice as support and the ice cracks into floating islands. The bunny is going to sink so she puts her hand into the freezing water to take it. Seki realizes those guys making a snowman couldn’t be it so when he returns, the bunny is gone. Yokoi thinks she is safe behind the shed but Seki is heard coming! The footprints… He is armed with snowballs and goggles! This guy is serious! Yokoi cannot leave the rabbit because if she escapes, it will fall into his hands again. Covering up her face with a scarf, she retaliates by throwing a few snowballs. However Seki is faster in all aspects. Tactical retreat! While Seki is replenishing, Yokoi takes the rabbit and run. Seki tries to go after her but seems she has run into the building and thus he lost her. Tomoka is surprised to see Yokoi all messed up. Yokoi even asking her to dump this lump of snow out of the window. Seems she has taken a decoy. The real one is still behind the shed. Yokoi thinks a step ahead and borrows Tomoka’s scarf. So when Seki enters class, he doesn’t suspect Yokoi at all. Phew. In the middle of class, Seki takes a pile of snow from his bag (?!) and starts sculpting penguins! Super cute! This guy is good. Maybe he isn’t that bad after all. But here comes the polar bear going to eat them! Oh no! Yokoi takes back what she said about him. Now how is she going to save them? Longest day ever…

Please Pay Attention!
In the end, what can I say? Just like how Seki is having a whale of a time engrossed and indulged in his own world, so do I. Thanks to the short duration of each episode (approximately 7 minutes each except for the special which is almost twice the length at 13 minutes), by the time it ends, you’d be wondering what happened to the time since I was also being amused by his antics and lost track of time. You can say that there is never a dull moment as long as Seki cranks up his creativity. Yeah. I’d rather pay attention to this than the class. Absolutely hilarious and funny. So much so you might forget that you are actually in an ongoing class.

There are so many things I would like to say about Yokoi too. For instance, it is safe to say that she is Seki’s number one audience because she never fails to ‘miss’ his entertainment despite how she criticizes, comments or even vowing not to be distracted by him. But the temptation is too great. Therefore I can also say that she is as guilty as Seki in ignoring her lesson and his ‘partner in crime’, which is as bad as skipping class. Because you’re doing something else rather than pay attention to the teacher so it’s like being rude and disrespect. Yokoi too has a very vivid imagination. You can see that when she starts observing and analysing Seki’s playing, she goes into her own fantasies imagining the scenario and such. I think both of them can hit it off as some creative screenplay since they are ‘quite good at it’. There are times when she ‘cares’ about Seki too because she feels bad if he gets caught and goes to certain lengths to cover it up for him. Of course ultimately she has to bear the brunt of it. I suppose it is better on her conscious this way. Better do something than don’t. Either way, she is going to get it, right?

Each time Yokoi proclaims this is the last time she will be distracted by him and wants to concentrate on her lesson, Seki pulls off a more amazing feat that makes it too good to be missed. Thus for every time, she would be missing class and not learning anything. I won’t be surprised if her grades are bad and need to take remedial classes. God forbid if Seki attends remedial classes with her. How could you explain if she turns out ‘dumb’ when she enters society and the working world? She went to school and learnt nothing! She is a bit of a sadist too. Sometimes she has this tendency to put on an evil look on her face as she ponders about Seki’s you-deserve-it fate. But usually it comes back to bite her. She’ll never have the last laugh. Now the teacher has decided to pay a house visit and you can imagine the impact this will have on her. I fear she will grow up to be a person who hates such mini distractions and will be a very strict person or someone who gets easily distracted and have a short attention span.

Seki is such a weirdo and although his antics are deemed ‘creative’, I wouldn’t go so far to say that it disrupts the class. Don’t you see? He is quietly playing with his own stuffs but it is Yokoi who is the one who distracts herself by watching him. So the blame cannot entirely fall on him because it is not like he forces her to watch. She is doing it at her own volition. And when she misses crucial points on the lessons and have to hurry up in copying it or when the teacher calls her to read the text, she only has herself to blame if she wasn’t following. But there are times I feel that Seki does want Yokoi to be his ‘partner in crime’ as sometimes he keep hinting to her. At the end of the day, Seki is usually the winner because he ends up having the most fun and never gets caught. Never. You have got to love what he pulls out from his bag. It might spring a surprise or two. Sometimes it feels like a Doraemon’s pocket because of the things he takes out. You don’t question how it got in there. Just be awed that he brings it to school. No fear. Nobody will get in the way of having his fun. Well, almost.

I thought it would be interesting if Gotou had more screen time and somewhat play an active role but I guess for now the dynamic chemistry is between just Seki and Yokoi. This is what happens when you don’t set the record straight. Other people tend to misinterpret your relationship since it looks ambiguous from other’s point of view. I would have loved to see that love rumour about Yokoi and Seki and how it will impact on them but that would be distracting to the main theme of the series, which is about Seki doing his own crazy stuff and Yokoi getting distracted and fascinated or annoyed by it. Other minor characters are okay but they do not make any great impact. Like the very laidback and insensitive Uzawa and the seemingly intimidating Maeda, both whom Seki seems to fear for they may ruin his fun. I think the robot family even has more presence than them. Honest! It’s like they have a life of their own despite being just Seki’s toys.

The drawing and art of the characters are quite simple. To a point that you think that the series is intended for younger audiences since it looks like it was drawn for a children’s programme. But when you have an anime series based on the quirkiness of an odd boy in class, no fast paced action no fantasy adventure to some foreign land, no ecchi stuffs and no romance (rose frames, sparkly bright eyes and smile, you know those ‘romantic’ effects), I think this kind of style is quite suffice. However I just want to note that Yokoi suspiciously looks like Shiho from Zettai Karen Children. It is as though Yokoi is her long lost sister or something.

Kana Hanazawa is absolutely kawaii and so fitting as Yokoi. I don’t think there will be another seiyuu who could play her role so well as her. So hats off to Kana Hanazawa once again for pulling off such a fine job. Although Hiro Shimono takes on the role of Seki, he has no actual spoken lines in the entire series. All you hear from him is his moaning, huffing, gruffing, gasping and the most laughing. For a guy who doesn’t talk much, let alone say a single word, I guess you could say that this brings to a whole new level of actions speaking louder than words. Haha! Thus you can also say that 90% of this show is all about Kana Hanazawa as she is doing most of the main narratives. Second to her is perhaps Satomi Satou as Gotou but she isn’t as moe as Fairy Tail’s Wendy.

The opening theme is also epitome of what constitutes to Kana Hanazawa’s kawaii-ness. Meiwaku Spectacle has her starting her lines in a rap fashion way (can you say your lines that fast without biting your tongue?), enough to make fans and even casual viewers squeal in delight of how cute she sings. Basically as you could have guessed it, the song is about Yokoi and her distractions with Seki. Trying to record something live with her? Yamete… The ending theme is equally fascinating but it is instrumental. Well, almost. Set Them Free is by Akira Jimbo and this Japanese jazz fusion band specializes in percussion music, which is what the ending theme is all about (although the animation sees Seki making his percussion music out of his stationery set). It is quite interesting to hear those beats (even Yokoi can’t help enjoy it). Save for the jazzy sultry female background vocals which prevent this song to be 100% instrumental. Also I want to note the very amusing insert song of Danran! Robot Kazoku by Ichiro Mizuki. This is the theme for the robot family! You’ll definitely hear this song whenever they make their cameo. If Ichiro Mizuki’s voice sounds familiar, it is because he is known for singing tokusatsu themes, which is how this song sounds like. And you got to love some of the lyrics too. “Everybody loves scrambled eggs!”. Oh yeah. Makes me want to sing along as well.

Overall, even if you have other better things to do, please feel free to make some time to watch this little gem. It might not be something epic in the long run but for the time being, this little series is quite entertaining and fun itself as it can give you ideas on what to do when you are bored or not wanting to pay attention to something that you are ‘forced’ to sit through. I’m sure you can cook something up as bizarre and fun like Seki did when you are attending a college lecture, a business seminar or even if you are watching a ‘boring’ movie with your girlfriend/boyfriend. As you can see there is always something to do and as Seki proves it, he can just do anything to pass the time. Whatever resources he has at hand, he can turn it into a little decent entertainment. Of course, please pay attention to your class lessons. There is always the right time and place for everything so please be responsible and not shirk your duties. But if you are not going to get caught anyway, why bother? And make sure you very well don’t.

Non Non Biyori OVA

October 10, 2014

In conjunction of the announcement for the second season, thus it is like a celebration when they release Non Non Biyori OVA to commemorate this special message. Dubbed the 13th episode (because it is the unaired TV episode and you will only get it if you buy the final DVD of the series), what is in store for our simple countryside girls? What ‘big’ adventures are they going to have here? Actually it is more like the preparations for a big trip. So they’re going away? Hold your horses. I said preparations. That means you’re not going to see them going on the trip they’re going. So toss your iPhones, iPads and whatever gadgets you have now and spend 20 minutes and leave it to those girls to show us how they can still have some plain and simple fun.

We’re Going To Okinawa!
Suguru is a lucky guy. In the sense that he won the grand prize for a trip to Okinawa! Suguru is also a nice guy. He gives it to his sister. Their shocking dumbfounded faces – Priceless! So the girls are eagerly finding out and talking about Okinawa. What they are going to do and the types of food specialties. It is decided that they want to bring a lot of snacks but before that, Renge is worried about something first. Since they have never board a plane, they have Hotaru explain to them her experience (she is the only one who has sat in it). So this is practice on how to ride a plane? I’m not sure if she can replicate what the flight attendants said about putting on seatbelts (because Renge certainly has never put on one!) but she thinks the most important thing is to pack their things. Don’t want to rush, don’t we? Later the girls visit Kaede’s shop to get some snacks. Surprisingly she is willing to bring some free of charge. But she mentions about the view there is different and warns after they look at it, there is a chance they may change, be it not coming back here or see yourself in a different light. Renge practises basking in the light since she believes the sun in Okinawa is hotter than here. But finish your ice cream first. It’s melting! Next day, they head to the convenience store to get more stuffs. Renge just being Renge… She is surprised this convenience store has no elevators. Because it’s only one floor… Renge happen to see Suguru there and then she runs back and hug Natsumi. She thought she sensed some paradigm shift. Hotaru happily gives Komari a swimsuit. However it is so loose… When Renge goes home, she takes a sniff at her house. It’s not that she is feeling nostalgic or going to be away from home for some time. It is that she is worried about Kaede’s words. She is worried that if she changes, she will not be able to change back. Kazuho assures her that elementary kids won’t change. Enough to ease Renge’s mind. Then she forgot something. Actually, it is to say goodbye to the village. At the top of her voice she gives out the loudest “I’m off!”. But don’t worry. She’ll be back. Hasta la vista, baby. At the airport, the countryside girls are really excited. This is their first time, right? Even Renge can’t wait to see the plane now! Please be patient. We have to check in your luggage first. Komari gets the biggest freak out of her life when the detector sensed something and she gets some body search. The plane is taxing as Natsumi and Hikage’s fear starts to creep in… And they’re off! Have fun.

Simple Pleasures In Life
Despite this OVA being nothing much, I suppose the saving grace of it is still Renge. She is perhaps still the most amusing character in this series thanks to her kiddie ways that never fails to amuse it. Her honest to goodness of kids her age makes you believe that the age of innocence is still there. Well, only in the countryside. So while I wait for the next season to come, it got me thinking that this series may rival that of Tamayura in the sense of being super calm and soothing for the soul. You don’t need explosive action, mind numbing fanservice and slapstick jokes to make something work. Something this simple can still be enjoyable. If this anime does make people put down their gadgets and go back to basics and nature, then we really need more of these animes around. Yeah. You might see yourself in a different light and change. And there’s no turning back…

Strike The Blood

October 5, 2014

How many animes can you name whereby a normal kid turns into a vampire? For me, all I can think of is Bakemonogatari but I may add another one to my list now. Strike The Blood also has this same setting but that is just about it because if you want to compare both animes, they are poles apart. As far as this anime is concerned, our new vampire guy is one of those who are reluctant to show the world his vampire powers. After all, vampires suck, right? Haha! Sorry for the pun. But some know the dangers of the existence of vampires. I mean throughout out the history of such mythical creatures, vampires usually stand on the top of the chain, higher than werewolves and some spirits. Just to play it safe, the big boys of some organization send somebody to keep an eye on him. Just in case. You’ll never know. And what comes next are the magical and scientific adventures from the duo as the island faces danger after danger from terrorist attacks to meltdowns as they try to save the island from utter destruction. You think being a vampire is tough? You won’t have it tougher than this guy who has a harem to deal with and certain situations that drive his libido and provide him with a source of power. Did I say harem? Did I say ero power? Wow. This I must see…

The Right Arm Of The Saint Arc

Episode 1
The internet is rife about rumours the existence of the Fourth Progenitor, some super vampire that is believed to spread calamity. What are the chances that he is this guy, Kojou Akatsuki? He tries to control his instincts from taking over when he sees the delicious neck of a girl. Is it good enough that he manages to restrain his nose bleed? After leaving the cafe, he notices a girl, Yukina Himeragi following him. He tries to pass off as an Italian tourist with his broken Italian and even if that didn’t work out, he just tells her she has got the wrong guy. Shortly, a couple of guys try to hit on her. He didn’t care at first but notices their demon registration bands on their wrist. When the guys get naughty and flip up her skirt, Kojou wanted to teach them a lesson but instead Yukina fights back. The guys’ true form is a werewolf and vampire. The vampire summons his horse familiar but Yukina is able to take it out in one blow of her lance, Sekkarou. She could have finished him but Kojou interferes to let those guys escape. He points she was at fault for starting the fight first. She went overboard when they flipped her skirt. So to say he also saw her plaid panties? Oh, here is the second wind to blow it up for you to have a second good look! Thank you wind. What has been seen cannot be unseen. Thankfully she is calm enough to let this go. Don’t want to attract more trouble than it already has. Kojou notices she dropped her wallet. He tells us this Itogami Island is located 300km south of Tokyo and is also known as Demon District since all sorts of creatures and beasts from vampires to spirits and demons live here thanks to humans encroaching on their habitat that pushed them to the brink of extinction. Therefore they have received government authorization to live here for conservation and research purposes. As you might have guessed it, Kojou was once a normal high school kid but 3 months ago he turned into a vampire.

He goes to return her wallet at school but the teacher is not around. Thinking of yesterday’s events cause him to nose bleed. Yukina sees this and misinterprets he smelled her wallet and got turned on. He wants to know why she was following him before giving back her wallet. She would have taken it by force if not for her growling stomach. Talking over food is much better, no? Yukina hails from the Lion King Organization, a secret service agency part of the National Public Safety Commission whose job is to prevent large scale magical disasters and terrorism. She is a Sword Shaman and tasked to observe him. Because Progenitors are considered to be equal footing with the entire nation’s military, their very presence is treated the same as an act of terror or war. She cannot believe he was once human because the process to become a Progenitor is complex. Unless he consumed one himself. He isn’t sure either. All he knows is somebody forced it upon him. It’s like he has been chosen to become a successor. But Kojou can’t remember any further because it brings immense pain each time he does that. Yukina believes in him that he is not a threat (judging from how blur he was to everything) but if he ever becomes dangerous, she has orders to eliminate him. From now on wherever he goes, she shall follow him. Just great. 24 hour surveillance by a middle school girl. Flashback reveals Kojou was fresh from killing Avrora Florestina, the previous person who held the Fourth Progenitor title. With a stake in her heart, her final words were she has granted his wish and will leave everything to him.

Episode 2
Yukina remembers she was summoned by the elders of her organization and was told that because a sacred treaty signed by the 3 Progenitors of Lost Warlord (ruler of Europe), Foregazer (west Asia) and Chaos Bride (America) that humans are able to co-exist with other creatures. But should there be a Fourth Progenitor, the balance would be disrupted and mankind will fall into chaos. They show her a picture of Kojou whom they believe is the Fourth Progenitor. They gave her Sekkarou and tasked her to observe and judge whether he would be dangerous or not. Kojou has got more woes than his make-up test. Yukina is moving next door to him! She doesn’t have much stuffs and she prides herself being able to sleep anywhere (including card boxes). He pities her state that he is willing to accompany her shopping after his test. Natsuki Minamiya may look like a child but she is actually Kojou’s teacher! She is one of the few humans who know he is the Fourth Progenitor. He asks about the Lion King Organization and she simply puts it as his natural enemy. Vampires are the reason why they were formed so he better stay away from them. Now he tells her… Can’t turn down the shopping agreement, can’t he? It’s funny to see Yukina thinking every daily item is some sort of weapon. No wonder Kojou is so tired. Tired of retorting… Back home, Kojou introduces her to his little sister, Nagisa. However they know each other since Yukina is the new transfer student in her class. Just in time, Nagisa has brought enough ingredients for her welcome party.

While Yukina helps out Kojou in his homework (pathetic!), she notices his basketball picture. He was once a pro basketballer but stopped because he realized too late he was cocky and not a team player. After he got powers as the Fourth Progenitor, he thought he could change the world by killing criminals and corrupt politicians. He realized someone like him couldn’t do it and the reason he tries to hide his true form and live like a normal human. He feels the power is out of his league and would rather have nothing to do with it. Kojou wanted to go out to the convenience store late at night but Yukina always had her observing job in mind so she jumps out of the bath dripping wet just to follow him. Okay, just dry yourself and he’ll wait. While they play a crane game, a monster familiar attacks nearby. Yukina wants to investigate this alone and tells Kojou to go home to Nagisa. Not too long, the familiar gets absorbed and its master gets slain by Rudolf Eustach, an exorcist from the West European Church. He gets excited upon seeing her Sekkarou and requests to fight. He revels in its power and since he has seen its secret spell, he orders his homunculus, Astarte to finish her off. Yukina has no way of avoiding this blow and she can only think if Kojou would be sad if she is dead. Seriously?! Of course a heroine like her cannot die so soon because here comes Kojou to knock down Astarte. Eustach guesses he is the Fourth Progenitor and won’t leave the island as Kojou tells him because he requires tremendous magical power as his goal. Astarte restarts back up and attacks Kojou. He starts bleeding like hell and it is a bad sign since the power he dreads starts awakening.

