Nanatsu No Taizai

September 27, 2015

Once upon a time, there was a peace and harmony reigning over the land. Then one day a group of evil people decided to overthrow the kingdom but thanks to the bravery and courage of the heroes, the evil schemes have been thwarted and peace reigned again. Everybody lived happily ever after. The end. That is how old school fairytales should go, right? Well, why hasn’t anybody thought about a sequel about it? Why has everything have to end for good especially every happily ever after? I guess this is why you have animes. In the age of sequels, reboots, remakes and retellings, nothing stays the same and simple anymore. Take Nanatsu No Taizai (The Seven Deadly Sins) for instance. It might not be some sort of sequel, reboot, remake or retelling of some story but it isn’t your typical fairytale and with a twist. The story is like what I have said in the first few lines of this paragraph. But it didn’t end there. Because down the road, those very same heroes who saved the day now become the big villains and hold the kingdom at ransom. Corrupted by power? A princess of the kingdom decides to go on a journey to gather that group of evil people to save her kingdom from those ex-heroes as she believed they are the only ones formidable enough to stand up against their might. And so it becomes a classic battle of good versus evil… Oh wait, who is good and who is evil now? I can’t tell. This is so confusing…

Episode 1
During the war, the magnificent Holy Knights were mercilessly slaughtered and only 7 people did this. 10 years down the road, near the Kaynes village, a kid named Meliodas is running a bar with his pig named Hawk. I don’t know why the people keep coming here since his food sucks. Maybe it’s for the beer. When somebody comes in to report he has sighted the wandering Rust Knight, everyone starts talking about the Seven Deadly Sins because it is believed this knight is linked to them. They are believed to have massacred the Holy Knights 10 years ago. They might not be captured but some think they might be dead now. However if so, how come wanted posters of them are renewed every year? When that knight comes into the bar, everyone scrams. Turns out to be a woman under the armour, Elizabeth Liones. Meliodas takes good care of her (after fondling her boobs to ascertain she is a woman), feeding her with food. It tastes so bad that it’s good? WTF. She explains she is looking for the Seven Deadly Sins. The local knights led by Alioni knock on the door. They are here to capture the Rust Knight as a lead to the Seven Deadly Sins). Meliodas answers them and presents the knight: Hawk wearing the armour! Are they trying to fool them? They spot Elizabeth running out from the back and give chase. Hawk also comes chasing them and bumps them away. Elizabeth continues her explanation of her search. It seems the Holy Knights who were supposed to protect the kingdom have captured the king and confined the other royal family members. They have been gathering support across the continent to start some war. But why seek the Seven Deadly Sins? They are their only hope to stop the Holy Knights. Although they were 7 brutal criminals with a mark of a beast carved on their body and attempted to overthrow the kingdom 7 years ago, the Holy Knights launched and attacked against them and they vanished ever since. She cannot believe they would die that easily. They might be criminals but they were still the best. It is the Holy Knights who are making the people suffer.

Suddenly the cliff they are standing on gives way. The local knight’s captain, Twigo is happy to report death casualties. He is not happy Meliodas and co are still alive because it alters his death toll! Looking at Elizabeth’s earring, he realizes she is from the royal family. There are orders to capture this third princess alive. But it can’t be help if she is killed in battle, right? Twigo’s sword can slice anything in half! The entire hill is bald?! I’m not sure why Elizabeth is having this death wish so as to let Meliodas escape but she won’t get it. She reveals she was going around in her searching quest and wore the armour to hide herself. She got tired and dropped into his bar. She is sad that he as a stranger took her in and doesn’t want him to get involved further. When he introduces himself, she thought it was coincidence that he shares the same name as the leader of the Seven Deadly Sins. But there is a dragon mark on his shoulder. Twigo also recognizes it after his attack is deflected back at him although Meliodas’ sword is broken. What more, he looks exactly the same 10 years ago. He is certain he is that guy when that immeasurable power blows Twigo away into the sky. Meliodas wants to look for his other comrades too as he has business with them. That is why he opened a bar in hopes to get more information. He hopes a bargirl will speed that up. Care to come with him? And so they head to the next down on a giant green pink. Hawk Mama? Twigo reports back to Gilthunder of the Holy Knights. He has been waiting for 10 years for this.

Episode 2
Elizabeth wonders if there was a crime that Meliodas did that made him wanted so bad. How about stealing panties and groping women’s boobs? Please don’t joke. Well, it is something he can’t say. They arrive at Bernia Village where they make the best ale. However the river is dried up and they find a commotion at the town square. As explained, everyone is trying to remove a Holy Knight’s magic sword from the ground that is blocking the streams. Everyone blames this kid, Mead for telling lies that he has a friend from the Sins and that incurred his wrath. They start throwing stones but Meliodas brings him back to Boar Hat. Elizabeth heard from the village chief about his pranks and understands he did this for attention. She too was like that. She climbed a tree to get her father’s attention but it made his face pale. He tried climbing to get her but fell. Mead also didn’t mean to pull such pranks. His parents were travellers before settling in this village but died to an epidemic. Although this village raised him and he was happy, he never felt he was part of anyone’s family and was jealous. He started playing pranks. But when Gilthunder visited and tasted their best ale, he insulted how bad it tastes and Mead wouldn’t stand for it. Everyone worked hard for it and yet he belittled it. He made up a lie that one of the Sins was his friend because if the Holy Knights are bad people, then the Sins must be the good guys.

A couple of local knights warn the villagers if they don’t pull out this sword soon, their taxes will increase. Mead rushes to pull it out despite nothing budges. The village head tells everyone that it wasn’t Mead who started all this. Then all the men gather their strength to help Mead pull it out while the knights sit around, laughing their ass off while drinking cheap beer. I don’t know. I thought they should just dig the ground around it to pull it out. Get what I mean? Even if their attempt fails, here comes Meliodas to easily pull it out without a sweat! The day is saved. Everyone has a party at Boar Hat and this is Elizabeth’s first time on the job. She’s being very clumsy. Very. A few more tries and she’ll be better. When Gilthunder learns of this, he wants to make sure as he gets the exact coordinates of the village, borrows a knight’s lance, imbues it with magic and then throws it over. Meliodas goes out to talk to Elizabeth who is a little down. But it seems like as though he knew what was coming so he catches the incoming lance with his bare hands. I don’t know how many hills and building he ploughed through but he even manages to send the lance back right at Gilthunder barely missing his head! This proves it. Meliodas is still very much alive. This means he can’t stay at the village for long. Elizabeth suggests hiding at the Forest of White Dreams because she heard from Mead it is a place where the Holy Knights don’t dare enter. Meliodas agrees to go there but not to hide. He believes another comrade may be there.

Episode 3
Gilthunder remembers seeing his father, a Holy Knight brutally murdered. Now he is hot on the heels of Meliodas. Elizabeth and co are lost in the forest for 3 hours. It feels creepy. Somebody is groping her boobs… Don’t worry, it’s Meliodas. Suddenly Elizabeth feels a little breezy. Did she forget to wear it this morning? She was sure she did. Suddenly… Clones of Hawk! Which is the real little piggy? Don’t know. Meliodas just beat them all up! Suddenly… Clones of Elizabeth! Wow. Boobs galore. Since all of them want to seduce him, Meliodas has them do anything as he says. When he tells all of them to jump up in the air, the real one can’t. Meliodas slices the clones. Turns out several little imps were playing pranks on them to leave the forest. Now that they have failed, they quickly flee. Oh, Meliodas hands back Elizabeth’s panties. So he is the culprit! The imps report their failure to shoo away the intruders. Their master is a giant woman, Diane. But once she recognizes Meliodas, she starts fawning over her captain. Yup, second comrade found. She has a serpent mark on her thigh. What is her favourite food? Roast pork! Oh dear… However she starts beating up Meliodas once she learns he is travelling with Elizabeth. She calls him a cheater for having another woman around when he clearly knows she loves him. She calms down after being explained but still remains suspicious of Elizabeth’s relationship with him. Meliodas assures it isn’t like that. Including her. So sad. She agrees to go on a journey to help him look for other comrades. The imps are happy since they have obtained their freedom. Ever since Diane came, she threatened to go on a rampage if they didn’t help hide her. Suddenly they are trapped by lightning chains. Gilthunder has found them.

Elizabeth knows him because he is the son of the great Holy Knight, Zaratras and was close to the king. She knows him since young. Meliodas also knows him because he used to tag along to his training sessions in the palace. Gilthunder mentions the reasons the Sins are targeted. Some say it is to kill the traitors who attempted to overthrow the kingdom. Some say it’s to prove the Holy Knight’s might by defeating them. To Gilthunder, it is both and more. It is for revenge for his father. Killing them will mean he has surpassed him as the greatest Holy Knight. Meliodas remembers he was being called to an old castle on the outskirts of town. When the Sins enter the room, the see Zaratras skewered. Seems like somebody is trying to frame them? Knights then surround the place as they make their escape. The last words he remembered hearing was sorry. When he came to his senses, he was in some hole and that’s when he met Hawk. Elizabeth tries to convince Meliodas did not kill his father based on this story but he doesn’t listen. Meliodas and Diane are strong enough to free themselves. Meliodas wants to fight him alone. Both are still strong but in the end, Gilthunder cuts a mean strike across his back. Any last words? He wants to know where the rest of his comrades are. Of the remaining 5, the whereabouts of 3 are unknown. The fox is imprisoned at Baste Dungeon and the grizzly perished in the Capital of the Dead. Suddenly Meliodas gets up and thanks him for the information. Looking pretty healthy and happy, isn’t he? What? No surprised reaction from Gilthunder? Just his usual sour face like always…

Episode 4
Meliodas wants to finish this some other time but Gilthunder won’t allow it. Meliodas is fast enough that he can’t touch. Diane then throws him away. Elizabeth is concerned of his injuries but Diane becomes jealous because she feels it is her job to take care of the captain. As Elizabeth tends to Hawk’s injuries, she explains Gilthunder was originally her sister Margaret’s escort. He also treated her like she was his own sister. Although he continued to loyally serve the king after his father’s death, she wonders if he could be related to what happen to her father. Meliodas decides to head to Baste Dungeon first since it is closer. Elizabeth is worried about his wounds because he might not be able to fight if another Holy Knight shows up. Don’t worry. He just needs to take a look at her panties and he’ll be fine. At least he didn’t ask her to sleep with him, right? When Elizabeth goes to check on him shortly, he is found collapsed in his room. At Baste Dungeon, Jericho reports a couple of Sins heading this way. The Holy Knights of Weird Fang division, Fresia, Golgius, Ruin and Jude are confident this experimental fort is built to withstand such wars and not even any Sins can conquer it easily. They can’t believe ever since they captured this Sins guy, Ban 5 years ago, they locked him up ever since, never let him out or feed anything considered as food and never understood why he was made to be kept alive.

Diane is scaring the people away with her size but she has to give in to let Elizabeth look for a doctor. After that is settled, Diane wants to go to Baste Dungeon herself. Elizabeth wants to come along too but is told to be by Meliodas side. Diane talks how she first met Meliodas. He saved her from a bunch of soldiers ganging up on her. He was the first person who cared for her and needless to say she instantly liked him. For the first time she felt she was of the same size as him. However reality sucks because she knows she can’t be in the same room with him and all she can do is fight for him. She wishes she was smaller. All Elizabeth wants is the strength to defeat the Holy Knights and protect those dear to her. A bug storm is set from Baste Dungeon. Looks like Fresia has made her move. It is spewing poison enough to melt anything. Despite Diane being afraid of bugs, she feels now is not the time for that as she needs to protect Meliodas. She uses her power to summon big logs from the ground to crush the insects. She dashes towards the dungeon and leaves Meliodas in Elizabeth’s care. When she returns to check on him, it seems the doctor is in cohorts with the Holy Knights. He used poison instead of medicine. Meliodas will never wake up again. Golgius appears before Elizabeth and is here to take her home. The guards are betting who would win the fight. Suddenly Ban bursts out of his cell after hearing this interesting talk. He takes out all the steel stakes from his body like it was nothing! Jericho thought she can kill him but he was just faking it and I don’t know how he did it but all that slashing actually shaved his beard and cut his hair! Is this a joke?! Jericho is shocked to see no wounds on his body. He shows what a real wound is, a deep scar on his neck.

Episode 5
Flashback shows Ban is curious to see Meliodas broken sword but he won’t. This only makes Ban more curious as he provokes him to show it. In the end, Meliodas slashed his next. Now Golgius tries to take Meliodas’ sword. However he is holding on to it tightly! Even if he dies, he won’t let it go! Meliodas’ scary face is enough to make Golgius jump out of the window and flee! Elizabeth is surprised the wounds on him are already healed. With Hawk’s smell, they track Golgius as he easily surrenders to them. But Meliodas knows this is a trap and disarms his hidden weapons. The doctor pleads to Golgius that he has done as instructed to poison Meliodas and to release his daughter. Unfortunately he gets killed. Elizabeth is sad to see this but they have to run since Golgius seems to be able to teleport anywhere he wants and give a sneak attack. Luckily Meliodas is fast enough to counter it. Meliodas hides in a dilapidated tower. But this is just a trick to lure Golgius because when he reappears behind him, he falls through the wooden floor he cut up. This proves that his power is not teleportation but invisibility. Meliodas was puzzled that it took him time to disappear and reappear instead of instantly. Golgius makes his escape again. Elizabeth runs back to the doctor who is puzzled why she is crying for him. All he wanted was to protect his daughter, Cenette. Now he is dead. Elizabeth starts blaming herself had she not do this, this will not happen. Had she not started this mission to find Seven Deadly Sins, it would not lead to events up till now. Uh huh. So why don’t you blame yourself for being born while at it? Meliodas understands her tears and desire to protect the kingdom but tells her is her resolve so easily broken by a few tears? Then he talks about death that everybody will experience one day and the principles, resolve and belief that you follow through till the end. That is what makes you a knight. Our heroes make way to Baste Dungeon as Meliodas says their next mission is to save Cenette because Ban can break out himself if he hears about them coming. They see Diane standing before them. Is she in a daze? Before they know it, she attacks them. Seems she is seeing them as Ruin. The only thing left for them to do is run. While they’re at it, they save a couple of shepherds too. Then Meliodas falls into a spell and sees Diane as Ruin. This set an epic ground shattering fight. Meanwhile, Jericho is stripped naked because Ban wanted her armour (although it is too small to fit). Free fanservice for the guards… She’ll never forgive him for this humiliation. Ban encounters Jude. I suppose he’s not going back in his cell, right? Jude stabs him since he wants to kill him. Does that hurt?

Episode 6
Elizabeth’s voice snaps them out but it is not long before they start seeing hallucinations again and continue fighting. Fresia summons her insects to rip the skin of the rest and targets the shepherd girl. Elizabeth braves them to protect her but she turns out to be Ruin in disguise. Ruin then beats her up and tells her a secret for her bravery. His bell is the one that is making them see illusions. He suddenly realizes it is gone because Elizabeth bit it off and she was aiming for that all along. Ruin gets mad and wants to beat her up but Meliodas won’t let him. Convinced of Elizabeth’s dedication, a single punch sends Ruin flying away and another punch breaks his armour. Ruin thought he can steel his muscles but the final blow knocks him out and has him bleed all over. Meliodas says his sin is to hurt someone important to him. Meanwhile Ban tells Jude the reason he let himself captured. He longed for pain to feel truly alive. Now that his captain is back, things are going to get interesting and he is sick of his pain. He easily takes out Jude’s stake and sticks it back in his chest! Diane takes care of Fresia by stepping on her! Squished bug… She wants to take injured Elizabeth back to town but she won’t and wants to follow them to fulfil her promise. Once everyone enters Baste Dungeon, Golgius casts a spell barrier that will have them trap in there forever. After rescuing Cenette from her cell, they don’t have to bother finding Ban because he found them. At first it seems the guys are going to fight but it turns into some happy kiddie slapping greeting before punching each other that sends the other flying through walls! And then they arm wrestle enough to bring down the entire place and break the barrier! HOLY SH*T! Well, if that’s the case, time for Golgius to retreat. Cenette is reunited with her father and he himself isn’t sure how he survived that stab but he has the same scar on his chest as Meliodas. He wants to repay the favour with a feast. Meliodas introduces Ban to Elizabeth and that guy is shocked to hear Hawk talking. Diane agrees to fight for Elizabeth because she saw how cool she was today. She has an ability that moves the heart of others. The sky is filled with crisscrossing shooting stars and according to the ancient poems, it means disaster is to fall on the land and a holy war shall begin. Meanwhile Gilthunder sees King (one of the Sins) and tells him about Ban’s reunion with Meliodas. He warns him not to betray his trust.

Episode 7
Ban once tried to drink from the fountain of youth but was blown away by a guardian spirit resembling like a little girl. However he doesn’t give up and try and try and try again till that Elaine girl got fed up. She tells him without this fountain, the trees and plants in the forest will die. Ban easily agreed to give up. Since Elaine could read minds, she read all he wanted was just to taste the good berry ale here. She felt sympathetic. Elizabeth wakes up and is not alerted that Meliodas is sleeping beside her. Why? Because Hawk tied him up real good. Everyone discusses about the Capital of the Dead and fear about the ghost. Reaching at an abandoned village near it and although Meliodas wants to find out more information about King, he has everyone work first to get money for food. Ban didn’t like it and goes off on his own. Elizabeth talks to Meliodas about King and it seems he paints King as a nice guy. Because once Ban stole all the stuffed toys of children, King went to return them all. Also, wherever Ban goes, King was always following him perhaps to stop him from his mischief. Ban sees a young girl resembling Elaine but realizes she isn’t her. Since she passed out, he helps her out but her brother thinks he is trying to attack her and stabs him. But when his sister relates the truth, he feels sorry and wants to atone for his sin. Ban’s wounds are gone as he tells the kid a real sin is one that you can never atone for. Suddenly he is stabbed by a spear from King. However Ban doesn’t remember him. Even so, he must have remembered his greatest sin. The sin of killing Elaine to fulfil his greed to drink from the fountain. Ban is already an undead since his wounds heal.

The guys start fighting but Meliodas is here to bring Ban back for skipping work. Meliodas and Diane are surprised to see King but Ban is shocked this little kid is him. Wasn’t he supposed to be fat? Maybe he slimmed down. King flies away. Ban treats the kids to good food in exchange on how to get to the Capital of the Dead. Meliodas believes that isn’t necessary as they have found King although Ban refuses to believe that kid is him. The kids mention King also wanted to head there. Rumours say that there is where the dead live and somewhere in this town is a gate there. But to get there, you need to have a precious memory with the deceased. Meanwhile, King regrets running away because he saw Diane. Yup, this guy has a one-sided crush on her. He wonders Meliodas hasn’t aged all this while and might be an imposter. There is something that King will not forgive Ban for. At the flower field, Ban remembers Elaine asking him why he wanted to drink from the fountain. Because his life was uneventful and he thought by living longer, something interesting would happen. But she throws the question of what if he lived so long and nothing interesting happens? Hawk sneezes and this causes the flower to become a whirlwind. They get transported to the Capital of the Dead and King also made it just in time. Ban thought he saw Elaine and goes after her while King goes after him.

Episode 8
Guila the Holy Knight forces the sibling to tell her a way to get to the Capital of the Dead. Then she stabs herself. King confronts Ban and after a few punching trades, Ban realizes this is the real King. King petrifies him and mentions about his revenge on him. 10 years ago after the failed attempt, he returned to his homeland but saw everything burnt. So? Elaine was his sister. But as Ban freezes, there is no remorse but only calm on his face. This is what actually happened. Elaine had hoped Ban would take her away from here but she can’t leave as nobody will protect the forest. Ban even agreed to help find her brother and bring him back. But one day a red demon started burning down the forest. Ban thought he ended it all in a strike by taking out the demon’s heart but he learnt too late that this demon has more than one heart. Guila appears before Meliodas and co. She got here by killing herself. Meliodas and Diane fight her and she proves to be a formidable foe. Guila deduces Meliodas sword move that reflects back an enemy’s attack with the equal amount of force. So the more powerful the enemy, the more powerful the counter attack. But there is a flaw: He cannot initiate other attacks. King thought is over but to his shock, he sees the spirit of Elaine kissing Ban and reversing the petrifying spell. Only Ban can see her true form due to some bond thing. King thinks she is still mad at him for abandoning everything. Elaine wonders why he has come to see her. Nothing actually. He just wanted her to know that one day he will make her his. Ban returns to help Meliodas and Diane.

Continuing from that flashback, the demon stabs through Ban and Elaine. She wanted to give him drink the fountain of youth but he tells her to drink it instead. She does but kisses him and lets him swallow the drink. Ban becomes enraged and kills the demon. King cannot understand how she can forgive Ban, the man who stole everything from her. It is because she has been living and fighting alone for 700 years but Ban buried it all in 7 days. It is because Ban found out King was her brother, he purposely provoked him and took his spear. He is not a person whom he thinks he is. Now that King can see Elaine’s form, she wants him to understand one thing. Please help Ban and the rest out. At this moment, Elizabeth and Hawk just arrive and feeling the need to help Meliodas, they try to lift his spear from the ground and manage to do so. Impressed? Guila still have the upper hand against the trio despite they keep coming back up. It might be status quo at this rate. With King joining in, will the tide change? The final moments of Ban and Elaine’s flashback: As dying Elaine lies in his arms, she gives him a seed of the forest to plant it somewhere. He doesn’t care about it and only wants her. She was very happy when he told her to make her his. She wants him to say it again but too bad she died before he can complete his sentence.

Episode 9
Guila knew King would betray her but he doesn’t view it as that. He never intended to side them from the start and the Holy Knights’ goal of defeating the Seven Deadly Sins happen to coincide with his goal to defeat Ban. But now the situation has changed. Guila analyzes King’s spear which is stronger than steel and hold mysterious qualities of the Sacred Tree. She thought this 1-on-4 fight is going to be interesting but King will only take her on himself. Is he joking? Apparently not. Guila is given a run for her money when King’s spear is too fast and powerful for her to handle. We hear Elaine narrating about King whose ability is more powerful when he uses it for others. There is also some history thingy between the kingdoms of fairies and humans and some non-interference agreement. The fairy king and his power struck fear in everyone and King is no other than that fairy king whose real name is Harlequin. The blast was big enough to send Guila back into the living world. It is about time they too as this world is beginning to reject them as told by the siblings. They turn out to be from this realm. Elaine is glad to have seen Ban again and thanks King for protecting him. Back in the real world, since Guila is only half dead, they tie her to a tree and doodle her face. Her superior, Helbram notes her failure and that it was too early to face the Sins. Once King realizes Elizabeth is a princess, he tries to be more formal and also changes his form into that fatty. But Elizabeth doesn’t need all that formality now and he can rest easy. Good. Because that fatty form uses up lots of energy to maintain. King wonders why his comrades have a hard time dealing with Guila. It would be easy if they just used their Sacred Treasure. Well, they lost it, sold it or have it stolen. Believe it!

Great Holy Knights, Dreyfus and Hendrickson are rallying the crowd of New Generation Holy Knights. Gilthunder and Hauser see them to confirm when the real holy war will start and their enemy they’ll be fighting. Although it is too early to confirm the Sins as their enemy, it is certain that Meliodas must be eliminated because with his immense strength, he once took out an entire village with his wrath. King tells his comrades about those New Generation Holy Knights. They were once apprentices and failures but gained power overnight. Example, Guila. He also tells them the importance of their Sacred Treasures that could summon immeasurable power. Their next mission is to retrieve them if they really want to save the kingdom. Meliodas notices Elizabeth’s earring in which she explains Margaret gave it to her on her 15th birthday. She reminisces about those happier times so Meliodas assures he will save her family and everyone else. Now they enter a village where a fight festival is about to begin. Diane throws a tantrum because she has to sit this one out as the village bans giants. Elizabeth will stay back to accompany her. As the guys head in, they easily find a large hammer (Diane’s Sacred Treasure) which is up as the festival’s prize. You bet they are going to enter it. Ban didn’t want to enter this and regrets he should have stayed back with Diane. Hauser seems to be participating in this one too. Meanwhile Jericho and Twigo are brought before Hendrickson. They are made to drink the demon’s blood to attain new powers. Having revenge on their mind and wanting to get stronger, they drink without hesitation. However Twigo explodes and since Jericho is the only one compatible, Guila welcomes her to their side.

Episode 10
The qualifiers are simple. Knock your opponent out of your ring with your bare hands! Make a guess who made it to the final 8? At first Hauser thought Meliodas and co look pretty familiar but his stupidity saves them because he believes they can’t be participating here. The first match pitches Griamor and Matrona. Hauser didn’t think Griamor would participate in this festival because he was supposed to protect Veronica (the second princess). When Matrona tosses away her cape, they think she is Elizabeth since she is wearing her clothes. Griamor gets serious by using a barrier to push her out. However her constant punching breaks it and she gives him an uppercut to send him far out of the ring! Then her face becomes familiar. Isn’t that Diane?! However dumb Meliodas doesn’t recognize her and she beats him up. The most important one doesn’t recognize her… King wonders why Diane is in that state. But what happened to Elizabeth? Oh, she is here. She has shrunk and hiding in the cleavage. As she explains, they were out to get food ingredients but stumbled upon this timid monster mushroom. It unleashed some gas that shrunk them. So for the time being, Diane is wearing Elizabeth’s clothes and the latter hiding in her cleavage since there are no fitting clothes for her to wear. Diane starts flirting with Meliodas and wants him to touch and grope her like how he does to Elizabeth but he isn’t interested (King must have died of a heart attack). She becomes sad thinking he never cared about her when she is big. But she is happy when he says he can’t do that to someone important to him. Care to make some babies? Still not interested, though. The second match of Hauser against Taizoo isn’t anything much. The latter might be the biggest but he is the weakest and easily lost. Veronica picks up Griamor and isn’t pleased about his lost. Hauser then visits them to ask what they are doing here. They are searching for Elizabeth and think she is here because the Sins are here too. Hauser couldn’t believe it at first but realizes he needs to go back and see their awesome power. The third match has King versus Cain. Young kid versus old drunken guy? Well, King is so weak without his weapon and records show he even lost to his cat! I guess having the determination to bring back Diane’s Sacred Treasure didn’t do much as Cain’s drunken fist blows him out of the ring. Finally, the last match: Meliodas versus Ban!

Episode 11
The power battle begins. So powerful that we see a flashback of how they met. Meliodas was brought to see Ban as the palace guards were stumped he is still alive after exhausting all methods to execute him. Meliodas then punches him to bust him out and Ban really likes his power. If he wants more of it, follow him. The crowd must be flabbergasted to see them trading power punches. But King notices Meliodas getting more sluggish while Ban more agile and powerful. This is because Ban has the ability to snatch physical abilities. Ban is going to end this after absorbing it all. Diane thought Meliodas is feigning defeat to bait him so he can counter reflect his force at full power. But King says that only works for special attacks and not ordinary punches. So he is going to lose and die for good? Just when Ban lands his punch, everyone is shocked to see in the aftermath that Meliodas is standing and Ban blown away. While nobody saw it, Diane saw everything during that split second. When Ban’s fist connected, Meliodas grabbed and completely crushed it. Then a black mark appeared on his forehead as he punches and blows away Ban’s body parts. Meanwhile Veronica and Griamor continue to search for Elizabeth because as told by Hendrickson, Diane’s Sacred Treasure will be used as the prize to lure them in.

Now it’s time for the first semi-finals with Matrona against Hauser. He doesn’t want to hurt women but is forced to use his tornados to push her out of the ring. When it is seemingly so, Diane turns her entire body into metal and drops down on him, earning her victory. Diane apologizes to him for using her power without thinking, though this riles up King a lot since they’re being very close. The second semi-final pits Meliodas with Cain. The old fart thought he is the son of the original Meliodas. But when he learns he is the real deal, he becomes enraged and starts shooting fireballs as Meliodas just stood there and took direct hits. Cain is from the Danafor town where Elizabeth was born. He blames him for betraying and killing people. Meliodas says it is because he wanted to protect everything but couldn’t. That is his sin. That is why this time he won’t fail again. He disperses his fireball and when Cain confirms he didn’t betray Danafor, he becomes emotional as he hugs him. When he was part of the Holy Knights, he returned from his mission only to see his town destroyed. He heard rumours Meliodas was behind this and kept hoping it was untrue. Now that he has heard from him, he is relieved and concedes defeat. Now it is time for the finals, how do you get Matrona/Diane to fight Meliodas when she is willing to let him knock her out (because he already knocked out her heart)? Ban steals Hawk’s money from the beer sales to hire women to cheer for Meliodas to finish his fight and play with them. Diane is mad at his betrayal and knocks him down!

Episode 12
Nothing is more dangerous than a jealous woman! Diane doesn’t hold back in her punches and so does Meliodas. I wonder if the arena can hold out till the end. Suddenly they stop dead in their attacks. What gives? Meliodas makes a surprising reveal of his identity. Then he tells everyone he is taking over this town and those who aren’t out yet will be massacred. Rain of fireballs start dropping on the town as the panic people evacuate. Guila and Jericho are here. Jericho gets her revenge match with Ban and it seems she has powered up enough that Ban is surprised his bleeding won’t stop. Guila too gets her rematch with Meliodas and he can’t withstand the force of her chain explosion. Fortunately, King is able to disable the duo for interrogation as Hawk brings the wounded duo to safety. Hauser tries to arrest Diane but she is more preoccupied in saving a trapped senior citizen. A weird looking Holy Knight sends her falling into the abyss (after she throws the old man to Hauser). Elizabeth returns to normal size and this is the when Veronica sees her. After giving her clothes to wear, Veronica chides her for doing stupid things especially teaming up with the Seven Deadly Sins to destroy the Holy Knights. She wants her to come back with her now but Elizabeth believes she misunderstood everything. Meliodas gets up to protect Elizabeth. Veronica uses a stone Hendrickson gave her and after she chants, he is absorbed into it. Elizabeth is mad at Veronica for not knowing about the truth and hates her. King continues to stave off Guila and Jericho’s attacks but he is surprised to be interrupted by that match referee. His true identity is Helbram. He wants the ladies to complete their objective while he keeps King company. Helbram knows King’s spear tricks and can avoid/handle them easily. Ban takes Veronica hostage and wants Elizabeth and Meliodas released. However he is attacked by Guila and Jericho. They want to take Elizabeth back but Veronica reminds them their mission was to take Meliodas sword. They point their weapon at her. Veronica is not pleased and will charge them in martial court. While Griamor traps them in his barrier, Elizabeth runs away as Veronica goes after her. When Guila mentions their mission to bring Elizabeth back dead or alive, Griamor tries to go after them. Seems Elizabeth stepped on some land mine but Veronica saved her. Too late to talk about regrets and taking back all the hateful things she said. Her last order to Griamor is to protect Elizabeth. Please don’t say it like you’re going to die! Guila and Jericho are freed from the barrier and before they could pick up Elizabeth, her desperate pleas of Meliodas to come help suddenly has him break out from the stone. But this isn’t the Meliodas we all know. Ominous markings on his body and that killer look on his face…

Episode 13
Meliodas rips off Guila’s hand just to get back his sword. Jericho activates some spell to reattach it. Meliodas attacks anyone hostile. He cuts Ban into half. Then he goes to attack Helbram but that old guy isn’t afraid. In fact, he is interested to observe and test his mysterious power. Meliodas’ dark markings can shift places, turn into weapons and serve as protection from direct attacks. Despite Meliodas’ attacks are getting stronger, Helbram has a power that ‘borrows’ powers from those who are allied with him. Hendrickson lends him his power and in a strike, Helbram knocks out Meliodas. Before he could retrieve him, Diane has returned to her giant size and starts pounding with her Sacred Treasure hammer. Ban is freaking nervous as he takes his comrades and run like the wind. Even Hendrickson can tell how dangerous this raging woman is and calls for Helbram to escape. But can he make it in time because the grounds are tearing apart and the rocks that float up will just pierce right through you. Holy sh*t! Is that a giant floating rock island Diane just did?! Once the chaos ends, Meliodas returns to normal. Elizabeth is so happy she gives him a free hug (free butt pinching too?). It’s not so pleasant from Ban because he gets punched. Now they’re even. Although Meliodas’ sword is stolen and this could be a problem, he is nevertheless happy that Elizabeth is safe. While Griamor is still mourning over Veronica’s death, Elizabeth tells him to bury her at the lake they used to spend lots of time. Helbram is in possession of Meliodas’ sword. Seems it is one of the keys to the revival of the demon clan, a fragment of the Coffin of Eternal Darkness. Gilthunder notes there was a balance of power between Dreyfus and Hendrickson. But with the latter gaining more followers under the New Generation, it seems that balance is tilted. Ban and King are training with each other and they wonder why the other care so much in saving the people. King has his reasons in following Diane but for Ban, after he saves the kingdom, he will be rewarded and take the Horn of Cernunnos beneath it. He will use this to contact the goddesses and revive Elaine. Gilthunder reports Veronica’s death to locked up Margaret at the hands of the Sins. But she does not believe it and will never forgive him and the Holy Knights.

Episode 14
One of the Seven Deadly Sins, Gowther, the goat’s sin of lust is travelling in the woods with Alan. So many aspects of him remind me of Hulk. The retard. The limited vocab. His mood swings. His gentle yet violent nature. Just put him in a purple armour and you get Gowther. I suppose with Alan accompanying him educating about the nature and cycle of things, he’ll be okay. When Helbram gets word that Gowther is spotted, he sends his Dawn Roar Holy Knights to capture him. Jericho is not happy the rest are put on standby but Guila takes this opportunity to return home to see her little brother, Zeal. Despite being bullied by mobs because their father who was once a Holy Knight was considered a traitor who ran away and abandoned his comrades, Zeal is still optimistic father didn’t do it. He thought Guila became one because she believed in him and will endure anything for her. But it is rather she wanted to protect him in place of her father, someone he can be proud of. After Zeal is put to bed, Guila hunts down those bullies and kills them! Yeah, she’ll do anything for Zeal’s sake too. Just don’t let him find out. While Elizabeth and Hawk are doing advertising in the village, they come across Alan. He is here to find adhesive to glue back Gowther’s armour that was damaged during Guila’s fireball attack at the tournament (they were just passing). Meliodas, Ban and King are in some competition to get the best catch when they see many knights defeated. One of them was so traumatized about the armoured giant that they realize another comrade is nearby. They rush to the scene to see Gowther being cornered by Dawn Roar. As they go to his aid, the tense standoff begins but when Alan returns and this makes Gowther scared and has him smash things. Both sides engage in a chaotic fight. Archer dude fires his arrow at Gowther during the distraction but Alan grabs it with his hand and warns about the great price to pay if the seal is removed. Then Alan turns into his true form (shocking even his pals). There is a goat mark on his chest and seems he is the real Gowther. Looks so girly…

Episode 15
While everyone is shock to see Gowther’s real face, Dawn Roar can’t be more shock to realize they are part of the Sins. Dawn Roar’s leader, Threader believes they can still win this since their orders are to take that armoured giant’s head. In that case, Gowther cuts off his head and presents it to Threader! This is what you looking for? With no further business, Dawn Roar leaves but Threader starts feeling suspicious about this mission. Why did Helbram send them instead of his beloved New Generation for this mission? Why does he want this giant killed so badly? Like as though he is trying to cover up something. Back to the Sins, Gowther says now it is up to them to stop this monster underneath this armour. Its head was just decoration and it seems this monster was once human. Not an ordinary human but remnants of a Holy Knight. Because it was reeking with evil power, it is the reason Gowther forced it into his armour to seal it but since it is now damaged, the monster is breaking out. So as they fight it, Meliodas becomes hesitant to kill it because he heard the human part trying to talk to him. Gowther strikes it with its light spear to paralyze it for the moment (making it see visions of its past). Gowther also cannot kill him because he heard the monster never wanted to be born this way. Ban will kill it instead but Meliodas won’t allow him. However Ban gouges out his heart. Surprisingly, the monster still lives and Ban realizes it is a demon.

Meanwhile Cain becomes a surprise visitor at Boar Hat. He is shocked to see Elizabeth. Actually she reminded him of Liz, Meliodas’ lover (her full name is also Elizabeth). She was a knight of an opposing kingdom and was captured after a failed night raid on Danafor. She was supposed to be put to death but Meliodas stepped in to save her. Despite she kept to herself and always clashed with Meliodas, eventually she opened up to him and the rest of the knights to her. The reason why Meliodas never wields a sword is because he was so strong that nobody could beat him with a weapon so it is only fair he doesn’t use one. Cain takes out a short sword. It was supposed to be a gift from Liz to Meliodas. He didn’t accept it so Cain was just holding it for him.

The human part of the monster is actually Guila and Zeal’s father, Dale. He is reminiscing a scene whereby he apologizes to his children for being weak and unable to protect them. As the monster revives and attacks, the Sins recognize Dale as an apprentice Holy Knight 10 years ago. Meliodas tries to speak Dale to his sense but it is not working. This annoys Ban because if he is not serious, he’ll just be in the way and end up killing his comrades. This is when Elizabeth comes running to throw Meliodas that sword. She tells him the reason Liz wanted him to have it was not to keep fighting but to carry on living. She also feels the same way as him fighting for others and if this is his sin, she also wants to bear it with him. Meliodas immediately grabs the sword and cuts the monster to pieces. They discuss about Holy Knights becoming demons and conclude that there must be some sort of experiment using the Holy Knights. From what Gowther can see, he believes Hendrickson is behind this. Gowther remembers meeting the angry monster and offered his armour to seal his magic. But it soon followed him around and took a liking for books he read. He is surprised to hear Dale’s last words of thanking him and for being his friend. Helbram is happy for a job well done and has Guila destroy the head.

Episode 16
Gowther joins and observes the rest in party mood. Meliodas asks him about the Sins being framed 10 years ago and Gowther knows the culprit: Merlin, the boar’s sin of gluttony. Though, he doesn’t know of her motives, he heard of rumours regarding her but none led to any concrete truths. The conversation is interrupted when the rest use Gowther to tease King’s smell. Then Gowther uses his mind reading powers to read out everyone’s dark embarrassing secrets. Even if he is told to read the atmosphere, he can tell Elizabeth likes Meliodas due to her interaction with him. Thank goodness Diane is already asleep instead of hearing that. Otherwise the entire place will be flattened. Elizabeth talks to Meliodas about Liz. He notes they’re both poles apart but yet similar: They’re both strong. Hauser sees Dreyfus who just came out from his ‘hiding’. Seems he is okay now because his son Griamor has died! Jericho tells Guila about the armoured giant. She sensed something amiss and went to tail Dawn Roar. It wasn’t the monster’s fight with Sins that shocked her. She felt both the power of a demon and Holy Knight emanating from it. After it was buried, she dug up the grave and found a brooch. Look familiar, Guila? Hendrickson and Helbram are in some ritual to unseal a demon using Meliodas’ sword hilt. It seems they want chaos to reign to bring back the old glory days because peaceful days dull their survival instincts. What kind of twisted logic is that? Unfortunately the seal still cannot be broken as they lack the final piece. So go get it! Dreyfus confronts Hendrickson about the Holy War he wants to wage and is appalled that he is trying to summon the demon clan. Hendrickson has done his research and is confident the Holy Knights (New Generations, that is) can beat it. Dreyfus is of course against it and speaks about justice but Hendrickson reminds him he is not one to talk because 10 years ago he asked him to join in the plot to kill his own brother, Zaratras. Hendrickson needs his powers for this and if he thinks of betraying, he’ll end up like his son. Meliodas’ next mission is to get his sword back. He tells everyone about its importance and how it was a seal created by all the clans (humans, fairies, gods, etc) to seal the demon clan with its relief. A magus, Vivian instantly kidnaps Elizabeth and Hawk. This sends Meliodas into instant fury as he rushes out to go save them. Diane throws Meliodas, Ban and Gowther towards Liones. Seems they are the final piece Hendrickson is waiting. The Holy Knights fortify their defence but whatever special powers they’ve got, none can stop the rampaging Meliodas! He just bulldozed through all of them! No chance! But there is another threat flanking the Holy Knights from the other direction. It as an army led by the new king of Camelot, Arthur Pendragon!

Episode 17
Hendrickson sees Arthur. Turns out his army was only an illusion and a mage is his only companion. Arthur insists he stays and offers to help out whatever trouble he is facing right now. But after Hendrickson brings him into the city, he attacks Arthur. Elizabeth finds herself in a dungeon but thanks to Hawk needing to take a dump, that desperate situation has the pig barge through the steel doors to do her business. Meliodas and Ban continue to plough through the Holy Knights. Gowther suggests a more effective solution. He uses his Sacred Treasure to rewrite their memories and temporarily turns them into their biggest fan! I love you! As they sneak in, they sense Hendrickson fighting nearby. Meliodas thinks of fighting him as the fastest way to find and save Elizabeth. Diane is sort of sad and wonders if Meliodas will show the same compassion to her like he did for Elizabeth. King tries to be a nice guy to console this big lady. I don’t know why King never thought of this before because now he summons his old friend (some kind of a magical dog) who eats stuffs to send them to another place. Think of it as a living teleportation device. I guess Diane’s butt is too big to enter so she needs a little push. Can King’s heart take it? Dreyfus and several Holy Knights are in Hendrickson’s magic research facility, believing this is the Sins’ target. They hear a commotion underneath. They are shocked to see Diane. So this is where she ended up? Since either side won’t give way, the great attack begins. Gilthunder uses his lightning attack but Dreyfus senses Hauser holding back. Despite Dreyfus landing powerful blows on her, it will take more than that to kill her. She is sent hurtling towards the town. Dreyfus makes an announcement that the Sins are attacking them so the people start throwing stones at her. Helbram uses his magic to make it look like Diane is the one destroying the town so as to pin the blame on her. Guila is not thrilled about the lies created to paint the Sins as baddies. When Zeal comes looking for his sister, a building is about to collapse on him but Diane protects him. Before the Holy Knights can finish her off, Hauser steps in to protect her. This is the right time to use his power. So is he going to fight them alone? No. Guila joins him.

Episode 18
Dreyfus gives them one last chance to return. Not changing their mind. They start off with a strong surprise powerful combo attack but only Jericho took the full brunt of it. The rest got out with little damage or if you’re like the best Holy Knight like Dreyfus, unscathed. Dreyfus readies to kill Guila but Gowther saves her. Meanwhile Elizabeth’s wandering has her stumble upon Margaret’s cell. First thing she did was to get emotional blaming herself for Veronica’s death. By the time she realizes they need to get out, Vivian stops her. In fact, she is told that Veronica is imprisoned here by her own will. Hawk does a sneak attack on her and since she hates pigs, I don’t know what burst of energy causes Elizabeth to faint while Hawk teleported to a dark room. She then unlocks Margaret’s cell and dares her to go anywhere she wants. If she has the guts to leave him. When Dreyfus swiftly pierces Gowther to prevent him from using his dangerous mind magic, he is surprised Gowther can return a bloody punch despite a big hole in his body. Dreyfus then starts seeing visions of him in his younger days as a Holy Knight with Hendrickson. Seems he is worried about Zaratras stronger than him and everyone else viewed it as that. Then it turns into a horror movie scene as we see Zaratras’ corpse, blood gushing out from every hole in his body, telling Dreyfus to atone his sins while Dreyfus is reduced to a traumatic wreck. Gowther thinks Dreyfus won’t be able to leave this nightmare but he was wrong. Dreyfus uses all his power to break through and stab right through him. Gowther’s down for good. Gilthunder retreats with Dreyfus and lets Helbram clean up. You think things are easier with him alone? Well, it can only get worse since he can go reckless. He unleashes poisonous dark mists that could kill anyone who breaths in. Although Diane pummels him, Helbram counter attacks with his icicle attack. I thought it was ironic for Hauser to tell Diane to be selfish and think about herself for once but if she did that, wouldn’t everything have turned out differently to begin with? Now it’s King’s turn to protect Diane before she meets her untimely death. Oh, he’s mad alright. Mad that his beloved is beaten up. And he blames Hauser for not being able to protect her? Facing off with Helbram, King tells him to turn back into his true form or else he can’t use his magic. Helbram’s true form is also a fairy like King. King endures Helbram’s beat down as he protects Diane. Helbram cannot be more shock to see King abandoned all his offense on Helbram and defence on himself just to fully protect Diane. He wants to settle their 700 year old promise now. Flashback shows Elaine begging King not to leave them as nobody will protect the forest. But he had to since he needed to go help Helbram. But then everybody else got killed and Helbram finished him off.

Episode 19
Time for a flashback of how King met Diane. After Helbram attacked him, he lost most of his memories. He was saved and started living with Diane who found him. Since she lives alone and wanted friends, she is more than happy to have him. It was him who made Diane those clothes she wore today (because all she ever wore was those caveman loincloth). Those were blissful times and you know how fairies and giants age slowly that time just zipped passed them. From time to time, King would remember snippets of his memories but this only made him confused of who he is and his origins. Humans’ short and fleeting lives went by in a blink of an eye. King always distrusted humans despite one who was always kind enough to share his food and medicine with them. That is why King explains to Diane about human marriage and the likes so Diane wants him to grant her a wish: To love her forever. I’m sure he would. One night when King’s memories fully return, the nearby village was attacked. King wants Diane to stay put while promising he would return. All the villagers were slaughtered by Helbram (human form). How can he still be alive after centuries? He turns out to be Helbram the fairy. After King was killed by that actual human knight, Helbram killed him and took his form. Helbram has been in anguish and hating human ever since because he saw how humans kidnapped and plucked their wings. The sight and sound of the suffering never left his head. That is why he went on a killing spree for 500 years but that never calm down those voices. King had no choice but to kill him. Even more painful was he had to break the promise with Diane. He shouldered the burden and took on the responsibility as the culprit who massacred humans and was sentenced to a thousand years of imprisonment. His love for Diane never changed and if they were to meet again one day, he’ll definitely keep his promise. Now back in present time, Helbram is shocked that King still has the power of the Sacred Tree that heals the wounds of those injured. It is not that Helbram intends to continue with his massacre, he can’t stop! He becomes berserk summoning all his power to attack. King deals the decisive blow to put him to rest once and for all. Diane thanks King for his help but can’t remember much of her past. King says it was just perhaps part of her dreaming. We shift focus to Hendrickson and Arthur’s fight. Hendrickson uses his ultimate attack on him but was deflected by Meliodas.

Episode 20
After Gilthunder puts Dreyfus to recover in some alley, Vivian talks to Gilthunder about Hendrickson being the better knight and king for the new future. Gilthunder has doubts about defeating the demon clan but she’ll fight for him if it’s necessary. With Hendrickson beginning his fight Meliodas, Vivian sends Gilthunder to assist him. It’s a battle of power and speed between Meliodas and Gilthunder but the former turns into his demon mode to stop the latter’s powerful attack. Arthur got distracted by this awesomeness and was harmed by Hendrickson. His mage saves him from certain death. We get a glimpse of Gilthunder’s younger days. He admired Meliodas and trained with him. However he has got this worrywart and negative attitude so Meliodas helps him recite some charm when things get tough. Plus, Gilthunder wanted to follow Meliodas on a holy crusade but was made to protect Margaret. As Hendrickson has finished his business with Arthur, he joins Gilthunder in fighting Meliodas. Hendrickson wants to finish him so he summons Vivian for help. Meliodas seems to be holding back like as though he is waiting for something. Is it Margaret? Because she is climbing the tower while lamenting how she made him say some oath that became some binding curse that tormented him. Now she wants him to be freed from it or else she will hurt the person he admires. If you’re wondering why Gilthunder’s favourite phrase is that he is stronger than any of the Seven Deadly Sins, it is because this is the charm Meliodas taught him. When Margaret plummets down the tower, Meliodas feels it is the right moment and strikes dead some hidden alien by her (don’t worry, Arthur caught her). When it looked like Hendrickson is about to kill Meliodas, Gilthunder cuts off his hand! He thanks Meliodas for freeing him from the curse. It is not he is betraying Hendrickson. He was never on his side to begin with. Gilthunder must have waited so long for his revenge so it looked like he put lots of power in his punishment towards Hendrickson. Vivian cannot believe Meliodas knew it from the beginning. Since when? Since they first met at the Forest of White Dreams. When Gilthunder recited that charm, he knew he was being watched and someone taken hostage. Gilthunder made it looked like he went all out against Meliodas because he is risking his life for the woman he loves. Therefore it is only right for Meliodas to risk his life as bond between men. Vivian wants to kill them by teleporting them to dangerous places but Arthur’s mage won’t allow it and ticks off her ex-disciple’s hot temper. Turns out Arthur’s mage is Merlin! Heck, I should have seen this coming.

Episode 21
Ban is inside a dark room where the Horn of Cernunnos lies. He wants the goddess to exchange his life to bring back Elaine. But only Hawk is before him. Soon the goddess speaks and although she can resurrect a single fairy, she will not take his life in exchange but give him a mission. Ban must kill Meliodas! Merlin forces Vivian to reveal where Elizabeth is. She is with her father in the king’s chamber. Vivian thought she could have the last laugh since the room is sealed with a barrier made from demon’s magic. Any attack will repel it. Merlin just had a simple solution: Cut off Vivian’s magic to the room! Elizabeth is so glad to be reunited with Meliodas (who wastes no time in molesting her right in front of the king!). When Dreyfus comes by, he learns Hendrickson is dead. Margaret also reveals she witnessed Dreyfus and Hendrickson killed Zaratras. She was so scared and told Gilthunder. But since Vivian found out, they were under her constant watch and were forced to obey her every command (Vivian has an unhealthy obsession with Gilthunder). But that bound has been Meliodas and they are freed. Dreyfus admits everything. His jealousy towards Zaratras turned into hatred. All this was to realize the Holy War, an event that the king predicted. However the king ordered them to put down their swords. Therefore Dreyfus wanted to end the incident 10 years ago by carrying out the Holy War by framing the Seven Deadly Sins as the enemy to cover up the truth. However Hendrickson had other plans and changed during those years. He didn’t know he was obsessed with resurrecting the demon clan. He didn’t expect things to turn up this way as all he wanted was to be a father his son could be proud of. Elizabeth reveals Griamor is still alive and watching over Veronica’s remains. Dreyfus is overcome with emotion. The king strips him of his Holy Knight position and has him imprisoned underground till he receives his punishment. The king is coughing blood as he is weak. Merlin diagnoses him and he is in need of immediate treatment. Since he can’t have it here, she will bring him back to Camelot. Arthur wants Meliodas to be part of Camelot’s Holy Knights. Sure he will. But when he feels like it. Rejected? Meliodas wonders when Merlin will come back to the Sins. When she feels like it! After they teleport away, the tower collapses. Somebody is attacking it. Although everyone is safe, Dreyfus is missing.

Guila and Jericho start squirming in pain. Like as though something is being forced out of them. Jericho then turns into a monster (something like Dale) but they realize that somebody is forcing all the New Generation who drank the demon clan’s blood to turn into monsters. Wonder no more because that culprit is Hendrickson! He looks younger and more powerful. I see he also drank the demon’s blood. He wants them to hand over Elizabeth. I guess you know the answer. King tries to ambush him but Helbram is sent to keep him at bay. It is revealed that Helbram was already dead the first time King killed him. Hendrickson mastered some dark arts to revive and made him his slave (since fairy bodies do not rot). But each resurrection deteriorates the soul and you can only revive the dead twice. Hendrickson thinks King should be happy because he is giving him a chance to kill him a third time. Meliodas and Gilthunder attack but Vivian holds the ladies hostage. In this distraction, Hendrickson stabs the guys. Vivian is mad because this wasn’t part of the deal. Oh but it is. When Gilthunder is dead, she can have his corpse forever by her side. Elizabeth will go with Hendrickson in exchange he spares their lives. I suppose she needs to play the heroine and protect Meliodas once in a while. She has him remember his promise to gather all the Sins to stop the Holy Knights even if she dies. When Ban comes by, Meliodas wants his help to go after Hendrickson and Elizabeth. However Ban gives him a long silent stare before attacking him. Although he rips off Meliodas’ arm, he puts it back in his demon mode. Ban has always wanted to ask him if he is from the demon clan. Elizabeth threatens to kill herself and put a stop in Hendrickson’s plan to revive the demon clan. Dreyfus appears before them.

Episode 22
Elaine > Elizabeth. Therefore Ban becomes Bruce Lee beating Meliodas up with his nunchucks. When Ban reveals the goddess clan revealed Meliodas is part of the demon clan that killed Elaine, the only way to bring her back is to kill him. Meliodas agrees to be killed. The rest are busy with their hands full. Diane trying to stave off monster Jericho (who is mumbling about being stronger than her brother), King still in tears fighting Helbram, Gowther suppressing the demon inside Guila, Hauser fighting the other monsters, Dreyfus fighting Hendrickson as atonement to bring an end to this mess. Right before Ban could kill Meliodas, the latter gets back up and fight. Sure, he did say he’ll die but not without a fight. Besides, he knows it better that he would do the same if he was in his shoes. Right now, Elizabeth is in trouble so he can’t afford to die. Hawk tries to talk some sense into Ban like if he is going to listen to a horn instead of his captain and even if Elaine gets revived, would she accept the way he did it? What else should Ban do? He even gets nostalgic ranting about how joining the Sins after Elaine’s death was just a temporary distraction but nothing changed in the end. That is why Meliodas orders him to do his duty as the Sins right now and they’ll settle this once and for all after this. I guess their fight is settled (postponed, to be more accurate), Ban leaves Meliodas in Hawk’s care. Ban then goes to toss Gilthunder to knock away Jericho so he can use some pill to heal Diane and lightning guy (he should have used it on Meliodas but I suppose he forgot).

