Those Who Hunt Elves

November 29, 2015

Elves are a great ancient race even though they only in fantasy stories and worlds. Elves are great people to be respected for they can become your comrade in arms to fight against hordes of evil or even go save a princess who has been kidnapped countless times. What’s this? You say you can strip elves too???!!! WTF???!!! What kind of immoral and depraved people would do such a thing to such creatures?! Don’t get the wrong idea. Those Who Hunt Elves isn’t some sort of hentai flick that sees elves been stripped naked for pleasure purposes. There is a reason behind this stripping. You see, a group of humans from our world got lost in another world where elves are abundant. In order to get back, they have to retrieve fragments of a spell for a ritual to return to their world. Here is the catch: The fragments are embedded on a female elf’s body and they don’t know which elf it is. Aha… The only fastest way to check it out is to… You’ve guessed it… Strip them naked! Because I am sure even if they are elves, they are also women inside their heart and which normal woman would want to strip for suspicious people, right? Couldn’t they find some other better way to ascertain the fragment? Well, if they do, it wouldn’t be funny and amusing anymore. That’s why we watch this retro series. Because we want to see elves being stripped! Are you done being scared? Get ready to be stripped. Then, next please. I know this sounds weird but take my word, stripping elves is funnier than it sounds.

Episode 1
A group of fishmen pirates are taking down a group of village warriors. The boss, Hammerhead confronts the group’s leader Andy to bring out the elf but he will not say anything. Andy’s younger brother, Bronco fights back and believes that brave warriors will come to rescue them. Hammerhead laughs at his idea and takes him hostage. He then takes up the challenge and will wait till sundown for the brave warriors to appear. Later Andy sees Emily the elf and he doesn’t want her to get involved. He is grateful for her help on the village and believes in the legend whereby 3 brave warriors from another world with a miracle cannon will come to their rescue and restore peace. A fishman is harassing the chef for serving him fish! Airi Komiyama and Junpei Ryuuzouji come in and ignore him but since the fish dude is persistent, Junpei beats him out and tells him to scram! The chef is grateful and serves them food on the house. Airi sees the chef talking to Andy about Emily’s safety. The fishman reports to Hammerhead so he calls for a change in plan. His crew starts raiding the village to search for the elf. Emily can’t hide and do nothing so she goes to the village. Andy sees her running around town and hides her. He didn’t know this is Airi in disguise and reveals details that she needs to go back hiding at the cape’s cavern. The real Emily is captured by the pirates. When Andy comes running to her rescue, everybody is shocked to see another Emily. Airi reveals herself and their plan was supposed to exchange places and defeat the pirates but Emily coming into the picture ruined it all. It’s odd to see the fishmen falling for Airi’s beauty. WTF.

Hammerhead calls to kill the hostage but he didn’t realize Junpei had already freed Bronco and swapped him with one of his men. How do you catch fish? You trap them in nets! Insulting? Then Junpei beats them all up into his sushi platter. An eel guy is going to shoot him from the back but thanks to the sniping of Ritsuko Inoue, that won’t happen. Junpei and Hammerhead face off but Hammerhead has the edge with his secret sword technique. When Junpei learns Airi’s feet is broken, he becomes enraged and powers up to pummel Hammerhead. Now the shark is scared of him! Junpei will never forgive those who hurt the Oscar award winning American actress. I guess that is why her good acting got to fool Junpei. Now will the fishmen go home? Their captain starts firing cannonballs from the ship at the village. Suddenly a tank driven by Ritsuko appears. At this sight, Emily believes they are the legendary brave warriors. In one shot, the tank destroys the ship and the ironic part is that the captain, a freaking fish, can’t swim!!! Emily and the villagers are grateful and will do anything to repay their gratitude. Anything? You sure about that? You won’t regret it? Okay… Strip. Say what? STRIP NAKED! Junpei then gets desperate because they are doing this to find fragments of a spell printed on an elf’s skin so they can return to Japan. He rips apart Emily’s clothes! Wow. He looks like a pervert now chasing her around! In the end, she wasn’t one of the chosen one so they continue their journey. A big red slap mark on his face. Hey, shouldn’t the girls be the one checking Emily’s body out? And poor Emily, she won’t come out of her cavern hiding. Starting to hate the legend now? Well, they’re no legendary warriors but infamous Those Who Hunt Elves (TWHE). Found out too late about that, did you?

Episode 2
TWHE was told by Celcia Marie Claire that they are able to go back to Japan with the spell that she is going to invoke. From what I understand, she needs to translate it and write it down on her naked body. Wow… As she begins the ritual, Junpei talks to the elf priest about Celcia doing this on her naked body. It pisses her off and breaks her concentrating, causing the spell to split in 5 different directions. The only way now is to gather those spell fragments (believed to be imbedded on those who synchronized with Celcia) and since they are desperate to go back to Japan, they’ll find every elf and strip them naked to inspect their body! But after hundreds of stripping, they couldn’t find not even one. And they’re blaming it on Celcia… Of course Celcia knows they’re saying nasty things about them but would like to help assist them. Not wanting everybody to know her identity, she transforms into a cartoonish fortune teller dog to tell the location of the possible elf they’re looking for. They are impressed with this doggy and badmouth how this is much more helpful than that Celcia b*tch. Of course Celcia almost gave away herself by picking a fight with Junpei. I think she can’t help fight with him and using the lame excuse of receiving telepathy from Celcia to insult him. But her acting can’t fool observant Airi. Or at least Celcia has been tricked to reveal her goal to assist them (so that there will be less harm if she cooperates since sabotaging will be counterproductive and the sooner she can send them back to Japan). Don’t worry, Airi won’t rat her out. Too bad her dumb elf bishops claim to have found her. Busted… Meanwhile the dark elf, Gabriella is not pleased that she is being targeted and assembles her army for war.

Airi knows better they don’t have to look for Gabriella as she will come looking for them. True enough, she is here. She calls out for Celcia and views her as a traitor. Celcia tries to hide herself as Elizabeth the dog but stupid Junpei and the elf priests keep giving her away. Gabriella shoots her magic at them but Celcia’s magic defence deflect it. Now she summons a stone golem. The tank blasts it away! Her army charges. Ritsuko rigged the bridge with explosives! Then Junpei takes care of the rest with his martial arts. What are you going to do now Gabriella? She will fight with him using only martial arts and if she wins, she’ll strip. She lost with just a kick. The elf bishops want to quickly strip her but Junpei stops them. He is giving Gabriella face because she said she will get up and strip herself. Impressed, she does so but there is no mark on her body. They notice her eye-patch. She gets embarrassed to take it off so Junpei forcefully strips it. There is black mark on her eye. It is confirmed this is a legitimate spell. Finally. Celcia transfers the spell to her body and now that she has the black mark on her eye, she is being ridiculed. However because of this, she cannot transform back into her elf form. Oh, the humiliation! Must she live the rest of her days like this? I suppose she has no choice but to follow TWHE on a journey to find the remaining fragments. Celcia is mad that she as the ruler of elves is being treated this way. Junpei’s best reply: She isn’t Celcia but a stupid stray mutt with an ugly spot on its face! Oh, the humiliation!

Episode 3
The Skeleton Gang must be heartless to put a bomb on a kindergarten school bus. Thanks to Dihal, it is diffused and all the kids are saved. Junpei continues to treat Celcia like a stupid mutt (she’s acting the part too). When the ladies see the numerous magic items Celcia brought, doggy girl won’t let them touch a pair of potions as she explains it contains the most powerful magic ever. Suddenly guards surround them. Because of Junpei’s skeleton t-shirt design, they think he is part of the Skeleton Gang. Junpei is ready to rumble with them but Airi agrees to follow them after hearing Dihal’s name. As they’re being interrogated (because Celcia’s magic items look suspicious enough to be terrorist weapons), Dihal comes in to take over. The moment Junpei learns she is an elf, his passion has him break out from his binding and he orders her to strip! But Airi goes for a softer approach. Using her smooth operator talk and understanding a woman’s heart, Dihal is about to agree to that but dumb Junpei had to ruin this bluff with his stupidity. He just didn’t get this was just all an act. And he’s freaking relieved? Suddenly Skeleton Gang lets go an explosion at the station. This allows TWHE to escape. They see the Skeleton Gang marching in. This just confirms it. All just bags of bones. They start wreaking havoc when TWHE stand before them. Junpei easily beats them up. He makes a proposal that if they defeat the skeletons, Dihal must strip. But if they fail, Airi will be the one in the nude. Junpei disagrees since this is his idea so he will strip! Where’s the fun in that?!

TWHE go into full attacking mode. I can’t believe those bag of bones are so brittle. When a giant bone dragon threatens to stomp the kids, Junpei wants Airi who is safekeeping the potions to let him drink it so he can become a giant and fight the dragon. Celcia is against him using it but since Dihal has heard of the potions’ great magical properties, she casts a spell on everyone to sleep. She takes the potions but isn’t sure which to drink. Airi warns her so Dihal tricks Airi into thinking she has drank the red one. Now that the blue one is the true potion, she drinks it. Then Airi reveals that it was just a trick for the trick. The red potion was the real one. All Dihal does is turn into a giant. Everybody has a nice time looking at a nude giant. Yeah, big boobs… Kids, cover your eyes. Dihal is so mad and embarrassed that she beats up the dragon with brute force. She then smashes around to find Airi to get back at her but TWHE have already left the town seeing that Dihal doesn’t have the mark on her body. Airi reveals all this was a bigger part of the plan to make Dihal go nude without stripping her and what better way than to make her a giant. Celcia further explains the other red potion although is the real one, its true power can only be unleashed when some physical force is applied. You mean like how Dihal accidentally stomps on it? Yup. Big explosion…

Episode 4
Rapier the dojo destroyer defeats the 999th dojo master. All that is left is 1 more. TWHE are in the next town as they see a wanted poster of Rapier. It also states this elf has a strange mark on her body. Guess it’s time to go into action. As they stop for lunch, little do they know that Rapier is only a few tables away. Till the dojo students start harassing her for revenge that she starts beating them up. Junpei doesn’t want to interfere since it is going to end soon. But he has to go beat up some of them when his curry rice is in risk of being spilled! Once the small fries are gone, Junpei and Rapier face off but since he notices her ankle is injured, he calls off the match and wants her to heal first before they fight again. If he wins, she will strip. A few days later as the ladies run some errands, they stumble upon Rapier heading into the public bath. That means she’ll be naked, right? So as they inch closer to her, they see a number mark behind her back and believe it is the spell fragment. However Rapier explains it is not. She has this number mark on her back for many years and for her to rid of this curse, she must defeat 1000 opponents. Does this means Junpei does not need to fight her? However she won’t call off the fight and since her ankle is fine, tell him to meet at the riverside tomorrow. The girls relay this to Junpei who is still bent on carrying on with the fight. Because if Rapier loses, she’ll have to start from scratch again. Ritsuko and Celcia think he is heartless but Airi thinks that all Junpei wants is to fight a worthy opponent. That is why Rapier chose to fight him as the 1000th opponent.

As Rapier practises that night, she remembers her master was sad that she did not respect her defeated opponents. In the last fight with him, he placed a curse on her to fight 1000 opponents and told her to find the true path of the fist. Next day as the awaited fight looms, the ladies see the local dojo guys coming from afar to get their revenge. They aren’t going to play fair either. For the master is going to shoot them with an antique gun after both are tired out. Well, Ritsuko uses her tank! You gonna challenge that, mister? Of course tank blast beats antique gun as she chases the goons down the river. Meanwhile, Junpei and Rapier’s fight has not started. They have been staring in this showdown since. Finally when they make a move, they know only one blow is all it takes to win this match. It ends with Junpei’s victorious. Rapier admits her loss but Junpei is humble in his victory. Rapier is resigned to her fate to start all over again but suddenly the curse disappears. Then she remembers her master’s words. It is not the number of opponents she defeats but only when she realizes the true path of the fist, the curse will be lifted. She couldn’t be happier. TWHE are on their way and Junpei realizes he forgot something important: He forgot to tell her to strip! Junpei you idiot! Haven’t you been listening?!

Episode 5
The tank runs out of fuel in the middle of a bridge. Because Junpei thinks they should get rid of it and find an easier transportation, this doesn’t sit well with Ritsuko. Except her, the rest head to town to find gasoline fruits for the tanks oil but no luck. Suddenly a big teddy bear appears before them. It meows? Junpei is determined to get this as their ride. But the people wants it killed because they claim this cat spirit possesses stuffed animals and go on a rampage. Junpei chews them out that this spirit does not have malice and all it wants is to play. But when the teddy smacks him, now he wants to kill it! A scared villager shoots fire to burn it. This is a bad move seeing this means the spirit will roam free and possess another toy. Ritsuko is thinking about the times she had with this tank. She can’t believe she is going to say goodbye to it. Suddenly she sees a living stuffed dog. It meows… Oh… When the rest return, Ritsuko gladly shows this to them. She even has a name for it: Mike. Oh great… Junpei tells her they don’t need extra baggage. Besides, they already have a useless dog… Cue for man-dog fight! But Ritsuko is sad. It’s like they’re being selfish and abandon things just because they aren’t useful anymore. She won’t give Mike up. The villagers are here to take the toy (how the heck do they know it is this one in the first place?). Mike is taken from her and the plan is to seal it in a box forever. They think their tank is the box and will blow up the bridge to let it flow down the river. I hope Junpei is happy with the horse and carriage as compensation. The moment the bridge is destroyed, Ritsuko realizes she cannot bear to part with it. She jumps back and into the tank. The rest dive in to save her but they couldn’t find her body. Suddenly the tank drives out and Ritsuko is very much alive. But sad news. Mike isn’t moving. After setting up a makeshift grave for Mike (a grave for a toy?), suddenly it hit Airi how did Ritsuko drove the tank out if it was out of fuel. Was Ritsuko lying? Then to everyone’s shock, they see the tank moving on its own. Mike’s spirit is now inside the tank! I guess they don’t have to worry about gas now. Ritsuko happily reunites with Mike.

Episode 6
Annette is being hounded by complains of many elves that they were stripped. She is made to wonder why Celcia as the most powerful magician who once defeated the evil sorceress, Luffard is now a slave under TWHE. Sure, she feels responsible for this incident but becoming their slave? She is going to ask her directly. In the next town, a strange looking dog similar to Celcia approaches them. Celcia recognizes her but the rest thought the dogs just want to mate. Annette is glad to see Celcia again and gets straight to the point. Annette is not happy that Celcia didn’t use that ultimate spell she used on Luffard so Celcia hushes her never to speak of that again. That spell is one that is capable of destroying this world and that is why she has sealed it. But Annette is not happy with the stand Celcia has taken and hates her. Annette won’t let this slide so she steals the spell book and will take measures into her own hands. After tying up Celcia, she leads TWHE to the mountain top under pretence that Celcia went ahead and she is taking them there. But at the top, there is nothing. Airi tells Annette to quit lying and tell the truth. She knows all this is an act because whenever she lies, she has a habit of toying with her earring. Meanwhile Mike sees a mouse and tries to chase at. And shoot it! Well, at least the blast frees Celcia as she rushes to the mountain top. Annette is going to use the spell on them and although it sounds bad, Airi doesn’t want them to panic yet. If it was a terrible spell, why hasn’t Celcia use it on them? This spell is not what she thinks it is. At the end of the chanting, suddenly the top is filled with stuffs from Japan! They realize this is a summoning spell. Just in time for Celcia to explain. When she was fighting Luffard, she used this spell and summoned TWHE. Luffard mocked her but TWHE got mad and defeated her! And that is why Celcia sealed this spell away and is the cause for summoning these scoundrels here. The mountain breaks into half but Junpei saves Annette. Why did he save her when she just tried to kill them? They may strip elves but they do not kill or harm them. They know their way is not proper and if there is another way, please tell them. Annette is taken in by those words and starts believing in him. Till he remembers he forgot to strip her! Oh sh*t! Despite she says she has no markings, he still strips her as punishment for deceiving them! She vows to have a spell to rip him apart the next time…

Episode 7
Thanks to the storm, TWHE will be taking shelter in what seems to be a haunted mansion. Ritsuko looking scared… Of course she cannot sleep and continues to bug Celcia about the strange laughs and footsteps she heard. And now she needs company to go to the toilet? Well, Ritsuko is being more scared than the ghost. Until Celcia also hears the laugh. Time to panic. Then they see a ghost shadow and because Junpei doesn’t believe in ghosts, he starts describing the shadow as it changes form. This confirms it. Ghosts don’t play charade! They chase out to the yard where Celcia recognizes those mandrake flowers. Yeah, there’s some scary legend behind it but Junpei notes Celcia’s face is scarier! If you pluck it out and hear its scream, you’ll die. Junpei doesn’t give a damn and does so. Indeed it is a mandrake but they notice this mandrake has the ears of an elf. Yeah, her scream is because she is freaked out by them. As explained, they are mandrake elves and whatever scary legends about them are lies. They were just scaring them away so as to leave them in peace. TWHE are about to leave when they realize their mission to strip elves! And so Junpei is going to strip them but the little elves are smarter than he thinks. I can’t believe he has got so much energy to play whack-a-mole till morning. Since this isn’t working, Airi suggests another method. They are going to deceive them by putting up a stupid dance and party. Logically nobody will fall for this. Except mandrake elves! They’re ready to party! Oh yeah. Once they get drunk, check for the mark. None so far. Until there is one that refuses to join in and is stuck in the rock. Others claim she has a weird mark and just do not want to be laugh at. You know what this means. Junpei drunk as hell as he tries to convince this little one to join in and pours all the wine till she is drunk. Yeah, she is as rowdy as him now. Celcia does her stuff to collect the fragment and she is proud to have this one back because it is supposed to be a beautiful mark on her forehead. But with the rest staring at her with that look, she knows something is wrong. Here’s a mirror. OMG! The mark makes her look like she has moustache! An angry mutt is more dangerous than a drunken one.

Episode 8
They’re breaking a lot of fourth walls in this episode. TWHE are surprised they’ve already found an elf at the start. But as Junpei tries to strip her, he thought she was fast enough to avoid his fists. With Sister Romina here, they realize Emmy is a ghost! Romina wants her to go over to the next world but Emmy remains stubborn. So to strip Emmy, they need to undergo astral projection. That is, become ghost themselves. The gang is shocked to see Celcia in her elf form when they become ghosts. Junpei thought she was funnier as a dog… I can’t believe Junpei can crash into things and even tire out while trying to catch Emmy. I don’t know what this silly plan of his to make Emmy use the public bath house after working up a sweat but remember, breaking fourth walls here. Their plan fails because Emmy decides to go to the rice shop. They’re bathing in rice? But this allows Junpei to catch and strip her! No mark. What a waste. So are they planning to use the mutt as a freak show? But when they get back, their bodies are gone! It seems some guy knocked on their door and he entered when there was no answer. He was shocked to see lifeless bodies around and took them away. TWHE calms down and think who it could be. What would you do if you see a dead body? Call a doctor. What if he pronounces it dead? Give it a funeral. In this world, this means calling the church and they don’t bury but cremate bodies! Better hurry. Romina is already starting the fire. Better hurry faster because they can feel their souls getting hot. Since they cannot go any faster, they have to possess inanimate objects to do so. Romina senses something unworldly coming their way and thinks they are evil spirits trying to claim the souls. She uses her spell to repel them. But TWHE won’t give up and continue attacking with different objects till she tires. Finally an idol statue to defeat her? Once they get back in their bodies, they quickly rush and cool down in the lake. Romina is glad they have returned back alive although they know very well she unknowingly tried to kill them. Junpei realizes Romina is an elf and strips her! Oh God help us! No mark on her. They realize Celcia is missing and learn the dog is buried at the back of the church. Celcia is seen trying to dig out her body and cannot believe this ultimate humiliation.

Episode 9
I don’t know who lost the wallet but TWHE now has to work hard doing menial jobs to earn money. Except for Airi because she’s the brains, right? She’s putting her acting skills to good use, doubling the sales of a boutique as a sales clerk. She notices a hardworking girl, Colleena and after work observes her practising waltzing. Airi tries those steps herself and Colleena saw them. She wants Airi to teach her. Airi views herself as a bad teacher but since Colleena insists, she tells her to master this step by tomorrow if she wants to continue with the lesson. Later Airi learns that the royal family is opening the ball to the public for the first time. Next evening, Airi can tell Colleena has practised hard since her feet are pain. She tells her to rest them and come back tomorrow for the lessons. But after a while, Airi wonders if she has any natural talent in dancing since she is making the same mistakes. Time is running out since the ball is tomorrow. Colleena won’t give up but when she trips, her elf ears reveal. That night, Airi sees Colleena continue to practice hard until she masters them. Colleena reveals she wanted to dance because she is in love with the prince because of his kindness to her on one rainy day. Next day when she goes to buy the dress, it seems a customer has already bought it. She is about to give up when Airi presents her with the dress. She bought it for her as her graduation gift. Colleena happily accepts it. However secretly this is part of Airi’s plan to let Colleena strip herself so that she could see if there any marks. At the ball, Colleena is so beautiful that all the men want to dance with her! However with Airi offering herself, I guess they have no qualms dancing with someone prettier. The prince notices Colleena but before they can get together, TWHE crash in and start harassing women to check if they are elves. The prince is going to fight Junpei when a chandelier is going to fall on him. Colleena saves him but unfortunately Junpei strips her! No mark. Mad Airi punches him! The prince ignores everything else and resumes the dance with Colleena. Ever since that day, he can’t get her out of his mind. As TWHE leaves, Airi remains silent to the questions of the others of what she was doing at the ball. All she says is it is just a little girl who wanted her dreams to come true. Hinting, she was like Colleena when she was her age. And sad Junpei never understood why Airi punched him.

Episode 10
Lately TWHE are under revenge attacks from elves who want to avenge their stripped brethren. Too bad they also got stripped by Junpei. So could it be too good to be true when there are posters pointing to the next elf town that they can strip them all they want? Definitely a trap. Then they see this little Yoda elf putting up the signs and think he is making fun of them. However his granddaughter, Milliea wants them to really strip her! No joke! It all began 3 years ago when a monster attacked their village. She had no choice but to put on a cursed armour to rid of it. As a result, she cannot take off the armour and the swords that could cut the toughest steel are always stuck to her hands. As grandpa is willing to give them their dream’s desire, TWHE are all for it. But whether it is Junpei’s karate punches, Ritsuko’s tools, Celcia’s magic and Mike pulling or ramming, nothing happens. Airi shouldn’t waste her time. How can her acting do any good for this situation? Pitiful Milliea resigns to her fate and feels sorry for wasting their time. She remembers how the people were grateful to her but couldn’t bear to be close to her dangerous swords. Milliea tries to kill herself but the armour won’t break. TWHE tells her not to give up so easily. Junpei was wrong to have done so. There was never an elf they could not strip and they will not rest till they do so. So as they come up with very silly ideas to strip her, grandpa mentions about the family treasure, a potion that could strip any elf. You should see how incensed everybody is. Use it now! Milliea is out of the armour and how does it feel to take a bath for the first time in 3 years? It’s time to say goodbye to the armour but something feels strange… As TWHE leaves, they couldn’t believe it is the first time an elf thanked them for stripping her. No mark, though. Suddenly Milliea is seen wearing that armour again. Seems that she has spent 3 years with it and with all the good and bad times, she considers the armour as her greatest partner. She apologizes for their wasted efforts but they aren’t mad because she is better off and happier now than before. Meanwhile a mysterious elf is going to let TWHE walk into their trap and leads them astray with the location of another elf.

Episode 11
Annette and the bishops are surprised the elf police is here. Gild from the Royal Bureau of Investigation will be having them under house arrest while Celcia who is charged of treason will be stripped of her title. While TWHE is eating at a diner, they see the waitress having a fragment on her nose. Even lucky, the cashier has a spell on her cheek! No time to waste! I wonder what kind of funny face Celcia will have when she retrieves them… Yeah, can’t blame you if you can’t stop laughing. She’s got another black eye and a spiral on her cheek. Poor doggie… But Celcia senses something amiss. Why is it they are so lucky today? She turns back to the diner and recognizes that mysterious elf, Judge. He reveals those elf waitresses were procured by the Bureau to lure them. Everyone knows Celcia has been aiding those thugs and receiving complaints. If she cooperates, her charges will be reduced. But for TWHE, if they’re lucky, life imprisonment is all they get. Celcia agrees to bring them in tomorrow. However she has second thoughts about that seeing they are just 1 spell away. TWHE seems to encounter more products from their world. Could it be the result of Annette’s incantations then? The more familiar objects they see, Airi theorizes that both worlds are merging. The integration rate is also increasing as an alarming rate. At this rate, both worlds will be destroyed. Mike stops dead in its tracks because Judge is before them. He is disappointed that Celcia has decided not to cooperate with him and instead continue to aid the thugs. Celcia pleads to let them go since they only need the last spell but Judge won’t believe her nonsense. Because TWHE isn’t going down easily, Judge summons Mirage Golem. Exact copies of TWHE are created from sand. They are more than exact replicates because they can match each other’s actions. Like as though you’re fighting against your mirror. Don’t they get it? Why continue to fight each other? Their moves and actions are exactly the same! Don’t they really get it? When tired Celcia is about to be killed by a falling pole, Junpei saves her. Noticed the clone also did the same? Celcia has no choice but to surrender. Judge arrests them all.

Episode 12
The accused are being brought to court. The moment Junpei sees Judge, he wants to beat him up but a magic barrier prevents him from doing so. Thus all the elf females can be rest assured this monster won’t start stripping you. Judge as the prosecutor presents his case and calls up key witnesses (elves that were stripped in past episodes like Emily and Dihal) to testify against them. Junpei gets worked up of this crap and his yelling and violent manner is only making things worse. Airi realizes that this is Judge’s crafty tactic to bait him seeing the audience is calling for their execution. Till Ritsuko’s tearful plea that all they want is to go home, is that a crime? The session continues and with Annette as their defence lawyer, she brings in an elf that is on TWHE’s side: Milliea. She explains her circumstances and the good things that TWHE brought her. She also questions those witnesses, despite being embarrassingly stripped in front of the crowd, don’t TWHE’s actions saved their predicament or city in general? After the recess, before the judge delivers her verdict, she will let anyone say anything. Celcia admits this is her own fault and stupidity. Therefore she will bear all the punishment and wants her friends to be let off the hook. After travelling with them, she knows they are not bad people. She doesn’t care if this has her position stripped forever. Airi then wants to speak. She points out this world is in danger. Don’t believe? Then what is that thing over there? The elves see the cuckoo clock but aren’t sure what it is. What about that mountain outside? Sure, they don’t recognize Mt Fuji. Airi adds that this proves their world is merging at an increasing rate and the only way to stop this is to send them back. That is the only way to prove they are right. Besides, do elves even do court trials? Yeah, nobody even knows why. The judge then delivers her verdict and finds them guilty. They will be removed from this world. I guess it is a sign to say that they are free to continue their mission. This is what Junpei interpreted: Stripping elves isn’t illegal now! Oh sh*t!!! Now, who wants to be first to stripped? Yeah… The courtroom is suddenly empty… But the judge elf… Oh God… This is an emergency! As she tries to run away, she slips. There is the mark on her sole! Celcia retrieves it and puts it back in her book. Now the final ritual begins to send them home. She is sad to see them off. She tries to remain in focus as Junpei calls out to her name. Sniff, sniff. Please be strong. Suddenly what Junpei wanted to say was, wasn’t she supposed to do the ritual naked? This irks Celcia and breaks her concentration. As she argues with him, the sense of déjà vu starts to surround. Oh no… The ritual fails and the spell scatters into fragments. Perhaps even more because it sure looks like fireworks now! Here we go again!

Season 2

It goes without saying. With our gang not being able to go back to Japan yet, this means the mission to strip elves will continue. Banzai to more stripping! Banzai to more naked elves! Run for you lives!!! Ah yes. You can run but you can’t hide from Junpei’s stripping… Does this mean round 2 and nightmare to be stripped all over again? Yet again… Those Who Hunt Elves II… Part 2… The stripping chaos continues.

Episode 1
Right at the start, TWHE are seen entering a town, strip all the elf women and leave like the wind. And sure, stripping elves now may be legal since they want to end this farce to avoid the merger of worlds but their stripping technique never changed. Celcia dreams a strange dream whereby mermaid elves call for her help. At this beach area, because of the strict fishing only and no diving rules or you’ll be heftily fined, Airi circumvents that rule by using Junpei as live bait to fool the observers with her first class Oscar winning acting. Noticing the items following a certain current will go missing, TWHE dive down to the location of the underwater shrine. They are almost being attacked by a shark. Once safe, they meet Rosa the mermaid elves’ leader. She claims the shark has been terrorizing their place and hopes they could help get rid of it. Junpei gladly becomes the bait since master of manipulation Airi begs him to do it. His karate doesn’t work underwater so he is having a hard time fighting and riding it. Once he manages to hook the line in its mouth, Ritsuko fires the signal so the Mike can pull it out of the water (the end of the line is attached to Mike). With the mission solved, it is time for the mermaids to live up to their end of the bargain and strip. But this shocking scene… The mermaids take off their fish fins and tails like as though they are just outfits! It is indeed outfits! Your belief in mermaids… Smashed! One of them has a mark on her thigh. Celcia does the ritual to retrieve it. Well, the first of many to come. When Celcia returns to land, she sees Mike fighting with the shark and causing havoc to the surrounding beach. This gives her nightmares for 4 weeks straight! I suppose she knows the people are going to blame her for the destruction.

Episode 2
TWHE heard there is some sort of treasure on God Mountain. Lana the elf thief plans to follow and trail them to the treasure. But there is a serious problem for Junpei. He needs to go to toilet and they have run out of toilet paper! TWHE can easily get into the next town thanks to the proper documents from the judge. Junpei runs off to the bar to find a toilet but is told that it has none. But why the heck does a men’s bar have a woman changing room and bath?! There’s an underground vault that contains… Cute little white bears?! Junpei is so confused that the just gave up. After he leaves, the bar master enters a secret room behind his bar. It is a toilet and he is using toilet paper to his utmost satisfaction! Biggest troll ever? So now Junpei is running wild in the forest. Any soft plant will do. But why are they all thorny plants?! He then stumbles upon… A cute little white bear?! Feels fluffy and white enough to be toilet paper and he is going to use it! Unfortunately it runs away. Fast! Meanwhile the ladies also stumble upon this little white bear. Celcia believes it is Pichikart, a rare and mysterious creature. Ritsuko likes its cuteness and keeps it as a pet named Pichi. Junpei is at his limits but he stumbles upon a garden filled with Pichi! Heaven? Suddenly all the Pichi jump on him… He realizes they are wiping their ass on him! You mad, bro? Now he can’t hold it any longer and prays to all the religions’ gods. Then before him: A mountain filled with toilet papers! The ladies also reach here and they realize it isn’t God Mountain but Paper Mountain (paper and god sound the same in Japanese: kami). Lana thought she has found her treasure (toilet papers are only used by royalties and considered luxuries in this world) and tries to kick Junpei away. However she slips and this causes an avalanche of toilet paper! The nearby town is destroyed! Ultimately flattened by a giant one! Junpei is so relieved. Then everyone witnesses this shocking event: Pichi poops out toilet paper! OMG! Does this mean Junpei was cleaning his ass with animal crap?! He takes out his frustration by stripping Lana!!! As TWHE leaves, they deduce Pichi is vegetarian and eats leaves, thus the stomach processes those raw materials into toilet paper. But they wonder who made the big one. There’s a big one behind the mountain…

Episode 3
Celcia saves a town from a giant wild panda. Everybody sings praises for her! Except for Junpei who isn’t happy she isn’t a joke character anymore! Now the town wants her to help find a cure for those who are cursed and turned into animals. They find a water source that is believed to be the culprit. As Celcia is about to take a sample, clumsy Annette pushes her in. Because Celcia drank some of it, the effect is starting to take place. Celcia wants a swift death if she turns into a mindless wild beast. Junpei is getting ready Mike to fire at her?! Celcia then turns into… A panda???!!! A talking panda!!! TWHE can’t hold in their laughter so sad Celcia runs back to town. Unfortunately the townspeople think the panda is attacking them again so they capture her and do not believe she is Celcia. As they throw her into the river, Celcia reverts back. Seems she only transforms into a panda when the night has a full moon. Of course this doesn’t sit well with her but luckily Airi points out there is a specialist who can treat her condition. Oh, she’s an elf too. Outside the house, there is a barrier that prevents them from entering. Junpei is going to karate it till it breaks but his stomach growls and so he stops. Not even Airi’s Hollywood acting could open it up. I guess the elf didn’t see her movies, eh? However they notice pandas being able to enter. See where this is going? So they wait till night time for Celcia to turn into a panda and sneak in. Once inside, Celcia is shocked that Nancy knows her and will treat her condition in exchange for taking off the spell fragments. Seems Nancy got the marks on her face exactly like how Celcia got them when she was a dog. But this makes her look like a panda! Celcia can’t help laugh. But thinking about it, if she retrieves the spells, wouldn’t this mean the marks will now be on her face and making her look funnier than ever? Celcia then acts like a real panda to ignore Nancy! She’s not going to save her! Suddenly Junpei grabs Celcia and tells her to do it! How did he get in? He dug under the house… Oh… And so Celcia’s hell begins. Although Nancy is cured, Celcia’s fear materializes. She is stuck as a panda even in daylight. Remember how she was stuck in that doggie mode in the previous season? Yup. Exactly. She wants Mike to shoot her when Annette and the bishops come by with some panda stuffs (this is all she could summon after summoning tons of unrelated objects?). A big insult to Celcia as she orders Mike to shoot them!

Episode 4
What is Junpei and Celcia arguing this time? Oh. Heliocentric theory. Although it is common knowledge in this world that the sun revolves around the planet, Junpei will not accept this crap! He can accept fairies and dragons but not geocentric theory? He relates how a TV show he watched when he was 10 years old moved him to tears. This guy cried? It was about a European monk named Bruno who tried to spread heliocentric theory but was being branded a heretic and burnt at the stake. Junpei was moved by his heroism and became a firm believer in this theory. Yeah, he tried to spread the theory to everyone the next day. So it is no different now that he is trying to preach to the denizens about heliocentric. But there is a commotion in town. The guards with orders from the astrology society want this woman named Bruno to be banished from town because of her belief in heliocentric. Junpei is freaking mad alright. So he goes to see her in her observatory and vows to help her out. How? Has he even thought about the proof to prove to everybody? Meanwhile the astrologers are going to make their move to rid Bruno. They hire the summoning sorcerer, Kerames to do the job. That night, Celcia talks to Bruno for being stubborn about her theory. She explains her dad discovered heliocentric but nobody believed in. He passed away right after she graduated from astrology studies. It has become her life goal to prove heliocentric. Bruno knows that Celcia is here because she knows she is an elf with a fragment (although Celcia puts up an unconvincing deny she is here to see Junpei fail). Bruno agrees to strip after proving right her theory. When Kerames is going to summon an asteroid to wipe them out, Bruno won’t run. She is going to use this to prove heliocentric. As the Earth moves, by the time the asteroid reaches, it would have missed. Celcia wants to run and tells her to quit being stubborn but because TWHE side Bruno, Celcia makes a barrier just in case. When the asteroid hits, it seems a giant tortoise with elephants on its back starts moving to get out of the way. Kerames is thrown away into the sky. A few days later, the astrologers concede to heliocentric. Although TWHE got another fragment, Junpei is left disillusioned because this crap is what heliocentric is really about.

Episode 5
Thanks to the high tide, TWHE are trapped on an island. So what better way than to use that time to visit the botanic garden. They are in luck to witness the botany guys use some special liquid to grow a beanstalk that reaches 10,000 metres into the sky. Everyone marvels at the accelerating growth but Airi poses a question: What happens if those beans start falling down? Never thought about that, did they? And true enough, the beans crash down like projectiles, causing havoc throughout the island. If that is not bad enough, the liquid leaks and turns all the plants giant. Worse timing ever, Ritsuko realizes Pichi is missing and when she spots him on the beanstalk, she gears up to go rescue the pet. Although she manages to secure it, now she’s stuck. The rest of TWHE help to evacuate the people to the port but the falling seeds have destroyed the ships. Trapped. Airi suggests they head to the other half of the island where it is a barren land and nothing grows. But the nightmare isn’t over. Because with the beanstalk growing so big, it will soon crumble by its own weight. Which is happening right now! Even at this point, Junpei and Celcia can argue and fight among each other. Till Airi just shake her head to signal to that muscle head to just stop it. Is this the end for everybody? Is doom only awaits them? The beanstalk crushes and sinks the island but we see everybody holding on to the giant dandelion seeds as they fly away. Don’t worry. Ritsuko manages to hang onto one too.

Episode 6
What’s this? TWHE are now elves?! In a high school for elf girls?! It all began when Judge told them based on their investigations, one of the students there has a fragment. He said the committee will take it from here as they don’t want to receive any more complaints. Because they are persistent, he agrees to let them do it but on condition they have a month to do so. Otherwise they will be placed under house arrest. Airi agrees to the terms as Judge takes Pichi as collateral. Later they are left to rue that they might have been played into Judge’s hands. So we have Airi the teacher, Junpei the janitor, Ritsuko the student and Celcia as the pet panda being chased by a chicken! Searching for the fragment isn’t easy. Junpei disguising himself as a statue while the girls have physical examination only made him bust his cover and the girls screaming pervert. Ritsuko tries talking to them but cannot understand the in-thing they’re talking about. One more day left to the deadline and Airi spots a notebook being sent to the incinerator. She confronts Judge. Seems all this is just a setup. The school and students are just a stage and actors and this is a play written by him. On the final day, the school is assembled whereby Airi announces she will be leaving. She then puts on a heart wrenching performance revealing her identity and all. Once the curtain closes, Judge is going to arrest them. A deal is a deal. They failed to find a fragment. Suddenly a group of girls return because they are touched by Airi’s words. One of them starts crying and reveals a fragment on her face. Celcia realizes this fragment is only visible when certain emotions are put forth. Judge admits defeat and that Airi’s acting got the better of them. As agreed, he will not interfere with their search anymore. But he has heard from the committee the number of fragments remaining: About 1000!!! OMFG!!! Well, good luck. You’re on your own! But TWHE might have the last laugh because Judge is given the bill for the stage build-up, actors, food and other expenses. This expensive?! Yeah, Airi said Judge would foot the bill. Can’t help him now. They’re off to find the fragments.

Episode 7
A smart cunning wolf is stealing livestock of a village. The lord has finally hired hunters to take care of it. Could it be TWHE? As the wolf is predicting that Red Riding Hood scenario as he knocks on a grandma’s house, he didn’t expect to see Junpei! My, what big fists you have? All the better to punch you away! The wolf returns with tricks like Trojan horse and Halloween trick or treat but each time he gets pummelled by Junpei. Trying to put up a newspaper bill collector act, he gets conned by Airi’s domestic violence performance. And when he tries to dig under, Ritsuko’s mines did the job. Grandma is amazed at the hunters’ skills but Junpei says they are not hunters. Eh? So… Are those scary armoured knights the hunters they’re talking about? The wolf also ponders why they won’t finish him off despite the numerous chances. Are they mocking him? Flashback reveals he hates humans because they killed his parents. He will take everything from them. He is going to use some animal formation for his next plan. All he needs is a cat. Oh no… The tank rolls over him when he uses cat food as bait! When he wakes up, TWHE apologizes for Mike’s actions. They treat him and left food for him. The wolf is baffled over their actions. When the real hunters come, they tell the villagers the cruel and slow painful death they’ll give the wolf. The wolf realizes these are the real hunters because they start chasing and shooting him with tranquilizers. TWHE heard the gunshots and rush to the scene. The wolf is tranquilized and beaten up. Before his stomach can be cut opened so rocks could be filled in and then thrown into the river, Junpei gives a great karate kick that shatters one of their armour. The wolf realizes they are TWHE. Because the hunters are elves, could this mean they have been using him as bait to get the hunters? Junpei is so strong that he rips the armours and turns those hunters into girly naked elves in no time. The wolf is still not happy about this and challenges Junpei to a fight. But they leave him with more food as they explain they know how it feels. Besides, wolves are extinct in Japan. The wolf has no choice but to accept their hospitality and eat the food. Tastes horrible but he still eats like he hasn’t eaten in days.

Episode 8
Yet another elf stripping victim. This time she is chastising them so much it is as good as like Junpei had raped her! With that kind of scolding, naturally it gets to Junpei. He might be a muscle head but he is still human. Then they see a human girl, Pulana being chased by perverts who want to strip her! Junpei to the rescue! She explains she is wearing a Blessed Dressed that could lift any curse for those wearing it. It can only be taken off when the spell fragments wear off. In her case, that would be in half a day. The group of clothes strippers, Friskers is trying to get her Blessed Dressed. Junpei will be her bodyguard for the rest of the day. Gee, how noble coming from a serial stripper… Friskers’ boss learns about this and he believes this would only mean their stripping would be more satisfying. They have a history of stripping clothes that are believed to be hard to strip and this Blessed Dressed will be great to their collection. The boss sends a variety of weird agents (with equally weird nicknames) but they all got owned by Junpei and Ritsuko. Not so easy, huh? The boss believes there is a group that can handle them: TWHE! Meanwhile Pulana learns that Junpei and Ritsuko are part of TWHE. She starts feeling scared because she is actually an elf but the curse made her human. Once it wears off… Oh dear… She can’t escape since the duo are keeping a tight watch on her. Friskers find Airi (whose first class acting has the elves strip down themselves) and Celcia (who is infatuated in finding the Blessed Dress to lift her panda curse) as they recruit them for their goal. While Junpei and Ritsuko fend off the Friskers weirdoes, Pulana takes this chance to escape and almost would have gotten caught had not Junpei come to her rescue. This makes her question their malicious intentions. When TWHE reunite, they realize what this entire fiasco is about. Friskers are smart enough to also understand they are in sh*t so they run. But how far can they run from Mike’s rounds? Owned. Once the curse is lifted, Pulana returns being an elf and she prepares herself to be stripped. However Junpei won’t do it since his role as bodyguard is over. Impressed by his ‘chivalry’, she wants to hire him for a little longer but undresses herself to change clothes. No fragment but at least that ended well. Celcia can’t wait to lift her curse but the moment she puts Blessed Dressed on, she turns into a human panda! Then the dress rips. Back to being a panda again. So sad…

Episode 9
Ritsuko once believed in Santa but those bullies had to ruin it by saying it was actually her father behind that red dress. Ritsuko was sad but she continued to believe since she touched his beard. Till one day that childhood ended when she wanted some military compass and left a note under a pillow for Santa but dad misinterpreted it and gave her maths compass instead. Don’t worry. In this world, Christmas is also celebrated and Santa is very real! There are lots of Santarinas in their reindeer sleigh handing out presents to spread the cheer. Celcia summons one so TWHE can get their presents. But wishing for Japan or spell fragments? Are those items are on the list? Even some simple curry or tea isn’t on the gift list that they can provide. TWHE gets a surprise when they see Annette doing this job. She can’t stay and chat as she needs to deliver the presents before the deadline or else she’ll incur some penalty! As suggested, TWHE head over to Santa’s main office for assistance. They are ushered into a room whereby they are greeted by… Satan Santa???!!! WTF is this joke?! Got owned by Junpei! The subsequent Santas include a Japanese salesman, a Japanese manzai comedy duo and a dog. WTF… As they take their complaint to the receptionist, they are being told that they realize TWHE are from another world and they only can serve those who are from this world. What kind of technicality is that?! Junpei gets hot headed but Ritsuko doesn’t want him to fight especially on Christmas Day. Besides, they’re not kids anymore. Airi could see the disappointment in her face. Late that night, as Ritsuko ponders if the Santa she believed was just a dream, the real Santa visits! He heard from the receptionist and came right away. Ritsuko wishes to touch his beard and he starts laughing. Ho! Ho! Ho! Is her request that funny? No, those were the same words she said to him 14 years ago! Don’t get the wrong idea… Santa is NOT her father! Ritsuko jumps into his arms as he takes her on a night flight in his sleigh. Next morning, Santa has left presents for everyone (including Mike) and hopes he got Ritsuko’s wish correct this time.

Episode 10
Elf priestess Regina detects the legendary evil will be awakened. Treetown is a city that was built as a seal to seal it. The only way to seal it back is to present a sacrifice. And she knows the perfect people for it. Annette heard rumours there is an elf who possesses a thousand spells so this has TWHE getting their ass to Treetown. After they pass through a weird post, the city warmly welcomes them and the mayor treats them like heroes. He tells of a bandit and sorceress named Regina who has been terrorizing their town and would like their help to strip her. TWHE, each of them suddenly gets passionately motivated to take down Regina after hearing she has the fragments. They catch her in the act of destruction and try to outdo each other to capture her but she escapes. Celcia is being treated differently and given first class treatment. This has her to boast that she is the most powerful and the leader of TWHE. This doesn’t sit well with the others so Celcia proposes whoever catches Regina first will become the leader. Of course they end up taking out each other more than capturing Regina who is making a fool out of them. Airi who is practising her lines in her room is knocked out by Regina. When they wake up, they are in a cave and realize all this was a setup. When they entered town, they were casted some magic to fight each other. They are being told of the great evil. Regina spread lies about her thousand fragments to lure them here. Although her body has them, they are impression seals to seal the evil. TWHE is supposed to be human sacrifice and Regina well knows they won’t agree to it and thus this elaborated plan to make them fight and exhaust each other. But doesn’t the sacrifice ritual look like frying a giant tempura? Junpei and Celcia are in risked of being turned into crispy brown when Ritsuko manages to take out her laser knife and signal it to Mike to shoot at their location. The utter destruction saves a certain karate guy and circus panda from being fried food. Junpei is going to get back at Regina real good so she doesn’t resist and let him strip her as she wishes! Of course no spells that they are looking for and this only leaves a bad aftertaste in their mouth as they leave Treetown.

Episode 11
Junpei and Ritsuko are down. Ever since the events of the last episode, the feeling of being unwelcomed still gets to them. But Junpei is still ‘in the mood’ to pick a fight with Celcia despite she is kind enough to make breakfast for them. Celcia tries to hold in her anger but there’s a limit to it. As sulking Junpei isn’t interested in finding the next elf, Celcia goes off on her own to the mountains. She enters a cave that leads her to an ancient city of Rem. There, she sees Bizarre the treasure hunter elf and her men trying to blast their way into the building. Meanwhile, TWHE find treasure chests containing pillows floating down from the river. It is so comfortable that they fall asleep right away. Airi notices something odd. Stuffs that cats love start materializing and Mike is enjoying them. When Bizarre has finally entered the structure, she is dismayed to see the treasure gone. I guess all that blasting has the ground give way. Seems she is after the Dream Pillows that materializes what you are dreaming. When Celcia confronts her, Bizarre mentions about her dreams of using the pillow for world domination. Back at TWHE, they wake up after experiencing very nice dreams. They see the breakfast Celcia left for them and feel bad. Airi explains that Celcia is the only one who understands their circumstances in this world and is trying her best. Junpei eats the breakfast and it tastes horrible. He is going to bring her back to lecture her. Is that his way of saying thanks to her? Bizarre easily lost to Celcia. Don’t forget who the greatest sorcerer is. Celcia couldn’t sense any fragments on her when Mike crashes in. A lobster from Ritsuko’s dream materializes. Havoc time. Adding to it is some Indian chicken from Junpei’s dream. As deduced, when the pillow disappears, the dream you dreamt materializes. Celcia should have known better that Junpei isn’t going to save her but the chicken because it made good curry in his dream! Celcia is about to be split apart by the lobster but thanks to Mike firing at it to save her. Celcia thought Junpei is in trouble with the chicken and blasts it into fried chicken right before Junpei could get his curry dish. Panda beat down… This is the thanks she gets for saving him? Bizarre and her men were washed down the stream. She is delighted to see a Dream Pillow. Not sure if she screwed up because lots of cute Pichikart materializes and she’s in love hugging them. Say goodbye to world domination. TWHE make their way when they see something big happening to Treetown. The seal is acting up.