Episode 3
Eustach orders a retreat. Although Kojou finally calms down, by dawn you can see the destruction in the perimeter. The news claim it is some sort of explosion that has rocked the area and total damages are estimated to be around 50 billion Yen! Can you pay that off in your life time? Well, a vampire is immortal… Yukina won’t report to her organization yet since he wasn’t the one who was responsible for what happened. Besides, she is grateful he saved her. Kojou also believes he did it out of self defence. He adds he might be the Fourth Progenitor but the familiars have not accepted him yet since he has not suck a blood of a human ever since he became a vampire. In class, Kojou talks to fellow classmate, Asagi Aiba who works part time as a programmer of Manmade Management Corporation. She thought she saw him with Yukina yesterday. At the same time, the boys are all abuzz because they got pictures of her. They want to ask Kojou about it since his sister is her friend. To make it worse, Natsuki wants Kojou to come to her office with Yukina later because she spot them hanging out together last night. Jealous boys. Jealous Asagi. Natsuki reveals there were similar explosions over the past 2 months. Seems somebody is trying to hunt demons and is still at large. This puts Kojou in a big risk of being attack and wants him to refrain from cavorting at night. Later the duo discuss about Eustach whom Yukina believes is the Combat Deacon of Lotharingia. The police have been on this case for some time but just didn’t know who he is. She thinks this case would be to Kojou’s benefit. If Lotharingia is involved, it makes this an international act of magical crime and would fall under Lion King’s jurisdiction. If Kojou can prove his act was in self defence and that Eustach was responsible for destroying an old world vampire, Kojou can be clear of the charges. As they are the only survivors and the ones who know how Eustach looks like, they need to find his hideout. Kojou pleads to Asagi for help. She may not be happy but she does this little favour for him.

The duo head deep down underground into some abandoned lab of a pharmaceutical company whose headquarters is in Lotharingia. This company involves testing new drugs on homunculi and although the parent corporation pulled out of Japan, the facility still stands. They enter a secret room to see lots of homunculi in test tubes. Astarte warns them to leave this place as it will be collapsing due to some lost in cornerstone. Eustach adds that it is his wish to find the eternal treasure revered as that cornerstone and he has just attained that power to achieve that dream thanks to them. Seems he has succeeded in creating a homunculus that hosts an unhatched familiar in which the familiar will consume the host’s life at a horrific pace. Astarte has less than 2 weeks to survive but has prolonged her life by consuming demons she defeated. Their magic served as bait for her familiar and combat experience helped perfect the sealed spell within. Yukina is upset that Astarte is treated like a tool but he points it back to her that she is the same under Lion King. They pick up orphans and instil them techniques needed in battles against demons. Kojou is the most upset. His power starts awakening. Eustach orders Astarte to attack. Kojou is no match. Thanks to the data he collected, Astarte can also nullify Sekkarou. She blames herself for getting Kojou involved in that and is about to be get axed by Rudolf. Again, Kojou comes to her rescue and he takes the blow. Half her body is covered in his blood. Now she just feels even guiltier than ever.

Episode 4
As Asagi is in the tower programming, the programme detects invaders. Eustach and Astarte have slaughtered the guards to make their way to the treasure. Kojou comes back alive much to Yukina’s relief. Although he died, but shortly the blood reabsorbs back into his body. And she is mad that he never told her he could revive? Who should he know? Since Yukina considers herself as a tool and that nobody would care if she dies, suddenly Kojou gets on top of her like as though his perversion has been activated. He smells her and whispers how cute she is. WTF. I’m not sure about this act to make her label him as a pervert therefore the reason why she should not be dying in place of a pervert like him. Whatever. Just get off. When an earthquake rocks the place, he feels something amiss since this is a manmade island and it should not occur. Checking the news, he realizes Keystone Gate was attacked and Asagi is trapped. He calls her and is glad she is safe. He requests her to locate where to duo are heading and identify the treasure hidden there: An arm of some saint. Yukina wants to save the day but now Kojou has doubts. What good will it do? He doesn’t have the power. Yukina offers her neck for him to bite. She can’t defeat Eustach by herself and this might make his familiars acknowledge him. She knows he wants to save the people on this island so stop making excuses and just do it. If he cannot shoulder the responsibility, then she will. She is his observer after all. Without hesitation, he sinks his fangs into her neck.

Eustach revels in happiness to see the arm of his saint whom his people call a relic. As explained, this island was constructed over some ley lines intersection and some dragon veins so the spiritual energy would bring about its fortune. Senra Itogami did a good job designing this island 40 years ago modelled after the 4 divine beasts and linked them to the dragon veins. But the problem was to maintain the cornerstone’s strength and building materials were not strong enough to support it. A human sacrifice was needed to support it and he chose that saint. Thus Eustach is here to reclaim his relic. He considers this holy war and that this island was built on such sins so the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of lives pales in comparison. Since negotiations failed, it’s down to getting physical. The turn of the battle is when Kojou summons his fifth familiar, Regulus Aurum as it runs wild in this enclosed space. In the end, Kojou and Yukina cooperate to destroy Astarte’s familiar and punch that old guy out of commission. Kojou notes he has the right to take the arm but went about it the wrong way and as such must bear the responsibility. Kojou then somewhat gives Yukina an indecent hug before doing the same to Astarte so that he could bring her familiar under his control. Of course this upsets Yukina because it felt like he was just using her as an appetizer. Don’t worry if you kill him. He resurrects, right? In the aftermath, Eustach is arrested and Kojou’s classmate-cum-friend, Motoki Yaze who is also working under Lion King. Talking to an elder in the form of a crow familiar, seems everything is going according to plan. Yukina is sent to him for the purpose of becoming Kojou’s blood partner. They note the Akatsuki name is synonymous with the fallen angel Lucifer in the West European Church. Yukina packs her stuffs and ready to leave since Sekkarou was broken during the fight. However she gets it back fixed up all good and new. What does this mean? They want her to stay and observe Kojou. That’s good news, right? But more bad news for Kojou because Asagi and Nagisa misheard them talking about hurting her, negative results and Yukina becoming his blood servant that it makes it sound so pervert. Asagi confronts Yukina and wants to know their relationship. She’s his observer. Interpretation: Stalker.

From The Warlord’s Empire Arc

Episode 5
In a failed illegal transaction, a beastman is going to blow up everything but Natsuki puts a stop to it all without a sweat. The beastman realizes she is the Witch of the Void, some high ranking mage that can manipulate space. Natsuki would love to interrogate them about Warlord’s Dominion but she’ll leave it to the Island Guards. Kojou thought his mom is back since there is an extra serving on the table for breakfast. Because of that he waltzes into the room where Yukina is changing. What’s with the long gap of doing nothing before she owns him? Apparently Kojou was in his own world because he couldn’t remember a single thing about what Nagisa said about Yukina coming over for breakfast and how the girls are going to be part of the cheerleading for the sports tournament because all the boys begged on their knees to Yukina. Just like other students, Kojou is also participating in a sport but he leaves it up to them for the ‘easiest’ one. While it is surprising he doesn’t complain that he is entered into mixed badminton, his partner Asagi sure isn’t. Now how did they end up together? Fate? Meanwhile a couple of MIBs try to arrest a professor for violating some magic trade code. He turns into his beast form to escape but Natsuki orders Astarte (now under her command) to nail him. She takes a look at the smuggled article and notices the translated words of Nalakuvera. It has something to do with Christoph Gardos. Kojou is chilling out (he calls it stretching out since Asagi hasn’t arrived for the game yet) when he is attacked by lion familiars. But you can always count on Yukina to come save him. Remember, she is ALWAYS watching over him. There goes his privacy. She cannot understand why such familiars who are used to deliver messages are used in attack. Speaking of which, there is a black letter in Kojou’s hand. He takes out and shows it to her. In such nice timing, Asagi passes by and gets the wrong idea. Interrupting something?

The letter is from Lord Dimitrie Vatler of Ardeal, one of the principalities of Warlord’s Dominion in Eastern Europe ruled by the First Progenitor, Warlord. Vatler serves under him so it is safe to assume he is a pure blooded vampire born from his line. The letter is an invitation to a party of his and it also says to bring a partner. He needs to bring one who can fight and ass? I’m sure you’ve figured that out but the first person that comes to his mind is Natsuki! And Yukina was hinting she would like to be the one! But she doesn’t have a dress. Don’t worry. Lion King has sent a package to Kojou. It contains a dress and Yukina’s vital statistics. This dumb guy got the cheek to read it out loud and then figure it out as her measurements. So you can’t blame Yukina for owning him just to make him lose his memories on that bit. The duo arrive at the luxury liner where the party is held, Oceanus Grave. Hmm… Couldn’t pick a better name for a sea farer, huh? Yukina is quite embarrassed in her very short dress but look on the bright side, at least she can easily move in it. They try to go find and meet Vatler but was instantly attacked by a familiar. If not for Kojou’s quick reflexes, she might have been doomed. This is Vatler’s way of testing their combat skills and he is pleased to meet Kojou. The way this handsome guy hints he has a thing for Kaleid Blood AKA Kojou…

Episode 6
Sayaka Kirasaka wants Kojou to get his hands off Yukina. Then the girls get into a girly reunion. Sayaka was the one who sent the invitation to them and he hates Kojou for being close to her friend. She is a War Dancer in Lion King and specializes in assassination. Which means she will assassinate those who get near Yukina. So what if it’s the case of Yukina following him? Sayaka’s mission is to observe Vatler. Hey, that feels just like Yukina for Kojou, right? Asagi seems to be jealous. Motoki offers some advice about seduction and honey trapping. He says Yukina is around him because she might have some dirt on that guy. Somebody sends Asagi an easy puzzle in which she deciphers the words of Nalakuvera. Kojou isn’t homo so he is hell not going to get close and all love-love with Vatler. Vatler can guess Yukina is Kojou’s blood partner and this makes them love rivals. On to more serious matter, a radical group called Black Death Emperor Faction has infiltrated into this island. Vatler killed their leader years ago but the survivors have hired Gardos as their new leader. As a supremacist group, their goal is to revoke the sacred treaty and wrest control of Warlord’s Domain from the First Progenitor. Vatler is here so that if they do anything funny, he could retaliate but his familiars could sink this island. Yukina and Kojou didn’t like that idea so Yukina offers to catch Gardos first. Because Yukina ticked off Sayaka a little, she pins the blame squarely all on Kojou.

Next morning, Kojou gets a morning surprise. Asagi on top of him. So she decided to try out Motoki’s advice? Of course as you would have expected, they struggle and now he falls on top of her. Cue for Yukina and Nagisa to enter. Obviously Yukina is mad despite keeping her cool and telling them to take their time. Sayaka spies them via a bird familiar and her anger reaches new heights after misinterpreting Kojou’s flirting. Yukina and Kojou go see Natsuki for information on Gardos but she won’t tell them and instead want them to stay out. Although she did say that Nalakuvera is an ancient god-like weapon believed to have destroyed civilizations but it is unusable now. There was a smuggled text on how to use but apparently it is stolen. Many experts are brought in to further decipher but no progress has been made and there are no indications that Nalakuvera has left the island. She also warns Kojou to be careful of Vatler because he has already consumed 2 high ranking vampires. Don’t let him sink his fangs into his. Kojou then seeks Asagi’s help to hack and find more information about Nalakuvera. It looks like a giant spider. Because somebody is coming into the room, Asagi quickly pushes Kojou down to hide underneath the table where they end up in an ambiguous position. Kojou notices her earrings and noting how cute she looks, he starts to nose bleed! You don’t know Sayaka is watching… Later as he rests, he couldn’t because Sayaka is going to kill him! Just thinking about how he sucks Yukina’s blood just makes hers boil. Even worse, his flirting with another woman. She’s not open to talk, isn’t she? She blames everything on him. Because of him, Yukina her only friend is put through lots of danger. She cuts him but this causes his blood to go berserk. The terrorist group arrives at school and Asagi is their target.

Episode 7
Asagi sees what is happening but the shockwaves knock her out and everything else in the vicinity, including Motoki’s spying sound waves. Only Yukina can bring normalcy back and she forces the two to reflect on their actions while she takes Asagi to the infirmary with Nagisa. Thankfully Asagi is fine. Yukina apologizes on Sayaka’s behalf and that her actions may be due to jealous over her and Kojou. Sayaka continues to blame Kojou although he did admit it is his fault for putting Yukina in danger. I don’t know how it turned into some contest to see who knows Yukina more because Sayaka is waxing lyrical about that angel of hers. There is a picture of them when they were young and Kojou comments they both look cute. Hey, at least he is honest. The terrorists storm into the infirmary and Nagisa starts screaming like hell. For her own good, Yukina knocks her out and Gardos wants them to follow them and obey his orders. He shoots Astarte before she can utter and activate some long ass weapon. Motoki sees the girls taken away in a van so he swallows a pill to activate great leaping strength and follow them. He downs the entire bottle for greater power of using his sound ability but he is interrupted by Vatler who won’t have him interfere yet and blows him away.

In a room on a subfloat, Asagi explains Nagisa’s fear of beastmen because she was in a train accident caused by demons 4 years ago and that incident traumatized her. Gardos throws Asagi a thick manual and wants her to analyze the control commands for Nalakuvera. He sent that simple puzzle to lots of hackers but only she solved it and below 3 hours. He is confident Asagi will cooperate. As they have activated Nalakuvera, they couldn’t control it. This means it will indiscriminately destroy everything unless you can control it. After Sayaka helps save Astarte, with Kojou they head to the subfloat (information from Natsuki). The place is cordoned off and the Island Guards are in the midst of battling with the terrorist. They see Natsuki and Vatler there too as well as the powerful and rampaging Nalakuvera. From what Gardos mentions, it seems Vatler and Gardos are in cohorts. Something about staving off boredom of an immortal vampire. Nalakuvera might destroy this island but since it is manmade, he doubts humans would care how many of their domesticated demons will die. One of Lion King’s elders possess Nagisa’s body to tell Asagi she can decipher that child’s play in no time and that Kojou will buy them some time. After Vatler throws Motoki back to Kojou, he receives a call from Yukina. She doesn’t want him to destroy it or cause much damage. This is going to be hard. Vatler summons his familiars ready to take out Nalakuvera so Kojou tells him to stay out. He lets the girls take care of the other stuffs (evacuation, etc) while he gets to play hero.

Episode 8
Looks like Sayaka wants some action too. Her weapon is able to nullify physical attacks. However Nalakuvera manages to adapt and acquire counter attacks that renders the next attack useless. The duo are forced to run but when Kojou uses Regulus Aurum, too much power that they are blast downwards under the subfloat. They need to get out since the place is leaking in sea water. He accidentally touches her boobs. He apologizes and wonders if she is alright since she heard from Yukina that she has fear of men. Is she? I thought she was more of a tsundere. They see Nalakuvera repairing itself. Meanwhile Yukina stumbles into a room filled with many Nalakuvera units. This is art of Gardos plan to empower the entire army. Not even Vatler knows about this. Even if the First Progenitor is powerful, he cannot protect his domain alone. If he cannot be defeated, at least his domain will be destroyed. In a short bout, Yukina cuts off his right arm. However play time is over since Asagi has deciphered the texts and now he has full control of the units. Kojou and Sayaka hit a dead end. She talks about herself being big. No, not her boobs but her height. She suddenly hugs and hopes he doesn’t tell this to Yukina. As thanks she allows him to suck her blood. Go ahead. This allows him to control his ninth familiar, Al-Nasl Minium. Thanks to the powerful blast, they are propelled out but it created a bigger crater. Natsuki will take care of Asagi and Nagisa so that Yukina can join Kojou in his fight.

Gardos rides a commander unit of Nalakuvera. It can give orders to other unmanned units. No matter how the trio attack, Nalakuvera has memorized their attack pattern. Also, all units can repair themselves. How to beat it? Yukina is not worried. Because Asagi while she was deciphering the control commands, she also created a virus to make them self destruct when they use this self repair function. They only need to get it into the commander unit and play the voice file to upload and activate the virus. Sayaka will handle Nalakuvera. Her sword, Koukarin turns into its true form, a bow as she shoots up some sort of wave jamming barrier to jam all the units. Gardos is lured out of his cockpit but gets taken out by Yukina and Kojou. Yukina throws her handphone which contains the virus and in no time all the units turn into stone and stop moving. Yukina realizes Kojou must have drank Sayaka’s blood for him to activate a new familiar. But she is not mad and is glad Sayaka is okay. She thought she would have tried to resist it. Vatler is pleased with this entertainment. One of the elders of Lion King, Paper Noise appears before him to hand him documents that his request has been approved. It is an appointment letter for him to become an ambassador of Warlord’s Dominion. Paper Noise asks if the work of the Black Death Emperor Faction was carried out at his direction. He says it is only for his own amusement. Asagi wakes up fine in hospital with Kojou by her side. She makes him look at her earring but this is just a ploy to kiss him! If only Nagisa and Yukina were a second earlier and walked in to see this… But they can tell from his nose bleed. Call it a woman’s intuition.