Jericho unwittingly crushed her brother, Gustav and becomes horrified when she realizes it. Although Gilthunder rescues Gustav, Jericho wants to be killed as she cannot control herself. Ban will gladly oblige but destroys a little demon planted as a root to return Guila back to normal. Helbram also wants King to kill him while he is still himself. He can’t. He is his best friend. In that case he quits being his best friend. Well, time to end it then. Everyone goes through town destroying the monsters and returning the New Generation to who they were by destroying that little demon. Dawn Roar returns from a mission to help out. After all that power battle, Dreyfus is no match for Hendrickson and got his body rotted away. Too bad Meliodas was a second too late. But you can tell how mad he is when he sees Elizabeth bleeding and injured from the crossfire. He ignores Hendrickson’s ranting about being his equal to snatch Elizabeth and leave it to Hawk to get her treated. Without hesitation, Meliodas uses his speed and power to beat him up but each time his injuries heal. It gets even better when the Sins arrive to help out. Not to mention the Holy Knights and Dawn Roar. The Sins throw all their power combo at Hendrickson but no matter how many times you cut and smash him, he regenerates. So invincible, that it just makes him ooze with confidence. Though, Meliodas ‘advises’ him that despite his regeneration, his damage stays unless he is truly an immortal. As the fight rages on, accidentally the cave wall to the magic research facility is broken down. There lies a corpse of a red demon that Hendrickson has been researching for years to obtain its power.

Episode 23
Gowther confirms this demon as the source that turned the New Generation into monsters. When Hendrickson brags how he found it in the fairy’s forest 20 years ago and did extensive research to obtain its power, Ban pounds him deep into the ground and reveals it was him who killed this red demon. The Sins follow dive down and didn’t realize there is an old passageway. Hendrickson is very much alive as he rants about his goal in seeking a resilient body. There is a corpse of a grey demon lying here. It is believed to be more powerful than the red demon. However no living thing has ever survived drinking its blood. But now the red demon’s blood is flowing through him, he can drink it and turns into another super demon being. So powerful that it blasts the Sins back up and take the battle back to the ground above. So powerful that the Sins can’t even touch him. Hendrickson drops black snow that will instantly kill you if you touch it. Then everybody combines their powers. From Dawn Roar to Holy Knights to the Sins, you think this super combo is enough to kill him? Well, sorry to break it to you. It didn’t even scratch him. Then Hendrickson unleashes his super Dark Nebula move that just knocks out everybody. Meliodas uses his body to shield Elizabeth from this. He is one step away from being finished but Hawk decides to become the hero and take the blast. Wait a minute. This little piggy is going to sacrifice itself???!!! WAIT, NOOOOOOO!!!!! HAAAAAAWK!!!! Damn, this pork chop is too charcoaled to be eaten. Haha! Whoops… Okay, so everybody is sad and mad. But what can they do? Not as sad as Elizabeth because suddenly she emits a bright miracle light. Margaret mentions this has happened before. Although Elizabeth doesn’t realize it, she holds the power that could heal everything. She has the blood of the Apostle of the Goddess. Elizabeth is sad that Hendrickson was once a good guy. What made him changed? He wants revenge against the clans that sealed them during the Ancient War. Meliodas realizes this is not Hendrickson speaking but a demon possessing him. Elizabeth doesn’t want to see any more people hurt. Her light burst is greater than Hendrickson’s darkness that it heals the entire kingdom! All injuries light or serious gone! It even blooms a bed of flowers! But no luck in resurrecting the dead. Yeah, this means pork chop is still dead. Hendrickson laments he should have killed her sooner and took her blood. As the Holy Knights stand their ground, Gilthunder is paralyzed in fear as Hendrickson inches closer to him. Meliodas resumes his fight with Hendrickson and tells everyone not to give up. As long as the Sins are here, they can win this. Hey wait. Isn’t that Veronica, still seen alive???!!!

Episode 24
I suppose doing the same power fight won’t do any good so Meliodas has Gowther relay telepathically his plan to everyone. Whether they like it or not, everyone casts their full power at the fighting pair of Meliodas and Hendrickson. Don’t care whether you hit the baddie or not, just do it. Meliodas might die at this rate. When Ban finally throws a decisive fatal blow, Meliodas powers up. As explained, he used a move that absorbs all their attacks so he can reflect them back at full force. However he must be careful in doing this move as it might kill him if done incorrectly. Now Hendrickson is scared sh*t. He tries to run away but is killed for good when Meliodas unleashes his full force. The king returns just in time. He is healed thanks to Merlin using him as a guinea pig to test some demon magic. Thank goodness it worked. Gilthunder leads the Holy Knights to request for them to be punished so the king says they will dedicate their lives in rebuilding the kingdom with no days off. The king praises the Sins for saving the kingdom that once framed them as well as protecting his daughter. But Elizabeth is still sad. Why? You can’t forget about the little pig. All this would not have been possible had Hawk not sacrifice himself. Yeah, victory doesn’t feel so sweet without piggy’s presence. And with everybody having their say about Hawk, suddenly they hear his voice. Black charcoal pig dissipates into… Mini Hawk! OMG! I don’t know how but who cares. Hawk is alive! Even happier news for Elizabeth as she is reunited with Veronica. Yeah, we don’t know how she lived too but who cares? Now Elizabeth can hug Meliodas all she wants. Well, at least to heal his wounds.

Merlin talks to Meliodas that the Coffin of Eternal Darkness is nowhere to be found no matter how much she searched. But she heard rumours that a bird-like creature was seen heading south right after he defeated Hendrickson. Merlin says she has got Arthur’s permission to be away for a while and this means she is officially joining the gang. King is thinking of a way to cheer Diane up as he thinks she might be heartbroken after seeing Elizabeth hug Meliodas. But to his surprise, she is temporarily shrunk to human size thanks to Merlin’s potion. He can’t believe his ears that she would like to hang out with him. Just the two of them. Jericho isn’t pleased she lost her power but had she not, she would have succumbed to being a monster. She goes crazy thinking about Ban. Meeting up with Guila, she notes unlike her, her power did not disappear. Guila credits it to the power of love. Thanks to… Gowther???!!! OMG. For real?! Gilthunder visits Boar Hat for the first time. He tells Meliodas he will be leaving the kingdom to wander on a journey. In his attempt to trick Hendrickson, he has hurt so many people. This is his atonement. On the day the Sins are to leave for Camelot, Elizabeth rushes to go say goodbye but the king stops her, believing it will only make things harder. But she doesn’t have to find them because here comes Hawk Mama stopping by. Meliodas remembers they haven’t found all the members of the Sins yet so her mission is not yet over. You know what this means, right? Without hesitating, she instantly jumps into Meliodas’ arms. Looks like she really made up her mind. Bye, dad. Ban decides to take a short leave to take care of some things but when he comes back, he’ll settle things with Meliodas. A short flashback shows Liz’s last words to Meliodas were not to cry and that they’ll meet again. Lastly, Gilthunder, Hauser and Griamor are looking at the books Dreyfus was researching. It contains notes on the demon marks seen on Meliodas and Hendrickson’s face. Gilthunder believes they have to rethink everything again.

OVA 1
This is a side story of Ban and Elaine. Despite we know their history, this is elaborated and expanded into a full episode instead of being told in flashbacks and of course, uninterrupted. It starts off with Elaine narrating she has been guarding the forest for 700 years since her brother King left. She has been protecting it from greedy humans who want steal the fountain of youth. We are familiar with the opening parts of the story. Ban came with the same intention but each time he gets blown away, he never gives up and keeps coming back. Moments before he drinks it, Elaine snatches it back and tells him the repercussions of doing so. She is surprised he is willing to fully give up on it and reading his mind, it is true and he is sad that he can’t taste this ale. Instead of going home, he hangs out with her and tells her of his goal in wanting to drink it. He is surprised that she has been a bored fairy for the past 700 years! So you want to live forever too? Elaine thought he left for good but he shortly returns to retrieve a book that contains his label collection of ales (it was blown away during his climbing attempt). I guess when you’re bored, there is nothing more to do than to take a look at it.

More bonding moments together but one morning, Elaine wakes up and Ban is gone. She looks for him but to no avail. A few days later he comes back. Yeah, she was so worried about him and now that he came back, she’s being tsundere that he shouldn’t have? Anyway, he brought back some ale for her to taste. Can’t just be reading about them, right? It is her first experience tasting this bitter ale. Is she drunk? Mad girl. Sad girl. Happy girl. One day, Elaine was whispering to herself how she wished Ban wouldn’t come to steal the fountain of youth but her. He heard it and told her he will make that wish come true. All he needs to do is find her brother and bring him back. She’ll be free, right? Elaine is so happy that she hugs him. Then a scene we are also familiar with. The red demon appears and burns down the forest. Ban thinks he can take it out in one shot but he didn’t know it had multiple hearts. Both got strike down. Ban wants Elaine to drink the fountain of youth and escape since he is too weak to even drink. Elaine does it but only so as to kiss and give him drink it. Ban’s injuries heal as he makes mincemeat out of the demon. In this heart tugging sad scene of Ban and Elaine’s final moments, she gives him a seed of the forest for him to plant. Oh why do you want us to go through this heartbreaking moment again?! Ban continues his journey and finds a remote mountainous region where no humans will pass. He plants the seed and uses his blood as water. The tree instantly grows big. Subsequently Ban is captured and found guilty of burning down the forest, killing a fairy and claiming the fountain of youth for himself. He is sentenced to death. Any last words? They should at least get his name right: Undead Ban.

OVA 2
This consists of short comical skits from our favourite Sins.

* As his drinking buddies will be coming over, Meliodas sends Elizabeth and Hawk to town to buy some ingredients. Here’s a bag of silver coins for the errand. Unfortunately they got distracted with the window shopping and end up using all the coins to buy those. They know they’ll be in big sh*t. A kind farmer sees how pitiful they are and gives them more than necessary of the required ingredients. Happily on the way back, Elizabeth trips, spilling everything. Wasted? There is no such thing as wastes when you have Hawk around. And so they report back to Meliodas and how Hawk ate the spilled leftovers. Unfortunately for them, Meliodas is not amused. Because Hawk ate all those stuffs, his meat must be brimming with all those foodstuffs, right? Oh sh*t… Don’t worry. Meliodas is impartial. He also has some punishment for Elizabeth… Best left to our imagination…
* King must be desperate. So much so he goes to ask Meliodas to teach him the ways of being an unashamed man. I take it he wants to go peep at naked Diane bathing. Learn from the master. Near the stream and behind the bushes, Meliodas strips naked. Naked for naked, right? Then he swims towards Diane and Elizabeth like as though it is nothing. He claims he is to protect them from being seen as he calls King to join in. Too bad Diane saw his perverted fatty form and blasts him away.
* Hawk went to take a 30 minute dump (?!) while in the middle of his food. When he returns, his food is gone. He accuses his buddies to be the culprit. King fears and senses that his dog friend might be the real culprit.
* King is furious when he hears Diane and Ban are holding hands! No way in the world this could happen! Turns out they are arm wrestling and Diane is just using her pinky. Ban doesn’t want to be underestimated so she uses her entire hand that just slams him into the ground.
* Hendrickson is happy that a girl says he is a nice guy. He thinks of proposing to her the next day but gets rejected. Depression. Next morning, he comes knocking on Dreyfus’ door to tell him that a girl proposed to him but he can’t accept it. Because that girl is just a child! Hey wait. Why is little Jericho going around proposing to other people to marry her?
* Gilthunder narrates he hates festivals ever since the day his father was murdered. So when Hauser is drunk telling tales of that fight tournament between Ban and Meliodas, it upsets Gilthunder. In actual fact, he wanted to participate in it and actually loves festivals.
* Merlin says despite being a magician, she has no healing magic. So how is she going to heal the king of Lioness? There is this nasty looking hookworm from hell that will be inserted into his body. Don’t worry. She has mastered the arts to control it to only eat his tumour. Maybe. That’s assuring enough. The question now is which part of his body he wants to be inserted into… Oh sh*t… For your information, the king is just suffering from stomach ulcer.
* Gowther is testing out King’s reaction to lies like saying Diane is dancing naked or try doing lewd things with him. Now it’s Ban’s turn. He claims he is King’s brother! Interesting reactions… Are they just harassing him?
* After Merlin’s betrayal, Meliodas finds himself inside a cave saved by Hawk. At first he mistakes him to be Wandle, his old partner. How can he mistake a bird as a pig? But Hawk too sometimes felt he once flew in the sky a long, long time ago. He thinks he was once a dragon! Meliodas knows there will be orders to hunt down the Sins. This means he is out of a job and no money. Hawk knows a favourite place of his where they can get free food (leftovers). Since it is far away, the only way of getting there is riding on Hawk Mama’s back. Pretty cool, eh? Meliodas considers eating Hawk but changes his mind to earn some money. Since selling him or having a pig doing some street performance won’t do, he gets the idea of opening a bar. The problem now is the funding to build a bar. Oh, no problem. He sells his Sacred Treasure for the required funds. And that my friends, is how Boar Hat came to be. Oh Meliodas, you…

Let Those Without Sin Cast The First Stone
It doesn’t feel really over yet because if you’ve counted right, there is still one more of the Sins to appear. And I keep wondering if the characters didn’t know how to count because they keep calling the Sins as The Seven Deadly Sins throughout the series (I am calling them Sins as shortcut since I am lazy to write their entire name here). Sure, it’s their official title but I thought it was a bit odd to call the current group as that since they do not actually add up to the numbers. Not enough time I suppose since the final arc was about rescuing Elizabeth and kicking the crap out of corrupted Hendrickson. Besides, with Merlin officially joining the Sins so late and only in the final scene, so this means the Sins were predominantly stuck at only 5 of them for most of the time. At least after halfway. Then there are the Sacred Treasures that some of the Sins need to recover, the resurrection of the demon clan to deal with, the mysterious works our Holy Knights discover in Dreyfus’ room and the missing Coffin of Eternal Darkness. What about Merlin’s ‘betrayal’ 10 years ago in which she is glad to tell but it is going to be ‘a long story’… Wow. So much more potential. Another season, perhaps?

As I predicted, having good looking and pretty Holy Knights as the antagonists won’t cut it. So there have to be a twist again and when Hendrickson turns out to be the biggest and baddest wolf of them all, surely you would have the ultimate team ups of the Sins and the Holy Knights bringing down their fire and rage upon him. Although the line between good and evil, justice and injustice isn’t that greatly blurred in this series, it is trying to hint to us that sometimes having blind faith is not a good thing. It is not which side you belong to that determines if you are good or bad. Believing in your guts and doing what you believe is right is what utmost important. You also need to have the strength and courage to do so.

With so many characters, not all especially the supporting characters would have their characters properly fleshed out. This season is mostly focused on the Sins as we get to see great insights on the pasts of Ban, King and Diane. It would be nice to see what actually happened between Meliodas and Liz his former lover too but that’s not happening here. So for others like Dawn Roar, it just makes you wonder if they have any relevance to this season since their appearance was just so limited. You thought they would clash with the Sins again but had to team up to bring Hendrickson down. Remember Golgius of Weird Fang? I have been wondering what happened to him ever since he ran away. I guess he ran away for good, huh?

The Sins are not perfect themselves and they aren’t exactly role models as heroes either. But the big irony is that they do what is right and saved the kingdom and possibly the world from total destruction. Sometimes I feel it is odd that the sins that they represent don’t really depict that sin. Like Merlin who represents gluttony, personally I don’t see how he fits this particular sin (partly because she appeared too late) because I thought fatty King should represent this better and lust representing Gowther who lacks emotion and says everything with a straight face (like a robot – sometimes it makes him funny and the comic relief) should be the one to represent sloth instead of King. Meliodas is quite a cheerful kid for most of the time unless you decide to harm his friends and that is when you will taste his fury and wrath. So I thought Ban who is more wrathful would have been a better representation but I guess nobody represents greed better than him (rather, I would say his selfishness to do whatever it takes to get Elaine back). Diane represents envy only because she is jealous of seeing Meliodas close with Elizabeth. That’s just it. I thought being envious would mean jealous of Meliodas’ captaincy, his skills, his everything. In conclusion, the sins they embraced don’t really matter in the end as they do more good than bad (after all, they were framed in the first place).

Overall, the dynamic interactions between the Sins and Elizabeth are a fun watch. With their contrasting and clash of characters, now you know why they say that variety is the spice of life. Sometimes it feels like they are a bunch of freak show running around. Like Meliodas shows why he is the coolest character in the series. You will love his charming and cheerful disposition as well in action moments when he kicks ass without hesitation. But Meliodas, I thought he really looks funny for a kid to have muscles and abs! Really! I mean, imagine a baby having such macho body! It is unthinkable! After all, if you think about it, all the Sins aren’t ordinary humans or even humans to begin with. Sure, Ban was human once but now he is an immortal.

Hawk feels like not only the mascot but as well as the comic relief and joker of the series. Heck, he has got his own ‘short segment’ at the end of every episode, a still simply drawn picture of Hawk in doing something comedic. I mean, what else can a pig who loves eating leftovers do? Sure, Hawk claims he can fight and just holding back his true power but that sounds more like a joke than anything serious. Can he? This piggy is also the voice of reason and plays the role of rebutting everyone else (especially Meliodas) and therefore it was surprising that Hawk decided to become a martyr and die just to protect Elizabeth. Where can we get our rebuttal jokes now? At least he should have done his last service by being a tasty pork chop if he is going to die, damn it! Oops! But you know, seeing how they revive Veronica without any valid reason (I guess princesses dying isn’t going to leave a good taste), they might just do so with the lovable pig. And they did it!

You know how animes have this love and penchant for bringing back dead characters, no? Oh, the holy mother of rebuttals is saved! Heh. Can’t make a piggy stay dead for good, can’t they? I thought they were going to do the same for Dreyfus too but I supposed some sacrifices are necessary. But wait. I read that he is still alive! My little ‘research’ (read: lazy browsing over the internet) shows that Dreyfus is indeed ‘alive’ but only his body being possessed by a demon clan for their nefarious means and ends. Same case for Hendrickson too. Yeah, I guess nobody really dies in this anime. At least for the main and supporting side characters. Because now I am also thinking that Liz teaser at the end of the series would also mean that she may have not succumbed to death after all. Or I might be just over-thinking.

Elizabeth isn’t our usual damsel in distress because she would love to help out whenever she can. The reason why she looks ‘useless’ is because compared to the Sins who are all non-human, it is wise to stay out of their way when things get ugly. Otherwise she’ll just be a big hindrance and in their way. But since the revelation of her goddess-like healing powers, she won’t be so ‘useless’ after all. Anybody who wants some great healing can get a free hug too! Other than that, somehow I noticed that she plays the fanservice role of the series. Because she doesn’t seem to really freak out when Meliodas does bold pervy stuffs on her. So bold that you might think such molesting moves can only exist in hentai flicks! Sure, she is surprised, but not to the point where normal women would scream their heads off, slap him in the face, beat him to a pulp and in real life, smack him with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Ironically it is Hawk who is the one rebutting this sexual harassment most of the time. Is it because Elizabeth has a crush on Meliodas and in a way lets him does what he wants with her? After all, is there any other way to repay her gratitude for joining her on this journey? Or is she so gentle and non-violent that she wouldn’t even hurt a fly? But to let him grope like that? Meliodas you lucky bastard!!!!!!!!!

Other characters are rather okay but nothing too deep about them. Especially about some of the main Holy Knights, you’ll learn something about them but there is just as much as you will get about them at least for this season. Like Guila and Jericho’s contrasting reasons to become Holy Knights. That’s the problem when you have too many characters and they are lovable in their own ways. But still, it doesn’t put a damper on the overall story. Gilthunder must earn the award as the best troller and greatest pretender because for a big part of the series. You know what they say about being close to your friends but closer to your enemies. But it worked well and paid off in the end. He deserves an Oscar for putting up the greatest deceiving up. All stand up and applause him!

Hey wait a minute! Is there romance in this series?! Minimally hinted. You can tell all the one way crushes but don’t hope for anything more than that. With a cool guy like Meliodas, is it not hard to see why Elizabeth gradually starts to like him even if she doesn’t realize it? She could have been Diane’s greatest rival but I guess emergency times mean this could be put on hold. Then you have King’s unrequited love for Diane and I wonder what will happen once he finds out that Hauser (if he ever admits it) too likes that giant. And then there is Jericho having a crush on Ban. Just notice her actions whenever he is around. It’s like screaming, “Please notice me!”. So obvious in the aftermath. Even more surprising I didn’t know Guila had a thing for Gowther! At first I thought she was going to hint Zeal since she dotes on him but what a surprise. It is just so shocking. I guess the only true romance goes to Gilthunder and Margaret. They share the only true romantic kiss in the series. Sorry, I don’t consider the one Elaine gave to Ban a real one. Too bad that psycho nutcase Vivian won’t be getting her hands on him forever.

Fighting and action sequences are good enough to keep you satisfied. After all, this is a shonen genre. Especially with Meliodas who shows why he might be petite in size but no pushover. His speed and skill are perhaps one of the few reasons that made him the captain of the Sins. Seeing him in action sometimes feels like he has turned on a cheat code for invincibility and speed. But heck, he is the ‘hero’ so you won’t be calling him cheating when he gives the baddies a beat down. That is why in a way, Ban becomes the whipping boy of the series because of his ability to regenerate and being an immortal, all the more reason why he takes every bloody blow and his body cut or blown into bits but he still returns back to normal at the end. Each of the characters has their own unique abilities and it is great to see them utilize a couple of them during battle scenes. Although at the end of it all, I don’t really remember their names despite they aren’t that complicated or tongue twisting. They decently name their super power moves using ordinary words and yet they make it sound so grand. Be warned. There are some blood and gore but they are nothing so horrific that you would not be able to sleep for weeks.

At first when I looked and the art and drawing, I thought how similar it reminded me of Dragonball. Not that I have watched many episodes of that series but somehow the character designs look familiar. Both series have different authors and from what I learnt, the author of this series took inspiration from the author that created Dragonball and Dr Slump. The reason why you could see a very familiar design in certain characters like Meliodas, Diane, Elizabeth and Veronica (Android 18 reincarnated?). Even more familiar when Hendrickson turned into his super demon mode, I thought he reminded me of a certain super villain in Dragonball. At least Hendrickson looks more handsome than Frieza. Fact! The colourful and oddly shaped armours of the Holy Knights sometimes make me feel that there is some sort of carnival going on. Funny. The sceneries and background also feel okay, giving us a fantasy feel of old Medieval Europe especially of Britannia.

Voice acting is quite good. At least it meets today’s standards of voice acting. It fits the characters perfectly so there are no complaints from my side. With so many casts, there would be a handful that I recognize. Most prominently would of course be Yuuki Kaji as Meliodas. After hearing him in so many roles, it would be easy to recognize him anytime and anywhere as long as he puts up that trademark voice of his. I didn’t recognize Aoi Yuuki at first but it took me a while before I realize she was the one behind Diane. Other recognizable seiyuus include Jun Fukuyama as King, Mamoru Miyano as Gilthunder, Nana Mizuki as Margaret, Marina Inoue as Jericho, Shinichiro Miki as Threader, Takahiro Sakurai as Griamor and Hiroshi Kamiya as Helbram (true fairy form). Other casts include Sora Amamiya as Elizabeth (Asseylum in Aldnoah.Zero), Misaki Kuno as Hawk (Serara in Log Horizon), Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Ban (Haru in Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun), Yuuhei Takagi as Gowther (Shira in Naruto Shippuuden), Yuya Uchida as Hendrickson (Stein in Soul Eater), Mariya Ise as Guila (Levi in Fairytail), Ryohei Kimura as Hauser (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Katsuyuki Konishi as Dreyfus (Oga in Beelzebub), Ryotaro Okiayu as Helbram (human form) (Byakuya in Bleach), Hisako Kanemoto as Veronica (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Kotori Koiwai as Elaine (Renge in Non Non Biyori), Maaya Sakamoto as Merlin (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji) and Sachi Kokuryu as Arthur (Shingen in Sengoku Otomo Momoiro Paradox).

The first opening theme is Netsujou No Spectrum by Ikimono-gakari. I personally prefer this song and wished they didn’t change it when they reached the second half. Although the second opening theme, Seven Deadly Sins By Man With A Mission doesn’t sound too bad but it feels it lacks the oomph that the first opening theme had. Maybe mixing rock with some techno isn’t my cup of tea so I’m not really appealed to it. Well, at least better than the first ending theme, 7-seven- by Flow x Granrodeo. This is my least favourite of all the themes because I’m not really fond of this hard rock piece. The rock pop second ending theme is Season by Alisa Takigawa. Not my favourite too but at least better than the first ending theme.

Overall, this is a great fantasy series that somehow deserves to be the new generation’s fairytale staple. Okay, that is how I personally feel but gone are the innocent days where it is merely starting off with “Once Upon A Time” and ending with “And they lived happily ever after… The End”. Everything is becoming more complicated and flashier these days. The great story flow, great characters and great power fights make this series awesome but don’t go so far as to think that adopting one of the sins as your lifestyle to be the same. Remember, you are living in reality and not fairytale. So for this series that borders between great action and fairytale story, I think it has done a very good job in its debut season. That is, assuming there would be more coming and I hope it would. Otherwise it would be a pity and shame that an epic story of good versus evil won’t see a decent happily ever after ending.

Kamisama Hajimemashita S2

September 26, 2015

Before I knew it, the sequel was already here. Okay, so I wasn’t paying attention because I wasn’t such a big fan of the series. Therefore when Kamisama Hajimemashita S2 came out, I wasn’t particularly that excited but at the same time I needed to watch this so as to know and keep myself updated if there is any progress between a young human girl who became a local deity and her handsome but brooding fox familiar. Oh, what do I care? It was just an excuse to convince myself to watch this anyway. Let me just hope there is some sort of a romantic progression or something. Or I am going to complain to the deities about… Ah, never mind.

Episode 1
A short flashback shows the formidable bloodthirsty pair of Tomoe and Akuraou. No demons can stand in their way. Then one day, Tomoe just vanished from Akuraou’s side. And back to Nanami’s shrine, things are peaceful as always. Tomoe ‘abusing’ Nanami to get into shape. Ah yes. Peaceful alright. When Nanami sees Tomoe looking longingly at a butterfly, Mizuki explains that each deity has something that represents them. Mikage is represented by a butterfly. Otohiko comes down to check on them. He is still not convinced Nanami is a strong deity and because of the Gods converging at Izumo for a Divine Assembly in October, it is decided that Nanami will attend if she passes a test. At first Nanami isn’t interested but when Otohiko mentions that maybe some deities know of Mikage’s whereabouts, she starts thinking about it. Otohiko gives her a shikigami egg in which it will draw nutrients from her energy and hatch in 7 days. If the shikigami turns out beautiful and appeals to him, she passes. Only if Nanami knows what a shikigami is… So before she could begin warming her egg, Mizuki accidentally steps on it! It cracks! Oh sh*t! Not even the first day! A little monkey hatches out. Cute? Well, Nanami treats it very well unlike Tomoe who sounds very jealous as he hints she doesn’t need a monkey familiar. All she needs is only him. Even so, she can’t just abandon the little monkey, right? It goes without saying, the fox and the monkey don’t get along well.

As Nanami does more research on shikigami at the library (the silly grin to herself is making others freak out), a spider demon attacks her. If not for Tomoe coming to her rescue, she could have been done for. She realizes she is weak and not qualified to go to Izumo at this rate. That is why she requests Tomoe to leave her alone so she can become stronger by doing things herself. It makes Tomoe feel that he is not needed? Nanami thinks she can become stronger with her talismans. When Ami thought she saw demons in a room, Nanami hands over some of her talisman to protect her. Tomoe warns Nanami that a spider demon’s miasma has spread all over school and this will be hard for her to handle. Stubborn Nanami thinks she still can. She puts her talismans at several places but at the library, the dark patch swallows her up. The talisman didn’t work. Tomoe again had to come to her rescue at the expense tainting his hands. He tries washing it off but it won’t come off that easily. He remembers how he was filled with blood and Mikage picked him up to clean him up. The demon attacks him. Nanami wakes up at the infirmary safe. Ami too. She regrets her talisman didn’t work. Otohiko disguising as the school nurse ticks off Nanami for neglecting the monkey (since this affects his reputation as a tester). She wants to try again but he hints to her to stop wasting time writing talismans and should consider this monkey as her talisman. What power does she desire most? She wants to protect and thus she names the monkey Mamoru. He suddenly knows what to do and as it runs around, its aura purifies everything around. This includes saving Tomoe from becoming darkness’ dinner. Tomoe pats Nanami’s head. That’s the reward she gets?

Episode 2
Tomoe confronts Otohiko and knows he planned this from the start. The egg takes 7 days to hatch and since it already has a form on the first day, this might be a trick to increase Nanami’s godliness. Then there is the case of who is going to accompany Nanami to Izumo. Blame the budget. Tomoe and Mizuki will decide themselves via shogi who to go while she goes out to buy air tickets. Wait a minute. What kind of airlines takes you to that divine place? Mamoru warns Nanami that vicious presences are trying to get her. She runs to the park and bumps into this guy, Kirihito. The evils turn out to be former deities who are jealous that Nanami as a human deity gets to go to Izumo. They tell her not to go and badmouth Tomoe. This is when Kirihito chides them back for their character. No wonder they are former deities. Heck, they are not worth calling that. This angers them as they kill him. Nanami becomes upset. She unleashes Mamoru to purify them. Kirihito is amazingly still alive but covered with blood. Nanami wants to take him to hospital but he teases her by trying to kiss her. She freaks out and runs away. His fox familiars that Nanami bumped while buying air tickets return to him. It seems Kirihito doesn’t want to stay in this pitiful body and vows to regain his true form.

Tomoe seems to have beaten Mizuki in shogi and even has him signed a letter to acknowledge that victory! Suddenly Nanami says Tomoe will be staying while Mizuki will tag along. WTF?! What the hell?! He won fair and square! Actually Nanami is thinking if Tomoe goes, deities will speak badly of him and she doesn’t want that. At the airport, only Isara sees her off. Who can blame Tomoe in foul mood who is forced to dress up like Nanami in school to cover for her? I don’t know how Mizuki was careless to let Nanami slip off his snake and fall straight down. Can’t he swoop down and catch her? Nanami wakes up before the shrine entrance. She meets a myriad of Gods (weirdoes if you ask me). But the God of War, Takehaya doesn’t like Nanami because she is unable to demonstrate any godly powers. He warns her not to attend or else. She won’t be cowed and enters the shrine that leads to the banquet hall. Mizuki and Mamoru are lamenting they are late and cannot go in without a deity accompanying them. Which deity would be running late at such an important assembly? Well, Otohiko seems to be… Such luck… Nanami seems to be lost and it is like walking forever in this maze. The light goes out. Total darkness. Fear starts to seep in. A little butterfly light guides her to the banquet hall. Nanami is still indecisive so he tells her each deity isn’t omnipotent and each has their own strengths and weaknesses and roles to fulfil. She is the only one who can see through the eyes of a human, be by their side and offer them a shoulder to lean on. That is her strength and only hers alone. Attend the assembly and see with her own eyes. Make her presence felt and be proud. He won’t attend it himself and leaves. Nanami opens the door to the banquet hall.

Episode 3
Takehaya is of course not pleased to see her. It is revealed the host of this place, Okuninushi is the one who invited her but before he has her join the Divine Assembly, he wants her to go to Yomotsu Hirasaka. It is the entrance to the Netherworld and since the guard is away at this assembly for 7 days, demons will try to break it but they usually fail since 7 days aren’t enough. However he feels there is a powerful force there enough to break it. Nanami will accept this task if he agrees to tell Mikage’s location. He might not know but he will help her find him. Otohiko is not pleased he is assigned to be her guide there. He just shows her the way and goes off. Nanami wants Mizuki to stay behind and find the one who guided her to the banquet hall. She believes that is Mikage. Meanwhile Kirihito is convincing some demon boss to enter the gate (which is already cracked open) and under the pretence to get Akuraou’s body so he can be immortal, the demon takes the bait but it seems that lowly demons who step into it turn into dust from the poison. Having second thoughts? Only deities can withstand it. With Nanami entering the picture, the demon boss takes Kirihito as hostage to accompany him into the Netherworld. Too bad he burns up. Nanami dives in to save Kirihito.

Meanwhile, Tomoe continues to be in bad mood. I guess the only way for him to accept this is that he is going to enjoy himself all night long. It is not like Nanami is coming back, right? So he goes to seek the company of those raccoon geishas. But it looks like his mind is somewhere else. One of them relates a story about Akuraou who believed to have gone on a rampage here 600 years ago. Akuraou killed all of them and only Mizutama (who was just a little girl then) was the only survivor. Had not Tomoe stepped in to condemn Akuraou’s massacre, she might not be here today. Mizutama tends to Tomoe but he suddenly dreams of Nanami. Fearing she would be back at the shrine, he rushes home. Well, he only sees Kotetsu dressing up as Nanami… Don’t ask. His heart is filled with warmth seeing that Nanami left a letter for him. However it is for him to cover her English test and to study hard to get 80%. Only 4 more hours to the test… Nanami wakes up in the Netherworld as Kirihito warns her not to eat anything the denizens offer or she will never return to the surface. With more of them appearing, the only thing they could do is run. At least they won’t chase them into the water. Too bad Nanami can’t swim and he had a hard time pulling her up to shore. Otohiko is trying to look for missing Nanami but Takehaya tells him to forget it since the Divine Assembly is about to begin. Nanami’s tummy growls and she thought she could use her talisman to change the mushroom into food. Not working. Kirihito also tests her confidence on it and her hesitation proves she isn’t. They are then taken by a pair of demons to the shrine of Izanami, the presiding goddess of the Netherworld.

Episode 4
Nanami sees Izanami’s help to return to the surface. Although she will allow her but not Kirihito. Because he is already dead and should not be wandering around in the land of the living. After sealing away Kirihito, Nanami is adamant she still wants to bring him back all because she can’t leave without knowing who he really is. Huh? So she eats some food to become a denizen of the Netherworld. Then she goes off to look for him. Meanwhile Kirihito recalls everything. As Akuraou, He was trapped in darkness for so long till a recently deceased human named Kirihito Mori stumbled upon him (he was buried under tons of snow). He knows it is his time to pass on but because earlier he argued with his mom and doesn’t want to end it this way and hopes Akuraou could help do him a favour and apologize on his behalf. He can use his body while at it. Akuraou agrees on a whim just to escape this darkness. So when he wakes up in hospital in his new body, he is overcome with emotions. He has never seen light and felt the warmth for so long. He starts apologizing to the parents who are very relieved to see their son back alive. Kirihito kept a low profile and had his familiars do things on his behalf. Now, he wonders if that is all a dream and he is still trapped in the darkness. He starts panicking when Nanami opens the door to save him. She brags about using her talisman to guide her here and she gets an unexpected hug from him! So warm… Kirihito is suspicious when Nanami mentions about Tomoe’s name. Now they have to escape without Izanami detecting them. Meanwhile Kotetsu and Onikiri receive a message from Otohiko that Nanami is lost in the Netherworld. This rings alarm bells for Tomoe so he vows to bring her back. Time to head there.

Izanami’s servant, Hiou is sent to bring Nanami back. Kirihito is weak but is still okay because he stole some of Nanami’s hair and wrapped it around his hand. As long he has a part of a deity touching him, his human body will not rot from the poison. They have to make haste when Hiou threatens to burn the entire forest. As the talisman guides them to the gate, it is darker than usual. It might be because somebody has sealed it. Yes it is. Takehaya has placed a seal and guarding the place. He is not pleased to see Tomoe here and easily defeats the raging fox. True, a familiar can never best a deity. So Tomoe uses some tool to turn himself into a powerful youkai. As Kirihito weakens, Nanami will be bait to lure Hiou away. What can she do with only a single talisman left? Before cat girl can pounce on her, Tomoe saves the day. Master and familiar reunite in an emotional hug. But he wants answers about her actions. Can we talk in a better place? As they make back out to the surface, Nanami is exhausted and falls asleep. Kirihito tries to attack Tomoe but since he is also tired, he calls it a day for now and escapes with his familiars. Tomoe can’t help think of Kirihito’s question of what Nanami is to him.

Episode 5
Nanami is recovering but Mizuki is feeling bad that he was unable to do anything for her. Okuninushi although mentions about the complaints he has been receiving for her did in the Netherworld, he will overlook it. But when mention Tomoe is in prison for turning into a youkai and no longer her familiar, Nanami sprints out to go see him instead of heading to the Divine Assembly. She wants to make him her familiar again but he wants to think about it. Nanami goes to negotiate to Okuninushi for his release. Mizuki hands Tomoe some deity peach pills Nanami got from a deity. She thought if they go their separate ways, she wanted to give him something that will keep him safe. Because Tomoe can’t stop thinking about Nanami, Mizuki points out he is just somebody who is in love with a human girl. Tomoe goes to see sleeping Nanami and wonders if he desires her. He kisses her to redo the contract again. Nanami is of course happy for him to become her familiar again and even saw it in her dreams. This makes Tomoe be mean to her and as noted, each time he starts blushing thinking about her, he has a tendency to do this. So much so, Nanami starts crying that she cannot understand why he is yelling at her. He apologizes. Then he tries to play reverse psychology with her because she had no qualms about her familiars sleeping with her an even undressing in front of him (although she’s wearing a permissible camisole), he tries to change for her and even hints of doing things while she is sleeping. He might be just fooling around with her and she didn’t like it very much and hits him away.

Nanami continues to work hard at the Divine Assembly and even tries to help another deity with her work! A week later as the deities celebrate their last night at Izumo, Tomoe earns Nanami’s ire when he didn’t like the dress she is going to wear to the banquet. Mizuki hopes he doesn’t get carried away by eloping or something. He doesn’t want to be alone again right after he found a new master. Nanami sees that butterfly and follows it to Mikage. He praises her for doing well in the past week and being good to Tomoe. As for seeing him, Mikage can’t do so now or else his 20 years absence will be for nought. Until Tomoe completely ceases to need him, he has no intention of seeing him again. He adds about the taboo relationship between a human and youkai. Because humans’ life is short and fragile, they can fall in love multiple times and change with the passage of time. But youkais live for very long periods and rarely forget or let go. This is a hazardous position for even Tomoe. Nanami knows he is talking about Yukiji and although Mikage has used his powers to forget her, it won’t last forever. As for bringing Nanami to him, Tomoe believes humans are fleeting and frail and fears of being involved with them. He believes she can teach him human bonds are no weak and wants Tomoe to bond with humanity again. He wants Tomoe to take her hand and not his. He wants Tomoe to choose her himself. But it seems he still has a long way to go. Just when Tomoe spots Mikage and rushes to him, off he goes.

Episode 6
So when Tomoe asks what were they talking, she says nothing. Oh sure, nothing important. But this has Nanami wonder her own predicament. Her life is short and yet she longs for Tomoe. So while Okuninushi is impressed with her work, however he apologizes he couldn’t find Mikage’s location. But Nanami is okay with that. Since Okuninushi is going to have his date with human women (fair love for all!) so she asks him about the possibility of love between different forms. It depends on the duo. Nanami then bumps into Isara and upon learning she returned home alone, she suggests going on a date now. Is this just a fancy name for a girl’s outing? So Nanami tells her predicament. Her reply is that nothing will start if she takes inaction. Izanami is grateful to Nanami for helping to reach her feelings to Kotarou. Meanwhile some lowly youkai, Yatori meets up with Kirihito and wants to help him in retrieving Akuraou’s body. He admires Akuraou and wants to become his minion when he dominates the world. As proof of his loyalty, he will present Akuraou with the sacred Mt Kurama by taking over a tengu there. Kirihito doesn’t place much hope on him and doesn’t expect results but is going to use him for he is worth. Of course Yatori actually knows Kirihito is Akuraou and was just putting up a façade. Nanami accidentally steps on a little kid tengu on the streets, Botanmaru. He is looking for Shinjuro, the third son of Sojobo. He disappeared 17 years ago. Tomoe didn’t like this a bit and mistreats him. He strikes a nerve when he badmouths he might not be able to fly. But the usual kind Nanami is willing to hear him out. When Botanmaru was younger, he was crying because he already had wings but cannot fly. His brother told him about Shinjuro who was also like him. He was judged harshly and beaten up. However one day he got injured and fell off the mountain. It is said that tengus who fall from the mountains are useless. Botanmaru was told to grow stronger. Now he is in the same predicament and he hopes to find Shinjuro to ask him something. He believes he has grown into a fine tengu by this time. But where to find him? Look no further because Botanmaru recognizes his face. Hey… Isn’t that Kurama???!!! This guy is Shinjuro???!!! Make no mistake about it. It’s him. Unbelievable. Speaking of which, he is in a concert right now enthralling all those swooning fan girls. Oh yeah. He even wrote a song suitable for today’s concert. Although he can’t play the guitar and that is just for accessory.

Episode 7
Sorry Kurama. It is not Nanami who wants to see you but Botanmaru who is here to take him back. As Sojobo has collapsed, miasma has been filling the mountains and being prone for tainted creatures to enter. Botanmaru wants Kurama/Shinjuro to succeed as the next head and believes in him despite Kurama preferring the material world more. Because Botanmaru has been away from the mountains too long, he collapses from exhaustion. As they ride back to the mountains, Kurama remembers he was abused, bullied and ostracized by the rest for being weak. He never cared anyway. Only Suiro was the one treated him kindly and thus he looked up to him as a big brother. When Nanami and Tomoe get separated from them, Kurama felt a barrier within the mist. He sees Suiro who blames him for damaged wings for helping him out. When Shinjuro was tossed into the pits with lightning beasts to help make him use his wings, Suiro jumped into save him but got zapped. He is now bitter and believes he shouldn’t have helped him. However Kurama knows this is an imposter because he could hear the real Suiro playing his favourite flute song on the mountain top. Once Nanami and Tomoe are found, Suiro greets them before his gate. Kurama immediately bows his head and seeks apology for not keeping in touch. Nanami feels strange because as if Suiro is ignoring and treating her coldly. Meanwhile Jiro shows no mercy and punishes the weak. He even does this in front of the young ones. You weak, you die. He is visited by Yatori who tells him Shinjuro is back and might succeed Sojobo since Jiro isn’t all that popular. But Jiro is not fazed for he has trained hard to become stronger. He will let no one stand in his way. Nanami has to walk miles to go to the toilet (because Jiro won’t let her use his) when she stumbles upon a wilted sakura tree. The young tengus are shocked to see a woman but still believe Suiro is much prettier than her! Anyway they told her the current gloomy situation which doesn’t look too good. Nanami uses her talisman to bloom the sakura tree to make them feel better. However she notes it is wilting fast since her power is not strong enough and hopes for Sojobo to get better fast. Also, this is the first time Jiro and Nanami meet.

Episode 8
Jiro gets rough to extract answers out of Nanami. Thanks to Mamoru biting his hand, they escape. But this left Jiro feeling how fragile her hand he held was. Nanami runs back to Tomoe who could feel she is trembling all over. Kurama thinks of handing those deity peach pills to Sojobo to cure him however Suiro believes it is not that easy. Ever since Sojobo collapsed, he has been kept deep within the halls with heavy security. Since Jiro is the acting head and master, nothing gets passed him and outsiders like them are surely to be thrown out. Kurama wants to see Sojobo face to face then but Suiro says this is still too much for him. Several tengus heard of Kurama’s return and think he is back to succeed Sojobo. They plead for him to do so but Kurama clearly does not wish for that although he is in a dilemma to say it out loud (just look at Botanmaru’s puppy dog eyes filled with expectations). Suiro tells them to let Kurama rest for now as he is tired after returning and leave the knotty matters later. Suiro has a favour of Nanami. Take Kurama and leave the mountains tomorrow. As he has left for so long, he cannot be asked to be part of it in this state. He talks about Kurama’s kindness and how he never asked for help from anybody once. That is why the most Suiro could do is watch over him to reduce his burden. Kurama knew Suiro saw through him that he had no guts to back up his big words. He is having cold feet infiltrating the hall but since Nanami is here to lend her help and support, I guess he better go through with it now.

Jiro continues to toss out weak tengus. He is stumped Yatori can enter his tight barrier but the latter notes there were holes everywhere due to his weak heart and mind. Jiro becomes furious and displays a burst of great barrier energy. He hates being considered weak and believes is strong as steel. Kurama has got blueprints of the hall. The plan is for them to be split into groups. One group will be invited to drink Jiro while the other finds Sojobo. Botanmaru wants to help but Kurama tells him to stay out. Tomoe suggests Kurama go drink with Jiro (since tengus have to settle the score themselves) while he and Tomoe look for Sojobo. I mean, Jiro already knows how Nanami looks, right? Kurama isn’t so sure of this plan and starts arguing so Nanami puts her foot down. This is her plan. She and Botanmaru will go find Sojobo while you guys go drink with Jiro. That is final. So while Tomoe ponders a lot about Nanami and the likes that night, maybe she was sleepy or something that she crept up to sleep in his futon. His instincts to rape her almost get the better of him when Nanami comes to. She realizes she is in the wrong and returns to her side. Next day, both try to shrug off this incident since they both might be half asleep then. Tomoe screws up that he was daydreaming he mistook her as one of those geisha raccoons but came to due to her lack of boobs. WTF. Good thing or not, she isn’t bothered with it. Kurama disguises as a tengu returning as a land deity with Tomoe as his familiar to gain invitation into Jiro’s compound. Nanami (dressed as a male) sneaks in with Botanmaru and they begin their search.

Episode 9
Jiro is a tough talker. He even says bad things about Nanami. Just when you thought Kurama could get him drunk with sake, that guy can’t hold his liquor. Jiro thinks Kurama wants revenge to make him drunk but since he invited him to drink, he is going to accompanying him finishing this bottle. Oh sh*t. That is when Tomoe transforms into Nanami and starts seducing Jiro. This shock was enough to disrupt his concentration and weaken the barrier. This is good since Botanmaru is leading Nanami in circles. When they find Sojobo, they are shocked to see his petrified state. Looks like somebody removed his soul. Yatori finds and captures them. Although Jiro tries to be tough with ‘Nanami’, Tomoe chides him for hypocrisy and double standards because despite he badmouthing a mere woman, he calls her a celestial maiden. But what makes Tomoe mad is seeing himself in Jiro. Yatori reports he captured intruders. Tomoe is about to attack but Kurama stops him and allows Jiro to exact punishment on him. They both got caged up. What else to do when they’re stuck together? Argue and blame each other! Jiro becomes mad when he believes Botanmaru is a traitor. This is when Nanami tells him off for raising his hands against somebody weaker. Despite Jiro believe in the strongest will survive and it is better for the weak to die to save the trouble of being protected, he is being told that it is not like he has lived alone or never received help before. But Nanami is surprised that Jiro’s reaction indicates he wasn’t the one who removed Sojobo’s soul. When Yatori tells Jiro to go deal with Kurama and Tomoe, Yatori reveals he is that culprit. His goal is to remove Sojobo and rule the mountains with the tengus under him. He made a fake touching note from Kurama and since Sojobo was so touched and let his guard down, Yatori did the necessary. Nanami uses her barrier to purge him and doesn’t care despite he threatens they will not know where Sojobo’s soul is if he is killed. Jiro becomes confused thinking about Sojobo’s teachings. Several young tengus accidentally bump into him and they start to shiver in fear. Sojobo could see how scared they are. But the guards alert him that Nanami is running around trying to claim this compound as hers so she can nullify Jiro’s barrier and look for her friends. The path she leaves behind is plated with gold! Botanmaru finds Kurama and Tomoe and frees them while telling what he has discovered. Once Nanami finishes her barrier, the entire place is sparkling brightly in gold!

Episode 10
Now where could Yatori hide Sojobo’s soul? Hey. There is a room which is not paved in gold. Jiro breaks the wall to reveal an underground passage. It is a compound where all tengus avoid thanks to an accident 17 years ago that disabled a tengu for life (Suiro). Jiro dives down the deep hole and tells Nanami not to come closer. Too late. Looks like the raijuu found her. Before its lighting strikes her, Jiro moves in to protect her. He is close to death and would have been along with Nanami had not Tomoe come in to beat up this bad kitty. Tomoe thought he could impress Nanami but she is more concerned and crying for Jiro! Hey wait. DID JIRO CONFESSED TO NANAMI???!!! The raijuu then spits out Sojobo’s soul. Jiro has not waked up ever since and Nanami is crying over it because she thinks it is her fault. Time for some Tomoe consolation. The village recovers once Sojobo gradually wakes up. Jiro is walking in some dark limbo when he heard Sojobo’s voice. He is telling Jiro about everybody making mistakes. He is like everybody. They’re all the same. The dark clouds vanish as Jiro sees Nanami at the sakura tree. Enough for him to wake up (partly thanks to the peach pills). Tomoe is perhaps sulking over Jiro’s confession but acts indifferent as usual that he won’t be bothered if Nanami returns his love whatsoever. Had your fun teasing her now that she is close to tears? Kurama brings them to the sakura tree where they will have a party to celebrate Jiro’s recovery. Tomoe must be regretting his bad treatment towards Nanami because she chose to sit next to Jiro (fox guy got monkey boy instead) and then he flies her up to have a first class beautiful view of the sakura tree. Tomoe’s depression is just so obvious… Jiro is thankful to Nanami and those pills because had he not taken them, he would have to amputate his wings like Suiro. Asking her about those pills, she says it is her parting gift for Tomoe when he decides to walk his own path. Jiro would love to have Nanami stay a little while longer so he could imprint this lovely scene of her smiling amidst the sakura petals in his head. I’ve got a better idea. Why not just take a picture? Oh, right… Nanami somehow got drunk before they leave and as Tomoe carries her back, she mumbles she loves him. Yeah, same to you. Oh, did you know Kurama is coming back down with them?

Episode 11
Akuraou wanted to see a ‘sea of fire’ but Tomoe brushes him off that he may be able to start it but not quell it. Tomoe would love to show him his sea of fox fire but that will be another day. Kirihito has found another way to enter the Netherworld via stone mirror after the deities sealed off Yomotsu Hirasaka. Kirihito isn’t impressed with Yatori having the guts to return after his failure but leaves him to do as he pleases. Yatori joins him in his descent and Kirihito is curious that he didn’t burn up like the rest. Who is he? Someone who once served Akuraou. Is he lying? Well, Yatori claims Akuraou won’t remember him since he was shy and always sitting by a corner. Yatori then talks about the fearsome partnership between Akuraou and Tomoe. So formidable that the deities left them alone till one day they had a fall out and everything went downhill from there. This works up Kirihito as he blames Tomoe who became a fool for getting a crazy idea of wanting to become human himself. Kirihito finally finds Akuraou’s body and it is sitting on top of the fire mountain. It cannot be destroyed since his body regenerates. Eternal regeneration. He is close to collapsing so Yatori thinks it is time to go back before he dries up and come back another time. If he has a way to extinguish the flames anyway. This irks Kirihito because this means he would have to seek Tomoe’s help. But he will pay any price to get his body back. When they return, the poisonous gas is leaking and it got one of his fox familiars. He cannot risk breaking and sealing it after working so hard to find a way back to the Netherworld. But when his ‘mother’ is at the door, he has no choice but to break it.

Nanami is watching a marriage proposal on TV and shocks Mizuki that she has received one. Mizuki then punches Tomoe without warning! Nanami clears the air that it is not her who is getting married. It is Isara who is proposing to use her shrine when she is ready to marry Kotarou. Mizuki is relieved that Nanami isn’t quitting her deity job to get married. But Nanami says there is no way she is going to ever get married. Your heart breaking, Tomoe? Kotetsu and Onikiri remind Tomoe to get them new talisman before the New Year. Tomoe explains to Nanami about the rotation of the 12 animals serving as deity for the year so it has become a tradition to go to the Year Deity’s shrine to get a new talisman. Initially Tomoe and Mizuki would go themselves (and to settle their score) but since Nanami wants to come, can’t argue with that, can’t you? There are shrines bearing their names that they must walk through first. For those wanting to visit the deity, they must reflect the past 12 years of their lives. Again, Nanami thinks it is no big deal and skips right in. Tomoe knew it would be trouble because she went in first and didn’t come out like the rest. She may be lost somewhere in her conscious and despite it is taboo to walk through the shrine of others, they don’t have the luxury of that and need to find her. Well, Nanami is a young kid again! She sees her father who gave her a candy bar. When Mizuki tries to pick her up, she kicks him thinking he is a kidnapper! When Nanami returns home, she sees her mom apologizing to people whom her husband owes money. But mom puts on a caring and lovely smile whenever Nanami is around. This shocks Tomoe as he never heard her speak about her parents. He can sense Nanami’s mom is suffering from an illness and has not long to live. There is a side of her he doesn’t know and is interested to watch this a little longer.

Episode 12
Mommy tells Nanami never to rely on her father. She laments that their family has always been blessed with only a single child. Even that, they are all girls. There’s a legend behind it. Something in exchange for being beautiful but because of that they have no luck with men. That is why she wants Nanami to grow up stronger and to stay single if she has to. ‘Brainwashed’ Nanami agrees not to get married. After her mom died, shortly her house burnt down after her father got careless with a cigarette. Now it is time to go fetch her. Mizuki thought he could do a better job but she remembers him as the kidnapper. But when Tomoe is in the picture, she gladly goes with him! Because she is a kid, Tomoe can easily satisfy her needs although she is sad that she doesn’t want to go home because there is nobody else but her. He promises she will soon become the mistress of a rowdy house. She thought he was referring to her getting married and making a new family but quickly dismisses it as she will stay single. He disagrees her bad luck with men. She is just bad with judging character. He gives an example that he will be by her side and provide for her everything she desires. Does this mean he loves her? How could he not say yes after looking at such cute face? Then he proposes to her and will remember it for the sake of keeping her smile. At the end of the journey, he realizes what he has done and starts panicking. What if this, what if that? Regretting it? Nanami wakes up not remembering a thing but thought she had a long dream. Now Tomoe is not pleased! He is bothered by it! Hey, at least Mizuki is cleared from being a kidnapper. Tomoe thinks of refreshing her memory by giving her ice cream like he did but she gives it to Mizuki who wanted it. Nanami then says she doesn’t remember her mom’s face much since she died young and all the photos of her were burnt in the fire. This makes Tomoe ponder how Nanami has changed in the last 12 years. They’re the same person but yet so different. Where has that kid Nanami disappear to?