Episode 12
Regina’s chanting is futile. The awakening is too powerful and the legendary evil that pops up is… A giant monk kid? Since it’s still dark, he decides to return to sleep. Regina has no choice but to enlist TWHE for help. She assures them they won’t be human sacrifices again. All they need to do is drive this sealing wedge into his forehead. Then the rest will combine and chant their powers to seal it. Can’t do it while he is sleeping? It only works during daylight hours. But of course… Junpei will do this not because he cares about them but if this world is destroyed, how will they go back to Japan. Yeah, don’t get the wrong idea. It is all for their return. And what’s this? Celcia is feeling sorry for TWHE for being mistreated in this world and yet they come ask for help? Next morning when the giant is awake and getting ready to unleash his brand of playful mischief, they pretend to play with him by making him materialize stuffs. This is part of the plan to trick him into gathering all the fragments for them. He takes up the challenge to do so. He manages to summon all the fragments onto his body, returning Celcia to her elf form. Why is Junpei so disappointed? However he gets bored and dispels all of them, turning Celcia back into a panda. This makes her mad so he starts crying. His tantrum is going to tear the land apart! Junpei has no choice but to stick the wedge now. After climbing up and then using his karate kick to drive it into his forehead, Regina and the priests start their chant. Unfortunately it did not work as the kid now turns into its true form: A demonic tree. There is still a way, though. Celcia will use her energy stone. Although it will vaporize the demon, but at the price of her life! Look at Celcia’s face. She has no regrets. She’s cool. Like as though she knew this was coming. She already had a talk with Regina to take over seeing it through with TWHE if something happens to her. For once Junpei is concerned about her! No, Celcia! Don’t do it! Thankfully she won’t be the sacrificed heroine because here comes Pichi with a Dream Pillow. Pichi turns super giant size and eats the tree! OMG! So this is Pichi’s dream?! Must taste good, huh? And what goes in must comes out… Let’s say Treetown will never have to worry about toilet paper for generations to come. But now it is the daunting task to find the fragments again. Although the authority has given them the permission to strip, they still don’t like the way they do it. This time Celcia puts her foot down and uses her position as the top priestess for all of them to strip for TWHE! She doesn’t care about the implications on her and is glad to get that off her chest. So let the long journey of stripping begin! Come off now, all the clothes!

And so yet another mindless fun anime ends. Whether it is a good way to end things like that depends on how much you love or hate the series. Because the way everything ends somehow feels rushed, like as though the producers ran out of ideas and gave into lazy writing just to end the series. I mean, look at the episodic format of the series. They’re going around having some sort of random adventures although they’ll be stripping elves at the end of the day. Most of the episodes are a miss on whether the elf has a fragment or not. In the first season itself you see how the remaining elves with fragments conveniently pop up for the direction of the end season story. By the second season, the fragments have scattered over a thousand pieces and you wonder how they are going to fit all that into just a dozen episodes. And heck, they didn’t even find a single one except for the ones shown! And thus you get this lazy writing story of either they find it all at one go or none at all. And of course a way that doesn’t really end it all entirely in case they needed another season of stripping. Which in this case doesn’t look like it will happen as a decade has already passed. No more fun and profit in stripping elves?

The stripping of female elves seem to be the staple and ‘reward’ for us sitting through each episode, a reason to satisfy our deep inner perversion to see naked female elves (which of course we won’t get to see any full frontal nude otherwise this series would have been relegated and being labelled as hentai). The way Junpei strips them using his rough karate and makes it look like some sort of pre-rape scene feels funny. Unless you can’t stand this kind of jokes (if you’re one of those feminists… Geez…). Even after the first few episodes, I am sure you will be asking yourself, isn’t there any other way to strip them besides ripping their clothes? I know it is the fastest way but don’t they ever think about the embarrassment of being left in public with no clothes? Elves are humans too! And they come in all shapes and sizes. Though, many of them do look good enough for stripping :p. Good elves, bad elves, elves that can be stripped, elves who cannot be stripped and elves who voluntarily strip.

That is why I started pondering why they didn’t use this ‘fool proof’ method: Just get Airi to put up her superb Hollywood acting and convince the elves to strip themselves. No force used! Guaranteed to leave both sides happy or at least it won’t scar the victim. I know the reason why they didn’t resort to this and just get rough ol’ Junpei to do the job is for comedic purpose. But having not doing so means and indicates that Airi and Ritsuko are sadists too! Don’t you agree?! Don’t you see? They just stand there and watch Junpei strip the poor elf and they don’t say or do anything after that. I know it is the fragments they want but then again, if they’re not being truly bad guys, they are certainly not truly good guys either. By doing this, I think they’re literally taking the term of stripping down to the naked truth to new heights. So what Celcia as the highest order of the priestess over the common elves gives her seal of approval to be stripped. It still doesn’t change the sentiments for the victims. It is like your king gives permission to outsiders to rape you! What the hell is wrong?!

Besides that, many of the funny moments are in the form of Celcia and Junpei’s squabbles. It is like every episode you can at least hope to see this spat at least once. No matter how petty and silly their argument, it is like as though it has become a staple and running joke of the series. Despite so, it doesn’t become tiring and it remains amusing till the very end to see all kinds of things that they can just pick a fight on. I have a feeling that Junpei loves to pick a bone with Celcia and would purposely call her names and insult anything that has to do with her and like your typical character who won’t let this slide, she reacts and has a thing or two to say back. Something I believe the kind of reaction that Junpei is hoping for and thus alleviating the ‘boredom’ and that muscle head getting a kick out of bullying the greatest elf priestess. You can say he really has a knack in pressing the right (or wrong, in this case) buttons just to piss her off. It is like he is waiting for this moment to insult the stupid mutt/circus panda. And thanks to Celcia reacting, it’s like she’s taken the bait for it and her anger in retaliating makes her even more comical.

And I suppose to make things funnier, all the reason why Celcia has been portrayed stuck in her animal form for a big majority of the series. Because it would be just heart breaking to see a beautiful and intelligent elf priestess to become to butt of jokes and insults. Because it would make her look ‘ugly’ just to see her angry wrinkle lines. Because it would by uncouth to see a beautiful woman getting mad and arguing back with harsh words. That is why they turn her into a very comical and cartoonish dog in the first season, and then an equally cartoonish although cuter looking panda in the sequel. That way, you won’t feed ‘bad’ to see pretty woman squabbling with muscle head dude but instead laugh your head off to see funny doggie/panda bicker with the curry lover. From time to time, the series do break the fourth wall and the one that is constantly being used especially by Junpei is how he hates this fantasy genre since everything goes. Your Earth logic does not apply here!

Thus I suppose after a couple of dozen episodes of stripping elves in trying to find a way back home, sometimes it feels repetitive but overall it doesn’t since we don’t get tired of seeing elves being stripped. Do we? Thanks to the episodic nature, many episodes feel like standalones so you don’t have to crack your head thinking about if there is any convoluted plot and hidden agenda behind it all. You just need to crack into a smile and start ROFL, that’s all. While the first season feels like almost episode is about getting to strip the elf at the end, the second season feels it has lesser of that folly since we see TWHE getting in some random adventures instead with some that doesn’t even involves stripping any elf (that giant botanical island one).

Therefore with us laughing at the comical and sadistic nature of elves getting stripped, we don’t actually bother about the character development for the main characters even if they are somewhat like stereotypes. We can tell Junpei is the idiotic loudmouth guy who lets his fists do the talking and rarely uses his grey matter. Rough, tough and loves curry. Not the brightest and sharpest tool in the shed but certainly the strongest and you don’t want to pick a fight with this dude. After stripping elves after elves, episodes after episodes, you thought he had refined the art of stripping. Guess not. Then there is the military otaku Ritsuko and Airi who is the brains and most observant of the pack. She is the only person Junpei listens to (because he is such a big fan) and the calm and rational one. It is good having her around otherwise who knows what would have happened to them TWHE since Junpei has a tendency to rush into things that would make it much worse than before. We have a handful of episodes trying to give us a glimpse of the past of some of TWHE like Ritsuko and her Santa and Airi with her dance ball training. But that is just as far as we will know about them.

As we know of Celcia’s case, if you can cast aside her comical role as a manzai comedy duo with Junpei, her predicament is sad and pitiful. It is like she is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, she is trying hard to rectify her errors by helping out TWHE to get back the fragments so she can send them back and end the nightmare that has besieged this world. On the other hand, she becomes the enemy of the people as they see her as a traitor and being part of TWHE and helping them strip their fellow kind. Sometimes you can’t blame her when she goes crazy with all that stress (Junpei is the biggest offender and contributor, of course) and maybe she should just stay as a doggie or panda happily eating her bone or bamboo shoots. Whoops! Sorry…

Sometimes I feel they are trying to hint some sort of romance between Celcia and Junpei. Yikes! Romance between them?! There are very few instances and subtle hints that might indicate this but it might as well be the spur of the moment thingy. For example, the time when she gets really concerned when he becomes injured or the end of the first season sees Celcia sad to see Junpei leave. It could be just me thinking too much because even if this is fantasy, I don’t think it would really happen. Celcia x Junpei. They, an item?! Don’t make me laugh and vomit at the same time! She should have known better this guy would care about her. She would be last on the things he cares about. Worse, not on the list! But think about this. Sometimes don’t you think that Junpei’s treatment over Celcia is like being… Tsundere???!!! Another reason for Junpei to be tsundere is that despite he tells others that he is doing what he does for the sake of returning to Japan and doesn’t give a hoot about what happens to them, isn’t it in a way helping them out no matter how you look at it? So doesn’t this mean Junpei is a big tsundere?

Somehow I think Celcia in her animal form is the animal mascot of the series. But since she is not truly an animal, I guess that is why we have Mike possessing the tank. Although a hard metal on the outside, a soft feline on the inside. An excuse to not be just an idle tank so that it could fire at will for some awesome firepower without having Ritsuko to sit inside and control it Then I figure they really wanted a true animal mascot and thus that is why they get Pichi into the group. Personally, I find this Pichi character to be quite redundant. It does really nothing useful except to provide some cuteness eating its leaf while hanging out with TWHE. In every subsequent episode after that toilet paper story, I don’t see how Pichi could contribute to the plot or story in any way. I don’t see how providing tissues to take a dump provides anything useful… I know, that final episode easily devouring the legendary evil that everybody had a hard time dealing with made it looked like so forced. Like as though they needed to make Pichi do something ‘amazing’ before we start thinking what the hell is this cute useless mascot creature is for in the series anyway.

Art and drawing are retro style anime. It came out in 1996 and the sequel a year later. What do you expect the quality from that era? Well, at least some of the elves do look pretty and sexy (from that era sense) or else how could they ever be good stripping quality and make us long to see their clothes being ripped? I don’t know, is it me or does Junpei look like an idiotic buffed up version of Street Fighter’s Ryu?! Say it isn’t so… Music wise (all sung by Naoko Hamasaki), the opening theme feels like some sort of energetic dance song. Angel Blue is for the first season and has some synthesizer effects to it while the second season, Round 11 demonstrates her powerful vocals amidst the rock electric guitar riffs. Not bad actually. The energetic dance burst of this one reminds me of The Snap’s The Power (“I’ve got the power!”). The ending themes aren’t that appealing although they are not generally bad. Tensai Wa Saigo Ni Yattekuru for the first season sounds like a moderate pop while Kiseki No Mukou Sobe E for the second season feels like pop country rock.

Overall, this series is for those who needed some retro style humour and will not be easily offended by the stripping of females. Yes, this is fantasy and so stripping is rampant ever since TWHE set foot. You are supposed to laugh out loud at all the cheap silly antics, great destruction and logic of this parallel that makes no sense (fishman that can’t swim?). This way, it makes viewing fun and entertaining. Yeah, you could say that this is what the anime is worth if you strip it down to its bare minimum. Good or bad thing there isn’t a third season because I thought it was a hint when the next episode preview in the second season always ends with the characters asking for seconds. Yeah, second helpings of stripping? And if you get any ideas that stripping sounds a lot fun and funny, please let that only stay in your head and remain as fantasy. I assure you that in the real world, stripping is not as fun as it looks when resisted (lawsuits -> you being stripped of your money) and not fun at all when they willingly let you. And if you really want some stripping, have a bacon strip, read some comic strip, go watch planes land on the airstrip or visit the Gaza Strip. Forgive the stripping puns!

Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD

November 28, 2015

OH YEAH!!! THEY’RE BACK!!! It is good to know that our adorable dummies detectives are back for a third season (fourth, if you considered that side spin-off as the third). Therefore I couldn’t really wait to get my hands on Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD seeing the ‘amazing’ kind of track record they have. Oh yeah. Milky Holmes. The name that rings shame and disgrace for true detectives all around the world in real life or fiction but brings joy to all those who enjoy their silly antics (like yours truly) as they stumble their way to become the world’s greatest detectives. And I hope they’ll take many more years for that. Haha! So, will they become True Detectives or will they become Totally Dummies at the end of it all? Isn’t that what TD is supposed to mean? Oh heck, I can’t wait any longer. Bring on mah dummies!

Episode 1
Fans are enjoying the idols’ performance when suddenly they cannot sing anymore! Even baffling is that all records of their voice are missing from CDs, tapes, files, etc. Could this be the job of a phantom thief? Phantom Thief Empire? Well, a personal call from Arsene reveals they don’t steal music. And so Kokoro takes it upon herself to find the culprit before her eternal rivals Milky Holmes does. She and her partner, Keiko are now suspecting Marine Amagi who is the most popular idol in the country now. Especially her Song of Miracles which is billed as the top song ever. As explained by her Producer and Manager, Marine possesses Toys that allows her Elements to take physical form. They have the ability to attract people who listen to it. As Marine has been singing this song with her Elements since young, there is no way she could be the culprit. Further observation on Marine shows that she is a kind hearted person among her peers. During her live concert, the same tragedy strikes. How can somebody steal her ability right in front of all the cameras and fans? In fact, all of her Elements have been stolen too. Feathers thought they can help but here comes those bumbling Milky Holmes! They know who the culprit is! Who?! KAZUMI???!!! WTF?! She is arrested and sent to prison! Meanwhile Marine’s fortunes turn for the worst. As she cannot sing, she retired and started appearing in variety shows but that itself didn’t make her go anywhere. Manager thought she should do something else but Marine has always bent on only becoming a singer. That is why she will swallow her pride and quit. I don’t know if Kokoro is making a joke because she says if Marine retires, she’ll arrest her?!

Then Milky Holmes pop up to announce that Manager is the real culprit behind this. She forced Marine into a corner and stole her confidence. Something about this lovely figurine of poor Marine that will be selling like hot cakes. Wow. So cute. Let me have one! Ahem… Manager shows her true colours but even surprising is Melodia, one of the Elements popping out from her cleavage. Melodia then challenges them to play a game with her. In this alternate dimension, if they win, they can have Marine back or else she will stay here with Melodia forever. So in this silly obstacle race, Milky Holmes do all they can to win it. Don’t even ask about that silly logic because Manager had bigger boobs that makes her float so the rest sting themselves to ‘inflate’ certain parts and do the same. In the end, Sherlock wins in. Kokoro is about to arrest Manager but Melodia says it is not her fault. When Elements were stolen from Marine, they were sucked into the person closest to them. Melodia couldn’t understand why but she felt she wanted Marine all to herself. Manager admits she did try to push Marine hard and because of those feelings it made Melodia go berserk. With Melodia returning to Marine, they notice her voice returns a little. This means if they gather back all her other Elements, she’ll regain her voice again. When Marine lost her Elements and Song of Miracles, she gave up but Milky Holmes taught her never to do that. Wait a minute. Those bungling detectives teaching somebody lessons in life? OMG. The world is going to end?! Yeah, they don’t even remember the incident where they lost their Toys, live in an attic and all those shameless stuffs…

Episode 2
Kazumi is finally freed from prison… See how much life it took out from her? You better sincerely apologize you Dopey Holmes! So they discuss about the other Elements. As Melodia points out, it is impossible for them to live outside humans so they must have been absorbed and living in other people. This confirms it. Kokoro is a big fan of Marine and is drooling while watching her video. Pink Lovely Doom appears before her. Oh God. It is that IQ bragging running joke… Pink Lovely Doom knocks her out. Not so smart now, are you? Milky Holmes thinks the culprit is the one who is jealous of Marine’s songs. Her idol mates are the prime suspects. Holy cow! Manager has brought hundreds of them here! How many of them exactly in this band? They wanted a million members… And Sherlock starts accusing one by one they are the culprit. Damn clones… Producer has a dubbing job for Marine. She accepts the monster voicing role but fellow idol Senna is not pleased because Marine already lost her voice and she hasn’t been fired yet. Does she think doing a movie will help her return? Sorry but Senna won’t help her. Instead, Miki Hojou would gladly help out Marine. Haven’t finished accusing yet, Sherlock? As they head for the audition, suddenly this idol gate crashes. Mayu Hanasaki looks suspiciously like Kokoro… She sings her Perfect Song in which it is so perfect that Dummy Holmes give her a perfect score. Even dumber as they are, they think this weird mascot, Capriccio is an Element. She badmouths Marine cannot sing but since Mayu’s beeper is beeping like Ultraman’s low energy warning, it’s time to go. Later as Milky Holmes try to have Marine name all her Elements (obviously she can’t because there are so many of them), Marine feels sad because she doesn’t want to go back to a place where she is not remembered.

And so the final showdown for the audition pits Marine and Mayu in a wrestling ring. Nero becomes the commentator while the rest are Marine’s assistants. Mayu unleashes some handshake power but Cordelia knows how to counter it. Now she fights back with some handmade sweets move to put Mayu out of commission. She is about to target Capriccio but Marine feels pity. In this distraction, Cordelia is owned as Capriccio reveals about the dog-eat-dog-world in show business. Survival of the fittest. Might is right! Marine becomes mad. Idols don’t need power. They need love. And she’ll prove it to her. She transforms into some Sailormoon spoof and with her Idol Shoulder Fist punches Pink Lovely Doom out of the Capriccio costume. Shocked that she is not an Element? Well, she never said she was one. She reveals that her goal is to find the phantom thief who stole Marine’s Elements. For that phantom thief to do that means they must be powerful. It is now a race to see who will find that phantom thief first. With Pink Lovely Doom gone, Mayu’s mask falls off and everyone recognizes her as Kokoro. No memories of what happened? Well, at least Marine wins the audition. Stronger and motivated, she vows to reclaim all her Elements and won’t give up. That’s the spirit. During the monster dubbing sequence, she tries her best to roar but sounds so meek and cute. Can she muster up a real roar? RAAAAWWRRR!!! OMG! She sounds like the real deal!!!!!!!!

Episode 3
Marine and Miki are in some curry promotion shoot. But she has to do several retakes. Getting sick of curry? Milky Holmes has no decency to even try their own curry in front of her. When Producer mentions about some shrines job, Marine instantly accept it. Milky Holmes doesn’t have to come but they insist. Why do they look like they’re here to have fun? It gets worse when Manager screws up their timing because they missed the flight. You don’t think they are here early because their flight is supposed to be at 1pm and now it is 3pm. 10 hour wait? You’re freaking late! No choice, they start trekking through the desert. They miss the only bus whose frequency is only once a day. Milky Holmes starts becoming idiotic as they continue their misadventures. Even more annoying is how they sleep talk about how rich they are. I can understand why Marine is so freaking upset if they are really here to protect her. Yeah, she can’t really believe these girls are detectives. When they reach a local Indian-like city, they learn the prince has some sort of obsession for curry and those who do not satisfy him will be imposed very big tax. First thing Milky Holmes does? Let’s go eat! Can’t work on an empty stomach! But they become scared seeing this magma curry and start pushing it around. Now you see their true colours, Marine? You have every right to be upset and walk out! Dummy Holmes doesn’t want the curry to waste and start licking the ground!!! ALL TOO FAMILIAR!!! Their curry is more important that they realize too late Marine is gone.

Marine conducts her own investigation but the guards capture her and throw her in the dungeon before the prince pops up with some business with her. Milky Holmes sneaks into the palace easily since the guards are pretty occupied in catching a pair of phantom thieves intruding the place. They are Feathers and this is just a diversion. You think those guards care if they are detectives or thieves? Stick ‘em up! With Cordelia’s Toys, they manage to trace Marine in the prince’s throne room. Marine is surprised to hear that Milky Holmes is here to save her and she feels bad for abandoning them. It seems the prince is possessed by the Harmony twins from Elements. As usual, another game on. The one who can make the best curry wins. Milky Holmes gathers the ingredients but because Nero wants to use the sacred cow meat, she gets chopped off! There goes her appearance for the rest of this episode. After both sides finish, the prince starts tasting. The usual super exaggerated effects when he tastes the Harmony twins’ dish. No reaction from Milky Holmes so does this mean the Harmony twins won? Surprised! He announces Milky Holmes as the winner! But why? He lets Marine tastes it and she could taste all the hard work Milky Holmes put in. She realizes this effort was because they never gave up on her. The Harmony twins reveal the prince was not at fault as they were attracted to his power and passion for curry. Of course his strong feelings for it mean they went berserk. The Harmony twins return to Marine and the prince is kind enough to lend his private luxury jet for them to return. They can’t help feel somebody is missing… Oh Nero…

Episode 4
Marine and Milky Holmes get lost in the forest while trying to find a hotel. Don’t ask. Milky Holmes see an old lady passing and thinks there must be a cottage nearby and rushes straight to her. But they end up in a mansion of a lady named Sakiko Kinumiya who claims she has been living here all by herself. She asks for Marine’s autograph since she is a big fan of hers. Actually she is a fan of one hit wonders. Milky Holmes misinterprets what that means and seeing they can live the luxury life, they agree to work for Sakiko by getting all 88 stamps. So we see them participate in variety game show challengers against other one hit wonders in Sakiko’s amusement park. Meanwhile Sakiko and Marine watch them on TV as Sakiko praises the perfect one hit wonder Marine is. However Marine doesn’t want to be that and wants to continue to sing. This irks Sakiko so she imprisons her in an iron helmet trying to brainwash her. Milky Holmes is on a winning streak but have to face a video arcade master. The one who scores the most points in 3 minutes wins. Nero thought she can do a better job but when she realizes she is lagging behind and tries to use her Toys to change the scoring system, it shuts down and reboots. Game over? Suddenly Feathers drop in to help. They claim their chipmunk teeth are magical accessories that allow them to beat any game. Don’t worry. Their hand is so fast that the score keeps adding up at incredible speed to make a comeback win! Milky Holmes wins! Now they need 1 more stamp. Unfortunately nobody knows who the 88th person is since there are only 87 of them. Have they been cheated? Oh, but here comes Sakiko to introduce Marine as her newest one hit wonder member. Suddenly Shout, one of the Elements pops out from Sakiko. They’re going to play a quiz game about rock. I don’t know. They have to choose between food and daily items. What do they have to do with rock? I don’t understand Shout’s explanation either… Oh heck, was it supposed to make sense? In the end, it is a draw. Milky Holmes gets their final stamp and is happy to join Marine in her luxurious one hit wonder life. However Marine has been trying to fight against this. She doesn’t want it to end here and wants to continue singing. Her determination is so great that she breaks out from her iron helmet. She is emitting a light brighter than any one hit wonder. The light of a true star! Shout is impressed with her enthusiasm and returns to her. It is revealed that Sakiko wanted to test Marine’s talent to see if it’s real or not. But thanks to it, Marine knows what she wants now. But Sakiko’s obsession with one hit wonders is true. Because she used to be one and wished that moment could last forever. She kept it all in her amusement park.

Episode 5
Marine will be starring alongside Carol Dodgson in Spygirl 4. Producer thought it will be a good opportunity to show the world she can do more than just sing. However the director sees them and there is a threatening letter to Carol. She is a total b*tch, badmouthing Milky Holmes for not being serious as her bodyguards (because Nero asked for her autograph) and she doesn’t want to be friends with Marine. I guess when you’re a big child star like her, you don’t want to mix with have-beens. Later the director reveals Carol is on the edge right now as today is her birthday but she hates celebrating and wants to continue working. It has been hard for her to work with adults and she doesn’t have friends her age. Milky Holmes didn’t know they are to play stunt doubles and get into trouble in the forest, running into a bear and falling off a cliff. But it seems Milky Holmes isn’t goofing around. The autograph Nero got, they have analyzed it and realize the perpetrator is the same. Shortly, Kokoro is called to the scene because the director receives another threatening letter. Milky Holmes has Carol follow them into the forest. Suddenly Sherlock points a gun at her and tells her she is their hostage! What gives?! Then they got hide in some cave as Feathers give them some delivery goods. Milky Holmes happily dancing around the bonfire? Marine is sorry for what is happening to Carol although she has no clue what Milky Holmes is up to. Carol scorns her for losing her ability to sing. She’d rather die than go through that. Looking at Marine pisses her off because it reminds her of her future self. She grabs the gun to fire a warning shot but it’s fake. Turns out this is a surprise birthday party Milky Holmes planned. Carol is not happy. She doesn’t want to celebrate. Milky Holmes is puzzled that she wrote a threatening letter to herself. They think she has been working so hard every day and can’t make friends or even celebrate her birthday.

She admits she did write that letter but it’s not because she doesn’t want to work but to ensure her status as an eternal star. She was going to disappear forever after filming but now she’ll take all of them along with her. Then one of the Elements, Rhythmic pops out. In this wonderland dimension, Rhythmic explains time stops here because Carol doesn’t want to grow up. As she is a child actress, she’ll be worthless when she grows up. Marine argues she is wrong and this isn’t what Carol wants. She doesn’t want Rhythmic to steal her happiness. Rhythmic decides to play a game and if they win, they can have her back. So they’re playing a game of jenga. Milky Holmes is going to lose on their turn when Sherlock hypnotizes Cordelia to be a block. It fooled Rhythmic so when it is Carol’s turn, Cordelia is hypnotized back to normal and the blocks crumble. In the aftermath, Rhythmic points out Carol is not the phantom thief. She felt scared that if she can’t be with Marine, she can’t make people happy. Same for Carol. She feared of growing up and relied on Rhythmic. After Rhythmic returns to Marine, Carol talks to her that she often listened to her Song of Miracles when she is going through hard times. That is why she had the director casted her in this movie. But for Marine, after seeing how Carol placed priority in her acting, she realizes she didn’t give her singing the same importance. Therefore no matter how hard it gets, she wants to go back singing. Carol requests for her autograph by Marine can’t give it to her now. Not at least she can sing again. But they can be friends. Kokoro then arrests Milky Holmes because they wrote a dumb threatening letter to pay them a year’s supply of fish cakes and bananas. Yeah, who else could write such a joke?

Episode 6
It must be a bad day for Kokoro. She is sick but still has to go to work since her G4 pals are also out sick. Worse, Milky Holmes is here to visit! Not enough energy for a retort? Keiko suggests cancelling their traffic safety course but Milky Holmes would gladly help out. So they do a poor impersonation of G4 and I don’t think they’re fooling anyone. The kids are not impressed. Even the old guy (who is Arsene in disguise) tells them to do it properly! Milky Holmes sees Producer and the rest watching a video. Did Marine upload a video? No. This is an impersonator. Despite the butt hurt comments, this video has 7 billion views! At this rate she will become more famous than the real one. Sherlock knows who the culprit is. It is Miki! What kind of joke is this?! Thanks to this commotion, Marine finds out about this. Sad girl. Milky Holmes gets cracking on the case. Nero calls Feathers to help find out about Nerima Tenkujo, the one who uploaded the video. They finally discover her location. Despite looking like a duplicate of Marine, she is just a plain girl without all that makeup and accessories. Seems Nerima is a big fan of Marine and believes she must make more videos for her. Besides, she is not doing anything illegal and the site she uploads the videos have permission to use her music. The real Marine pops up and she believes it is not Nerima’s fault as it was herself who lost her Elements to begin with. Nerima starts talking crazy that since everyone has forgotten Marine ever since she lost her singing, she will become famous in her place. All her fans will love her in her place! Sherlock throws a tantrum that this will make Marine feel sad so Nerima throws down a challenge. She will upload a new video tomorrow. They will also upload a video and if they can get more views than hers in a week, she will delete the videos. If they lose, they will resign as detectives. They think being a video star is easy, huh? Well, Sherlock’s Kamaboko walking through a box only nets her double digits. Same case with the rest on filming whatever that was. At least Hercule got 10,000 views because she was unintentionally reading a fairytale in an erotic way! Plus, it was tagged as an adult video.

Nerima is glad those Dummy Holmes are no match for her. She has already amassed a billion views. But she sees the people talking about a new video that is all the rage. It is Marine dancing. Even more worrying is she has gotten over 900 million views. Nerima then decides to use her secret weapon. By pressing F5 key, she will refresh the page and add to the views! But nothing happens. That is when Milky Holmes caught her in the act. They have replaced her keyboard with all F5 keys! They knew she was the culprit after noticing her F5 key has been worn out. Nerima becomes upset. One of the Elements, Dancing pops out. Time for another battle. They thought it is going to be a dance battle but it turns out whoever can be a real boy wins. Dancing transforms Nerima into a girly boy to flirt with Nerima. Could have almost stole her heart had Milky Holmes not snap her out of it. Not it is their turn, Nero could have fitted the part well but they decided to pick on Hercule and turn her into a guy. That banchou outfit is so unconvincing. However Hercule makes her move. She isn’t just being a real boy. She is manly! Look at her Adam’s apple! Well, actually the cough cold deepened her voice since Hercule caught a little flu from Kokoro. Dancing admits defeat and returns to Marine. Nerima laments all she wanted was to support Marine. But Marine has learnt a valuable lesson from this. Idols need their fans to believe in them. Milky Holmes thinks they can make Marine more famous by uploading secret videos of her. You want to know why Marine is embarrassed and has had it with this worthless crap? It is a video of her sleeping. Aww… So cute…

Episode 7
The first thing Marine sees when she walks into office… Milky Holmes arguing among themselves… About lemon and friend chicken… I’ll spare you their argument details. Marine is disappointed because she thought they taught her about getting along at that Indian kingdom but this only puts oil on the fire. Because Nero remembers she was left behind and nobody cared! The argument intensifies… Later Marine talks to Miki about this and Marine is confident she won’t give up yet. That night as Nero goes to apologize to the rest, surprisingly they apologize first. Wow. Friendship back on track so fast. Next day, Nero has some weird rosy dream and when she is wakes up for a bodyguard job, she starts acting girly! Marine thought she could diffuse the lemon-fried chicken problem but to her shock, Milky Holmes doesn’t care about it anymore. What just happened? Milky Holmes will be Marine’s bodyguard as she heads to a TV drama set. She will be starring along with Hiroko Tenma whose beauty has never aged since 10 years ago. There are rumours she might be a vampire. Because so, they think Marine is in deep trouble to be her next victim. As they make their way to the set, they get horrified by Tenma coming out of the coffin. Useless Holmes minus Nero all fainted. Turns out the crew was just rehearsing. When Tenma looks at Nero, something between them click. Once the rest of Milky Homes wakes up, they are shocked to see Nero in a traditional Japanese outfit and she has agreed to become Tenma’s adopted child! It is because she looked like her child she lost a long time ago. Of course they are sad because this would mean the breakup of their partnership.

Of course Marine heard rumours from other staffs that they never knew she had a daughter. Manager heard another rumour that Tenma adopted a daughter 10 years ago but there was a boy she often took along with her to shootings but one day she stopped bringing him. Could it be she is really a vampire? When Milky Holmes goes to see Nero because they miss her (really), suddenly coming out from her is one of the Elements, Poemi. They are going to play a traditional Japanese quiz game. I don’t know how this one works but Nero is taking a great lead. Marine makes a comeback after getting that determined feeling. And then when she answers about being a true mother, Tenma as the host gives her maximum points for her to win the game. When Nero is back to normal, she genuinely apologizes to everyone. Everyone is getting emotional. Group hug! Poemi returns to Marine. Later it is revealed the rumours on Tenma were true. She did have a son and Nero looked very much like him. So she mistook Nero for a boy? The daughter she adopted 10 years ago was her maid. Tenma realizes she has been neglecting her and wants to restart as a true family. Her son somehow left and she treated her as his replacement. This time she’ll be her true daughter. Milky Holmes get brutally honest about Nero’s character and here we go again with their silly argument…

Episode 8
Kobayashi calls Milky Holmes that there has been another case of a stolen Element that is similar to the case they have been working on. This means Milky Holmes and Marine are off to London! They meet Oscar who may look like a pretty boy but is actually a woman. She comes from a family of making the finest tea and her only Element, Noblesse has been stolen on one stormy night. She has her butler, Andrew let them taste the tea. Although it is delicious, Oscar views it is not enough. Ever since Noblesse has disappeared, she couldn’t make the best tea anymore. She feels she doesn’t deserve to inherit the Duke of Twilight title and become the head of the family. Her aunt, Jeanne suggests giving that title up to her goofy son, Nicholas since he is a boy. But Professor Cline Nevalt, the famous tea critic believes that cannot be the case since Elements stay with those who are suited to be the next Duke of Twilight and gender has nothing to do with it. Milky Holmes gets cracking to find Noblesse. That night Marine sees Oscar and cheers him up with her Elements. He notes that having an Element is proof of talent. He felt that because Andrew was always there and tasted the tea for him. Marine mentions about his funny glasses so Oscar laughs. He explains Andrew used to play with her a lot but one day she had an accident and he saved her. This caused severe lost to his vision and if he doesn’t wear glasses he cannot see anything. When Marine goes back, a knight armour threatens the detective to take her friends back or else. But Cordelia comes to save the day as the armour runs away. She knows who the culprit is and calls everyone to gather.

Putting back the armour that was situated in the front hall that everybody can use, it seems only somebody small can fit into this. It couldn’t be Nicholas or Jeanne and the obvious person could be no other than… Cline! WTF?! This guy is wheelchair ridden, can’t you see that?! They believe he is faking his disability and egg him to stand up! Nope. Wrong deduction again! Cline now plays detective. He has Marine remember the knight’s words. He mistook her for a detective and miscalled her Hercule. It is obvious, isn’t it? It is no other than Andrew! So the butler did it, huh? He has to take off his glasses to don the tight armour. Noblesse then pops out from Andrew. She wanted to relieve Oscar of her burden. Now they’re going to play a game. If Milky Holmes can get out of this living maze, she’ll return to Oscar. They have a time limit and the maze can change. Cordelia sees some plant eating bugs in Cline’s hands and uses it to make the maze open a path to Oscar. Noblesse tries to stop them but Marine summons her Elements to make a beeline to reach the finish line. Noblesse reveals Andrew did not steal her. On that stormy night, she went to hide in him so as to relieve Oscar’s burden of being the next head. But Andrew feels responsible. He is always jealous of Oscar and Noblesse being together. He thought she would love him if Noblesse was gone. Oscar cannot believe this and fires him. After all these years and he doesn’t know her feelings. Oscar believes Noblesse chose him that night. Andrew hugs her, will quit has her butler and make her his wife. Everyone enjoying this romantic drama? At the back, it seems Cline can actually walk but he is Kobayashi in disguise.

Episode 9
Cordelia suggests using Ouija Board to help find the next Element. Wow. Is it really working? Because it point to some casino island and a new international casino branch to be opened by Scarlett Ohada. With the hospitality of the prince (Milky Holmes pigging out his curry meal), they make their way there and the moment they land, Sherlock is being struck by some android girl, Ann Gardy. They attend the opening ceremony as Milky Holmes uses Ouija Board to find the Elements but since it predicts numbers for them, Milky Holmes becomes greedy and starts gambling. Marine meets Miki who is here to do an opening gig. Marine then sees Milky Holmes being taken away because when their winning streak turns into losses, they start borrowing from loan sharks to repay their debt. And they kept losing… Noir the Black Dealer wants to play a game with Milky Holmes as instructed by Scarlett. They thought if they can beat her, the debts will be erased. Nope. Element Decrescendo pops out from Noir. If she loses, Decrescendo goes back to Marine otherwise Noir will take all of her Elements. First they play poker. Noir is confident her four-of-a-kind will win it since Milky Holmes only has weak hands. But she didn’t expect Marine to get a Royal Flush! Next game has cards with girls claiming they are 17. But one of them isn’t. Which? Marine is going with her guts but she accidentally sneezes and picks up another one. This proves to be the correct card. Wow. Such incredible luck. In the final game, Marine must walk across a panel in which certain tiles are loose. If she falls down, it’s game over. Noir believes she will lose because a column of tiles are all loose. However Marine jumps over and wins it. Marine and Milky Holmes hurry back as they want to catch Miki performing. Noir laments her failure to Scarlett. Although Scarlett says she has fulfilled her duty and was no match for her unnatural luck, Scarlett views Noir as useless and wants her to leave. This is her only home. Where is she to go? Not her problem. If you’re wondering where Ann has been all the time? She’s been playing the slots and has won buckets loads of chips! This is enough to repay Milky Holmes’ debts! Scarlett then makes a surprise announcement that there is going to be a wonderful show and needs Marine’s help. Once she goes up on stage, the roof opens and Marine is sucked up along with Scarlett into the ominous sky.

Episode 10
Noir explains Scarlett is now on the floating island that was once created by some super civilization. Scarlett has been strategically opening her casinos so that it could channel its power to this casino island to summon the floating island. There is a Levistone on that island with incredible luck that those who possess it will never have bad luck ever. Scarlett plans on ruling the world with it but to get that stone, you need incredible luck and who better than Marine has that. The catch is, in the process Marine’s psyche will be destroyed while Scarlett will be unharmed. But how are they going to get up there? Ann has a special dimensional hole inside her locket that will allow them to get there (the floating island is filled with flying sharks so it’s impossible to get close via plane). Ann reveals she is a guardian of that place and it is here duty to prevent any sort of awakening. Since a great effort of concentration of bonds is required to keep the hole open, Hercule, Nero and Cordelia stay back to let Sherlock, Miki, Noir and Ann float up. However Scarlett’s henchmen are here to break that concentration. Fear not. This is where Feathers comes in to help. Once on the floating island, Scarlett lets loose traps to keep the girls at bat. During a robot attack, Ann takes damage and it exposes her mechanical arm. Though, she can still function like normal. Once they reach the main room, Noir tries to convince her mother to let her find Levistone for her. However Crescendo the Element pops out from her. They deduce she has been attracted by Scarlett’s greed. Time to play a game. Sherlock and Scarlett engage in a Yugioh card game parody with nonsensical and crazy moves. Sherlock wins at the end but Scarlett continues attacking them. Shouldn’t Crescendo be back to them? They think Scarlett’s greed is so great that it is forcing to keep Crescendo by her side. Miki then uses a bold move to grab Crescendo away from Scarlett. Scarlett reverts to normal and Crescendo returns to Marine. Everybody leaves the island but Ann won’t. She will stay here and be on standby till her next mission. Sherlock is sad since they have already become friends. Ann says goodbye but Sherlock corrects her it should be see you again. Ann returns to her pod and goes into slumber mode while Sherlock with tears in her eyes holds Ann’s locket.

Episode 11
The media hounds Miki and ignores Marine. But something else bugs Marine. When Miki grabbed Crescendo, she noticed she used her Toys. Could it be? Because that phantom thief who stole Marine’s Elements popped up, Kokoro is upset that the media has such information and the police didn’t! My, slacking aren’t we? So she orders to do a search for all the people at the casino having Toys. Yeah. There are so many of them… Keiko stumbles upon Miki’s data and they see something… When Producer has a new song for Marine, she won’t sing it till she gets all her Elements back. Marine tells Milky Holmes about her mom who wrote the Song of Miracles. Though she passed away when she was 6 years old, it holds many memories. Milky Holmes suggests they look around places Marine went with her mom. So at the outskirts of a town where she used to live with her mom, Milky Holmes mistaken this landlady to be Marine’s mother! Weren’t they listening? Inside a closet, they see a scribble of Marine and her mom. Marine insists she didn’t draw that but they discover something shocking: Miki is also in that drawing. That is when Marine remembers Miki is a childhood friend and used to play a lot together. How could she have forgotten? Even more shocking news: Miki in a TV interview announces that she will be going solo and sing the Song of Miracles. So Marine returns to the city to confront Miki. Miki never said anything because Marine was a big star and hard to approach. Now that she remembers, Miki says the song belongs to them. Marine knows Miki is the one who used her Toys to steal her Elements. Miki admits her Toys is separation and uses her power on Marine to make her start back at square one again.

Miki is about to perform live on TV when Kokoro barges in to arrest her but is quickly restrained by the staff. Not even Milky Holmes can save the day. Who can then? Elements! How can this be? Although Miki broke their bonds once, Marine came back for them. Their bond has been revived and stronger than ever. Marine knows Miki has her final Element. After Miki transforms into her phantom thief form, out comes Amore. She is the one controlling Miki and the true perpetrator of everything. It all started when Marine and Miki first reunited. Amore hid inside Miki and controlled her. Amore believes that Song of Miracles is holding Marine back. This is the song that always got her back because Amore is the core of this song. As long as she has this song, she cannot overcome the obstacle before her and she wanted to set her free. Milky Holmes argues she is wrong because Marine never gave up. She is now much stronger than before. Marine proves that by singing Song of Miracles without any help. She thanks everybody for helping her. The Song of Miracles now does not belong to her alone. It belongs to everyone who loves it. After Marine and Miki reconcile, Amore notes she has matured and returns to her. This miracle snows down some light sparkles all over the world. Conveniently, Keiko uses her Toys to erase everyone’s memories so we are back at square one as they watch the live performance of Marine and Miki.

Episode 12
Miki has quit and with Marine making a comeback concert, lots of people are trying to book her to perform. Did Manager screw up and double booked her? Milky Holmes feels sad that their bodyguard job for Marine will soon be over. Don’t despair. She hasn’t forgotten about you dummies detectives. She sends them tickets to her concert. Kokoro is all geared up with all the stuffs to cheer on Marine. Only one problem: No ticket! Milky Holmes gets a call for a job that Pink Lovely Doom is on the loose. So they go chase her and I think they’ve got batteries lasting longer than the Energizer bunny since they run everywhere till Pink Lovely Doom feels Kokoro’s stress is gone and returns whatever counterfeit money plate to them. All that is left is Marine’s concert, right? If they don’t get another call for a job… Oh, the handphone rings… Trying to feign there is no such number? There is only one thing left to do: Milky Holmes, split up! So we have Sherlock chasing some piggy phantom thief, Cordelia helping an old man find his missing glasses in his mansion, Nero herding sheep and Hercule babysitting. Their job goes into overtime like Cordelia ending up cleaning the old guy’s mansion only to realize the glasses were on his head all along! Sherlock corners the phantom thief and her true identity is… Twenty! OMG! The pervert is back! Not just him. Stone River, Rat and Arsene too! Is Sherlock outnumbered? Her comrades finish their job in time to reunite and make this a fair fight. So we see the detectives and phantom thief duke it out as Marine concert gets underway. I don’t know how in a jam packed stadium, Marine can see that Milky Holmes didn’t turn up at their seats. Maybe she knows where they’ll be seating but do you know how big the stadium is? And Milky Holmes didn’t get the front seats… Milky Holmes’ battle has them take on giant Arsene (don’t even ask how this happen) and they combine their Toys to summon lightning to shrink her down to size (don’t even ask about this one too). Arsene is glad to see they have improved a little and decides to let them off for tonight (since Kokoro and the police are coming). But will Milky Holmes now make it for Marine’s concert? They thought it is over when they arrive but suddenly the place lights up again. Hey. Everybody waited for them?! Who are they? VIPs? Well, at least to Marine because she is thanking the super sleuths who helped her find what is most important to her. Wait a minute. Milky Holmes has a part to sing in Marine’s final song? Now guest artists, huh? And what better way to end it all with snippets of their past adventures together. How anti-climatic…

Elementary, My Dear Milky Holmes
Erm… Uhm… What… Well… Okay… If I had to sum up about this season in a couple of words, it would be toned down. Although Milky Holmes is generally silly but it seems they fare much better than in their previous seasons because they are not as dumb as they were when we first know them. I supposed we need to show how Milky Holmes have ‘grown up’ and graduated from their academy because you realize the setting isn’t in their Holmes Detective Academy. Teaming up with an idol to help recover her lost Elements may provide a little deviation from the usual formula of Milky Holmes cracking cases to catch phantom thieves or get back their Toys (the main goal in the first two seasons). However the format of Marine and the detectives going around to find Elements, meet different people, get into some trouble, get into some challenge, learn some valuable lesson (sort of) and having the Element coming back to Marine feels like a repetitive one. In fact, each episode almost felt like fillers although they are still connected. And that kind of ending… Must the most boring ever. Sing a song with an idol to close the season. Since when did Milky Holmes become a musical genre?

Sometimes I feel that because of how less funny it was, it sometimes makes the overall story and for each episode feeling somewhat forced and if I should say, a little boring. I mean, don’t you just feel the irony that the world’s best idol is only able to sing thanks to her little Elements? Sure, it is to showcase her ‘journey’ of learning some lessons in friendship, trust, love (and anything else you can add here) but I hardly doubt that those who watch this series are in for that kind of theme. We are here for the exaggerated nonsense that made this series so lovable in the first place. We know it was stupid or doesn’t make any sense but we loved it. Without all that, the toning down the comical stupidity in favour of something a little serious and soul searching and self discovery for the main character has proven to be a big mistake after all. The laughter is toned down and in a way feels forced. Yeah, I noticed I ‘laughed’ because it was supposed to be ‘funny’. Or so I think. Well, I definitely think it was better when the story had a piggy lard boy turned god trying to take over the world instead of a soul searching idol no matter how ridiculous the former was.

One of the biggest reasons that this season is very much toned down is Milky Holmes themselves. As I have said, they are still dummies but not in a way that they can be called retarded and useless anymore. It is with mixed feelings seeing them stray away from their usual behaviour as we once knew them. It is good to see them being more responsible and useful (cough, cough) now but on the other hand, they are less funny. That’s right. This season Milky Holmes did not make me laugh as mad as before. Although there is this supposedly running joke that Milky Holmes always makes the wrong deduction and like Sherlock quick to accuse the wrong culprit, it still doesn’t match to past season’s funniness. Get what I mean? They’re funny only because of my past perceptions and memories of them so when they do something silly even though it may not be funny, my natural reaction is to laugh.

I remember Nero was being such a very ‘spiteful’ character thanks to her greed and selfishness but this time around, it is good as nonexistent. Hercule was supposed to be the brains as I remembered it but she rarely displays any of that here. What about Cordelia breaking down and going into her fantasies? Nada. I don’t know, deep down I thought without all that, their charm is somewhat lost. It is like as though they are a different set of characters only using the Milky Holmes name and looking like them. Also, Milky Holmes seems to have gotten their Toys back although they rarely use it. Heck, Toys are hardly used here. Despite the final fight with Arsene has them displaying their Toys only once, it felt force because as though it is to remind us that they have such powers in the first place. Yeah well, like you girls said right at the end, I hope you all try harder on your next case next time. If there will be next time, that is.