The Amphisbaena Arc

Episode 9
On the flying airship of Ragnvald, Beatrice Basler fights off the guards of the Order of the Sacred Ring even if they’re equipped with some holy sword. She is here for a certain girl but she escaped. She summons an angel to finish things off. Kojou and Yukina talk about Sayaka whose fear of men has her even rejecting calls from them. But she has been calling Kojou often enough lately. His answer? She must be very concerned about Yukina! I can’t believe this dumb ass!!! Even Yukina is so annoyed. Get the hint! But you can’t blame him for not understanding woman. Later Asagi makes Kojou to be her art model. Since it’s uninspiring, he has him wear cosplay clothes. Since he won’t, she strips down to her underwear! What is this? Asagi’s turn for fanservice? Well, that got him to agree. After taking selfies of themselves, Asagi mentions that he is hiding something. If he is able to tell her by next week, then she’ll tell him what he wants. Of course later Yukina confronts him and knows about his ‘art project’. She’s his observer, remember? This makes it simpler. Should he tell her he is the Fourth Progenitor or not? He is in a dilemma if putting her in the dark will cause more harm than protecting her. In the end, it is up to him. But Asagi is the least of his problem should he tell everything. It is Nagisa who is the big problem. Speaking of her, they see a guy in her class passing her a letter. Love letter? You worried, bro? And to complete the line of Kojou’s girls, Sayaka calls him just to tell him she will be on Itogami Island for a while to serve and protect somebody important from Aldegyr. Guess what this guy’s answer is? Busy, right? So no time to talk. Ciao. WTF?! Do you even know why she’s calling you in the first place???!!! Right after the call ends, he notices in a distance, a fire at the warehouse area. It seems the angel just finished claiming a victim.

Kojou and Yukina are to go check on Nagisa’s supposed secret meeting with the boy. They hear very ambiguous sounds coming from behind the door so big brother had to barge in and… Surprise! They’re taking care of stray cats. Uh… That letter contains a list of names of people who might be interested to help the cats. So big brother gets lectured for eavesdropping. But why never say in the first place? Because their apartment doesn’t allow animals, talking to him or Yukina won’t make any difference. She adds the cats come from her friend, Kanon Kanase. Kojou and Yukina help Kanon as she leads them to a ruined church where she once lived to see all the other cats. Her real father was a foreigner (thus he silver hair colour) but since she grew up mostly in Japan, she never had recollections of him. She wanted to be a nun once and Kojou thinks she’ll be a good one. Meanwhile Natsuki and Motoki observe the victim recuperating in a lab. This is the fifth one believed to be an attack victim of a demon. It is also believed the victim is not human and can be considered a normal human although traces of magical confirmation are found over her. The most obvious is the attack left her missing some organs. Vatler explains that some chakra of hers got eaten and it is her spiritual centre that got taken instead. There is a possibility this is connected to that person since Ragnvald is missing and the royalty of Aldegyr might be involved. He notes they are not their enemies and wants Kojou to stay out of this. Because he clearly cannot win against her. He doesn’t want him to die so soon when he hasn’t made a move on him yet. Kanon undergoes some experiment. The kind that seems bad since she’s shedding a tear…

Episode 10
All the cats but one are given to an old friend of Kanon. She mentions they drifted apart after an incident that took lots of lives and Kanon was the only survivor. One of her friends was a victim and each time she sees Kanon, she is reminded of it. She hopes Kojou can be good to her. Natsuki reminds them that animals are not allowed on the school grounds. But she can make this an exception if Kojou accompanies her tonight. This isn’t going to be some sort of date despite Natsuki and Astarte in their yukata. But Yukina too? Yeah, yeah. Observation thingy. Kojou has read Natsuki’s information about last night’s fire was caused by masked people attacking each other. Five such incidents have been happening for the last 2 weeks and it is Kojou’s job to catch them. How can he? They fly, right? Just summon his familiar and shoot them down! The masked angels show up earlier than expected and start fighting each other. To hide this, Natsuki has arranged for fireworks as cover up. They witness the angels fight and they are using never seen before magic. Attempts to stop them are futile. They can break through Natsuki’s chains and even withstand the attack of Kojou’s familiar. Our heroes are saved when another angel takes her out. Then she starts ripping her out violently. The aggressive one’s mask breaks and they are shocked to see it is Kanon! Once she has finished devouring her, Kanon flies away. Yukina and Kojou later pay a visit to Magus Craft, an automaton manufacturing company Kanon’s adopted father, Kensei works in. However they meet Beatrice who is his secretary and was told he is not on the island. Since he also owns a research facility island in this district, she lets Lowe Kirishima fly them there.

Yukina is obviously scared of flying since she’s screaming! Kojou calms her down by holding her hand since Nagisa has the same phobia. After they land, Lowe abandons them. It is all part of the plan to leave them on this deserted island. They take refuge in an old guard post but notices new shell casings like as though a war was fought recently. Sayaka visits the abandoned church but sees Motoki there. In exchange for information she seeks, he wants her not to tell Kojou and Yukina his true identity. What information could she possibly want? Kojou’s whereabouts. Why would she care? Because Yukina is with him. Just then, Asagi and Nagisa come by. The worst possible moment because a cat fight is about to begin between Asagi and Sayaka. Psycho woman attacker! Fling woman! Kojou messes up using his familiar just to electrocute fish for food. Seriously? It got Yukina all wet. Anyway she has made dinner. All coconuts! From coconut ‘soup’ to coconut sashimi… Coconut phobia… Asagi hacks her way to reveal footages that Kojou and Yukina board a plane for the deserted island. Now that they know where they are, the girls turn their attention to each other, demanding the other’s relationship with Kojou. I think they better ask him themselves. And fast because who knows what Kojou will be doing with Yukina right now. Asagi wants to know why Sayaka is looking for info on Kanon. As an acquaintance of hers wants to meet her, it is her duty to protect her but she went missing before she arrived on the island. That person is no other than the princess of Aldegyr, La Folia Rihavein. Kojou wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Yukina missing. He wanders around but sees Kanon soaking naked in the stream. Or at least someone resembling her since she is a little ‘bigger’.

Episode 11
The fanservice must be terrific for Kojou to nose bleed. When he is able to control himself, she disappears. But now he is threatened by Yukina who accuses him of coming to peep on her. That’s why Kojou doesn’t understand woman. He says he didn’t come to peep on her and she gets jealous because he didn’t and that there was someone else better to peek at. A ‘bigger’ and ‘more mature’ Kanon, eh? As they look around, a ship containing automaton guards start attacking them. Shoot first, ask questions later. No matter how hard they fight, the automata revive and they only get taken out by Kanon’s look-a-like’s golden cursed gun. She introduces herself as La Folia and those automata from Magnus Craft are after her. They can’t use that ship to leave the island as it is remotely operated by a mother ship. Kojou sinks it before more automata could come out. Meanwhile Beatrice talks to Kensei about the artificial angel’s progress. From what I understand, it seems they are trying to make her marketable and sell her as a weapon. Noting that the Fourth Progenitor is on the deserted island, it’s time to put this product to the test and thus her final evolution. La Folia continues her explanation that the perpetrators are after her body since she is of Aldegyr royal blood. As Kensei was a royal court mage in the palace, he uses magic techniques that require the royal blood as spirit medium. Kanon’s real father is La Folia’s grandpa. He had an illicit affair with a Japanese woman. This makes La Folia as Kanon’s aunt. Although Kanon has no right to claim the throne, it cannot be denied that she is of royal blood. With her existence known, the royal palace is currently in chaos. Kojou explains what they saw with Kanon. Kensei is making Angel Faux, artificial angels by forcing humans to undergo artificial spiritual evolution and reborn them as higher beings.

Another boat arrives but it is Kensei and co. They continue explaining about Angel Faux to create an entity closer to God: An angel. So how is killing another kind considered an evolution? Magus Craft is doing this because they are in dire financial status. So weaponization of artificial angels will fetch a high price in the market. Beatrice states their demands. La Folia is to give up herself and Kojou will be given a fighting chance with Kanon. Their sales pitch would look good if an angel defeats the most powerful vampire in the world. Yukina tries to sever the magic connection with Sekkarou but apparently as explained, divine vibrations generated by humans cannot match something genuinely divine. Kojou has to play with Kanon alone as Yukina has Beatrice for company and Lowe messing around with La Folia. Kanon powers up and despite Kojou summoning both his familiars to attack, it did no scratch. How do you destroy something that is not of this world? Then he gets shot right through the gut. Dead for good? Don’t worry, he is immortal, remember? I think. Kanon then goes berserk so Kensei and co escape so as not to be caught up in her icy whirlwind. Meanwhile Sayaka is dispatching Magnus Craft’s automata at another facility. Natsuki is also there as she tells her that La Folia is alive because a distress signal from her escape pod was detected. To Sayaka’s surprise, she is with Kojou and Yukina on the same island. That guy again, huh? But they can’t get to that island now because the ocean is now frozen with ice and Kanon holing herself up in her icy tower.

Episode 12
Most of Kojou’s wounds have healed except for the one in his chest. The blade is still stuck there and one Yukina or La Folia cannot touch. As they cannot heal his wound, La Folia thinks of awakening a familiar of his to do so. She believes one of them can nullify Angel Faux’s power. But how is stripping to her undies is going to let this unconscious guy suck her blood? As long as he is physically stimulated, the arousal should awaken his vampiric urges? How do they know if he is aroused? Maybe… Yukina doesn’t want the princess to taint herself and will do it on her behalf. Really? Just as planned… So look how the experienced pro undresses herself semi-naked, cuts herself for a little blood and drips it in via kiss. Good enough for this guy to get horny (that’s what it looks like) and suck her blood. So when he wakes up, he is really in a WTF situation. Learning that Yukina saved his life again, they however need to do something to save Kanon as her consciousness is still trap and if they do nothing, it will be lost forever. Because La Folia did not sense his familiar awakening, she starts seducing him. She asks if he wants to save Kanon. Of course. Using her princess status, she orders him to suck her blood. Then they barge out of their cave to being their rescue mission. Kensei will have Kojou fight Kanon again so she can reach her highest evolution level. Yukina couldn’t understand why he used Kanon as a tool. He didn’t. In fact he always treats her as his own daughter. After all, his sister is Kanon’s mother. As a father, he wishes his daughter to be happy and surpass humanity by turning into a true angel. Is that what Kanon wished for or his selfish ideals imposed on her? Enough talk. Let’s get down to business. Beatrice unveils 2 more masked angels she cloned. Not even Kensei knew about this. Although they are not perfect, to be perfect they need royal blood template, the reason she was after La Folia.

The rematches take place. La Folia besting Lowe with her gun and Yukina beating Beatrice with her bare hands (because she herself isn’t that physically strong). La Folia then summons her artificial holy sword. Beatrice is surprised that she summoned a spirit into herself instead of using the magic circuit on the mother ship to fuel its spirit energy. La Folia uses it to pass judgment onto her. Yukina wrests the remote from Beatrice to control the masked angels. Now it’s all left to Kojou boy and Kanon. He understands the pain she is going through and summons his third familiar, Al-Maisan Mercury. It is a double headed dragon and thus needed the blood of 2 spirit mediums to awaken. So Al-Maisan Mercury destroys Kanon’s divine barrier so that Yukina can fully obliterate the spiritual evolution magic with Sekkarou. Kensei admits his lost but Kojou is not going to hit or forgive him. It is not for him to decide. Kanon wakes up and doing fine. She thought she was dreaming that her father and all the other people came to her rescue. This is the first time she meets La Folia so the latter introduces herself as family. Sayaka and Natsuki’s boat arrive to pick them up. In the aftermath, Motoki interrogates Kensei who explains that he created such a weapon because only 3 Progenitors should exist. The fourth one means the time when that power will be necessary draws near. Any weapon that cannot beat him will be useless against what is to come. Motoki doesn’t want him to write it all off soon and he will be under the company’s care to continue his research. Natsuki will be Kanon’s guardian, much to La Folia’s disappointment. She has to leave now since she has found some survivors of Ragnvald but promises to come back again. She pecks Yukina on her cheek as parting gift but Kojou on his lips! And yes, all his harem girls see this. Especially Sayaka and Asagi who were frantically searching for him and the moment they find him, he is kissing another girl. Care to explain? Since Kojou and Asagi start acting strange the moment they remember their own kissing moment, this just makes Yukina more suspicious and Nagisa more excited… Not even an angel can save him.

Labyrinth Of The Blue Witch Arc

Episode 13
Sayaka is to see off La Folia at the airport when the latter learns of the island’s Halloween Festa. Tempted to stay? Sayaka hurries her along but the moment they pass the turnstile, they are teleported to another part of the island. On a train, Kojou and Yukina are discussing about big Festa being celebrated here. They see a molester in action. Kojou wants to teach him a lesson as he wades through the crowd. By the time he reaches there, the train door opens and everyone walks out. Misaki Sasasaki (Nagisa’s homeroom teacher) catches Kojou and believes he is the molester! Of course it’s a mistake and the victim was actually Natsuki in disguise and she caught the culprit. She heard this train line had lots of molesting complaints. At the harbour, the Meyer Sisters of Emma and Octavia unleash their tentacle familiar to attack the guards. They are also known as the Witches of Ashdown and employed by LCO which is part of The Library. They are back after 10 years and are looking for Natsuki. Those guards are no match for them… Kojou and Nagisa’s pals eagerly wait to see their old friend who will be joining them for the Festa, Yuuma Tokoyogi. She makes her grand entrance jumping into Kojou’s arm. I think I know what is going to happen. With the girls commenting this tomboy looking quite pretty, I’m pretty sure that will happen.

So as they go around the place, Yuuma notes the closeness of Yukina and Kojou. Kojou gets a call from Sayaka. Or at least La Folia calling using her handphone. Similarly, Motoki and Asagi get one too from their respective bosses. They are explained about the different place they end up to each time they enter a door. Astarte pops up and explains Natsuki has gone missing. Whether this is part of her plan or not she is not sure. But in such cases, she has been ordered to protect Kanon when this arises. Back home, Kojou is about to go take his bath when suddenly… How the heck did he end up in the bathroom of Kanon and Astarte?! The duo are actually cool and forgiving. It is Yukina that only understands ‘he peeked at them and saw it all’. So much so he is forced to admit he is guilty. Noting about what Sayaka said about the space distortion, they have to be careful not to walk around carelessly. Yeah. How are they going to do that? Each time Kojou walks through a door, he becomes afraid. Yuuma startles him and he drops the glass. He picks it up but cuts his finger. Yuuma sucks it and treats his wound. Yuuma is hinting. Right at the countdown to the Fiesta, without warning she just kisses him. Oh yeah. Add another one into the books. I guess the kiss must be so good that he passes out shortly. Next morning, he thinks all that was just a dream. Want to bet? He feels something strange with his body and looking at the mirror, he is shocked to find himself in Yuuma’s body!!!!

Episode 14
Kojou goes to explain to Yukina but because he is in Yuuma’s body, the girls let their guard down. Uh huh. Feast for the eyes! Yukina is not dressed properly, panties hanging everyone and Kanon getting dressed. Asagi deduces there isn’t any cyber attack and the town itself is just messed up. This brings up a similar incident 10 years ago from the database, the Dark Oath Grimoire in which the Witch of Notaria was responsible. She rewrites the entire network in such a short time. Sayaka and La Folia wake up in a love hotel naked. Blame the space distortion for this. Kojou answers the girls’ question correctly and they believe he is that insensitive guy. He explains after Yuuma kissed him, he saw some knight spirit before passing out. Unfortunately Yukina only heard the kissing part and beats him up. Why so mad, sister? They discuss that Yuuma might be after his body. No, not literally but because of his Fourth Progenitor properties. From what I understand, it is not like they swapped bodies. Their senses got rewired so it make it seems that Kojou is controlling his own body but in fact is Yuuma’s. On second thought, I don’t think I understood that. For somebody who can distort space like that means she is the same type as Natsuki. Yuuma is a witch. The Meyer Sisters are revelling in some grimoire when Vatler drops by to identify them as the source of the space distortion on the island. They attack him but Yuuma drops in. Yuuma introduces herself and she is the daughter of Aya Tokoyogi AKA the Witch of Notaria. She is imprisoned on this island and she seeks to free her. She thinks the situation is also to Vatler’s advantage. As he seeks to fight powerful opponents, after the barrier is broken, legendary villains will escape and Vatler can have his entertainment. Kojou can’t believe they are relaxing and eating desserts instead of finding his body. Relax. They don’t know where it is. Besides, when you’re stressed, eat desserts! With everyone concurring they way Kojou back in his body, he feels relaxed. He needs to use the toilet and wants to ‘learn’ but Yukina will not allow it! Hold it in! When Yuuma activates the grimoire, Yukina and Kojou sense the power coming from the Keystone Gate. However every door they exit, they end up somewhere random. They receive an application from Asagi (what’s with that defenceless sexy look?) that guides them where the exits will lead them too. The Meyer Sisters slaughter the army with their tentacle familiar while the ordinary folks think this is some flashy big budget act for the Festa. Kojou remembers how he and Nagisa first met Yuuma when they were trying to save Nagisa’s straw hat. Finally they come face to face with each other.

Episode 15
Yuuma remembers she was told she is a tool created for Aya’s escape. Thus she is the Blue Witch protected by the Blue Knight. She can’t help wonder her purpose after her mission is fulfilled. Kojou learns Yuuma borrowed his body for the power to break the barrier. Vatler promises he will personally take care of the escaped inmates. Before Kojou and Yukina can get tentacle rape, Sayaka and La Folia save them. Initially shock that Kojou is now a girl, they are able to get here thanks to Kensei who has been temporarily released for this emergency situation. The prison is materializing soon and La Folia notes only Sekkarou and Kojou as the real Fourth Progenitor have a chance to stop it all. The rest will stay back to handle the Meyer Sisters. Kensei warps them there. Yuuma explains she is a test tube baby forced to grow at an accelerated rate and is programmed to free her mother. Although, the meeting with them was her choice alone. The original plan was to sacrifice 100,000 citizens of the island to break the seal but when The Library found out about him, the plan changed. So isn’t it a good thing the people didn’t have to die? Yuuma summons Le Bleu (the knight) to control Regulus Aurum but fails. Looks like the sacrifice is necessary. In the middle of the prison sits sleeping Natsuki. She is the warden, door and key to this magical prison. She has been sleeping like this for 10 years and what they have seen is just her magic illusion. Killing her would set the barrier free.