They bump into something big and woolly. The Year Deity is trying to shear the sheep before its year comes as it is blocking the shrine but looks like it is stubborn. Tomoe thought of doing this the hard way but with Nanami displaying her usual kindness, the sheep instantly agrees to be sheared. After the Year Deity gives the talisman for next year, as gratitude he also gives Nanami a picture of her mother (he took a memory he saw in the shrine). Seeing how happy she is, Tomoe realizes that Nanami the kid didn’t disappear. It was there all along even if she doesn’t remember. It will always continue to be with her. Nanami returns to her shrine and is proud of all the New Year talisman she has written but Tomoe chides her of her bad handwriting. Snippets show how the characters are doing. Okuniushi is swamped with work as he gets a call from his grandma who is no other than Izanami. Isara hints to Kotarou of going to Nanami’s shrine for the New Year (also to check out their reception venue) but he is more obsessed in completing a new record for his Rubik’s Cube. Kurama gets a surprise visit from Jiro, Suiro and Botanmaru who are here to check on how he is doing. Also, they want to give their thanks to Nanami so they’re asking him for directions to her place. No wonder Jiro tagged along… Mikage drinks with Otohiko. When Nanami looks at the snow, she remembers somebody telling her about becoming a mistress of a rowdy house. She cannot remember who but looks like it came true with her familiars arguing among each other. With the rest complaining Mamoru is making Nanami treating him like his mom, she doesn’t mind being one. Mizuki is worried that this means she will leave them and get married. But she asserts she won’t get married. Maybe. This made Tomoe blush. So there is hope? Maybe.

The Deity Is Boring…
Sadly, this season isn’t as good as I hope for it to be. If I had to sum it up in one word: Boring. Hardcore fans of the series may want to curse and kill me but sorry, I am not a big fan of the series. Just an ordinary casual boring anime viewer. The relationship between Tomoe and Nanami didn’t particularly go anywhere. Heck, I don’t think it moved. There are a handful of moments that see them getting close, getting a little romantic, you know, those kind of scenes that makes you want to scream out to them to just get it over and make out already. Okay, so I exaggerated. But doesn’t everyone who watched shoujo genre want to see or expect this kind of outcome? Despite we know that it can’t be that easy (and close to impossible) for our main duo to just say those magical words. Therefore the so called romance between Tomoe and Nanami feels fleeting and just teasing us. Like as though those scenes are some sort of a ‘reward’ for watching but you know it won’t last long as they’ll be interrupted by something. Frustrated? Disappointed? Yet another no-show? Well, shoujo genre veterans would have come to expect this.

The comedy and light hearted moments don’t feel excited or funny enough. It is there because for those who have watched the first season, we are somewhat familiar with the spontaneous humour that is already seen then. There isn’t any reason to deviate from this but it is hardly anything new especially to those who are already on the brink of boredom like yours truly while watching this. Then there is the eternal quarrel between Tomoe and Mizuki. They are always on each other’s nerves/throats and getting ready to pounce on each other if they have the chance. And they would finish each other off had not Nanami been around to stop them. It is amusing at first but then it becomes a drag. You know it is going to be something of the same. The only thing that I still find funny is the squeaky voice narration at the beginning of most episodes because sometimes it is like trying to adlib certain scenes and the story so far.

Although Nanami and Tomoe are the main characters, I don’t think there is much to say about them because they’re basically the same. Especially their frustrating romance which I shall avoid talking. Nanami is your usual lively girl who wants to help anybody and everybody even if she is at her limits. It is both good and a bad thing but I’ll leave you to discuss that yourself what are those. Thus the only story interesting for this season was the final episode whereby we get to peek into Nanami’s tragic and lonely past. It was a great insight to her younger days albeit just a short bit but even that wasn’t enough to save this season as a whole. And Tomoe, being the moody fox around doesn’t necessarily help things because he is already a tsundere by being cold with Nanami but yet can’t help sink into depression or annoyance when she looks the other way. Oh, how far he has fallen. At least only in this aspect. But you can count on him to be around whenever she is in trouble. He is not her familiar for nothing.

Other characters feel like they do not play a decent impact overall this season. For characters from the first season, they just feel so lacking. Like Mizuki has been just relegated to a side character, picking arguments with Tomoe and doing nothing much. Same case for Kotetsu and Onikiri. So minimal that you feel it is the same as now appearing at all. Kurama was particularly missing for the first half of the series so I guess they decided to make up for it by giving him a mini story arc about his tengu clan in trouble. At least better than Isara since she had no big role in this season and the only relationship she has now with Nanami is that they are good friends. Otohiko… Still so gay… Then there is the mysterious Mikage who is still mysterious as ever. Well, at least he met Nanami once but that is about it and then he goes missing forever (last scene clips do not count). I thought it would shed some light about this guy. Just enough to tease us and that is it. If you have forgotten all about Ami then I don’t blame you because I certain am almost had I not referred back. Along with Kei (whom I believe did not even pop up with a decent cameo this season, she is relegated to being forgotten since Nanami’s adventures take her out of her school.

New characters also feel lacking although some may be interesting. For example, Yatori remains to be the most interesting one because of his enigmatic motives. He puts on a dumb act but there is more to meet the eyes to this guy. Therefore of all the characters in this series, Yatori is most intriguing. Better than Akuraou/Kirihito who seems to be biding his time trying to get back his body. This ‘side story’ of his feels like a teaser and possible a new direction of the story if they ever decided to make another season. Jiro looks like an antagonist potential thanks to his unkind and strict ways but it just feels so odd for him to fall in low with Nanami. Even the great almighty strong tengu would fall weak to the powers of love ;). Suiro and Botanmaru aren’t much either and are just slightly relevant but didn’t make a big impact during their arc. Mamoru isn’t particularly memorable too especially when he spends too much time as a little monkey by Nanami’s side and even if he is in his human boy form, he doesn’t leave any much impact. Okuninushi is as good as forgotten once Nanami’s adventure to Izumo and the Netherworld (like I said, last scene clips do not really count). I thought he would have a better role instead of just showing his pretty face but so much about getting my hopes up.

I personally think the opening and ending themes sound funny. Take for example, Kamisama No Kamisama by Hanae as the opening theme. In addition to the fun and playful instrumental opener, I remember this singer who also sang the opening theme for last season sounded in between whispering and singing. It is no different in this season. I thought it would be better for her not to just sing and let this piece be an instrumental, which I think would sound much better. At least the opening credits animation is fun to watch because we see the characters in certain scenes doing a funny dance. Hanae also sings the ending theme, Ototoi Oide. This is a slow and lovely piece and I suppose her whispering-cum-singing fits this song better. It is one of the better songs throughout both seasons. There is also a special ending theme for episode 6 whereby Kurama sings Tsubasa Bassa Hazard, a slow rock.

It might not be magical this season and casual viewers like me watching the second time round will be disappointed. The introduction of new characters but the overall plot hardly goes anywhere and the appalling romance… Ugh… Thinking about Tomoe and Nanami being hopefully romantic now is akin to be as something traumatic. But it is still not as bad that it sucked, that you want to scream out to your monitor screen especially when the season ends to give back 24 minutes x 12 episodes of your life back. This means there is still hope if they ever come around to make another season because I am still giving this anime (like many others) another chance. Another chance for me to make me believe in miracles and the magic of anime and romance once more.

Urawa No Usagi-chan

September 25, 2015

What is the best way to promote a local place? Well, one way is to turn it into anime! No kidding. You see, Urawa No Usagi-chan as I read from its synopsis is an original anime whose goal is to promote the city of Urawa in Saitama. Yeah, I guess not many of us know about this place seeing cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and even Okinawa always hog the limelight. So what better way than to advertise the specialties of your place via a short anime series that only lasts 3.5 seconds per episode. I wonder if that is enough to cover everything.

Episode 1
Usagi Takasago has all the reason to be happy and lively. Besides being born and bred in this Urawa town, Today is the first day of her middle high school debut. She tells us she got her name from a rabbit of a nearby shrine. She meets her friends Minami Ooyaba and Tokiwa Kamikizaki who tease her for going off daydreaming in her fantasy world again. Yeah well, she claims she was getting to the good part when they interrupted. They really want to know what she was daydreaming but they better get moving or they’ll be late for school. Usagi hopes today will be another good day like always.

Episode 2
Minami ‘complains’ to Usagi that Tokiwa seems scarier ever since they’ve started school. Like how she is always putting up that scary face and yelling at her. Like as though she is some sort of ogre. Don’t look now but there is Tokiwa just listening to what you said! Yeah, she looks scary alright. Minami tries to shift the blame to Kojika Besshou but Tokiwa doesn’t believe her lie and beats her up. Tokiwa is doing some paperwork for the student council and she has this scary face when she mentions about seeing a certain person in there. Later Usagi and Minami plan on joining the railway club even though they have no idea what it is all about.

Episode 3
The railway club president, Midori Saidou is enjoying her tea. Yeah, she has no idea about the other members. Usagi and co drop by and Usagi is taken in with the buns she has. Tastes good. Tokiwa declines the offer so Minami takes her share and teases her that she should just be honest if she wants one. Or is she on a diet? This earns her a whack on the head. When they ask Midori how many members are there in this club, she didn’t say a thing. So Usagi counts four members before quickly correcting herself to five. Yeah, she almost missed out Sakura Tajima who is now in traumatic mode that she was initially missed out. Usagi watches Sakura eat the bun just to hear her reaction. Well, nothing like in the commercials like she thought it would be.

Episode 4
The student council meeting is about to start but the president, Saiko Numakage is missing. Tokiwa makes a sarcastic remark that this is for the best because even if she is here, the meeting will not go anywhere. Suddenly Saiko pops up and her long ranting feels like an excuse to hide the reason why she is late. Because Saiko and Tokiwa hate each other’s guts, Saiko is planning to take down the railway club. Despite the club reports are normal, just a tiny ‘suspicious’ item has Saiko believing they are hiding something and must be punished! But when she heads to the club, nobody is around and only Sakura is there dozing off. Could they have fled? Ah well, next time maybe. When Sakura wakes up from her slumber, she wonders where everybody had gone to.

Episode 5
Minami asks a question if they could eat one thing for the rest of their life, what would it be? Usagi’s answer is daily lunch and Minami thinks it is a good answer. While they are discussing about the 40 freaking calls from Saiko for eating cake after school, they notice a loli sitting with them. Misono Mumuro is from the public morals committee and was just on her way to the faculty. Midori points the way there and she knows this classmate of hers very well. She is very bad with directions. Later she bumps into Saiko who sounds insulting when she says she isn’t lost today. Misono is confident she can get to the faculty by herself and doesn’t need her help. Well, no need to worry since it’s just a straight forward line there. Who knows, she ends up getting lost! I’m not sure which part of the school, Japan or even the world she is in right now! Poor Misono. Looks like it is never your destiny to get there.

Episode 6
Saiko and Kojika talk about ramen and instant ramen. There is a difference between them, you know. Then there is a new product that is all the rage now called Saitama Ninja Ramen that Kojika bought this morning. The great smell of this new ramen attracted Usagi here. When she notices the same stuffed doll rabbit where she got her key holder, Kojika is delighted that she has a fellow comrade. Saiko dreads this but Usagi has always thought Saiko and Kojika are similar to each other. Both which vehemently deny this. Usagi and Saiko then talk about some samurai period game (eel vs bonsai?) and they really click well.

Episode 7
The girls talk about their club advisor, Shibiraki who is away for a marriage interview. Seriously, Minami needs to get her act together because she never knew this club even had an advisor. The girls discuss Shibiraki may have this notorious reputation for attending lots of marriage interviews. Yeah, around 30 times! Minami makes a joke out of it and suddenly Midori receives mail from Shibiraki telling Minami to watch out! She knows… The girls then imitate a marriage interview session but Minami had to go tease Tokiwa about her flab. You can imagine how she ended up in the dumpster. When Shibiraki texts again that she will be coming back early and thus no souvenirs, the girls figure yet another marriage interview failure. Life is tough…

Episode 8
Usagi and Tokiwa are paired up in a quiz game show. Hell, if they don’t know the answer to that, would I even? It all began when on one rainy day, Saiko barges into the railway club to challenge them to a quiz contest hosted by the student council. Tokiwa has got a bad feeling about this and true enough, Saiko lavishly spend on the props and even getting a proper host for this quiz. But after Usagi and Tokiwa see the prize at stake, they vow they cannot lose this game at any cost.

Episode 9
Both teams are now tied and the next question is about the hobby of some guy who owns a tsukune-yaki shop. WTF?! Who in the world could guess he likes surfing???!!! The next question is something this similar but Minami screws up and Kojika guesses correctly to win it for the student council team. The loser will have a wash basin drop on their head but the host presses the wrong button and one fell on Saiko’s head. After that she got scolded and reprimanded by the principal. You reap what you sew…

Episode 10
Usagi is going into breakdown mode… She cannot handle the maths questions anymore! Oh great. She exploded. Damn those upcoming mid-term tests. Why must they study so hard? Even more insulting is that Minami actually did pretty well the last time and has no worries about this upcoming one. Each time Usagi cannot help but feel distracted by Minami playing her handheld game loudly so Tokiwa throws that girl into the locker and shoves the game up her ass!!!!!!!!! Midori suggests to relax and go karaoke. Usagi is up for it and it seems Minami may have this ulterior motive to make her attend supplementary classes.

Episode 11
Usagi sees Misono taking the train and wonders if she is lost. Of course she denies but claims today is her lucky day. Because today she only got on the wrong train once! They hear Saiko nearby talking to Kojika as she badmouths the principal for the punishment she had to go through. Wasn’t it her fault? Saiko tricks Misono by making her think she is a feudal lord and with Usagi they get down on their knees to respect her. Kojika tries her best not to retort. When Usagi suggests going for taiyaki, Saiko reminds he about the test she should be studying. Usagi covers her ears and feigns she can’t listen. Saiko become her best partner in getting those delicious desserts.

Episode 12
Usagi has all the reason to be happy because she passed her tests. Not the highest score but at least a decent one by her standards. Yeah. No supplementary classes and it is fun all the way for summer vacation. Tokiwa reminds her about her homework but Usagi is confident she can do it all on the last day. If everything fails, she’ll just copy from Tokiwa. This girl’s mentality… Maybe she should go back to elementary school. Later Tokiwa treats Usagi to a drink for doing well in the tests. They talk about how they love this place and hope tomorrow will be another fine day.

I Still Don’t Know Urawa…
You know, somehow I felt deceived. I supposed the short synopsis about this show in promoting Urawa felt more like false advertising because I do not really see how they promote the place. This anime feels more like a group of middle school girls doing cute things together in their daily lives. Yes, this is another one of those cute girls doing cute things that doesn’t even have a decent plot whatsoever. Because it doesn’t really matter wherever city in Japan or in the world they come from as it doesn’t really matter. All we see them is living their ordinary lives in a cute way. Heh. I said that again, eh? Yeah, that is what this show is actually really about. Now, had they termed it as that instead of promoting Urawa, I don’t think it would have appealed to people to stay and watch. And thank goodness the duration lasts very short so my disappointment do not last that long.

No doubt that later on in the series there are scenes which I am guessing are real images of the Urawa town but they don’t really say anything about it and for people like me who knows nothing about it, the episode zips by without anything obvious being presented about Urawa. Because for most of the time, you’d be wondering where the heck is this Urawa promotion thingy but all I am seeing are just cute ordinary girls. And those streets may be some random street taken from Urawa but what would I know about it? And that real picture of the guy who owns the tsukune-yaki shop? Why is he the only one getting the good treatment of being featured albeit only a short one? Something tells me he is a friend of some production staff who was promised free food if he gets cameo. Just speculating… Don’t sue me. In the end, what is so good about Urawa? I don’t know. I know nothing about it still. Try harder next time.

Even the characters themselves aren’t that much. You can blame the short duration of the series but even so, they aren’t memorable and clichéd. Like Urawa the happy and lively girl who only wants to have fun. Oddly as a main character created to love this town that she was born in, I thought she should have been narrating to us stuffs about Urawa. But as we go on, the more of her ditzy lazy carefree simpleton character shows. I know it is good to be happy but please be so at the right place. I hope Urawa girls are generally not like that. Then there is the responsible Tokiwa and the other troublemaker, Minami. Saiko who is also another troublemaker who is out to get the railway club for whatever reason and Misono whose only purpose is to be a running joke for getting lost despite making 2 stinking appearances only. Not forgetting Midori the calm girl, Kojika the one who tries to keep Saiko in line and nobody cares about Sakura whether she exists or not. Yeah, great characters indeed.

Art and drawing, okay. Cute girls. What more can I say? Feels like a distraction to make you stop asking “What about Urawa, dude?”. Voice acting, okay. I don’t feel like listing them down like usual since nobody particularly stands out. Not that I recognized anybody anyway. Ending theme, okay. But doesn’t sound like one where it could be the theme song for Urawa. Comedy factor, okay. Good for 1 second laughs with their typical antics. Fanservice… What fanservice???!!! Overall, this barely passes and I’m saying it is okay is because I am such a kind person (yes I am!). Therefore, the big lesson to learn here is that if you really want to visit a place, do your real thorough homework and research on it beforehand. And for those in charge of promoting your local place, please do better and actual promotional activities instead of wasting budget animating a bunch of cute girls that really didn’t deliver the message.

Amagi Brilliant Park

September 20, 2015

I am sure that every kid once in their lifetime would love to visit an amusement park or dream of visiting one. I have had my fair share too. It looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? Isn’t that what such parks are for? But do you know that beneath all that fun and fancy exterior, there are issues that need to be managed so that operations can run smoothly? I assure you it is not all that rosy. Even if you play some amusement park simulation management game before, well, that is after all just a game. Anyway, Amagi Brilliant Park isn’t an anime that tells us the tricks and trades on how to run an amusement park. Instead, we have this high school kid who is forced to become a dying park’s manager and revive it via reaching a targeted number of visitors before the deadline. Or else it will be shut down. I know you think that it is nothing and there is no big deal about it but think of all the fairies and cute magical creatures that will be unemployed as a result of that. Wait a minute. Fairies and cute magical creatures running the park?! Wow. No wonder Disneyland is such a magical place!

Episode 1
Girls these days must be daring and desperate. To ask a guy out, do you even need to point your musket and threaten him? Well, ask Seiya Kanie. Isuzu Sento wants him to go on a date with her to an amusement park or else she’ll shoot. She’s serious. She already fired a warning shot! Either way, Kanie is screwed, right? And so Kanie is unenthusiastically riding the bus with her to Amagi Brilliant Park (ABP), a park he remembers vaguely that he went once as a child. He almost stopped at the entrance of the park’s landmark castle. Thanks to Isuzu warning him, he nearly got off to the love hotel as the park’s entrance has been shifted further down the road. How misleading. Yeah, some red tape of why they didn’t change the name of the stop and such. Now that they are at ABP, welcome! It’s so dead… And lifeless… It’s a miracle they can get 2000 over guests during the holidays. Isuzu takes him around some of the park’s (lame) attractions. So rundown. So frustrating. So… Sad… Some even as weird as hell. You wonder if this is really intended to be an amusement park in the first place. Even more upsetting for Kanie is that ABP’s mascot resembles Bonta-kun (of Full Metal Panic fame!). That’s his real skin? Thinking it is some copyright rip-off, they start punching each other but only Isuzu’s shots put them in their place. Then they visit a stage where Elementario, supposedly fairies who sing. Folks, meet Muse the water fairy, Sylphy the wind fairy, Koboli the earth fairy and Salama the fire fairy. One… Two… Audiences only… I’m not sure if they’re here for a nap… I know. It just hurts watching them perform whatever.

At the end of the day, Isuzu asks for Kanie’s evaluation and just like us, it doesn’t sound good. This place lacks everything that it needs to be fun and vibrant. He even tells her if she wants people to start believing in their dream, they must start believing in it first. Isuzu then takes out her handbook and reads all the details about Kanie. She knows a lot. Is she some kind of stalker? She also knows there was once a child actor that went by the name of Seiya Kodama who suddenly retired 5 years ago. He tells her that person no longer exists and if she was thinking of making a former child actor join this, she’s wasting her time. She lets him taste some croquettes and he finds it delicious. I guess this is the best thing he has experienced for the day. She takes him to see the person responsible in making this. Atop the Maple Castle, the head manager of ABP, Latifa Fleuranza, Kanie has flashes of vague memories that he might have met her. She explains she made the croquettes so the guests could enjoy themselves more. Since Kanie has looked around the park, she has a request of him: Bring it back to life. Only he can save it. At least that is what the oracle foresaw. Most of the workers here are from a magic realm called Maple Land. They have a quota of visitors to achieve. If they don’t get 250,000 guests in the next 3 months, they lose their home and livelihood. To make him believe, she bestows some magic on him. How? By kissing him! That really knocked him out. He finds himself in his own bed next morning. Maybe it was a dream? Well, naked Isuzu in the toilet means it isn’t. He calls for his sister about Isuzu being here. She says Isuzu carried him back last night. Suddenly it is like he can read her thoughts. She is happy he has found a girlfriend. He thought he was speaking her mind. But Isuzu points out that he has received some magic.

Episode 2
With Kanie can read minds now, he is tricked to read Isuzu’s mind because she says the downside to this magic is that he can only read a person’s mind once. Moffle (that Bonta-kun rip-off) turns out to be Latifa’s uncle and he is not happy Latifa sought Kanie’s help. I guess with a dying park, it is more fun for kids to beat up some of the mascots. Just ask Macaron and Tiramie. They’re just sick of it. Isuzu explains more terms to Kanie. When people enjoy themselves at parks, that happiness called Animu is the fuel and source that keeps the magic realms going. It is crystallized fun energy they live off and are produced in factories called Argels. So if Argels are closed down, they die. There are other magic realms and thus other amusement parks and thus the aggressive advertising of trying to attract more guests. After another punching bout with Moffle, Isuzu brings Kanie to see their real enemy. Takaya Kurisu from the Amagi Development is here to remind that if a park fails to get 500,000 customers in the past 5 years, its rights will be transferred to them. They have failed to reach that target in 4 years and only have 3 months left to do so. Isuzu remains confident she can reach that target but Takaya is going to be realistic. As he counts the cost of an average family visiting, everyone is surprised that Kanie calculated quite a close figure in his head. In short, they can’t keep this park open in this limited time and might as well hand over the rights. Otherwise, better pray for 250,000 fools to visit it. Later, Kanie reveals he didn’t use mind reading to get his answer and did it based on his observations of the park’s size, etc. He is mad that after forcing him to tour the park, she is now asking him to help. Well, he’s not. Goodbye. Goodbye last hope. As he goes outside, Takaya is waiting for his car and he recognizes Kanie as that child star. Kanie is not amused so Takaya advises him about hanging around with losers. He’ll be one too.

Kanie knows everything is wrong about the running of ABP. He returns to request his mind reading power removed. But he sees Latifa and the Maple Land creatures gathering at the garden. She makes a sad announcement they will close down. Wanipi starts crying and panicking because this means he will die as he is the least famous mascot. Moffle doesn’t want him to be pathetic but Wanipi points out he resembles a famous character and has friends in other parks so he will be doing even if ABP closes down. They’re about to fight but Macaron stops them and tells them to consider Latifa’s feelings. It must be hard for her to tell them this. Before she can finish apologizing, Kanie interrupts. He chides them for giving up. Look at what they’re doing here? They’re just standing around instead of attracting guests. Takaya was right in saying only fools would pay to come here. Kanie knows that all of them hate him. As he is the boss right now, his words are absolute. Those who disobey will be fired. If they’re going to fail, might as well do things his way. They can hate him for all they want but he will change their fortunes in 3 months. Later Kanie talks to Isuzu and Latifa that he purposely made them mad. He gauged that they still cared about their guests’ honour because they got mad when he belittled them. He will help them out for only 3 months. They’ve got a lot of work to do and must still prepare for the worst. Kanie burns the midnight oil to study about the park. Moffle, Macaron and Tiramie are having their usual beer drinking session and of course they talk about Kanie whom Moffle still doesn’t like. He wants to see this chosen one’s first orders. Nobody expected it because he closes down the park and wants everyone to clean and fix everything!

Episode 3
Of course another fight between Kanie and Moffle and as usual Isuzu shoots to stop. Kanie then initiates a meeting with some of the Maple Land fairies. He makes 3 drastic changes: 1) Closing time will be extended from 5pm to 7pm. The park is not designed for night time activities so they’ll install some night lights; 2) No more weekly holidays (ABP closes on Fridays) and they’re going to work all week; 3) All attractions are for free! Of course everyone disagree especially the last one. Although they can compromise and accept the first two, they can’t do things for free as they have bills to pay. Kanie suggests charging 30 Yen for unlimited rides since this year coincides with their park’s 30th anniversary. Moffle gets beaten up by a punk kid who is frustrated of not being able to go to the park he wants. Heck, his mother doesn’t discipline him. This makes Moffle snaps that they are more concerned with something else except his bruises. He pushes the mother away and so they call their gangster dad to beat him up. He said the taboo word that he is just a mascot suit so Moffle punches him out in a swing! He really wants to give the mother and son a piece too but Kanie kicks him and Isuzu fires her memory erasing shots into the family. Kanie reprimands Moffle and finds out he is a frequent troublemaker like this. At least once a year. He would have fired him but decides to give him another chance. The next time, he’ll lose it. Later Isuzu reminds Kanie about the memory erasing bullets. She has very limited number of them and it takes a year for her to manufacture one.

Kanie has all the girls wear bikini and advertise ABP. They have to do several takes due to their stiffness and everything. Of course this sets another clashing course with Moffle because how dare Kanie use Latifa as part of the gimmick? Once calmed down, Moffle reminds him about Latifa’s frail body and not to take her out from the hanging garden in which a magic barrier helps protect her. The video is uploaded but it is not getting many hits. But the next day, there is a spike in hits. Before Isuzu can report, Moffle comes to rub it in Kanie’s face that an edited video of him taking out that gangster dad as the park’s saviour achieved more hits than his advertisement. However Kanie has the last laugh because he was the one who uploaded that video. The advertisement increased in hits only because it was directly linked. Of course he knows that of all the people who watched, less than 1% will actually come. He knows it might not work but why put them through that advertising? Because getting 1,001 guests is still better than getting 1,000 and he will do anything to get that extra 1 guest. This gives Moffle some inspiration as he goes back out to entertain the kids. Thanks to that, today’s visitor count went up a bit. Moffle hosts a morale boosting party for his fairy comrades but only Isuzu turned up other than Macaron and Tiramie. The mascots start teasing Moffle’s doting on Latifa and Isuzu is forced to shoot to stop them. Then they start linking Isuzu with Kanie and want to hear more details. They get a taste of her musket again. Suddenly Wanipi barges in to inform something has happened to Latifa.

Episode 4
Latifa collapsed due to her weak body but she’s fine. Kanie is told this happens from time to time. Moffle and co have a hard time trying to handle a bunch of kindergarten kids on their field trip. So young, so devilish… Kanie goes around helping to solve problems of other staffs. Man, he is so good that he should just clone himself and do the job! He lets Isuzu handles the rest while he tends to paper work. That is when Elementario come in to request something and since it is about Isuzu, they have him follow her around to see what they mean. Each time a staff complains about their equipment being broken and need replacement, she points her musket and threatens them to deal with it due to lack of money! This is the reason why Elementario are afraid to ask anything of her. Kanie talks to Isuzu about her threatening ways and wonders if this was how she ran the park last year. He says she is useless if she keeps acting like this. She becomes upset. Kanie talks to Latifa but I guess she doesn’t know his fear of heights because they’re in the Ferris Wheel! He wonders if they have met before but Latifa doesn’t remember. Moffle is watching them from afar and if Kanie really does something funny, he won’t hesitate to order Macaron to snipe him. Kanie and Isuzu’s relationship becomes tense and they’re not on talking terms and keeping their distance.

On a rainy day, the pump fails and this will threaten to flood underground attractions. Kanie worries because of his earlier decision to shut one of them to save money has caused the rest to strain and now everything has failed in this emergency. It is then Isuzu takes over and starts commanding what needs to be done. From putting up sandbag barriers and pumping water out (via pump or bucket), the crisis is overcome and she gets praised by the staffs. As Kanie and Isuzu check the fuse, Isuzu reveals she was from a military family and thus her strict ways. She didn’t know how to succeed when she was ordered to manage this park but tried her best to uphold her family’s honour. She considered her mission a failure and since he didn’t know how to react to failure, the staffs started hating her. Kanie says he has failed harder. He reveals his fear of heights that occurred during the peak of his child acting days. He was in the same position as her as he didn’t want to let down his family. However shortly after developing that phobia, he quit and caused problems for many. When all the staffs commend Isuzu, Kanie asks if she thinks they hate her now. Isuzu then asks about yesterday’s outing with Latifa on the Ferris Wheel she heard from Macaron. It must have been scary from that height. He isn’t too keen to talk about it.

Episode 5
Kanie tells it straight. They have no money! I guess the 30 Yen ad was a failure. This means there is not enough to pay staffs this month! Any suggestions to make quick money? And no gambling or sex trade, please. Moffle remembers the southern area of the park that is abandoned. It is said to hold Dornell’s treasure. There is also an abandoned stadium here. They wanted a sports themed park but after completion, the economy bubble burst and it was abandoned ever since. Entering the cave, they hit a dead end. Desperate Tiramie finds a hidden switch and Open Sesame! But the secret door closes back. No way out. Only forward. They enter a chamber with a gatekeeper who gives them weapons. Shovel? Molotov cocktail? Taser? Chain? Are they going to start some riot? Going forward, everyone is clumsy to step on traps and they avoid them with the skin of their teeth. Isuzu saves Kanie from one but this has her and Macaron fall through a trap door. Kanie, Moffle and Tiramie now face off with a group of ruffian orcs. Time to get violent. Isuzu and Macaron find themselves in a cell. After blasting out with her musket, they find a room filled with otaku memorabilia. This guy is Dornell! Although being classified as missing by the park for 10 years, he explains how he was trapped and no search party came for him. So he spent his days buying anime stuffs and getting addicted to MMORPG. How the heck can he buy things underground, have electricity and internet connection without ever leaving it?! Yeah, a mole guy is gladly serving this ‘guest’ of his.

Kanie and co enter a chamber with a fiery dragon named Ruby Ryuu. He wants to kill them and believes he is here to take his treasure. Because he keeps bragging about his knowledge that surpasses humans, Kanie challenges him. If he can answer a riddle correctly, they go free. Very well. As Ruby starts, Kanie reads his mind and answers before he finishes! Ruby is shocked and because his panicking ways turn him into a goofy dragon, Moffle beats him up! He becomes pathetic pleading for his life and reveals they are only the second group ever to enter his attraction. So everything was an act? Yes. The orcs are actually moles dressed up. Reuniting with Isuzu and the rest, Taramo, the head of the mole clan mentions how they were target by a totalitarian empire and this park gave them shelter and sanctuary during that time. They were paid them some money but that soon stopped so they lived off their savings. Treasures that filled this entire banquet hall! Now it’s empty. Kanie brings the moles and Ruby to meet Latifa. After learning the empire split apart after a civil war, this means the moles are no longer targeted and are free. They want to work here so Kanie agrees to hire them. But do they have enough money? Macaron has an idea. All of Dornell’s merchandise was sold and it was enough to cover everything for a month! What a sad guy… All his collection… But Isuzu reminds Kanie the money problem still remains the same next month.

Episode 6
Not enough money. Now not enough staff! How to pay for more help when got no money? Don’t know. Anyway Kanie wants to hold interviews. Isuzu has this dream whereby 3 cute girls become part of Kanie’s harem and thus he doesn’t need Isuzu as his secretary anymore. Worrying, right? To not be part of his harem. Whoops! Because Isuzu continues to be the kind of girl who cannot speak her mind, Macaron slips a magic fruit into her curry dish that will have her tell nothing but the truth. Whatever she has on her mind comes out through her mouth instantly. Of course she is not pleased to find out about it (especially Tiramie who has this sick idea of asking her how many times she masturbates!). Uh huh. She almost reveals her feelings for Kanie! Even worse timing for her is that she can’t call it sick as Kanie wants her in the interview. Each time she is about to say something, she stops herself via self abuse. I hope she won’t become stupid this way. Anyway we see Kanie immediately hiring all sorts of weirdoes and losers! From a mayor who lost the election, baseball player, astronaut, ninja and masked wrestler! WTF?! I know he is looking from another point of view of how their traits can be an asset to the park but this is too much. Eiko Adachi is the next interviewee. Looks familiar? One of the harem girls in Isuzu’s dream! Think she is the first normal girl? Till you find out what she does? She’s an AV star! OMG! Moffle is curious to know what her stage name is! Hire her! The reason she wants this job is because she didn’t find her previous job suitable although she did enjoy it. OMG! HIRE HER NOW!

The next girl… Biino Bandou. Hey… Isn’t she the other girl in that dream? Is Isuzu dreaming some sort of premonition or something? Anyway this girl is bleeding! Fresh blood! She won’t get treated till she hires him! Turns out her sick perverted brother (only in underwear and wearing stockings on his head) doesn’t want her to find a job! He barges in to attack but Moffle ends it with his punches. And finally that last girl in the dream, nervous Shiina Chuujou is from their same school and is also hired. After all the weird people, I guess they stopped caring. After the interview, Isuzu talks to Kanie about how she normally can’t speak her mind. This almost had her confessing her feelings for him but I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing because Kanie guesses she is in love and thus jealous of his superior talents! He doesn’t bat an eyelid to admit that. Moffle sent the wrong picture resolution of Adachi to Triken to find out about this AV actress and he got some fat AV star… Gross… Not going to watch. But it’s Tiramie’s fetish… Oh God… As Isuzu writes a reply letter to the applicants, she is curious about Adachi and looks her name up in Google. Hmm… Breast sucking videos… Boob sucking freak… Tempting… As she clicks on the link, there are videos of her filming animal offspring sucking and feeding on the breast of their mother. Oh, I get it now but how disappointing… AV = Animal Video… No porn, boo hoo! Moffle, Macaron and Tiramie act like a strict military drill sergeant in front of the new recruits. Kanie beats Moffle up for trying to scare them. The latter fights back to prove his worth. Isuzu shoots them both. I think the newbies are now more afraid of this woman than anything else.

Episode 7
ABP’s pool section seems to be doing well. The pirate theme is a hit with everyone till a real shark scares a couple of kids!!! OMG! JAWS!!! Actually, Jaw is a shark-looking staff and he looks scary and turns realistic when is wet. So he is relegated to the machinery room but there is some leak coming out from the forbidden room. Before you can say fix it, the leak gets bigger and it bursts open. A huge pirate ship emerges from the pool. The customers are not scared because they think this is part of the show. Ironbeard and his seal crew launch an attack to kidnap people and sell them. Tiramie defects to the pirates’ side. During the battle, Kanie is washed away somewhere but is safe with Jaw. He and the rest of the operations team secretly storm the pirate ship. Ironbeard has taken Latifa as hostage and making the other girls serve them. Time for some entertainment. He chooses Macaron, Moffle and Isuzu to walk the plank and wants Tiramie to do the job. What’s worse than shark infested waters? Sea anemone for tentacle rape! Tiramie tricks his buddies this is a ploy to let the enemy’s guard down. Macaron fell for it and although Moffle won’t, he blunders himself and drops. Now it is Isuzu’s turn but she’s burning with anger that it makes Tiramie scared! I guess we won’t be seeing any delicious tentacle rape scenes of her. Suddenly the place is bombarded with canon attack. Kanie is giving the orders. The mole people storm up to rescue the hostages who think this is still all part of the show. Isuzu fights Ironbeard to rescue Latifa. Jaw accidentally got fired from the canon and into the pool. Similarly, a staff fell into the pool with strawberry syrup. This intimidating scene of a shark with a girl in its mouth and bloodied all over! This sends Ironbeard and his crew to shiver in fear and surrender. At the end of the day with all the damage taken, Kanie wants him to work for the entire summer to pay off his debt. He won’t listen to him but becomes meek and obedient to Jaw. Well, sharks are the natural enemies of sea elephants and seals, right? Kanie makes Jaw their leader to keep them in line. Kanie couldn’t be happier that he got extra casts and a pirate ship all for free. Now… What to do with Tiramie the traitor? Walk the plank! Any last words? He’ll never betray his friends…? Look who is taking? Tiramie would have gone down alone had not Macaron and Moffle blunder and had the rope tied to their feet too.

Episode 8
Kanie collapses due to overwork. While he is resting, suddenly Isuzu comes up to seduce him! What’s with that strange zipper on her head? Turns out to be Tiramie in a magic body suit and this is a prank with Macaron for him. And they really have ulterior motives with this Isuzu suit till the real one shows up to give them some pain. Because he is sick, it is suggested they wear a Kanie magic body suit to substitute him at school. Couldn’t they just call in sick for him? Isuzu wears it on the first day. She already finds a love letter in the shoe box. In a dilemma to meet with this girl or not, she eventually does but learns Kanae Tsuchida accidentally put it in the wrong box and it was meant for another guy, Kimura. But ‘Kanie’ was kind enough to forgive her because everyone makes mistakes. Macaron is to take over the next day but Isuzu didn’t report anything out of the ordinary (I guess she doesn’t want to be embarrassed by that). Macaron acts like a boss in class, not paying attention and even telling off the teacher! He dares skip his class too! He overhears Kanae talking to Kimura. That guy is upset that now she has doubts asking him out. He would love to go out with her had she asked him. Thanks to a certain incident yesterday, her heart is in doubt and is confused. Macaron heads over to give some unwanted advice. He doesn’t know about the love letter thingy and doesn’t know their names. Kimura is not pleased the guy whom Kanae accidentally put her love letter is giving them advice. Is he trying to make fun of them? So Kanae is taken in by Kanie’s kindness? Kimura punches him but the scary part is how twisted ‘Kanie’s’ neck becomes! Freak show! Macaron leaves with a parting advice for her. The kind that would make these kind of girls start to rethink about their love…

And so it is Tiramie’s turn on the third day and as usual, Macaron didn’t report anything unusual. He can’t hold it in any more. Too many cute girls… Suddenly Kanae wants to talk to ‘Kanie’. Tiramie is happy he landed a cutie and wants to go somewhere private to have fun. Don’t worry. He’ll lead her nicely. Kanae finds it odd ‘Kanie’ cannot remember her name and was told to repeat it so he can hear how cute it is. Okay. At the stairs, Tiramie starts flirting with her and she would have accepted it had not Shiina spotted this indecency. Because Tiramie shrugs it off like nobody’s business, Shiina is going to tell Isuzu. That is when Kanae gets disgusted. Who is this Shiina girl? What is her to her? You want a harem? Still thinking of flirting, Tiramie? She gets disappointed and dumps him. Nothing to report when Tiramie hands over it to Moffle the next day. However he and Isuzu are being called by Kanae’s girl classmates. They are not happy as they believed Kanie and Isuzu teamed up to play a prank on Kanae (although they put lots of words in her mouth). Moffle doesn’t hesitate to apologize or go down on his knees for forgiveness since it is this punk’s reputation. But they don’t buy it since it is too easy and they don’t feel the sincerity. They said the taboo word that it feels like a rip-off so this causes Moffle to blow his top and lecture them about true love. What do you b*tches know about it? And then he goes on ranting about the woman you love marrying the man she hates for 10 years, possibly talking about Latifa’s mom. So mad that he cuts a tree in half! Suddenly Kimura comes by to apologize. He says this was a setup that Kanie did all this for him. He acted like a weird playboy to get Kanae to hate him to help him get back with her. Kimura promises he will work hard to be a man worthy of her. It is revealed it was actually Kanie in a Kimura suit (that’s why he was having his hand covering his head the entire time). Shiina explained the circumstances to him but wonders why he won’t get mad. It won’t be right because they were just covering for him. Kanie joins Latifa and they chat nonchalantly about the menu they should add to the kitchen (she might be using him as a guinea pig to test). Why is Isuzu feeling uneasy about this scene?

Episode 9
And you wonder why Elementario’s performances are always empty seats. No team work. It is so obvious that the staffs can even tell and wonder if there’s distrust among them. The quartet are invited to Latifa’s castle to have sukiyaki to patch up their relationship. Well, they’re still acting like they’ve always been. Latifa needs to go buy soy sauce and warns them not to press an obvious red button. Don’t. Ever. Press. That. Well, Salama starts pressing it and with several accidents, Muse’s head bumps and pushes it in. The entire castle is locked down and turns into a defence fortress. Anybody who gets near it will be blown away but the cannons’ accuracy! So it is said the former king built it as protection for the royal family and it deactivates automatically in 24 hours. So they’ll have to close the park tomorrow. That is not an option since tomorrow is Saturday where the customers will come. However there is an emergency button deep within the castle that needs 4 people to activate. How convenient. With Kanie and co telling Elementario what to do, the quartet head into a secret passageway where they will need to clear 4 trials to reach the button. Why the heck do they need to put all this when it is an emergency? The first stop is karaoke. Teamwork is needed to score enough to pass or they’ll be punished. Muse and Koboli are doing well with their coordination. Sylphy is not bad either. However Salama sucks and she is out of tune. They failed to get passed the score and get zapped. Trying out again, Salama admits she is not good in singing so Muse will help cover her. Thanks to that, they barely pass.

Next up is a dance machine. This could be a problem for Koboli. Everyone aces except her. Failure to clear? Flour dropping all over them. Retrying again didn’t do any good. As Koboli feels defeated, Sylphy tells it to leave it to her and this time they barely score enough to pass. Next is typewriting skills. Muse is in dire straits. She can’t type fast or correctly. Isn’t it getting cliché for the basin dropping punishment? Salama who is a freaking expert thanks to her handphone typing skills repays the favour as she types so fast that she goes over the maximum score and allows the group to pass. Finally, the last trial has them entering an individual chamber. They must pick a member to be sacrificed! However if the total votes do not exceed one each, the vote will be considered null and void. Thus the trick is to vote for themselves but do they have enough trust to believe in each other? Muse is contemplating about Salama and her screw ups but also remembers some of her help. She eventually picks herself. Everyone also does the same. Everyone is happy as they finally press the emergency button to lift the defence mechanism. I’m not sure if this is all part of the exaggerated plan to have them make up because that was what the sukiyaki party was supposed to be. Now that Elementario have teamwork, their performance gives rise to a standing ovation. Full house and record attendance!

Episode 10
The launch for ABP’s night time park goes well. However Kanie is not amused that some of the opinions from the customers that they implemented are way too much. Like this rock concert. What the hell is everyone shaking their heads for?! And this real mecha shooting game? You let violent school kids destroy robots?! Despite having reporters covering the park, Kanie knows this still isn’t enough. While Isuzu is cooking with Latifa, the latter suddenly collapses. After being put to bed, Kanie wants to know what is happening. Their body reaction indicates they are hiding something. Moffle won’t tell but Isuzu caves in to pressure. Long ago, the kingdom was being attacked a by a huge dragon. Not even the royal military could defeat it. A warlock came and offered to slay it but in exchange for the king’s daughter’s hand in marriage. The king had no choice but to agree. The warlock slew the dragon as promised but the king couldn’t let go of his daughter and sent his army to kill the warlock. Upset over this betrayal, he put a curse on the princess before leaping to his death (he is believed to have died). That curse drains the magic life force that they feed on. Therefore Latifa is sent to live on Earth where such magic source is plentiful. This is the reason why ABP is built. No prizes for guessing what happens when the park is closed down. Kanie goes to see Latifa and he looks like a very worried and concerned guy. Like as though he is her father or something. Latifa remains positive and calm despite her dire straits. Because a miracle already happened: Kanie. Everyone changed because of him.

During the meeting, Kanie becomes aggressive and starts yelling at everyone that they need to do more. I suppose the stress of trying to meet the quota by the 31st July deadline is also getting to him. Sure, visitors are increasing but not at an adequate rate. He is starting to become to most hated boss around but he doesn’t care. He might have said he would change things but all their hard work will be meaningless if they come up short. Moffle is not pleased that Isuzu told him about Latifa. I suppose he is already at his wit’s end so he asks his sister about the troubles she faced as a magazine editor. She sure has her fair share. What does she do? Drown it out with sake! Oh yeah, your best problem solver any time, any place, anywhere. Now he sits defeated at the park. Moffle talks to him as Kanie reveals he fully remembers meeting Latifa when he was young. He was lost and saw her crying something about a curse and being lonely. He tried to do some impersonation to cheer her up but failed. Although she smiled, it was a sad one. He felt that she was the one trying to cheer him up. That is when he vowed to save her. But Kanie wonders if Maple Land people age or not because Latifa looks exactly the same now as she is then. Moffle reveals the curse is more than just draining her health. Her memories and physical development get reset every year. She’s been stuck this way for 10 years. When it comes 1st August, she will forget about him. Kanie won’t let this get to him (although this comes to him as a big shock). This is his chance to save her. Kanie is surprised to learn Moffle is Latifa’s uncle. Moffle says he thought of living the simple life with his niece if the park closes down and become street performers. He knew that wouldn’t last and would accept it as fate. Till Kanie came along. A quiet, simple, happy ending may be possible after all.

Episode 11
A football match?! As Kanie explains, at the rate they are going, they are certainly not going to meet their visitor goal. Remember that abandoned stadium? It has a capacity enough to meet that goal. There is an anniversary match to be played on 31st July. But that club’s stadium is undergoing maintenance and won’t be ready in time. As such, they are desperately looking for a stadium to host the game and ABP can be it. It is not an official match so it will be okay. Triken is made to be ABP’s representative as they go meet the club’s directors because Kanie thinks they won’t listen to a high school kid. But Triken is being nervous from all the questions they throw at him and just when it seems about to collapse, Kanie steps in and assures them about the maintenance and facilities. Still not convinced? He reads their minds that the main concern is the payroll and costs. So he makes an offer they cannot refuse. ABP will wave rental fees and even cover all costs relating to this match! Sure he is not joking? He kids you not. What they want is record attendance instead of profits. The only condition is that all those who attend the game must pass through their park’s main gate (the stadium has its own dedicated gates) and of course those who bought entrance tickets will not be required to buy tickets again. With this terrific deal, the directors agree to go down and inspect the pitch. It is greatly maintained by the mole people and with the directors satisfied, everything is set in rolling for the big game.

Kanie then calls everyone to gather at Maple Castle to announce he is selling the southern portion of ABP (which is as big as the main park) to cover costs and debts. Although many feel that it was supposed to be future expansion of the park, they agree with Kanie’s decision that their survival is more important first. It’s no use to think about the future if you can’t survive now. Everybody gets to work till the big day arrives. Kanie apologizes to Latifa for selling the land but she has no qualms since he is the head manager. As for her rest on 1st August, she’s been living life like this and probably she might not remember some of her staffs whom she met a long time ago, as long as the park exists, she’ll remain alive. Takaya pays a visit to check the visitor counter. Why do I get a feeling he is being intimidating? He reminds the deadline is at 9pm but Kanie assures him the match will kick off at 6pm. On the big day itself, ABP experiences an influx of visitors. So many people that everybody is just freaking exhausted! Have they ever seen this big crowd before? Yeah, too many lost kids are a sign of that too. The real crowd and football fans start streaming in the evening and by the time everyone is in the stadium and the match begins, suddenly Kanie has this worried look on his face. You’ve guessed it. They are still short of 252 people. And not a soul left is seen coming into the park.

Episode 12
Those might be no-shows, people who bought tickets but decided not to turn up. Desperate, everyone goes into full gear trying to come to the park for free. Please come. The world depends on it! No takers. Now they are resorting to calling people they know. Even Kanie sucks in his pride to call Kanae and those ‘bullies’ to come. After the game ends, all the staffs wait at the gates to welcome their family, friends, relatives and fans. I guess the ‘best’ has got to be Tiramie because he called all the wives and husbands whom he has cheated on! They come here to beat him up! Twice the numbers, twice the pain! As the numbers keep trickling in, they find they are 3 people short! Why does this always happen?! Are they going to be defeated? But you know they’ll be saved in time because those 3 violent kids who love to torture Isuzu, they’ve come at the right time to bring her torment! And so that is how ABP is saved after achieving 500,000 visitors and 3 extras since those kids mothers are trying to rein them in. It is no surprise that everyone goes crazy celebrating this miracle. Kanie then makes his speech. As agreed he will resign tonight. However he gets emotional thanking everyone. He couldn’t have done it without them. You thought his tears was infectious but they start laughing instead. Tough guy starts crying? Funny, no? He also mentions the buyer of the southern area is confirmed to be Moll Mart, an international super store chain. In a few years, there will be a huge shopping mall and this will be good as they will be sharing each other’s customers. Prepare to work yourself to death! Have they heard about workers’ rights?

Kanie notices Takaya beckoning him so he goes talk to him. He mentions about the main issue not being solved yet: Latifa’s reset. Surprised that he knows about Kanie’s mind reading power and such, he adds that feeding off such despair is most tastiest. He escapes before Isuzu and Moffle could attack. He is the supposed warlock who put a curse on Latifa. I guess he isn’t dead yet. So the countdown to Latifa’s reset begins. Tick tock, tick tock. You can’t blame Latifa for breaking down that she doesn’t want to forget everything. Not after the miracle she has witnessed tonight. Kanie hugs her and says this is all he can do for her. When it strikes midnight, the dread of her reset memories looms. But suddenly! Latifa seems to remember everything! Time for another round of tears. It is discovered that a tree nearby Maple Castle absorbs Animu and produced blooming flowers. Because it absorbed so much in the past 3 months with so many people having fun, it helps counteract the curse and even lifts it! Kanie leaves ABP for good but what is this tingling feeling and memories of everything there? When he goes back, he tells his sister he has quit and she thought it was a shame because he looked like he enjoyed it. Next day as our usuals are slacking off and recovering from the hangover, here comes Kanie to get their lazy bones back to work! He changed his mind because knowing that he is gone, they’ll be back to their lazy habits again. He will supervise them to make sure that won’t happen. And so with everybody welcoming him back, ABP opens to greet their customers. Let’s hope they can reach the target by next year.

Episode 13
Triken made a PV for ABP but it is so generic and boring that Kanie tells him to redo it again. Now you wonder why he doesn’t have any friends. He has Isuzu help him out and despite she knows nothing about this, it is better than letting him do it himself. Although Isuzu doesn’t find anything wrong, it still doesn’t leave much impression so she suggests asking opinions from others. Starting off with Moffle, this guy wants action! And a guerrilla warfare action you see! Macaron suggests putting it music and Tiramie uploads his 1 terabyte of sexy pics to help out!!! I’m sure Triken is having orgasm in editing those. So what do you think? Isuzu thinks the need of more balance and to ask for the girls’ opinion. So Triken goes to Elementario and surprisingly Koboli wants macho men! Salama on the other hand sends a cute sleeping clip of Muse! The verdict? Isuzu thought a more handsome men should be used so Triken can’t help keep teasing her she wants Kanie! Shut up if you don’t want to taste the rifle… Still feeling something is not right, looks like more opinions are needed. Triken now sees Latifa as she suggests asking from all the staffs. Yes, he interviewed every single one of them and you can see the mash-up of what they want. The most mind boggling one has to be the chief accountant who is skydiving while ironing her shirt! WTF???!!! With so much footage, is it still not enough? Yeah, Isuzu recommends asking the new part timers. More bloodshed?! A moving scene of a horse giving birth?! So Triken puts it all together and we finally get to see this atrocious piece of montage which has everything of everything! It ends with a horse giving birth… Can you not blame Kanie for blowing his head for this crap?! What the hell is Isuzu doing?! Guess what? She is crying over this ‘masterpiece’! You got to be seriously kidding me?! And that is why Kanie decides to use back the generic and boring PV that seems to have everyone else disappointed because their opinions were all for nought. But Kanie could not be even shocker than this as Triken has uploaded that unofficial remix version on the internet. Even shocker, it has nearly 1.5 million views and over 74 thousand comments! MIND BLOWN!

Episode 14 (OVA)
It seems today is Kanie’s birthday and Isuzu has already prepared a present. Because Moffle will be guiding the 3 female trainees to a field trip for some kindergarten, the security chief replaces his post. Well, he is such a tall guy… Eventually he passes out from the heat. That’s not pee in his pants! It’s his sweat! Before Moffle leaves for the journey, he forgot to bring the prize so he has Bandou to go get them from the office. She accidentally took Isuzu’s present. As Muse has twisted her neck during her sleep, she can’t put up a performance today. Kanie has a suggestion. Isuzu will replace Muse. Who will replace Isuzu’s secretary job? Latifa. Who will replace Latifa? Muse. Easy, right? Well, as they will soon find out… Isuzu tries to practice Muse’s moves but she sucks. She even impersonates as other Elementario but she fails so badly that it just wouldn’t do. Latifa is shown how to do paperwork by Kanie. Think she can handle it? All seems fine at first till the requests start piling up. Now she’s panicking. Man, there’s a long line to wait just to get her approval, etc! Looks like she’s really falling behind schedule… Muse thinks she is living the life till she is brought by the cook to peel onions and potatoes that Latifa always does. The entire boxes of them! Oh sh*t! How the heck did Latifa manage to finish them all by herself anyway???!!!