Another factor could be the absence of Phantom Thief Empire. They are reduced to pathetic cameos. Without Arsene and her henchmen, somehow the fun has been reduced. Because no matter how disgusting a certain nipple erecting guy is, it is always never dull to see that pervert get full of himself (that includes stripping). I mean, Phantom Thief Empire was the one trying to bring out the best in Milky Holmes but it also brought out the worst in them. How would Milky Holmes get better (or worse) without them around? So with this season the loli detectives totting around the world with an idol, it feels this group of phantom thieves are sorely missed. I know they want new characters and storyline but something tells me Milky Holmes isn’t the same without Phantom Thief Empire. Therefore the final fight with them in the last episode feels forced just to remind us that they are still around. Or it could be to pass time because you don’t want to be bored if the entire episode is about Marine’s concert and that would be like stealing the limelight from Milky Holmes which is a big insult since this series is named after them. Even if we are surprised that they get a few more minutes of screen time seeing that they are missing for the big part of this season, we are certainly not amused. Like as though this forced appearance and fight is to satiate our nostalgia about them. Didn’t work.

Also greatly absent are the rest of the G4 members. Even worse than Phantom Thief Empire, it is like the producers decided to do away with Tsugiko, Hirano and Saku and ‘killed them off’ with unknown excuses why they don’t even bother to show up for work (maybe they can’t stand Kokoro anymore). Therefore our poor Kokoro is left to do all the work herself with Keiko. You can’t blame that loli police for being so stressed up and blowing her top all the time. Yeah. Kokoro is still amusing and funny in that sense. But I also guess that they don’t want to bore us with that running joke in previous seasons about her IQ and the gold mask whacking reaction each time Sherlock calls her Kokoro-chan. It is kept to a very minimum that if you have not watched previous seasons of Milky Holmes, you won’t really get it or think much about it. Those felt like just to bring up the nostalgia factor for us Milky Holmes fans. I’m not sure about this irony because remember in the OVA, Kokoro became an idol? Here, she seems to be fawning and drooling over Marine at one point as her biggest fan although she might be a secret idol Mayu without knowing it herself. Oh, did she forget? With Keiko around, very likely. Speaking of Keiko, her motives feel lacking rather than mysterious. I thought she was going to be the culprit or antagonist somehow but she’s just playing the observing role.

Other recurring characters feel okay and nothing much. Like Feathers who starred in their own spin-off and Milky Holmes played the supporting role, it is reversed in this season with the duo now acting out the supporting part for Milky Holmes. The case of I scratch your back and you scratch mine? In fact, many of the old characters make just cameo or don’t at all. Like Kobayashi and Kamaboko appearing just for a handful of seconds while Irene, Sonia and Lily (from Alternative) were greatly missing. Not even that bomb disposal unit, Poporo. Remember that Mori Arty villain? She made mysterious motives that made us question her goals even more. Where is she here? Don’t see her anywhere. Did they forget about this character or intentionally left her out? Perhaps it is a good thing that Mori Arty never appeared, otherwise we would be sceptically questioning the purpose of it all.

New characters do not impact much. Marine as the main character feels lacking in many ways. I guess in a way her sudden fall from stardom only shows how cruel and dog-eat-dog-world the idol business may be and then rise back to the top again once she has found enlightenment. Yeah well, whose show is this season supposed to be? I figure Miki resigned to atone for what she did to her best friend and somehow when she was the mastermind or at least co-culprit as the one responsible for Marine to lose her Elements, it didn’t really surprise me because if you want to do a good ‘detective’ show, the culprit at the end must be part of the casts we know, right? It wouldn’t be fair and ethical to throw in a new character that we wouldn’t know. But I didn’t guess it was her because I was thinking it might be Senna. Still remember this girl? No? Don’t blame you. I guess her character was just trolling.

Many of the other side characters just appear for that episode and nothing more is said about them once the plot moves on. Especially Marine’s Elements who just feel shallow. No great explanation as to explain why they are absorbed into a certain person and make their dark personality goes berserk. So it is puzzling when Elements that get absorbed to people very close to them most of the time like Miki and Nero, oddly how come they do not detect them in the first place? For those who got absorbed into others, how come they end up at far flung places like that Indian-like kingdom and a former one-hit wonder in the middle of the woods? Unless they were at Marine’s concert at that time but I doubt they were given the circumstances and everything. And it is odd that after losing a challenge, they return to Marine. That’s it about them. Yeah, we don’t even know why whatever power they have suddenly make their host go wild or their dark side, thus a lame excuse for some challenge that you will know will end in a predictable outcome.

At least the art and drawing remains pretty much the same in the first two seasons. Cute girls everywhere so I can’t see any reason to complain. Almost everything is bright and vivid. In any case, Milky Holmes themselves look much better than their cameo in Futari Wa Milky Holmes. Heck, more accurately they look like they should as before in the first two seasons. Backgrounds and sceneries are okay too and nothing too shabby. At least the chibi illustrations during the sponsor screens are still funny but the final end card illustration seems pretty good although they’re all sketched by the same person, though.

As the familiar casts are retained, new ones join in. The only one I could recognize was Ayako Kawasumi as Producer and Aoi Yuuki as Carol. The rest include Emi Nitta as Marine (Honoka in Love Live), Mari Nakatsu as Miki (Nanami in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo), Ai Yamamoto as Manager (her debut and only role) and Asami Seto as Ann (Chihaya in Chihayafuru). I know it is a pretty long list considering the other minor characters that only appear for one episode and the rest of Elements but I’m just too lazy to list them all seeing the fact that I have lost my motivation due to my overall sentiments for this seasons. Hah! I’m taking after Milky Holmes’ laziness from previous seasons!

The same quartet behind Milky Holmes sing the opening theme for this season too. Milky-A-Go-Go has that familiar feel to all the Milky Holmes opening themes that you have heard thanks to its lively and cheerful feel. The ending theme is Tankyuu Dreaming by Emi Nitta and of course sounds very much like an idol song. Thanks to the idol theme of this season, there are lots of insert songs and on average, one per episode. Although some are fun to hear, unfortunately they don’t stick very long in my mind. Maybe it is a sign that they aren’t just as appealing?

It is with great despair to see that one of my all time favourite funny, wacky, zany, crazy series has turned out into something mediocre. So sad to see this series has been added to the statistics of sequels failing to live up to its predecessor. How I missed the ol’ days of Milky Holmes. I am not saying that this season sucks as it is still decent in many accounts. It is still okay on its own but it is the comparing with its previous seasons that really dragged it down. If you are an old Milky Holmes fan like me, it is only natural to expect sequels to be greater or at least on par with its previous works. If they ever do another season of this, I just hope they remember to go back to the basics. Yes, Milky Holmes. Remember elementary… Elementary, my dear Milky Holmes.

I thought nobody cared or everybody had forgotten about it. And because of that, so did I. Well, it might take a while for somebody to ‘care’ and sub the unaired thirteenth episode or simply Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji OVA. If you know the trend of OVAs these days and especially one that is of the romantic comedy genre, you can generally guess what it is all going to be. After all, what else more can they do, right? What more can wolf girl and the black prince do to further deepen their erratic and peculiar relationship as a couple?

Breeding Doubts – Happening Kiss
Kyouya is not pleased that Nozomi knows his birthday. What’s more, Nozomi has got a matching set of glasses for him as present. I believe it is a sign he doesn’t want to be buddies with him so he crushes them. San surprisingly seeks Kyouya’s help to tutor her because Erika has some urgent business to attend to. Could it be that girl actually forgot about Kyouya’s birthday? As you would have guessed, she certainly did not. She has already planned an elaborated birthday surprise for him. First, she sees Takeru to get keys to Kyouya’s place. Then she does all the necessary settings and preparations while San distracts him for a day. Now all that is to wait for the surprise and let things take its course. Somehow I have a feeling that Kyouya praising and loving Erika will be the part that won’t turn out as she would imagine… Now it is about time, Kyouya and San are seen walking home. A boy chasing his dog accidentally makes Kyouya trip and this has him fall towards San. Their lips met. What is worse than a boy and his dog seeing this kissing incident? Erika seeing this kissing incident! My, is this the surprise. Kyouya prepares himself to explain but Erika continues with the surprise party and everything. But Kyouya can tell that she is very disturbed by that kiss despite she denies she is not concerned about it. You can obviously tell she is just messing up things.

Next day at school, Erika’s doubts grow when she sees San talking to Kyouya. She misinterprets San has a crush on Kyouya when they were actually talking on how to deal with Erika’s depression (of course Kyouya would rather leave her alone like always). Erika then gets an idea. In art class, she tries to persuade San the benefits of having a boyfriend and tries to recommend Takeru. San knows where she is going so she assures her she is not interested in Kyouya. Erika reveals her worries that because it is her first kiss, she might develop a crush on him. This has San divulging an embarrassing secret that it wasn’t her first kiss. Long ago, she had a boyfriend and they kissed but they have long breakup since. That was before she met Erika and that’s why she was under no obligation to tell her. Erika must be feeling shocked and stupid right now. So Erika texts Kyouya about the misunderstanding and promises she is over it. He can expect her to be normal. But imagine to his and everyone’s surprise, she is worst and gloomier than before! WTF?! Was that email a lie? Yeah, she is probably feeling miserable the entire day.

So on the way home, Kyouya just tells her off for dragging this out forever. She also hits back that she is bothered but won’t tell him what it is. Ah, typical woman answer… Then she runs away. I guess this means Kyouya has to go chase after her. Not because he cares (really?) but rather he is getting sick of all this. So he catches up to her to make her spill what is bugging her. Is that kiss still bothering her? Actually, they never had a kiss ever since that last time. Is that what she wants? He shuts her up with a kiss. So she should be happy, right? Well… She feels somewhat awkward. I don’t know what she is complaining again but I guess he kisses her another time. I hope that will do. Then in class, Erika bugs Kyouya to redo his birthday bash. That guy is certainly not amused with her persistence. San watches their comedic quarrel and even notes that it makes her want to fall in love herself.

Dealing A Kiss With A Kiss…
As expected. Not really much but still fun to watch but sometimes a little irritating seeing the insecure Erika being the typical girl wanting her boyfriend to make her feel better but not say a thing about it and that guy like any others will have to guess what the freaking problem is. Even if Erika knows very well it was just an accident (and she even saw it unfolding before her very own eyes) but she still let it get to her. But unlike many of the guys in the real world facing this problem and are often at the losing end (guys can never best a woman in any sort of argument, right?), it is because Kyouya doesn’t really give a damn and it is Erika who is the one relying on him that makes things work out in the end. All in all, this OVA would only appeal to fans of the series and those who love the odd couple of Erika x Kyouya. Otherwise there are tons of somewhat similar romcoms out there and if you have watched a lot of them, you won’t find this any different or stand out. Maybe you’ll just learn a thing or two. You can never take back a kiss but you can certainly add more to that and cover up the earlier ones. If it was only that simple in real life…

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

November 22, 2015

Power and hierarchy. That is how the world works. Even at high school level. So the more powerful and higher rank your club is, the better facilities you get to enjoy. Well, it seems interesting that Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku has this kind of setting but I assure you that this anime isn’t about the dark side of this system or the people who abuse it or the newcomer dark horse that will bring this system down. Instead, we have a girl who is about to enter high school and hasn’t even decided on which school to enrol yet. And then there is one that caught her eye. Just by judging a cute girl on the brochure, from that point she decided that this is the high school that she wants to be in. Talk about judging a book by its cover. Is this the yuri harem dream! Cute girls here she comes she has always been dreaming of? Cute girls run for your life!

Ah yes. I can tell that this is going to be a funny action series. And of course the road to paradise isn’t going to be easy because since in this school, there is an intense battle system that pits students representing their clubs (though, only cultural clubs exist in this school), each possessing their own unique ability and power to battle one another. Don’t underestimate a yuri girl will let nothing stand in her way of her yuri paradise. Oh well, if you want to make your dream come true instead of staying a dream, what better way than to get your ass out there and kick some serious ass. Oh by the way, this series isn’t about her going around picking fights to reach to the top either. Just your ‘average’ girl loaded with lots of determination to seek her dream come true as she interacts and goes by her daily high school life with those around her. And participating in battles when necessary.

Episode 1
Yumiko cannot hold back her feelings as she confesses to Eruna Ichinomiya. I’m sure Eruna totally loves where this is going. Even if it is just a dating game… Till her mom reminds her not to waste her holidays and start looking for a high school to enrol for the next term. Yes, mom… Discussing with her friends about this, it seems she is picky on which high school to go. Uniform not cute? Out! Suddenly an asteroid crashes into the area! Yumiko and Eruna are the only survivors. They will begin their Eve and Eve journey from now. You’ve guessed it. Just a game she’s playing… Shigure Ninomiya, Eruna’s cousin who is fond of her (but the feeling is not mutual) tries to help her out with her dilemma and proposes the school that he is attending, Mikagura Academy. Upon seeing the cute uniform, her wildest fantasies take off. The model in the brochure is Seisa and the principal’s granddaughter. And so it is decided. Thanks to this cute girl and cute uniform, Eruna is going to apply here. It would have been better if she had prepared herself to study for the entrance exams instead of fantasizing away. So as the academy’s maid, Kurumi Narumi takes her to the entrance exam, she ignores Eruna’s lust and fantasies (how does it feel for giving Shigure this treatment?). Eruna thought the exam is a trick question because it is a very simple maths question. Next is an interview. A flying talking cat named Bimii?! Poke its eyes and pinch its cheek to check if you’re dreaming! Nope. Eruna thought she had failed the interview when Bimii says he already has the results. I mean, they didn’t even get started yet and she thought their silly conversation was the interview. Actually she passes on the basis that she could already see him. Yup. Pinch his cheeks one more time just to be sure she’s not dreaming.

On the first day of the new term, a handful of club members display some sort of power battle as a welcoming ceremony for the juniors. As explained, it is a rule for every student to join a club. There are perks by doing so. Clubs battle each other for points and the higher rank your club, the better facilities you have. Eruna is given her own electronic device so can check stats, etc. I’m sure Eruna isn’t sure what is going on but it looks fun. Bimii brings Eruna to her dorm and instantly she starts harassing this cute petite girl, Himi Yasaka from the Calligraphy Club. Himi takes Eruna to her room. Erm… Isn’t that just a sleeping bag along the corridor? This is what happens if you don’t join a club. See, the next person, Meika Katai in the sleeping bag is just shivering… So you want to join a club now? Of course. Himi has them take a calligraphy test. Katai passes but Eruna’s calligraphy feels like just some ink blot. You fail. Looks like we know where she’s sleeping tonight. Eruna wonders about which club Seisa belongs to. It is the Going Home Club but apparently it is a special club and they’re not recruiting. All Seisa does is just stay in the mansion and hardly comes to school. Even if Kurumi is Eruna’s homeroom teacher, it still doesn’t dismiss the fact that as long as she remains without a club, she’ll be discriminated like small food portion and only 5 minutes of shower. At the courtyard, there is a commotion. Asuhi Imizu from the Astronomy Club is apologizing to Kyouma Kuzuryu from Art Club for bumping into him but the way he is saying it makes the latter look like a bully. Till Seisa comes by to quell the situation. Seisa notices Eruna (cue for her delusions) as Bimii mentions about Eruna’s possibilities that may be on par with her. Seisa invites her to join her Going Home Club in which Eruna didn’t hesitate to say yes. Seisa’s motive is because next week there is a club battle and she doesn’t want to participate in it and send a representative instead. Whether Eruna is listening or not, she couldn’t be happier that her life is just about to begin. Let’s hope it’s for the better.

Episode 2
Now that Eruna is fantasizing about Seisa, does this mean she is two-timing Yumiko! Anyway, although Eruna has joined the club on a trial basis, the ‘discrimination’ is still there although just slightly improved. Kurumi explains about the battle system. Each student will have 3 crystals materializing over their head. They can break it anyhow and the student that has all his/her crystals broken loses the battle. As special powers are often used in club battles, some sort of summoning object is needed. Eruna isn’t sure about hers and thought of seeking Seisa for help. Unfortunately she is turned away. Well, isn’t Going Home Club about going home? Even Himi isn’t going to show her special attack to her. Bimii suggests visiting the top clubs to learn something. Kuzuryu is ignoring her, Sadamatsu Minatogawa of the Flower Arrangement Club demonstrates his flower power, Yuuto Akama from Drama Club displays his cloning illusion and Asuhi… He is so girly that Eruna couldn’t believe he is a guy. Asuhi mentions he is only interested in looking at the stars and never cared so much about the power he could use (because his telescope can shoot out powerful beams if it absorbs enough stars but the downside is that anyone can use it). Eruna ponders about Seisa’s power. Bimii explains she is the only person who can use her power without activating an item. Shigure is willing to be Eruna’s first test subject to awaken her power. Something tells me he is just being a masochist… Yeah… He loves Eruna hitting him with the bag and sleeping bag… Seisa talks to Eruna that at this state she cannot fight. Eruna suggests doing things together but due to their circumstances, it all seems impossible. Eruna then waxes lyrical at how amazing Seisa is. It makes her happy to join her club and this means she will try her very best. Eruna’s first opponent is Himi. Everyone can watch from the comfort of their personal device thanks to all the cameras installed around the school. As the match starts, Eruna runs away. No, she is not being chicken. She thought of hiding and then ambushing to take out all of her crystals in one go. But Himi anticipated this trick and played along. As a result, Eruna loses a crystal. Time to run and rethink her strategy. She stumbles into a sealed room. When she touches the altar, something inside her activates. By this time Himi has found her and initiates her brush strokes attack. However Eruna is able to dodge and run as fast as the Flash! The battle ends when Eruna’s power awakens. She uses her finger as a gun to fire a powerful blast that destroys all of Himi’s crystals. Biggest upset ever?

Episode 3
Eruna is being interviewed by Rumina Rikyuu from Newspaper Club but since she’s being exaggerative about her victory, I don’t think Rumina is all that interested. Keep dreaming… Now that Eruna has earned massive points, this allows her to buy her lots of breakfast. Yuuto and his animal named Drama Club members are here to greet Eruna not because of her win but because of the newspaper reporting her voracious appetite! How did they report so fast?! Eruna remembers she needs to report her win to Seisa and she brings Himi along with her. Seisa looks like half asleep and Eruna thought she could take this chance to harass her?! Thank goodness Kurumi is always on the alert. Although Eruna is being praised, Seisa notes that the only reason why she was able to win was because Himi let her guard down. Eruna argues that she is the chosen hero of the school and thus her victory was no fluke. Seisa suggests having a practice battle tomorrow. If she can take out just 1 of her crystals, she’ll officially join Going Home Club. Failure to do so not only has her provisional status revoked, she cannot join any club. Eruna accepts since she is confident she will win and live her yuri life with Seisa in this mansion! Eruna thought she wanted to practice with Asuhi first but Yuuto wants to spar with him and relegates Eruna into watching to learn a thing or two. The match begins with Asuhi frantically shooting everywhere but missing. It only took one strike for Yuuto to win the match. Eruna thought she felt something wrong about it but no time to think since her own match will be starting soon.

As usual, Eruna starts off with high spirits and getting zippy like the Flash. But is she that boring that Seisa has fallen asleep?! This might be her chance to break one of her crystals. But wait! Did she just pass through it? Before she knows it, Eruna lost a crystal. She tries her hand gun but it does not even amount to anything close to a pea shooter. Seisa unleashes her Killing Art move to destroy her remaining crystals. Game over. You lose. Looks like Eruna is now living in the streets and although you can’t blame her for feeling depressed, it’s not like her to be this down. Surprisingly Kuzuryu comes to cheer her up with milk but she steps on his feelings that she doesn’t drink milk (lactose intolerant?) and would like to exchange for something more expensive! She sure knows how to make him mad. He advises her power is incomplete and that her inexperience caused it not to activate properly. So getting experience by joining a club seems to be the only way. But all the clubs she visited, none seemed to fit her. Make her own club then. As long as it has 3 members, it should be fine. However at this time of year, new members are hard to find and after her pathetic lost, nobody would want to join a weak club. It is suggested she joins the rookie battle where she’ll get more attention and this should get her more club members. Late that night, Eruna is outside Seisa’s mansion, yelling at her renewed motivation to fight her again once she forms her own club. Then she builds her own cardboard clubroom outside her mansion. Pitiful but WTF. Seisa is not so black hearted to ignore her. Since it is raining, she invites her to sleep inside her mansion although she’ll be sleeping in the hallway in her sleeping bag. Good enough.

Episode 4
Yuuto narrates that when his parents divorced, it was perhaps his imperfection that led his mom to take his younger brother with her. That is why he is putting up a fake smile that everybody loves. To fool others, one must fool himself. Maybe that is why he keeps ‘stalking’ Asuhi as he sees shades of little brother in him. You have got to be amazed with Eruna’s optimism. Despite being given a bone for breakfast, she thinks it means she has been accepted as Seisa’s dog! Not even Kurumi’s warning that her food and lodging are being deducted from her points because this spurs her to work harder. She trains with Himi but it feels like trying her best to harass her. The Drama Club members think it is a good deal for her to train with them since many are rookies who will be participating in that rookie battle. And no matter how weird you look at this hero of justice, After School Six play that they practice, it still gives Eruna her much needed practice. But could it be this embarrassment that has Yuuto not amused? On the day the tournament bracket is announced, Eruna’s first round opponent will be Katai. Meanwhile Yuuto is all by himself at the lake. Seisa happen to pass by and notice his melancholy so he talks about somebody resembling his brother and because of that, this reminded him of his past and digging back up unwanted memories. Seisa says if it was her, she would just deny that past. Later Yuuto returns to the clubroom to talk to Eruna. He knows that she has noticed everything about him was just an act but why didn’t she leave him? Even if she did realize, that is not good enough a reason not to be friends. Besides, she believes the rest of the club members have also noticed this. The members return to hold a disbanding party for After School Six. Kurumi must be getting paranoid checking Seisa’s room. She has not seen that idiot around and thinks Eruna must have snuck in somehow! Don’t worry. Eruna calls Seisa that she won’t be home soon since she’ll be sticking with the Drama Club for a while. What’s this goodbye kiss she wants to give to the monitor? Thank goodness there is Kurumi to turn it off. On match day, Eruna begins her fight with Katai. To cut a long power battle short, Eruna wins. Both sides had fun so even if Katai lost, she has no regrets.

Episode 5
Eruna is on a spending spree. Just remember about those limited points okay? Oh, she forgot… Bumping into Seisa, she thought she is here to congratulate her on her victory but her fantasies get the better of her. I guess some will never understand why she is kissing a takoyaki! As they walk around the festival together, they see Minatogawa manning his booth alone. As explained, he is the only active member in his club. Why does he look so sick? Actually he needs to go pee! Eruna is willing to man his booth while he is gone and tries to attract visitors to his shooting gallery. Aren’t those all his personal belongings he is putting up as prizes? Yuuto sees a life size Super Miracle Man and wants a shot. But how can a small cork even move something so big? Failed… So as not to let the crowd have a bad impression that it is rigged, Eruna gives him several tries. Still not budging. Yuuto ‘dies’ and passes the baton to Eruna. She uses her hand gun but it still won’t budge. Seisa knows Minatogawa’s plants are holding on to it and that he is not willing to give up his most favourite prize. Seisa surprisingly challenges him but she shoots down his second favourite prize instead, a stuffed doll squid. This has lots of students wanting to try their hand at the shooting gallery. Eruna goes to hang out with Usamaru and Tonkyun from Drama Club. They talk about those who advanced to the next round and it seems Asuhi is leading the ranking of being the most powerful rookie. Eruna wanted to visit Kuzuryu at his booth but he is nowhere around. Instead she wants an Art Club member to paint her (delusional) romantic life story. Oh, she can imagine it all now… Kuzuryu is with Seisa and he notices that she is having an awful lot fun with Eruna around. Eruna decides to go watch Usamaru’s match. However it is one-sided. Usamaru is being pinned down by the gravity powers of Azumi Sagara from the Brass Band Club. Sagara isn’t finishing Usamaru off so easily as she is toying and insulting him. Eruna’s cheer gives Usamaru the motivation to do something but before that could happen, Sagara kills the match. Then she throws more insults at the loser. Seisa who was watching the match is not very pleased. She murmurs this is the reason why she hates club battles and do not wish to participate in them.

Episode 6
Kuzuryu thinks his art is like junk. Just like his life. Eruna is not too happy to be invited by Shigure to her victory party. Especially his lame rapping his embarrassing her. Even more embarrassing is how the rest are hiding behind the curtain wanting to give her a surprise but are too noisy about it. After the party, Eruna asks Shigure about his rookie battle. He reveals he did not participate because he was from a sister school before transferring here. Same with Kuzuryu. Unlike Mikagura has only cultural clubs, that sister school only has sports club. He was from the Kendo Club and first met Kuzuryu who isn’t in any particular club and helps out as a ringer. Because of his fantastic talents, jealousy is abound. One day he overheard his best friend badmouthing him and this made him lose faith in trusting everyone including Shigure. That was the last he saw of him. Because Shigure couldn’t take it too, he transferred to Mikagura and found out Kuzuryu did the same. Although they still exchange words, they aren’t as friendly as they were back then. Oh, Shigure won his rookie battle. After a couple more victories, Eruna visits Kuzuryu in his clubroom to ask a favour of drawing her as he sees her. She might have crossed the line being cheeky that she is willing to strip for him so he kicks her out. She hopes he would come to see her match tomorrow.

But right now, Tonkyun has a chance to avenge Usamaru as he is up against Sagara. As usual, she throws insults and trying to pin him down with her gravity. When she eventually does, she becomes cocky and Tonkyun has her right where he wants. He even eggs her to come and attack him up close. After observing her match with Usamaru, he knows how her powers work. It cannot be used continuously and there is a cooling off period for her ability to recover. With that, Tonkyun is able to defeat her and avenge his pal. But this means the next match pits Tonkyun with Eruna! Their match will decide who will be part of the top 8. Right before their match starts, Eruna does advertising for her new club in recruiting cute girls! I don’t think his is what Bimii meant when he said this rookie tournament can help promote her club. To cut things short in Tonkyun and Eruna’s power battle, she had to resort using her secret bayonet move that she was saving for Asuhi to beat him. This match gives Kuzuryu the motivation to paint her. However Eruna lost in the quarter finals so Kuzuryu felt disappointed that he thought he wanted to give a painting of her if she had won. You mean this abstract art is supposed to be her???!!! Now that he has got his grove back, he wants to draw more of her! No thanks… Eruna is running late for the rookie tournament finals. By the time she arrives, it has already ended. She cannot believe her eyes that Asuhi easily lost to Otone Fujishiro.

Episode 7
Shigure is about to interview Otone on the spot but this girl who is like Eruna without a club becomes obnoxious and walks off. Shigure wanted to bring her back but without his glasses he is as blind as a bat, bringing Minatogawa on stage instead. But he can tell where Eruna is sitting! How can he smell her from down there? Eruna beats him up after he tries to embarrass her by talking about their future marriage. Later Eruna sees Otone sitting alone at the flowerbed. It seems she is a strange girl, talking to herself and worrying about her shyness. It’s like she has a split character, a light and dark side too. She tries to brainwash Bimii into thinking she is some legendary hero but upon knowing he can’t do that, she mistreats him. Dark or light, Eruna loves Otone but the latter won’t be taken in yet. Later Eruna learns the Drama Club wants to have a party to cheer up Asuhi. So as she goes around inviting the usual suspects to come, the Drama Club members decide to change to party location to the rooftop, thinking this is best for Asuhi. Bimii is being overworked to death for this and now he has to go around planting notices for the change in venue. Because Eruna is not back in her bed, he just leaves the note there. Eruna misinterpreted that note to be some challenge at the rooftop. So our usual suspects minus Eruna, Asuhi and Seisa are waiting and hiding at the rooftop to surprise Asuhi. When Eruna walks in and anticipates a fight, she happened to see Minatogawa and thinks he is the challenger. He goes with the flow and prepares to fight her when Asuhi comes in. Surprise ruined. Nevertheless the gang start off their party ushering Asuhi the big star when it starts to rain. Bummer. Taking shelter inside, Asuhi reveals why he loves watching stars so much. He was often bullied when he was young for not being manly enough. One day he wished upon a star to be stronger and for the first time he stood back up to those bullies. They never bullied him again. That is when he came to love stars. Seisa passing by uses her Killing Art to change the dark cloudy weather into a clear night for her friends to enjoy the beautiful starry sky. However Otone has seen how she used her power.

Episode 8
Eruna is harassing girls to join her club. If not for that perverted tone… She even bugs Otone for it but it’s not working. Do you think Eruna will give up? Thanks to the treasure hunt event, Eruna is using Seisa’s room as practice. I thought she was like scavenging her stuffs… Thank goodness for Kurumi to smack her out. The participants are randomly paired. This means Usamaru’s trauma is beginning to take shape once he finds out his partner is Sagara. But wait. She is now such a sweet girl! Not taking any chances, is he? It might be a dream come true for Eruna as Otone is her pair but the latter is not amused. I was wondering why Eruna was ‘alone’ because it turns out Bimii isn’t by her side as usual. So we have Mecha Bimii as replacement? Teams have to pass through a series of checkpoints that include some quiz (Eruna got all the Super Miracle Man answers correct), test of strength (seriously, who could ever beat Eruna in arm wrestling?) and an eye test (just watch those boobs movements and you’ll get it right!). During the break, because Otone has had enough of Eruna’s friendliness, she ditches her. Eruna tries to go after her but falls down a cliff. Well, Mecha Bimii is broken and the only way left is to wait for a cute girl to come to her rescue. Keep dreaming… But wait! Could her dream come true right now? What is Otone doing here? Seems Eruna has fallen along her usual walking path. Otone seems kinder now as she takes her to her house in the woods for treatment. Eruna notices despite she lives alone, all the stuffs she has are like for two. Does she want company? I wonder if Eruna’s heart can take it seeing how moe and cute Otone is acting. They had a nice tea time together till Mecha Bimii had to ruin it. Now he turns into a giant monster running rampage. The girls escape. Seisa thought she could help indirectly by using her Killing Art but she witnesses Otone and Eruna doing a combo to take it down. The duo are the last to reach the finish line. Who would have guessed the winner to be Usamaru-Sagara pair. The prize is a manga story based on them to be drawn by Shigure. This might be a romantic deal to Sagara but to Usamaru it is starting to sound like a horror story. Since Otone is shy around others, she takes her leave. Eruna then invites her to join her club and Otone sees no reason to turn her down. Dream club has taken off. But why is Seisa looking so sad now?

Episode 9
The students are being interviewed about various rumours from UFOs to scandals. But there is something amiss in all of them as Rumina noticed… How come Eruna and Otone are advertising for their club recruitment in the background? Then if you’re wondering about Kumano and Nyamirin fighting over Yuuto’s love and that he can’t choose between them, it is just an act Eruna is directing as part of her plan to get the Newspaper Club to notice a fake scandal, interview them while they advertise in the background. But the gang are more concerned about the purpose of Eruna’s club. Isn’t it obvious? Cute girls are supposed to frolic around her! Now you wonder why nobody has applied yet… As reminded by Bimii, Eruna can only start to apply a new club till the midterm battles. If she fails to do so, she cannot pursue in forming a club anymore. But the still lack that one person, right? Bimii has a suggestion… I guess Eruna is desperate enough to go ask Shigure to join. He is ready to do so and even has an incestuous name figured out for the club. Too bad that turned Eruna off. Feeling stupid to ask this dude in the first place? Eruna then sees a couple of girls interested to join as they look for Otone. However Otone turns into her dark side and attacks them! Consider this an admission test! The girls lose interest and run away. But this is the most surprising part. Eruna loves this dark side of hers! Otone then reveals why she did that especially after they’ve worked so hard to advertise for new members. The club has always been only for 2 of them and if new members join, she feels their distance will grow. Eruna assures it won’t but Otone firmly believes so. Right now, Eruna is the only person she has and is her precious friend. Seeing this is not a joke, Eruna feels very happy and if it makes her sad, she won’t recruit new members. It will be just a club for both of them. A club for Eruna to fantasize about Otone… Uh huh. Otone might be regretting this since Eruna is starting to drool and sound like a pervert!

They accidentally stumble into an unused classroom and decide to make this their base. However Rumina says this will be the Newspaper Club’s room. Don’t they have their own room? It is too small and they’re seeking some sort of expansion. And since Eruna won’t give in, a practice battle is in order. Eruna thought she has this match in the bag when Rumina starts reading embarrassing excerpts from her past! Especially times when she was fond of Shigure! NOOO!!! JUST STOP!!! So embarrassing that it causes one of her crystals to break! Oh, the fun is just getting started and there are more delicious juicy bits to hear. Suddenly Otone puts her ribbons into Eruna’s ears. Can’t hear, right? Now Rumina’s scandal won’t work. Eruna easily defeats Rumina with her hand gun. Although it is her victory, technically they still lack a member so they cannot get a clubroom. Suddenly a boy comes in seeking to join the club. Who is this kid? Not even Rumina has information about him! Turns out to be Bimii in his human form. It takes a lot of energy to maintain it. In which he doesn’t ever want to do it again. So please hurry up and find another member. Although Eruna has got the rights to use that room as her clubroom, what about the name of her club? “I’ll Figure It Out Later”. So is that its permanent name or is she just procrastinating as usual?

Episode 10
Having formed a club means she is no longer a vagabond and as ‘sad’ as she is to leave Seisa’s mansion, Kurumi is more than happy and kicks her out! Bimii shows Eruna and Otone how he changes into his human form. What the hell is this eerie factory-like place and this Iron Maiden thingy?! Bimii reveals he was once human but the girls aren’t interested in his long story. Eruna’s friends help bring gifts to decorate her new clubroom and celebrate. But Eruna won’t be accepting Shigure’s twin bed… Rumina then comes in and shows an article of a ghost haunting the dorm. This is her, right? She wants Eruna to admit it since she knows she is behind the fake rumours. However Eruna and friends can vouch they have no idea what this is. Could it be a real ghost? Ironically, how come those who are obviously most afraid of ghosts are the first ones to say they’re not? Anyway Rumina wants Eruna to help solve this mystery then because the Newspaper Club’s reputation has been hit thanks to the fake rumours and Eruna WILL help out to reclaim back their name. When Eruna and some of her friends meet that night to go ghost catching, Otone is supposed to meet up but she left a message she has something to do. She went to talk to Seisa. Usamaru thought he saw some ghostly crack but could it be just his imagination.

As they walk through the halls, this brings back nostalgic memories for Eruna because this hallway used to be her ‘old home’. Yeah… Remember the time she sleepwalked in her sleeping bag? Hey wait… If the majority of ghost sightings were here, could it be that the ‘ghost’ is sleepwalking Eruna in a perverted face? Mystery solved. But imagine what would Rumina think if this news gets to her? Eruna has an idea that involves Bimii. Doesn’t sound good… Rumina thought she has found the culprit behind the haunting and chases him. When she corners him into a dead end, there is nothing left but only his cloak. She runs away scared believing the ghost is real when it is actually Bimii transforming back to his cat form. But shortly, some magical barrier envelops the place. Meanwhile Kuzuryu eavesdrop Otone and Seisa’s talk. The former is lashing out at Seisa for not responding to Eruna and always leaving her hanging. Seisa lashes back. Even if all that is true, what does it have to do with her? Why is she this mad? Usamaru thinks the crack he saw earlier is still unsolved when Kuzuryu comes by to hint that something is going on between Otone and Seisa. It sounds like Otone is jealous because Seisa has a special place in Eruna’s heart. A place that Otone is forbidden to get close. What Otone wants is to see Eruna smiling from her heart as she is the first person who understood her. She is her friend. And since nothing more can be said, the inevitable fight is here. Otone feels insulted that Seisa won’t use her Killing Art on her and thinks it may be because she saw her using it or she wouldn’t want to waste such a good move on a small fry. The fight is interrupted when Eruna comes running into the scene. Now it gets even more awkward.

Episode 11
Good thing the fighting ends but as Eruna seeks answers from Seisa, she is told to leave her alone. After all, she has already got a new club and friend, so go play with her. Seisa gets upset the more she presses on. Eruna is left speechless after seeing hideous burn scars on her back. Eruna refuses to let her depression get to her and talks to Otone about doing a practice battle to see who represents the club for the midterm battle. At first she declines as she wants to see Eruna’s smile and then fight Seisa using that smile. Eventually she gives in but Eruna beats her flat. Otone warns her that she has to do better or else she cannot best Seisa. The only reason Otone ‘won’ then was because Seisa did not use her Killing Art. The tournament bracket is out and to Eruna’s dismay, she hears the Going Home Club withdrew its participation. Of course this means going to Seisa’s mansion to bug her but Kurumi as ordered by Seisa that she doesn’t want to see that idiot. I know Eruna tries to bribe her with lots of useless stuffs but I can’t believe Kurumi was actually patient to let her do all that instead of slamming the door in her face in the first place. With renewed determination, Eruna goes into her first match and wins it. Seisa is about to lose it and it seems her power is weakening. It is causing those ghostly cracks to appear in parts of the school. Eruna and Otone are on their way to see Shigure and Kuzuryu’s match when they see this and try to follow the source and it leads them to the Photography Club’s room. Eruna takes a bold step into it but the magic soon shuts Otone out of the room. Otone reports to her friends about Eruna vanishing along with the Photography Club. Meanwhile this is the first time Shigure and Kuzuryu fight each other. Despite all the official matches, each time they are to face each other, Kuzuryu withdraws. And so the entire school is anticipating a match with one of the hottest and most powerful guys. This match also settles their past reconciliation, etc. You can tell it’s done since Kuzuryu wins and shakes Shigure’s hand. Also, they needed to finish this fast because they sense something has happened to Eruna and need to go to her aid.

Eruna sees lots of photos of Seisa. Hmm… Happy expression. The kind that she has never seen. Noticing how fake the sunset is (like as though it is like a painting), she hears something ghostly coming from the dark room. It turns out to be Bimii eating his instant noodles. Time for explanation. The Photography Club used to exist at Mikagura. This place is a different dimension that Seisa sealed with her Killing Art. Seisa was betrayed by her senior she loved. She was from this club. It all happened when Seisa was in her first year and in the Art Club. She often used her senior as her model and they became best friends. But in terms of abilities, Seisa was far superior and during the midterm battle, their clubs were fated to face each other off in the first round. Seisa didn’t care about winning or losing and just wanted to enjoy the match. Pretty much like Eruna. However her senior had different ideas. Unable to accept that a senior would lose to her junior, she wants Seisa to throw away the match, something Seisa would not do. Despite against the rules, the girls seriously fight before their match day. It caused this section of the school building to be destroyed when her senior pulled off some super move that greatly injured Seisa, leaving that horrendous scar on her back. Her senior then dropped out and left Mikagura. In order to erase memories of her senior, the reason she used Killing Art to seal off this room. Of course with it being visible from time to time means her power is weakening. The space is becoming unstable. Eruna realizes it wasn’t that Seisa didn’t want to use Killing Art on Otone. She couldn’t. Now her power has worsened. The space crumbles.

Episode 12
With Seisa’s power weakened, the school reverts back to its dilapidated form. Eruna sees a young Seisa, Shigure and herself in a dream before falling out from the sky. Luckily Shigure and Kuzuryu are there to catch the falling lady. But no same treatment for the falling cat. Because 2 things: Shouldn’t cats automatically land on their feet? Shouldn’t Bimii fly???!!! Anyway, Otone is most emotional in reuniting with Eruna. Shigure reveals to Eruna that the academy was created from their ancestors. Ichinomiya, Ninomiya and Mikagura worked together to create this school overnight to help students hone their powers and use them properly. The person who granted Eruna her power then was probably her ancestor. Because Seisa’s heart was closed due to a misunderstanding, Bimii worked hard to find ways to bring her out but to no avail. That is why Shigure invited Eruna to join. He never told her this from the start because he didn’t want her to become her friend out of pity, the same reason Bimii never said anything about this. Eruna is now determined to see Seisa smile as she heads over to her mansion. With Minatogawa’s growing vines, she is able to sneak into her room to invite her to join her club. With that kind of lousy name? Another reason for her to be stubborn. Eruna proposes that if her club wins the midterm battle, please join. And of course, the big assurance that she will never ever betray her.

Before Eruna goes for her match with the Calligraphy Club, she heads to that shrine to thank her ancestors for giving her such power and a promise to make Seisa smile. The match with Himi is a given. Eruna is too powerful for the petite girl to overcome. The finals will pit Eruna against Kuzuryu. But wait! Suddenly the Drama Club members hijack the stage and put up a lame hero kidnapping performance. Even Kuzuryu seems to be playing along as he gets ‘kidnapped’ by them. What is the meaning of this? How will the finals be then? Suddenly somebody else comes into the ring… Seisa! But how? Going Home Club is the super seed of this tournament? Since when? Since now! And so both girls start their power fight. Seisa is having lots of fun that her power has returned enough to use Killing Art. Not only it restored the buildings, it takes the fight to a whole new intergalactic level!!! OMFG!!! THEN THEY DESTROY PART OF THE MOON!!! WRONG ANIME!!! This is not Ansatsu Kyoushitsu!!! Anyway, you can see the smile in Seisa’s face because she’s having fun. In the end, both their last crystals break at the same time. Draw. What does this mean? Because technically Eruna did not lose, Seisa will join her club! Hooray! First order is to change the name. Don’t worry. Eruna just thought of a cool name: After School Paradise Club! What does it do? Anything they want! Can I join this club too?

Super Fight Club! When Supernatural Club Battles Become Commonplace
And so marks the end of yet another feel good happy generic ending. Not to say that it is a bad thing or whatsoever. But the most important thing is despite the lack of any sort of big direction in the plot (it’s just Eruna doing her best as she gets used to her high school life while having fun at it and to a certain degree cheer up Seisa), did you have fun watching it? I certainly did. But not to the extent that I would go and watch this again as a rerun right now. If you didn’t and not even the slightest shred of it, something must be wrong with you. Really. If Eruna can’t get through your heart, you are an even worse case than Seisa. Really. While this anime isn’t overall perfect like every other anime out there, at least it is fun and worth your entertainment time for a dozen episodes.

The colourful characters are the main driving force that makes this series an entertaining watch. Basically it is mainly thanks to Eruna that steals to spotlight with her eternal optimism and confidence even if they are mostly baseless and exaggerated. She might be an airhead and scatterbrain but you can’t find yourself hating her even if being an idiot is what her character role is. As because her optimism might be far-fetched (at least out of a normal person’s thinking), it sometimes catches you off guard. Just when you think that some sort of incident that would normally make a person go depress or shock, then you are surprised with Eruna’s positivism as she doesn’t view it in a bad light but rather taking it in a good stride no matter how twisted it sounds. For example, when Otone scared off potential members, Eruna didn’t lash out or even so much as to scold her for the slightest bit but is instead amazed at her dark personality. It is a very good thing that she won’t be defeated by the setbacks and uses it as a spring to launch herself back into happy cheery world. So I suppose being an idiot in her case brings good to everyone?

In a way, she is like the mood maker among the characters. What good would it do if Eruna didn’t have this positive trait in her? And if she doesn’t and starts to put on that worry face, something is definitely wrong. And it may seem that her perversion for wanting cute girls in her harem may make her annoying or twisted but imagine if her character was male. Views on girls being perverts sometimes can make a difference in one’s perception. What’s with the double standards anyway? I don’t know if her loathing towards Shigure is the reason why she turned into some twisted lesbian as she once admired him a lot. I understand if some guy even though is your cousin starts fantasizing his delusions before you every time you meet. So just take her perverted fantasies in a positive light. Because it will become amusing and funny then. Ah well, nobody is perfect anyway. Now that she has got Seisa under her wing, maybe it will be just a matter of time before more cute girls flock her way. Just hope jealousy won’t brew when the love starts to spread. Don’t worry, I’m sure Eruna has a way to solve that when the time comes. I think.

Bimii’s past feels mysterious especially about him being human before and now some sort of magical cat. Even he himself said his story is a long one. Yeah, we’re not interested since the series is too short for any sort of long flashbacks. But as far as this series is concerned, he feels like the animal mascot for the series and Mikagura. Even so, oddly he hangs out with Eruna like as though he is her pet or sidekick. Maybe he sensed something in Eruna similar to Seisa but must he follow her around for most of the time? In a way it makes it as though Bimii belongs to her.

Seisa could have been a cool beauty if not for her gloominess and depression that starts irritating you as the series progresses. I know there is some sort of trauma in her heart that she wants to hide but being friendly and then gradually cold towards Eruna makes her look nearly like a tsundere character. At first she might have seen shades of herself in Eruna but after Eruna finds Otone as her club member-cum-partner, you can’t help see that obvious look in Seisa’s eyes as she watches from a distance, that look that screams how-I-wished-I-was-the-one-by-Eruna’s-side. At least thanks to Eruna’s efforts, it all pays off in the end. It is definitely much better seeing Seisa in her smile. But the thing that never fails to give me goosebumps always is the scars on her back. Even though it feels like crop circles being embedded to her back, I’d shudder each time I see those round shades even if it is only partial. Feels like horror stuff… Kurumi is the other best character of the series. Despite her monotonous and soft spoken expression, she does not hesitate to get into her honest-in-your-face acid tongue lashing role towards Eruna each time the latter acts like an idiot. In fact, Kurumi always views her as a big idiot! No hard feelings or beating up this joker if she crosses the line with her delusions.

Then there is Otone who might be just creating another dark personality of herself since she is too shy to talk to others. Well, at least she gets to interact with others in that state. Turning into this state also feels like making her tsundere. As though her indifferent side is to hide what she actually wants to say. Shigure might be a hit with the ladies and guys in school but this seems to be immune to Eruna. Is it because they’re cousins? But most of the time, Shigure’s character has been relegated into some comic relief, a punching bag for Eruna to beat him up if his lust for her ever gets the better of him and an annoying cousin lover who can’t stop screaming “ERUNA-CHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!” for almost every time he appears into the scene. Geez. I think I have a subtle feeling why she is disgusted with this guy.

Other supporting characters provide extra variety and spice to the series and even with some of their brief past, sometimes it feels like a side distraction. Because you can’t have this show entirely focused on just Eruna, can you? For instance, Yuuto’s penchant to mask his real personality due to his broken family and the ties between Shigure and Kuzuryu that dates back to their previous high school. Otherwise it feels pretty much lacking. Like Katai who was once Eruna’s clubless comrade but now even though under Himi’s Calligraphy Club, she hangs out often with Eruna whenever there is a gathering. Asuhi feels so girly that I thought his dark secret would be a girl cross-dressed as a boy but good thing or not it didn’t turn out that way. It still bugs me how he is supposedly one of the strongest rookies around although his move looks ‘weak’. Ah, never judge a book by its cover. It is not like we’ve seen him in any real serious matches anyway. I suppose we won’t know why Minatogawa is the only active member in his club. What happened to the rest anyway? Besides, he is hardly noticeable (just like what I feel his character role is for this anime) and even everyone realizes he is around, it will be too late since it feels like he creeps up on you suddenly without notice.