Kojou questions her so what if she completes her mission? She knows she will not get praised by her mom and is well aware will be tossed aside like a book. If she doesn’t go ahead, she fears her meaningless existence. Kojou disagrees. He will acknowledge her existence so she doesn’t have to follow this programme. Hearing that makes her happy but she is going ahead anyway. She orders Le Bleu to kill Natsuki but Yukina blocks his fist with Sekkarou. La Folia deduces the origins of the familiar they are using. Something about that Ashdown incident that created monstrous familiars from trees of the forest. La Folia uses her holy sword followed by Sayaka’s bow to place a curse on the forest and send them to a crashing defeat. The sisters get arrested. Yukina fights Yuuma while Kojou protects Natsuki’s body. Yukina is to use her last resort of stabbing Sekkarou into him but hesitates since she is not sure of the after effect. Since she can’t do it, Kojou can and he throws the lance towards her. Although Le Bleu blocks it, Yukina kicks it in to finally stab through her. They return to their original bodies. Don’t worry, he is a vampire and should heal, right? Just tolerate the pain. Although it would be much faster if Yukina lets him drink her blood. No way. Yuuma realizes she has failed but Kojou disagrees. She is freed. Natsuki is now awake. She was unconscious because of the blow she took from his familiar and needed to recuperate. With this case close, Yuuma will drop her mission. There is nothing for her in this prison anymore. Suddenly Le Bleu stabs Yuuma. That itself is a decoy because Aya has stabbed Natsuki too.

Fiesta For The Observers Arc

Episode 16
Continuing where we left off, Kojou is a sad vampire. Vatler is about to start his party when he is attacked by Avrora’s 12th familiar, Alrescha Glacies. Isn’t that Nagisa? But Vatler gives out a maniacal laughter upon realizing why Avrora let Kojou consumed her. Nagisa returns to Mimori who thanks her for protecting her although the former says she was just adhering to the contract. Asagi is tired and wandering in the streets. She is shocked to see a little girl calling her as her mother! Hey, isn’t that Natsuki?! She doesn’t remember anything besides Asagi as her mom. Asagi thinks this is her child from the future with… On second thought, she doesn’t look like her. Noting she looks familiar to someone, she wonders if she knows Natsuki. She starts crying instead. For the time being, she will be called Sana till she gets her memories back. Aya makes her appearance in person. Because she considers Yuuma her doll and part of her, she doesn’t hesitate to take back her power which brings a lot of pain during the separation. Kojou is now one mad vampire. But he is warned he cannot use his familiar powers because if it strikes her, the prison barrier will be damaged and you know how this will affect Natsuki, right? Aya has used some grimoire to suppress her memories and experience and she is now powerless although she escaped the scene before losing it completely. Only 5 of the inmates escaped from prison since the barrier is still in place, those who are weak will still be sent back. Thus none of them are free yet and to be sure of that, they must find and kill Natsuki. Yukina fights the inmates and tells Kojou not to use his powers. Sayaka comes to pick them up in her mini tank and escape (La Folia left the country shortly after the Meyer Sisters were apprehended – don’t want to delay anymore, huh?).

Kojou knows of a doctor who can treat Yuuma’s injury: His mother Mimori, a mad scientist (certified magic physician, head researcher in the medical department, whatever you call it) at MAR (Magna Ataraxia Research) lab. The girls understand why Mimori is so quirky since she starts fawning over them that they might be his girlfriend and the prospects of a grandchild. Sayaka is forced to entertain Nagisa who isn’t thrilled about this woman as she thinks she is bad for her brother. Mimori takes a look at Yuuma and finds it odd that her wound isn’t deep despite bleeding so much. She starts fondling her boobs since it is her ability as a psychometrician (psycho indeed) that she can tell a patient’s condition just by touching. Lies! Her conclusion is that if Yuuma continues to leak her magic, she will die at this rate. Mimori has Yukina help carry Yuuma to her lab. Kojou can’t because no men are allowed. Besides, she wants him to nurse his own injury. Kojou looks at the nasty stab wound in his chest. Sayaka comes in after she used some hypnotic effect on Nagisa. Tiring… She looks at his wound which surprisingly it is not healing. Even if Sekkarou can negate magic, it shouldn’t negate healing powers. Seems Mimori doesn’t know Kojou is a vampire and he is trying to hide this fact or else she would dissect him. Tsundere Sayaka will allow him to take her blood just this once (you mean the second time?) but first why let him smell her feet to arouse him? Guys are into that kind of fetish? Says who? Stepping on him is also on the cards. And yeah. Yukina walks in to see this. And then he collapses. Is this his way of worming out. Nope. It’s real. He’s down for good. One of the inmates, Kiliga Gilika has discovers Natsuki’s whereabouts.

Episode 17
Aya is greeted by a couple of Librarian agents who want her to come back with them. She won’t since she has unfinished business with this place. She risks being eliminated so that they can collect the Dark Oath Grimoire but she uses the grimoire to eat them. Yukina and Sayaka just wished Kojou is dead. He collapsed just because he was hungry. Yeah. Scared them to death. Yukina explains that Yuuma’s condition is stable right now but thanks to the complexity of a witch’s magic, MAR facilities aren’t enough to heal her and they need a witch of Natsuki or Aya’s calibre for it. They see Asagi with little Natsuki on TV so Kojou calls her and she tells what she knows. However Kiliga finds them and is about to burn them with his fire. Kojou and the girls rush to the scene. They think Natsuki chose Asagi because she works at the Keystone Gate which is regarded to be the safest place on the island since the Island Guard’s headquarters is there. Of course along the way she lost her memories and reverted to a child. Her instinct is must have what caused her to deem Asagi as trustworthy. The mini tank runs out of fuel. There is always the bicycle. Yukina lets Kojou suck a little of her blood so he can quickly move on (much to Sayaka’s dismay). Asagi manages to use the drainage water to keep Kiliga at bay. They finally arrive at a section of the Keystone Gate. Astarte and the Island Guards are on standby. Astarte’s familiar devours Kiliga’s flames and this weakens him so he is sent back to the barrier prison. Astarte seeks an explanation about Sana since she looks a lot like her master. Another inmate, Gigliola Ghirardi pops up to explain that child is indeed Natsuki. Gigliola’s whip familiar has mind control as she uses it to control the Island Guards to attack Astarte.

Vatler pops up and knows about her lineage as some Chaos Bride princess. As part of his ‘humanitarian act’ to remove all criminals from this area, he unleashes his familiar on her but she too can control it. But this is not a cause for panic. Unleashing another powerful familiar that starts devouring and biting Gigliola. So painful and horrifying that Asagi is shielding Natsuki’s eyes from it. Kojou enters the scene too late. Gigliola loses much of her powers and is sent back to the prison. Astarte is tired and goes into rest mode. Vatler learns about the inmates’ plot to kill Natsuki so Kojou warns him if he tries to do it, he will use all his might to stop him (even if it means revealing his vampire nature to Asagi). Vatler suggests keeping Natsuki safe on his boat since the inmates will come for her again and it would be a safer option than to risk the civilians here getting harmed. Of course he is free to come too. Is he trustworthy? Kojou has no choice but to agree. Asagi is confused about everything especially Kojou’s connection with it all. An explanation after this won’t do. To make it up, she wants to tag along. Another inmate, Meiga meets Aya who is writing spells all over the walls. He wonders what happened to her handcuffs since if she stole Natsuki’s memories, it should include the key to the prison barrier and the decode programme as well. She didn’t tell the rest of this and because of that they are all out looking for Natsuki. Meiga was once from Lion King and is interested to see her experiment. The Dark Oath Grimoire itself is already lost. All its wisdom now exists in Natsuki’s memory. Aya is attempting to recreate that grimoire from the stolen memories. Not only words, she can also perfectly replicate the curses and spells. This is her power. Now this entire school building is serving as a huge Dark Oath Grimoire.

Episode 18
Kojou gets scolded by Yukina and Sayaka since being on Vatler’s boat means there is some magic that prevents them from coming onboard. She hopes he will not complicate things like getting horny with Asagi. Yup, another woman sure complicates the equation. And you thought she trusted him at times like these. Kojou meets Kira Lebedev Voltisvala, a relative of Lost Warlord. Then there is Lord Tobias Jagan, a noble from Warlord’s Domain who seems to be giving Kojou that evil stare. As Kira believes, he is jealous that Vatler is close to Kojou… As he is in the bath, a bevy of beauties take an interest in him. Lucky bastard. They aren’t Vatler’s maids but hostages, daughters of royalty and statesmen from the nations surrounding Warlord’s empire. Because Vatler isn’t into women, they are pleased to do whatever they want. So to get their revenge against their home nations for selling them off, they thought of a little uprising. As in, getting a direct descendent of a Progenitor to become a powerful vampire that surpasses Vatler. So how about a quickie? KOJOU YOU LUCKY BASTARD!!!!!!!!!! Don’t worry, he declines not because he is gay. But the babes back down for now since his ‘girlfriend’ is around. If he changes his mind, they’ll always be available. Which ‘girlfriend’ are they talking about? Asagi. He almost saw her naked coming into the bath with Sana. She is still suspicious that he is hiding something. She makes a guess… Could it be… He is into men?! WTF. He didn’t take an interest in her body, right? Oh sh*t. How can he escape such question? The kind where both ends of the answer will kill you. She notices his scar and stands up, giving him a little frontal nude service. This causes him to nose bleed. You just ruined the bath water with your blood. In the room, Sana suddenly awakens into some spunky magical girl?! WTF?! Kyun?! I don’t know, she sounds like a computer restarting and is supposed to be Natsuki’s backup avatar. This won’t revert Natsuki back to her normal self. Destroying the grimoire is the only way. Or wait 10 years for her to grow back into that little size.

Vatler meets Sayaka and Yukina outside his boat. He asks Sayaka about why she is being tasked to observe Kojou. Or rather what exactly is the Fourth Progenitor she is observing. If he becomes complete, she might find out. However tonight Kojou is not his main guest. It is that inmate, Broodt Dumblegraff. Mimori checks on Yuuma but she has already escaped. Asagi is informed by her programming avatar Mogwai that her programming skills are needed. She refuses at first but he mentions about something strange building up at the school in which it negates the magic that reinforces the main structure of the island. Suddenly, Vatler gets owned by Broodt? Well, giving his status as a mercenary and dragon slayer, he is able to slay his dragon familiars. Of course he has more powerful dragons and turns the tables to send him back to prison. Yukina and Sayaka are faced with another inmate, Shtra D whose power is a deva. Sayaka offers to take care of this so Yukina can go help Kojou. Kira helps Kojou and the rest to escape and Kojou is impressed by his politeness despite the situation and they shake hands. This only confirms to Asagi that he is into men. Lydianne Didier, an acquaintance of Mogwai arrives in her mini tank to pick up Asagi. She mentions this phenomenon is happening exactly as it was 10 years ago. When all this is over, Asagi hopes Kojou can spend some time with her. Of course he will. With the rest too. Shucks. If she was only a little bit more specific. Sayaka finishes off Shtra by using his power against him although it hurt her in the process. She collapses but Kojou catches her. Despite him being sweaty, she makes his an exception. Don’t be too close for too long otherwise Yukina may get the wrong idea. More importantly, here is Aya. She is here not to kill Natsuki and thanks them for taking care all the inmates for her. Thanks to the grimoire, the entire island has become her own realm. All powers besides hers are lost including the Fourth Progenitor’s. Kojou gets stabbed by Le Bleu. But Yukina hasn’t lost hers and strikes with Sekkarou. It is a trap. She gets caught and is whisked away for some experiment. They realize too late that Aya’s true target is not Natsuki but Yukina.

Episode 19
Yukina sees a past confrontation between Aya and Natsuki but it then turns into her own dream whereby Kojou and Satsuki are her classmates leading a normal life. But she knows this is a dream and breaks out of it with Sekkarou. She realizes this is the power of the grimoire, the power to create a world to one’s desires. Sayaka is panicking to heal Kojou’s wounds. So much so she almost strips herself to let him take her blood. He would be very much aroused if he didn’t have a hole in his gut. So to say seeing her panties isn’t enough? Yuuma manages to locate Kojou with her little powers left. She wants Kojou to take their blood. As Aya has casted a spell to take away all powers except hers and Yuuma being a replica of hers, it means she still has them so taking her blood means Kojou is able to use that power to heal. Kojou cannot control his urge to rape suck her blood and since it isn’t enough, Sayaka is next. He notices the Sekkarou wound not healing when he hears Avrora’s voice. Something about him being too concerned with his body and that vampires transcends all existence and non-existence. Kojou understood what she meant. His familiar was already awakened when Yukina stabbed him but only half materialized and became a wound on his chest. He now fully summons his fourth Familiar, Natra Cinerus. This giant spider turns the island into a mist and halts the breaking up of the island. You can’t break something intangible, right? Aya notes Sekkarou was once known as a demon assault lance since it is not to negate magic but return something to its original world. She wonders why someone like Yukina could wield it so freely. Is she not born of this world? So goes on talking about this world filled with just fantasies and things that only exist in humans’ imaginations. Yukina believes all those superhuman powers are real since they have existed for thousands of years but Aya disagrees with some 5-minute theory that states every imagination could be made up in 5 minutes. Although it is just a theory, she is going to prove in this experiment she can recreate this world to her ideals and in the form that she believes is to be correct. Thousands of lives will be lost but this is their punishment for scorning witches as to their liking.

Aya senses something powerful breaking through her barrier. Al-Maisan Mercury crashes through and frees Yukina. Yukina could guessed something steamy have happened since Sayaka buttoned her shirt wrongly. Kojou doesn’t give a crap about Aya’s goal since she hurt his friends, she will pay. Aya summons phantom enemies and even those tentacles to fight. A golden knight familiar stands in her way before she could kill Yukina. Natsuki is back up. Thanks to the blood she received from Kojou during the bath on Vatler’s ship. I wonder why it took so long to activate. Maybe that’s why that loli avatar was for. Natsuki steals the grimoire for her and everyone corners Aya. She won’t be defeated and does a last desperate attempt by feeding her own soul to a demon to become an unstoppable being. Yukina remembers what she said about Sekkarou so she uses it on Aya and everything returns back to normal. Right at that moment, Meiga steals a lance, Fangzahn hidden in some museum storeroom. Paper Noise confronts him and knows he used Aya for this opportunity. Although she notes that lance as a failed production, Meiga says it suits him perfectly. Paper Noise is not going to stop him since she knows she cannot kill him. Besides, Lion King will not suffer any real harm if she lets him go. In the aftermath, Natsuki says she’ll be returning to the prison barrier but will definitely meet them soon. Class will be starting again next week. Yuuma will be interrogated since her status makes her a Librarian but of course she will see them soon too. She is about to high five Kojou but it is just a ploy to kiss him! Is this some sort of war declaration to Yukina that she is serious in taking him next time? And now Kojou has to hear her complaining… WTF does she mean he is too vulnerable? She hints she wants to be by his side forever. Sure just as his observer? This time all their friends heard it and they think it is some sort of bold proposal.

Return Of The Alchemist Arc

Episode 20
Kou Amatsuka ambushes his way to see Kensei. He is an alchemist under Nina Adelard and is here to take back his master’s keepsake, Wiseman’s Blood. He is also the one who destroyed the monastery (the abandoned church) 5 years ago. Yukina receives a note from Lion King to send back Sekkarou since her class is going on a training camp soon. Kojou becomes the mule to carry the girls’ shopping bags. He got enough sense not to step into the lingerie shop. But Kanon wants to know what types he likes… After the girls step in, he is faced with Kou who outrights wants to kill him just to get Kanon. Yukina saves the day and cuts off his hand. They realize he is an alchemist when he replaces his hand with the metal lamppost. Seeing he can’t win, Kou escapes. Kojou thanks Yukina for saving him and the great fanservice of her unbuttoned top since it got undone during the fight. Okay, he didn’t say thanks for the second one but Yukina accuses him of it. Kojou goes to see Natsuki but she is out and only Astarte is in. Since she is a homunculus, he asks an alchemist’s goal. To become close to God while retaining the physical body. There were several incidents like this. Kojou is a good example after he became a vampire. Another is Wiseman’s Blood. The legendary alchemist Nina is said to use it to obtain an immortal body and unlimited magic power. Kojou then seeks Asagi’s help about the monastery but oddly it is not in the database. (Seriously, she couldn’t believe he called her out just to ask this). If there is no database, might as well search the site. Kojou thinks somebody is attacking them and pushes Asagi down. They’re in an ambiguous position. That person turns out to be Natsuki. First he ditched class and now he is forcing himself on a girl. She sure has seen everything about him. Natsuki shows him a paper shikigami she found. He is not to say a word to this to anyone. She tells him that Kensei was attacked by Kou and in critical condition. Kojou thinks this is a good chance for them to catch the culprit while Kanon and the rest are away. Is there anything he can do to help? Sure. Attend all the supplement classes!

Somehow Kojou tells this to Yukina. As usual she scolds him because he is with Asagi and would have put her in danger (I’m sure she is more concerned about him being with Asagi). She brings him to a love hotel area. Wait a minute. Is Lion King going so far to order her to alleviate his lust? That’s what he is thinking? Is his heart ready? He is made to close his eyes and the next thing he knows, the illusion is gone and this is where the base of Lion King sits. Yukina is here to return Sekkarou while she is gone and meets her teacher, Yukari Endou (taking a form of a black cat). Yukari also thanks Kojou for saving Avrora and ‘tamed’ Yukina. What? Did he? Kou shows his master Wiseman’s Blood although it is just a lump of metal since it is dormant. He demonstrates the transferring of one’s consciousness into the Hard Core so one can merge with Wiseman’s Blood and still retain one’s ego. His master is pleased with his work since he can now get back to those guys who threw him out of the headquarters. Kou thanks his master for saving him from that incident 5 years ago which he almost died. Thanks to that he is also able to make this dummy core. His master tests is out and finds it impressive Nina’s consciousness which is preserved inside the Hard Core has awakened. Of course unless she is destroyed, they cannot acquire Wisemans’ Blood. However he feels his body getting devoured. Kou won’t help as he is waiting for this moment. To take it, he must destroy her from the inside before she awakens. So much about loyalty. Kojou gets a call from Asagi who is near the monastery as she has lost her precious earring he bought for her. He tells her to get out and will buy her anything she wants. Anything? Too late. She sees something that is a mix of blood, mercury and a shape of a woman. She gets caught in the crossfire of Kou and that thing. Oh sh*t! Asagi killed???!!! Say it isn’t so!!!

