March 29, 2015

Wait a minute. Another survival game anime? So soon? I thought we had Stella JogakuinKoutoukaC3-Bu as recent as back in mid-2013. Because a year later, another studio came out with yet another survival game club series. Are they trying to give another impression about the girls with guns genre? However this is where the similarities end because Sabagebu! is a totally wacky slapstick comedy and has little development and basically no plot at all. All you need to do is leave your brains at the doorstep and laugh out loud whenever the silly moments come by. Or whenever you feel like it. Basically this show chronicles the crazy and absurd daily lives of the female members of this survival game club. Another one of those cute girls doing cute things you say? More like crazy girls doing crazy things. Yeah. Ready to fire away!

Episode 1A
Momoka Sonokawa is on a train on her first day to high school when some old creepy guy starts molesting her. Call it a blessing or curse, Miou Ootori points her gun in his face. Unfazed, he tries his old school karate but I guess age has caught up. Old geezer ultimately loses but the security takes away Miou thinking she is the mad person. I mean, who goes around flinging her gun, right? At school, Momoka sees Miou and her curiosity got the better of her. She tails her to a dilapidated building in the woods. Momoka was careless and got into a trap set by Miou. She knew she was following her. Then this little platypus comes by. Momoka calls it ugly and gets knocked out. When she wakes up, she finds herself tied up on a chair and sees other girls cleaning their guns. They think Momoka is a spy. She is not. To answer Momoka’s question about them waving their guns, they are the Survival Game Club members. Say hi to Maya Kyoudou, Urara Kasugano, Kayo Goutokuji and the club’s mascot, Kamo. Literally it means duck but it’s actually a platypus. They give her try out shooting a gun. How does it feel? She’s not really into this. Miou tricks her into writing her name. She realizes too late she just signed up for the club.

Episode 1B
Momoka bumps into Miou in full fatigues. Seems Miou wants Momoka to hand in her application form to join the club because there is a rule that states it must be done in person. Thinking this weirdo isn’t popular, on the contrary the girls are very fond of Miou. This causes a couple of classmates to be jealous at Momoka for being close to Miou. So they spread lies about her and make everyone else not talk to her. The bullying goes too far when they throw her bag out of the window. Miou sees all this and confront the bullies. She tells them off if they feel stronger. Because Momoka is the stronger one as she had to bear their antics. The bullies apologize but… Now it’s Momoka’s turn to get even with them! She becomes a big bully and pays them back in full! Yikes! Miou treats her to a bun but she chokes on it. While she is passed out, sly Miou uses Momoka’s body to hand in the application. Welcome to the club.

Episode 1C
Momoka meets her club members in the city. She learns Maya is a model while Miou and Urara are childhood friends. Momoka is taken to a survival game shop to get her own gun. Kayo scares Momoka when she turns up in a ghillie suit. She isn’t so much into shooting action but because she loves cosplay, she gets to wear several outfits, the reason she joins this club. After Momoka picks a gun, they test it out in a gun. Miou teams up with Momoka and the rest are on the other side. Momoka might seem like a lucky noob dodging the bullets but once she finds her groove, she aims and shoots with precision! One by one she takes out the rest and even uses Miou as a stepping stone to defeat Urara. At the end of the day, they are treated with a hot bath facility within the shop.

Episode 2A
Momoka wakes up thinking today is going to be a great day. And then she sees mommy treating Miou and Kamo at the table. Momoka scolds mama but she has to give in when Miou and Kamo tease Momoka the nickname mama gives her. During warming up session, Urara seems kind enough to be Momoka’s stretching partner. Turns out she is torturing her! This is warning to not get too close to Miou. During the game, Momoka becomes the target as everybody hunts her. As she lies waiting in the bush, she sees a praying mantis. She has a phobia of it. She starts shooting like mad and it’s a good thing she hits everybody! Miou thinks she made such a great ambush tactic! Urara is upset Miou is more infatuated with Momoka than her and runs away. Well, nobody is going after this sulking girl. Except Momoka. Thing she is here to mend their friendship? Think again! Momoka beats her up as payback! Next morning, what in blazes is Urara doing in her home being nice to her?! Momoka thinks this is some sort of ambush and beats her up. Well, what do you know? She loves it! OMG! Some masochistic has awakened inside her! Punch her more! MORE!

Episode 2B
Maya will be getting a TV debut but since it is a natto advertisement, she needs some help for mental training. However her humongous boobs and nice body starts pissing off the flat chests. Since Miou insists they help, oh, they’re going to help alright. I think there is some grudge when Momoka starts hitting her face with a sushi natto. Momoka the sadist… Then Maya is made to stir a full bowl of natto 10,000 times while saying she loves it! Finally she is dumped into a barrel filled with it as bath. The results prove disastrous. Now she is very traumatic. Momoka feels bad but when she sees all that natto torture increased the size of her boobs and made her skin smoother, she’s back to her devilish nature. It’s like karma because with Maya out, Momoka is forced to take her place in the commercial… And so another new natto hater is born!

Episode 2C
Momoka is alone with Kayo in the club. She notices she doesn’t talk much. Every time she turns back, she cosplays into something else. The only thing left for them is to fight it out in a gun battle. They’re both cool and kickass! The other girls join in so Momoka and Kayo team up to take them out. Miou is impressed by their perfect combo and surrenders but Momoka shoots her! No mercy! Now they turn to each other. Truce? Momoka shoots her!!! FFFFFFUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!! Truly NO MERCY!!!! All is fair in war! After all that sweaty action, they take a bath. Momoka thought she could talk to Kayo about her cosplay hobby but she’s not in the mood right now. But Urara may be in the mood for some pain…

Episode 3A
When Momoka enters the clubroom, she sees everyone worried and depressed. They fear something wicked is coming. Chuck Norris? No. Suddenly dogs attack them! Courtesy of being brought here by Ena Sakura, the club’s advisor. To sum it up about her: Bad luck magnet. She relates how her misfortune lead from one thing to another and ended so. Now the biggest problem: She wants them to take care of a hornet’s nest that is bugging the school. The girls won’t want a part of it. Gee, that’s too bad. Sakura already got the club’s approval for a bigger budget. And they’re in! Oh, see how money motivates people? I’m sure everyone in one way or another is an exterminator expert and could have easily complete the job if not for dumb Sakura who keeps thinking they’re harmless bees. Is it what she’s dressed in a bear outfit? Yeah. She even brings back the hornet’s nest! Hornet attack! Good thing or not, the hornets only go after the bad luck teacher. Maybe it’s her bear suit… Momoka has got the ‘best’ idea. Run away and abandon her! An idea struck them. Using a lighter and spray, it makes a flame thrower and burns the hornet. However their clubroom is totally burnt down too… Kids, never try this at home.

Episode 3B
Momoka sees a cute loli, Roselia Haguro outside. She’s nasty too. Calling Momoka an aunty, she wants to see Miou to settle a score. So who the heck is Roselia? Nobody knows… Don’t ask Miou too because this girl has an amazing forgetful mind. Yeah, she can’t even remember she herself was pointing a gun at an old geezer on a train who tried to harass Momoka back in the first episode. Eventually Momoka is the one who minded her so much and goes to the meeting place alone where they are supposed to settle their match. Momoka easily takes out her underlings and when she thinks she has won, she is out of bullets. Roselia is the smarter one since she has counted her shots. Her underlings are just amateurs and here for the headcount. Momoka could have lost (and she’s thinking of calling Miou for help) if not for Roselia being distracted by a cute cat. It turns out to be Miou’s gun in disguise. Miou will face Roselia if she beats Momoka. Because a crow has taken Kamo by the tail, the rules have changed. The first one to shoot Kamo down without killing the crow wins. The crow is not cowed because it is used to gunshots. Roselia fails since her precision shot didn’t take into account the wind and environmental factors. Momoka feels unconfident and gets a load of Miou’s motivational lecture. Sure, Momoka gets her confidence and as she is about to shoot, Miou’s sneeze throws her off! But the bullet ricochets and hits all the animals till a corn drops on the crow’s head. Flashback why Roselia holds a grudge against Miou. Two years ago at a festival, Roselia got cheated by an unscrupulous stall owner. She wanted a teddy bear but do you think the puny bullets are going to knock it off? Then Miou came. In only a single shot, she shoots a lose screw and everything on the shelf crumbles. That counts, right? She wins everything. He’s out of business. Roselia is grateful she won it for her. But Miou didn’t say she was doing it for her. Since she used her own money, it is right that all the prizes are hers. Roselia really felt hurt. Since she wanted the bear so much, Miou shoots a bear sleeping in the bushes! There’s your bear. Uhm… I think it’s mad. Now run! In the end, everyone joins in a natural hotspring, including the bear and all those animals. And they all laugh to Momoka’s dumbass nickname. Animals can laugh?

Episode 4A
Momoka sees some fatty otaku, Fried Chicken With Lemon (yup, that’s his name) excelling at an arcade video game, Dead on Terror (DoT). Because he mocks girls shouldn’t be setting foot on a man’s battlefield, Urara stands up for her and praises Momoka the best there is. After all, she already pierced her body and soul, right? That coming from a masochist. Lemon challenges Momoka to a bet. Suddenly everyone realizes who this guy is. He is Japan’s DoT champion! Lemon is swift with his fingers on the trigger but Momoka is impressive too not missing any shots. But deep down inside she is panicking she doesn’t want to take pictures with this Lemon. Better win this sh*t! As Kayo is an anime fan of DoT, she gives Momoka tips to make a comeback. But Lemon regains the lead when he uses 2 guns. Momoka sees a vision of Miou who gives her crappy advice about believing in herself. She then takes out her real gun. How does it connect to the real game? It doesn’t. She knocks Lemon out with it!!!!!!! OMFG!!!! Momoka how could you?! In the end, when Lemon wakes up, he realizes Momoka has outscored him. Both of them maintain their sportsmanship. Graceful in defeat, humble in victory. The crowd loves it. They take a commemorative photo but when Momoka comes to her senses later, she regrets taking lots of those photos with him. Yeah, it’s like he got his wish anyway.

Episode 4B
Momoka loves this bread she is eating and bought the entire store of it. Too bad she didn’t read the calories it comes with. Because of that… She is fat!!! Super size Momoka! Her sumo power might kill Urara… She goes on a banana diet and mama got the wrong idea she loves banana and makes more snacks out of them. Sick of it! Urara is sad her body is falling apart because her sloppy body means less punches! Urara puts her on her diet but whatever she cooks is inedible as Momoka vomits everything. This gives her an idea. Each time she eats Urara’s cooking, she vomits it all out till she regains her normal figure. Mama makes snacks for her to celebrate this and in no time she is back to fatso land again. Actually, mama loves the chubby side of her! Miou suggests doing survival game training to lose weight but each time, mama can’t wait to have Momoka chow her snacks. The endless loop… When will she ever learn?

Episode 4C
Momoka just realized that Kamo has been frequenting her house! It took her this long to notice? Because Kamo is not really Miou’s pet, she starts tailing him. So? Because there is a law saying bringing platypus out of Australia is illegal, she is going to find something that matches so she can report to the overseas authorities. Well, Kamo looks cartoonish enough that she can’t distinguish it as a real one. Thus she observes Kamo’s actions if it is akin to a platypus. Does it swim around? He walks around town. Does he eat insects? Snacks are his favourite. Are they weak on land? He’s doing the Moonwalker! Aaow! Heeheee!!!! Momoka tries to push the broccolis she hates to him but mama won’t allow that. Eat your vegetables. She won’t. Mama is going to teach her a lesson. Holy sh*t! She took out a gun and fired! Mother shooting her daughter?! Momoka won’t be a sitting duck and fights back. The entire house becomes a battlefield as the ladies shoot and run while Kamo happily eats his meal. In the end, mother wins because she knows the house like the back of her hands. As Momoka is about to eat her broccoli, Kamo already ate it. He did this favour for her just this once. Thanks to that and since mother is more mysterious, Momoka stopped caring about Kamo’s identity.

Episode 5A
Miou has found enlightenment! No more life of violence! The club is disbanded! Follow the path of the light! What gives?! This was what happened. Miou thinks some Zen training will be good mental training and brings the girls to a temple whereby the monk is itching to just whack them. As they meditate, the monk takes out Urara who is thinking nothing but Momoka. This is followed by Maya who fell asleep. Kayo and Momoka’s legs are numb and I don’t know why it’s a competition to outdo each other. Momoka plays cheat and pinches her leg to send Kayo out. Then she distracts the monk with a UFO to put shoulder pads. However the monk whacks her butt! Miou is the only one left as Momoka tries to distract her! Even the monk joins her! WTF is wrong with them?! In the end, she is so Zen that the monk is moved and wants her to be the temple’s successor. She didn’t want to but when was told she would look smart, she accepted. And now here she is, the devoted Buddhist. She also paid him 2 million Yen to handle the other work. Then on the news, police has arrested a conman impersonating as a monk. Miou ditches her Buddhist attire for her fatigues. She’s got business to take care of. Life of violence back on track.

Episode 5B
Urara accidentally broke the flush handle and since there are still things floating, she fears her reputation will go down the drain. A couple of girls worry that she might have passed out so Urara climbs out the window and gets stranded. Good news: Momoka passes by. Bad news: She starts laughing. Even worse, she calls the other girls to laugh at her! Urara then uses her mirror to signal Morse code for help. Miou calls her helicopter force! Urara fears this will become a big story on the news and shoots the helicopters! They crash and burn! OMFG! I hope that was just imagination! They hold a cloth for her to jump down but since Urara’s mind sees Momoka as inviting her to jump into her arms, Momoka gets scared and tightens her pull. This causes a trampoline effect and Urara bounces back up to where she was. WTF?! Noticing the window next to her, the girls think it is easier to rescue her from there. Urara would rather jump down and does so. But halfway she uses her strong hands and legs to bore through the wall as she climbs down slowly. Why didn’t she think of this? But the crisis is not over yet. The toilet girls return her bag and although they know her secret but promises not to tell. Unfortunately Momoka has sharp hearing and heard it. For a week, Urara got teased… Hey. I thought Urara should love it.

Episode 5C
Momoka finds an antique gun and didn’t think much of it till she heard it could fetch up to a million Yen! Suddenly her angelic conscious tells her not to do it but her devil conscious says otherwise. Since both won’t give way, it descends into an angel and devil gun fight! Holy sh*t! In the end, the angel wins. As she is about to tell Momoka to return the gun, Momoka shoots her in the forehead! OMFFFFFFG!!! MOMOKA! HOW COULD YOU???!!!! Truly transcend good and evil… Then divine retribution when she slips and knocks her head on the rock. She finds herself in the bath. Although the gun is with her, the angel and devil tussle with her. Give the gun! Share it! Then she got knocked down into hell by some ogres. Yeah, whatever. The other girls don’t understand what Momoka is mumbling about. A million Yen? Miou is going to bring this money faced girl to her senses and shoots at her! Right back at her…

Episode 6A
Yayoi Isurugi is the student council president. As she chairs the meeting with the club presidents, all of them have good reports. But when it comes to Miou, it’s all about property damage and police warnings! Don’t worry, she solved it all with money! And no, she is not joking! And all the other girls think her joke is some sort of philosophy. So it is no wonder Panadol can’t cure Yayoi’s headache so she is going to play her game and take her club down by assimilating her club members. With Vice President providing details of their personality, first she approaches Urara and tries to be a sadist but her kick is so weak that it pisses off Urara for being a phony sadist! Urara goes out of control but Miou calms her. Next is Kayo as she puts on a mask thinking this is cosplay. Kayo proceeds to put on more daring outfits on her till she can’t take it anymore. And Miou had seen her in that dominatrix outfit… Next is Maya. She exaggerates about Miou and this causes Maya to go into extreme apology mode! This makes Yayoi feel bad that the stress on her conscious causes her to be hospitalized! She thought Vice President carried her here but to her horror it was Miou! Finally she changes her appearance and poses as a transfer student to be close friends with Momoka. Then one day she throws the ultimatum to choose her or the club. Guess what? Momoka is willing to quit the club! It’s not like she wanted to join it in the first place! Yayoi makes a u-turn she shouldn’t be so hasty. The other girls come by and could recognize Yayoi and take her away to celebrate the club’s new mascot. A giant grenade? Yeah. It rolls over Yayoi. Hospitalized again. This time she is going to do a roundabout way to take Miou out. Spying outside the club, she sees Miou weak and traces that an old cafeteria lady may be responsible for it. When she sees the old lady ignoring Miou and giving her a bunch of vegetables instead of meat, Yayoi impersonates this Buddha woman and for a week enjoys tormenting Miou by giving her more vegetable servings. So much so she becomes an old lady herself! Vice President is worried because there are rumours circulating that Yayoi and Miou are dating! She worked in the cafeteria to give her beloved Miou more servings. There is even photo evidence of them together (all her failed follies with the club members and Miou coming in to save her). Instantly Yayoi becomes a demon and wants those photos deleted! She trips but Miou saves her. All the girls get excited over this as Yayoi becomes embarrassed and asserts she hates her. Everyone approves of her tsundere attitude! Next day for the first time, Yayoi skipped school… Her reputation…

Episode 6B
After watching a backstabbing yakuza movie, Sakura delivers a boss chair to the club. As everyone is still influenced by it, they start acting like a yakuza trying to kill each other so that the seat could be theirs. Momoka and Urara suggest Miou to team up with them to take out the weaklings. Maya wants to team up with Kayo too but the latter betrays and shoots her! Kayo pretends to surrender and when she thought she could jump the gun, Momoka has her doll as hostage. Then she gets shot. After that Momoka takes out Urara and Miou! Ruthless!!! As she claims the chair all by herself, the moment she sits down, it falls apart. She knocks her head on the rock and ‘dies’. Yeah. Blame Sakura for buying a bogus chair on the internet. I guess everybody got what they deserved.

Episode 7A
As the girls are trekking through the jungle, they hear nearby cries of the village as the wild animals are ravaging their farm. They want to scare them off with their guns but they put up those puppy dog eyes that make it just hard to shoot. Finally they are scared off by the shotgun sounds of a hunter. He lets them know that those vermin only fear real guns. There were many hunters before but the numbers are dwindling every year and even so, most of them are above 60 years old. His granddaughter loves tomatoes and he wants to protect that smile, that’s why he will continue to protect the village. The animals return and although the hunter is coughing out blood, he shoos the girls a way. Due to strict hunting laws, they will get arrested even if their guns are toys. No choice, they leave and let the old man be the hero. Our girls continue to feel sad and soon become motivated to be a proper hunter and acquire a proper licence. They go through all the requirements and exams but they fail. Why? Because you are not allowed to use hunting rifles until you are 20 years old! Bummer!

Episode 7B
The girls dress up as men so that they will not be underestimated in survival games. However no matter how much they do it on Momoka, she just cannot have that masculine look. Herald Kayo with her cosplay knowledge to makeup Momoka into a hot handsome guy. So hot she is that Urara wants to marry her! Not a chance! Momoka then sneaks away and finds herself in the company of a lot of girls. They love this hot looking guy. Momoka loves her newfound popularity and Urara is worried because she will be tossed away. Miou assures she will return soon after she finds out how scary it is to be chased by girls. So while Momoka has the girls swooning over her, she touches the cheek of one and that is when trouble starts. The rest become jealous and try to get a piece of her. True fear starts to seep in as Momoka runs for her life. Hiding in a room, she now knows true love is fearsome. But how will she escape as the girls are banging down the door? Miou is going to save her but the window is too small. Too fat? The only way is take off her clothes. Still stuck? Urara throws oil over her. When the girls break in, they only see the clothes and oil. They think this dude is some sort of fairy! And thus a new legend is born. Meanwhile Momoka is naked hiding behind the bush while crazy Urara tries to snap pictures of her.

Episode 7C
Miou tries out a gattling gun when Sakura calls to warn of a suspicious person. Because Momoka is giving Urara the cold shoulder (thanks to that naked bush incident, Urara stripped herself and did something indecent – you don’t want to know), Urara rushes out to find this suspicious person and reclaim her love. Unfortunately the suspicious got her and her bangs got cut. Momoka laughs like mad and gets her revenge taking photos of her when now Maya has braids and put into a jersey. Believing the club is being targeted, Kayo and Kamo are seen eating a huge pot of food. They are smoked out as they face off with the suspicious person. Momoka is being targeted and chased around. Miou uses her gattling gun but the suspicious person dodges each one in elegant fashion. She lost and got twintails. Momoka loses and fears the worse when the suspicious person unveils herself to be her mom! She is here to give Momoka’s lunch. She thought she would be embarrassed to be seen by her friends and came dressed like that. The girls think all the things that were done to her were quite motherly. Urara’s bangs were cut so as not to block the eyes. Maya’s jersey is to cover up and the food was for them to grow up big. Ah, motherly love. Only Momoka feels it is more embarrassing this way. But when she is about to enjoy he lunch, it is a small portion.

Episode 8A
Momoka as a model? Apparently Maya offered her a job since there was an opening in the agency. At first she didn’t take up the job but after hearing the pay, she’s in. Money face. She thinks she is going to get use to this but to her horror, Lemon is here! He gets beaten up for nothing. Since Momoka’s is getting popular on the internet, Lemon warns of the trio called Cameramen of Death as they always appear in such events. They take questionable shots of models and cause them to lose their lives. Speaking of which, here they are now. But seeing that they are just ugly old guys, Momoka doesn’t pay heed. And she was getting so afraid for nothing. But she may soon regret it because the trio try out tricks to get an opportunity to snap a panty shot. If not for Lemon’s warnings, she could have been a statistic. Yes. They upload panty shots of the models online and since they are too embarrassed, they resigned from their modelling job. Lemon will defend her important parts. Damn he makes it sound so dirty. The trio continue to unleash tricks after tricks. If only she had her gun she could take care of them. Seeing a model tie her hair, she gets an idea. She uses the rubber band as ‘bullets’ and break their equipment. However they have more! This time they move and contort into flexible positions to dodge her shots. Only Lemon got shot. The trio use a fan to blow up her skirt. Full panty shot! Now they have got it, they make a run. However they couldn’t resist taking another panty shot of another girl. Turns out to be Lemon in a skirt. They just exploded and died! Super effective! As Momoka deletes their photos, she notices one of them carrying a picture of a beautiful flower. He explains that girls used to praise him for his photography skills. But when he grows older, girls started to mock his loser hobby. He was often bullied. He decided to get revenge by taking their panty shots and upload them. All hail the internet for opening the door of self expression! That’s when he met the rest and they know they are not alone. Momoka couldn’t care because they still did something wrong. When a staff accidentally switches on the fan and blows away the photo, Momoka dives and saves it before it ends up in a dirty puddle. She can tell it is important to him and hopes he can remember the feeling when he took this and face the world again. They get fired up and motivated not because of her speech but because that rescue act causes her panty to be revealed. Full blown. And more perverted photographers show up. I guess violence is always the only answer left.

Episode 8B
A group of crazy Maya fans drooling over her photos! Miou announces a survival game match with a bunch of aristocrat high school girls in the snowy mountains. Think they’re going to be pushovers? As the match begins, the opponents run away separately. Surprisingly, Momoka is the first one taken out when she fell for their trap. Eventually the same fate befalls on the rest and Maya is the only one left. She can’t believe she didn’t die first, eh? However she has to start running for her life when the enemies all open fire on her. However it seems they are slowly shooting her clothes off one by one till she is in her undies! Woah! Can guns do that precisely?! When Maya finally sees their crazy drooling face, she panics and fires. But she misses! How the f*cks can she miss at such close range?! But it hit something else and the snow avalanche fall on them. She thought she saw a porn book version of herself but the perverts pop up. Now they shoot off her bra and panty as she drops down a cliff naked. But into a drum with warm water? The rest are soaking in it nicely and it seems those girls prepared it for them. But a special one for Maya because it is see-through. Maya tumbles down the slopes and into the icy cold river with her crazy perverted fan girls come chasing. Hmm… Isn’t the water cold? Too in love with her to care. Do you really want this kind of fans even though they chase you down to the freezing cold hell?

Episode 9A
Momoka dresses up Kamo so that she could enter a pet café. Of course they started fighting especially over the food. So the café’s owner, Inugami had to tell them off they should have manners to patron this café. Since Momoka claims her ‘dog’ is perfectly trained, Inugami challenges her to compare their dog’s training. Kamo will be up against the café’s mascot, Peth. No, it is not some dumb pug but a German Sheppard! Of course Peth excels in all while Kamo is forced to do his bit. Yeah, it seems like they’re always fighting. Heck, they are. Kamo’s fake dog ears fall off and the cat is out of the bag. You mean they never realized how fake Kamo looks?! Accidentally some second hand fire ring Inugami bought from the circus catches fire. Peth is unable to jump away since animals are instinctively scared of fire. Momoka insults and mocks Kamo to get his ass over here and so when Kamo jumps, it is so that he could continue fighting with her. Inugami saw the deep bond they had and now believes such bonds can exist in any animal. After apologizing, she vows to open up the shop to other animals. Maybe she spoke to soon because here comes Miou riding a lion! She trained it not to eat humans but did she train it not to eat dogs? Oh sh*t!

Episode 9B
Maya, Urara and Kayo are having fun in the school’s pool. When Kayo talks about this haunting story of a girl who died in the pool and thus her spirit will drag you down, dumb Sakura locks up the place. Trapped. Handphones in the changing room and there are no windows. Furthermore, the heater is switched off. Definitely between a hard place and a rock because if they get out of the water, they’ll freeze to death. They can’t sleep or they’ll drown and staying too long will cause hypothermia. In fact, they already have hypothermia as their rational thinking is being thrown out of the window. Urara needs to go to the toilet. But rather than freezing herself to death, she does it in the water! Then she accuses Maya of not killing her and starts hitting her boobs. This gives Kayo an idea that if they hit each other, they will stay awake instead of falling asleep. But they are all geared up to fight to the death! Miou and Momoka are outside ready to join in when they see a pool of blood and the ‘dead’ girls. Did the ghost get them? At least they’re saved. Except for internal bleeding and broken ribs…

Episode 9C
Our girls now head to Australia because Miou got influenced by something to have their next game here. Their opponents will be the elderly. Heh. Pushovers. The rules are simple. In this death race-like game, the first team to cross the finish line or eliminate all opponents wins this one lap race. Miou will ride a bike but hired a truck driver for the rest of the girls. Lemon is the driver? Does he have a licence? Nope. But he got lots of experience from racing games. They’re screwed. When the game begins, the old farts become bloodthirsty killers! While Miou battles it out with the old cowboy, the rest hound the truck. Maya, Urara and Kayo easily got taken out since the old people use their feebleness to their advantage. Can’t hurt the elderly, can’t they? However this has no effect on Momoka the devil. She takes out one of them. In the tunnel, she detaches the trailer as decoy so as to take out the other pair. Then she has Lemon put her trust in her to drive off the cliff to crash into the helicopter dude. The catch is, Momoka hopes off and the guys ‘kill themselves’. Heartless. His ‘death’ was in vain since Momoka didn’t give a damn. Miou and cowboy took each other out and this means Momoka is the only survivor crossing the finish line. After that, everyone soaks in the hot bath and the old guys are just happy despite losing because for their age they’re glad they get to go out with everyone.

Episode 10A
Momoka is searching every inch of her house for money as she is tight this month. She finds a treasure map that she drew when she was young. She thinks she must have stashed some allowance there and so our girls make the journey to find this treasure. Do they even need to parachute down from a plane? Miou uses dowsing rods to help guide them (in addition with everyone forming a human train to channel its power). Somehow it points to everything ‘rich’. Lady with lots of jewellery is fine but what about that lady with a hideous makeover? Yeah. She spent lots of money on it. Even the yakuza is ‘rich’, right? Don’t even mention Kamo … Finally they arrive at the place and dig it up under the plum tree. What could be the treasure? A letter. It says money is not the true treasure. It is the smiles of your friends. Uh huh. This is a letter for her future self. Momoka is going to kill herself but Kayo stops her. She understands because she too has written such ‘poems’ before. That letter touched her heart. She lets Momoka read hers but she starts laughing like mad. She got taken out. Later they learn platypus is rare and thus worth ten million yen. No wonder the rods were painting at it. Momoka wants to sell it but gets taken out.

Episode 10B
A famous idol, Yammy is missing. Momoka is badmouthing that idols need attention when there is this familiar chubby girl sitting with them. It’s Yammy! And she’s gone fat! She is Maya’s friend at the agency and somehow started gaining weight. Yeah. Noticed how she is always stuffing food in her mouth all the time? She is here because she heard Momoka had the same issue and slimmed down with some boot camp (Maya got shot for that). Unfortunately all that training didn’t slim her down a bit. Maybe if she should just stop eating… However Momoka sympathizes with her. Because she loves to see better people than her suffer! Yammy recounts the day it all began. Some male model tells her she will never be as popular or good as him. He called her a piggy despite she was slim and cute by our standards. She kept worrying and the only way to counter that was to eat. Momoka has harsh but kind words for her like that jerk wasn’t worth her time, don’t let others ruin your happiness, etc. Is she speaking from experience? Yammy is touched and now knows what to do. She slims down in no time and the male model loves her. However she punches him and tells him to f*ck off. Because now she is in love with Momoka and wants to be with her! Oh dear. The competition for her just gone up by one. You jealous, Urara! Oh Momoka. I didn’t know you’re this popular.

Episode 10C
The girls are stranded in the jungle after Miou’s helicopter went down. As Maya goes to bath by the river, she is attacked. The girls check why she is taking so long and find her tied up and dressed like a mouse. An infrared light is targeted on Momoka’s forehead but she uses Urara as a shield and then tosses her away! Ruthless! The rest make a run and at night as they take turns guarding, Momoka thought she shot the perpetrator but it turns out to be Kamo! Innocent kill! Next day as they continue to journey, they are to cross a chasm with only a log as its bridge. Kayo thought Momoka was kind to let her have her drink. But after Momoka crosses, she kicks away the log! You double crossing b*tch! She even cooks up a story that Kayo wanted to stay back and sacrifice herself since her tiredness will be a burden to them. Lies! But Miou is tired of running. She is going to fight them. She faces off with an invisible creature. Before she completely loses, she lures it into a trap and the creature gets crushed between the logs. Momoka unmasks it and it turns out to be a cute cat. He pleads for his life but Momoka shoots him! No mercy! Then all the other cat members appear. The leader (Yoda?!), commends her for besting their representative as they are from some intergalactic survival game club. They praise her and give an award certificate as they have never fought such underhanded opponent. Well? Momoka doesn’t give a sh*t and shoots all of them in the forehead!!! Underhanded alright! She accuses them for attacking invisible as underhanded! Suddenly Momoka is shot in the forehead by Kayo. Back from the dead. Revenge achieved and it tastes sweet. As the girls soaks in the mud swamp, some alien face hugger gets Maya! Not again! Time to fight another bunch of aliens?

Episode 11A
Momoka is tasked to take Miou’s gun for maintenance. She stops by a sweets shop to have her handphone decorated. The shopkeeper thinks this girl has no money. While Momoka is looking around, the shopkeeper is told of the item she wants to decorate in her bag. She accidentally picks the wrong bag and pulls out a gun! Panic time. She starts thinking she is from a yakuza family and they are like talking different things. She panics thinking Momoka doesn’t agree with the price and wants to call her mom. Eventually the gun is decorated and Momoka doesn’t know how to break it to Miou. She can’t hide it but when Miou tests it, handling the gun and its accuracy is even better than before! Just when the shopkeeper is done dealing with those punks, here comes Momoka bringing the rest of the club members back. They want their guns decorated. Oh my… Not only their guns but their accessories and right down to their clothes too. People think they’re some sort of sweet shops advertisement… Embarrassing? The price to pay for escaping Miou’s wrath.

Episode 11B
An old man was captivated by some babe in high heels. However she left in a hurry and so he is pleading for that girl to come forth. There’s load of cash as reward! Of course you know what this means to Momoka. She tries walking in high heels but fails badly. Lemon beats her up for not taking it seriously! He tells her some (fake) back story about the origins of high heels (women in Paris trying to void filth on the road?) on proceeds to train Momoka to walk elegantly in it. She must walk through a path laden with dog poop (visualized as strawberries to keep out sanity) while balancing a glass water on her head. Lemon demonstrates and he is freaking agile and elegant for a fat guy! She wants to give up and kicks the high heels away. But Lemon dives to save it at the expense of sliding through the ‘strawberries’. With his passionate and motivation speech, Momoka continues her training (actually her motivation is the money). So the day comes Momoka comes to show off her training. Unfortunately she is taken away since her heels were ‘stabbing’ the ground. Lemon reminds her of their training and elegantly displays all his cool moves. The old guy is fascinated and realizes he is that babe! Yes! Lemon is that high heel woman! In fact, that high heel is part of his collection. He has shoes fetish. He was running away then because the police was on to him. And so our true Cinderella got the money… What sick twisted end…

Episode 11C
Miou is going to cook a high grade crab for the club. For some reason, Kamo spars with the still alive crab before Momoka takes it away to boil. However the crab won’t succumb to fate and becomes an alien face hugger on Maya! Again?! Urara got her eyes poked. Due to the ‘friendship’ from the battle, Kamo rescues the crab and they make a run. The girls pull out their guns and start chasing. This of course attracted other girls and they start chasing after the high quality crab only to be gunned down by Momoka! Holy sh*t!!! The place turned into a warzone when Kamo starts firing back! The body count is rising! Kamo seems to have connections with the townspeople and calls them as they supply him guns. He finishes off the chasing pack with a bazooka! At the river, Kamo says goodbye and releases the crab. Too bad Miou catches it and it is back to the pot. Momoka warns Kamo of doing such a thing again or else the next time he gets cooked. Kamo pleads to spare it so Momoka suggests solving this feud via rock-scissors-paper. If the girls win, the crab will be cooked but if the crab wins, they’ll do what Kamo wants. Crabs only have pinchers as hands, right? Oh no. See where this is going? Surprisingly the girls (except Momoka) lose on purpose since they felt pity. And so the crab becomes the latest member of the club. Don’t even ask. As everyone soaks in the hot bath, suddenly they smell seafood. OMG! Crab in hot water… Boiled and cooked! Crabby!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! Oh well, time to eat it and not let it go to waste.

Episode 12A
When Momoka comes into the club sick, they see a news report that there is an unknown virus spreading and there is no cure for it. Miou doesn’t want to call the hotline for those who are infected because she believes they’ll be experimented on and turned into some human weapon! She saw some movie again, didn’t she? Too bad Sakura already called. And here they are, the squad raiding the club but they escaped via smoke screen. The entire town is like under martial law with those infected being taken away. Yayoi thought it was Miou’s setup but Vice President admits it was her doing and will take over her presidency. Evil! I hope she didn’t take after Momoka! As Miou and co run away, they come into contact the squad led by Taichou. They are the national survival game club! As game incidents rarely happen, they are always sitting in office awaiting standby. Today is their first despatch. Wasted taxpayers’ money… The girls are adamant to defend sick Momoka but we can hear Momoka’s thoughts that she is even planning to use the girls for her own safety! After all that chasing, they end up taking refuge in a chapel. Taichou and co surround it and give the last warning to hand over Momoka. The girls would rather die defending than hand her over. Even if it means getting infected? Oh sh*t. Didn’t think about that, did they? Suddenly a chopper drops down familiar faces. Momoka’s mom, Lemon, Yammy, Roselia, the Cameramen of Death and that Australian old cowboy geezer are going to help out as their allies. For once Momoka had a conscience. Why are they doing this despite all the bad things she has done to them? Miou explains that certainly she is the baddest of the baddest but there is never a dull moment with her. It is more than enough for them. Momoka is so touched that she joins them in fighting the squad. And so we have our raging action from the girls shooting, Yammy turning into a giant and doing some Hulk smash or something, Lemon shooting his toy gun and the best of them all is how the crab is piloting the chopper while Kamo fires his machine gun. Don’t even ask but it’s damn cool! Eventually everyone can only hold out for so long. Slowly they are taken out with Maya getting the ball rolling as the first (but of course) and finally Urara sacrificing herself and voluntarily be Momoka’s shield. So sad. Even Virgin Mary is crying… The only ones left are Miou and Momoka. This is when Momoka decides to give herself up. She thanks everyone for everything. When she opens the door, she hears Taichou on the phone being told that there is cure and it is being sold at pharmacies right now. Everyone packs up and leaves. Oh, the virus doesn’t spread via air either. Taichou notes it was fun and hopes they’ll come to work for them. Their allies also leave (disappointed?) while our girls are left embarrassed with that emotional scene. Ah, puberty is more terrifying than any unknown disease.

Episode 12B
Miou plans a surprise party for Urara. As her birthday is on Christmas Day, she has never celebrated it properly. They think of what to get her. Momoka’s hideous drawing of Urara is considered the ‘best’ already. Because… Kayo folded a thousand paper cranes, Sakura tried to autograph Urara’s name with her blood and Miou tried baking a cake after decorating it (whose horror face is that?!). Momoka really feels the need to repay Urara for that self sacrificing favour. She remembers she was looking through a window of a stuffed teddy bear and that could probably be what she wants. Miou uses her connections and money to get it. Unfortunately (or not), the hunter who is supposed to kill and get a real bear failed. As Urara is coming in, they still don’t have a present. What is it that they can use? Once Urara enters, the girls surprise her and present her gift: Momoka all wrapped up!!! OMG! The best birthday present ever!!! Holy sh*t!!! So while everybody else spends Christmas day alone (Miou in a gun fight with Santa?! WTF?!), Urara is going to enter the bath with Momoka still tied up. Nightmare on Christmas. Momoka is so screwed… And as revealed, Urara wasn’t looking at the stuffed teddy bear in the window but Momoka’s reflection. Her dream has finally come true!

Special Missions

10 more minutes of extra fun and wackiness (don’t forget the fanservice) if you can spend a few extra bucks to buy your Blu-ray discs and help support our girls for another season! Whoops!

The girls are heading to Miou’s summer villa for a special training camp. After 20 seconds of girls changing fanservice, Miou brings them to a specially created water obstacle course, Sarutobi. Think of it as a rip-off from that Japanese endurance game show, Sasuke. As they traverse through it, the highlight of it is of course the part filled with eels. Yeah. Only Maya gets tentacle raped by the eels because Momoka, Urara and Kayo have no boobs for the eels to wrap themselves around. Insulted? Again, Maya becomes the object of fanservice when the final stretch before the goal is infested with sharks. Pervy sharks love ripping her swimsuit, eh? Don’t worry. Your sacrifice will not be in vain. After reaching the goal, Momoka notices her butt area ripped. Urara is about to kiss it but gets kicked back into the water. Shark feast! Miou congratulates everyone for making this far and without losing a member. Did she forget or miscount? But how do they get back now seeing they are surrounded by hungry sharks. Miou is confident they can always get by with their guns. What guns? She told them to leave it back at the villa, right? Oh sh*t… And did Urara turn into a bag of bones?

More random shorts in this special. We start off with everybody facing off with each other (of course Maya being the only one ‘dead’). Nobody trusts nobody. And Momoka got the cheek to even say Urara betrayed her! We move on to the next scene whereby Miou always easily fall for April Fool’s prank by the rest of the girls. When Sakura comes in to show that Kamo’s beak is detachable, she didn’t count on everyone fainting because this side of his is just his back portion. April Fool’s! Miou doesn’t want to be tricked anymore and bluffs to Maya about the cheese cake party they are having. She actually believes it so Miou is forced to use her connections to arrange for it. Momoka finally confesses Urara as the cutest girl?! April Fool’s! Gotcha! Anyhow I think Urara still loves it. Miou needs to go home early to protect some kingdom from some demon king. They think she is pulling a fast one however there is a fairy here pleading for her help! What the heck is Tinkerbell doing here?! Because Momoka is feeling lethargic after last night’s coffee for her studies (really?), the girls try out several (leftover) energy drinks. Some are already expired and some have this weird effect (example, make you grow hair). When Momoka decides to really try out a real energy drink, she doesn’t have the strength to open its cap. She gets angry and flings it out. There you go. She’s all feeling energetic right now, isn’t she? And when she finally gets a taste of the energy drink which is also good for dieting, Miou points out that it might be her diet that is causing her lack of energy.

For once we start off with a shower scene! But the narrator wants Momoka to switch with Maya now! Just as Momoka tugs into bed, she thought Kamo is sneaking up in her blanket. Turns out to be Urara!!! Bang! Thank God for the gun she hid underneath her pillow. But wait. Not only Urara is here but the rest of the survival club girls. They’re going to have a camp in Momoka’s house? Shouldn’t Miou’s house be a better pick? It’s because Momoka’s house is the only one the animators drew! Save cost, eh? Momoka isn’t thrilled for her friends to sleepover but since mom is getting emotional that this is the first time Momoka has friends over, I guess it really tugs your heart. Or rather Momoka has no choice but to go with the flow. So what are they going to do now that they have gotten the green light? The night is still young, you know. Ah, every sleepover can’t be complete without a pillow fight. Not just any ordinary pillow fight. Urara is tied up and everyone violently smacks her! Since they predict Momoka’s mom will come and check on them when they get too noisy, each time she does, they quickly drop asleep like nothing has happened. I guess mom is too blur to see bloodied Urara hanging on the ceiling… Because Momoka will not waste the rest of her night watching Kayo’s full season of Dead of Terror anime, they do a host of other things like playing board games, toy car racing, cards and more pillow fights (poor Urara). And of course you can’t have sleepovers without the obligatory love story. Miou starts off with hers but it is just a pun on carps (love and carp are pronounced the same, ‘koi’). Morning comes, mom sees all of them sleeping sprawled all over the floor. Must be one very busy night, huh? And for once, no big joke to end it. There goes the narrator’s hope of seeing Maya in her morning bath. Let sleeping girls lie.

Yayoi believes this time she will beat Miou! Dream on… Our girls aren’t even paying attention. As we can see it starts off fine. Yayoi the beautiful student council president who is admired by all. Then it goes downhill. She slips on a banana peel, dropped all the books in her bag on her head and trips on a bucket of water. Such terrible luck. And she blames it on her horoscope. Well, it’s going to get worse since Miou is on scene! But why is she wet too? She had a pretty rough day too. She accidentally tripped and discovered hotspring, picked up 10,000 Yen and a legendary butterfly landed on her. Gee, isn’t that good luck? Yayoi decides to bring her down by spreading her bad luck to her. That means being with her all day. What signals is she sending when she is holding Miou’s hand? However it is Yayoi who got hit by a baseball, got bird poo on her head and the teacher throw a chalk at her (intended for sleeping Miou). During cooking class, Yayoi laments her bad luck isn’t working on others. She spots Miou’s dropped student ID and to her shock, she has the same birthday and blood type as her! How can their luck differ so much! Miou laments today is not her today because she usually strikes oil and picks up 10 million. So shock that Yayoi accidentally spilled oil over the fire. It’s spreading. She can’t run away thanks to the slippery stuffs. It is pitiful to see her resigning to her fate when Miou rescues her. Yeah, they jump through the window! Yayoi is taken by Miou’s words not to be let her life be ruled by fate because life is something you decide yourself! She her eyes are opened and as she is about to thank Miou for this enlightenment, she falls flat on the ground, face first. Oh, Miou landed on her perfectly on her 2 feet. Yayoi takes it back. She’s going to make Miou pay… Well, if she is still alive. Holy cow! Don’t die!

Fire At Will!
Did you laugh till your tummy hurts? Well, not one of the craziest (as in the funniest) slapstick comedies around but enough to entertain you with all the silly antics. There will be many moments where I can’t help compare this series to Stella Jogakuin although they are very different but it can’t be avoided since the survival game club theme is hanging obviously over both series. Thanks to the slapstick comedy, I have to say that Sabagebu fares better because the development in Stella Jogakuin felt somewhat disappointing at the end. So if there was a series that would renew my faith in the survival game club or even airsoft sport, it would be this one.

Comedy here is really nonsensical and wild. Literally, anything goes. I mean when you have our survival club girls going up against alien counterparts or even a Cinderella parody, that is already breaking it. Heck, even the narration sometimes breaks the fourth wall. Thus comedy and action go hand in hand because when the girls set their guns ablaze, all hell breaks loose. Therefore the ‘bloody deaths’ of the characters has been pointed out right at the beginning of the series that it is all in their imagination. Yeah. Very vivid and violent imagination. I guess delusions help to bring realism because if it wasn’t, the action wasn’t going to be that good anyway. So keep all the bloody head shots and body count rising! So besides the narrator giving punch lines and rebuttal jokes, sometimes he also tells us brief informative material like the hunting laws in Japan and workings of a gun. Also, there is this running joke that each episode ends (or at least somewhere in the final scenes) with the girls (or any other girl) taking a bath or shower. Yeah. Here is your fanservice if you’re b*tching about it.

Character development is basically nil as you can pretty much figure out everyone by the second or third episode and they don’t really change. Especially Momoka. Yeah. That girl. Somebody that you will love to hate. Because Momoka is a very different person as the main character many would expect. She is selfish, greedy, merciless and vengeful. Characteristics that you would easily describe a villain. Oh heck. Is she the villain of this series? I guess we don’t care because this is a comedy series so anything goes. Unlike many other protagonists (or even anti-heroes), this girl has no shame or humanity. She plays dirty, like gunning down those who have surrendered (call it taking no chances but…), using others as a shield (cowardly tactic but hey, it lets her live longer) and is motivated by the material things in life (like money). Heck, I think she will even shoot her own mother! Oh wait! She did have a gun battle with her! It is no surprise that sometimes she reaps what she sows and thus no love lost whenever she gets divine retribution. She deserves it, that is what we’ll all tend to say to her at the end. Ironically she is getting popular with a few characters especially those who are masochistic. I predict that at this rate, she may have a little kingdom of masochists of her own. Really. So when she somewhat had a little conscience in the end, it felt just weird because we are so used to the devilish Momoka (she even shot her own devil, remember?). And then when she becomes the ultimate present for Urara, it was the best divine retribution ever. No love lost. A little reflection back then isn’t going to clear up your sins, you know. God is always fair. Heheh…

The other weird members of the club are also colourful but as I said, you can guess their personalities after a while. For example, Maya feels like the dumb blonde of the group because no doubt she is the prettiest and the most well-endowed, she is usually the first to be killed off whenever there is a sneak attack or ambush. It is as though it is her destiny to be shot first and thus serve as a warning to the rest to get into hiding or prepare to engage the enemy. Then there is the masochistic Urara who get her kicks (pun intended) from Momoka’s beatings. Sometimes it feels like a dilemma that she is used and tossed away like a ragged doll but at the end of the day, she loves the torture pleasure it brings her. Then there is the taciturn Kayo who only turns into a lively ‘monster’ whenever the topic is about cosplay. Finally Miou. I don’t know if there is a correlation between rich people and them having lack of common sense and forgetfulness because these are what perfectly describe Miou. At least she is better than Momoka since she has her own pride and principles that she sticks to. Well, most of the time. Uh huh. Money solves everything. Can’t say it’s untrue, can you? And she has this tendency to be influenced of what she watched, the reason why her survival game club gets to experienced lots of wacky (mis)adventures. I suppose real life is not the same as reel life. Not forgetting Kamo, the mascot of the club and series whom I feel is the smartest character of all. Because you normally don’t see platypus engage in human activities, don’t you? Is he even a platypus? And of course the crab seems like it is a new mascot addition to the group as I thought it was boiled in the hotspring but apparently not. It is here to stay.

Other characters outside the club are also fun, lovable… Irritating… Above all, funny. Like how Sakura is a trouble magnet. She is the opposite of the Midas touch. I suppose it is no wonder that she becomes the advisor over a club of weird girls. It is like the school’s policy to put all weird people into one place and not care about them. Then there is the geeky Lemon who has turned from Momoka’s rival to a fan. At times he is useful (being used, that is) but sometimes he feels more like a pest to Momoka more than anything else. After all, why have an otaku geek by your side if you are not going to take advantage of him? Some of the other lesser characters like Roselia and Yayoi feel lacking because they only make a single episode appearance and that’s it. I thought they would at least become ‘regulars’ like Lemon but turns out they don’t. Except for the final episode of course. But that itself isn’t to any impact or anything. Just a reminder that they are still ‘relevant’. Yeah. It feels like they are masochists and love being around Momoka. If this is true, see what did I tell you about Momoka having her own little kingdom?

Obviously the art and drawing make the characters and the setting so cartoonish and cute. It is something like the anime series Acchi Kocchi, Lucky Star, GJ-Bu and A Channel but with guns to add to the moe. Animated by Pierrot Plus, although their only other work is Beelzebub, they are the subsidiary of the parent company, Pierrot who has animated lots of great classic animes like Naruto, Bleach, Yu Yu Hakusho, Great Teacher Onizuka, Saiyuki Reload and Urusei Yatsura. And even as said that the blood spilled is only in their imagination, it seems to be in pink colour. I suppose we want such scene to be fun and funny instead of being scary and realistic. That’s why we don’t mind and hope for more blood to spill, right?

There are also a handful of trivia for you to spot. If you know your pop culture well. For example, if you have played the video game of Resident Evil (which I haven’t but I can still recognize because it is iconic), you would have recognized one of Kayo’s cosplay as the character of Jill Valentine. What about a scene of Kamo paying tribute to the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, doing a cool Moonwalk? Then there’s that Mad Max reference in that Australia setting and of course Aliens and Predator parody in that jungle scene. Don’t forget that Arnold tribute each time the narrator ends the next episode preview with “I’ll be back” albeit it is a direct translation in Japanese.

Voice acting feels okay. Only surprise is that after hearing Nao Touyama voicing lively characters like the tsundere Chitoge from Nisekoi and the popular idol of Kanon from The World God Only Knows, she is somewhat unrecognizable as Kayo. Yui Horie is recognizable as Sakura and it was really funny for her to voice a bimbo. On second thought, her voice may be just perfect for that character. Other casts include Ayaka Ohashi as Momoka (Rei in Hamatora), Yumi Uchiyama as Miou (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Rumi Ookubo as Urara (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Lynn as Maya (Morita in Gingitsune), Sota Arai as Lemon (Corvus/Dark Crow in Majin Bone), Eriko Matsui as Yayoi (Benio in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Mika Kanai as Roselia (Kaguya in Code Geass), Aoi Yuuki as Yammy (Madoka in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica), Kikuko Inoue as Momoka’s mom (Belldandy in Aa! Megami-sama) and Juutarou Kosugi as Taichou (Luis in Toaru Hikuushi E No Koiuta).

I thought there was going to be somebody’s voice behind Kamo and perhaps one of the easiest ever voice acting because there are no lines but just quacking. Apparently I think nobody could make such a muffled quack sound so I am guessing that they use a real animal sound. Besides, how does a platypus sound like? The opening theme is Yes by Ayaka Ohashi while the ending theme is Piti Pati SurviBird by Gesukawa Girls which are actually the quintet members of the survival game club. If the craziness of the show is not enough, the ending credits animation show the girls doing silly stuffs and an equally silly dance to top it off. I doubt this is their war dance or victory dance.

Overall, for those who love wacky action comedies with nothing deep or complicated, this series suits you very much. Even for a casual viewer, this show is not too bad if you do not take it seriously. Heck, Sabagebu isn’t an anime to be taken seriously in the first place. In fact, it might be the right tonic for those having hard times. Bad day at work? Watch Sabagebu. Need to vent out some frustration or anger? Watch Sabagebu? Broke up with your girlfriend? Watch Sabagebu? Have no money for dinner? Watch Sabagebu. Yeah. The show that caters to your needs. Watch this and you’ll laugh away all your troubles. Okay, maybe not. Survival games may not be catching on in popularity these days because everyone is more into the sedentary life of looking at their iPads and iPhones or idiot box. Watching this series doesn’t stimulate any interest to go play this outdoor game. Because in fact you’d wish for the producers to produce another season of silliness. And contribute further to your obesity and sedentary life by watching girls with guns doing silly things. Thanks Sabagebu for ruining our life. And they said laughter is the best medicine… Now can I have my second season of Sabagebu, please?

As promised and expected, Ilya fans can rejoice with the advent of the much anticipated second season, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya 2wei (a clever play in the German word of ‘zwei’ which means ‘two’). Because one season of Ilya loli goodness is not enough and thus another season of 10 episodes to satisfy your Ilya needs. Whoops. Do I sound like an Ilya fan? Certainly not. I thought the first season was pretty decent so obviously it was only right for me to continue and check out what is in store for Ilya and the gang. Because there is more to things than collecting Class Cards for this accidental magical girl and her sharp acid tongue talking stick. And if I don’t check it out, something tells me that Ilya is going to cry and pout. And it is a bad thing to make a loli cry, right? Right. I’m only imagining things… And I’m not a lolicon, mind you!

Episode 1
Miyu heads to Ilya’s home to wake her up as they are class monitors for today. Ilya is sleep talking as she thinks Miyu is her onii-chan and almost kisses her! In class, the friends start talking about the beach for the summer vacation. Ilya notices Miyu has changed a little. Although she doesn’t fit in perfectly, she doesn’t shut others out like before. And we have Ilya remembering what has happened in the past month, which is basically a quick recap on the events of the first season. After school, they stop by the park. Seeing her friends share ice cream, Ilya does the same with Miyu. The friends start teasing them and feign they didn’t share ice cream. On the way back, suddenly Ilya and Miyu are kidnapped into a limo! No cause for panic. It is Miyu’s family car. Of course Rin and Luvia whisked them away for an emergency job. Rin received a call from the Mage’s Association that although they have recovered the cards that were disturbing the mana flow through the ley lines, 2 weeks later it showed no improvement. It could means the line is blocked or something. They want her to inject highly compressed mana into the power spot to expand the line. Although this would take dozens of mages, they have the Class Cards that have endless mana supply. Ilya is stumped that they are good friends now because they were trying to kill each other for the cards. They feign the fight never happened and are good friends. Sapphire’s translation: The Mage’s Association doesn’t want them back till they get along. Ruby’s comment: You can’t fix stupidity. Enough for the ladies to cast away their good side and begin the blaming-cum-catfight! Ah, back in familiar territory. Possible translation: Maybe the Mage’s Association don’t want them back after all… As they make their way through the forest, suddenly Rin and Luvia drop into some endless mud swamp. They are struggling to get out. And while they are still fighting each other and adamant they don’t want to die right next to the other, we have an eye candy of Ilya and Miyu’s magical girl transformation. They are pulled out but after all that fighting exhaust them. They had the energy for that useless bickering… Inside a cave, they do what is necessary. When they thought it is done and are about to leave, the entire place starts shaking violently. Miyu rescues the ladies while Ilya works to secure an exit. However Ilya changes into Archer to protect the rest with a light barrier. Everyone is fine in the aftermath as Rin notice the Archer card is missing. They are relieved to find Ilya okay too but to everyone’s surprise, there is another Ilya! OMG! Two Ilyas. How can I tell which is the real one? Simple. The other one is tanned.

Episode 2
Ilya rues that her horoscope predicts a bad day today. Ruby offers to tell a more accurate one. However all she comes out are warnings and at first Ilya thought it was a prank when a flowerpot almost hits her. But can it be a coincidence that Ilya almost got hit by a driverless truck, chased around by rabid dogs, get fired, get watered, get zapped, etc! Yeah. She’s lucky to be still alive. In the infirmary with Miyu, they talk about yesterday and it seems Dark Ilya ran away before they got a chance to talk. Ilya is worried because there is a girl out there that looks like her and people might get the wrong impression of her into cosplay. It’s time to go home when a football almost smashes into her face. On her way home, Dark Ilya appears and tries to kill her. So I guess all those were her going since she was trying to make her death look natural. I suppose killing her by her own hands would be easier. Since peace by lollipop isn’t working, Ilya and Miyu flee to the forest so they can fight her. However Ilya notices her magic is considerably weakened that it has no effect. When Miyu tries to protect her, Dark Ilya suddenly holds her and… KISS!!! OMFG!!! Yuri loli doing French kissing for a good 25 seconds!!! FREAKING SHIIIIIII!!! Ilya is mad. I remember they kissed last season but that was an accident. Maybe she wants to do that to Miyu? Actually she is upset that rumours will spread that somebody with her face stole a girl’s lips. Ilya concentrates her magic to be sharp like a sword. It works and slices Dark Ilya’s clothes. She commends her attack and backs down for now. Why? Can’t fight semi-naked? Yeah. Rumours of a cosplayer turned exhibitionist… And so with Rin and Luvia, they meet up to come up with a strategy to capture her dark counterpart. Ilya must be relieved to put her trust in such reliable people. She might regret it… Because Ilya herself becomes bait as she is tied up on a tree! And a table of lavish feast below? How dumb can they get? Dark Ilya is here and obviously knows this is a trap but decides to play along and attacks. Rin and Luvia unleash their trap but each time they do something, Dark Ilya can get out. It is like she knows and can read their next moves. I’m not surprised since the duo are that dumb, don’t you agree? Heck, Dark Ilya even got them tied up in their own trap. Dark Ilya even separates Miyu from Sapphire to turn her back into a normal girl. With Ilya left, all hope seems lost. She succumbs to her fate. But as Dark Ilya approaches, she falls into her illusionary trap. Now she is stuck in that mud swamp. It is made out of some blend that renders her magic completely inert. Guess what happens? Rin and Luvia start to get cocky. They insult and laugh at her till she cries! Who are the villains, you tell me?! Don’t you just feel bad for Dark Ilya? Even Ilya and Miyu are appalled. So appalled…

Episode 3
Dark Ilya is crucified and interrogated. For the sake of differentiation, they call her Chloe. Stem from Kuroe which basically means dark. Chloe isn’t giving any straight answers so Rin and Luvia cast a curse on her. First they take Ilya’s blood (ouch) and chant some spell after smearing the blood on her tummy. It is a one-way pain curse. If Ilya is hurt, Chloe will feel the same pain but if only Chloe is hurt, she herself will only feel it. When Ilya returns home, she is freaking shocked to see Chloe trying to flirt with Shirou! Wasn’t she supposed to be locked up?! How the f*ck the she get here?! Ilya cannot take any more of the flirting despite Ruby saying that this is possibly what Ilya’ true desire is. Ilya hurts herself to stop Chloe. Rin and Luvia come in to report that Chloe has somehow escaped from her chains. About time. They are shocked to see Shirou and have this flustered look! WTF?! They take Chloe and scram. Then the next shocking move: Miyu hugs Shirou and calls him her brother! OMG! Since when is this becoming a harem? When Miyu composes herself, she apologizes for that impulsive action since Shirou reminded her of her brother. So Ilya has got lots on her mind. Chloe and especially how much she knows about Miyu. Next morning as she heads out to school, Luvia wanted to chauffeur Shirou to school but he already left. As not to go to waste, she chauffeurs Ilya instead. Ilya tries to be friendly but Miyu remains silent. Luvia hints that there is something about Miyu’s past she doesn’t want to talk about. She also hints they could become sisters as she plans to marry Shirou! So start calling her big sister! In class, Ilya’s friends are furious! They accuse her of force kissing them! Holy sh*t! I think I know who is behind this. Worse. Fujimura is also a victim! Her first kiss… They’re going to get her as Miyu stall them so Ilya can get away. At the rooftop, Ilya witnesses how Chloe seduces another friend of hers and lands a passionate kiss! OMFG!!!!!! But as hinted, she isn’t kissing people for fun. She is sucking mana out of them and the best one was of course Miyu. Ilya is upset that she has destroyed her life. Chloe dares her. Before they could fight, her friends and Fujimura enter the scene. I supposed they were too much for Miyu to handle. Wait a second. Two Ilyas? One of them is cosplaying? Who is who? Ilya starts having a meltdown when cool Chloe mentions she is Ilya’s foreign cousin and kissing is a common greeting custom. You believe that? Yeah. She is supposed to transfer her next week but couldn’t contain her excitement to check things out early. I guess Ilya has to play along with this. But for now, run away before the girls could check out her magical girl outfit!

Episode 4
Chloe is geared up and all ready for school. Ilya can’t believe this is happening. So how did Chloe escape her imprisonment? That’s what Luvia wanted to know either. She put up the best magic locks that an ant can’t even escape but somehow Chloe did a Houdini without sweat. Chloe says she wants to try living a normal life. Besides, she already has the curse so don’t bother locking her up. Luvia agrees to this as long as she doesn’t hurt others among the few conditions. Ilya can’t believe this is happening but Luvia believes this is the best so as not to get innocent people involved. And what do you know? Chloe becomes a transfer student in the same class as Ilya and sitting next to her. What are the chances, man? Ilya’s friends throw down a challenge to Chloe for that force kiss. The game is dodgeball and the loser must obey the winner. Of course the friends have their wishes but if Chloe wins, she’ll kiss all of them every day! Holy sh*t! Better win this sh*t! Even Fujimura is joining this fight. Ilya is so uninterested that she purposely loses to sit out. Heck, it would even be better if Chloe loses. Doesn’t matter. Chloe will take on everyone herself. Fujimura became the first victim of her awesome powerful throw. Everyone is taken out and when Tatsuko is left, Ilya switches place with her after Ruby talks about Chloe usurping her life if she doesn’t do something. It becomes a fiery battle with lots of angst building up in Ilya. It’s all Chloe’s fault, right? In the end although Chloe wins, the ball in Ilya’s face means she too is knocked out from the pain. Both down. A draw. They are taken to the infirmary but the ‘bored’ nurse is just being indifferent and unprofessional in handling her patients. It’s like she doesn’t care. You wonder how the heck she became a nurse. But there may be more than meets the eye to her. Because she can tell the injuries of Ilya and Chloe are exactly in the same spot. Like as though they are opposing mirrors. She hints to Chloe that she won’t limit her freedom as long as she doesn’t do the same to her. She is the school nurse. Chloe is Ilya’s cousin. Let’s leave it as that. Panicky Fujimiura brings Shirou all the way here to help cure Ilya. Miyu observes how close Ilya and Shirou interact and this brings a certain sadness and envy to her. She notices the same expression on Chloe.

Episode 5
Ilya tries to practice a new move but accidentally blows a hole in the bathroom wall. This means everybody has to go to Luvia’s mansion to take a bath. I know Shirou isn’t a pervert but what did he do to deserve going into a small cramp bath with Luvia’s old geezer butler, August? Ambiguous gay moments… Ilya is not happy that Chloe is here too and tries to hide her. However she makes her presence known to Sella and Liz. Ilya cannot take it anymore and blasts her away. After the servants leave, Rin and Luvia join in as they hope Chloe will be on talking terms. However she isn’t going to easily reveal everything. They need to figure it out themselves. Rin notices the Archer card is missing and she saw Ilya using it. Ilya doesn’t understand how she made it work. Although their mission is to retrieve all the Class Cards, they think how they settle this is up to Ilya. What is her wish? She wants her old life back. Chloe is upset with that answer. Because did Chloe exist in her old life? She hints the card is inside her. Since it has come down to this, it is back to square one. They’re enemies again. She blasts a hole in the wall to escape. Chloe is absent from school and Ilya is back to where she started of fearing her popping out from nowhere and starts killing her. Miyu thinks she won’t since she still has that curse. They are interrupted by their friends who talk about going to the beach as promised. They want to invite Chloe too. Later Miyu goes to meet Chloe alone as requested. Although Chloe just wants to talk, Miyu remains on her guard since Chloe was close and behind her before she knew it. It’s like she had some teleport and projection magic. Miyu asks if there is a need to kill Ilya and they should coexist, Chloe doesn’t think so and Miyu attacks her. She pities Miyu for fighting for Ilya’s sake. Remember what she said about her wish yesterday? At the same time, Ruby talks to Ilya about what she said about her old life. It is like telling Chloe to disappear although we know this is not what she meant. But that is only half of it. The other half as explained by Chloe is that Ilya wished she never met any of them. Because she was dragged into this magical girl mess against her will. If she had never met Miyu, Chloe would never have come into being. This makes Miyu wonder if their bond is just an illusion. But if you remember the transpiring events of last season, Miyu knows that being called a friend is all that she needs to fight on her behalf. Miyu transform into Saber and prepares to fight. Ruby detects them fighting and they go off to stop them.

Episode 6
As they fight, Chloe explains how Miyu used the card to channel the spirit of Saber to her body. She hints that was her. Also, Chloe is able to skip all the process and arrive at the answer without having to put in much effort. Miyu warns that killing Ilya will have herself killed too. That’s fine. Everybody can die and it will be over. In that case, just go and die yourself. Ilya interrupts the fight. Miyu insists Chloe must be killed now. This is the only way to protect her. Chloe still believes they cannot coexist because as long as she tries to kill her and Ilya rejecting her existence, it is impossible. Ilya starts apologizing for not thinking through but if sorry could solve problems, we wouldn’t have been fighting in the first place, right? And so Chloe is not convinced and won’t tell Ilya what she really wants. Killing Ilya isn’t really it, right? Suddenly an old car leaps into their midst. It is Iri. Her mother instincts guide her back here. I don’t know if she’s joking or not when she asks since when Ilya got a twin. Very funny. Chloe isn’t happy to see mom either. As gratitude for erasing her existence 10 years ago, she attacks her. Ilya blocks the attack and this weakens Chloe. Chloe is confused over what she is doing so Iri invites her to jump into her arms. A trap to spank her out of commission. And then Ilya. Two wrongs don’t make a right she says. Ilya seems to have memories of Chloe when she was a toddler but wakes up in Luvia’s grand bath. Meanwhile Luvia and Rin discuss about researching about the Einzbern family. They could hardly find details and are stumped about this mysterious German family thought to be just nobles but were doing some sort of major ritual.

It is Q&A time with Iri so Ilya asks what she is exactly. Ilya was born to become the Holy Grail in the Holy Grail War as it is believed to grant any wish. Chloe corrects her. It was her who is supposed to be the Holy Grail because all knowledge were woven into her being but yet was sealed away. She is sad she was sealed away and couldn’t keep her old memories. She cannot understand why Ilya was the one who got to live a normal life. All those memories she sealed, she was part of it. She lost everything. Everything could have been hers. It is fine if Ilya gets a normal life. But at least give her a life as a mage. She wants to belong to the Einzbern. However Iri says the Einzbern family is long gone. There will never be another Holy Grail War. Chloe becomes agitated believing Ilya stole her life and has nothing left. Her anger emitted too much mana and she is on the verge of disappearing for good. What a way to die. At least being killed by Miyu was better. It’s not Ilya has taken after her and become a serial kisser. This is to inject mana back into her. She doesn’t want her to disappear after all this. She may not be as shocked when mama told her about this and the reason she is calm is because Chloe was the one being hurt. She shouldered everything that she was supposed to bear. Ilya’s tears make Chloe happy because she feels her life had meaning for someone to cry over her disappearing. Ilya won’t have that too. She’s the Holy Grail so make her wish come true. Chloe wants a normal everyday life. She doesn’t want to disappear. She wants to live. And that great amount of will was enough for her being to remain. Chloe is formally introduced to the rest of the family and will be staying with them from now on. Shirou must be a joker because he thinks Ilya and Chloe are so similar that Iri may had another man… Oh Shirou, you didn’t really think that, did you? So a happy ending and closure? Not quite. Because now Chloe is getting too close to Shirou. Get your hands off my onii-chan! Ah, a new fight arises…

Episode 7
And it may soon be as early as the next morning because Shirou wakes up to find Chloe sleeping next to him! Ilya mad. So sad that Shirou is the one being slapped and called a pervert. What did he ever do? So it is decided that since today they are making pound cake in class, they challenge they will make a better one for Shirou. It feels like the game is decided because Chloe is grouped with friends who can cook (like Miyu) while Ilya’s group contains those without talent (Tatsuko is also a saboteur type). Ilya tries to follow the recipe closely but you know her friends… Especially with Tatsuko sabotaging the ingredients twice. Nutmeg first and then mint the second time. Even if Ilya becomes a fighter not giving up, there is only so much she can cover up the taste, right? Or maybe she just made it worse. Shirou will be fair when judging people’s cooking so Chloe suggests the winner gets a kiss. Oh my! Chloe’s baking is nicely done. However he can tell it was made intended for someone else (Chloe didn’t do any baking and let her subordinates do her job while she orders around). As for Ilya’s, it tastes horrible but he can tell she put in a lot of effort and kisses her forehead! Sella beats him up for trying being a pervert. Isn’t the winner supposed to get a kiss? Well, Ilya too happy to do anything. I guess Ilya wins this round. Because the next morning, the score is levelled when Chloe is seen sleeping next to Shirou. Deja vu. Shirou gets slapped again.

Because of this, Ilya complains to mama that a hierarchy is needed to keep her in line. Iri makes a simple one. Of course herself being top of the chain (God level?) and Shirou right at the bottom. Good guys always finish last, right? Now the argument is who would be the elder sister because like mommy says, the elder sister has some sort of authority. And so the duo begin challenging each other over the slightest just to see who is better and thus become the elder sister. When the friends mention about holding a birthday party for Ilya, Chloe also mentions her birthday is the same date. Double celebration? Coincidentally Mimi also has the same birthday. Triple celebration? We know Tatsuko is lying about hers… Ilya then talks to her friends for advice to become the older sister. They relate their experience of being the older or younger sibling and let Ilya try out. You know it’s going to fail… Because that weird beehive flower hairdo with tsundere personality and show of strength (squeezing burst open the can?) and making Chloe ‘worried’ (she thinks it is better she goes see a doctor or psychiatrist or something). Ilya knows she has completely failed and forget about being big sister level, she’s now on idiot level. Back home, the duo reconcile. Chloe in a way feels grateful that her existence was continued and bought her some pudding. Personally she still feels embarrassed about the kissing part to suck mana. Just when Ilya thought things are settling down, she starts jumping the gun Chloe is trying to be nice to her to score big sister points. And the argument begins again…

Episode 8
Bazett Fraga McRemitz arrives at Fuyuki City. Luvia and Rin keep an eye on the girls from afar. Iri pops up and hopes they can help her ‘tour’ the school safely. Luvia will gladly do it because you know, it increases her chances of becoming her mother-in-law. Know what she’s saying? And of course Rin won’t let her do it alone. So they’re ‘spying’ the girls in class hiding in tree leaves and bushes. They almost got spotted by Fujimura but she is easily taken care of. Chloe could sense their presence and goes to see them. She flusters upon knowing that mother was here to check on them. Iri hopes Luvia and Rin could turn a blind eye of what they are after today. All she wants is her daughters to have a future filled with happy smiles. Rin goes to conduct some checking at the cave and realize it wasn’t complete in the first place and will report back to the association. Bazett arrives at Luvia’s mansion and is attacked by August. He sensed her bloodthirsty aura and only showed his hospitality tailored to satisfy his guest. However Bazett is not here to have fun and wants to see Luvia. Fetch her or she will find her herself. No need to. Here she is. Bazett knows Luvia should be familiar of the reason why she is here. Since Luvia feigns ignorance, Bazett attacks her. Rin just arrived and sees this. She fears the worst because she is the Church’s best enforcer and combat specialist. Half assed attacks will not slow her down a bit. August pulls out machine guns to fire but Bazett is too fast. Not even a combo with Luvia can do the trick. They make a run. August uses all he got from guns to revolvers to throwing knives and even flash grenades and he still can’t best Bazett. Eventually Luvia also lost but Rin distracts her with some weak attack so Luvia could do some self sacrificing explosive move that blows up the entire mansion! Enough for Ilya and Chloe to notice something is wrong and head over to investigate. Because the mansion is covered in some barrier, on the outside it looks like normal. Once they open the gate, they see the mansion burnt to the ground and Bazett walking towards them. She thinks they are involved too but it is a little too late for them to be reinforcements.

Episode 9
If you’re wondering where Miyu has been, she’s been sent on a ‘mission’ by Luvia to buy some rare food. She’s taking this really seriously. Bazett attacks Chloe as she transforms into her Archer mode to fight back. However Bazett knows her moves and defeats her. Ilya wants to help but it seems Ruby is just floating there instead of doing anything. Ruby explains that prior to Luvia and Rin collecting the Class Cards, Bazett was the person in charge. If you remember last season that they had a couple of Class Cards in hand, it was because Bazett was the one who collected them. When Lord Zelretech intervened, Bazett was taken off the case and replaced by the duo. Her return to this even though Luvia and Rin are still officially assigned to this mission means there is a power struggle in the higher orders of the Church. Bazett has already 4 Class Cards. Ilya still wants to fight her but Ruby doesn’t think she can win. But Ilya doesn’t care for all that predecessor crap thingy. Her friend got hurt. That is a reason good enough to fight back. Ilya transforms but is warned not to use special moves against her. Then how to fight back? She is left running from Bazett’s relentless attack. She’s like a sitting duck till Ilya concentrates her magic to lock her hands and blast a magic towards her. Too bad it was weak. Meanwhile, Luvia, Rin and August have escaped via a secret underground passage although Luvia is still weak from that reckless attack. But she can’t rest now knowing Bazett is after those cards. Bazett takes a card from Ilya and is then attacked by Chloe. She still has the curse so Ilya’s pain woke her up. But still not good enough to defeat her. Ilya is inching to retrieve the other dropped cards but Bazett stomps her hand. Ilya won’t give up. Bazett is going to finish her when Miyu arrives in time. Ilya hands her a Class Card as Miyu transforms into Rider. I won’t say Bazett is defeated but more like downed by her superior attack. Bazett cannot believe she could transform so easily when the Mage’s Association were trying ways to discover a method and still weren’t successful. Miyu asks about Luvia and Rin’s whereabouts. Under the rubble. That’s it. She is going to use Rider’s Noble Phantasm on her as Bazett readies to counter it. Something tells us it is a bad thing because Rin states Noble Phantasms don’t work on her and something horrible will happen if tried.

Episode 10
Despite warnings from Sapphire, Miyu is about to unleash her Noble Phantasm but Bazett unleashes Fragarach which nullifies it and reverses time a little for Miyu. As explained, this magic sword is activated if the enemy activates their ultimate attack. It also pierces their heart after the time reversal but since Miyu didn’t use her Noble Phantasm by her own will, that was a close call. Bazett beats her up and takes her card. Now all that is left is Archer. Guess whose body it is in? Well, it’s not like Chloe can take it out either. Yeah. Always take the violent way of ripping it out, eh? Ilya stands back up and with Chloe’s help, Chloe becomes the bait to take the first hit before Ilya. However Ilya is just an illusion set by Ruby. The real Ilya is behind her back and tries to touch the back of Bazett’s neck because she notices some magic trap on it (from Rin’s distracted attack). However she has no strength to reach it. Cue for Luvia to send some much needed magic shot to push Bazett towards her. Ilya touches it and it activates something. However Bazett quickly gets back on her feet although she knows something feels different in her body. Rin has arrived and explains what activated was the pain curse like in Chloe’s case. She even exaggerates it could cause death although this is just merely to stop her Fragarach move. Bazett is confident she can still win without it. But that’s not all. Rin shows a map of the ley lines of the city. There is a section showing where the ley line is constricted and there seems to be a cube there. It is the presence of an eighth Class Card. So if it is her mission to collect all cards, she’ll need this map that only Rin can read.

Since this is out of Bazett’s jurisdiction, she will head back to wait for further instructions. Rin also negotiates to hold 3 of the Class Cards. Is this a good move? She considers it a good victory because the best part is that all of them are still alive after that fierce fight with her. Ilya and Chloe return home very tired and messed up. The rest are unsure what happened but they have faith they didn’t do anything bad. Life returns to normal. Luvia and Rin discuss about Bazett, another problem to deal with and know she is sent by someone else. They also have to consider about the eighth card. Just when they start laughing and think how ironic their friendship have become, deep down in their hearts, this is just a ploy to ruse the other! Yeah. That’s more like it! That’s more like the Luvia and Rin we know! Keep it up :)! Ilya and Chloe continue their normal life in class. The rivalry is still there, though. Speaking of which, the rivalry for Shirou is still up for Rin and Luvia. That night Ilya and Chloe can’t sleep. The former is grateful that they managed to protect their normal everyday life. They could have lost everything yesterday but it was all here today. That’s enough reason to be proud of. Although they can’t tell what the future holds (there’s going to be a lot in store for them, if you get what I mean), at least they’re going to take it a step at a time. And first, time to look for swimsuits for their summer at the beach.


More 5 minutes of fun and laughter with Ilya and the gang if you buy the DVDs. Of course do not forget the fanservice. Loli or mature woman, they’ve got it all here! Oh yeah. Hurry, hurry. Get your hot sexy fanservice right here.

Special 1
Ilya asks Chloe about her clothes. And when she moves on about her lingerie, Chloe can immediately pick up what she is trying to ask. Cheeky Chloe pulls up Ilya’s shirt to prove that she isn’t wearing a bra. Ilya accuses Chloe of wearing one to show off because at their age, wearing a bra isn’t necessary as their chest hasn’t grown yet. Chloe mentions Sella wearing one even though she got a small bust. And she was outside hearing this… So depressing… Chloe becomes the bra expert as she explains why it is important to wear them because it shapes their breasts and keep it in shape. Unless you want those fats to spread all over. So wear a bra and turn those useless meat into fabulous boobs! Chloe then surprises Sella by lifting her shirt to prove that the right bra is essential in the shaping. See hers? No wonder she is still small. Violation! Sexual harassment! She gives hope that since their mum is the bustiest, it is not impossible for them too. Later, Sella catches Ilya red-handed as she tries out her bra just for size. Busted (no pun intended). By the way, doesn’t it feel like an insult for choosing Sella because it’s like they have the same bust size? When Liz finds out what they’re talking, she doesn’t bat an eyelid to say she has never worn one because it was a pain. Some people have all the luck. Life is so unfair…

Special 2
The bra topic continues. This time Ilya asks Miyu’s opinion about it. Miyu will go ask Luvia in turn. Rin and Luvia give their opinion but Luvia starts laughing at Rin’s commoner view. This causes Rin to be mad as she strips open Luvia’s top to prove that she is wearing a plain bra. Luvia does the same but Rin’s bra is quite fancy. Utter defeat. It descends into a full blown catfight. They would be a laughing stock if people found out why they are fighting so serious. About lingerie… Ah well, a woman’s lingerie isn’t anything trivial, right? :). In the end, Luvia decides to show off her sexy lingerie collection. Now she looks like a Victoria’s Secret model. The fight continues… Did they forget all about Miyu? So next day, Miyu tells Ilya that Luvia prepares her underwear and even so, it is too embarrassing to show her. Not like Ilya wants to see it either. Suddenly the gust of wind blows up Miyu’s clothes. Ilya sees her semi-plain underwear. Impressed? Shocked?

Special 3
Chloe is sick and put to bed by Liz. Ilya notices that what Chloe needs is some magical power but Liz insists that with Sella out for errands, she is the big sister now and decides to nurse her by herself. I mean, she can’t risk Ilya getting her illness, right? And Liz thinks Kuro wants Ilya by her side because they are such good friends. With Liz around, Ilya can’t sneak in as the former starts stripping Chloe to wipe her sweat. So as not to make her feel embarrassed, she also strips! Even more embarrassing is when Chloe notices Ilya watching from outside the window. Sella just came back and calls to Liz to help carry the groceries. Out goes Liz, in comes Ilya. And after a little friendship-big sister talk, they start kissing (I suppose it’s a reason to have some loli yuri for this magic transfer). Liz returns and sees this. Chloe is fine now but Ilya seems to have caught her illness. Liz believes of employing the same method on her based on what she saw. Yeah. Trying to force kiss! Before this lips raping scene can happen, Sella walks in after hearing a commotion. She doesn’t buy Liz’s argument that she’s nursing Ilya as a big sister since this looks more like an assault. Angry girl with white radish in hand… Doesn’t look good for Liz…

Special 4
Ilya and co see Suzuka frantic in the streets. She is afraid at this rate Tatsuko will become a criminal! Yikes! What happened? Before they know it, they are dressed in cheongsam and forced to work at a Chinese restaurant. It all began when Tatsuko saw an all-you-can-eat poster although there is a hefty fine if there are leftovers. I guess she got too greedy. Suzuka tried to stop her but even before she could, she already wallop everything. And they’ve got no money. Well, time to work their asses off. So we see them trying to lure customers in like Chloe being overly seductive, Miyu over explaining the technical stuffs and Mimi’s shy personality makes it so moe that you might want to eat her instead. Ilya is so frustrated since she told them to do it normally… Hang in there… It’s all for saving Tatsuko. A group of girls are impressed with Ilya’s fair skin in this dress. They take a liking for her and start ordering whatever there is. The rest are jealous she stole their scene as hers is the most abnormal. In the end, they manage to pay off their debt. But it seems they might have forgotten about something… Tatsuko! She has revived and continues her glutton ways. She thinks she can handle this time better. BETTER STOP HER NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!! Sad to say, her mouth is faster than their hands…

Special 5
Finally, Ruby and Sapphire taking centre stage. Ruby is frustrated and bored that recently there aren’t any magical girl-like fights for her to enjoy. So to relieve her stress, she is going to activate her forbidden ability of temporarily turning someone into a magical girl and not worrying about the effects since it only happens in their deep subconscious and they’ll think it’s just a dream. Sapphire tries to stop her but Ruby punches her out. Sella becomes the first ‘victim’ as Ruby lies on the table in plain sight. And now you have magical girl Sella! How will she use Ruby? To clean the house, wash clothes and other chores. Boring! But it saves on electricity bill. Boring! Next bait, Ruby lures Liz. She uses Ruby as remote control and heat up her cup noodles. Boring… Next is Fujimura. As expected, she turns into a lively superhero magical girl and is going to defeat all the evil in the world! Watch out thugs, mafias, drug lords and human trafficking organizations because here she comes! Not wanting the violent side, Ruby ditches her. By this time, Ruby realizes her stress level has gotten worse. It is going to get even worse because here comes Bazett picking her up! I don’t know what was done to her but Ruby is like close to dead. She can’t be more grateful and appreciative to be back by Ilya’s side, eh? Magical girls must always be young little lolis, right? And so… Ruby ‘dies’… Don’t worry. Sapphire punches her back up. Revenge is always so sweet…

Double Trouble! Itazura Na Kiss!
They have done it again. Yup. Just like the last time, right after the series ends, another announcement that there will be a third season, although it is actually the second part of this 2wei series. Think of it like the Hunger Games: Mockingjay or Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows split into 2 parts. I suppose 10 episodes are not enough to fit in all the Ilya loli goodness so therefore another season of her is needed. I believe it is a busy and exciting moment for the Fate series since the Fate/Stay Night series following the Unlimited Blade Works arc was also made around that time. But as far as Ilya’s show is concerned, many things are not settled yet so it is only right that another season would be in the works.

This time around with Chloe entering the fray as a main character, this season feels lacking for the other supporting characters and not much development on them. Because mainly this season is mostly focus on Ilya and Chloe and their love-hate relationship on just about anything. Therefore Ruby’s sharp tongue sarcasm is sorely missed and kept to a very minimum. I was wondering and keep feeling there was something missing in this season and this was it. As the anime progresses towards the end, it seems Ruby has ‘lost’ her witty comments that we are fond of and also her serious display in the final battle makes it weird that it doesn’t feel like Ruby herself at all. This is also thanks to Rin and Luvia not making much of an appearance as compared to the first season. Because no collaboration with them means no smartass wisecracks from Ruby. After all, the cards have been collected so there is no reason for them to be together unless it really matters.

Rin and Luvia are also amusing and the constant bickering and at each other’s throat is one of the most amusing highlights of the series. Of course as said that they do not appear as much as in the previous season so the comical banter between them has been greatly reduced. Even more so, working together like best friends. This isn’t entirely wrong but we prefer to see the catfight. And of course, they couldn’t troll us even if they start faking that bogus friendship in the end. They’re just using each other. We’ll see what happens when the time comes. Miyu also feels like she has been relegated to a supporting character. At the events at the end of the last season, Miyu certainly has become friends with Ilya but with Chloe hogging the spotlight, it is hard to see Miyu and Sapphire making an impact this season. She fights to defend her friendship but that is about it.

As for Ilya, life has become better and worst at the same time. An additional enemy who became her friend and ally and finally a love rival. Oh yeah. Ilya has got it tough even at such a tender young age. If being a magical girl is tough, it is even tougher when a clone has her sights on the same big brother she adores. The source of her stress… Chloe’s hostility was probably that she wanted a place to belong. I don’t really understand about that part for the Holy Grail War and how Chloe drew the short end of the stick. My guess that she blamed Ilya for taking her normal life that she could have led and thus the animosity of getting rid of her even if it means killing herself. After all that fighting and letting out her frustrations, it is much better to coexist and live together for better or worse. Because the important thing is about the present and future instead of the past.

Shirou feels like he is given more prominence this time albeit it seems like this magical girl series is having a potential to turn into a harem genre. This guy who once ‘belonged’ only to Ilya now faces competition with Chloe and surprisingly Rin and Luvia too. Then there is that teaser from Miyu that he looks like her brother which could be seen as another potential rival for those gunning for his attention. The irony of it all is that he ranks at the bottom of the pecking order in both reality and fantasy. I suppose he is such a good guy it is no wonder almost every girl loves him. Other characters feel okay and pretty similar as we know them like Liz who continues to bum around the house instead of doing anything useful and Ilya’s supportive friends. The school nurse is a mysterious variable to the mix and something tells us that she is more than just one even though she puts on this boring expression, can’t-wait-to-go-home attitude and unprofessional behaviour.

There are a few moments of yuri and fanservice elements. With Chloe stealing our hearts and setting it aflutter (or causing it to nearly explode) with her super French kissing ability that would have shocked almost everyone in the series. Yeah. The most shocking and defining thing this season. I don’t think I can name another series that has lolis kissing each other like this. So good the yuri kiss that the girls pass out. They literally got owned. Notice how even Fujimura couldn’t help but fluster each time Chloe is called to the board to answer some questions and her body reaction would be something like flustering? I hope she doesn’t turn into a lolicon. Her reason to suck mana feels like an excuse to cover up for this. Ilya is one of those few girls who has not experienced this ‘taste of heaven’. Will she one day succumb to this? As long as it isn’t her onii-chan, right? As long as the kiss doesn’t involve an older guy because that would be most disturbing and unwanted. And for the fanservice parts, the steamy (literally) bath scenes and Chloe in her loli panties… I guess we’ll have to wait for the next season for the beach episode.

The fight scenes are still exciting and partly because they employ 3D CGI effects for the backgrounds. It is a little jarring mixing it with the 2D characters at first but if you focus on the action, you’ll get used to it and ultimately you’ll find the whole experience of the fighting scenes coupled in with magic power to be awesome thanks to the zoom in and rotating effects. Although I thought it was a shame that not all of the Class Cards were used in the battles. Especially Berserker since most of us would know this is Ilya’s Servant. Heck, I don’t think Ilya even transformed to any of the Servants other than Archer for a short while in the beginning. Only Miyu did that and it was only using Saber and Rider.

Joining the casts this season are Chiwa Saito as Chloe (Senjougahara in Monogatari Series), Hitomi Nabatame as Bazett (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana) and Tesshou Genda as August (Optimus Prime in Transformers). The lively generic anime pop opening theme is Moving Soul by Minami Kuribayashi while the ending theme which is as equally as lively is Two By Two by Yumeha Kouda. For the latter, I initially thought it was Chiwa Saito who sung this piece since their voices sound quite close. Must be something wrong with my ears. On a trivial note, the end card illustrations from various people with some really funny sketches (turning the characters into shoujo type art feels amusing), some disturbing ones (a shower scene of Shirou and August! OMFG!!! WTF???!!!) and some looking cool and serious.

So for those who aren’t really serious following the actual Fate series story or plot or whatever, having Ilya turned into a magical girl as a side story and her daily (mis)adventures, juggling her role as a magical girl and trying to lead a normal life with her school friends can still be an entertaining watch. It is still fun in its own right. And of course, if you’re a big Ilya fan and a lolicon, this show gives you double dose of them. Cute lolis doing cute things, cute lolis kicking ass and cute lolis just trying to be cute lolis. Ah yes, see people, this show isn’t about magical girls. It’s all about Ilya. Don’t I sound like an Ilya fan convert? I suppose this means now I will have to watch the third season to keep up with all the Ilya goodness after all that praising because I don’t want to make a loli cry, do I? That won’t be cute at all.

Akuma No Riddle OVA

March 27, 2015

Hmm… I wonder. I wonder what could be in store for us, Akuma No Riddle OVA. After the way the TV series ended, it could be something that shows the continuation and aftermath of it or it could be just some random nonsense that has nothing to do with the TV series’ plot. But then again, after watching this thirteenth episode, it has me wonder the timeline of this episode. Because we have the girls of Black Class taking a trip on a cruiser for their maritime class. Wait. What kind of subject is that? Anyway, since all of the girls are here, I suppose it took place somewhere very early in the series or it could be some spin-off because when I watched the TV series, as far as I remember there is no break in between for them to go on a cruise like that. Everybody was taking turns trying to kill their target, right? So how on Earth could this happen? Oh, what the heck. As long as they put the girls in swimsuits and fanservice, that’s all we care about, right?

Beach Battle Royale
Like I said. Girls. Swimsuits. Fanservice. Oh yeah. Who cares about Mizorogi’s passionate reminder speech when they are having a nice time on this luxury liner? Having fun, aren’t we? Well, not anymore. Because Nio initiates the first phase of the programme as she blows it up and sink it faster than the Titanic. So we have everybody separated and alive on deserted island. Through a loud speaker, Nio announces the game. Their target is Haru of course and everyone has a badge on their swimsuit. The winner will be the one who takes the badge from Haru and will get whatever wish she wants. They have till sundown to do it and scattered across the island are boxes that contain random weapons that are only allowed to be used in this game. You will be disqualified and out of the game if your badge is off. Haru wants to give Tokaku her badge but Nio doesn’t want the game to end before it begins. First up is Hanabusa as she creeps out of the water and ready to get them. However her wires start to stiffen up and Tokaku easily takes her badge. First casualty! How ironic. She was the last girl to go out in the TV series (aside Nio) but the first one to go here. Since Chitaru and Kirigaya don’t need anything but each other and give each other’s badge, they are disqualified. Three down. Losers are taken to a loser area. But it might be the best place on the island because Hanabusa’s butler and chefs are serving up the best luxurious food ever! Holy cow! If that’s the case I would rather lose fast and enjoy the feast! Of course Haru wants to taste it but Tokaku won’t allow her to lose and will continue to protect her till time is up. Bummer.

Shiena teams up with Mahiru as they enter a dark cave to look for the duo. Unfortunately, Mahiru’s other personality, Shinya appears and is going to take out Shiena. In the struggle, Shiena loses her glasses and starts firing her catapult randomly and runs out. Shinya comes chasing but the moment she enters back into the sunlight, she reverts back to Mahiru. Takechi sees her and rips her swimsuit to steal her badge. Another one bites the dust. Takechi Then goes face off with the duo but she gets caught in a rope trap. Tokaku takes her badge. Out she goes. Nothing to satisfy your frustration by eating her heart out, eh? Kouko runs into Isuke and they both draw their guns. One is a lighter, the other a water gun. I guess Kouko feels confident to even take her on. Well, she is brought back to earth (literally) when Isuke pins her down. If taking her badge is not enough, she strips her naked! Oh, the humiliation. The fanservice. Thanks girls. And how do you keep this humiliation at bay? You eat your heart out! Mmm… Good food. Haru is hungry so Tokaku goes to pluck some fruits on the tree. This is where Isuke is going to get Haru. However Tokaku drops a coconut as distraction. The struggle begins and it seems Isuke has the upper hand. Just when she is going to take Tokaku’s badge, here comes Shiena blindly shooting. The distraction has Tokaku steal Isuke’s badge and they make a run for it. So what is a frustrated girl like her going to do? Eat her heart out! Oh yeah. With tension rising between Kouko and Isuke, it might just turn into a luxury food fight.

Haru and Tokaku stumble upon Shutou who has been soaking in the hotspring ever since. She invites them to come in. Tokaku warns Haru too late because Shutou is still in the game. The moment Haru dips in, Shutou steals her badge. If you’re wondering why Nio hasn’t made the call it is because everybody is busy enjoying the food at the loser’s area. Such glutton… Another struggle ensues to get it back. That is when Haruki fishes it. So it becomes a tug of war. Something tells me there is a reason why Tokaku is holding on and pulling onto Shutou’s swimsuit that is dangerously on the verge of being pulled off… With Shiena coming into the fray and firing randomly (it is amazing she got this far albeit being as blind as a bat) and once Shutou lets go of the badge, the force is so great that it is fling to the other side of the island. Really. That is where Mizorogi is. Poor chap is missing out on all the fun and thinks he is going to be stuck here forever. Yeah. He even tried to make friends with a crab. Crabby didn’t like him. Got his finger bitten. The badge falls into his hand and with sundown, Nio announces him as the winner. So with everybody converging at the loser area, they can’t believe Mizorogi is the winner. But is he a participant in the first place? Nio shows the badge behind his collar. It’s legal. As for his wish, he wants everyone in Black Class to graduate. Some call it boring, some call it unambitious but if you think about how the TV series went, that wish is not going to come true, right? Only Haru is touched. But with another round of food supplies arriving, time to fill up those bellies. Haru had fun and hopes the entire class can go on another field trip. You wish…

Short-lived Paradise…
Seeing that this is a single OVA and assuming that is a standalone from the TV series, I guess it is fun and enjoyable by itself. Because if you try to connect this OVA with the events of the TV series, it just doesn’t feel that it would connect. Because even if it would, you know the tragedy that turned out in the end, right? Mizorogi’s wish will definitely not come true. The only thing good of this OVA (no, not the fanservice) in terms of the series’ genre and plot is that you get to see all the girls trying to take out Haru. Therefore the action (if you can call it here) is fast paced in that sense. Unlike the TV series in which on average a girl per episode tries to take out Haru. However the downside to this beach episode is that it feels like everyone is just playing a game and not serious. Considering that they are preparing to take Haru’s life and what we see here they are engaging in battles that seem more playful and not serious than anything even though it is mentioned that this is just a game and their aim is not Haru’s life. Quite the irony to have fun before the real assassination starts, eh?

And I suppose that they give Shiena a little bit of justice here since she got a little bit more of action screen time and didn’t even go out at the end of regulation time. With things going at a fast pace, the limited screen time is shared across all characters so don’t expect to see any deep characterization for anyone. Except maybe for Chitaru and Kirigaya. Those 2 I figure are the ones enjoying the trip the most as they are in a world of their own, enjoying each other’s company (and the food) without giving a damn about what else is going on around them. And yeah, I can’t help mention about the food too. Quite mouth watering if you are hungry while watching this (won’t the girls get fat from eating so much?). Uh huh. You want to eat them much more than ‘eating’ the girls. Glorious meat! No, not that kind of ‘meat’, mind you! Yeah. Having a great feast with a group of sexy deadly assassins? It feels like having your last meal before your death sentence, no?

Ao Haru Ride

March 22, 2015

Oh. Another Kimi No Todoke setting? At first it looks quite like it but unlike having a popular boy liking an unpopular girl, Ao Haru Ride is somewhat about ‘ex-lovers’ separated via circumstances being reunited again a few years later. And if you think that romance is going to blossom once more after that lapse, well, not quite. As you can see, they have changed. Different than they were back then. And of course, one of them has changed so much that literally he is like a different person wearing the skin of that old person she once knew. What happened? With old feelings of love possibly lingering, will their love, a love that couldn’t even begin then, continue and blossom where it left off?

Episode 0
This OVA actually comes out somewhere 2/3 while the series was running and chronicles how our main protagonists met. Futaba Yoshioka hates boys. But there is one exception: Kou Tanaka. He just seems different from the rest. He isn’t the tallest, voice a bit high like a girl. Maybe that’s why. One day, Futaba and her friends joined in with some guys to play cops and robbers. Futaba and Kou are both on the robber team and they coincidentally hide in the same place. Futaba for the first time notices his back up close. Nice smell of shampoo? In order to ‘save’ Futaba, Kou gives himself away and gets caught. She feels the need to go save him and rushes out to tag him sitting in his ‘prison’. Unfortunately she got caught too. So as they’re sitting pretty nicely in their ‘prison’, Kou tells her he felt happy when she came to rescue him. It made her day. In school, Futaba continues to observe how different Kou is with other guys. On her way back, it suddenly rains so she takes shelter in a shrine. Kou happened to be waiting there too. She felt lame trying to strike up a conversation with him and thoughts that she might be in love with him start filling her head. When she asks if he is going to the festival, he gives his gym shirt for her to dry herself. He starts laughing when she realized it is a used one. Next day when Futaba hands back his clean gym shirt, he asks her if she wants to go to the festival. He looks embarrassed as he sets a meeting time and place. A guy notices and thinks they are close to each other so he bugs Futaba about it. This causes her to blow her top and say that guys are so annoying and that is why she hates them. At that time, Kou just exited his classroom. Could he have heard it? Futaba makes a big assumption that Kou should know he is an exception. Yeah. Like guys would know what girls think. Come the night of the festival, Futaba gets into her best dress and waits at the park. Kou never showed up no matter how long she waited. Could it mean he really hates her? Her summer vacation continues with nothing much ado. When the next term starts, Futaba heard several guys discussing how Kou transferred away during the holidays. He never said anything and they were surprised when they got to know about it. They don’t even know how to contact him. And for the rest of her middle school days, Kou ‘vanished’ from her life. Waiting at the same spot at the shrine after another rainy day, she remains hopeful he would turn up here. Didn’t. She promises to say something witty next time. When is that? She starts crying thinking she wants to see him badly right now. Because she really likes him.

Episode 1
Flashback scene of that rainy day stop at the shrine. Then the invite to the festival, Futaba’s outburst she hates guys, the wait that Kou never showed up and the sudden discovery that he transferred out. 3 years have passed since and every now and then, she still thinks about him. As a first year high school student, Futaba is friends with Asumi and Chie. Her friends don’t like in particular Yuuri Makita because they think she is using her cuteness to get on the boys’ books. Yuuri is always alone and isolated. Futaba hated being alone during her middle school years and that’s why ever since that day she tried to bring her feminine appeal down. Yeah. She eats like a horse. Do guys dislike girls who eat so uncouth? Futaba may be seeing shades of Kou because Tanaka sensei looks like him. Then she notices another guy looking exactly like Kou. She tails him and before she could call out to him, his friends call him Mabuchi. Wrong person? Coincidentally they walk the same way home and it feels like she is stalking him or something. She notices him walking into the shrine and sitting at that same spot. Kou, is that you? No. Mabuchi. Sorry, wrong guy. As she is about to leave, he mentions about that day when it was raining. Wait a minute. So it is him! Kou is amazed that she never noticed him for the first 2 semesters and took her this long. He keeps reminding her he is no longer Tanaka but Mabuchi because his parents got divorced and he changed his name. He knows she hates boys and from the looks like it she still does. She mentions he is different and she always wanted him to know that. Kou tells her a surprise. He liked her too. However they are different now. They can’t go back to the past. She starts crying as he leaves. Despite the cruelty of his words, she felt there was some loneliness in it. One day at the school canteen as she buys her bread, she didn’t need a plastic bag after her purchase. However another lady thought she was leaving without paying and holds her back, causing a scene. Futaba insists she already did but the lady doesn’t believe. Till Kou tells her to ask the other lady who received her payment. She confirms it and she lets Futaba go. Because she was being rude, Kou tells her to apologize and she reluctantly does so (like she doesn’t mean it anyway). Futaba thanks him and it made her feel satisfied. Kou starts being sarcastic. Is that what it takes to make her satisfied? She’s cheap. Just like her relationship with her so called friends. Just cheap. All they’re doing is just playing friendship (they didn’t help her during that ordeal and even suspected her). And he reminds her he is Mabuchi, not Tanaka. That guy from the past is gone forever.

Episode 2
Flashback of that cops and robbers game they played. Futaba’s friends still continue to badmouth Yuuri. The teacher calls Futaba to take some printouts from the teacher’s room. Along the way she notices Yuuri and talks to her. She gives Futaba an animal strap plushie. Futaba notices her hands are cold and in return for that gives her some hand warmers. Futaba notices Tanaka sensei lecturing Kou on bucking up. She leaves the teacher’s room having trouble with the loads she is carrying. Is Kou going to help? Not really. Well, she did say she can handle it, right? Tanaka sensei apologizes for Kou’s behaviour and hopes she could continue being friendly with him. Futaba returns to class and her friends notice the strap. They continue to talk bad about Yuuri so this pisses off Futaba. She tells them they too want boys to think they are cute and talking bad behind a person’s back is just bad. It makes them look like they’re jealous. Does it make them feel better when you talk somebody down? Futaba realized too late when she fired that salvo. Yuuri is kinder. She thinks they care about her because if they don’t, they won’t even care what she does, right? Asumi and Chie believe this is what Futaba thinks about them and so it’s the end of their friendship. All her hard work. Gone. Yuuri is happy she stood up for her but Futaba disagrees. She was only doing it for herself and she shouldn’t be dragged into this. Futaba goes off alone to be in despair. Kou happened to see her and asks about her friends. She blames herself she got lost in pursuing her goals that she didn’t see what was important. She feels pathetic for keep making mistakes and apologizes for lashing out at him earlier on. She couldn’t stop her tears from flowing and lots of people are coming her way. She can’t let them see her embarrassed state but there is nowhere to hide. Kou hides her head in his shoulders. Everyone thinks they’re brazenly flirting in daylight. Futaba doesn’t know if he is being nice or mean. He just did what he had to do. He continues reminding her that he is Mabuchi and not Tanaka. The reason she continues to call him so is because if she calls him by his new name, she feels the old Kou she knows will disappear completely. How? She calls him by his first name. Futaba apologizes to Asumi and Chie. Although they respect what she feels, they think they don’t fit. I guess that’s the end of it. Futaba feels sad that certain things in life just cannot be compromised as her teacher once said. But this is a good lesson and she is going to be stronger and move forward. At least she and Yuuri are now friends. Futaba has this strong desire to see Kou and goes to look for him. Imagine her happiness and her face lighting up the moment she sees him.

Episode 3
So she just wants to see him to tell him she’s going to start everything from scratch. Good for you. Tanaka sensei drops by hoping to come cook and stay with Kou. Futaba gets the wrong idea they are gay. Actually they are brothers. I mean, any normal person could have guessed from their similar looks and surname. Tanaka sensei asks if they are dating but Kou denies although Futaba mentions he did say he was in love with her. That was just a lie he made up when he got caught up in the moment. When Tanaka sensei learns of her name, Kou screams he is making a pass at a student. So while he corrects the misunderstanding, Kou takes Futaba and run. Tanaka sensei remembers that name because he once saw Kou wrote it in his book and he was very shy about it. Later, Futaba won’t let go of Kou fearing he would disappear again suddenly. He asks about her wait at the park that day. She did. And a long time she waited. He wanted to meet her but trouble was brewing at home and things got complicated so he couldn’t make it. After they part, Futaba feels happy that Kou talked about himself. She thought he would join his brother for dinner but he lies and hangs out by himself. As Futaba starts the new grade, she finds herself in the same class with Yuuri. Kou too! Futaba realizes the girls still have a bad impression on Yuuri so she goes to talk with her to prevent her from getting excluded. But now they remember Futaba as having a big fallout with her friends and could be the one getting excluded. Also in their class is Shuuko Murao who seems the unsociable lone wolf type and the Aya Kominato who is a complete opposite and trying to engage with her but she always ignores him. During recess, she feels helpless that her first day to start from scratch didn’t go too well. Kou gives some pretty good advice that nobody will be bothered if she gets crushed that easily. Also if she doesn’t give up, it won’t bother anyone. It made her realize that nothing started because she didn’t start anything yet. In class when nobody volunteers to be the class rep, Futaba makes the first bold move to be the female representative. This is followed by Kou as the male rep (because he wants to go home faster). As for even representative, Futaba is happy Yuuri volunteers. The biggest surprise is when Murao raises her hand next. It goes without saying that with her in, Kominato gladly becomes the final volunteer. The quintet are surprised that they have to attend an overnight workshop by Tanaka sensei.

Episode 4
Futaba goes to Kou’s house to pick him up but flusters to see him topless. No, he is not going to rape her! He was going to take a shower. Not only they have to run back from the train station because Futaba forgot to bring her back, they board the wrong train. It’s an express train… When they finally get to the camp, they really got a good scolding from the teacher. During lunch, there are bad vibes in the group. Murao dislikes the way Kou worries Tanaka sensei and like as though he doesn’t care. He doesn’t like how she is uncooperative. Kominato doesn’t like how Kou talks to Murao with that tone. Yuuri holds a grudge on Kominato for taking her cupcake. Just getting bad… Nobody cooperates in answering questions together and when they’re to present it, Kou takes Futaba’s notes to read it aloud. Since it’s so simple, he improvises his own which is quite impressive. Tanaka sensei wants him to explain further so he expands on Futaba’s little idea and makes it better. Futaba feels lousy she can’t compose anything like that and it’s frustrating. Kou on the other hand doesn’t care and probably that’s why it looks easy. Their face accidentally got close enough to kiss. She pats his head on impulse and he asks if she likes him. She is unsure because the Kou she knows then was different. Kou takes back what he said and was just checking. She is curious if he is the same person then so he tells her to stop looking for the old Kou. It’s annoying clinging on to the past. This makes her mad and she’s certain she doesn’t love who he is now. While cleaning, Yuuri spots Murao trying to advance her relationship with Tanaka sensei but he is sensible enough that they should maintain a teacher-student relationship. Murao walks away and she might be feeling disgusted when she realizes Yuuri was eavesdropping. Futaba sees Kou and a girl. Looks like a confession scene! Probably she got too caught up in it that she thought she was hiding behind bushes but actually a couple of guys. Green jerseys… They think she is trying to confess to them! Oh hell. Suddenly Kou tells them that she is his girlfriend and takes her away. Futaba doesn’t know how to explain herself as Kou holds her hand all the way. Wouldn’t his girlfriend be trouble seeing this? He assures he is not dating anybody. This brings much relief to her although she isn’t sure she likes this new Kou yet.

Episode 5
Teams are doing some outdoor treasure hunt thingy as part of the team building effort. Kou and Murao could guess the ingredients of some weird drink at a checkpoint and this gives a huge morale boost that they can win this thing. Because they have been running here and there without properly referring to the map, they got lost in the wilderness. As the sounds of the river can be heard nearby, Kou suggests following it till they reach out since this forest area isn’t that big. As they cross a river, Futaba got a little careless and slipped but Kou caught her. Yuuri was too scared to cross and he helps her out too. Kou even knows Futaba’s foot hurts despite she is trying to act tough. He forces her to let her carry him or else she will slow the group down and they won’t get out by the time it gets dark. Futaba could feel the warmth of his back. That’s because she’s this close, right? Finally they reach the main road and Tanaka sensei and the other teachers pick them up. Back in their room, Futaba and Yuuri vow never to leave each other (but nothing far to suggest something yuri). Futaba sees Kou staring at the night sky and they talk about things. As she can’t tell if he is nice or not, he too can’t tell if she is competent or not. Then they call the rest of their friends to watch the sunrise. At the end of the workshop and they head home, Futaba could tell that this Kou has changed. He is taller and sounds different. Well, duh. Deep down she can see he is a nice person. Now she knows him and what is causing her heart to pound. There is something that will make it pound even more. Shortly after Kou leaves, Futaba gets a message from Yuuri. She thinks she has fallen for Kou! Dokidoki…

Episode 6
So it’s really awkward talking to Yuuri. And when Yuuri asks if Futaba likes Kou, her reflex makes her blurt out she doesn’t. See that relieved looks on her face? You’re digging a deeper hole… Futaba tries to reason all she needs to do is not fall in love with Kou. Good luck in trying. Murao even finds out about it as Yuuri tries to find out more about Kou via Futaba. They went to the same school before, right? Futaba explains the one she knew previously was much better. She didn’t realize Kou was behind her as she badmouths the current him and gets her head squeezed! Probably Kominato tries to act cool before Murao by telling off Kou not to do that but she doesn’t really care. Heart break… Yuuri continues to be at awe in everything Kou does and wants Futaba to tell her more about him. Yuuri reveals she started liking him when he helped her at the river. That moment made her heart pound but at the same time she felt at ease. Kou and Futaba are forced to stay back to write reports. But Futaba kept thinking too much and staring at him… Kominato earlier played a prank on him and put some note behind his shirt so he has Futaba help remove it. She notices how cute his nape? And he tells her not to smell it! He knows she is a serial sniffer and names all the moments she does so. Even the one way back during the cops and robbers. Busted! Futaba feels flustered. But she is in a dilemma too. Each time Kou makes her heart beat, Yuuri’s face comes to her mind. This is bad, right? She does more thinking. Spending more time with him will only make it worse. Then here he is, waiting for her to walk home together. Yeah. She even knows stuffs like these could make her fall in love. More ‘thinking’ from her. What should she do if she falls in love with the same person that her best friend did? She wouldn’t fall in love with Kou then. Tired of all this, she hopes somebody would decide for her. Aha. As Kou boards the train, Futaba says she forgot something at school. So if he stays, she’ll forget about him. If he gets off, she’ll love him. WTF?! What kind of game is this? I guess she is that desperate. So as she is praying, you can hear her wish how much she wants him to get off. The train’s gone. And there Kou is right before her. I guess it’s decided. Futaba you liar. She wanted this all along, right? And Kou thought she was screwing with him when she changes her mind about that forgotten thing. So fickle…

Episode 7
So they’re just sitting at the train station. Futaba is conscious enough to realize what an indirect kiss is when Kou shares his bottled water but I think he knows it so he drinks without his lips touching and almost chokes. When their face got close, he could smell she might be wearing a different perfume. She didn’t retort and just stares at him. After they part, Futaba believes in telling Yuuri the truth and decides to come clean with her. So she goes to buy shampoo and soap. Oh Futaba you joker! Outside the convenience store she meets her old middle school friend, Yumi. She was her precious friend then who was in love with a guy named Naito. It was the reason why Futaba joined that cops and robbers game then. When guys started comparing Futaba is a better girl than the rest, the others got jealous and avoided her. Only Yumi was there to be by her side. Then one day Yumi stopped talking to her completely and she lost the last person who took her side. Now she feels awkward to see her even though Yumi apologizes. That time she heard rumours that Futaba liked Naito and went to confirm. She was Futaba looking longingly at him. She became mad. Futaba clears the misunderstanding she never liked Naito. Because Naito was Kou’s close friend, she thought of asking him what happened to Kou when he transferred away suddenly. Yumi probably got the wrong idea then. This caused Yumi ending up hating her and she worried Yuuri would do the same. She resolves to tell her but I guess she didn’t have the guts because many days passed and she still couldn’t. Futaba sees how happy Yuuri is when Kou lends his CD. And when Kou talks to Futaba about her report containing mistakes, she notices Yuuri stealing glances at them. Futaba is acting weird that it is so obvious and Yuuri starts thinking if she has done something to offend her. As Futaba ponders alone she wants to love Kou too, here comes that guy hiding close to her because Tanaka sensei is bugging him to join him for dinner. He notices she changed her shampoo. Her reply: Because she wants to be attractive to him. Is she joking? That look? Joking? Not that it makes him react anything. As Futaba thinks more about Yuuri, the good person she is and the times spent together, she feels it is all the more reason to tell her. Then she can decide to put distance between us or not. When Yuuri invites her to go to the doughnuts shop today, Futaba thinks she might lose a friend today.

Episode 8
Asumi sees Futaba still hanging out with Yuuri and notes she has changed. Futaba takes it as a compliment and is glad to have done so. Back then she was desperate to be liked and never said how she really felt. Yuuri isn’t just a friend in name. She is a real friend. Murao is also invited to the doughnut shop. Futaba feels scared of telling but eventually sums up her courage to say she likes Kou, the very same person Yuuri likes. Surprisingly Yuuri is cool and is impressed Kou is this hot that another girl likes her. Murao’s comment: They’re blind. Yuuri understands and they agree whoever succeeds in stealing his heart, no hard feelings on either side. When she excuses herself to the toilet, she starts crying and feels Futaba must have a hard time trying to find the courage to tell her. Futaba also could tell she was crying. Suddenly out of the blue, Murao reveals she likes Tanaka sensei! Only Futaba is shocked. Murao thought Yuuri was going to tell on her after that but since she kept it a secret, she’s a good person. Murao comments that Kou may reject both of them but in the event if he chooses, she will continue to remain neutral. She also admits this is her first time hanging out with friends in high school. Kominato spots her from outside. Later Futaba sees Kou hanging out alone. He seems like he doesn’t care. On her impulse she tails him (stalker?) to a place where lots of teens hang out. Some of them know him. Not liking this, she confronts him about it and his friends take a good look at her. Their comments about her make Kou sick and he leaves. Futaba continues to follow him. It just irritates him. Stopping by at the river bank, Kou tells her he just hangs out to talk and doesn’t do bad things. Well, if he needs somebody to talk to, she hints she could be that person. He comments she takes men too lightly and could be easily assaulted. Her guard is way too down. He then goes over her and is going to kiss her. She didn’t resist. He flicks her forehead. The reason she didn’t was because he was around. If she doesn’t like such scary memories, she shouldn’t go to such places alone. She starts crying as she realizes Kou purposely brought her there to make her understand. But another reason is because she felt embarrassed over how excited she got when she thought Kou wanted to kiss her.

Episode 9
Murao tells Futaba and Yuuri that she saw Tanaka sensei talking to Kou about his grades lower than average. Kou didn’t give a damn and even points out he’ll quit school come to worse. Murao is mad that Kou made Tanaka sensei have that worried face. The girls notice Futaba put on a little makeup. I think the reason is obvious. Even the guys notice and Kominato cheekily points out it could mean love, right? I mean, she hasn’t been wearing those so why now? Love. Kou as usual doesn’t give a damn but he surprises when he rubs off her lower lips with his thumb and notes makeup doesn’t suit her. Kou meets a couple of former classmates who start mocking about doing so bad in tests unlike them who are now in advanced classes. Kominato threatens to get rough with them if they don’t stop. He doesn’t like it when others badmouth about his friends. Yuuri talks to Tanaka sensei about Kou’s bad grades. He is happy he has got friends who worry about him now because back then he used to rely on him a lot. The girls approach Kominato to make sure he is free this weekend to come with them. No, this isn’t turning into his harem route. Because on that morning, they make a sudden call to Kou that they’re coming to study at his place. Kou at first thought it was a dream. Then he realizes he didn’t lock the door. They’re here. Too bad Kou isn’t interested in joining their study group and continues sleeping. I suppose the rest are too ‘noisy’ in their study so he eventually drags himself out of bed and studies with them. Futaba flusters when suave Kou wants her to teach him science since she says she is good at it. But Yuuri interrupts them so that she could ask Kou to bring glasses for drinks. She is thinking about asking him if he likes Futaba but fears that she would not know what to do if he says he does. Futaba goes to check on them since they’re taking too long. She can tell something is wrong with Yuuri acting strange. Kou of course is in his usual I-don’t-care mode. Even if they say nothing happened, Futaba knows damn right that something is definitely wrong.

Episode 10
Futaba continues to be suspicious with Yuuri’s actions. She’s averting her eyes each time they meet. When Kou becomes disinterested in continuing to study, Yuuri becomes vocal to give him the encouragement to continue. She would like everyone to be together and enter their final year together. On the way back, Futaba tries to ask Yuuri again but she doesn’t really answer and says it is nothing. Because Futaba is still anxious, she returns to Kou’s place to ask him. Also the same reaction as Yuuri and that never mind answer. She can tell he is trying to change the subject and since she is being persistent about why he has changed so much, Kou brings her to a room. It has an altar of his mother. Oh dear. It is not like he wanted to hide it. He wasn’t sure of how to talk about it and he knew she would make that expression. The same expression Yuuri did. Futaba realizes about Yuuri’s hesitant and feels ashamed about herself worrying about their relationship. She starts crying as Kou wipes her tears and cheeks. Tanaka sensei drops by for a surprise visit to see this. Before he gets the wrong idea about this, Kou tells him about their mom. Kou goes off for his part time job so Tanaka sensei drives her back. He explains that when their parents divorced, Kou went to live with his mom and he felt he entrusted Kou with the toughest task of taking care of her. When he just started to become a teacher, mom got sick and hospitalized. He was scared each time he visited her in hospital. But imagine what Kou had to feel every day all by himself. Deep down he is a good and kind kid. Futaba continues to feel bad. She never knew a thing. It is what made him who he is today. Next day at school, Futaba apologizes to Yuuri for suspecting her. Yuuri also apologizes. She didn’t say because she was jealous of how close they are and wanted to become a bit more special. Oh why do they have to fall for the same person? Because they too like each other. And now it’s time to break down after holding it for so long. Girl hug! With lots of love! They return to class to see Kominato trying to hand his organized maths lessons for Kou who seems unappreciative but takes it anyway. Futaba concludes that no matter how cold he acts, at the end of the day he is always kind.

Episode 11
Flashback shows the doctor told Kou that his mother has lung cancer and some back condition. She is already terminal and has not long to live. Although Kou acted normal, mom already knows her condition and calls her other son. Kou reflects he always spent his time studying because he wanted to make things easier for mom. Good grades means good college means good job means good money. He was so engrossed in this that he lost sight of his original goal. He never realized why mom wanted to spend more time with him and now he knows. When big brother leaves a message on his phone back home, explaining that mom already told him, Kou uncontrollably breaks down. So Kou once again is in another study group with his friends. He makes an excuse to go to the toilet but since he is taking so long, they realized they have been tricked. He’s gone. Futaba is so desperate to go get him that she bumps into a guy and accidentally has her hand on his crotch!!! So unfortunate. Kominato and Murao who are unaware of Kou’s past, doesn’t understand him. Nevertheless they still like him. Futaba goes to Kou’s house but only Tanaka sensei is there. She complains that ‘Kou isn’t opening the door to them’. At least the door she wants open isn’t. He hints maybe he forgot to make a doorknob or a keyhole. What should she do? She’ll break her way in! He opened her heart and now it’s her turn to return the favour. She finds Kou hanging out with those teens again and comes running to bring him away. Another round of talk. He thinks there is no point in doing things anymore. He has done everything wrong, he can’t start again. She might not understand the things he went through. Especially every day sitting with mom and watching her grow weaker by the day. She can’t take this anymore and pushes him down. She tells him off that the fact he is scared shows he cares about everyone. If what he lost is too big to be replaced with something else, start small. Replace it with 10 or 100 small things or something. It will be enough reason for him to keep going. Nobody is going to criticize or laugh at him because if there are, she’ll beat them up! Tough words. But really? And when she starts crying he starts to realize what she said is true. He wanted to find meaning to his everyday life. Now moved to tears, perhaps he was waiting for something like this to happen.

Episode 12
They’re still hugging… Well, Kou wants to stay like this a little longer. Or maybe he doesn’t want to see her crying. So after they separate themselves, Futaba could see the fresh sparkle in his eyes and face. The kind of face that he would only show to her. It feels like the perfect time to confess but I guess she took too long. Uh huh. Her stomach growled. What? She feels bad for Yuuri now? Anyway she tells him that Tanaka sensei is home probably waiting for him. She also tells him how Tanaka sensei thinks Kou hates him for not being there when he needed the most. I suppose living faraway is a valid reason? Kou goes home and the usual gloomy mood between the brothers. Tanaka sensei thought dad came home and wanted to get some dinner but is surprised that Kou is joining in! Even dad seems surprised. Tanaka becomes a total emo crying like a kid because he really wanted a day like this to come. Kou on the other hand isn’t sure if it was okay for him to come back and do the things mom couldn’t do. Dad clarifies mom isn’t such a petty person. Kou mentions he would want to wait a little while before he changes his surname back. Dad agrees since he should sort out his feelings first. Even if they have different surnames, they are still family. That is what counts, right? Next day in class, Futaba and Kou fluster upon seeing each other. Futaba finds his reaction cute. He can even do such a face? Oh sh*t. She can’t stop grinning. Kominato comes to accuse Kou of walking out on everyone but the latter surprises everyone that he is willing to take the study session again today to show his sincerity. At the end of the exams… The irony of Kou outdoing better than everyone who coached him. A short awkward moment between Futaba and that library guy when their eyes meet. He’s still embarrassed. She’s still embarrassed. Really a forgettable moment… On the last day of school before summer vacation starts, the girls notice Kou has already left. That guy is quick. Murao leaves it to the duo to go after him. I guess that’s the fun part because they’re quite keen on it. Oh yeah. They even renew their rivalry to get serious with him. With a smile. Only in anime… Tanaka sensei is happy Murao has fit in and found her place of belonging. She tells him her feelings have not changed. He makes her blush when he says he doesn’t consider her an annoyance. Kominato warns Tanaka sensei that if he ever hurt her in the end, he’ll make him pay. His best counter reply: So it is okay if it ends in a way that doesn’t hurt her? You can’t best this teacher. The friends meet up and begin their summer time together. Futaba notes it’s too soon to look back at old memories. Because they’re going to make new ones together.

Episode 13 (OVA)
Everyone meets up for the fireworks festival tonight. Although the girls agreed not to wear yukata, only Yuuri don it. Technically, she didn’t say she wouldn’t. Of course this is part of her scheme to make her advancement on Kou. For most of the part before the fireworks, we see Yuuri ‘hijacking’ Kou and spending lots of time with him. As they wait for the fireworks to start, it’s that guy from the library before them. He and Futaba are blushing and he needs to tell her something in private. They’re apologizing and wanting to forget that incident. But Kou misinterpret this entire thing and is about to get rough with him till he learns the truth. He felt embarrassed and apologizes on Futaba’s behalf. When Kou goes to buy food, Yuuri accompanies him. Yuuri’s foot hurts from the sandal so he puts a band aid on it. From her observations of Kou, she can tell he likes Futaba. Because she dressed up so nicely in her yukata and even did her hair. Futaba didn’t do anything special and yet after putting in so much effort, it feels no use at all. If she doesn’t say anything now, she’ll get jealous of her one day and become an annoying person. So before that happens, Yuuri sums up her courage to confess she likes him. However he apologizes that he doesn’t see her in the same way. She knows. Although she might look like she is cool with it, she promises when she gets home, she will cry her heart out. Besides, Futaba was calling her name nonstop when she learnt Yuuri was injured and came looking for her. After that, nothing else mattered anymore.

Futaba observes that after that, Yuuri no longer stayed next to Kou anymore and wonders if something might have happened. Could have she said it? If it was her, would she be able to pull it off? She is thinking so deep about this that she almost got hit by a train! Thank Kou for being there for her. Then there is a poster advertising for a festival. A festival that they never got to go. Kou suggests going together and it will be just them. Futaba is so happy and flustering, I don’t know why she is messing with her own hair. She’s got this feeling like she wants to scream out with happiness. She asks if she should come in a yukata. Kou disagrees because she would look like a sumo wrestler. And her punch feels like one. With Kou laughing differently, seeing that expression doesn’t make her mad anymore. She also laughs. Oh, she should also wear a yukata. When they are to part, Futaba says she doesn’t want to go home yet. She wonders if she said something extreme so he warns her about being vulnerable to other guys. They hug each other and close to kissing each other but their senses had to come back. Bummer. After Kou walks her home, Futaba is so happy that she has gotten close to him. She can’t wait for the festival. But come that day, Kou apologizes he had something and cannot come. Just sad… To treat the sad girls Futaba and Yuuri, Murao treats them to doughnuts. And a pat to the head. That felt better, no?

Riding The Blues…
Well, I couldn’t be much happier that the series had already ended although their friendship and relationship is just the beginning. I know this is a drama romance genre and should expect this kind of drama. But I couldn’t help feel it is somewhat boring as it edges closer to the finishing. The big thing that led me to say that is because this entire series is just a big puzzle and mystery to figure out why Kou has changed. Why is his personality so different? Something must have happened along the way to make a person change so much that he is barely recognizable. The trying romance of Futaba feels just like a big distraction to lead up to this. He is a good kid. He is nice and kind, he helps others. But he could work on his facial muscle and at least put some smile in it because to others it might seem like he is doing us a favour. I’m not saying this is a bad romance series but at times I can’t help feel it is draggy and there are many moments when I just couldn’t keep my concentration and found myself getting distracted with other things outside the monitor. And that is not a good sign. Because you know, Futaba is just scratching her head trying to understand Kou. See? Didn’t I tell you this show is a big puzzle box?

The quote of “Sometimes people put up walls not to keep others out, but to see who cares enough to break them down”, is a very suitable passage that exactly describes Kou’s predicament and overall character. Because nobody bothered or cared with him anyway or anyhow except for Futaba. I suppose as a kid when you have to deal with your parents’ bitter divorce as well knowing someone close to you and you love the most is dying, it is truly such a traumatic and terrifying experience. For Kou, I believe the only way he could handle this was to bottle up his feelings. It was his only way to keep his sanity. Because it would seem just odd (and to some very wrong) if he is to act all bubbly and cheery after his mom’s demise. He was practically all alone and he isolated himself, blaming himself for what had happened. He has been stuck in the darkness for so long that he may have lost his touch in humanity until Futaba pops up in his life again. So in a way you can say she is his blessing in disguise especially with her persevering character not to give up on him.

As for Futaba, I don’t think she really hates boys in the first place. It was just a convenient excuse to rationalize about Kou and the reason he suddenly left her life without any explanation. When he was gone, she wasn’t trying to be herself. She puts up some mask and keeps thinking this is normal or what she wants. And then Kou comes back into her life. What now? Be yourself. I think guys are much more attracted to girls who are themselves instead of being somebody who they aren’t. Overall, she is just like any other normal ordinary teenage girl who wants to fall in love with the guy she loves. As the ‘liveliest’ character in the series, in a way she is fun to watch whenever she makes those surprising unbelievable reactions thanks to her naivety and the likes. Sometimes it makes her a funny girl and probably the one responsible for the funny parts for most of the series. But as the series gets closer to the ending, it turns into some emotional baggage especially after Kou’s secret has been revealed. Lots of emotional outbursts (from Futaba’s side, that is – because I believe I have never seen Kou raising his voice except for that scream in the flashback) and tears will be flowing and if you’re prone to that, get ready with a box of tissues.

Because the drama revolves mainly around Kou and Futaba, the other characters feel somewhat insufficient. The other trio in the group feels like they are there so as to tell us the duo are not alone and pretty much have their own friends. Yuuri was there just to add a little spice and tension to the love triangle which somewhat feels better than Murao and Kominato’s role. As far as I can see, this series (at least for this season concerned) can be done without the latter duo and like I said, it feels like to show us that Kou and Futaba are not alone. Tanaka sensei is a good and patient guy. He understands what Kou is going through and doesn’t want to push or force it. He can’t do anything. Doesn’t know what to do. The only thing he can do is to be there and support him. On a trivial note, I have a feeling that the library guy whom Futaba bumped into, you’re not going to see the last of him. I don’t know. Something in me tells me that he doesn’t look like your ordinary extra background characters (he is a bit good looking too) and I believe this unfortunate accident wasn’t just for comical purpose. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. Just like the love triangle between Kou, Futaba and Yuuri, this guy may turn it into a love polygon. So I’m not writing him off yet. If there is another season, that is.

This brings us to the romance department and as we can already see, this season is heavily leaning towards Kou x Futaba as there are a number of scenes featuring them close to each other. I believe their love since middle school has never died out. It was just lying there dormant waiting for that spark to reignite again. Of course with Kou like a puzzle box, the reason why Futaba was a little hesitant. And then Yuuri added into and compounded the problem. Will they still be friends even if Kou chooses one of them? It only remains to be seen. Although the OVA seems to have made it clear Kou’s choice, but something tells me that Yuuri may not be giving up from a long shot. You can’t just give up like that, can’t she? Because she might become an annoying woman sooner than you think. I think Kou also had kept Futaba deep within her heart. Because at times you noticed that he can tell of her habits and remember the old things that they’ve done together. You only keep such special memories with the person you like, right? So I won’t be surprised if their love romance will come into full bloom one day.

Therefore the other relationships just feel like a distraction and in a way if you don’t think about it, they do not matter. Because like I said, the secondary characters don’t make too much impact except to give us an idea of the basic premise and setting. For example, Murao and Tanaka sensei’s relationship. It is not uncommon for high school girls to fall for their gorgeous young male teacher. Even if they don’t throw in this mix, I am pretty much sure this season can still get by. Because Tanaka sensei is such a good and clean guy, he might not even get married and stay single for the rest of his life! Haha! But seriously. Such a hot guy his age and no other women interested in him? We don’t know what goes behind him after school. You’ll never know… Then there is the case of unrequited love of Kominato for Murao. It is greatly hinted that he likes her although she seems to ignore him for most of the time. Again, this can be done away with for this season and it’s like you don’t need to worry if they are going anywhere. Just in the friend zone. And there is this hint that the guy and the library with Futaba too. But that could be just one big troll.

One reason why I thought this was like Kimi Ni Todoke despite the different plot and story is the art and drawing. Not that I am saying that it looks pretty similar but the art style for both these series is simple and plain. In fact, both series are animated by the same studio, Production I.G. who is well known for their works in series like Ghost In The Shell, Prince Of Tennis, Shingeki No Kyojin, Guilty Crown and the Break Blade movies. I suppose with only the drama romance genre, you don’t need to put in a lot of effects like those aforementioned shows. That is why in a way the simple art style manages to impress and at the same time still make the characters look pretty decent although the colouring and hues may be a little bit dull and plain. Probably to add to that dramatic effect instead of vibrant colourful colours which would make viewers think this is some romcom anime.

Voice acting also feels decent since this is after all a romance drama. But the most striking one is Yuuki Kaji as Kou. Because after hearing him voice a myriad of ‘lively’ characters, the kind that makes him scream from the top of his voice or at least have this cheeky and mischievous feel to it (Eren in Shingeki No Kyojin, Shuu in Guilty Crown, Rentarou in Black Bullet, Hideyoshi in Nobunaga The Fool, Issei in High School DxD, Shuu in Nisekoi, Haruyuki in Accel World – the freaking list goes on. Need I name them all?), suddenly he voices one that is so unenergetic, lethargic and ‘dead’. You might start to wonder if it is really him. Sure, he has voiced roles that don’t require him to break into his trademark holler but I think this is the first time that I have heard him voicing such a ‘soft spoken’ character so much so it just doesn’t feel like him. But believe it or not, it is him.

The rest of the casts include Maaya Uchida as Futaba (Mao in GJ-Bu), Ai Kayano as Yuuri (Inori in Guilty Crown), Daisuke Hirakawa as Tanaka sensei (Makoto in School Days), Kenn as Kominato (Jinbei in Mushibugyou) and Mikako Komatsu as Murao (Marika in Mouretsu Space Pirates). Veterans, Marina Inoue and Ryoko Shiraishi lend their voice as Asumi and Chie respectively but since their appearance are limited, I didn’t recognize them. The opening theme is Sekai Wa Koi Ni Ochiteiru by Chico with Honeyworks. Sounds like a pretty generic and lively anime pop for this kind of romance drama genre. The ending theme is Blue by Fujifabric which is a slow ballad.

Despite the slow pace of the romance and character development of this series, this anime isn’t entirely so bad because if there is another season, I would still want to catch it. Although I would be setting my expectations and hopes lower ;p. Those who are into drama romance but without any complicated plots should check out this series. There is some realism that we can relate too in real life and in those emotions. Because like in Kou’s case, do you have time and room for love after experiencing something like that? As long as you don’t give up, there will always be hope. That’s what they’re trying to say. And of course the right person too. So just like life, love isn’t about the destination but the journey too. Yes. Love makes life a beautiful ride through all seasons.

Isshuukan Friends

March 21, 2015

Ever had that feeling that you want to make friends but that person just cannot remember you? Feel annoyed that you have been in the same class or department for donkey years and that person cannot even remember your name or who you are? Well, that’s life. Things like that happen. Blame it on the human’s brain. Memories. Such mysterious and enigmatic subject. What are they? Aren’t they just chemicals in our brain? Anyway I am here not to get too technical on that. So the reason why a person doesn’t remember you is because basically he/she forgot about you. Duh. What a no brainer. Okay, for the case in Isshuukan Friends, our protagonist would love to make friends with this fellow girl classmate. Thing is, she can’t remember who he is. It is like somebody installed some programme in her brain that any memories of her friends are reset each time a new day of the week comes. But he doesn’t give up. He continues trying to make friends with her in hopes it would somehow cure her memory problem. Gosh. Trying to do this every week and knowing it will get reset the next? This is worse than Groundhog Day.

Episode 1
Yuuki Hase must be a depressed kid. Because yet another failed attempt to talk to fellow classmate Kaori Fujimiya. Is he that desperate to be her friend? So he’s complaining it to his best friend, Shougo Kiryuu who seems like he has no shred of interest in the first place? Yeah well, he should be talking to her and not him. Hase is not going to let this put him down and goes up to the rooftop where Fujimiya usually spends her lunch time alone. Trying to strike up a conversation didn’t go too well. She gets up and leave. Try again. Next day, she hears more comments from fellow classmates that Fujimiya is such a cold person. He goes to have lunch with her again so she tells him she can’t be friends with anyone. Did somebody tell her to? Did her parents forbid her to make friends? She couldn’t say. But after he helps her out with some school chores, she thanks him as part of her kindness. She agrees to have lunch with him but in exchange they can’t speak to each other in class. He looks forward to join her tomorrow on the rooftop. He uses playing cards to break the ice. She beats him flat in a memory game. She doesn’t consider herself a math genius because she spends her time studying (she has no friends). Unlike Hase how hangs out with his friends at the karaoke. Guess what? She has never been to a karaoke joint before. Next day Fujimiya shows him a flyer of the crepes she likes but she takes back what she says since she shouldn’t be telling him this. They’re not friends, right? Things between them seem to be going on fine till Friday comes. Suddenly she tells him they can’t be friends anymore. She wants him to act like all this never happened. Because she’ll forget everything they do. Now here is the big secret: Come Monday, all her memories shared with her friends will be gone. She forgets everything about the people she wants to be with. She’s sad. He’s sad. But what can he do about it? Talk to his pal Kiryuu… He tells him about her amnesia so all he has to say is if he is trying to be friends, just keep talking and see if they get along. Friendship isn’t something you forge overnight. Hase believes Fujimiya isn’t a cold person that everyone thinks she is. If they tried talking to her, he is sure they can be friends. Then Monday comes. Time to see if what she says is real. When Hase goes to talk to her, she gives him that annoying stare. Who the hell is he? What does he want? It is true. Those eyes do not deceive. She doesn’t remember anything they have done for the past week. Can’t give up now. Hase asks her to be his friend. He’ll do it no matter how many times it takes.