If you were hoping to see this series filled with battles like in those shonen animes, then you’d be disappointed. In fact, you won’t get to see many matches and even those in highlight will be just a few seconds to a few minutes long. Even with the short duration, it is still packed with power punches and moves. It is both good and bad thing since the rapid fights keep things moving and fresh instead of having to drag it out for episodes like how certain long running animes are doing. But on the downside when it ends too fast, you’d be going, “That’s it? That is all to what I just saw?”. Especially fights that end without even us seeing what happened (that rookie battle finals between Asuhi and Otone or the rest of Eruna’s matches with other cultural clubs that we don’t know and couldn’t care about). At least the final fight is shown a bit longer but it feels ‘shorter’ seeing how fast they’re fighting at. Yeah, at lightning speed. How can everyone see what is happening? Anyhow, the battle sequences provides some side entertainment instead of spamming us with Eruna’s idiotic optimism and besides, isn’t what this anime is all about?

The art and drawing for the series looks pretty fine. Especially with me being a sucker for a pretty face, with so many cute looking girls, you can’t go wrong. Yeah, I have to admit that there are lots of cute and pretty looking girls enough for me to want them to be part of my harem. Now I understand why Eruna wants to be surrounded by such cute and pretty girls too. On a trivial note, the first time I looked at Katai, I thought I saw Mirai Nikki’s Yuno Gasai! Yikes! Despite beautiful girls and handsome guys, it is not all that perfect as I have a couple of grouses too in this department. I noticed that the animation quality dips whenever the battle action scenes occur. I won’t say it is very obvious but if you pay attention enough, you will notice that the details of the characters become ‘simpler’. Like as though the producers thought we viewers won’t be catching the details and attention since everything will be moving ‘fast’ and why go through all the excruciating pain and hard work when it will all be over in just a few seconds. Too bad guys, we can see the difference that it is obvious enough.

Another gripe is that in many scenes, the background characters are not usually coloured! I know that it is to make the main characters stand out and easier to spot when you are in a sea of people but sometimes it makes me feel that as though just because they are just background characters, they are not important enough to be coloured! Uh huh. It’s like doing a half-baked job or even a rushed one or worse, being lazy enough just to think that we viewers don’t really care about such details. Well, maybe. I mean, do we really care about them even if they are coloured? Ironically too, sometimes these uncoloured people stand out more because we’re not used to see black and white background characters so your eyes might get a little ‘distracted’.

Voice acting is pretty decent. Juri Kimura as Eruna did a good job in fitting well with her character especially with all that liveliness and optimism. If she sounded somewhat similar to me, that’s because so far her only other role that I have heard her is as Aoi in Shirobako. Come to think of it, just up the delusional and sparkling vigour and voila! You get Eruna! The only other voice that I recognized was Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Bimii. He isn’t like your typical Kirito from Sword Art Online, Yuu in Juuou Mujin No Fafnir, Tooru in Absolute Duo or Bell in DanMachi. Sometimes I get a feeling is trying to sound like a cat but ends up sounding a bit gay ~ryui. Really ~ryui. If not, just sounding tired and weary. Must be from all the times he had to play the refuting role to Eruna, eh? At first I thought it was Mamoru Miyano’s voice behind Shigure thanks to that ‘trademark ‘boyish’ voice but it turns out Nobunaga Shimazaki is the one behind this character. He was the voice of Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteiru and Livi in Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii.

The rest of the casts include Ari Ozawa as Otone (Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), Saori Oonishi as Seisa (Aiz in DanMachi), Natsuki Hanae as Yuuto (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Kuzuryu (Wave in Akame Ga Kill), Ai Kakuma as Asuhi (Isuzu in Amagi Brilliant Park), Ayaka Suwa as Himi (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle), Reina Ueda as Katai (Elena in Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Makoto Furukawa as Minatogawa (Banri in Golden Time), Ai Kayano as Kurumi (Inori in Guilty Crown), Daiki Yamashita as Usamaru (Touya in Log Horizon), Takuma Terashima as Tonkyun (Stone River in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes) and Minami Takahashi as Rumina (Kuroka in High School DxD BorN).

The opening and several ending themes are quite fun to hear. All are sung by either one of the 3 main heroines of the series (Eruna, Seisa or Otone) or a combination of all of them. Like the opening theme, Houkago Kakumei is a lively rock piece sung by the trio to get you into the pace of the series. The ending themes feel like character songs as they are sung only by that heroine and reflect pretty much what their character outlook is about. The best of the lot goes to Houkago Stride by Eruna. Not only the tune is catchy but you have got to love the way she raps with all those cute lyrics. If I should say, this could be one of those denpa songs. It is just too bad that it isn’t the main ending theme and is only featured for a couple of episodes. Seisa’s one is not too bad too, Esoragoto Spiral. I can’t put my finger on what genre this retro tune is but it does sound jazzy and groovy enough to be catchy with that psychedelic feel. Otone sings Sekirara Candy, another crazy upbeat denpa song. Heck, I think all the songs can be termed under the denpa category. The main ending theme by the trio is Rakuen Fanfare, a rock outfit and compared to the rest this sounds the ‘least denpa’.

Overall, this series may look like this generic plot: New student enrols in high school, discovers about a certain system, possesses some sort of latent power (and possibly close to being the chosen one), starts out at the bottom as a dark horse and works her way up while making friends in the midst, helps solve or remove the biggest thorn in the final arc and happy ending (sort of) for everybody, life goes on. You get the idea. But thanks to Eruna’s amazing robust enthusiasm, you won’t be feeling bored except maybe for the initial episodes where it takes time to build up the characters and setting. Or simply if you’re not into this kind of anime genre then there is nothing to be said. This anime might not be perfect but give it a chance and watch it. Maybe Eruna’s positivism will affect you in some ways and you can go about the rest of your day feeling high and good without the use of drugs. Really. Sounds implausible, you say huh? Hey, I’m trying to be positive and optimistic here.

High School DxD BorN

November 21, 2015

It is here! The much anticipated third season of the series, High School DxD BorN! This is one of the few series whereby the great storyline and characters are not being overshadowed by the ecchi fanservice although the latter factor is also a great reason why this series is doing great. A series that doesn’t necessarily rely solely on fanservice or use it to dilute the worth of everything. It’s just different, that’s why we come back for a third time. With a lot going on and building up in the past 2 seasons (short summary of what it’s about: A high school kid who wants his own harem just got turned into a demon servant and gets involved in some war that involves a great deal of factions and species and at the same time wants to grope boobs), it is without doubt that expectations for the third season are going to be high but given the series’ track record, I doubt that there would be anything that could derail all this. Unless…

Episode 1
OMG! Bare tits of Issei’s harem as the opener! Supreme bliss! Till this Yuuma girl laments at Issei for forgetting about her. Yeah. Still remember the demon girl who tried to kill him in the first season? He wakes up from this dream but it is still blissful because his harem is sleeping by him naked! Great morning! Because Akeno is too bold flirting with him, Rias warns her not to touch her belonging. This leads to a standoff and then throwing of pillows. Imbued with magic. Oh dear. Not looking good… Issei’s house has been remodelled into a huge mansion overnight. Even scarier is how his parents accept this and go with the flow. When life gives you lemons… Rias will be returning to her estate for the summer vacation and this means the rest of her servants and slaves will come too. The train journey to the underworld is long. Once they reach the destination, the train comes to a complete halt. Seems some big shot is passing and they’re just giving way. Suddenly the train disappears and everyone falls down to the ground below. Rias and Azazel are missing. A hostile dragon attacks so Akeno assumes authority to convey orders to her team to take it down. But the dragon is too powerful and their attack is just like scratching. Azazel then stops this fight. Seems this is just a test to gauge their strength (as instructed by Sirzechs). He now knows the extent of it and has set a training regimen. But Azazel is more worried about Rias whom he feels is the one lacking growth due to her indecisiveness and kindness towards her subordinates. This dragon is Tannin and was once the dragon king of yore. He reincarnated into a demon in exchange for something. Ddraig knows Tannin but didn’t say anything because this whole setup was a farce. Because Tannin didn’t even use a thousandth of his power! The gang cleans themselves up in the hotspring. Gasper is sending mixed signals he can’t go in the male’s section… He’s a guy, right?! Azazel teaches Issei the finer points of boobs and that pressing nipples is just like pressing a doorbell. Only, they give out weird noises! Teach me more! Rias is deeply disturbed by Azazel’s words and can’t help ponder what he meant. Yuuto is worried about Koneko because she disobeyed Akeno’s orders in the fight and got injured. Something must be wrong. Meanwhile Bikou talks to Kuroka about their next job. But all she cares is bringing back her little sister, Shirone. Koneko?

Episode 2
Arriving at the freaking huge Gremory mansion, they are being treated by the hospitality of Rias’ father. They also meet Millicas (Sirzechs’ son and Rias’ nephew) and Venelana (Rias’ mom who is so hot that Issei can’t take his eyes off and needs some warning from Rias). Issei can’t sleep because his room and bed are so big. So is that why Xenovia and Asia come to sleep with him? Because they can’t sleep when there is such a big space? Or just some lame excuse to go cuddle with him? But if space is the problem, how is Gasper holding out? Don’t worry. He found a box to hide inside… Next day, everyone has their own personal trainer for their customized training like Akeno being trained by her father, Barachiel whom she refuses to acknowledge. Issei gets Tannin. He’s screwed. Thankfully he lasted for 3 full days without being killed although he failed to find his Balance Breaker. Sairaorg was watching Issei’s training and advises him that despite his stamina improved, it isn’t enough to become the best. Koneko has overworked herself during training and is being put to rest. Rias tells Issei the story behind Koneko’s past. As she is a cat youkai, she had an older sister who was picked up and turned into a demon by her master. However her latent power went berserk and killed him. She went missing shortly. Fearing the same would happen to Koneko, the demons wanted to kill her to prevent the same thing but Sirzechs took her in and put her under Rias’ care. Koneko is a survivor of the strongest cat demon group, the Nekoshou clan. Thus she is a descendent from a lineage of high level youkais. Rias and her subordinates are at a party that gathers all young demons to prevent any untoward incident. But you can’t help it when young hot headed demons with differing views start to fight. Sairaorg easily puts them out of commission when they don’t listen. Rias explains Sairaorg is the heir to the Bael family and the strongest of the young demons around. Oh, he is also Rias’ cousin. Ravel sees Issei and gives him some gift to mark their acquaintance. She claims she is no longer under Riser and traded to become a servant under her mom. Even more confusing for Issei is how Ravel tells him she is into baking. Get the hint? I guess not. Issei and Rias see Koneko leaving the party in a rush and go to find her. Koneko has detected a familiar presence. Indeed. She is reunited with her older sister, Kuroka.

Episode 3
Koneko told Rias that she wanted to be strong but is afraid of the latent powers and didn’t want to resort to that. Otherwise she might end up just like Kuroka. Odin has arrived at the party as per Sirzechs’ request. He comments on Serafall’s clothing so she transforms herself into a magical girl outfit. His assistant, Rossweisse doesn’t want him to fool around as he represents Valhalla. And when he comments on her serious attitude that has her no luck with guys, she breaks down crying in public! WTF?! Rias and Issei could have continued spying on Koneko’s chat with Kuroka only had not Bikou lured them out. He plans to fight them just to buy time. But Tannin comes forth to take care of Bikou and wants Issei to show him to fruits of his training by defeating Kuroka who is bent on taking Koneko away by force. Odin is here to sign some treaty but before he could do that, Loki interrupts as he is against this. He summons his demon wolf, Fenrir to attack. Akeno becomes his target but her father saves her. She still refuses to acknowledge him. It ends when Ajuka teleports Loki away. Koneko is close to break down as she reminds us about that power she doesn’t want to awaken. She is willing to go with Kuroka so as to let Rias and Issei go. Rias’ warmth and assurance makes Koneko want to stay by her side even more. Kuroka then surrounds the area with poison gas to stop them from running away. Issei is not affected because of his dragon bond. But he gets pounded while protecting them. Now he beats himself up by saying he is a useless dragon. Why does everybody have to start feeling useless? And as usual, Koneko boosts his morale that he is the first Red Dragon Emperor who is kind and not being consumed by its power. The problem now as Ddraig says, he needs some sort of catalyst to use his Balance Breaker. It just hit him what they are. He wants Rias to let him poke her boobs! She allows him but here’s the bigger problem: Which side to poke first? Left or right? To Issei they are not the same and it’s not trivial! Rias just tells him to do both! Tannin just feels disappointed his training might have all gone to waste. After Issei pokes them both, you see how much he powers up and leaves Kuroka shocked where she is standing (the surroundings are decimated). He warns her not to touch his family or else. Bikou takes Kuroka to escape because they sense Loki’s presence is no longer around. Rias reports to Sirzechs that Kuroka and Bikou are part of Chaos Brigade and Sirzechs is glad to have left Koneko in her care.

Episode 4
Azazel explains Ajuka has teleported and seal Loki in a faraway place but that will only last for another day. This means it will not be enough time for Odin who has returned to retrieve his hammer, Mjolnir to stop Ragnarok, a big scale war that would destroy the world. This is what Loki and Chaos Brigade want. Rias suggests stalling Loki in the mean time. Ajuka can only teleport about 10 people there for now so those who are going include Rias’ household (minus Asia and Gasper), Souna’s household, Irina and Rossweisse. Before they leave, they are given Phoenix Tears as they would lack the healings of Bishop during the battle. Saji tells Issei about Souna’s dream to open a school for low level devils so they can play Rating Game. Because many Demons laughed at her dream, the reason why she volunteered for this mission to change their perspective. Saji’s dream is to be a teacher in her school. Loki has broken free from his seal. He summons Fenrir, its offspring and the Midgard Serpent for our young ones to fight. Among those power up we see include Irina being able to transform into her angel version, Koneko accepting and using her nekomata power (because as long as if it is with Issei, it is okay) and Saji facing off with Loki with his very much powerfully tweaked Vitra’s Sacred Gear. Loki won’t admit defeat and uses all his power to destroy the planes. Since it is hastening Ragnarok, he is fine with it. All the Phoenix Tears are used to revive and heal some of the wounded. When Mjolnir appears, Rossweisse tells Issei that by orders of Odin, he is to wield it. Time for the big hero’s part? I supposed he got too confident in getting it and didn’t expect a surprise attack from Fenrir. Issei dies!!! OMFG! ISSEI IS DEAD!!! Sad girls, mad girls… See the power of anger? They power up so much to destroy the mythical beasts. The most upset one is of course Rias. She doesn’t care if the world is destroyed. She won’t forgive Loki. Does this mean either way the world is screwed?

Episode 5
I don’t know what power up Rias was going to do but she sees Ravel’s gift dropping out. Loki orders Fenrir to destroy Mjolnir but it becomes restrained by Kuroka’s binds. Arthur Pendragon tells Loki that Fenrir is Vali’s real target because he wants the fangs that can kill gods. Blame yourself for being fooled by this partnership. After they escape, Loki is shocked to see Issei revived. Ravel’s gift contains a Phoenix Tears. Issei uses the hammer to pound him but before Loki gets sealed, he curses them. Sairaorg destroys the serpent and is impressed with Issei’s growth. He hopes to play a Rating Game with Rias one day to determine who the best is. Rias and her subordinates say goodbye to her family as they leave for Earth. With Millicas calling Venelana his mom, the gang realize who Sirzechs’ wife is… On the train, Koneko hogs Issei’s lap and sleeps on it. I guess she deserves it. Akeno also wants to borrow Issei for a day and since Rias realizes she is going to tell him something, she agrees. Back on Earth, the gang have to deal with reality: Homework! Damn. Fighting baddies were better, right? And because Issei is thinking too much about boobs, he can’t concentrate. Then here comes Akeno. Is it sexy time? She has a request of him: Be her boyfriend for a day. You’re not hearing things, Issei. While on the date, they can guess who those ‘cosplay stalkers’ are. Rias is most concerned because she never realized Akeno would be this close to Issei and hold his arms like that. Issei and Akeno run to lose them. But they ran into the love hotel area. However they also ran into Odin and Barachiel. Father is suspicious of Akeno’s meeting with Issei. She blames him for letting her mom die. He doesn’t need him but Issei. So leave! When Akeno composes herself, she tells Issei of her past. Her mom, Shuri Himejima met Barachiel, an injured Fallen Angel and fell in love with him. Because of that she was banished from her family. But Akeno’s black wings have caused more hatred to grow and one day they decided to kill the family. Shuri died protecting her. Akeno ran away until she was stumbled upon by Rias. Akeno wants Issei to make her forget all that and allows him to rape her. I don’t think that guy is in the mood after hearing her story. Suddenly Issei could read her true feelings. She didn’t really hate her father and placed the blame on him so that she could cope with the stress. She really wants to meet him. Akeno reconciles with Barachiel by giving him her cooked food on his trip back. Mmm… Tastes just like Shuri’s cooking.

Episode 6
Issei’s class gets a new transfer student: Irina! Due to Chaos Brigade running wild, Michael thought it would be better to send extra help and heaven’s representative to protect the school. Just with Demons having ranks based on chess, Angels have ranks based on cards so Irina’s position is Ace. While Irina is a happy girl meeting Rias and co, why is Rossweisse crying? Seems Odin left for home and he forgot to take her! So what’s her ranting of being single has got to do with it? In the streets, Asia bumps into Diodora Astaroth. He claims they know each other from a long time. She doesn’t remember at first but after seeing his deep scar, she remembers he was the Demon she helped healed and led to her expulsion from the church. Diodora wants to repay that thanks. He is in love with her and wants to marry her! Oh dear. Will Issei allow this for his harem? To compound his problem, Azazel mentions Issei is quite famous in the Underworld. Not because of his heroics in defeating Loki, though. There is a documentary edited about him screaming for boobs. It is a hit with kids and he has been nicknamed Breast Dragon Emperor! There is even a song for this! It is no wonder Ddraig is crying in despair that his fearsome name has been reduced to something pathetic. Issei gets tricked to be paired up with Asia for the 3-legged-race. I bet you there’s going to be lots of accidents and tripping. More woes for Issei as he dreams of Diodora taking Asia’s hand in marriage. He won’t allow it! Asia assures she won’t marry soon. Good, because he’d die of loneliness if that happens. Issei you liar! How can you die from loneliness when you have a harem???!!! Diodora’s harassment continues as he sends Asia letters, gifts, etc. Rias will get rid of them but she is worried as she sees Issei’s concerned face. Doesn’t he put up that face for all the girls when they’re in trouble? Xenovia brings more trouble for Issei. More of her misunderstanding about wanting to have an affair with him (I think she’s making a pun about this and winning the race) and allows Asia to have this secret affair with him. Issei is in such a dilemma. His hands are moving on its own groping those delicious boobs. It only ends when Irina barges in to put a stop to their unholy act. Her concern is that this place is unsanitary and they should do it on a bed! Rias informs her subordinates of the Rating Game. It was supposed to be held during summer break but Loki interfered. Good news: They avoid Sairaorg for the first round. Bad news? Diodora is their first opponent.

Episode 7
Rias and co watch Sairaorg’s Rating Game. Let’s say he is just too freaking powerful. Diodora pays them a visit and wants to exchange Bishops. Of course Rias will not allow that as Asia is an important family member. Because Diodora badmouths Issei, Asia slaps him. Diodora throws down a challenge to Issei and if he beats him in the Rating Game, Asia will accept his love. While Issei and Koneko are out doing their demon duty, they bump into Kuroka who wants to have Issei’s baby! More accurately, she wants a dragon baby. Of course Issei refuses her. To his surprise, Vali is here to see him as he is here to warn him about something because Rias won’t listen to him. When they go home, the other girls are dressed in sexy outfits in their bid to make Issei happy. This is for everything he has done for them? Then it becomes a heated competition between Rias and Akeno over him. This might turn ugly if they resort to letting him touch their boobs… After Issei lends his sword to Xenovia as practice, she pecks his cheek as thanks. Is his day getting better or what? Meanwhile, Sirzechs and Azazel discuss about Rias’ report regarding Vali’s warning. There might be a connection with Diodora’s sudden increase in power and the mysterious death of Glasya Labolas’ supposed heir. When Rias and co head to the battlefield for their Rating Game, what greets them isn’t Diodora’s family but an entire army of Satan’s old faction who is now under Chaos Brigade. Worse, Diodora is part of Chaos Brigade and takes Asia hostage. He will have the rest killed while he takes Asia to the temple. Odin makes his surprise appearance. He explains that Azazel planned this by using them as bait to lure them out so that Odin could destroy them in one fell swoop. Sorry for keeping them in the dark, though. The rest head to the temple to save Asia while Odin and Azazel’s troops begin their big assault.

Episode 8
At the temple, Diodora suggests playing their own Rating Game. He has a group of Pawns and Rooks and another group with a Queen and Bishops. Rias assigns Issei, Gasper, Koneko and Xenovia to fight the first group. Rias gives Issei permission to use his Dress Break. However the opponents can still fight back despite being naked. Now Issei can’t concentrate and gets beaten up! Because they attack in absolute precision, Issei uses his power to read their hearts and find out who is being targeted. More like heart of the boobs because it feels like the boobs are talking… They defeat the Pawns and shortly Xenovia is done with the Rooks. But it is not so rosy on the other side so Koneko suggests Issei tell Akeno that he will date her if she wins. See the motivation? And because this jealousy makes Rias powers up too, they defeat the Queen and Bishops in no time. Making their way in, they are shocked to see Freed. He claims Vali picked him up and restored him. Is he Diodora’s Knight now? Actually he ate them both and has turned into some powerful monster. He reveals Diodora’s household that they just fought were supposed to be some sort of holy maidens. It is Diodora’s passion to lure and bait them to his hell. One day he stumbled upon Asia but seeing how she was protected by the church and cannot easily kidnap her, he devised a plan to become a wounded demon so that the church would expel her. His plan was to ravish her when she is at the bottom of despair but Issei and Rias showed up to save her. Issei is visibly mad but Yuuto tells him to save that anger for Diodora. Yuuto easily cuts up Freed and kills him! No match! Before Diodora, he explains he cannot feed on Asia yet as hope is still in her. He further reveals that the Fallen Angel Issei first disposed off, Reinare was supposed to be killed by Diodora and then give Asia an Evil Piece but made the mistake of waiting and let Issei finished her off. But thanks to this, he is now able to give Asia more despair. Imagine how fun it will be to rape her while she screams out his name! I guess this is enough to make Issei’s blood boil and summon up all his power to beat Diodora to a pulp. I suppose that is why he said all those spiteful words so we could hate him and feel no mercy because Diodora is so weak getting his ass handed over it is just painful to watch. Still cannot believe you’re losing? Issei cannot free Asia because thanks to some Longinus bind, it will only free her if Diodora wins but in the even if he loses, it will absorb her. If he cannot have Asia, nobody can! Issei doesn’t give a damn about all that and uses his ultimate power to break Asia free! Who is the weakling now? After all that emotional reunion, Asia makes a prayer to the Lord to protect Issei and the rest and to live happily with them. Instantly she vanishes.

Episode 9
Who is the villain standing before them now? Shalba Beelzebub claims he is the true successor to Satan. The one responsible for Glasya Labolas’ heir’s death kills off Diodora when the weakling seeks his help. Meanwhile, Creusery Asmodeus appears before Azazel and Sirzechs. He is against Sirzechs for teaming up with Angels and Fallen Angels but is he the one to say for joining a ragtag team of Chaos Brigade? Sirzechs easily kills this guy. So much for his 10 seconds debut. Then here comes Ophis, the leader of Chaos Brigade. She mentions her goal of a world of silence. She wishes to return to the Dimensional Gap where her home is and reclaim that silence. Issei is so broken that it is just heart-wrenching to see him look for Asia whom he thinks is hiding. When Shalba says he has tossed Asia into some Dimensional Gap faraway and is as good as dead, Issei becomes so mad that he powers up (or gets absorbed rather) into his fearsome dragon form, Red Dragon of Domination. Freaking powerful enough to blow Shalba away. His power keeps increasing that Rias and co have to fly away for safety while Shalba gets blown to pieces. So much for his 10 minutes debut. Vali and his team make a surprise entry. They have Asia in their hands. They coincidentally found her floating inside the Dimensional Gap. Vali sees Issei’s form and notes it is incomplete. Because of that, there is still hope of turning him back but his life will be in danger. Rias believes she is good enough to bring Issei back to normal and just needs to tell him Asia is still alive. Vali helps out by using his Juggernaut Drive to knock down a notch Issei’s growing power. Issei is going berserk. All he could see is Asia’s kindness and Reinare mocking him. He unconsciously attacks Rias. But you know, her heartfelt speech that she can’t live without him and rather die would eventually reach his heart. Especially when her tear drops onto him and breaks him free of his armour. Time for your emotional reunion with everybody. You thought Issei is most emotional to see Asia live? Wrong! It’s Xenovia! A huge red dragon appears in the sky. Vali explains that is the Dragon of Dragons or also known as DxD. This is the true Red Dragon God Emperor, the Great Red who chose to live in the Dimensional Gap and flies there for all eternity. He is Ophis’ objective and it is Vali’s goal to defeat him to become the true White Dragon God Emperor. Ophis is the Infinity Dragon also known as the Ouroboros Dragon. After renewing his rivalry with Vali, you thought everybody can go home happy. Not quite yet because now it’s Issei turn to turn up the drama by collapsing.

Episode 10
Issei is unconscious. Oh Asia… Don’t start the blame game… Anyway Azazel thinks Asia’s Sacred Gear might heal Issei although he is not sure of the risk. Only one way to find out. Indeed, Issei wakes up again. I guess it’s now or never so Asia kisses him and confesses she loves him. Everybody else is watching but they’re not going to bother with the details. Issei is back up and all that is what matters. Azazel discusses with Sirzechs that the recent skirmish has wiped out the old Satan faction. Vali had never intended to be allies with them in the first place. Currently there is world balance because Great Red is ruling in the Dimensional Gap but that balance is fragile and they know Loki will intervene again because Ophis did something troublesome again. With Issei back, you’d think it is happy ending for everyone? Not quite. Yet again, Rossweisse is in tears because Odin left her behind again! What’s this about being single again? Rias is also spacing out more often because she felt she couldn’t do anything to save Issei and that recent one where Asia healed him just nailed it in her heart. Later Azazel tells Issei a secret that he knew what to do because Ddraig told him. He talked to Ddraig about the power Issei unleashed and it seemed he invoked Juggernaut Drive and broke some seal that caused all the power in his Sacred Treasure to let loose. It is the kind of power that even surpasses the gods but in exchange on will pay for his life or his lifespan reduced drastically. The thing is, something activated that and Ddraig sensed Issei’s despair and anger surpassing its limit that caused it. However he also sensed something else controlling Issei and is not sure. Issei is seen walking into Rias’ room and then assuring her everything is alright. But then we see Issei and Koneko returning from practice and find Gasper collapsed outside. He is relieved to see the real Issei. Seems the fake Issei has got Rias under his control. Thanks to Gasper’s time freeze, he is able to save them before the explosion engulfs the place. Rias is subsequently missing. Azazel explains that Valhalla has sent a warning to Rossweisse but apparently it was too late. This is all part of Loki’s doing. In his bid for Ragnarok, he placed a cursed on Issei and Rias before being sealed. Before Odin could interrogate him further, Loki crystallizes himself to make that old guy regret for having Issei use Mjolnir. It might be Issei’s subconscious, his fear of what the girls think about him that activated whatever and the same can be said for Rias. They believe Rias is lost in Dimensional Gap. Going there is like going to a certain death if you stay there for too long. Chaos Brigade is made up of various individuals and they might be using unknown methods to use it as their base. Issei wants Koneko to contact Kuroka. He wants to have a word with Vali.

Episode 11
Sirzechs warns that many lives were lost in the recent battle. Contacting Vali may be seen as associating with Chaos Brigade and spread discontent again. You know, all Issei cares about is Rias, not the world. Azazel suggests he gives up being a Demon. He can turn all of them into Fallen Angels to avoid any potential fallouts among the Demons but this will only be a last resort. If they get Rias back successfully, then there is no need for this. With everyone pleading how dear Rias is to them, I guess Sirzechs has no choice but to relent and tell them to save his sister. Issei and Koneko see Kuroka. She agrees to let them meet Vali but in exchange Koneko must come back to her. Issei won’t agree to that. Negotiation is over then? Because they become annoyingly persistent, Vali makes his appearance. What if he refuses to let them go to the Dimensional Gap? Yeah, Issei you gonna fight him? He will if he must. Because Vali views him as still weak and would rob him of his pleasure to defeat him, he has Arthur guide them there using his holy royal sword, Collbrande that could cut through dimensions. Arthur tells them the barrier they are in prevents them from being eaten by Dimensional Gap. But they only have 1 hour to do so before they are forced back to their realm. He hints that Dimensional Gap is influenced by their strong emotions. They figure out in no time that all they need to do is wish to meet Rias from the bottom of their heart. True enough they see her. However she attacks them! They sense this is the real Rias but why is she not recognizing them? It must be Loki’s curse. Everyone tries to let their heartfelt words reach her heart. It always works, right? Not this time. Because you thought everything might be back to normal when you see tears in her eyes but that is just a troll and switch for her to transform into a Red Dragon armour similar to Issei’s Balance Breaker. Just with a few parts expose for sexiness. The attack continues and Akeno believes Issei has no choice but to fight her. At first he doesn’t want to do this, not to his beloved buchou. Then I guess he realizes what needs to be done. The promise of bringing her back even if the world gets destroyed. Yeah, screw the world. All he wants is her (and her boobs). He transforms into his Balance Breaker version and the great impact of their fight weakens the Dimensional Gap.

Episode 12
Yes, Issei. We know that you’re going to protect Rias not because of the contract but your love for her. We are spammed montage of their times together as he struggles to free her. After all that, her armour finally shatters and the Rias we know comes returning back into Issei’s arms. But now Issei is to face off with his fake imposter who turns into Dragon of Supremacy. The rest are blown back into reality as Azazel deduces Loki hijacked a fragment of Dragon of Supremacy from Issei and made a copy out of it. What they can do now is pray and believe in Issei. Yeah, you do that. And of course, Issei’s strong feelings mean he defeats the imposter. They are blown into the Dimensional Whirlpool when Great Red happens to pass by. It seems to be guiding them out of here. But they end up in some dimensional beach so I guess it is time for Issei and Rias to spend some quality time together, talking about the feelings of the heart and yes, a nice kiss before going back to reality. Although their memories are fuzzy on their return, everyone else is so glad to see them back in one piece. Later, Issei knows he is in a dream when he sees Ddraig in his true form. He is here to tell him that another power aside Dragon of Supremacy lies dormant inside him although Ddraig himself isn’t sure what it is. When Issei wakes up, it is like waking up in his dream because his harem girls are sleeping naked around him! Don’t want to lose him after all they’ve been through, eh? Yeah. I’m sure Issei loves this too. What a win-win situation. And of course the best boobs reward goes to Rias. Issei’s parents return from their trip. They treat Asia more like their daughter than Issei their son. Too cute to pass up, eh? Rias surprises them by introducing Rossweisse who is a teacher at their school and plans to stay here. Say what?! We see how Rias showed Rossweisse the benefits of some insurance plan from her side as compared to Valhalla. She then offered Rossweisse to be her Rook under her household as she needs mobile magical artillery. Tempted by everything, Rossweisse agrees and turns into a Demon. Partly this is to get back at Odin too. Now Rias’ household is complete (remember, Issei is powerful as 8 Pawns so she doesn’t need extras). Azazel mentions about Issei’s TV debut in the Underworld. Turns out to be a children’s programme with a children’s song. All about boobs!!! And he is already a hit there! Later Azazel talks to Issei about the incoming threat from Chaos Brigade and more fighting will be expected. But once the war is over, what will he do? Simple. He’ll pursue his own dreams of becoming harem king. Oh Issei, don’t you know that you are already one?

Dragon-boobs & Poke-boobs!
Before I started watching this season and while it was still being aired over the airwaves, I have been reading a lot of comments regarding this season. From what I gather, there have been a lot of differing opinions and heated discussions about the direction of the third season. Yes, this season deviated from the original light novel works. Thus there are so many clashes of opinions from purists of the light novels who disregard this deviation as pure blasphemy of the series and those who are so called ‘open minded’ and viewing this season as ‘just anime only’. The former hated the third season’s adaptation with varying degrees (depending on how ‘loyal’ they are to the light novels) while the latter tried viewing this from an anime-only perspective. Thus some feel that the producers have gone to make the first 2 seasons great and with that established track record in the minds of fans and viewers, decided to betray that trust by tricking everyone into watching this atrocious season and milk more money from them. Those are some of the sentiments lingering even after the season has ended.

Therefore with this in mind as I watched the third season, I am wondering if this is the reason why I do not find the third season as charming as the first 2 seasons. Could this have also clouded my opinions and thoughts for this season? Would I have reached a slightly different and better conclusion had I not read the many dissatisfied and arguing comments over the internet? Although I have never touched the light novels myself, personally I could say that this season lacks the excitement that I felt watching the previous seasons. Everything feels lacking. The characters, the storyline and even the fanservice just feel so much less. By itself, this season doesn’t suck so badly and like those in the latter category have said, if it is judged based solely as an anime without any relation to the light novels, it is fine. Though, not that great either. This is also my thoughts about this season. It isn’t bad but there is nothing that would make me sing praises that the third season is great. In fact it just passes.

I don’t know, personally I think putting in the final arc of saving Rias somewhat killed it. I know it is to show how much everybody cares for her and she cares for everybody but somehow it just feels forced. Something about it just doesn’t feel right. Because with so many other potential good stuffs and storyline (from the light novel works), they ended the season with this ‘weak’ story of rescuing their club president. If poor sentiments were already building up halfway, then it would be sure to increase by the time it reaches the end. I think they’re trying to build some drama, showcasing the close relationship the Occult Club members have with each other and especially with Issei, seeking to tug some heartstrings whenever you see the characters getting worried or worked up over the other when something doesn’t augur well. You get the point. I felt too much of that isn’t necessarily good for the direction of this series.

Another downfall to this season is the characters. Both old and new. This series itself already boasts a lot of characters. And I mean really, really, really, really, really lots of them. Just rechecking the character list since the last time, I am not sure if I has been expanded or not but it feels a lot longer now that I have relooked at it again. Because it isn’t just your typical Demons, Angels and Fallen Angels or even gods from other mythologies but historical characters (fictional or non-fictional) as well! I mean, when you have characters from King Arthur’s times and even the Chinese’s Three Kingdoms, you’d start wondering if they will be putting in Greek philosophers, world conquerors (like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great) or even… Presidents of the United States! Oh yeah! One big hell of mish-mash of everything! While it is great and unique to see this kind of mix-up of everything in one big fairytale story (or just one big nonsensical crap), the problem lies with having too many of these characters but not making a good impact or leaving any sort of lasting impression. That is what I feel the problem for the character development for this season.

It is not like they have introduced a whole bunch of new characters but even those that had newly appeared in this season feels a lot lacking. The biggest casualty is Rossweisse herself. My guts told me she would become part of Issei’s harem. As she is of Norse source, I wonder how can a Valkyrie turn into a demon just like that? But just in case, I guess that is why they make it last minute that Rossweisse completes Rias’ household. Just in time? Feels so rushed. (In the light novel as I read from a summary somewhere, she is one of those female characters who initially isn’t sure if she is in love with Issei or not till some sort of event occurs that made it confirm it is so). Well, it isn’t necessary to be part of Rias’ household if you want to fall in love with Issei, right? The way Rossweisse is lacking in presence and role impact in this season. The way her character played makes it feel like she is an anime-only character. The only thing that I would remember about her is her penchant for being too emo (whenever there isn’t any serious fighting or stuffs) and ranting about being single. That might not be a bad thing entirely but the way they executed her character this season is just feels sorry. It feels like she has been side-lined in a way to give some prominence to the relationship development between Issei and some of his Occult Club girls.

The rest of the other new characters also doesn’t fare that well. Either they lack impact or they get killed off quickly with a high chance of never ever returning in the future storyline ever again (looking at you, Shalba and Diodora. I’m wondering if Freed is killed off for good this time too). I suppose everything is still too early so Chaos Brigade isn’t much of an antagonist yet. I don’t know what Sairaorg’s role is for in this season because does it really matter? But I am sure he is one of those guys (like Vali) who are up to challenge Issei in a fight when the time is right to see who is strongest (no prizes in guessing who will come up tops at the end). Even if Barachiel had a little screen time to make amends with his estranged daughter, it just feels disconnected and doesn’t fit into the pace of everything this season. Perhaps Odin is the only one among the new characters that feel it made some sort of impact although this also felt minimal. Why do old and powerful guys always have to be perverts? Know that old turtle guy from Dragonball? Know that old little guy from Ranma 1/2? Know that old sage in Naruto? Yeah… See the pattern? I hope Odin doesn’t frequent Japan now that he has got to know about boobs bars… Boobs bars… They have that in Japan? Oh, do you still remember Rias’ family? Milli-what’s-his-name or Vene-what’s-her-name already?

If new characters didn’t leave much of an impact, does this mean the old ones do, especially the Occult Club members? Not quite either. Issei on one hand is a perverted kid who wants his own harem but unknowingly has already amassed one. The reason he doesn’t really touch them unless when given permission is because he respects them so it is like he is in an eternal dilemma to become harem king or not. Because from where I see his character (as well as others from many other animes), he is the kind of main protagonist and hero who doesn’t really care about the world and would even go as far as to let it be destroyed at the expense of the safety of his girls. Don’t you agree with me? So technically if you want the world to be safe from Ragnarok or Armageddon, if you are a girl, be part of his harem, if you are a guy, become his friend. That way with the ‘extended’ family theoretically he would go all out to save you if some sort of world threatening befalls. So like when Rias was endangered, he will go all out and dig deep into his feelings just to get her back. At the same time spamming his calling out to her. “Buchou! Buchou! BUCHOU!!!!!!”.

The rest of the Occult Club members also do not have decent development thanks to the short duration of the series and the way they force cram a few of them. We get to know a little about Koneko and her sister, Akeno and her dissatisfaction with her father and some precious moments for Asia. And then it ends with Rias’ growing insecurity of Issei’s love for her that led to the inevitable. Because it seems the other girls in the harem are making ground and headway in their personal relationship with Issei so Rias has all the right to be worried. Despite she is the president of the Occult Club and the head of her household team, she is at the same level when it comes to being a woman and wanting Issei’s affections. This undermines her exclusivity and privilege that she has with Issei now that everyone seems to be catching up especially Akeno who is more daring than ever. To the point that she is even confrontational. I believe Yuuto’s story and past was done in previous season so it feels like this time he feels like ‘neglected’. Xenovia feels like she’s being reduced to ‘cultivating a good friendship with Asia’. Gasper’s fear of wide public spaces is still funny but you realize that when the going gets tough, his phobia doesn’t kick in. All in the mind?

Let’s see about the other recurring characters… Mmm… Rather okay or so-so. Sirzechs is trying to do his best as the current Satan while Azazel seems to be playing the know-it-all sensei part. Irina isn’t part of Rias’ household so she doesn’t have much screen time and only hangs out with her ex fellow church member Xenovia whenever she gets the chance. Serafall and Ravel could have been forgotten had they not made their short little cameo which doesn’t really amount to anything. At least Saji this season put up a decent badass power up fight despite his limited screen time too. I thought they were going to bring back Yuuma/Reinare, the way they tease us by making Issei remember this nightmare from time to time. Guess not. Thank goodness.

Although this season still has its trademark fanservice of uncensored naked tits and boobs galore, somehow it feels less. I don’t know. Maybe it is because that feeling of mediocrity that is undermining this department too. In a way it is good and bad because you don’t want too much fanservice to dilute the worth of this series but then again, boobs fanservice is the reason why this series is popular in the first place. Yeah, lots of pervy guys out there. So in addition to groping boobs, now you have poking boobs? You learn something new every day… Fanservice quality for the mid-intermission remains the same. First half shows the girls in sexy poses and then in the second half, all the clothes come off and it feels like a must to show and expose their tits to us.

Action bits also feel less. I remember in the previous seasons we had lots of terms and power ups whenever we see Issei and the team fight. I don’t think this season added any much of those new moves and the power fights also seem to lack that oomph thanks to all that drama going on. And there is always some sort of hidden power inside Issei that we don’t know of. How many more times can he power up till he reaches the ultimate of the ultimate? Is it me or is the quality towards the end of the series getting a little bad? Like as though the animators really want to get their chest off this bad season and end it all quickly.

This season’s opening and ending theme didn’t appeal to me again. Bless Your Name by ChouCho as the opener sounds like a generic anime rock outfit while the Stylips sings the ending theme, Give Me Secret. Lively, exuberant and resembling like a dance song but still I didn’t find it quite to my liking although I would prefer this than the opening theme. Hmm… I think this season’s ending credits animation also contributed to the overall unexciting feel of this season. In the first season, we were treated to sexy pole dancing fanservice. Then in the second season, there was this weird but erotic dance and it was still sexy enough despite Gasper being part of the dancing troupe and in bikini. In this third season, there are none of those or anything similar and despite spamming Issei’s naked harem, it just doesn’t feel the same as before.

Overall, this season is not that bad and it only is when you have read the light novels and start expecting the adaptation to follow very closely. Then expect to be very disappointed. The third season as an anime itself is okay but it is not nearly as great as its past 2 seasons. It is still pretty much decent (oh, the irony). Therefore like any other animes that follow this sort of precedent (great start but faltering sequels), the only way to pick itself up is to make another fourth season. Maybe this is all part and parcel of the bigger plan and cycle. Happy, happier, disappointment and then happy again. Maybe that is what life is all about. When you have a series of choices, it isn’t necessary that you need to pick one over the other. Like if you don’t know which boobs to poke, just poke ‘em both! Double the fun, double the satisfaction!

YuruYuri Nachuyachumi+

November 20, 2015

Hey, wait! They’re not done with the specials yet? And here I thought YuruYuri Nachuyachumi OVA was the appetizer before the third season begins and here they surprise us with yet a couple of specials right before the season runs. YuruYuri Nachuyachumi+ is of course additional episodes that takes place after that summer themed OVA. Do we need more appetizers before the main course? If you’re a fan of the series, you can never get enough!

Episode 1
Akari meets her friends at the park but Kyouko claims she is late despite being early thanks to some Akari Time thingy she must adhere to. Don’t ask… They play water balloons the entire day and despite they get soaking wet, I don’t think this amount to any sort of tantalizing fanservice. Next day in school, Akari hears Sakurako trying to warn everybody about the ghosts she saw last night. I guess you can’t blame her with bad lighting because the ghosts are actually Akari and co heading back. They were tired from playing all die and walked like zombies. She sure had a hard time trying to clear the misunderstanding. Back in the clubroom, Kyouko starts taking pictures with her camera. Chinatsu really wants a picture of her and Yui to be her wallpaper. No, not her computer. Her room wallpaper! Kyouko takes rapid shots of Akari and wants her to move rapidly too. After all that tiring movements, it is only one shot. Each time Yui tries to take a photo of Kyouko, she somehow blinks. When Yui hugs Akari for a shot, this makes jealous Chinatsu enraged as she tries to tear apart Akari’s hair buns?! Trying to take a picture of Yui smile, although it is decent, she felt so embarrassed and locks herself inside the store. Kyouko reminds them this is the same camera that they took during the camp. With all the pictures printed out, it brings back fond memories of their trip. Nice pictures. Embarrassing pictures. ‘Miracle’ pictures. Yeah, all kinds. They show them to the student council and they too remember lots of nice memories. Maybe not so for Himawari because Sakurako tried to take angle shots of her certain body parts. Strained friendship again? Eventually with all the good memories, they would like to go on another trip again. Everyone notices they have a picture of their sleeping face taken. With Kyouko the only one without, they suspect it is her. Yes it is! Don’t worry. She’ll frame them up nicely! Maybe only Chinatsu wants one on Yui.

Episode 2
When Sakurako wants to express her gratitude, Himawari can’t believe it. Is she sick? But learning her reason to do so, she might be better off apologizing than giving thanks. Kyouko arrives early at Yui’s house but instead of doing their homework, she wants to play a Smash Bros spoof video game instead. Yui easily defeats her and on the rematch, Kyouko beats her once before falling into the losing streak again. When Akari and Chinatsu arrive, Yui whispers her plan to take a photo of Kyouko’s sleeping face to get even. Meanwhile the student council buddies hang out at Sakurako’s place and for her to show her gratitude to Ayano, she seems to be doing lots of extreme things. Like pouring her tea filled to the brim and constantly feeding her curry meal. Into the night, Kyouko and co play an Animal Crossing spoof video game. The rest are annoyed as Kyouko has dug lots of pits around. Similarly, the student council quartet also play this game and Sakurako too had dug lots of holes around. It is going to take a while to put Kyouko to bed since she is a late sleeper. Chinatsu’s idea of sumo wrestling only serves to make her more awake. When Yui suggests doing homework, Kyouko falls asleep. But they can’t take her picture yet as she is just lightly asleep. If keeping Akari awake is a challenge, it is going to be more so when Kyouko sleeps faces down. Yui uses a rum raisin ice cream lure to make her face back up. Finally they take a picture and go to sleep. Next morning, they show Kyouko the picture. She laments she wanted in on the action but it seems Kyouko will have the last laugh. Because deep into the night she recorded their sleeping faces! Well, she went to bed early, right? Man, they’re talking funny things in their sleep. What are the chances of her deleting it? Ayano wants to thank Sakurako for the hospitality and gladly shares her pudding. But Sakurako is enjoying them so much that she finishes it all! No more left!

Summer’s Over…
Hmm… I fear that maybe having too much appetizers before the main course would spoil the entire dinner. Although I still find the special extra episodes funny, somehow I don’t find myself laughing as hard as I did in the OVA. Could it be the case of the series reaching its saturation point? I hope not. If so, then this would spell some sort of disaster and an indication of things to come if I am going to start watching the next season. I also hope I am thinking too much and this might just be just one off. But fear not. At least the nonsensically named opening theme, Yurishurashushushu by the same quartet still retains its quirkiness, liveliness and cuteness as it brings that faint reminiscent of the opening theme in the OVA. The same can be said about the ending theme, Ohirune Universe. Now that I am all set for the third season, I hope there are no snacking and other side dishes distractions that will get in between as I start enjoying sinking my teeth into them lolis! Whoops! Let me rephrase that. As I start sinking my teeth and enjoy the show. I hope nobody takes a picture of my funny face as I watch the series…

Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso

November 15, 2015

Child prodigies in music can go a long way. I suppose that is why many mothers try to pound music into their child from a very tender young age so that they can become good musicians in the future. Call it some sort of investment but what happens when that ‘investment’ turns bad? So much for that promising future. So happen that our main character in Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso (Your Lie In April) was a piano prodigy till a tragic shocking event made him lose interest and turn a blind eye to the music world, preferring to live the mundane and boring life like any boring other human being. So how do you get an ex-musician back into his old passion again? Get another musician to ignite that passion again? I’m sure not any ordinary or genius musician would do. Somebody crazy and free spirited enough to make him jump back into the passion he once left behind.

Episode 1
Kousei Arima is transcribing music notes in the music room when suddenly a baseball crashes through the window hitting him right on the head! He is bleeding! Blame his childhood friend, Tsubaki Sawabe for that reckless move but she doesn’t sound so remorseful. Somebody has got to clean this up. Of course, they got lectured by the vice principal. For an hour. Walking back with their friend Ryouta Watari, they talk about his playboy character. Lots of girls seem to like him. Kousei doesn’t understand what they see in him but as for himself, he notes girls wouldn’t want to fall for a guy like him. Yeah well, this short flashback tells us he is some sort of piano prodigy. Already playing at some high level competition at such a young tender age but he cracked during it and that was the end of his piano days. Tsubaki talks to Kousei that there is a classmate of hers who likes Watari and wants to get to know him. She plans on introducing her to him but it will be awkward if there would be an odd number of people. So she wants him to come along too. Because she is also into classical music, she thought they have something in common. However Kousei says he has not played the piano for 2 years and the songs he is transcribing are just for his part time job (for karaoke outlets, etc). Tsubaki doesn’t care what reasons he gave because it feels like he is still desperately trying to cling onto it. She thinks he is way cooler when he played the piano.