Episode 21
Asagi’s dead body. Mad Kojou. Can’t blame him. Somebody ruined the harmony of his harem. Yukina is calmer. She doesn’t want him to go berserk because his power will kill everybody on this island. Does he want to kill Nagisa too? Then Kou appears. Forget about holding it in. They both attack and noticing he is not human, Kojou summons Al-Maisan Mercury to devour him. Suddenly… ASAGI WAKES UP!!! Like nothing happened!!!! What? How? Why? Oh, I don’t care. As long as she’s alive. And Kojou approves because you can see him crying. While Yukina goes off to report what happened to her master, Kojou brings Asagi back to his place so she can clean herself. She notices a red circle gem in her chest. Next thing Kojou knows, he gets the ultimate fanservice of seeing Asagi in the nude. She is not bothered. She knows he is a vampire. Something is off. Not just her clothes. When Asagi uses some contents of the vase to create a temporary silk towel, Kojou knows this isn’t Asagi. In fact this is Nina taking over her body. The Hard Core is her actual body. The liquid metal part was contaminated by the dummy core Kou made. It is unfortunate Asagi got caught in the crossfire and the only way to save her was to cut the contamination, transfer to this body and heal her wounds before they claimed her. If all that is too hard to understand, just be glad that Nina saved Asagi. Kojou couldn’t be more grateful. He apologizes for killing Kou but she says he is still alive since the fact that Wiseman’s Blood that was contaminated by the dummy core is still moving proves he is so. This means they only destroyed a part of him and not the actual person. Kou tries to slip into Natsuki’s place but fell into her trap. She would have finished him off and bring him to custody to La Folia if he wasn’t a dummy. Kou breaks free and vows to finish the tragedy 5 years ago. Natsuki lets Astarte finish him.

Nina promises to leave this body once she gets Wiseman’s Blood. This means Kojou has to help out. Nagisa and Yukina return so Nina has to act like Asagi so as not to raise suspicions. Easier said than done. At least they didn’t suspect. Next morning after the young ones leave, Kojou hears Nina’s scream. Actually it is Asagi. She couldn’t believe she found herself in Kojou’s bed. Did something happen? Believe me, this guy is too useless for any sort of thing to happen. For better or worse, she starts crying in her relief. Nina takes over her body when she senses Wiseman’s Blood making a move. Motoki and his team of Island Guards are intercepting the liquid metal menace at the harbour. They manage to stop its tracks by applying some basic physics of freezing it. But it breaks free when Kou appears at the scene. All the guards start pumping bullets but bullets are made of lead, which is metal, right? Know where this is going to? Kou than activates something that sends the liquid metal exploding and destroying most of the port. The liquid metal escapes into the sea. Nina and Kojou arrive too late to see this state of mess. Nina explains all that stuff in which it is some sort of beam cannon. She adds that the ultimate objective of alchemy is to be a perfect human, born of the goal to be as close to God. That is Wiseman. Being perfect, he has no need to concern himself with others and is a manmade God who wishes for destruction of everything that could disrupt his perfection. Now he has awakened. Yukina and co are on their way off the island via ship. Yukina senses something in the water.

Episode 22
Kou has taken over the ship and killed all the deck crew. He feels his body is breaking up and hopes once this is done, Wiseman will give back half his body as promised. Yukina and Kanon sense something unpleasant onboard and go check it out. Don’t worry. It found them. Kou. Kanon remembers him. He needs somebody with a powerful spirit medium as offering. She thinks as long as she stays away from everyone, they’ll be safe. Kanon runs off. Nina leaves Asagi’s body and absorbs some of the liquid metal and bones left behind to reconstruct a body of her own. But there wasn’t enough blood to reconstruct her figure so she looks exactly like Asagi but tanned and with bigger boobs. That is the most important part? Natsuki is on scene and tells of Kou’s whereabouts (Kensei woke up and told her). The ship is too far for her to use her teleporting ability but she has already prepared a transport in view of this. La Folia is glad to help out with her high speed blimp. Before Kojou gets to ride on some prototype transport on it, Yukari gives Sekkarou to him so he could pass it to Yukina. Kou corners Kanon. She feels sorry for him because he doesn’t remember. She asks about his goal to resurrect Wiseman and his previous life. Although he can answer about his objective to become human again, he cannot remember who he was previously. Kanon throws the damning conclusion that Wiseman will not grant his wish because he is never human to begin with. Mad Kou is going to kill her but Yukina protects her. A missile crashes into the ship. Short of exploding. This is what Kojou was riding? I guess his body can only take such speed. You don’t know how Yukina is glad to see him. But she hides that fact by hitting him and blaming him about the devastating impact he might caused riding that. More damning statements to Kou from Nina. She reveals he is a homunculus created by Wiseman to carry out his mission. She lectures him that it is not his body that determines if he is human or not. It is his heart. Nina and Kojou may have lost their original bodies but they’re still trying to live as humans. He has no more reason to obey Wiseman. But too late. Wiseman resurrects. They realize that he didn’t board this ship to pursue Kanon. Because the sea water has traces of precious metal, it is more than enough needed for his resurrection.

He becomes some big gold monster that shoots beam from his mouth (he calls this perfect?). Thankfully the ship didn’t sink in that blast because Kojou used Natra Cinerus to temporarily turn into mist. However he himself got turned into metal. Yukina is sad. But still blaming him. Her tears suddenly cause the ship and the ocean to freeze. Possessed Nagisa (I think it’s the same one that kicked Vatler’s butt) goes up to kiss him so she can awake another one of his familiars. Yukina realizes the awakening isn’t complete yet so she continues to kissing (with some blood on her lips). He resurrects and bites her neck. Kou is still resisting despite learning he is just being used. He doesn’t know what else to do. He is afraid he will cease being himself. Yukina lectures him he should have searched for that answer. Doing so is what it means to be human. Never thought of that, didn’t he? Too bad. That’s the last you’ll see of him. Kojou too lectures Wiseman about his perfection. He might be strong but that doesn’t mean he is perfect. Because he hasn’t done anything with his power to benefit others. Anyone who can’t understand that isn’t perfect. He summons his eleventh familiar, Sadalmelik Albus to turn everything that is Wiseman to turn back time into complete nothing. Perfect nothing? As a little reward, Kojou gets to rest on Yukina’s lap for a while. In the aftermath, Nina has returned to her true form albeit a midget since this is the size she could manage after gathering all of Wiseman’s Blood. Kanon wants to keep her as a pet… And Yukina has come to this conclusion that Kojou is always in danger whenever she takes her eyes just for a moment. Worse, he meets new women. She’ll have to intensify her observations from now on. Twisted logic. At least it’s not perfect…

Empire Of The Dawn Arc

Episode 23
Yukina’s worst nightmare: Kojou leaving her! It’s only a dream but… She asks him about what if she wasn’t around. His insensitive around: Things would be easier for them. I know this jerk doesn’t mean bad but thanks to that Yukina is in bad mood. While she is changing in the locker, some girl pops out from thin air and knocks her out. Vatler and Sayaka are at the devastated site. He thought he felt the dragon that supports Itogami Island writhing. He unleashes his dragon familiar into the deep hole as some test fire. It results in some magical dragon beast soaring up to the skies. Kojou and Motoki are shocked to see Yukina is a totally different person. She is a klutz. She is excited and fawning to see them and the other characters we know. Like Motoki is now ‘thinner’ and has ‘lots of hair on his head’. What about calling Nagisa her aunty (it just breaks that girl’s heart) or calling Asagi some cute Doc? Suddenly she feels nauseate. Kojou notices her eyes turn red as she runs off. He catches up and points out she isn’t the real Yukina thanks to all the weird things she said. We know the real Yukina would NEVER do and say those things. Speaking of which, the real one pops up. Oh no! How can we tell which is which? Real Yukina wants Kojou to step back so she can take care of the fake. This cause the latter to lament her attitude and possibly Kojou is the one to blame for her turning out like that. After he manages to have the real Yukina hear her out, the imposter advises her that the more rigid she is, the easier she breaks, including others around her. The magical beast appears and stabs the imposter and then sucks some blood out of Kojou. Yukina tells him not to interfere since in his present condition, he might not be able to control his familiars and could hurt others. Yukina strikes but her Sekkarou breaks. Again? Before she meets her maker, the imposter revives and summons her Sekkarou-look-a-like, Hasta Aurum (only it is golden) and fights off the beast. She is alive and healed since she also has the curse of the immortality like him. She explains her mission of following this beast. If left alone, disaster will fall onto this island. Natsuki will take care of the fake and wants Kojou to handle the real one. Yup. She’s the real problem. She’s been feeling gloomy since, pondering on the fake’s advice. It really eats her confidence. If that isn’t bad enough, she gets an order from Lion King calling for her return.

Episode 24
Reina, the Yukina look-a-like is temporarily staying with Kanon as she explains about her mission of pursuing that beast created in an experiment. Failure to capture it means this island will sink because it can cross time and distort space and will devour the magic that supports this island. Asagi is having a hard time doing her programming to keep things afloat. Yukina is still down. She feels guilty that her return was because she broke Sekkarou and had to resort giving her blood to that pervert so many times. Besides, won’t it be easier for Kojou if she’s gone? Really? Then why is she crying and the running away? Kojou sheepishly thinks this is for the best too. But Sayaka slaps him. It’s time for her big lecture. If Yukina said she never wanted this, she would never have objected. Sayaka asked if she should be reassigned. She continues lecturing him about responsibility she shoulders and his fate as the Fourth Progenitor that brings in disasters. At least use that power to protect everything. Now his eyes have opened. He knows what to do. He is going to bring her back. I’m sure thinking back on Yukina would serve lots of good memories but no time for that because the beast is unleashing havoc on the island. The Island Guards are no match so they are forced to evacuate people. Reina confronts Yukina. Her turn for lecture? The latter still gloomy, still feel not deserving to be with him, blah, blah, blah. Okay, okay, we get it. So can we move on? Reina asks her about her true feelings as Yukina a girl and not some Sword Shaman of Lion King. Without hesitation, Yukina replies she wants to be with him of course. Perhaps this was the determination she was looking for. It makes Reina give her a new lance.

Kojou with his familiars and the help from Astarte, Natsuki and Sayaka still couldn’t defeat the beast because it resurrects. Great. An immortal, huh? Vatler explains that it can absorb magic and surprisingly through the wielder’s familiars too. He wants to use his all-out power to fight it though it will sink the island but save Kojou. But here comes Yukina with her brand new Sekkarou to tell him to butt out. As Reina explains, her old Sekkarou broke because it couldn’t withstand all the spiritual strength she gained since coming to this island. Thus Lion King created a new one for her. Only thing is, it took 20 years to make! When Yukina and Kojou reunite, she didn’t hesitate to let him have her neck. He didn’t hesitate to bite it. At times like these, you want to tell them to restrain their public display of affection but I guess it’s an emergency. So who cares how the beast is absorbing some magic thingy. All I know is that Yukina and Reina’s lances along with Kojou’s power, they destroy the beast for good. Everything goes back to normal. Happy ending. Yukina will do everything to convince her higher ups to rescind her return order. But when Sayaka looks at the letter, she explains this recall is just a routine medical check-up. Those in constant contact with vampires need to undergo them. How could she forget? Well, blame Kojou for making her not think straight. Reina’s time is up so she needs to go back. She is confident she will meet them again and says goodbye to her mom. They want to ask her name but she disappears. They are baffled why she calls Yukina her mom but has vampire properties. Could it? Can it? They brush it off. Since the uniform she borrowed from Yukina, it didn’t follow her. Kojou picks it up but he had to pick up her plaid panties. Oh well. I saw this coming. Now feel the wrath! Lastly, the truth of Reina is revealed. She is from the future and her friend Moegi is glad she is able to defeat it. It is greatly hinted that Reina is indeed the child of Yukina and Kojou while Moegi is Asagi’s daughter. Reina is happy to see her father living happily 20 years ago before his untimely death. But that is just a cheeky statement from her because Moegi points out he wouldn’t even die if you killed him. Reina is glad to be home to their Empire of the Dawn. Itogami Island is now a much bigger enclave.

Strike The Harem!
Uhm… This series… Reminds me… So much like To Aru Majutsu Index!!! I know there are stark differences and both series are written by different authors but I just can’t help think how similar they both are because of the magic and science mix, action and yes, the dreadful terminologies that plagues the series all over. Oh God. Those terms are the biggest reason that is preventing me from fully enjoying this season. Although it isn’t that bad, I for a dumb guy like me, they sound so sophisticated so much so that half of the time when they start explaining the plot or anything and put in those terminologies, I’d be at a lost. Sometimes I had to replay the scene twice and reread the sub just trying to understand. Sometimes I do but mostly I don’t. Of course the other contributing factor is that both the main guys have this ‘bad luck’ tendency (one with girls and the other just negates good luck with his hand).

At the rate of how this anime ended, it hints that a sequel is possible (don’t they always?). There are too many things in the works, set in motion as foreshadowing or left unexplained as far as this season is concerned. For instance, Meiga is the only inmate who escaped from the prison barrier and I believe he would have some sort of plan in the future, seeing that he is somewhat related to the Itogami island and ancestor as well as Lion King. The history of how Avrora left Kojou as the Fourth Progenitor should prove interesting to tell as well. There are perhaps a lot of other interesting plots and some sort of teasers like if Yukina is human or Kojou’s true form when he awakens as the true Fourth Progenitor. But thinking about all these stuffs that I will probably never get an answer too would suck out the enjoyment of this series. So let’s leave that for another time. Dividing the series into arcs is a good thing for the build-up of the plot and the overall series but sometimes it gets a bit too generic or predictable like with a new arc, there would always be a new villain-of-the-arc. Once the arc is over, you’ll never hear of them again. Like do we really care about the baddies? After all, as stated very early, Itogami Island is where all sorts of non-humans live in thanks to the government’s approval. I won’t be surprised if everything that has happened or going to happen is part of some big government plan or experiment that could all boil down simply to the Fourth Progenitor.

The part that I enjoyed most and how I wished that it is featured more is the harem part. Isn’t this what this show is about? Hah. I know it’s a distraction to the series but I kinda liked it that way. It’s like in every arc, Kojou obtains a girl to his unofficial harem. At this rate he has already amassed Sayaka big tsundere number one, Yukina observer-cum-stalker tsundere number two only second to her best friend, classmate Asagi, cool princess La Folia, her gentle sister Kanon, tomboyish childhood friend Yuuma and I won’t even discount his imouto Nagisa to the list. Oh yes, there is that bunch of bevy of hostage babes on Vatler’s ship too. Everybody just loves this guy. Even Vatler. If Kojou cares to cross over and open ‘new possibilities’. Any other girls care to be added to this list? Nina is a maybe, Mimori at most is just a mother’s love and perhaps Natsuki would surprise us all when she suddenly decides to enter that forbidden teacher-student relationship. I would grin with glee each time when this sort of stuff happens but too bad if getting jealous over Kojou or blaming this dense guy was spammed and overwhelming, the series might have lost its plot and be outright distasteful. Not that I would mind but since this isn’t the main focus of the series, it would have done it great injustice in which I myself wouldn’t want that to happen either. For the time being, I guess the romance have to be put on hold despite there are several close moments of Kojou and some of the girls especially Yukina. But with Reina in the picture, it points to a big hint that eventually Kojou chose Yukina.

The harem and romance might be minimal. But there is the fanservice. You get your fair share of them during ‘crucial’ moments. Although not over the top, it provides a little cheap thrill. Yeah, it feels fun. Fun. For me, after all those mind numbing terms, this is somewhat a relief and something visual I can understand :). So stripping all for the sake of Kojou’s familiar awakening, eh? Something tells me that deep down, this isn’t just the case. Their pride and ego may be too inflated just to be honest with their feelings. I don’t know how much blood he needs to drink. All I know is that when it is time for this, it means fanservice. How else do you get the girl to willingly expose her neck and collar bone? Well at least with Kojou having nose bleeds, it shows that he isn’t gay and is stimulated seeing a woman’s naked body or underwear. That’s a good thing, right? He just has to put up with all the scorning and damning comments made by the girls that make him sound like a lecherous pervert. So do you see that this battle is much more harder than fighting off super villains with super powers? If his vampire lust does overwhelm him and he starts turning his neck bite into rape, then the series would have changed its name to Strike The Butt! Haha! I just wanted to say that…

The characters are pretty decent as well with the interesting one coming from the interaction with Kojou and Yukina (or any of his harem girls) – which sometimes serve as a comic relief. In a way, they are likeable. Characters with dark and tragic past as well as the colourful history of Itogami Island filled with so many incidents that you could perhaps write a thick chronicle about it (and then let some Hollywood director adapt it into some TV screenplay). Character development is rather okay for this season (as usual it is mostly Kojou and Yukina) and there is potential for others to be developed further. Kojou like any other normal guy wants to live a normal life but his status as the Fourth Progenitor attracts lots of trouble. Eventually he can’t run away and might as well learn and use his power to protect those he loves. It’s better and always ends this way, right? Even if Yukina keeps reminding us about her mission and responsibility to observe Kojou, gradually you’ll feel that she is staying by him more than just a mission. Know what I mean? I mean, why get jealous if it is his business with other girls that has nothing to do with her? Because there is a chance his vampire instincts will go out of control and starts doing indecent stuff to other girls. I bet that is what she’ll say. Strike the butt!