Meanwhile Moffle and the trainee girls are going to do some sort of cage wrestling exhibition match! WTF???!!! The kindergarten kids are loving this???!!! What the hell is this field trip???!!! Well, if the kids love them, then it is part of the reciprocal contract that they will visit ABP next time. So our trainee girls have to face off with coloured koala bear opponents? Sure, their marketed character may say they are friendly, silent, etc. But there’s always the fine print about saying that under certain circumstances they’ll go crazy. Yeah, a reason to become raging demons in chasing them down! Like how red koala chases Adachi and pins her down like a monster! Blue koala could have done the same thing to Bandou had not she tripped and he fainted at the sight of her bleeding forehead! Meanwhile several naughty kids see the present and they aren’t amused to see a clock inside. They decide to put cicada shells in it. Shiina is freaking scared of gold koala. Can’t blame her after she has witnessed the previous koalas in action. This one is no different. However the chain he swings ricochets and hit him back. ABP wins 2-1! Those kindergarten kids… So young and loving the fake violence… In addition to the snack prize, ABP also get their prize back. At the end of the day when they return, Bandou puts back the prizes in the office. If you are wondering why Kanie has been moving from place to place to work, it is to find a cool place to do so as the air-conditioner isn’t working. Yeah, in the toilet even? After the park is closed, everyone gives Kanie a surprise birthday party. After all the fun, Isuzu sees Kanie personally. She sums up her courage to hand him her personal present before running away. He opens it to see… Cicada shells? What the hell is this?!

Specials

Can’t get enough of the silliness and everything? Want an encore? Well, I hope these 5 minute specials from the BDs will be worth your time. I’m sure you’ll have fun because it is going to be especially the characters in chibi form.

Special 1
A time when Kanie wasn’t the manager yet, Isuzu texts Moffle during his break that she is about to bring Kanie to his attraction spot so be prepared. She sends him a picture of him but how come it is Kanie pissing in the toilet???!!! No wonder Moffle already has a bad impression of him and starts smashing his handphone with his head! Macaron and Tiramie skip out on their job since they think there aren’t enough customers as usual. They want to slack and hang out somewhere but Moffle tries to lecture to them about responsibility. The chief accountant checks on them and since they still want to fool around especially Tiramie who wants to go to a hotel with her right now (she’s heard it 100 times so she’s not moved), she fires her eye beams! Get back to work! Moffle also gets lectured by her as he is their leader and is supposed to discipline them. Wasn’t he? Don’t make excuses! And don’t do anything to make Latifa sad. Burning with anger, isn’t he? He receives another text from Isuzu that she will soon be here. That is why when Isuzu brought Kanie into his attraction for the first time, Moffle is so pissed… Very pissed…

Special 2
After Kanie made the girls wear bikini to promote ABP, Moffle is of course not pleased. But he overheard Tiramie whispering to Macaron that Triken took secret and risqué shots of the girls and have compiled them for the males’ viewing pleasure. Of course Moffle won’t allow that especially if it concerns Latifa. He lectures them about the lewdness of thinking such things on their fellow co-workers. So what are they going to do? The trio wear bikinis and film themselves promoting ABP. This is their idea for a family oriented park? I know mascots are much suitable for it but in bikinis? After uploading it, at first it looked good that they have more than 10,000 views. But they notice the comments all come from overseas with links. It leads them to sites with pictures of them (replicas) in sick S&M positions of those macho sickos with animal fetish! Though it sickens Moffle and Macaron, Tiramie welcomes it wholeheartedly.

Special 3
Kanie is curious about Adachi. Remember her AV status? Yeah… Looking up the internet… Lots of people sharing such a common name. Let’s be more specific in the search… Though no search results of that name in that specific area, Kanie clicks on links in hopes it will at least find a photo of her. Then one link sends him to a weird site. An adult site for mascots! He freaks out when Isuzu is here. He tries to hide it but she shoots him to see the appalling site. She gets the wrong idea he has this sort of fetish on won’t give him a chance to explain himself. Even worse, she gets the wrong idea he is targeting Moffle! So when Moffle sees this, you can see how freaked out he becomes. This means he gets the wrong idea of Kanie and doesn’t want that pervert to get close to him! Have you ever seen Moffle this scared before?! Ah, the internet… Such a scary place…

Special 4
Kanie and Isuzu see Macaron and Tiramie wearing a fake Latifa costume and know they are up to no good. They decide to do a reverse prank to teach them a lesson and record this as well. Little do they know, the real Latifa passes and Kanie starts harassing her to dance naked to attract more customers. Latifa is confused and scared but Kanie thinks he has got the pervert cornered as he spews for flirtatious lines at her. When Kanie suggests more heart pounding promotional stunts, Latifa cannot take it anymore and faints. Kanie then threatens Tiramie to confess his evil deeds. Oh but look! Isn’t that the real Tiramie coming in? Oh sh*t… HOLY SH*T!!!! YOU’RE SO SCREWED!!! Moffle comes in and sees the recording… Oh dear… Oh my… SEE HIS FREAKING ANGRY TROLL FACE!!!!! He is so dead this time!

Special 5
Elementario is having a nice sukiyaki dish together. Sylphy and Salama fight over the meat. Then Sylphy dumps heavy seasoning into the pot. Surprisingly it tastes good. Where did she get this seasoning from? Tiramie. Oh God… Emotions are running high with everybody spilling out their true emotions. Yup, the seasonings contain some concoction that has them tell the truth. They thought Koboli isn’t affected but she is trying hard to keep her mouth shut. Then she couldn’t contain it any longer and reveals her recent obsession in a certain genre. You know, the kind where 2 guys make out… More chaos and high emotions ensue. Salama is going to put this all on the internet?

Special 6
The female trainees are outside the stadium and here comes Tiramie wanting them to put on some clothes for an advertisement shoot. How come they look more like sexy cosplay outfits? The girls don’t see how this is going to help them and we know Tiramie is bullshitting about female casts needing to go through some sort of passage rite. Adachi starts questioning the equipment he is using because they don’t seem to be optimal for the shoot they are about to do. Tiramie gives lots of excuses just to start the filming but each time he is shot down with her reasoning. Yeah, he is so incensed that he is contradicting what he said earlier. Tiramie is defeated. What is he to do now? Well, they point out that he is the director and filmmaker and should be making the decisions. He gives up. Filming can’t be this hard, can it? Only if you have ulterior perverted motives… As he just ‘died’, somehow he finds this humiliation in defeat to be good and wants somebody to film him…

Special 7
In the aftermath of the party, the 3 stooges decide to give their presents to Kanie. But Kanie is left to wonder if they are just giving away useless stuffs they don’t want anymore. I mean, look at Moffle’s dirty and rundown military cap. He was going to send it to the burnable trash section anyway. Then there is a volume 23 of a manga that Macaron accidentally bought twice. And this volume happened to be the most boring arc of all. It could not have been worse than Tiramie who gives him a broken hard drive in which all his treasure data have already been backed up. Of course Kanie doesn’t want them and gives it back to them. Therefore it is no surprise when he got Isuzu’s cicada shells present. He starts thinking this may be some sort of accessory from the magic world and puts on one for size. When Isuzu comes in and sees this, she has the misconception that this is part of Earthlings’ fashion. So the duo have the misunderstanding it is the culture of the other. It gets even odder when they both think that this is some sort of proposal thanks to their strange acting. Kanie puts on a cicada shell on Isuzu too. You sure you happy about this? Moffle and co see this and don’t understand what the heck is going on. They think Kanie is into cicada shells and will give him more next year.

Not Enough Magic!
Actually, it isn’t fair to say that there isn’t enough magic. Heck, I don’t think it is even accurate to say that. What I meant was after getting the impression that the staffs and cast members of ABP are from another magical realm, I thought I would see them using some magic and weaving them through as they make little kids believe and smile. You know, the kind of magic of casting real spells or real fairy dusts that could have some real magical effect or something. In fact, you don’t really see that kind of magic at all. All you see are hard work and effort put in by everybody to make everything work. In this sense, there is realism to see why things work out in the end and of course in a way, this itself is magic. And then when you even have that unbelievable miracle at the end of getting the last few visitors at the last minute and the lifted curse on Latifa, it doesn’t matter because they have worked so hard that any sort of miracle and wonder is welcomed no matter how rushed it feels. Ah, the kind of ‘magic’ that we would love to see in the endings of every of such shows. Don’t we all feel good in the end?

There might be a few things that do not make sense like for instance, the very setting that a high school kid who was a former child star with zero park management experience suddenly taking over the helm because of some flimsy oracle reason saying he is the one. And for him to turn the park around in just 3 freaking months (that is a very short time if you’re talking about managerial positions), it can be either magically fabulous or just plain unbelievable nonsense. He should be head hunted by Disneyland and all other relevant parks. And that all it takes is just one strict sadistic (almost) kid to have everyone work their lazy asses to revive the park. I want to say hard work never killed everyone but I have heard cases where employees have been worked to death. Don’t give me that crap that all of them are magical creatures and they have longer lives, blah, blah, blah. Well, if they depend on this Animu thing, shouldn’t they have been trying harder when it’s failing instead of waiting for the Chosen One? Then how come some fairies and magical creatures look like cute girls and some like cute creatures? Of course with Moffle being a mouse or whatever, he is Latifa’s uncle whom I am assuming is the same type. How can such a beautiful cute princess come out of that equation? Mother must be damn beautiful and strong genes for Latifa to come out that way, huh?

Then there is the case of Latifa’s curse that has been kept as a dark secret and only revealed in the final few episodes. Maybe for dramatic effect and not to distract us that it is Kanie’s job to save ABP. Seriously, Kanie is working to revive a park without knowing what he is doing it for? No wonder the shock face. Even more appalling is how everyone failed to notice Takaya was the supposedly dead warlock. I don’t blame Kanie for not knowing but at least when Isuzu first met him, she should have sensed something amiss. I don’t know if this is the first time she met him during the meeting or not. Either she was really ignorant of who he is or trying real hard to hide this fact from Kanie (like how they hid Latifa’s illness) but it was just atrocious that they only seem to recognize him when he showed his true colours at the last moment and got away. However if you can put this all aside and enjoy the series to see how things change from zero to hero, I am sure you’ll find this an enjoyable watch.

The plot and pace are smooth and despite many feel like fillers of seeing Kanie coming up with ideas and method to bring in more visitors (especially that last episode which was blatantly a filler material) they do help in developing it all at a nice pace. And so while we see them learn and interact with each other, this is where the laughs come from as we see Kanie as the newbie trying to understand the culture and make it work. From hiring new part timers to that commercial crap, yeah, those are really funny times.

The characters are the strongest point despite the seemingly okay but weak plot in reviving the failing park. With a myriad of characters, it is hard to give everyone their due screen time although it is mostly about Kanie and Isuzu and a bunch of other ‘frontrunner mascots’ like Moffle, Macaron and Tiramie. Despite the few lot of them and some with a few back stories of their own (but eventually it didn’t really matter to the overall plot), at least they aren’t ‘forgotten’ in the sense that they only pop up for one or two episodes and then you will never see them again. Therefore it is good to see them from time to time even if they are just popping up as cameo in the background.

It’s hard to say if Kanie changed a lot ever since his managerial stint but we know he changed because despite the lame reason of wanting to see those slackers work hard and not undo his hard work, it is the love for everything he has put in and everyone that he has met during his 3 month stint. So you see, the most important lesson besides perseverance and hard work moral that has been done to death in many of such stories is that you need to give everything and everyone a second chance. Kanie who was once an island realizes that the park’s revival was not only because of him shouting orders. It is because of others play their part and the trust that they develop. So while everybody didn’t trust this wise guy at first, given a chance, they start to believe in him and that is where the magic works its way to lead to the park’s revival. Speaking of his mind reading power, it feels like unimportant as he just sparingly uses it. I’m sure with his genius brain, that kind of power just feels like a distraction and could have been done without. The same case can be said about his former status as a child star. It only serves to play a small role that wasn’t anything that significant. Because I thought if everybody recognizes him and that status would have attracted more customers. Apparently nobody did so it goes to show people don’t really remember or he wasn’t that great then. But it is a good thing because it shows Kanie revived ABP based on his skills and not his past reputation.

I want to call Moffle, Macaron and Tiramie as the terrible trio but it only seems that Tiramie is the worst of the lot because of his tendencies to get perverted and a player. It is even mind boggling to think how those wives get in an affair with a pink cat mascot especially when I first thought Tiramie is female thanks to his feminine looks. I guess that is why looks can be deceiving. Moffle’s short fuse and violent nature tends to make him quick to use his fist to do the talking and thus always the eternal loggerhead with Kanie. It looked set to be a running joke of the series but it died down once Moffle starts giving him a chance. The same case for Isuzu’s rifle shooting running joke. Once that feud dies out, so does this one. I wonder where she could keep that long rifle hidden. Speaking of her on another mind boggling trivia, it is the memory erasing bullets that she makes. She says she can make that only once a year. How old is she? Assuming she is the same age with Kanie as she goes to the same class with him Assuming she could start making it right away after being born. So how many does she has? Unless you’re telling me she is over a hundred years old because you know, she’s from the fairy land. Oh, Isuzu would have been much better if she smiles and put in more emotions. I’m not saying she should turn into some spunky genki or emo girl but I prefer such main characters to be smiling. Even if she’s in the background running the show, she should also be putting a smile. Oh heck, why bother with it when you can slap a pair of busty boobs on her and solve all that. Guys will notice her boobs and not her no-smile, right?

I suppose when you have four cute girls of varied personality in Elementario, it is given that you need to have a dedicated episode just for them. Even if it was just as a stepping stone to see them work together and in more sync, but I guess they are typically the same girls that we all know. Like Salama is always having this bored and uninterested look that reads “I-wish-I-wasn’t-here” while she constantly faces her Smartphone. Then there is Sylphy who acts like a retard and is completely in a world of her own. She does her own things at her own pace, oblivious of what is going around. But surprisingly she has a huge fan base thanks to that quirky dance she uploads. Then you have shy and emotionless girl Koboli who is second only to Isuzu in the expressionless department but surprisingly gets lively when you let her talk about her desires of macho muscular men. And finally Muse who is the friendliest and most cheerful of the lot. So mismatched but yet so fitting for each other. I suppose it is to show that despite they have different strengths and weaknesses, the idea is for them to work together and cover each other’s flaws. Oddly despite their elemental representation, I hardly see them use it. I don’t know, it makes me feel like they’re being fake fairies and just high school girls in cosplay.

Latifa feels like the weakest link among the characters. I know she is suffering from an illness and her weak body means she can’t do much but sit in her ivory tower while praying and cheering on for the rest in the background. I guess with so many cute looking mascots as mascots, a cute little princess is needed to swoon our hearts. It is hard to see her as someone relevant in the revival of ABP but I suppose she is the very reason why everyone is busting their ass to keep this princess alive. So I suppose the fairytale ending (feels ironic seeing they are all from the magic realm) that her curse was eventually lifted so that she could continue to work and have fun with the rest without the annoying bit of having her memories reset. I know it would suck if all their hard work didn’t pay off but… At least in the future it would mean she doesn’t need to be a useless vegetable confined in her castle anymore.

Art and drawing are okay with Kyoto Animation helming this, it is not surprising to find very familiar cute looking girls. I mean, this is the company that produces K-ON!, Kyoukai No Kanata, Tamako Market, Hyouka, Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai and even classics like Clannad and Air. I guess this also gives them a reason to get creative with various ‘magical creatures’ although they look more cartoonish than anything. Isn’t this how mascots should be? ABP also looks good and a great park to be with a variety of props, themes and settings to make it lively and fun. With a handful of Full Metal Panic trivia, most obvious being Moffle looking very close like Bonta-kun, this is because both series are created by the same author and that the same anime studio also animates them. I also discovered this trivia lately and it seems the main 3 characters, Kanie, Isuzu and Latifa are named after America’s famous R&B artists. Namely, Kanye West, 50 Cent (if you directly translate Isuzu’s name) and Queen Latifah.

Voice acting is okay and the most amusing one goes to Ai Nonaka as Tiramie. I just love how she goes crazy voicing that indecent pervert. Jun Fukuyama is also not bad as Triken, especially when he sounds so gay whenever he gets passionate. A little bit like Grell from Kuroshitsuji, huh? Moffle’s voice sound familiar at first but it took me a while to realize it was Ayako Kawasumi behind it. Haven’t been hearing of her much lately but at least I still recognize her (eventually). The rest of the casts include Kouki Uchiyama as Kanie (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Ai Kakuma as Isuzu (Hakua in Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara), Yukiyo Fujii as Latifa (Tetra in Log Horizon), Ryoko Shiraishi as Macaron (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku), Yuka Aisaka as Muse (Aika in Ore Twintails Ni Narimasu), Minami Tsuda as Salama (Yui in YuruYuri), Shiori Mikami as Koboli (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Sylphy (Tina in Black Bullet) and Junichi Suwabe as Takaya (Archer in Fate/Stay Night).

The generic anime pop opening theme is Extra Magic Hours by AKINO with Bless4 while the ending theme is Elementario De Aimashou by Brilliant4 (the quartet behind the voice of Elementario) which also sounds like another generic anime pop. I suppose with Elementario hardly making a great impact or screen time (aside from that single dedicated episode), the ending credits are where they get to strut their stuffs. But I prefer the insert song that they sing in that episode, Subarashiki FUN!TASY as it sounds more fun and lively. On a trivial note, before the next episode preview, there is a Show and Tell Attractions segment whereby Kanie and Isuzu host it to explain some of the buildings and attractions in feature. I don’t know why they sound so lethargic but it may be Isuzu who has always sounded this way. What is amusing is that it starts off good as Isuzu describes what that attraction is all about. However soon it turns out to be something negative and unbelievable that has Kanie rebuking like a mad dog of why this attraction should not be in the list. Now you know why ABP is such a big failure in the first place.

This series is still a fun and entertaining watch if you can put aside the little details and do not think so much about it. Besides, an amusement park themed series needs to have a happy atmosphere, right? A note though, managing an amusement park isn’t exactly all fun and games or a bed of roses as what it is mainly painted here. Sure, the staffs here do have their problems to deal with like lack of money and manpower but I am sure that reality isn’t as ‘sympathetic’ as this. Things don’t normally go smoothly but it sure will work out in the end. And magic has nothing to do with it. So remember to spare a thought for all those people working at amusement parks. They’re working their asses behind the scenes to bring all that smiles and happiness so that you kids can continue to bug their parents to come back and spend more money. Whoops… Eventually a happy customer will definite return. And what better way for a place that brings smiles for everyone to have your customers returning with bigger smiles?

Death Parade

September 19, 2015

Do you believe that when you die, you will be sent to a place to be judged for what you have done in your life before being sent to either heaven or hell? What if that place is a mysterious bar where you get to have drinks all you want before you pass out pissed drunk before passing on? Hah! Just joking! That would be indeed the ultimate heaven before you pass over, right? Indeed Death Parade seems to have the setting of 2 people who die at the same time to turn up in a mysterious bar run by equally mysterious and creepy bartenders who also act as arbiters. But there is a catch in deciding who goes up and who goes down. You play a game. Not just any ordinary game. A game with some sort of twist that will certainly bring out the darkness in you. Because nobody wants to go to hell, right? Either you do what it takes or whatever is right. And that itself is already enough to seal your fate for eternity. So you play games to decide your fate, huh? Couldn’t they do this an easier way?

Episode 1
Takeshi and Machiko find themselves in a weird bar, Quindecim. They cannot remember anything much except they were on honeymoon before arriving at this place. The bartender, Decim explains several rules like he cannot tell them where they are and that they must play a game that would have them stake their lives on. They thought this is a sick joke and try to leave but there are no exits. They refuse to take part so they are warned they may end up like something behind his bar: Corpses! Takeshi tells Machiko to go with the flow now for who knows what else this dude might pull. The game they will play will be decided via roulette and it seems they will be playing darts. Each will have 7 darts and the one with the lowest score wins. But this isn’t just an ordinary darts game. The board is filled with pictures of their body parts or organs. If they hit that part, their partner will feel pain in that region. Takeshi doesn’t believe and goes first but Machiko starts writhing in pain over her shoulder. Could it just be her imagination? When she goes next, it hits his lungs and he definitely feels it. But there is no physical surgery whatsoever. He confronts Decim about this because as he is a doctor he knows better. Decim reminds him about the game rules and also hints he doesn’t need to hit the target. The duo purposely miss their targets when Takeshi suddenly remembers the corpses! At this rate he will lose. I’m not sure if it is on purpose because his hand slipped and hit a target. And I’m not sure if Machiko also did the same thing on purpose or accident because Takeshi’s eyes are now in pain. Very sorry about it, she tells him not to hit the stomach. It is their child. She never said anything about it because she wanted to surprise him on their honeymoon. So when he throws his dart, he remembers overhearing Machiko’s friends saying that she married him like it was just a game and she won. The dart hits the stomach.

Takeshi then becomes merciless in revealing about the affair he heard during their wedding day. She tells him he got it all wrong but he doesn’t believe her. Takeshi then confirms with Decim with the dart rules. Nothing was said about throwing your opponent’s darts, right? He takes Machiko’s final dart. Machiko explains he heard wrongly. It wasn’t her they were talking about but a friend of theirs whose name was almost similar to hers. She too married a doctor. They struggle for the last dart and Machiko gets it. As she throws, she remembers their happier times. They were driving on their honeymoon and had a car crash. The dart hits Takeshi’s heart. Bull’s eye. Machiko is the winner but Takeshi wants another go. Machiko believes it is useless because they are already dead. This is when Decim reveals this place is where people are judged to be sent to heaven or hell. They are already dead and pairs that die at the same time will be invited her. Takeshi remembers he suspected Machiko having an affair. Her handphone was ringing but she didn’t pick up. He struggled to get it and that’s when the crash happened. Takeshi cannot believes this is happening and accuses Machiko that the child is not his but another man’s. Seeing how broken he is, Machiko admits she only married him for his money and never loved him. Everything was a lie. Takeshi lunges at her but Decim’s threads stop him. In the end, they are escorted to individual elevators. Shortly, Nona and Kurokami No Onna (literally black hair woman) appear before Decim. They were watching the spectacle. Kurokami didn’t pretty much like it. She asks where their souls went. Takeshi was sent for reincarnation and Machiko the void.

Episode 2
This episode chronicles the background events of the previous episode. What Nona and Kurokami were doing while Decim hosts the darts game. When Kurokami first woke up, she remembered nothing and was brought by Nona to Quindecim. She was explained that the bartenders are arbiters who will decide the fate of the recently deceased humans in a game. The best way to learn it is to watch it. So Nona brings Kurokami to the back of the bar where there are lots of puppets and mannequins hanging and lying about. She says this is Decim’s hobby. So of course when Decim showed this to Takeshi and Machiko, from their view it looked like corpses in the dark. Although the players are dead, dying comes as a shock so people don’t realize it. So they will have to give them an idea that they are staking their lives and thus provoking them. Once they reveal the darkness of their souls as much as possible, only then an arbiter can make their judgment. Taking Kurokami to a higher balcony to watch the darts game, she continues explaining how the players think by losing the game, they will get killed. As they play the game, their memories will slowly return. Arbiters may not know what they remember but it is usually something to do with their deaths. Those memories always get lost amid the trauma. At the end of the game, the winner is sent for reincarnation (heaven) and the loser’s soul will fall into the void (hell). At the end of the game after Takeshi and Machiko are sent on their way, Kurokami still has her doubts. Because when she observed Machiko making her final revelation, it was as though she was lying to save Takeshi (since he was already broken from killing their child). The way she said it had forlorn look in her eyes. Despite Machiko really did have an affair, she put her feelings above everything else and still loved Takeshi. Decim wonders if he had made the wrong decision so Nona tells him about people’s feelings that can manifest through the most subtle of expression. Just because he is an arbiter, do not brush them off. Nona leaves Kurokami as Decim’s assistant and she should just continue what she is doing. Nona believes Takeshi was a man who couldn’t trust anyone and thus would never have found happiness. At first she thought Kurokami did a decent job but takes it back. She still has a long way to go.

Episode 3
Decim wakes up Shigeru Miura who is sleeping on the couch. She joins a girl who couldn’t even remember her name at the bar. As they are being told the rules, as expected they don’t believe and try to leave. No exit. The girl thinks of playing the game in hopes she can remember something. The game is bowling. The one with the highest score wins and they will bowl a ball that contains the other’s heart! Don’t worry. They will feel no pain. Takeshi goes first and could feel the fast beating and warmth of her heart. No strike but a decent score. Then it is her turn. The more Shigeru looks at her, the more smitten he is but he tries not to get distracted. Shigeru makes a wager with her. If he wins, he will take her out on a date. When she bowls, she starts to remember bits of her memories. She worked in a bowling alley and Shigeru was there with his friends. Also, Shigeru was her childhood friend but she moved away. She remembers. They remember. She now remembers her name, Chisato Miyazaki. But Decim whispers to Kurokami something shocking that she is not allowed to scream. Decim believes they may not have a happy ending. Shigeru also remembers something similar at the bowling alley and he really likes her. His friends whisper something to him about Chisato. In the bus, he tried to talk to her but an accident happened. Now that they realized they are dead, Shigeru asks to date Chisato right now (since he also won the game). I don’t know Decim can joke with a poker face because he allows it for 5 minutes! Kurokami abuses him but he retracts that and says they can date to their hearts content. Not much to go and do here but they are happy. Ironically they’re glad to be dead because they wouldn’t have met this way. They depart happy. Flashback reveals Decim whispered to Kurokami that this is not the real Chisato and she might have mistaken her own identity. She is actually Mai Takada, his other childhood friend who had a crush on him but never being able to catch his eye. So she moved on by undergoing some plastic surgery. At the bowling alley, Shigeru’s friends tell him that cutie is Mai who underwent plastic surgery after school and they should know each other. Shigeru therefore knows she is Mai ever since he got his memories back because he remembered when Chisato moved away, Mai assured she will always stay by his side because she loved him.

Episode 4
Misaki Tachibana and Yousuke Tateishi are trying to get out of Quindecim. No luck. Then it hit Misaki. This may be a game show with hidden camera. You see, Misaki is a TV celebrity and thinks this is one of those reality TV thingy and wants him to play along and act naturally. They will be playing an arcade fighting game. The one who wins 2 rounds in this no-time-limit game will win. The only character they can pick is themselves and it mirrors their real life personality. After Yousuke wins the first round, Misaki starts remembering faintly. She got mixed up in bad company, married the wrong guy, got wife abused and the guy walked out of her life. Twice. Misaki tells Yousuke to lose the next round to make it more exciting. During the game, Decim uses some device to make Yousuke’s controller pop out! As Misaki wins the round, he remembers the loser otaku life he leads. His father divorced and remarried another woman. Misaki is shocked to learn there are no hidden cameras and because Decim cannot reveal much, she jumps to conclusion the loser will die. She becomes worried because Yousuke is clearly better than her. All Decim can say is return to the game. It is not over yet. Unfair, right? Life is never fair. As the third round continues, Decim uses his device to pop out Misaki’s controller. Kurokami has had enough of this and confiscates it. He says it is necessary to bring out the darkness in human’s soul to be judged. And it won’t take long for that because Misaki is hammering Yousuke’s head into the screen!!!!!!!!! Yousuke remembers his new mom tries to be kind to him but he ignored her. Misaki comes to her senses and wants an ambulance called but Decim tells her to continue the game. She returns to it and Yousuke wakes up after remembering more. Both sides fight till double KO. A draw. Yousuke remembers he killed himself by jumping out from the window after being bored with life. Misaki abused her manager for screwing up and in turn she strangled her. It hit them that they are dead. Misaki cannot accept this especially about this game which is supposed to be their judgment. All she felt was being deceived, which basically sums up her entire life. Before she knew it, she had 5 children and she needs to get back to them because she realized she was ready to be happy with them. Yousuke also regrets not doing much for his new mom. All Decim can do is hug them and said they have tried their best. Off to the elevators they go.

Episode 5
Jimmy is a happy kid. Then he spots a girl playing outside his house and instantly took a liking for her. Especially her smile. He called out to her and tried to go to her but fell through the snow. It was painful but her smile made the pain go away. Seems this is a strange dream that Kurokami always has. She notices Decim putting up a board with a character in her dream. When he receives memories of the next guests, he feels something is odd. A man and a boy walk into Quindecim as the man orders beer although he gets a feeling he might have seen him before or been here. Meanwhile Nona is playing billiards with an old guy named Oculus. The interesting about this game is how the balls are the planets of the Solar System! Despite Nona being manager for 82 years and they’ve been playing this game 170 times a year, Oculus can never beat her. Something about not letting her guard down and be bored. I’m not sure if she made a mistake to give him a chance. But he also screws up and Nona wins the game. How can he best her next time? Maybe he should ask God since he is considered close to Him. However he notes God has already left this place a long time ago. Back to Quindecim, the man suddenly remembers about dolls/corpses. He takes the boy hostage and threatens he won’t go through all that again. After Decim holds him back with his threads, the boy knocks out Kurokami. He manages to evade Decim’s threads for the first time but gets trapped the second time round.

The boy turns out to be a fellow arbiter, Ginti. He is not happy Decim is keeping that woman who is completely human here instead of passing judgment. Decim reveals that when he first met her, she had her memories intact and couldn’t convince her to play any games. He ended up having her memories erased and extended her judgment term. Ginti doesn’t like this a bit and attacks him. Threads versus water balls… The match is stopped when Nona beats up Ginti for going too far. Seems all this is just a memory test. Nona has him reiterate the rules of the game and when receiving guests. He should have sent something amiss when he never got memories of the boy at all. Even if they forget due to the shock of dying, latent memories do not disappear. Therefore he should have cancelled the game. As for that man, he is just a dummy implanted with fake memories and not human to begin with. She leaves and goes to see Castra who overseas deaths across the world. With the death rate at 7,000 per hour, you think this place is enough to keep up? Yeah, humans dying like flies… Ginti still doesn’t approve of Decim to keep Kurokami here because he believes arbiters and humans cannot coexist. Clavis the elevator operator tells him to let Decim handle this his way and it is not their place to interfere how he passes judgment. Besides, he will have his own guests coming soon. Decim puts Kurokami to bed as she continues that dream. Jimmy and the girl had fun together although he didn’t know her name. When he tells his mom about this, she tells him her name is Chavvot. He promised to let her know his feelings. Nona is seen reading that storybook.

Episode 6
This time we see how Ginti handles his guests. When spunky Mayu Arita arrives in this traditional Japanese setting, Ginti is such a grumpy guy. He doesn’t bother to explain things because she is late but she is super happy to learn she is going to play a game with Harada. He is from a popular idol unit, CHA. They’ll be playing Twister and it is seventh heaven for Mayu as she gets to be this close to him (she’s so happy she could die – which is a big irony) while Harada shows off his flexibility. All that idol training must have paid off, huh? However Harada hopes to end this because he doesn’t view Mayu as his type and wants to get back with Lisa, the girl he is currently having an affair with. When the duo are tired and request for a break, this is when Ginti changes the game play. Things are going to get more interesting now. Depending on their luck and where they step, if they’re unlucky, they’ll die. Because each colour spot now correspond an extreme element whether it is heat, wind or ice. Don’t take too long or you’ll be burnt or frozen. Suddenly the board disappears and all that is left are the spots their hands and feet are on. Below are sharp spikes. Ginti says they will stay this way till one of them falls off. They both panic as Harada starts having thoughts of pushing her off. Suddenly Mayu starts thanking him as he is the reason for coming this far. She doesn’t care if he is a womanizer but he always takes care of his fans. This makes him remember he had an affair with another fan, Kana. She was very sad that he nonchalantly broke up with her. She committed suicide the next day and it was all over the news. Mayu then jumps off but Harada grabs her hand. He doesn’t want her to play hero and instead is fans like her who made him go this far. He cannot hold on much longer as she slips down. Mayu remembers she was happily going to take a bath when she slipped on a soap and knocked her head. Yup, she died. When she reaches the bottom, the spikes turn out to be inflatable spikes. Harada is regretting he couldn’t save another. He remembers the morning after his affair with Lisa, she casually left him. He heard some ticking sound and when he looked, oh sh*t! A bomb! BOOM! Revenge for her sister, Kana! Ginti is surprised that Mayu jumped herself. After Mayu changes into a yukata and does away with all that artificial makeup, look at how beautiful she is! Now Harada feels this is his type of girl? He gives her a solo concert. Decim, Kurokami and Clavis are invited to join in. Ginti is the only unhappy one… Relax, brother.

Episode 7
Oculus narrates the few rules for arbiters: 1) They cannot give up passing judgment; 2) They cannot experience death for it will link them closely with humans; 3) They cannot have emotions as they are only puppets. When Kurokami finds that Chavvot book in the shelf, she asks Decim whose it is. He doesn’t know and thinks Quin left it here. Who? The previous arbiter. Flashback shows Nona led Decim and Ginti as new arbiters to Quindecim. As Decim is to replace Quin, the latter cannot be happier to get out from this job and move on to the Information Bureau. As they watch Quin’s final arbitration, Nona gave them a tool each to create extreme situations. However, Decim never used it and Nona questions him later after it all ends. He forgot to! He was distracted watching the game and trying to figure out their thoughts. Ginti thinks humans are foolish but Decim objects otherwise as he respects those who have led fulfilled lives. Although everyone is surprised with his answer, Nona tells him about the tool to create such situations to bring out the darkness in humans because it is better to have more than one way to judge. Whether it is foolish or respectable, it is up to him to decide. Kurokami wonders if there is anything Decim treasures so he shows her his mannequins. Isn’t this his hobby? Decim explains how arbiters’ minds are filled with the guests’ memories and because excess memories can interfere with their judgment, they are eliminated. Therefore at the end of each judgment, the guests turn into mannequins. They are supposed to be destroyed but Decim claims them instead. He makes them so as not to forget his guests. Kurokami wants to hear some of his guests’ stories but he can’t because they are already forgotten. Eh? Meanwhile Quin visits Nona at her place and looks like she is regretting being in the Information Bureau as she is busier than ever. She never knew condensing memories of the dead is hard work. I can see why, with so many people dying each second. Nona talks about the judging of the dead but the irony is that they are all just puppets who never lived or died. Therefore it is strange for them to judge the dead when they have not experienced death. She would like to see an arbiter with emotions handles judgment. I am not sure why Mayu is still hanging around at Ginti’s place but he doesn’t seem very happy. New assistant? Nona is surprised Oculus visits her. Feeling lonely? Why doesn’t she want him here? Trying to hide something? He spots that Chavvot book but doesn’t think much about it. He tells her to come visit him as she owes him a rematch. She thinks she has slipped up. Nona then goes to see Castra to request a special favour. She relents and wonders if Nona ins under pressure. No. There was never much time to begin with.

Episode 8
Decim feels weird over the next guests arriving. One of them is a murderer. He calls Nona to confirm and she tells him to carry on with the judgment despite he has no experience in dealing this since there are none others available. Don’t worry. Humans will be humans. They are no different. Tatsumi and Shimada like many others don’t believe the game they have to play and try to search for an exit. Shimada opens his bag to find a bloodied cleaver! He starts cowering in fear. Since there is no way out, Tatsumi who is a detective suggests going along with this game. In his line of work he can tell Decim is not lying and is also not a killer. They will play air hockey. The pucks have organ pictures on it and the first to reach 6 points wins. As they start, Shimada remembers his sister, Sae crying incessantly after their parents died. He promised to protect her. As they take a break, Tatsumi talks to him about the hardest part being a detective was dealing with the grief and pain suffered by the victim’s next of kin. Confronting those feelings takes a lot out from you. Tatsumi wants to continue the game in hopes of finding a clue to everything. Including Decim. This time, Tatsumi remembers he came home from work only to find his wife murdered! He goes to lie down for a while as Decim notes the pace is slower than usual. As he cannot influence the memories they recall, Kurokami suggests of wanting to take a peek into those memories too. Decim will put in a request for that later. Tatsumi further remembers his wife even remembers his birthday for him and the shoes he is wearing now was her present. Then there’s something about a criminal he put behind bars and when he is out on parole, Tatsumi becomes ‘obsessed’ in tracing him. He returns to the game more aggressive this time. Now it is Shimada’s turn to remember. He comes home one day to find Sae beaten up. Her face was really messed up. He is mad. There is something he needs to do even if it costs him his life. Since the time limit is up, Decim announces the change in rules. Each time they score a goal, they will suffer pain of that organ depicted on the puck. Tatsumi asks about Shimada’s predicament and he explains Sae has been stalked for a while. He went to the police but they couldn’t act on it. He won’t let him get away. Funnily, Tatsumi also feels the same. Since his wife is murdered, after he gets out from this place, he is going to kill somebody. Kurokami’s request is approved as she receives both their memories. Reeling from shock, she realizes both are murderers.

Episode 9
Once both guys realized they have killed, Tatsumi believes Shimada is not wrong from his personal opinion. They continue the game and when Shimada feels the pain, he remembers more. He went to the attacker’s house and they stab each other to death. However he remembers Sae told him there was one more who was watching and she wants them all dead. His revenge isn’t over yet. Now it’s Tatsumi’s turn to feel the pain and remember. He killed his wife’s murderer with cold blood and heard his wife’s voice thanking him. Shimada wants to forfeit his turn and give Tatsumi a chance to get his revenge seeing he is in a near broken state. But Tatsumi gets up and wants to continue with the game. He tries to convince Shimada to go get his revenge because if he lets that guy go, he is going to do the same thing again. Both become aggressive in their air hockey game. Shimada scores the winning goal. The pain has Tatsumi remember everything. He was on Sae’s case and visited the attacker’s apartment. He was shortly stabbed from behind. It was Shimada who stabbed him. After he killed that guy, he went to the toilet to vomit but heard somebody coming in. Thinking he is the accomplice, Shimada stabbed him from behind. When Decim explains his arbiter job he is doing, Tatsumi feels it is very similar to his. He also marks people and judges them. That attacker was on his mark and was just monitoring him. When Sae was being assaulted, she saw Tatsumi just standing there watching from behind the trees doing nothing. Shimada is mad that he didn’t do anything to stop his sister’s assault. But Tatsumi says had he done so, he couldn’t have killed him. Because for there to be judgment, there must be a victim. Shimada loses his cool and tries to attack him, blaming him he could have saved his sister. Tatsumi replies that even had he saved Sae, another woman would be targeted because the attacker was targeting several other women. He should be thankful Sae is still alive and he got his revenge so don’t bring him down any further.

Shimada is in full rage and wants to kill him. Decim allows him to do that since the judgment has not finished. Although the dead cannot die, he can inflict excruciating pain. Kurokami has had it with everything and wants all this to stop. She chides Decim about this passing judgment thing he is doing because all she is seeing is that he is doing the same thing as Tatsumi did. All he did was bring up people’s darkness and how could he understand the many emotions of others when he has never lived himself. This causes Decim to be in a great dilemma. Tatsumi adds fuel to the fire that after killing his wife’s murderer, it was like his calling to become the saviour to others because it led him to kill other filthy bastards. If you want to accomplish something, sacrifices must be made. Shimada is going to stab him but Kurokami begs for him to stop as she reveals about this reincarnation and void thingy. She tells him he can be reincarnated in another form to see his sister again but if he gets thrown into the void, he loses that chance. Doesn’t he care about his sister? Just when he calms down, Tatsumi opens his big mouth about their naivety of this cruel world. If you can’t protect someone, all you can do is kill the other. If you can’t change the world, then change yourself. Shimada loses it and stabs him. In the aftermath, Decim is still in shock mode and Kurokami still upset telling him that humans aren’t as complex as he thinks they are. They’re just simple beings who get sad or angry over simple things.

Episode 10
When Decim first woke up here, he had no memories of anything. Nona told him that he is an arbiter and laid down the rules of being one. Now Decim goes to see her as he feels he cannot carry on being one now because the way they judge isn’t right. It is not that they’re bringing out the darkness in humans but rather creating them. As he respects those who lived a fulfilled live, he cannot further judge. In that case, would it be time for Kurokami to be judge? Can he judge her? Or does he want her to do it? Anyway she is sending him a special guest. Because Kurokami’s term is coming to an end. That means, part of her skin is now peeling off! If she exceeds that time period, she’ll be turned into a mannequin. Grandma Sachiko Uemura is the guest who will be playing old maid with them. Due to the nature of this card game, Decim will also take part. The cards have odd designs on them. Actually, pictures that are related to their life. Like Sachiko who is a manga artist, she sees lots of her creations here. Sachiko is having fun remembering all the good memories while Decim remembers he went to talk to Ginti about his dilemma and as usual got ticked off about humans all will die one day which is the same reason why they judge: There’s no point thinking about it! Meanwhile Nona bugs Quin to go search for Kurokami’s memories and you know she is not too thrilled as she is already busy like hell. But nothing like a bit of liquor gift for motivation.

Sachiko wins the game and realizes she is in the aftermath. She knows so because she saw a manga character she has not created yet appearing on the card. That can only mean she’s dead, right? But she’s calm about it since she doesn’t know how she died. Yeah, old people can’t remember. But she wouldn’t like to know it either. When Kurokami picks up the Chavvot design card, Sachiko recognizes it because she read it somewhere. She further explains about the story of Jimmy wanting to tell Chavvot he loved her. But there’s a catch: Chavvot is deaf! So how do you do so? With a smile. This is when Kurokami remembers she loves this book a lot and has mom read it to her many times. She likes Chavvot’s smile. Yeah, trying to imitate that big smile of hers too. This is when Kurokami remembers her real name: Chiyuki. She gets the joker and loses the game. Sachiko leaves happy and thanks them. Chiyuki wonders how she died so Decim realizes they can’t do it by this way anymore. Meanwhile Oculus calls Clavis not because he needs a billiards partner but to peek into his memories of those regarding Nona. He finds her thoughts about arbiters and human emotions to be pointless. Decim believes people do not live to die but they die simply because they are alive. This goes the same for judgment as it must be performed with both life and death. So human emotions are necessary? He wants Chiyuki to tell him everyone? Eh, what? Did she remember?

Episode 11
Mayu is more than happy to see Harada but he is not moving. Ginti says his soul has not come back yet. You also need a soul to be casted into the void in its place. What happen if the soul doesn’t come back? You become a mannequin. Mayu is willing to take his place to be casted into the void but was told off she doesn’t know what kind of scary place it is. It is dark and empty where you fall forever while embracing your negative emotions like regret and despair. He shows her a picture of another guy. Either he or Harada gets thrown into the void. She must decide which. She seems reluctant and indecisive but from her reaction, Ginti knows she already has decided. Chiyuki returns to her room to retrieve a pair of skates. She returns to Quindecim now turned into a skating rink. Seems she is a figure skater in life. Decim remembers when she first came here, she already knew she is already dead but didn’t know how she died. Consulting with Nona, she thinks the Information Bureau messed up and will restart everything for her judgment again. Decim wanted to judge her although he doesn’t know why. But Nona wants to leave her with him for a little while as his assistant. So for a good 4 minutes, we see Chiyuki skate around the rink as she remembers her happy life from young and her achievements as a figure skater. Then in a competition, she had an accident and broke her knee. Similarly, now her knee gives way so she sits and talks to Decim what happened next. The doctor diagnosed she would never skate again. Although everyone cried and supported for her, the shock left Chiyuki emotionless. She never realized what was hard and important until it was too late. Everything that used to be important became so hollow. She felt like nothing. Then she started hating herself before taking her life. She feels cruel to realize that she is already dead. Decim is interested to know more about her. Although he has never lived or die, he is glad to have met her. Decim gives her a last drink. Memento mori signifies a reminder that one day you will die. After she takes a sip, she falls unconscious. Mayu takes Harada to the elevator as Ginti says it will be going to the place where his soul is. He asks what Harada is to her. He is her life. So what is she without him? She asks him back what about him and because he just does his job as an arbiter with no reason, she feels pity for him because unlike her who has chose to live her life in a certain way. As the elevator descends, their skin starts to peel off. Mayu is glad to see Harada come to life for that brief moment before they turn into mannequins and their soul casted down the void. Decim calls Quin to have some memories sent over. As Nona leaves her place, Oculus is before her and knows she has been doing something behind his back.

Episode 12
Oculus tries to read Nona’s memories but she evades. He is suspicious of her motives. She argues that they are not puppets like he perceives all of them to be (including himself) because arbiters can acquire human emotions and change. However he says arbiters will still be arbiters and whatever she is trying to pull won’t change anything. Decim takes Chiyuki down to the lowest level. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own room. Decim says this is reality where 3 months have passed since her death. He sees the Jimmy and Chavvot dolls and she tells him it was made by her parents. She treasures them. As she walks around the house, she remembers the nostalgic memories. However she can only observe and cannot interact or touch the living, vice versa. So she can’t speak to her mom who is praying at Chiyuki’s altar. Decim gives her the device. Press it and she will come back to life but with her memories of Decim erased. Also, everyone who knows about her death will have their memories of it rewritten. The catch is that she will exchange her soul with another. Whose soul would that be? Well, 7 billion humans on this planet, what are the chances it will be the person she loves or knows. The more she sees her mother breaking down and lamenting, the more tempting Chiyuki becomes to press it. But when she is about to do it, she remembers all the other guests that she has co-judged. She can’t do it. Despite she has nothing to do with them, they have their own loved ones. She cannot live with the fact that she will be sacrificing one of them. This decision shocks Decim. His heart starts to hurt. Chiyuki is also emotionally breaking down. She wants to see and talk to her mom badly. Desperate, she tells Decim to press the button! When Decim starts crying and screaming, the world shatters. They are in the bottom floor where all mannequins are tossed. He apologizes for deceiving her. I’m not sure if it’s to judge her but he wants to know her better. There was no other way he could do it. Now he knows the pain of sorrow. It hurts. Chiyuki hugs him.

Nona and Oculus are watching this. He wonders what she has done to him. All she did was made an arbiter judge with a human by his side. But that means the arbiter would become more human and difficult in passing judgments. Nona argues humans cannot judge humans but even if the fact that judging humans may give rise to difficulties, it doesn’t mean they have the right to pass on any judgment on them. Therefore this world is theoretically unjust. As to why she made arbiters feel and suffer, what is the point of judgment that isn’t accompanied by suffering? That is what life is. Oculus reminds her that death is for those who are alive. If you are not alive, you cannot die. Even if the arbiters become human, they are still puppets. Nona disagrees. They live in the present. Decim sees off Chiyuki. She is happy that she has lived. Decim vows to have every guest who comes here to leave with that answer. She suggests doing something about his face. How about smiling? I don’t know if it is funny or creepy but his frown definitely suits him best. But remembering those times with her, he ekes out a pretty decent smile! Chiyuki gives him a big one. That’s how it’s done. Castra and Quin seem to be having more time relaxing with Nona because looks like more arbiters have been made. Nona isn’t going to do anything drastic for now because Oculus is having her eyes on her. As Nona narrates the rules for arbiters, Oculus adds a fourth one: Arbiters will not work hand in hand with life for it will ruin them. When Decim greets his next guests, at least he is smiling! A mannequin of Kurokami sits nearby.

Game Of Death
It is with mixed emotions for me after watching finish this series. On one hand it is interesting because you get to see different people with different characters and how they act in ‘dire’ situations. But that is so much about it. It gets repetitive for a while but the different characters and stories are still interesting on its own despite the overall concept is still the same. There is an air of mystery to Quindecim and this afterlife place even after they explain the workings of going to heaven or hell. It feels like a shady underground place because you have trains, elevators and bars, it doesn’t look like your typical place of judgment. Expecting the Pearly Gates, no?

For a dozen episodes, the episodes are mostly standalones and although you can watch them not in chronological order, it is advisable not so because there are bits and pieces of hints on Chiyuki whether it is something indicating about her life or she getting to know more about this grim judging game and thus affecting her stance on everything. Well, personally I feel her story isn’t a big deal either. Because just like every other guest character, they have a story and drama to tell. So her character was like to add a little mystery and an emotional way to end the series instead of another random story. Which doesn’t precisely amount to anything much either. Eventually she is just another guest who needs to be judged and move on. At least she made an impact on Decim before she goes. Also, I personally feel the Chavvot story did not really play much of an impact overall. It was just Chiyuki’s favourite story as a kid, that’s it. Maybe just a subtle reminder about to keep smiling always at all occasions. Because Chiyuki went off with a smile despite tears streaming down her eyes, right?

Although the concept of having people being judged by playing games is interesting, but I feel that there are so many questions and loopholes that would make you start questioning about everything. For instance this arbitrating job. Who are these arbiters actually? Even if they don’t have any origins, the thought of them judging others when they themselves have no emotions or have not experienced life and/or death is mind boggling. I mean, it is good that somebody neutral judges you so that you don’t have all that emotions to cloud your judgment. But then again, a person who has never experienced those, is he/she qualified to judge you? And even so, are those judgments correct? Besides, for many of the judgments, you’ll never know who gets sent for reincarnation or the void. Left to your decision? Maybe it is because what is important is the story behind their life and how they handle/accept the fact that they are already dead. Even Chiyuki’s fate in the end is not mentioned but we can accurately guess Decim’s decision after all that they have gone through together, right?

Another question burning in my head is that if there are so many people dying at that rate (whether or not Earth’s population is dwindling is another story), how come they do not have more arbiters to take on the judging job? At least initially when the rate of people dying seems to be increasing at a worrying rate. Besides, we don’t see the arbiters (at least in Decim’s case) to be in a rush. I know that there is no good when you rush a judgment so it seems like he is in no hurry and taking his time for the game to end before making his decision. If that is the case and with the lack of arbiters, isn’t the waiting line to be judged a long one? I wonder where those souls are waiting if that is the case. I wonder if they keep a record of those who are reincarnated. Is there anyone holding the record for being on a reincarnation streak? Which brings me to this question: If human souls are reincarnated, are new ones created too? Assuming human population is booming or remaining the same, there need to be souls replacing those thrown into the void. Thus, to be on a reincarnation streak you must be one damn lucky son of a gun, no? Your luck ends when you go down the void.

Also there is this rule that one soul will be reincarnated and the other being casted into the void. This is what I understood when it was being explained. Couldn’t there be a case of sending both to the void or reincarnation? I mean, what happens when you get 2 very nice people and they’re so freaking damn pleasant that they deserve a chance for reincarnation. Sending one of them to the void seems unfair, right? Or when you have 2 people who are the worst in humankind, fighting and playing dirty just to be tops, is it right to send the winner to heaven? So why does it have to be one goes up and the other goes down? Maybe I do not understand something here but I suppose that is the reason why they hold these games in the first place. To determine who goes where. Even so, in the case of a tie, why not just send them both to the same direction? I am not sure if there is some sort of quota they need to fill but as said with so many people dying at this rate, would it really matter?

Then there is this issue of all the mannequins that are lying down in that bottom basement. Every soul that has been judged, the mannequin that they temporarily borrowed will be tossed down here. I mean, isn’t that such a big waste? Shouldn’t they recycle the mannequins and reuse them for the next guests? Sure, they are broken and rundown after each use but then again, how in the first place are the mannequins made? Who makes them? Also, it is said that arbiters are also made from the same stuffs so couldn’t they just use the mannequins to create more arbiters or elevator operators or information processing staffs and the likes? I didn’t know judging can be such a tedious and complicated process. Why don’t just everybody go on strike and let the recently departed join them in their bar party? Those drinks flow forever, right? Don’t tell me somebody supplies them…

Although it is said that 2 people who die at the same time are being brought to the mysterious bar, isn’t the rate of people dying very overwhelming? You can see the overworked staffs in the other department. Yeah, dying is one stressful job. Although there are other bars (it would have been interesting to see them), I was wondering if more than 2 people can be judged to save time. You know, play a group game or like that reality TV, Survivor. So what happens when a bus load of people plunges down the ravine and nobody survives? You’re not telling me that all of them will be equally divided into pairs and sent to different bars for judgment, aren’t you? So what if there is an odd number and nobody else in the world died at that very same time? Maybe you go straight to the VIP room! Haha!

Perhaps this is something trivial but I thought some of the games they play are pretty mild. Because after the first one that is darts, I thought it would set the tone for the rest of the other games to follow this similar pattern. I mean, when you have bowling, an arcade game and even a card game without the experience of pain for the loser (they leave it quite late for the air hockey game), where is the motivation in that to drive the players to end the game or in the arbiter’s case, bring out their darkness to win it? Like for the bowling, they should have organs printed on it so not only you could feel them but when you strike or go down the gutter, you feel that organ’s pain. Or that fighting game on the video arcade. I thought it would be better if every hit you land on your opponent’s body, he/she should feel the pain on that hit part. So it just feels mild that you see them playing the game so nicely without penalty that it just defeats the fear factor that I was hoping for. But then again, maybe the games are just distractions (or rather, excuse) for the characters to reveal and unfold their memories and story at a reasonable rate. But I also suppose that you don’t need elaborated and sophisticated games to bring out the darkness in humans. After all, the dark side of human nature naturally would want to win even if it is just a simple children’s game.

With that said, it already feels odd that they use ordinary games with some having a little twist to make their judgment. What I am saying is that, shouldn’t there be a more effective way to judge a character? Using these games is like saying you are going to judge a person’s soul solely on the outcome of the game being played. Because I was thinking there should be a review of your entire life and what you did to determine your status. After all, the arbiter already receives the memories of the dead. Therefore theoretically if a bad person wins a game against a good person, does it mean baddie will go the heaven? But naturally this is all up to the arbiter in the end. It is like rendering what you did your entire life when you are alive as null. Of course this is just for the sake of discussion as you need to remember the theme and setting of this anime in the first place. Also bear in mind that despite the eccentricity of using simple games to judge, it is not the game itself that we should be focused on but what people do, the emotions they put in and the memories they remember while going about playing it.

Character wise, the main characters aren’t anything too deep. Decim is like a big irony as an arbiter because despite never having lived or die himself, he respects those who led fulfilled lives. Overall, he is just a confused arbiter so I am guessing the reason Nona brought Chiyuki to stay with him as his assistant is to help make him learn more about human emotions and the likes. So when he bursts into despair for the first time, it is like finding a four leaf clover. It exists but rare. Same case for Chiyuki. She is pretty much subdued and will only voice her opposition when she thinks Decim is doing something wrong. It is a good thing and a blessing Nona made her Decim’s assistant since Chiyuki has taught him a lot about human emotions. Simple yet complicated. Otherwise she’s just as confused about herself and her identity with everything else. Ginti brings more fiery passion and since he just hates everything about stupid humans (he seems to get mad or seething in anger by just about anything), he doesn’t hesitate to not mince his words and tell you straight in the face of what he thinks. Maybe I am missing something here because I am not sure how Mayu ended up temporarily in Ginti’s place before moving on. Unless they are not showing events in real time at Ginti’s place, it is a mystery after Harada puts on his solo performance for the gang, shouldn’t the duo move on after that? So what is she hanging around like a bimbo in his place? Let me guess. Ginti is trying to become something like Decim trying out to have an assistant but is too egoistic to admit?

I am not sure of Nona’s goals and visions in trying to bring change to this place or the way they do things. I mean, so what if she proves that arbiters can have feelings. Would they make better judgments? Perhaps. But will it change the bottom line and everything else? Maybe. You wouldn’t know if you don’t try. At least she is trying out something different. Therefore she isn’t just like any other dummies (pun not intended) who just do their boring job like a robot. Well, like I’ve said about the irony about those who have not lived judging those who have lived after death. Even more curious is Oculus because as he said God already left the place a long time ago and he is the one closest to being God. So I don’t know. Maybe he should just give his post to Nona seeing she has an idea that might change Quindecim for the better. But I doubt that old guy would like things to change. In the end, the same process continues. Here’s hoping that Decim does a better job from now on.

The art and drawing does bring out and gloomy atmosphere since for many of the scenes are quite dark and dull. Wait. Don’t bars have this sort of atmosphere too? Well, just without all that liveliness and music. So like in Quindecim, you get a reasonably spacious bar only occupied by mannequins but it feels just creepy enough to just sit down and enjoy your drinks. On the aspect of character designs, I thought the human beings look a bit surreal. Although the arbiters look okay, staring too long at their eyes that are designed with cross motives would give you the creeps. At least not as creepy as Oculus’ hair and beard! This old geezer looks like an eerie sex offender already and he has a flower bud on his head and chin? Creepy. The planets as billiard balls over the starry galaxy table are so far the most interesting visual concept of this series. Not Oculus’ flower hair and beard, mind you.

Voice acting sounds okay with not many scenes that requires lots of emotional outburst since the heavy drama is mostly subdued. Tomoaki Maeno plays Decim and he fits the character that is devoid of all emotion but yet curious enough to want to know more. This is a departure from the other livelier characters he voiced like Naotsugu in Log Horizon, Fujimoto in Kobato, Junichi in Amagami SS and Takeru in Maken-Ki. Asami Seto as Chiyuki/Kurokami (Chihaya in Chihayafuru, Shouko in Valvrave The Liberator), her character also lacks emotions unless when she feels something wrong is going on and stands up to voice back her disagreement. Therefore the character that has the most ‘emotions’ goes to Ginti who is played by Yoshimasa Hosoya (Wave in Akame Ga Kill, Shichika in Katanagatari) although that guy is just mostly filled with penned up angst. The rest of the ‘regular’ casts include Rumi Ookubo as Nona (Hibachi in Mushibugyou), Tesshou Genda as Oculus (Umibozu in City Hunter), Kouki Uchiyama as Clavis (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Ryoko Shiraishi as Quin (Hayate in Hayate No Gotoku) and Ryoka Yuzuki as Castra (Ino in Naruto).

There are many other guest seiyuus making their cameo appearance thanks to the nature of this series such as Ayako Kawasumi as Machiko, Kazuya Nakai as Takashi, Mamoru Miyano as Harada, Keiji Fujiwara as Tatsumi, Takahiro Sakurai as Shimada and Masakazu Morita as Yousuke (that Ichigo guy in Bleach, remember?). Therefore the cameo cast list is quite extensive so I’m not going to list all since I couldn’t many of them recognize. The opening theme, Flyers by Bradio feels odd because this jazzy rock piece feels like it doesn’t fit into the gloomy and mainly depressing drama atmosphere of this series. Even funny is how we see the main casts doing some sort of group pose in addition to seeing them having fun (juggling, singing, dancing, riding swings?!). It just feels too weird. It is a complete opposite for the ending theme. Last Theatre by NoisyCell is a slow rock piece and sung totally in English. There is a feel of sadness and hopelessness while hearing it and it really has a little effect on you especially after watching the episode.

This series feels like there is something missing for me to consider it as epic but nevertheless overall it is still interesting especially with the topic of people’s dealing with death when they realized it and some that would do anything to extend just a second of their life. But that is just natural instincts for us humans. Some of their stories feel real enough that you can connect and to and sometimes it is hard to hold back your feelings (tears especially) when those heart wrenching and sad moments. Otherwise, a handful of mini stories bundled together into a series but without any sort of a conclusive or epic ending makes this series falling short of being totally amazing. But I can’t complain because if there is one other thing I have learnt from watching this, it is never to have regrets. And I assure you won’t if you watch this one.

Military

September 18, 2015

Be thankful that you aren’t living in a country in turmoil. A country that is in the midst of civil war. You wouldn’t be able to have a good night’s sleep without worrying if tomorrow your life will end by a single bullet or a deadly bomb blast will just end it all. Just be thankful. But it is not so for the case of our main character in Military. Ah, some fictional country is at wars together and yet this kid who lives far away from the conflict gets caught between the 2 opposing sides who are now living in his house in Japan. And they don’t hesitate to use firearms. Oh dear. What kind of slipup did he do to deserve this? Right here in the heart of Japan. Oh, did I mention those soldiers who are tasked in protecting or obliterating him are cute little military girls? What kind of countries send cute little military girls to the frontlines?!

Episode 1
Souhei Yano would have probably led a boring normal life if not for one day a tank comes crashing into his house!!! Lieutenant Lutgalnikov AKA Lut then tells him to stick ‘em up and frisks him for hidden weapons. Till she touches his crotch and fears ‘that’ is some hidden weapon! Take it out! Or she’ll blow it off! Once cleared, she calls second lieutenant Haruka to move him but she is more concerned that Souhei saw her rabbit panties when she was thrown out from the tank. She’s going to use a grenade to erase his memories! Luckily that won’t happen because unluckily somebody tries to snipe him out! After Lut deals with the assassin, they introduce themselves from the Krakozhia Army Special Forces. It seems their enemy, the Republic of Grania is after his life. Both nations were at war when they hired a mercenary that tilted the tides in their favour. That person is Souhei’s father! And he thought he was just an ordinary salaryman. There is even a letter as proof from his dad although he claimed he made a paperwork mistake that ended him up being drafted. He tried to convince them he is not a mercenary but they won’t listen. Thus he has to play this mercenary role till he can get home. Because of this, Souhei’s life will be in grave danger and has sent some guards to protect him. I suppose those lolis are them. Things are going to get worse if they’re staying with him. Because they shoot a bazooka as his morning wakeup call! That really woke him up.

Episode 2
Souhei receives a package. Hmm… A loli in a box… Did he order this? Apparently this loli, Sergeant Shachirov is an assassin sent to kill him. But she’s so clumsy and lazy, it makes you wonder if she can pull this off without showing her slip. Oops, she already did. So lazy to walk here, the reason why she delivered herself here. So where are Souhei’s bodyguards? They’re playing video games and want him to pipe down! Shachirov fires her chainguns at him so he runs and hides in the toilet. He didn’t know Haruka was using it. Now she’s going to kill him. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. If he isn’t in the toilet, he’ll be in the firing range of Shachirov. He hides in the hallway but slips. Haruka thinks she is trying to peek at her panties. Time to die. The commotion causes the house to shake and this makes Lut mad because it disrupted her game. She just cleared the level… Time for some gun action. But she chickens out seeing Shachirov’s chainguns. You can’t fight that with her pump gun, no? Shachirov wants Souhei handed over but the moment she sees Haruka on top of Souhei (beating him up), she shrivels in fear and returns to her box. Seems she can’t stand gross things. Well, Souhei’s face is so messed up that a mosaic blur is needed. Haruka then tosses the box away in which it lands at some shrine. The priestess must find this god given loli cute.

Episode 3
Despite today being a cold winter day and our loli soldiers teasing Souhei for being weak, why the heck are they enjoying the warmth of the kotatsu?! You know they’re lying through their teeth when they give all sorts of excuses that they can leave it anytime or not taking advantage of this. So happen that this kotatsu is also an impregnable fortress with great arsenal as they demonstrate. But they quickly abandon it when Shachirov suddenly pops up and occupies it. They try to fight back but they forgot how impregnable it was in the first place. No damage taken. Shachirov starts firing and blowing holes in the house so our duo return with another kotatsu designed to fight this one. Good thing she had a feeling this would happen and made it. Lut fires the main cannon and the entire house blows up!!!!!!!!!

Episode 4
In addition to Souhei’s house blowing up, a helicopter piloted by Ossan also crashed into it. Thankfully next door neighbour Yukari Mizuno lends her place for them to live. Too bad Ossan has to live in her garden shed… Because Shachirov arrived in a tank at Yukari’s doorstep, she gets an idea to see who can pick up Souhei from school first. And so Lut and Haruka barge into his school with their tank and force him inside. Don’t turn around or you’ll see Haruka’s panties… Too late… Ossan is selling his military magazine on the roadside but gets involve in the crossfire between the tanks. Poor dude gets owned and his body contorted in impossible ways when both rockets collide into him. No love lost too because nobody remembers a single person missing at dinner…

Episode 5
Wondering why Ossan is taking so long to complete Souhei’s house? The thought that he would have to leave Haruka after it completes is unthinkable! You don’t know how much she wants him to leave. Anyway it is completed and modified with traps. Oh look. Somebody just got entangled in it. Mmm… Doesn’t this look more like BDSM position? Colonel Aria Glassmann is proud of her subordinates and rewards them by smothering them in her big boobs. I guess Souhei doesn’t mind… Souhei accidentally sets off another trap. Will he meet his maker with all the guns firing at him? Fear not. Aria leaps into action… Yellow pantsu… She takes it all out with her knives. She’s a pro in using them. Then she gets entangled in the rope trap again… She’s so good with knives that she even cut her own clothes. Butt naked! Free fanservice for Souhei!!! But no free hentai for us!!! BOO HOO!!!

Episode 6
Shachirov seems to be hiding Corporal Grue in her closet. She thinks Yukari doesn’t know but she knows it very well because Shachirov’s nervousness is making her oh-so-cute. Shachirov sneaks food to him but his stomach doesn’t agree with it. He wants her to go buy medicine and then rub it but she thinks shooting him now will be much easier. After Shachirov goes to take a bath, Yukari peeks into the closet. It’s like a horror show seeing Grue contorting in pain. Yukari has Shachirov come clean and won’t allow this guy to stay here. However Grue thinks it would be okay if he is Shachirov’s dog. And so he becomes her dog, crawling on all fours and even having a leash over his neck. He lives in a kennel and is enjoying his new dog life. Damn masochist…

Episode 7
Beach episode! But our warring sides are still at each other’s throat. It stops when Yukari spanks Shachirov as she has warned her they are here to have fun and not fight. Aria has her subordinates change into their swimsuits. It looks pretty normal if you compare it to Aria’s more revealing and atrocious piece that borders porn. No wonder Souhei is bleeding to death. He is going to get another major nose bleed when Yukari reveals she isn’t wearing a swimsuit but actually her lingerie since they’re the same size. Time to play split the watermelon. While Lut hits the target, Shachirov hits everyone else. Grue must really like it being hit in the crotch, eh? Shachirov screws this and takes the easy way out by whipping out her chainguns. This causes Lut and Haruka to follow suit. But the battle won’t start because Yukari turns into an angry demon. What did she say about fighting? Holy cow! That aura! Is Japan destroyed?!

Episode 8
What’s this?! Military mixed with magical girl?! Lut and Haruka are watching this but the former is asleep. Haruka is being a tsundere claiming she isn’t into this magical girl thingy and just happened to stumble across it and thought of watching it till the end. With Souhei lying about magical girl as the in-thing today, Aria thinks of making such costumes for them. Haruka is against this but when Lut mentions they might be promoted if their mission succeeds, Haruka volunteers to be one. Meanwhile Shachirov is also taken in by this magical girl genre and acts it out. She is embarrassed when Yukari sees this. And later on, a magical girl battle between both sides begins. As part of the transformation process, Haruka has to endure being naked just to change into a magical girl outfit. Better do it quick while the flash bomb is still in effect. But Haruka isn’t going to use her magic to defeat the enemy. There are missiles inside her magic wand! Magical Star Buster? I suppose those explosions are not just magical girl explosion effects. A mercenary who came to Japan to kill Souhei starts feeling scared because nobody told him he had to fight magical girl weirdoes!

Episode 9
Souhei must be really enjoying Aria’s company. Yeah. Those big boobs too close for comfort. However Aria receives a letter from Souhei’s dad that she must return to her country as she is needed in the battlefield. They decide to hold a farewell party for her but deep down in her heart, Aria really doesn’t want to go. Top orders are always absolute. During the party, Yukari barges in after learning tonight is Aria’s last night. She starts fondling her boobs for some memories. For some reason, Aria strips naked and hugs Souhei all over. Is this his farewell present? She sneaks into his bed that night to ‘take home’ some warmth. Next day, only a letter from Aria is left behind. She couldn’t’ bear saying goodbye to everyone in the morning and not let it waver her decision. The letter writes how touched she is with everybody and loves them all. She would love to return here once the war is over. The rest start crying over this touching letter but hey, how come Aria is hiding in the bushes in the yard?! After she wrote the letter and left, she got notice her order to return was revoked. Don’t have the heart to tell them that, eh?

Episode 10
Grue narrates he has become Shachirov’s dog for a month. Then he rants how he doesn’t understand women putting up makeup and lately little girls are following that trend. He waxes lyrical about those pure innocent little girls and despite calling himself as a child master but that is just a fancy way of saying he is a lolicon!!! Then he sees Shachirov eating with Yukari instead of taking him out for a walk. Is he being abandoned? He loves it! We see Grue trying to use the toilet. Yukari tricks him of needing to be naked. Using the washlet, he gets stimulated but the girls won’t allow it and give him pain. I think he likes that too. As he soaks in the tub, he notices the girls are coming in so he runs out the window. He’s naked and it’s raining like hell. He becomes sick but is being taken care of. What a great day, eh?

Episode 11
Souhei sees a girl walking in the rain without an umbrella. She then takes him hostage! Lut and Haruka are in an intense video game battle when suddenly that girl kicks away the console! Cecile is mad that they have not read the notice. She is a VIP from Grania and is fleeing to Krakozhia. She is temporarily seeking refuge in Japan and they need to guard her before sending her back. Cecile irks Souhei that she doesn’t like his measly cooking and it’s too bad that we couldn’t see how angry his face contorted. Lut is not happy they have to treat her like a VIP despite being a refugee. Lut then sees a good gun she is possessing and Cecile says if she wants it, she must put on a collar and act like a dog. Oh no. You must not do it, Lut! Resist the urge! Well… Lut is now a dog… She’s resonating with Grue! Cecile may not have the last laugh since Lut bites her! After Cecile departs, she writes a thank you note for them but ends on an insulting note. Woof! Woof!

Episode 12
Lut receives an order letter from Souhei’s dad to return for court martial. As she was tasked to protect his son, she put him in constant danger instead. Of course Lut doesn’t want to go. This means no more video games, kotatsu or convenience stores! She tries to drag Haruka and Aria that they’ll be court martial too but looks like she’s going down herself. Of course this means good news for Shachirov and Grue. Suddenly Souhei’s dad returns. OMG! He is so buffed up! And all the while we thought he is some scrawny guy. Lut is scared sh*t as daddy points his gun at her for disobeying orders. Souhei jumps to her defence. Although Lut is a handful and brings trouble more than anything, she really does try her best to protect him. Seeing the tears in Souhei’s eyes, everyone realizes he is the one most upset to see Lut leave. Daddy revokes the order to let her stay. That easy? He is the hero so he can do whatever he wants! He makes his way back to the helicopter and hopes the guys will hang in there because from what he can see, the path of peace is possible. Besides, girls there dig heroes! Grue then suggests if they take him out, wouldn’t it give their nation a big advantage? They whip out their bazookas but the missiles make a u-turn halfway. BOOM! Oh no. Homeless people again…

S.N.A.F.U.
Ah well, with every episode just lasting 3.5 minutes, there is nothing to complain. Everything is fast and spontaneous, which is a good and bad thing. You don’t have to sacrifice lots of your time to enjoy something funny and short but because of that, you can get nothing much more out of it be it the plot or character development. You take everything at face value and that’s it. You watch, you laugh and then you go back to your mundane peaceful life. It doesn’t even matter if you forget this short in the long run but at least for that time spent watching this, you’ll be guaranteed to laugh. Therefore it is bad news if you are a super great fan of the series and it could leave you wanting for more. A lot more.

The slapstick humour as said is fast and spontaneous so sometimes you might find yourself bursting into short fits of laughter. Well, if you get the joke that is. Everything is just nonsensical (especially the exaggerated violence) for the sake of comedy and the point here is to laugh instead of cracking your heads to think about the logic of everything. I mean, when you have cute little military girls living in your house to protect you but look more like freeloaders, what else is there to say? And then you have an equally cute enemy but as inefficient as a girl her age, is there anything more that you can say? Just sit back and laugh at all the stupidity and nonsense. It won’t be that outrageously silly and having you rolling on the floor and laughing till your tummy hurts but at least it’ll make you laugh. Unless you’re one of those serious people who can’t take any kind of joke.

What else more can I say about the characters? They are both lovable and annoying in their own way. Like Lut who is a gun maniac and trigger happy girl who has gotten used to the comfortable life as a bodyguard while Haruka is the ditzy and clumsy one who accidentally gets into fanservice situation with Souhei. If Haruka provides the pantsu fanservice, then Aria is the one providing boobs fanservice. I don’t know if it is part of her military training or bad habit since she is fond of hugging people. Especially Souhei. Don’t take it the wrong way, buddy. Speaking of that guy, I know his life is screwed ever since the loli military came into his life. Despite he is still the most normal guy in the series, I feel that he lacks screen time as the main character. Yeah, like he didn’t really matter in the first place. Ironically after all that has happened to him, he still roots for Lut. I guess this is what happens when you have weirdoes living with you for a while. And I am sure if Shachirov gets the same order from her side, he’ll be there to defend her too. Because you know, where will all the fun of firing at each other go? Yeah, this kid might be a sadist and masochist altogether…

Grania should have sent a better assassin to kill Souhei because Shachirov is just slow and lazy, equivalent to an airhead. Sometimes I feel that Souhei’s life is not threatened by Shachirov but rather the violent manner of Lut and Haruka. Ironic, isn’t it? Then there is Grue whose role is to be the masochistic pervert and Ossan, uhm, who is just some old senior guy. But I think the biggest threat to them all is Yukari and despite her gentle exterior, you do not want to make her mad. She is the scariest of them all when she is in that mode. Another lolicon but a more dangerous one. There is a character called Mamo-chan at the end of every episode who explains to us some of the guns, weaponry and military stuffs that appeared in that episode. However I don’t understand what she is talking about since thanks to the very short segment, it feels like she is out of time trying to squeeze all those words into her sentence with her fast talking. And usually to add to the dramatic effect, she’ll make explosions, crash boom bang sound effects to end it all. Blown away?

With such a short duration, I suppose you’re not supposed to put a lot of quality effort into it. So I suppose if the girls look chibi and cute enough, everything will be fine. Yeah, who could argue about girls with guns, right? This anime could be classified as girls with guns genre, could it? So cute and lovable that you might want to have them as your loli bodyguards. Then again, child soldiers aren’t really that attractive either now that I think about it.

Voice acting feels okay with Nao Touyama identifiable as Lut since she is in her usual exuberant style something like Chitoge in Nisekoi and Yui in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru. Ayane Sakura as Haruka too as she reminds me of some of her livelier characters such as Kokoa in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka and Akane in Vividred Operation. In addition to veteran seiyuus like Takahiro Sakurai as Grue (Suzaku in Code Geass), Takaya Kuroda as Ossan (Renjou in Kurenai) and Satomi Arai as Mamo-chan (Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun), the rest of the other main casts are newbies like Yoshitaka Yamaya as Souhei (Hase in Isshuukan Friends), Inori Minase as Shachirov (Eddelrittuo in Aldnoah.Zero), Misaki Suzuki as Aria (Chaco Ishibashi in Shiba Inuko-san) and Ayano Terasaki as Yukari (Kiyoko in Strange+). The ending theme is Militarism and there are handful versions of it. Whether it is Lut (M870 version), Haruka (M700 version) or Shachirov (Microgun version), you can’t deny the fact that it is a crazy fast paced rock song that gets you into the pace of this anime.

Overall, this show may not be standing out in the long run and if you have free time to kill, this is the perfect little anime to gather some laughs after having a hard and tiring day. Even if you’re not having a tiring day, it is still a good tonic to extend your meagre life for an extra few seconds. Yeah, laughter extends your lifespan. Besides, setting aside 40 over minutes to watch this won’t kill you compared to everything else around that can. You are more likely to be killed by a vending machine than watching anime.

When you are at the age of a high school student but already a skilled marksman, a top notched assassin and first rate all-rounder agent, this means you must have spent your childhood years in hell training to become the best. I guess that you are only human to have emotions eventually and yearn to long the ‘normal life’. Heck, can such people ever experience the normal daily lives that normal ordinary people do? I don’t know. But this kid in Grisaia No Kajitsu asked for it and he got it. Well, almost. He is transferred to a heavily surveillance high school that has only 5 other students. All of them girls. Woah! Harem setting… So do the girls have to submit to him or risk being taken out if his whims and fancies are not met? Hey, that’s not normal! Don’t worry. That will not happen. Instead, each of the girls has their own ghost of the past and issues that sooner or later, our hero will have to deal with. That’s normal, right?

Episode 1
Yuuji Kazami is being interrogated by the police who doesn’t believe about his family history (they’re all dead) and think he is a terrorist (because he refused to have his luggage checked). But a call from some government higher up has them apologize and release him. Chizuru Tachibana then picks him up as they head over to Mihama Academy. Chizuru is also the principal and only teacher of this school as Yuuji is going to live his ‘normal high school life’ here. Including him, there are only 6 students. Gee, it’s like a ghost school. Such a big place with lots of amenities and yet only 6 students? He meets the first student, Sachi Komine dressed in a maid outfit (she even has an explanation why she is dressed so. But who cares, I dig it!). Yuuji prepares for his ‘normal’ life. Before he heads to his first class, a couple of girls bump into him. Amane Suou is trying to brush the hair of Makina Irisu? They notice Yuuji and introduce themselves although Makina is a little shy. He arrives early in class to see Michiru Matsushima practising her tsundere lines alone. When spotted, she tries to act like a tsundere (which I think it’s her original personality too) but it sounded like Yuuji is having fun teasing her. As Chizuru enters class, she notices Yumiko Sakaki missing as usual. After class has way ended, Yuuji returns to it to see Yumiko there reading her book. Seems he wants to introduce himself since they’re going to be classmates. Her reaction? She takes out her cutter and is really going to cut him but Yuuji is fast enough to grab her hand. Nice to meet you. When he returns to his room, he notices somebody has intruded it as the trap he set has been broken. Surprise, Amane is changing in his room! Yuuji doesn’t remember he ordered a stripper! Amane explains she changes here since it is faster and there is a fridge here she always uses. Amane can tell that Yuuji had some experience with older women the way he interacted with her. Well, he had an older sister. She died. Oops. Amane tries to flirt with him and upon seeing his military-like rations, she wants to become his big sister and cook better meals for him. After she leaves, Yuuji is stumped on how she got in. The room was locked. Did she pick it? Or did she have a spare key? Answer: She had a pick. In the closing scenes, we see some traumatic flashes that are too early to conclude. The other girls seem to be preparing something that would make you think they have terrorists background. Yumiko will never accept Yuuji. He gets a call for a job as he pulls out his briefcase underneath his bed.

Episode 2
Once again, Yumiko tries to sneak up and cut Yuuji! Too bad his reflexes are damn good. In class, Amane is talking to Yuuji. It would have been an ordinary talk if not for the fact she is caressing her legs with hers underneath the table… When Yuuji goes to read in the garden, he notices Makina sleeping. Then she wakes up unaware that he is nearby and makes her way. He follows her to a pond whereby she tries to feed a crayfish to fatten it up for future consumption! His calling startles her as he teaches her some basic stuffs about crayfish. She is impressed and happy to learn something. Meanwhile, Yumiko is watching and she has spent all the resources she has to find out who this guy is. The more she finds, the more conflicted the data becomes and the less she knows. Her guts tell her he is no ordinary human. Heck, she once complained to Chizuru of accepting the first boy in this school and warns of all the girls being rape victims! But Chizuru assured that will never happen. Yumiko continues to try and cut Yuuji but to no avail. She even got into an embarrassing situation thanks to that. Yuuji talks to Chizuru about Yumiko but is being told he needs to solve this himself. Trying to wash her hands off? Yuuji is also worried about himself because each time he looked at his reflection and see a smile, he becomes afraid of what he is becoming. Chizuru assures the other girls also said the same thing when they arrived (they too have their special circumstances) and he’ll get used to it.

As Yuuji, Amane and Makina head to class, there is this pretty blonde outside waving to Yuuji. He is not impressed that Julia Bardera AKA JB is here and might jeopardize his position. She too isn’t impressed that he walked all the way here instead of taking the train (that’s why he got stopped by the police) and that she got an earful from the higher ups. When he returns to class, all the girls are interested to know who that babe was. His guarantor and to put it simply, his employer who makes him do dirty jobs. They think they are in the janitorial department. Before Yuuji retires to his room, Yumiko once again tries to cut him. Caught again. But this time his strong grip and scary stare actually make her scared! He tells her to stop wasting her time and promises will never hurt her. She wants to ask his weakness but he won’t tell. They start arguing what they should call each other since he suggests they start out as friends. Yumiko remembers doing some clean up with the girls. As she was the first one here, she watched how the other girls arrive one by one. Amane came like a biker girl, Michiru in her luxury limo, Makina in a big truck and lastly Sachi on a bicycle. She might look normal but the first words upon her arrival: “Everyone kneel before me and lick my shoes!”. Said with a smile.

Episode 3
When Yuuji returns from jogging, he sees Amane picking his door lock. Is she trying to assassinate him? Spying from behind, he wonders if she is playing dumb because she is thinking of giving him a morning kiss. Then she starts smelling his shirt and jumps on his bed. She starts fantasizing something horny with Yuuji and… MASTURBATES!!! Amane becomes embarrassed when she realizes Yuuji was there. Well, at least she came to her senses before she started f*cking his pillow, right? Oh sh*t! Then there is this jogging tune he teaches Makina about Amane’s perversion… WTF?! Makina seems close to Yuuji to the point she is acting out her badass gangster character. Yuuji might think he has discovered another pervert because the way Michiru is saying such ambiguous words and those moaning in broad daylight in the garden would make anyone think so. Turns out a kitten followed her and is now attached to her. Since she can’t keep it in the dorm, she has Yuuji help her drive it away. I have a feeling he is fooling around with her as she does exactly what he says by flinging her twintails (all of them have names given by him?!). The kitten gets even more attached. Plan failed. But the kitten soon walks away by itself. Later in the corridor, for reasons unknown, Yuuji thinks he is in sh*t because he agreed to something to Sachi that he didn’t remember at all! How did he end up agreeing to let Sachi make a shark pouch for him?

It all began when Michiru’s shark pouch is accidentally torn. Wanting Sachi to fix it, the girls start talking. Yuuji went into autopilot mode knowing that girls will start talking a long time. Plus, he was derived of sleep. So whatever Sachi asked and said, he gave periodic yes and acknowledgement without understanding what she said. By the time he woke up, he is going to have a shark pouch soon. He calls Sachi and wants her to discontinue the production. But it’s halfway done. He thinks of making her do a bush dog pouch instead to buy time but it seems Sachi can do one in 20 minutes! Yuuji is left frustrated and banging the wall. Note to self: Sleep is important! When Makina comes by and Sachi just finished the pouch, Michiru takes it and gives it to Makina. She likes it and wants more. Yuuji gives it to her. Saved. Now the duo can go talk about bush dog pouches for all he cares. Later when Amane sprains her ankle, Yuuji takes her to the infirmary. She doesn’t want to be left alone and gets straight to the point. Be her boyfriend. No, he didn’t hear that wrong. She fell in love with him at first sight but he is not amused and thinks she is teasing him. In that case, why not she be his big sister? He isn’t hiring one. But since she insists, he agrees to play along. Now he has to eat big portions of food she made for him. He feels suffocated not because of the food but his overall life. He realizes it. When his master died, he tried to live life without getting involved with others. He wonders if he has the right to have such little happiness.

Episode 4
Yuuji sees Michiru at the cliff. Just trying to look at the ocean or is it because of the cat? Michiru then talks strangely about how she feels trapped in a box and has this fear of looking at the moon. She also asks a strange question of what happens when people die. Yuuji tries to explain the best he can. It is like falling asleep and not waking up. Yuuji is talking with the girls about Michiru’s possible different personalities. Yeah well, Makina and Sachi may have seen too many alien movies to think she might be one. As everyone retires to their room, a blackout occurs. Yuuji sees Yumiko scared in the dark and also a strange scream from Michiru’s room. As they hide, they see Michiru coming out in her swimsuit, walking like a zombie and her hair is covered with I don’t know what. When the lights come back on, Sachi explains whenever this happens, she has a hard time cleaning up because of some interpretive dance that has her secrete some liquid. That liquid could be hair bleach? Next day, Michiru is acting strange. Yuuji follows her and sees her writhing in pain at the park. Though, she brushes him off she doesn’t need his help and goes away. Of course he can’t leave her alone and finds her sitting at the cliff with the cat. This Michiru sounds different. She is calm and composed. She assures her health is better now and talks about that death definition he told her. She is confused if you slept that night like as though you are dead, what happens if you wake up tomorrow morning? But since she is not interested in this topic, she changes it and asks something more interesting. Does he have a lover and what is it like to kiss? His simple explanation sounds a bit scientific. She wants to try it out and he gives the green light. But even after kissing him, she still doesn’t understand. Then when she says see you later, her character changes back to the familiar tsundere we know. She flusters upon knowing how close they are, trips and got her hand stuck on dog poop! When she asks if she said something weird, he sarcastically puts it that everything she said has always been weird.

In class, Michiru is teasing Yumiko’s habit of reading and challenges her to ‘fight’. She takes out her cutter… Still not scared? Well, Yumiko flicked her forehead and that was the end of it. Michiru ‘complains’ to Yuuji who isn’t really listening. She then tries to bug him about what she did to him then. She tries to act like she knows it all especially about the meaning of the word oscillation. Since she is insisting so badly, he will demonstrate what she did to him. As his lips closes in, she flusters, pushes him back and runs away. Outside school, she tries to calm down by taking some pills. Later she baked some cookies for the cat but couldn’t find it. With Yuuji’s help, they go search for it but to no avail. He thinks since it is a stray, it will come back when it is hungry. As they head back to school, Yuuji spots something amiss on the road. The cat has been run over and became road kill! Bloody! Michiru is in shock seeing this and becomes panicky. Yuuji has a hard time calming her down as he hails a taxi. He knows the cat has not much time left. Michiru tries to look positive and that everything is going to be alright. But when the cat vomits blood on your hands instead of eating the cookies, that’s a big sign. She really doesn’t want it to leave her alone. But there is nothing more she can do but cry.

Episode 5
Yuuji finds Michiru collapsed with her room as she has taken some pills. Thanks to Chizuru’s help, she lives. She seems back to normal again but Yuuji knows it is the other Michiru. She says the real Michiru won’t return again and has fallen into darkness. Later Sachi hands over a box from Michiru to Yuuji. She wanted to open it with a chainsaw but was in a dilemma about breaking other people’s property. Yuuji later confronts Michiru again about the diary she writes to her other self in the box. Seems Michiru’s split personality was gained from a heart transplant. She reveals she tried to talk her out of death but since this is her body, she can do what she wants. Yuuji deduces if Michiru never comes back, she is free to live her life. Although that is what she wants but she wants to honour her wish. But Yuuji wants to hear from that Michiru himself and forces down those pills that she downs to suppress her other self, believing that Michiru will come out. He tells her to tell him what she wants and he’ll do anything to help. Guess what? She wants to die. If she’s going to lose everything again, might as well die. In that case, he’ll kill her. Next thing she knows, she is being buried alive inside a coffin! Don’t worry. It’s that cliff place she loves. She can die a slow death in this world she wants. Michiru remembers her strict piano teacher. Always abused just for getting a part wrong?! In school, she wanted to go kill herself by jumping off the roof but a girl beat her to it! She screamed the unfairness and this made her stop. Ironically they become good friends but soon that when she finally decided to kill herself for real. Michiru fell into shock after that because if they were best friends, shouldn’t they die together? Due to her weak heart, she was soon sent to America to do a heart transplant. Now her friend is living inside her?

Suddenly Michiru doesn’t want to die. She feels scared. But she sees her other self who tells her that she wanted to live but her life was cut short. So why is she throwing her life away? As Michiru recovered from her transplant, she realized she was a lost cause and decided to become a joker or tsundere, a personality that wasn’t her and convenient to others to keep her emotions suppressed. She didn’t need an identity. Her friend wants to spend eternity together but Michiru apologizes that she can’t. She is already dead and that she needs to move on. She can’t live in the past forever. Michiru summons all her strength to break through the coffin lid. Hmm… Yuuji hasn’t covered the hole? She is weak but wants to see everyone. That is when Yuuji helps her out. He thought she was pretty quick to u-turn her death wish. It has been 3 days since. 3 FREAKING DAYS???!!! He knew she didn’t want to die and waited for her to break out. He never thought she would decide to die. There was no plan B. Once confirmed that she is alive, she gives him a big hug. He reveals the pill he gave her was just ordinary candy. This means she came out because she didn’t really want to die. Michiru wanted to confess she loves him but turns into back a tsundere. More surprise in store for her as Yuuji drives her all the way to let her see her parents! I’m sure he has Chizuru to thank for with her connections and he has to pay her double the next time on his job. So happy that Michiru breaks down in her gratitude. Ever since, the other Michiru never came back although Yuuji notices she does come out in a while. He believes they are coexisting well. Yuuji and Michiru pray at the cat’s grave at the cliff.

Episode 6
Flashback shows Yumiko’s friends badmouthing her so she cuts one of their hands with a cutter! The CEO of Tohin Group is talking to JB of preparing Yumiko to take over the company’s position and thinks of letting her people give her a taste of fear. Yumiko doesn’t like Yuuji following her around but it seems he has been commissioned by JB to act as her bodyguard. Not to just guard her but to get beaten up if she ever gets attacked. While she is drawing at the river bank, it suddenly rains and they’re surrounded by MIBs. Since they’re not playing nice, Yuuji isn’t going to and attacks them. As they take refuge, the lightning causes Yumiko to be really scared as she clings on to him. She reveals her story. Dad married mom in hopes to bear a son as heir for the company. Unfortunately she was born. As mom’s body was weak, she couldn’t bear another child. She was condemned by everyone and became ill and sick in mind due to it. Because of their status, they have her confined to hospital but abandoned her eventually. Yumiko continued to visit her despite okay not having friends. But one day mother said this that broke her heart: Had she only been born a boy. She became very sad. Soon, dad’s mistress bore him a son and this causes mom to go crazy and commit suicide. The son died shortly due to some illness. Father then came back to claim her like as though nothing happened just so she can inherit the company. She was scrutinized by the public and couldn’t have friends. After slashing a classmate, father created Mihama Academy to hide her away and cool down. Being the heir is the only value she has but something she didn’t earn. She so happened to be born with them. Yuuji calls her story boring and although understands why she wants to be alone, this has nothing to do with him.

Father is not pleased that Yuuji fought back and threatens Chizuru to expel Yuuji or he’ll send Yumiko to study abroad. Once Yumiko learns of this, she locks herself in her room. Father and his men come to get her but Yuuji stands in his way. But the best line goes to Michiru who tells the big shot to go away since he is so busy so don’t waste his time here. Then Yumiko pops up and fires a warning shot! She bought that gun online. It’s like a hostage crisis with the entire SWAT barricading outside! Father tries to convince her he did everything for her but Yumiko isn’t buying all that crap. They were alone and he did nothing that was in her interest. Father won’t stand her insolence and walks towards her, braving her warning shots. He gets shot in the shoulder. He won’t let selfishness ruin the family and company. When she has run out of bullets, the SWAT thinks they can barge in but she has a grenade! Bought that online too? They never understood each other and needs to cut off their relationship. Think of it as she never existed. She lets go the pin and boom! Father cries his heart out seeing Yumiko has died. He’s really sad. No kidding. In the aftermath as he prays at her grave, Yuuji wonders why he kept the academy going. He saw a letter from Yumiko to remain at it is. It was her first and last request. Father feels grateful to Yumiko she put her life on the line to teach him something that he will be thinking for the rest of his life. After he goes, we see Yumiko still alive and heard everything he said behind a tree. Although she still hates being born into the family, she is happier to be born to her parents. Goodbye, father. Yuuji talks to JB and it seems all the men were in cohorts planning this. Although Yumiko’s first shot was real, the rest were duds. Yuuji sniped and hit away Yumiko’s bullet that hit dad. It was his bullet that hit his shoulder! WOW! SO AMAZING! And of course, the corpse was actually fake and planted. Yumiko wonders the real Yuuji although he says he is just a normal student. He can tell she has changed now. She is more attractive. Yeah. Nice smile too.

Episode 7
Sachi notices that despite Michiru being her usual silly, that level has reached new heights. Yumiko too. But their silliness seems to be cheerful, like as though they are free from some burden. Even Amane and Makina have gotten closer to Yuuji. Ever since he came, they changed. It must be Yuuji’s doing somehow. After Sachi temporarily gets sick for staying in the hot bath for too long, Yuuji takes leave from class to visit some town. Michiru is not pleased that an upcoming test is announced so she hopes Sachi could get rid of tests. Oh dear… Be careful of what you say since this girl will take on your request and complete it. She accepts the task and ever since has been holing up in her room. Amane talks to Yuuji about this and everyone is worried she is acting strange since the bath incident. Yumiko asks if he has heard about a girl who blew up the school to avoid taking a test. If he hasn’t, she’ll stop right now. Yuuji assures he’ll do all he can so that harm will not come to Sachi and the girls. Days leading up to the test, we see Sachi burning the midnight oil doing her research in how to make bombs! I don’t even know how she got lots of gas tanks in her room. And she’s psyching herself to be a good girl… On the night before the test, she places all the bombs around the school. She sets the timer but then the rest of the girls come into class. They claim Yuuji called them here. Sachi gets worried and tells them to leave quickly. Time is running out. They think she is really acting weird this time. Due to Michiru’s clumsiness, a bomb rolls out from the desk although they didn’t see it. Sachi grabs it moments it is due to explode. It didn’t. Yuuji then comes here just to inform that they are here to check about the tightening of school rules before summer vacation. And since everyone is here, that’s great. Now return to your rooms. Except for Sachi whom he wants to talk to. She was so scared that she wet her pants. But why didn’t the bombs go off? Yuuji has tampered with it to freeze when it reaches zero. Wait. How did he even…

Yuuji remembers Sachi. He first met her when they were young at that town’s park. He went there to ask around about her and luckily her uncle does. Sachi relates her story. Her parents were very proud to have Sachi as their daughter and loved her very much. But they got too busy to spend time with her so she often spent time to forget that loneliness at the park by spending time with him. On her 10th birthday, they decided to spend the entire day with her but she was not happy. It was like they’re trying to make up for all the neglected times. She ran away to the park but soon regretted it. She rushes back to them when she heard them calling. I thought this part was unbelievable. Because who would ever stop right in the middle of the road to greet their child?! Surely they got run over by a truck! Father died and mother went into coma. She felt that accident happened because of her selfishness. That is why she needs to be a good girl. Yuuji mentions thanks to her, he also remembered something about his time in that town. He was having problems with his family but she distracted him with her selfish whims. He is sure her parents were torn between work and her and eventually realized spending time with her is more important. It wasn’t her being selfish but what they wished for. A child’s whims are sometimes a cause for joy. And since she saved him, he is also indebted to her and prepared to repay her kindness. Yuuji is going to detonate the bombs to cover the evidence. Wouldn’t it cause some commotion? After he sets them off, the fireworks in the background provides a great distraction and cover up. Yuuji takes Sachi back to her home. She is sure mom still hates her but there are letters wishing her happiness and thanks for being their child. Sachi will try to visit her mom in hospital more often. Her recovery signs are very slow but for sure. Sachi has a selfish request she wants of Yuuji: Hug her a minute. That will be more than enough.

Episode 8
Makina suddenly wants an upgrade! She wants Yuuji to become her father! She is buying him for 70 million Yen! Wow! An amount he can’t refuse? Talking to JB, he is keeping that amount for safekeeping and since they’re not getting married, JB won’t press further. However she tells him her family have been politicians for generations and Makina is the eldest head of the family. Her father was the accountant of the Defence Ministry but died a few years ago in an accident. He wants more information and although JB doesn’t like it, she’ll see what she can do. What kind of daughter head butts her father in the guts and then kisses him like a lover?! Holy sh*t! That’s Makina for you. Chizuru informs Yuuji more about Makina’s family. The women are the one holding real power in the family. There was some corrupt politics. Makina’s dad stumbled upon some information and tried to inform the Cabinet but an unfortunate incident resulted. It was Makina’s kidnapping. Following that, she was diagnosed with some mental illness and cut off as the family heir. Her little sister, Sarina replaced her. However Yuuji finds an information odd. He was sure Makina was the only child. Since he is her father now, Yuuji imposes military training on Makina! Well, she’s accepting it. For the summer holidays, Makina wonders if Yuuji is going back to his hometown. He doesn’t have but he is going to visit the grave of his master, Asako Kusakabe in Yamanashi.

As they make their way there, Yuuji describes about Asako. He first met her 5 or 6 years ago. Every family member had died and he was taken in by his father’s acquaintance. However he turned out to be a villain. That is when Asako turned up and saved him. He continued to live and train under her and ended up going to America because of her work. Without her, he would have been dead a long time ago. She gave him a reason to live or at least a reason not to die. Unfortunately she died before he could repay his debt. At the grave, Yuuji introduces his ‘daughter’. Makina happened to spot Sarina and her MIBs shopping in the street. She remembers Sarina’s father was a stranger to her and that this little sister was never told about Makina’s existence. After Makina walks past her, a bomb detonates the car Sarina just got in. Makina is fine and put to bed back at the dorm. Yumiko has got little information that Sarina was the target and Makina just happened to be there by coincidence. He should find out what is happening in her family. Once Makina wakes up, Yuuji informs her Sarina is alive but in hospital. He assures he will protect her and will not leave her behind. Shortly, he gets a call from JB to come to HQ. There, her secretary, Chiara Farrell seems to be interested with Yuuji and tries to flirt with him but was made to leave. JB has a job for him although Yuuji reminds her he can’t kill anyone right now, the reason why he went into reserves. But as he takes a look at the file, he is shocked to see Makina’s information. This is his target.

Episode 9
Makina still has nightmares of her father being killed before her eyes. When he came with a ransom, he was shot and told that the one who set him up is no other than his wife. Makina spent several days next to her father’s corpse… It seems Yuuji has taken Makina and are now on the run. JB’s operation team is on the hunt but it is not easy facing Yuuji. Flashback reveals Yuuji didn’t want to accept this mission but was told he would be taken into custody. So he lied he accepted the job. He then told the other girls that Makina’s life is in danger and they needed to go into hiding for a while. They wished goodbye, Michiru ‘lending’ 2000 Yen and Sachi giving Makina an apple sapling. She is told once the fruit blooms, everything will be over. A sign of hope. Of course JB meets up with Yuuji to tell his foolishness if he can shake off the Irisu family by running away like that. She explains they are afraid of Makina because of her super memory. Apparently Makina memorized all her father’s documents on the family’s corruption and they believed Makina was supposed to be suffering from some sort of illness and started worrying when they hear she is recovering. Last night, Makina called her mom, Kiyoka to cut a deal and threatened to expose her dirty past if her sister’s safety is not guaranteed. Because of that, she is being targeted. However Yuuji will protect her and is ready to die for that. He dares everyone to come and kill him. Because he too will not hesitate to kill. Yuuji isn’t just a sitting duck hiding. He makes mock calls because he knows he is being wired just to test their response time. Just when the rented place they are hiding is discovered, the units all move in. And you should know by now that Yuuji isn’t going to play fair either. The room is then filled with gas from pesticides. This confuses the heat signal. Where are they hiding? In the freezer! Those SWAT guys should have also known better not to simply pick up suspicious stuffs. Because when they do, the room explodes! Yuuji and Makina make their escape by hijacking a supply van which is not tagged with GPS. They ditch it after securing a safe distance.

Makina realizes she forgot to bring the sapling with her. Although Yuuji told her to forget about it, while he was out taking care of those agents, he returns only to find her missing. She is back at that place looking for it. Well, it’s not harmed a bit. An agent spots her but she is no damsel in distress as she employs a little trick and even pins him to submission. Unfortunately another agent shoots her in the guts. Then they start to kick this defenceless little girl! Well, hope you had your fun because now papa Yuuji will show no mercy in killing you. He takes Makina and sends her to hospital but JB is before him and orders him to put her down. Makina is in hospital with Kiyoka by her side. She hopes her internal organs are not destroyed because of Sarina’s critical condition. Yuuji disguises as a delivery boy to enter Kiyoka’s corporate building. He then shoots and kills her! No mercy! It is reported in the news that Kiyoka’s killer was chased and shot by police but died on the way to hospital. JB talks to Chiara about the aftermath how their organization has bought a powerful blacklist (the corruption files) and has been promised a mutual guarantee of safety. Yuuji knows JB once again helped him out. He goes to pick discharged Makina. Everything on Yuuji has been dropped considering what has become of the original clients who are no other than the Irisu family themselves. Yuuji took them on and came out alive. Yuuji and Makina return to the dorm and all the girls are happy they are back. Oh, Michiru wants her money back…

Episode 10
JB sends Yuuji back and gives a cheeky peck on his cheeks. Did anybody see that? Sachi… Oh God… She’s promising her lips are sealed and would allow him to do the same to her! She wonders if she’ll be raped next… Oh, Sachi… Amane is waiting in Yuuji’s room like a wife. But he prefers the bath first than her… Then Sachi sends an image of that kiss to Amane… What is this? Amane thinks it is Yuuji’s plan to make her jealous so Yuuji tells her to close her eyes. He really kisses her! What was that for? Oh, that was their first kiss. Was that just for fun? Yuuji assures he will not do something so reckless without following up. Since it was Amane’s decision to fall in love with him, he cannot promise to make her happy. He agrees to be her girlfriend on a condition that if he dies or disappears, she must forget him within a year. She accepts but also wants to know if she likes him. That runabout thing he said about not understanding those feelings, to cut things short, he likes her. She is so happy that her legs start feeling weak. She even hints getting naughty with him but he doesn’t want her to get carried away. Now Yuuji wants to know the real reason why she wants to go out with him so much. Does he know who Kazuki Kazami is? My, that is the most shocking facial expression I have seen on Yuuji’s face! Of course he knows her. She is his sister. Amane is her classmate and fellow basketball club member. 6 years ago there was an accident involving her club. Amane is the only survivor. She kept this secret because she couldn’t bear to tell it to him when they first met. She shows him a diary that details everything that happened 6 years ago. Flashback time.

As the girls are returning from training camp, the bus tyre bursts and lost control, went over a cliff. When Amane wakes up, it was the first time she spoke to Kazuki. She is cold and sarcastic probably because Amane was sitting on top of her. As the duo gets out, Kazuki throws a psychological question who to save first. Personally, she will save the girl she hates most because if saved for last, she might lose interest in saving her. Once all are out, Chiaki Sakashita, the club president doesn’t like how Kazuki is trying to give orders and be in charge. Sakashita wants Ritsu Koide to administer first aid but she can’t as she doesn’t know how despite coming from a family of doctors. Kazuki defies Sakashita’s orders and goes off with Amane to explore the surroundings. When they return, first aid is still not administered so Kazuki takes over and tells to just boil water for her. It isn’t that Kazuki has medical experience, she just got knowledge from reading books. So this is her first time? Well, better than doing nothing. Kazuki’s left hand’s pain is worsening and Amane feels guilty as she was sitting on top of it. In that case, if she wants to repay her debt, she must obey her orders without question when she asks. Once their teacher Ochi wakes up, Kazuki takes the liberty to explain the cause of the crash. Some metal piece fell and pierced the bus tyre. It was unfortunate it happened at a corner on a curved road. Sakashita thinks of waiting for rescue to come but Kazuki disagrees and should use all the energy they have right now to find a way out because their rations are limited too. Sakashita tells her if she doesn’t like her decision, she can go off herself. Surprisingly Kazuki apologizes. Later as explained, Kazuki purposely picked a fight with her and then backed down because if she didn’t, she might cave in 3 days later and break out. But now that would mean admitting Kazuki was right. Everyone sets up tents to tug in for the night. Amane sees Kazuki reading and is amazed she can remember it like a picture to read it any time she wants.

Episode 11
Things are looking fine on the second day of the disaster. Some of them try to get their handphones to higher place to receive signal and call for help but since it doesn’t work, it proves they’re in an area out of the network’s reach. Kazuki and Amane tend to a couple of seriously injured girls. Kazuki talks about the efficiency of the girls being paired to carry out errands instead of forming a group to stem laziness. When Amane says she paired up with her because likes her, for the first time we see Kazuki’s blushing face! She’s really blushing! And you thought she is the kind of b*tch who can never put up such expression. A helicopter passes but a bunch of girls screaming won’t do any help. Not even Amane pressing the bus horn. It never came back. On day three, the corpses of those who died start decaying so Ochi carried them into the forest. Kazuki tells Amane about her younger brother and how they are always compared. This makes Amane yearn to go back home. Rationing begins on day four and on day five, Koide panics because it seems she is short a carrot. Sakashita will kill her if this is found out. So as not to spread paranoia, Kazuki cuts the carrots and then assembles the pieces to look like there are enough. So grateful that she’ll repay her someday. You don’t know the kind of trouble you’re going to get by indebting yourself with her. On day seven, Sakashita thought she is doing some good by feeding injured Tamaki Hirooka but she seems forceful. Kazuki tells her off to be considerate of others. Kazuki knows why Hirooka doesn’t want to be fed. As she cannot walk, she has soiled herself and thus didn’t want any more ‘inputs’. Amane laments Kazuki never treated her this kindly. Has she? Maybe this will prove her wrong. Amane’s neck is bleeding from a leech’s bite so Kazuki sucks it out for her. Such an ambiguous scene…

On day nine, Ochi claims he has found a route to leave this place so he leaves with promise to bring back help. He’d better because he took half the rations with him. I don’t know, shouldn’t everyone come along too including bringing the injured? You can see everyone is at their limits on day ten. The continuous pouring rain and the sickening feel of eating snails really get to you. The injured are not getting any better. Even more disheartening is how Hirooka wants to die. She knows she isn’t going to make and it hurts everywhere. Amane tries to give her motivation to continue living by being in her debt and to repay it. Sure, she’ll never forget this kindness even when she dies. Malnourishment causes Haruna Ibuki to lose her mind as she becomes a retard and mentally unstable person. Two days after Ochi left, he never returned and the girls desperately do all they can to survive from eating bugs to even drinking muddy water. They pretend to sleep despite their stomach suffering from diarrhoea. Then Megumi Komori’s dog dies. Instead of burying it, Kazuki suggests eating it. This will be doggie’s last service to them. It is depressing but what else choice do they have? I don’t know why they draw lots to see who cuts it up because it’s like Koide gets the short end of the stick. She’s going crazy just thinking about it so Kazuki butchers the dog so as to let her. Shouldn’t just Kazuki do it herself? Anyway the miniscule glorious meat brought tears to their eyes for all reasons and extended their lives. Best meat ever…

Episode 12
On day 13, everyone else is turning crazy. Amane thought of giving up but Kazuki tells her it is too early for that. On day 14, Ochi returns! However he is laughing like a madman claiming he has finally got back. Looks like he failed. With a couple of more deaths (Komori committed suicide), everyone now thinks fewer mouths to feed. Ochi and Sakashita managed to get deer meat but Kazuki refuses to eat them because she doesn’t want to get hepatitis. Even if she survives, she doesn’t want to suffer. One night, Kazuki wakes up Amane to tell her that they are escaping now because help will never come. They see Ochi and Sakashita heading into the jungle deeper as Kazuki will show her the truth. They’re having sex!!! Even more shocking are the chopped up dead girls! So that’s where the meat comes from? Kazuki is so shocked that it gave their position away. They run as fast as they can but Ochi goes after them. Doesn’t he look like a demon? Kazuki smacks him with her bag. However the other girls are also looking for them. Amane is so scared to move that she tells Kazuki to just save herself. To avoid being killed by them, she is going to kill herself. However Kazuki won’t allow that and reminds her of her promise to protect her. She is going to be a decoy and hands Amane a map that details routes back to civilization and her bag with food. Kazuki is caught by the girls as Amane runs like the wind. She knows Kazuki will be sacrificed and die a painful death just to save a coward like her. But because she was so scared, she could only think about saving herself. The last time she turned around and looked back, she saw Kazuki’s smiling face. There was no hate in those eyes. Like as though she has accepted her fate. It has been days since Amane has been lost in the jungle. She thought she saw visions of her dead friends trying to guide her to heaven but that is when she finally found the road. A cabbage field before her and she ate an entire cabbage herself! Vegetable never tasted this good, eh?

Of course the demons of her past continue to haunt her even when she returned to her normal life. When the mass media interviewed her for the story, soon rumours and conspiracy theories surfaced of why she is the only one who survived. Even her classmates start tormenting her on this. She believes this is the price to pay for surviving. Amane thought she had to be punished as an excuse for a reason to live. That is when Yuuji appeared before her. She thought he would be the perfect punishment. Since she took Kazuki away from him, she decided to do whatever he wanted. So she fell in love with him out of obligation rather than affection. But now she really does love him. However being with him feels her sin is lessened. That is why she requests him to kill her. There is no other way she can be punished and no matter how much she apologizes, it won’t bring Kazuki back. Yuuji knocks her head and says if that itself is so much pain, how can she expect to be killed? He ticks her off to stop acting like Kazuki because she is not her. He understands her past and regrets but doesn’t intend to pity her. So instead of killing her, she will serve him for the rest of her life. He is her master/owner. Live for his sake. Amane hugs him in tears. But he chides her that she looks ugly while crying. Oh, she can only cry for 5 minutes! I know it’s mean but this is punishment, right? Yuuji narrates the only way to save her was to accept her fully. But she will be the only one who can forgive herself one day. He will be that punishment till she realizes that. Even if the world hates her, he will be the only one to forgive her till that day comes. Yuuji wonders if Kazuki is still alive. Because although there is an official body count, it is not like they ever found her head. Remembering about that carrot puzzle, it may seem so. Amane shows the map Kazuki gave her and judging on how detailed it is, Kazuki intended for her to escape herself. She thinks of going to visit that site again. Will it be okay? She’ll have to overcome her trauma one day. Besides, she’ll be okay with him. While Yuuji waits for her, a creepy old man named Sakashita goes up to him and proclaims he is a big fan of Amane. He was from some IT company but sort of lost his purpose in life. He realized he still got things left to do. He doesn’t want to bore Yuuji anymore and leaves.

Episode 13
At the supposed site, they dig up a makeshift grave and find a letter by Kazuki. It states everyone died from a skin disease illness they contracted from eating tainted meat. Kazuki knows Amane will be reading this a few years down the road and has only a request: To help Yuuji. This is the only regret she has and hopes one day they will meet again. So is she alive or dead? Don’t know. When they go back to the truck, Amane gets a surprise call from Makina. Similarly, Yuuji gets one from Sachi. But it isn’t the voices of those girls. Instead it is that creepy Sakashita guy! He is holding them hostage as he wants revenge on the only survivor of that incident. You could have guessed he is that club president’s father. Yuuji calls JB to request for backup. They can’t let the police handle this because they’ll know Yumiko is still alive. Sakashita starts shooting outside when he spots those SWAT team peeping from outside the school wall. Amane starts wondering what kind of work Yuuji does when she sees special operatives outside the school. However he tells her not to over-think. As they can’t snipe Sakashita because the curtains are drawn and there are no other places to do this sniping job effectively (because the school is situated next to the vast ocean), it seems the only way is to lure him to the edge of the building into the men’s toilet where Yuuji will take on the role to snipe him through a tiny window. But he has to snipe from a lighthouse 900 metres away! He can do it. Believe it. But from that angle, he will be in his line of sight at a certain spot. Yuuji knows there is a marine among the hostages and will get her to break the urinals. A Morse code is sent and Makina picks it up. She makes an exaggerated feign to go to the toilet. Michiru wants to come along too. I know she’s complaining even using the men’ toilet but it is fine with Makina. How to break it now? Due to some silly slip up, Makina trips and breaks it! Ouch. That’s got to hurt. Sachi keeps Yuuji updated because her handphone was never off when Sakashita confiscated it all. Wow. The bill is going to run high.

Once back in the room, Sakashita cannot wait any longer and calls for Amane. She enters and the plan is to make him drink till he needs to use the toilet. Sakashita continues to blame Amane for everything and wants her to make a choice. He’ll let her live if she sacrifices her friends or she can die and he’ll let the rest go. She has no regrets in choosing the latter. But this is not what he wants and beats her up. He is not going to let her die easily and make her suffer. The other girls try to make him realize he is just taking out on her and that he has no right to judge her. You think he will listen? Like any other men, he wants to rape her but needs to use the toilet first. At this point, Sachi’s handphone runs out of battery. But Yuuji spots him right where he wants him and fires the shot. Sakashita is surprised to see blood coming out from his shoulder. Amane steals his gun and returns to the other girls. JB gives the orders to arrest the suspect and rescue the hostages. Chizuru commends Yuuji for a good work done and he claims he doesn’t know if this is ordinary or not but this is his school. He reunites with the girls who are very happy to see him. A year later, an unidentified boat enters Japan’s waters. What better way than to take out the coast guards by blowing them away with your bazooka!!!

Specials

After all that gruelling and dirty job, it is time to reward Yuuji with another kind of ‘dirtiness’. That’s right. I suppose these are what these 3-minute specials are for. Fanservice moments of the girls as they take out their inner most desires on Yuuji. YUUJI YOU LUCKY BASTARD!!! And real fanservice meaning real tits are shown! YUUJI YOU LUCKY BASTARD!!! Hmm… Why doesn’t Yuuji have any dialogue? Not even a sound…

Special 1
Today, Yumiko is dressed in a sexy bunny Playboy outfit and is going to give him a big reward~pyon. She’s teasing and flirting with him, enough to make him get ‘aggressive’. What’s this? He wants her to warm up this carrot with her cleavage? As you wish… Feels good? Now he wants her to ride and straddle on a giant toy carrot. Having fun, isn’t she? Although comes to a grinding halt when Amane spots her. Yumiko tries to brush it off as rehearsal but Amane promises she won’t tell what she saw. She understands… I guess hearing her out won’t work now, eh?

Special 2
This time Michiru is relaxing on a flat at a beach. She wants Yuuji to put sun lotion on her. Okay. He could be the world’s greatest masseur. But his hands go wherever he wants. Yes, touching all those ‘dangerous’ parts. If she is against him going there, why didn’t she stop him? Enjoying it? Then it all turns out to be one big dream. Michiru must be tired enough to fantasize this in the dorm’s bath. When she gets out, she slips on the soap. She spots Yuuji soaking nearby and gets very embarrassed. She thinks this is a dream too. Only, it isn’t.

Special 3
It is Sachi the maid’s turn! She is going to wash Yuuji’s back! I know the sexy lingerie is to turn us on but why is she entering the bath with gloves and panty stockings? How can washing be effective with those one? It doesn’t matter since she uses her boobs to rub her back. Ironically it is her who is feeling turned on while Yuuji is just sitting there like a rock! Now it’s time to wash his front. Oh yeah. She’s rubbing and caressing his thick hard thing! Need to clean it more thoroughly! Well, the blacked out censors make it look like so. The irony is that Sachi is the one climaxing! She snaps out of it when she heard Michiru calling her. Be right back. Well what do you know? Turns out Sachi was washing the shower head all along. Best troll ever? That’s what you get when you wear gloves when you clean. Can’t feel the real deal…

Special 4
Makina becomes a foul mouthed drill sergeant to train her recruits how to hold a gun. But noticing their big boobs, she decides to demonstrate a training to reduce those fat lumps. This is where your fanservice of Makina comes in because you get to see her mini tits when she does her push ups thanks to the loose singlet she wears. Then there is this pole climbing training when she suddenly starts to feel good while climbing up! She’s addicted to the rubbing! However she is called by Amane since it is getting dark. Oh yeah. Fear the poles… Another way to climb the stairways of adulthood…

Special 5
Amane and Yuuji. What a lovely couple in their lovely yukata at the festivals. Then it starts to rain. An excuse for Amane to get horny, tempting Yuuji to do it. Her yukata is already wet and undone. They’re all alone, right? She doesn’t mind if it is him. You have got to be gay to refuse her… Suddenly… Wait a minute! WAIT A MINUTE???!!! When did this suddenly turn into a hentai scene???!!! Because Yuuji is fondling Amane’s naked tits!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He’s good! She’s enjoying it!!! More groping! Don’t stop! And you know it is too good to be true when it turns out to be just Amane’s horny fantasy because Yuuji is actually fixing her yukata. Then she shifts the blame to him that he is trying to plant horny ideas in her head by doing this. Well, he knocks her head…

Special 6
I guess Kazuki needs to have her own special too. And here I thought we’re going to have a final orgy with the other girls. Anyway it goes back to the time when Kazuki and Yuuji are kids. They’re playing doctor. Kazuki is a naughty doctor. After she examines him, she allows him to examine her. And my, does he know how to turn her on by just using the stethoscope to touch her chest here and there. Now that she is stimulated, she can’t hold back and wants to do something more than this. So young, so horny… Then the doorbell interrupts them. Good thing because we won’t be viewing any child porn here. But Kazuki promises to play something far more interesting when she gets back. Would you like to know?

Grisaia No Meikyuu

In this 48 minutes special, we take a look at Yuuji’s past. The opener of Grisaia No Meikyuu sees a hostage drama at Vancouver Airport 2 years ago. Although the terrorist leader is shot dead, a handful of his subordinates escaped and took refuge by hijacking a taxing plane. Yuuji is a sniper positioned out in the foggy weather getting ready to take aim whenever the chance presents itself. When a terrorist comes out holding a little girl hostage, he takes the shot and hits his hand. Yuuji is worried he might have hit her although the only thing that did so was the terrorist’s blood splattered all over her face. Despite the terrorists escaped via sea, Yuuji considered this a good ending as the hostage was unhurt. Little did he know that the bullet he fired in the battlefield would one day find its way back to him. This little girl turns out to be Chizuru but she is not a kid at that time. In fact she has a driving licence to prove she is clearly an adult! And perhaps a very old one? Yuuji’s American buddy couldn’t believe it. Chizuru is grateful and would grant Yuuji anything. Anything? That is when the thought of having a normal high school life crossed his mind.

JB is going through Yuuji’s files since he is seeking promotion and narrates a little about his family background. Yuuji’s father, Ryouji may look like an antique dealer but his primary income comes from under table money of politicians as he acted as the middleman under the guise of political donations. Yuuji’s mom, Satoko is a weak person. Despite distrustful of others, the irony is that she relies on everyone else. And then there is his sister Kazuki who is a prodigy in art and her talent was discovered when she was 4 years old. It is said her works are worth millions today. JB calls Yuuji for interview and asks him about his sister to find out his true feelings for her. He once hated being compared to her and tried to avoid her because people treated him like a fool each time he is with her. However Kazuki was kind and always teaching him like how to do things with both hands (no, nothing hentai, mind you) and giving good advice like never giving up. One day, father was upset Kazuki drew a childish painting and it won’t look good to his art client. She won’t take it down because she likes it. Yuuji, perhaps wanting some sort of approval, tore that painting of hers but it’s not like father appreciated it. One day, Yuuji met this strange art dealer guy of his father, Rei Kirihara. He was given chocolates before Yuuji retired to his room. Yuuji couldn’t understand why Kazuki didn’t paint as good as she always did and lied. That is because being known as a girl who could do anything is annoying. Kazuki introduced Yuuji to manga so that he could have something in common to talk with his friends. Take a look at their father. Does he want to become like him? Eventually Kazuki ‘downgraded’ herself to live a normal quiet life. She doesn’t flaunt her artistic talents and turned down an offer to study in Paris. But still her art was the main income source and no one could argue with that. Even when she enrolled in a local high school, she betrayed her parents by not joining a fine arts club and joined a basketball club instead.

One night, she is appalled to see Yuuji just eating bread when the fridge has lots of food. I mean, his parents never really cared for him, right? Kazuki is sad that she never knew and gave her parents a long lecture! But that hardly changed anything. Father’s hatred for him became more obvious while mother now avoids him the best she can. When Yuuji made his first friend (Sachi), Kazuki isn’t amused. She didn’t remember telling him to make female friends?! I’m not sure about her decision to find an appropriate girl for him but if he ever wants to make any, make sure to introduce her to big sister. What is she, his mother? Oh, that feels true… I’m sure she is concerned about him becoming a man who makes girls cry. Kazuki continued to play ‘pranks’ on Yuuji but siblings taking a bath seems normal. Then they even kiss and that is when she taught him about incest. It’s pretty normal for siblings to love each other, right? Well, if you’re into that kind of stuff. Of course, due to genetic thingy, Kazuki explains why siblings cannot get married. As Kazuki continued to spend her peaceful days, nobody knew about her prodigy talent except him. If she had to show them, it was just to set in motion for some scheme of hers. Even their parents moved according to her will. That was the side Yuuji was scared of because he thought maybe Kazuki wasn’t human and could be God.

Until that fateful bus tragedy, Kazuki’s ‘death’ is only confirmed months later. The family fell into depression with Ryouji who pinned all his hopes on her now turning into a useless alcoholic. He abused his family especially mom. All she could do was apologize. So I guess she couldn’t take it anymore and one day ran away with Yuuji. The new home was less comfortable but as long father wasn’t around, it is already like heaven. Around a year later, father found them and is going to rape mom to produce another art prodigy. Yuuji will not stand for this and smashes his head with a bottle. Interestingly, he remembered Kazuki’s words of what hand he would use to kill. I suppose it is time to run again but Satoko gave her son all the money they had and told him to run to the station. He waited but she never showed up. He noticed ambulance heading towards his home and when he rushed back, he saw his father’s corpse being stretched away. Apparently he heard this was a murder-cum-suicide. It was traumatic for a kid to see his mother’s naked body hung from the ceiling. When he woke up in hospital, he read mom’s suicide note that was nothing but apology and why things turned out so wrong.

Shortly, Yuuji is taken in by Kirihara. But this sicko has some weird fetish. Yuuji is dressed like a girl and became his play doll. Well, life is so meaningless to him so it doesn’t matter. One day, one of Kirihara’s henchmen decided to beat him up. That is when Yuuji released his instincts and killed him. Kirihara was impressed and praised him for a job well done. He suggests he should study more and become a tool more excellent than any other instead of just holing up here as his pet. In some snowy country, Kirihara ran a school and went by the name Heath Oslo, a name that Yuuji had to call him too. This school is actually a guise for a terrorist training camp as Yuuji is trained to be one. Because Oslo favoured him, he became the target of bullies. Even more so when he had the talent for long range marksmanship. Only a fellow girl, Marlin treated him kindly, treated his wounds and shared her food. He thought at least there was still hope in humanity. Yuuji’s training intensifies with some lessons under Oslo himself as he is being brainwashed to trust nobody except him. One day for his ‘graduation test’, he must kill or incapacitate his opponent. That opponent is Marlin. Yuuji is clearly stronger as he shows no mercy in beating her up. But this brings back traumatic memories of his mom and he realized he was only becoming like his father. He became paralyzed and this gave Marlin the chance to turn the tables and beat him up. Oslo could not be more disappointed in this failure and locks him up. Even so, Marlin still came to see and tend him. But her apologies only reminded Yuuji of his mother’s. Pessimistic words that left him weak and powerless. Marlin promised to come back and see him after she ‘graduates’ but that was the last time he saw her. Later he learnt that she died in her first job after screwing up. This made him wonder had he ‘graduated’, would Marlin not have died?

Two months later, Yuuji was given another chance to ‘graduate’. But this time he had to carry out an assassination bid. His cross-dressing is perfect as he stabs the unsuspected judge from the International Court of Justice in the neck in his private hotel room. He carried out more high profile assassinations around the world. At that time JB was working with the CIA and was on the trail of this mysterious assassin known to them as ET-01. ET as in Enfant Terrible, not that extraterrestrial creature. They were stumped by his identity until that fateful night when an operation led by Asako to storm into Oslo’s mansion. They killed all the small fries but the big fish got away. They discovered an underground cell that Yuuji was being held in. Asako thought Yuuji was a girl but his wig fell off. It was the first time they met and had he not met her then, Yuuji would not have been right here today. The rest is history. He doesn’t remember much about the events of that operation as he was drugged then. As Yuuji takes a breather from this interview, we see the girls together at the dorm. While Sachi was cleaning Yuuji’s room, she discovered something. No, not his crusty underwear like you hoped for, Amane! It was shredded pieces of paper detailing the personal report of Yuuji’s past. Sachi did an awfully wonderful job in piecing back every shred! So why show it to the others? As she couldn’t help read it while putting them back together, she couldn’t bear her guilty conscience and brought it to them to read so she can make them accomplices! I guess there is no turning back now. The temptation is too great to ignore since they’re interested in Yuuji’s past that they know too little to nothing of. Take a deep breath and let’s do this. What is seen cannot be unseen.

Seeds Of Hope
Well, it isn’t over yet. I have yet to see the final series in the trilogy so perhaps I my conclusions won’t be so conclusive yet. But as far as for both seasons that I have watched, it is fair to say that the stories and plot are interesting enough. From the start you can guess that everyone has skeletons in their closet and not as ‘normal’ as they look. Everyone has ghosts of their pasts that they thought they buried but comes back to haunt them. Then a certain guy comes into their lives to help overcome it. Well, doesn’t sound original but heck, at least they make it interesting.

I don’t know, somehow I see a handful of comparisons of this series with Little Busters despite both series are made from different developers (albeit both are adapted from the adult visual novel of the same name). Maybe it is because of that Amane’s route and that bus crash scene. Both series had that. Both main characters are not are what they seem although in this case, Yuuji is more tough and badass compared to that ‘weakling’ in Little Busters. And sure, he also helps out all the girls with their problems and solves it. There is a ‘featured’ cat in both series as well.

Amane’s survival horror story seems to be the most interesting story of the lot and it really fleshed out her past. It kept me glued to my screen and seat as I was eager to actually know what will happen next. Surprisingly and to a point disappointingly, Yumiko only gets one stinking episode. Because from her cold behaviour and the only one who seems to be rejecting Yuuji (even resorting to hurting him), I thought she would be one of the toughest to crack. I knew she wouldn’t be the last one (because I was betting to be Amane and true enough it was) but I didn’t expect her to only just get one lousy episode to solve everything. Like as though it was rushed or there was nothing more to expand on it. Or the producers aren’t interested in her route and just crammed it all in one. It makes everything feel so tame about her after that. So as not to make Yumiko as the only one with a single episode, it feels Sachi is also ‘sacrificed’ with only one episode to be focused on. Why do you have to treat maids like this???!!! Ahem… But then again, you wonder how much materials they can cram into a season with only more than a dozen episodes.

I have not played the visual novel game so I am not sure that the character development in the adaptation is all fully fleshed out. Because it feels like your typical setting with every character having a dark past or some sort of issue bugging them. And that is when Yuuji the guy who can do it all, solve it all, steps in to ensure they go back in leading a normal life without worries and in turn he too would get that normal life he wanted to live so badly. What else can I say about him? He might not have the friendliest face that will get girls swooning at first sight (but you got to admit that he is considered good looking – just without the smile), but at least he has a set of survival skills that makes him badass and the toughest that will even have Terminators running back to the future crying for their mommies. Heck, sometimes I feel his insane and precision skills make him some sort of a robot. Or makers. So if you’ve got any life threatening thing bugging you, just make friends with this dude and he’ll even protect you from God’s wrath. Just exaggerating. But you know what I’m talking about. And it must run in his family because just like his sister, sometimes he has got the knack to make witty and sarcastic comments, a reason why it’s sometimes funny and nice to hear this guy make his comeback. Even he himself is not perfect despite looking like the guy who can do everything and anything. The insight to his past is interesting and gives a lot of depth to his character hopefully more of it will be revealed and fleshed out in the next season.

For the rest of the girls at Mihama Academy, they may look normal when they are first introduced. But at the back of our heads you know that more than meets the eye. At the end of episode 2, we see how they arrive at the school for the first time with their twisted personalities and predicaments and it makes you go that there are definitely some big issues waiting to explode. And sure enough, trouble comes looking for them (although one at a time for the sake of the series’ flow) but it is just odd that after the girls find peace with their past, they feel like they have become less ‘intimidating’. Like as though there was nothing that scary or crazy about them in the first place.

For example, like I have mentioned about Yumiko. She hates Yuuji’s guts to the core but after her fake death and all, she becomes docile. She was also the only one who isolates herself from the rest of the girls, not sharing or joining them in everything. But after that, this cold personality seems to be a distant memory wants she starts mixing like normal. Sachi also feels the same because her initial scenes show her like making some sort of dangerous bombs or weapons in her room. But it turns out she wasn’t any terrorist in disguise trying to sabotage the school or anything. Just that she takes things too seriously even jokes because of her penchant to perfectly fulfil all requests. Then there is Makina who mike look innocent and carefree but be careful sometimes because her speech can turn nasty. Every group needs a mood maker or a joker and that is what tsundere Michiru is for. Finally, when a guy isn’t a pervert, one of the girls has to take on this role. That is what Amane is. Flirty, seductive and telling dirty jokes at times (she even has the nice voluptuous body to go with it – porn star material?), despite this nature of hers, she feels like the big mother and big sister to the rest of the girls in school. At the end of the day, despite all their problems and predicaments, they are just human beings who yearn for the normal life. That is pretty normal itself, right? Who are the ones judging them as not normal?

As you can see, that these 5 girls harbour feelings for Yuuji but romance isn’t directly played out here. Thanks to Yuuji for helping solve their problem, it is safe to say that there is no reason why they shouldn’t fall for a guy like him. You will definitely feel safe around him. Now with Yuuji and Amane being a couple, I wonder if that is official and real. There are prospects of turning into a harem but I suppose that would ruin everything in this show. Heck, there is a prospect of them playing house here. Yuuji and Amane the parents, Yumiko the eldest daughter, Makina the youngest child, Sachi the maid-cum-friend and Michiru, uhm, the pet? Yeah, Chizuru can play the grandma… Haha!

Other secondary characters don’t feel too bad although I feel they too have more than meets the eye. Because like Chizuru who is much older than the way she looks, it is also a sign that there is a lot more to her than being the headmaster and only teacher of the academy. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid. Then there is JB, Yuuji’s boss constantly on his side and helping out whenever she can. Is there any ulterior motive or just truly assisting him? Also mysterious enough is Chiara whom I feel is hiding ulterior motives. Because aside the main 5 girls, she seems to be ‘interested’ in Yuuji… Maybe I am getting paranoid. Kazuki’s death was never made certain and remains a big question mark if she’s really dead or still alive. She has a knack for survival and with her quick thinking and calm demeanor, she won’t be killed off that easily but you never know. Lastly about Asako who only made her debut at the end of the special. I feel there is more to tell about her and how she became Yuuji’s master.

There are a handful of fanservice shots in the series but I feel that they are somewhat teasing. As they do not spam panty shots every 10 seconds or so, sometimes when they ‘feel like it’, the girls will flash their panties or the angle will be so that you can see their striped or coloured pantsu in that short second. It is like if you blink, you’ll miss it in some scenes. Okay, at least long enough for you to spot. Fair enough ;p. And for Yuuji to not be stimulated by some of their flirty advances and seduction, I am beginning to think he is gay… Thank his strict training never to give in to the pleasures of the skin or never to be off his guard. Then again, what do we know about the type of women he likes? Ah, not relevant, eh? Well, if Yuuji was that typical main character pervert you see in ecchi series, I this show will turn out less palatable and less awesome. No more just tragic. Just tragic romance comedy…

Art and drawing are fine and I have no complains about it except for this one tiny thing that I seem to notice. How come all the female characters have this red shading on the side of their eyes? I think it is supposed to be the visual trademark but sometimes it just feels weird looking at them. Like as though they forgot to completely clean up the eyeliner or they just finished their Chinese opera and forgot to remove the makeup near the eyes. Another ‘unique’ thing about this series is how the episodes are displayed in very a wide screen resolution as compared to your standard 16:9 resolution. Well, if you have a television screen that long (or watching it on a real silver screen), you will have to be content with black lines at the top and bottom of your screen. Yeah, it is indeed a very wide screen resolution.

Voice acting feels okay with perhaps Kaori Mizuhashi as Michiru being the ‘best’ one because she sounds cheeky, bubbly and playful. Something like Miyako of Hidamari Sketch series. It has been a long time since I have heard Ai Shimizu but she is instantly recognizable as Sachi. Oddly, we have a reunion of a handful of casts who lent their voice in Little Busters like Ryouko Tanaka as Yumiko (Kurugaya in Little Busters), Tomoe Tamiyasu as Makina (Rin) and Natsumi Yanase as Chizuru (Komari). The rest of the casts are Takahiro Sakurai as Yuuji (Suzaku in Code Geass), Hiroko Taguchi as Amane (Miyako in ef series), Erika Narumi as JB (Shokatsuryou Koumei/Shuri in Shin Koihime Musou, Kiriha in Fortune Arterial) and Akane Tomonaga as Kazuki (Yui in Ushinawareta Mirai Wo Motomete).

The opening theme, Rakuen No Tsubasa by Maon Kurosaki feels okay and fits the theme of the series well. There are a handful of ending themes and my favourite one is for Amane’s arc, rainy Veil by Nagi Yanagi. It is a slow and beautiful but yet a sad piece. Anata No Aishita Sekai by Yoshino Nanjoyu is the only other theme that appears in more than one episode. Hearing this piece sounds familiar although I can’t seem to put my finger on it right now. Skip by Chata is a lively and bubbly piece to signal the end of Michiru’s arc. Sousei No Thanatos by Faylan for the final episode sounds like one of her typical rock pop anime songs. At least I like this one better than Eden’s Song by Hana (ending theme for episode 2). There are also a handful of insert songs and they fit the scenes like a charm like Holograph by Eufonius for Yumiko’s ‘death scene’, Mayoi No Mori by Hiromi Sato at the end of Makina’s runaway, Home by Miyuki Hashimoto for that touching Yuuji and Amane hugging scene after he agrees to become her girlfriend.

This series isn’t an easy watch since you have to focus on the heavy drama and watch tragedy after tragedy in the stories. Sure, it may looked like the girls have a happy ending at the end of their arc but if you think about it, they wouldn’t have to go through all that suffering had not all those things occurred in the first place. They could have led a normal and boring life, a life without ever meeting Yuuji. Yeah, that wouldn’t be fun. Also, some who played the game complained about cramming the stories into a season which didn’t do any justice to bringing out some of the characters and even cutting off many scenes, thus the incomplete feel. Even so, personally I feel that this series has been interesting although there were certain parts that I did not understand and had to go back and rewatch it a couple of more times. So give this a try and whether you call it a masterpiece or a piece of crap depends entirely on your tastes. And Yuuji did say something about not repaying your debt is more shameful than being indebted, right? Well, looks like I have to repay that debt by watching the final trilogy then.

Normally I would have straightaway given any anime series which is seemingly yaoi-like the skip and not bat an eyelid or think twice to even watch it. Not even if it is of a comedy genre. There might be exceptions that it needs to be freaking funny but that is not the point. Therefore, I was going to give Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! the usual pass until I realize what this show is about. You know it is alright for young girls to put on their magical girl love outfit and save the day with their magic, right? Now, what happens if you have boys instead donning magical girl outfits to save the world with the power of love!!! OMFG! THIS MUST BE ONE REALLY FUNNY SHOW, right???!!! I know it sounds so gay but the thinking that this must be one truly hilarious take of guys in magical girl outfits was too tempting for me to pass and thus this is how I ended up picking up this series… Or is my inner gay radar starting to awake like my hidden mecha taste?

Episode 1
En Yufuin and Atsushi Kinugawa are soaking in a hot bath at Kurotama talking about some chikuwabu nonsense when suddenly a pink wombat crashes in seeking their help! Yumoto Hakone cannot resist hugging it to death. The duo take this chance to escape the madness. In class, they have a bad feeling when their teacher, Tawarayama comes in holding the wombat! The duo try to ignore them but Wombat continues to bug them to listen to him. They want nothing to do with him but he insists about doing things for love! Holy sh*t! Better run as fast as you can! They got away thanks to Yumoto continuing his harassing. In the clubroom, they hang out with money loving Io Naruko and women loving Ryuu Zaou. There is a letter from the student council telling them to register if they want to continue to use the clubroom. They discuss about this especially this clubroom that is supposedly belonged to the Earth Defence Club. Nobody knows who put that sign here. Wombat arrives in the clubroom barely surviving Yumoto’s cuddling. The rest believe Tawarayama is dead. But when Wombat goes back under his arms, he comes back to life again. Is he recharging him somehow? After all that he is been through, he is not going to ask them anymore. He forces them to wear Lovracelets. It is their love’s given form. Kazutake Chiku is the kind of guy who is neither the best nor the worst. So he is freaking depressed about being in the middle. He is struck by some needle and turns into a chikuwabu monster. Wombat tells them to transform and fight this badass monster. And after all those gay love lines, we see their transformation scene into their gay idol outfits. They are now Battle Lovers who will protect Earth. No time to be arguing about that since they have to take care of that monster. So the try out their powers and even combine their wands for Yumoto to blast it away. Yumoto even lectures the monster about the essence of being a chikuwabu and oden. A final shower of love turns the monster back into that kid and now his eyes are opened to the feelings of love! First mission solved. Meanwhile the student council trio consisting of Kinshirou Kusatsu, Akoya Gero and Ibushi Arima are watching them and wonder if a new rival has appeared to oppose them. Kusatsu believes everything is within their expectations.

Episode 2
The student council trio are in a discussion which also serves to tell us about their mission. As Caerula Adamas and under the guidance of a green hedgehog, Zundar, they are supposed to carry out a mission to conquer all life forms on Earth. Because they view society and the world as stupid, they need to establish a model society with order. Of course they are using this school as a starting point. Battle Lovers are discussing about their new team (Wombat once again being cuddled to death by the usual suspect). They are shocked that Tawarayama is actually ‘killed’ by Wombat. When Wombat was running away from Yumoto from Kurotama, he ran away towards school and bumped into Tawarayama’s feet. He fell down stairs and broke his neck! So now to take responsibility, as long as Tawarayama is close by Wombat, his life will not be in danger. Yumoto wants to take responsibility too. He undresses himself so that Wombat will hug him! No way! Will that be animal abuse or animal harassment? Wario Hashida hates odd and uneven things in this world. So when he cannot break his chopsticks perfectly, he gets mad. Caerula Adamas views him as the perfect specimen for their experiment. They turn him into a chopstick monster that soon influences everyone into a big fight over uneven chopsticks. WTF. Of course this means Battle Lovers are called into the scene to fight the menace. And of course the monster hates them because 5 is an indivisible number. WTF. So after another power battle of love, the monster is rained with lots of love and the case is over. Kusatsu believes that it is clear Battle Lovers are their enemy.

Episode 3
Moteo Kurotori is from the ballet club and only thinks about his popularity and to be loved. He believes this time he can take the school’s Pretty Boy crown. It’s a monthly contest and I can’t help think how gay it is holding a beauty contest for boys… Kurotori goes into overdrive mode to get people to vote for him. As Battle Lovers discuss about this, probably En got bored so he decides to take part. Ryuu and Io agree too. They discuss the qualities to be popular. Strength? Money? Big brother? En arm wrestles with some strong guy and wins by distracting him. Io wins his popularity by showing his account book that is filled with so many digits! Ryuu turns into a cool gangster to get triplets to admire him as a big brother. Kurotori is sad that nobody came to his rally. Zundar views he is another perfect specimen so Caerula Adamas turn him into a black swan monster. After the votes are tallied but right before the winner is being read, the monster hijacks the stage and shoots feathers into everyone, turning them into his big fans and wanting to shower him with love. Even our Battle Lovers get caught in this trap and tussle to give black swan their undivided love. Only Yumoto is not affected despite being hit. Because he doesn’t understand what it is. Yumoto then hugs him and gives him a good lecture about love. Does he want to be loved so badly? Because if you want others to love you, you must love yourself first! Another successful mission. Caerula Adamas notes they have lost again and wonder who Battle Lovers are but Kusatsu will make them grovel at their feet.

Episode 4
Kusatsu is thinking back about his childhood past with Atsushi. They made a wish on a shooting star. Looking at the stars just made him think about that so when his friends ask him about that and his wish, it is world domination. Wombat is being scrubbed to death by the usual suspect. Our gang talk about being a kid and some shaving. Perhaps they are too noisy that an old man just walks out. However they realize they may have been wrong. He isn’t an old guy but a fellow student with an old man’s face! True enough, Oyaji Igarao is that but hates being treated as an old man. He wants to experience the youth of his life! And so Caerula Adamas heard his wish and decides to make use of his dark energy. Our Battle Lovers for some reason are tickling each other in the clubroom when suddenly they find themselves shrunk into kids! Not only them but the rest of the school too. They see this handsome prince and believe he is the one behind this. Time to transform. But their outfits are now baggy! WTF. Shouldn’t it shrink like their school uniform too? Of course this means their power is halved and they can’t walk properly Always tripping. Prince dude is going to further ruin them as he turns them into toddlers. That’s when Yumoto gets this idea to distract him before he really finishes them. He points out everybody has turned young except him. Because even if he is young, someone who is ugly will always by ugly! He isn’t an old man but a young teenager. It is that resentment of feeling old that is turning him into an old man. While in shock, Yumoto casts his love to free him. Yet another mission success but a failure for Caerula Adamas. So Battle Lovers are soaking in the bath again when Oyaji comes in. He is happy because now he has got a girlfriend who is into older men. And she made a wish on a star for this. Atsushi remembers his old wish was to become a superhero. He wonders what the other friend of his wished for.

Episode 5
Because of the auto filler blurring their faces during their transformation, Battle Lovers’ identity is safe. But there is a guy, Kou Kinosaki who is bent on finding that out. So he goes spy on them and like usual, the nonchalant chat, the over abuse of Wombat by Yumoto’s hugging and mould growing all over Tawarayama! Kinosaki comes in with his photographer, Tazawa to come interview them as he is publishing the daily lives of the students in this school. The guys are not happy and do not want to be interviewed but Kinosaki is citing press freedom, blah, blah, blah. Later he bugs them by interviewing them individually. Enkaku Sousa feels like he is a puppet of his father. Looks like he is going to be a puppet of Caerula Adamas soon. As the guys soak in the bath, Wombat displays his ugly side since he is under so much stressed. Thanks to those guys, he can’t act like normal. Yeah, pink wombat acting like a delinquent and calling names! Suddenly those annoying press guys enter. The Battle Lovers’ Lovracelets buzz so they excuse themselves by saying they need to cool down Tawarayama outside. But they can’t transform right away as it will also give away their identity. They get an idea to fake Tawarayama is dead and to leave it in Kinosaki’s care till they return with help. Now they can transform in peace. Some remote controller squid is purposely turning up the temperature to make people pass out in the gym. He gets to control everything with his controller. Wombat just knocks it off his hands for Battle Lovers to shower him with love. When they return to the bath (Kinosaki still holding on to the teacher?), the perfect timing for Wombat to end up in Tawarayama’s arms and revive that old dude. Then everyone takes a photo and it is uploaded on the website. WTF are these men in towels?! Kusatsu is not pleased especially when he knows they have sent in a club approval form and it is only a matter of them he has to accept it. Kinosaki is pleased with all the photos he got on Battle Lovers. Now on to the next stage.

Episode 6
Wombat discusses about the possibility that the monsters are appearing awfully close in their vicinity. Akoya comes in to tell that their club has been approved. However if all members do not their final exam scores do not meet the average, the club will be disbanded. Never heard of this rule. Because it’s just established. Wombat will not allow this and wants everybody to study. I guess everyone is okay and Yumoto is the worrying factor since he doesn’t need good grades because he’ll be inheriting the bath house. But his big brother, Goura doesn’t want him to become dumb and chop wood for the rest of his life like him. However the rest are baffled about him doing so if this bath house has natural hotspring, why does he need to chop wood? Can’t answer that, can’t he? Meanwhile Ichiban Itsumo is jealous of Io and wants to be the very best. He has got to stop talking to himself first. The student council approach Io to offer him to join. They will pay him. Instantly Io agrees because he’ll do anything if there’s a profit. Akoya is assured that with Io joining them, Earth Defence Club will be no more no matter the outcome. After the tests, Itsumo becomes angry that again Io scored first and he placed second. Oh, time for Zundar to hint another experiment. Yumoto scores zeroes and he is proud of it! Thanks to Io and En who did well enough to cover for the rest. Suddenly Io announces he is quitting the club for the student council. Ryuu is not happy and confronts him. Io says money won’t betray. Sure. But isn’t it Io is the one betraying? Then there is this screw-cum-tank monster terrorizing the place. Battle Lovers go into action with Ryuu confident he can take it on himself without help. Too bad he got into some tickling trap. Io can’t stand this and transforms to help save his friend. Yumoto ends it by offering to become the monster’s friend. This is the first time Battle Lovers and Caerula Adamas meet. The blur mosaics hide their face and voice so they are talking to each other without knowing each other’s identities. Kusatsu vows the next time they will surely defeat them. Hasn’t he been saying that always? Ryuu wonders why Io returned and it seems he has done some calculation to which side is more profitable. He won’t say but it’s pretty obvious, right? And so the Earth Defence Club stays. Unknown to them, Kinosaki is taking pictures of them. Oh, Yumoto thinks Goura isn’t a stupid guy who chops wood but rather he loves doing so! He wants to be that kind of man. Still can’t explain about firewood and the natural hotspring, though.

Episode 7
Earth Defence Club guys are going to the beach for summer camp. Yumoto is so excited that he’s acting like a kid. Isn’t he always? And while they travel by train, the student council trio are travelling in their luxurious limo. The quintet end up in a beach filled with only macho men! Yeah, this show really lacks girls. While they enter a cramped inn and soak in a suspiciously familiar bath house, the trio are taking life easy in their huge luxurious hotel. And then an incident props up. Io wants to know who used his toothbrush! I know we don’t really care but this is really irking him. He accuses En at first because of his nonchalant behaviour. How about Ryuu? He says he likes girls but is never seen with one so could it mean that he likes Io actually? Awkward… Nobody bothers about Yumoto because how can this retard be the one, right? Since it is too early to sleep, Yumoto suggests playing kimodameshi. En-Atsushi and Io-Ryuu pair trek through the darkness as we see them suspect each other. And a few gay positions… Yumoto is fresh from ‘raping’ Wombat but the latter slips of a cliff. Before he realizes it, Tawarayama is missing. Seems he is up and his memories hazy. He wonders why he is here. As he wanders around, he keeps attracting bad luck like falling into traps and mud. Our guys wonder if there is a monster or molester hearing such commotion so they go prepare to ambush the perpetrator. Turns out to be the student council trio who got lost after being bored soaking in their big luxurious pool. Kusatsu doesn’t like this a bit and leaves with his guys. Yeah, bad memories, no? When the Earth Defence Club guys reach their goal, Tawarayama is surprised to see his students here but he steps on yet another trap. This time he looks like a monster (because it is dark) so Battle Lovers transform to defeat him. Once they realize it is their teacher (hope they didn’t kill him – oh wait, he’s already close to dead to begin with), they accuse Wombat that this is his doing. He should try better next time. Now that Yumoto is sleepy, they return to sleep. Io is still bugged about who used his toothbrush. Give it up, will you? Nobody is going to help Wombat pick up Tawarayama… After returning from the trip, Wombat is taking a look at the photos he has taken. One of them shows Yumoto as the culprit using Io’s toothbrush. Delete the evidence…

Episode 8
Shou Komi is an otaku and even more so when he can’t take anymore of the internet trolling. Ah well, another ‘victim’ for Caerula Adamas. When En stops by the convenience shop to get some stuffs, he is shot by some being that turns him into an emo and tsundere! This causes him to fight and argue with Atsushi a lot. Not to mention the sulking. Of course when the rest find out, En really regrets that but doesn’t have the guts to apologize. The same case for Atsushi who thinks of letting sleeping dogs lie. But all that means nothing to Yumoto as he gets honest in their face and tries to help patch them up. Not working. Kusatsu is happy hearing En and Atsushi are fighting. He is laughing like a maniac? Wombat thinks a monster is behind this but its power is too weak for their Lovracelets to detect. So they go around interviewing other students who seemingly got into a fight with their best friends. All of them point out to one same spot ever since their fight began: The convenience store. Yumoto transforms and heads there to do justice and although the convenience store looks normal, it is the store owner’s son who lives upstairs that is causing the problem. He is now a kotatsu monster. Battle Lovers have a hard time dealing with the shut-in and Atsushi takes a beating. Till En comes to his rescue and feels stupid for losing a best friend to a stupid fight. Although Atsushi also gets hit by the monster’s beam, the duo patch up and work together. Yumoto even gives them the honours to finish it off. Right after that, En turns into an apologetic machine. Sorry for this, sorry for that. Even in the bath, the duo continue to apologize for every single silly thing they did wrong to each other. And I thought sorry seems to be the hardest word…

Episode 9
Kusatsu must be feeling grumpy and thus that hostile talk among his groupie. Zundar tells them to cut it out and calls for a new plan since their experiments have ended in failure. This time they’ll go on the offensive and attack! And so Uriya Makuwa who has excessive self-conscious turns into a melon monster. So when Battle Lovers go to face him, it seems he wants to talk instead. But he gives them melon riddles and leaves them hanging of the answers and to meet at a certain time and place if they want to know. However they’ve already got all the answers from the internet. Thank God for internet! While taking a bath, Kinosaki pops up to suggest them become internet idols to solve their money woes. The more famous they get, the more they get paid. It looks more like the Battle Lovers wearing different cosplay outfits and being photographed. So this is how they’re going to make the money? Compile the different photos and sell them in calendars? Hey, at least the money is good. After that, they make their journey to meet the melon monster. Along the way, there are lots of traps but they nonchalantly traverse them all. Even the melon monster didn’t expect to see them reach him! Even more disheartening is how they reveal they already know his answers thanks to the internet. So pitiful that he even breaks down and rants about that we couldn’t care less. Melon this, melon that. All the rest know is that he might be desperate and overly self-conscious. Defeated, Yumoto and the rest have final soothing words for him that at least they don’t hate melons and some food aren’t bad like melon bread. With the case solve, Zundar despite today’s mission was a failure, he feels it have a bit of an effect and is satisfied. More plans to be continued after they rest up. Is he just being lazy or ran out of ideas? Something sinister about Kinosaki is lurking. He is editing the photos and his pet goldfish doesn’t look like any ordinary goldfish… Get what I’m saying?

Episode 10
Something is wrong. Yumoto not his active and goofy self?! Something is indeed wrong. He is having a slight fever and his classmate, Rui Megawa who is also the manager of the baseball club checks on him. Megawa is popular with the boys thanks to his cuteness and glasses character. Goura overreacts after seeing Yumoto with fever. Onions for cure? Yeah, he is doing all he can to save him like as though he is going to die. Because this is the first time Yumoto is sick. You know what they say about idiots and sickness, right? The next day, although Yumoto isn’t fully recovered, he heads to school. Even more shocking is how is so proper and polite! And with glasses! It’s like a different character! Strange, huh? Yeah, it really bothers the rest. So much so they come up with conspiracy theories about his condition. But Wombat is loving it since no more harassment. As Yumoto cleans the clubroom, everyone finds an unused door behind a shelf. Likewise as the student council is remodelling their room, they spot a never-seen-before door that was behind some furniture. As Yumoto continues to be proper so much so guys want him to be their club manager! So gay! Of course this causes heartbreak for Megawa whose baseball club even jokes of getting Yumoto. And you know what this jealousy means for Caerula Adamas, no? Yeah. Now he becomes a baseball monster as he confronts you-know-who to give back his position. However Yumoto is the only one who can’t transform and is scared. The rest takes a beating from the monster’s beams and try to resist his mind control of trying to make them love him while spouting jealousy claims. Because they already have an idiotic junior whom they love. Wombat tries to force Yumoto to transfer by offering himself! He can cuddle him as much as he wants! Eternal harassment?! Is that what he wants?! Is he that desperate?! As the rest are on the brink of defeat, Wombat’s desperate shake up has Yumoto drop his glasses. Instantly he reverts to that idiotic self we all know. He transforms and showers the monster with love and advice. The day is saved. Goura rushes to Yumoto’s side and is glad he is alright but the rest are stumped how he could recognize him in their transformation. Brotherly love? Unknown to them, Kinosaki is taking more pictures of them and is glad to know his master Hireashi the goldfish will be pleased.

Episode 11
For the upcoming school festival, the club that is most popular will win a cash prize. You know what this means for Io, right? So as they discuss what to do, it is decided they are going to sell curry in their Battle Lovers outfit. Curry hero cosplay? Zundar goes to see Hireashi who believes their plans to conquer Earth is failing. They have conquered so many worlds but why is this planet so hard? Hireashi thinks it is the power of stupidity (though, some would call it the power of love). On the festival day, Wombat uses some technology to temporarily remove the mosaics so Battle Lovers can go promote and sell their curry to other students. Kusatsu is working alone in his room when he can’t stand the curry smell that he hates so much. As he follows the smell, he knocks down that unused door only to see Atsushi making it. This makes him snaps as he transforms. Atsushi realizes he is the enemy they’ve been fighting all the time. Kusatsu hates him so much that he starts attacking him this instant. Everybody else thinks this must be some super show with special effects. The other Battle Lovers and Caerula Adamas start battling each other once they realize their true identity. When Yumoto comes to Atsushi’s rescue, he is forced to hear the flashback story of why Kusatsu hates him. Similarly if Atsushi can’t remember the day he rejected Kusatsu, this is a good reason for the flashback. Kusatsu is expecting Atsushi to come to his house today but the latter turned him down as he had something to do. It was to join En in some special curry meal. Kusatsu’s heart was hurt ever since and gave Atsushi to cold shoulder. Kusatsu also blames him for breaking the promise they made when they were young: To stay friends forever. Yumoto doesn’t like this fighting and wants to break them up. To En, it looks like Kusatsu is the one sulking this entire time. Kusatsu is enraged and won’t listen as both sides regroup to start the biggest battle finale ever.

Episode 12
No more talk. Time for action. But for that can happen, Goura pops up to tell everyone not to listen to him. Seems he has Hireashi in his hands and forces him to spill the truth. Everything is a setup. This is actually a reality show targeted for the whole universe! Both sides were setup to fight each other for the entertainment of the universe! Oh sh*t! And Kinosaki is the broadcaster broadcasting it all. He interviews Kusatsu but he is shell shocked. Why not? When he learns that everything they do, every damn tiny little thing that goes back way to his childhood days, were recorded and shown to the entire universe! Wow, there must be some sick alien perverts out there who are fans of Kusatsu’s tsundere. Kusatsu will not listen to Zundar anymore because there is no point now that he finds his goal hollow. Zundar sticks his needles into Goura and turns him into some wood chopping ninja monster?! He attacks everybody and his strength is true. Flashback shows Hireashi was in charge of a reality series called Can I Destroy Earth (CIDE). Goura was the last generation’s Battle Lovers and he thwarted Hireashi’s plans each time he slew a monster without considering how badly it is affecting the ratings. Thanks to that, the show got cancelled and Hireashi was removed (and lost a girlfriend). Yumoto remembers seeing Goura sharpening his blade and heading off to parts unknown in the middle of the night when he was young but was too afraid to ask. Wombat on the other hand is trying to advocate the preservation of these ‘animals’ (humans) instead of wiping them out for entertainment. Then Wombat and Zundar descend into a petty argument of their bad habits.

Back to Goura hacking action while after Ibushi finds out Kinosaki knew this all along, Akoya punches him out. Kusatsu is still in shock to move. So when a tower is about to fall on him, Atsushi saves him despite getting injured himself. Kusatsu makes a new vow to change himself. When the ultimate combined attacks of Battle Lovers do not work on Goura, you think words will do the trick? Well, if it’s Yumoto maybe. Because he’s saying what would Kurotama be without him chopping wood. This isn’t like him. Yumoto then sprouts angel wings to free Goura! What the heck is this More Better upgrade?! It’s not over yet as Zundar and Hireashi are going to take them out in their porcupine-fish mecha. This time Caerula Adamas comes to their aid. Kusatsu turns into a tsundere trying to reconcile Atsushi in this emo drama reconciliation. Anyway they did. And so all of them now sprout angel wings to finish them off with their More Better Love attack!!! Oh, Hireashi just got a call from his director saying this show has been cancelled too. Yeah, he lost everything. So goldfish and hedgehog promise to turn over a new leaf and make quality reality shows. The festival runs without a hitch and curry hero cosplay is a sell-out. Life returns to normal with everyone taking a bath at Kurotama. Even the student council trio. The lavish life too boring already? Wombat is still with them instead of returning to his home planet because he needs to take responsibility to revive Tawarayama back to life first. So I guess he doesn’t mind being molested to death by Yumoto, eh? I was wondering what the important news at the end was. Just a short clip to tell us Tawarayama has fully recovered thanks to Wombat people doing whatever. Thank goodness?

Love Makes The World Go Gay
Here I was going to write this show off as another boring piece of gay crap until the final episode that really changed everything. Perhaps I didn’t see this coming because to have our magical boys fight each other as a source of entertainment from perverted aliens all over the universe seemed like a shocking but yet amusing revelation. Therefore, the final fight to right the wrongs somehow broke the mundane spell that this series was following so much so I wasn’t going to expect much of it in the end. Sure, they left you some clues along the way but I guess you have to be really paying attention to put the pieces of the puzzle together. For example, with the revelation of Goura as the previous generation’s Battle Lovers, we can safely assume that the Earth Defence Club was created by him or at least the room was occupied by him.

I am in a dilemma to whether call this show really funny or gay because it feels neither but on the other hand it does have its moments. It’s not the worst but certainly not the best either. Because like Yumoto’s constant harassment of Wombat seems to become the running joke of the series and although it feels funny and gay to see that pink wombat getting molested-cum-raped, it soon gets old when you see this the umpteenth time. Like it has become a staple for each episode because Yumoto can’t live his normal life without cuddling the fuzziness of this cute creature. Which makes the entire thing feels so gay if you think about it. But then you become numb after the few times seeing this and accept that this is all part and parcel of the gay-ness of the show. Because we don’t exactly see any deep yaoi relationship between the hot guys. They’re just like normal friends so I suppose for you fujoshi fans out there wanting to see even the slightest hint of yaoi, you’d be in for a lot of disappointment.

Maybe I am not so much of a yaoi fan (and never would be one) and that is why sometimes when Battle Lovers go into battle and spew all that Love terms, it feels so gay. I mean, when you have to say terms like Love Making, Love Attack and Love Is Over, doesn’t that sound gay for you? At least to a straight guy. But good thing is that it sounds funny to me so there, might sound a little gay but at least it sounds funny enough to make me chuckle. Then when everybody finally fully ‘upgraded’ themselves into angels, I thought it sounded more like bad English. More Better… Shouldn’t it be Even Better? Bad but funny. And still sound gay.

Therefore the plot of this entire series somewhat feels weak because you see a certain pattern trending once you are halfway through the series. Firstly you would notice Battle Lovers sometimes keep talking about topics that don’t really matter in the public bath or clubroom. It could be related but it was such a bore that I wasn’t paying attention. It feels like to make up for the 24 minutes duration, they insert this nonchalant talking about something. And then you have some other kid with his own personal issue before Caerula Adamas uses him as an experiment to go wild. Herald Battle Lovers to come save the day and all is well, ends well. Not forgetting that Yumoto would surely have some cool advice lines to say at the end that are true but at the same time a bit cringey thanks to the gay-ness of everything. And yeah, do not forget that obligatory bath scene in every episode! OMG! So gay!

So character wise I guess it is safe to say there is nothing deep about them because you can pretty much guess their character after watching the first episode. You’ve got Yumoto as the retard and the liveliest one of the pack. Because every group needs one like him, right? Then you have En the laziest guy who prefers to conserve his energy whenever he can, Io the money minded guy and Ryuu the lady’s man. Which is ironic because this is an all-boys school and you don’t even see a single female in this show! Yes, that is right! THERE ARE NO FEMALE CHARACTERS IN THIS SHOW! Finally you have Atsushi who seems like the normal one and he really feels like it and his glasses could only be the redeeming factor that gives him character. Heck, he should have been giving Megawa a run for his money or something. Not forgetting Wombat (whom I mistake to be a koala bear at first) who just feels so gay in the way he talks and acts and as the interim boss for Battle Lovers (and eternal rape victim of Yumoto). That Tawarayama guy… Is he really dead or not for 98% of the entire series? Sure, the good news he got revived in the end but what does this mean? THERE ARE NO DEATHS IN THIS SHOW! Nobody dies and some get the shower of love! The only ‘death’ here is the poorly forced reality series. Good riddance.

I am sure Caerula Adamas have their own vision and ideals but it just feels twisted the way they do things. It makes them feel like antagonists of the series, which is what they are. I know it is good that they don’t give up after failures after failures but they should have take it as a sign that whatever plot they’re doing, it is not working because Battle Lovers always thwart it. And of course when you have good looking guys like them being the antagonist, something doesn’t feel right. Because I am sure that there are Caerula Adamas lovers who would prefer these ‘civilized’ people compared to those slackers in Battle Lovers. Though, some would see the student council trio as being snobbish and extravagant. And true enough that big revelation came and before you know it, they’re fighting as a team to save the day.

They teased us about Kusatsu and Atsushi’s relationship and I thought they would forget about it by the time they reach the end and something trivial but I suppose it was just some small boys quarrel and sulking brought forward to his high school years. I suppose Kusatsu would have the title as the most ‘stand out’ character because of his snob, arrogance and unyielding ways. Then he acts like a tsundere lately and this makes him one of those rare guy characters who is a tsundere. Akoya and Ibushi don’t feel like they do much except always hanging around with their president. So much so if they’re just nameless extras I don’t think we’d lose much. Oh wait, you can’t have a team with nameless characters, can you? I suppose Caerula Adamas is the total opposite of Battle Lovers in terms of everything because sometimes we see snippets from both sides like as though they’re trying to get a fair share of the screen time (and also contra and contrast the extremely different poles between both groups of the wealthy have-it-alls and easygoing have-nots) but eventually Battle Lovers get more. Because perhaps the lavish luxurious grandiose lifestyle of the student council trio will make some of us go green with envy. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission shows the bios of the characters like their birthday, blood type, hobbies and likes. This is good as it gives the character more character but I doubt that a guy like me would be interested in knowing such statistics. It’s not like I want to date them or something.

Many other side and extra characters you can see are unimportant for the entire series and personally I don’t think they make an overall impact except for the fact that they serve as ‘monster-of-the-week’. The only depths you get to see about such characters that we will never care once their role is over are the negative emotions they posses and thus the sole reason for them to be turned into monster-of-the-week for our Battle Lovers to put up their fight filled with love. Eww… Besides, you can pretty much guess what kind of character or theme it would be for that episode based on that character’s name because they are named based on that negative trait or theme. Well, at least they got to be introduced with their names printed over the screen compared to our main characters who didn’t even get this ‘special’ treatment.

Art and drawing feels okay. I suppose with good looking guys abound, there is nothing to complain about but despite the main characters looking like hotties, they aren’t exactly the kind of extremely handsome studs that would make girls swoon all over in an instant. Furthermore, taking a closer look at Battle Lovers’ uniform, maybe it was just my misunderstanding that it looked like magical girl outfits because certainly they aren’t wearing skirts. Yumoto, Ryuu and Io wearing shorts and exposing their legs may have this effect because when magical girls transform, if they don’t wear thigh highs, you see their exposed thighs, right? Yeah. That. Oh, and their lengthy transformation scene. Uh huh. It takes nearly a full 2 minutes for all of them to change and say their whatever unique lines that I don’t even bother to remember. Thank goodness there are only 5 of them and only 3 in Caerula Adamas. At least Caerula Adamas’ uniform looks better. Heck, the best looking one goes to Goura. He could be some spin-off hero with that outfit. On a trivial note, when Kusatsu transformed into his ultimate dark side in the penultimate episode, I thought the ‘makeup’ on his face especially his lips make him look like some visual kei subculture dude.

The designs of Battle Lovers wands and their individual themes and elements are rather okay but I fail to see how it is all connected unless it is just for the flashiness. I mean, you have Scarlet, Cerulean, Epinard, Sulphur and Vesta but they don’t do much individually because in the end the all combine to give Yumoto the honours (because being the one in red means he is the leader, right) to finish it all. Speaking of the action and battles, they are nothing that spectacular or heart pounding. You always know how it will turn out even if they add some dramatic spice that they are in a pinch. That is why I am thinking that they put in lots of lovely magical special effects to enhance everything. Yeah, everything looks nice and sparkly. No wonder the cured boys are filled with such great warmth of love in the end. Oh yeah. The power of love! So gay…

Apparently the entire voice acting cast is male! Including the side and extra characters. Feels like a male-only club, eh? This might not be the first anime to do so but I think this is the first time I am hearing an all-male cast for a series. At first I thought the voice behind Yumoto was the only one who is female because you know, he sounds so girly. But as more episodes passed, I started to doubt that if the voice behind Yumoto is female. Because it could after all be a guy trying to sound like a girl. It felt like that. And true enough, it was a guy, Kazutomi Yamamoto behind the character. His other anime roles include Leo in Hitsugi No Chaika, Amon in Makai Ouji: Devils And Realists and Yamamoto in Gugure! Kokkuri-san. Veteran Mugihito (Keel in Evangelion) is the voice behind Wombat and I really think he sounded so gay in his role. Although I could recognize Tomokazu Sugita behind Goura’s voice, Hiroshi Kamiya as Kusatsu, I could not for Jun Fukuyama as Ibushi.

For the rest of the casts, they are Koutarou Nishiyama as Atsushi (Sakutarou Kirara in Jewelpet: Magical Change), Yuichiro Umehara as En (Wakasa in Orenchi No Furo Jijou), Toshiki Masuda as Ryuu (Takashi in Kimi No Iru Machi), Yusuke Shirai as Io (Ryo Nishikura in Gin No Saji), Takuma Terashima as Akoya (Otoya in Uta No Prince-sama series), Hiroki Yasumoto as Zundar (Sado in Bleach), Showtaro Morikubo as Kinosaki (Shikamaru in Naruto) and Hioshi Ohtake as Hireashi (Sanpei in Speed Racer). Gosh. I think that’s enough for me. Too much macho-ness is diminishing my motivation… The opening theme is sung by the quintet behind Battle Lovers. Sounds like your typical all-boys anime pop group. The ending on the other hand is sung by the trio behind Caerula Adamas. Also feels like another typical all-boys anime pop. But I’m just baffled that the ending credits animation is mostly about Kusatsu’s melancholy as he goes to watch a movie alone. Yeah, this guy has lots of things going on his mind.

I am guessing what they are trying to say in this anime is that with the excess of reality TV shows these days and all nothing but disappointing crap and scripted fakes, anything can be turned into entertainment so long you get favourable ratings. But having magical boys save the world while everybody else watches them in action? Sounds unique but generally that theme sounds pretty familiar doesn’t it? Especially magical girl fans watching their heroines utilizing their magic and save the world. Heck, don’t we feel the same by watching this series? So what are your thoughts everybody? Blam this crap or they should have another go and another season? If they make magical maids, maybe…

Overall, this series might not be everyone’s cup of tea and I am not sure if they are trying to target a certain demographic or create a new one by using magical boys as opposed to the ubiquitous magical girls theme. But if you don’t mind all that gay-ness (which is pretty mild here and considering that the only thing that makes this series feels so gay is that all the characters are guys and the fact you have a gay sounding wombat that is pink. PINK!), this show can be entertaining with some funny moments, with some little drama, with some magical battle but also a bit repetitive in its formula. Nothing like a little gender swap in the usual theme to shake things up a little bit, eh? So next time is somebody suspicious tries to recruit you in this kind of save the world via magic offer, try doing a favour by refusing because each reality TV offer you turn down means saving the negative impressions and honour that has befallen TV entertainment these days. Besides, who would want to see fat otaku guys in tight unfitting outfits save the world with magic? Not even for comedy’s sake. Cancelled even before production!

Ane Log

September 11, 2015

It is the norm that women always blame men for being perverts because all they ever do think about sex 24/7 (or at least for the most part of it). They always think that men view women nothing more than just sex objects whose purpose in life is to satiate their horny lust. Aren’t they sure that it could just be a figment of their imagination? Case in point: Ane Log. Our main character seems pretty much like a normal high school teenager and a big sister. However she keeps thinking (and believing in it like religion) that her little brother is the world’s biggest pervert. Every move he makes, any sound he says, anything he does, will send her to ‘think one step ahead’ of what this pervert is trying to do towards her. In reality, her brother is the most normal, plain and ordinary person in the whole wide world. Oh yeah, the mind is the most dangerous place after all…

Episode 1
Moyako Konoe has a little brother named Akira. He is a pervert who is obsessed all over her. So she thinks. Yup, she is certain he is that. All because when they were young, he told her he wanted to marry her. I guess Moyako took it as a sign and start of his perversion. We basically see Moyako’s thoughts and how far she goes in her delusion labelling Akira a pervert. Like when he commented how good her miso soup, she thinks it is his proposal to her! And there she was thinking that she has looked up on the law about blood related siblings cannot get married. Moyako never has a rest day, hour, minute or second about this. Because even in school, her childhood friend, Kasumi Kurose is not spared of this. Whether she wants to or not, she is forced to listen. Like how Moyako is complaining Akira may be purposely using her toothbrush. Because Kasumi brushes it off, Moyako thinks she is on Akira’s side. Worse, she thinks Akira is using some feudal war strategy to make her submit and surrender! Everybody in class is looking at her scream… The trio have lunch together and as usual, Moyako starts thinking this scene has them look like they are part of Akira’s harem. She even goes as far in her delusion about the same bento she made for them. So what’s the big deal? As people are not aware they are siblings, by looking at the same contents they would think they are in love with each other!!! Can you believe this girl?! So she rather starve than eat her food? But when Akira mentions they have the same contents, Moyako is forced to swallow her entire food in one bite! In a blink of an eye.

On the way back, Moyako thinks Akira is watching her from the back and enjoying her body to the fullest. She screams pervert when he taps her shoulder and swings her back, nearly hitting him. This attracts the crowd but Akira clarifies he is her brother. Thinking she is not well, he holds her bag for her. Because he is walking behind her again, it is that thoughts he is enjoying her hipline. She warns him don’t stand behind her if he doesn’t want to die! Back home, Moyako pours a glass of milk for him to drink. Oh God… I saw this coming… Pouring milk to him as though the milk is from her. Moyako’s milk… Holy cow!!! As Akira hasn’t finished his game, he tells Moyako to go bath first. And sure enough, she thinks he wants to peep on her. She thought she had won by locking the door. Only later to realize that this pervert’s intention is to drink the same bath water that she soaks in!!! So she thinks the correct dosage that he needs to drink. Then she rushes out in her towel and a glass in hand. Her body was soaked in this water. Now drink it! No way would he do that!

Episode 2
Akira is out of shampoo so Moyako brings it to him. Then this fearsome thought: He might be waiting to flash her! She leaves it at the door but he wants her to bring to him. Because he is in the tub, she thinks he’ll be waiting for her in a lewd position. She blindfolds herself but slips on a soap and splashes into the tub. Her clothes are all wet and see through. This might be his goal! Later when Akira accidentally pours coffee on his pants, it is that time for her delusion he wants her to clean that part up. He might even want to flash to her as he is going to change his clothes! She thinks of blowing it dry. They’ll be late for school! When Fuuka Saeki is stopped by the teacher for her different attire, Moyako also reminds the teacher that she should also be treated similarly. She chides him of the difference in treatment just because Moyako is a bright student. The duo become friends but the normalcy streak ends when Moyako warns Fuuka about her perverted brother. Right now he might look normally dressed. But he left a button unbuttoned so as to when she buttons it, he will smell her hair! Fuuka finds it hard to believe but seeing how serious Moyako’s expression is, she must be telling the truth. So happen Fuuka and Akira are in the same class and sit next to each other. She becomes wary and puts distance between them.

Later, looking at Akira’s face, Kasumi can tell that mark was because he was sleeping in class. But Moyako had different ideas. He was rubbing his face on her photo! Fellow classmate, Brisa Umehira believes he was licking it but Moyako shoots down all her theories why it wasn’t so. When Akira approaches them, they want to know if he was rubbing or licking! Moyako has baked cookies for Akira during home economics. She realizes there are heart shaped cookies in it. Those kind of shapes means love, right? She tries to take it back from him but it slips from their hands. The cookies are now crumbled. Saved but sad. Akira then picks them up and eats it. It is delicious despite without a form. What? No perverted comeback? Because the siblings do not join clubs, Brisa suggests Akira to join one to reduce his libido on Moyako. But that sister starts thinking he might start a club and grow an army of big sister lovers! The friends are at Moyako’s house to watch a football game and support their country playing. Because they are talking using football terms, Moyako fears they might be talking in some secret lingo about her. She tries to decipher a few of them and ends up misinterpreting them as perverted meanings. Even the football formation could mean sexy body parts and pose! What a dreadful secret language! Yeah, she’s shaking like a jelly. She needs to stop and save this (like how the goalkeeper saves Japan from conceding a goal) so she tells them off to stop the obscene talk but is told they’re just talking about plain football.

Episode 3
Moyako and friends go buy swimsuits for the summer. As she is about to try them on, it is that unhealthy thought again. Akira may be planning to peep on her. She texts to Kasumi for help. Since she doesn’t understand what the heck it means, she shows it to Akira who in turn goes to see what the problem is. Moyako panics after hearing his voice. She drops her handphone and somehow he slips on it, crashing into the changing room and onto her boobs. She’s screaming rape and why are the friends so calm about it? Fuuka taking down notes?! Moyako is working at a maid cafe but she is disheartened to see Kasumi and Akira here. Brisa must have told them this secret job of hers. As usual, Moyako starts thinking that by being a maid, she must be submissive to Akira, the reason he is here. Quit fantasizing. Are you ready to take orders yet? As Akira orders omelette rice, part of her job needs to write some words on it in ketchup. Oh dear. How did she get the idea that he wants her to write his love confession on it? Before you know it, she drowns the entire plate with ketchup. They think Moyako being a clumsy maid makes her look cute. At first everybody laughs. Till Moyako thinks it is part of Akira’s plan to do something dirty on her and ticks them off. Late that night, Moyako is having trouble going to the toilet. Because 2 hours earlier, she was watching a scary horror movie with Akira. She freaked out and hugged him. Now she thinks this is his perverted plan to get close to her. I guess she can’t stand it anymore and tiptoes through the dark hallway. As she passes his room, she heard noises. She thinks Akira has been planning this toilet trip too! He has been waiting for this moment to go to the toilet with her! Akira gets up because he needs a glass of water. Because it is dark, he sees a figure (Moyako) in front of his door and he freaks out. She also freaks out thinking there is a pervert around.

Moyako and friends are at the beach. Their swimsuit and nice body are making heads turn. The mere thought of a drowning accident sparks a frenzy deliberation that Akira plans to drown himself so he can get unlimited kisses from her CPR! So before he sinks, she grabs on tight to him to stop him from drowning. But isn’t she drowning him in her boobs? It is time to split the watermelon in half. Moyako is blindfolded and guided by the voice of her friends. Then it hit her. What if Akira has been misleading her instead of to the watermelon but to him? She will not allow this chance for a lucky pervert and start smashing about. Watermelon destroyed… Finally they play fireworks. Of course Moyako had to think further that sharing sparks means sharing their love. This might be something like an indirect kiss. To avoid sharing the light, she quickly puts out his fireworks. While playing sparklers, Akira suggests combining their light to make it big. But wait! Fusing sparklers is like fusing together? It is like brother and sister becoming one? She can’t let this happen and wrestles Akira into submission. Ah, he went out before the sparkler lights did. As they ride a train back on the way home, the friends see the siblings leaning on each other as they sleep. Aww, so cute. I hope Moyako isn’t have any perverted nightmares that will have her suddenly jolt up and screaming nonsense while scaring the daylights out of everyone. Oh, it’s already night time by the way.

You’re Just Over-thinking It!
Ah yes. Watching this series might ignite the argument of why men can never understand women or what is going on in their head. Now you wonder why you never did something but yet your girl still accuses greatly of doing something. Ah yes. Moyako. That’s the reason. You provide a great insight. Now we know. And unfortunately it still does not solve anything because now we are more confused to as what actually girls think! Call them cute and they’ll accuse you of trying to seduce her. Ignore her and she’ll accuse you of being a jerk thinking she is not attractive enough for you. Ah yes…

But let us just confine our comments and thoughts for this series, shall we? Moyako is both hilarious and amusing due to her insecure nature of overthinking if her brother is trying to take out his perversion on her. No, wait. She is convinced he’ll do it! Therefore despite the series is very heavy on the monologue of Moyako (heck, that is what the second title of the anime says – Tomaranai Monologue (Never Ending Monologue)), this is where all the funny parts come from. You will never cease to be amazed at all the ‘creative’ thoughts that she could come up with. The slightest thing can be turned into something exaggerated and dramatic. This is a good example of how to make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Therefore it can be concluded that Moyako herself could be a very perverted person. Just that she is in denial about it and puts all the blame on her poor brother who doesn’t have a clue in what is going on. If people have the ability to read minds, they’ll be shocked in reading this one. Oddly after all these years, assuming Akira has never made a single perverted move on her, she should have known better whether her brother is a real pervert or not. By continuing this delusion shows further evidence that Moyako herself is a pervert. So much so it has become her nature. Besides, if she can imagine such perverted thoughts, how does she know all those perverted stuffs in the first place? Aha. She may have done her research prior to this or have seen enough hentai and porn to imagine all that, am I right? So do you not think that Moyako is a true blue pervert? You can see how she shifts the blame by labelling Akira as a pervert at the start of each mini arc. She’ll narrate she is the daughter of the Konoe family who has a brother who is a perverted and likes (insert whatever word you want here).

Other characters play just a supporting role and don’t really make that much impact since it is Moyako that is the one stealing the limelight, the main focus and reason for watching this anime. Like Akira whom as I have said is the most normal boy ever but becomes the scapegoat of big sister’s perverted delusions. Thought to ponder: If Akira is no longer around (say, he goes off to college or overseas), would Moyako’s fantasies stop? Because as you can see Akira is the cause of why Moyako starts having dirty thoughts. Oh wait. She’ll start overthinking about some abandonment play thingy and perhaps blame Akira for making her feel lonely and then run back to her arms! And do perverted stuffs! See! I’m starting to think like Moyako!

The rest of Moyako’s friends aren’t that significant either. Feels like they are there so that it won’t entirely be a monologue series. It goes to show that despite Moyako having all that heavy thinking, she still has friends around her. Brisa can speak on the same wavelength and craziness with Moyako but I’m not sure if this is because this is her nature or she loves to see the reaction that she displays. Then there is Kasumi who is just there to sometimes play the rebuking role and Fuuka just watching and observing over everything. She is in a big dilemma to whether Akira is a pervert as claimed by Moyako. There is a character named Fubuki who is just mostly reduced to narrating a handful of lines but I don’t see what the point is introducing her character if she doesn’t even make a decent appearance (she only does but for a short while in the third episode) or impact in relation to the stories. Just introductory level at this point, maybe. That’s the thing when you have not enough episodes to flesh other characters out. And not enough characters to see all of Moyako’s delusions ;p.

Ami Koshimizu is absolutely perfect as Moyako. She did a pretty good job in portraying the varying ‘worrying’ levels of her character especially when she starts screaming thanks to her indecent delusions. It is just funny and hilarious. Hats off to her. I didn’t recognize it was Aoi Yuuki’s voice behind Brisa. Maybe she’s all grown up? Nah. Even so, her voice shouldn’t change that much. Must be my ears failing me. The rest of the other casts include Takahiro Mizushima as Akira (Nagasumi in Seto No Hanayome), Satomi Akesaka as Kasumi (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Mariko Honda as Fuuka (Inu in Etotama) and Sayaka Ohara as the narrator/Fubuki (Erza in Fairy Tail). The ending theme, Aneson ~Moyako Nee-san No Tomaranai Mekake Song~ by Ami Koshimizu is a fun piece to hear. After watching the hilarity and all, this lively anime pop rock tune is just the right tonic and dessert.

Overall, this show is funny because of a certain girl tending to think perverted thoughts and accusing her bother for it. I thought they should expand this into a proper TV series but the thought of hearing Moyako screaming her head off over something that does not exist in reality may be a little too tiring. Turning this into a running joke may be stretching it too. I mean, can you stand a girl yapping nonstop the entire time? Seeing this show is mainly on the monologue of Moyako, can you handle it when you hear her going full ranting for 1 cour? It’s no more funny. That is why I don’t blame Akira for turning into a serial rapist-cum-killer if he snaps at a later point in life. I hope it will never come to that.

Lastly, I believe normal and ordinary people would enjoy this series seeing the deluded perversions are just for laughs and not meant to amount to insult a certain gender. Extreme so called feminists might want to call or argue whatever they want. Making women look bad and like as though they are not enough as sex objects (Moyako has big boobs after all) and painting them as the ones with dirty thoughts. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and delusions… After all, the discrimination between the genders still exists even today. Especially with the line that says a man who sleeps with hundreds of woman in 2 weeks is legendary. But a woman who sleeps with 2 men in the span of 100 days is a slut. Don’t fret and pull your hair out arguing about this. Go watch some porn and let off some steam. We’ll be much happier that way :).

Shinmai Maou No Testament

September 6, 2015

One day, you suddenly find out that you will be getting a little sister. How would you feel? I don’t know, I never had one before or at least one that I could treat as one. This is the case for our protagonist in Shinmai Maou No Testament. As an only child, his dad suddenly introduces him not one but two lovely little sisters. And they aren’t your ordinary sisters so to speak. Because one of them is the future Demon Lord! Holy hell! If you think you can dominate all over your little sister just because of your newfound big brother status, then better think again. Well, this series isn’t about a perverted big brother who always needs to be shown his place when his perverted side gets the better of him as the demonic little sister rains demonic punishment down in this slapstick ecchi comedy. It is nothing of that sort. Instead, you have got a very responsible big brother who is determined to protect his little sisters from malicious forces who want a piece of that inherited power inside her. Because, you know, they’re family. Yawn… Boring… That’s why they throw in lots of ecchi fanservice to keep us entertained and occupied… Hey, isn’t this why we watch this show in the first place?

Episode 1
When your father suddenly asks you if you want little sisters, something is wrong. The case for Basara Toujou. It might be a long forgotten dream he wanted as a kid but he isn’t too keen on it. No, daddy is not going to f*ck mommy tonight if you’re wondering. Basara is shocked of this news and I suppose he got impatient in waiting for them so he goes to the toilet. You know it’s his fault by walking in without reading the sign to knock first. Because there is a cute chick changing her panties! She tries to scream but he holds her mouth and tries to calm her down. Calm her down?! I thought this looked like a rape scene! And when she finally does, she slaps him! So Basara, meet your new pair of sisters, Mio and Maria Naruse. Their mother is currently overseas for a while so they’re letting them stay. Actually both sides are moving to a new house. Basara didn’t expect Mio to be on top of him when he wakes up. Is she trying to seduce him? Something feels hard down there… Oh, it’s a box of an erotic stepsister game! It’s not his! More confusion, more slipups. He lands on her. Rape scene? Well, another slap. More fanservice when Maria is cooking in a naked apron. Actually, she’s wearing clothes underneath. The apron is just too big and gives us that impression. She starts teasing him about getting horny and was the one who planted that game. Mio thinks he is trying to attack her now. What does daddy Jin have to say for all this? Please don’t commit too many crimes… While Basara and Mio are out for errands, several jerks try to hit on her. They act tough before Basara but he beats them up and throws pepper as distraction for their escape. Mio seems shaken up so he tries to be considerate to her. They’re family now. Though, Mio felt he was a little cool like a big brother then. Although she still won’t be forgiving for that toilet and bedroom folly.

And now Jin has to leave for Dubai as a freelance cameraman. Yeah. All alone with the sisters, huh? Whoever said it is the eldest son’s duty to protect them anyway? Right after Jin leaves, Basara thinks the sisters are scared of him because they shut the lights and remains silent. Seriously, he isn’t going to rape them. But nothing could be more surprise in store for him because Mio tells him to leave this house as they need it as their new base. Maria slams him to the wall with her magic as warning. She turns into her demon form and says there are many other types of clans like Gods and heroes. So Mio is a demon too, eh? Not just any demon. She is the FUTURE DEMON LORD! Seems they have altered his Jin’s memories and everything was a lie. They will alter his too. However it seems Maria’s magic doesn’t work and they get a shocking surprise when Basara moves faster than them and then materializes a badass gauntlet and sword to give a warning attack. Well what do you know? He is from the hero clan. Now he tells them to get out! Later Basara seems to be having trauma about the power he just used. He calls Jin to tell him what happened and he actually knew it all along. He pretended to be duped. Why? Mio is the daughter of Demon Lord Wilbert. He is a peace loving demon who stopped the conflicts with the hero clan. Those demons who love war target his throne. To shield his daughter from this, she was sent to the human world and raised by human surrogates. A year ago, Wilbert died and the demon who succeeded him is trying to extinguish Mio’s inherited power. Luckily she was saved by Wilbert’s faction but imagine yourself in her shoes and suddenly finding out you’re a Demon Lord’s daughter. Her powers aren’t fully awakened yet and since Jin was keeping a watch on that village for a year and decided to take her in. So this means Basara has to go find them now, eh? Better be quick because demon creatures are attacking them. Mio can only hold out for so long and good thing Basara was there to save her in this reckless leaping-off-bicycle move you should never ever try. His hero gear easily destroys the creatures. What changed his mind to come get them? Because they’re family.

Episode 2
Basara tells Maria of what he knows. Although the hero clan is watching them, it is not like Jin and Basara were working for them and are just ordinary humans. Really, what was that gear for? He then goes to apologize to Mio. I guess they are even because despite they tried to dupe him, he too hid his hero identity as a secret. Maria admires his strong power to negate her magic but he insists that it is just fluke. Mio is still reeling from watching her human parents burn and die so Maria gives her a new photo of their new family to move forward. She then knows a way to handle Basara. She creates a magic circle for a master-servant pact. This way, they will know where each other are. Can’t they use GPS instead? That malfunctioning technology? Unreliable! When the circle forms on the back of Basara’s hands, Mio is not amused because she has to kiss it and this will signify she is the servant. Because she waited too long, the circle is gone and she starts feeling horny! Maria explains about the loyalty enforcement in this pact. Each time a servant tries to defy the master, the curse will initiate. So why the horniness? Maria is a succubus and used it as ground work for this pact. The only way to solve this is to keep touching her till she submits. Be quick or Mio will ascend to heaven in more than one way! Can demons go to heaven? And so Basara starts caressing and this might all be Maria’s plan because we see her eager beaver face to watch this. By the time it is over, it is time for some payback because Mio drags her away for an explanation. Hope her skull won’t be crushed… Next day, Basara transfers to his new school. He remembers Maria telling him that as long as Mio acts accordingly and not try to be insubordinate (acts with intent to betray the master), the curse won’t activate. There must be mutual trust.

Right after he introduces himself in class, the class rep, Yuki Nonaka hugs him. What the?! Remember her, his childhood friend? Oh, now he does. Mio is not happy of this close proximity and separates them. Why is she jealous? What does this have to do with her? Oh, it does because now they’re living in the same house. Oh sh*t! So much about keeping that a secret. Thanks to that, new guy in school becomes public enemy number one among the guys. Maybe except for this guy, Yahiro Takigawa. Kind enough to buy him lunch (because Mio couldn’t care less about it), he tells him that Mio and Yuki are school idols and have their fan groups. Thankfully, both sides keep each other at bay. Basara notes more importantly with everyone watching them so intensely, no demons should infiltrate the school and harm Mio easily. So what’s the catch for Takigawa to hang out with him? Besides being a transfer student himself, it is interesting to hang out with a guy with the kind of luck of attracting princess idols or whatever other unseen power. Is he hinting something? On the way back, it is no surprise Mio is still in foul mood. Maria got the wrong idea that ‘a lot happened’ between them. Remember to use protection? That’s not it! It’s going to get worse when Yuki wants to talk to him. He has to. Because it won’t be nice turning down a childhood friend whom he has not seen for 5 years. So what is this hugging thing she reminds him that he used to do just to fondle her butt? Don’t remember, eh? Anyway she gets serious and tells him not to involve himself with Mio anymore.

Episode 3
Instantly Basara knows Yuki is from the hero clan sent to observe Mio. He decided to protect her because she is innocent and just a normal girl. If the hero clan won’t protect her, he will do it. Mio feels bad that she should have seen something like this coming when Yuki hugged him. Oh, what can she do to ever repay the favour? Maria has an idea… Yuki continues that at this rate, Basara won’t be enough to defeat all the low level demons that are starting to be drawn to her ever growing powers. If this gets to the point where she endangers others, she will become a target of elimination. She will show no mercy even if it makes him hate her. Well, she cut a demon as proof. Back home, I guess for Basara to make up with that tryst and Mio’s repayment, Maria has Mio scrub Basara’s back in the bath. If that is not enough, she has to use her boobs! More added fanservice when Maria brings in cake, drops it on him so she can lick him! And it’s like his inner horniness activates as he turns into a demon and is going to start raping them!!! But could it be just a dream? Oh well, he’s in bed with Maria (she snuck in) and somehow he got his hands on her butt. I guess this will do. She used her power to peek into his horny dream. At school, I guess Mio is worried enough of Basara to activate the curse. So Basara rather ditch organizing summer break assignments by his pals and teacher just to stay by Mio’s side at the infirmary. I think this is a better choice.

So Takigawa goes talks to him while he takes a breather when suddenly demons start attacking. Basara knocks him out to take care of them and then rush to Mio’s side. She’s gone. That’s because Yuki took her to the rooftop to talk. She tells her as long she is around Basara, he will suffer. So leave him. Not a chance. Not after he said he would protect her despite learning everything. Because they’re family. I suppose they have to resort to fighting now. Yuki doesn’t like how she talks as though she knows Basara well enough. She reveals he has lost most of his power. Five years ago in order to save her, he had to erase his comrades. This is the reason why Basara and Jin left the village. Until today, his past haunts him. Basara pops up to tell the girls to stop fighting till this demon dude in a mask (sounds familiar… I know that voice…) discloses to Mio how Basara and Maria had been fighting demons every night till dawn to keep her safe. As her inherited power grows, low level demons get attracted and it would begin harming humans, the hero clan will deem her as a threat and change the status from observation to elimination. When that happens, she can’t live here anymore even if it is with a former hero. That is why Yuki told her to leave. So why didn’t Basara say a word? Because she would blame herself. Well, it’s no different now. She’s in guilt-ridden mode. A demon is about to kill her from behind. Basara can’t summon his gear because that dude reminds him about the erasure. So he goes in bare handed to protect Mio with his body. Basara, NOOOOO!!! Ah well, at least he gets to die on her boobs.

Episode 4
Mio is being told everything is her fault and thus to make the right decisions. Basara is recuperating back home and he is literally fine thanks to his past hero training. There’s this flashback too whereby one of the heroes, Seito stole the sealed demon sword, Brynhildr and started killing everyone in the village. Before Yuki was about to be killed, Basara unleashed some super power. But now they have another problem. Mio is missing and Basara knows that idiot went to settle things herself. She meets up with the masked demon to attack him believing this fight should be only hers. However she is clearly not that strong and with his threats to hurt everyone, she agrees to follow him back to the demon realm. But before he can do that, it is Yuki to the rescue. Even if she could break his barrier by striking the same spot repetitively, she is still no match for him. And thus, it is Basara to the rescue. He plans to use this Banishing Shift move of his. It is some super move that nullifies everything. He used that move against Seito and there was this huge crater in the village. To stop something like this ever from happening again, Basara and Brynhildr were confined. With Basara tag team with Maria, he lands continuous combo strikes on the masked demon and defeat him. Before they can rejoice over their victory, a demon sneaks up on Basara and stabs him! OMG! Can you believe it was that same demon who killed him?!

Mio gets so upset that her ultimate power starts unleashing and blowing everything away. Despite Basara being okay, she cannot control this overwhelming power and wants him to kill her. However he won’t. Because she is his family and being his little sister is more important than the world. Heh. Some logic. This means she should just shut up and let big brother rescue her. Oh yeah, tasukete onii-chan, no? He uses Banishing Shift to return things to normal. Next day, Yuki visits his home to hand him some medicine. She wonders if that was the same Banishing Shift he did before. It isn’t since he was able to control it this time. Once Basara returns to school, he confronts Takigawa. He knows he is that masked demon (I knew it!). However Basara isn’t here to fight him and wants to make a deal. He knows it is Takigawa’s mission to awaken her power while monitoring her. But since he has failed, this means somebody more powerful will be sent to replace him. Basara has not recovered strong enough for that. So Takigawa could pretend nothing happened and continue monitoring Mio or Basara will make it known that he screwed up and he gets replaced. But they’re enemies, right? He is willing to trust him. Because something tells him when he was stabbed, his vital organs were purposely missed. Also, there were numerous chances he had to kill Maria during the hunt. Takigawa agrees to play along with his plan for now since he will be in a mess if this gets out. Basara wants to know who killed Mio’s human parents. It was Zolgia, the one monitoring Mio before him. He warns he is not as patient as he is and will make his move soon.

Episode 5
Time for some much needed fanservice. Basara wakes up to find naked Maria on top of him. It might be ungentlemanly of him to hit her but he claims she did worse! ARE YOU GAY???!!! And here’s a déjà vu scene whereby he walks into the toilet while Mio is clad in a towel. Trying to shut her up? And then they slip and he got her butt in his face! DAMN MIO CENSORS!!! Nothing like 500,000 volts of lightning to make it even, huh? Basara’s problem continues because suddenly Yuki is here to wash his back! She gets really jealous that he did it with Maria and Mio and yet he doesn’t want to do it with her! Seriously, what logic is this? But we guys don’t want to argue about it. She threatens to do bolder things if he doesn’t let her. And then there is Mio at the door trying to apologize but she finds a girl’s uniform outside. Guess what? Basara says it is his because he likes cross-dressing! WTF?! Can you lie better than that? So Mio opens the door and sees the unholy act. Want another round of zapping? But then her curse activates and eager beaver Maria wants to record this on camera but is locked away in the toilet. Later Basara treats Takigawa to some BBQ as repayment. He is told reinforcements will be sent to observe Mio because the higher ups think Mio’s power is awakening. It will be hard for him to cooperate now. He mentions about the pact Basara formed with Mio. It is not only a curse but can also make them stronger. When their faith and loyalty grows, it improves their combat potential. But since the greatest act of betrayal is being captured by the enemy, the curse will be activated at the fullest and will eventually die. Their busty teacher, Chisato Hasegawa comes to join them (I can see why men want to hit on her). Hasegawa walks with Basara and hints that she knows what she is going on. He seems confused so she tells him he should give more thought on what he truly wants to protect. Then she pecks his forehead and chants a protective charm from her village.

Takigawa meets up with Valga, the supposed reinforcement. He knows Valga isn’t just going to be content with just observing although he warns the hero clan has made their move. Then there is Zest, Zolgia’s right hand woman. She has orders from the top demon himself and Takigawa would gladly work with her. Basara talks to Maria about this curse she put on them was actually so that Wilbert’s power won’t fall into enemy hands. I guess she had to choose the risk of letting him protect her or let her fall into enemy hands. Of course she didn’t tell Mio because of that self guilt thing. So the best way he could learn to master this pact is to play an eroge! Proof of Basara not knowing a girl’s heart because he ends up with a bad ending. Maria guides the way and he is shocked to be led to some ecchi stuffs. So he needs to forcefully strip her shell away? This is how he should properly train his little step sister? Mio is not too amused to hear all this and takes Maria away for a ‘good lesson’. Well, Basara won’t be coming to save you this time. Meanwhile a group of heroes (Takashi Hayase, Kurumi Nonaka and Kyouichi Shiba) are on the move as they slash lowly demons in the vicinity and it seems they are on orders to kill Mio whose status has been switched from observation to termination. Basara gets into trouble with Mio and Yuki fan club boys. The teacher breaks them up before anything untoward could happen. It was Yuki who called the teacher. She has a favour to ask of him. Please go on a date with her next weekend.

Episode 6
My, what a lovely couple they are. But what is Mio doing here too? I suppose she got jealous and started tailing them, eh? But during the shopping, Yuki’s sister, Kurumi tells her play time is over. Yuki is missing ever since as the rest wait for her. Suddenly they are attacked by Valga. He is a tough guy and Basara-Maria combo doesn’t work. But he is frozen and then destroyed. Thank Takashi for that. Basara is not happy to learn the village has changed Mio’s status. But Kurumi cannot be more upset about a hero protecting the Demon Lord’s daughter. Shiba suggests a 3-on-3 fight in a week’s time since they don’t want to wreck the city. Shiba will only be refereeing and will inform the place and time. That night Basara calls Jin about the situation. He is in lots of dilemma especially about Yuki not wanting to fight Mio. If he fights too, he’ll make enemies out of all the heroes in the world. But Jin doesn’t have any obligations to those heroes anymore especially when the assigned him to keep an eye on Basara when they were exiled from the village. Basara trains with the girls as he reveals his former allies’ tricks like Takashi’s Byakko that could only attack from the west and Kurumi’s magic that would be limited to only wind spirits since Byakko is in force. If they keep their orientation and distance right, they’ll have a chance. Kurumi is giving Yuki a dressing down that she has taken a soft spot for the enemy (going shopping and all that?) because she used to work hard to become strong but now she is like living so carefree and forgetting about the mission. Takashi also has a grudge against Basara. Because his Banishing Shift erased everything, not even corpses of the dead were left behind, they couldn’t properly send off the deceased.

Maria gives Basara more fanservice in the name of growing the master-servant bond. She starts arousing him with the explanation succubus absorb such lust to turn it into their strength. HOLY SH*T! SHE STARTS LICKING HIS BODY! Then Mio sees this… But she doesn’t get mad. All part of Maria’s plan to make her take over? I guess some bonding is needed. This could have been a steamy tantalizing sexy scene if not for those DAMN LIGHT CENSORS!!!!!! Anyway, it ended well. Next day in school, Takigawa talks to Basara that since Valga was killed, he and his people might have to interfere in their battle. This means he will exterminate by force his enemies and this includes Yuki. So if he doesn’t want them to act, be sure to win. Yuki who has been missing for a week suddenly pops up before Basara to tell him to withdraw from the match. You know he can’t do that, right? Even if it means more than getting exiled and making enemies out of every hero in the world. Because Mio is his sister. That enough convincing for you? Then he gives her his spare key to his house! So, I take it that he is going to win the battle and give free access to Yuki to his house to be part of his harem. That must be it! And so where is the place they picked? On some overhead bridge over a busy road? WTF?! I thought they’d pick some forest or abandoned building or something.

Episode 7
The barrier is activated and they can fight all they want within the vicinity. I wonder if things get damaged here, will it affect the real world too? While Mio and Maria handle Takashi, Basara lures Kurumi away. Then he uses his Banishing Shift to seal her spirits. Not only he defeated her, he also saved her from the fall! And when she remembers their happy childhood times, suddenly her character changes into a blushing little girl? And now they have to deal with Yuki who seems not amused. What’s this? Kurumi now siding Basara? Yuki knocks him out with the hilt of her sword and then make him drink a sleeping potion to knock him out for half a day. Then Yuki goes to face off with Takashi (who is probably tired of playing cat and mouse with the duo). Yuki does not want to experience that tragedy ever again. That is why she became stronger. She will protect what Basara is trying to protect. Basara was also a victim of this. In fact he wasn’t the traitor. It was them who betrayed him by exiling him from the village. Maria tells Mio to go to Basara’s side. She tries to shake and wake him up. Basara must be regretting about his past in his dream. Then he sees Mio who tells him to protect her. I guess with her smothering her boobs in his face, it gives him enough power to break out from the sleeping spell. Now it is his turn to protect Yuki and fight Takashi. At first Basara is doing defensive moves before using his speed to counter attack. Byakko turns defensive and reverts into its original form, a white tiger. As it is a defensive weapon, it will do all it can to protect the wielder. Although it will do nothing if they don’t attack but half of the barrier is built by Byakko’s power. The plan is to draw out its attack and break through its wind barrier at the same time. Yuki will help him out with that and with her trust in him, they defeat Byakko. Takashi wants Basara to kill him but he won’t. Because they’re childhood friends. Just like the other childhood friends he killed? He starts badmouthing him about siding with Mio but she slaps him and tells him off he isn’t the only one having a hard time. Do you think Basara has forgotten all that? She wants to give him a few more punches but Maria holds her back. Basara says he will continue to bear his past and hatred for the rest of his life. Shiba announces it is over and that their mission is temporarily withdrawn. Because they had to clean up after Byakko went out of control, they will be morally tainted if they continue with Mio’s elimination. That would in turn affect their pact with gods and spirits. So suck it up Takashi. It’s over. All the heroes are to return home and this includes Yuki and Kurumi. Well, don’t want the situation to worsen, right? Have your harem another time.

Episode 8
It’s such a gloomy atmosphere with Yuki not around. But when Basara gets home, there she is making dinner for him! She explains the village decided to revert Mio’s status back to observation and Jin must have done something to negotiate for that. He is so happy that he hugs her! Now that he has led her on, she wants a kiss! And my, do Mio look unhappy about it. It gets even worse (or better) as Yuki declares she is now staying with him as this will be the best way for Mio’s observation. Something tells me it isn’t Mio that she wants. Maria then shows her those juicy footage of Mio and Basara’s bonding. Now this has led her on, she strips and wants Basara to fondle her too! I think Maria died a few times today… After learning about the master-servant pact, Maria suggests Yuki to make one with Basara too tomorrow. For combat abilities or for harem purpose? I know which want I am looking forward to. Yuki can’t wait for it, eh? So it becomes a challenge for Mio and Yuki in just about anything because horny Yuki is determined to beat her and let Basara fondle her a lot! When Basara sees Maria in their school grounds, he knows that sneaky succubus is up to no good and goes to stop her. She is here to check on Mio’s safety and wants him to accompany her to check spots that Mio would visit. Like the toilet cubicle. Or the rooftop (a couple is making out!). Then there is the locker room whereby cheeky Maria puts Mio’s panties over his head. But they have to hide as the girls are coming back. Of all times. Maria afraid to get spanked by Mio again but since they’re eventually going to be found out, might as well seduce the hell out of him now!!! This is what you really call a tight spot! So when Mio opens her locker to see this steamy scene, she just closes it back to give them a chance to come out more decently or else… A slap for Basara and several beatings for Maria. They’re lucky to escape with that. Because of that, her curse starts activating so it’s time for Basara to put in what he has learnt. Make her into submission! I don’t know about this shower scene and sticking the shower head into her swimsuit but it worked somehow. Damn censors… As it is time to go home, Basara notices Maria missing and goes to find her. To his surprise, he sees her meeting up with Takigawa. Something smells fishy. But later as Maria explains, she was lost and he gave directions (or is it?). Then she requests to hold hands and walk home. I guess she has got to pamper herself once in a while instead of always doing it for Mio. Oh wait, hasn’t she always? Meanwhile Zest shows footage to Zolgia about Basara’s power. Since Lars (Takigawa’s real name) is the only one to know of this power, Zolgia doesn’t feel the need to care about him and will move forward with his plans.

Episode 9
The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Yuki making a pact with Basara! Why is he complaining she is dressed so sexy?! If she wants to seduce you, let her seduce you lah! She even threatens to start stripping if he doesn’t look! Yuki wants to same kind of dominating treatment that Basara has on Mio. So when the curse is in effect, Basara has to make good of what he learnt to please her. Oh yeah. OH YEAH! Got it all recorded good on camera, Maria? It would have been sweet if not for that darn CENSOOOOOOOOOOOORS!!!!!!! Mio can’t believe this is how she looks like when she is in the same predicament. Yeah, believe it. So steamy the seduction that it even made Zest jealous just by watching. Next day during PE right after Basara sees Hasegawa (yet another usual of her enigmatic lines of not forgetting what he is supposed to protect), his classmate Sakaki suddenly comes in and wants him to do the same erotic things on Mio!!! WOAH! WAIT A SECOND! Suddenly another potential to his harem?! Yuki attacks her but she could evade her sword. She realizes Sakaki is being possessed. The same can be said for their fellow classmate, Aikawa. Yuki will deal with the duo while Basara goes after Mio since her curse is activated. Jealous, isn’t she? However she is caught by Mio and Zest. Before Basara could get her, they disappear. He becomes worried as he could no longer sense her whereabouts. Mio has this flashback how Zolgia popped into her life one day, violently slew her dad and burnt her mom. Terrifying. Then Maria appeared before her and revealed the truth and her true self as opposed to the cousin relationship Mio had always known. Mio is still mad at Zolgia for killing her parents. More shocking is that Mio is working under him. He is about to have fun with Mio when there is an important call from the current Demon Lord, Leohart. Seems some ruins have been discovered that dates back to the Diavola Era war between demons and gods. He wants Zolgia on the expedition team due this his magic expertise. Looks like fun time with Mio will have to wait. Basara calls out Takigawa and wants to know the entire truth. Takigawa knew Basara had seen him meeting with Maria and that itself should have made him suspicious. He reveals Zolgia never gave up on Mio and because Maria ran away with her the last minute, Zolgia went after Maria’s family and captured her mother. He can’t get rid of Maria too because she is holding some trump card. She was also the one who reversed the curse because Mio would have died had anyone beside her master steals her chastity. Takigawa won’t reveal more so Basara will fight him to the end just to save his sister. But I guess he lost. Because Takigawa goes to meet Zest and wants to make a deal. He will hand Basara over to her in exchange for Mio.

Episode 10
Takigawa threatens to tell Leohart that Zolgia kidnapped Mio. Zest has no choice… But to kill him! He didn’t see this one coming, didn’t he? Basara wakes up inside Zolgia’s castle and the first thing he gets is Maria’s seductive fanservice. So what is he complaining about? He knows of her captured mom and wants to help but all Maria can do now is follow Zolgia’s orders to subjugate his mind. She uses her trump card. Turning herself into a sexy busty curvaceous succubus? Basara might be under her spell but he eventually uses his will to break out. So he rather save her than taint her. I suppose so because it’s not right to taint somebody while she’s having tears in her eyes seducing you. She fights him but he just stood there and taking her punches after using Banishing Shift. This is part of the plan to nullify the magic from within so that Yuki can find the location of the castle. She frees Mio and they both fight Zest. Zest knows she can’t win so she tries to play a little psychology that Basara is now saving Maria, the one who betrayed Mio. By now if Mio falls for that, she’s a useless b*tch. Of course she realizes Basara has forgiven them both and promised they will be protected. She believes in him. Maria cannot believe Basara is still standing back up after all that pounding. But this guy has some smooth words too. He is saying about the times they spent together and how he doesn’t want to lose things and how he is going to save everyone. Wow. Really a hero. Yeah, it made Maria’s last punch so weak and right after he hugs her, she starts crying out so loud that the windows might shatter. So we skip the boring fight with Zest and just fast forward to see her defeated and tied up by the duo. As they’re about to leave, they are paralyzed by Zolgia’s magic. This pervert demon relishes having a new toy. Now he’s got a hero specimen, time to get horny with her too? But first he berates Zest for being a useless guard dog and chides her that he knows she envied those girls and wanted Basara as her master. For this betrayal, she shall die. And as expected, she can’t die yet because Basara interrupted with his Banishing Shift to nullify everything. But this old demon still has some magic up on his sleeve. He hypnotizes Basara to take a peek at what kind of power he possesses.

Episode 11
Well, what do you know? Takigawa looks like he is still alive. Basara manages to break free but whatever tricks he throws, Zolgia is always superior. Then he uses another mind control to have him dreaming about his harem girls seducing him! Woah! Such fun! Even Hasegawa is in! Even Kurumi! How can he not resist them all?! Unless he is gay… We interrupt this steamy fantasy with Maria barging in to fight Zolgia. He gives her 2 choices: Become his alongside the other girls or let her mother die while they escape. She declines them both. He expects this and shows the true footage of her mom already dead. NOOOO!!! YOU HEARTLESS BASTARD! Maria is such a sad succubus that she reverts into her loli form. But this awakens Mio’s innate powers. Zolgia is interested to take a look at it but as he touches her, his entire arm is destroyed! Holy sh*t! Now he looks freaking scared! Shivering in his own pants! Mio wants to kill him for revenge but Basara doesn’t want her to taint her hands or live with the rest of her life suffering by bearing his death. Then order her via the pact to stop seeking revenge. He won’t do that her and they’ll no longer be siblings if he does that. They’d never be family again. He promised his dad he would protect her. As he hugs her, this distraction gives Zolgia the chance to escape but outside he is met with Takigawa. Seems he is a puppeteer and Zest only killed one his dummies. This means, Maria’s mom, Shella also lives. Oh, I thought she is Maria’s twin sister! After Takigawa rescued Shella, he used another dummy to make Zolgia think he killed her. This is part of his deal with Basara. During that fight, he wanted to know what Takigawa wants and will see to it he will get it. No matter what! No, he will not sell him out to Leohart. Remember Mio’s human parents? They are actually demons. Kind hearted ones. They helped took in lots of orphan demons and Takigawa was one of them. He admired them a lot. His goal is to kill Zolgia by his own hands. With Zolgia’s magic undone, his castle turns into some dangerous beast. To fool Leohart and keep his location a secret, he hid it here but now the sleeping effect is wearing off, the beast is going to wake up and multiply infinitely and devour the entire world. I guess this is his ‘insurance’ that if he is going down, everyone will perish with him! Basara learns that this creature has vital organs but from what Zest explains you can’t destroy it with any magical or physical attacks. He is going to use Banishing Shift to the max. He knows it is dangerous but he did say he swore to protect his family even if it costs him his life. So why is he so against Mio and Yuki who want to go with him and play hero too? No time to argue. Let’s do this. Zest leads them to the core.

Episode 12
Running inside this creature feels like going through a little horror house with aliens just springing up to attack you. Even the ‘stairs’ can turn into aliens with sharp teeth! Yuki wants to play hero and keep these aliens at bay and all she needs to say is that believe-in-me magic word and voila! Basara will let her. Don’t look too long at those doll clones resembling Zest because they spring out and attack you! Then before the core, aliens attack whoever is on the offensive so Zest makes it sound like she’s going to sacrifice herself being the bait while Basara ends it. While Mio is against it (because she has a heart, blah, blah, blah), Basara surprisingly gives the green light. In no time, the beast’s core is destroyed and it’s like it is having a big stomach ache because its ‘vomit’ destroyed a mountain before it dies!!! Zest is still alive because Basara push her out of harm’s way at the very last second before he used Banishing Shift. Meanwhile Takigawa is slowly torturing Zolgia because he is waiting for someone to turn up. Zolgia thought he could use that someone to mind control and escape but that someone turns out to be Basara. He is here to watch his death. Say what? This is another part of the agreement. As Mio and Yuki will become aware of Takigawa’s real identity, he made a deal with Basara to vouch for him and in turn will see Zolgia die. Quite the sadist, is he? Zolgia tries to make a deal with Basara that he can provide more information about Mio if he is concerned about her safety but I guess he isn’t a cute busty female so it’s no deal. See that no remorse in Basara’s eyes? You’re screwed. Time to die. Oh yeah. His head just exploded…

Back home, Zest is given time to think what she wants to do but for the time being will consider Basara her master since her original master is dead. Basara goes to talk to Mio alone and he is worried if she was ‘tainted’. Fortunately, no. But the thought of this might happen to her riles him up so he pushes her down and starts raping her!!!! WTF????!!!! DID YOU SEE THIS COMING???!!!! IS HE TURNING INTO A REAL DEMON???!!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!! It is too late when he realizes it because Mio (with that smirk on her face) tells her the only way she could forgive him is to kiss her! Don’t tell me she’s addicted to it? Because they’re taking too long, Yuki usurps her and gives Basara her steamy kiss!!! Oh yeah! Let the real cat fight begin!!! Sad Maria thought she had no part in this but Basara pulls her in and seeks her help in diffusing the tension between the ladies. They’re trying to bring her to their side. I understand Mio is arguing she is her sister but what does Yuki have to offer? Side her and she’ll help her do lewd things to Mio! What is her answer? She quickly gives Basara a long steamy kiss because he is her brother! That’s your answer! Oh boy, the cat fight is going to get real intense in a 3 way battle! We take some time off the steamy bits as we see the moderate demon faction picking up Zest and Shella. So they’re not staying to be part of Basara’s harem? What a shame. And of course life returns to normal for them. One big happy harem family with the occasional tussle for that guy. Okay, make that frequent tussle. Lastly, Leohart is puzzled of Zolgia’s disappearance and wants his status to be investigated because from Takigawa’s report, he seemed to be plotting something. But waiting for him in his throne room is no other than Jin who has taken out all his guards. This is payback for laying his hands on his kids. Those mean vengeful eyes… Who is the real demon here?

Episode 13 (OVA)
Maria sees Mio still sleeping and dreaming. This is her chance to see what she is dreaming as she whips out a special camera to peek into her mind. Hoping for something erotic? Because in Mio’s dream she sees Maria as Basara, the succubus did not waste time to take on that role and play out her horny desires with her. OMG! Yuri action! That includes fondling her boobs, sucking her boobs and then using a banana for… OMG! Is she really going to use it?! Till Basara beats her up for trying to do something horny in the morning. Maria is then relegated to cooking breakfast and has him test taste her new dish. But what is this hard stuff she put in? Tastes okay but he can really bite it that well. She claims it is his favourite food: Mio’s panties! OMG! That guy just swallowed a pair! OMFG! This guy is going to kill her right now! Yuki saw the entire thing. Now she takes off her panties and wants him to eat it! What? He ate Mio’s and hers is not good enough? Unhappy with this, Yuki takes off her bra and bares her boobs. Call it lucky or unlucky because whatever Yuki begs Basara to do to her won’t happen as Mio is pretty pissed in seeing them engaged in this unholy act. She fries Basara and the horny loli succubus.

Because Hasegawa didn’t get much decent screen time, the second half is dedicated to her. After all, it would be a waste not to ‘make use’ of those boobs, right? As Basara seeks treatment at the infirmary after a minor sporting accident, he sees Hasegawa in a swimsuit. She was trying it and thanks to her big boobs, the zip is stuck. Need help? He tries but it just wouldn’t unzip. Using any more force will rip it. So he puts some foam and then unzips it but he uses a bit too much force and it exposes her boobs. She then invites him to her home for food. Don’t worry, he won’t be eating her. I think. So as she washes the dishes, she wants him to hug her from the back. I know it’s getting sexy with her teasing him like that. Then he has her hug from the front. When he is bathing, he is shocked she is joining him. This is to be expected. This is what we are waiting for! She starts washing his back using his boobs and then has him give advice on how to improve on this! When she steals a kiss, I suppose that is the breaking point because Basara now turns into a monster, returning her with a hot steamy passionate kiss! Rape scene?! OMG! Since when did this turn into hentai!!!!!!!!! He starts fondling her boobs, sucking it, playing with her butt!!! OMFG!!!! Short of just showing a certain anatomy to fully call it hentai!!!!! I don’t know if it was all a dream because when Basara wakes up, he is lying on Hasegawa’s lap. He somewhat passed out. Was it because of the heat or Hasegawa’s lesson of letting him experience the pleasure of an older woman is too much to handle? It is not clear if this was just a dream or it really happened and passion was too hot that it made it all look like a dream. Basara grabs his clothes and then heads off. Basara… YOU LUCKY BASTARD!!!

I’ll Pleasure You 100 Times!
Hey wait a minute! Oh, come on! Don’t end it like this when the best parts are starting to get interesting! The parts that sees the girls fighting over Basara! NOOOO!!!! Can’t they just extend this bit a little longer! We want more of such scenes! Why does it always have to end when it gets interesting? So is that why the need of the announcement of the second season right at the end of the TV series? Oh well, you might have guessed that this is perhaps the reason why we watch this series in the first place… The fanservice and of course the cat fight in the harem. Not the story, not the plot, not the development and not the plot. Don’t you agree with me?

I am not sure if this series is trying to be a rip-off from a handful of other animes of the same genre. You know, high school with super powers and ecchi harem theme. I can see some overlapping similarities with this one and High School DxD and others such as Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance, Seiken Tsukai No World Break, Yuushibu and even Hagure Yuusha No Estetica (trivia: they are both created from the same author). All of which are adapted from their original light novel series. So I guess with more and more of such similar adaptations and our craving/lust for anime porn that needs to be satiated every season, that is why it feels so similar. But it feels more like High School DxD clone because the main characters and the demon setting feel too awfully familiar. Just add the little sister link and you call it a new show.

So let’s get down to the points of the series that we aren’t interested in the first place. Get them out of the way right. Like the plot and development. Yeah sure, high school girl has some demon powers that everybody wants. Only some guy with an equally devastating power stands in the way. Hardly anything exciting. Maybe they’ll expand it in the next season but for now this plot just feels introductory to the setting and doesn’t move anywhere or make any great impact.

Character development also feels weak. At least for this season is concerned. Besides the main characters, many of some of the lesser characters feel fleeting and although it feels they definitely hold something more important but yet to be revealed. Like Hasegawa, this busty chick isn’t just your typical ordinary school nurse from her enigmatic speech and all. We all know there is more to her but looks like this season she won’t be making any moves yet. Then there is Jin who isn’t just some sleazy dad who decides to screw up his son’s life by leaving him with a bevy of babes. Seeing him taking on the interim Demon Lord shows that he is more than meets the eye. Heck, despite from the hero clan (as we believe), he could actually be God! Then there is Takigawa who feels like strange bedfellows with Basara and although they might have a seemingly common goal, his true intentions are yet to be seen. After all, he is still a demon and you can’t truly trust one, right? What about those heroes like Takashi, Kurumi and Shiba? Something tells me it isn’t the end of them yet and there’ll be more encounters in the future.

The main characters aren’t anything new or exciting. Just feels typical. Like Basara, you can compare him with so many archetype main characters that are just like him. This guy wants to be a hero who gets all his cake and eat it. Sure, he puts his family first before the world. That’s good, right? Which girl doesn’t want to have this guy as her big brother-cum-boyfriend-cum-future-husband? We get it already. You love your family. Don’t have to tell us all the time. Maybe he has to since Mio keeps having stray thoughts about everything else so he has to from time to time remind her about being family, blah, blah, blah. And the world can go to hell for all he cares if he is ever forced to choose between what is most important. Ironically, isn’t his little step-sister the future Demon Lord of hell? So if you want to do any heroic stuffs on join him on the offensive, you need to say those magic words that include trust, believe or have faith in me and he’ll automatically let you face danger but don’t get yourself in too deep because that will make him come back and save your ass. Which isn’t a bad thing but it’ll be embarrassing that you’ve already assured that you can do it but not live up to it.

I don’t know if Mio is trying to start a new catchphrase or something because she loves to say “I’ll kill you a hundred times!”. No, we don’t find that cute but rather annoying. We only find her cute (and sexy) when she is moaning like an amateur porn star ;p. I wonder if she is trying to rival that tsundere from Mayoi Neko Overrun, Fumino Serizawa because her favourite catchphrase is “Go die twice!”. Maybe there is a difference in getting killed and killing yourself. Otherwise she is pretty much a useless character. Her powers are still under-developed and has the tendency to go into guilt-ridden mode while being a tsundere. This is the future Demon Lord? Hell is screwed. Yuki feels like one of those expressionless characters, the kind that do not show much emotion but when it comes to dealing with the things she wants most, her actions speak louder than what you would guess from her facial expression. Still waters run deep.

I guess the reason why Maria has been given the succubus class is so that we do not complain whenever this loli gets horny ideas. Because she loves seeing Mio in such uncomfortable fanservice positions and that she is always ready to whip out her camera to record every racy second like as though she want to create and edit a porn collection of Mio and upload it to PornHub. Heh. She doesn’t even have to do that. There are a lot of sick people who would pay to watch that! For the record, I am not one of those people. When Maria oversteps her boundary, she becomes Mio’s punching bag to let loose some steam and remind her of her place but I don’t think it’s working given Maria’s succubus background. Seduction and flirting always comes first. Like pleasure before pain, huh?

And therefore the romance parts although it feels like Basara leaning more to Mio, but if you consider the lewd stuffs that they are doing, wouldn’t it be constitute as incest? I know they’re not related by blood and even if they are step-siblings, doesn’t this sound like incest? Oh, who cares about the laws of the world? It doesn’t apply when your love for your sister/brother is too great! Nobody understands our love! There might be a handful of scenes to see Basara and Mio ‘bonding’ but I just don’t feel it. Sure, they grow closer after each danger but I just don’t feel the bonding is there. So for now we just have to contend with Mio, Yuki and Maria in the harem because I really thought with Zolgia dead, Zest would join the harem with her new master. Heck, maybe Shella too. She could fit under the legal loli or MILF trope, right? Oh heck, I almost forgot about Kurumi. When is she coming back? Something tells me not to discount Hasegawa too because during Basara’s hypnosis from Zolgia, in fact all the main girls were there in his fantasy harem. Well, at least it is a good thing to know he isn’t gay. Because it would just scream hints of yaoi if Takigawa was part of it. I mean, really. This guy would do anything for him just to safeguard his sisters? What is he? Part of his harem? Thank God, no.

And thus the only reason why this anime was ever adapted was because of the fanservice. Who needs anything else when you can have horny girls being submitted by their onii-chan? This is how producers make their loads of money without needing to think much of the story and characters. Just fill it with fanservice and watch all the gullible perverts fall for this trick over and over again. Always works. Like yours truly. I can tell because of experience ;). However the biggest ‘disappointment’ in this area are the DAMN CENSORS!!! It is like the TV version is just teasing us and that they are telling us if you want to really see what is behind those blinding lights or chibi character censors, you better buy the BDs to get your 2 cents worth of fapping material (just like how it is all free and clear in the OVA). And that, my friend, is how you milk even more money from otaku perverts. Or else with those censors, it is like telling us to use our ‘vivid’ imagination to fantasize what is going on behind those juicy scenes. Oh sure, if I really wanted to fantasize and imagine such scenes, I might as well read the book. Read the light novel. But that isn’t the reason why we watch the TV series so in a way having censored fanservice scenes feels like ‘cheating’ us and ‘depriving’ us of what we really want to see most. You know what? I’m not going to waste my money on those BDs just to prove that I have a vivid imagination. OH YES! I CAN SEE IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

But not every fanservice scenes get those censors. Those considered to be ‘dangerous’ enough like Basara raping molesting trying to calm the curse down in Mio are definitely certain for such censors. Yeah, if it is a close up scene, I guess the censors will take up more than half the screen so you’ll be wondering if your TV monitor just burnt out from the blistering fanservice. I suppose such scenes are lewd and indecent enough to be borderline hentai and feels like any moment it could just cross over there. That is why they ‘leave it to your imagination’ for those censors in the TV series. Because girls only moan like that, yearn more of that and want to be raped like that… All that is only possible in porn, right? Therefore those small fanservice scenes like a scene of random girls changing in the locker room in their undies go uncensored simply because after all that we have seen and experienced, this is nothing compared to that.

The action bits just feel like a distraction to the fanservice moments. Because they cannot spam us with fanservice scenes for the entire duration of the episode, that is why they put in the sword and magic fights. The fight scenes are okay but nothing extravagant. Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention because I feel everyone has just 1 set of skills and there are no other variations. Especially with Basara’s Banishing Shift feels like the ultimate move cheat code because it just nullifies the hell out of everything in a single strike. How convenient. Sure, he has got it all under control now. But he makes it look so easy that he should just use this in every fight and every enemy he faces off. Oh wait, doesn’t he? And I thought he had some sort of trauma using it? I guess we forgot all about it in between because he has been using it like nobody’s business only for the final episode’s scene before Mio’s rape we see his hands shaking again just to remind us. There is a bit of gore and blood but sometimes they look more light red paint. Especially that scene where Zolgia’s head exploded… So unreal…

Basara sound familiar. Oh yeah. It’s Yuuichi Nakamura behind it at his usual angsty voice. Well, almost. Am I starting to see similarities in his anime characters? Like Kyousuke from OreImo, Yuuki from Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate and Tomoya from Clannad. Tomokazu Sugita was also recognizable despite not sounding so much like Gintama’s Gintoki. Feels a bit meek in this role but nevertheless still recognizable and thus the reason his character revelation wasn’t a surprise to me. I thought characters like Mio would be voiced by Ayana Taketatsu but it is Ayaka Asai instead (Hazuki Katou in Hibike! Euphonium). The rest of the casts are so-so. They include Kaori Fukuhara as Maria (Tsukasa in Lucky Star), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Yuki (Yuzuru in Date A Live II), Keiji Fujiwara as Jin (Sven in Black Cat), Hiroto Kazuki as Zolgia, Go Inoue as Takashi (Kaisar in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis), Daisuke Hirakawa as Shiba (Muneakira in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Iori Nomizu as Kurumi (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Seiko Yoshida as Zest (Kyousuke in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica) and Yuu Asakawa as Hasegawa (Leone in Akame Ga Kill).

The opening theme is Blade Of Hope by Sweet ARMS while the ending theme is Still Sis by Kaori Sadohara. Both sound like generic anime pop. Nothing that is appealing to me. Just rather okay. Amidst the action packed opening credits animation (and certain versions of the ending credits animation), also lots of naked fanservice. Including Basara himself. I guess if they don’t show the genitals, it is okay.

Overall, this show still has its potential if you are willing to give it a chance. I know, the fanservice. The redeeming factor that also partially killed it due to its horrendous censors. Try harder next time. I think I’ll form more conclusive opinions after watching the second season but that could be quite some time even by the time this blog is published. But for now if you want to satisfy your desire for little sister themed animes, there are many out there to choose from like OreImo, NakaImo and the atrocious ImoCho. But how many will have your little sister as a little devil and future Demon Lord? You know, that kind of feeling that you as an ordinary guy but your sister is a world famous top model. If you are really that desperate to get a little sister and hear those magical call words of “Onii-chan!”, I think the fastest and best way is to play a dating simulation of one. Maybe even better than watching this series.

Yama No Susume S2

September 5, 2015

I guess Japanese love their mountains so much that they even made a Mountain Day public holiday to appreciate the beauty of those summits! No kidding. But that holiday will only take effect in August 2016 once the legislation of it is passed. Therefore I am guessing that to celebrate this awesome new future holiday, the reason why Yama No Susume got a second season. Even more awesome is how this anime is ‘doubled’. Originally the first season only had a dozen episodes worth only 5 minutes each. But with this second season, they get twice all that with 24 episodes of 12 minutes each! Wow. Only very few animes get such treatment whereby their second season have more episodes like the first (Aria The Animation and K-ON! to name a few). The plot (if you consider there should be any) of this season remains the same and is about those mountain loving girls trying to conquer a handful of mountains in Japan one step at a time. But with one of them with fear of heights, isn’t this a big irony or a big fear factor challenge?

Episode 1
Despite only a dream, Aoi accuses Hinata for leaving her behind on the snowy mountain trails to head to the summit herself! In this opener, our girls teach us how to set up an outdoor camp. Initially when Aoi told her mom that she is going camping with her friends, she wasn’t too pleased since it would be dangerous as all of them are girls. So she compromised by allowing her to camp at Hinata’s backyard. Kaede and Kokona soon join them once the tent is up. More lessons on how to cook outdoors especially rice. Nature isn’t going to provide you with any gas stove, you know. Funnily after dinner, Hinata is the one who head to take a bath first while leaving her friends to wash up. Night falls, although it first seemed spacious inside the tent, when all 4 of them cram inside, it is a little bit tight. No space to move. Kaede’s experience tells her it won’t be a problem because everyone will be exhausted from the day and just sleep like a log. When you have girls staying up late together, expect to hear love stories. Too bad, it is nothing like the romance we hope for. Their love lies in some other stuffs like mountains and mascots but not boys. Then another dream whereby Aoi has to carry sleeping Hinata to the top. Hinata moving about in her sleep woke Aoi up. She goes out to see the sunrise. It brings back memories. Aoi wonders if the view would be more beautiful on Mt Fuji. This outdoor camping was fun and she hopes to do a real one in the mountains the next time.

Episode 2
Hinata calls Kaede and Kokona for a secret meeting. After hearing Aoi’s wish, they plan to surprise her with a mountain trekking that will have a view of Mt Fuji. They check through the catalogue of mountains, each with their own climbing difficulty and popularity. It is decided that for the best view of Mt Fuji for their capability would be from Mt Mitsutouge. Later Hinata calls Aoi to meet up at a station. Their destination will be a secret. During the journey, it will be hard for them to keep Mt Fuji hidden from Aoi’s view. I mean, the mountain is so big, right? But thankfully, Aoi slept during the train ride and the rest easily distracted her whenever Mt Fuji was ‘dangerously in sight’. As they walk up the trails, they pass by several monuments from shrines that pray for climbers’ safety and beautiful waterfalls. But the real path towards Mt Mitsutouge begins. Aoi is a little worried but since Hinata insisted there is something important at the end of the trail, she can’t wait to see it.

Episode 3
Trekking up the path is no easy feat. Then there is a small gap in the forest that has a clear view of Mt Fuji. Aoi saw it and then she realized this is perhaps what Hinata wanted to show her. For now she’ll feign ignorance and play along. But as they get higher, the trail becomes steeper and more difficult. Aoi is tired and it has become no more fun. Luckily experienced climber Kaede has what it takes to motivate her to get back on her feet. She lets her have some chocolates and tells her to walk at her own pace. Because the rest won’t enjoy themselves if she isn’t. Aoi is given hiking poles to help climb better. Then there is a treacherous stretch. Narrow and steep. One wrong move and it’s a long way down. Aoi is scared but with her friends motivating her, she takes it one step at a time till she reaches the other end. Then they finally get to see Mt Fuji. It’s nothing like you see in the pictures. All that hard work made the view even more beautiful and worth it. It’s not over yet as they still need to reach the summit which isn’t that far.

Episode 4
At the peak of Mt Mitsutouge, Aoi is awed at the sight of Mt Fuji. Hinata is glad because this is the first time she has seen her this happy. Like all good things, it must come to an end. Now the quartet have to make their descend and Aoi feels a little sad to say goodbye. Kaede suggests going to a hotspring once they reach ground level but Aoi is scared as she is embarrassed to go in with everyone. The journey down is a lot harder and it is taking a toll on Aoi and Kokona’s knees. They’re aching all over. But Hinata is alright since she is wearing knee supports. There is a sign to watch out for bears but Aoi is so tired and aching all over that she couldn’t care. Because even reaching ground level, the journey to the next station seems like forever. Once the hotspring is spotted, the girls rush in, leaving Aoi behind. I guess her aching muscles are making her turtle and by the time she undresses and everything, she is told she needs to clean herself, etc. Fine. Can she go in now? It is the best refreshing feeling ever. Then the embarrassment starts to get to her once she is feeling much better. She is sitting at a corner alone. Her friends think she is embarrassed so she stood up and denies. Hinata thought she lost some weight after all that walking but looks like she did not. Aoi fell asleep and dreams about … Bears! On the last train home, they see the evening view of Mt Fuji. Aoi thanks her friends and would love to experience more of such feelings. Tough but fun.

Episode 5
Aoi is talking how Hinata always drags her into her misfortune in the past and looks like one is coming up. Hinata tripped on a stone and accidentally pulls down Aoi’s skirt! Kindergarten kids these days are smart enough to know what polka dots look like… It’s big time embarrassment for Aoi and of course this means Hinata has to go to her house to apologize. She can pull her skirt if she wants to. Seriously? She’s sulking but only for a short while. Let bygones be bygones. It’s not the end of the world. When Aoi goes to get drinks, Hinata spots something Aoi was knitting and messes with it. Oh sh*t. What the heck did you just do? Aoi is definitely not happy and you can tell she is absolutely upset as she kicks her out of the house. Hinata thought she’ll be back to herself by tomorrow but it’s worse than she thought. She’s not talking to her. Hinata talks this to Kokona who reveals a big secret. Aoi was knitting a hat as a surprise gift for her as thanks for showing her Mt Fuji. Kokona knows because she helped chose the wool. Aoi and Hinata have not talked since and opportunities for them to reconcile dwindle. One day, Hinata is at Aoi’s home and although the latter is happy, she acts like she is still sulking. Hinata then surprises her with a knitted hat as her surprise gift to make up. She heard it from Kokona and had her teach her how to knit. That is why they couldn’t see each other often in and after school. With their friendship patched up, Hinata is devastated that Aoi isn’t going to finish that hat and give it to her. The surprise is gone. Call it karma because this time Aoi trips and accidentally pulls down Hinata’s skirt! Kids these days know what bears look like. How does it feel to be this embarrassed? Hey, Aoi said sorry. And she did say she could pull down her skirt, right? Oh, you mean that was a joke? Come on. She apologized. It’s not the end of the world! Right back at you…

Episode 6
Hinata’s dad is explaining how he climbed Mt Fuji during the night and viewed the breathtaking scenery. It was like in a different world. Even more awesome was the sunrise. Because of dad, Aoi wants to climb Mt Fuji with Hinata. They check out some climbing equipment since it could get pretty cold and dark during the ascend. However the down jacket is too expensive and Aoi can’t afford it. She remembers her mom has one and would borrow from her. However when mom learns about her night climbing, she is against it and even brings up her recent slip in grades. Anyway, she forbids her to do night climbing. Because of that, Aoi becomes a sad cat. Father learns about it and talks to her that mom is worried since she is their only child. He understands her love for climbing and if she really wants to go climbing, she needs to convince and reassure mom that there is nothing to be worried about. So Aoi starts her pestering convincing till mom agrees and lends Aoi her down jacket. Seeing her love something this much, she must have become stronger.

Episode 7
Hinata shows Aoi the river where she hopes everyone can go swimming in their sexy swimsuit. Aoi definitely can’t ask her mom about it and not wanting to lose out, she goes to pick one herself but flusters greatly at every revealing one. Heck, she thought one is invisible when it is only just the hanger! The day to go swimming is here but a typhoon builds up. Next day, the weather is fine but the current is flowing too swiftly. Next day, Hinata becomes sick! Bad luck?! A few days later, everything is fine to go swim. Hinata teases the rest that they are embarrassed to strip because they are wearing sexy swimsuit underneath. To their surprise, Kaede reveals she cannot swim. When Hinata steps into the water, it is so freaking cold that she gives up swimming here. So how? They all go swimming in their own makeshift pool in their backyard. So everyone reveals their swimsuit and Aoi’s is so mild. You call this sexy? Even more surprising is Hinata because she is wearing a school swimsuit! How is that sexy?! She made it sexy by wearing it!!! Oh Hinata! You crack me up!

Episode 8
The girls make plans since they’re going to climb Mt Fuji soon. Aoi and Hinata didn’t think they need to bring snacks since it’ll make them fat but Kaede lectures them about the need to bring rations as they will burn lots of calories while climbing. So they go buy some food and also other stuffs while keeping in mind not to pollute the area. Aoi is worried about the climb and as Hinata suggested, she calls Kaede that night. She relays her painful experience in her climbs. Each time she thought about giving up but didn’t. As time passes, only happy memories remain and those painful ones will eventually fade. This won’t be possible had she given up. This gives Aoi confidence that you can’t see fear and will only understand when it hits you. Right now, all she can do is push on. Now she can’t sleep because she is excited. Start counting sheep… Well, she counted up till 12,552!!! I wonder if she’ll be okay as she meets her pals early next morning.

Episode 9
The girls begin their climb of Mt Fuji. After taking a bus to the base, Kaede explains the different stations and climbing difficulty of each ascend. She also warns of altitude sickness to more you climb higher. After eating ramen, Aoi and Kokona buy climbing staves to help their climb and also collect different stamps from the stations. They make slow but steady progress to the top. Kaede’s tip protector came off and since it is expensive, everyone helps look but find several other broken tip protectors. I guess it happens a lot. Aoi is feeling the pinch as she climbs higher. But when she takes a look at the great view, it gives her the encouragement to continue. One step at a time.

Episode 10
The climb is getting more taxing for Aoi. She is starting to feel tired. When they reached the 8th station, Aoi is already experiencing altitude sickness that she can’t talk or move. Kaede will stay here with her as she asks Hinata and Kokona to continue their climb and will catch up with them. Aoi is ‘grounded’ on this station as she sleeps for a few hours. A few rowdy climbers were noisy but with Kaede signalling them to pipe down, nothing untoward happened. By 2am, Aoi wakes up and although still dizzy, she starts panicking that they need to climb now or they can’t see the sunrise. They’ve prepared hard for this and don’t want it all to go to waste. Kaede tells her not to push herself. Otherwise she can’t go home. The mountain isn’t going anywhere and they can take this challenge up any time. Kaede messages to the duo to continue their climb for Aoi’s sake. They see the beautiful stars of the Milky Way but the skyline’s colour is soon changing. Hinata and Kokona hurry to the top while Aoi continues to sleep and feels of wanting to go home and sleep in her own comfy bed.

Episode 11
Hinata and Kokona manage to reach the top to see the sunrise. Likewise, Kaede also calls Aoi to view the sunrise from where they are. She gets up and does so despite her heart and body really wanting not to move. Although awed at the view, she is left wondering of her yet so near, yet so far conquest. Kaede advises Hinata and Kokona to circle the basin and reach the highest peak since they are already there. She will trek down with Aoi and meet up at the base. The walk is slow but even so, Aoi’s depression continues. Still tired, her legs hurt and even more baffling is how Kaede can still be happy when she is the one causing so much problems. It really zaps the motivation and enthusiasm out of her. Once they reach the base and waiting for the bus, Aoi calls her mother who is worried that she sounds really awful. Despite Aoi calling her attempt a failure, mother views it as she has tried her best. Aoi can’t understand why she is trying to cheer her up that she feels guilty and doesn’t have the guts to face her. Her depression is so bad that it makes Hinata and Kokona worry. It just dampens the mood.

Episode 12
The depression continues… It’s not a funny thing when it carries on this long. Hinata hasn’t spoke to Aoi ever since they came back down out of consideration and to give her some space. During summer vacation, after Aoi receives a postcard from Hinata, she decides to take a walk and finds herself hiking Mt Tenran, the first mountain she climbed. The hike now seems so much easier than she first started. She accidentally meets Hinata there and boy, are they surprised to see each other. They walk through other parts of the mountain. Aoi then apologizes for being frustrated and unable to accept that she failed and she felt like there was a hole in her heart. She’s been thinking about it and would like to continue climbing mountains. This is great news for Hinata. With their friendship back to normal again, this means the usual teasing Aoi gets from Hinata. That’s what friends are for?

Episode 13
Since when did our mountain lolis turn into budding astronomers watching the night sky?! Anyway Kokona suggests a place that they could watch the fireflies. Hinata remembers when she was young and out with Aoi’s family to watch the fireflies, they got lost. Hinata was crying when a firefly monster led the way to bring them back. She thinks Aoi will laugh at her but there is a chance she might not remember this. Likewise, Aoi’s mother tells this exact same story. Except that Aoi told her she was led back by a firefly fairy! Aoi dreams about it that night and confirms she did meet it. She thinks Hinata might make fun of her and won’t say a thing. When the girls meet, Aoi and Hinata mention about that past but stop short of saying that monster/fairy. As they make their way to the river, Aoi and Hinata get into an argument about that monster/fairy. It suddenly gets pitch dark but they get to see the fireflies and it is like they’re standing among the stars. Kokona returns home and mother remembers and shows her a firefly suit she used to wear. This has her remember she stumbled upon a pair of lost kids and happily led them away. Because Hinata was scared, in her eyes she saw her as a monster but awed Hinata saw otherwise. Mystery solved.

Episode 14
It’s hot during the summer so Hinata suggests a small mountain they can climb to cool off. Because Aoi’s mom is also worried about her ever since she came down from Mt Fuji, Hinata suggests inviting her along. Pleasantly, she agrees. With Hinata’s dad, the quartet drive up to Mt Kirigamine. Thankfully Aoi doesn’t have to relive her fear of heights since you have to take a cable car up. They’ll take the long way around to hike up. During the trekking, a particular scenery reminds them of the mountain they first climbed when they were young. Unfortunately they can recall its name. Aoi’s mom is proud that her daughter is growing and exploring things herself. She feels happy and sad at the same time. Finally the girls ask Hinata’s about that mountain they first climbed. It was Tanigawadake and it is quite an easy and safe mountain to climb even for kids. Well, Aoi despite wanting to go there and see that scenery again, she might have to rethink about it since she heard you need to ride a cable car there. Remember, back then she didn’t have acrophobia. The view from Kirigamine is quite nice and Aoi’s mom is glad she came. Looks like fear of heights or not, the girls set Tanigawadake as their next mountain to climb.

Episode 15
Time to give Kaede some love with an episode focusing on her. While organizing her stuffs, she sees a rain jacket in her closet that brings back fond memories of her middle school friend, Yuuka. Then, Kaede used to climb mountains alone and Yuuka was always worried about the injuries she picked up. One day, Kaede’s leg sprain was ‘bad’ enough for Yuuka to tick her off. It made Kaede feel bad because she thought she would brush it off as usual. Yuuka actually cared about her. So Kaede tries to apologize and Yuuka too feel the same for being too harsh. When they go out shopping together, Kaede teaches her about the rain jacket clothing that is used to climb mountains. Yuuka understands that she wasn’t being reckless in her mountain climbing and does think about her safety. Kaede bought it shortly. The rain jacket may be too small for her to wear now but she can’t bring herself to throw it away. She wonders what Yuuka is doing now and really wants to see her. Aoi texts her about their plan to climb Tanigawadake. Kaede wonders if it is her turn to worry about them. She then calls Yuuka to meet up.

Episode 16
Guess what? Aoi is now scared to climb Tanigawadake because of the cable car and doesn’t want to go. Hinata suggests calling Kaede for some tips for her fear. So the girls meet up. Everyone is surprised to see Kaede dressed in feminine clothes (thank Yuuka for that) and Kokona start fantasizing what kind of house Kaede lives in. They all look like mountains… In her room, she shows them pictures of the mountain she wants to climb. This is when Aoi mentions her case. Kaede relates she also had such fear when she first rode the cable car. She was clinging to the pole the entire way! But after a few more rides, it wasn’t scary anymore. All you need to do is get used to it. Things are only scary in your heart. It is up to her but if she doesn’t take that step forward, she’ll never know. This gives enough motivation for Aoi to go climb Tanigawadake. Speaking of that mountain, Kaede notes that using their gear they used during Mt Fuji will be sufficient. But to prepare in the event of rain, bring a rain jacket. Unfortunately Aoi doesn’t have one. She checked around but are too expensive. Kaede lends hers. Now it can be put to good use since it fits Aoi. She also plans the itinerary but looking at pictures of cable cars freaks her out! Time to summon some courage and do this.

Episode 17
I suppose to ‘train’ Aoi for the Tanigawadake climb, the girls visit the national park. There is a section with amusing playground equipment and the girls relive their childhood years having fun sitting the swings and slides. They take a nature walk to see the various flora and fauna as well as a cool stream that runs through it. Then they stop for lunch and Hinata’s bento might be so extravagant only because her dad woke up 3am to make them! And he was fired up in doing so. There is a suspension bridge they need to cross and this awakens Aoi’s fear. But Hinata takes her hand as they slowly walk across. She realizes Hinata is trying to help her get used to heights to overcome her fear. After making it, they have fun on some small bouncy artificial hill. Again, Aoi thought that it looked a bit tall… Nevertheless she tries it out and they have so much fun till they tumble down. Aoi realizes that she wasn’t afraid was it because she was having fun or distracted. Although the phobia is still there, she is confident with her friends around, she’ll pull through the cable car ride. They end the day by taking commemorative photos.

Episode 18
Mountain climbing is such an expensive hobby because Aoi just realized she’s low on the cash. Hinata suggests taking up a part time job and her mom agrees to it. There is a friend of hers who works at the patissiere who is short on staff so she can try out and make the call. Aoi is surprised that she is invited to the interview and since she is stumped in writing her resume, she calls Hinata for help. What should she right in purpose of getting the job? Be honest. To finance your hobby. And also, don’t forget to smile. With mom reminding her about the same thing, Aoi wonders if her smile is really that bad. It must be because she’s having a hard time putting one up at the photo machine. Aoi gets the job as her senior, Hikari Onozuka teaches her the details. Aoi is a bit stiff and gloomy compared to Hikari’s sunshine personality. Hikari guides her to smile and speak clearly. I wonder if Aoi is regretting this job and should have gotten an office job instead. The first customer comes in and you can see the obvious nervousness in her voice and actions. At least it went well. Hikari teaches her the finer points of facing people and to let them experience a happy shopping. Aoi finally gets it but the next customer who comes in had to be Hinata. Now she puts on a long face… Aoi is embarrassed and wants Hinata to be done with her shopping. Surprisingly Hinata says her smile when she first entered was perfect. It made her feel a little better. Despite her first day was tiring, it helped broaden her perspective. She is still worried about tomorrow but is looking forward to what will happen.

Episode 19
Just when Aoi has gotten used to her job, suddenly mom reminds her about her homework. Haven’t touched a single one! She digs her grave by assuring she’ll get it done and it worsens when mom wants to see it after she has finished! So she burns the midnight oil to complete them but she’s drawing up blanks. That hard, huh? Heck, she even wonders if she has studied this! Oh, how unlikely to come from her mouth! After climbing the heavens, she is plunging into the depths of hell. I guess she got desperate enough to call Hinata for help but she is away in some beach paradise to celebrate her parents’ anniversary so she won’t be back so soon. Oh, her homework? She’s already done all of them. WHAT?! You traitor! As much as Aoi hates to admit it, Hinata might be an idiot but she can tutor others and does get top grades. No progress for Aoi as she dreams of climbing a mountain of homework! Time to call Kaede for help. As expected, Kaede is kind enough to let her come over. But when Aoi shows the problems, the long silence is worrying. You know what she said? Did she learn this in her syllabus last year?! She doesn’t remember and wonders if the syllabus has changed! Sure, blame the system. And her brain has a long loading time that makes your old PC seem to load faster… Oh, Kaede hasn’t even touched her homework a bit! Now they’re doomed. Kaede thinks of calling Kokona for help. But she is younger than them! Aoi cannot live with the idea of someone younger teaching them so Kaede calls Yuuka over. Aoi may be having doubts when Yuuka starts getting strict on Kaede. But thankfully she is kind towards Aoi. In the end, Aoi is safe. Mommy is happy with her work. Hinata returns to show off her tan lines and Aoi in turn shows off her finished homework. Now she can climb Tanigawadake without worries. All that’s left is to conquer the cable car. Oh no! When she had just forgotten about that…

Episode 20
Aoi gets the recipe from her master to bake pound cake for tomorrow’s climb. But this episode is predominantly on Kokona. I suppose it is time for her to get some love. As she packs for the climb, she notices her birthday present hidden in the closet. I guess mom wanted to surprise her a day earlier since she’ll be away for the climb tomorrow. It is a pair of shoes she always wanted. What better way than to try them out by strolling through town? I know it is boring seeing her ‘adventures’ but with Kokona being such a cutie, you’ll be distracted by it. But was it ‘boring’ enough that Kokona has to fantasize some sort of fairytale? Who the heck are those Muuma horses?! Kokona goes home and waits for mom to return. I guess she took too long and fell asleep. Mom is finally back and apologizes for the lateness. Although the bakery is closed and had to get a cake from the convenience store, she did prepare her a present. Kokona reveals she had already seen it. Better luck in hiding it next time. Aoi has finished her baking but a new problem plagues her: After the climb and fulfilling the promise, what is there left? Can she just stop thinking too far ahead?

Episode 21
D-Day is here to climb Tanigawadake. Aoi’s dad gives her encouragement that she has already tried Mt Fuji so this is nothing. But first, they must climb 462 flights of stairs! Tired already? Well, there are a little more flights of stairs and a distance to go before reaching the ticket station. But you can’t give up now, right? They see Kaede filling in an emergency contact form in case of emergencies. Let’s be honest. They don’t want to die up there, right? And now the moment of truth… Aoi is so scared before the cable care that she is stunned and paralyzed! However with Hinata taking her hand and the rest helping her to get on, I guess it is not that bad. Well, at least the sceneries aren’t that bad. Hooray! Aoi did it! She finally reached the top! Not quite. There is another set of ski lifts they need to take. Oh damn… This one looks more dangerous. She feels she can fall off any time! Help! Hinata believes she can get through this. After all, they’re going to their promised place.

Episode 22
Now that they’re at the start of the climb, Aoi tells us a few facts about Tanigawadake. Along the way, the keep bumping into Honoka Kurosaki. She is the girl who helped picked up Aoi’s ticket while she was scared stiff at the cable car station. She seems the gloomy and unsociable type but Aoi can’t let this go and goes talk to her. Her expressionless face and no-response sometimes make you wonder if she is upset or not. Seems she takes photos on lots of things and there is a scenery that she keeps of the place that she uses for reference because she wants to see it again. She asks Aoi why she climbs. For fun? She goes off by herself when Aoi’s friends catch up. Then it starts to rain and Aoi ‘blames’ Hinata for wishing such weather. Once they reach a hut, memories start flooding back to the duo. So nostalgic that they could even see it before their eyes. And then they had to think too much because they fear once this is accomplished, what is there left? Haven’t they gotten over this yet?

Episode 23
Honoka returns to the rest house and joins the rest. I guess she is already part of the group because Hinata is making fun of Aoi’s failed ascend on Mt Fuji. Geez, you’re embarrassing her. Then when it is time, everyone surprises Kokona by wishing her happy birthday! It’s today? Aoi baked some bread in preparation for this. When it is bedtime, Hinata talks to Kaede about what is bugging her. She wonders if Aoi enjoyed her time at Mitsutouge. Don’t worry about it. Kaede believes in them. Oh, she still has another problem. What happens after the promise is fulfilled? Oh never mind, she’ll find that out herself. At the same time, Aoi also talks to Honoka about this very same problem and is worried they won’t return to how they used to be. Honoka mentions about sceneries she will come across that she wants to take. She believes this will go on forever. Get the hint, Aoi? They exchange numbers and address. Before the break of dawn, Aoi and Hinata trek up to fulfil their promise. Then they had to ask that dreaded question. Don’t spoil the moment right now. Whatever comes, will come. Cross the bridge when you get there. This doesn’t mean the end once your promise is fulfilled. Because you can always make more. Everybody takes a group photo and Aoi vows to make more unforgettable memories with everyone.

Episode 24
Aoi and Hinata are arguing about something petty. Whatever it is, they are adamant it is the other’s fault and should apologize. Even girls have their stubborn pride and won’t budge from their stand till the other says sorry. Not happening soon… Honoka visits Aoi and is taken a tour around her town. Honoka snaps many pictures although to Aoi she is used to seeing the familiar sceneries that they feel normal. However when Honoka shows the pictures, they look refreshing from a different angle. They visit the patisserie and Hikari thought Honoka is her boyfriend! Looking tomboyish? Honoka notices Aoi has always been talking about Hinata everywhere they go (partly blaming her for it too) and thinks they are really good friends. Aoi thinks of apologizing to her later. Meanwhile Hinata tries to sneak up and see if Aoi is at her part time job (because that expected apology never came!) but since Hikari spots her, she heard a lot about Hinata from Aoi. Like her bad habits… And good ones. Thinking of apologizing to her later? But when the girls converge for the fireworks festival that evening, it’s back to square one. Sorry seems to be the hardest word. Worse, not talking to each other. There are chances for them to reconcile but they get interrupted by something. So finally during the fireworks they manage to do it. So when the rest finds out about it and wonders what they were fighting about, it was so trivial that they themselves can’t remember! And there’s a danger that the blame game might reignite again but no worries. Oh well, at least they can laugh over it now.

Episode 25 (OVA)
Something feels not right… Aoi and Hinata host a show that sums up the top 10 best scenes from the series. But with a twist! Definitely not your usual rerun/recap episode because we see extended never-seen-before scenes. Did they happen or not is up to you. For example, Kokona trying to chase down a flying squirrel ends up chasing and facing off with a tengu! Then there is the time Hinata accidentally pulled down Aoi’s skirt. While trying to get her, Hinata slipped on a banana peel and when they fell down the stairs, they switched voices! But nobody cares about it… While Hinata takes the girls to the stream to swim, they almost fell in but a bear comes rolling down the river to push them all the way to an uninhabited island where they fight over a washed up cookie. Why didn’t the bear just eat them? And what’s this? They become pro wrestlers? I want to be the world’s best! When Aoi was having that altitude sickness on Mt Fuji, she met a cartoonish guy on a cartoonish horse. He is supposed to be some historical figure but Aoi doesn’t believe this crap and brushes him off. As Aoi gives Honoka a tour around town, the train they sit in starts flying into space! They also see Kokona in a flying squirrel suit flying about. Don’t even ask… While the girls celebrate Christmas, they thought Santa was at their door but turns out to be that historical figure dude again. Go away… On Kokona’s day out, she again faces off with the tengu. Round 2. I don’t know how she used her new shoes to cut his mask into half but unknown to her, her mom is actually that tengu and notes her daughter has grown stronger. Finally the best scene goes to Aoi and Hinata reliving their promise watching the sunrise at Tanigawadake. They say goodbye to that tengu character… Everything turns out to be a film shooting and everything was just props! Our girls are congratulated for doing a job well done filming Yama No Musume (Mountain Daughter)! Especially being congratulated by that Yamada director who suspiciously looks like that Steven dude. If everything is so weird and too good to be true, it probably is because it is just Aoi’s dream. No wonder it didn’t feel right…

Episode 6.5 (OVA)
Your fanservice episode? When Yuuka asks Kaede about her penchant to always wear a sports bra, she replies this is comfortable and it would be a hassle to choose with anything else. This prompts a short lesson on how bra sizes are determined. Boobs perverts may want to take this down. Oh, for the record, Kaede is size F! Freaking F*cking Full-size! Realizing how big those tits are, Yuuka chides her of losing her woman as a pride this way. Yeah well, as of now she’s considering all those feminine stuffs like putting on makeup a bother. So Kaede talks to her mountain climbing pals about this ‘dilemma’ and instantly they agree with her friend. Yes, this is a freaking big issue that they decide to go shop a bra for Kaede. I mean, it is to help broaden her horizons. Oh yeah, that’s a big support from her friends, right? Haha! They take a detour to a sports shop as Kaede tries to ‘brainwash’ Hinata about the benefits of wearing a sports bra. She tries one and finds it comfortable to the point she makes her purchase. Kaede thought the shopping adventure is over but the girls didn’t forget their initial quest here. Back to the lingerie shop they go. Kaede is a noob trying to pick out the cutest bra and she has to be sent back to pick another one by Aoi each time she chooses a plain one. After picking a cute one, the sales assistant helps her fit in. Another amazing discovery: Kaede discovers she might have gone up a cup size! The one she picked doesn’t fit! OMG! You mean she is size G?! Goodness Gracious Gigantic! Now that she is fitted with the right size, her friends are amazed it really fits her when she wears her clothes over it. Kaede feels happy yet embarrassed in this bra purchase debut. But she has felt this feeling before. It was a time she tried to wear something stylish for mountain climbing. Despite that, it broadened her horizon. In school, Yuuka quickly notice the vast difference and the bra she is wearing underneath. Satisfied it looks good on her, Yuuka’s next mission is to get her to wear high heels! Hey, you can’t wear that climbing mountains, no? What is this Yuuka’s personal mission to turn Kaede into a feminine lady? Ah well, one step at a time…

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Despite I am not a mountain climbing enthusiast nor did I become one after watching this series, as far as watching this anime is concerned, at least they did some justice by expanding on the little development of the characters and growing them in this season. Of course with more time and extra length to do so, this is of course possible and not wasted unlike many animes these days trying to cramp in several chapters of a series into one episode and earning the ire of the fans. While I am not singing praises and accolades for this series, this one isn’t all that bad if you love to see bonding of relationships and how characters overcome their weakness as they learn through their journey.

With a small set of characters, a reason why the development here works. While this series is predominantly focused on Aoi and Hinata, the other side characters are not forgotten too although from my perspective they make quite a limited appearance. Or more accurately as I should put it, the impact on the overall series. It was great to see Kaede and Kokona getting an episode featuring them but that is so much about it. Kaede was great in providing insights and details about the mountains or any historical stuffs relating to it in the initial episodes but somehow I felt that fizzled out after halfway. She’s a great mountain climbing expert but a total noob when it comes to everything else from romance to studies. I guess nobody is perfect. Kokona feels she is there for the cute moe factor since she is the youngest in the pack. And now with Honoka seemingly officially part of the group it does seem their mountain climbing group is expanding although it feels a little too late that Honoka appeared to make any impact. Hikari may not be part of the climbing club but at least she provides some ‘variation’ that this show isn’t all about climbing mountains because Aoi still have her normal life to live instead of just being crazy climbing mountains.

Aoi and Hinata as the main characters, we see the ups and downs in their relationship being true friends and best friends. Is there a difference? A true friend helps you up when you fall while a best friend laughs at you when you trip. Doesn’t that more or less summarize what they are? Especially with Hinata being the cheeky one of the group and I suppose she loves teasing Aoi to see her reaction or that she has the kind of face that just itches for Hinata to tease. Besides, I believe Hinata has one of the wittiest lines in the series. Aoi as we can see is not a perfect girl and given the irony that she is afraid of heights, it may look mind boggling that she has already conquered a few mountains. Although Mt Fuji was a failure, it wasn’t completely one because she managed to hike up a considerable distance. Every climb for her is a lesson that she learns from and despite the phobia she has, she never let it stopped her from achieving greater things and this is probably something subtle the series is trying to hint to us going about in their daily lives because the important thing is never to give up. Things may not work out now or it may seem tough the first few times but once you get used to it, it becomes very much a normal thing. She is still far from overcoming her phobia but like they say, practice makes perfect. So start climbing more mountains? More like start riding more cable cars!

The plot of this season may not seem like much because it is mainly seeing the girls preparing their mind and heart before they make the ascend and the journey along the way to the top. There might be a few non-climbing related episodes (like Aoi getting a part time job and that swimming desire but the weather and circumstances wreak havoc on their plans) but this gives us a little breather before their next big expedition with the light heartedness. Heck, this entire show is light hearted so to speak. There is nothing heavy or too deep even for casual people not into climbing and can enjoy this series without cracking their heads. That is why they left OVA episode to be so ‘fantasy-like’ that it is out of this world. Fun nevertheless.

I thought with Aoi failing to conquer Mt Fuji as the series reaches its halfway point, maybe she will have another go again at the end. But I suppose that would be boring because after that stint, it becomes the big preparation for them to climb the mountain of their promise. Perhaps this is to show that Mt Fuji is the king of all mountains in Japan and not everyone can easily conquer it. But for Aoi and co to even try, that is already a respectable feat. Well, as said, the mountain won’t be going anywhere so she can come back to try again next time. Maybe next season, huh? If there will be one.

I believe they did their homework and put in a lot effort in drawing the mountains and the sceneries. So it is quite a spectacle to see them here although I won’t go so far to say it is so breathtaking that I cried. Because otherwise I would have been an emotional wreck in seeing the real deal. Therefore the mountains and sceneries are an extra plus point and provide visual eye candy if you love the nature of the mountains. A plus point if you see the ending credits in the OVA fitted with real pictures of the locations and sceneries. So they really put in the effort and kudos for all that. The designs of the girls remain cute but I feel this is mainly to appeal to viewers because how can you stay pretty and clean after all that trekking up and down? More notably the pink blushes on the girls’ cheeks make the entire series looks cute although it does not cause a very great disparity (or any at all) with the backgrounds and everything else.

The opening and ending themes aren’t the strong points of this season. Perhaps it is because it is mainly sung by (or a combination of) the main mountain climbing quartet. I am not saying they sound bad (heck, some are good singers) but it could be just coincidence. For example, the first opening theme, Natsu-iro Present sounds weird enough that I don’t know how to describe it. A mix of fanfare and orchestra strings but the tune itself feels funny. The opener and chorus for the second opening theme, Mainichi Koharu Biyori never fails to remember a part from that song from Genesis, That’s All. Despite at a slower pace, it still sounds funny because I thought it is a song you hear at carnivals. At least the ending themes sound better although they aren’t that appealing to me. Tinkling Smile as the first ending theme sounds like a typical lively anime pop while Staccato Days as the second ending theme goes to a slower pace (oddly this song only lasts for 3 episodes). Strangely, the third ending theme, Cocoiro Rainbow sounds the better one from all the themes. Maybe it is because it wasn’t any of the mountain climbing girls who are singing it but Kyoko Narumi.

Not sure if they will make another season by the time the official holiday comes to be in Japan but even if this anime series isn’t mainstream and won’t likely to be remembered by the popular masses, at least the mountains in Japan (and all over the world) will be still around even when our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grand children are around and beyond. At least we know they won’t be going anywhere for the ‘foreseeable future’. As far as this anime is concerned, it is still an enjoyable watch even if you are not a mountain climbing enthusiasts. Heck, real climbers would be too busy scaling and trekking to the summit than watch this. This series thus feels more like making awareness rather than trying to glamorize mountain climbing. There shouldn’t be in the first place. Because all that hiking up just make you sweaty, tired and muscles aching all over. Heck, even climbing up the stairs to my room every night feels like a drag… At least there is my comfy bed and computer waiting…

Snip! Snip! Snip! There was a time when suddenly a handful of animes had its characters started using scissors. I don’t know if it was a trend then nor would I know if it is still a trend right now. But at least it gave me an opportunity (read: excuse) to come up with a simple list of anime characters who use scissors. And I’m not talking about using them for just cutting pieces of paper or some art homework-cum-assignment that they need to finish before handing in to tomorrow’s deadline. My guess is that they most aren’t trying to be future barbers or hair stylists either.

Mikoto Urabe (Nazo No Kanojo X)

What is deadlier than being tied to a mysterious girlfriend via saliva bond? When she wields a pair of scissors and keeps them hidden in her panties! She is always with one and you can say they are inseparable. She often uses it as a defence mechanism, warning or threats whenever she feels intimidated or angry. Her handling of the scissors is so exceptionally good that she could cut and shred things up with exact precision and accuracy in high speeds faster than you can imagine. Don’t blink, or you’ll miss. Don’t bother. It’s already over.

Kiri Haimura (Dansai Bunri No Crime Edge)

It is not that he wants to become a barber or anything. Kiri just loves cutting hair. To him, there is a thrill in cutting them, hearing the snip snap sounds of hair being cut. But this scissors isn’t any ordinary scissors as it is one of the many indestructible Killing Goods and belonged to his ancestor, Norma Grayland who was a famous serial killer. It becomes his weapon of choice when he gets embroiled in a deadly cat and mouse game to protect Iwai from other Authors targeting her. Of all the possible cool names he could come up with, he had to pick The Severing Crime Edge as the scissors’ name.

Kirihime Natsuno (Inu To Hasami Wa Tsukaiyou)

I don’t know how she came to have obsession over scissors, but it is the main tool that she uses often on Kazuhito whenever she is annoyed or provoked. And since is short tempered and prone to other feelings like jealousy, expect to see lots of dog hair removed. Dog abuse!

Cancer (Fairy Tail)

When you have Celestial Spirits that literally looking as odd as the zodiac signs they represent, it is no surprise that this hairdresser representing that crab zodiac has 2 pair of scissors to get ready to snip the hairstyle you want. But it’s not for show either as it is strong enough to also cut through enemy weapons.

Gekko Moria (One Piece)

The Shichibukai that possesses the Shadow-shadow Fruit needs to have his giant pair of scissors to snip off the shadows of his victims and manipulate them. He can also double his scissors by separating them and become a pair of swords for hand to hand combat.

Inazuma (One Piece)

Having eaten the Snip-snip Fruit, he can turn any part of his body into scissors and cut anything up. Seriously, any part? I wonder if he can turn that part into a scissors too…

Tick Jefferson (Baccano)

When you have a person of the mafia obsessed with scissors and using it as a torture method for interrogation while giving a happy smile (I doubt this would calm your beating heart), you’re screwed. I mean, cut.

Sousei Seki (Rozen Maiden)

The fourth doll and half of the gardener pair, her garden shears are to cut souls and memories of humans depicted in the form of prickly bushes. The scissors can work like a double edged sword. While it may free a person from burdens, good memories and the likes can also be cut off and thus killing the person.

Ryuuko Matoi (Kill La Kill)

Actually she only wields half of the Scissors Blade as she believes the other half is in the hands of her father’s murderer, the reason she came to Honnouji Academy. While she usually uses the half like a sword, once she has obtained the other half from Nui, when combined, they become Rending Scissors, powerful enough to cut Life Fibres and prevent its regeneration.

Over (Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo)

I didn’t see this anime but when I found out that he is one of the scissors users, I just needed to include this serious antagonist guy. In fact, he might be the first character ever in anime to be using a scissors as a main weapon which includes slashing it like a sword and summoning them to throw as projectiles.

Grell Sutcliff (Kuroshitsuji)

Because this gay shinigami breached some rules (going on a killing spree with Madam Red), his original death scythe which is a chainsaw has been confiscated and he is reduced to a tiny pair of scissors. But he will still cut you up nevertheless.

Gertrud (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)

This witch loves her rose garden so much and feeds it with the negative emotions of humans. Anybody else is not welcomed inside this beautiful garden of hers so she attacks using her scissors attached to the vines to mangle her victims.

Genocider Sho (Danganronpa The Animation)

The tongue baring, murderous and loudmouth alternate personality of anti-social bookworm Touko Fukawa. As a serial killer, she kills all her handsome male victims the same way of crucifying them with her Genoscissors. Her character is based off Urabe of Nazo No Kanojo X.

Otoya Takechi (Akuma No Riddle)

Another serial killer-cum-assassin obsessed with scissors. Heck, she is so obsessed with them that she carries an entire bag of them with her. As believed, she kills her victims for sexual pleasure. You must really have some sort of sick fetish just to enjoy seeing people being cut up.

Hajime Ichinose (Gatchaman Crowds)

Didn’t see this anime either. From what I read, she loves collecting stationery especially new models of pens and scissors. She employs the use of her scissors in many of her attacks, fighting invading aliens that come to destroy Earth.

Sheele (Akame Ga Kill)

The latest character to be added to the hall of scissors wielding characters. How can the clumsiest and air-headed character hold a big pair of scissors? Wouldn’t that be dangerous? Not if you’re just good in killing and assassinating. Her large scissors, Extase is one of the 48 Imperial Arms and like all other powerful and rare relics, the scissors cut through anything and its trump card is to create a blinding light. I thought maybe the metal parts were too shiny…

Scissors Always Beat Paper… And Rock!
I am sure the above list isn’t meant to be exhaustive because there might be other characters from animes out there that I have not seen (yet). Or the character was too obscure for me to even take note. But there are some that I didn’t put in the list because I wasn’t really sure. For example, Hitagi Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari. I feel her scissors part is only symbolic as her animal oddity is a crab. I hardly ever see her using it anyhow and even if it is part of her showcase to keep all her stationery under her clothes. Then there is that anime series Pumpkin Scissors that I did not see but I believe none of the characters used scissors as it is just mere symbolic group policy that they must ‘cut through the enemy like scissors’.

As we can see, most of the scissors that the characters carry aren’t your ordinary type as they can just cut through anything. Just like a sword. Isn’t that what scissors are for? And some even can double up its use as a pair of swords. See how handy they are? Scissors, not to be underestimated but revered. That is why when you are with these guys, a reminder never to play rock-scissors-paper because scissors will definitely cut through the rest. It gives running with scissors a whole new meaning too. Cut us some slack, will you?