More flashbacks. Kousei’s mom, Saki had a dream of turning her son into a world class pianist. As she ran a piano school, she trained him like the Spartan way to become one. It was hell as a kid. If he did the slightest mistake, he was beaten up. But as long as it makes her happy, he didn’t mind enduring the torture. Her dream was also to have him perform in some European competition. But 3 years ago just when he finally has his sights on that competition, mom died. So maybe that is why he is still clinging on to piano. Take away that and he has nothing. Kousei waits at the park they are supposed to meet. However he finds a pair of female shoes and spats pants on a tree! Did somebody get raped? Nearby the playground, there is this beautiful girl, Kaori Miyazono is helping a bunch of kids play the melodian. Soon they engage in a mini ensemble of their own and play a simple yet beautiful music. Kousei wanted to snap a picture of this when the wind blew. It blew up her skirt. Kaori saw this. Not good. She tries to beat up this pervert (with a recorder) and accuses him as a voyeur. Sorry to interrupt your beating but Tsubaki introduces Kaori to Watari. Although Kaori gets back to her polite mode, she warns Kousei not to even mention that embarrassing scene. I’m not sure if it’s an insult or not because Tsubaki wants Kousei to continue playing the supporting role and for now he will be known as just Friend A. Kaori is also a violinist and the reason she is here is because there is a music competition in the hall nearby that she is participating in. Oh, look at the time. Time to go. Kaori takes Kousei’s hand as they make a dash there.

Episode 2
The moment they step into the auditorium, those traumatic memories of Saki pops up. I guess it is that bad. But luckily he is still in control of himself. Also, many people here recognize Kousei although they’re just whispering about that prodigy kid who suddenly went out of the scene a couple of years ago. The competition begins (Watari fell asleep right away!) and after a few competitors, it is now Kaori’s turn (Watari instantly wakes up to cheer on her!). However the piece she plays shook everybody up. She improvises the piece on her own. While this is creative, this does not sit well with head judge who feels this is blasphemy and picking a fight with the composer. Of course even if this is much more interesting than the other by-the-book competitors as some of the judges see, this is still a competition. Which means if you don’t follow a set of rules, out you go. But Kousei can see how happy she was while she was playing. Like as though winning this competition is not what she is looking for. During the break, a couple of young girls hand a bouquet of flowers to her and proclaim they have become her fans. The names of those who passed the first preliminaries are announced. Kaori made it based on audience choice. While Kousei has a lot on his mind, Watari comes to talk to him and thinks he likes Kaori. Although he denies, Watari starts blabbing about the sparkles that you can see in one’s eyes when they are in love. That is why people irrationally fall in love. Still think it is impossible for you? Well, the girl will tell you whether it is impossible or not. Tsubaki than barges in to give Watari an earful because he made one of his girlfriends cried. Better make up quick. When Kousei goes home, he sees Kaori outside the gates waiting for Watari. He knows he won’t come as he has walked home with that girlfriend and lies he might still be in football practice. She thought of going to take a peek but he lies about the club being busy preparing for the summer tournament. It might disrupt them. In that case, Kaori appoints Kousei as his substitute.

Episode 3
As Kousei accompanies Kaori at a café, after hearing a couple of young girls playing the piano, Kaori forces Kousei to accompany them. His finger play is creative and attracted the attention of the entire café but suddenly he stops. The trauma. Sorry. He can’t go on. Later, Kaori reveals she actually knows who he is. She lists down some of his accolades and his precision playing. It is the reason why many take inspiration in music and look up to him. Every musician in this generation has heard of him. He reveals he cannot hear the piano sound. It was okay at first but as he progresses, he cannot hear them anymore. But Kaori has decided to appoint him as her accompanist for the next round. No buts. Because he is still reluctant, you can see Kaori chasing and harassing him on the way to school about this! So once Tsubaki learns about this, she becomes her accomplice in harassing Kousei to make him bend and accept Kaori’s request. Yup. She went so far as to copy manuscripts of the piece Kaori will be playing and stick it all over the music room, stuff it in his locker and even back in his room and outside her window (they’re neighbours too by the way)! Kousei is stubborn and won’t give in. Kaori wonders why Tsubaki is adamant to bring Kousei back to the piano life. It doesn’t matter to her if he plays piano or not. But if he wants to quit, he has to do it on his own terms. Ever since that day, he has been trapped with no place to go. She is sure something will change if he plays the piano again. On the day of the second preliminaries, Kousei is shocked to see Kaori looking for him at the rooftop instead of being at the auditorium. Well, she’s looking all over for him. She’s still a stubborn one too. After a good beating up, he continues to give excuses why he can’t play or live up to her expectations. But she chides him that he is just running away. Kousei remembers on that day when he couldn’t hear the sound of the piano anymore right in the middle of the competition. Everyone thought he cracked under pressure and his competitors were happy to have less one rival. Kaori says they might not be the best performance but as long as there is a chance, she will still play and there will be an audience. The people who have heard her will remember her. And then suddenly she bows her head and starts crying! Please support her! Ah, tears of a girl enough to make a guy change his mind and heart. Kousei now knows what Watari told him about the girl knowing about it. Tsubaki and Watari were also finding him. After beating him up, they rush all the way there. It’s already unthinkable that they’re skipping class, I don’t know whose bicycles they stole but hold on for the ride of their lives!

Episode 4
Kousei remembers Saki’s strict lessons to make him precisely remember the scores. He heard everybody badmouthing this ‘torture’ like as though he is a machine. He felts sad that nobody understood and that he was the only one on her side. At the backstage and before their turn, Kousei is running nervous because he is trying to get a feel of the notes but is not confident. So much so he is ignoring Kaori showing off her new dress. She head butts him and tells him to look at her. Now that he is calmed down, she believes he can do this. Their turn is called and Kousei views her as the freedom. But she corrects him: Music is freedom. Once they take stage, many are shocked to see Kousei as her accompanist. Everything starts well. Even Kaori is playing like the textbook. Till she starts going creative. Then when he starts seeing visions of Saki, that is when Kousei starts losing it. His sound is so obviously out of place that even the audience can pick it up. Kousei starts panicking he cannot hear the notes. Then he completely stops. Some believe this is a good move because he might destroy the violinist’s performance. Then she completely stops. What’s going on? She wants to take this from the top again (it is permissible as long as the performance is within the time limit). She starts off solo while Kousei just sits there. Then he thinks back and tells himself to focus. Even if he can’t hear the notes, he has seen the score everywhere for the entire week. Use his imagination. He starts playing again although their sound is still all over the place. He then remembers a gentler lesson from Saki of not pounding the piano with force but to touch it gently with a smile. Now that Kousei is getting his groove, the judges can tell that he is trying to outdo the violinist! It’s like they’re both ‘fighting’ to take the limelight! But still, this is what gets the audience entranced. Kousei is glad he Kaori moved him and can hear her sound. It ends with a bang and the crowd applause so loud that you think this is a rock concert! Those people who hated him now love him? Shortly, Kaori collapses.

Episode 5
Flashback shows Tsubaki and the kids used to jump off a bridge called Bridge of Bravery into the shallow stream below. She also used to shove Kousei off. At first, he was scared but after the first try, he wants more! Kaori is recuperating well in hospital. Well, it’s Tsubaki’s fault for barging in without knocking while she is changing so why do the guys have to get beaten up? The collapse is her first time and it is all thanks to the stress of trying to chase a certain guy to be her accompaniment. Yeah, it’s your fault. Despite so, Kaori never really scolded him although he expected it. Also, he hasn’t been playing the piano since because he thought it would be the only thing he is good at. Is that a bad thing? Besides, can he forget it? So we’ve got a long drama of Kousei thinking about Kaori on how she refused to give up and supported him. We take a short detour as we see Tsubaki meeting up with her baseball senior, Saitou who is now in his high school first year. Just like any other girls, she also liked this ex-captain with lots of cool qualities. But why does she need to compare him with Kousei? Anyway, it seems she didn’t expect this. A scene that looked like Saitou confessing to her. She looks confused after that and despite all that, she didn’t feel the shining spark she expected. Once Kaori is out from hospital, Kousei sees her doing well interacting with Watari. I guess this means he doesn’t need to interrupt? On the way back, he bumps into her on the bridge. She exaggerates disappointment he didn’t get her another get-well presents so he agrees to do whatever she wants. All part of her plan? She wants him to enter a piano competition. It is his turn. He is in a dilemma to do so because he abandoned music and doesn’t deserve to be a performer. Kaori feels many musicians are in the same boat. At first they don’t want to do it but will pick it back up and start playing. That is how you make the most beautiful lie. Since they’re just 14, they should do whatever they want. To prove it, she jumps off the bridge. Kousei gets inspired by her and also does the same. He realizes that there is no way he could forget it.

Episode 6
When Kousei was young, he scraped his knee. He was crying all the way while poor Tsubaki had to carry him back. But she was relieved it wasn’t his hands that were hurt or else Saki would have killed her!!! Kaori sees Kousei’s messy piano room and tries to clean it! Then she starts getting emotional and apologizing. When she opens the window for fresh air, neighbour Tsubaki is in full view of this and gets the wrong idea. Wow. She can throw a chair across? Thanks to that, she’s pretty fired up during her baseball practice. Kaori plays an out of tune recording of Kousei playing Chopin’s Etude. He can’t believe it is him. Since she has already registered him for the competition, no b*tching about it and get practising. But first he needs to do mental imaging because he will still have to play even if he can’t hear the notes. Kousei seems struggling and suffering trying to get it right practice after practice so Kaori goes to talk to him again and why the heck does she feel bad for it? Wasn’t she the one who put him up to this? Instead, he is grateful that he met her even though this challenge is hard, at least it is fulfilling. Kousei and Kaori go to support Tsubaki’s baseball team and of course this means Tsubaki can’t concentrate on her game because her mind is being preoccupied about Kousei. She’s worried that his eyes are turning to someone else and not her? I should have guessed it. Thanks to that, not only she hurt her ankle but the team lost the game. Now it is Kousei’s turn to carry her back. They talk about things. Kousei sounds more positive now as he is going to give his best while she watches him with a smile. He comments on her light weight and she is not happy???!!! I don’t understand???!!! But anyway that sounded like a signal for Tsubaki to cry her heart out on his back. Sad but relieved. She is glad to be by his side and hopes this moment will last forever. At least in your heart. Meanwhile a couple of contenders for the piano competition are ‘happy’ that Kousei is participating because now they can get revenge for some past humiliation.

Episode 7
Feels like a horror prologue… Because a black cat is talking to Kousei asking/telling him who he is and where he is going. Watari’s friends come to support him in his football game although too bad his team lost. Watari may put up a cool front but in the toilet he lets it all go. So I guess Kousei is the only one whose ‘season’ is still alive. As he continues practising his piece, that cat trauma turns up. He reveals to Kaori that he had a black cat named Chelsea when he was a kid. It would steal his candies when he was not looking. One day, Chelsea scratched his hand. Lots of blood. Mother got up and got rid of it. That was the last he saw of Chelsea. He thought had he done something, things might turn out different. Therefore the scars left behind by Chelsea remind him of Saki. He feels he is in Saki’s shadow but Kaori says he is who he is. The next time this cat trauma shows up, Kousei isn’t that scared. Yeah, what a way to remind him tomorrow is the big day. Those kids who want their humiliation avenged, Emi Igawa and Takeshi Aiza (his towering spikey hair – is he trying to be the Super Saiyan of classical music?!), they still hold the grudge over Kousei because he ignored them. Hey, could you blame a kid for not being interested in anyone, not even himself? So you shouldn’t be pissed off when he doesn’t recognize you. He never knew you in the first place. Watari heard lots of contestants not having good words of Kousei. Kaori explains Kousei’s notorious reputation as a human metronome as he played scores to exact precision. Like as though he is made to win competitions, something that those who want to seek out more in music aren’t happy of. In other words, they’re just jealous, right? The competition starts and everyone is not spared from the jitter and nervousness. Kousei is trying to calm himself. It is Takeshi’s turn. Although he is last year’s winner, he has a darn good reason he is participating in it again by turning down overseas exposure and another piano competition.

Episode 8
Takeshi tells his teacher, Takayanagi that there is a damn good reason he turned down that German invitation and wants to play in this competition: Kousei. His goal in life is not to go overseas or play in some other big competition. It is to face him in competition again. Takayanagi can’t be more grateful for Kousei because of his existence, it brings out the best in Takeshi and matures him. So he plays a stunning piece and realizes his hands were only trembling after he returns to the backstage. He thought he could rub it in to Kousei who has been watching but he thanks him for a great play and Takeshi is flattered by that. What the heck is this bromance feel? Takayanagi goes to brag to Emi’s teacher, Ochiai but she fires back how Emi will reign supreme today. Despite Takeshi’s improvement over the years, Emi was the fickle one and went the other direction. But thanks to Kousei, the obstacle she was supposed to overcome has returned. Emi remembers attending a recital that Kousei was in. She was dozing off thanks to the super boredom when this clumsy guy took centre stage. But when he started playing, she started sitting up and was impressed. Her future was decided. Kousei made a mistake and in that short silence, Emi started to cry out loud. Now it is Emi’s turn. She starts off normally before her furious finger work becomes like the raging wave, like as if her emotions surge uncontrollably, pouring ever emotion into her play. She’s playing in hopes Kousei would return to his former self, the guy she always admired. Her sound has Kousei sees colour of red and yellow. A play that indicates anger and loneliness. And when she’s done, everyone applauses so loud that you might think this was a rock concert.

Episode 9
For almost 5 minutes of the opener we see why young Emi tossed away everything after hearing her first Kousei’s performance so that she could be the best pianist. So after that heart pounding performance, she grabs Kousei by the shirt before apologizing. Keep calm, girl! No confession whatsoever. Well, she did hint she poured her entire feelings in her piano. And now it is Kousei’s turn and everyone is waiting in baited breath. Nobody understands why he chose an easy piece seeing he can play complex ones without any mistakes. Turns out Kaori used her pencil to randomly pick this Chopin piece. So Kousei is out on stage and is about to get started. But when he sees a girl holding a stuffed doll cat, those damn traumas start coming back. He braves them as he begins his play. All while remembering how he always believed winning and being number one would make Saki feel better because that is what she always said. His achievements are the best medicine. He is doing fine until visions of scary Saki pops up. Is she trying to screw with him? More flashbacks of Kousei continue to practice and skip playing with his friends just to become the best. And naturally other jealous people start calling him names for being perfect. He always believed Saki was sick because he did not play the way she told him. One day, Saki got special permission to watch him perform on stage. Again he won and it was simply one of his best. But after the show, Saki beats him up in public for making puny errors here and there!!! She’s scolding him about practice and all that, not even caring about him bleeding all over. That is when Kousei snapped. He told her off he worked his ass hard all for her to get better. All he wanted was mom to be happy. And yet this sh*t. If she could just die… Those were the last words he said to her and shortly she passed away. It is business as usual for him as he continued playing in the finals like as though her death didn’t affect him. But each time he peeps at the special spot where Saki used to sit, he could see her and perhaps it is his punishment for not being able to hear his own playing. Speaking of which, it has become obvious right now and everyone is noticing it.

Episode 10
Everyone is starting to wonder if this is Chopin he is playing. It’s so rough and uneven. Kousei is still fighting his inner demons. Saki continuing to haunt him that this is his punishment for rejecting her dream. The way he plays now indicates that he might stop completely in the middle of his performance (which amounts to disqualification) and when he couldn’t take it no more, he completely ceases to play. That’s the end. But his thoughts are now on Kaori. The things she said to him. The things she asked him. He finally has a reason why and who he should play the piano for. He will play it for her. He then restarts his play again. Slowly it changes to one whereby everybody could hear the sparkle and the warmth of his true emotions in it. His transformation has everyone think there were like 3 different pianists playing this piece. He remembers Kaori’s words that they may not be able to give a performance they can live with but as long there is an opportunity and audience that will listen, they will play. Play in a way that people will not forget them. So Kousei is thanking Kaori from the bottom of his heart and when it ends, it took the audience some time to realize they should applause! Heck, they are even in a dilemma if his performance was good or bad. But there is no regret on Kousei’s face when he takes his bow to the audience. To him, only one person matters right now. Has it reached her? He sees visions of scary Saki at her special spot. But that soon turned into a bright sparkling smile! Trauma defeated!

Episode 11
During the break when Kousei walks pass the judges, the old guy told him a competition is a sacred garden of music and not a place for soul searching. Then he is met with Hiroko Seto, Saki’s college friend and Japan’s leading pianist. After remembering a little nostalgia with him, she teases him which of the girls he is in love with. She can tell from his playing. It was screaming of confession. But Kousei doesn’t view it like that. It was just gratitude for the girl who is the girlfriend of his best friend. His is just Friend A. Wasn’t that episodes ago? When the results come out, obviously Kousei’s name is not there. He notices the joy of those who advance and disappointment of those who didn’t. Takeshi confronts him about his sloppy play. Kousei says he isn’t slacking and was practising till he passed out. Since he is still on a journey, he doesn’t know what lies ahead. Just like them as musicians, he’ll keep going. When Hiroko rings Kousei’s doorbell and didn’t get any reply, she fears the worst. His place is in a mess and he is collapsed before his piano. Don’t worry. He didn’t resurrect as a zombie. He was playing all night till he passed out. Kaori receives an invitation to play for a gala concert. Not only her but Kousei as well. She suggests playing a chilly piece instead of something more popular because with everybody else doing the same, they’ll stand out more doing the opposite. Kousei remembers Hiroko asking him what made him took up piano again after 2 years. He described the weird violinist he met back in April. She made him see something he had never seen before on stage. He would like to see that again as a weird pianist. If that is the case, Hiroko will become his guardian and help coach him piano. Kousei and Kaori are watching the fireflies at the riverbank. He says something about setting out on a journey and keep going till he can walk by her side. But she mentions that she won’t always be around to help him.

Episode 12
Kaori abuses Kousei if he doesn’t concentrate. How is this different from Saki’s treatment? Kousei is thinking about the piece Kaori chose in which a piano accompaniment was written by another composer. Because this piece brings back lots of memories that Saki used to play while as a toddler and he used to sleep under the piano while she does that. Too bad that trauma is working up so Hiroko takes him to the festivals to chill out. He still thinks mom hates him but Hiroko explains otherwise. When he told her to die, she was actually shocked but happy that he grew up as a pianist and person. And all this time he has always tried to forget about her… Now he has to continue to play not only to mature as a pianist but to say goodbye. Kousei brings Kaori home and since it is late, her baker dad almost clobbered him till he realizes this is Kousei. Because her parents are big fans of his, they treat him to all the nice cakes. Kousei you lucky bastard!!! I want those sweets! So more ‘abuse’ from Kaori when he doesn’t ‘get it right’ so the friends chill out playing sparklers. A friend asks the musicians about their future high school plans and assumes they are going to a music college. Kaori has not thought that far. All she is thinking how is to rock the audience at the gala concert. Tsubaki perhaps got a little jealous that Kousei is close to Kaori so she accidentally pushes him into the pool. Trauma time…

He remembers Hiroko telling him about this ‘gift’ of not being able to hear himself play. Something about his technical ability to pull it off. Whatever. Then his fingers naturally start moving as he starts playing air piano. Or is it water piano? Luckily he won’t be going to his watery grave as Watari pulls him out. Tsubaki cannot be more relieved because she doesn’t want to be blamed for him being drowned in a shallow pool! But Kousei starts thinking that light can reach to the bottom is it because of the shallowness or the moon light? On the day of the gala concert, Kaori is nowhere to be seen! Kousei is panicking more than anybody else! How ironic. If you’re wondering why a ninja is here at the concert, take note it is Emi in disguise. But she can’t fool Ochiai. And you can’t fool us with that tsundere attitude claiming she is NOT here for Kousei. Hiroko tries to get the management to change the order since this is not a competition and they should be more flexible. Well, not likely. Because everybody is anticipating a lot of Kaori’s performance. Everybody. Hiroko thought Toshiya Miike would help them swap places but he won’t because stealing the spotlight as the last performance belongs to him. Then he goes on to criticize Kaori’s chaotic playing which isn’t music at all and therefore she can only blame herself for being late on this day. I guess they’ll have to cancel their performance. Although Kousei is not angry at Miike, he agrees to follow the programme but proclaims it will be them who will steal the spotlight. Kousei walks onto the stage alone. The audience just keep getting surprised, eh?

Episode 13
Hiroko used to come over to Saki’s house each time she had a fight with her husband. Be careful about the songs you sing about him because Kousei can imitate them! Upon learning Kousei can play the piano, she wants this genius to do so. Kousei heads out alone to prove that he is the best. He doesn’t play the accompaniment piece but the one that mom used to play as his lullaby. To experts, they feel he is just pounding the keys away to vent out his anger. Kousei still cannot hear the notes but he could feel the sound resonating from within. That is when his sound starts to change to a better one. Everybody is now in awe. Hiroko remembers scolding Saki for reprimanding Kousei in public. Saki regretted it but she laments she doesn’t have enough time left. That is why when Kousei first broke down, Hiroko felt she was guilty for dragging him into this and didn’t feel she had the right to be with him. In Saki’s last breath, she has always been worried about her son. She believed as long as he had the skills he would be able to support himself. She really wanted to stay with him longer but could only wonder if her precious treasure will find happiness. Kousei has always used images of Saki as an excuse to run away. She isn’t here anymore. She is inside him. At the end of his play, everybody is so stunned that they forgot to applause! He leaves the stage as this song is supposed to be his goodbye to her. At the backstage, Kousei is shaking. She could feel like his mom was touching him while playing. He breaks down wondering if he has reached Saki. Of course it did. Now that everybody has heard the best, they don’t feel like hearing anything else. Heck, even Miike is shaking in fear of Kousei’s awesomeness. But seeing his mom in the audience, he vows to do better. At least he got the audience’s attention. Watari and Tsubaki go to congratulate Kousei but Tsubaki seems loss for words. Do the feelings of the heart have something to do with it? Ochiai talks to Hiroko and she never thought she was Kousei’s mentor. They talk about the tragic loss of Saki that affected everyone especially Kousei. But if this triggered something in him, this grim path is what Kousei must take. He might have to lose someone to keep walking. If you’re wondering where Kaori is, wonder no more. Kousei visits her in hospital. Don’t worry. She looks fine. I think.

Episode 14
Kousei thought Kaori looked like Saki hospitalized in bed. His memories messing up with his mind again, huh? Thankfully Kaori is doing well and although she wanted to call him to cancel their performance, she didn’t manage to do it in time. She collapsed when she tripped and banged her head on the wall. Kaori heard from Watari about his solo performance and laughs her heart out because it just sounds ridiculous for a pianist to play in a concert for violinists. Whose fault was it? All Kousei is concerned is if she would be coming back and that if he could see her again. Nao Kashiwagi talks to Tsubaki if she is still going out with Saitou. Of course. Well, she thought she had already broken up with him. Is breaking up a trend these days? If she is still with him, what about Kousei then? Why does she have to bring up his name? Tsubaki views him as her kid brother but Kashiwagi doesn’t look convinced. Kashiwagi talks to Watari because she is worried about Tsubaki and wants her smiling again. All he can say is that Tsubaki must realize herself that Kousei isn’t her kid brother anymore. Usually you don’t realize these things till it is too late… So we have Tsubaki reminiscing her younger days with Kousei but she is always forced to play alone since Kousei had piano lessons. Now she is pondering her relationship with Kousei and Saitou. What are they to her. Does she like him? Does she not like him? Suddenly Kousei comes running to her. He is frantic. He heard from Kashiwagi that she was in trouble and ran all the way to look for her. Turns out to be just a prank and false alarm? They spend some time walking together. She notes how much she has changed. Every time their eyes meet, her heart skips. Then Kousei drops a bombshell. He is going to a high school with a music course. This means he will be leaving home. Instantly Tsubaki runs away and starts crying like somebody has died. It is that feeling again. Music is taking her kid brother away. She realizes she has always taken him for granted to be by her side. The times they spent together, she really wanted it to go on forever like this. She wants Kousei to always be by her side.

Episode 15
Tsubaki… So gloomy… So much on her mind… Can’t hide it well… So much so one evening, Saitou tells her there is another girl he likes! He thinks they’re too similar to be with each other. Is he dumping her? Well, he notices she seems uncomfortable whenever around him. So let’s break up before it’s too late. Already broken hearted, you’re going to add to her misery? See? She’s crying now. And apologizing. Odd. He is the one dumping her (out of kindness) and she’s the one crying. So she talks to Kousei about this but gets mad that he is playing his piano instead of comforting her! And when he treats her nice, she doesn’t want him to! WTF???!!! So now you wonder why it’s hard to understand woman! Anyway, crying her heart out is all she can do. It makes her feel better. Kousei seems to be in a dilemma to visit Kaori. But a streak of bad luck strikes him that includes a little girl, Nagi Aiza dropping on him! He brings her back to his home and when she wakes up, she is in awe to see Hiroko as she is a big fan of her. As she is a student from a prestigious music school, she wants Hiroko to be her teacher. If she could convince her with her piano skills. Nagi doesn’t disappoint so Hiroko agrees to do so. But there’s a catch. She makes Kousei be her teacher. Kousei yet again gets cold feet to visit Kaori. So much so she has to call and scold him about his no-show. Something about Kousei comparing her to a cat. That’s why he loves her so much. I take it. He is a cat person. As Kaori returns to her room, suddenly she feels something wrong with her body. From what I can see, her legs will not move. As much as she ‘orders’ her legs to get up, they’re just sitting there nice and pretty. Time to panic? Scream! Screaming in the hospital hallway… At night…

Episode 16
OMG! Kaori is bleeding too! Let’s hope she’s fine after that. Kousei gives his harsh and honest opinion on Nagi’s playing. Nagi believes in playing the score as it is because she views it as sacred but Kousei doesn’t since scores are just emotional works of humans. That’s why it clings onto her like shackles. I guess Kaori is well enough to sneak out of hospital and go meet Kousei. Since Watari is not around, looks like he’ll be her substitute again. This time some sort of hell shopping. Kaori is just excited in fighting for the sales bin to even helping a lost girl. Kousei is her donkey… Thanks to this, he can’t get back in time for Nagi’s lessons. Hiroko wonders why she is quick to lash out at him. She doesn’t want to lose to him. Hiroko warns her Kousei is like her son and if she puts him in danger, it will be the end of her. She agreed to take Nagi as her student in hopes of showing something else other than sorrow. Kousei knows Kaori has lied to him when she brings him back to school to retrieve her lost bag. She never had a bag in the first place. She talks about being forgotten and as he cycles her back, she starts crying. He didn’t have the heart to ask her why. As Kousei continues his harsh lessons on Nagi, she feels like slamming on his fingers and poking on his eyes. But remember what Hiroko said, right? Yeah, she even comes up with an assassination plan. But I doubt it would work since she starts crying and running away after another tough lesson. So he goes make peace with her and they indirectly talk about Kaori (hinting she is the person he likes – we all know that already, don’t we?). When everybody visits Kaori, Kashiwagi shocks them all by revealing Kousei is coaching a girl. How come she knows this but everybody doesn’t? So is he trying to cheat on Kaori? Hey, there is a hickey on his sleeve! Is he giving her some sort of ‘lesson’? Ah, cheeky Nagi planted it there to give him hell. Kaori starts scolding Kousei that he shouldn’t waste his time coaching somebody and should dedicate it to practise his piano more. It hits breaking point when she starts crying. Nagi talks about wanting to destroy Kousei. Giving him a noble sacrifice? What? She returns home and you should have guessed it by now. She is Takeshi’s sister. When Kousei returns to see Kaori again, she suggests committing double suicide?! Isn’t that what lovers do?

Episode 17
Kaori is just joking about it. Is she? Kousei becomes so depressed it is so obvious and he couldn’t concentrate on his piano practice. Nagi goes to talk to him to cheer him up or something. This gloominess also reminds her about Takeshi when he experienced something similar. When Watari confronts Kousei about being a wuss to visit Kaori, that guy breaks down like it is some serious trouble. He is at a loss what to do. It seems Kaori hinted that she has not much time left and this brought back traumatic memories of his mom. History repeating itself? As Kousei is unsure of what to say to Kaori, Watari is sure he’ll figure it out when the time comes. So Kousei visits her again. Still not sure what to say. She suggests forgetting it all like pressing the reset button. He didn’t like that. They started arguing. Keep it down. You’re in the hospital. Nagi is shocked that Kousei requests to play at her school cultural festival. I guess there is no reason to turn him down. And she revels in seeing him grovel before her. Nagi practises hard but I guess the high expectations got to her. She runs away and hides in the toilet. This scene reminds Hiroko of how Kousei became scared for the first time. History repeating itself? She calms her down about the reason why she became a pianist. On the big day, Kousei sees Nagi very nervous. Her hands are trembling. He holds it (not because this is sexual harassment) and she could feel his are shaking too. A few words of motivation before it is their turn to take the stage.

Episode 18
Everyone is shocked to see Kousei with Nagi. Especially big brother Takeshi. What is this never seen before pairing? Duh. Things start well till people notice the change in sound. Kousei is trying to steal the spotlight and putting Nagi under tremendous pressure. But she won’t give him and tries to outdo him. Watari uses his handphone as live recording for Kaori to hear. Nagi thinks back of all the hard work and dedicated practice and it is starting to pay off. She remembers she started playing the piano to get her brother’s attention. She wonders if her feelings reached him. At the end of the song, she gets a standing ovation. Kousei wonders if his has reached Kaori. I think so. She’s playing her air violin all the while. At the backstage, angry brother confronts Kousei for being so clingy to Nagi. Takeshi doesn’t like how close they are so Nagi defends Kousei that he has taught her a lot and given her lots of precious experiences. Hey, doesn’t that sound ambiguous? Takeshi is defeated and vows to defeat him at the next competition in December. After all the drama is over, Nagi can heave a sigh of relief and shed those tears she’s been holding back. At the end of the festival, Miike confronts Nagi and is curious to know why she has a close relationship with Kousei. The argument ends with him on the losing end. Yeah Kousei, you’re so famous now everybody wants a piece of you. Later when Kousei visits Kaori, she’s calling him a jerk for making her listen to his music when she can’t even pick up an instrument. Was it his fault? Kousei continues being a heartless jerk because he won’t want to see this end. Instead, he wants another chance to stand with her and perform with him another time. Time for her to dream again. You heartless jerk. You’re making her cry now. But tears of joy.

Episode 19
The doctor is telling the risk to Kaori of undergoing surgery. She’ll do it. When Kousei comes to visit her, she is not in her room. Fearing the worst might have happened, Kaori’s parents bring him to another building where Kaori is undergoing rehabilitation to walk again. They thank him for giving Kaori the resolve to go through it all instead of giving up. Tsubaki must be feeling superior that she got a B for the test that nobody expects. Till Kashiwagi brings her down by deducing it may be love. Tsubaki is worried about Kousei for not studying for the test so Kashiwagi explains that if he is going to be admitted into a music oriented school, his performance and achievement is everything because this upcoming competition is the best place to advertise yourself. Schools would want to take in the best to increase their reputation. Therefore he is trying this best in this do or die competition. So stop being jealous of music and root for him. Tsubaki visits Kousei’s home. It is in a mess since he is busy practising. She plays barber and cuts his hair. On the day of the competition, Kousei is eating his sandwich in the hallway. Emi gives him that stare. Care to join in? Takeshi who is just fresh from vomiting sees this odd scene. Care to join in? And so the 3 strange bedfellows talk about sandwiches… Well, at least it was an ice breaker. It is Takeshi’s turn to play. So while he struts his stuff, we see him narrating his past that he was always bored and tried everything, including playing piano. He met his match when he couldn’t best Kousei or Emi. Then he realized he has looking up to Kousei as his hero or something. At the end of his piece, everyone gives him a standing ovation. Okay, we get it. He has grown a lot. Back stage, they’re like friends but rivals. Even more boggling is how Takeshi warned Kousei not to make a move on Nagi but then wants him to or else people will think she isn’t cute! When all is done, Takeshi says goodbye to his mirage, his hero. Thanks for everything.

Episode 20
When Tsubaki was young and caught a cold, the kids were shocked that this gorilla got sick. But Kousei didn’t think she was a gorilla. She’s a girl. Then there is that flashback whereby Kousei’s mom got rid of Chelsea and Kousei tried looking for it after that. He couldn’t find it so Tsubaki consoled him that he was running around to look for it and couldn’t find it because he was good at hiding things. She promised to stay by his side always. Now that the sky is starting to pour, Kousei and Tsubaki take shelter nearby. She’s reminding him that Kaori is Watari’s boyfriend, blah, blah, blah. In that case, he has no choice but to fall in love with her. My, have you seen Kousei so surprised eyes wide open like that? Then Tsubaki kicks his shin claiming it was just a joke. But why run away so hard in the rain and crying? So it’s really obvious that Tsubaki almost killed Kashiwagi during baseball practice when her bat accidentally slips from her hand and almost to her head when the latter asks if she and Kousei had a fight. Not really. She just kicked his shin. Poor Kousei is more confused about women because if Tsubaki said something like that, was it really a joke? And then he got hammered by Hiroko for not concentrating on his practice. More misery for Kousei about understanding women because despite telling him to come visit her often, now she tells him not to and continue his practice. Then she calls him again just to marvel at a low flying plane. It made him think how she always bombards him with things from a different angle. It makes him want to see her. When he visits the hospital again and bumps into Watari, he tells him that he likes Kaori. Best friend smiles. He knew it for a long time. So do we, like so many episodes ago. But before they can step into Kaori’s room, they see the doctor and nurses in a rush trying to bring Kaori back. Oh sh*t… Gloomy Kousei has no choice but to leave. More trauma for the night as a stray cat becomes a hit and run victim. Kousei rushes it to an animal hospital but it was already beyond saving. He washes himself up at the park. Thoughts of Kaori flow through his mind. I guess he has held in long enough. Time to scream out in despair.

Episode 21
Kaori is now in ICU. Her condition doesn’t look good. Now, if that itself is worrying, Kousei’s depression is going to make things worse. Yup, the way he is sitting all by himself in the dark and not answering calls is making everyone else to worry. You love making people worry about you, don’t you? Even if Hiroko tries to drag him to continue practice for the competition (not because she is cold hearted but perhaps to take his mind off the current situation), he is close to breaking down. Thankfully Kaori’s condition improves so this time Kousei visits her at hospital. Despite she is trying to be cheerful, that guy puts on the biggest gloom face. Need to get smacked? As he bought the chocolates she wanted, she wants him to carry her so that she could eat them outside. She tells him she is going for the surgery which happens to fall on the same date as the competition. As usual, this guy is being gloomy like the end of the world so Kaori uses her ‘magic’ to play her air violin to get through him. So good that it sounds so real! How is that for a miracle? Shortly, she semi-collapses into his arms. She wants to know more about him and is jealous of Tsubaki who does. Then she starts crying of not wanting to be left alone. That opened your eyes, boy? Competition day is here. Takeshi and Emi perform well but can the same be expected from Kousei? Man, he looks depressed still. Like as though he has got a hung over or something. When it is his turn, the moment he sits at the piano. The trauma starts haunting him. Just like déjà vu, huh? And the crowd who was so expecting this guy to strut his stuff fell into disbelieve that he might have caved under pressure. Again. So quiet the hall that you could probably here someone sneeze. Thanks Tsubaki. Even if that is unintentional. This sound wakes up Kousei and he starts realizing all that stuffs, blah, blah, blah and starts playing. And all the ‘experts’ can hear the rich, lively yet mournful colour.

Episode 22
Everyone is watching Kousei. He pays homage to all those who have brought him to where he is now. We get the idea. So for the first half of this finale, we see Kousei play his magnificent piece and he might be so desperate for Kaori to play with him that he starts imagining her playing her violin alongside him while it snows coloured snowdrops. When the song nears its end, he becomes scared to lose her. She’s fading away… At the end of the song, he is in tears and says his goodbye. The next scene is going to stop your heart for a second because we see Kousei at the graves! Kaori’s parents hand him a letter from their daughter addressed to him. So the remainder half of this episode narrates what Kaori wrote. I wonder if she really crammed so many words into a single page… Jokes aside, it starts off with her describing Kousei’s bad habits (why do I feel this is like a standard ice breaker these days) and then how she was entranced the first time he went on stage to play like a genius. That was the catalyst that made Kaori wanted to quit piano and play the violin because she wanted Kousei to play the piano for her. When she found out she went to the same middle school with him, she was elated but didn’t know how to approach him. As he is always with Watari and Tsubaki, it made it hard for her to get in and could only watch him. Her times spent going in and out of hospital increased. One night she caught her parents crying and she knew she had not much time left. That is when she decided to do whatever she wants to leave no regrets. From the way she played her music and how she ate her cakes wholly! Despite all that, she only told one lie: She fell in love with Watari. But that lie would bring her to Kousei. She also wanted to apologize to Tsubaki and didn’t want to leave an awkward mess for someone who is just passing. She knew Tsubaki liked him and didn’t have the guts to ask her straight up to introduce him to her. The rest of the letter briefly describes their time together. At the end, she confesses she loves him. Sorry and thank you. With this, Kousei vows to continue playing piano and won’t forget her. Or else her ghost will come back to haunt him? Lastly, enclosed is a photo she held dear to her heart. A photo of her young self and Kousei passing in the background. I know Tsubaki wants to kick him out of his depression but she literally kicks his shin and scolds him about staying as his guardian angel forever! So get use to it! Sure. Okay. Who else is left anyway?

A full flashback on our piano prodigy protagonists on how they first met and spurred them to become the greatest piano rivals of all time. So we are all familiar with that scene that Kousei debuted by fumbling with his piano chair that it made Emi fall asleep. But when he starts playing, it serves more than a wakeup call. Oh yeah. She started crying out loud! It got to her so much that she walked out of the hall even before her friend’s turn and then climbed the jungle gym to announce her fate that she will become the greatest piano. In tears. Wow. It’s like she just conquered something. In another competition, Emi thought of talking to Kousei but he is so deep in his score study that he ignores her! Oh wait. I don’t think she even exists. Because Takayanagi and Ochiai love ‘pissing’ each other off, what better way for Takeshi to hang out by sitting with Kousei and Emi. He thinks he has got this in the bag until Kousei’s perfect performance proves him wrong. Takeshi practises the same piece as instructed by Takayanagi but couldn’t get it right. Feeling bored? He decides to go spy on Kousei at his home and stalking from outside, he actually sat there the whole day hearing Kousei play the same piece over and over again. This gives Takeshi renewed determination to practice harder. However it is always Kousei grabbing first place and Takeshi second. Then in one competition, Emi’s performance blew Takeshi away. She even called him the fake Kousei! It affected him so bad that he barely made the top 10. Takeshi is set in disciplining himself to become the best pianist. This means giving up football or hanging out with his friends. But when he sees Kousei jumping off the Bridge of Bravery with his friends and putting on a smile he never sees before, screw this, Takeshi is going to do what he wants and play some football. Emi is also having it hard against Kousei. She thought choosing the same piece as Kousei would beat him but she was off. Now she doesn’t care about winning or losing. She just wants Kousei to come back. Yeah. At this point that kid is like a robot. She practises so hard that her hands start to hurt. But being unable to play the piano for a while taught her a valuable lesson: She loves playing the piano. She is motivated to get back to besting Kousei once she can play again. Speaking of which, Kousei is happy today because her mom is coming to watch…

Your Melodrama All Year Round
Perhaps I am not made for this kind of genres. At first it started out interesting because of the 2 contrasting characters Kousei and Kaori have and how it brings everything together especially for Kousei. And then it started to get draggy… Because I felt the entire series was just one big long dragged out drama about Kousei trying to come to terms his weakness and then overcoming it. Especially in the first half where they spam his trauma each time he takes to the piano. I was like going, “Oh no. Here we go again. Here he goes again”. And then also, “Oh no. Not that underwater scene and Kousei complaining about the sound he can’t hear”. Not forgetting, “Oh no. He is seeing visions of dead mom again. Time for more trauma again”. So traumatic that this kid is really sweating it out when he plays. Yeah, he could lose a few pounds. Haha! It’s already a tough piece but it gets tougher with his trauma.

Please do not get me wrong here. This series isn’t bad. But I can’t help noticed myself trying to focus on the drama that is going on. That is why I said I was perhaps not made to sit and watch through this kind of genre. It only took the last episode’s shock to suddenly get me sitting up again. I never expected Kaoru to die! Even when she collapsed and her frail conditions getting worse, signs that tell that she was never going to make it, I was still in my daydreaming land because I was actually sure that they’re going to end this on a feel good note and thus a boring ending. Boy, was I surprised. Maybe fans of who have read the manga which has concluded shortly before the TV series ended, would have expected what is to come. But certainly it was a shocker to me. The series has ended and I am left in disbelief that such a cute girl is gone. Life is so unfair!!!

Now, a lot of viewers love the deep drama and romance that are being displayed between Kousei and Kaori. It could be the best in this genre for the past few seasons. That is the main draw and strength of this show. Unfortunately for a dumb guy like me, all I ever saw was a long draggy relationship between them that didn’t go anywhere and the only real confession was via letter and after Kaori’s dead. A relationship that didn’t go anywhere? I know you think I must be kidding, right? Perhaps I’m the kind of guy who is just too dense to take the hint. I can tell that there is some sort of romance building up as we see Kousei and Kaori hanging out more often (or towards the end, like how the saying goes, absence makes the heart grows fonder) but I am the kind of guy that you need to tell every inch of the detail to my face to understand. So while everybody else was touched by the subtle deep romance between them, here I am thinking it is just an annoying friendship prolonged and official-couple-status-delayed to bits. Still thinking just like Kousei that he is just Friend A and in the friend zone. I was waiting for either one of them to just say it to the other’s face those 3 magical words and maybe a big romantic kiss. Well, that kind of expectation would be just boring and predictable, eh?

And come to think of it, that one little thing that has been hindering our main characters to fall in love with each other right from the start: Kaori’s little lie! Such a big hint in the title that I couldn’t even see. It was her lie that she loved Watari that continuously made Kousei remain as Friend A. It was her lie that made Kaori in an awkward position to not pursue Kousei because that would be like serious cheating case, wouldn’t it? Watari is different. He is a playboy (even though he got dumped by whoever his girlfriend was in the end – but I don’t think he really cares). Guys have it different than girls. When they flirt with many girls, they’re a legend. Girls dating just another guy would already be called a slut. Wouldn’t want that kind of reputation, do you? But I think a main reason why Kousei took a very long time before he realizes he is in love: Because the girls just keep giving confusing and contradicting signals! Tsubaki is the main offender followed by Kaori. You always noticed that they till him one thing and then another thing. Do this but then again don’t. Make up your mind! It’s so confusing already that no wonder this guy just couldn’t understand. It might add to his trauma if it got out of hand. Yeah, understanding piano scores are easier.

Aside from Kaori, how come do I have a feeling that the rest of the girls that have interest in Kousei are somewhat tsundere. All of them. Take Tsubaki’s case for instance. Tomboy girl treats him ‘badly’ but it’s her way of showing her love. The pseudo and short-lived relationship with Saitou feels like a side distraction and a catalyst and turning point (when she gets dumped) to make her realize who the true guy she loves. Still won’t really admit it. See? Tsundere, no? Then there is Nagi who had buranko initially but as she became Kousei’s student, she becomes torn between her love for her teacher or her brother. So that’s like being tsundere to Kousei, no? What about Emi who wants to reach Kousei with her emotional style of playing? Trying to hint something? Well, I’m sure it got to him whatever it is. And by using her music to tell instead of her expressionless poker face, that’s like tsundere, no? Hah. Maybe I got confused to what tsundere means now.

The characters play a great role in driving the plot, drama and characterization of the series. Especially with Kousei and Kaori in the limelight with the rest of the supporting casts. A big part of the drama sees how Kousei breaks out from the shell that he has encased himself with. He can’t do it by himself and that is where Kaori came in with all that persistent pestering till he could finally fly with his own wings again. So is Kaori like his saviour angel? That is one way to look at it. At least with the trauma that he has been through, it proves that Kousei is just only human. Perhaps only a robot when it comes to music. But even that and especially on his return, he isn’t entirely perfect as we see him being nervous and all.

On the other hand, while it may seem that Kousei is the one big jerk who is having problems that seemingly nobody would understand, it isn’t only him who is having such worldly issues. Kaori’s crisis outweighs Kousei’s by a star. Sure, Kousei might be traumatized as kid and you can’t blame him for breaking down because he is just a kid. But when you see Kaori, after realizing the conditions that she’s in, never having said a word about it or even making it known to others, you have to be amazed at that kind of courage. You’d respect the way she does things so free spiritedly. That is why even despite the sad end to her case, because she did things her way without regrets, all is not lost. You can say that she won even though the only thing she lost was her life. She gives us the greatest lessons in life to live it to the fullest because if you don’t, what is the point of living then? Therefore if you can’t do something because of some obstacle, then you should find other means or a way around it to do so. You know, like if you can’t use your hands to play, use your feet! No feet, use your teeth! No instrument? Use your imagination for air instrument!

I can’t help think that Kousei must be a cursed person when it comes to love. Because if you noticed, the things he truly loves will all end up dead! First it was Chelsea his cat and then followed by Saki his mom. And finally after he thought he has gotten free from his trauma and found true love again, this damn sh*t happens again! Oh Lord, oh God, why do you have to take Kaori away from him now?! Why, oh why???!!! If you’re thinking why Tsubaki didn’t get this curse it is because that guy never saw her more than a childhood friend. You can’t blame him since Tsubaki is sending confused signals about her heart and the way she physically takes out on him. No girlfriend would ever do something like that to their boyfriend, right? Okay, maybe some would but the point is, Kousei didn’t see Tsubaki as a woman enough to fall in love and thus avoiding this curse. But wait! Now that Kaori is gone, who is there left to love? Oh dear… Oh my… TSUBAKI!!! NO!!!!!

Other supporting characters feel fine and have their role to play in pushing Kousei to where he is now no matter how small. Like you know, Tsubaki. Feels like her reason of wanting Kousei to get back into music again to move on feels like a cover up in her attempts to get him to notice her. Kashiwagi is probably the best side character in the series. Her poker face is worst than Emi as she tends to be straight to your face about her opinions especially when it comes to feelings of the heart for Tsubaki. Can’t blame her for putting on that expression. She must be annoyed to death seeing how irritating Tsubaki is not being true to her feelings. That is why she always makes it a point to say it straight to their faces without beating around the bush. Watari feels like sidelined but because of him, Kousei and Kaori couldn’t properly advance their relationship! And all the while we forgot about this guy (although he sleeps through concerts and instantly wakes up whenever it is Kaori’s turn on stage to become a cheering machine) because we start thinking since there is no real progress in Watari-Kaori relationship, I guess it is dusted and done and we start assuming it is Kousei-Kaori even though it was unofficial.