Personally I think that the other characters especially of Kojou’s harem would undergo better character development if they have episodes or an arc with them in focus. The kind where there it’s greatly hinted for some romantic developments. For example like in La Folia’s case. I thought it was a waste she had to go back to her country instead of staying behind. Because it seems that it somewhat ‘stopped’ her development with Kojou. Sometimes it makes you feel that the show needs more of a certain girl. Needs more Sayaka. Needs more Kanon. Needs more Nagisa, etc. I suppose 2 dozen episodes won’t be fair enough to handle all of them. Hah… Besides those girls, characters like Natsuki and Vatler have an air of mystery to them. There is more than meets the eye. Vatler feels like some kind of double headed snake because you don’t know if he is on your side or the enemy’s. Well, at least we know he is on his own side. All he wants is just to have a good time fighting the strongest but each time he is forced to play second fiddle to our heroes who eventually clean things up. It’s hard to believe that Natsuki has been asleep for 10 years while projecting a magic illusion of herself to others. I don’t know if being in such a long slumber would stun your growth. I mean, she never drank milk while she was asleep, didn’t she? Then there is Motoki who feels like he is keeping his secret job and connection with Lion King better than Kojou trying to keep his vampire status. Because he seems to know a lot on what is going on (Kojou’s being a vampire, his ladies…). And I’m sure Lion King and Paper Noise aren’t just setting up Yukina with Kojou just for their own amusement to see how they string along. If it was, I’ll be damned. Something trivial bugs me. I wonder if Kojou and Nagisa are actually blood related siblings or at least if Nagisa is actually Mimori’s daughter. Because Nagisa seems to call her mother by her first name. To me, that feels like disrespect unless you aren’t actually related. Unless Nagisa isn’t really Nagisa as seen at times she gets possessed by something. I don’t know.

I don’t know about Kojou’s familiars (there are 12 of them) about accepting him as their master. The way he unlocks them, one by one in each arc feels like as though like he is playing some sort of video game where you pass certain levels, gain certain experience points or achieve some requirements to unlock an unlockable. That is what I feel the familiars’ appearances are. I can’t comprehend how sucking blood from a girl would make them accept him as his master. So theoretically if he needs to ‘unlock’ all of them, he has to bite a minimum of 12 girls (some awakenings require more than one girl). In a way, it makes the first familiar to appear rather cheap because all it needs is just one bite and he is under your control and part of the arsenal as long as you live. I have a feeling at this rate that all the familiars will not appear. True enough he has only half of them. But for those he is able to summon, I feel that they lack some sort of impact to the action. Each familiar has their own properties and abilities in which I believe it isn’t fully explained. That or I am just too dumb to understand when they did. From the way I see it, if he wants to attack some powerful enemy, he just summons one of them and lets them do the attacking. It’s like doing a Pokemon, familiar so-and-so, I choose you! Exciting at first because it is something new but hardly thrilling after the second or third time.

So for the action bits, they are entertaining but like I said, when they start saying those terms, personally it was just a turn off. The mix of science and magic is interesting with each of the characters having their own distinctive fighting style. Even if those without combat skills like Asagi, she still can fight along and prove her mettle via her awesome computing skills that could put every hacker in the world to shame. Although I find it funny that Yukina and Sayaka sometimes recite a long ass chant when they use their weapon. “I, Sword Shaman of the High God and priestess of the Lion, beseech thee. Dawn light of exorcism, spirit wolf of snowy mist, grant me the divine might of thy steel, that I may smite a hundred evil spirits!”. You know, by the time she finished saying this, if this was reality, the enemy would have got to her first.

The drawing and art are okay. At least the animation doesn’t fail or the quality doesn’t drop drastically (at least not very obvious) during fast paced action scenes like how in some animes do. Character designs are pretty decent too. The girls look cute and pretty so what is there to complain? I just thought that Natsuki resembles a lot like Alice from Kamisama No Memo-chou. I later found out that the same character designer designs the characters of both series. The same reason why I thought La Folia and Kanon looked pretty similar to Otome Wa Boku Ni Koishiteru: Futari No Elder’s Chihaya. Yup. Same designer. There is a fair bit of graphic violence like explosions, decimated buildings and the ground as well as blood (but of course).

Somehow, I happen to notice that there are a handful of catchphrases in this series. I don’t know if this is some sort of a running gag but I just feel it is funny (though it is not intended to be). One of the common ones tend to be Kojou who has taken the fight personally while facing the enemy as he spews, “This is my fight!”. Shortly, Yukina will disagree with him and adds, “No, this is OUR fight!”. So much so when it is cue for this line to come up, I would be waiting for it and then complete that line with them. And then I laugh. Also, Kojou never learns his lesson in calling his loli homeroom teacher as Natsuki-chan. She will always strike him back softly and remind him never to call her that. But it always happens. Don’t tell me Kojou has such a short memory. Or is it such nickname has become an instinctively reflex? And perhaps the most ‘annoying’ catchphrase of them all is Yukina’s tendency to remind Kojou that she is his observer. “I’m your observer after all”. I know, I know. We get it. It’s just a better term for a stalker, right?

On a trivial note, something about the English translation of the title arcs bug me. Some of them are a little off. For instance, the Amphisbaena arc although is the official English translation, literally and more accurately the Japanese title is Rising Flame Angel or Blazing Angel (Tenshi Enjo). Looking up on Wikipedia about this Amphisbaena, I didn’t really understand about this mythical dragon creature or how it relates to the arc except that it may be in reference to Kojou’s Al-Maisan Mercury. From The Warlord’s Empire should have been The Warlord’s Messenger (Sen Ou No Shisha) while I suppose there is a play on words for Empire Of The Dawn since it can also be read as Akatsuki’s Kingdom. Hmm… Something I was hoping to be about Kojou’s harem ;p… I suppose these double titles are just like being Japanese itself. Written as X, pronounced as Y and meaning as Z.

Something about Yukina’s seiyuu that reminds me of something. It was hard to put my finger on it at first. It is like she sounds so familiar and I have heard her from somewhere before. It took me some time before I realize that it is Risa Taneda, the same person who voiced Mirai from Kyoukai No Kanata. Both characters are suspiciously familiar. The big hint is how Yukina loves spamming Kojou by calling him “Senpai”. Something that both characters do (and other minor character traits as well). I should have guessed it. There was one time I remember she said Mirai’s catchphrase of “Fuyukai desu”. So Yukina is a glassless version of Mirai and doesn’t use her blood as weapon but gives it to her man. Another reason why I thought this series resembles closely to To Aru Majutsu Index is because of Yuka Iguchi. She is the voice of Astarte here and there at times I thought I see shades of Index. But unlike that bratty squealing glutton, she is more emotionless and reserved like some of her anime characters such as Mako in Girls Und Panzer, Mero in Sankarea and Tsukiyo from The World God Only Knows – Goddesses Arc. Kana Asumi may only be cameo as Reina but she still has that trademark voice that I love like the titular character from Haiyore! Nyaruko-san. Yuuki Kaji as Kou sounds like a mad serial killer. Just like how he does it as Q-vier in Valvrave The Liberator.

Due to the several arcs, the cast of characters are extensive with some characters and especially the ‘villain of the arc’ appearing only in that particular arc. The rest of the selective casts include Yoshimasa Hosoya as Kojou (Arata in Chihayafuru), Ikumi Hayama as Sayaka (Shinobu in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun S), Asami Seto as Asagi (Ayaka in Witch Craft Works), Saori Oonishi as La Folia (Piriluk in Selector Infected Wixoss), Yumi Uchiyama as Yuuma (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Kanae Itou as Kanon (Elsie in The World God Only Knows), Rina Hidaka as Kanon (Sengoku Otome: Momoiro Paradox), Hisako Kanemoto as Natsuki (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Ryota Ohsaka as Motoki (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator), Yuuki Ono as Vatler (Zenkichi in Medaka Box), Mai Nakahara as Nina (Mai in Mai-HiME), Yutaka Aoyama as Kensei (Jura in Fairy Tail), Satomi Arai as Beatrice (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), Mikako Takahashi as Aya (Rushuna in Grenadier), Kenta Miyake as Eustach (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Minami Tsuda as Moegi (Yui in YuruYuri), Kaori Ishihara as Avrora (Aladdin in Magi), Natsuki Hanae as Meiga (Kal-el in Toaru Hikuushi E No Koiuta) and Kana Ueda as Paper Noise (Rin in Fate/Stay Night).

The opening and ending themes are mostly rock based. The first opening theme is as the same name of this series and sung by Kishida Kyodan and The Akeboshi Rockets while the second opening theme is Fight 4 Real by ALTIMA. I couldn’t recognize Yuka Iguchi as she sings the first ending theme entitled Strike My Soul because she sounds so generic. The second ending piece is Signal by Kanon Wakeshima and is the ‘slowest’ of them all. Slow rock, that is. Unfortunately all the songs are not to my liking although they very much fit the pace and setting of this anime. There is a song called Rainbow Heart Rainbow Dream by Yuka Iguchi (now this is how she sounds that I could recognize) listed as one of the themes (mostly stated as opening but there are some that noted it as ending) but I couldn’t find or hear it in the episodes I watched. I did hear it as a sample over the internet and maybe this single is just featured as a B-side track for Strike My Soul and not featured in the anime at all. The background music is okay too but nothing that memorable for me.

Overall, this series isn’t perfect and has its ups and downs. It pretty much depends on your taste in anime genres as well. Like me who prefers to see the cat fight and the harem would find this moderately entertaining while those who do not favour in this would find it a big disservice to the series. At least it won’t turn into something like The Vampire Diaries. Would it? If you still like your animes with some scientific-cum-magic action, but tired of the one with a certain guy with a nullifying right hand and his walking magic grimoire-cum-encyclopaedia glutton, feel free to try out a vampire and his mild tsundere stalker. It’s no fun having someone watching over you 24/7. Even vampires need their privacy. I guess this is a fight where it is only his and on his own.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

October 4, 2014

Finally it’s here! The crawling chaos and love! Do I have this habit of waiting for a long period of time till I watch my favourite over the top nonsensical slapstick comedy animes? Do I really need to wait till the anime is long over passed several seasons before I start watching it? Saving the best for last? I don’t know. After all that long wait and experience in watching Gintama’s second and third season, I’m doing something similar to Nyaruko’s sequel too, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W. Yeah, W means getting wet and wild in this crazy second season. Okay, maybe not wet but you can bet it is going to be as wild, if not wilder than the first season that had me laughing so hard with all the parodies and silly antics from the bunch. As I read the synopsis, it feels like everybody wants somebody. Nyaruko wants Mahiro. Hasuta too wants Mahiro. Kuuko wants Nyaruko. But all Mahiro wants is his sanity and peace and quiet. He doesn’t want to be their love toy but with the stubborn alien trio freeloading in his home, will he finally lose it all this time?

Episode 1
It begins with a parody of Bewitched. Yeah. Nyaruko’s video-cum-report of what happened so far to her Planetary Defence Organization. All lies! So we hear them talk about Nyaruko’s forms and she would like to show us her true form by undressing herself! Then they argue about having Mahiro’s baby. Same ol’, same ol’. Because they can summon things from a different dimension, Mahiro suggests they could use that space to live instead of staying in his living room. As they are being dumb perverts again, Mahiro takes out his fork and reminds them about the mightiest weapon in the universe! Don’t underestimate it! Puts them in their place fast. Nyaruko decides to order it online when she receives a message from her chief saying that an illegal alien just entered Earth and wants her to investigate and report immediately. But nothing is more important for her than to further her relationship with Mahiro. With Tamao’s support, she makes an urgent excuse to go to the infirmary with Mahiro for an hour to make babies. The teacher pretends not to hear it. But does that mean he gave his permission? And since they’re getting annoying, here’s the fork again. Nyaruko gets more advice from Tamao how to pull it off successfully. First she lures Mahiro with something very important to talk. He realizes it is a trap when they enter a locker but he can’t escape or scream since they are in the girls’ changing room! Checkmate! Nyaruko gets ready to kiss him. Has Mahiro finally lost?! Will his virginity be over for real?! Thankfully Kuuko and Hasuta open a portal to make him fall through.

Instead of going home, they pester Mahiro to take a detour. That means paying a visit to the anime store, right? Let your fetish run wild! Especially that gay book that Hasuta picked which has Mahiro’s face on it! I don’t know about the explanation about his face being loved by aliens that is why it is used in such genre. They start fighting over to buy this book but eventually pissed Mahiro buys it. And burns it! Should have burnt the entire stock just to be safe. Next they patron the maid and butler cafe where the dummy perverts are working as part time. In this cafe too is Tsuruko, the author of that gay book. She flusters upon seeing Mahiro and feels the need to get his autograph. The cafe is also running a rock-scissors-paper tournament event for the employees and the winner gets to be the centre of some idol group. But that is not the main issue because the final has Nyaruko against Kuuko. And they know the other like the back of their hand. Yeah. They start using their fist and fight instead. During the commotion, Tsuruko thinks of getting close and get Mahiro’s autograph. She trips and lands up in the middle of the stage where she gets in the crossfire of Nyaruko and Kuuko’s devastating explosive contact. Boom! In the end, the chief congratulates Nyaruko about taking care of the illegal alien (Tsuruko) but she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. All is well, ends well? The package Nyaruko ordered arrives. But she gets a call and from the looks of her face, looks like something is screwed up.

Episode 2
That call was a reminder for a library book overdue. And so Mahiro is dragged along 430 light years away to the Great Library of Celaeno said to have all the wisdom of the universe just because Nyaruko doesn’t want to be lonely. Hasuta once worked as a librarian so he offers to return it. He also helps Mahiro search for something and help input keywords. First word “Nyaruko” and the pervert is impressed he wants to know all about her. It would be even better and personal if it’s in bed. Second word “Kuuko” and that pervert is equally thrilled. Third word “Age” and immediately the guys are restrained. Some knowledge is not necessary to know. Anyway the database froze up. Suddenly they see Library Forces storming in. Something big must be happening so they tail them out of curiosity only to see all of them down. Nearby, a couple of thieves ransacking the place. It’s time for Nyaruko’s crowbar and Kuuko’s lasers to make their debut but they get owned by their Dhalsim limb stretching and Buggy’s limb splitting ability. When Hasuta uses his wind and reinforcements arrive, the duo withdraw as they can come back here later. Mahiro pats Hasuta’s head as thanks for protecting him so Nyaruko and Kuuko also want some. Since he only has 2 hands, it becomes a patting frenzy. He can be a DJ at this rate… Back on Earth, Mahiro helps comb Hasuta’s hair while Nyaruko tells exaggerated lies to Tamao about her progressing relationship and they tease Yoichi about his student council president role. Later as they eat at Luhy’s takoyaki stand, Nyaruko mentions the thieves’ identity has been revealed but no arrest were made. They are of the Zhar and Lloigor race. Nyaruko and Kuuko get a call from their boss. No, it’s not about approving their maternity leave. Seems Zhar and Lloigor have been spotted landing in Myanmar. Since they entered illegally, it is Nyaruko’s job not to let it slide. Once more, Mahiro is dragged into this mission as the gang rides on Shantakkun. They arrive at the Isle of Stars within the Lake of Dread in the ancient city of Alaozar. Zhar and Lloigor are seen chanting prayers.

Episode 3
Tamao calls Nyaruko who in the middle of something important. She sounds like having sex with Mahiro! Of course it was just all made up. They’re surrounded by monsters! Don’t worry. Let Nyaruko’s trusty crowbar to do the job. Everyone realizes Nyaruko has not returned the book yet and from past experience (read: Last season), this always leads to foreshadow of something. With Zhar and Lloigor making their appearance, they aren’t going to be good aliens and turn themselves in. Nyaruko and Kuuko didn’t hold back and throw bombs at them! To their surprise, they revive but combined as one. I’m sure Nyaruko wanted to throw more bombs at them but their pen starts reacting. Not to Nyaruko’s book but the book in Mahiro’s pocket! It seems he accidentally took the book out from the library during the commotion with the Library Forces. Oh Mahiro, how can you be so careless? This only gives Nyaruko a chance to criticise you with that foreshadowing thingy. That book is actually a memo pad as Zhar-Lloigor starts scribbling in it. When writing inside it, it will create a deity based on your specifications. The Great Monkey Alaozaru materializes. They are doing this because since rare and endangered species are slowly being taken off the list, they won’t get any more funding and what better way than to continue this by creating their own endangered species.

Alaozaru has all the great attributes they wanted but they forgot to make it obedient. This means it won’t listen to their orders and starts rampaging. Mahiro knocks out the duo with his fork while the rest fight it. But they aren’t making any progress since the monster monkey is tough. Nyaruko forces Hasuta to fight and changes him into his true heroic form. Even with his great Cyclone Effect, the monkey still revives after taking lots of damage. Even when the trio combine their power for a devastating what-the-hell-did-they-call-this-move finishing blow. It resurrects and has its damaged parts regenerate. Our heroes are tired and are reduced to only running around to avoid its smash. Is this the end of them? That’s when Mahiro takes a look into the memo pad. Yeah, looks like children scribbles, don’t they? Sure, they might have written how powerful and immortal this monkey is but Mahiro notices an eraser at the tip of this pen… Could it be? When he starts erasing everything, the monkey disappears. There. Easily done. In the aftermath, the duo thieves are arrested but some news of a criminal barricading himself in Celaeno holding hostages and demanding a certain book. Nyaruko gets word from her chief to go return that book and while at it, negotiate with the criminal. Mahiro won’t be dragged into this mess again and tells her to go herself. But Nyaruko prefers to tell Tamao about some exaggerated adventure. Interesting enough to take down notes?