Episode 2
Of course Fujimiya would freak out so she leaves. Monday blues is already bad enough… Hase continue to have lunch with her and of course she can’t remember anything even though he repeats what they did last week. However because he knows about her memory condition, it must be true that he has spent the week with her. So the introduce themselves again. He suggests for her to keep a diary and jot down what she did for today and her feelings. It might help jog her memories. And yes, she starts writing everything down. Even his favourite egg roll bread… And how bad he does maths in class… Okay. At least that’s a start. Then she shows him the crepe poster and gets embarrassed when he points out she showed it to her last week. He suggests they can go there together since the store is having a sale but so as not to be seen together, they can go on Sunday. So both the early birds meet up on Sunday and head there only to find the store is closed on Sundays. Bummer. Now what? Remembering Fujimiya has never been to a karaoke, he takes her there. First time experience… But it was fun, wasn’t it? On their way home, they feel pretty scared because tomorrow is like D-Day. However Hase is glad she has the diary. Even if she forgets, they won’t be starting from scratch again. Back home, Fujimiya puts up a big notice on her door that Hase is her friend. Big highlighted words. And also to please read the diary. Come Monday morning, she wakes up and sees the sign. She reads the diary as instructed. When Hase meets her on the rooftop. She’s acting a bit strange. Trying to remember but she can’t. But she lies that she had a lot of fun with him. I don’t think those are Fujimiya’s tears of joy. However Hase can tell she is forcing herself and apologizes for imposing this on her. He feels bad for putting her through all this and expected something. He was only thinking about himself. Her reaction? Jot it down in the diary! If she only worded it right… The reason he told her to start a diary was to make his life easier… Oh dear… But the end note says he is a wonderful person. So it’s all not that bad.

Episode 3
Fujimiya is up early trying to make omelettes for Hase. How is the experiment going? So he tests out every one of them and the ones he likes, she makes a note so she’ll use that recipe and perfect it. Fujimiya as usual excels in maths but some girls think she is making it look easy and must be celebrating inside. Because Kiryuu comments Fujimiya is lacking a lot in smiles, Hase talks to Fujimiya and suggests meeting his friend. He thought if more people knows about her situation, the better because they may come up with a solution. And so Kiryuu is reluctantly made to go meet her. His first words? Does she have a split personality?! Kiryuu observes them taking lunch and it’s like they’re acting like a couple. He tells Kiryuu about her weekly amnesia so he gives his comment that this condition may have happened when she was small and since the memory loss only involves friends, it may be due to some friends involved. Kiryuu questions Hase if he has ever thought all this was a hoax. Because she acts like a completely different person in class and that a decent actor can pretend to have amnesia. And she says she keeps a diary. Has he ever looked inside it? What Kiryuu is trying to say is that Hase is too easy to trust people. Is he just nice or just plain dumb? And why is Hase doing all the talking for her? Hase has had enough and tells him to leave. Much obliged. Fujimiya feels bad thinking the best friends are strained. She tries to go talk to him but some other girl cuts in. Like as though she wasn’t there…

Because Hase has been called by the teacher to finish his homework, Fujimiya waits for him at the rooftop. It must be one helluva long one since it’s already evening. She returns to class as she remembers a notebook she forgot. Then she heard a couple of girls badmouthing her. They saw her reading some diary and smiling to herself. Kiryuu happen to be outside and learns she forgot something. He enters the room without a flinch and goes to take the diary she has forgotten. The girls think it is bad but he points out speaking behind a person’s back is worse. He returns the diary to her and the girls realize she was outside. She says she doesn’t want to start all over again or forget her friends. That’s why the diary is important to her. When Fujimiya is solving questions on the board, suddenly she starts crying and runs out. Hase chases her. When he catches up, it seems she remembers some things. Hase is glad this is a huge step to regaining her memories. Kiryuu goes to pick them up since the teacher is pretty mad for them to run out like that. Here’s another surprise. Fujimiya clearly remembers Kiryuu! But not a single shred about Hase! Kiryuu’s theory: Since she doesn’t consider him her friend, the reason she remembers. It’s just funny for Hase. It’s like Kiryuu is more important to her than him. But he can take heart about this twisted logic that at least Fujimiya doesn’t consider him her friend. And with Kiryuu now sharing her secret, Hase believes there is some progress made.

Episode 4
There are rumours that Fujimiya and Kiryuu are friends. You know what this means for Hase, right? Feel like un-friending him? So it’s pretty obvious Hase is jealous that the whole school considers them as friends and he is getting the attention for it when Hase was there first. He could have said he was her friend too. Waiting for the right moment? When will that be? Next day Hase joins Fujimiya and chat as usual and learns she gets the key to the rooftop from their teacher, Jun Inoue as reward for doing drafting maths quiz and a place for her to ease her mind. Then when she mentions she is able to be friends with Kiryuu, this sends alarm bells ringing. The more she talks about him, the more Hase starts feeling the envy. Hase wonders why she keeps talking about him and thinks she is in love with him. It can’t be. But why is he so bothered? Aren’t they friends? It is precisely that. This upsets Fujimiya. She gets up and leaves for today. Along the way back, she stops by the riverbed to ponder a lot of things. A guy on a bicycle accidentally bumps into her. Though nothing serious, little did she know she dropped her diary. Meanwhile Hase returns to class and feels very guilty. What more, today is already Friday. Next week, Fujimiya doesn’t turn up in class on Monday and when she does the next day, Hase immediately goes talk to her and apologize. However she does not remember him or the diary. And the statement that killed it all: She only remembers talking to Kiryuu. Ouch. So when he goes back to class, it’s that look on his face. Kiryuu knows he is going to be troublesome. Wants him to skip class just to talk to him, huh? Hase thinks Fujimiya is really mad at him and decided to call it quits being her friend and thus not reading the diary. But Kiryuu believes she will not cast away something important after a petty argument and that she might have dropped it somewhere. And so Hase skips class just to go find it. Have any ideas where she dropped it? Kiryuu goes talk to Fujimiya about Hase. Just when it seems she might remember something, she doesn’t want him to tell her otherwise there will be no meaning if she doesn’t remember it herself. He wants her to go talk to him. It’ll brighten his day. Please. She finds him searching at the riverbed and couldn’t understand why he would go this far for her. Because it’s important. He is glad to hear her say she will never intentionally throw away something important. Good. That’s all he needs to hear. He finally finds her diary. Noticing his dirtied clothes and cuts on his hands, she puts them on her cheek and thanks him from the bottom of her heart. Before they part, Hase introduces himself again and asks if she would like to be his friend again. He is glad that their fight brought them closer.

Episode 5
One day when Hase is getting his usual lecture by Inoue, Saki Yamagishi finally finds Fujimiya at the rooftop. She goes up to her and wants to be her friend! The guys come by and although they are classmates, Saki doesn’t remember their names! She is told about the rule not to talk with Fujimiya during class but it seems all that must have gone in one ear and out through the other. Saki continues to be friendly with Fujimiya without any reservation. I wonder if she understands even if reminding her again. Fujimiya then explains about her memory reset every Monday. Care to explain because Saki girl doesn’t quite get it. But she somewhat understands because she too is a forgetful person. But she considers Fujimiya lucky because at least she knows when and what she forgets. Saki can’t tell when or what she’ll forget. They soon become friends close enough to use each other’s first name. I wonder if Hase is being worried that Saki will start replacing him as Fujimiya’s friend. Oh, Saki is already eating his lunch! And then when Fujimiya and Saki go out together on the weekend, worrywart Hase can’t help tail them. And he even drags Kiryuu along. I hope this doesn’t transcend into some stalker scenario. Hase is such a worrywart about being treated like a weirdo (Kiryuu believes he is already one), he even jumps at the girls sharing crepes (that damn shop is open today) and they’re having so much fun that it’s just depressing to him. Yeah. Fujimiya seems to be having more fun with her than she has with him. At the end of the day as the girls talk, Kiryuu notes how Saki has changed a lot. Yup. They were in the same class in elementary school. Because she usually forgets, she is often bullied. The girls note things are different now since they have each other as friends and no longer alone. Things will be more fun. After Saki leaves, Fujimiya couldn’t help cry. Come Monday, Saki greets her as usual but Fujimiya doesn’t remember. Saki is super awed that her memory reset is real. But it seems Saki remembers something when she points out they ate crepe the other day. Saki’s curious friends come by and are introduced to her. They’re chatting like normal. They can’t believe Fujimiya is forgetful because Saki holds the title as the queen of forgetfulness. At that point, Fujimiya starts laughing and everyone notes how cute she is when she laughs. Because Fujimiya also notices Hase, all is not bad. He is glad that they are making progress slowly.

Episode 6
Hase is one of those who scored so low on the test that he must take the makeup test or Inoue will start reading the kind of answers he put. Embarrassing… So he pleads to Fujimiya to help him study. To avoid any distractions, she suggests coming to her house to study. I’m sure you can imagine all the things that are going through his mind now after that ‘permission’. Saki who is one of those ‘failures’, comes running to Fujimiya about studying together. There goes Hase’s private time with her. I don’t know why they need to bring Kiryuu along too. Fujimiya’s mom is so surprised that she brought friends over that I think she messed up the kitchen somehow. In her room, Saki and Kiryuu want to read manga (well, the latter doesn’t necessarily need to study). When Hase goes to the toilet, Fujimiya feels awkward with Kiryuu (Saki is sleeping). She feels he is scary compared to Hase. Saki suggests fixing it by making Kiryuu laugh. Tickling him? Well, the others are laughing. I think the emotions are dead in Kiryuu. However Fujimiya would love to be friends with him somehow and hope they can get along. As they leave, Fujimiya’s mom leaves Hase a note to meet her at the park tomorrow. Obviously he is a bundle of nerves just thinking about it. So want to bring Kiryuu along? He’s not coming. So worried that he forgot about the makeup test… As he meets her, she wants to tell him about her daughter’s memories. She isn’t sure why it only affects memories of her friends but she knows when it started. She got involved in an accident while crossing a road. The pedestrian crossing’s light was red. She was hospitalized for a while. Although she recognized her mom, she couldn’t for her friends. The doctor diagnosed her brain as okay although she only suffered minor concussion. Therefore it can’t be the reason for the memory loss. In her mind, there might be some emotional weight associated with having friends. Fujimiya easily made friends when she was young and loves talking about them. She doesn’t understand why this condition came about. Because it was a Sunday evening that she left the house to see a friend that the accident happened. She feels sad to see her daughter struggle like that and that she can’t do anything as a parent. She’s happy enough she is still here, though. She hopes Hase will continue to look out for her. That goes without saying. Hase barely passes the makeup tests. Couldn’t have done it without her. She tells him whenever she reads her diary, there is one thing she sees every week. It is about Hase asking her to be her friend again. Though it pains Hase to see Fujimiya’s condition, if it helps to bring back her smile, he doesn’t mind becoming her friend over and over again.

Episode 7
Fujimiya is better interacting with other girls and made new friends with Ai Nishimura and Maiko Serizawa. They’re friendly enough to even ask her what is going on with Hase. I’m sure they’re over the moon hearing how she sings praises of him. Just short of that ‘3 magical words’… Fujimiya also explained her memory condition to them but they concluded she is something similar to Saki. Speaking of her, she bumps into Kiryuu and doesn’t remember him. Sounds familiar but nope, can’t remember. Sure, he says his name again but will she remember? Hase continues to have a nice time chatting with Fujimiya. So much so he points out she is cute. Stay calm. Stay cool. I can see she is flustered too but not that embarrassed. It’s her first time a boy called her that. But of course. She couldn’t remember, right? With the summer holidays around the corner, Hase is worried that Fujimiya might forget him if he doesn’t see her for a week. Leave it to Kiryuu to tell him to have a bit more faith. Make that lots of faith. Hase got no guts to talk to Fujimiya since she is surrounded by her friends. He just couldn’t. So more ‘words of encouragement’ from his best buddy. Learn to push yourself. Have some balls. Eventually he manages to talk to her about it and they make arrangements to meet each other more often. On a Monday when he goes to her house, Fujimiya’s mom wonders if they missed each other. Luckily Hase finds her at the school rooftop. Although she still has her memory problems, this time she feels this meeting isn’t like the first time. There is a feel of familiarity. She remembers him. Good news, right? Later Fujimiya gives him cookies because today is his birthday. Get this. She remembers his birthday and he doesn’t? WTF… She remembered because she wrote a big note in her diary after she overheard Kiryuu. This makes him ask what she thinks of him. She likes him. Serious, she said that? Yes. You’re not dreaming. Stay calm. Stay cool. Then he asks if she also likes Saki and Kiryuu in the context as friends. Yes. Just like how she loves maths. Wait. What? Are you disappointed?

Episode 8
Fujimiya wants to go to the beach. Hase is glad to hear that till she mentions about inviting Saki and Kiryuu too. Dang. I’m sure he wanted to give excuses that they can’t make it but look at her eager beaver face… So eventually he calls his buddy to tag along. You know, in case he needs some help and in turn Kiryuu calls Saki. Blur girls hopes he calls back tomorrow to remind her. Gosh… So the friends meet up, almost missed the train and despite the ride was enjoyable, the moment they reach there, it’s raining. Bummer. So as not to waste their trip, they play in the rain which is hardly any fun. Saki made a giant frog out of the sand? Then they hang out at the arcade. Hase sucks at the crane game and is only successful after a few tough calls. But Kiryuu is good at first go and claims twin prizes! Next is the group photo on the print seal and it brings tears to Fujimiya to think how lucky she is to spend time with her friends. Once the rain stops, they head back to the bridge. Probably Hase is regretting using rock-paper-scissors to decide who goes to the store and buy some food. Because Fujimiya and Kiryuu end up together. Cheeky Saki teases Hase on what he likes about Fujimiya. Likewise, Kiryuu asks about her progress with Hase. Well, still the important friend. Fujimiya then mentions she remembers Hase talking to somebody (Saki) the other day but couldn’t remember who. Kiryuu doesn’t press further. Back with the rest, Kiryuu talks to Hase that he should try pushing their relationship further instead of just being happy to see her happy. Hase and Fujimiya walk along the beach and wet their feet. She almost got thrown off her balance and he catches her. They are embarrassed although Fujimiya hopes she won’t forget this day. By night fall, they play sparklers and Fujimiya really feels this is the most fulfilling summer vacation she has ever had despite it is only a day. Just when Hase thought she confessed she likes him. It is actually that she likes the fireworks. You’d expected something like this, right?

Episode 9
It’s the last day of summer vacation so Hase is going to rush through homework, right? Well, Kiryuu has done his and Fujimiya has only a little more. So our main offender is Saki. Nothing done. Best of all, she didn’t even know summer vacation is ending! And she didn’t bat an eyelid saying that. Oh, she wants to take a break! Nothing started yet and she wants a break? As Hase still sucks in maths, Fujimiya explains it in a fun way that solving it is like an adventure. There may be different paths to take to reach the end goal. In short: The journey is more important than the destination. Therefore the joy is in crafting the solution and not the answer. Well, that’s a good way of putting it. So later when Hase talks to Kiryuu about not getting anywhere in her memory problems, Kiryuu borrows that line from Fujimiya. He shouldn’t be worrying so much about it. As Kiryuu and Saki leave first, Kiryuu hands her a sheet of answers he wrote because he was bored. Saki remembers the same thing happened before. She found a sheet of answer in her shoe box when she was in elementary school. It was him, right? So why? Because people teased her and she didn’t make any effort to change, he thought he pushed her in the right direction. Saki is happy that someone cares for her although her dreams would be someone who would take care of her for life. He thinks he messed up the execution. Meanwhile Hase has just finished his last piece as he asks Fujimiya about remembering him more recently. She feels something inside her has changed ever since they met. At least when she reads the diary, she knows there is someone she can trust. Hase trips on a book and lands on top of her! The first ‘aggressive’ scene in this series! Surprisingly she is not panicking and touches his head. To pick up a speck of dust. Then mommy comes in. Sorry for interrupting. Hase goes into big explaining mode. Ironically, Hase is the one panicking while mommy is just being cool about it. Next day, Fujimiya is happy enough to feel that good things are coming their way. Indeed. As the class changes seats, Hase and Fujimiya are seated together right at the back. Inoue introduces a new transfer student from Hokkaido, Hajime Kujou. Seems he recognizes Fujimiya but she doesn’t. He blames her for breaking their promise and it shows he is meaningless to her. She is a traitor. In that moment, the shock has Fujimiya remember who he is and she collapses. Although she wakes up fine later in the infirmary, to Hase’s dismay, she doesn’t remember a thing about him. She gets defensive and cautious when he tries to touch her. Every single memory they spent together gone.

Episode 10
Now that her memory has resetted, it’s time to start all over again. Care to be my friend again? Probably Hase is overreacting whenever it involves Hajime because there’s this one time he forgot his textbook and the teacher asks Fujimiya to share it with her. Hase won’t have it and wants to switch places! Like the teacher cares. So Hase is telling his frustrations to Kiryuu. What now? You going to run away? Hajime is there too. He notices their relationship drifting ever since he showed up. He assures they just went to the same elementary school but he shifted away and never saw her again until now. Also assuring him that he isn’t the kind to steal other people’s girlfriend. But it’s not like that for Hase. Oh? So he can try tackling Fujimiya? Just kidding! Hase remembers all the times spent with Fujimiya. Just in a flash, everything was undone. Feel like crying? Saki could even tell they are acting awkward and talks to Kiryuu. She feels the need to do something as their friend although Kiryuu insists this is their problem and they should sort it out. It turns into a conversation whereby Saki mentions that she decided to rely on someone useful. A person who would make a good husband. Kiryuu can be her husband! He doesn’t take that joke too well. It’s not a joke. What’s even worse than an emotionless guy? An uninterested guy. The progress between Hase and Fujimiya continues gradually. There is this crepe she read in the diary and wants to try and hopes he could take her there.

While she waits for Hase, she sees Hajime meeting up with a few old friends. They talk to her but Hajime notes she isn’t the social type. He gets irritated when she says she doesn’t remember them. Oh come on. They go to the same elementary school. Sorry, she can’t. The Fujimiya he knew was always laughing with friends. So what happened? He is baffled that she can’t remember just because they are friends. Huh? The friends mention they were a couple and something about Fujimiya beating the rest of the girls to it. This causes her to remember traumatic memories of being called the worst for stealing him. She couldn’t take it and runs away. Hase gets the wrong impression seeing this and blames Hajime. Like he would believe he did nothing to make her like this. Hajime was fine if she forgot about her but couldn’t accept it when she forgot her friends. He thought it was a stupid excuse. Hase tells him all about her memory condition and the diary that helps her remember. Hard to believe, eh? Hajime throws down a lot of caution. How do you know she is telling the truth? How would you know if she considered you her friend? Meanwhile Saki bumps into Fujimiya and talks to her about Hase whom she considered as a precious friend up till recently and a diary filled with things about him. Can’t remember. Hase remains positive that if he keeps doing what he does, he feels her memories will slowly return. No matter what anyone says, they are friends. That is why he will do it over and over again, how many times it takes in hopes that the end they reach will have something good in store for them.

Episode 11
Hase talks to Kiryuu about his steady progress with Fujimiya. When Saki comes by, she panics in seeing Kiryuu and runs away to hide underneath the teacher’s desk in class! Well, at least she’s not trying to avoid him. Okay, so she is. So Ai and Maiko find out that Saki believes she has made Kiryuu mad and hasn’t apologized yet. The girls go out together so that Fujimiya could help Saki overcome her problem. But before that, Ai asks Hase if anything has happened to Fujimiya because it seems she is afraid of going to that crepe place. And so he drags this issue up with Hajime again but this time he isn’t hostile. If he knows anything, please let him know. So it’s odd to see them hanging out at the café. Hase wonders if Hajime likes Fujimiya. That’s not funny. Even odder, Hase wants to know about his childhood days! This is getting creepy. Hajime explains that he used to hate his first name because it is just a single stroke and so easy to write that everyone teased him. Only Fujimiya liked it. Making Hase guess the kind of relationship they had, it isn’t exactly dating. They’re elementary kids for God’s sake. Pointing out about Hase’s relationship with Fujimiya, are they friends or more? So it was the same case for them. Friends but more than just friends. They used to stay back after school and study maths together, a reason why she’s good at it. Hajime has also called for those old friends to come meet them to explain. They reveal on that day she had the accident, she actually went out to meet Hajime.

They bring up the name of Naomi Shigihara, Fujimiya’s friend. Naomi knew Hajime called Fujimiya to the park and hated that. Hajime couldn’t understand. Weren’t they best friends? At the same time, Fujimiya just walked in to the café and heard this. Because Naomi liked Hajime and thought Fujimiya was close to him to steal him, she told the other girls and they started hating her too. She couldn’t take it and ran away. That’s when the accident happened. Although Naomi and her friends visited her at hospital, they thought she was pretending not to know them and I guess that’s the end of it. Everyone is surprised Fujimiya is here. She is surprised this was how she lost her memories. She starts crying. Saki sees this and takes her away. The guys feel lousy. Hajime was the one who called her to the park and basically he feels it is his fault. He wanted her to remember him even after he left. He cared only for his happiness and caused Fujimiya to lose her ability to trust others. Hase and Fujimiya continue to meet at the school rooftop as usual. She still considers Hase and co her important friends and tries not to let the past hold her back and move on. Can she? Hase later talks to Kiryuu. He doesn’t see a problem in her moving on and he wanted to make friends, right? Hase begins to doubt if this is the right way. He thinks he is just like Hajime and worries that one day he might be the one who triggers her memory reset. After all, Hajime didn’t mean to hurt her too. He doesn’t want to cause her any more harm. He doesn’t want her to suffer. He doesn’t want to see her cry. But he is crying himself. So the next time when Fujimiya continues to be friendly with him, Hase tries to put some distance between them.

Episode 12
Fujimiya talks to Kiryuu about Hase. She thinks she has made him mad. Kiryuu thinks she should be talking to Hase instead. Kiryuu thinks he is a failure as his friend and never understood his feelings at all. But he hints Hase is trying to compare himself to Hajime and is worried that whatever he does might trigger her memory reset. But first, we have to deal with Saki’s strange act towards Kiryuu. She still avoids him so when he talks to her and warns he will stop talking to her if she doesn’t speak up, that’s when she let the cat out of the bag. If she hated him, she wouldn’t be this confused. She thinks he got mad when she asked him to be her husband (because she softly hit her to stop saying that). That’s why she stopped talking to him fearing it would make him hate her more. He apologizes for that and this surprises her. He gives the green light she can keep relying on him although he won’t go as far as to pamper her. Fine by her. And they’re back to being friends again. So now we have to fix Hase and Fujimiya’s relationship. Hase is fine the way things are because he has happy enough that she is not sad. So for the winter break, Hase and Fujimiya’s respective family is to go on some trip but last minute things got in the way. So they take a walk by themselves and eventually bump into each other. Coincidence or fate? They talk about the first time they meet (don’t expect her to remember it) and also this friendship thingy they’ve been going at. On the way back, they finally manage to get the crepes and eat them together. When he walks her home, her eyes brighten up. It’s like she was waiting for this moment. They pass by a shrine she used to go when she was little. As they pray, Fujimya starts explaining as she gradually breaks down. She would love to remember every second they spent together. But if they weren’t friends, no matter how many memories she has she won’t be happy. That’s why she wants to talk like the way they used to. Spend time like they did today. But now she doesn’t know what to do. Oh dear. Hase you made her cry! Your plan backfired. Probably he realized the big idiot he is so he starts screaming about what he was trying to do. He really wants to be her friend and as long as possible. She gives a lovely smile that is so assuring. When the next term starts, Hase views the chance to create new memories more important than the existing ones. That’s why he will always say those words again and again no matter how many times it takes. In perfect sync, Hase and Fujimiya ask to be each other’s friend again.


Short specials lasting a minute or so and is about what Fujimiya writes in a page of her diary.

Special 1 – Fujimiya notices Hase has a memory problem like hers too when it comes to maths because he just can’t remember the formula that was just taught to 5 minutes ago. Eventually he couldn’t solve the problem. Talking to him about it, he said he didn’t feel like solving and had issues with math for a long time. She offered to help and as he listened to why she loves maths, she notices his smiling face while attentively listening.

Special 2 – This time it is about Kiryuu and although he might seem cold, he is actually a kind person. She doesn’t understand why Hase is friends with him but after talking to Hase, she started to understand. His words are blunt but rational and keep you on the ground. She also observes he speaks to nobody else in class except Hase although he is quite perceptive about the class and may be the lone wolf type. Ultimately he is a caring guy. She is happy to become his friend. Also a note of Fujimiya’s omelette experiment recipe for Hase to taste and he likes it sweeter.

Special 3 – Fujimiya just lost her precious diary and thanks to Hase she got it back. She reread the things written in it and it lit a fire in her heart. She finds him a very nice person to help her get it back but she wonders how did he know she lost it or it was important to her. Like as though he knows everything about her. However it is okay as long as it is him. She wants to know more about him too.

Special 4 – This one is about Saki and the fun time spent with her. Heck, there is even this joke that Saki wants to become her little sister, in which Fujimiya herself could have mistaken her to be part of the family. Sisters of forgetfulness? I can see lots of irony in here. She also writes about the time she and Saki ate at the crepe stall and feels the need to apologize to Hase because they were supposed to go there together but she went with Saki first. In short, Saki is her cute new little friend.

Special 5 – This is when Fujimiya invited her friends back to her home for a group study. She is happy that she got to know Saki and Kiryuu’s likings. Of course all thanks to Hase and now she has 2 more friends and had lots of fun. She is also concerned that Hase has forgotten a maths formula learnt last year and wonders if he will do well in the make-up tests.

Don’t Forget To Remember
Okay. Personally I have to admit upfront first that with the drama and seemingly slow pace of the series, there are many times I have caught myself yawning and being distracted by other things going on in my house instead of paying attention to this series. Unfortunately for me, this series feels a bit of a drag and a little boring. I mean, worst part is that I don’t even think Fujimiya’s memory condition is cured although she seems to be making a great headway. I expected something like this since it would be unrealistic if a guy who perseveres is the one who cured her memory problem instead of doctors and scientists. Ouch. That will be a big insult. And so we have this kind of feel good ending that despite she still has her unfortunate condition, it improves a lot to a point that seems that she never has such condition in the first place. Because the way she is acting so emotionally and friendly like as though she knows him for a very long time. Something I find it hard for a person with no memories, although gets convinced by reading her diary and then proceeds to treat this ‘stranger’ like a close friend. Wow. I think Fujimiya must be the very trusting type. And it is a good thing she met Hase, no?

The relationship between Hase and Fujimiya isn’t anything impressive. It feels normal. Just that you add an amnesiac and reset button to it. Because on the surface and in the eyes of others, they look pretty normal. Therefore to ‘spice’ things up, we have this ‘roller coaster’ ride of memories forgetting incidents. Just when things are going smoothly and nicely, all on the right track, then something happens that threatens to destroy all the hard work again. From the time she dropped her diary to Hajime’s appearance. Well, I don’t know what is next but I am sure they can pull it through. Hopefully. I don’t know. Watching them doing this repeated friendship thingy reminds me of that Hollywood movie, 50 First Dates that starred Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Similar concept but totally different in overall terms. I was hoping that even if Fumiya’s memories are causing her the problem to remember, maybe her body would remember and thus help her mind recall some of the things they do together. Doesn’t seem like the case here. If her mind is reset, so will all the experience she had over her body. And I do not intend to sound ambiguous with that, mind you. Heck, this anime doesn’t have a shred of fanservice or at least anything that I would deem it as one.

Among the quartet, Hase feels like the one with the most emotions and the one who gets dramatic each time. Whether it is about Fujimiya (mostly it is about this) or talking his troubles to his emotionless friend. You could say Hase goes the extra mile for her. I am very sure he likes her a lot, otherwise why do all this stuff when many would have just given up and leave her alone. Because if let’s say there is another case exactly like hers (not Saki’s), would he do the same? But leaving this aside, thanks to his stubbornness (or perseverance if you prefer to call it), it does pay off eventually. Fujimiya is lucky to have such a guy like him around.

Fujimiya on the other hand learns to open up more and she isn’t as scornful or having feelings of distrusts like in the beginning. You’ll notice that she becomes livelier and more cheerful to the point that as though she never had this problem in the first place. But it is definitely great to see her smiling and laughing again because this face is much better than the gloomy and unfriendly one everybody else used to know. Although I find it silly that her selective memory reset only applies to friends, maybe I thought if she could find a loophole somewhere and stem this problem off? Like consider them as, say, step siblings! I know it is crazy but she remembers her family members, right? Only friends she forgets. So theoretically if she classifies her friends as a different family, does it mean she will remember them? Another point to ponder: If Fujimiya reads her diary every day and she adds to them each time, don’t you think she is going to have a few books by the time she graduates? How will she have the time to read all of them? Will her brain have the capacity to absorb all of them? I mean, surely if your memories reset, you’ll find it suspicious about this friend you have just made even though the diary was written by you. Oh heck, if you don’t trust in yourself, who else could you trust? But the thought that the more she writes and reads, the heavier toll it will be on her mind and body. How long will she spend reading her entire volumes of diary? It will be tomorrow when that happens! Kinda reminds me of Chihiro’s case from ef ~A Tale Of Memories~.

Kiryuu is like the guy who doesn’t cares but cares. Get it? No emotions and always have this tired tone in his voice that makes you think that it is a pain for him to go through this and that. So is having no emotions worse than having no memories? But as you can see he obviously cares about his friend. He gives timely and good advice although the tone of his voice doesn’t sound like it. He may have the unfriendly look too and I think nobody would want to make friends with him either. Thus maybe that is why he hangs out only with Hase. But like he cares if he has friends or not. Once you get to know him, you’ll learn he is a good guy even though I am sure he won’t admit it or brushes it off. Just like the other characters of this series. Don’t judge them by their looks and still waters run deep.

Personally I think the ‘coolest’ person in the series goes to Saki because she is like in a world of her own. She has this dreamy look and feel which makes her both cute and cool. She takes and does things at her own pace. There is no need to conform to others because if you have a hard time yourself, imagine how much tougher it is to conform to others. So just take it slow and easy. That is Saki for you. Some may call her a retard by the way she acts and sometimes I feel she is a bit like that too. But do you call a handicap person a retard? So is Saki a handicap? Not of the physical type anyway. So I suppose it is much harder to see therefore easier to judge her. Overall I think she is quite cute the way she is and thus in a dilemma if she is ever cured of this memory problem of hers.

Romance wise, I don’t think it is going anywhere at the moment. Nearly-nearly there but not quite. I didn’t put my hopes up on this department seeing that if Fujimiya already had memory problems, how could she even remember her boyfriend? Oh wait. Remember the loophole I just said? Perhaps if Hase elevates his status into lover, maybe she’ll remember him. Only one way to find out. And it is not in this season! But we all know that the 2 of them are growing to like each other as they spend more time together. We hope this is the case. Then they can change their status to one week friends to eternal lovers. Haha! Nice one. I think. But it is safe to say that instead of being one week friends, they are actually friends for life, don’t you think? Likewise, there seems to be some seemingly romance in the most unlikely pair of Kiryuu and Saki. You know Kiryuu’s character, right? Is this the kind of guy that is even capable of falling in love? And with Saki’s dreamy disposition, it is a surprise that she is bold enough to ask him to be her husband! I wonder if she really knows what that means and implies. Two characters with totally opposite and stark contrasting personalities become an item? And even before Hase and Fujimiya as we are hoping? Yeah. Weird indeed. Even though this is somewhat ‘resolved’ for now and their friendship back to normal, it remains to see if this would be reignited later. Because it is not like Kiryuu is against the idea. Maybe it just came to a shock to him too fast at first.

Drawing and art feels very simple and plain. Something like Kimi To Boku but even simpler. To a point that sometimes I couldn’t distinguish between certain characters. In other words, a bit misleading. Because take for example the case of Inoue. I didn’t actually think he is a teacher but some high school student! Unless he is a very young teacher and just starting out with his teaching job, he certainly looks like the same age as the students. Same case with Fujimiya’s mom. At first I thought she was her sister!!! The colouring and the shades feel very light too. The backgrounds sometimes look like they were being painted with water colour. I guess such light art is suitable for what I consider overall a light series that isn’t anything too complicated once you think about it.

Voice acting feels pretty normal since this is just a big romance drama. Yoshitaka Yamaya does Hase (Hikaru in Re: Hamatora) while Sora Amamiya is the voice of Fujimiya (Hazuki in Blade & Soul). The rest of the casts include Yoshimasa Hosoya as Kiryuu (Shichika in Katanagatari), Rumi Ookubo as Saki (Hibachi in Mushibugyou), Shintarou Asanuma as Hajime (Tsuda in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Juni Majima as Inoue (Tooru in Hitsugi No Chaika), Asuka Kakumoto as Maiko (Niko in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Rui Tanabe as Ai (Nanana in Ryuugajou Nanana No Maizoukin) and Mai Nakahara as Fujimiya’s mom (Gonou in Rail Wars). The heavily guitar strumming pop-like opening theme is Niji No Kakera by Natsumi Kon while the ending theme is Kanade by Sora Amamiya, a lovely slow ballad.

For those who like slow paced romance genres and lots of tender and heart warming moments, this one may suit you very much. Because memories play an important factor in everything especially in relationships, it makes you at least appreciate that you have memories lasting beyond a week. It can be a double edge sword too. Everything breaks down just because you can’t remember. Have you ever faced the fury and wrath of your wife or girlfriend for not remembering her birthday or anniversary? Yup. That. So it is important to remember even the trivial of things because your beloved’s birthday and anniversary date is anything but trivial. Haha! Whoops! Though, I myself can sometimes understand Fujimiya and Saki’s case as I am in some ways an absent-minded person. Now, what did I eat for lunch yesterday… But thank goodness at least I can still remember watching this anime because it would be a big pain just having to rewatch this again and again. And again… Same time next week? Please, no…

If you are tired of watching very long drama series about love because of the time taken to build up the relationship and all the obstacles and problems that come with it, maybe it is time to take a break and watch a short anime about love. If you are still interested in romance genres anyway. Koitabi: True Tours Nanto may be a short anime special with only 6 episodes lasting 7 minutes each and divided into 3 different arcs (read that as 3 different short love stories), but it isn’t anything complicated and just straightforward. About love relationship of the characters in each arc, of course. So don’t expect this to be something great and grand. Just consider this like an appetizer or a break before the next heavy main course.

Youji & Chiaki

Episode 1
Youji Sugawa has been dating Chiaki Ousawa for 5 years and he thinks he wants out. They aren’t the lovey-dovey type too as you can see from their interactions like as though they are stretching and putting up with this. After visiting Buddhism exhibition, Youji mentions he has made up his mind to transfer his job near the beach since he was raised in the mountains. You know what this means, right? And with Chiaki saying she cannot handle long distance relationship, he is surprised that she agrees to breaking up. That is when he thought he has never looked it things from her perspective. Since they are going to break up, they go on a last date at Toyama, the place where they first dated. Well, she doesn’t look too enthusiastic. He compliments her as beautiful after noticing she puts on a little makeup. It made her a little embarrassed. At an outdoor stage, Youji imagines he is like Romeo asking for Juliet’s hand in marriage. He suggests they hold hands while walking together since this is going to be the last time.

Episode 2
Chiaki although has decided to break up with him, she still loves him. She is amazed at the festival parade. Then he temporarily leaves her to go get something. This has her thinking how his selfishness of running off on his own always made her feel being left behind. Remembering that break up talk, what she actually wanted was for him to ask her to come along. She wanted to go with him. Didn’t their time together mean anything? Youji returns with a pair of slippers he bought that he thinks she likes. She comments he might be selfish but is sometimes too kind. She can’t believe they’re breaking up. The festival climax has the paraders destroy each other’s float. This is supposed to be the exciting part of the festival. Chiaki couldn’t understand why the people would destroy something they have spent building so hard for the last 6 months. It feels like their relationship. She wished they have fought more often. She laments they’ve been dating for 5 years and she was scared to take the next step. They’ve spent so much time together but couldn’t tell him how she felt. She then loses it and screams to him. If she really wanted to break up with him, she wouldn’t have followed him to Toyama. She runs away and thought he wasn’t coming after her. But here he is. He says something that feels like it’s a good ending because they hug.

Haruki & Aoi

Episode 3
Haruki Yokokawa is the son of wooden sculptor and he plans to continue his father’s tradition. He is also childhood friends with Aoi Shindou. They are always close to each other so it is no wonder that friends always tease them if they’re dating and they’ll blush and deny that. Therefore it is no surprise (okay, it is) that Shiori confesses she likes Haruki although she doesn’t pressure him for an answer now. Good thing or not but at least he tells this to Aoi who is just furious! I mean, her best friend falling for her childhood friend and didn’t even tell her anything? You can hear Aoi just screaming her head off to Haruki. She tells him and I mean, really tell him to tell him everything. Everything! How can he when she’s strangling him? Thank goodness for the rain that breaks her stranglehold and cools some heat down. Taking a shelter nearby, Aoi is impressed with a cute frog sculpture on a building. Haruki soon carves one like it and gives it to her as a sign of confession. He didn’t say it but hints about it. Aoi wants him to say it but he wants her to guess it instead of him saying it. Another argument in the works?

Episode 4
The class is on a field trip. It has been 4 months since Haruki confessed to Aoi but he feels there is a wall between them. Aoi seems like avoiding him and even during times when they were together. Of course Shiori talks to Aoi if she is still interested in Haruki because unlike her she was clearly rejected. So please stop this. All Aoi could do is just deny what she says. Eventually this leads her to say that she has always liked him since young and doesn’t think he can fall in love with her. That’s why it’s better not to say anything and she’d rather keep their friendship instead of tarnishing it for a relationship. So when he confessed, she imagined things would be different from what they are right now and feels embarrassed to look at his face. She is happy he confessed but still feels that can ruin their relationship. Guess what? She’ll be double embarrassed to learn Haruki heard all of it. So their friends leave them to reconcile. As she is so embarrassed, Haruki will do something even more embarrassing. He sings out loud his confession to her. Wow. The entire town could have heard him. Haruki says that being in a relationship is about living good and bad times. So nothing is going to change. When it’s time to leave, Aoi also starts singing aloud she likes him.

Takumi & Natsuko

Episode 5
Takumi Nishi is about to take the cable car up when Natsuko Ishikura seeks his help to fix a broken vending machine. Natsuko is impressed with the large cable car and expressed her wish to ride it once before the race. Turns out Natsuko doesn’t know how to use a vending machine so Takumi teaches her to put in the money first before pressing the button of the drink of her choice. There. Easy. Next to the cable car station is a parking lot where racers practice their drifting. Takumi is impressed by one and when she turns out to be Natsuko, he starts blushing-cum-panicking when she waves to him. Wow. I didn’t know he could wheelie his bike like that. On another day, Natsuko pleads to Takumi to go ride with him in the cable car. The operator allows them. Takumi is impressed she could drive a car like that but she considers it normal. She too is impressed he can ride a bike like that. Was that normal? As they continue their conversation, once they reach a certain height they could see the breathtaking view of the mountains. Natsuko admits she was watching him for a long time and wanted to see the thing that he liked the most. Also, the vending machine thingy, that was a lie too. Sorry.

Episode 6
Natsuko is in a greenhouse where she works. She picks up a flower and starts biting it. She is surprised that Takumi is here and wonders if he has seen it. Natsuko narrates they first met at the cable car and ski park. He was the kind of guy who likes natural sceneries but recently he has been acting strange as he now likes artificial landscapes. She can’t guess what he is thinking. She observes he is impressed with the mixture of manmade and natural landscapes and how they are beautifully complementing each other. However there is one thing Natsuko is unsure of: Does Takumi like her? In a rock climbing activity as she watches him pull off reckless moves, this causes a flower from his pocket to fall off. Yup. It is that flower. What is the meaning of this? So he wanted to taste it? He loses his footing when she calls him a pervert. However he dismisses it because it means he really likes her a lot and therefore not a pervert! So does this answer your question? And the first kiss of the series reserved for the last scene of the last episode?

The Love Journey Continues
Are you disappointed? Are you refreshed? Are you touched? Are you ready to move on? Like I have warned you, don’t expect too much from this show. We have seen the different scenarios of people in love and it all depends and boils down to your perspective in the topic of love and romance. Some may say they are heart-warming while others may find it just typically normal. Or even boring and nothing much. Well, that is why this is such a short and light show to begin with. Me? I’ve never been in love like that before so I don’t know. Haha! Damn. That just made me feel like a loser :(.

One thing amazing about this short series is that they showcase the actual locations of Nanto (the place where all the stories are set in). You can see some of the real photos of the locations that are used and referred in each episode at the end credits. It is remarkable how they reproduce and redraw such locations and buildings to almost exact precision. Well, I am not familiar with this Nanto region but I guess it must be a snowy and cold place but the sceneries are breathtaking nevertheless. This I guess is the saving grace of the short series. Although it doesn’t make me have that feel of wanting to go visit the place. Thus it makes me wonder if this special is made in conjunction to promote this city. Maybe it is.

Some of the seiyuus are recognizable such as Yuka Iguchi as Natsuko and Ayahi Takagaki as Aoi Shindou. The rest include Kaori Nazuka as Chiaki (Nunnally in Code Geass), Yuuki Masuda as Youji (Fujimaki in Angel Beats), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Haruki (Inumuta in Kill La Kill), Makoto Ishii as Takumi (Arthur in Tears To Tiara) and Tomomi Watanabe as Shiori (Tomoyo in True Tears). Apparently while I was looking at this list of seiyuus, something hit me. Because it feels like a reunion of True Tears as all of them had leading roles in that 2008 anime! Coincidence?!

Different story arcs feature a different song although all of them are sung by Eufonius and personally, I thought they sound the same. Oh, Eufonius is another reason why I thought this was a True Tears reunion since they sang the songs of that series. The ending themes of this show are (in order of the arcs) Sympathetic World, Kimi No Inryoku and Paslaptis. Perhaps I was too engrossed in the still photos of the sceneries instead of paying attention to the songs. Oh, here is another damn reason why I think this is truly a True Tears reunion. Both animes are made by P.A. Works! Now, this is more than just coincidence… And then the series’ name: True Tours… True Tears… OMG. So close! I have become this paranoid to smell a conspiracy behind this?! Truly fearsome… I wonder if True Tears was also set in the same location…

Whether this short anime is to promote the place or even subtly promote the concept of love (I guess it happens anytime, anywhere and to anybody), for those looking for something light and not heavy to follow, this should be just right while you are taking breaks from those convoluted, confusing, complicated, twist over twist, plot over plot, over dramatic romance love stories that are just getting crazier and crazier by the season. So you see, it doesn’t take an incredible or complicated plot to get a love story going. You can see its beauty in the simplicity as shown here. Now, only to get my own. I hope I don’t have to go all the way to Nanto just for it.

Tokyo ESP

March 15, 2015

With great powers come great responsibility… Ugh… Are we tired of hearing that same superhero line from time to time? But I suppose we still aren’t getting tired of watching superhero themed movies. Yet again another anime we have people possessing supernatural powers. Yet again these few special people are persecuted by their own counterpart, the supposedly ordinary humans with no such super powers whatsoever. And because of this discrimination they have only themselves to blame for giving birth to the greatest villain (of the series) bent on destroying the current social order and creating a new idealistic world. Not forgetting a hero that will jump into the fray and save the day. Sounds all too familiar? Yeah well, some may say Tokyo ESP has that familiar tone with Hamatora. Heck, too similar in fact. Just change the characters, setting and tone and voila! All you have now is a new anime series.

Episode 1
Tokyo gets an unwanted gift on Christmas night. Esper terrorists have taken over the parliament and are floating it above the city. The leader of the terrorist group, Hokusai “Kyouju” Azuma is demanding espers are the new rulers and their only option for survival is to bow down to them. The lawmakers are taken hostage while the guards are mercilessly slain in bloodied fashion. Even down on the ground, more havoc and chaos as the esper terrorists continue to attack the armed forces and public. All that is left for the public is to pray for the appearance of the White Girl who once saved them from a similar incident last time. A helicopter is seen approaching the floating parliament. Minami Azuma thinks the White Girl is onboard and teleports there. To her disappointment, only the SWAT personnel. She kills them all and crashes the helicopter. On the ground, she engages with a special agent, Tooru Kanze and bike riding colleague, Natsuki Kasuga. Although they have permission to use force to eradicate the threat, Masaki Shindou wants Minami captured alive. Sure. How do you catch a teleporter anyway? Tooru’s plan is to let Natsuki crash her bike into Minami. Of course Minami avoids. At that moment, he fires into the bike’s tank. Boom! Did he get her? Didn’t. What a waste of such a cool bike. However Kyouju wants Minami to retreat and not be too hasty because he believes she will arrive in time.

The public seeking refuge in a building are discussing if the White Girl will ever turn up. Some are sceptical and groups her as a troublemaker like other espers. Poor little Nana girl must have her heart broken hearing that. It’s like saying Santa never existed, right? Ayumu Oozora remains positive that she will protect everyone if she was here. After all, espers are humans too. He is surprised to see his friend, Murasaki Edoyama nearby. She can’t sit by and let nothing happen. She is trying to locate if Peggy is still alive and as she uses her power, she sees a vision that the parliament is going to be dropped at a great height. Nana rushes out to Ayumu in hopes he could relay a thank you message to the White Girl. Suddenly a truck comes speeding into the scene. Although Ayumu saves her, the truck crashes into the building. The truck is loaded with bombs and set to go off in five minutes. Nana is concerned that her mom is trapped inside but mad esper lady creates an air barrier preventing anybody from getting close. Ayumu and Murasaki don’t give up trying to smash the barrier even though it is futile. Don’t give up hope till it’s over. Mad esper lady laughs at their attempt when suddenly she gets punched away by a much powerful air force by Kobushi Kuroi. Murasaki disarms the bomb. And now for the moment everyone has been waiting for. Because here comes Rinka Urushiba AKA White Girl with her flashy entrance, giving the baddie her skull crushing psy-kick. Oh yeah. The heroine has arrived just in time.

Episode 2
While she is kicking ass, we delve into her flashback on how she get such powers, which makes up the rest of this series. Rinka was just a normal girl. Until one day she found herself naked and in the room of her downstairs neighbour. I think the old man could have died of heart attack. She tries to call her father, Rindou for help but he is not picking up. Seems when she is not concentrating, things slip through her hand and she herself could pass through solid objects. Suddenly Kyoutarou Azuma barges in and is awed at this miracle. Doesn’t she remember what happened yesterday? On her way to school, she saw a flying penguin. Yes, PENGUINS FLY! She follows it to a tower with glowing fish swimming around it. Kyoutarou was there too and is amazed she could see the fish. Then the school of fish swim right through her. Meanwhile Rindou must have too many drinks to have passed out (he was dreaming of those glowing fish). It’s not even night time. He panics when he hears the voice message Rinka left behind and frantically goes to look for her. At the same time, a strange phenomenon of magnetic waves seems to attract metal objects mainly cars into a giant rolling ball. It is heading for her. Kyoutarou believes her father is inside it and the glowing fish must be the source of his power. Thinking that those powers activated when he is awake, time to put him asleep before more destruction is caused. So she jumps right into the ball and lands her signature kick on her dad. The moment he passes out, the ball falls apart. Kyoutarou then teleports them away and explains this is his esper power.

Rindou wakes up not back at home not remembering anything but faintly remembers somebody kicking him. So Rinka ties him up back to sleep while she heads for work. When a police detective, Nabeshima comes into her work place for investigation, she thinks she has been busted. However he is here to seek answers for the Black Fist case. There is a spate of robberies on jewellery stores and art museums. CCTV footage shows a crow head mask as the culprit. The only clue they got is that he teleports away. Sounds familiar? If that culprit is that Kyoutarou guy, Rinka is going to stop him first as she sneaks into the museum (it doesn’t take effort considering her power). However all the guards are beaten up. This crow head dude just enters the scene. Rinka unmasks him and beats him up upon confirming he is Kyoutarou. But he can’t be the culprit if he just arrived, right? The real Black Fist is still here as the treasure isn’t stolen. She is Kobushi and she doesn’t give a damn about Kyoutarou’s advice to use her power for good (her power is invisibility). She knocks him out and fights Rinka. Can her fist connect even though she is a good boxer? However Rinka is upset she is damaging important artefacts and treasures with historical value. Like she gives a sh*t. Before Rinka gets punched, Kyoutarou takes the hit. It is what he needed so that he could teleport them outside as Rinka lands her signature kick. Kyoutarou hands over Kobushi to the police and tells them she the real culprit. They just believe it like that? Later Kyoutarou tells Rinka and even quoting that superhero line of great powers and responsibility. That is why it is their duty to uphold justice as espers can only defeat other espers. As long as those fish swim throughout the city, there will be a growing number of troublemaking espers. He hopes she will continue to lend her strength.

Episode 3
Nabeshima doesn’t think Kobushi is the culprit as there is no evidence. When she wakes up from her hospital bed, she beats him up. Is that enough for your evidence? A yakuza boss, Hotokeda picks her up and invites her to join his gang. As Rindou is able to control his power, Rinka didn’t realize Kyoutarou is a student in her school. Her friends must be thinking she already have a boyfriend. He drags her into finding more about the glowing fish. How to find them? There is a lead. There is a flying penguin that always chases after them. Speaking of it, a bunch of catchers (Ghostbusters?!) have successfully caught this penguin. Murasaki isn’t happy they caught Peggy, her only friend but do they care? Rinka and Kyoutarou arrive in time to save them. The catchers’ van is about to fall off the overhead bridge over some old ladies so Kyoutarou teleports it to the sea. It took a lot of energy so he passes out and risks drowning. Rinka and Peggy dive in to save him. Murasaki explains how she met Peggy but isn’t allowed to keep it as her father disallowed pets. This is the only place Peggy lives but now that it is found out, it can’t stay here anymore. Rinka agrees to keep it as long as she keeps their identity a secret. Murasaki commends them as heroes. Kyoutarou does the same for Rinka but she brushes it off as he is more like the hero. On the contrary, he comes from a town where the weak are killed and couldn’t believe in heroes. Therefore she is more like a hero to him and it was a good thing he met her 6 months ago. Six months ago? Rinka and Kyoutarou follow Murasaki home as they want to see where she lives. Oh dear. She comes from a yakuza family?! She never told people because it tends to freak them out. But father is good enough to welcome her friends.

At the same time, Hotokeda and his goons see Edoyama and want him to cede his territories to them. Kobushi is not happy she ended up in some small time gangster and as she goes to the toilet, she sees Rinka. Well, well. The latter got easily beaten up. Hotokeda has his samurai henchman to teleport and kidnap Murasaki, Kyoutarou and Peggy. Edoyama and his men fire at Hotokeda but his body is bulletproof. He warns him that his daughter’s life depends on his decision. The samurai knocks out Kyoutarou and Peggy to take Murasaki away. Kyoutarou cannot believe he knows his name. Kobushi sets fire on Rinka’s house before her eyes and warns never to show her face again. Rinka is distressed that her father is still inside but thankfully he isn’t. She blames herself for being cocky and everything before passing out. Rindou beats up Kyoutarou for letting this happen to his daughter. But Rinka wants to focus on saving Murasaki and mentions Hotokeda’s name. Kobushi finds out Hotokeda plans to make money by selling esper powers to people. Thanks to this samurai guy who can keep those fish. He then sends Merayama to kill other people who come to their office. However Kyoutarou is already there and finished beating up the other goons. He is not in a good mood. Merayama is left escaping after realizing this dude is serious enough to kill. He couldn’t escape in time and is smacked down into the hands of Rindou. He is scared sh*t of this guy. Who wouldn’t since he is swinging the small fry around like that. That should make him spill the beans. Murasaki is locked up and laments her uselessness. A glowing fish enters her body. Time to power up? Outside Hotokeda’s hideout, Rindou will do the rescuing and wants Rinka to stay put. Stubborn girl won’t so he knocks her out. However she is as tough as nails. She knee kicks him out cold instead! Oh, the irony! Rinka quotes that superhero line to Kyoutarou. She wants him to teleport her inside the building so they can save Murasaki.

Episode 4
Rinka barges in and defeats all the goons. What a joke. All those muscles and guns and they can’t even beat a single injured girl. Well, she can thank her father who was an ex-cop for teaching her those moves. As she confronts Kobushi, she doesn’t hesitate to tell where Murasaki is. That’s because she has her eyes on the samurai guy’s stone (it houses the glowing fish) and steals it and disappears. Our gang try to rescue Murasaki but Hotokeda in God mode prevents them. He did an atrocious thing by hitting Peggy. PENGUIN ABUSE! Peggy couldn’t stand the sight of Murasaki suffering as its arm suddenly turns into a shark and absorbs a glowing fish inside Hotokeda. Kobushi fights off another samurai guy, Kakunoshin who is trying to take back the stone. Rindou saves her and could you believe it? She falls head over heels over him. Wait till you see her reaction when she finds out he is Rinka’s dad. Rinka has Kyoutarou teleport everyone outside. Then she does her famous drop kick on Hotokeda, knocking him out and landing on the samurai. Seems when Peggy ate his glowing fish, his power is no more. The flattened samurai throws everyone away as Hotokeda is in disbelief his power was stripped easily. He was told he wasn’t fit for the task anyway. One of the samurais unmasks and turns out to be Minami. This leaves Kyoutarou in shock. She wants him to join their cause to change the world. She takes back the stone and disappears, warning the next time he gets in her way, she’ll cut him down. Kobushi now stays at Rinka’s place. I think I know a very good reason although she claims she isn’t leaving till she finds out from Kyoutarou more about Minami. Too bad he is missing since. Yeah. He is looking for her. He remembers growing up and getting stranded in a civil war. He saw his friends die and he was about to meet his same fate when Minami saved him and made him her adoptive brother.

Merayama finds depressed Kyoutarou and wants some payback but Rinka beats him up. Kyoutarou tells his story he hasn’t seen Minami for 2 years after she disappeared with her father. The last time he saw her, she was crying. That’s why he wanted to find her why she is doing this as she is originally a good person. Rinka offers to help whenever she can and he is happy that she is truly his hero. He refreshes her memory about their meeting 6 months ago. Punks were beating him up and everyone turned a blind eye. Till Rinka jumped in to save him without knowing the risk. That is why he adores her as a hero who can only get stronger. Rinka has him promise whatever happens next time, never to leave her behind again. Meeting up with Murasaki, she explains she sees strange visions when she touched things after a fish entered her body. Her father is in disbelief even after watching them demonstrate their power. Murasaki chides her father for raising his voice to her friends. They dragged them into this and they even risked everything to save her. She refuses to be part of this family and runs away. Where to? Rinka’s home of course. Man, it’s getting crowded. They talk about Murasaki’s parents but it seems she has never met her mom. She died after giving birth. Because she feels useless even having such powers, she wants Rinka to help train her get stronger. Edoyama was kind enough to stop by to give Murasaki her stuffs. She’s going to be away, right? He apologizes and regrets the way they live as he couldn’t handle the pressure of being a boss and a father at the same time. He gives a ring belonging to her mother. If she has power, he hopes she can feel her mother’s love through it. At the mere touch, she sees how mommy gave birth to her and they were a happy family. She is happy that she has ‘met her family for the first time’. Such touching moment is put aside when Kyouju appears before them and wants to negotiate.

Episode 5
The girls are transported into an illusion world whereby Kyouju shows them the stone which has the power to unlock innate abilities in a living creature. They see that power in the form of glowing fish. Murasaki remembers seeing this guy and the one who has been releasing the fish in the past 3 months. He was trying to find the Collector that would eventually gather them but didn’t know what form it would take. And now he knows Peggy the Collector is a penguin. He asks Rinka’s reason to fight. Is it for justice or her love for Kyoutarou? Say what? He invites her to come over to his side to create a new world order. In a week, he will bring a ‘miracle’ to the city and he hopes for a favourable answer after she watches it. They are returned to reality and as tell the rest who didn’t see anything, Kyoutarou believes it could be his adoptive father, Kyouju. Further flashbacks reveal Kyouju and Minami picked him up from the warzone and back to Japan where they continue to lead a normal life. Minami saw him getting bullied at school but he fought back. As she treated his injuries, she mentions about people having a fake peaceful front but rotten inside. There are lots of such people in this city. It would be better to wipe the city off from the map. He is glad to hear her voice for the first time. Kyoutarou explains further to Rinka that his biological parents were archaeologists and in the same team as Kyouju. That’s why he is fascinated with artefacts and myths. When his powers awakened, he had a feeling it had to do with his parents’ research and their deaths may be linked to Kyouju. He believes Minami is being used. But what is bugging Rinka is Kyouju’s words if she loves him. No? Why blushing so hard that she is squeezing Peggy to death!

Before Rinka and Murasaki set off from home, Nabeshima confronts them and wants them to come with him to the police station to answer questions about the White Girl. Because Merayama had accused them so it is better he hears it from the source. However a super tanker is reported floating above the city. Kyouju and co’s miracle show? Rinka of course can’t sit still and goes off herself to investigate. Kobushi and Kyoutarou arrive first on the tanker. The police helicopter sends out warning but a rock is dropped on them. What a joke. Then Kyoutarou gets an arrow through his throat! If you are wondering why he is still alive after that fatal shot, it is because this is just Kyouju’s illusion. Kobushi fights back but it seems her sister, Kozuki defends Kyouju with her barrier. With some chain charm of Sukezaburou pointing to Kobushi’s location, Kobushi’s invisibility is pointless so any surprise attack is futile. Kyouju gives a real gun to Kozuki to shoot and injure her sister. Not an illusion. Real pain. Kyoutarou tries to teleport and escape but Kyouju always overwrites his destination and bring him closer instead. He stabs his sword through his palm and shows him his true face. Half of it badly burnt. Two Face? Red Skull? A Titan from Shingeki No Kyojin? Then here comes Rinka with her super kick. Minami blocks it although it sends her flying. Kyouju reveals his plan to drop the tanker on the city as Minami beats up Rinka. She clarifies to Kyoutarou that she is here not under any influence but on her own free will. This is for the sake of their new world. To do that, they must destroy the current value of society. Kyouju intercepts all networks and makes his announcement to demand an establishment of a special territory for espers. As he tilts the tanker, unconscious Rinka is in danger of falling off. Kyoutarou breaks free from the sword at the expense of his hand to dive down and save her.

Episode 6
The tanker is dropped near a transmission tower (it’s leaning on it!) and causes chaos to the ground below. Although Rinka is fine, Kyoutarou tells her to get help for Kobushi first. She brings her to a rescue team and when she returns, Minami is before her and chides her lack of conviction. She will take custody of Kyoutarou from now on. Because there are people trapped underneath the rubbles, Rinka is forced to let Minami go and with Rindou helping, they scan and free trapped people. However there are those who have already died and this causes Rinka lots of distress. It is no surprise she sinks into depression. Nabeshima who was Rindou’s ex-partner, decides to let them go since they have more important things to worry about. Kobushi is also reeling from her defeat and feeling lousy for being useless. Noticing Rinka is down, she tries cheering her up that Kyoutarou is still alive because if they wanted him dead, they could have killed him. He’s like family too. Rinka trains with her father and although it is not her fault, she still blames herself for being powerless. Suddenly some panda interrupts their training. Including stealing Rinka’s bra! Before she can beat up this perverted panda, Rindou stops her. He is Roshi Yodani, Rindou’s martial arts teacher during his heydays as a cop. Murasaki and Kobushi are called to as they discover Roshi has a faint esper power of clairvoyance. Every now and then he could see Rinka and Kyouju. His power is not powerful enough to see Kyoutarou’s location but he can tell the upcoming terror is going to be real. That’s why right now the city needs true heroes. Therefore he is here to help train them to follow the path of a hero.

Kyouju wonders if Minami regrets coming with him. Not a bit. She goes to tend Kyoutarou. He tries to teleport away when he regains consciousness but since he is still under the influence of Kyouju, he can’t pretty much move anywhere. Nabeshima shows Rindou a video of Kyouju’s uprising. Because of this, esper related crimes have increased and lawmakers are trying to pass a law that brands all espers as potential terrorists and contain them. Rinka and Murasaki continue their training under Roshi. Rinka needs to be fast enough if she is going to defend herself from Roshi’s perverted moves. She is also thought the basics of close combat fighting. Looks like she needs more training. I mean, how can she learn esper techniques or super finishing moves if she doesn’t have the basic stuffs? Later Kobushi talks to her to give her some pep talk that she needs to change her ways. Because if Rinka thinks she can avoid fighting, the next time she fights Minami she’ll die. She remembers herself living like a stray dog so watching Rinka and her family somewhat makes her feel at peace. She hopes Rinka can grow stronger so that they can settle their score next time. After Rindou gives Rinka a package from Nabeshima, Kyoutarou’s crow head mask found on the scene, she becomes resolved to grow stronger and seeks Roshi’s help for retraining. Soon, Roshi introduces one of his students to them, Ayumu and he will be their sparring partner.

Episode 7
Rinka cannot best Ayumu. It’s like he sees through her. He even insults Murasaki that she can’t fight, which is true. It dawned to Rinka that Ayumu may be an esper so she tries a few sneak attacks and true enough he managed to dodge or react to them. Rinka deduces that he can only see shortly into the future because if he could see further, he would have avoided running into her. The only way to beat someone who can see the future is to react faster! You mean she is going to be like The Flash? And so we see snippets of Rinka pushing herself with her daily training till she can finally overcome Rindou and her body accustomed to quick reflexes. When Peggy is playing with Rinka’s bag, she stumbles upon her night stick. When Murasaki touches it, she could see how Rinka uses it and learns from it. Wow. It’s like she ‘downloaded memories’ from that stick to use it for her own. Meanwhile Ayumu’s mom, Reia feels like the naggy kind. She’s reminding him about studying and at the same time she is a politician who is bent on getting elected and rounding up those terrorists called espers. If she’d only knew about her son… Rinka has her rematch with Ayumu. This time she is able to react faster and beat him up. Roshi explains that despite Ayumu can see the future, it is useless if his body cannot react fast to it. The more he thinks, the slower he becomes. Rinka finally gains victory over him although Ayumu claims he just let his guard down. Murasaki offers to fight him next. Yellow jump suit? Nunchucks? Bruce Lee? Ayumu is cocky and before he knows it, he gets beaten up and lost. Way of the dragon? Dragon Remember move?

Kyoutarou continues his futile attempt to teleport. Minami again reminds him why it is so. He remembers Minami explaining the word terrorism to him and wonders if those terrorism act that happened to their families ever happened. Sometimes she feels she is out of the time flow. But Kyoutarou says he can’t change like her. Compared to her even though they’re the same age, he feels left behind and like a kid. Reia is giving her destroy-all-espers speech. Ayumu is listening from afar when he bumps into Murasaki. Seems she is going to return her nunchucks to her dad and thinks it isn’t really a suitable weapon. Suddenly a lightning guy unleashes an attack on the street. Wait. That was just a premonition. Then it happened. That’s the thing when you see things that happen too close to reality. Lightning guy targets Reia and is going to give her a taste of divine retribution. Hey wait. Just a premonition. Oh, it’s happening right now. He wants to save her but his legs are injured. Murasaki throws a stone at him and gets zapped. F*cking sh*t! Just another premonition! However this time he is able to stop her from throwing a second and starts apologizing. Seeing his mom will die in the next zap, he goes up to him to claim he is an esper too. But whatever he does, he sees he will die. He needs to neutralize his lightning and notices a water pipe. He breaks it and although this reduces the lightning guy’s tendency to use lots of his power, he can’t whack him hard enough to knock him out. That’s where Murasaki comes in, defeating this big dude with her Bruce Lee chops. Wachaa! Ayumu is glad his mom is alright but she is giving him that worried face. Oh no. She guesses her son is an esper.

Episode 8
Reia has got lots of problems now. Now that her son is an esper, if the public finds out, she fears her voters will be turned away and a resignation just won’t do. So she’s thinking about her future? Even if Ayumu says he is still him, not part of those terrorists and that it is not like he wants to become one, she is more worried about her future? As Rinka continues her training, she could hear people scorning more about espers and there is even a petition launched against them. I guess she couldn’t wait for her date with Kyoutarou to the amusement park so she went there herself. What’s the use if she’s not having fun by herself? Suddenly this freaky woman, Kobato Kugimiya starts throwing her Molotov cocktail claiming she will become a real esper terrorist if she kills somebody. Too bad she had to pick Rinka and gets subdued. After she is rounded up and her esper power taken away by Peggy, she reveals she is doing this to meet Kyouju, the new creator of mankind. In fact she was approached by Minami and convinced into doing it as a test. It seems Minami is going around doing the same to troubled girls. Amie Namuro who doesn’t give a damn about the police questioning her coming out so late (she wants everything to die!) and Lin Lianjie whose restaurant owner is just providing his customers more than the food on his menu with her as extra service (she attacked her customer).

There is a talk on TV about esper being terrorists but also this White Girl who seems to come into the scene to save them. People like her may be the only ones to stand against evil espers. They may be their only heroes. Kyoutarou lets Minami see this and leaves it to her. All the gathered espers including Kozuki, Amie and Lin are here. But Minami is in bad mood. I guess she is made to shoulder everything. She visits Kyoutarou again but this time she sneaks up behind her and manages to teleport to the rooftop. His theory is correct that he is not affected if he touches her. But she overpowers him and brings him back. Is this a trend of hers to take out frustration? Breaking flower vases with her sword? She can’t understand why Kyoutarou don’t see their ideals. He believes people should not control people. He wonders why she has changed so much. On the contrary she points out he is the one who has changed. Minami is tired of this. Whatever she says will fall on deaf ears. She believes the cause as long as Rinka is breathing… Peggy comes to deliver his broken glasses, a thank you note and cookies from Murasaki to Ayumu. She owes him her life over that incident and views him as a hero of justice. Rinka must be thinking so much about Kyoutarou that she could see visions of him. Wait. It is the real him! You can’t imagine how happy she is to see him. Believe it or not, they just let him go like that this morning. He talked to Minami before he left but was told not to get in their way. Although he should have called the rest to say he is fine, he wanted to see Rinka’s face badly. What is he trying to imply?! More importantly, is there room for romance from where the plot is heading?!

Episode 9
Minami remembers Kyouju breaking the news that her mom died. He becomes crazy and for a girl to watch her father like that, it is heart-breaking. Minami leads the espers to destroy a high school. Oh yeah. Pick on defenceless children, will you? Also another place bringing back unpleasant memories for Minami. Several guys were going to gang rape her but she teleported them right in the middle of the train tracks. Blam! So as the espers cause panic, Rinka is in a dilemma to risk revealing herself. But she can’t stand innocent students being beaten up and transforms into White Girl. Why attack this school? Because she is here. Simple. She is unable to take on Lin and Kozuki’s simultaneous attack and gets pummelled to a pulp. Pity her face… She thought Kyoutarou is here to help but it seems he has fallen under the mind control of Amie. Her friends are also hypnotized and start using her as a punching back. She can’t fight back her friends. This beat down is recorded and shown live to everyone as warning for normal humans to go against them. Minami remembers she was shocked when Kyouju told her to let Kyoutarou and Rinka go so as to use them as examples. This is so they can discard the world who killed her mom and rebuild it from scratch. After all, she already resolved to cast away her humanity. Rinka is strangled and stepped on. So much so Kyoutarou cannot take it anymore and snaps out. However Minami teleports him away to a faraway island (Peggy is also captured in her hands). The glowing fish swims out from Rinka. Now with Rinka dead, Minami is certain Kyoutarou has nowhere to return.

The Esper Regulation Act has been passed and thus a special squad is formed to detain all of them. Hmm… A squad formed overnight? Like as though they have been in the making in the background for a while. Rinka wakes up in hospital with Rindou, Murasaki, Roshi and Nabeshima by her side. She is worried about Kyoutarou but realizes she can no longer use her power. Roshi explains that her heart shortly stopped after the attack. The glowing fish may have thought she died and left her. She is forced to stay here because everyone knows her identity. Suddenly Torada, the head of the esper detainment squad and his men come in to arrest all of them. Although Rinka has no more power, they claim the attack happen because she was there. What lame excuse. But enough to send Rinka into thinking it was really her fault. When Murasaki starts becoming Bruce Lee Jr, the rest fight back to escape. Unfortunately Roshi and Rindou got tranquilized and the girls are made to run as reinforcements are streaming in. Even their house is not spared but luckily Kobushi escapes in time. Murasaki returns to her father’s house. This is the only place they can seek refuge now. As she goes to get her father, Rinka continues to think back all the events that happened. She really believes it is her fault and if she stays by Murasaki, she’ll get hurt too. She can’t protect anyone anymore and runs away by herself.

Episode 10
Kyoutarou is trying to get back to Japan but due to his limited teleporting range, he tires himself out. He better not end up in a watery grave. Rinka wanders around. Even the homeless guy tells her to scram! She is still thinking it is her fault. Got power but cannot save people. No point being a hero. Okay, okay. We get the idea. Deal with it! But she might be distressed because Kyoutarou didn’t keep his promise to always be by her side. Yeah. Whatever. She gets arrested by those special squad guys. What’s the point of resisting since there is no point living without Kyoutarou. Speaking of him, he is washed back ashore, partly saved by Minami. Although Kyouju intended to make a public execution out of him, she mentions she is different and not him. He accuses her of being the same as he killed people. She points out he is under ignorance and doesn’t know the truth behind their parents’ death. Rinka is now in a detainment centre for espers. Roshi is there and has lost the use of his legs thanks to the tranquilizer. But nobody takes off his panda suit?! Rindou is in a sleeping capsule because those with hard to control powers are forced into a medically induced slumber. Kozuki sees a golden Ark of Covenant in Kyouju’s room. He is going to tell her the story behind it. Likewise the same that Minami tells to Kyoutarou. Time for a flashback that reveals it all. Kyouju and his wife Seira, along with Kyoutarou’s parents, Juutarou and Kyouka are part of the expedition team successfully uncovering the Ark in a foreign land. The greedy and dumb general is so happy about finding the Old Testament that he drops one of them! WTF???!!! Glowing fish swim out of it. Some of them enter their bodies. They wake up in hospital while some saw the fish, others like Juutarou didn’t. To their surprise, those who did could do some sort of super power like Kyouju’s illusion. Kyouju wants to form an international team to conduct more investigation on this but the general wants all research to be done in this country. However Kyouju already has contacted the Japanese diplomat, Washibana and the general is not happy he needs to ‘negotiate’.

Kyouju knows that with the run-in with the general, for their safety they need to head back to Japan. However all of them are called to the excavation site. Suddenly a gas bomb is tossed and the soldiers rush in and fire, killing all of them! Only Kyouju survives as he overhears Washibana making a deal with the general. He realizes the Japanese government has a hand in this too. But another bomb is tossed in to ‘clean up the mess’. Half of Kyouju’s body is badly burnt. Somehow he managed to survive and returned to Tokyo. The nightmare only begins. He was cut off from his university as it was reported he ignored safety evacuations and let his team die. Everyone didn’t believe his word and think he is trying to blame the government for his team’s death. He thought of looking for Washibana, the guy who knows everything. But when he finds him, upon eye contact, it is like some hidden force forces Washibana to kill himself. The secret is forever buried. Kyouju is so enraged that he conjures up a demon and attacks that foreign country. He cuts off the general’s limbs while explaining his plan to use the Ark as bait to lure out the mastermind behind all this out and then kill the entire family. Oh, he killed the general too. No mercy. So as that land descended into anarchy, Kyouju remembers Juutarou and Kyouka telling him about their son and that’s where he picked up Kyoutarou in the decimated streets. Further flashback reveals after the bomb in the tomb, Seira used all her last ounce of strength and power to heal part of him before she died. And now the time has come to put an end to this insane world. Kyoutarou ponders about what Minami said about their parents being killed. Although he still feels it is wrong to kill, he was asked if he can say the same for his parents’ killers. Can he forgive them? But after thinking about Rinka, no use moping about it. What is wrong is still wrong. Might else well do something because action speaks louder than words.

Episode 11
The special squad barges into Kyouju’s base to arrest him. But he is all just an illusion. Left behind is a bomb. Boom! Kyoutarou has created a raft and gathered enough rations for his semi-teleporting journey back to Tokyo when he heard a voice talking to him. It is a pelican! Pelico was flying over the city when a glowing fish entered her body. Ever since, she could read thoughts of humans. She agrees to help guide Kyoutarou back in exchange he helps her find a suitable love mate. Hey, after all the crazy things that have been happening, I am not surprised anymore. Ayumu is left wandering around because mother told him to go to the detainment facility as she could no longer protect him. It is Christmas Day and a heavily guarded Tokyo. Yup. Back to the first episode. Some repeated action scenes. Some extended action scenes. Naturally the detention facility is attacked so that the detained ones get freed and join their cause. Rinka will fight against them because there are things she wants to get back. It is a rematch with Amie and Lin. Amazingly it is like Rinka has powered up even without her power. Thanks to all that training. Not only she can fight in the dark (to stem Amie’s mind control as you have to look in her eyes to be controlled), she is fighting with her eyes closed! Singlehandedly she takes down both those ladies. Was Roshi trolling about his legs because he can get up and do kung fu kicks just perfectly?

They are rounded up as Rindou argues with Rinka that he won’t let her go play hero again. He even goes as far to say this is not their responsibility and he doesn’t care what happens to others as long as she is safe. Because he doesn’t want to see her die again. She feels disappointed that he isn’t the person she used to know. He was her hero and wanted to be just like him. Although she might not make a difference, she still wants to fight as someone needs to stand up against them to tell everyone that not all espers are bad. Nabeshima has gathered a few police allies sympathetic to White Girl’s cause (why do they all look like geeks?) and they even go down on their knees to plead Rindou for his help. Our heroes storm into the floating parliament but an electrokinectic esper is going to zap them out of the sky. One of the guys in the detention facility uses his telekinetic shield to protect them. As an ex-boxer, he was touched by Rinka’s words as there are things he wants to get back too. A couple of guys were tasked with just a simple job to guard Peggy down on the ground. It must be boring, huh? Till they get owned big time by Murasaki, Ayumu and Kobushi. Murasaki is happily reunited with Peggy. Now it’s time for them to break into the parliament since Ayumu’s mom is there. After Rinka barges in and secures the hostage, it is time for another grudge rematch with Minami. Let’s get down to it!

Episode 12
So while our girls fight, Roshi and the police guys are kept busy with Kakunoshin. He is the one keeping the parliament afloat. I wonder why he tosses away his samurai armour. Just to show off his big body? Because logically it should protect him from the bullets unless it’s a hint telling us his body makes a better deflection of bullets thanks to his chi training whatever. As Minami and Rinka fight it out, the former blames her for dragging Kyoutarou into this and to stop acting she knows him. Wait a minute. Doesn’t this sound like women fighting over him? So yeah. She’ll destroy the world and save him, blah, blah, blah. But you know, Rinka won’t be put down by that because she still strongly believes it is wrong to kill. Because espers are still humans. Because if they continue as things are, the new world is no different. Kyoutarou is fighting to save her from this meaningless war. If they had believed him, espers and humans would have walked down a different path. Roshi and the police are defeated by the samurais. But thanks to Kobushi and co coming to their rescue. Kobushi shows us she has been training instead of bumming around as we see her. Because with her ultimate punch, she sends Kakunoshin flying through the walls and into the night sky! WOAH! Okay. So now who is keeping the place floating? Brace yourselves! Thanks to Rindou ripping his muscles to bring it down slowly although pardon the rough landing. Ayumu is reunited with his mom and she is very sorry for what happened. She should be. Rinka just defeated Minami and reunites with Roshi. However Murasaki has picked up Sukezaburou’s chain and saw that this attack was just a distraction. Kyouju plans to use an electromagnetic transmitter to spread the glowing fish throughout the city. At Tokyo Sky Tree, Kyouju opens the Ark and all the glowing fish start swimming. It’s like the night sky is on fire. I guess everyone is going to be reborn as espers. Of course Rinka isn’t going to rest and goes to stop him. Kobushi will help her. I think she hopes to get into Rindou’s good books. Rinka grabs one of the fish and her power returns. Oh, Kyoutarou and Pelico just arrived back in Tokyo. Must be tired from all the teleporting, huh?

Kozuki laments she got mixed up in some big time sh*t since her goal was to steal the Ark. Minami reports her failure but Kyouju praises her playing her part well. Now that Rinka has arrived, time to fight the big boss. He clones himself. Which is the real professor? However her plan of having Kobushi sneaking up failed because she might be invisible but she couldn’t hide her presence. Kyouju freezes them. Rinka couldn’t stop thinking about Kyoutarou and what do you know? Hear he comes floating down with Pelico. Since the pelican is a telepathic user, she is able to neutralize Kyouju’s illusions. Kyouju orders Minami to kill Kyoutarou for real however you can see from her face that she is pretty much reluctant. It sounded fishy when she asks him why it had to be Rinka. He starts thanking her and on the day she left, he felt sad because he was powerless he couldn’t do anything for her. Till he met Rinka who believed in his words and ideals. That’s why he was able to believe in her. If he had believed in Minami then, he would have wanted her to let her protect him too. And just with those smooth words, Minami is reduced to tears. What a perfect way to disarm a girl who was once so emotionless. Kyouju won’t have it end like this and has Kozuki take the Ark and Minami away. It’s time to finish this. Kyouju says he didn’t save him so that he could stop him but rather he sensed he could bring about some miracle. The guys draw out their guns. Suddenly out of nowhere, Kyouju is stabbed by a goddess. He tells Kyoutarou to leave for this is the path he chose. Then he gets divine punishment from some god. I don’t even know what’s happening anymore because the sky just turned red by this god’s dragon trying to devour the glowing fish or something. A week after this, the city continues to plunge into chaos with esper related criminal activities rife. Our heroes lament they couldn’t stop them from changing the world. They couldn’t do anything. However Rinka refuses to throw in the towel. The world might have changed but their ideals haven’t. She remains positive they can do this because like Kyoutarou once said, only espers can defeat espers. And so Rinka AKA White Girl continues to kick ass.

ESPecially Exceptionally Sorry Progress
Somehow, I feel ‘tricked’. After the very awesome and action packed first episode which I thought would set the tone for the rest of the series, who knows it suddenly turned into a flashback show. Yeah. It even has flashbacks in flashbacks. It feels as though the first episode was just a bait to lure you in into watching the series and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t expect the rest of the episodes to follow such awesomeness. Of course back stories are good too to tell everything and how it led up to this but personally I thought that is why using this epic battle scene in the first episode instead of showing at the end feels like a trap to capture your attention. Had they started off with the scene of Rinka getting her powers, I don’t think it would have captivated your attention and mine. Thus I think it was meant to be like this. The story of a normal girl of how she obtained such power and tries to use it as a weapon of justice. And then the ending… No feel good ending because bad guys are still on the loose and thus it feels rushed. That crap about what happened to Kyouju was unbelievable. It’s like they ran out of ideas or something and ended it that way although I am not sure if that is the end of him or not. All too ambiguous.

The plot isn’t overall something bad. Just that it is my fault for thinking when this long ‘flashback’ is going to end and when we will back into the action. Yeah. They took around 9 episodes to do that. Hell, at least they didn’t take an entire season or even 3 freaking months (I’m looking at you, One Piece’s Luffy – your past with Ace and Sabo in particular). Heck, I remember Tenjou Tenge whereby the entire show is flashbacks! Thanks to this idiotic expectation of mine, I started concluding about the progress being slow, the plot turning into a sorry state, etc. Well, at least the flashback that explains how Kyouju came to hate this world and took drastic measures into his own hands was interesting of the lot in the ‘flashbacks’.

Action is supposed to be the theme here but the most epic one is only in the first episode and the penultimate episode. There are lots of explosions, mayhem, random people getting killed, lots of blood, limbs getting chopped off. Just gory. That is why it was cool and exciting. Then the action descended into mediocrity during the big flashback. The biggest unconvincing and lame one was the attack on Rinka’s high school. It was bad enough that random students get beaten up, but the unfair fight with Rinka just feels lame. It is like they sacrificed the quality of everything. Otherwise, Rinka is quite a pretty good martial arts fighter even without her power. Is it me or Kyouju likes to drop things in his terror attacks. First a super tanker and then the parliament. What next? Is he going to drop the moon?

The characters feel okay and as usual there are 2 sides to a coin. The good guys have their typical ideals of justice while the villains have their own. Naturally rational people will think it is wrong to kill and destroy but if you were put in their shoes and went through the injustice and discrimination, would you be able to say the same? Not many people are strong enough to do that. Maybe that is why the city and even the world need people like Rinka although she herself is not perfect and went through ups and downs. But with her allies and friends supporting her (not forgetting her never give up mentality and lots of perseverance), I’m sure she’ll get by just fine. As long as Kyoutarou stays by her side. Yeah. He is the big motivation why she is able to do and withstand all this sh*t. So Kyoutarou, don’t say you’re useless or something because you’re the big motivation to a couple of girls for moving on. More on this seemingly ‘love triangle’ later. Strangely, the pair is separated for half the series. Reunited in the midst for a brief period before being separated again.

Besides the duo, Rinka’s ragtag team of heroes of justice aren’t your typical heroes you see on TV as they are just ordinary people (aside the esper powers they have). Like Rindou who is just a father who loves his daughter and like any other dad, he doesn’t want to see his daughter get hurt. So you can’t blame him for saying extreme stuffs or being protective because naturally he will start to get worried thinking she’ll be alright after rushing into every fight. Hey, somebody has to do the job, right? Then there’s Kobushi who has changed from her thieving ways into a badass fighter of justice. Thanks to the power of love again. Then you have a couple of kids completing that line-up with Murasaki becoming a reincarnation of Bruce Lee and Ayumu whom I sometimes think his afro hairstyle is a small running joke of the series. People always call and comment on his mini afro in which he doesn’t like it very much and probably it is that anger that makes him ‘power up’ and fight back, rebuking that afro statement and telling them off it is his natural hair instead.

Lastly there is Roshi who isn’t a pushover but sometimes the way I see him fight resembles more cute and comical. It’s like his role is to be the series’ mascot or something. Speaking of mascot, I think that is what Peggy’s role is. Otherwise a penguin flying and bumming around and hardly contributing to anything (heck, prone to getting kidnapped too) makes you wonder that they choose a cute creature to silence you up instead of making you question about its usefulness. Because I believe it ‘eats’ glowing fish inside people and the reason why it is called Collector, right? How often have you seen her doing it? Because it would have been cool to at least explain about her shark arm thingy. Whatever. Oddly too, did Pelico join the group? Because the pelican is now seen as part of them fighting crimes in the final scenes. Wow. How many animal mascots do we already have? A penguin and a panda and now a pelican? I don’t know, pelicans aren’t considered as cute as penguins and pandas by the general public. This could be something new…

After getting to know what Kyouju and Minami went through, it is hard to label them as true villains. They were once normal people until certain parties turned them abnormal. You understand their pain and grief and thus the inevitable attack on Tokyo. Despite so, was it right? Maybe they chose the wrong methods but thinking about it, I think trying diplomacy would land on deaf ears so the only way to shake them up is by doing something extreme. A terrorist attack that no one could ignore. Something tells me that Kyouju staged everything so as to play the part of the villain so that when heroes like Rinka stand up to them, at least a good part of the public would come to realize that not all espers are bad. Or then again, he might just want to destroy everything and then recreate a new world. In spite of Minami’s seemingly cold exterior, in certain light she still displays emotions of humanity so all is not really lost. Despite my complaints of this show is entirely sort of like a flashback, I feel that some flashbacks of other characters are welcomed but due to episode constraints it is not possible for this season at least. Especially I am curious to know how sisters Kobushi and Kozuki end up on different sides of the fight.

The romance part feels like a distraction. If you are hoping something would come out of this, you would be disappointed. From Rinka’s monologue and her constant thinking of Kyoutarou proves that she does have feelings for him. But I suppose in such emergency times, love has to take a backseat and you can’t expect to confess those 3 magic words during the heat of the action, can’t you? So it was rather funny that in the final episode, the face-off between Rinka and Minami, it feels like there is a hidden meaning behind their talk for Kyoutarou. It’s like they’re fighting over him. And it goes to show that Minami too loves him. Many times she could have killed him but didn’t. She couldn’t. And finally when she broke down in tears hearing his honest words, that just proves it. Sometimes I think she was just being tsundere. More heart-breaking for Minami is that Kyoutarou’s action often indicates he chooses Rinka over her. Like how he would rather sacrifice injuring his hand to dive down and save Rinka from falling to her death.

And of course the other love interest would be Kobushi for Rindou although I have a feeling it would be one-sided. Because it would somewhat feel wrong for them to become a couple. Imagine a guy probably double your age as your lover. Not uncommon in the real world but it would be disturbing. Yeah. Just like how ordinary humans find espers disturbing, the same case of a girl young enough to be your daughter is actually your lover is also as disturbing. But thanks to him for being the reason why she turned to the good side although she is still pretty much the most badass character. Thought to ponder: If Rindou ever successfully returns Kobushi’s love and marries her, then wouldn’t Kobushi become Rinka’s step mother? Holy sh*t! It’s just scary just to think about this! Another scary thought: What if Pelico couldn’t find another pelican mate and end up with Kyoutarou instead? This would bring the love polygon to a whole new level because 2 kickass girls are already hard enough to deal with and now he’s got a bird to deal with… Just saying, you know.

Drawing and art are rather okay. Something that you would expect in today’s anime standards. The coolest thing I thought was the teleport effects. It looked like smeared water colour lines each time the characters use this power. The only gripe that I have with the design of some characters is that some of them have this very eerie eyes. It is like the opposite of normal eyes in which their pupil is white but the rest of their cornea is completely black. It just makes them look creepy. Apparently a handful of characters with no relation with each other in any way such as Nabeshima, Lin and Juutarou have such insect eyes. Of course there are others like Rindou who don’t even have eyes. Completely white. Is he a spectre or something?

I am not sure about this but somehow I feel that some of the characters feel like paying homage to other characters. For instance, the most obvious ones are the Ghostbusters’ cameo appearance. Not to mention Bruce Lee because it feels Murasaki has become his disciple when she donned his trademark yellow jump suit, wielding nunchucks and howling his signature shrieky kung fu ass kicking sound effects. As I found out, there are cameos of characters from the Ga-Rei anime since both shows were created by the same person. But since I didn’t watch that anime, I couldn’t identify them at first go. Then there is that little panda who is obviously a reference to the character in Dragonball. There is also a joke that beneath his panda suit (in which he never takes off for some reason and that nobody even bothered to try take it off – not to mention the obvious zipper at the back that makes you itching just to zip it down) that he could be Yoda from Star Wars. Heck, his surname is suspiciously similar and sometimes his speech also resembles that Grand Jedi Master. Then there is the bar master who also lives with Rindou, doesn’t he look like Steven Seagal? Only difference is that this one is more gay.

Rindou himself I thought he looked like a buffed up version of Wolverine mix in a little of Chuck Norris. Serious! Even the way he holds his 3 little sticks between his fingers make it look like Wolverine’s blades. Looking at Edoyama for the first time, doesn’t he look familiar? Of course! Isn’t he that Leonidas guy from the Hollywood movie, 300?! For that moment I had this thought he might break and scream out “SPARTAAAAAAAAAA!!!!”. Haha! Oh hey. What the heck is John Travolta doing in this anime too?! Don’t recognize him? Well, I thought Torada look suspiciously familiar. Finally those special esper detainment squad members, it boggles me why they wear something similar to a hockey mask. Because they might become your worst nightmare as they resemble like Friday The 13th’s Jason Voorhees! Horrifying sh*t! Just multiply them and equip them with guns. Oh, those super soldiers under Kyouju, I thought they look like freaks because some of them are wearing fish bowls and other stuffs that make them look freaky. There are a few others like the general whom I have this familiar feeling that I have seen them somewhere before but at this point I can’t really point it out.

There is an extensive cast of characters thanks to the many characters including side and supporting. At first I thought Minori Chihara was the voice behind Kozuki. It wasn’t her trademark deadpan voice like Minami-ke’s Chiaki, the titular character in Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon or Nobunaga The Fool’s Ichihime. It sounded like Date A Live II’s Miku. So when I thought she put up that same voice again as Pelico, I was wondering why she didn’t make at least another different voice. Because it sounded so obvious. Later I found out it wasn’t her behind Kozuki’s voice. Instead it was Hiromi Konno (Sae in Amagami SS). Minori Chihara too had another short role as one of those cameo characters from Ga-Rei that she voiced. Another misconception was I thought Rie Kugimiya was behind Lin’s voice albeit in a lower tone. Turns out this Chinese babe was done by Yuki Matsuoka (Orihime in Bleach). Speaking of Chinese, I don’t think I have ever heard a decent conversation in Mandarin in any anime for such a ‘lengthy’ period. Yeah. Lengthy as in 1.5 minutes or so. Honestly, the restaurant owner sounded like speaking authentic Mandarin but Lin sounded more like a Japanese trying to speak Mandarin because the tone is not there. Like how I am. Although I am not proficient in Mandarin (and because I am so), I could catch her in that.

The rest of the casts include Ibuki Kido as Rinka (Claire in Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance), Keisuke Koumoto as Kyoutarou (Raul in Yuushibu), Sachika Misawa as Minami (Black Lotus in Accel World), Yoshihisa Kawahara as Kyouju (Yasu in NANA), Mai Aizawa as Kobushi (Natsumi in Negima), Azusa Tadokoro as Murasaki (Kotori in Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Megumi Ogata as Ayumu (Shinji in Evangelion), Tetsu Inada as Rindou (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill), Kazuhiko Inoue as Roshi (Kakashi in Naruto), Hitomi Harada as Amie (Himeji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu), Yoshito Yasuhara as Nabeshima (Aoshi in Rurouni Kenshin), Jin Domon as Torada (Ichibanboshi in Green Green), Tesshou Genda as Hotokeda (Optimus Prime in Transformers) and Aya Hisakawa as Seira (Maya in Tenjou Tenge). Others that I recognize mainly play smaller roles like Jouji Nakata as Edoyama, Eri Kitamura as Natsuki (this character is from Ga-Rei), Keiji Fujiwara as Juutarou and Yu Kobayashi as Kobato. Kaoru Mizuhara (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls) may have got the easiest role because Peggy doesn’t speak. Besides, is this how penguins sound?

The opening theme is Tokyo Zero Hearts by Faylan. Sounds a bit like the style she sang for Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls although this lively anime rock piece isn’t to my liking. But at least it is much better than the ending theme, Kyuusei Argyros by Yousei Teikoku. Now, this one is really heavy punk rock or metal or something because there are lots of screaming in this one. This is the kind of music where you go to some night club, get high on drugs dancing the night away like in some demonic trance while having such loud noisy music banging in your ears. Seriously.

As usual, the usual moral of the story about people being different with powers. I’m sure I’ve done it to death in my previous blogs about this. Maybe it’s time to repeat again. Because humans never learn. As always seen before time and time again, humans will try to discriminate and ostracize each other for whatever reasons. They’ll find a way to do so. It is both a good and bad thing because it shows that we are just being humans. To be human is to discriminate. But to be human is also to have hope and save others. Therefore if everyone becomes an esper, I think it will hardly be any different from now. Because even if they have an esper power, humans will find another way to categorize and victimize. You can see some who just acquired their new powers to run amok with it. Ironically, the powerless ones rule over the ones with power just because they are mighty in numbers. At the end of the day, everyone is still a human being whether you are an esper or not. Espers are not gods to be worshipped or feared. They eat, sleep and socialize with others like you would normally find. Also because espers fighting back after being pushed to a corner proves that they still have that basic human nature and instinct of fighting back for survival. So people, can we just get along already?

In a nutshell, this anime is one of those that fall short of expectations. The kind that starts off very well but disappoints towards the end. The only saving grace was the explosive first episode and everything else was forgettable. Personally, I think Hamatora fares better overall if you compare both animes of the same theme side by side from all aspects. It is commendable they are trying to use a similar but different concept in such super power acquiring themes but you will have to live with the fact that they aren’t explained well. Like how nobody can tell you why it is in the form of glowing fish that give you power if they swim through you (probably it is better than eating some power-up mushroom or something). And why the heck do they even make a penguin fly? I know it’s cute but seriously, a flying penguin? They should have put in a flying hamster too. Therefore, if you really want to watch this show, lower your expectations, do not hope for much, do not place much faith in the plot and characters and do not do serious thinking after it ends, you’ll be fine. Or not. Heck, it’s like talking about humanity itself, doesn’t it? It is just sad that not even ESP powers can salvage both mankind and this series. At least I have learnt that indeed with great powers come great responsibility. It is just that as it says. Because they surely didn’t mention about them solving problems, did they?

Shin Strange+

March 14, 2015

The strangeness continues. I suppose the first season wasn’t weird enough that another season was needed to satisfy our curiosity of strangeness. Oh heck, it is so that we could laugh some more at all the silly and strange antics. And thus Shin Strange+ is yet another season filled with yet of a lot of random and bizarre silliness that to call it strange would be just so underrated. The main characters, the quartet detectives of Mikuni Detective Agency will take up any jobs for anything but all we see them is get involved in silly and random events with old and new characters that only proves to make us laugh so hard that we might hurt ourselves. Can we sue them for negligence then?

Episode 1: Reconduct
Nana who was looking for Kou notes that she found Takumi instead. We have Takumi giving us a summary of what happened in season one in a very fast speech. Is he rapping? Back at the office, Takumi notices some big woman outside and wonders if Kou has something to do with it. He scoffs it off that if she does, he’ll eat from his butt and poop from his mouth. Nana introduces herself that she is here for the brothers. Takumi didn’t hesitate to shove the burger down Kou’s ass! Seems Nana is working for their father and is tasked to bring them back. Takumi doesn’t want to and throws an insane tantrum. He also starts lying that he doesn’t want to go home because Kou bullies him and that he wants to grow up to be this town’s Jun Fukuyama to meet all those cool characters! OMFG! Lelouch! But isn’t Takumi 28 years old? He claims he is a fairy who doesn’t age! All lies! Nana feels bad for crushing his dream and will pretend she didn’t see them. She will cook up a reason to tell father. Then she looks at them with the scary eyes that if she does so she’ll receive a pay cut for failing her mission. They need not concern themselves with this. Oh sure. But thank goodness Nana didn’t get her pay cut. She got fired! Now she is freelance, looks like she’ll be staying with them. And that is how they gained another weirdo in their ranks.

Episode 2: Exchange
Kou and Takumi fall down the stairs and guess what? They swapped bodies! So are they going to live the rest of their lives like this forever? They rest too soon because Ozu just came by. He starts feeling suspicious that Takumi isn’t acting like himself. Act like the other by doing a random joke? ‘Takumi’ uses his butt as a shears but oddly today Ozu is pretty serious and he can’t see how he could make that into a joke. Even the rebuttal (no pun intended) of ‘Kou’ didn’t work. Ozu is getting more suspicious that they are total opposites today. He is going to experiment on them. Feeling the need to return to each other’s body quick, ‘Kou’ kicks Takumi down the stairs thinking their bodies will swap back. But what is the point if he only falls alone? ‘Takumi’ then tries another butt joke and fails miserably. Anyway Ozu is here because he has brought medicine. Medicine to switch the insides of 2 people back. Everybody loves him now…

Episode 3: Crime
Setogawa has a request for Mikuni Detective Agency. Recently he joined a group of delinquents and he is in a lot of trouble. In short, he wants the group to be disbanded. So Setogawa brings the gang to Kanno on pretence that they want to join his group. They look so tough that Kanno is even sweating in his pants. Anyway he wants them to show their skills. And he means stealing money from other people and not him! But they don’t know how and have him show them the way. He targets a woman but picks the wrong one. Nana violently beats him up although she says she is against violence. Epic fail. At this rate his reputation will go down. He decides to go for an easier target. A weakling and a child. Wrong pick again. Because they are Ozu and Dorothy. Ozu injects a big syringe into his ass. Kanno takes Dorothy hostage but was beaten to a bloody pulp. Thanks to his failure as leader, Kanno’s gang is disbanded. Where do all the minions go? Takumi hired them to be their minions. The labour cost is going to eat into their expenses…

Episode 4: Princess
Kiyoko is dressing up as a princess for a school play. However the person playing the prince sprained his ankle. Don’t worry. Takumi is here to replace him! Oh God… Kiyoko starts flustering when Kou praises the pretty dress. He was praising Takumi. This embarrassment turns Kiyoko into an evil step mother as she beats up Takumi. She has to go on stage now but they haven’t had time to practice. Don’t worry. Takumi will adlib! Oh God. Before Takumi could spew more crap narration, she beats him up with a mace. Then here comes Masamune as a princess challenging her. Kiyoko’s motivation is that she might get to kiss Kou at the end. She powers up to defeat him with ungodly techniques. Your whatever freezing machine gun is of no use! Scary what love can do. Next up is Takumi as Thumbelina. In a thumb dress, literally. Anyway he got thumped. Next is Miwa the mermaid. With legs. However Miwa wants to get yuri. Seeing Kou cheering her from the audience, she gets the much needed strength to defeat Miwa. Finally the kiss with Kou she has been waiting for. But wait. If Kou is in the audience, then who the heck is this old geezer in the coffin?! It’s the principal! She blasts him away into the sky.

Episode 5: Resistans
Masashi, the nephew of Mikuni visits the office. He is not amused of being treated like a kid although Takumi is just being his usual jerk ass. Mera and Kaori are here to bring him back but he won’t listen. Then Kaori wants to use force and shoot him but Mera won’t allow him. Masamune and Takumi make pancakes for lunch but they fail big time and Masashi criticizes them that they are inept to serve others. This cocky talk pisses off Takumi. Want to poison him? They lecture him about his attitude that he won’t get friends, etc. Not fazed. Then, Ozu and Dorothy just come in. Masashi is taken in by Dorothy. Miwa could guess from his reaction and thus the incessant and devilish teasing from Takumi begins. And he had to do it butt naked… Masashi cannot take it anymore and starts arguing back. Kiddie’s quarrel. Mera and Kaori are so happy that Masashi is acting like a kid his age. However they are reluctant to report this to Mikuni. They might get into trouble…

Episode 6: Escape
Kanno and Hanei wake up in a strange locked room. Mera and Kaori are there too. Hanei are in sync with Mera and Kaori in their calm stupidity. Then the announcer proclaiming to be Beauty T (Takumi?) claims that this is an escape room game where they will risk their lives to escape just for his entertainment. Kanno thinks everyone is working with Takumi to trick him and won’t be cowed. So Kanno solves superbly easy puzzles that sometimes feel like an insult. Or just plain stupid. They finally open a door of the exit. It is blocked and with the words ‘EXIT’. Duped? The only other door left is this obvious one. Well, no harm trying. In the end, it led them to the capture of the real Beauty T guys who kidnap people for this game of theirs. Yeah. Dangerous criminals were behind that door. Kanno couldn’t believe it and faints from the shock.

Episode 7: Restrains
Don’t be fooled that the opening scene is exactly the same as the previous episode. Again, Kanno finds himself locked in a room but is tied up. Kanno is having a nice meal at the table next to him. Why didn’t he untie him? Those killer knots… He wants to be cut loose with the knife next to his butt. You mean he has a knife in his butt hole?! NO! The pocket near his butt, silly! Seems Takumi is also trapped here. Beauty T announces that this is his revenge game and they’ll be continuing where they left off last time. But why bring Takumi instead of Mera and Kaori? Because they are too strong and he prefers to defeat weak looking guys! Coward! Let the escape begin! Hanei calls for help. Because his handphone has full signal! However he needs to recharge his battery. Useless! Same thing for Kanno’s handphone. They end up arguing about this so much so Beauty T scolds them to continue the game. Takumi remembers there is this exercise bicycle in the next room and they could use it to recharge. As Kanno increases the peddling, it accelerates forward and slams into the wall. Hanei takes a snapshot and uploads this funny picture up a social website. Thanks to this, it becomes viral over the internet and it lead to Beauty T’s downfall as somebody reported it. Back to prison. All hail modern technology and connectivity!

Episode 8: Homework
It is the last day of summer vacation and Mikuni wants everyone to help out with Masashi’s summer homework. Really? And there are lots to do… For bug sketching, I don’t know what Masamune and Kou caught. Looks like dragonflies but what the heck is this Pokemon creature?! For independent handicraft, Kanno and Hanei make super laser beam from paper mache. But Masashi wants something more adult and mature. Sure. Hanei makes him some extract art with a long ass name. For journal logging, Dorothy explains the convenience of the internet instead of using Miwa’s old fashion stamping trick. But it was dangerous and stopped for some time. For plant observation, Kaori starts drawing penis shapes of the morning glory and worries if it is copyrighted or not. For handicraft, Kyouya teaches how to make hand puppets but our ladies make really freaky creatures out of it. And although Masashi finishes it all in time, he must be regretting having those help because how can he explain all those ‘alien life form’ works in his hand.

Episode 9: Influence
The quartet are at a lavish party. Of course they are here because phantom thief Rusty has left a message to take their treasures. They meet the second son of the head of the prestigious Konzern Kanamiya. He took over everything after his father’s death but because he looks as stupid as his dad, they hope Rusty steals his treasures. Hearing that name has him cowering in fear! Heck, he cannot stop wetting his pants. Super chicken. I think Coward the cowardly dog is braver than him. Of course Rusty is already hear impersonating as a waitress. She takes a look at all the big time politicians, big time celebrities, big time corporation heads, big butt alien… Big what?! Oh it’s Takumi. Kou thinks that suspicious person is Rusty in disguise. However Takumi doesn’t think so because that person has big boobs. Insult? Rusty shows herself and thanks to everyone’s idiocy, she steals Kanamiya’s huge diamond ring. Then there are 2 Kous. Which is the real one? Takumi will eliminate them both! Didn’t hesitate at all! Rusty is going to drop her sleeping gas when panicky Kanamiya comes crashing into them. It becomes the biggest sleep-in party ever. In the aftermath, the news reports that Kanamiya was able to fend off the thief and retrieve the stolen item. They are confident he will be a promising future leader. Lies! Rusty rues that when she escaped, she forgot to take the diamond.

Episode 10: Similar
Nana thought she saw Takumi being kidnapped. So she bursts into the agency through the window to tell everyone about it. But don’t they realize Takumi is here too? Heck, everyone is so dumb that even Takumi himself thought he let his guard down and got kidnapped. With Nana’s tracking device, they head to some warehouse. Upon closer look, this kidnapped girl, Mami looks very much like Takumi. Realizing it is not him, they go home. WTF?! You can’t leave her like this! When the baddies return, they see Takumi tied up in S&M fashion. I guess they switched places. The baddies call grandpa to make their ransom demand and give them hear his ‘granddaughter’s voice’. “What is the colour of your underwear…”. Instant hang up! Oh Takumi, you sexual harasser! Takumi starts fooling around swinging his fake boobs. I guess it must be a pun for ‘hitojichi’ (hostage) and ‘hito chichi’ (human boobs). When the rest are caught, including Mami, they can’t tell who is who because they are wearing the same hairstyle! Takumi becomes a demon and beats everyone up with his un-beautiful move. Grateful Mami wants to repay them. Oh dear. Look at that devilish look on Takumi’s face… Back at the office, Masamune and Kou realize this is not Takumi but Mami! The real Takumi? At Mami’s house being served by maids and eating all the delicious food. You’re putting on weight… You should be putting on clothes, damn it!

Episode 11: Fiction
Kanno seems pretty chirpy today and willing to do anything. Turns out Hanei is currently writing a novel and asked him to be the model for the protagonist. Thinking that his submission might win an award, Takumi ‘kills’ Kanno and will be his central figure from now on. Kou chides him of that but it seems he too is trying to get into Hanei’s good books. And so it descends into a battle to impress Hanei. From Miwa trying to serve well, Nana crushing regular sugar into cube sugar, Masamune trying to lend his stuffs, Mera and Kaori faking an injury to be action stars, Rusty sliding down to failure since her introduction was too long, Kiyoka’s dad kidnapping his daughter and begging the guys to have a tsundere role! Then there is this guy we have never seen before and he is so happy he finally appeared. But who cares?! Then the rest of the other characters like Ozu, Dorothy and Kyouya barge into the impress. It becomes some sort of big brawl. Impressive? Hey, at least Hanei won’t run out of scenarios. And so his novel curiously follows the exact plot of this anime… Guess what? It has the same name too? Strange or coincidence?

Episode 12: Sutopura
It is gender bender for some characters because we are going dating simulation style! Kou is the main guy in this harem genre and Takumi not surprisingly as a girl but not one of those in the harem. Get what I’m saying? Kou knows it is a pain to pick one of the girls so he ends up picking Ozu’s route. The setting and story change dramatically into some fantasy Armageddon kind of setting. They must confess on the rooftop or else this won’t end. That new guy who appeared last week is now their teacher and supposed to be some great wizard. But like hell he could do anything. Takumi finds a sword and pulls it out. It isn’t a blade it has but legs! A tsundere sword? And all of them become RPG party members. Yeah, they start arguing among each other. Somehow they made it to the rooftop and after Kou and Ozu proclaim their love for each other, the world is returned to normal. All hail the power of love! Everyone wants to apologize to their wizard sensei for making fun of this world. However he can’t talk unrealistic stories anymore and runs away. And it all turns out to be Kou’s dream. There, your dream punch line. Not so strange, right?

The Butts Of All Jokes
Well? Did you love it? I guess after expecting the nonsense, it is no surprise that we do not find anything strange. The anime retains its hilarious charm from last season so those who watched the first season can find and straightaway identify with the trademark antics and peculiar jokes. Some jokes may be a little too extreme (big syringe in ass must be the killer) especially the ones involving Takumi because this guy, viewers especially those who watched the first season should already know and expect Takumi to be either an exhibitionist or cross-dresser. If he is not naked, he’ll be wearing in some girl’s clothes. And if he is in his birthday suit, he’ll do gross jokes and flaunting actions with his butt. Most flexible butt ever. Can you beat such booty, J.Lo? Beyonce? Okay, maybe his butt is not sexy. But still hilariously gross nevertheless.

Again Kou and Takumi feel like hogging most of the screen time. But this is also because there are a handful of other characters. With such limited screen time and with the adding of new characters, I suppose even Masamune and Miwa have been pretty much relegated to the sidelines although they will still be around when the silliness of the part calls for it. At the end of them, they are still the lovable idiots that we know them especially Takumi who is the biggest idiot, pervert and troublemaker of the lot. Kou will definitely have a hard time putting up with it all since he is playing the tsukkomi/rebuking role most of the time.

Old characters still appear but to a lesser impact. It is confirmed that Kiyoko really does have a crush for Kou but too bad the way I see it, it won’t be reciprocated. Keep hoping… Rusty who was the first ‘regular’ side character in the first season made her appearance quite late in this season. She still steals. She still fails. Basically they are all still the same like Ozu still the shady doctor and Dorothy still the little moe nurse assistant. Not to mention the Mera and Kaori pair who have very good potential for yaoi elements… New characters are also as wacky such as Nana whom everything about her is big (size, breasts, lips…), Masashi the serious kid, the pair of Kanno and Hanei somehow I feel their role closely mirrors that of Kou and Takumi because Kanno is the one trying to be serious but Hanei is more of the troublemaker and joker. Hmm… Come to think of it, I think these 2 make the most appearances for the new characters.

This time around, there are no opening illustrations because although some were sexy, some of them in last season were disturbing. So was it a good thing or not? Heck, they even cut out the end card illustration. I don’t know. Maybe it is the version I watched that omits it or this season entirely took out those short little segments. But there are some eye-catch illustration cards (although not many) that are a spoof of other series. At least those that I could identify such as Hanei as the boy wizard Harry Potter.

This season’s ending theme is 3’30 –Sanpunhan- sung by POARO. This pop rock piece sounds rather okay and fun but not really to my liking. And this is one of the strangest things this season. As there are a few versions of ending credits animation, some of them have this very strange sketching of some hideous creature. I don’t know if it is meant to be horror because there was one version it was being spammed with such strange creatures. Monkey head with a quadrupedal body and bat wings. Is this some kind of horror cult? Too strange to be called cute anyway.

And so this is one of those series where you put your brain aside to entertain yourself for a short period of time before putting it back on and move on to something else. However something tells me it falls short of classifying this as some kind of ‘anime drug’ like what I labelled Ai Mai Mi or Teekyuu. Maybe it is because no delusion stimulants and fast paced talking? Maybe Takumi’s butt isn’t something that will get you hooked on… Thus if you love the first season, you’ll definitely love this one. If they ever make another season, it wouldn’t surprise me nor would I find it strange. It would be very much welcomed in fact because despite how silly and strange everything is, they still make you laugh at the end of the day. Unless you don’t laugh at such things… Then people like you have no sense of humour at all. Such people are just strange not to laugh at this kind of things. So give yourself a chance at this series. You might find strange things normal and stranger things funny. And the strangest part is that all this is not so strange. Because this is Strange+.

I guess it was inevitable. Sooner or later it was bound to happen. I mean, how long can you not succumb to the wonderful and high feeling of drugs? I am not talking about marijuana, meth or some cheap designer drugs, you dimwits. I’m talking about the surprise short sequel, Ai Mai Mi: Mousou Catastrophe! That’s right. A catastrophe. More catastrophes. If you love the first season that was filled with crazy, random, mindless, bizarre, stupid, uhm, things, you should love this one. Because there is no way that those who have watched the first season without getting addicted to it. YOU MUST WATCH THIS! I TELL YOU THIS IS GOOD! Real F*CKING GOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDD!!!!!!! Guaranteed to be happy and smiling like an idiot after watching this. It is just a shame that they didn’t double the dose of the number of episodes or the duration of each episode. I guess 3 short minutes is enough to send you into ecstasy. More than that, you’ll go straight to heaven. Hey. I watched this straight without taking any breaks. Am I doomed? Who cares? As long as I have my ‘drugs’. Let me have my fix NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!! Wowee!!!

Episode 1
Mi is a pirate. That is because she is from another dimension. However her friends don’t believe her and want her to stop kidding around or else they’ll tell her mom. Not her mom! No, please don’t! And I don’t know there was a last time because this Lucas guy was killed in some tournament by some internet idol. Who cares? Somewhere in Florence, Italy, the Six Brushes Society (although there are only 5 of them but you’ll only see 4 of them) are discussing the celebration of the debut of their comrade, Suzuki Sato but was defeated in that tournament. The big boss has chocolate lover, Taro Mocchiri explain their society’s goal. Something about some disaster that would happen if all budding mangaka submit their application to win some award. So they share their info and enter at different times to give others hope and smoothly produce record numbers. Thus it is their responsibility to raise manga that is restricted by commercialism to fine art. They hear a high school girl defeated their comrade but big boss doesn’t want her to be killed. It is not their goal to create a new world. Invite her to join them. But what if she decides to make a manga after defying them? Then they will make an example by killing her and a provision to the new world. What were you saying about no killing policy?

Episode 2
Mi is about to kill a kappa but this little creature is wielding double axe! Oh sh*t! And that tournament again, Ai managed to defeat Suzuki and advance to the finals. The rest of the episodes are short gags like Mi imitating a real emu; Mi the giant holding Ai in her hands in hopes that she will drop her manga manuscript; Mai licking a newt till it bleeds (WTF?!); Mi showing her muscles to Mai but when she shows those on her back she sprouts angel wings; A giant dog rampages throughout the city and the only thing Mi can think of doing is to text her friend. She got a reply saying it is awesome; There is a police squad going around invading house and arresting those who don’t own copies of this series! So better buy your copy now by any means!

Episode 3
Mi finds a coin on the ground but each time she tries to say something, Mai punches her. No choice, Mi offers to give her 2000 Yen to stop. Ponoka shows them a suitcase loaded with cash. She tells them to kill each other and the sole survivor gets it all. As they ponder about this, Mai changes the subject that she has debts. 30 million. She is grateful to Ponoka for giving her a chance to play this game. Besides, she always hated them. What the hell is she going to do with that chainsaw?! Mi tells her to calm down and would do that thing she loves. Some lame fish act with Ai? Well, Mai’s face still looks like a crazy killer. Before she can saw up Mi, Ai tells her they can run away with the money together. Ponoka then tells them to come to her by following instructions and suspicious directions of taking an elevator. When they arrive, they see her as a big giant stump and start panicking. Suddenly they have no more complaints.

Episode 4
Ai invites her friends to watch tonight’s festival. As Mai rushes back to get dressed, suddenly she is banged by a car. Ponoka is the driver. She was on her way to go buy sashimi and when she takes out one from her pot, Mi cares more about it than her dying friend. So the quartet eat dumplings while watching a couple of dinosaurs kill each other. The fight is so one-sided. Mi couldn’t stand it and calls the fire department. They ram into the wrong dinosaur. Eventually they are defeated so Mi calls the undertaker who then slays it down. Some knight monster is causing havoc and killing people. Mi is about to be his next victim when she pleads for her life to be spared in exchange for a funny one-liner. But since she couldn’t think of one, she allows him to kill her. However the knight takes it as a funny joke and she became a hit stand-up comedian on the dark side of the moon.

Episode 5
I don’t even know where to begin with this sketchy comic opener. All I see is somebody pushing a chick to somebody’s cheek and pushing too hard till it goes through! On a rainy day because Ai is preoccupied drawing her manga, Mai and Mi won’t let her and squishes her flat enough to fit into the fluorescent tube. Then Ponoka comes crawling in and sprawling with blood. Run away… The dumb duo think she entered that tomato festival in Spain. Then they see a creepy 6 legged creature entering the school compound. It could be a cat or their music teacher. What? And when this creature knocks on their door and claims he is Ponoka, the duo don’t buy it because she is dead next to them. The creature admits he is found out. Oh my. What creepy scary teeth you got there.

Episode 6
Mai and Mi are in a heated argument. Because Mi believes all seiyuus are not virgins! To settle this, Ponoka suggests a race. They need to carry hot liquefied rock to a shrine and the first one to do so wins. The dumb duo think of stupid ways to carry it with their bodies. When the race starts, Mai sucks it all up into her body like as though she is slurping ramen! She starts running and her Twitter fans start running with her. Mi won’t admit defeat yet and summons some God of Fire, Hephaestus to help carry the rock. However he can only do it tomorrow. Because his mom is calling him for dinner. WTF?! And so Mai wins and Mi is left to admit her wrongs. Seiyuus are indeed virgins. Please forgive her. Mai extends her hand out to Mi because she believes all virgin worshippers are all friends facing the same issue.

Episode 7
Instead of apologizing to Ai that they haven’t finished their manga in time, Mi is going to use all the money she got to hire professionals to get the job done. Meet cowboy Jake the magical specialist and alien Nardak who specializes in BL. So when they hand over their manuscript to Ai, she starts crying. Touched? Moved? Nope. She didn’t realize they were this stupid! Mi won’t admit it still although she feels bad about betraying her. They go back to Jake and Nardak and even throw in their bonsai plant as payment. However they won’t be satisfied by this anymore. Holding Mi hostage and criticizing her lame act to be cool, Mi admits she might be so but she doesn’t want to let her down because she is waiting for her. She trusted her. She’ll do anything and even eat poop for it! Really? On the day of the Comiket event, Ai feels sad she is alone at her booth. But her friends show up with the completed work. All is forgiven.

Episode 8
Mai has this misconception that this ito fish wants to die when it spawns just like salmons. She believes she needs to kill all of them so they can start spawning! She will save them! As she is a hopeless case, Mi runs to Ai for help. Meanwhile Mai is already at the river ready to chop them with her axe. Suddenly… Gloomy mood… Yandere face… Why aren’t they spawning? Do they hate her? Are they bullying her? That’s bad. Time for your punishment. Luckily Ai arrives in time to stop her. Suddenly the kappa pops out from the river and shoots darts at them. Whatever persuasion Mi is trying to convince him (the best river?), the kappa doesn’t give a damn and shoots the finishing blow.

Episode 9
Remember the legend Momotarou? Now you have Mi as Mitarou! Born from a peach and bumming around like a lazy bum, she is made by grandpa to go on a journey. She feeds a very hungry monkey (Mai) with the dumplings but it died because it was poison! Mitarou investigates this (aside useless information about typing letters on a keyboard and UV rays in summer), she discovers her grandpa is actually a demon and confronts him. Thanks to this, she is now a fugitive. This is part of grandpa’s plan to frame her so she cannot make friends as she is a descendant of Momotarou. Now she is one of them. She was happy when the monkey died, right? Although her mouth says no, her body shows otherwise. Now herald Aitarou, a descendant of Momotarou as she easily defeats the demon. Mitarou wants to make friends with her but Aitarou won’t leave it to chance and defeats her.

Episode 10
Mi contemplates what she should do. She wants a Lamborghini. And she really did buy one. When Ai tells her not to bring it to school, Mi rams into her! Ten years in the future, Mi is the top arms dealer and owns 76% of the world’s wealth! It looks like Japan is under her thumb. She then announces to the public that she wants to play a game. She will have her pet pick one of the prefectures. That prefecture she will fire her missile into it! Ai who is working as a remote control car while aspiring to be a mangaka barges in to stop her. Not forgetting giant size Mai who loves tunnels too. Mi is not fazed but Mai tries to tell her this is a dream. Ai tells her not to listen and do whatever she likes. Hey, she doesn’t look like Ai anymore! The dramatic cliff-hanger sees Mi in a coma on a tube…

Episode 11
Bankegon returns! It is eating up Ponoka while her friends helplessly watch! Hmm… Maybe they’re just enjoying the view. Mi asks what kind of funeral she wants. The Jakarta style. Continuing from last episode’s cliff-hanger of Mi in coma, the doctor diagnosed she ate too many imagawayakis and will die in 2 hours. And so Mai wanders around with thoughts of Mi flooding her mind. Thoughts about Mi who was a magical girl protecting the city from an evil organization, Purplick and fighting them all alone. This was the reason why Mi couldn’t finish her manga. Yeah. There’s even a song with cool guitar strumming chords on screen just for her. Let’s sing along! When Mai returns to the hospital, she sees Mi okay and back to normal. Thanks to Ponoka’s pot that did the job in like 2 seconds! However Mai is not pleased. She started becoming a magical girl because she thought Mi had died. Now that she is alive, this is not okay! She transforms into an evil magical girl while some ugly familiar pops up to tell her to kill everybody! Lest she wants her family to be turned into pancakes… Don’t ask.

Episode 12
The Six Brushes Society is going to make their move. However Taro is not around and as the big boss said, he returned home to take over his family’s rice farm and will quit manga. And the boss wants to talk about rice distribution… This is what happened during that tournament final that pits Ai against the internet idol. I don’t know what stupid moves they put as they injure each other. Then this gets overkill.  The idol starts bleeding everywhere followed by Ai. It spreads to the referee and then their friends. The audiences are bleeding too! In the end, Ai wins the tournament and although there were 512 casualties, this is considered low body count and very good. A grave of Lucas is erected in front of a pachinko store as his last wish and the records of this tournament were documented in a 4 panel manga. And then a mecha assassin panda shows up…

Delusions Overdrive & Overdose!
Wait a minute?! Game over? GAME OVER???!!! Oh God! They are giving me an option to continue and it is flashing repeatedly. Come on! Press yes! Say yes! Click yes! I want to have more! What do you mean it is not working?! Oh come on! The offer is going away! Please… Don’t go… Don’t GOOOO!!!!!! Boo hoo… When will I ever get to see another season of this again? I can’t wait for years, can’t I? Sob, sob, sob! Sighs… Ah well. I guess good things don’t last forever. It was fun while it lasted. Thanks for the ride, girls. Thanks to you now I am much more stupid than before. But I’m so happy… :-)

Okay, now that I am back to reality, let me just say that this anime isn’t for anyone who isn’t willing to lose a lot of their brain cells. In some extreme cases, lose their sanity. This anime has that potential of making people getting addicted with its silliness and in bite size. Not only silly, but some of the ‘jokes’ are sick too. Including that gag. Remember that usual gag? In last season, we had a narration complaining about something while shown a very sick and graphic act. This time, the narration is cut out but the sickness still remains. Some girl having her limbs stretched like Dhalsim and making a very stupid indescribable face while a chicken in a pot hold on to her. Yeah. WTF. Then for the second half, it changes to something less gross. Somebody dressed in a little bear or tanuki suit wandering around. Rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling… And for both these scenes, the backgrounds are real backdrops so it must be really ‘annoying’, huh?

As usual, the characters are super wacky and there is no logic or reason to things happening. You just go with the flow. Don’t think. Never think! It is dangerous when you start doing that because your brains may not be able to reconcile the differences between reality and delusion. That is why this show works. Mai and Mi are still the main stupid troublemakers and Ai is the lesser one although they’re all typically the same. Mai seems to be leaning towards more the yandere side and it is like any moment she can snap and kill! I think she won’t even hesitate if given the chance. As for Ponoka, she is still the sneaky one and of course who could forget her very useful pots. Other characters were funny and then forgettable. Because we couldn’t care about them and or their appearance. Laugh and forget. Some characters that appeared in the first season didn’t appear here at all but you don’t really care about that, right? So it was a surprise that this unknown Lucas dude made cameos. Twice! And of course, the best character of them all is still Bankegon! It’s sad his appearance is so freaking shot. He should have eaten up the rest of the girls…

For this season, it seems the character of Shiba Inuko makes her cameo appearance at the end of each episode. What she mostly does is help promote this series or warn us not to imitate the certain things that the author of this series did. There is also a cameo appearance of Chitose from Chitose Get You. I am not sure about the implication of this short and random single appearance of Chitose beating up somebody supposedly representing doujin leeches who get rich by leeching off other people’s work. Ai Mai Mi and Chitose Get You both appear and serialized in the same manga magazine. Topping up the hilarity of it all, those who have watched the first season may find it familiar their crazy theme song. Instead of the ending theme in last season, it is now the opening theme, Zenryoku Sakuretsu Ai Mai Mi. Also, the retro video game and pixelated animation credits bring the nostalgia and the frenzy craziness of everything. Keep up the good job!

Ah well, like they say, good things have to come to an end. I don’t know if there is going to be another season. I don’t know how long I will last and have withdrawal symptoms if I don’t have my delusional fix in the next 10 seconds! Oh wait. I already got over it. And I managed to overcome it without the use of pots. Remember people, don’t do real drugs and definitely not real pots. Lame pun intended. Corrupting your mind with stupid anime is hell better than corrupting your body with irreversible drugs. Yeah. That. ZXGABYPOEUBWKGFETHO… LOL! Till next time (if it ever comes), over and out!

Something that can only be used by females. Never in the history has a male ever been able to use it and suddenly there is this guy infringing this law and is now known to be the only guy in school and possibly the entire world to be able to use this thing that was supposedly exclusive to ladies. Oh, not forgetting a handful of girls being attracted to this dude. Doesn’t that sound a lot like the setting of Infinite Stratos? Yeah well, that is what I thought too how similar Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance is. Only difference is that in Infinite Stratos, you have the characters don some powered exoskeleton. I am tempted to mention Kampfer too but I decided not to open another can of worms…

In this anime, the mecha factor is casted aside in favour of magic and elemental powers. Yes people, as far as this world is concerned, only females are able to summon and make contract with spirits and use their elemental powers in battles. Unlike the tournament excuse in Infinite Stratos for fights, we have this Blade Dance tournament whereby teams representing countries converge to fight and the winner gets a wish granted. Come to think of it, those spirit gods must be some sort of sadists-cum-perverts to have only females fight-cum-perform for them in some whatever offering ritual grandly known as Blade Dance. Yeah well, you don’t really care about all that except to see our guy and his harem, right? No, really? You’re here for the possible plot and whatever? Okay, whatever. I’ve already resigned myself to the harem factor of this magic version of Infinite Stratos. Let me see some cat fight!

Episode 1
Kamito Kazehaya accidentally stumbles upon Claire Rouge bathing in the woods. He assures he is not into the naked body of a child. She feels insulted because she is actually 16 years old and is going to kill him. I have a feeling he was going to get it either way… Noticing her fire whip and powers, he realizes she is an Elementalist. She realized her nudity and loses her focus. As usual, our hero saves her before the tree crushes her. As usual, she takes it as the pervert is going to strike her at such a close proximity. The only reason he is still alive is because he saved her so she restrained herself. He shows her a letter with a royal seal. He is summoned by Greyworth Ciel Mais, the headmistress of the Areishia Spirit Academy that Claire is a student of. He doesn’t know her intentions either. Claire is stumped because only Princess Maidens can become Spirit Knights. She brings him to a shrine dedicated to the Demon Slayer, the legendary holy sword. The one that defeated the demon lord, Sulaiman. She was purifying herself before coming here to make a contract. She needs power. She pulls the sword out of the stone and is about to make a contract with it but it turns wild and attacks her. She summons her fire spirit, Scarlet (in her primary form of a cat) to tame it but unfortunately she gets stabbed. Before Claire can meet the same fate, Kamito steps in and chants the lines that would make the sword become his spirit. Claire is of course surprised because not only has he stolen the sword she wants to contract with, only females can form a contract with a spirit. My theory: Kamito is a girl! HAHA! Just kidding. Of course Kamito knows that there is one man ever in history to have ever done that: Sulaiman. To take responsibility for what he did, Claire wants him to become her contracted spirit. She ties him up with her whip and drags him all the way back to the academy. However his teasing makes her off guard as he slips away. Smooth operator…

Outside Greyworth’s office, he heard a protest from Sylphid Knights captain, Ellis Fahrengart that she is against admitting a man to this place. And then Ellis attacks him first and accuses him of being a pervert. WTF. Ellis is forced to restrain herself because Greyworth says so. Greyworth is going to have Kamito transfer to this academy. He wants to know where Restia Ashdoll is but she is not going to easily answer him. Ellis is tasked to show him around. Including this rundown shed her familiars made in 3 hours for him. Yeah. He has to share the toilet with the horses. He will be in Raven Class, the class where troubled and gifted students are put in. Speaking of which, here comes the person we know. Claire whips him up for ditching her to go flirt with Ellis. He makes her cry when he teases her panties too much. Since Claire is adamant to make him her contracted spirit, he’ll do it but they have to kiss, right? So now why is she flustering? Why is she scared? Why is she chickening out? Good thing or not, teacher Freya Grandol breaks them up and introduces Kamito to the rest of the class. Some girls are thinking how cute this normal guy is. They also know about him taming a sealed sword thanks to Claire’s blabbermouth. Because she also told them she had tamed him. He doesn’t want to sit with her but she insists. He is her slave. Rinslet Laurenfrost ‘saves’ him and insists he wants to sit with her. And then she asks him to be her servant. Oh God. First cat fight and tussle over this guy. Rinslet’s clumsy maid, Carol Nastassja tries to stop them but trips and her boobs all over his face. The class is in uproar. It’s going to be a long day. Back in his shed, Kamito remembers Greyworth wants him to participate and win in the Blade Dance competition. A competition he swore never to enter again. However she mentioned the strongest Blade Dancer, Ren Ashbell is going to be there with her dark female spirit. Can’t back out now. Besides, only 2 more months to endure this crap.

Episode 2
Kamito is being told about the essence of this Blade Dance competition. Five Elementalists are chosen to represent a country and the winning team will be afforded protection for years by the spirit lords. This academy is established to tutor Princess Maidens from noble families for that purpose. Kamito knows Freya forgot to say one thing and that is the winner of this competition gets to have a wish granted. Rinslet comes to offer some food to him in exchange he becomes her slave. No thank you. He has his pride. Claire happened to have the same idea and sees this. They start insulting each other. Cat fight #2. Rinslet summons her ice wolf spirit, Fenrir. During the fight, Kamito’s shed gets burnt. Rinslet douses the fire but overdid it and destroys it. Ellis and her underlings are not happy to see this and even badmouth their family background. Especially Claire’s traitorous sister. Claire does not take that lightly and challenges them to a duel. Kamito is brought back to Claire’s dorm. A messy room. He learns she has no roommate as nobody wants to room with her. She doesn’t even have a partner for the Blade Dance and as long as she has a powerful spirit, she’ll be fine. As she takes the bath, water spirits attack her. Kamito saves her again and believes the Spirit Authority screwed up as she mentions this never happened to her before. He gives her a handkerchief to wipe herself but accidentally gives her panties. Are you keeping a score card on how many times he will die like this? Thankfully he didn’t turn into ash.

So over dinner he asks why she wants a strong spirit so badly. There is someone she wants to see. She shows her crest of a lion of fire that belongs to the Duchy of Elstein. They are a famous noble family. Were famous. Till an incident 4 years ago by Rubia Elstein brought about their downfall. She is Claire’s sister whom she wants to see so that she could ask her herself what really happened as she was believed to have caused the Ordesia Empire to undergo an unparalleled disaster. Kamito remembers he is also trying to search for someone important for the last 3 years. It makes them very similar. Claire and Kamito enter some gate to the duel arena and meet up with Rinslet. Ellis and her girls are also there. Ellis summons her eagle spirit, Simorgh. Don’t get hit by its wind. You’ll be done for. Kamito summons his elemental waffe but the sword turns out to be a little dagger. So okay, his summoning skills has been rusty but he was surprised himself too when he tamed that holy sword. Kamito takes on Ellis while the rest backs him up. Ellis shows her elemental waffe, Ray Hawk and Kamito notes how beautiful she is. No, not the lance, Ellis herself. WTF?! So she doesn’t like that compliment? Girls, can’t understand them. Claire and Rinslet want to help but got in each other’s way. The match is interrupted when a demon spirit descends. Restia misses Kamito but thinks he is not his true self. She will make him remember.

Episode 3
The fight is put on hold as Ellis will hold it off. No, Kamito wants to be the hero. No, Claire wants to do it. She ticks him off for being weak and that he stole her contracted spirit. She will tame this one. Obviously desperate Claire fights it but to no avail as Scarlet gets devoured by it. Time for Kamito to move in. He uses up all his strength to summon his spirit and remember the time that he was Ren. Wait a minute. This guy is Ren?! The demon spirit is easily destroyed as Claire is reduced into a confused weeping girl. If he was this strong, why didn’t he summon it earlier. And he’s late in helping her. Girls. Can’t understand them. Kamito collapses as his spirit uses too much of his energy. He dreams whereby he was one of the many abducted kids trained to throw away their emotions and learnt to kill. He was chosen to contract Restia and then I suppose turned himself into a drag queen under the guise of Ren to become the best Blade Dancer in the competition. He wakes up and finds himself in bed. And a naked silver haired girl underneath the blanket. Oh God. Est Terminus views Kamito as her master. I’m sure he would love to be called onii-chan (because papa would just be so wrong) but settles to be called his name. And as expected, somebody is going to come in. She had to hide underneath the blanket again. Anyway Kamito is in the care of Rinslet who brought him and Claire back to her place to nurse them. Noticing something suspicious under the sheets, Rinslet takes it away. Gasp! Naked girl revealed! Est clings on to Kamito. I wonder how he’ll explain this. Don’t bother. Rinslet will kill him. This is the thanks she gets for nursing him? He is going to become wolf meat when Est easily subdues it. She is the holy sword that killed the demon lord and thus Kamito’s contracted spirit. So this is her true form?

Kamito can’t seem to get a good connection with Astral Zero as he can’t get her back even though he summoned her. She doesn’t mind as she was bored stuck as that sword. She wants to enjoy this world. The reason he is unable to make a connection is because his left hand is unconsciously refusing to make a contract with her. He hopes she doesn’t take it the wrong way that he doesn’t want to contract her. She thinks she is starting to like him. When she was a sword, she rejected 53 Elementalists (I wonder if Claire is part of that statistic). However she accepted him based on her intuition that they are similar. I’m not sure if it is that like part that made her so. And as usual, rumours spread that Kamito is a player that Ellis nearly cuts him down only to have her sword easily bent by Est. Once the misunderstanding clears, Ellis apologizes for hating him just because he is a guy and gives him credit for fighting back then. He was cool. I know this route… As Claire wasn’t in her room, Ellis thinks she is trying to head to the contracting ceremony for military spirits. In exchange for Ordesia Knights providing the spirits, the academy supply volunteer students. There is a powerful spirit called Glasya Labolas that you can contract with. Of course the contractors are determined by Blade Dance. Kamito knows what Claire is thinking and heads down there in hopes she hasn’t done anything reckless yet as she is without a contracted spirit and entering Blade Dance is equivalent to being suicidal. I guess he is too late because Claire is approached by a hooded girl (Restia) and since Claire wants power so badly, she lets her take this mad spirit that will draw out her true potential, Gespenst.

Episode 4
Rubia was believed to have betrayed the fire spirit king 4 years ago, took Laevateinn the strongest flame spirit and disappeared. The furious fire spirit king burnt the lands of Ordesia Empire starting with the Duchy of Elstein. The citizens cursed her and nicknamed her the Calamity Queen. Claire is fighting alone among other Blade Dancers. No prizes for guessing she is weak. When her opponents badmouth about Rubia, she unleashes her mad spirit. This is the mad form of Scarlet and as Est explains such a high ranking spirit won’t die easily as it just lose its ability to manifest itself temporarily. Although the mad spirit possessing it is low ranking, it is possessing other spirits and making them lose their reasoning ability. They are causing destruction as the crowd evacuates the arena. Kamito has Est become his sword as he goes to snap Claire out. Is this the power she wants? She chides him like he would understand and whips him. And then she feels sorry about it because he was supposed to dodge it. WTF. He explains about Scarlet’s case. She is relieved Scarlet is still alive so the first thing to get her back is to burn her spirit seal before Kamito defeats Scarlet with his advanced moves (since moves of mad spirits are simple). Then Restia pops up and Kamito is just so flabbergasted to see her. Is that you Restia? In the flesh. She’s not really in hugging reunion mood since she warns him that their spirit is awakening. Why is she doing this? Because this is what he wanted. Goodbye for now. No, wait. Oh, she has indeed waited for 3 long years.

As she disappears, Kamito believes she is trying to grant his wish then. Something no one would ever desire. Could it be his punishment? The golem spirit runs havoc and now it’s Kamito’s turn to space out. Now it’s Claire’s turn to bring him back. So she asks some details about Restia. She was his contracted spirit and it is his fault that this mess came about. Claire couldn’t care about all that because a minute ago he was like promising the heavens that he will be her contracted spirit. To really snap him out, she kisses him! That should really wake him up. Kamito easily defeats the golem with his signature moves as Ren and why he is worthy of the title as the best Blade Dancer. Claire sees the familiarity in his moves. Of course history repeats itself as he passes out. This also means he wakes up in bed and Est naked under the blankets. Uh huh. More déjà vu as this time Claire comes in to check on him and sees this. However it is triple trouble when Rinslet and Ellis come in. They won’t be explaining to Claire because Kamito is the one who needs to explain! He is going to die 3 times today. Although Est is going to protect him, her simple mind believes Claire when she claims Kamito is her slave, which means Est is also her contracted spirit. Okay. Does Kamito have his last words? Man, what did he do to deserve this? I think it could be related to Restia’s punishment…

Episode 5
Three years ago, Fianna was in trouble fighting off tree spirits. Of course Kamito became the hero and saved her. However she recognizes his elemental waffe (which was Restia) the same as Ren. She felt her world crashing down because she always thought Ren was a girl and for a guy to cross-dress as one it’s like a disgrace to Blade Dance. As thanks for saving her, she promises to keep it a secret. Before they part, she learns his real name and hopes they can meet again. He says they will but after the Blade Dance is over. And now in present time, Fianna has just transferred to Areishia, happy to have found Ren. Another case of déjà vu. Kamito wakes up in bed. Naked Est. As he is not focusing, she steals kisses from him! What is with her in kissy-kissy mode?! Oh. Here comes Claire. He just got healed and now he is going to die again? Anyway the duo are to participate in a mock team battle. How is it going to be fair, 2 against 5? Freya doesn’t care about that. That’s why they should hurry up and find their team members. Claire is cocky and confidence that they are enough to win but you know what they say about a pride and fall. So it is no surprise she is ruing how they actually lost. Yeah well, thanks to the lack of team members, they lack teamwork as seen in the other team as they fight to buy time for their important member to summon up her spell and ultimately defeat them. After the match, Freya noted that Kamito’s fighting is somewhat lonely. Rinslet heard about their defeat and since she is not honest as usual, Carol blurts out she wants to join them for lunch. Of course dense Kamito invites them to join in and thus earning him a kick in the foot from Rinslet. Stupid Kamito… There goes their private time. Carol informs of a new busty transfer student and this of course has the other girls really ‘worried’.

Seems Rinslet doesn’t have a team herself. She did but thanks to her pride and expectations, her teammates left. Now she’s alone. So Claire and Rinslet are at their usual of not being honest to themselves. Uh huh. Can’t find anyone who is the same level as them? Kamito can tell Rinslet wants to join them and whispers to Claire about this. However Claire doesn’t want her in the team citing that bad teamwork thingy when they were fighting Ellis. However we know that’s not the problem, right? It has something to do with Kamito. Get what I’m saying? But no harm trying. Claire asks if she would like to join her team. Oh no, why don’t Claire join her team? And so this silly argument of my team begins. Ellis interrupts and since she is like flustering asking him something, they heard other girls how she has fallen from grace with this lewd beast. There goes her reputation. She wants him to join her team and Kamito is tempted since she is quite high ranking (only the top 3 teams get to enter Blade Dance and Kamito’s team ranking just plunged further after that loss). However Claire will not allow it! I’m sure she did a good job reminding us he is her contracted spirit. Yeah. It’s like he is her possession. We get the hint. Kind hearted Kamito knows her trauma of being betrayed and turns Ellis down. Greyworth calls for Kamito and after exchanging ‘pleasantries’, she introduces a new transfer student that will study along him in Raven Class. Fianna Ray Ordesia is the second crown princess of the Ordesia Empire and from Kamito’s reaction, looks like he doesn’t recognize her. Kamito’s team is given a special mission to become her bodyguard.

Episode 6
Restia meets Jio Inzagi and needs his help to awaken something. He doesn’t care less what she does as long as he can prove to be the demon lord’s true successor. Kamito bows before Fianna but she explains she isn’t officially a princess anymore. Four years after that incident by Rubia, Fianna is one of the candidates nominated to be her successor to quell the fire spirit king. However she turned it down and her existence was erased from the royal family. Thus she is known as the Lost Queen. The mission Kamito and his team will also have to do is investigate an abandoned mining town of Gad. It seems there aren’t mere earthquakes happening in it but believed to be mass weapons of destructions. If the seals on it are fading then this is where Fianna’s expertise in using the ritual dance to reseal it back comes in handy. Of course this dangerous mission means Kamito’s team will get a chance to raise their ranking. He can’t decide this on his own and needs to consult Claire. Fianna is a little stirred hearing that name. Freya talks to Greyworth about Fianna cheating to gain entry. However Greyworth thinks she is worth the trouble and will be good for them. It’s the reason why she paired him with Kamito. Outside, rumours spread that Kamito has started hitting on the new transfer student (what the hell is this Demon of the Bedroom nickname?!). Fianna hits back by flirting with him in front of their eyes! Fianna hints to Kamito about his Ren identity. Although this guy is shocked, he still doesn’t remember who she is. I believe he didn’t tell anybody else about his secret identity so… And then Claire comes by… Another lesson to be taught? So back in Claire’s room, Fianna must be purposely pissing her off commenting how small it is. Kamito will gladly leave but Claire sounds desperate in preventing him. All that excuses about cooking and cleaning and the worrying part of the other girls approaching him, etc. You know. Get the hint. He is hers. Observed something Fianna? Learning that Claire has done that kissing ritual with him, Kamito knows Fianna has become upset. Fianna challenges her to a duel. Not Blade Dance but a cooking duel. So is Claire’s charcoal edible? I’ll take her word it’s not in the looks. Too bad it tastes bitter… Fianna believes she has got this in the bag. But what the heck is this lava stew? The moment Claire tastes, it she collapses! Fianna believes she has won! Eh? You mean this is how the cooking game is supposed to be played?

So while Claire is out sick, Fianna takes this opportunity to wash Kamito’s back in the bathroom. Don’t worry, she is in her swimsuit. I don’t know if Claire has super sensitive ears that she could hear what is going on because she barges in and is appalled at their activity. She won’t lose out and joins in. I guess she wasn’t that sick after all. So the battle to scrub his back begins? Claire notices his many back scars but he brushes it off. When she uses her spirit seal, this irks Fianna. Est then reports a commotion outside. Seems Jio has infiltrated the library and stole some sealed documents. The Sylphid Knights are defeated and Ellis is about to meet the same fate but is saved by Kamito and Claire arriving just in time. Jio wants to be left off tonight since they are so weak that they aren’t even worth killing. Ellis warns he has contracted double spirits and also another male Elementalist. As they chase after him, Kamito clashes swords with him and to his surprise, Jio can summon many other spirits. Jio says that Sulaiman has contracted 72 spirits so it shouldn’t be any surprise. So? Because Jio is the demon lord’s successor. Kamito loses but thanks to Fianna’s distracting attack, Jio now targets her. However she is so scared that she cannot move. It feels like that day. Kamito moves into protect her and gets a little wounded. Jio can’t believe he protected that trash. Fianna is not trash. She is his friend. Jio escapes as reinforcements arrive but Fianna passes out.

Episode 7
Fianna wakes up fine in bed. She flusters just about thinking Kamito. He wants to talk to her privately. Noticing Claire is outside, she purposely mentions if it is something he doesn’t want Claire to know. And this has that flat chest girl barging in to vent her punishment. Time for escape plan. Kamito takes Fianna and runs. Rinslet sees Kamito and Fianna together and we all know why she is starting to feel angry. Then she sees gloomy Claire. She is bothered that Kamito likes big breasts so much. Desperate enough for her to suck in her pride and asks Rinslet why her breasts are so small! You kidding me?! That just opened up a can of worms. She is willing to tell her a way to make her breasts grow bigger in exchange for something. In the forest, Kamito asks how Fianna knows his identity (no, he is not interested in what coloured panties you’re wearing – disappointed?). She gives him a few hints but he still doesn’t get it! You mad, sister? Finally after the third big hint, he remembers. Finally! She continues teasing him that he is her first love. She transferred to this school after hearing the name of someone familiar stopping a golem spirit. She wanted to use him and planned to threaten to reveal his secret and forcing him to form a team with her. She wants to win Blade Dance to restore her position and honour, especially those who laughed at her. Kamito isn’t mad at her for trying to use him. In fact lots of girls want a piece of him. Greyworth has been trying to use him for her means while Claire and Rinslet are trying to make him their slave. Then here comes Ellis. She is appalled to see them and Ellis fans the fire by continue to flirt. Although there are no school regulations on this (obviously all Elementalists are females, right?), but why is Ellis so bothered and will not allow it? Her underlings had to calm her down instead as she always acts like this whenever she is with him. Guess that says a lot.

They are here as they are on their way to Gad to regain their honour. The stolen documents were about Jormungandr, a sealed spirit in that town. Kamito suggests working together since they’re having the same goal. This causes Ellis to fluster. Observed something, Fianna? Meanwhile Claire is in her room turning into a deviant. I mean, she’s already fantasizing about Kamito using some magnificent technique to increase her breast size (as claimed by Rinslet to have the one you love to fondle them). She thinks of trying it herself but doesn’t it look like she is masturbating?! Then Kamito walks in… Amazingly she didn’t kill him. Rinslet tags along with Claire to join Kamito to Gad since this was the deal in exchange for that information. Rinslet meets Fianna for the first time and you can tell that sparks are going to fly over Kamito. But I’ll spare you the details over this since scheming Fianna is using every opportunity to cling closely to him. Inside the mining town, they hear fighting nearby. Ellis is engaging in a battle with Jio. Ellis is willing to sacrifice her life to defeat him and although it makes him sweat a little, Kamito won’t have it. Because how else would his harem be complete. HAHA! As the guys clash swords again, this time each sword Jio summons, Kamito easily breaks it. Remember, Est is the sword that slew the demon lord. Jio doesn’t care about Jormungandr or whatever. His only goal is to prove he is the demon lord’s successor and he is going to do that by defeating Kamito. Even though the other girls provide backup, Jio is ahead of them. Jio mocks Kamito has gone weaker not because he hasn’t been in the game for years. This is the reason. Jio targets the girls.

Episode 8
Of course Kamito gets in the way to protect them. Fianna can’t stand all this and is going to pass judgment on Jio. Using a Blood Stone, a pillar of light engulfs him although he is still alive and escapes. Claire then notices something. Fianna’s boobs are much smaller! She padded them?! It was to hide Blood Stone that she hopes to use as her trump card in Blade Dance. She is carrying her family heirloom around because after becoming Lost Queen, she lost her contracted spirit. This was what she used to cheat and enter the academy. She thought they would accept her as part of the team but looks like she’s no good. Of course you know Kamito would accept her because she put her life on the line. She is more than good enough to be their teammate. The cave is slowly rumbling and it is a sign that Jormungandr is awakening although Jio has not found the true shrine yet. As Ellis and Rinslet are still injured, the rest make haste there. Est guides the way as she has been here before. Meanwhile Jio is back with Restia and he blames her that her spirit didn’t help. Jio will make him regret for this but Restia knows he cannot defeat Kamito for he is the true successor of the demon lord. Outside the shrine, there is a diagram and engraving of elemental lords. One of them is cancelled out and Est comments that is Ren whose existence was erased from history. So Claire and Fianna dip into the pool not because they want to have fun or it is time to feed us fanservice (partly it is) but to cleanse themselves. Kamito senses Jio is here and engages him. Kamito senses some of Jio’s moves the same as taught from the school. It seems Jio is the first successful human experiment to revive the demon lord. However Kamito claims he is not a success because all his spirits are sealed spirits just like Fianna’s. Therefore he is a fake and not even en Elementalist. Jio just wants to kill him and prove it. He then stabs him in the guts (no big damage, though). He also has something similar to Fianna’s Blood Stone. Nebuchadnezzar’s power allows him to control many spirits but still to Kamito he is a fake.

If you’re wondering why Kamito has been so talkative, it is because to buy time for the girls. Now they are ready as Fianna unleashes her dance ritual to bind and choke Jio. Because his body houses a lot of spirits, they are going berserk now reacting to her dance. Before they can interrogate him about Jormungandr, Restia appears. She admits she is trying to revive Jormungandr because of her wish. Kamito will eventually meet her but not now because he has not awakened yet. Jio still wants to fight but Restia calls him a failure who cannot stand up to the real demon lord’s successor. However she is willing to try if it has a chance of awakening him. She becomes a sword in Jio’s hands as he does his dirty tactic of aiming for Fianna. Again Kamito uses his body to absorb the darkness. Fianna becomes desperate to protect him and orders the holy knight spirit, Georgios. They defeat Jio with their teamwork. Next time Kamito opens his eyes, he is back in bed. He expects Est to be under the blanket again but surprise, it is Fianna! I don’t know what ritual she needs to do on him that needs to be touching one another but it sounded like some excuse. Now that Jio is handed over to the military and Jormungandr resealed, is Fianna going back? Nope, she is staying. I guess the reason is so obvious. For those who don’t get it, the little peck on his cheek proves it. Oh, Claire had to see this. Fianna continues to flirt with him and a whole new war begins. This guy can’t even take a break…

Episode 9
When Ellis was young, she witnessed a match between her sister and Ren. Her sister lost and she was so awed with Ren. Didn’t she care about her sister? It must be a ritual for Kamito by now to check if Est is under his blanket. Today so far so good. He hears Claire and Fianna making something in the kitchen. What the hell is this aphrodisiac Fianna is making and this charcoal from Claire? They’re chocolates?! I wouldn’t have guessed. Anyway this Valentia festival is very much similar to the Valentine’s Day in our world. But Kamito is being such a douche to wonder why the girls are making it and for whom since the academy only consists of girls. Doh! Probably the best one goes to Est because she writes in chocolate over her body and wants him to lick her before it melts! Then Ellis had to walk in and sees this. She almost killed him. And the dorm damaged too. Meanwhile Freya reports to Greyworth that Murders are making a return since Blade Dance is near and will try to sell students cursed armament seals. Also, Velsaria Eva will be returning and she is the strongest Elementalist in the academy. Team Scarlet (consisting of Kamito, Claire and Fianna for now), faces off another team and wins with their teamwork. They discuss the next team they would be facing. It should be the third ranked Ellis team but since her mates are injured they may face the second ranked team or worst, the best team that belongs to Velsaria.

They stumble upon the team they just beat as they try to provoke Claire and badmouth her sister. Rinslet tells them off about acting like a noble and was faster than them in pointing her arrow before they could move. Scram. Rinslet wants to treat them to their victory but the girls refuse to let her pay for it. Till Carol reveals she just wants to eat with them. However they will have to do this later as Kamito has got extra classes. At class, he sees Ellis taking it too and he nearly got killed again when he seemingly sneak up her back. Then she apologizes for this morning after she learnt the truth. Yeah. She almost killed him on impulse, right? Ellis starts flustering when he gets close to her to tutor some important points. I guess she likes it so she makes a date appointment to have him tutor her at a later time. Later as Kamito and the rest go to meet up with Claire, Est happily holds on to Kamito’s hand, making the girls jealous. Carol mentions his other hand is not taken yet but the girls have their pride and do not take it. In that case, Carol usurps them and holds his other hand! Yes! Best move. Hope this teaches the girls a big lesson. Kamito sees Claire longingly looking outside a window shop. Rinslet tells him it is her birthday tomorrow. It is the same days as the Valentia festival. At the parfait shop, Est orders a very jumbo size parfait because Kamito promised her she could order anything. A promise is a promise. Kamito sees Ellis walking by outside and this causes Claire to get jealous he cares about her too while reminding him she is on a rival team, he is her slave servant, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill. The waitress who served them, Vivian Melosa notices they are an interesting bunch and sets her eyes on Claire.

Episode 10
I guess Ellis needs some love too. So as Kamito meets her, they’re not heading to the library to study. She requests him to come to her room! OMFG! Ellis said that?! And why the heck is she dressed as a maid?! Because her friends tricked her that men love maids (damn right!). This is to repay him. However Kamito says he isn’t really into maids (what blasphemy!!!!) and Ellis thinks he prefers a more lewd outfit. Okay, so he takes back what he said about maids. Love them! She wants him to order her around. She’s saying that to him while pointing a sword at his neck?! She needs to learn what being a maid is all about. Kamito commends her fine cooking and then she feeds him. She won’t take no for an answer or else. Once that is over, she reveals this might be the last time she brought him to her room as her roommate is coming back and won’t let him live if she saw this. She is Velsaria who is also her elder sister (although not blood related – as usual). She once adored her and wanted to be like her but now she feels cold and distant. Ellis invites him to join Sylphid Knights and will be compensated since they’re short of (wo)manpower after that last incident. Kamito can see Ellis trembling as she speaks to him because she is afraid. The reputation of Sylphid Knights has taken a dive since they failed to capture the assailant and people don’t trust them anymore. And because of that kind ol’ Kamito agrees to help out. So when Kamito returns, he thinks he can just tell Claire the truth and everything. Bad move. Because you can clearly see from Claire’s reaction that she is NOT happy he just spent time with Ellis. Even worse, he tells her he joined Sylphid Knights and became their dog (okay, the last bit was exaggerated but you get the idea from Claire’s point of view). She tells him to get out and hates him (really?). She thought he came back but oh, it’s Fianna. Nothing like a little girl to girl talk would help, would it?

Ellis addresses her Sylphid Knights and Kamito could hear some of them talking behind her back and not paying attention. Clearly her reputation has taken a dive. Before Ellis could introduce him, Velsaria waltzes in and badmouths Ellis’ failure. She didn’t even bat an eyelid to call Sylphid Knight members as pawns. Of course Kamito didn’t like that and Velsaria wants to test him. I don’t know, she just flicked her wrist and suddenly some awesome wind power just blew everything away!!! HOLY SH*T! It even causes a crater! Then she just picks a handful of them to be on her team. Why, those girls would gladly serve her. In town, Sylphid Knights make their patrol during the Valentia festival. As they break for lunch, some Sylphid Knights hang out with them. Trying to catch some romance? Since feeding Est feels like feeding a cute animal, the girls can’t help do so. Is Ellis hinting she wants some too? She’s looking a little fidgety. But she gets cut off from her Astral Zero and turns into a sword. Kamito sees Scarlet and follows her to Claire. As usual, tsundere lines. And that turns into jealous emo when she learns he is helping Ellis patrol the town. She becomes mad. And Sad. Even more when Ellis comes into the picture. The dense guy doesn’t get it. Because those are genuine tears streaming from her eyes, dude! She has had it. Go have your fun with Ellis whatever. I hate you! I think this feels real. She throws the chocolates at him. Meanwhile those sore loser girls still want to get back at Claire and this is their chance since she is alone. Vivian offers to sell them something powerful. Meanwhile each time Velsaria thinks about Ren, her heart aches. Not of the love type. Real pain. She has a big time grudge on that drag queen.

Episode 11
Ellis is conscious that her patrol with Kamito looks more like a date. The way she says it out loud may give everyone the wrong impression. Especially how they’re holding hands. On second thought, she changes her mind. Let’s continue holding hands. More on the serious stuff, Ellis continues her explanation of how she once admired Velsaria. However after that lost to Ren, she changed and started chasing for power. That is why Ellis wants to enter Blade Dance to show her what true strength is and what it means to be a real knight. Kamito wonders if she hates Ren. At first she does but as she watched her throughout the tournament, she became drawn to her. Kamito thinks Ren is like any other Elementalist wanting their wish to be granted but Ellis begs to differ. Her Blade Dance was nobler than others. It was like she was wielding her sword for others. Kamito feels relieved and thanks her. Meanwhile Claire is captured by Vivian but she is strong enough to break out from her binds because she is not naive anymore to want such fake powers. Unfortunately she is set upon by those girls who have been under control by the cursed seals. As Ellis is about to give Kamito her chocolates, several mad spirits cause a rampage. Kamito the hero again gets a little injured to save a little girl from harm’s way. Claire is also here to help out but before they can do anything, a big Gundam spirit, Silent Fortress, the spirit that belongs the Velsaria blows the mad spirits away and all those unfortunate innocent people in its way. She did not regret it as she neutralized the threat. She even insults Ellis’ view of knightly ideas which are just mere empty words with no powers to back them. She has no right to call herself a knight. Of course Kamito doesn’t like it but he stood no chance against her and got blasted away.

Waking up in bed again, he finds Claire’s chocolate in his pockets and tastes it. When Claire comes in, he gives her birthday present and explains he took up the Sylphid Knights job to get money to buy her this. Now that her heart is melted so much, it’s time to say sorry. Sorry for jumping to conclusions. Sorry for getting mad. Sorry for kicking him out. Just sorry. Fianna had to break this sorry state (pun intended) to flirt with Kamito. Okay, she is here to tell them their next opponent for tomorrow’s match is Velsaria’s team. Yeah. What a great time to open her eyes. Although injured, Kamito still wants to fight but he figures he needs a long range fighter for this match. Cue for Rinslet to come in and offer her help. Carol’s translation: She wants to be on the team. Kamito then begs her to join them and since it’s like that, can’t pass up this chance, right? Later Claire goes to see Ellis in her room as she is still affected by Velsaria’s words. She chides her for being down and if so, what Velsaria said is true. Mentioning about Velsaria, she might be strong but not invincible as she lost to Ren. Their goal is to defeat Ren and they will defeat all those in their way and get their wish. So is Ellis going to enter Blade Dance with such a weak resolve? She won’t. Good. Now join Team Scarlet. But Ellis has her team. Cue for her friends to come in and tell her that they will not be in good health in time. And whatever promise they made, blah, blah, blah, friendship thingy, blah, blah, blah, it is set then. Ellis will break up this team and join Team Scarlet. Welcome aboard. The harem team is now complete! Meanwhile Vivian approaches Velsaria. The latter has no intention of becoming her guinea pig experiment. There is some cursed seal placed on her heart and she will die in a few years but Velsaria doesn’t care as long as she can participate in the upcoming Blade Dance. However Vivian can’t have her favourite specimen die yet… Ellis tells Kamito the good news that she has joined his team. And finally she gives him her chocolates. This is as recognition as one of the knights. Oh really?

Episode 12
In the face off with Velsaria, seems Kamito has the sense to sit out and trust his girls to do the fight. Oddly for Velsaria, she lets her newly chosen teammates sit out as she believes she herself is good enough to take them all. Cocky, isn’t she? Then why the heck choose them in the first place?! Unless it is just in name to register as a team. Velsaria may rue her cockiness because our Team Scarlet girls are getting better at teamwork with Claire providing to be a good commander, Rinslet freezing her Gundam and bringing it down to the ground and Ellis’ wind shattering it after Claire’s hot temperature melts its structural integrity. Even so, Velsaria can still run her mouth. At the verge of defeat, she will not give up and this causes the cursed seal to activate. Why do they always happen at this time? As usual, Velsaria is no longer in control over herself and her spirit as they go out of control. Surprisingly not berserk enough for everyone to evacuate because they’re just sitting there watching. Although Freya wants to call the match off, Greyworth wants it to continue and see what happens. Velsaria’s dark aura is absorbing the girls’ energy and Ellis is pretty sad she had stoop this low to get a cursed seal. And when all the girls get caught in her dark aura, here comes our hero in good timing to free them. It wouldn’t be much of a harem if his girls are dead, right? Of course Claire scolds him for trying to be reckless despite his injuries. Even so, he won’t let Velsaria hurt his harem teammates. Kamito employs his Ren moves and but he cannot be in such a state for long as the pain is getting to him. Fianna uses what is left of her power to heal Kamito in expense of her own energy. I guess you can’t put that to waste so Kamito and the rest cooperate to take Velsaria down. Up close with her, Kamito stabs her heart and vows to save her. With his face this close, Velsaria realizes he looks like Ren. Heck, it is him.

Velsaria regains her control but rues another loss. Of course it’s chivalry time. He didn’t do it on his own. He had friends and a power the strongest Blade Dancer didn’t have 3 years ago. Although Vivian can’t use her favourite specimen for now, she is interested in Kamito and plans to use him. Unfortunately for her, Greyworth has found her and Vivian looks like she is in panic. She was once a student of this academy and failed. Greyworth could tell it was her because her cursed seals were identical when she worked on as a student. I guess she never improved. Now for some punishment. I don’t know about Greyworth but that dark aura was scary enough to scare the sh*t out of Vivian! She became a bloody mess in the end. No kidding. Greyworth could sense this is Restia’s doing and the latter won’t let her do as she wish with Kamito. Why do girls always want a piece of him one way or another? Back home, Kamito and the girls have to finish what is left of the chocolates from the festival. They’re going to finish all of them? They should have called me the chocolate lover to help… The usual antics of Fianna trying to flirt with him, Claire wanting to burn him out of her jealousy and Ellis once more getting trick by her friends to don a lovely gown as she thought this was a party. Flashback reveals Velsaria has opened her eyes after that defeat and apologizes to her sister for everything. Wow. Like sorry solves everything. Okay, good enough. She hopes they will win Blade Dance. Although the cursed seal in her heart is removed, some circuit in her is destroyed and can’t summon spirits anymore. But a big thank you from Ellis to Kamito for saving her sister. Kamito disagrees. She saved her. Whatever. Team Scarlet becomes one of the top 3 teams as they begin their journey to the Blade Dance competition. Claire is glad to have met Kamito (who doesn’t?) while Restia continues to watch over Kamito.


3 over minutes of you-know-what. Need I spell that out for you? FANSERVICE! Isn’t that the reason why you watch the TV series? Now head over the specials for more delicious desserts…

Special 1
Set during the time when Kamito was a boy before participating in the Blade Dance tournament. Restia is his partner as they walk around town undercover siblings. He wants her to team up for the tournament. She’s cool, he’s anxious. Anyway we hear Kamito talking about his plan to steal the seal spirit when the royal guards are in disarray. However Restia thinks it is still too early for the mission and wants to enjoy the festival more. Young Claire and Rinslet make short cameos here. Hey, wait a minute. WHERE’S THE FANSERVICE???!!! Unless you call Restia feeding Kamito parfait amounts to one.

Special 2
Okay, after the first special’s false start, true fanservice starts here. Kamito is having a fever and Est is going to nurse him. She insists on feeding Kamito burning hot porridge. But you know what is hotter than that? Est stripping down naked and only clad in knee socks! Her logic is that this way is the fastest to cool down his fever. Cool down? I can sense the temperatures rising! Don’t worry, spirits don’t catch a cold. Now she wants to insert leeks into his butt! Show me you ass! Holy sh*t! She won’t let him leave! I am guessing if his top gets healed, his bottom is going to be really sore…

Special 3
Fianna and Claire put on their waitress outfit for their part time job. Yeah well… Kamito too… So does Est… Fianna takes the opportunity to fix better Kamito’s outfit, causing the tsundere to be jealous. But play time is over because in this café where Carol works, our waitresses have to get serious in working because Carol demands only the best! Never thought this maid could be such a strict person, eh? Ellis spots Rinslet spying from outside. Curious about their ‘indecent uniform’, they go in to investigate. Wait a minute. It just ends like this? How anti-climax!

Special 4
Claire and Rinslet dip into some special lake believed to house some busty boob spirit. I guess they’re that desperate. So are we ;p. Claire is thankful to Rinslet for this as she owes her one. Something that she might have forgotten. Flashback reveals Claire was bullied by other girls but Rinslet told them off for bullying the weak. Something must be wrong with Rinslet’s eyes to think Claire’s boobs have gotten bigger. I don’t know. Maybe it is my 2D screen monitor ;p. She thinks it is that book she lent her. Because they’re desperate enough that if they can’t find that spirit, they’ll have to resort to that technique. Yup. Rubbing them. Kamito senses the presence of a spirit and rushes over only to see the naked girls. They’re not too pleased, though. You can guess his fate. Hmm… No spirit. Could it be just the wind and Kamito overthinking? I bet it is.

Special 5
Call it dumb or desperate but Kamito and the girls are some sort of ritual to make a dark nabe to see if the rumours are true that you can summon spirits via this method. And since nobody knows much about it, they think what Est says is true (I think she herself doesn’t know much about it). Because she’s saying it is such a big deal that Blade Dancers stake their lives to do this summon thingy. Aren’t you scared? Oh, I’m scared alright. Kamito’s guts say that he wants to ‘run away’ was probably right but he can’t let his harem get into trouble, right? Fianna then casts her magic before it turns into some nasty colour in which they believe it has become dark nabe. And I don’t know who made up this rule about taking turns to eat whatever they take and the last person who doesn’t pass out will be able to make contact. It’s like playing Russian roulette, huh? Rinslet pride has her go first but whatever this thing is, it tastes like chocolate! Not so bad, I guess. Then Claire pulls up some ugly lobster and this scares the sh*t out of Ellis. Already scared from this entire experience, she starts clinging to Kamito. Then it descends into some jealousy argument that they want to do this too. Hey wait a minute. That’s just it? WTF?! So this whole spirit summoning thing is just a prelude for this unexciting hug thing that we don’t even get to see?!

Elementary Of Harem Dance
Okay, I expected something like this would happen and as usual, a potential for another season because at least this series has some potential from development from the characters and plot. The back stories of the characters and the future path that they will be taking seem interesting on its own right. Each of them have some sort of troubled past and honour they want to regain, the reason they want to win Blade Dance so badly. Therefore to say it is not really up to standard just because it only has the storyline restricted to a dozen standards isn’t quite fair. But then again as far as this season is concerned, it could have been better. I don’t know. How do you make better a harem anime like this one? So my overall opinion is thus that it might not be outstanding but at least it doesn’t suck either. Either this anime is really so or my expectations of such genres have really fallen so low without me noticing to actually not criticise it so bad.

The characters feel okay although they seem like typical archetypes in a harem anime that has been done to death. You know, we got the typical tsundere in Claire, tsundere of the other kind in Ellis, the rich company-seeking Rinslet, the flirtatious Fianna and of course the carefree and blur head Est who seems to be in a world of her own. It’s hard to say if Restia would be part of his harem since she feels leaning more towards as an antagonist. Perhaps she is the coolest girl in the series because she is just watching over them all, smiling, creepily, doesn’t break into a sweat or anything. She’s just cool. Just bidding her time for something. I hope whatever Kamito’s wish he made as Ren wasn’t about world destruction because my guts tell me that is what it seems. Now it feels like he is regretting so.

I don’t know, Claire feels like a mix between Zero No Tsukaima’s Louise and Shana of Shakugan No Shana. All characters are flat chest tsundere and their personalities are pretty much familiar. Just put Louise whip and equip it with Shana’s flame and voila! You get Claire! Oh yeah. I’m seeing a pattern here. Plus, her little violent tendency to whip and burn Kamito just the slightest jealousy (she calls it punishment for being lewd) feels a bit like what Louise would do to Saito. Kamito feels like the generic guy and hero. Good guy. Helps the girls in trouble. Has some kind of secret and latent power. Not perfect. Need I go on? But definitely not a wimp. You don’t want to mess with him when he is serious especially now he is wielding the legendary holy sword. One thing odd about Ellis is that despite her captaincy as Sylphid Knights, how come she is quick to punish Kamito for acts that are deceptively lewd even though they are not? I know she has been living a life with some strict discipline but how does she know what constitutes lewd or not? It’s like the way she acts, she is telling us she has experience to tell what is being perverted or not. I know, I know. She’s in love with Kamito and that’s why she’s acting like that but really, no boys ever in the school and I believe she doesn’t need to patrol disciplinary in such matters before. Strange, isn’t it?

So the romance isn’t much and left to be desired more. More so because Kamito is such a derp and douche to notice it just like you typical male protagonist in many harem shows. It feels like all of the major and supporting girls want him for whatever reasons. His harem girls of course they want his attention and others like Greyworth and Restia have their own hidden agenda in using him which at this point isn’t really known yet. Even Vivian could be added to the list but too bad from the looks of it she has been done for although I won’t discount that isn’t really the end of her yet. The best part is that at one point Kamito even admits that he knows girls want a piece of him. That ‘hot’, huh? Speaking of which, unlike Infinite Stratos whereby all the other non-important extra backgrounds girls (all other girls rather than the harem or supporting, to put it simply) love this guy and want to make him theirs, in here Kamito doesn’t have that attraction to the other girls. Heck, I think they don’t really bother about him either. Although I don’t see any yuri happenings, at least it proves that they aren’t guy crazy since like in Infinite Stratos’ case where their hormones start to work up and go wild after seeing the only guy in history enrolling in their academy. Prior to Velsaria opening her eyes, you could say she too wants a piece of him. For revenge. So once she is defeated, she isn’t really such a bad girl. She just got lost along the way after being disillusioned by her humiliating and easy defeat to Ren in the first round 3 years ago. So you see people? Hunger for power corrupts.

There are a handful of so called romantic scenes between Kamito and the girls (thus what you call a harem). Most of them get a decent share of the spotlight with him. Like Claire who is using this spirit slave excuse thingy and her tsundere personality to be close to him or ring him in. Fianna is the most daring of the girls and sometimes you can hear her hint sexual subtexts to him. Kamito treats Est ‘better’ than everyone else just because she is his sword and the act of patting her head could even send the girls seething their teeth and pouting in jealousy. Even Ellis got her own spotlight towards the end of the series just to justify why this chivalrous knight needs to fall in love with this dude. Heck, even without all that you can already sense it because of the way she gets worked up near him, her emotions fluster greatly whenever he is around, accusing him whenever she thinks he is doing something indecent. Just like Claire. So with Kamito helping to save her sister, doesn’t this justify for her to be part of his harem?

As I said that most of his harem girls get the spotlight because the only who doesn’t is Rinslet. Therefore as far as this season is concerned, she is made to look like a rich bimbo. I wouldn’t want to discount Carol too because, which guy doesn’t love maids? Okay, so that is just me but seriously. I believe Carol too has a liking for Kamito but not really of the romantic kind. She is quite the honest girl in the sense she is Rinslet feelings translator. If you can’t guess what roundabout way Rinslet is saying, Carol will put it simply what she wants in simple tense instead. So most probably Carol is around just to give her master a push but with Rinslet having her pride, it seems it is going to take a while. Unless the girls need that usurp lesson again. That was a really good one.

Fanservice wise, I have a feeling they are catering to those with knee socks fetish. Because they seem to show us a lot of Est’s butt naked but only clad in knee socks scenes. She is a serial offender in this department. I don’t even know how she came to this conclusion that Kamito may like this. Heck, I think Est provides the most fanservice compared to the other girls. Sure you have Fianna’s daring flirtation rubbing her boobs on Kamito (which also serves as a double edge sword to smite Claire – how else do you make good use of those boobs?), some bathing scenes but it isn’t anything alarming or even provoking. Unless you consider Est’s naked knee socks fanservice as threading on dangerous grounds. I don’t know if it is a running joke of the series that Est is the main offender to hide under Kamito’s blanket because she assumes he likes it. I don’t even know how she came up with such assumption. For better or worse, it always leads to that cliché situation of another girl (Claire especially) coming in. Saw that one coming.

Faring slightly worse than the service is the action parts. It feels like a little side distraction to everything. Sure, Kamito swings his holy sword while the rest of the girls assist or back him up with their weapon-cum-elemental power. Fire, ice, wind and, erm, earth dance? Sometimes I feel that the fights by the Elementalists using their spirits are just a gigantic version of Pokemon and infused with lots of magic. But despite all of that everything feels weak and really nothing to shout about. The final fight with Velsaria feels just okay but Kamito’s fight with Jio feels paltry. Eventually despite all the sealed spirits Jio have, he still loses to Kamito. So it proves that if you’re not a hero of the show, fake demon lord or not, you will never win even though you have seemingly godly powers. And yeah, the power of the harem to go with it too ;p. In a way, sometimes I have this feeling that I have been short-changed because when Kamito is supposed to do his Ren moves, we don’t actually see them but snippets of, I don’t know, his still motion poses or something. Maybe it’s so great that we don’t deserve seeing, huh? It’s like they’re telling us to use your imagination! Personally I think I prefer the cat fights when they start fighting over Kamito but that usually don’t last very long. Why are you looking at me with those eyes?!

The art and drawing are also your typical conventional Japanese anime style. If you’re pretty familiar of how animes like Seikoku No Dragonar, Mashiro-Iro Symphony and Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi are, you’d be feeling at home with this one. Besides, the studio that animated this series, TNK also employed such styles in some of their productions like Lovedol, Kyoshiro To Towa No Sora and Akane-iro Ni Somaru Saka. On a side note, personally I feel the contracted spirits’ design seem dull. Sure, Scarlet is cute enough to be the series mascot but Fenrir and Simorgh look pretty ordinary. And oh, this means other contracted spirits by other non-important characters feel like oversized Pokemon creatures. Yeah, gotta catch ‘em all?

Voice acting wise seems decent, nothing spectacular and nothing for me to complain. Ibuki Kido takes on the role of Claire and I suppose she did a decent job in voicing a typical tsundere although I thought Rie Kugimiya would have been icing on the cake. She was also the voice of Nanami in Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara who is also a tsundere character but not as emo as Claire. Seems veteran seiyuus like Youko Hikasa as Restia (Mio in K-ON!), Mai Nakahara as Greyworth (Mai in Mai-HiME), Yumi Kakazu as Freya (Mikaze in Stratos 4) and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Jio (Kirito in Sword Art Online) playing secondary characters, the main supporting casts are voiced by lesser known seiyuus. They are Makoto Furukawa as Kamito (Banri in Golden Time), Ai Kakuma as Est (Hakua in Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara), Kana Yuuki as Rinslet (Hachiko in Ai Tenchi Muyo), Shizuka Ishigami as Ellis (Inoue in Majimoji Rurumo), Saori Oonishi as Fianna (La Folia in Strike The Blood)and Manami Tanaka as Carol (Alice in Kiniro Mosaic). Not forgetting Ayane Sakura as Velsaria (Suzuka in Tokyo Ravens) and Harumi Sakurai as Vivian (Lisanna in Fairy Tail) as well.

The opening theme is Kyoumei No True Force. At first I thought it was an effeminate male singer singing this rock piece but turns out Hitomi Harada was the one doing the vocals. This song doesn’t sound too bad too as I believe it mixes in a bit of some funk. The ending theme is Blade Dance by Knee Socks. Having a band name like that proves the kind of fetish this anime is trying to show us. Even more so, this group is made out of Kamito’s 5 harem girls singing it. I think that just nails it. Although this piece is interesting because it has some Celtic tune, I find some of the singing lines odd because it’s like as though they’re rapping and saying their words too fast because there isn’t enough time to fit all what they have to say in it. At least that is what I feel. Or you can say that somebody slightly fast forward those lines to make it as sound though the girls are singing those lines fast and in short bursts. Just plain weird if you ask me.

Overall, this series just like the abundant harem genres out there isn’t the best and definitely isn’t the worst. Yeah. It is that middle ground answer from me again. You watch this show just for the plain fun and entertainment value especially if you are into fantasy + harem. Note again, fantasy + harem, not fantasy harem, if you get what I mean. If it gets another season, so be it and I’ll still put this anime on my to-watch list and see if the cat fight and the harem intensifies. Oops! I mean to see how far Team Scarlet can go and get their honour and pride restored. Okay, who am I kidding? I already said I was here for the harem romance thingy. I’d be lying if I watch it without this as my main motivating excuse. So Team Scarlet, please win Blade Dance and let us have a second season.

Re: Hamatora

March 7, 2015

After that nail biting cliff-hanger at the end of last season, the sequel Re: Hamatora is a much welcome relief for those following the series closely and like yours truly want some answers left unanswered by the first season and thus completing the series. Just because of certain groups of people having supernatural powers, a whole lot of complications, conflicts and difficulties arise from discrimination to extreme prejudice. Personally I thought the first season was really cool especially the execution of things. Hopefully this season gets to live up to its bill and surpass all that.

Episode 1
What a gloomy way to start the sequel. Cafe Nowhere is close to hold a memorial service for Nice. Although it has been 3 months since the riots, Nice is believed to have died in hospital :’(. I don’t know if they’re trying to make a joke because Birthday is like wanting to take his porn collection and Three won’t allow it to protect his honour. WTF. Anyway it’s back to business as usual as a lady requests them for a job to protect her from some invisible stalker. Surprisingly Hajime replaces Nice to pair up with Murasaki for the job. The other Minimum Holders are trying some odd jobs to make ends meet but it isn’t working out. So while Hajime sets some burger traps for the stalker, here comes Hikaru with his light speed power to save the day. I don’t know what he did but the requestor lady jumps ship to this handsome guy. Seems this guy is a rising idol celebrity and there are lots of girls going crazy over him. Event tickets are sold out instantly and even membership is closed and no new ones till somebody opts out. All job requests have been going to his agency, the reason why our heroes aren’t getting any jobs. Then a crazy fan girl comes in and seeks a request. Do they do hit jobs? She wants Hikaru killed! In a typical Japanese dating simulation visual, we see how Hikaru is a player with a harem of 5 cute and lovely girls. Of course Murasaki turned down the hit job but has got a request from his agency manager, Natsukawa to protect him. Murasaki even tells him to pick someone and end the feud but he says he can’t do that. Picking one means abandoning the rest and he doesn’t want to hurt them. However Hajime points out it is himself who doesn’t want to get hurt. Since when did she get this talkative?

So our other Hamatora guys are talking to the other ladies in supposedly Hikaru’s harem. They’re old and ugly if you compare them in today’s standards of beauty. Ratio tries to pay them off while Birthday even offers his own escort service! No way! I don’t know if Honey is trying to describe sex with Hikaru but this causes one of the girls to get worked up because she would have paid more if it meant sleeping with him. She throws down lots of handshake event tickets. One night, crazy fan girl waits for Hikaru to pass and is about to slash him but Murasaki stops her. Actually he protected Hikaru because he knows this guy is trying to commit suicide to end it all. Even though he repents it all, crazy fan girl won’t accept it and orders her lackeys to beat him up. Hmm… S&M clothes? Gas mask, paper bags and helmets as masks? Who are these people? Shunned idol interns who never got a chance to make their debut thanks to Hikaru. They are YKH84! WTF???!!! I don’t know there was an S&M party going on. Murasaki and Hajime move into action when suddenly this Tanker mascot jumps into the scene. It’s Nice! HE’S STILL ALIVE???!!! He reveals his undercover investigation that Natsukawa has a shady side lucrative business. He reached out to obsessed fans and sells them handshake tickets. Something about having a girl waking up in his room in the morning. Birthday and Ratio confront Natsukawa about this plot. They don’t buy his story that the populace needs a tragic story of a social minority’s dramatic rise. The turn his place upside down and warn him not to decide the futures of Minimum Holders. Crazy fan girl still won’t forgive all that has happened and sets YKH84 to finish them. Nice uses his power to beat them all out. Later Nice notices Hikaru’s power not exactly the speed of light. He actually bends light and this means he doesn’t have a pretty face. When he meets the other girls to tell the truth and let them see his real face, to his surprise they still love him. I guess appearance isn’t everything. Yeah, ugly people go together, right? Oh sh*t! Just kidding! Everyone celebrates Nice’s return. By putting things on his tab. For once Hajime smiled. Murasaki wonders why Nice couldn’t just rest in hospital. He can’t. That guy has started to make his move. Isn’t that Moral approaching Hikaru?

Episode 2
Moral stabs Hikaru in the neck. He is taken to hospital and barely alive. He was lucky the attack missed his windpipe. Back at nowhere Cafe Nowhere, everyone blames Nice for ruining the plan for him to play dead. At last season’s cliff-hanger whereby Art shot point blank at Nice, actually Nice was fast enough to move but was shot in the shoulder and guts. Murasaki barged in to save him and they jump out of the ship to escape. They believe Art wants to kill Nice somehow and feeding him with information that is dead he would no longer be a target but that dumb guy had to ruin it. Speaking of running away from hospital, it must be a trend since Birthday and Ratio are trying to trace Chiyuu’s whereabouts as she too has escaped from hospital but left a sketch with a butterfly logo supposedly the place she went. Turns out to be some disco bar or something but they’re denied entry by the bouncer based on some worldly ideology crap thingy. Till Ratio mentions that reality won’t change because they are all Minimum Holders, this gets everyone’s attention and they stop dancing. Oh, there is Chiyuu to. They are taken to Shunichi Ishigami, the representative of Freemum. In short, this is a place where Minimum Holders get to live freely without being watched. People like them are called strays by the Minimum Agency and they will try to recruit them to be official Minimum Holders. In the event if you reject, you will be killed in extreme cases but technically this also means they will continue to watch over you for the rest of your life. So this is what Freemum is all about. Because after the riots, discrimination against Minimum Holders is still persistent. They need to create a new social order and are seeking a saviour. It’s not like they want to become Minimum Holders.

The dorm of Facultas explodes. However this is just a diversion so that Art can slip in and do his business. Everyone is appalled that Nice wasn’t confined to his hospital bed for 3 months because he has picture proof of tailing Art’s movements! Seems he is in connecting with guys with mafia roots and making some deal. The explosion is on TV and Nice recognizes the same car on scene belonging to Art. Time to get a move on. There are some comical heroes trying to stop Art in Facultas but they’re just jokers after all that talk as Nice shoots them in the head and injects something into their neck. After that he goes on a killing spree! Eventually he is shot by the dorm defence master, Paper. Art reveals he has finished his job of saving all the students here. By the time Nice and Murasaki arrive, they are horrified to see Paper blowing off his limbs. They’re not too happy about it. But Art is not dead yet. He says hi to Nice and claims to have liberated the children. This will bear their sins. First he stabs his own heart! All his limbs regenerate back to normal subsequently. How the heck does he have the regenerating Minimum? Then he takes out a syringe and stabs it into his neck. I think it must be giving him the Minimum power. Paper is distracted by a hologram of Art and the real Art stabs him in the neck. Then he disappears. Birthday thought it was a ghost but Nice could tell it is the light Minimum. A good news, though. Art didn’t go on a killing spree since he just knocked out all of them.

Episode 3
Art is facing off with some wind Minimum Holder after dispatching his underlings. He uses the same trick. Inject a syringe into his neck. Goes into a little convulsion and voila! He now has Paper’s Minimum as he defeats this samurai dude. The Hamatora guys discuss how all the children lost their Minimum abilities. But oddly they seem unnaturally happy. The talk descends into money and Nice doesn’t mind being worth a 500 Yen coin detective. This brings back memories when Nice won some bet against Art. However he won’t buy the usual stuffs and wanted something different. He wants to get out of this place and be free and thus this coin will be his war chest. Art thinks he eventually gave in to the temptation and didn’t save up. Oh, he notices a prisoner transport schedule too. Meanwhile Gasuke talks to his underling, Sakurai. At a prison where all the police and prisoners killed themselves and the last one standing committed suicide. This is thanks to the insanity Minimum belonging to Gou Samura. People who look at his painting have this tendency to go crazy and kill each other. At first the media hailed him as a blind genius painter until they found out about his serial killer background. This incident was possible when he managed to draw some art on his meal plate with the ketchup. Now they are going to transport him to a ‘better’ facility. Along the way, there is a roadblock by protestors calling for his head. Gasuke wonders how the people could know about the schedule. Only one way. Someone leaked the info. Luckily his guts told him tonight is going to be bad so he called in the Hamatora guys as backup.

Suddenly Samura frees from his chains and gets out. He strips down to his underwear and there is painting all over his body. Everyone starts killing each other. Honey uses Mighty and sees Art coming into the picture in 10 minutes. However shortly after that her personality is reduced to a child and Three is forced to pacify her. Nice and Murasaki distract Samura and it seems from the way he reacts, he can see. That is when Art enters the scene with his flashy wind power. He uses that to draw up the sea water and wash away all the painting on Samura’s body. The spell is broken and the people come to their senses. Art faces off with Nice and believes he has all the factors he needs to defeat him. He knows about the limitations of Nice’s Minimum based on a define range. But before he could deliver the finishing blow, the others jump in to fight him. With Ratio’s ability to see and predict his actions based from his muscle movements, Art is close to defeat. He reconsiders he still doesn’t have enough and escapes. Meanwhile Samura holds Hajime hostage. This weak scrawny madman holding a little girl hostage? Even if this scene doesn’t make you laugh, he sure picked the wrong person to take prisoner. A judo throw ends it all but this time Samura starts panicking for real because he suddenly cannot see anymore. Gasuke confronts Sakurai in the midst of a heated argument on the phone demanding his cut as per agreed. He realizes that with the coincidence of the events, only he is the one who could have unlocked Samura’s handcuffs and overlooked his body paint. So why is he doing this? He is just following orders from someone named Saikyou.

Episode 4
Art stabs himself again and it seems by killing himself he gets to start over again although he still can’t get used to dying. Honey cannot believe she turns into a baby personality after she uses Mighty. So she takes up the challenge to prove them wrong. Well, what do you know? Birthday recorded it just in case. So now you believe? Yeah, everyone is so darn tired trying to pacify her. She must be one heck of a baby. Still unable to accept this, she runs away and locks herself in a room although she gets a call for a security job. Meanwhile, some guy named Doktor is returning to Japan. From the way he talks, it is like everybody living in this world has a part to play. He hates those who don’t contribute. This means Minimum Holder strays are the worst of the lot. So Ishigami is talking to his Freemum freaks about Doktor’s return. He was exiled due to his extreme opinion but now is welcomed him back as his opinions are sought after Samura’s incident. Looks like Minimum Agency are set to endorse his suggestion of total control over all Minimum Holders. Ishigami vows that won’t happen as this is what Freemum is for. Besides, they have Saikyou. Honey is supposed to be security for Doktor but he doesn’t view that necessary and cancels it. This has Honey remember about Doktor. He is her father. She was happy when he praised her abilities but when she learnt her ability is going to be placed as a tool for murder, she became sad but daddy felt happy because she was going to contribute to the world.

At a hotel, the Freemum guys intercept Doktor and kidnap him. Honey was sneaking in too but was caught. She manages to send a distress signal to Three of her whereabouts and the guys in Hamatora know she is in some sort of trouble as she is sending SOS in this way and unable to contact them via handphone. Ishigami is going to use Doktor to change Minimum Agency’s mind. One of the Minimum Holders has this sculpting ability to make precise human masks that no one can tell apart. The catch is that the person must have an expression close to death. Doktor and Honey are whisked away in a van to a scrap yard to be crushed. What a horrible way to die by being flattened, eh? When Three and the guys arrive, of course Honey is no longer around and the hotel people know nothing about that. Before death, Honey talks to Doktor that he has not changed and still knows nothing. She was in despair when she learnt about how her abilities were going to be put. That’s when she met Three who just returned from the warzone. She joined father watching Three undergo some horrific experiment and she noticed he was struggling despite the futility of it all. She too was struggling like him. Honey is so mad that she could break free from her chains! Actually I think the van is about to be crushed so the structural integrity may have given way. This allows her to use Mighty and let Three know of her location although this turns her into a baby as usual. He transforms into a beast and rushes his way there just to stop the crusher with all his might. Wow. I think he pulled a lot of muscles as you can see blood spurting out against the opposite force. He too remembers how Honey made him his so he could protect her. He agreed because it was like giving him a second chance in life. In the aftermath, Doktor’s attitude didn’t change. He calls Minimum Holders motivated by emotions as defects and believes they will all learn a lesson when the world changes. Elsewhere, Birthday and Ratio are acting strange after finishing a job. Birthday seems to be hook in trying to lick more electricity while Ratio’s body starts to burn up. Murasaki is driving along to catch Ishigami when the tree roots uproot. It’s Art. Hello again.

Episode 5
We’re going to start round 2 again but Art uses his plant abilities to keep them at bay. Nice is just stunned while Murasaki can’t claw his way out. Seems Art is doing this to let Ishigami and co get away. Birthday and Ratio are fine but they think back what happened and their symptoms may be similar to Honey’s regression when they use their Minimum. Same case happening to Three because he is more violent and aggressive than usual. Gasuke talks to Mao for more information on Saikyou. He already did an impressive job deducting this Saikyou dude and somebody behind the scenes has enough money to fund an organization and enough political clout to strong arm the police. Of course Mao tells him not to dig too deep unless he wants his life shortened because he can’t get back what he lost no matter how hard he tries. Art visits Freemum and they know about each other. They also know the fact that they are going to use each other so let’s make the best out of it. Art can help them attain true freedom. Meanwhile Birthday seems to be interviewing the Hamatora guys because since that Samura incident, they have been in the spotlight again so such interviews uploaded to the internet will help quell things down? I don’t know if it’s going to work… Ratio has done some investigation on Minimum side effects. He found a report 3 years ago on an accident. It is unclear what happened. No damage to buildings but only Minimum Holders were the casualties. All those within the range of accident lost their abilities (by the way, Samura lost his too). Their symptoms sound exactly like those whose abilities were taken by Art.

Gasuke also has that same report that happened at Facultas. He is trying to piece the connection of Saikyou and Art and may have stumbled upon something. The prison facility is under attack by Art and Freemum. Seems Art made a deal with them to help him out in his next operation in exchange he will allow them to use him as they please. As a religious idol that will lead them to the top. Standing before Freemum’s path is Gasuke. He has deduced that if the perpetrator’s target is Minimum Holders, the only places in Yokohama that houses large numbers of Minimum Holders besides Facultas is this prison. From the way he says things, Ishigami believes Gasuke knows who this Saikyou dude is. Nice and Murasaki are called to the scene too. Gasuke cannot trust the police anymore and believes they are the better option. Of course powerless Murasaki is no match against the Minimum abilities of the Freemum guys. Ishigami views him as a dangerous man and laments they have to lose somebody as competent as him. I don’t know what Ishigami’s Minimum is but it make Gasuke look malnourished and close to death! It’s like he’s crying blood. By the time Art arrives, Gasuke wants to tell him something but it’s too late… And I think it is really too late because by the time the police secure this place, the culprits gone and Nice and Murasaki find Gasuke, he is so weak that and spouting crap about being partners so they shouldn’t be keeping secrets, he then dies. Holy sh*t!!! Don’t tell me… DON’T SAY HE’S DEAD!!!! OMG!!! From the way the guys react, he’s really gone!!! I can’t believe they killed him!!! Even Art is seen feeling sad about it. Of course Nice is no more Mr Nice and is going to teach Art a lesson.

Episode 6
It’s true! Gasuke is dead! Everyone attends his funeral and security has become tighter than before. Nice and Murasaki see Mao to get details on what Gasuke found out. The same thing. The same warning. Because Saikyou is just an alias and he is very good in covering up his tracks, not even Mao knows his true identity. Nice wonders if Gasuke looked impatient then. No. He was frustrated. Frustrated by the reality he couldn’t accept. Back at Cafe Nowhere, Honey shows surveillances around the prison area, no signs of Art and co breaking in. They may have tampered with the recordings but they didn’t foresee one recorded by a passing cab. Enhancing the image reveals the faces of those Freemum freaks and they are surprised to know they are behind this. They rush down to their headquarters but it seems they have evacuated the place (now a bunch of drag queens are partying?). Not even Mighty can detect where they went. Looks like they foresee Hamatora coming and moved out earlier than expected. Now they are using Art’s little humble room as base. Nice and Murasaki get into an argument. But Murasaki starts feeling pain. His conscious then speaks to him. It’s like he is blaming him for being inferior to Nice because he was number one till Nice came along. There was a vast difference between them and the gap is growing. Murasaki knows his body is deteriorating, a symptom of using his Minimum. It is getting more evident now and he will soon lose his power. Alter ego continues to mock him that he must be feeling more sympathetic towards Art because he and Nice are close friends despite their difference in ability and grades. Speaking of Art, here he is too see Murasaki personally. Coincidentally, Murasaki wants to see him too. Meanwhile the other guys figure Nice got into a fight with Murasaki and it is his fault! They just know. Ratio comments that Murasaki was probably trying to come up with a plan to fight Art and Freemum because everyone has realized the symptoms of using their Minimum is starting to show.

Art brings Murasaki back to his room and have the Freemum guys leave so they can have a private conversation. Art hints to Murasaki that he is just acting nice and straight so that he can find his weakness and tell Nice. Art is adamant that he has no choice but to kill Nice because of their bonds. Murasaki gets mad and punches him but Art continues to laugh at his weak punches. Unknown to him, this act is being filmed by Freemum and uploaded to all screens in the public. Everyone is watching this punching bag session. Murasaki is mad Art let Gasuke die. He reasons he is a necessary sacrifice. So is Nice the same too? No. He was never supposed to live in the first place. That’s why he will fulfil his promise and killing Nice is just a means to that end. The more Murasaki powers up his punches, the more Art mocks him. Murasaki points a gun and readies to fire. Art stands there, allows him to do so and continues mocking he won’t reach him. He won’t be able to stop him. He will kill Nice. Then blam! A shot in the head! The public must be in disbelief to see this. Cool CGI effects?! Get real! Murasaki calls Nice but it seems he went out and forgot his handphone. Leave a message. Murasaki realizes the Freemum guys recording this as Ishigami explains the reasons why Facultas couldn’t uncover his ability. Firstly something about the central nerve in the brain that controls Minimum isn’t there. It was merely in a different place. That place also works as a trigger for Art’s Minimum. Ishigami takes a knife and stabs into Art’s heart. Suddenly he revives and all wounds healed. So what does this scene look like to you? Yeah. The advent of the saviour. He is God. You know how gullible the people are. Of course Ishigami thanks Murasaki for allowing Art to become a good charismatic leader but his role ends here. There is a knock outside Cafe Nowhere. Nice thinks it is Murasaki but it is a body bag. Murasaki is in it. NO!!! ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL OFF ANOTHER CHARACTER???!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???!!!

Episode 7
Thankfully Murasaki is still alive and hospitalized. With his broken state, he’ll be in here for a while and his Minimum is as good as gone. Murasaki is conscious as Ratio treats him. He remembers Art won’t kill him because his Minimum power is mostly gone and will no longer have any relations to their world. He is punched out by one of the Freemum guys. The rest of the episode turns into a comedic fashion… Because Birthday comes in dressed as a lemon suit to cheer him up! Koneko brought some flowers. Camellia. It withered. Master brought some food but Hajime ate them all. Real jokers these people. Birthday then hands him some porn magazines to read but accidentally pushes the bed button which causes the bed to go upright and send Murasaki slamming into the wall! Thinking he is dead, Birthday uses his taser to bring him back to live! Now do you wish you were killed back then? Next, Theo and Rei visit him and brought glasses. Because Murasaki without them is like nothing, right? Is that an insult? But all the glasses they brought are joker types. Everyone is laughing so loud that Birthday accidentally slams into the button again. Deja vu. Wall slammed. Taser resurrection! Honey and Three are next and they give him a basket of fruits. Guns and grenades? He better start using this from now on to protect himself. Three is curious about the button… Oh God… You know what they say about curiosity and the cat, right? Too bad Murasaki is the cat. Not again! I guess the guns come in handy as he tries to shoot them all! Get out!

The visitors (minus Master) follow Birthday as they leave but that joker guy got lost. Honey uses Mighty to find a way out. 10 minutes into the future she saw… They’re still lost! She regressed for nothing. I don’t know how but they end up in an abandoned wing of the hospital that looks like a creepy sanatorium you see in horror movies. Three is looking like the most scaredy cat. He’s a lion by the way… Yeah. Hajime, Theo and Rei got separated and when they think they’re seeing things, it turns out there are ghosts!!! When Birthday uses his electricity for light, more ghosts pop up! Three turns into his beast mode but how do you beat up ghosts? They are saved when Master turns on the lights. The ‘ghosts’ turn out to be those previous Minimum Holders who has lost their ability. They look like mad people now. As revealed, because don’t have the manpower to handle them all, they are placed in this unused area which was recently opened just for this. Hajime, Theo and Reo may have got separated from the rest but they end up back outside Murasaki’s room. At the same time, our hero Nice has finally decided to turn up. So the Hamatora duo have a guy to guy talk and you can tell they have reconciled with that carefree laughter. But… Nice accidentally touches the button! Here comes the pain again! It makes me wonder if Murasaki needs all the electrifying in his life. Meanwhile as Hajime is at the convenience store, a familiar lady approaches her, hands her a flower and calmly blames her it is all her fault.

Episode 8
Hajime doesn’t take a liking for Momoka but when she shows her an old photo of young Hajime and that she can tell about her past, Hajime takes her chance and follow her into her limo. When Nice finds out from Theo and Rei that they saw Hajime follow a flower lady, he remembers who she is and becomes frantic in finding her that the other guys could tell Nice isn’t acting as he normally would. In the limo, Momoka dresses up as her true self. A sexy lady in a red gown but a scar on her face that resembles like a blooming flower. She brings her to an underground abandoned lab and mentions that it all began ever since she her power awakened (at the end of last season). There are monsters in this lab. This brought back traumatic memories as Hajime is reduced to a vegetative state while we delve further into those memories. Hajime was one of the many abandoned children imprisoned. Every day, many children came in and many went out. Those who were taken never returned. By the time it was her turn, she stopped feeling sad or scared. She wasn’t even afraid of death and expected it. Till she saw on the monitor during her operation that those monsters were what those kids turned into after failed experiments (they had the similar bracelet). She started feeling scared and screamed she didn’t want to go through all this. Momoka returns to Art and co who are watching from afar. The cat is out of the bag. Momoka = Saikyou. This is a secret lab Moral kept in case of emergency. I guess he doesn’t need it now.

Hajime is then isolated in imprisonment for who knows how long as she wonders how long this will continue. That is when she met Nice. This cheerfully talkative kid is trying to strike a conversation with her outside her cell but she is more pissed off than anything. Especially she had no name and was referred as Success Number 01. I guess the place was echo enough that Nice heard her stomach growl. He gives her a hamburger and calls her Hajime. It’s better than that atrocious experiment tag, right? After she takes a bite, she cannot stop crying. She has had it. She wants to get out. She wants to see the outside world too. What has she done to deserve this? She is human too. Nice agrees to help her get out. Nice receives a transmission sent by Koneko about Hajime’s whereabouts. He too remembers the past. Flashback continues. One day, Nice returns as he has swiped the key of some guard and today’s security is somewhat low. After he opens the door, this is the first time they see each other. Cute girl, no? As he takes her hand and run, he doesn’t know if her hand is trembling because if she was cute or he felt sorry for her. But he knew he wanted to keep holding her hand and protect her. As they climb the wall, Hajime’s hand got shot. She is in pain. She is tired. She wants to give up. But Nice kept motivating her till she finds the strength to reach his hand. Unfortunately, Nice got shot. And this is where it all began. Hajime in both the past and present starts activating some super power. Art explains that her Minimum is one that eradicates other Minimum. Despair is the trigger. All the monsters revert to their original human form. They are satisfied with this ‘show’ and Momoka will continue to fund their activities till the final curtain call. Nice and the rest barge in to rescue Hajime. Art wants to back off for now because they might be infected by her nullification if they get too close. As for Nice and co, it isn’t wise to finish them off once now because he knows they are not an easy bunch to be defeated. Hajime extends his hand to her just like that time. She thanks him.

Episode 9
Doktor begins his extreme proposition to Minimum Agency to eradicate stray Minimum Holders. While everyone else learns about Hajime’s past, Honey and Three come in to have them all make their acting debut. The company who took in the orphans of Three’s orphanage are organizing a festival and a stage play is one of them thus they are helping them out. Murasaki is seriously panicking here but I guess everybody jumps in when Hajime decides to join in because she wants to try it out. They will be playing the Princess Kaguya story and I think there is some twist in it. With Hajime as the main role, we have Nice, Murasaki, Birthday and Ratio acting as the guys trying to win her heart by offering food. Despite Hajime finishing the entire plate of Birthday’s pasta, Ratio’s desserts and Murasaki’s large fried rice serving, her unsatisfactory look has them ‘executed’. Poor Murasaki was executed before even Hajime tasted it. Finally it is Nice’s turn. A simple burger. Brings back memories, eh? That is the smile we are looking for. Do we have a winner? Too bad he got executed too! Having fun aren’t we? Meanwhile Momoka has bought a building and under the pretence of a normal seminar, they are housing lots of stray Minimum Holders who continue to party like there is no tomorrow (because one of the Freemum guys have this decadence power).

Now it is Art’s turn to make his speech. Claiming himself not to be God or a saviour, he is just a Minimum Holder like them. He talks about their God given power and being prejudiced in society. He talks about freedom and his duty to fight for the oppressed. He talks about establishing a nation with true freedom for everyone and that he will never betray them. So let’s go forth and build this nation together. His charisma revs up everyone and they throw their support behind him. Ishigami talks to Momoka that he already has a plan to transform Yokohama into their little kingdom. All that is left is to translate that to reality. At the same time, Doktor is giving his bloody passionate hate speech while stray Minimum Holders are a nuisance and useless since they do not use their power for good. Now it is the time to ring in the chaos. Our Hamatora guys are still practising their play with Honey being the very passionate director. A moment of nostalgia has Nice and Hajime act out adlib with true emotions. Seeing her sad, he holds out to her hand and doesn’t want her to go. This ‘top notch’ acting amazes everyone. Can win the Oscars? In the aftermath, Ratio is startled that Birthday starts feeling pain. Seems the symptoms are coming back and it has returned during while their Minimum went berserk. He never said a thing because it could have been his last time to have fun with everyone like that. He starts coughing blood and Ratio needs to hurry to find a person with the healing Minimum. Of course he has spoken to Mao about it but as he values his life, he isn’t going to give it so freely as he believes that Minimum Holder is somewhere in Freemum. As everyone rearranges the furniture in Cafe Nowhere, Nice doesn’t see Hajime around. But there is a letter addressed to him.

Episode 10
It is a goodbye letter from Hajime. It’s for real. She ran away to join Freemum. Birthday is admitted to hospital as Ratio gets started in his search. Suddenly a van stops before him. Inside is Chiyuu. She is taken to the hospital. Her disoriented state is like those who have lost their Minimum power. There was no bodily harm or drug used and she couldn’t recognize Ratio. But there is a video in her handphone that shows a Freemum guy, Suruga healing a person with illness. The guy Ratio has been looking for. Momoka then calls Nice under the masked identity of Saikyou. She wants to play a game. In 10 minutes, a bomb will go off somewhere. She also sends a picture of Hajime with a bomb next to her. Nice contacts Honey for help. She uses Mighty to scan and it seems a bomb will go off at a flower shop. Nice knows that place but when he heads there, there is only Master. He saves him in time before the bomb goes off. Then another call. This time there are 2 bombs in 2 different locations. She tells the location that one of them is Cafe Nowhere and the other a facility previously used as a racetrack. Nice wants Murasaki to rescue Koneko tied up in Cafe Nowhere while he heads to the facility assuming Hajime is there. Momoka then calls Ratio. Murasaki saves Koneko in time before the bomb explodes. There goes the cafe. There goes their office. When Nice arrives, Momoka calls him to apologize she had lied and makes him go up to the roof. Before him is Ratio. Through the laptop, the guys finally see Saikyou’s true face. Nice remembered her being taken into custody by the police but you know, she managed to buy her way out. The law is flawed and the police are only human. All you have to do is cater to their desires.

Now here is how it is going to be. Showing Hajime before her and also Suruga, she wants them to fight to the death. If Ratio wins, Hajime will be killed and Suruga will be given to him. If Nice wins, Suruga will be killed. As she doesn’t want Murasaki to show up, the time limit is 15 minutes. If there is no winner, both will die. The guys do not hesitate to face off. They have no choice. Ratio knows he is at a disadvantage and escapes into the building as they play hide and seek. He uses his ability to check and predict Nice’s moves but of course he starts to burn out due to the side effects. Nice calls Murasaki to tell him to head to Without (where Hajime is held) instead of coming here. Hajime wonders why Momoka is doing this. Just like how stray Minimum Holders seek freedom, she seeks entertainment. She reveals she earns 3 billion an hour (OMFGGGGG!!!) via playing stocks, foreign exchange markets and hacking. All too easy. She got everything she wanted from the human world. Did everything she could even shady stuffs like murder. Now she is turning her attention to Minimum Holders. People with gifted powers are dancing in her hands. Meanwhile Ishigami is talking to his other Freemum members. They don’t agree about Hajime joining them as her nullification can be detrimental to their cause. Ishigami is not concerned because her power can be useful to those Minimum Holders who don’t join them. He is more worried about Art’s goal. He feels this guy has an ulterior motive. When Ratio makes his move, it is still not enough as Nice knocks him out. However Momoka says it is not over till one of them dies. Can he do it? Momoka tells Hajime that Nice will kill Ratio just to save her. People will die because of her. Oh no. Depression building up. Once time is up, she is about to ‘shoot’ Hajime but Art stops her because he knows she isn’t the kind to find simple murder entertaining. Momoka calls Nice to tell him she will kill neither but hopes he will provide better entertainment next time. Art notes that with those Hamatora guys out of the running, no one can stop him now. When Murasaki arrives at Without, nobody is around except Suruga. He seems disoriented and senile. Oh, he lost his Minimum power too.

Episode 11
Flashback reveals Nice, Art and Skill made a promise to watch together the world from below from this Landmark Tower. But it seems only Art is watching from it as Momoka has bought the entire building. Master and Koneko are operating their cafe in a little roadside stall. Nice and Murasaki confront them. From what I understand, the broken tracer on Hajime after they fixed and traced whatever IP signal thingy, the location was always the same. You hiding something Koneko? You too Master? Flashback time. Master was one of those scientists along with Doktor and Moral. A time when he had a full head of hair that he’s unrecognizable. Master was against Doktor’s opinion to put Hajime down as she was deemed too dangerous. He has realized of the inhumane treatment these kids were being subjected too and he was more willing to throw everything away just to be Hajime’s guardian. Moral also agreed with Master’s view because they have lost Nice and Hajime is like a precious specimen. Talking to Master personally, Moral also shares the same morality view as Master and the experiments are getting to him. Moral thought Hajime is capable of saving Nice from solitude. Master talks to Hajime and thinks of opening a cafe with her. Then he also snuck out Koneko who was one of those imprisoned children. Nice now understands why Hajime was gone before he came back. Although he subsequently found her at Cafe Nowhere, she didn’t recognize who he was. Shocked at first, he thought it wasn’t such a bad thing since all he wanted was to protect her. Ishigami makes his public announcement on TV. You know, rights and freedom thingy. He wants the authorities to declare Yokohama as a special district for Minimum Holders. Or else. If you’re wondering why this Freemum dude, Sakuraba hasn’t said a thing, it’s because it is a condition needed to trigger this devastating Minimum power (3 months of no talking!). When he starts rapping and singing, a large barrier covers Yokohama. Those who go out of this barrier while he is still performing will die! Oh sh*t! It’s getting very bloody outside! Really, man. “Let’s do this sh*t!”.

So Doktor confronts Ishigami and his underlings and he will not change his stance. After they tie him on a bridge and then kill all the army in hot boiling water (Ishigami’s Minimum), Ishigami reveals his true colours to become supreme ruler of all Minimum Holders. Honey and Three arrive to fight them. Honey almost fell into the boiling water but Three jumped in to save her. Ishigami orders all the hostages to be driven out of the barrier. But the trucks never reached there and all the hostages are freed. This is part of Art’s plan. Hajime is also freed as Momoka points her the way to Sakuraba’s performance. And she did this kung fu fighting to everyone who gets in her way! Art fights and steals their power before he shoots and kills Ishigami. When Nice and Murasaki arrive, Art reminds Nice about their promise to watch from this tower. He wanted to show his little brother, Skill a beautiful and transformed world. Uhm, transformed yes, but how is this beautiful? Nice fights Art but the latter’s symptoms kick in and render him useless. Art goes up to him and whispers his goal to obliterate the Minimum ability. He will go as far as to kill him for that. He stabs his heart. Hajime sees this with her eyes and becomes engulfed in despair. So big her despair that her barrier spreads out and nullifies all within the range. Momoka praises Art’s plan of using Freemum to gather all Minimum Holders into this are for this purpose. Everyone becomes disoriented and senile. Even normal people. Minimum Holders lose their power. Ordinary people lose their desire. It’s a mad world alright. I don’t know if this is like a joke because Ratio is laughing he can’t save Birthday anymore. Because he’s dead!!! NOOOOO!!! Because Art possesses many Minimums at the same time, he will be the last to go and the witness of this transformed world. He believes all is well and has fulfilled his promise to Skill.

Episode 12
Art have this complex of pondering why he was the only one not having a Minimum. Even if Skill is okay with him as he is, Art continued be bothered. He conducted his own research about it and when Skill’s Minimum was found, he felt jealous. One day he found a report about a Minimum that would amplify the ego of individuals thus eliciting their Minimum. Exposing normals to that could turn them into Minimum Holders. However success rate is low and they are turned into monsters. At the same time when Nice snuck out Hajime, Art found Skill confined in a chamber with all the wires feeding through him. He was shocked. Even more when Skill wanted big brother to kill him because he doesn’t want to sin anymore because every day they try to force his ability. Minimums are the human ego made manifest. Such desire to be better than others is the root of all Minimums. Seeing his sorry state, Art stabs a broken glass bottle into his chest. A large aura is emitted at the exact same time when Hajime’s go berserk. It cancelled out each other. The impact blows Art away to a point he fractured his skull. Moral checks on Skill and notices he is brain dead. He is happy nevertheless as there is still a way to save Nice. When Art woke up in hospital, he lost his memories of that night. That’s why he couldn’t believe it when Moral whispered into his ears at the grave that he was the one who killed Skill. After Moral shoots him and leaves, Art revives and Momoka picks him up. With his regeneration, his brain damage was healed and he now remembers everything. Even depressing is that Momoka handed him a report on Skill and it seems he didn’t die and was ‘transferred’. From that point on, Art vowed to destroy all Minimums and eradicate humanity’s ego.

Back in reality, Momoka has enjoyed every bit of entertainment. However she cannot believe she is still her sane self in this insane world. Unable to take this ‘boredom’, she shoots herself! Art views it as punishment as he is still sane and have absorbed too much ego. Nice suddenly wakes up. All his wounds heal. The moment he sees Hajime like a vegetable, he becomes mad. He confronts Art and beats him up although the latter is surprised he can use his Minimum. Nice deduces Art’s Minimum abilities get reset when he dies and regenerates, the reason he stocks them up. Art views it as liberating them from their ego. As they battle with their Minimums, a pile is going to fall on Hajime when suddenly angry Murasaki destroys it and starts yelling a Nice. He wants to kick that mother f*cker’s ass!!! Hajime sees a vision of Skill. It is their first meeting. He reveals Nice was looking for him on that day but met Hajime instead. Now it is her turn to find him. With Hajime back to normal and screaming she is hungry, Nice is so relieved. With that, Nice emits a huge aura that just returns everything back to normal. Minimum Holders get their ability back and normal people regain their sanity. Oh, best news: Birthday lives! Art notices about the ego Minimum in which hope is its trigger. Nice lectures Art about ego. From trying to be number one and confessing your love. That is ego too. Everyone is shouldering their own ego and staking everything on it to jostle with each other. That is what makes the world interesting. Art doesn’t need any Minimum to kill him to fulfil his promise to Skill. Will just a knife do? Nope. Nice definitely have the upper hand on this one. As they trade normal punches, Nice tries to open his eyes that he wasn’t born with such Minimum. Skill gave it to him and is he going to reject it? Art realizes that he doesn’t have the right to do this and jumps down the tower. Art couldn’t catch him. Six months later, Yokohama is back to normal. Nice and Hajime visit Skill’s grave as Art notes his heart is beating inside him. Art is alive too and pays a visit. But Nice punches him to warn him if he ever tries to die again, he’ll kill him. Eh? What?! Everyone celebrates Art’s return as well as the reopening of Cafe Nowhere.

Equality In Inequality
Wow. If I should describe this season in a single word, that would be it. It is a good thing the sequel lived up to my expectations and you could say it is better than the previous. The storyline was good, the flow was executed smoothly and they wrap things up pretty nicely at the end. Although the only down part for me was trying to understand the final episode’s revelation and explanation. It took me a while to realize and understand what was going on as I was trying to piece and connect the dots between Minimums and egos. Well, even if I didn’t fully comprehend about it, thankfully I generally get the idea of what this is about and how this whole mess and Art’s insane mission came about. But some things weren’t tied up as I begin to ponder about Doktor and wonder if he is still going to come down hard on stray Minimums. Chances are humans won’t change and neither would he. But I guess we don’t pretty much care about that dude as the series focuses more on Art and leading to its revelation.

This season takes a grimmer toll especially with Gasuke’s death that really shook things up. At thought they were going to kill everybody off one by one starting with Murasaki when he was close to death. Even more depressing is the fact that our Hamatora heroes cannot use their powers as they please as they will go into some side effects. In a way, it limits their options of what they can do and this just makes it sad. That’s even though when that hospital episode felt so much like a joke and filler, it was a welcome relief and didn’t feel out of place. By the way, I feel it is Murasaki’s most prominent episode because of that unfortunate bed bumping accidents. Especially the spamming of those replays… Running joke of the episode. Speaking of running joke, it seems they have discarded last season’s one whereby Ratio’s new car always get hammered and his heart inside must be clenching in pain thinking about the 10 year loan he has yet to finish. I guess they’re done with that.

On the same topic, in many of the episode openings right before we jump into the opening credits and song, there seems to be some sort of narration by Nice amidst the jazzy and lively fanfare background music (which reminds me of that swing BGM in Oh! Edo Rocket). It isn’t exactly a summary of what happened in the previous episode or the-story-so-far kind of narration. He’s making comment about a certain topic that was what I believe is prominent in the previous episode such as Hikaru’s case the ‘explosion of art’, family bonds, presents and giving fiery speeches. I don’t know whether it is supposed to be a joke or something serious or both because at the end of it, it makes you think hard and reflect on the words he just said and how true sometimes it is.

Art has taken Moral’s place as this season’s antagonist but that itself is hard to say. It is also difficult to pinpoint if Art and Freemum or even the ordinary humans like the extremist thinking Doktor are the villains of the series because of what they are doing in spite of their reasoning behind it. Despite their cause, sometimes it doesn’t feel right on what they do. For example, if a person is a serial murderer, is it right to take the law into your own hands and kill him? In a way when I think about it, it makes Minimum Holders and ordinary people just the same if they resort to such. Momoka feels like the mastermind of it all pulling the puppet strings because she provides the funds and let everybody do their stuffs while she sits back and watches her own brand of entertainment. So is she the real antagonist? Well, we can’t be bothered by the fact she is dead now. It just goes to show that even money cannot buy you happiness. So much money in the world and yet so bored.

It is refreshing to see that this season, Hajime has more focus than the last time as he was merely portrayed as a glutton bumming around. Although this time round she still seems to be stuffing as much of her favourite burgers into her face, we get to delve a little more into her past and origins. And of course the big revelation of her Minimum power and the trigger that activates its devastating effect. Compared to last season, Hajime shows a tad more emotions than before. As far as I remember, she smiles more often although it is just a handful of scenes but compared to her emotionless personality, that is quite an achievement for a girl who seems she can’t smile because it’s like doing you a favour. Happy emotions, she also went to the other extreme end of being in total despair. You’d never believe she could actually scream and be in such fear like that. There are a few nice (pun not intended) close scenes between Nice and Hajime too but not too much that would make you think there is something going on between them. With the flashbacks of how they met, it shows how long they have come and the trust they build among each other.

Birthday is still the most amusing character of the series. He still hasn’t lost his knack and tendency to make jokes at everything. He has this penchant of coming up with witty lines so no matter how grave the situation or not, you can expect him to comment something that will make you snicker for a short while. Too bad he was reduced to be on his death bed in the final moments so he and Ratio are put out of any action in the final scenes. Yeah. Too many jokes can literally kill you. Haha. Just joking.

As Art has been taking the limelight in this season, the other characters feel a little side-lined but it is not so bad as to say that they are really forgotten. Like Theo and Rei, this season could have actually gone by without them as they don’t really contribute much to the impact of this season. But I suppose they’re around just to show us that they aren’t totally forgotten. Same case with Chiyuu as it feels her very brief appearances were so it would lead and introduce our guys to Freemum. Birthday’s dying symptoms and Murasaki’s curious alter ego and inferior complex to Nice are interesting enough to make you want to know more but I guess with the flow of where the story is heading, an elaboration doesn’t looks like it is coming. The only ‘big’ thing that I thought was really missing throughout this season was Tanker. In the first season, you could see this friendly tiger mascot in the background in every episode and it makes you think if this character has some sort of hidden motive or should spring up something. But some things are just red herrings. Tanker was only seen in the first episode and the final montage moments in the last episode. With our mind preoccupied on the ongoing of the story development, this tiger mascot hardly crosses our mind. Not even as a distraction.

Although the general and overall art and drawing remain typically the same, I noticed that there are a few slight changes to the animation concept. One, each time you see the Minimum Holders activating their power, for a short time you can see their blood veins pumping. Like as though their power illuminates from underneath the skin to let you see the veins. This replaces the psychedelic effect that was used for this in the previous season. Especially when Ratio starts using his Minimum power, you can see the bones, muscles and organs of the person he is focusing. I thought it looked like that x-ray attack in Mortal Kombat… Also, they added scene changers and it looks pretty neat to have the transition scene with engraving and embossing effect. But I have just one complaint for this scene. There is a loud screeching electric guitar sound each time this scene is played (at least 90% of the time). Personally I do not like the shrieking sound made and this is made even more annoying as the scene changer is played quite often in the initial episodes. It got on my nerves. Fortunately, the final episode was void of this and it was a welcoming relief thinking about this. Yeah. It was that ‘stressful’ for me to hear it.

This season, the opening theme is Sen No Tsubasa by Livetune featuring Takuro Suguwara from 9mm Parabellum Bullet. It is quite a heavy rock piece so you want to keep your volume down if you intend to hear this song. I think my speakers almost exploded with all that heavy bass lines. Breaking the custom that all the songs are sung by guys and thus my perception that this is a guy series is the ending theme. Brand New World is sung by Ayami and feels like a slow pop rock ballad.

It goes to show that whether you are a Minimum Holder or just an ordinary person, some form of discrimination is bound to happen. Because that is just human nature. Discrimination is alive and well. That’s just so sad. Even oddly if you think about it that Minimum Holders are like minorities but with special powers. Aren’t humans supposed to treat such rarities with great care and to an extreme extent treat them like gods? So I guess with a few people ‘different’ from them, the majority will take advantage via discrimination. The irony is how powerless people can actually rule over people with power (literally). Because at the end of the day, everyone is still a human being whether you have or lack something. Also a point to ponder: If such powers in human beings give rise to discrimination, then why the heck do we all adore and be amazed with Superman, Spider-man and all other super powered heroes and heroines? Funny, right? Because if these guys exist, as far as this anime goes, we’ll start hating them instead of being grateful from saving Earth from super powered villains. And for the record, Batman has no super powers.

With everything back to normal, the question is if everyone can still use their Minimum power. From the looks of it, they still do. But what about the side effects? Ah, another burning question that is left unanswered. At least for my case. I mean, it is going to be a real pain if they continue to keep regressing, right? Unless you’re telling me that Skill’s Minimum restored everything back to normal. Even so, I bet the discrimination between ordinary people and Minimum Holders will still continue. It is not over by a very long shot. Art’s goal to rid everyone of their Minimum and become equal may be noble but if you think about it, humans with or without any sort of power are still sh*t. Because our varied and f*cked up personalities are what makes us human. I know it’s harsh but deal with it! That is what it means to be human!

Overall, this series may not be breaking any new grounds and the general plot isn’t new or original (anti-hero trying to rid or reset something that affects the entire world? Try something better than that) but it does its best in trying to offer a different perspective, the cause and effect about humans having super powers. In some ways, it does stand out on its own. There are some action moments, some funny and silly moments, some dramatic moments. Even if you are not into the super power kind of series, this anime is still worth the entertaining watch. At best it makes you reflect the actions you take and how you would treat others if you have certain powers or not. Would you do something for your own selfish gain or for others? Would you join the herd mentality and ostracize others just because they are a little different? With all the discrimination going around, would it be right to no longer be Mr Nice Guy anymore? But I hope you have a Nice day then :).

Because Kurumi who was one of the best Spirits around didn’t get lots of screen time in the second season, I guess they try to justify it by making Date A Live II: Encore OVA. This OVA has Kurumi in the spotlight and goes back to the time when Shido dated her during the Tanabata festival. Shido and Kurumi dating? What more, a wedding hall? Is that possible? Is something sinister behind this date? Well if you know Kurumi, you would feel there is something suspicious behind her actions. Or maybe this is her sincere feelings and she just really want to date him. Maybe. Or not.

Date A Kurumi
Shido bumps into Kurumi in the streets and she begs to him that she wants to go on a date with him. She even promises that she is not here to hurt him whatsoever. Of course after the last event (back in season 1), he is still suspicious. However seeing her cry (crocodile tears not?) and there is a different air around her, he agrees. She is so happy that for this moment he belongs to her and nobody else. As they walk around, he heard her saying how delicious he is. Turns out she was referring to some stall selling castella snacks. Kurumi is having lots of fun being with him. She brings him to the planetarium as he continues to remain suspicious of her although everything about her today feels like a normal girl. The planetarium hall features the Orihime and Hikoboshi stars so Kurumi talks about the once a year meeting the lovers have. She feels that due to the infrequency, their love vow will soon fade. However Shido believes they aren’t forgetting each other and believe are still meeting each other behind the backs of everyone. This causes Kurumi to laugh so hard that he had to take her out of the hall to calm down. Then there is this wedding exhibition in which she wants to dress up in and take pictures for memories.

Meanwhile Kotori, Touka and Yoshino are at the festival too looking for Shido. They stop by to write their wishes on the tanzaku. Kotori wrote she wanted to marry Shido but quickly erased and changed it to something else when Touka spots it. Then they split up to look for Shido. Yoshino sees Shido and Kurumi entering the wedding hall together. As she spies outside, Kurumi notices her and goes to talk to her. Kurumi thinks she has seen her before. When Yoshino asks about their relationship, Kurumi might have exaggerated with lots of ambiguity that she knows every inch of Shido’s body and something from him infiltrated her body and now he is taking responsibility. This is too hot for Yoshino to handle as she runs away. Shido returns saying that the clerk won’t allow them to dress up but Kurumi went to whisper to her and in an instant the clerk gives them the best service. The duo are fabulous in their white wedding outfits as Shido learns Kurumi told the clerk that she has a terminal illness and has not much longer to live. Total lies but it worked. The clerk snaps a picture of them.

Yoshino reports back to the rest and from the way she explains it, Kotori is freaking pissed that some hot girl seduced her brother (skirt flipping and hot passionate one night stand included) and is making him take responsibility by marrying her. Look at how her face is contorting. Scary. Shido and Kurumi are now writing their wish. He spots the tanzaku of the other girls. His wish is for spacequakes to disappear. Kurumi won’t let him see hers and she learns the belief that the higher you place your tanzaku, the higher chance your wish comes true. However she knows time is up. She hopes he will not forget her. That is when the real Kurumi appears. She is not pleased that her clone disobeyed her orders, what more fell in love with him. Kurumi explains her clones are made out of her past sentiments and experiences so this one might be from the one during that face off at the rooftop back in season one. Kurumi kills her clone by making her fall into a portal. The clone’s last words is that she had fun. The other girls show up to protect Shido who is reeling from the shock. But Kurumi isn’t here to fight them and has done what she has come to do. Shido is frustrated that Kurumi came to see him knowing the real one will come kill her. She chose to defy her absolute will for a few hours of memories. When he sees her tanzaku, he quickly runs to the highest spot to tie it. This dangerous act has him fall off although Touka catches him. Kurumi’s wish is to see him once more. With that, Shido will never forget her.

Date For The Moment
Feels like an OVA for the first season, don’t you think? No twins and no Miku. Even worse, no Origami. But that is because she had her own spotlight for the first season’s OVA. Nevertheless as far as this OVA is concerned, I guess it feels okay although that ending feels a little tragic. Most of us would be thinking if there is some sort of trickery to this date and how Shido is going to get screwed up in this trap. And what do you know? It wasn’t the real Kurumi but a part of her. Therefore it feels a little sad that this nice Kurumi had to die in the end but it somehow gives an idea of Kurumi’s character over time. It goes to show that even deep down inside the heart of the worst Spirit, there is still hope. There is still a part of her that loves Shido and can be saved no matter how small that part is. So maybe that wish she made will come true one day? We hope. We prefer this Kurumi to the dangerous one, no? Or is the dangerous one more exciting because of her bold flirtatious seduction? Well Shido, maybe you can find some backdoor and meet her again behind the scenes and everyone’s back. Just don’t let the real Kurumi find out.

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