I thought Takeshi and Emi throughout the entire series didn’t do much except giving us some sort of variety that it shouldn’t always be Kousei and Kaori on stage. Aside from being rivals that push each other to the limits, I guess they’re pretty okay in that sense. I guess Hiroko’s return and role is so that Kousei won’t stray again and somebody to straighten him up if Tsubaki isn’t there. Why do people have to get rough on him? But thanks to that discipline, he has drawn in a lot of fans. Young fans like Nagi and Miike. Will that admiration turn into something more in the future? Let’s hope it will inspire the new and younger generations to greater heights. Finally, Saki who has been vindicated as the ‘villain’ of the series thanks to her tough uncompromising and seemingly selfish dying wish. But could all that negative view just be in Kousei’s mind as how he remembers her? Eventually when the truth comes to light, Saki isn’t a bad person himself and just like every mother in the world, loves and wants what is best for her child. So don’t go blame and hate your mom when she gets strict on you about piano or violin lessons. She loves you! Saki is both the reason why Kousei stunted and then nurture and rise again. All thanks to you, mom! Of course the rest like Kaori were there to push him but the source of it all can be traced back to Saki.

Naturally as a music genre, many of the classical compositions are the main draw in making the entire series work. Although I am not familiar with all the pieces and some of the classical composers, nevertheless they are excellent to hear. My only grumble is that instead of letting me close my eyes and enjoy listening to the music, they add monologues or the characters’ thoughts as they narrate it all while they play the piece. Oh come on! I want to listen to the true beauty of the piece! I know. Shows of this genre tend to be like that. You need that kind of drama of self realization or awakening or whatever while you play the beautiful piece. Music calms the soul, huh? True. The way Kaori ‘desecrates’ them with her own style, it is also fun to hear because seriously, it sounded so authentic that I think it is the original even though I have not heard the original before. And I can’t close my eyes while hearing the piece too for there may be some sort of ‘important’ scene while they play and I might miss it. Good for me. Keep them wide open and see all the drama that goes with it. I’m sure you’re going to tell me that if I really want to hear the original piece, just put in a CD and listen to it! Or download it from the internet like the trend these days. Yeah… Sure… But I’m not really into classical music so I’ll pass… God…

Other than the classical music, the opening and ending themes are more like anime music. Like the first opening theme, Hikaru Nara by Goose House also sounds more like a group song. Okay, passable but not that appealing. Same case for the second opener, Nanairo Symphony by Coala Mode, a moderate pop piece. My favourite one and personally the best of all the themes is the first ending theme, Kirameki by Wacci. Although not a slow ballad, somehow it draws out a lot of emotional and feel good factor in just hearing it. I like this song better and wished they didn’t change to the second ending theme, Orange sung by 7 (yes, this group is just a number! Literally) in which the dramatic style didn’t really appeal to me.

Voice acting is pretty decent seeing that this anime is heavy on the drama side. Those I recognized are Yuuki Kaji as Takeshi, Saori Hayami as Emi and Ayane Sakura as Tsubaki (I don’t know why I kept believing it was Kanae Ito’s voice behind it although I clearly know it wasn’t her but that bratty specialist). Even more delightful is hearing Mamiko Noto as Saki!!! Might just be cameo but I guess that is enough to make my day. Something about her character role that has started to bug me as I am seeing a trend of the characters she is being casted. Recently the animes that I have watched her playing minor roles… HOW COME HER CHARACTER DIES???!!! Sheele from Akame Ga Kill, Lisette in Unbreakable Machine Doll, Valkyria in Gokukoku No Brynhildr, Orlain in Aldnoah.Zero… OMG! I hope they’re not casting her as a stereotype of characters to be killed off roles! NO WAY! The rest of the casts include Natsuki Hanae as Kousei (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero), Risa Taneda as Kaori (Yukina in Strike The Blood), Ryota Ohsaka as Watari (Marco in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ai Kayano as Nagi (Mei in Sukitte Iinayo), Mie Sonozaki as Hiroko (Viola/Violet in One Piece), Yuka Terasaki as Miike (Basil in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Shizuka Ishigami as Kashiwagi (Ellis in Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance).

Art and drawing are rather okay. The characters look pretty okay but something about them that looks a bit different. I can’t put my finger on it. Is it their eyes and lips? I think it is mainly the lips somehow… Of course, most outrageous character design award goes to Takeshi, the Super Saiyan of this anime! The main characters during their younger years, if I should say some of them look a bit weird. Especially Kaori who is looking so cartoonish that she is barely recognizable. And when she grows up to be such a beautiful tween, it would make every guy’s jaw drop at this unbelievable transformation. Just stunning. Sometimes the background sceneries are cool to watch like the scattering sakura petals or even the sandy beaches. Of course the instruments themselves do look gorgeous especially the grand piano and I think some of the finger movements especially on the close up during the piano play is CG employed. Because it looks to smooth to be hand drawn animation. Nevertheless such visuals are still stunning to look at.

Overall, if you like deep romance that takes time to develop between the main characters, this one is for you. Classical music is an added bonus. Despite the tragic and sad end, you will still generally feel enjoyable once everything settles down. At least this series depicts a more realistic and down to earth portrayal of musically gifted tweens who are still human enough to fall in love. Who says music prodigies and geniuses can’t find love. Under all that beautiful finger work and wonderful sound produced, they are just humans like you and me. So when musicians fall in love with each other, what kind of sound do they produce? I don’t know but I’m sure that would be the sound of love! Because I’m sure music don’t lie.

Dog Days S3

November 14, 2015

I knew they announced the third season years ago. And because anime seasons come and go so fast in a normal year, I thought they have forgotten all about it or even abandoned making the next sequel. Yeah, it felt like a really long time. And then to my surprise, it did happen. Yeah. Dog Days S3 is (now was) back and I figure that there are a lot of furry lovers to warrant another season. The first season was interesting enough but the second season was lukewarm although it wasn’t that bad for me to never ever want to watch the third season. And now that it is here, I hope that it will get back on track in making things more interesting as before. I hope.

Episode 1
Today is the day that all our furry friends can be excited again because their heroes will be returning. It’s like their master coming home, eh? Meanwhile in the Iron Athletics on Earth, Shinku and Nanami ended up crossing the line together and thus for the first time co-champions of the games. Our heroes including Becky start packing to prepare for their journey to Flonyard. Everything seems to be going fine till Shinku and Nanami didn’t fall in the expected location and crash deep within the forests. Something must have gone wrong in the summoning. Be careful. Not everything is as cute as thought it would be. Like that carnivorous plant! And they must have had the ride of their lives when a Pterodactyl swoop them up before they drop back down into the stream. No rest for the duo because suddenly there is a stampede of… Hairy Brontosaurus?! Luckily they are chased away by the dragon priestess who resides in this forest, Sharu. She warns them that this is the dragon’s forest and that humans should stay away. By this time, the concerned nations are already dispatching their units to go find their lost heroes. Sharu doesn’t believe they are heroes since they do not possess their holy treasure. Besides, their outfits look more childish than elegant. Judging a book by its cover? Anyway she doesn’t have TV in her home so she has never seen those games the nations play. She warns them that recently there are demons popping up in the forest lately. Her pig familiar, Pega finds Nanami’s keychain so they follow to retrieve their lost items. Sharu notices many of the plants and animals have turned violent when they used to be docile. Could it be because of the Dragon Eaters? She sees a Brontosaurus being chased by a demon and goes to rescue it. But there is more popping up. Don’t worry, this is a cue for our heroes to go into action. Each demon they destroy turns it back into their original cute animal form. Sharu is in awe seeing them. So now do you believe they are heroes?

Episode 2
Shinku finally manages to get some reception to communicate with Millhiore. Everyone is relieved they are okay. They have to stay put in Sharu’s home till the rescue unit arrives. Sharu explains the land being ruled by Divinegons, huge god-like dragons that embody the life of this planet. They exist to restore the balance in mother nature that was disrupted by humans. Dragon priestesses help communicate humans with these dragons. But recently there are demons that keep harming the animals. She needs to find the source and destroy it. The heroes want to help but she insists this duty only belongs to her. Well, hope she is ready to go into action because more are detected. Chasing those Brontosaurus… Of course with so many demons, there is only a limit on how many she can destroy. That is why our heroes jump in to help her. Cue for some hinting romance when Shinku saves Sharu from certain death. Eventually with so many demons, this means our heroes can’t hog all the action together. The other nations arrive in time to demonstrate their demon butt kicking skills. While resting at her home, Ricotta and Noir talk to Sharu about their research that these demons are more dangerous than before as they speculate they might be attacking dragons and stealing power from Divinegons. According to the legend, whenever this happens, this is when the dragon priestess sacrifices herself to slay them. Ricotta and Noir continue their investigations and learn that the demons they fought were actually local creatures that were transformed into demons. There is a mother demon as the source of their transformation and they need to defeat it to save the dragons. Adele and Valery are doing their research on this. Suddenly they realize the great danger the continent is in. They immediately request all the nations to get ready for war because it is coming to the dragon’s forest.

Episode 3
The war is real. They are up against Dragon Eaters who consume other animals and turn them into one of them and repeat the cycle until the entire world is consumed. So while a nation help protect a Divinegon each, the heroes with Sharu go in search of the mother source. Better hurry. Because the demons are already corrupting the Divinegons. Once the heroes find the source, it is some big mother bug that oddly has a penchant for tentacle raping some of the female soldiers. Damn it. Is it time for pantsu fanservice already? Our heroes use their Hero Stone to turn themselves into adult versions so as to power up and do more effective damage. They cooperate to allow Sharu to strike the decisive blow and destroy it once and for all. The energy that the demon took starts raining down on the land in what the legend calls it as dragon’s tears. I didn’t know dragon’s tears were pervy too because it melts your clothes! Everybody in their birthday suit! Sharu seems like she wants to confess something to Shinku but the damn dragon’s tears have to ruin it all. Adele and Valery may not be needed this time but they have to do some extra work behind the scene to seal it and make sure this demon doesn’t reincarnate into a poor one again. As everyone leaves Sharu’s place, Shinku hopes he can visit her again. She wouldn’t want that in fear he would get lost in the forest again. Instead, she’ll come visit him next time.

Episode 4
With everyone returning to their respective nations, time for some fun. Millhiore is already up eager for Shinku to take her for a doggy walk. Oh, don’t forget the Frisbee too. Couvre and Becky sleeping together look like yuri… Nanami gives naked Leo a good body massage. Nanami and Genoise visit Pastillage so the former can thank Adele for giving her a Hero Stone. Trouble soon lurks because squishy little blobs are on the loose, eating all clothes and armour! Time for your fanservice of naked furries. The first person to blame is Valery. True enough it is his fault. Despite those blobs were original sealed, because his ass was always being busted by Liscia and co and wanted to get back at them. So everyone quickly goes to stop the blobs before they turn the entire nation into a birthday suit party. Too bad they multiply so fast that the entire castle is now over flooded with them! Yeah. This means our heroines are pretty much naked too. I thought they should have done this from the start because those with Hero Stone transform themselves to put a stop to this. But it is Couvre who steals the limelight as her gun is able to purify the blobs into spirits. Everything returns to normal although all programmes are pretty much delayed and ended late thanks to this mess. The ladies are resting and having snacks at the end of it all. Some wonder where Valery is. Adele has tied him up upside down deep in the dungeons. Time to repent.

Episode 5
Shinku and co are only leaving for a field research expedition so why does Ricotta need to pack like she is going on a year’s vacation? So we see them research on the ores and crystals in this forest. Shinku spots little green people. No, they’re not aliens. They are Moribito, forest spirits. As cute and friendly as they are, but they are requesting for help because their princess has been captured by a demon. Ah, there is that frog demon eating all the ores and crystals like there’s no tomorrow. So where’s the princess? In his belly! Don’t worry, anything the frog devours will be slowly absorbed in his stomach. So our heroes go to give this frog a warning but I guess he prefers doing the hard work. Wow. This frog throws stuffs like as though he is a pro pitcher! Then of course, he starts spitting yucky sticky gooey slime on the girls. Only Shinku is ‘immune’ to it because he is a guy. For that, he gets eaten alive! Oh the horror! Inside the belly, Shinku finds the princess. Then he uses his firepower to give the frog some mean stomach ache (bouncing all about?) till he spits them out. The frog reverts to its harmless chibi form. It seems a demon sword stuck to it was the cause of it all. Everybody takes a well deserved break at the hotspring. The Moribito people show their gratitude to Shinku by giving him drink their tonic. I guess it was too strong for him that he passed out. So as our girls clamour around him to help him recover (not taking advantage?), Couvre and Eclair happen to turn up late and they see this ambiguous scene. While Couvre wants to join in the fun, Eclair is so stunned that she wants an explanation from everybody on what they’re doing. Oh, why don’t you just join in the fun like everybody else?

Episode 6
It’s time for an exciting festival. Leo’s engagement festival. Say what? Hey. It’s like a carnival atmosphere. It seems there are men from far and wide who want to marry her but they’ll have to do it Leo’s way: A duel. You’ll have to beat her if you want her hand in marriage. Yeah. This is going to be fun. No wonder everybody is looking forward to it. So we see all the contestants vying for her but you know, Leo is still superior and beats them all flat. Yeah, some have been trying for years and the result is still the same. So as not to insult these losers, Leo announces that she enjoys fighting with them and praises their bravery to duel with her. And of course the final contestant is a mystery person. He is able to fight on par with Leo. She deduces it is somebody she knows because he is hiding his face. He says they did meet but will only reveal more when he wins. The fight continues till Leo manages to unleash him. Those rabbit ears and tail… He is Vert’s distant relative, Prince Lief Langue de Chat Halver of the Halver Kingdom. The last time they met was when he was a kid. She thought him swordsmanship and archery. She was also the one who told him to train and become stronger so that women would like him. But if he is here it means… You’ve guessed it. So the intense power battle continues and Leo barely wins by the skin of her teeth. And again this year, Leo will remain single. I wonder, if she continues to do this, she’ll be a very old single in no time. And an unexpected free fanservice for everybody as her armour shatters and her clothes rip in the aftermath. Wow. A great festival indeed! There is a social party afterwards. Everyone learns that Lief had the wrong impression of this battle. He participated so that he could talk to Leo and didn’t intend on marrying her. He always thought a marriage meeting would be something more private and engaging in conversation. But once Vert whispers him the truth, he can’t help blush like mad that he gave the crowd the wrong impression. Well, but you can’t deny the fact that he does like Leo in a way and looks up to her.

Episode 7
Lief becomes the guest of honour at Galette. He is taken a tour around the country. Godwin who just came back from an expedition didn’t see Leo’s engagement festival so he doesn’t know the strong warrior who almost beat her. Imagine his surprise when he learns it is Lief. Lief and Nanami then have an exhibition battle. The power fight ends in a draw but there’s still something for all the viewers at the end: Their clothes rip apart. Why does it always have to end like that? Now everybody wants to spar with him. Then they visit Brioche’s home before go watching Millhiore in concert. There’s an after-party after that. Finally they’ll be heading over to Pastillage to hear old hero stories from Adele and Valery. I guess everybody is interested to listen so why not? Adele begins her story of her travels. Along with her and Valery, there was Isuka and a woman who summoned Adele to Flonyard. She was the last princess of Pastillage, Clarifie Eins Pastillage AKA Fie.

Episode 8
During the days when demons were running rampage and threatening towns, Fie wanted to change all that so she summoned a French girl (Adele) as her hero to aid her in her quest. Adele didn’t have a good impression when she first met Valery because she thought he was a peeping tom (he claims it was his bath time). So as the duo head out to fight demons, the first demons they had to fight were… Clothes melting blobs! Next… Clothes ripping rabbits! WTF. As they fight more powerful demons, they are saved by Isuka and Hina (Brioche’s real name). They explain they are travelling to collect curse swords that impale creatures in this world to turn them into demons. Fie wants them to meet Valery because he is an expert researcher in cursed swords and demons. Valery seems to have a different thinking. He claims the world cannot afford to fight each other as they are busy fighting demons. However, what happens when you rid of demons? Peace will reign and soon they will be fighting among themselves. So leaving things as it is would be a better choice? Fie and Adele still want to hunt demons but Isuka warns them in travelling together. Isuka and Hina were the only survivors of their villager which was attacked by a demon. They were drenched in its blood at the end and have become immortal. There are many things they do not understand about demons so it is too risky.

With Adele’s heartfelt speech which she wants to continue this mission, the quintet set off on a journey to everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE to slay boss level demons. In doing so, they get to bridge nations closer, power up their Hero and Spirit Stones and become world famous! Peace did reign and as expected war among themselves was inevitable. That is why a treaty was setup that lasted till today. Valery gained the notorious nickname of Demon King as he stopped showing himself in public and continued his research behind closed doors. He had to keep a close watch on live demon samples and although it started out as a prank, he unleashed demons to those who challenged him and those who became arrogant. Fie however never stopped hunting demons. She delegated running Pastillage to Adele whom she felt guilty of bringing her over without permission and had no way of sending her back. One day as Fie left to fight demons as usual, she came back messed up. She barely won a fight with a toxic dragon. She used too much spells that made her susceptible to demon miasma. She knew her time was near but couldn’t be happier of her accomplishments. Soon Fie passed on and Pastillage turned from a kingdom to principality. Valery and Adele decide to join her in slumber after watching their grandchildren grow up happily. Isuka and Hina continued their journey but went their separate ways after Hina found Yukikaze. The rest is history after Shinku and Couvre woke them up from their slumber and they couldn’t be happier to see their descendents living happily. I guess the story is so long that everywhere is closed!

Episode 9
It could have been another boring fine day had not Sharu pay a visit on her flame dragon. Seems she has sensed something wrong with Skysea, a place above Flonyard with its own ecosystem. There is a huge Skywhale supposedly related to the gods or something and believed to have existed even longer than Divinegons. Just like dragons having dragon priestess, there is also a sky priestess for Skywhale. Nobody has seen her before but Sharu claims she has as Pega is a celestial messenger born from the sky priestess’ abode. Pega told her something is amiss with Skywhale and since it is floating above their nations, Sharu is requesting permission to investigate. Of course she can but they want to tag along too. Can’t miss out on the fun? Because the princesses are busy with their jobs, those who will accompany Sharu are the heroes, Genoise, Gaul, Lief, Ricotta and Yukikaze. As they ride up above the clouds, it is like a whole new kingdom. They see the gigantic huge Skywhale but as they approach, it seems it is sucking them in. Eventually they cannot fight its force and got swallowed. The gang are split up but Gaul is neither among them. He is alone and surprised to see Moribito with a girl named Aria who only communicates telepathically. She saved him from drowning in the lake but has no memories prior to coming here. He wants to go find his friends and she is happy to come with him but doesn’t want him to go now because it is dangerous. The rest are fighting demons. Gaul can’t sit back and goes to help eradicate the demons. He meets up with Shinku’s group and with Gaul found, they delegate Nanami’s group to find the flame dragon while they find the sky priestess’ abode. They hear fighting coming from the abode. Don’t worry. The sky priestess has everything under control cleaning up the mess.

Episode 10
Farine the priestess is huge! She explains when Skywhale is ill, the toxins turn into dark beings and if they pour out, they will wreak havoc upon the lands below. Farine clones herself into mini versions to guide the gang and help search for them. Shinku’s group is brought to the village of the star people (cosplay mermaids?) and most of them are ill thanks to the disease. When Gaul and Lief reunite with them and bringing weakened Aria in, the star people recognize her. Aria is their diva and an important person for the Star Festival. Apparently she went missing 2 days ago. More explanation of how the Skywhale inhales toxins and tainted air and purifies it inside its body. The song of the star people helps in the purification. But with them being sick and unable to sing, things are looking bad. Till Becky asks a question if only a certain people can sing to cure the illness. Well, as long as that person has a good soothing voice. Instantly everybody knew who the right candidate. Ricotta has brought her player along and plays a sample of Millhiore’s singing. You can see the healing effect! So it is decided, Shinku and Becky will go down to get the real deal here. Sharu, Yukikaze and Ricotta will stay here to protect Aria while the rest head out to destroy the disease. While the girls talk with the star people, suddenly this creepy kid pops up and starts attacking them with his disease. Yukikaze and Sharu are not match for him and got owned a couple of times. Seems he wants Aria to remember about her promise. When the last defence is down, he proceeds to be by Aria’s side and wants her to sing only for him. She recognizes him as Verde.

Episode 11
There is an explanation about humanoid demons that exist long ago. Verde could be its apostle. So the gang goes to find Aria while slashing demons along the way. When Aria wakes up, it’s time for flashback. Verde seems to be a chibi familiar by Aria’s side. Her singing continues to heal Skywhale and all its inhabitants. Because Aria had always wished to go to the earth below, Verde becomes obsessed in making her wish come true. So in some crystal room, Verde makes a wish with his power and that is when it corrupts and starts turning Skywhale ill. Aria is shocked to learn of this because this is not what she wanted. Verde is about to bring her down when Skywhale’s inhalation causes them to be blown away and separated. Aria didn’t have her memories and that is when she saw Gaul falling into the river and saved him. Now Gaul has found Verde as they both engage in brutal mortal combat. This is a diversion for Genoise to steal Aria away. Aria thinks that Verde will listen to her if she talks to him but Genoise is under orders from their boss to bring her to safety. Gaul tells Verde that he can bring them down if he changes his attitude. However Verde doesn’t believe in him. He doesn’t trust anybody else. Because long ago their kind tried to banish him even he did nothing wrong. He is going to put everyone sleep and make the world a safer place for himself. Too bad Verde can’t finish Gaul off because here comes Shinku to his aid. This means the rest of the gang and their entire army are here. Farine wants the Star Festival to begin its preparations. She turns Pega into its true form. What the heck is that? This piggy is a dragon and a unicorn?! Once Verde losses, Millhiore starts singing. Instantly it heals and purifies everything! So amazing! Even more amazing is how the entire song is just her going “Lalala~”!!! Now, all you star people sing along too! Yeah, the world’s biggest “Lalala~” choir!

Episode 12
Guess what? Millhiore’s song is also healing Verde and making him hard to keep up this form. Seeing the enemy in such a pitiful state, the guys want to save him (giving excuse there are lots of questions they want to ask him) but Sharu is the only one against this and wants the demon purged. Because she’s the only one and the minority, she gives in. Yeah. Democracy. Using their Hero Stones to further heal him, Aria and Verde get a good lecture from Gaul and Noir before reconciling and being true to their feelings. A cursed sword is purged from him and shatters. It ends with Verde returning to his chibi form but crystallized. It will take many years for him to recover. Aria then joins Millhiore in singing for the ultimate healing. As token for their heroism, Farine gives them her familiar. Although its true form is a ferocious griffin, so as not to scare us, it takes the form of a little cute bird (Angry Birds?). It takes a liking for Gaul but like guys who don’t want responsibility, it settles to Vert as substitute since she has the biggest bust. I can’t believe even mythical beasts can be perverts. Now it’s time to say goodbye. Gaul wants everyone to say goodbye to Aria but Nanami tells him he needs to do it himself since she saved him. Also, I think they want to see some sort of romance cooking up between them. Long distance relationship? As the heroes make their descend, they get another present from Skywhale as it drops little light balls like snow throughout the land. Don’t worry, they’re harmless. They won’t melt you clothes. Guarantee. And of course, this means the time has come for our heroes to leave for their own world. Time flies when you’re having fun, eh? Miss you. Come back again. See you soon. Yeah. We get it. Thankfully they land back on Earth safely because if they ever crash landed like how they did when they came to Flonyard, I bet humans are not going to help them but whip out their phones and start snapping pictures and upload it on social media sites. Yeah…

Doggone It Daze!
Shucks… To be honest, I actually have read online comments from here and there over the internet before I started watching this show. Many claim that this season is the most boring ever and sad to say I couldn’t agree more to that! Yup, indeed this season has been a total bore since many of the episodes felt like happy fillers. I mean, it is good that the people in this anime don’t fight each other like in real wars where real deaths occur. Heck, so boring that the previous 2 seasons had 13 episodes each and this time around, they are just short one episode! And they didn’t even play their usual war games! Not even a slightest hint of it. I know this breaks the boring pattern but isn’t that what this show is all about? Not really. So it feels like Shinku, Nanami and Becky just came to Flonyard just to visit their pals and play around (other than in the war games), which I think that is supposedly their visit because they are the heroes, right?

Personally, I thought the first few episodes that start it off were the more interesting parts of this entire season but even the arc of fighting demons in the dragon’s forest isn’t as half as interesting as the ones in the previous seasons. Really. Because they were up against a formidable enemy that we know little off and it was interesting in that aspect to see if they can really pull it off, in which they could because they’re the heroes and they have the numbers. Yes, seriously. And then subsequent episodes became so filler-like because how in the world with stories like Leo’s fighting marriage engagement tournament and saving the Moribito’s princess do anything to advance in the plot of the story or characters? They finally end it with the visit to the sick Skywhale and trying to cure its illness. Even if they put a badass Verde that could fight on par with our heroes, personally I still it is one big bore considering I know how it all is going to end. That itself took the excitement out of my watching and in a way decreases my attention that I am paying. Yeah, I have to admit that my mind starts to wander each time I watch an episode of this season.

Also very much lacking this season is the character development. Because there are too many characters in the first place and even the supporting ones are likeable enough. Therefore it goes without saying that for an anime with only 1 cour, there is no justice done to them seeing that they try to give each of these characters some sort of decent screen time but ultimately fails. Like Eclair who was supposed to be the greatest tsundere character of the series is sorely lacking this season. Not just her. Even the princesses of the nations feel very much lacking in appearance. I can say the same for the heroes from our world. The most we get is an insight on Adele, Valery, Isuka and Brioche’s past. Yeah, adding new characters this season like Sharu, Lief and Fie hardly turned up the excitement. Fie is dead, Sharu missing in between the fillers and Lief seems to be turned into a regular background character who seems to always be by Gaul’s side. All in all, it is just disappointing.

Alas, if you are hoping for some sort of romance, forget it. It was already bewildering that Sharu sent mixed signals to Shinku at the end of their first adventure at the dragon’s forest. You’d think they’d follow up on that. Maybe it is just to troll us. Yeah. Maybe. Perhaps all Sharu wants is to be friends. No need to be shy-shy girl. Or is there something in your heart that indicates you want to be more than friends? Because during the Skywhale adventure Sharu doesn’t seem so conscious being near Shinku. I might just be thinking a little too much… Just when we forget that there would be any romance, they hint us with Gaul and Aria. Again, are they trolling us? And the last scene back on Earth, Nanami hinting about love too? She didn’t blush. That guy did. I know all the girls love Shinku (I hope doggie girls won’t see Shinku as their master and that kind of love) but it’ll be just sad to see the friendship and nations torn apart thanks to love. So I think in a way it is great they rule out the romance part. It just doesn’t fit here. Not at this moment.

Therefore it is sad that we don’t know any much more of the demons that haunt this world than the characters themselves. It would have been good to learn a bit more about the cursed swords or whatever is corrupting cute little animals of the world and turning them into destructive demons. Unfortunately, it feels like an excuse too that our casts don’t know any more and thus maybe give our heroes a reason to fight something. I mean, how else can you have them unleash their powers when they have nothing to fight against, right? Can’t be practising among each other always, right? So with demons popping up and terrorizing the land, let’s just ask questions later and keep slashing them first. Yeah. We really don’t know about anything. Well, keep on researching. Therefore I am assuming that every darn living thing in this fantasy world is actually good. Just that some evil sword corrupted and turned them evil. Seems to be the trend, no?

What is more amusing this season is the mid-intermission. This time we see random characters being put in the outfits of clothes another character. It is interesting to see how different they look just because they don another outfit. And then there is one on Valery which just screams funny and disgusting… Really. I don’t want to ever see that picture ever again! Including that picture of Shinku cross-dressing! Never again! And who could forget the little fanservice that each season offers. This season is no different although I feel it is very much toned down. I don’t know if creatures or whatever dangers in this world has a penchant for eating clothes and turning girls naked. Heck, shouldn’t animals/furries be naked in the first place? And why do most power fights end up getting their armour and clothes ripped? Somebody should be complaining about the armour’s quality! Because the way I see it, no bodily injuries. Just the clothes get torn apart ‘nicely’.

Just like in previous seasons, when you have the biggest names in both singing and voice acting, it would be a waste for them just to do just one. And so like we have come to expect, Nana Mizuki sings the opening theme, No Limit and it sounds like your typical energetic lively piece that is on par with the previous seasons’ opening themes. Yui Horie on the other hand performs the ending theme, Stay With me and is a slower piece. The ending credits animation bugs me. I think it is supposed to be cute and fanservice altogether. Because we see the chibi form of Shinku, Gaul and Valery happily running and jumping with their mouths wide open all over the contours of the female characters in this series! It makes you go WTF?! It looks like they’re having a great time. But when they reach to the final girl, a sleeping Millhiore, they stop dead in their tracks and just watch her. Huh? Let sleeping dogs lie?

A sadly disappointing and boring season if I am going to sum up this series. Too bad it fell into that unfortunate trap whereby a series starts off great but declines with its sequels. Too many lovable characters but too little screen time is partially what killed it too. If you love furries so much, your stance might soften a little but I doubt it would change anything. I am not sure if a fourth season is in the midst of being planned but even if they are, I would still want to catch it because I am hoping it will save the entire series. But I am greatly lowering my expectations when it comes. Well, at least I know that although I didn’t have much fun watching the series, our heroes did have a fun and swell time at Flonyard. So all is not lost. At least technically ‘some people’ did enjoy something out of this series. In that case I won’t want to b*tch any further and let sleeping dogs lie. Cats, squirrels and rabbits too.

Ideally, we would love to understand our spouses better. Unfortunately in the real world, a lot of us hardly ever get close to that. That is why we need another season, Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me just to give us tips on how to understand our better, especially for you wives out there who need to know about your husband’s smoking, gambling, cheating, drinking and irresponsible personality that makes him look so different than the prince charming that you envisioned him before your wedding. Oh wait. You mean this sequel isn’t about that? How can you not have a husband and wife at odds with each other when you have a hardworking wife and her husband who is a typical otaku? Ah, communication and understanding…

Episode 1
Hajime is making money as a web designer. Much more money than Kaoru… To celebrate, he thinks of taking her out to eat. Instead of sushi, she suggests ramen. It is at an old place that brings back her high school days’ memories but she can’t exactly remember where. As they go searching in the area, Hajime wants to take pictures of the school girls and Kaoru punches him in the crotch! Then his password for GPS to find the nearby ramen shops consists words of penis, boobs and sex! Instant beat down! They finally find it on the seventh try. After that they walk around the area and Kaoru notices the damage that her senior did during fights have still not been repaired. Yeah, like as though time was frozen. Or nobody bothered to even fix it? Kaoru thanks Hajime for this trip. Perhaps she wanted to get to know herself a little more. After this as narrated, they had lots of sex! Say what?! Hey! I didn’t get to see it!

Episode 2
Kaoru’s friend seems to be ‘harassing’ her about her compatibility with her husband so she tries to read up on advice magazines, blood types and even astrology but it all points out they are not compatible! Feeling depressed, she goes to bug see Tanaka at her workplace for advice. I mean, doctors know a lot, right? Plus, she’s a smart person. Well, let’s say the doctor didn’t leave her with any good advice. Kaoru feels more dilemma. Is it because she is in too much happiness that she no longer feels happy? After she tells this to Hajime, he reveals that he did look up on their compatibility but stopped caring after he did it to her. Did what? This surprised kiss!

Episode 3
Since Hajime’s otaku merchandise has started ‘invading’ the living room, Hajime thinks Kaoru should take up a hobby to understand. This reminds her that she once used to bowl. She wants to go bowling so Hajime calls the rest of the gang to come. Miki suggests pairing up for a team tournament but it looks like everyone’s partners are very much decided without having to resort to drawing straws. This means Miki is stuck with Mayotama! So we see how everyone sucks with the balls going into the gutter but in the end, Mayotama-Miki team wins. And there is a prize for the winners: Tickets to the hotspring. Oh God… More like tickets to hell… On the way home, Kaoru had fun and hopes they could do this alone now and then. But first Hajime needs to clean the room…

Episode 4
Mayotama wants to be a manga artist and thinks of submitting his works to a shounen manga magazine. But he failed because they are all BL works! Thinking of a need to work as a manga assistant but doesn’t know any contacts, surprisingly Kaoru knows a senior that may help him out. Yuzu Kimura or Ramu Yuzuki as the pen name she goes by, might seem like a nice person but when she rants out the personal data of Mayotama that she has found out, things are starting to look scary… Yuzu then turns her attention to Kaoru. She notices that she is already married. Didn’t she say during high school that she would remain single? Hajime might have saved her by saying he fell for her instead but it just turned up the embarrassing factor. Mayotama becomes Yuzu’s digital assistant as he can do his work from home and via computer. As he mentions about the undo button, Hajime almost tries to hint of something similar when he took Kaoru’s virginity! When Mayotama’s works won an honourable mention, but it seems the married couple don’t really understand what is going on.

Episode 5
Miki wants to do something with everybody again. Looks like they’re heading to the hotspring this time. Miki mentions they haven’t split up the rooms yet and this makes Mayotama anxious as his heart isn’t ready yet. But even if it is split by gender, doesn’t this mean Mayotama and Miki will still end up in the same room? After soaking in the hotspring, the guys want to talk dirty stuff so Hajime starts off with one… About smelling Kaoru’s sweaty t-shirt! Technically that is dirty, right? The ladies also do the same. Rino starts off with birth control but Nozomu stopped her. Tanaka would gladly give hers. Then they tease Kaoru about this and if she has already got a name for their kid. At the end of the stay, Miki makes a cool line about maintaining relationships and this makes Mayotama blush. You know he is saying this for everyone, right?

Episode 6
Hajime wants to know how Nozomu met Rino. It was during college when he mistaken her as a lost elementary school kid! She felt insulted and always thought he would think of something insulting about her so as atonement for being ‘rude’, she makes him her lackey. I’m sure she finds him a good person to rely on but be careful in trying to repay the favour because it might make him look like a lolicon! Rino enjoys his company and hints she wants to be with him. He assures he will be with her for the rest of their college days and shortly they become a couple. He often takes her to the sushi store and so happen Hajime remembers it is around that time it was the first time they actually met. Because Hajime is the sushi waiter! Now you remember?

Episode 7
Nothing is going to stop Hajime from going to Comiket for the year end. He teases Kaoru that the convention might have an enka research book. She doesn’t to go but wants him to get it for her. He won’t be doing it for free. What sort of motivation will she do to get his ass going? Just put on a pair of cat ears… At the Comiket, Miki is surprised Hajime could find his booth. Who else would name his circle “The Denial of Destiny Association”? Miki’s doujin sells out so the duo go walk around. Till he had to stumble upon Mayotama’s circle so Hajime ‘abandons’ Miki for them to be together. Traitor! Meanwhile Kaoru goes out to eat with Tanaka and Rino. Hajime returns home in time to watch the New Year fireworks with Kaoru. On TV. He narrates about life for him isn’t like in games or manga. But the more he denies it, the more he feels it exists. And if he doesn’t believe it exists, he can’t handle this happiness.

Episode 8
Kaoru is a bouncer at Mayotama’s circle. Some diehard fans are squealing at Mayotama… But this is a flashback episode of Mayotama’s younger days. He never liked Hajime much as he always hogged the TV thanks to his otaku passion. Even so, he still wanted him to pay attention to him. Mayotama tried to make some friends at the park but the bullies think he is such a girly boy and won’t welcome him. That is when Hajime stood in the way to defend him. They both got beaten up. After Hajime buys him popsicle, Mayotama asks if anime is interesting. The rest is history. Mayotama’s doujin sells out and Hajime is relieved that his attention has shifted to Miki. Till Kaoru points out that Hajime is still being drawn in his doujin!

Episode 9
Hajime gets that dreaded call from his parents asking if he would come home for New Year. Kaoru wants to meet his mom again and so he has no choice but to go even if he doesn’t want to. While mom is nice and good with Kaoru, she switches to a different tune with Hajime, hounding him if he has found a job or getting some computer related work. Hmm… Maybe that is why Kaoru wants to come here so that mom can drill it into him with her lecture… And dad must have got the best reaction because he is acting in disbelief that they are married! So that call was just a prank call? He doesn’t trust him, huh? On the way back, Kaoru mentions his parents never changed. Yeah, it’s nice to know that mom can scold him properly… Besides, wouldn’t the scolding stop if he gets a proper job? It’s your call.

Episode 10
Kaoru’s colleague, Tobe is crying her heart out to her since she discovered her husband has been having an affair and wants divorce! This has Kaoru thinking if Hajime had cheated on her. She knows he wouldn’t but after looking at him watch his animes… It’s like he is cheating her all year round! Hey, is Hajime watching that trap anime?! When Kaoru mentions about double crossing, this brought back some unpleasant memories they don’t want to remember. It was a time when they were working together at the sushi store. Hajime claims Kaoru picked him up after he went into depression. Apparently a young girl was hired after them. She liked Hajime but backed off when she realized Hajime and Kaoru loved each other. Kaoru had always wondered if Hajime had feelings for both girls at the same time so one day Hajime joked around and asked that girl if she had feelings for him. She backed off and said she didn’t like him. That rejection made him sad and seeing him cry made Kaoru mad. He thought that reaction meant he liked her. Because Hajime is a virgin, he couldn’t handle rejection from girls. If he had to categorize her, it would be more of idolizing than liking her. The difference for 2D girls is that no matter how much you like them, your love won’t be returned. That rejection reminded him this world is of 3D and not 2D. He became depressed. Kaoru slapped him back into reality to make him realize his love for Kaoru changed from idolizing to true love. Back in reality, that girl now is showing Kaoru her novel work based on this and thinks of submitting it. Kaoru feels a little embarrassed.

Episode 11
If you remember at the end of last season, Kaoru was confirmed to be pregnant. Two months in, Kaoru is asking what needs to be done. Don’t worry. Hajime has it all figured out. Go to the doctor to confirm, contact her job to give maternity leave and certainly call his dad to take his place! Don’t run away! It’s you who needs to take responsibility! Kaoru feels guilty of taking advantage of the maternity perks and don’t really want to stop working. As Hajime goes to talk to Tanaka, he starts feeling the burden of making decisions. Not that he understands what it means. Kaoru herself is starting to think that she is so attached to her job that it really feels odd to take a long time off (Tobe is egging her to take full advantage of the company’s policy on benefits of maternity leave). Sometimes she questions herself if she is really needed around. I guess her panicky husband start breaking down about how everybody needs her. Especially him. He needs her! That’s very assuring.

Episode 12
Kaoru narrates when Hajime tries to introduce a manga to her, he’ll leave it on her table. But this time it seems all those manga belong to Mayotama. This makes her think the way sometimes he wants to tell her something directly or indirectly. However she tries not to be too pushy as he will be a father soon so she goes to talk to Tanaka who believes that she is having doubts about her current relationship. Could she be thinking after having the baby, she wants to be in a more lovey-dovey relationship? Is that supposed to be a joke? Hajime also starts thinking that this time it is different. All the while it was about himself. After marriage, he has to think about his wife and now a child on the way. He wants her to love him always but look at him. This is how he has always been. If he changes his personality, would it mean his wife would also change how she looks at him? For she has always accepted him for who he is. So he tells Kaoru that he would like to change by being more formal and polite. Kaoru is delighted to hear this but Hajime remembers an incident when he did so while she was sick from exhaustion, it didn’t go over too well…

Episode 13
Kaoru and Hajime are in an intense argument. And Tanaka is somewhat caught in the middle of it. This is what happened. When it was confirmed that the baby would be a girl, Hajime came up with a list of names. However Kaoru didn’t like them and had her own list. Hajime didn’t like her picks too and this is where we are now. So looks like the doctor isn’t going anywhere till they solve this? Before they know it, the rest of their friends and family are gathered here like as though this is some sort of chat group. The solution to the baby naming is ingenious. Everybody writes a suggestion and puts it in a suggestion box and Kaoru will draw the lot. Seems she picks out Tanaka’s suggestion: Sayoko. Everybody loves the sound of it. No objections? Then it’s settled. Now everybody can’t wait to welcome the baby girl into this world. And as nervous our new parents might be, it is also exciting and something to look forward to.

Perfect Understanding Of The Heart
Although this season doesn’t disappoint, personally I feel that something lacks the oomph to make it great or memorable. Besides, what more can you expect from a short anime especially when you have been told in the synopsis beforehand that it is just the daily life of an office lady wife and her otaku husband. If you’re hoping to see lots of clashing of personalities and flying plates, then I am afraid you have not watched the first season and understand about this couple. Sure, they do have their differences. But it is so minimal and nothing when they put them aside and try to work something out. If only in real life can most of us be this understanding and tolerant. Then we do not have to face a host of domestic violence and outside affairs that would wreck our marriage. Well, this anime isn’t going to address that but I doubt it would change anything in real life even if it would.

As far as this season is concerned, like I said it lacks that sort of punch to make it feel better than the first season. It feels more like of a continuation or extension of the first season rather than a sequel. But I noticed that this time, they placed more of the focus on Kaoru and Hajime. Mainly their thoughts and feelings as they go through their daily life, step by step. Each time, it brings them closer than before. And feelings of worries, anxiety and nervousness grow as each day passes and the closer the day their daughter will be ushered into this world. Can’t exactly describe that kind of feeling to you since I am (an otaku) single :/. But as you can see from here, their thinking and priorities start to slowly change when they start thinking of the baby. I suppose this is all natural and part of life. You’ll grow up in that instant once you reach that stage. Although this season may not be so direct in that, I believe this is what it is trying to convey to us viewers here about what it is like generally becoming a parent. Oddly, most otaku guys who watch this won’t come close in understanding :).

Of course since last season I have been ‘misled’ by the naming of the title, I am once again ‘fooled’ by the meaning of it because for both seasons, it isn’t particularly about Kaoru trying to understand what her husband is trying to same. Generally she knows her husband’s habits and peculiarities but it is not like he is a very difficult person to understand that you would be pulling out your hair just to figure out the riddles he says. In fact, Hajime could be a very simple and predictable person thanks to his otaku tendencies. But now he is insecure and start thinking if continuing his otaku ways would be a good thing or not. Would it be cool or embarrassing if your daughter has to tell her friends that her father is an otaku? Nevertheless, the great key in understanding your partner has always been via soft and gentle communication, another key lesson that I believe this anime is trying to convey. Instead of using harsh and loud words to get your message over (which it never will), tender and kinder words will have a better chance to reach the heart and thus naturally improving the quality in the relationship. Oh hey. Why am I ranting about unrelated stuffs about the anime anyway? It’s not like I’m a relationship expert to begin with!

As for the other characters, I feel that their presence and impact are very much less and sometimes I feel that they are here just to remind us that you know, they still exist. Otherwise, pretty much of this season, they can be done without. Still, Mayotama and Miki are the most amusing and hilarious of the side characters and this one sided bromance/yaoi thingy can make you smile a little. If you remember about their ‘relationship’ from the first season. I supposed Miki is doomed to be ‘paired’ with Mayotama if he doesn’t find a decent girl to date. Can he? Well… Try harder. Hajime’s mom is also pretty funny when she starts hounding on her son. It’s like she turned into a monster or something. There are a handful of new characters like Yuzu and Tobe but their screen time is pretty much limited and they don’t really make an impact overall.

The art and drawing is very much in consistent with the first season. Light and simple. No big sudden changes. Sometimes you think this anime is intended for younger audiences. I remember there was an episode last season whereby a flashback episode has the art quality diminishing so badly like as though they hired a different person to do a rush job. It is the same déjà vu here. This season we have Mayotama’s flashback and the dreaded artwork seems to bring back such memories. But I am beginning to think that this might be the trademark and trend of the show. Could it be that the horrible quality means a horrible part in their earlier life? I’m sure if you don’t have many memorable parts in your younger days, they would seem ‘ugly’ in your memories.

The voice acting casts remain the same although they have added a couple of new ones to the list. OMG! Is that Yui Horie cameo as Yuzu and the trademark voice behind Yoshinoya sensei as Tobe, Miyu Matsuki? Certainly indeed. Last season we had a very catchy ending theme. I won’t say this season’s ending theme isn’t good but I just feel it does not match up to the catchiness of its predecessor. Yuruganu Futari ~Ai No Sanka~ sung by the duet of Kaoru and Hajime is a nice and slow romantic ballad. The kind you’d normally expect to hear, a sultry singer singing her Broadway style song in front of her audience. This song is still passable but it didn’t make me feel like wanting to sing along. Even more so, I thought Hajime’s duet ruined it. That guy’s voice is not made to sing… Well, at least last season’s Iikagen Ni Shite Anata made its cameo debut in one episode to bring back the good nostalgic factor.

Overall, if you enjoyed the first season, there is no reason why you should not enjoy the second season or skip it. At least this sequel is better than most full length anime sequels that are recently being a big letdown. Could it be because of its short duration? Nevertheless, the short funny gags are still entertaining and amusing. Especially about the odd couple trying to become a perfect couple. Hah. How often do you find such a girl wanting to marry an obvious otaku?! I am not sure if Kaoru and Hajime truly understand each other or if they are perfect for each other, at least we see them try their best. Even at times if they don’t understand each other in words, I am sure they totally do in their hearts. Now, if I can only get my 2D waifu to understand me…

The Rolling Girls

November 8, 2015

Imagine a great country split up into many independent nations. Actually, that isn’t so uncommon in today’s world. I can name a few countries but let us not get political here. But what happens when it happen to Japan? Oh dear. Japan’s prefectures splitting up into independent countries of their own? At least this is the setting of The Rolling Girls. Japan’s setting might be in the future or alternate world but looks like the mentality has gone back to the feudal era because these independent nations, each with their own distinct culture, custom and tradition, are using their best fighters to conquer each other. Yeah, who doesn’t want to rule the world? Might as well start small. Or maybe a certain people like a certain delicacy that is only available in another region and thus the quest to take over and take it all for themselves. Maybe. But that isn’t the point of this anime anyway. It might be a long shot but this is the story about a quartet of girls travelling around Japan to mediate and help solve problems between nations and clans. Sounds like an easy job? Well, you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Episode 1
As narrated, when leaders and wealthy people vanished suddenly, Japan’s regions became independent and each embraced their own culture and identity. Of course peace did not last long and soon each region started fighting each other over territorial disputes using their best warriors known as Mosa. Just like how Maccha Green is now taking on Kuniko Shigyou. Whatever disputes they have, Shigyou couldn’t care less because all she wants is to add Maccha Green’s sentai suit to her collection. And so begins a super power match that literally blows away all their underlings! Nozomi Moritomo always looked up to her next door neighbour, Masami Utoku whom she treats like an older sister. Today is the day she has been eagerly waiting for because she is going to help Masami out. Mother, though, isn’t thrilled with it seeing she is so eager to become a vigilante trainee but never once helped out the family store. So when Nozomi gets blown away in the crossfire, Maccha Green let her guard down thinking she heard her voice. This allowed Shigyou to gain an advantage of her as she tries to unmask her. Luckily she is able to tickle her way out. Maccha Green then calls for a giant mecha backup in which the enemy decides to retreat since they didn’t receive any intelligence on this. Masami picks up Nozomi who was unconscious from the fall. Thankfully no serious injuries. If you haven’t guessed it by now, Maccha Green = Masami. Haruka Misono, the president of Tokorozawa talks to Masami about Maccha Green being the talk of the town and she expects her to show the same devotion in protecting this city. Outside the Hiyoshicho Propellers’ HQ (that Nozomi is part of), Yukina Kosaka crashes her bike in front of it after riding straight for 3 days and nights looking for this place. She is so happy to have found it but the rest are perplexed it took her 3 days to come here since she is from a nearby town. Did she get lost? While Masami is going to have her ramen lunch, Shigyou sits next to her and wonders if she is Maccha Green. Because it is just too much of a coincidence since their voice and personality are very similar. Masami tries to finish her bowl quick and leave but the chef thinks this is some sort of competition and cooks more bowls for them to eat! Despite Masami suffering at the end of it all, Shigyou doesn’t consider this a victory but vows to take her suit one day. Yukina is given her ID and badge to join Hiyoshicho Propellers. For some reason, they’ve been invited to take a break and ride a roller coaster. It was all planned out by Shigyou’s faction. They can’t escape from the ride that won’t stop. Hold on tight!