Episode 4
Tamao puts on makeup but realizes it’s not like she’s going to show this to anybody. Mahiro is going shopping on his day off but the freeloaders want to follow too. Just some forking reminder… On the way, Tsuruko sees Mahiro and ditches her job just to follow him to get his autograph. At the same time, Yoichi impresses the crowd with his perfect bowling and snooker games. Also, Shantakkun is on some RPG adventure with Yoriko. Mahiro and co somehow stop at the haunted house attraction first. And you know what this means about being scared… But their fear is true when they realized the thing that Mahiro is buying at the store: Forks!!! Cheap sale! Great bargain! Oh sh*t! On the way back, it is now or never for Tsuruko so she makes her dash but bumps into Yoichi. Her fans start taking this the wrong way that she has a boyfriend and feel disappointed. Worse, they start snapping pictures of her. One day after school, Nyaruko meets up with Tamao at the cafe just to get more love advice because her relationship with Mahiro isn’t improving. Even when she told him she is sneaking somewhere suspicious, he was smiling and gave the thumbs up. It’s like telling her to go ahead and he doesn’t give a damn. Whatever advice that Tamao said was already put in motion and failed. Tamao is surprised that Nyaruko has already kissed him (from last season) but nothing more happened after that. It’s like he forgot all about it too. Tamao puts it in a way that Mahiro doesn’t hate her and all that is left is to get him to fall for her. Because her strongest feature is the number of moves she has, if one time doesn’t work, try it 10 times or 100. In short, if you don’t succeed at first, try, try and try again. Quantity is better than quality! It made Nyaruko feel so good and happy that she ordered a jumbo parfait to celebrate. Back home, Tamao laments she has no chance of winning because Nyaruko is so cute. She gets some words of comfort from Isuka that good things are coming her way. Isurugi is forced to work hard under Isuka. He gets blamed for causing Yoichi trouble and need to send him happy waves to Yoichi like she does to Tamao. He claims he did put up all the flags and even Tsuruko to get close to him but figures he is not into women. Isuka’s conclusion is just simple: He’s not working hard enough!

Episode 5
Nyaruko is beating Kuuko in some card game. With this, she can take back the contract she wrote when she was young to her about giving her mind, body and soul to Kuuko. Because Nyaruko is spamming some joker move, Mahiro can’t take it anymore and uses mommy’s vacuum to suck it all up! He reminds Nyaruko about the package she ordered about the living space. She hooks up the dial on a door that allows them to enter one of their rooms depending on the dial. Because they’re taking too long, Mahiro goes check on them. Hasuta’s room looks normal but he can’t help notice strange putty things in the corners. Hasuta warns some things are better off not knowing. Next, he visits Kuuko’s room. Lots of Nyaruko’s memorabilia and she is in the midst of making out with a big Nyaruko pillow. Pretend you didn’t see that, okay? Finally, the most worrying one, Nyaruko. Acting like a housewife. You know what is going to happen next. She purposely spills drinks on him so he must take a bath. Yup. She’s waiting for him in it and the door is locked. Will he lose it this time? He is forced to sit in the same bathtub with her but facing the other way. Things are pretty much toned down instead of Nyaruko running wild. She answers his question that she fell in love with him at first sight and will continue to pursue him until he gives in. Mahiro murmurs the biggest hint that probably would have made them a couple. If she wasn’t only this forceful. Oh, if only Nyaruko heard that. Suddenly the water gets hotter. Did Nyaruko change the temperature? No. Apparently Kuuko is burning with jealousy outside. Enough to melt the door down! Before the girls can start their power battle that could break just about anything, everything is put to a crashing halt with Mahiro’s fork. Convenient. They are made to reflect their actions when somebody is at the door. A scary b*tch proclaiming Mahiro is already dead!

She turns out to be Kuune and Kuuko’s cousin. First thing she does is to start molesting Kuuko and touch all her sensitive points till she climaxes. I know. WTF. She is part of the Planetary Defence Organization and sent here to observe Kuuko’s work attitude. But everything looks fine, right? She also gives Kuuko a message from her dad who wants her to attend a marriage interview. She turns it down and Kuune happily burns it away. After all, Kuuko is going to marry Kuune, right? She even plays a recording proof of Kuuko saying that. However Kuuko says she will not marry her and has somebody she loves. Kuune wants to know that person but Kuuko is reluctant to say. Mahiro learns from Kuuko (who is partially hiding) that because both their races are sworn enemies, it might bring lots of shame to her whole family. Kuune might even give false reports and drag Kuuko out of this house. Hey, that doesn’t seem like a bad idea, right? Suddenly Kuuko announces that Mahiro is her lover and the one she will marry! While Kuune is knocked out in shock, Kuuko explains this is just an act and hopes they can help her out since she doesn’t want to leave this house and loves everyone here. I’m sure that heartfelt speech has everyone agreeing to it. Even if Nyaruko doesn’t want to. Of course she is forced to in exchange for that contract. While cooking dinner, Kuuko asks Mahiro if he really likes Nyaruko. This causes him to accidentally cut his finger. She sucks it to disinfect the wound. She understands why Nyaruko likes him because of his kindness despite his temper. Therefore she will take both him and Nyaruko as she can take on 4 at a time! That just ruined it. During dinner, Kuune is suspicious that they are putting an act so Kuuko is going to prove it by sleeping with him! I wonder how Nyaruko is handling all this. Not good. But keep holding it in… So Kuune goes to talk to her sister in her room and try to convince she is a much better lover than he is because she knows all her sensitive spots. But all Kuuko can think of is that Mahiro isn’t such a bad person after all.

Episode 6
Jealousy abounds when Kuuko cleans Mahiro’s ear… Since Kuune is not convinced, Kuuko says today they are going on a date. Of course Nyaruko throws a tantrum about this and prefers that woman to be kicked out. Mahiro won’t abandon ship that easily and wants her not to interfere today. So we have the gang tailing the duo. Kuune still isn’t convinced as he interrupts Mahiro trying to feed Kuuko his crepe. She lets him have hers. They take a look at engagement rings and even find a book to name their baby. During lunch, Nyaruko confronts him. She can’t take it anymore. She looks serious. She goes about ranting that she loves him more than anything and that it is a pain to watch them act like that even though everything is just an act. He should understand how those watching him feel. In that case, why not just go home then? This causes Nyaruko to sink into depression for the rest of the day. That night when Kuune hogs Kuuko to play some game till morning, Mahiro finds Nyaruko waiting in the dark in his room. What now? After pushing him onto bed and getting on top of him, she lets loose a series of frustrations like if he just sees her as somebody convenient, she tries her best to be his type and that she still doesn’t know how he feels for her. In short, she loves him and didn’t do anything wrong. Seeing Nyaruko cry like that is just heart breaking. As much as I want to think it is crocodile tears, I don’t think it is. It’s real. To answer her question if he likes her, he puts it this way. He doesn’t hate her because if he did, he would have kicked her out of the house long ago and wouldn’t even bother about that space room thingy. He hints it is okay for her to keep loving him as long as she doesn’t go overboard. He apologizes for saying harsh things this afternoon. It was well enough to make Nyaruko happy again. Next day, she is back to her normal self and exaggerating the lies of Mahiro being a beast on her. They go get Kuuko and she really stayed up all night playing the game. Kuune is asleep so Nyaruko gets this idea to remove the dial from the door. She’ll be trap in there for a while. Nyaruko can’t be a much happier girl walking with Mahiro to school. She needs all the replenishing she can get.

Episode 7
Nyaruko is back at full force trying to seduce Mahiro and the same with Kuuko over Nyaruko since Kuune is currently trapped. When the cat is away… Yoriko won prizes to the indoor pool park via lottery. Yeah. It’s time for swimsuits. Despite being an indoor pool, Nyaruko wants Mahiro to put sunscreen on her. Since she insists, Mahiro has Kuuko do the honours. Groping time. Till Yoichi who is working as a part time life guard tells them that sunscreen is prohibited. Nyaruko fools around in the water ride till they get washed away to a deserted island?! Going to start a new story all by themselves? Too bad they’re still in the indoor pool. Kuuko comes crashing in and wants to start her own Adam and Even with Nyaruko. While the duo are at it, Hasuta feels hungry so with Yoriko, they go eat at the takoyaki stall that Luhy has opened here. Tamao is also working part time for her and she gets the wrong idea that Mahiro is here to see her since Nyaruko is not around. Of course she gets disappointed and laments he doesn’t understand a girl’s feelings. Tamao gives Mahiro boxes of takoyaki so he can deliver them to Kuuko and Nyaruko. He finds Kuuko playing dead and only wanting CPR from Nyaruko. But she can’t resist the takoyaki and eats them. She thinks he is still playing dating and reminds him Kuune is not around so he can stop. She seems to be taking advantage of his kindness but this is interrupted by Nyaruko. She is happy to receive her share of takoyaki but the box is empty. Kuuko ate it all. They’re going to settle this once and for all. Uh huh. Another epic battle is looming that it’s scaring away the other people. So epic that the weather turns dark! At times like this, Mahiro wishes Hasuta is around but he is busy keeping Luhy company since the latter took up his advice to have some fun together (she leaves the stall to Tamao). I don’t know, does Luhy have a thing for Hasuta? Mahiro doesn’t have his forks and he can’t use plastic ones either. Suddenly the girls are nailed down by forks and lightning! It’s Yoriko! But Yoichi warns her about the use of lightning indoors. In the aftermath, Nyaruko and Kuuko are left reflecting their actions. Like as though they’re in some depressing trance. Mahiro hopes Yoriko won’t win any more lotteries but speaking of which, here are a couple of more tickets to some ruins…

Episode 8
This is Shantakkun’s most prominent episode. Because Nyaruko is not around, Mahiro can’t understand what she says. Kuuko’s lens deciphers it as she wants to be useful to Mahiro. She gives her eat some candy that turns her into a loli! Happy Shantakkun glomps all over Mahiro when Nyaruko comes in appalled to see him cheating on her. She wants to get horny but the fork… Since Shantakkun wants to do something, she becomes a maid and takes care of everything easily. Mahiro decides to go out alone (Nyaruko and Kuuko are in some stubborn video game) but doesn’t want Shantakkun to come along since it is dangerous with all those cars outside. So she waits and his handphone rings. A voicemail is left by Yoichi. Shantakkun feels the need to deliver the handphone to Mahiro and heads out. Nyaruko calls Mahiro and is shocked to hear Shantakkun’s voice. Even more shocking is that she thinks they are in some red light district because Shantakkun describes naked women all around. She’s in an adult section of the bookstore. So Nyaruko and Kuuko head straight down there and learn the truth. Nyaruko praises her and wants to take it over from here but Shantakkun wants to continue this mission herself. The duo start chasing her all over but get distracted by some rare anime merchandise and begin fighting over it. Shantakkun is lost and the sea of people is scaring her. Mahiro realizes he forgot his handphone and calls home. Hasuta picks up and tells him what happened. So he calls his handphone and Shantakkun is relieved to hear his voice. If he could only understand. Thankfully, they are just metres away from each other. She hands him his handphone and he calls Yoichi who wants to let him know he found the book he is looking for on the internet but the price went up. Mahiro thanks her and since they are out, why not have some fun? Man, I bet Nyaruko has never spent this much genuine fun time with Mahiro before. Can you say Shantakkun usurp her? As Mahiro carries tired and sleeping Shantakkun back, it is narrated that she realizes why she wants to be useful to him. Because she has feelings for him as a woman. She reverts to her beast form. Before Mahiro can go to bed, he has to put up with annoying Nyaruko who wants to give him her nightly service. This is how she wants to be of use to him? If not, a goodnight kiss? That’s why a fork always comes in handy in such situations… Meanwhile… Kuune has finally escaped from the room!

Episode 9
Yet again, Nyaruko is spamming the winning joker move against Kuuko. Then they realize the door on the seal and that Kuune is gone. Oh no… Kuuko is particularly fearful of what Kuune can do. The way she describes her vengeful attacks… Mahiro will help act as her lover when it comes down to it. Nyaruko is jealous but she did agree to help out. At school, they see everyone in some intense analogue game. It’s like they’re under some hypnotic spell. When they are attacked by human versions of mobile turrets, they think Kuune is behind this. After beating up this little army, they enter the principal’s room to find Agent Clark Ashton Smith, a fellow Cthugan like Kuuko. Since he won’t say much, they think his client is Kuuko. He has some strong barrier so attacking him directly is useless. Since this is getting nowhere, he explains his experiment of bringing the evolution of humans to the next level. He suggests taking part in an intellectual contest whereby if they win, everyone goes free otherwise they must participate in this experiment too. They will be playing cards and the smirk on Mahiro and Nyaruko’s face indicates their win is in the bag. Because Nyaruko is the king of spamming those joker moves! Smith was the one who shuffled, right? He can’t accept this and considers this game invalid and switches to mahjong. Again Nyaruko pulls off incredible winning moves. How about darts? Mahiro is adept with the fork, right? Triple wins! Smith can’t believe all this as his glasses start to malfunction. Believing it to be the barrier’s source, Nyaruko beats him up to disable the barrier permanently.

In the end, they are disappointed he doesn’t even know who Kuune is. He works for the biggest card game company in the universe and was tasked to acquire know-how in Earth’s analogue games so they can sell and make money throughout the universe. Mahiro gives Kuuko permission to burn him. As they wonder where Kuuko went, Nyaruko gets close to Mahiro. Speaking of Kuune, here she comes swooping down and hugging Kuuko. Apparently she was at some gaming event to get a limited edition item. Of course she sees the close proximity between Mahiro and Nyaruko and suspects everything was just a lie and act to trick her. Before her fire aura can burn anything down, Kuuko steps up and is going to prove they are lovers. She kisses Mahiro on the cheek! Shocking! Kuune is so devastated (to the point she could even tell the exact location of the kiss) because in Cthugan tradition, this is a ritual of love! So shocked that she disappears. The end of Kuune for good? But now we have to deal with Nyaruko who probably is trying to wipe off that kiss till Mahiro’s face gets rubbed off. Kuuko apologizes for everything but Mahiro doesn’t mind. She gives the sweetest smile ever! And jealous Nyaruko continues to bug Mahiro for a big kiss.

Episode 10
Nyaruko is sick. No, really. And it’s not love sick or going crazy. She caught a fever. What’s with those funny sneezes? Too bad she can’t go school with them and have to stay in bed. She stays since Mahiro hints he is worried. Tamao isn’t so pleased that Mahiro isn’t by her side and dropping hints of what this would make of her. Despite him saying it’s better with all the quietness, we can tell that he is worried. Nyaruko gets a call from her chief that aliens are spotted illegally entering Earth at the Arctic. Mahiro wants her to rest and let Kuuko and Hasuta take care of this one. Nyaruko gives a disturbing smile and thinks she shouldn’t get better because Mahiro is treating her very nice. Instead of staying by her side, it’s best for Mahiro to tag along with the rest to the Arctic. They see an alien plant and an entire Migo alien army. From what the big boss said, he has been eyeing Earth’s resources since the dinosaurs and plans to dig up its rare resources so he could sell it and make a profit. Just so he can visit some favourite cabaret idol of his. Mahiro gives his permission for the duo to attack and they do not hold back. But when the boss grabs Shantakkun as hostage and subsequently the duo, Nyaruko pops up to save the day. Can’t have this show without her, eh? Yeah, she’s probably feeling bored stuck in bed. Conveniently because nobody else can understand Shantakkun, she puts words in her mouth not to care for her and to go ahead and attack. She’ll gladly be the sacrifice! Clearly, Shantakkun’s reaction is much the opposite… Nyaruko goes full steam ahead but before she can do anything, she crashes. Her fever just went up. Because her coughing and sneezing are scaring the aliens, this reminds Mahiro about what Hasuta said about aliens not immune to Earth’s viruses. He makes her cough and sneeze at them. Seems to be working till the boss tells them they have been vaccinated! Damn. And Nyaruko starts collapsing. Out of options, all they can do now is watch helplessly. Suddenly Nyaruko’s handphone rings. This causes the alien’s head to burst and die! WTF?! Mahiro remembers Nyaruko’s words about powerful aliens having random weaknesses. But this? They put it on the amplifier and all the aliens’ head goes pop. Bloody splatter. Next day, Mahiro tells Nyaruko to cut the sick act because she is definitely better. She doesn’t want to because Mahiro was so nice to her. This causes the rest to pretend to have caught Nyaruko’s illness just so to get his kindness. Meanwhile Nyaruko’s handphone rings again and the chief is calling for he to turn in her report. Unknown to them, the Migo army surrounding Earth as though they’re preparing for a full scale invasion, suddenly starts popping…

Episode 11
Nyaruko explains to Mahiro the Banshin, some security system that defends the deities of Dreamlands. It is being rebuilt since the last time her dumb brother destroyed it and killed everyone. It will take about 500 years to be completed! Yoriko gathers everyone to go camping. Learning Nyaruko was the one who prepared the food ingredients, Mahiro won’t take a bite. Not even the chocolate package believed to be sent by her friend, Atoko. You’re missing out on the great stuff. During the walk, they find a seemingly haunted mansion in the woods. With all the silly ghost story rumours, they’re just itching to get inside it. Before that, everyone except Mahiro starts to hiccup strangely. Nyaruko starts fantasizing her future with Mahiro but he knows better than to keep away from her. Suddenly Hasuta claims he got separated from Luhy and wants to get horny with him! Meanwhile Luhy tries to do some S&M play with Nyaruko. Mahiro may have gotten away from Hasuta but now he has Tamao to deal with. She’s professing her love to him! Thanks to Kuuko, his chastity is saved but now he wants her to repay with his body! She can stop playing this fiancée thingy. Nyaruko managed to subdue Luhy in some bondage punishment to fend off Kuuko before she takes her beloved. While they’re at it, Yoriko and Shantakkun also own up their love for Mahiro! What is wrong with these people?!

Nyaruko takes Mahiro and run when all the sick lovers start chasing them. She throws a bomb but Yoriko bats it back. After the explosion, the duo are missing. They are actually hiding in a cave. Nyaruko got a call from Atoko saying there was love potion laced in the chocolates. You fall in love with the first person you talk with after the hiccup. The effects last for an hour. Nyaruko denies this was part of her plan because if it was, she wouldn’t have let others eat it. Besides, she would prefer him to love her from his heart instead of relying on some potion. Woah. Nyaruko actually sounded so cool. But Nyaruko did take them too, right? Apparently her love for him is much stronger than any love potion. That sounded even cooler! So cool that it made Mahiro blush. This special moment is ruined when those sickos return to get horny. And then one big hiccup to return back to normal. The effects are off and they have no recollection of what they are doing. As they prepare to head home, Nyaruko receives a report that Banshin has been completed. Eh? So fast? Lastly we see Tsuruko finally finished her manuscript. She used that mansion as her work place and struggled to complete it. Thus the reason why we see spooky stuffs like ink blots all over the carpet. She encounters Yoichi fishing (I suppose the rest must have forgotten about him). Then he hiccups. Fish for you, love? Wait a minute. He only hiccups now?

Episode 12
Nyaruko calls her chief about the super fast completion of Banshin. Because of this, Nyaruko and co must leave Earth as soon as tomorrow otherwise their stay will be considered as illegal and will be branded as criminals! She’s furious. She doesn’t care if she becomes some sort of criminal. Does Mahiro want them to leave? His answer? It can’t be helped… Nyaruko just feels disappointed. With Yoriko mentioning her intent to see Banshin, the gang decides to make a trip there by sleeping. Hey, that’s how you get to Dreamlands, right? At Onyx Castle, they are met with N’tse-Kaambl and Bast of the Planetary Defence Organization’s Dreamlands Management Division. They will be their guide. Nyaruko is just gloomy all the way during the tour as the duo explain the newly upgraded and efficient Banshin. So efficient that agents like them are no longer needed to stay on Earth to weed out illegal alien entries. Although Yoriko doesn’t mind the aliens staying at her place longer, it is a law that staying on Earth is only allowed for official business. Disobeying it will be treated as a serious crime. Nodens (or somebody that looks like him) is in charge of developing Banshin. He shows them around the system that builds Banshin and this really gets to Nyaruko since it is a sign she would really have to leave Mahiro’s side. Once Nodens unveil the new Banshin and thinks of demonstrating it in a battle, Nyaruko suddenly gets the brightest idea ever. She wants to help test out the Banshin. What better way than to test its efficiency against them? If the Banshin loses to them, that means it cannot protect the gods and thus they will get to stay on Earth. Yeah, they’re going to smash it real good.

At the plains, Kuune and Luhy are witnessing this battle as spectators. Kuune is absolutely drunk. Nyaruko and co go all out to destroy it but of course it is as tough as ever. Banshin goes berserk when it targets and attacks Mahiro! It won’t do as Nodens tells him too and even wipes him out along with Bast! It is revealed Banshin is modelled after the most powerful deity on Earth: Nyaruko! Just great. Now the robot is obsessed over Mahiro too. Nyaruko won’t mind destroying it if Mahiro gives her a kiss. Or make babies. Is that blackmail? With Hasuta and Kuuko wanting a piece of the reward too, Yoriko announces that they will get a pat from him if they are successful. That is enough motivation for them to go into kick ass mode. Even if Banshin threatens to kill Mahiro and then itself just so he wouldn’t belong to anyone else in its twisted love, Mahiro tells everyone to hurry up to destroy this thing. I guess you can say their love is greater. With Banshin broken, looks like they have to keep guarding Dreamlands for now. Mahiro pats them as promised but they want seconds. Can’t get enough. The gang hang out and have fun at full force. Mahiro finally tries Nyaruko’s cooking and she is happy this is a sign he will marry her. As usual, the others want to same too. Nyaruko dreams of triggering more events but Mahiro hopes she won’t. Because no matter what happens, they are just going to find some other way to continue living here. Damn right they will. Happy Nyaruko hugs Mahiro and vows never to leave him. Good or bad news?

Despite only 15 minutes long, it is the hotspring episode! Yay! Nyaruko fanservice? I don’t know about that but I get a feeling that this feels like a perfect opportunity for Nyaruko to set her horny plans in motion. And so Mahiro and the gang arrive for their much anticipated rest and relax (I doubt it for Mahiro) at the hotspring that coincidentally Luhy is working as part time. This lady sure is on a part time spree. Nyaruko and Kuuko get into a heated video game battle while the rest check out the different types of hotsprings this inn has to offer. The fireflies are sure pretty with their glow. And now Nyaruko begins her nefarious plan to seduce Mahiro by putting some sort of horny mix into the hotspring. If that guy dips into it, he will become all horny over her. So she hides behind the rock, waiting for this chance and get ‘assaulted’. However Mahiro is pretty cautious because you know, the hotspring is of a different colour. Suddenly Hasuta and Kuuko pop out and they want to get horny! Oh no! Nyaruko had to come out of the shadows just to stop the duo and complain about her ruined plans. She has more of those bath mixes and is going to put them all to use. A tussle begins and they fall into the hotspring. Now the colour changes to an even creepier colour. Guess what comes out of it? Mini and chibi Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta clones!!! WTF?! They start chasing Mahiro all over the place until the fork puts them into place. Repent your actions! Should have done that from the start. Meanwhile Yoriko dips in with Luhy in a hotspring that is supposed to make them feel young while Tamao on her own ponders if things are going well between Mahiro and Nyaruko. Mahiro is tired from the farce. Practically it drained his energy when it is supposed to revitalize him. Yoriko suggests he goes take another dip. He didn’t realize Nyaruko was there and overheard how she was sorry for what she did. All she wanted was to take his troubles way and progress their relationship. But to put in those bath mixes? We have a romantic atmosphere with Nyaruko confessing she loves him amidst the beautiful fireworks. Till she ruins it with her horny desires to put in more weird bath mixes. Such misappropriate outburst calls for appropriate action: The fork…

Get The Fork Out!
Although this season is as hell funny as the previous, I feel that something is missing to make it more epic than the first season. I am not saying that this sequel is not as good or it does not measure up to the first season but it feels something lacking to make it truly stand above and more distinguished than the previous season. Maybe it is because there aren’t any real threats that threaten to separate Mahiro and the girls or some space alien trying to kill Mahiro or take control over the world’s entertainment sources and materials like the last time. Even that Banshin completion felt pretty mild and before you know it, it is already over. Nevertheless this season has its fair share of parodies, funny and dumb moments, some action bits and even dramatic scenes that might move your heart even though it might be just crocodile tears. Hey wait. I don’t think Nyaruko being sad and gloomy is pretending to be miserable. It feels real. Sometimes it feels hard if you should feel pity for her since we are so used to see her silly antics and suddenly she is able to do this kind of sad emotion. It really does throw you off. You think she is pulling a fast one but she is not.

The characters in this season are okay too but it is mainly just concentrating on the same main bunch from last season. However this also means that some of the supporting characters like Yoichi, Tamao and Luhy are reduced to just mere extras. I was hoping to see Tamao get into the love polygon but unfortunately she is just staying in the side lines and hoping her best friend Nyaruko would be the one who gets Mahiro’s heart. Is she trying to be noble? I want to see some love triangle harem here! Oops! Yoichi is also reduced to just Mahiro’s friend unlike in the first season whereas at least he had some part since his body was possessed by some sort of idiotic alien who wants to conquer all of Earth’s entertainment. After Luhy’s departure from her video game maker company, she is more toned down working here and there in her takoyaki stall. But the most disappointing in terms of characters was that I was hoping that Nyaruko’s ‘friends’ that appeared in the Flash animation, Nyaruani would be making their appearance here. Atoko is at least mentioned only in name in this season but Nyarue wasn’t in anywhere. Also, that idiotic Nyaruo also didn’t make any appearance except for that brief flashback cameo appearance. Therefore in terms of new characters, it is somewhat disappointing as Kuune and Tsuruko are the only new ones. I guess Mahiro already has his hands full with the old ones. Don’t want to get messier and more complicated with new ones being added to the mix. As for Tsuruko, I thought she would play some sort of an important role towards the end since she makes a cameo appearance on and off. Unfortunately she becomes some sort of a running joke as an alien doujinshi who could never get to meet Mahiro. Yeah, another joker.

Speaking of Mahiro, sometimes I feel that he is like a robot and he has hardened his heart like steel. I can understand that Nyaruko and co are annoying to the last drop so much so he might have unknowingly trained himself not to show any sort of any extreme reactions or emotions otherwise it would be his lost. You know, some people do annoy you just because they love to see your reaction. But during non-fooling around scenes whereby Nyaruko is close to being an emotional wreck and could turn yandere (this part I exaggerated), do you notice that Mahiro didn’t really put up a very concerned expression? It is like as though he is expecting her to flip back to her idiotic self soon. Even when there is a possibility in the final arc that Nyaruko and co may not be able to stay at his place anymore, he didn’t even flinch. Maybe all that nonsense with Nyaruko took the emotion out of him. It’s like he has lost his sanity since whenever he takes out his fork, he almost looks like he turned into a murderor! But still, he has been around her long enough to at tell that she is seriously serious. He doesn’t hate them since he still allows them to stay but there is that feel it would have been better if have their own place to stay instead of his home. Perhaps he is in a dilemma. He doesn’t enjoy their antics that lower his sanity points but he got so used to it that without them, it is such a deafening silence.

The love polygon didn’t go anywhere either. Nyaruko is still totally in love with Mahiro for whatever and every reason that sometimes she gets so desperate and does silly stuffs which makes us label her as a desperate psycho slut. There are some close moments between the duo but Mahiro is so on his guard that he is just unbreakable. Yeah, which reminds me of a certain puppeteer and his sexual harassing machine doll in Unbreakable Machine Doll. Though, Nyaruko is still pretty much a hypocrite when Kuuko does the same perverted advance to her. Kuuko is still gunning for Nyaruko’s ass/privates but this time she is more tolerant to Mahiro and this opens up a new possibility that she might be a bi. Heck, she did say she can take on 4 lovers simultaneously! It’s nice to see that she has an episode or two in focus that opens up this possibility she is more receptive to Mahiro than before. Hasuta still has his yaoi/shonen ai love for Mahiro but that episode with Luhy, it hints that she might have something for that kid. Nothing conclusive after that but it could be another possibility. Also, Hasuta’s heroic form was interesting since it hints he has another personality but too bad it only lasted for that single episode. Now that it is much confirmed that the person Tamao likes is Mahiro (although never mentioned directly), like I said it opens up juicy love polygon possibilities but her decision to become a side spectator puts a damper on this aspect. At least this season we get an episode focused on Shantakkun and that this little creature too is in love with Mahiro albeit of the different kind. I don’t think Kuune has given up on her cousinly love over Kuuko just because of that peck. It’s hard to say since the next we see her after that is being drunk in that final episode which bears no importance whatsoever to her role. Drowning out her woes?

Comedy and the parodies are the biggest factor and main attraction of this season. As such, I believe there is as much parodies in this season as there are in the last. I got to spot a few and I am proud of that little achievement of mine! It’s hard to find a list of parodies to check out those trivia but at least Animenewsnetwork has a pretty decent list if you would like to check it out. Although it feels somewhat incomplete, but this is the most comprehensive you can get. Foreshadowing must also be the comedy theme of this season because they played this theme up a few times. It’s like trying to screw with us some of the foreshadowing events turned out to be something else. That’s supposed to be funny, right? I personally think Nyaruko can be a stand-up comedian if she ever gets fired from her Planetary Defence Organization. No, really. But I figure should would rather be Mahiro’s wife than that. Such a waste of potential. But I guess it is best to follow your heart and love. As for the action, this time round you don’t get to see as much violence of crazy Nyaruko swinging her crowbar and whacking Nightgaunts. Heck, there are no Nightgaunts attacking in this season. And don’t forget Mahiro’s fork that puts those freeloaders in their place.

Koi Wa Chaos No Shimobe Nari by Ushiro Kara Hai Yori Tai G is the opening theme for the second season. It sounds as wacky as the first season’s opening theme but I still prefer Taiyou Iwaku Moe Yo Chaos compared to this one. Although the group dance isn’t much this time, but the act of passing a love bomb just makes you want to go WTF. For this season, there are a handful of ending themes seemingly tailored to the character that sings it. Although they are mostly credited to RAMM, something tells me they are the same seiyuus who voiced the characters in this series. We’ve got Yotte S.O.S. (somehow reminds me of last season’s Zutto Be With You) for Nyaruko, the rap-like Wonder Nanda? Kataomoi for the trio of Nyaruko, Kuuko and Hasuta, Kirai Na Wake Nai Lychee for Tamao, the space Chinese-like Sister, Friend,Lover for Kuuko and Kuune, a typical tokusatsu Masked Rider-like Ai Crusaders†Striver which I believe is for Yoichi and Mahiro and finally the ‘slowest’ song of them all Kimi No Tonari De for the final episode to end it all. Blast Of Fate ~Kaze No Yukue~ is an insert song that very much fits the tokusatsu action during Hasuta’s heroic form.

I don’t know if there is going to be another season and even if it did, I don’t know how long I am going to take to watch it myself. But I do know that this series will definitely be on my watch list if more episodes ever come out in the near or distant future. But don’t take 500 years, okay? I highly recommend this funny series to anyone who loves watching slapstick comedies laced with lots of parodies. It is just like watching Gintama but replaced some of the main characters as crazy perverts. Some may find such ‘entertainment’ as offensive but I guess this goes to show this is why the entertainment source of human is very much coveted by aliens that they would crawl and sneak into our Earth just to immerse themselves in such corrupted materials. Should we be taking pride in that? After all, if those aliens ever do step out of line and get out of hand, just whip out that ol’ trusty fork and fork it to them. It also helps keep your sanity. No, really.

Kyoukai No Kanata OVA

October 3, 2014

Flashback episode. That is what Kyoukai No Kanata OVA is going to be. Does this mean there aren’t going to be glasses? Oh heck. I’m saying it as though I have a glass fetish but anyone who watched the TV series would know that the most prominent thing that comes to mind are glasses. You might remember the supernatural action and fantasy but the glasses are the ones that you’ll remember them. Yeah. Fuyukai desu… Anyway this OVA which is also dubbed as episode zero sees how Hiromi first came into contact with Akihito and the beginning of their odd relationship.

Hiromi almost fails in killing a Youmu and Izumi had to come to his aid. Feeling weak, he thinks of leaving the clan for a while but Izumi has a very important task for him. He is shown a picture of Akihito and wants him to take down this half Youmu that the Sprit World Warriors consider him to be a threat and chaos will reign if he is to run free. Against Hiromi’s wish, Mitsuki wants to tag along. He still has that sister fetish although she is starting to not cling over him like before. Ah, where have those days gone to? In the countryside where Akihito is supposedly living by himself, Hiromi sneaks into his house. Mitsuki thought she saw some ninja girl flew by but she dropped a blood capsule. Once Hiromi is in, he doesn’t hesitate to attack. Did he kill him on his first try? Think again. He is immortal, remember? So they chase him into the woods and that is when Akihito starts to blow his top because he is sick of being labelled a Youmu. He is a halfie for Christ’s sakes. Mitsuki suggests bringing him in as protective custody since this was his other order if he was unable to defeat him. Of course Akihito won’t do that so Hiromi tries to persuade him it is for his own good and protection as there are other Spirit World Warriors out to kill him. In that case, it would work in Akihito’s favour. But still, Hiromi isn’t going to let him go and forces him along with his scarf. As they struggle, they are being attacked by magic tentacles from Miroku. They make a run for it and it looks pretty comical with them being tied together with the scarf. Better hurry to untie it because the tentacles are hot on their ass and Hiromi can’t put up his barrier for long. Akihito protects Hiromi and gets multiple stabs.

Miroku faces off with Izumi. Seems she predicted he would come here after hearing about the information. So to go against him she gave somebody else the mission of capturing Akihito. In short, she has been waiting here to stop him. Akihito turns into his half Youmu form. He is fast. He is powerful. He kicks ass. Hiromi is definitely no match. Not even Ayaka or Nino’s backup could help. Heck, Akihito is going out of control that he is on the verge of killing Hiromi. With Mitsuki crying out to her onii-chan like a broken tape recorder, she then throws the blood capsule into Akihito. It calms everything down. Miroku decides to retreat and promises the next time they meet, he will become an officer in the Society of Spirit World while she would have become the Nase clan’s next head. Akihito is back to his human form and thinks he has killed Hiromi. Don’t worry the guys are alright. Mitsuki explains she heard a voice after obtaining the blood capsule. If Akihito is attacked and a crisis occurs, use this cursed blood. Izumi knows there is a race of Spirit World Warriors who are of the cursed blood. In the end, Hiromi still plans on taking Akihito away. He vows not to let him get attacked again and will become stronger and perfect his barrier. In that case, Akihito also wants him to kill him if he ever possesses such tremendous power. He is tired of being an immortal. So it’s a deal? Hiromi suggests a truce then but since Akihito won’t shake his hand, he puts them under his armpits! So that is how this sick habit started? And Hiromi could swear Mitsuki called him her onii-chan back there… Please say it again… The final scenes show those recycled scenes of the TV series. The one whereby Izumi calls Mirai for the job.

Where Are The Glasses?!
What an atrocity! No Mirai? No glasses? What the hell are they thinking?! That last scene didn’t count because it is old recycled scene. No fresh scenes about Mirai and her glasses? Heck, there is nothing that indicates about glass fetish here. I suppose to not turn this into a series and further reinforce people to think that this show is actually all about glasses, we are given a pretty decent flashback instead. Enough building up of development (like Izumi and Miroku’s relation), action bits and some comical moments to make it a pretty okay OVA instead of some that just turned it into some mindless fanservice or nonsensical standalone filler with no relation to the actual plot. For this part alone I suppose this OVA feels pretty alright and would serve to satiate fans of the series.

The big difference I notice is Mitsuki’s character. Here, she feels a little bit insecure and weak. Truly a novice. Compared to the TV series whereby she displays such a cold demeanour and loves teasing Akihito. And that is one of her best ‘abilities’. I guess over time her heart must have froze up because when we see Hiromi getting beat up like hell, she was really worried and calling out to him like he would have wanted. It still shows that she loves her big brother, eh? Maybe they should have more of this kind of events if Hiromi wants her to bring out that old little sister he once knew. Then again. Better not.

So this OVA is like Hiromi’s big act since he seems to take the main centre stage. Well, I suppose this is what happens when Mirai is not around. No glasses to fawn about. No “Fuyukai desu!” or “Zama miro!” catchphrase to spam you. No bonsai plants around and no whipping out of her PDA to blog in her complains. Ah well, this OVA proves that this series can be more than just and do without that bespectacled girl. Life isn’t always all about glasses. Sometimes it is about little sisters like in this case. Yeah, take good care of them both. Fuyukai desu!

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