Episode 2
Captain Masami arrives on scene to warn them about the risk of breaking some treaty but they’re not cowed. Shigyou thinks that with Masami here, Maccha Green won’t be around. She tries to make Masami confess she is Maccha Green but she remains steadfast that she is not. Does this mean she is going to stand there and watch her squad members fly off to hell? The ride gets faster but somebody changes the tracks of the roller coaster so it won’t go off track. But it is still not stopping. Yeah, everybody gets blown off. Only Nozomi and Yukina are holding on to their seats. In this distraction, Masami changes into her Maccha Green outfit. She then uses all her strength to stop the roller coaster. Before she can take a breather, Shigyou comes beating her up as she desperately tries to take off her mask. Don’t worry about the Hiyoshicho Propellers. They’re alright. Because they’ve been so used to being blown away, falling at that height is nothing! Shigyou takes a painful beating in her attempt to unmask. But this causes Maccha Green’s mask to rip open. The secret’s out. Seems only Nozomi is in shock. She is the only one who didn’t know of her secret identity. So why is she doing this? Long ago when Masami pretended to drown and worried Nozomi went all out to save her. That is why she didn’t want to know she was fighting and if she had knew she had done something dangerous, she would be risking her life again. Nozomi scolds her for thinking that way because she is not a kid anymore. Shigyou then gets up and it is like she is in a trance remembering her past. Something about a hero she admired when she was young. She found out he did not exist and was fantasy. Frustrated, she had to be the one who protected everybody. So maybe that’s why she wanted Maccha Green’s suit so badly. She wanted to be a hero? And so the power fight continues. Everyone once again gets blown away… In the aftermath, both are seriously wounded. Nozomi is eager to take Masami’s place to help those in need. Mom does not approve but look at all those letters coming in seeking help. Dad allows Nozomi to go on that journey (after getting romantic with mom?). Yukina joins her but soon Ai Hibiki too, an ex-member of Hiyoshicho Propellers who just got kicked out for resorting to violence (she accidentally punched a member back then). Initially Nozomi didn’t want her to tag along but since she is so insistent and nowhere to go, might as well. As they go meet the person in the letter, Chiaya seems to know about them like their childhood nicknames and takes a group photo. She says their next mission is to look for special heart shaped jewels.

Episode 3
Thunderoad might be petite but she is the best protector of Always Comima (Tokyo) and captain of the Knights of the Twin Towers. Seems she is going to retire after one last job and buy a life size model of her hero, Rick (as in the pair of Rick and Shaw?). However she receives a threatening from Dynamite Bombers. Thunderoad talks to Kuranosuke Momiyama, Haruka’s assistant. She is supposed to give them the jewel but thanks to Dynamite Bombers showing up, coincidentally her stone has been missing. Momiyama will keep his end of the bargain if she can get it back. Our Rolling Girls are talking about those jewels and how they see them being possessed by Shigyou and Masami. They decide to head to Comima to look for them. They see lots of those similar jewels around but they’re just ordinary charms you can buy at stores. When they ask around if they have seen the real deal, suddenly the alert is sounded and the girls are taken into custody. Before Thunderoad, she thinks they are Dynamite Bombers (since Chiaya possesses a real jewel) and do not believe otherwise. Ai thinks she can challenge her to settle it but was easily owned. Nozomi suggests helping to find it and Thunderoad gives her till sundown to do so or their heads will roll. Meanwhile Nozomi’s dad regrets sending Nozomi out because he is worried sick that her daughter may need his help. Masami wants to go help but seeing how badly hurt she is I doubt she could. She goes to see Shigyou to borrow her jewel but it seems it has been stolen. Rolling Girls are searching for a needle in a haystack as Thunderoad is stumped because their comrades have not contacted them yet. Her plan was to let them roam free, follow them to their HQ and capture them all in one fell swoop.

Haruka talks to Momiyama about the jewels she is trying to collect. Some are overcharging the jewels but if she feels she has to pay for it then she’ll pay. It might be over the budget but there is no time. They don’t have enough of it. Then there is something about Maccha Green beyond recovery and she wants that fact to be hidden for now. Momiyama suggests she should spend some time with her daughter because she looks lonely. Haruka thinks it is time to talk to her (Chiaya). Thunderoad remembers she wanted to sell her jewel to Momiyama so she can buy that Rick model when Dynamite Bombers struck. She hoped he could wait till she catches them. And now somebody else is threatening to buy that Rick model so they start haggling and pushing the price up. Though Thunderoad won, she begins to wonder if it was a scam to set her up. Surprised to see her crow here, it picks out her lost jewel which was stuck in Rick’s afro hair. She realizes everything is her fault. She goes to hand Momiyama both the jewels and he is wondering why she has 2 (one is from Chiaya). Since the situation has changed, he wants her to hand them over right now but if she insists in waiting after dealing with Dynamite Bombers, the price will be reconsidered. Can’t bear to think of leaving Rick, she straightaway gives him both. Rolling Girls fear they are going to be executed when a guard calls them to follow. Don’t worry. She won’t bite.

Episode 4
Dynamite Bombers unleashed a cleaning robot that contains some prank to teach Comima citizens some lesson. But they realize too late it contains a bomb that will explode. Oh sh*t… Noriko takes the Rolling Girls back to her place. Her mom has repainted their bikes since she confiscates them when its owners cannot be found and then rents them out to tourists. What? Noriko and Yukina know each other because the latter was once here before albeit she looks a little different now. As gratitude, she sketched the family a portrait (looks horrible) and they thought the guy was their father but he was actually a freeloader novelist and has already left the place. As he was also the founder of Comima but a failed novelist, Noriko’s mom theorizes that based on his handwritten manuscripts, he might be the culprit to get back at Comima for ignoring his works. Noriko suggests the girls leave this place first thing tomorrow because theft is treated the same as murder and they’ll be tortured till they confessed. But Nozomi won’t leave until she gets back Chiaya’s jewel. This led to an argument with Ai and causing Chiaya to cry since she really didn’t steal the jewel and it was really hers. Momiyama meets Thunderoad at the Rick model. Since she is in a dilemma, he gives her back a jewel since the original contract was just only to buy one. However on her way back, she trips and she loses it. Damn. Momiyama calls Haruka that he is coming back now but he hears her being frantic that her daughter is missing. Took you this long to notice? Yukina is about to question Chiaya how she knew their childhood nicknames but it seems Thunderoad is here. She apologizes for suspecting them. So now she’s asking their help to go find it?

Soon they receive word about the bomb but Thunderoad feels useless without the jewel. As explained, it brings out one’s latent abilities. Nozomi thought this is why Chiaya wanted the jewel but she doesn’t know anything about that. But finding the bomb is like a needle in a haystack. Noriko’s mom suggests to order all cleaning robots to return and the one that doesn’t obey is the one containing the bomb. Once the bomb is identified, Thunderoad rushes there. Rolling Girls continue to search for the jewel. When they do, Thunderoad’s crow brings it to her where she powers up to take out the bomb. The bomb runs but why must it run to that Rick model? Seeing ‘hallucinations’ of Rick telling her to do it, she slices the model into half and the bomb safely detonates in the sky. When it’s over, Noriko confesses she is the real Dynamite Bomber and behind the prior explosions. When she learnt Thunderoad wanted to retire, she didn’t want her to quit as she always wanted to protect Comima with her forever. So she cooked up everything. But when she lost her jewel, she was at a lost. Noriko returns Chiaya’s stone. She agrees not to retire but as punishment, Noriko will be the new captain. Thunderoad will be just an ordinary member. Surprisingly Chiaya gives her stone to Noriko. After they leave Comima, Chiaya calls her mom who is worried sick about her. She wants to send Momiyama to pick her up but she will be travelling with her friends for a while. She asks why she is collecting those jewels. Does she consider the jewels more important than her? She’ll explain everything when she comes home. Looks like she won’t be back in a while. Rolling Girls continue their journey travelling through several cities to help those who wrote for help in Maccha Green’s letters.

Episode 5
Just great. How can our Rolling Girls forget to put gas in their bikes? Start pushing. Himeko returns after 4 years away but her dad Mamoru ignores her. Since the other villagers are bugging him, he tells them to shut up. Coincidentally, all the shachihokos (golden fish statues) blow up. One nearly landed on the Rolling Girls. As they enter town, they start eating away in a café run by Dandy. So hungry Ai is that she ate off Himeko’s plate. So now they’re trying to compete in eating? But Nozomi remembers Himeko. She was the one who carved a jewel for her years ago (to give to Masami). She also has a jewel herself but she can’t give it to them because it is not hers to begin with. She thinks she is the one who wrote the letter to Maccha Green for help but Himeko insists it is not her. Suddenly the vice captain of the Mie Motors vigilante group barge in picking a fight with Dandy. Seems Mie Motors are being blamed for the shachihokos bombing and they think the Aichi Tenmusus are the one framing them. He requests a challenge but Dandy turns him down because this violates some treaty thingy. He isn’t a captain either and frightened the Rolling Girls who are here as peace brokers. Dandy’s men try to persuade him to fight and settle this via bike race but he reminds them the captain of Mie Motors is trying for reconciliation. Nozomi and Yukina stay at Himeko’s place as they hear the old folks talking about their rivalry. Of course the best course of action is to fix the shachihokos before the blame game starts. However Mamoru says that won’t do because his arm is injured. They suggest Himeko take over but she won’t. She hates those shachihokos, the reason she left home and only came back because she was bored. Nozomi thinks Mamoru wrote the letter but it’s not him. He believes it is Tomoki Suzuka. He is the captain of Mie Motors and the only one in town running a bike taxi. You can’t miss him. Later as Himeko suspected, Mamoru’s arm is fine. She deduces he lied about his injury to force her to take over the trade. When she wishes for the shachihokos to disappear, he slaps her. Nozomi and co see the Mie Motor gangs confronting Tomoki and trying to get him to sign an agreement for the bike duel. He will not give his permission and rides away leaving his comrades eating his dust. Now Dandy’s men are trying to coax Tomoki in doing the same but they couldn’t catch up with Sonic on a bike. Worse timing possible, both sides clash. Time to settle this personally. Himeko remembers Mamoru told her those shachihokos are like guardians of this town. She was impressed and loved them. Himeko and Tomoki are surprised to see each other for the first time in years but are dragged away by some host club guys in fried ebi costumes.

Episode 6
Himeko loved to make her own shachihokos and put them up on the castle roof one day. A jewel floated down into her palms and she gave it to Tomoki. Tomoki apologizes to Himeko for impersonating as her to request for the peace brokers who in turn wants the jewel as payment. He understands why Mie Motors are being blamed. But Tomoki seems to have lost his love for racing as nobody could beat him, he just feels empty. Himeko gives her jewel to Nozomi since she doesn’t need it anymore. The old people want Himeko to help bring some stuffs to Mamoru since he strained his back for real and is hospitalized. Himeko won’t do it. Mie Motors confront Dandy about the race to settle the score. Nozomi butts in hoping they could settle this peacefully like try coming up with a new name for the country but was told to butt out. Dandy agrees to the race but how will Mie Motors convince Tomoki to do the same? Vice captain tricks him that Dandy is the legendary racer that went missing. After he stamps his approval, vice captain reveals it was just a lie. Dandy is only an old geezer running a bar. Tomoki gets tied up while vice captain will take his place at the race. The race format is for them to race from one point to another, retrieve whatever they want to put on the castle roof as the finishing line. Ai tells Nozomi that they have gotten the jewel so they have no more reason to be around but Nozomi feels they have not earned it and wants to stay and help. Seeing Mamoru’s backpack, she thought of returning it to him at the hospital. Mamoru thought it was Himeko and apologizes he slapped her and knows she has always loved shachihoko. Each one is different and that is why she can only make her own shachihokos. He realized too late it was the Rolling Girls hearing this. Yeah, they’re emotionally touched by his story!

Rolling Girls start making the shachihoko. But isn’t this an orca?! The townspeople help out to remake it but this one has a funny face! This isn’t going to cut it. Himeko who is about to leave the country sees this atrocity on TV and returns to make it right! Vice captain thinks of using this funny face shachihoko as the item just to piss off their rival. As the race begins, it dawned to vice captain that Dandy might be that legendary racer! He is! Himeko works hard to complete her shachihokos. She narrates she loves shachihokos but the thought that she could never surpass her dad made it depressing. Mamoru seeing what is in the backpack, gets out from his bed to return to Himeko and help her make something additional. Tomoki can’t sit quiet so he gets out from his predicament to join the race. He realizes he still loves racing. It becomes a tight race between Dandy and Tomoki so vice captain won’t allow this and cheats by shooting missiles at them. Is this legal?! Tomoki’s bike is ruined but Dandy wants him to take his and continue. Whether he is on Mie Motors side or not, it doesn’t matter. He wants to race with these feelings. Tomoki catches up as both riders now are bringing the shachihokos up the ramp. But it is heavy that Tomoki’s bike breaks down. He rides a bicycle to continue the race. A bicycle faster than a bike???!!! Again vice captain cheats but it backfires this time as it destroys the ramp and sends him falling off. Tomoki peddles all his might as the ramp continues to collapse. He is pushing so hard till the bicycle dismantles! But it gave him enough momentum to toss the shachihokos exactly in place on the castle roof. He then adds checker patterns on the fish’s scale (like a chequered flag). Nozomi and Yukina shoot additional ornaments that Himeko and Mamoru finished on the shachihokos. They are motor wheels and fried ebi. Specialties that represent both sides of this divided nation. Father and daughter are satisfied. She thought she eventually needed his help but he is glad to have fulfilled the promise. She wanted to be like him and make everyone a shachihoko together. As everyone celebrates the victory, Chiaya thought she saw a falling jewel on the roof.

Episode 7
The girls are resting at the hotspring. Ai doesn’t understand why Nozomi didn’t take the jewel since it defeats their purpose. Nozomi couldn’t bear to do it as the jewel meant something more important to them. But it seems Ai herself really wants one. The girls now enter Kyoto where it is the holy grounds for rock music. There are 2 different vigilante groups keeping the peace, the maiko and rocker group. The Rolling Girls are here as extra help to prevent anything that stops the rock festival from going on. During the concert that Misa Ichijou is performing, Doji Shuten and his men kidnap her. The rockers want to get their captain back and are confident they can do it since they think the Rolling Girls are Mosa. See how much they’re trembling? Ai sees Shuten having a jewel so this gives her motivation to fight him. She gets knocked out instantly. Nozomi and Yukina clumsily trip on each other while Chiaya is asleep. Oh rockers, you’re so screwed. Mamechiyo and her maiko team join the fray to warn Shuten to return Misa. It becomes all out war on both sides but I’m not sure it all ends because Misa gave Mamechiyo the cold shoulder when their eyes met. The legendary rock group of Momiage Hammers AKA Momi-Han pay the rockers a visit. They help out with the festival every year and although they can go brawl with Shuten and his group, this means they will have less time to prepare for the festival. Nozomi suggests they do preparations for the festival and the Rolling Girls will do something about this. Momiyama manages to catch up with the Rolling Girls as he spies and observes them from afar and gives periodical reports back to Haruka. Because the Rolling Girls learn that people here consider those jewels that fall from the sky after a good concert as bad luck and return them to a box, they wait for one to pop up. But some postman takes them away. They follow him but it leads them back to Shuten’s base. They get touched watching Misa putting up a performance for Shuten’s men. WTF. I think Shuten has some sort of ulterior motive because he is trying to pit the captain of the rocker and maiko group to fight. And he has got those carpenter guys build some missiles inside the Buddha statues!

Episode 8
I don’t think Rolling Girls did anything to save Misa but she is freed. They notice Mamechiyo spying on them and Misa wants them to ignore her. But when she comes out to confront her, Misa avoids looking at her in the eye. Could it be she just wants to make friends? No? That sounds tsundere. Later as Mamechiyo talks to Shuten, it seems he kidnapped Misa just to kill time. He tells her about his plan to interrupt the festival. But since she calls him boring, it irks him so much that he is bent on making it more interesting. Misa is practising with Mom-Han and they talk about the taboo subject of the breakup due to the firing of one of their members. Mamechiyo sneaks in that night to steal Misa’s jewel. But she got clumsy tripping on bloopers before succeeding. So next morning, Rolling Girls are going to help her find it. They claim to have seen the perpetrator. Well, it was dark but they know the culprit is the one with a bump on her head since she tripped. Oh God… Mamechiyo thinks about her past with Misa. They’re good friends. She feels she is nothing to her and throws their jewels into the river. Rolling Girls see this and quickly go to find it. Ai tells her that if she didn’t need it, she should have told them first. Besides, Misa needs it. Nozomi wants her to help find it and then tells her even if they are fighting, all they need to do is make up. Ai and Yukina try to get a jewel from the box. Momiyama sneaks into Shuten’s base to destroy the launcher. However the manual says that there is a manual way of launching the missiles. Say, how come the button is in that box! And you know how violent Ai is. She’s pressing the button like hell! Oh dear. Missiles away! Mamechiyo’s mom is better than Moses. She uses her umbrella to split the river open for them to retrieve the jewels!!! She tells Mamechiyo about her duty to raise her as a geisha and thus told Misa not to lead her astray that day. Mamechiyo breaks down knowing that Misa’s cold treatment was to make her resolve stronger. But could they not have remained friends? Mom tells her Misa has always been waiting for her. Waiting for her to become a geisha. As the rock festival begins, missiles are seen approaching. The concert also has their own cannon defence. Hmm… Colourful fireworks upon contact? The crowd panics but Momi-Han starts playing to wow the crowd. But Misa looks gloomy. A missile is about to hit her but Momiyama’s rickshaw saves her. They recognize him as an ex-member of Momi-Han. Just that he has gotten fatter! Mamechiyo throws Misa her jewel and they both apologize. Misa gets back into her rocking groove with Mamechiyo joining in with her shamisen improvisation. Shuten adds a final big bang as he destroys the missiles with his fists. It’s gotten interesting now, eh?

Episode 9
In Hiroshima, the Nayotake yakuza clan was a chivalrous vigilante group till it started fighting over succession rights. Till this pirate girl, Shima Ishidzukuri usurped them all and seized control of the town. Although the Nayotake clan is forced to a little corner of town, now they face eviction. When Momiyama reports back to Haruka, she knows he has been lying all the while and helping out Chiaya. He admits he had too seeing how pitiful she is and that she has settled in her surroundings. After Rolling Girls have fun at the beach, cracks start to appear between Nozomi and Ai. The former accuses the latter for being selfish and all she thinks is getting a jewel to be powerful. Likewise, Ai accuses Nozomi for playing the leader. Who made her the boss? So they ended up splitting ways. Nozomi and co visit the Nayotake clan’s house and as stated in the letter requesting for help, they are being evicted with the excuse to pave way for a new landmark. Momiyama then comes in and takes Chiaya away for a talk. He wonders how she knows about the jewels. She overheard them talking about it. Because mom wanted them so much, she decided to go on a trip to help gather them. However that goal changed when she realized the journey would end. She wonders if the jewel would really make you a Mosa. Momiyama wants her to listen close to this revelation: She is an alien and must go home! Say what?! Chiaya remembers how she wanted her mom’s attention but she was always busy with work. Sure, she left Momiyama as her friend but which little girl wanted an old guy as a friend!!! That has got to hurt. Meanwhile Masami wonders why Shigyou won’t come out of her hospital bed. Her assistant, Yukari Otonashi mentions she is faking it to avoid being discharged. As she has lost her jewel, she fears all those who have lost to her will come for revenge. Because Chiaya can’t bear going on the journey without Ai, Yukina decides to draw posters of a missing person. As Otonashi is trying to find Shigyou’s jewel, she sees a guy sneaking into Haruka’s Office. Otomo is Shima’s subordinate as he and his men ransack the place to find pots. They find them but he realizes one is missing. They happen to catch Otonashi in the act of searching for them too. Otonashi tries to pass off as Haruka’s daughter to warn them there’ll be an international issue if she is harmed. So? Take her along! Of course Otomo knows it is all a lie as Chiaya’s picture is on Haruka’s desk. Momiyama discovers some hidden ship being prepared for some attack. Yukina can’t find a proper landmark to pin up the posters and Ai is being chased by… An ostrich?!

Episode 10
Haruka was with her Professor and they successfully opened a portal to Earth, although this phenomenon only happens once a few centuries. After their ship is being hit by a beam, Haruka punches him out to turn him into his original octopus form. Then she puts him in the escape pod to blast him back into the portal before it closes. She realized too late her daughter was still onboard. And this unbelievable story is what Haruka is telling to Masami and Shigyou. Hard to believe, eh? Ai wakes up in the outskirts home of master fencer, Haru Fujiwara and her daughter, Momo. Seems that ostrich incident (Momo’s pet) was because Ai was trying to steal their peaches. Soon, a tax collector from Okayama Demons comes to collect tax. Momo tries to fight him but Haru tells her not to be stupid. She pays the taxes. As explained, Ura Kukino the captain of the group was once beloved by the nation till she started imposing high taxes. I don’t think Masami can understand further if Haruka has already told the same story 5 times! Once every 415 years, both moons will touch and open the portal. She needs to send Chiaya back then. Shigyou doesn’t care since it is Otonashi that has been captured. There is of course a ransom note for her return in exchange for the eight octopus pot shaped engine. Unfortunately Haruka doesn’t know where it is and it went missing shortly after she crashed land. But Masami has a feeling she has seen it somewhere before. Aha! In the museum! How come Haruka has never noticed this before? Momiyama sneaks in to discover Shima and Otomo talking about the need of one more pot for activation. Because of the posters of Chiaya, Momiyama lost his balance and cover. He is thrown in prison along with Yukina (because she tried to wake up a guard to help free Otonashi trying to steal his key. WTF).

Some villagers plead to Haru to go fight Ura to protect everyone. She refuses because despite being poor, she is living a peaceful life with her daughter. Shima and Otomo visit Nayotake’s house clan to take their licence. The husband, Kuramochi gets beaten up since he didn’t fight back. But his wife, Kaguya is furious and beats up all the small fries. Shima doesn’t need to move since Plamo is blocking all the strikes for her. Each time Nozomi tries to stop Kaguya from fighting, she is pushed away. Shima mocks her about the irony if this is what she calls chivalry. She is beaten up and they leave with the licence. Kaguya is mad at Nozomi as an outsider who doesn’t know anything and tells her to leave. Chiaya (in octopus form) is about to be dinner on Haru’s chopping board but mother is distracted when Momo comes in to confess she has joined the vigilante (the reason the villagers were seeking Haru’s help). Haru doesn’t want her to worry since she is not weak. But Momo cannot help worry. She is her only mother and there is no other country like this. Haru still won’t approve this so Momo runs away. Chiaya pops up (in human form). Seems she was sleeping at the pier, fell into the sea, got caught by the fisherman’s net, Haru bought her at the market and the rest is history. Nozomi is left to reflect Ai’s words that if she were to become a Mosa, how helpful would she have been to Masami? That night, the villagers tell Haru that Momo has left for Okayama Demons’ castle. She challenges Ura to a fight and if she wins, Ura must reduce the taxes. Bring it on.

Episode 11
No matter what tricks Momo pull, Ura is always better. It is Momo’s lost but she won’t give up. Haru is here to pick her home but since she is stubborn, she knocks her out. Haru reveals to the rest that Ura is Momo’s real mother. Haru then exposes the tax collectors only look intimidating but cannot do more harm and only Ura herself lives in this castle. She wants answers why Ura betrayed the people but she won’t say. Time for the big fight. Nozomi tries to stop Kaguya from doing her revenge. She has brought Kibino, an ex-member of Okayama Demons as he has been looking for Kuramochi. Due to some secret agreement between Hiroshima and Okayama, Ura chose to become a villain and took on the citizens’ hate to protect the country instead of watching it crumble. But the charade has come to a limit. If Kuramochi exposed this, it is not for retribution but for justice. Kaguya is appalled her husband never said anything about this. Ai borrows Momo’s jewel and thinks she can become a Mosa by interrupting the fight. Nope. Blown away. She finally stops it when she shows Momo’s dog to Haru (she has phobia of them) and tells them both that they are both mothers to Momo. In the aftermath, they made up and Kaguya is on her way to deal with the misconduct of a branch family. Rolling Girls need not help since she was given assurance by Ura to do so. Good news as Nozomi and Ai made up. But where is Yukina? She’s still in prison with Otonashi. The latter starts singing an old Momi-Han song so this wakes up Momiyama in the next cell. The girls realize he is an ex-member of the group. With his secret gadget, they bust out of their prison.

Masami and Shigyou see Shima to exchange the hostages for the pot. However Shima tells them they have already escaped but will take the pot nevertheless. Masami and Shigyou have become jokers because they are so weak that they lost to those small fries. After securing the pot, Shima reveals her plan to expand this area to the surface of the moon. Here comes Kaguya to punish Shima for her misconduct by making the Mosas fight and taking the people’s money. She must also relinquish her position as state vigilante and the licence. Shima refuses and refutes Kaguya’s talk about their past unity and chivalry. As they face off, Shima says her true goal isn’t the licence but a little chip that is inside it. She uses it to activate and pilot a super robot, Daimon. It is said to be more powerful than the robots that clashed during the great war. Then she blackmails those carpenters to create an army of these robots if they want some sacred object returned to them. Ai and Nozomi are puzzled that they didn’t become a Mosa despite having a jewel. They spot Kuramochi on the ground. He explains about Daimon which was supposed to be piloted by a Nayotake successor. During the internal fighting, it was stolen and fell into the hands of several branch families before ending up with Shima. Of course Daimon cannot move by itself and fears Kaguya might have rushed in to the fight without knowing this. He wants the girls to bring this takoyaki to her.

Episode 12
Daimon needs some sort of coat of arms to activate so Shima screws this and fights Kaguya with her fists. Haruka intercepts Nozomi and wants Chiaya to return now. However Nozomi says they are on an important delivery mission and will be sure to come back. Haruka lets them go. Momiyama talks to Yukina about Chiaya’s weak body, the reason she never went to school or outside. Even that she needs to wear some mask. But all that fear was groundless and had they known, they should have let her go sooner. Shima is about to finish Kaguya but it seems the carpenter guys are doing a surprise attack. Shima orders her men to fight back. She is going to take this stonefish ship to attack them and orders Otomo to protect this shrine. If they crush everything, no one else can buy their automation. Otomo is worried about the risk but Kaguya reminds him that he said he would be on her side. She says this place is like a lab and everyone is watching to see how human ego can go. She’s going to drag them all out and crush them. End it all. It’s like they’re being tested to see how they use those carpenter guys. Otomo replies that by the age they live in, that doesn’t change, no matter the time or planet. Kaguya suggests they return what they stole but that is exactly the reason why Shima can’t do it. Shima takes the stonefish ship to fight the carpenter guys. As Otomo is going to give back the sacred object, he is intercepted by Momiyama. As he struggles with Otomo, he tells Yukina and Otonashi to take the sacred object out and end the war. Thanks to the commotion, the bridge collapses. Shigyou goes to save Otonashi before she gets crushed. Then they realize something. They still have power despite not having a jewel. Masami and Shigyou start beating up each other. You done testing out? Nozomi and co arrive in time to give Kaguya the takoyaki package which is Daimon’s coat of arms. She pilots it to save Shima from doom. Shima remembers when she opened the pot, an octopus dropped out and turned into Otomo. Speaking of which, Momiyama’s head butt must have him remember his past. Outside, Rolling Girls flag the sacred objects to signal the end of the war.

In the aftermath, everyone helps out to fix the ship. Haruka recognizes the professor as Otomo and they hug. He reveals that when he escaped the pod, he went back in time and put himself to sleep to wake up tonight but made a small mistake somewhere. Rolling Girls sit and talk about stuffs. Yukina tells them about her tardiness in joining Hiyoshicho Propellers because she ran out of money after using it to help Maccha Green. But thanks to that, she was able to travel with everyone. The girls faintly remember they met an alien octopus when they were young. But could that be just a dream? The ship is ready and it is time for Chiaya to return. Nozomi feels she hasn’t fulfilled her requests but on the contrary Chiaya believes she has fulfilled many of them. Chiaya says her last goodbye and blasts off in the ship. Flashback reveals Chiaya indeed did meet those girls when they were young and when she was in her octopus form. When the ship blasts off into the gate, it scatters jewel throughout the different eras, the reason why we see jewels randomly falling from the sky. And there’s some narration about passion and tomorrow that I don’t understand. Not that I care anyway. We see snippets of everyone in the series going about with their normal lives. Nothing notable. Fighting clans make peace, enemies and friends get along, some still playing vigilante, Yukina trying to submit her manga work that is based on Rolling Girls and Haruka is still around but I think that sexy dress even makes Momiyama’s jaw drop!

Special 1
When Shigyou tries to unmask Maccha Green, the latter reveals half her face but the blinding light blinds her eyes. When Nozomi asks Masami too many coincidental questions about Maccha Green, Masami is starting to run out of excuses to keep her secret intact. Luckily she manages to change the subject and has Nozomi not speak any further if she is to concentrate on her riding. When Chiaya first meets the trio, she starts giving them nicknames that describes their character. Depressing, isn’t it? Ai protests and wants a different one. Yeah, she gets one. But it doesn’t sound so good either. Could it be that Chiaya isn’t really giving nicknames but doing so based on their physical observations?

Special 2
Thanks to the noisy bike engines, Nozomi and Yukina cannot hear each other well especially the latter misinterpreting she wants to go to toilet. Nozomi is amazed that Ai can sleep with all the noise and Ai says the vibration makes it good to sleep. They talk about music but Yukina again misheard that now Ai wants to go to toilet. And nobody knows that Chiaya is the one who really needs to go to the toilet. Ai is sorting the cleaning robots and thinks she has got the knack to order these guys around. Chiaya believes she can do this job too although Ai remains sceptical. To everyone’s surprise, Chiaya easily orders them to do impressive stuffs. And nobody is listening to Nozomi who is trying to dismantle one to find the bomb…

Special 3
When their bikes ran out of fuel, they thought Chiaya could help them call some cows to help push since the birds are attracted to her. Nope. No cows. How about koalas? Nope either. Do koalas live in Japan? Ai suggests something big and strong and before they know it, a shachihoko comes crashing down! Nozomi, Chiaya and Ai are trying to help make the shachihoko but they get distracted with whatever they’re making with the mould. The final product also turns out funny (because they had a ‘discussion’ on how a shachihoko should look like) and Yukina continue to tell them to take this job seriously.

Special 4
Ai continues to remind Nozomi about the stones. When Chiaya says she’ll help all of them, Ai suggests she’ll be the next one to use the stone. That way they can tick off her request and it will be real easy to help Nozomi with hers. They discuss what Chiaya would become if she becomes a Mosa. A photographer who can snap rapid shutters with super accuracy? Chiaya notes she can already do that… The girls dress up as maiko and since it is hard to identify or tell each other apart (Nozomi already gets it wrong despite travelling together all the time), each wear their trademark. This means Ai is wearing her bra and that feels like it ruined everything…

Special 5
Chiaya asks Yukina how one holds it in (the nervousness of letting her guard down) but she gets the wrong idea of stomach cramps and dispenses the wrong advice of wearing haramaki. Of course this isn’t what Chiaya is looking for. The rest didn’t help too because they also got the wrong idea. Tooth cavity? Speeding? All wrong! Chiaya talks to Ai if she is still mad at Nozomi. She feels she is no longer mad and all they need to do is reconcile. The more they talk about her, the more Nozomi sneezes but could it be she is sleeping outside instead of the warm futon?

Special 6
When Nozomi and co are riding, they thought Yukina was lying on the ground when it is actually Kuramochi. Ai is certain that looks very much like an old man but the duo are sure that is Yukina. They describe Yukina’s habits that tend to mimic an old guy. When they arrive closer, Nozomi confirms this isn’t Yukina and Kuramochi. Ai is annoyed they know each other and shouldn’t have mistake him for someone else then. On the night Chiaya is to leave for her home planet, Nozomi is thinking hard about the parting words she needs to say to her. Yukina and Ai naturally say theirs and this puts pressure on Nozomi. Can she do it? Cat caught her tongue? Need to say something! Nozomi felt she is ‘saved’ when Chiaya says she will always be her Maccha Green. Nozomi also says the same thing but this makes it even more awkward.

Just Roll With It
Sadly I must admit that what started out with great expectations of the series, the enthusiasm and all of it starts fizzling out not even reaching the halfway mark! In the end, I never really understood what the entire plot is all about. Sure, it is about Rolling Girls going around to provide help as per the letters. But each time they get involved in something, solved it and go on their way to the next town. Pretty much the same formula for this series since many of the episodes can form a mini arc of its own. I never really understood the deeper parts of the problems that each nation faced. I am just as blur as whoever doesn’t know what is going on. I don’t know if they ever explained crucial pieces of information in the series because my interest was wavering so I might have missed it. I think this is the biggest factor that made the series flop. Lots of stuffs remained unexplained. And then they finally twist the story in the final arc which takes up more episodes than your usual 2, with Chiaya being an octopus alien from another world and must be sent back. Eh? So? SO?! I just didn’t get it. Ultimately I just gave up thinking and just accepted whatever it is as it is. Just take what I can understand even if I understood it the wrong way. Just go with the flow. Just roll with it. Just end it.

Even sadder are the main characters that aren’t much. Feels a bit boring. What you see is what you get. Nozomi the airhead, Yukina the seemingly gloomy girl and Ai who always charges in straight with her fist first because they do the talking better than her head does any thinking. Something in me feels like I want to sing that Pokemon song each time I hear Ai wanting to become the best… “I wanna be the very best, like no one else ever was”… Then we have Chiaya with a slight mystery about her especially they keep us wondering how the heck she knows their childhood names. And when the big revelation comes, I don’t know, I just felt it didn’t live up to expectations. So I don’t know what the quartet actually wants. Sure, to travel together and make memories during their trip while not forgetting their mission to help those requested for assistance in the letters. Because despite clearly stating that the payment for help would be jewels, in the end Nozomi just couldn’t take them because it would make her feel just bad. So what is she? Doing charity? And Ai is always desperate to have one for her own because she just wants to become stronger. Eventually they had to fight, break up, reconcile and reunite. Ah, main ingredients of a friendship anime. Hardly exciting… I want to make a pun out of rolling stones don’t gather moss in relation to this but I just couldn’t find the right inspiration for it…

Thanks to the nature of the episodes in which they form mini arcs of their own, the characters that appear only in that arc also do not amount to anything much or memorable. Each one has their fair share of problem, some sort of misunderstanding, some sort of tussle of something. In the end, it all works out. Bonds are created or repaired. Enemies become friends. At least that is how we see it in the final credits montage. Everybody is just getting along with each other so well that you’d never believe they had some sort of fight in the first place. Now, care to reunite your independent nations into the big ol’ nation that we once knew as Japan? Well, I don’t see it turning out that way. Speaking of minor characters, I noticed that in every arc they utilize those carpenter guys to do something. I don’t know much about them but they look like they have some sort of ulterior motive and I thought they aren’t humans because they feel like clones or something. I don’t know. Remember those Hiyoshicho Propellers? No? Neither do I. Forgotten? Probably.

As for other minor recurring characters, they fare as bad as the main characters. Like Masami and Shigyou who once started out as respected Mosas, suddenly I find them turning into jokers and clowns of the series. Each time they thought they can do something, they get owned. And then it is revealed that the jewels don’t actually give them those super powers. I mean, what are those jewels for then anyway? Yeah, putting that time travelling thing now confuses the hell lot of me. So does this mean the Mosas everywhere aren’t necessarily strong because of the jewel but due to their latent power? At least this solves the problem of why when Ai finally got her hands on one she didn’t power up. Momiyama feels like a multi-tasking agent who is there at the right place, right time while Haruka’s obscure goal in collecting the jewels was perhaps a big troll because all she is was worried about her daughter and sending her back. But why isn’t she going back herself? Argh! So confused. Okay, I promise myself not to talk about the characters or the plot anymore. To summarize: It’s confusing and poorly done.

Many of the things that I thought would be running jokes of the series start to fizzle out later like Shigyou’s obsession in collecting sentai masks. Yeah, I don’t get it about her past either. Then there is Yukina and her hideous drawings of facial expressions. I don’t know how she improved on that. What about Chiaya when she turns into her octopus form, something bad usually and almost happens to her? For example, she could have ended up in her friends’ stomach as dinner! There is something about Momiyama and his ex-band. But I suppose I was just thinking too much and there is nothing more to that. Isn’t it funny that people recognize him as part of Momi-Han just after looking at his sideburns? Yeah, it is like sideburns define the band. Oh, it is. And oh, I noticed that the guard at the checkpoints at every nation is the same person. Look the same, sound the same. Sisters? Clones? Robots?

If there is one thing that greatly stands out for this anime, it is the special effects in the drawing and art. Firstly, let me mention that almost in each episode, it has become some sort of a running joke to see ‘weaklings’ being blown away thanks to the powers of the Mosas clashing. Yeah, it was fun, ridiculous as it may seem. It was some sort of ‘trademark’ for this show. And when you have super powered people fighting, you can see lots of super special glittering effects that makes them look cool. The big booming action may seem ridiculous but I guess it is more tolerable and easier to understand than the plot or the characters. At least the over the top action makes the overall series palatable although it is still not quite enough to save it. Another nice thing is the drawing of the characters especially many of the girls do look quite pretty. You know I’m a sucker for a pretty face. So many of them despite their simple features, they surprisingly look beautiful. Yes, seriously.

As for the general art and drawing for the background and sceneries, this one is a mixed call. You will tend to notice that it looks very much like water colour painting art that your 5 year old drew. And then the producers decided that these are great works of art and decided to slap them into the episodes since our usual animators can’t get it done in time. Yes, certain scenes obviously look so sloppy and so water colour-like that you wonder if they put in any effort in drawing them. Or could it be that they don’t have enough budget and thus concentrate on the characters and objects in the foreground and just leave the backgrounds as it is. But on the bright side, having such water colour-like drawings make this series unique. Because the colours and hues are quite bright and vivid like as though you are in some fantasy land although you’re still mostly in Japan but as said, each prefecture has become an independent nation and embraced some sort of weird culture.

Voice acting, nothing really stands out. Thanks to the many characters appearing, the list is a very long one. Don’t worry. I won’t be listing even a quarter of them. The only voices I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Haruka and Saori Hayami as Mamechiyo. There are other veteran seiyuus lending their voice that I couldn’t recognize like Tomokazu Seki as Momiyama, Mai Nakahara as Misa and Ayumi Fujimura as Masami. The rest of the main casts include Ari Ozawa as Nozomi (Sakura in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun), Rina Hidaka as Yukina (Airi in Ro-Kyu-Bu), Yumiri Hanamori as Chiaya (Uri in Etotama), Risa Taneda as Ai (Mirai in Kyoukai No Kanata), Fuyuka Oura as Shigyou (Ren/Run in To Love-Ru) and Nozomi Furuki as Otonashi (Miwa in Barakamon). The opening theme is Tsuki No Bakugekiki by The Rolling Girls and the ending theme is Hito Ni Yasashiku also by the same quartet. The rock outfit of both themes do sound fun to get you into the pace of the anime. Till the episodes somewhat ruined them… There are quite a number of insert songs mostly sung by them although I don’t find such rock pieces to be as appealing as the opening and ending ones.

Perhaps this series tries to do something unique and different but ultimately eventually falls flat. It tries to be flashy and over the top but couldn’t maintain the overall momentum. It tries to have everything from robots to aliens to music and bikes but it was just confusing in the end. I doubt with that kind of ending, there is very little chance any sort of sequel is possible. I mean, would it really be the same if the girls minus Chiaya continue their journey? And if so, for what purpose? Don’t tell me about that journey-destination crap thingy. So unless they suddenly decide to bring back Chiaya with an outrageous excuse that some sort of mechanical failure made the rocket return… But in the future! Woah! Let me not get ahead of myself. As far as I can see with everybody having differences, looks like talking isn’t going to settle things peacefully. The fists are going to do the talking. At least in here is where action speaks louder than words. Better than being NATO. No Action, Talk Only. Yeah…

Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic

November 7, 2015

I suppose the genre of cute girls doing cute things is still going strong. Because I noticed that for animes that fall under this category, many are getting a sequel. I figure we can’t get enough of all those sparkly cuteness of the girls and their cute doings, no? Therefore it is with no surprise, Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic has become part of the statics by becoming the second season for the series. All you need to know about this series is about a group of cute girls, 2 of them blondes directly from England having their home stay programme with their Japanese friends. And one of the Japanese girls is a blonde maniac-cum-addict. No, this is not some sick perversion show. If you enjoy seeing cute girls doing cute doings and bonding their friendship in the meantime with no real plot whatsoever, you’ll find this season is no different either. Geez. How many times have I said cute girls doing cute things?

Episode 1
Alice’s mom receives a letter from her about her wonderful stay in Japan. Isami teases Alice’s blonde hair is dull this year and Shinobu actually panics! You don’t joke to her about this kind of things!!! This year will be Alice’s second year in Japan. Starting the new school term, it seems Shinobu and Alice are no longer in the same class. Although Alice has got Yoko for company at least Shinobu has Karen and Aya with her. Because of that, Alice already misses her! Even though they are just a few doors away… They try communicating telepathically. Doesn’t work of course. Aya takes it upon herself to keep an eye on Shinobu and Karen because who knows if their grades slip, it will be big trouble if they stayed back a year. But she too feels lonely without Yoko and visits her class although acting like her usual tsundere mode that she is here for Alice. Karen seems to not really like her homeroom teacher, Akari Kuzehashi. She views her strict and like a tiger waiting to eat her. Don’t look now but there she is right behind you! Kuzehashi reminds Karen of the printouts that she is supposed to hand in. I don’t know what Karen is thinking because she thinks of digging up dirt on her and observes what she does. Hmm… All good things… She is spotted and then reminded again. Despite her strict looks, we hear from Kuzehashi’s side that she actually likes students but thanks to her intense stare at them, they become scared. Her formal suit is to set a model standard so she asks Karasuma for suggestions for her student to like her. Wear bunny ears? She should have known better. Karen is caught again badmouthing her. Karen thought she could be optimistic about it but since Kuzehashi views it as she is not repenting her actions, she gets reprimanded this time.

Yoko and Aya notice Alice and Karen making observations on Shinobu and writing it down in a book. They claim they are fans of Shinobu and want to know her likes and dislikes as well as how she thinks. Alice talks to her first but couldn’t help start flustering the moment Shinobu says she likes her. Aya thought of taking the less direct approach but when asked about the problems she is facing, the plan backfired because Shinobu asks her back and Aya can’t wait to pour it all out. Karen plays detective and brags about the stuffs she knows about her. But Shinobu also knows some stuffs about Karen… Although they have gathered quite some information about Shinobu, Alice views this is not enough. Need more? They start wondering why Shinobu loves blondes and especially foreign countries so much. Was it the home stay at England that kicked start it all? Shinobu reveals that when she was young, she met an old foreign lady who needed directions to the train station. At that time Shinobu didn’t know a word of English and panicked but luckily an English fluent speaking lady came to her help. Ever since, Shinobu became interested to bring people closer via the power of words. But what made her decided to become an interpreter was her home stay with Alice.

Episode 2
Kuzehashi tries to smile… I know we have to give her points for smiling but she looks mean and scaring the students away! Karen then comes up to her to ask for her scrunchie. Turns out they are playing some sort of tag. Now Kuzehashi is mad! Kuzehashi is desperate to get her students to like her as she asks Karasuma for advice. Maybe she should work on her smile… Yup. Still looking menacing. Later Karen gives Kuzehashi some sesame seeds as gift. It only serves to make her feel she doesn’t understand her students. Shinobu invites her friends to her home for an English afternoon tea party. Shinobu is all geared up as a maid but thanks to her clumsiness by spilling drink all over it, I guess she’ll have to get back into her ordinary clothes. Karen is a little late since she will be bringing a cake stand. However she brought a delivery box instead since the other was heavy and thinks this is pretty similar. It is not! As the girls start baking cookies, Yoko’s clumsiness irks Aya and Shinobu tells them to pick up the pace or it will be night fall by then. By the time they are finished, Isami signals that it is dinner time and to save their tea party for tomorrow. So the quintet eat their cookies for lunch at school. As they have made a lot, they give away the extras to others. Karen gives some to Kuzehashi as she notices there are sesame seeds in it. Is this some sort of message? Karasuma thinks this means sesame seeds are the trend among young girls today. So she goes to class making open sesame puns. Only Shinobu plays along… Kuzehashi’s class will be sewing happi coats. Despite her scary facial expression not to mess around, what she actually meant was for them to be careful with the sharp tools. Alice happily makes a wedding head gear till Yoko had to ruin it with a local urban legend that those who do it before their wedding means they will be delaying their own wedding. Now she isn’t so keen on it anymore. As class ends, Kuzehashi felt that she did not make any progress with her students. Karen surprisingly gives her a little tiger mascot she made. All she wants is to see her smile. Kuzehashi might be seeing things because she thought Karen is trying to ‘tame the tiger’. A few days later, the students feel Kuzehashi has been more cheerful and easier to talk to lately. Karen thinks all this is thanks to her and that they are friends now. She pushes her luck by asking her to dance with her but Kuzehashi remembers Karen did not do her homework… Oops… Time to run away from the tiger! Ah well, back to square one.

Episode 3
Shocking news!!! Alice and Karen are not English but 100% Japanese!!! Turns out to be a joke. Phew. Thank goodness. They say England loves jokes that even the newspaper publishes fake articles but Aya tells them about lying too much or some god will tear out their tongue! I hope that’s a joke. Speaking of liars, this reminds Yoko of her little twin siblings, Kouta and Mitsuki. They have a notorious reputation for lying. Suddenly they pop up before them. Say what? They transferred here?! Don’t lie! Truth is they forgot their house key and put up crocodile tears to the teachers to get permission and wait in the infirmary. Aya thinks they also came because they’re lonely and wanted to see Yoko. The twins then say they don’t like their sister and this gives Yoko a big broken heart. After Aya brings them to the infirmary, she says she can tell they were lying that they hate their sister. As long as you are honest, you can get through her. Why do I have a feeling Aya is also trying to say this for herself? As Karen is the only child, she thought of acting out with Shinobu as her big sister. They pretend to fight but Shinobu is so convinced and starts apologizing! When the twins tell Yoko they do not hate her, she doesn’t know if it’s the truth or not but eventually she gives in to sibling love. Later Aya tries to be friendly and get closer with Yoko but since she is too nervous and Aya too dumb to notice, it is all over in a flash.

Because Alice misses her dog, Poppy back home but Shinobu has a fear of them because they can’t stop barking at her, Yoko thought of cheering them up by introducing Aya as her pet! Oh, you don’t know how she is feeling right now. Because of that, Shinobu would gladly be Alice’s dog. However this doesn’t sit well with her. Then her Poppy meter reaches its max and she faints. Karasuma goes to her rescue by putting on dog ears and acting like a dog. Kuzehashi is amazed how she handle the situation so Karasuma reveals to the girls that Kuzehashi has a pet cat. As Yoko asks about Aya what kind of pet she likes, Aya says she doesn’t need any because she has friends like them. It could have been a cool and heart-warming statement had not dumb Yoko start interpreting Aya sees them all as pets! Is this to get back at her? Shinobu thinks of asking Isami to allow the family to have a dog for Alice’s sake but Isami says no because they smell and costs money. Can she reconsider? No means no… That’s it. That’s as far as you go. Later Shinobu makes a dog toy to cheer Alice up. When Alice is running errands, she sees the twins and they whisper something to her. Soon all the friends rush to Yoko’s house because they heard something about her. She could speak 12 languages?! She’s going on a journey as a hero?! She’s going to be married???!!! As expected, they were just lies because the twins wanted to play with them. Nobody could be more relieved than Aya and the twins can tell from her looks that she is more honest today.

Episode 4
When Alice spots Aya in the streets in very adult-like clothes, embarrassed Aya claims she is a mannequin! Alice too once had that problem and she suggests becoming delinquents when she asked Isami why she looks so grownup, her answer was it was probably she wasn’t a ‘good girl’ like them. So the duo start acting like delinquents but they’re hardly threatening. I mean, smoking air cigarettes? Shinobu knows a way to approach them: Give them a banana?! Are they wild animals?! Karen has experience being a delinquent and decides to show them by breaking some glasses but Kuzehashi heard that and goes after her. When Alice thinks of dying her hair black as part of the delinquent process, SHINOBU BECOMES MAD!!! OMG! And because of that, their friendship is strained. Later Shinobu feels bad for saying too much and decides to go apologize. But since she can’t find her, she thinks she has run back to England! Actually she was just getting some juice at the vending machine. The duo make up in no time and back to best friends again. If you’re wondering why Alice doesn’t have Shinobu withdrawal symptoms, it is because Kuzehashi made a life size pillow with Shinobu’s picture on it for her! Karasuma confiscates it (for fear she may fall asleep in class) but when Shinobu enters the teacher’s lounge and sees Karasuma sleeping on that pillow, she gets the wrong idea. Aya is sad that she has cut her bangs too much and is desperate for someone to teach her to grow her hair faster. So desperate that she is watering and treating it like a plant! So desperate that she wears a box over her head! But Aya feels somewhat insulted when Karen places a hair accessory to make it matching hairstyle like hers. As Alice is tending to her plants in the garden club, she is worried that it is not blooming well. Too much sunlight or too much rain may be the factors. Alice starts crying thinking she’ll never make them grow so the friends couldn’t bear to see the blond loli cry and yell at the plants to grow faster! Of course at the end of the day, the plants grow well and they deduce the meaning of marigold as friendship. Till Aya had to ruin it by mentioning its other meaning of envy.

Episode 5
When Isami mistakenly puts salt instead of sugar in their drinks, Shinobu reveals this means she is in a slump. They think of cheering her up by inviting her out with them. Shinobu suggests holding a contest to take pictures and there will be a cash prize for the winner. While Shinobu dresses up like as though she is going to the ball, Isami disguises herself wearing Shinobu’s school uniform. Among the photo shooting spree from the girls at the mall include Karen taking pictures of Kuzehashi who looks different in casual clothes, Karen and Isami take a picture at the photo booth with only Karen making poses but Isami remaining the same, Isami wearing glasses on glasses and Shinobu collecting a heap of English travel brochures that will last her a month of fantasizing. Well, they say your mind is the greatest vehicle to take you to places. When she is about to fall thanks to the weight of the brochures, Isami saves her and in a way, brings her out of her slump. In the end, the winner of the photo contest is Isami as there is a shot she took where all of them coincidentally closed their eyes. In class when Karen shows Karasuma the photos of Kuzehashi, that teacher becomes embarrassed and corners Karen to hand over the film! But hers is a digital camera… Don’t be funny! Alice after reading the folktale, The Straw Millionaire, decides to experiment herself by trading up. She starts out with Isami, trading her kokeshi dolls with a picture whom Isami says will definitely be a good trade to Aya. That picture is one of Aya with Yoko. It is no surprise that Aya wants to pay for it! But eventually she trades it with an animal book. Kuzehashi hasn’t got anything to trade for this book when Karasuma will take it in exchange for her bunny headgear. Alice felt the value just gone down. Even worse, Yoko will trade that for her bottle water. Not just any water, it contains her energy! Don’t you feel cheated? Karen trades that bottle since she is almost choking on a food. But with a diamond ring???!!! Holy cow! And she says it doesn’t cost much but just 10,000 Yen???!!! How rich is she???!!! This causes Alice to feel guilty and perhaps learn the wrong lesson this is a way to get valuable items without effort. When Isami sees this, she wants to trade again. This diamond with what? Will Shinobu do? Gladly! That is so priceless! A win-win-win situation for everybody!

Episode 6
I guess Yoko was so hungry that even when Alice brought a fake sushi, she quickly eats it! Her teeth must hurt. Don’t worry. Karen has a flier where she can eat her fill for free. If she can finish this insane parfait, that is. Yoko takes up the challenge as the girls head to a cafe. Karen’s classmate, Honoka Matsubara who works in this family restaurant is shocked to see her and tries to hide herself via cat mask. Too bad Aya recognizes her voice. Honoka serves Yoko to jumbo parfait and Yoko better finish it because the penalty of not doing so is 8,000 Yen! While Karen and Alice try out wearing the waitress outfit, suddenly Yoko feels she cannot continue anymore… There is more than half left… Defeated?! Meanwhile Karasuma actually finished the entire parfait and tries to sneak out before any students could recognize her. Too bad Honoka is so freaking amazed at her ‘talent’. Honoka and Shinobu form a Blonde Alliance when the former points out there is a strand of blonde hair on her clothes. Because Honoka wants to get Karen’s email address, Shinobu cheers on her but it isn’t easy as it seems. Nervous and all that. Finally when she has got the courage to go ask her, Karen gladly gives her. Honoka has fun texting to her for the first time. But the next day Shinobu sees dark rings around Honoka’s eyes because Karen couldn’t stop texting her the whole night. When Karasuma and Kuzehashi see the girls on their way home, the girls are surprised to learn Kuzehashi once belonged to the athletics club. Maybe that is why she can always catch cheeky Karen when she runs away. Even more surprising is Karasuma who was once from the theatre club. She would gladly give them a demonstration and drags Kuzehashi to act out in this twisted Cinderella story where the poor princess loves to clean everything at her stepmom’s command. Karen then asks what it was like for them being students before. Karasuma shows a picture of her high school days when she didn’t wear glasses yet. This has Kuzehashi remember meeting senior Karasuma for the first time when she was a junior (she accidentally kicked Karasuma’s ass when she was bent down looking for something). And boy, were they the odd friends around hanging out together. Kuzehashi didn’t realize up till now that senior was actually Karasuma! WTF?! After the girls leave, Kuzehashi feel she doesn’t compare much being a teacher to her. But Karasuma believes that her words would have a long lasting impact on them even for the years to come.

Episode 7
Summer is here and Karen thinks wearing sleeveless to school will be cool. Till the friends ‘threaten’ to tell this to her parents that she becomes obedient. Seems Karen fears her mom because she is scary when she is mad. When Karasuma sees Kuzehashi still wearing her suit for summer, she thought of being thoughtful by matching her. But what’s with the bunny getup? It doesn’t take long for Karasuma to faint from the heat. That night, Karen suddenly runs to Shinobu and Alice’s home crying and ranting in English. Seems she had a fight with her dad about some necklace she wanted. He refused and she ran away. So she’s staying here for the night? Don’t worry. Shinobu allows it. The more blondes the better! Even her mom approves! So when Isami comes home, her eyes aren’t playing tricks when she sees double blondes. Alice must feel threatened about her place and tries to match and outdo Karen’s helping around the house. So much so, Shinobu becomes a sad cat as the blondes bond further. Later that very same night, Karen calls to make up with her dad. Even good news with dad has already bought that necklace. Now all the I-love-yous are coming out. Karen shares this happiness by calling all of her friends. Hey, at least she is happy. When Shinobu wants to hear more of Alice and Karen’s days in England, we have a flashback all spoken in English (duh!). Alice was studying Japanese hard and Karen wasn’t amused because this means they weren’t having fun together. When Karen thinks she could get her attention by bringing some Japanese game but never came back, Alice started to worry and went to look for her. She saw a cat having Karen’s shoe and fears the worst. Karen had fallen down a wall slope after a cat distracted her. Her ankle is twisted and it hurts like hell. Night is approaching fast so Karen desperately calls out to Alice in which luckily she heard it. They head home and Karen is very thankful for saving her. That’s what friends are for. Back in present, the blondes continue their bonding and Shinobu can’t help feel left out again. So much so, her worrywart has her call the authorities because a certain blonde still hasn’t come home. It has only been 30 minutes…

Episode 8
Summer vacation will soon be here so Karen and Yoko argue where to go. The sky or the beach? Eventually Karen relents and so the beach it will be. But this only serves to worry Aya because she is not confident of her waistline. Assurances from Yoko only makes her cry harder. The girls hang out at a fast food joint. Alice observes Karen ordering a smile with her food and thought this is what Japanese do and does the same. It made Shinobu laugh nonstop at how cute she was. They notice a couple spilled some food on the clothes so Aya starts fantasizing how great it would be if Yoko would be the one to clean her up. She is in a dilemma to get her clothes dirty that she looks like she’s coming down with some illness. As they talk, they wonder if Alice misses her parents or would like to go visit them during the holidays. Alice can’t bear to leave Shinobu although the latter would love Alice to let her parents know how much she has grown since coming to Japan. She might be using some chicken metaphor but chickens don’t fly even when they have grown up! When Aya mentions the big problem that they haven’t studied yet, Yoko and Karen start putting on glasses. Is this their way to say that they are blind from reality? And when the tests results come out, only Alice and Aya did well. Alice shows Yoko a handkerchief with a black spot in the centre. When she was doing the laundry, she thought of ironing Shinobu’s favourite handkerchief. You can guess what happens next. Alice is afraid that Shinobu will scold her and for each passing moment, finds it hard to apologize to her. Can Kuzehashi do something about it? Nope. Apologize is the only way. Seeing how pitiful she is, Kuzehashi even agrees to go apologize with her. Shinobu must be stumped on what is going on. But with Alice coming clean, the duo make up in no time. All you worried unfounded. Aya didn’t expect Yoko to throw the trash with her so she freaks out so much so it scares them both. Aya helps Alice go shop for a swimsuit. That picture Alice drew… Doesn’t the bikini look like a sumo loincloth? The last obstacle for the day for Shinobu: Showing mom her report card. I take it that running away is her way of telling us she is running away from reality. When she comes home, Isami wants to see it. She shows it. Wow. Lots of praises. Turns out it is Alice’s report card. So where is hers? Suddenly Shinobu starts pleading and begging for forgiveness… What’s with the sudden high drama?

Episode 9
Aya is coming up with a homework schedule for Yoko because throughout the years the same thing always happens. On the last day Yoko will be begging to ask her help on her homework. The problem now is how to hand it to her. Calling her resulted in Aya panting like a stalker. Sending an email about that would make it worse. Making her way there, Aya thinks Yoko may not be at home when she receives a call from her. Aya couldn’t fluster more when Yoko was just behind her. It is a good thing they pass each other since Yoko had the same idea of going to her house. After passing her the schedule, Yoko seems to be staring at Aya instead of starting her work. Although she claims Aya is very girly but she blunders by mentioning about her own chest which is feeling a little tight. Yoko then fools around with Aya, hugging her around. That is when the twins return from their school’s pool and see this freaking ambiguous yuri act. When Aya splits the ice cream to share with Yoko but unevenly splits it, Yoko bites Aya’s bigger portion (because Aya felt bad in having the bigger part) but at the same time causing her to be mad because it’s like an indirect kiss. And Yoko thought she wanted to eat it. Karen might be visiting Shinobu and Alice every day but she’s bored. How about reading? That entire book with only words? Maybe next time. Shinobu reveals her secret that she wants to go to the beauty salon today so Alice fears she might want to dye her hair blonde. Shinobu didn’t actually think about that! The blondes visit Honoka in her tennis club’s practice match. They distract her and Honoka got the ball bounced right into her forehead! Don’t worry. No serious injuries. As they hang out together, Karen uses a fake money bill to wipe her sweat (damn rich girl) and I don’t know why Honoka tries to copy it but uses a coin. When they return home, Alice sees Shinobu’s new look like a kokeshi doll. Personally, I don’t see a difference. Noting that Honoka is here, Shinobu feels she is not dressed for the occasion and returns in a cat maid outfit. When Alice gives Isami her ice cream, it has melted that it is now like soup! So disappointed… The girls play dress up to pass the time. As Karen leaves with Honoka, she invites her to come with the rest to the beach. Unfortunately she has a tennis game then. But she feels she is weak and wonders if Karen knows any good luck charms. I don’t think hypnosis is a good idea… Karen views Honoka good enough to win and worst come to worst, just pray to the sun. On match day, Honoka is doing great. Thank the sun, right?

Episode 10
The girls make their way to the beach via train. The blondes fight over the right to sit with Shinobu who is just in ecstasy in between. But there is no such rivalry for Yoko and why is Aya being such a tsundere? Because she’s Aya… Also at this same beach are Karasuma and Kuzehashi. Although they had lots of work to do, Karasuma mentioned about the new swimsuit she bought and tested it out in her bathtub. Kuzehashi felt pity for her and instantly they were on their way. However Kuzehashi is too technical and cautious which takes out a lot of fun. So we get to see the girls in their swimsuits. Nothing flashy, mind you. But why is Shinobu in her ordinary dress? She thinks she can take on nature like this? Too bad the tidal wave got her. Shinobu must be having bad luck with beaches. She can’t swim, got her leg cramps and is afraid of a harmless hermit crab. Aya takes up Yoko’s challenge to do distance swimming. But the thought that she might drown and Yoko will do CPR on her has her give up before she starts. Yoko thinks she chickened out. Suddenly Alice comes running to them. It seems Shinobu is missing. While Alice went to buy drinks, she might have wandered off. Then the announcement describes Alice as a lost girl. Turns out Shinobu made that report and is still frantically doing so because a certain blonde didn’t come back in 5 minutes!!! WTF???!!! Shinobu almost squeezed her to death… As they stop by the beach house to eat, Aya isn’t sure what to order and will have what Yoko is having. Regret having a big tonkatsu serving? Yeah. Why blame her? After visiting the souvenir shop, they visit the nearby aquarium. Shinobu and Alice watch the ocean as the former notes England is just far away across the ocean. Even if Alice goes home, they’ll still be connected by the sea. Shinobu will take a raft to go see he if she gets lonely. Alice wisely suggests taking a plane. On the way back, Yoko tells Aya she can sleep on her if she’s tired. Flustered Aya denounces that and will absolutely (x100 times) never ever (x1000 more times) do that. Karasuma and Kuzehashi are getting souvenirs but the latter feels it is a shame to go home. So the duo have an extended stay at the beach watching the stars from the hotspring. This is the life.

Episode 11
Karen leaves cryptic messages for Honoka to find her at school so she can give her a surprise. Too bad Kuzehashi found Karen first. She is about to give her usual lecture but Karen lets her ponder over some English riddle to escape. For the next few scenes we see Karen and Honoka hanging out together. Karen then tells her that she and Alice will be leaving for England although it will be just for a week. Shinobu sees Alice marking down the days of their vacation and notices a mark on a certain date. It is the day the blondes will be going back to England. Why look so shock, Shinobu? Didn’t Alice tell you this? Alice starts packing early, suddenly Shinobu jumps into her bag! Holy cow! She can’t fit! But take her along please!!! Alice tries to fit her in! Does not work. At least we know they fail at human trafficking and smuggling. Early next morning, Karen’s dad picks up Alice to head to the airport. And you can tell Shinobu has fast fallen into depression with her blonde withdrawal symptoms. Isami sees how pitiful she is but can’t help laugh after noticing she looks so much like a kokeshi doll this way. The lack of Alice is getting to Shinobu. Proof? She mistakes Aya as Alice just because of her twintails! Aya and Yoko accompany Shinobu in her home and they can obviously see she is breaking down. However Shinobu vows to become stronger so she can greet Alice with a smile when she returns. But I think she is getting the wrong idea of becoming stronger by working out her muscles… More woes for Shinobu because right after she finished bath, she missed a phone call from Alice to say she has touchdown in England safe. He mom picked it up… To calm Shinobu’s insecurities, Aya and Yoko sleepover at her place. Don’t be surprised if they treat her like a child. Remember last season we had that pirate fantasy? This time we have magical girl fantasy! Magical girls, Alice, Aya and Yoko must save Shinobu who has been turned into a kokeshi doll at the wretched hands of evil Karen and the twins as her underlings. In order to defeat them, they must use some forbidden technique. Shinobu wakes up from this pleasant dream and Aya misinterprets what it is and wants to see it.

Episode 12
Alice narrates her times in England when suddenly Shinobu has arrived to visit her! Actually it is Karen in disguise and she is bored fulfilling Alice’s request to play Shinobu. Take it from the top once more! Alice is worried that Shinobu might have forgotten about them albeit it is only a week but could it be that Alice is the one in danger of what Shinobu looks like? I thought the next few scenes felt odd. Because Alice and her mom are conversing in Japanese! I wanted to think it is for the convenience but subsequent scenes show them speaking in English too! Feels funny. English women speaking Japanese… On the morning they are to depart for Japan, Alice’s mom calls Shinobu to let her know. It is night time over in Japan and just when Shinobu is about to doze off, she springs back to life upon hearing Alice’s call! The much needed motivation of the week. I guess Alice is panicking on what to say and rants a long line in English so Shinobu starts off with a simple hello. Karen then switches with Alice to talk but after that hangs up. Alice couldn’t be more disappointed. She wants to talk more. Why not call again? I think international calls via fixed line phones are still expensive. On the morning our Japanese girls are supposed to greet them, Shinobu dresses up in her very best although it is just picking them up from the front of her doorstep. They could be singing reunited and it feels so good because Shinobu gets a week’s worth of blonde squeeze. As they have lots of gifts for them to choose from, Isami chooses a video that Karen recorded on Alice during her depression of missing Shinobu. Alice would gladly talk to Shinobu about her days at England. Till she realizes Shinobu hasn’t touched her homework yet! Not good…

Good news: She somehow finishes it on the morning of the first day of the new school term. Bad news: She only scored 5% for her English test! OMG! How can this be? She loves English and blondes so much and yet failed simple English?! As they discuss what Shinobu’s talents are, here comes Yoko who is feeling depressed. She accidentally tore Mitsuki’s teddy bear’s arm. The fact that made Mitsuki mad wasn’t this but the sloppy repair job Yoko did. Duct tape? No wonder she’s mad. However instantly it is all repaired in Shinobu’s hands. The girls view Shinobu having great talent in clothing designer but Shinobu reminds them she wants to be an interpreter. With that kind of English score? Nobody is going to believe you. But Alice will support her if she wants to be one. And so Alice becomes the strict teacher in making Shinobu study like hell. Don’t worry. A little blonde touch is all the motivation she needs. Karasuma and Kuzehashi see the girls having fun. Kuzehashi regrets wasting her youth only studying. But it’s not too old to do a little high 5, right? When Alice receives airmail from her mom, Shinobu hopes that when she replies, she could also write a reply in English to help practice and reach her goal of becoming an interpreter. So she’s going to use a dictionary while at it? Wouldn’t it be faster if she writes in Japanese and then translate to English?

Cheerio! My Fair (Blonde) Ladies
Well… It was okay. It was fun. Nothing too over the top and nothing too disappointing. Unless you are expecting some sort of drastic changes that would shock any viewers then no. Overall, this sequel feels remains very much the same to its roots from the first season. There aren’t any much changes since except maybe introducing a couple of new characters and more deepening friendship and blonde bonding moments. It is pretty much the same formula that you would expect if you have watched the previous season. Some of the jokes and funny moments are still spontaneous that will make you burst into short quick laughs. This formula keeps the gags fresh rather than falling into the boring trap zone although some do feel a little cliché.

You can still expect to see the main characters remaining the same overall. Like airhead Shinobu who is still a crazy enthusiast in anything English and blonde. The blondes themselves are equally interested in the Japanese culture but not as obviously as crazy Shinobu. Sometimes I feel that this ‘interest swap’ thingy is something similar to Code Geass. A British siding the Japanese to take down his own kind and vice versa. Only difference is that in this series you don’t have that revenge plot and it feels like as though they’re born in the wrong culture and place. Then once bitten by the cultural love bug, they start loving a lot what the other culture has to offer.

Shinobu and Alice’s friendship has grown so much that it is just unthinkable to see them part. It has only been a couple of years but it seemed like an eternity. True friends, no? Just when one is missing from the other for a few minutes, they’ll lodge a missing complaint! Talk about being insecure! But oddly and one thing funny is that, despite the popular trends in today’s social media, you would think that the duo would have somewhat kept in touch using those. But I think the producers want to subtly let us know something more important than relying on social media tools. It is the age old face-to-face friendship that you can see being played out here. No need for fake friends and annoying trolls. Ah yes, true blue friendship in the flesh. So I’m sure they’re trying to pull some heart strings when Alice and Karen return to England for a week by showcasing the emotional drama that Shinobu goes through. A high and low roller coaster ride of emotions. But personally, I felt this was more of funny than tear jerking because you know, it’s Shinobu we’re talking about. And she might want to brush up on her English while at it. At least the blondes take the trouble to speak and improve their Japanese so why can’t Shinobu? Oh, there might be another reason why social media isn’t used but the good ol’ letter: Japan and England are on the opposite sides of the world. Difference in timeline… Be careful not to bother your friend on the other side of the world.

Adding to the fun are the rest of the friends, from Karen’s cheekiness to tomboyish Yoko as well as not forgetting to getting-to-be-so-obvious tsundere Aya. So obvious that it is annoying that you just want to shout it out in her face or smack her to tell her to just confess her yuri feelings for Yoko. I am not sure if Yoko is just being a nice girl to act oblivious to her feelings or just love to see those embarrassed tsundere reactions. Or maybe she is just that dense, that’s all. I don’t remember the twins or Honoka in the first season (I checked they did appear although just cameo as they were listed in last season’s credits) but this time it feels they have more screen time and impact (albeit minimal). Like the twins who have penchant for lying and are even made better liars thanks to their emotionless facial expressions. I wonder where they get this from. Comparing the twins with Yoko is like day and night. I figure Honoka having more prominence this season is to give Karen a pairing so as not to feel ‘left out’. Sure, Karen loves Shinobu but I feel that is only teasing instead of the real deal in Alice who even feels jealous or threatened if her special beloved one is with somebody else! So I thought since we have Shinobu x Alice and Aya x Yoko, don’t want to let Karen be the lonely one out and subtly it could be Karen x Honoka the next time. If they get another sequel.

Kuzehashi is a new character joining in this season but despite her serious approach, she is just deeply misunderstood. At least from the outside. Because deep down inside she just like any other teacher who wants to be loved by her students and a goofy adult whenever you see her get tricked by Karen’s prank or believing/pitying Karasuma’s story/circumstances. Speaking of Karasuma, she is still as dreamy as ever. And Isami is still the cool big sister but don’t fool around with her or make her mad. I have not seen her getting really angry but I have a feeling I don’t want to. So don’t push it when she says no to having a pet or when you better show your report card means you better show your own report card!

Still impressive is the way English is spoken in some of the scenes. Although I won’t go as far as to say they are a masterpiece and that you can’t catch some lines in ‘Engrish’ accent, at least hearing for most of the part doesn’t make you feel that you are hearing a Japanese trying hard to speak English for an English character so much so the failing is obvious. But still, I can’t help feel that the longer Alice or Karen speaks, the more it feels their narration or lines are like as though they are coming from a children’s TV programme. Exactly the same sentiments I had for last season too. But then again, maybe this is the trying part on the voice actresses’ side. They have to make it pronounce and sound clear enough so as not to be passed off as ‘Engrish’. A commendable feat at least for one whose primary language isn’t English.

Even the opening and ending themes retain the similar feel as in the previous season. In addition to be sung by Rhodanthe (the voice behind the main quintet), the opening theme, Yume-iro Parade is equally as vibrant, fun and exciting like last season’s Jumping!! Only difference is that there are a few versions of it. At least for the opening lines. Whether it starts off by the entire group or one of them. You can tell (and hear) when you see either a group picture or a cute mug shot of the girl. My Best Friends as the ending theme gives off that Broadway-like feel similar to Your Voice. But this season there is a special opening theme for that beach episode. Kirameki-iro Summer Rainbow has a different feel since it sounds a bit like country mixed with anime pop.

The sequel is still a fun and entertaining series to watch and those who enjoyed watching the first season would feel right at home here. Even safe for the family and kids to watch. Please note that the beach fanservice episode does not amount to anything that would raise any alarm bells. And yes, no violent blood-spilling limbs-dismembering action. Please do not have unrealistic expectations for such a cute anime and ruin it all. But you can ‘die’ from the overdose of the blonde moe blob moments instead. You have been warned… ;p

The only thing that I expected that didn’t come into realization is adding a new blonde character! Holy cow! Triple blonde treat! I am sure if that happens, Shinobu would die of nose bleed every day. A very happy death indeed. That is why I am thinking for the safety of her health, she can never travel to western countries or live among blonde people. But you know, seeing how Shinobu can sometimes be obsessed into taking things into her own hands if left to her own devices, she might just dye everybody’s hair blonde and make it a mandatory requirement if she ever becomes the head of Japan. And then you have blondes and not-blondes trying to un-blonde everything. Wow. Just feels like escalating towards Code Geass scenario. If that ever happens, that would be like taking blonde to a whole new level. Then it would be scary rather than cute.

Little Busters! EX

November 6, 2015

What happens when you have minor but likeable supporting characters? You give them a short spin-off of their own! And so this is the case that some of the girls in Little Busters that fall under this category who do not get enough love of the screen time are going to get some of that they deserve in Little Busters! EX. Yeah, what a way to acknowledge that they aren’t just unimportant characters that nobody cares by giving their own story, background or even adventure with the main character of the series. Heck, they should have been part of the main gang but I suppose too many cooks spoil the broth and that is why you have to resort to this. Okay, I just made that up but those are mainly my sentiments why this special series is created in the first place. Sort of. Enough of me talking. Time for these girls to shine.

Episode 1
Saya Tokido is seen shooting shadow monsters in the school’s hallways. When Riki learns Masato borrowed his notebook and left it in his desk in class, he decides to retrieve it. But he is quickly pinned down by Saya who tells him to run to the nearest exit. After he does so, he remembers about the notebook and returns to get it. He only finds Saya’s student ID. Next day he goes to return it in her class. He has a strange nostalgia of meeting her before despite this is the first time seeing her. Later he receives a mail to meet at the rooftop. Right away she tells him he will die a pitiful death. Excuse me? Because he has been wandering around the halls at night, he will be captured and interrogated by Darkness Executives. Saya becomes embarrassed when she gets to know he only realized that was her back then. After flustering, she tells him he will die now and initiates the start of the game. She pushes him off the ledge and tries to make him fall. Masato is passing by and thought he is rock climbing! Riki puts his trusts in him and falls off. He wakes up in bed in his room while thinking the events that has just happened. Thinking this is a game by Kyousuke, Riki confronts him to stop this. However he becomes serious and warns him never to speak of Darkness Executives again because they know his weakness and is for Rin’s safety. Riki thinks he shouldn’t let others get involved in this when the shadows start attacking him. As he runs to the clubroom, he gets caught in a trap. He is about to be strangled by the noose if not for Kengo cutting him down. Riki thinks Saya is out to kill him and making it look like suicide. So he thought he is going to take action but what can he do with a baseball bat when the enemy starts dropping electric poles and water balloons!

Riki manages to get to safety in his room but Saya is waiting there. She has decided not to kill him as she considers him lucky for avoiding all her traps. She wants him to team up as her partner. Otherwise he’ll be food for the Darkness Executives. At first she sounds confident when he didn’t need her help. But shortly she returns and threatens him to team up because she is an unlucky girl. Join her or die! Hey, she says she is unlucky, right? Does that mean he won’t die by her shot? But they have to run when the shadows appear. Wanting to know more about her, Saya explains she is a spy and is enrolled in this school to find a hidden revolutionary treasure. Those Darkness Executives are believed to be students or alumni of this school tasked with dealing with the problems behind the scenes. Since they are able to project their shadows, their real body is elsewhere. Saya has found the room where it would lead to the hidden treasure. She wants Riki to stay cover her while she tries to find a way in. Examining the different pressure plates on the floor, Riki deduces the way to solve this is to stack a pyramid on it using the furniture. The Darkness Executives show up as Riki gets his first taste in kill. Don’t worry. They’re not humans to begin with. Saya has found a big hole behind the wall. Time to go down this hole.

Episode 2
Inside the labyrinth, there are a few doors to choose from. Saya wants him to choose the one that will lead them the next floor. The rest are just death traps. Hey, he is the lucky kid, right? Unfortunately, every door they open they encounter traps till they finally slide down a hole. Riki might consider all that as bad luck but to Saya, they’re alive aren’t they? The mission is put on hold for now when Saya’s stomach growls. Can’t go on without an empty stomach? So Riki is willing to ditch hanging out with Masato just to go join Saya? As they go get food, she hints she has never played the crane machine before and before you know it, she’s already addicted to it and won several prizes. Having fun for a spy? Must be embarrassing to realize all that, eh? Next night, they continue their mission as Riki observes her clumsiness and flustering. Yeah, so cute that it just makes you want to protect her, no? So is it really fun to be dragged around by her? They come to a point where they need to find the right tile to trigger a path down. Darkness Executives are already here as Saya keeps them at bay while Riki finds the opening. Not only he manages to do that, he even saves Saya from the face of death. Wow. A few shots and Riki is a pro shooter already. In the next level, they stumble upon a hotspring. Too tempting to clean yourself? Well, Saya goes in first and if Riki turns around, she’ll kill him. They both start imagine like this is an open hotspring when suddenly a cold drip of water drops on Saya. She screams. Riki turns back thinking she’s under attack by Darkness Executives. Nothing shadowy but the glowing sight of holy fanservice! Louder scream? Don’t worry Saya. Riki claims he didn’t see anything. Anything… As they take a break, Saya mentions how she will be whisked away to another mission once this one ends. That is how it has always been. The duo then faintly remember about each other. They have indeed met before. When she starts crying, Riki remembers that he once loved her since long ago.

Episode 3
As they move on, Riki has lots of questions regarding the treasure and who Saya really is. In the next room they are faced with a stone guardian. I don’t think the pea shooter is doing it any good. Or that sword Riki found on the ground and repetitively hitting it. It’s like bug bite to that big thing. Saya sees a keyhole and has Riki toss that ‘sword’ to her. Once she inserts it, the giant crumbles. As she has sprained her leg, he carries her. Idiotic flustering mode… Start! After all that, she reveals she also likes him and tries to kiss him! But it shocks her when he evades her so now she wants to kill him. Or herself? Riki calms her down by telling her to close her eyes. A real kiss… But subsequently the idiotic flustering continues with Saya even making up gibberish words and illogical stuffs to ‘cancel out’ her embarrassment. WTF. They make their way to the final room where the strongest boss of this world, Shun Tokikaze who is also the leader of Darkness Executives awaits. They discuss what will the final treasure be and Saya believes it is a time machine. She wants to go back in time to redo everything again and meet him once more. She suggests if this mission ends successfully, please go on a date with her. I guess that is the motivation to finish this job. Now here comes Shun (sounding very familiar…) and since this is her fight, Saya will only face him alone. Riki has a bad feeling he will never see her again after this but she manages to convince him that they won’t reach the treasure if they don’t follow the rules. Steel bars separate them as Riki can only watch helplessly Saya’s gunfight with Shun. She gets shot and dies in her own pool of blood. Saya narrates she lost the game and died again. It has been the 99th time she’s been playing this. She chooses to play again. Everything restarts. It goes back to the scene where Riki is in the school hallway and Saya pins him down to tell him to escape. As he runs, she claims Riki will always be her one and only partner.

Episode 4
Saya narrates her tragic past. She never knew her mother and her father is a doctor who treated the poor and sick in war torn countries. Because she followed him around, the only relief is a manga named School Revolution a Japanese volunteer had brought. Once her father’s term ended, they return to Japan and she never knew how peaceful it was. She used to play a lot with Riki but one day a heavy rain caused a landslide in which Saya was killed and buried underneath it. Now Saya has been repeating this game so many times that she is worried if Riki still loves her. Don’t worry. Each time he has never failed to say those magical words. But each time she repeats, it means she will die. WTF is she doing?! In her latest confrontation with Shun, he mentions as a game master of this world, she is an anomaly that will disappear sooner or later. That is why she needs one more time to replay this game. The next time they reach Shun, she uses Riki to disguise as herself but this doesn’t food Shun. But this is part of Saya’s plan to use Riki as her shield because she has done her little research and knows very well Shun will not shoot Riki. Shun will prove her wrong but Riki fires his gun. He heard 3 gunshots fired simultaneously. Saya only has a flesh wound and Shun is down for the count. As reward for beating him, he tells them to take the elevator to the most bottom floor where the treasure awaits. Don’t worry. There are no more traps or tricks.

At the 60th floor, there seems to be a lab room. After locking Riki out and she looking around, suddenly her hand starts to bleed. Riki is in distress as Saya wants him to calm down and listen. The treasure is a biological weapon. This is also where they part. The route where they meet always leads her to a bad end. Saya remembers her previous bout with Shun. She has realized the truth of this world. She is just a character that appeared in School Revolution. Without realizing it, her soul wandered into this world and started acting like her. Saya is sad that she has been trying so hard and to die without knowing what it’s like to fall in love is just unfair. Saya knew Shun was kind enough to let her go on till she is satisfied because he could have gotten rid of her any time he wants. As the treasure in the manga has not been revealed yet, it could mean the treasure can be anything she wished for. She wants it to be a biological weapon so she can complete her mission before disappearing from this world. Saya thanks Riki for being with her and then shoots herself in the head. Riki wakes up crying in his bed. Kyousuke is next to him. Riki tells him about the important partner he had but lost her. He replies he heard about the Darkness Executives being overconfident and thus Saya escaped. The time machine that was being guarded is also gone and there were signs that it was being used to get away. Riki is relieved and he hopes they’ll meet again one day. Saya wakes up in a hospital tent. She is a little girl who goes by the name of Aya. She talks to her dad about this dream she had. An adventure in the underground labyrinth and the partner she had whom she loved. Father knows that boy will come to play with her again. We see her going off to play with young Riki.

Episode 5
When Rin and Riki notice a stray black cat in their class, they follow it out and it seems it takes a liking for Sasami. She is embarrassed to be seen this way especially when Komari almost busted their secret. Rin gets blamed for this? Later as Komari explains, this stray cat that they found was weak and they took turns taking care of it. That night as Riki goes to get juice at the vending machine, the cat comes up to him and even follows him back to his room. Because Masato picks it up and ‘confirms’ this is female, he gets scratched in the face. When Kud and Mio enter, they see this ambiguous yaoi scene of Riki and Masato! He’s just checking his face for injuries, by the way. Mio feels something is strange with the cat but brushes it off thinking it is just her imagination. In the dead of the night, Riki gets a rude awakening from Sasami. His scream wakes up Masato in which Sasami turns back into a cat again. That muscle head checks her out as a female again and gets scratched once more. This turns Sasami back but as soon as she tries to leave the room, she turns back into a cat. Oddly this time, Riki can understand what she says. They discuss the source of the problem. It could be that she turns into a cat whenever she tries to leave the room? Or maybe like when Masato regains conscious, she poofs back into a cat. You mad, girl? Big guy is scared of you now. Thanks to that, Masato is ‘kicked out’ and has to stay somewhere else temporarily. Yeah. Riki chose the cat over muscles.

Sasami is back in human form once Masato leaves. She wants to call her roommate to tell she won’t be coming back but turns back into a cat. Komari cannot understand what the cat is saying and this is confirmed that only Riki can understand her. Riki answers on Sasami’s behalf and this makes Komari think they’re having a secret tryst. Sasami is mad but all Komari can hear are angry meows. Next morning, Riki tries to get help and he thinks Rin is the best person who knows all about cats. Sasami couldn’t be more insulted when Rin gives her cat food! Get out! Riki better get his ass moving and get her proper food! But how can you enjoy your meal in peace when you know you’ll turn into a cat? It’s pitiful to have her think that she’s turning into a shut-in. But she gets the optimism to go around and find other people who could understand her. None. Not even her friends. Sad. Finally there is Komari. Riki tells what happened and she confirms it with a quantity question that only Sasami knows. From time to time, Komari would bring fresh clothes into Riki’s room for Sasami to change. Well, he almost walked into one. This pops up the question of why Sasami’s clothes are also transformed along with her. No, he isn’t a pervert who wants to undress her, mind you. As they find this phenomenon strange, Riki deduces that they may have wandered into a strange world. Riki gets a call from Rin that Komari is missing.

Episode 6
Riki won’t tell Sasami so as not to worry her. Based on his experience from the strange world (during the Refrain season), he tells her this world will only disappear if its wish is granted. It sounds ridiculous but what grounds does Sasami have to reject him? She places his faith in him to help her and he has got the cheek to say how much it sounds like a marriage proposal! Next day in class, Riki notices Rin and Komari still missing. Something is odd. Kengo knows something is wrong but Riki won’t tell him since he fears he might disappear if he does. Sasami is cooking in Riki’s room and she is proud of it. And then just feeling embarrassed that she’s feeling so. So which is it? Riki asks Sasami about her past as he couldn’t picture her as someone who truly hates cats. She explains long ago she once found a stray black cat and took it in as her own. One day the family was to move but she couldn’t find the cat anywhere. She never saw it again and believes it has died. She thinks it has come to hate her for abandoning it. Riki thinks that perhaps it is Sasami’s strong wish that is unknowingly creating this world. Perhaps if she goes to talk to Kengo (the person she likes), something could happen. At first she is against this but if you won’t know if you don’t try. She is not as pathetic as she claims to be. Unfortunately the next day, she couldn’t. As she is a cat, she immediately runs away at the mere sight of him. But the strange thing is that Kengo can understand her. Just as he believes this cat is Sasami, Kengo suddenly turns into smoke and disappears! It crushes all the theories that Riki has believed in. Sasami is sad that Riki didn’t tell her about Komari’s disappearance earlier on. But there is a bigger problem looming. They notice outside the school gates, everything is white. This world might be vanishing and the creator’s power isn’t going to last. They can try to exit through the cat but there is fear that Sasami might stay in this cat form if she does.

That night as Riki thinks hard, she sees that black cat before him. Then he understands. The cat is the creator of this world. This isn’t just a dream but fragments of Sasami’s memories. Riki sees Sasami taking in the cat and naming it Kuro. They were very close. Until that fateful day. Fast forward a few days ago where Komari and Sasami found the stray black cat and the latter upon seeing it said it had nothing to do with her and that she hates cats after all. Riki then tells Sasami about this. Kuro didn’t die but survived as a stray. They even met in school recently although she didn’t recognize it. So does it want revenge? He thinks it wants to meet her. However when they head to the supposed place, there is a barrier preventing Sasami from getting closer. She feels sad as they both head to the exit to get out of this world. However Sasami only pushes Riki through it and says that this is her responsibility and thus she must bear alone. Of course Riki won’t allow this selfishness and thus breaks through whatever is holding him back and into his room where Sasami is sitting around waiting for her fate to come. With words of motivation, she agrees to go see Kuro again. She thinks back of their times together and the words that she always loved to hear: “I’m here”. Realizing Kuro has always remembered them, the barrier disappears and Sasami is able to touch Kuro. They spend their last moments together before Sasami reminds Kuro that it’s time to say goodbye. Riki wakes up in bed in tears. Sasami is also back in the real world and despite still sad over Kuro’s departure, she knows she is supposed to smile after crying.

Episode 7
Little Busters are having their own kick the can competition. Before it begins, it already ends because Haruka scores an own goal, giving Riki’s team the win. Suddenly a couple of public morals girls chase after Haruka because she ditched her duty in collecting trash cans. How convenient. Here’s one. Kanata reprimands her girls because they were breaking their own rules by running in the hall and then reminds Haruka to go pick up cans after school. Kyousuke tells Riki that some of the clubrooms are being redistributed and theirs is on the list. Of course he has planned to use politics to leverage out of this and has sent his Little Busters to go help out other clubs and earn some points. This means Riki has to go help Kanata with her paperwork. They talk about things and when he mentions the lonely task she is doing, she believes other people are of no concern to her as long as she can protect what is important to her. Kanata continues to put up her strict front in front of everyone. Then she meets some girl about some initial agreement. It seems Kanata has not told Haruka yet because she believes she does not need to know. Riki continues to help out Kanata around the school and although she finds his casual character annoying, she is still going to let him help her out after school for errands. They stop by a burger joint. He notices she doesn’t like pickles but is okay with the ketchup. In fact she likes any kind of red fruits like apples. Speaking of which, she reveals her name means apple of the field. On the way back, Riki is concerned that she always calls him on his full name and that gives a bad impression. She admits she does. She tries pronouncing his surname but it just feels odd. Next day, Riki sees Kanata teaching Haruka how to bake. Kanata has practised saying Riki’s name so she is better this time. It made her embarrassed when she revealed this. Later, the fire alarm rings. Looks like somebody’s cooking fire got too big and activated the sprinklers. Kanata immediately jumps in to put out the fire with her blazer. Because her shirt is now wet, everyone can see hideous marks on her body. Kanata goes into trauma mode. I guess it must have been so traumatic that she needed to run outside to vomit. Riki wanted to console her but she is trembling in fear and won’t allow him to touch or get near her.

Episode 8
Kanata wants to be left alone. Next day, Kud is very worried about her and even more disheartening is how rumours have spread throughout school that Kanata’s marks are from abuse. Her concentration in class or anything dips. When Kanata meets that girl, we learn that Kanata was supposed to be in some marriage meeting but got beaten up because she screwed up. Haruka heard this and is furious. How she doesn’t know about this? Kanata won’t say anything but the girl tells Haruka that she will be getting married by the end of summer and become the heiress to both households. Although this means she will never be able to leave, she is doing this for Haruka’s sake. While Kanata is practising her sword in the rain, flashback reveals Kanata won against Haruka in some comparison competition. But Kanata was devastated to see Haruka being mistreated like hell despite this was not part of the promise. She did not like this one bit. But her father (or uncle) tells her she can save her sister by throwing away her future. He promises not to even hurt her. Kanata after some deliberation agrees to the conditions. After Kanata is taken to the infirmary, Riki and Haruka talk to her but she remains defiant that she does not need anyone’s help. She feels she doesn’t need to be protected because nobody came to her rescue. What good would it do now? Riki has some nice words. Haruka has some too. Plus a little sisterly hug. She tells her she doesn’t need to get married and if their relatives come looking for trouble, they’ll drive them away. I hope it is easier done than talking. Shortly after Kanata gets her confidence back, that girl comes to kidnap her and usher her into the family’s limo. Riki and Haruka are too late to catch her. Because that girl’s job is just to bring Kanata to them, she doesn’t mind telling them about tomorrow’s programme for Kanata’s marriage meeting. Riki and Haruka seek Kyousuke’s help to save her. Don’t worry. Little Busters are more than happy to gate crash the party. They plan out the diversion to snatch Kanata from the room, including Kyousuke and Rin acting as their decoys. The plan goes well till at a safe distance, Kanata wonders if this is the right thing for them to do because the household is not going to let this slide. Haruka doesn’t care and doesn’t want her to go back there. That isn’t her home. Coming with her is the better ending. After little sister said all that, you still have doubts? F*ck all your worries and just go with her! That’s right. Kanata finally decides to go with her. Soon everybody converges at the river bank. Mission success.

End Of Mission?
Well, these short stories are extra fun and addition to the 2 seasons of the Little Busters TV series. Even if you haven’t watched them and jump straight in to this one, you won’t lose much but still it is better to go watch the TV series to understand better about why strange occurrences happen in this world. Overall, it brings a satisfying end to the Little Busters series. Unless they are going to make some more out of it in the future, which I don’t see it happening of course. But you’ll never know…

As already said and known beforehand, these little specials give more prominence to the minor female characters in the TV series. Their unique personalities make them likeable like Saya who is a bundle of emotions with a penchant for jumping to conclusions whenever she flusters. Funny girl. That is why they call assume as ASS-U-ME. Get it? Checking back my previous blog on the series, I remember that there was no such character called Saya appearing in both seasons. Not that I noticed. So I thought they created a new character. Doing a little research (read: lazy browsing over the internet), I discovered that Saya did appear but in very short blink-or-you’ll-miss cameo appearances. That is why I figured they dedicated half of the episodes to her to make her proper and official debut. So proper and official that the other girls in Little Busters do not even have a decent appearance! Actually they do but it is for just one short stinking scene and they do not even have a single dialogue. Yeah. They’re trying to pull some heart strings by showcasing her heart wrenching moments spent with Riki. I guess everything is okay as long as it ends well despite her ending is pretty much left to viewers’ discretion.

Therefore I thought Saya replaced A-chan as the heroine for this season although the latter did make her appearance in Kanata’s arc despite her role just feels like secondary. Better than not appearing at all, eh? It goes without saying that since this season is all about the secondary heroines, our main heroines from Little Busters are not given much prominence. A handful of scenes of them just to remind us they are still the same girls that we know. Like who wouldn’t go “Awww…” each time we see and hear extremely moe Kud go “Wafu!” and Haruka’s cheekiness in causing trouble. And there is of course the resident idiot Masato. This muscle head should also get a spinoff of his own seeing he is a pretty funny guy. But hey, unless you are a yaoi fan, there isn’t any point in putting a guy’s route in such visual novel genre.

Although I want to say this special is about Riki and the secondary heroines, it is mainly only confined to Saya’s arc. Basically for Sasami’s arc, despite Riki is still prominently featured, it is actually more of Sasami and Kuro. Finally for Kanata’s arc, Riki feels a bit secondary since the heavy focus is between the sisters. Though, I feel Kanata’s arc is a bit rush including the climax of the gate crashing and everything. What do you expect with only a couple of episodes? Kanata has got so much heavy drama and weight on her shoulders that it could sink her to the bottom of the ocean.

Another good reason to watch the second season of the series is to also understand better the timeline of the stories of these heroines. As those who have watched, at the end of Refrain, the truth of everything is pretty much revealed about this strange mysterious world. So if you haven’t watched it, you’re wondering in which timeline the stories take place. Heck, I don’t think you’ll be asking that question if you haven’t seen them. But for those who do, you can at least make a guess when it took place. Like for Saya, her arc occurs before the start of the Refrain saga, Sasami after that and Kanata in between.

If you like this series especially with Key-style drama and emotions during and at the end of each story, you’ll be glad to know that these specials have not lost their touch in bringing them all out with their storytelling. Although it gets a bit repetitious a while seeing it follows a somewhat same pattern of Riki helping out a girl in focus with her problems that includes her haunting past as well as getting clues in discovering the truth of this world. But nevertheless with the varied and unique personalities of each girl, you’ll find them refreshing and interesting. To conclude what this entire series is about, everybody has got their own little problems to deal with. Sometimes you can’t deal them by yourself and need the help of your friends. After all like they say, a true friend is one who helps you up after a fall. But a best friend is one that laughs at you when you slip and tumble. And then help you up.

%d bloggers like this: