Top Bishoujos of 2015

December 27, 2015

OMG! It’s already here! Before I knew it, time has already flown by and it felt just like yesterday. Well, sad to say I can’t remember many anime scenes and plots in general even in the past year. But what I do remember are the lovely bishoujos that some served as the main motivation as to why I watched the anime! And yes, it has already been 10 long years ever since this blog topic has been started. OMG. OMFG! Has it been that long already? My, time sure does fly pretty fast. It’s time for a celebration.

Another reason for an OMFG is the fact that this year there are 99 bishoujos that made the list!!! WTF???!!!! Ninety nine of them?! Why don’t I just add another one to make it to the nice round number of 100? And there I thought this year wasn’t going to be much but when I started recollecting and noting them down, before I know it, this substantial number came up! The biggest record of nominees ever in the history of this post! I think this is going to leave somewhat an infamous record on its own. I know that this year’s post is going to be special. But does this mean I have unconsciously considered almost every anime to have a pretty girl? Coincidence? Fate?

Whatever it is, to commemorate the special 10 year anniversary of this Top Bishoujos post, I have separated them into several ‘qualifying rounds’ and tiers. Despite this list still being the top 10, the top 30 will have their face featured and split into groups of ten each as we countdown the hottest and prettiest girls in anime that I have watched this year. Yes, this year’s special, I’ll be counting down in reverse although in each group, the names will still be listed alphabetically. It is still a pain to individually rank them properly. Yeah… Without much ado, here is the list for the Top 10 Bishoujos for 2015:-

Starting off the list of this ‘festival’ are the 20 names of those who ‘unfortunately’ didn’t get past the first round: Airi Hasekura (Ushinawareta Mirai Wo Motomete), Cyan Hijirikawa (Show By Rock), Dreamcast (Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls), Guila (Nanatsu No Taizai), Hiyori Iki (Noragami), Kanata Amatsu (Girl Friend (Kari)), Karin Aoi (DNA2), Latifa Fleuranza (Amagi Brilliant Park), Limalisha (Madan No Ou To Vanadis), Mirei Kudou (Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-kei No Naka De), Moyako Konoe (Ane Log), Naruko Aoba (Mahou Shoujo Taisen), Nike Lemercier (Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii), Rokka (adult version) (Mamotte! Lollipop), Seisa Mikagura (Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku), Shenhua (Black Lagoon), Shizuno Urushibara (Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Usa (Etotama), Yukari Kohinata (Futsuu No Joshikousei Ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita) and Yuki Nonaka (Shinmai Maou No Testament).

Are you done what that? Here is another batch coming for you. These are those (20 of them too) who went as far as the second round: Asseylum Vers Allusia (Aldnoah.Zero), Erika Shinohara (Ookami Shoujo To Kuro Ouji), Fumi Kujou (Jinsei), Fumio Murakami (Girl Friend (Kari)), Isuzu Sento (Amagi Brilliant Park), Kisara Tendou (Black Bullet), Kotomi Takanashi (DNA2), Maura Chester (Rokka No Yuusha), Mayu FKA Tomone (Noragami), Mina (Soredemo Sekai Wa Utsukushii), Nana Iida (Rail Wars), Nanami Knight Bladefield (Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara), Natsumi Suzuhara (Tenshi Ni Narumon), Neko Kuroha (Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Sakuya Shimazu (Isuca), Salia (Cross Ange), Sayumi Ureshino (Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai), Serendine (Magi: Sinbad No Bouken OVA), Viv (Junketsu No Maria) and Yuri (Dirty Pair Flash).

Still alive? Yes? Okay. Believe it people. There is a third round too. Oh God… Another 20 names. What is with this year’s nice round number for everything? Here they are: Aiz Wallenstein (Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka), Chaika Trabant (Hitsugi No Chaika), Haruka Misono (The Rolling Girls), Hatoko Kushikawa (Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-kei No Naka De), Itsuki (Houkago No Pleiades), Kaori Shirakawa (Jinsei), Kiriha Kurano (Rokujouma No Shinryakusha), Kotori Takatori (Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Kurumi Nonaka (Shinmai Maou No Testament), Leema (Suisei No Gargantia: Meguru Kouro, Haruka), Lisa Highwalker (Juuou Mujin No Fafnir), Lolotte (Junketsu No Maria), Mamechiyo (The Rolling Girls), Miyuki Shiba (Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei), Rossweisse (High School DxD BorN), Sakuya Tsukumo (Absolute Duo), Sayaka Mibu (Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei), Selina Sherlock (Trinity Seven), Urara Shiraishi (Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches) and Yuzuki Mizusaka (Sora No Method).

And now as we enter the top 30, please congratulate the third tier group of top 21-30:

Aoi Saitou (Hibike! Euphonium)

Aria (Akame Ga Kill)

Haruka Koumi (Rail Wars)

Himi Yasaka (Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku)

Jeanne Kaguya d’Arc (Nobunaga The Fool)

Kaori Miyazono (Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso)

Matsuri Sengen (Mahou Shoujo Taisen)

Shiina (Koufuku Graffiti)

Utaha Kasumigaoka (Saenai Heroine No Sodatekara)

Yumiko Sakaki (Grisaia No Kajitsu)

Now let’s toast to the top 20, the second tier group of top 11-20:

Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi (Cross Ange)


Chitoge Kirasaki (Nisekoi)

Erina Shindou (Ore, Twintails Ni Narimasu)

Honoka Mitsui (Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei)

Irina Jelavic AKA Bitch-sensei (Ansatsu Kyoushitsu OVA)

Kana Suzuki (Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai)

Kyouko Sonan (Kenzen Robo Daimidaler)

Mikatan Narugino (Punch Line)

Reina Kousaka (Hibike! Euphonium)

Yanagi Takayama (Glasslip)

The moment that you have all been waiting for. The first tier and definitely the top 10 bishoujos of anime for the year 2015! And remember, still ranked by alphabetical order. A great round of applause and praises for the following:

1) Chelsea (Akame Ga Kill)

2) Chiyo Sakura (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun)

3) Kosaki Onodera (Nisekoi)

4) Kuniko Shigyou (The Rolling Girls)

5) Megumi Katou (Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata)

6) Nene Odagiri (Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches)

7) Rikantz Seaberry (Kenzen Robo Daimidaler)

8) Rinslet Laurenfrost (Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance)

9) Sahoto Ashisu (Mangaka-san To Assistant-san To)

10) Touko Fukami (Glasslip)

A big congratulations to those who made the cut on this special anniversary post. Well done!

Strangely, my maid fetish has led me to notice a handful of maid characters, so I have taken them out and put them on a separate list here. Maybe it is because of their maid dress that they end up here… Well… These 8 pretty maid characters are: Angela Johnson (Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Carol Nastassha (Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance), Eleanor Baker (Madlax), Kurumi Narumi (Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku), Momoka Oginome (Cross Ange), Sachi Komine (Grisaia No Kajitsu), Syr Flover (Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka) and Titta (Madan No Ou To Vanadis). Note: Hiro from Himegoto could have been considered had not this character being actually a guy cross-dressed as a maid!

But the one that bests them all is Coppelia (Log Horizon S2). Here is a face shot to commemorate that.

As always. I can’t have this post without paying tribute to my favourite duo of all time. Once again, the top 2 that have always dominated my hearts ever since, Mai Tokiha and Suigin Tou! WOOOOOOOO!!!!! YAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!

Oh, shucks. It’s already over? Time to head into the New Year then. Do I have to wait another 10 years to do something like this again? Whatever the future holds, this shows that every year and every season, there will always be lots of bishoujos in anime for me to ogle at. Oops! See you same time, same place, next year. Till then, Long Live Anime Bishoujos!

Unless you are born with that natural suave charm, I suppose there is a right tactic to pick up ladies depending on the mood, atmosphere and location. Yeah. You can’t use the same cheesy pick up lines for every girl anytime and anywhere, right? I mean, sure you can pick up girls at common places like the singles bar and even not so common places like, say, a dungeon. Uhm… What? Who would want to pick up girls in a dungeon?! Unless you’re a gamer guy playing some dungeon crawling RPG game and happen to meet a fellow gamer girl. Yeah. Ultimate bliss, eh? So that is why they came up with an anime on how to pick up chicks in a dungeon, Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka. Wait… What?! You mean that is not what this anime is all about???!!!

After being fooled by that ridiculously long anime title itself (the official English title shortened it to be called Familia Myth although this is not what the actual Japanese title meant), this isn’t some sort of edu-tainment for RPG otakus on how to pick up ladies while playing RPG games, though this anime does have the setting of a fantasy RPG. Adventurers enter dungeon, fight monsters, defeat them, obtain items and/or currencies, level up. Rinse and repeat. So this anime is about a young solo adventurer trying his best to level up and make ends meet. And then he had to fall for a girl he met in the dungeon. Not to mention slowly attracting other girls to his attention as well. Are you sure this anime isn’t really about picking up chicks and getting your own harem party?

Episode 1
It is narrated something about the gods abandoning their divine powers, living with the humans below and thus offering their blessing the power to fight monsters. Bell Cranel is a rookie adventurer his adventure could have ended when the Minotaur cornered him only for this cool beauty adventurer, Aiz Wallenstein to cut it in half. Bell is so awed of this that he runs back to town covered in blood just to see Eina Tulle and ask her more about Aiz. Love at first sight, eh? Member of the Loki Familia. Currently level 5. Strongest swordswoman around and nicknamed the Sword Princess. Looks like she’s out of your league, huh? Bell returns to Hestia, his goddess and only Familia. Hestia updates his stats as his agility has increased. But she is not pleased that some other woman caused him to change this much. Next morning as Bell heads to the dungeon early, Syr Flover notices he dropped his gem. Because his stomach growls, she gives him her breakfast. In exchange, he should come to the pub where she works more often. Bell has another great adventure in the dungeons and because his stats went up by so much, Hestia is pretty much jealous over this. Must be that darn woman. Bell visits the pub. The owner, Mia Grand gives him big servings of food. Looks like this will eat into his pocket too. The Loki Familia are regulars here too. As they drink and be merry, one of them starts badmouthing about Bell as he describes the coward being saved by Aiz and covered in blood. Obviously he is drunk. He even got the guts to ask Aiz if that kid asked her out, would she say yes? There is no way a weakling like that can even get close to her. Bell couldn’t take more of this and runs out. Hey. Did he pay his bill? Poor kid… What a better way to take out his frustrations by slashing dungeon monsters. He only comes back next morning and his first words to Hestia for the day are that he wants to become stronger.

Episode 2
It’s the usual suspect. Care to guess why Bell’s stats increase so much again? I suppose Hestia has resigned to the fact this woman can’t escape from their life. She hints she’ll support him but please don’t leave her alone. Of course he won’t. While Bell is off to the dungeons, Hestia attends some party hosted by the gods. She meets Freya and butt heads with Loki (Hestia the loli ‘won’ because ironically she has bigger boobs). Hestia has another reason for being here. She needs the help of Hephaestus. But she is reluctant since Hestia has a reputation of asking money and being broke. But when Hestia starts going on her knees in public to beg Hephaestus to make a weapon for Bell, she can’t refuse her outright, can she? She’ll do it although it may take years and decades for Hestia to repay the loan. Of course. This means she has to work as her assistant. Maid outfit? As Hephaestus can’t involve her Familia, she’ll do this privately. Hestia couldn’t be happier. Once Hephaestus is done with the weapon, Hestia takes it and happily goes look for Bell. There he is in the crowded streets since today some festival is going on. But instead of giving straight to him, she wants to go on a date first. It would have been a fun quality time if not for some gorilla monster escaped from the coliseum prison and attacking them. Run! The gorilla seems to be targeting Hestia. Bell feels the need to be manly and protect his goddess despite feeling very scared. Well, too bad his trusty blade broke. Bell then locks Hestia behind some gate to tell her to run while he stays back to stall the beast. Trying to be a hero, huh?

Episode 3
Bell narrates the catalyst that made him want to become an adventurer was when he heard his grandpa was killed by a monster. Because he is so weak, no Familia would take him in and was chased away. Till he met Hestia. Meanwhile the Ganesha Familia has received reports of several monsters escaped and running rampage. Ganesha orders to get help from all nearby Familia to stop the monsters. Bell might have died again had not Hestia return to save him. Well, it’s all part of being a family. You want to protect her and the feeling is mutual for her. Don’t go off playing the hero and leave her alone. She then gives him the weapon, a dagger and will update his status. She is confident he can take down the monster with this. After his stats increase, Bell goes into action to fight the white King Kong. As we are told, the dagger will only respond and grow along with him. There are hieroglyphs on the sword that makes it alive. Bell cuts the monster into half like a hot knife through butter. Suddenly everybody cheers for his heroic efforts. Where the heck did they come from?! Oh, I see hiding behind anything. How did they watch this spectacle then? Aiz who has been quelling the other monsters need not make her appearance for this one. Bell almost gets a heart attack when Hestia collapses. Thankfully it’s just from exhaustion. She rests in the pub as Syr talks to Bell that she saw how he fought the monster. It was so cool that it stole her heart! Oh Bell, you womanizer! When Hestia is up, she tells him about how she got Hephaestus help to carve this dagger that is only one of a kind in this world. She promised she would help him and didn’t want to just always rely on him. Because she loves him. Time for an emotional hug!

Episode 4
Although Eina is amazed at Bell’s stats increasing so much, she is still cautious about letting him go to higher dungeon floors. Instead, she wants him to go out with her tomorrow. Is the harem picking up pace? She brings him to Hephaestus’ store to show him that although there are many expensive weapons and armours, there are some cheap ones too as they are made by up and coming blacksmith. They see Hestia working here and the goddess whispers her warning to Eina about trying to seduce her Bell. Bell finds an armour he likes and buys it even though it costs as much as he has. On the way back, a girl running away bumps into him as she is escaping from her angry master. Thanks to Ryuu Lion (Syr’s colleague) passing by, she tells off that angry dude to go away or else. Next morning as Bell leaves early for the dungeon, that girl, Lililuka Erde AKA Lily goes up to him and wants to be his supporter. With her carrying his stuffs, he can concentrate on exploring the dungeon more. Bell hires her for today as a test run and she doesn’t disappoint. He finds out she is from the Souma Familia and later asks Eina if she knows anything about it. They run a liquor store but lately they seem to be pushing hard for something. Eina notices that his dagger is missing and this turns him into a big panic. Oh sh*t! How could he drop the gift from his goddess?! Actually Lily stole it and tries to sell it for a profit. However the analyzer rates it as useless blunt junk. As she leaves dejected and puzzled (because she saw Bell using it and slicing the monsters easily), Syr and Ryuu pass by. Ryuu is sharp to notice the dagger in her possession looks like the one her friend has. Lily tries to lie her way out but Ryuu can read the hieroglyphs. Ryuu snatches the dagger as Lily runs but bumps into Bell. He is so happy to see his dagger. Wondering how it got in her hands, Ryuu only says that Lily has it. Bell and Lily go for another adventure and this time they got 5 times more reward than a pro adventurer. Without hesitation, Bell gives half the spoils to Lily, shocking her. Hestia can’t wait to see Bell and just when she thought she sees him coming home, what the heck is this scene, Bell happily holding Lily’s hand while walking home? You damn lolicon!

Episode 5
So Hestia is drowning out her sorrows about being cheated. I think she’s had too much. Naturally she’s got a big hangover and big heartache the next morning. But when Bell suggests taking her out for dinner, suddenly all the pain goes away and she is well enough to go out with him right now! But she needs to clean herself up first so they’ll date in the evening. In the bath, she meets fellow goddess, Demeter who finds out Hestia is interested in a guy. Soon the rest of the goddesses also are quite interested to know who this kid is. As Bell waits, Demeter and the other goddess start glomping him before Hestia could! Before any harem could materialize, Bell and Hestia make a run. I hope nothing interrupts their night. Lily is abused by her masters as they take her earnings. They tell her to keep working till she dies but she is not cowed since her debt is almost paid off. In the next adventure with Bell, she accidentally uses her magic weapon to save him. He is impressed, though. She requests for a day off tomorrow as her Familia is having a meeting. Bell meets Syr at the bar and it seems a customer forgot to take his grimoire back so she lends it to him to read. I’m not sure about this magic dream he is experiencing, though. When Hestia updates his status, she is shocked that he can now use magic! But he can’t wait to test it out so in the dead of the night he goes to the dungeon and uses his firebolt. He got ahead of himself till he tires out. Aiz and Riveria Ljos Alf just cleared a boss level and are returning when they see him passed out. Aiz remembers him as the one being caught up in their mistake. She wants to make it up to him. Giving him a lap pillow is her idea of making it up? So when he wakes up, he gets freaked out and rolled all the way out. HE ROLLED ALL THE WAY OUT! Naturally he regrets running away again. When Hestia learns about that grimoire he is reading and how he got it, she tells him a grimoire loses its power once it somebody else reads it. The pages are all blank now. Bell goes to the bar to return it and apologize but Mia throws it away. It can’t be helped. That fool forgot it, right? Bell is waiting for Lily for their next adventure when he sees her talking with her Familia. Then her ex-master confronts Bell and thinks they should join up to steal all the money she has been saving. Bell is not amused and will not do this. When Lily is ready to go with Bell, she figures it is time to say goodbye.

Episode 6
Lily narrates her tragic life. Lonely, exploited and always abused. No matter where she runs, her Familia always finds her. That is why she hates adventurers. Eina talks to Loki to find out more on Souma Familia. She is surprised they do not worship their god but some wine they have perfected. It is of very high quality that they aren’t selling to others. Because it is quite expensive to make, the reason why its members are desperate for cash because once you taste it, you’ll get hooked. Meanwhile Bell talks to Hestia that he wants to help Lily because shady adventurers are after her. However Hestia hates to break the bad news to him that from his story, Lily herself sounds shady. Can she really be trusted? Bell talks to Aiz and thanks her for saving Bell’s life. Aiz realizes that Bell isn’t afraid of her as she thought. Eina has a favour of Aiz. Lily suggests Bell to go deep into the underground 10th level of the dungeon. She gives him some knife to use. While he is busy taking out the orcs, Lily then steals his equipment and abandons him and let him fend for himself. Lily is finally relieved she will be free from her debt when her ex-master ambushes her. He has been laying a trap for her to steal her spoils. Yeah, he beats her up while at it too. He is in cohorts with the Souma Familia but they betray him by bringing some ant monsters. I guess he died while trying to run away. Serves him right. Souma Familia forces Lily to give her key to the safe where she keeps her money and then throw her to the monster ants as bait so they could escape. Lily resigns to her fate. This is what she gets for betraying Bell. That’s her life. Weak and small. Useless. Eina tries to convince Hestia to tell Bell to fire his supporter because she is bad news but Hestia says it is no use. Bell has already made his decision and won’t abandon her. Speaking of him, here he comes to save the day. Thanks to Aiz’s help, he was able to go back up. Lily starts crying and accusing him of being stupid for not realizing she had tricked him all the time. She admits all the trickeries she did to him just to squeeze out all his money. She is a bad person and yet he still saved her. Why?! Because it is of who she is. There is no other reason to it. There is no reason not to save her. He admits he is dumb so he won’t understand if she doesn’t tell him. Time for a big hug and all the apologies. So the next time Bell is geared up for another adventure, Lily is glad to come along. No ulterior motives this time.

Episode 7
Bell takes Lily to meet Hestia. She tests her determination so Lily promises never to betray Bell again. Hestia is spot on that Lily is trying to win him over after deceiving him and thus the guilt look. But she warns her not to take Bell as her own because Bell belongs to her. Hestia starts holding onto Bell to prove it and as a sign not to make a move on him. She saw him first and doesn’t need another competition. Get what she saying? But Lily is undeterred. She also does to same. Not going to lose too. Is the cat fight officially starting? I guess Bell is smart not to get in between so he runs over to see Eina but to his shock Aiz is talking to her. Before he gets panicky again, Aiz says she is here to talk to him and wanted to apologize. On the contrary, he has always wanted to thank her for saving his life. Aiz volunteers to teach Bell how to fight. Despite bearing the brunt of her full force, he realizes she is somewhat an airhead. So during dungeon adventures, when Bell is cornered by lots of monsters, he won’t run and continues to fight. If he doesn’t conquer his fears, he’ll never catch up to her. Bell continues training with Aiz. Feels like déjà vu. She beats him down, he gets knocked out, he wakes up screaming. Rinse and repeat. Was it that traumatic? But Aiz is amazed that he is able to get strong this fast. Part of the training also includes the ability to sleep anywhere in the dungeon so she demonstrates by just lying down and instantly falls asleep. Bell’s conscious is playing tricks on him. Is he going to take the lips of an unguarded lady? Grandpa’s spirit says go for it but Hestia’s spirit says no way Jose! In the end, he didn’t because Aiz’s murmur freaks him out. As they go get some refreshments in town, they had to stop by a stall that Hestia is manning. You can imagine Hestia blowing her top seeing him with another woman. Bell explains about his training with Aiz for a few more days before Loki Familia begins their next expedition. Hestia goes into jealous b*tch mode again laying down the ground rules and a big warning not to get her filthy hands on her Bell. Yeah, Bell belongs to her. And only her.

Episode 8
Because Syr didn’t have much screen time lately, here she comes running to Bell! Actually she needs his help because she was slacking off washing the dishes. You sly girl! Don’t worry, Bell has got Ryuu to help. When he asks if she was once an adventurer, she advises him about the skills and tactics that are necessary being one. Also, if he wants to get stronger, form a party. You can’t win on your own and party members can help compensate and cover your weakness. Loki Familia begin their dungeon exploration, especially the unexplored 59th floor. So big their team that they have to split into teams. As Bell and Lily trek in the 9th floor, they are attacked by a Minotaur. Bell is paralyzed by the trauma that Lily had to save him. At least that woke him up. Then he takes on the Minotaur himself and orders Lily to run while he draws its attention. Loki Familia heard some adventurers being hurt by the Minotaur. The moment Aiz hears them describing Bell, she quickly rushes over. It might be déjà vu all over again since Bell is going to die and Aiz again here to save him. However this time he will not be a coward anymore. This time he continues fighting the Minotaur alone while Aiz and her party watch. Lily pleads for them to help Bell but it is not like they don’t want to help and just watch the spectacle. They are impressed to see Bell holding his ground well against the Minotaur. Despite not strong, he is using his speed and tactics to get the better of the beast. Both sides take damage as the fight reaches its climax. After Bell has numerously slashed the Minotaur’s body, he pumps his firebolt into it for internal combustion and explodes the monster once and for all. So epic this fight that he passed out while standing. Riveria examines his stats. Make no mistake, all his abilities are ranked S!!! That’s got to be awesome, right? And now for some awesome nursing from Hestia.

Episode 9
Bell has more reasons to be happy. His rank just went up to level 2 in record time. He also obtained a skill called Argonaut. Think of it as some fairytale hero. Hestia attends some gods meeting to get Bell a nickname. You can’t help feel for him when she returns with the plain nickname, Little Rookie. Drinking with Syr and Ryuu, the latter once again advises him about heading beyond the 13th floor because the enemies there are different in strength and abilities. If he needs to he must form a party. Other adventurers eavesdrop on this and they hope to join Bell’s party. Ryuu sees them unworthy of him so they get violent and attack her? Till Mia puts down her foot that they stop. Later Bell goes to buy and replace his armour. He likes the one made by Welf Crozzo but he can’t find any on sale. But he is in luck because that blacksmith himself is here and would gladly sell it to him. Welf agrees to craft any weapon or armour for him but in exchange let him join his party. Lily is of course not happy. I think it has something to do with her alone time with Bell. Anyway, Lily is cautious about Welf’s Familia (Welf is partying with Bell instead of his own Familia is because they aren’t getting along well). She heard his Familiar were once famed blacksmiths but fell from fame when they lost their abilities one day. As they’re fighting a dragon, Lily is being targeted again. Bell notices particles emitting from his and uses his firebolt to destroy it in a shot. As analyzed by Hestia, it seems this power is from his Argonaut. He is able to destroy anything in one blow in the face of overwhelming power like heroes in fairytales. Hestia also snooped around for Welf’s background. Seems he has the talent to make magic weapons but won’t. This made him at odds with his Familia as they think he is wasting his talent that could have made him rich. Later Welf crafts Bell’s Minotaur horn into a little dagger. He reveals he can make magic items and used to have lots of customers. However they want him to make magic items so that they can become stronger and famous. He believes this is not how weapons are to be used. Such power only ruins them and that’s why he dislikes magic items. He hopes Bell can treat him like a comrade like he does for Lily. But of course. On the next adventure, Lily relays the formation tactic they’ll be doing as they prepare to enter beyond the 13th floor.

Episode 10
Bell is excited over his new level up so he leaves for adventure at the middle floors early. Meanwhile Hermes returns to town and he has taken an interest in Bell but much to the dismay of Asfi Al Andromeda his assistant, she prefers him not to get into trouble considering many adventurers do not like Bell. A party is running for safety since one of its members is gravely injured. Yeah, cute killer bunnies are no joke. It is decided they dump their enemies on Bell’s team as bait while they make their escape. Clearly this is unethical but as the team leader says, he’d rather save his own team than risking it with a bunch of strangers. Bell’s team is forced to run from killer rabbits, fire breathing wolves and even monster bats! Things are getting from bad to worse when they are cornered and Bell’s comrades are injured. IS THIS IT???!!! When Hestia realizes Bell hasn’t returned yet and even Eina confirms he hasn’t come through here yet, Hestia fears the worst and organizes a quest to look for Bell. Thankfully Bell and co are still alive because the floor caved in and they survived the drop. But with another dead end, Lily suggests going down to the 18th floor where it is a safe zone with no monsters and wait for a chance for a higher level team to take them back up. As for the need to pass through a level boss, she believes Loki Familia has already taken care of it and now it’s their best chance to pass through before it respawns. It’s your call, Bell. Let’s do it. Takemikazuchi apologizes to his friend Hestia that his team baited and abandoned Bell’s party. Well, Hestia is sure going to hold a grudge on them forever if Bell doesn’t come back. What else to do but to ask their help to search with her. Takemikazuchi can only spare Kashima Ouka, Yamato Mikoto and Hitachi Chigusa as supporter. Hermes surprises them with his return and his offer to help join the search. But Asfi is not happy with the idea. Because he said he is taking her with her. As a rule, gods are forbidden to enter dungeons. As long as nobody knows, right? This means Hestia wants in too. As long as nobody knows… I guess that’s that. Because Asfi is not strong enough to protect both Hermes and Hestia, Hermes believes another help is needed. It couldn’t get any worse for Bell because several Minotaurs appear. However it has become Bell’s destiny and instinct to jump into action and slice them all apart! There, no worries. Before Hestia begins the quest, Ryuu joins in.

Episode 11
The search party can tell from the items left behind, Bell’s party is trying to get to the safe zone. Bell is in despair. Lily and Welf are out and he has to carry them all the way! Then he has to pass through the aptly named Great Wall of Sorrow because the giants are just resurrecting. RUN LIKE YOU’VE NEVER RUN BEFORE!!! He makes it across and the next time he wakes up, he is in the care of Aiz. Her team were on their way back from an expedition and stopped to rest here. His comrades are also in their care. If you’re wondering why this safe zone has sunlight, actually they are special crystals up in the ceiling making the place shine like day. As time passes, it will fade and become like night. How convenient. Bell has to contend with a pair of native twins trying to flirt with him as they are impressed with him taking down a Minotaur. Welf and Lily wake up. They feel guilty for letting Bell shoulder all the responsibility but he reminds them they survived because they are a party. Well, speaking of party, the night party (the food kind) is interrupted when Hestia comes tumbling down. You can imagine her happiness seeing Bell alive. He’s real. She’s not too happy that Bell is in the company of Aiz and with Lily arguing with her, Bell meets the rest of the search party. While Mikoto apologizes for abandoning Bell, Welf and Lily are not impressed. Ouka takes responsibility for this but he feels what he did is not wrong. Bell says that if he was put in the same shoes, he would have done the same. With this done, their next task is to return to the surface. They will have to wait for Loki Familia to destroy the giants first and that will take 2 days. This means free time for the rest. So we have some quality time with Bell and Aiz. That kid is a real bundle of nerves. I don’t know if he is ever going to get used to this. The conversation is interrupted when Hestia is reeking of jealousy and accusing Aiz of trying to steal her Bell for a date. Wait. What? Chigusa handed Welf some magic item from Hephaestus. He remembers he told her he would stop making them. She warned him when he has found something to protect, he will regret throwing that power away. Looks like he is starting to show signs of it.

Episode 12
This place is truly a paradise as the monsters here also live in harmony. There are also local stores founded by adventurers that sell stuffs but the prices shoot through the roof. When Bell bumps into those bar bullies again, the boss Moldo wants to get even but upon seeing Aiz, they give up. Wise move. Bell thought Hermes called him for something important. That depends. It is to peep at naked girls bathing! Because he panics, he plunges down. Though, I think the girls are more than happy to let him but that shy guy runs away. Then he had to stumble upon Ryuu doing the same and almost got killed. Thanks to his honesty and humbleness, she lets it slip although she warns him that doing that often is only belittling himself. She brings him to a grave where her previous Familia lies. They were all killed by a rival Familia. She is the only survivor. So when she went for revenge and killed all of them, she got blacklisted from being an adventurer. Just when she has accepted her fate to die, Mia picked her up to redeem herself despite knowing her full story. This is a warning to Bell that she is a shameless violent elf and will one day betray him. Bell warns her he too can get mad so please don’t belittle herself. Moldo still wants to get even with Bell when somebody approaches him. Bell receives a letter from Moldo that Hestia has been kidnapped and to meet at a place for her release. Moldo wants to fight with him and assures his men won’t interfere. The rule is simple. Winner does whatever to the loser. Bell gets beaten up since Moldo is using some invisible item courtesy from Hermes. It’s not that he has a grudge on Bell, he wants to make him see firsthand the ugly side of human nature. Of course Bell turns the tables when he uses the eye of his heart to detect his location. It doesn’t take long before Welf and the others come but Moldo’s men outnumber and block their path. In the process, Welf loses his magic item and could have been done for if not for Ryuu’s assistance. After Hestia is freed by Lily, she stops the fight by turning into her true goddess form. So scary (her aura) that all the bullies ran for their life. Hestia is sad that Bell is beaten up this bad just to save her. Yeah, how did she easily get kidnapped in the first place? Suddenly a large earthquake rocks the place. The ceiling is breaking apart.

Episode 13
Of all the monsters that fall through, why does it have to be a level boss? Obviously the only way for Bell is to fight it and even saves Moldo’s ass while he is at it. Asfi gathers the rest of the other adventurers to fight it. Since their only exit is blocked, the only way is to defeat it. So we have everybody throwing all their best attacks over and over again. When the mages power up, they hit the level boss with all they’ve got. This is the worst thing that all gamers and adventurers hate. After putting in so much effort to defeat it, here it regenerates! Don’t you just hate it? Well, I suppose they will have to keep doing it until it is killed. Ouka wants to use his shield, something Chigusa sees as suicidal. He uses it to block a devastating blow and save Bell from death. However they are both out and sustain grave injuries. Ryuu continues to buy time fighting the monster while Lily and Hestia try wake up Bell. He can hear them loud and clear but his body isn’t listening and moving. Then Hermes pops up (what the heck has he been doing all the while?) and he narrates the exact words that Bell’s grandpa told him about being the coolest victor. He wakes up but he needs time to power up. So we let Ryuu, Asfi and Mikoto display their trump cards on the monster and even Welf retrieving his magic sword to do some damage albeit it broke in the end. Are you ready now, Bell? It’s your turn. A powerful swing of the sword disintegrates the level boss. Gasp! It is still regenerating! OMFG! What does it take to kill it?! Because its core is exposed, Bell swiftly takes his knife and cuts it. Finally it’s dead!!! Rejoice everybody! Hermes marvels at what he has witnessed. He says something about Zeus telling him that his grandson was not up to it. He is in fact the real deal and the last hero of his Familia. When they return to the surface, you can expect a big party at the pub although Hestia and Lily still won’t let Bell close to Aiz. Bell gets another lovely prize back home. A lap pillow from Hestia.

Dungeon Master
Honestly… It’s not that bad. It’s not that good either. I can’t seem to figure out the direction of where this anime is heading besides about Bell trying to level up and along the way slowly attracts more people into his party once the trope of attracting more girls to his harem is slowing down. Of course there are lots of potentials just like in any other anime. With other adventurers, Familia and even other towns, this can turn into one big interesting or messy affair. But as far as this season is concerned, it feels like the rise of Bell and making his mark in the adventure world.

I truly never understood the world setting of why gods decided to come down to live with humans and lend them their powers. All I thought it was just some sort of excuse for our adventurers to go dungeon crawling and such. An excuse for us to have some RPG elements of monster slaying and picking up currencies. Because sometimes it brings forth more questions of how deep the dungeon is and what lies at the end of the dungeon. Is the dungeon going downwards into the ground or upwards because there is this freaking tall tower that stretches infinitely to the sky so I thought they’re climbing it but on the other hand how can you have such a diverse and wide floor if it’s in that scrawny tower? So they must be going downwards, aren’t they? They are a few terms and other small rules of why gods cannot enter dungeons but they’re just minimal and thankfully I can get by them. I think.

There are quite a number of characters and each having their potential but the biggest one by far is of course Bell and Hestia. It showcases the close relationship between in the world’s smallest Familia. I suppose it is easier to manage your relationships when your family size is small unlike large ones with uncles and aunties you don’t even know. Bell is your typical protagonist who starts out as a no hoper and levelling up as he progresses. In the mean time, meets other adventurers and gets stronger. As cliché it might get with his extreme kind ways, he still clicks with us because that’s the kind of guy we would all like to be despite all the darkness and everything. But in reality it just doesn’t quite cut it. Then the final hint that Bell might just be more than an ordinary human. The grandson of Zeus? Gosh. That has got to be something. No wonder he becomes strong fast and attracts the ladies. If Hercules is the son of Zeus could it be Bell’s dad is this dude? Well, even if Bell believed his grandpa was killed, that was what he believed. Could it all be just a lie? Stay tune next season for answers. If there would be any.

Despite with Bell spending more time adventuring in later episodes, the bond between them is still strong. I guess that is why Hestia would jump at the chance of being with him whenever she gets the slightest chance. Speaking of her, I see her role as to provide some comic relief with her cheekiness and some fanservice. Because seriously, how can a loli ever have big boobs? Even with the goddess status, that is just freaking atrocious. It gets even sexier with her one piece dress, it makes her skirt so short that you think she has been wearing it since she was a kid and outgrown it. And don’t mention the little string across her back (to tie her boobs?). Imagine what a little harmless string could do to up the sexy factor.

Lily and Welf are crucial and important party members to Bell’s ever growing Familia (from what I read, Bell’s party has increased to beyond this as seen in the anime). While it is great to see a number of episodes dedicated to Lily’s case and thus earning the trust and respect of this loli, Welf appeared quite late after 2/3 of the series and I was wondering who this character was in the opening and ending credits and if he was ever going to show up. It’s like they ran out of time and decided to just suddenly bump him into the party. He looks like he too has his own fascinating background but of course there is not much time for that in this season.

As for the rest of the characters, they feel like a mixed baggage. I don’t know what Aiz is thinking since she is always having that emotionless face. Maybe that is why she is the top swordswoman in town. She’s definitely has taken some sort of interest with Bell but I’m not sure how deep it is. Personally training him doesn’t amount to the kind of romance that I expected but it is a big deal to Bell who must have no regrets dying for getting to train under her wing. Or maybe she’s just an airhead. Then she goes ‘missing’ in the final episode. As though it was an episode to prepare and showcase Bell’s greatness. Yup. I think that is what it was. Just like Welf, Hermes and Asfi appeared too late but it’s hell better than suddenly introducing a new character at the last moment of the final episode, right? These guys too make you wonder if they are ally or enemy. At least they are on friendly terms for now. Loki is another joke character and despite her limited appearance, I keep wondering what the deal is with her trying to swipe Aiz’s ass in which she never succeeds. Keep trying…

I don’t understand what this Freya is up to. With her limited appearance, it is like she is building herself as the antagonist of the series by trying to test Bell whom she loves to see grow a lot as an adventurer. It is kinda confusing and disappointing to see where she is going especially her monologue scenes like as though she is playing with herself and getting orgasmic just thinking or seeing results from Bell. Really. Maybe it is a different story if you have read the light novel or the manga but you know, a person like me who has never even had the habit of reading manuals that came with the game (and that was even a long time ago), what are the chances? So as far as this Freya character is concerned for this season, I feel that she could be done without. The plot could have moved even without her. But sometimes I feel that her character is necessary so that it keeps at the back of our mind that why certain bad luck befall on Bell (which is also a blessing in disguise seeing how he levels up and comes out stronger in the end) is because she is likely the source behind it all.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t here for the harem. That is partly how I picked my animes. I liked how it was building up. Almost every girl he met and interact long enough had the potential to be part of his harem. I liked it how this wuss, loser and coward levelled up strong enough and increased his reputation and garnered chicks along the way. Because ladies dig strong guys, right? But then, too much adventuring and dungeon crawling limited the harem fight that I was expecting. Hestia and Lily’s showdown was minimal. It got my hopes up. But I was just being a fool to hope more. I thought it would have really hit off when Syr blatantly told that dense guy in his face that she stole his heart. But after that things toned down like that never happened. Come on, girls. Don’t let the romance run out of steam.

Eina and Ryuu might look like they’re just his ordinary comrades but something deep down in me tells me that they’re just unaware that they may be falling for him. Eina surprised us as she is the first person to hug Bell when he returns from the dungeon. That says a lot, no? Yeah. I mean, who doesn’t like this guy, right? Especially Aiz who looks like she is teasing us with her monotonous looks and stares at him, wondering if she is in love with him or just admiring him or just the heck confused by it all. She’s the only one whom Bell has set his eyes on and ironically the person who is last in the ‘race’ for Bell’s heart. Get what I’m saying? And now with the Amazon twins, I am sure Hestia is pretty annoyed with all the girls she needs to keep at bay so that she can monopolize Bell for her own. I don’t blame her. She’s the first one there and has always been the one by his side. Slowly more girls show up and threaten to steal his attention. It sure makes you mad, don’t you? Every new girl ‘introduced’, this just sends her into a jealous fit. How could you, Bell? Can you blame her for jumping to suspicions and accusing every girl he is with for trying to steal him away? Or maybe she’s just over-thinking it. Whatever. Better be safe than sorry. Heh. Since when Bell is her property? Even if she is a goddess, she’s just a noob when it comes down to romance. So when can the harem war begin?

The action bits seem pretty okay. They’re just enough to keep you preoccupied for the duration of the series. Not to say that they are superbly spectacular but when you have guys having special items and weapons, monsters that hold unique powers, you can’t expect the fight to be anything but ordinary, can you? We see Bell and some of the characters pulling off cool moves and tactics so as far as this anime is concerned, it is still pretty impressive although it could have been better. Because now come to think of it, it is trying to fit into a lot of genres like fantasy, adventure, drama, romance, comedy and action. Each of them somewhat dilutes each other. Well, you can’t have everything always. And for ‘realism’, there are lots of blood spilling here. You get the hint when you see Bell covered in red right in the first episode itself. So if you’re a person who is weak hearted at the sight of blood even if it is animated, stay away.

Art and drawing style seem pretty okay. Albeit this is fantasy genre, it isn’t any typical fantasy world (one filled with floating islands and colourful terrains) since this is mainly about dungeon crawling so many of the scenes underground are quite dark and grim although they won’t give that claustrophobic atmosphere. Therefore the sceneries in town are slightly more spectacular especially during the monster gorilla unleashed in the city to hunt down Bell. The monsters aren’t that scary either although seeing killer bunnies are something to be scary and isn’t exactly funny but I can’t help laugh with all the scary creatures they could put in, they had to use something that is usually associated with cuteness. I like the designs of some of the weapons. It really gives that RPG adventure feel. As for the character designs, some look a bit blend like Bell. I’m not sure if they want to have a wide range of character classes because in addition to dwarves and elves you also have cowboy (Hermes), maid (Syr and Ryuu), samurai (Mikoto) and even Amazon ladies.

If you need somebody to voice an adventurer kid or similar character protagonists, then look no further because Yoshitsugu Matsuoka has been there and done that many times from the more popular Sword Art Online to Trinity Seven and Absolute Duo. He is a safe bet for this kind of roles. Saori Hayami as Ryuu and Haruka Tomatsu as Eina are the only other casts that I recognized. The rest include Inori Minase as Hestia (Noel in Sora No Method), Maaya Uchida as Lily (Hiyori in Noragami), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Welf (Wave in Akame Ga Kill), Saori Oonishi as Aiz (Seisa in Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku), Shizuka Ishigami as Syr (Ellis in Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance), Souma Saitou as Hermes (Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill), Ai Kayano as Asfi (Kanade in Chihayafuru), Yuka Tersaki as Hephaistos (Bevel in Suisei No Gargantia) and Youko Hikasa as Freya (Mio in K-ON!).

I didn’t realize the opening theme is sung by Yuka Iguchi. She does have a voicing role in this series albeit it is just a minor character (Chigusa) with limited appearance that I too didn’t realize it was her. I suppose it goes to show that unless she puts up her typical Index voice or at least a lower voice like Mako in Girl Und Panzer and Subaru in Mayo Chiki, I guess there is no way I would be able to tell it is her. Therefore hearing Hey World didn’t ring any bells and I just listened to it as just another ordinary anime rock piece. Kanon Wakeshima sings the ending theme, Right Light Rise although the opener of this rock piece might sound deceiving since it starts off with a carnival-like fanfare. There is a special ending theme, Realize by Maaya Uchida, a slow lovely ballad serving as Lily’s turning point and turning over a new leaf to mark the ‘end of her arc’.

Overall, I would still give this series another chance if another sequel is being made but so far… But by far, this series is just average and to some who have watched similar and great RPG adventure-like animes but their sequel fail so hard (looking at you both, Sword Art Online and Log Horizon), this series would make viewers caution in the future of the potential of such series. It has a decent setting but with the plot and character development hardly going anywhere, many would just feel disappointed. And some would feel cheated because it was never about how to pick up girls in dungeons in the first place. But I think it is a lot safer than picking girls up on social media websites in any and every way, don’t you think? Yeah… And still, what is the best way to pick up girls? With your arms, silly! Haha!

Get ready for another romantic comedy harem anime. So typical. Your single lead male protagonist living the normal life. So typical. A group of girls who are quite interested with him and some even having perverted delusions to go as far as to make him hers and stay a step of the rest but of course that will never happen. So typical. Each girl in the harem has one of those cliché traits. The tsundere. The cool beauty. The loli. The tomboy. The brute. So typical. This kid is such a good guy that he helps out anybody in need without suspecting anything for a second. How typical. This is the daily life of their antics as they try to catch his attention. Typical enough. But wait. There’s a catch. What if all those harem girls aren’t just ordinary girls. What if they are monsters from folklores! Yikes! What kind of horror harem is this?! I know throughout the seasons of animes, it is uncommon that sometimes there is a non-human girl getting mixed up in the harem and even so ‘not that serious’. But this one has got to be the ultimate because each girl is some sort of an obvious monster.

That my friend is what this anime, Monster Musume No Iru Nichijou is all about. You take the romantic comedy harem genre and replace the ordinary human girls with monsters like Lamia, Centaur and Harpy. Oh man. What kind of sick guy would actually love being around monster babes? Is he some sort of monster freak? I mean, does it even work? Well, despite their physical monstrous outlook, they are all still girls deep down inside their hearts, right? And so we will get to see how this guy lives out his ordinary life (which isn’t anymore considering how monster girls being part of your life isn’t anything ordinary) with his monster harem and all the antics, fallacies and issues they face going about their daily lives. Yeah, I’m sure you must be curious. How do you make love with a monster anyway?

Episode 1
It’s nice to have your girlfriend warm you up in the morning. Unless your girlfriend is a Lamia! It’s that bone crushing feeling when Miia has her giant snake tail wrapped around Kimihito Kurusu. He thought her weakness is rubbing her tail end but guess who wins at the end of this ‘endurance match’? Then he got her morning bath ready and she’s still trying to flirt with him with her snake tail. Lucky this guy can control himself so nothing untoward happened. As explained, thanks to some bill passed 3 years ago, monster species can now safely experience cultural exchange in Japan. Uh huh. Japan has lots of cute monster girls running around if I should say. How did Kimihito got into this predicament? As the exchange agent, Smith explains she brought Miia here as part of the home stay programme although clearly it was the wrong house. Conveniently Smith doesn’t remember that mistake. Thankfully or not, his parents are overseas at the moment. Smith is also acting as his guardian since part of the exchange law says that these species cannot be harmed in any way. This includes having sex! This is the worst of all the crimes and could even arise to diplomatic issues! So if you horny guys ever cross the line, you will be arrested and she deported to her homeland. You wonder if Smith is being a devil teasing Kimihito about how sexy Miia is but at the same time she is like flirting with him. This irks Miia as she grabs Kimihito by his neck. With her tail. Thank God he didn’t die from the whiplash. It’s amazing how much this guy has withstood. Miia is so grateful that he is the first human who accepted her, she doesn’t mind giving him her first time. You might think Kimihito is gay since he refused her but actually his shoulder got dislocated thanks to her stranglehold. Nothing that Smith could fix back in a jiffy.

Despite it is Smith’s job, Kimihito is tasked to take Miia out on a ‘date’ in town. They had lots of fun and there is even a store to accommodate for monsters. The lingerie store. I don’t even want to know… The ironic thing is how Miia is teasing and boldly asking Kimihito things about the bra that he knows nuts of but when he accidentally gets hold of a strange triangular shaped thingy, she gets embarrassed since that is her panties and calls him a pervert! In the streets, a couple of punks start taunting this strange relationship. Miia is going to beat them up but Kimihito bears the smack. He reminds her of the law that if they hurt humans too, it will be over for them. A crowd builds up as they started taking pictures of this odd couple. Try going somewhere private. Somehow they end up in a love hotel! Oh no. Things are getting steamy. Miia strips naked to show him she is defenceless and won’t do anything if she hurts her. Before you can wonder how sex with a Lamia would look like, a unit of SWAT team barges in! Holy sh*t! Almost caught with pants down? Led by Smith, they got a tip-off from Twitter about this illegal activity. As they exit, the same punk couple sees them and starts taunting about this. Miia couldn’t contain her anger but it is Kimihito that lands his super punch on them. Oh, he’s mad alright. Back home, Miia wants to show her gratefulness by having sex with him but that is abruptly put to a stop when Smith checks on them. Kimihito is forced to cook her dinner since he helped settle that incident out of court. Yeah, this guy sure has it rough.

Episode 2
It could have been a beautiful normal morning had not a Harpy kidnaps Kimihito! It seems Papi doesn’t want to be alone and thus her reason in kidnapping him. It gets troublesome when the birdbrain gets amnesiac after taking 3 steps. He treats her to ice cream but because she cannot hold it, she drops them. He feeds her but this looks like an ambiguous sucking scene! The crowd is watching… Shamelessly, Papi bathes herself naked in the public fountain. Miia then finds them and she is furious. Actually she is jealous that she wanted to be the first one to elope with her darling. The monster girls are about to fight but nobody is watching because they are more concerned of a little girl stuck up a tree. Papi could have saved the day but her wings are wet. Miia creeps up the tree but this only freaks the little girl out. Luckily Papi catches her but since her wings are still heavy, Kimihito breaks their fall. When all is done, the policeman is suspicious of them so Kimihito announces that both are staying under him. Okay then. Show me the documents. Oops. Where is Smith when you need her? Ah, here she is. With the proper documents and all. Back home as explained, Papi is a serial runaway. Since she has trouble finding a proper host, guess who gets the job now? I have a feeling Papi won’t run away anymore. Miia thought she can relax when Papi is alone with Kimihito since she is just a kid. However Smith explains Papi is the same age with her and her small body size is because of her species to take advantage of flight. Instantly Miia extracts Kimihito away from her and from now on, she’ll keep watch on her. This includes drilling into her head not to touch her darling because he belongs to her and only her. Did birdbrain get it?

Kimihito drags his feet to do morning errands when something crashed into him! It is a Centaur, Centorea Shianus! Wait… Sh*t-anus?! WTF?! She wonders if he is destined to be her master. Calling Smith for clarification, she mentions Centaurs have a tradition of finding their own masters but since today is her day off, she wants him to take care of her. Yeah, dump things on him as always. Nearby, a snatch thief snatches a woman’s purse. Centorea wants to pursue and beat him up but thanks to the law the reason she needs a human. Kimihito thought he could ride her like a horse but she finds it embarrassing and kicks him off. Only her master can do that. So how? He has to cling on her tummy while she gallops the whole way! Because of the high speed chase, he can’t help grab on to her boobs. This makes it awkward for Centorea. Then he accidentally rips her shirt. Ironically, the exposed tits cause the thief to crash. Centorea also crashes since she is ‘frozen’ after the indecency. The thief picks up her dropped sword and is about to slash her for revenge but Kimihito takes the strike! OMG! Is he dead?! Luckily, that is just a toy sword (the law says you can’t walk around carrying real weapons). After the thief is apprehended, Smith learns that Kimihito attempted to ride Centorea. Since only masters can do that, from a Centaur’s perspective this is equivalent to rape! Immediately he goes to apologize but surprisingly Centorea is the one who starts apologizing for dragging him into this. She asks him to become her master as she swears her lifelong loyalty to him. And what do you know? Miia is not too please he got another monster girlfriend. Since when Cerea (Centorea’s nickname) becomes the master of this house?

Episode 3
The fight for Kimihito’s hand in marriage begins! Miia tries to lay down the law rules but I think what she really wants is to add her own that since she is the longest with him, Kimihito totally belongs to her. As the snake and horse argue, Papi burns out from trying to read the law. Kimihito prepares bath for her and since she has no proper hands, I guess he has to put on her swimsuit for her. I think he needs to cool down too. Before Papi can get more aggressive on him, Cerea steals him and gallops out of the house. At the park, she blushingly asks for him to hold hands. The moment is ruined when the other monster girls find them. I didn’t know there was some boobs smothering contest to prove their point. Since it has come to this, they’re going to get physical to settle the score. Smith is passing by and sees this. She shoots her tranquilizers but it hits Kimihito who somewhat came in between to stop the fight. Is this guy unlucky or what? The girls are sorry but Kimihito doesn’t blame them since this was Smith’s fault and that they’re family. This gives Smith an idea. She tells him recently there is a change in the bill where it would allow humans to marry another species. This is to test how far the interspecies relationship will go. She wants him to choose which he will marry. So I guess that sex violation thingy is done for, eh?

That very night as Kimihito laments about this, Miia comes into his room worried. Since he brushes off what’s bugging him, she starts seducing him but Kimihito can tell tonight is different. Miia is serious! Papi crashes through the window, knocking out Miia. It’s her turn to get serious in mating with him. Even a birdbrain like her knows what sex is. Then Cerea crashes through the door, knocking out Papi. Thankfully she is still sane. She warns him that tonight’s full moon is the reason why they are going berserk. And then she loses the plot as she also goes sex crazy. Nightmare blows up when all monster girls tussle with their brute strength over him. At this rate it will be a funeral before a wedding! Kimihito escapes. He gets a call from Smith who forgot to tell him about the full moon effect. Too late. She asks him if he has decided on one of them. Or has he even discussed his future plans with them. Because he ran and hid in his room, it is the main reason why they’re acting like that. For the time being, he needs to cool them down. Well, I didn’t think she would mean it literally because, ice from the refrigerator? The monster girls have found him. They accidentally smack him. OMG! It’s all bloody! Did they kill him? Thank goodness. Just tomato ketchup. Then the girls lost it… The scene cuts to a calm morning. Like it is the aftermath of a hangover. They are shocked to see him covered in bandages. I can imagine the hell last night. Well, thank goodness he is one tough cookie. He asserts this happened because he was indecisive. Now he has decided. He is going to date all of them as potential marriage partners. Hooray! Happy harem ending. Typical indecisive harem guy route.

Episode 4
Something is wrong with the dinner. Some slime almost suffocates Miia! As explained by Cerea, there are many species that are still unknown to humans and slimes are one of them. The slime attacks them again and since they’re sticky, Kimihito and Cerea take a bath. A little fanservice of a guy trying to clean a horse but she isn’t your ordinary horse so you just can’t clean her anywhere as you please. Cerea thinks the slime’s attack was because it was looking for water. Don’t look up now because something is hanging on the ceiling! Cerea instinctively grabs her sword but it is Kimihito’s ‘sword’. This embarrassment causes her to slip and pass out. The slime grabs him. Is he going to be eaten? Surprisingly it turns into a humanoid female form and then starts seducing him. Kimihito recognizes the things she is doing to him are like what the rest did to him. Is she trying to mimic them? Is this her form of communication? Kimihito is in danger of drowning inside her watery boobs so he takes a gamble by diving into the bath. Thankfully it worked because water diluted her. They discuss about slime girl and Cerea has never seen one taking humanoid form. They are surprised to see her getting along well with Papi. Oh, she takes the liberty to call slime girl, Suu. She might be a little annoying as her body tends to absorb or make things sticky. Besides, she can’t run around naked so Kimihito suggests she wears a raincoat. They fear she might have come here through improper channels and might be an illegal. If so, she might be captured and imprisoned. Cerea thinks they should hand her over to Smith soon.

Soon, Papi flies away with Suu as Kimihito gives chase. Suu panics over the river as Papi drops her (on Kimihito). Seems Papi overheard their conversation and feared Suu will be arrested and ran away with her. A bunch of kids come by. They know Papi as they always play with her. Today is no different. As they play water guns, Suu observes and mimics. She absorbs some water to make her breasts big (boys, line up for some ultimate slimy boobs smothering) and then blasts them with her water. I guess they had too much fun that the play spilled across the road and a reckless driver happened to be in their path. Suu uses her body to protect the little girl. No injuries whatsoever. However the wall collapses. Suu falls down but Papi grabs her hand. She cannot hold any much longer and slips. Suu’s last words were thank you. Thankfully Kimihito drove that reckless driver’s truck underneath the bridge to catch her (how the f*ck did he do all that so fast?). He thought he is going to get an emotional hug from Papi but she went for Suu instead. Insulted? After all this time it was him she flew to and now her new best friend? Kimihito calls home to tell the rest that he is going to let Suu stay for the time being and teach her common sense. Just think of her as a little girl. All that’s left is for Smith not to find out about this but when they reach home, there she is.

Episode 5
Miia initiates an emergency meeting on how to tackle Smith when suddenly contractors barge in to tear down the place. However it seems they are making extensions and adding extra rooms. During that misunderstanding, the monster girls escape to the park where they have to further hide since they think MIBs are looking for them. Suu then starts ‘raping’ Papi since she is dehydrated. Because Cerea broke the public tap and got wet, she became the next rape victim. When Kimihito is looking for the girls, a gothic girl in a wheelchair, Meroune Lorelei AKA Mero crashes into him. I guess those boobs didn’t work as airbags. Mero knows who he is looking for since she saw those girls passed her. When they arrive at the park, they see Miia facing off with Suu. Miia is distracted when she sees Kimihito and this allows Suu to rape her. Now Suu targets Mero but Kimihito quickly ties her up in a plastic bag. When they return home, the renovations are already done. Seems Smith has had too much on her job and paid too little so she’s going to close an eye on this slime girl. So the extra rooms and pool room is not for Suu? They’re actually for Mero who is a mermaid. Yup. This guy is going to be her host family again. This means Miia has become ultimate paranoia suspecting this mermaid in trying to steal her darling. Because she accidentally breaks her wheelchair, Kimihito has to carry her around and since her body is oozing with mucus that keeps her damp, there are going to be a few nip slip incidents.

More paranoia as Miia tries to stay a step ahead by sabotaging them but it only backfires. As Mero seems to be asking if Kimihito has a girlfriend, they wonder if she is actually interested in him (which monster girl wouldn’t?). She explains of the Little Mermaid fairytale that she loves and has always adored such tragic romances. So when Miia asserts she will not let Mero take her darling away from her, oddly she suspiciously confirms she will not be doing that. Miia thinks of defeating Mero at her own game as she dresses up in her swimsuit to join them at the pool. Suddenly it looked like Mero is pushing Kimihito into the pool. Miia thinks she has shown her true colours and dives in. However the pool is deep and the temperature is dropping. Miia soon passes out. When she comes to, she is pulled out by them of the water. Actually Suu ‘attacked’ them for some moisture and knocked them into the pool. In the end, Miia apologizes to Mero for being rude the whole time and admits she was jealous. But when she declares she will be the one to marry Kimihito, Mero assures that was never her intention all along. As she loves the tragedy in Little Mermaid, she promises not to get in her way and supports Miia (and the rest) to end up with him. Mero’s wish is to offer her master a love that will never come to fruition just like in the fairytale. Hope she doesn’t mind a little infidelity from time to time.

Episode 6
Miia tries her hand at cooking as training to become Kimihito’s bride. However she’s so bad at it that she burnt herself. Thank goodness she didn’t burn the house down. As she hides gloomily in her room, there is something else she wants to hide from him. Too late. Kimihito discovers she is shedding skin and with her hands like that she cannot tear them off properly. I guess he has to help with it, huh? Whether you call this erotic or not, it is going to be seriously torture for him. Miia giving out those ambiguous moaning sounds that would make everyone think they’re doing something kinky. You thought getting the shed skin off the tip of her tail was bad enough, wait till he needs to help take off near her pubic area since it must be done correctly or else it would leave her itchy and such. Are you turned on or having goosebumps? And so the battle for him to remove it blindfolded proves to be quite a big challenge. I hope he rips it off first before he gets ripped apart. Then possible the worst move ever. He mistakenly inserts his hand into her… Ugh… I don’t want to say it… You can guess what happens to him. I’m not sure if this is the deep grudge of a woman or just gratitude as Miia claims because now that he is bandaged up and can’t move, she cooks her poison meals to feed him! Oh sh*t! He has always been so close to death! Now, the reason why you don’t see the other monster girls is because they were knocked out for being guinea pigs in testing her cooking. Let’s say Kimihito became a statistic.

When Papi says she is going to lay an egg, Kimihito gets beaten up for being prime suspect number one as the guy who fertilized it. Please don’t jump the gun. He didn’t do it. Papi did have one before but this is the first time in this world. Suddenly a suspicious creepy dude, Kasegi who claims he is a film director here to film Papi’s egg laying. Everyone has no choice but to let him in since he claims this is part of the interspecies exchange programme. So while they wait for Papi to lay, he goes around filming the other girls’ rooms. He is bold to ask perverted questions as he claims this is all part of the programme. When he sees Miia’s shed skin, he wants to take it. Although embarrassed Miia won’t allow him, he assures her of donating them to the research facility and this may help lead her to marry her darling. That sure convinced her. When it’s time for Papi to lay, Kasegi has Kimihito help her out. Kasegi notes to himself how this footage as well as the Harpy’s egg and Lamia’s skin will fetch a very high price in the black market. But his plans has been seen through or rather heard out because Suu is able to read his thoughts. Now that everyone knows his true colours, they’re not going to let him get away. However the girls can’t hurt him thanks to the law. Kimihito does this cool move. He throws this mini Harpy egg at him and while he is so engrossed in catching it, Kimihito punches him right in the face! That was just an egg from the supermarket. Time to attend Papi since it is coming out this time. We won’t see how it’s done but the graphic commentaries from the girl would provide some insight if you’re imaginative enough. In the aftermath, Smith although will not handle Papi’s egg, she will investigate further into Kasegi because from all his fake aliases, this guy looks like he is a pro and repeated offender. Wondering what Papi will do with her egg, for now she puts it in the fridge. Wait a minute… Didn’t Miia use it in her cooking???!!! One boiled egg coming up! NNOOOOO!!!!!!! Meanwhile Kasegi is cursing his luck and plotting his revenge. He takes out his frustrations on his Arachne partner but she wraps him up in her web. She finds this Kimihito guy interesting.

Episode 7
A group of Orcs takes an otaku shop hostage. Their demands are for hentai versions of Orcs f*cking various female types. Don’t even ask… Thanks to the loopholes in the new bill, the police cannot touch them. This is where Smith’s team comes in. The Orc boss sniffs out a ninja girl spying on them and shoots her to death! Then they sniff out a cute girl hiding somewhere in the store and get ready to mess her up. Such an unlucky girl to be done in by ugly pigs… Before anything untoward can happen. A sniper shot takes out their weapons. This long distance sniping is thanks to this Cyclops girl, Manako. A big armour dude (Al from Fullmetal Alchemist?) crashes in to wipe out some of them. Actually she is Tionishia the Ogre. More surprise in store. Ninja girl revives and fires her guns. One of the Orcs thought he could squeeze and crush her instead but she shoots through herself to disable him! Folks, meet Zombina the living corpse! A zombie in other words. Remember that cute girl? She is actually a shape shifting Doppelganger, Doppel. She beats up the Orc boss. These monster girls are from Smith’s special squad: Monster New Law or MON for short. Orc boss gives up believing that in doing so he cannot be harmed and the most he’ll get is deported. However he didn’t realize the law doesn’t apply when a non-human species fights another non-human species. You’re screwed.

MON receives a tip-off from Kasegi’s shady house. As they barge in, it sets off a trap. Thankfully Zombina survives (oh, the irony) but spider girl escapes. Not sure if Kasegi is already dead, suffocated in her web previously. When Smith goes to warn Kimihito’s monster girls, they realize something amiss when there is a trail of groceries outside their house. Kimihito has been kidnapped! He is in the hands of Rachnera Arachnera in some warehouse. As he is not afraid of her and acting his usual ways, she thinks he is trying to play tough. She plans to reveal the hypocrite he is before turning in. This includes lots of seducing and teasing that tests his limits. Kimihito wonders why she isn’t with her host family. They didn’t get along. Well, her host family didn’t really take a liking for hideous spiders. You should see the look on their faces when they first met. It was like total disappointment. Then some shady guy offered to take her in and so the family quickly dumped her and transferred all the host rights to him. In a way, she hates humans and is sick of them. However she can take comfort that he did get turned on as her upper torso is human enough for him. Actually Kimihito admits he has some sort of leg fetish and praises her beautiful legs! Say what?! MON surrounds the place. Because they couldn’t hear clearly what Smith is saying, Kimihito thinks she is here to arrest him for going too far in punching the fake director. He will turn himself in and he wants Rachnera to escape. But she finds it quite amusing and has now grown fond of him. In the aftermath when the misunderstanding is cleared, although Rachnera points out Smith’s blunder in choosing the wrong host family for her, she is not looking for an apology. She hints that now that she has nowhere to go, there is only a place that a guy can accept monster girls like her and is currently housing a handful of them. Yeah, that narrows down the options by quite a lot, don’t you think? Guess who is going to be the latest addition to Kimihito’s harem home stay programme?

Episode 8
Guess who is being back to paranoid when a new monster girl moves in? However Miia is no match for Rachnera. To make things worse (at least from Miia’s view), everyone else is getting along well with the spider girl. Cerea tells Miia not to judge anyone by their appearance. Late that night when Rachnera is going to get passionate with our (un)lucky guy, Cerea barges him and takes him away to town. With everyone staring at them (I think they’re staring at her boobs), she starts thinking that she too is judging others by their appearance. Those punks are back and they brought their friends this time. As usual, lots of mockery. Cerea will not stay to listen to them but when they badmouth Kimihito, she is ready to get violent only to be reminded of the law. They restrain Kimihito while trying to fondle her tits when Rachnera webs them. She is not afraid to hurt them and even if they threaten about that law, she threatens back will they even get a chance to report? Enough to scare the sh*t out of them. When Rachnera flirts with Kimihito, this causes Cerea to act jealous. She screams out not to touch her master and that he is not her plaything. She hates her. Rachnera laughs and is glad she spoke out her mind. After they both make up, Cerea would like make it up to her. What’s this? Rachnera tying her up in various S&M positions? I think she’ll still hate her for a while.

Kimihito is down with a fever! Before Miia can play pervert nurse, Smith crashes him to warn that his virus may mutate and may cause a pandemic and infect all non-humans. Therefore this place is quarantined and Smith will look after him. However it’s just an excuse to escape her desk job as she dumps it on her colleagues. 10 minutes later… She’s sound asleep. The monster girls know they can’t leave it to her and need to do something. As they can’t risk getting infected, they think only Suu is immune. Therefore they teach her how to nurse Kimihito. But that is just what she does. She just imitates all their failed delusions and poor Kimihito has to bear the brunt of it all. Heck, Suu even morphed into Kimihito for them to practice their perversion. Are they really that pent up? By the time Rachnera restrains them to avoid teaching Suu more wrong things, slime girl is already gone and started putting into practice what she learnt. When he collapses from exhaustion, Suu reads his mind and all the pain he went through. Then she remembers this incident. As it was raining and she was trapped taking shelter at a bus stop, Kimihito came looking for her. He gave his umbrella and he got soaked in the rain. This time Suu administers her own nursing method to make him feel better. More amazing, she says in her own words that this was all her fault and is sorry about it. After all, she loves him. Is that really he own words or did she mimic that off from someone? This doesn’t bode well for Miia. Getting paranoid of the emergence of another rival? I hope Smith has a good nap because now here she comes checking on things. Oh. Looks like she’s sick now. Everybody keep your distance. Yeah. Nobody wants to nurse her. You’re on your own. Even her buddies can’t help because they’re out partying. So sorry you can’t join. You reap what you sew.

Episode 9
What in blazes?! Kimihito out on a date with Smith?! Has he decided to go for a human girl after all?! So our concerned monster girls tail him to a maid cafe. As they cannot be seen, they come up with an idea to use Mero to act as a maid with Suu transformed as her legs to serve them and find out if they are really dating. Kimihito is puzzled if this maid is Mero since she looks like her but she can’t really walk. However when Mero starts sweating, this causes Suu to act up. And all the perverted guys in the cafe are watching with glee at this ero scene. Smith takes Kimihito to a video arcade. This time Papi is disguised as a cosplay girl. Again Suu disguises as her clothes and arms. When Papi has to call and report back, she slips the handphone into Suu. This erotic scene has the perverted gamers watch in glee as the handphone slowly slides down into her undies and then starts vibrating… Ultimate self pleasure? Miia and Cerea disguise as ice cream vendors. Thanks to their huge tits, some guy calls all his buddies to order ice cream. Miia sees Smith taking Kimihito towards the love hotel area. Because Suu is disguised as their uniform, when Miia breaks away, this leaves Cerea naked. The patrons must have gotten the best ice cream service ever. Miia parodies MGS to sneak into the hotel. Rachnera is also here and she wants to take pictures to blackmail them. Miia tries to stop her, believing Kimihito is doing this for a reason. The commotion has MON arrest them. With everyone gathered, it’s time for an explanation. Seems Kimihito got a threatening letter from D that he will be killed if he gets married to one of them. This date was supposed to lure them out but it didn’t work. Smith suggests the girls date him instead until they catch the culprit.

Miia is happy to be on the date but why is Mero here too? She assures she is only aiming to be his mistress and will support them. At the aquarium, Mero is some sort of staff celebrity as she has helped them numerous times. This is a chance for Miia to get close. There is this one time they’re close to kissing but Mero had to ruin it by narrating her fish trivia. So close… When they watch Mero in her dolphin performance, because Kimihito looked so captivated, this makes Miia mad as she storms off. She bumps into a Lizardman and because they’re both reptiles, they understand each other and head somewhere off. Though MON spots this, they are unsure to continue their watch on Kimihito as Smith cautions the culprit may be using Kimihito as a tool to get the girls. The Lizardman takes Miia on a boat ride. Because she praises Kimihito so much, he gets mad and claims that he wants her. Could he be the culprit? After all, he corrects her that he is not a Lizardman but Draco from the Dragonewt species, the king of all animals. Suddenly Kimihito is seen turning a swan boat into a motorboat. Don’t ask how. He’s mad. Maybe that’s where he got the power. He charges straight and crashes into them. On land, Draco is still not happy but as Kimihito is going to dry him and takes off his clothes, they are shocked to find Draco is female! All she wanted was another reptilian friend and has no idea about the letter. She escapes but is soon caught by Mon. Kimihito gives Miia a necklace. He couldn’t find the right time to give it to her. Who cares? A hug from her shows how happy she is. Hate to ruin your happy moment but as a reminder, the culprit is still at large.

Episode 10
As part of Kimihito’s protection, he is whisked away to the mountains. Papi and Suu are with him and despite Zombina is supposed to be his bodyguard, she’s happily eating all the BBQ meat. Suddenly a giant wood monster attacks them. Didn’t Zombina say something about this area being an industrial waste dump? Papi recognizes this Dryad friend, Kii who takes them as hostage. She claims she hates humans. Papi remembers meeting Kii. After Smith arrested some non-human species kidnapper, she saw Kii separated from her friends. She planted her in this forest and forgot all about her. Suu who has absorbed some hazardous materials grows big (Godzilla?) and sets up a classic giant monster fight. She believes the wastes made Kii large (Ironically growing big made Suu smart) and the only way is to extract those waste nutrients out from her. How are they going to do that? Papi suggests Kimihito suck her boobs! Papi can’t do it since she’s been tied S&M style. When he sucks on her, Kii tries to absorb the nutrients from Suu. Zombina who almost died from being trampled (the irony again) sees this very ambiguous erotic scene. What the hell just happened? I don’t know how in the end, everybody reverts to their normal size. Kimihito pleads to Smith not to charge her and blames it on the wastes. However Smith says she wasn’t going to do anything to her. Kii isn’t the culprit as she cannot properly write. As her agents will think of a way to clean up this place, Kii will continue to stay here as long as Papi and Suu visit her. Kii is bewildered that they like Kimihito as he is a nice guy. She notes that he was even gentle sucking her boobs.

Cerea seems to be the strict bodyguard. Anybody who approaches him, she shoos them away. Yeah, she’s even in a full armour gear. Is she going to war or something? A cheeky devil girl, Lilith takes out Manako who is keeping an eye on them (how aptly fitting) as she plans to play a prank on them. Cerea’s horse body means she is being clumsy around town. During picnic, her sandwiches do not have taste but Kimihito continues to be kind to her until Rachnera had to spill it out to her. This makes Cerea feel bad as she goes off to cool her head. That is when Lilith hypnotizes her. When Kimihito finds Cerea, she is acting strange. She forces herself on him and allows him to rape her! Lilith is watching with glee when a wild boar attacks. Kimihito throws his shit to cover its vision and let it crash into the tree. Cerea, free from the spell finishes it off with a pole. Although Kimihito praises her, Cerea continues to view herself as useless. He gets on her back claiming he sprained his ankle. See, she’s not useless after all. Rachnera has apprehended Lilith and is going to make her spill the beans. But Lilith isn’t afraid of her and mocks the spider girl as the one who is most afraid of humans and rejection thanks to her spider body. I hope she’s ready to face Rachnera’s punishment. And although she is not the culprit, I think Lilith is coming to enjoy this S&M punishment. More! MORE! Cerea tries to cook salad for everyone but the girls just dump them to Suu. No confidence?

Episode 11
This time Kimihito is going on a date with MON minus Doppel. Because there is another death threat letter that sounds like an ominous lover letter. But why is MON doing this on their free time? They have had it watching him date and it made them jealous. So is this some sort of pay back? First he gets to date Tionishia. A folly in the dressing room has him pull down her panties too when she gets stuck in the skirt. Next and probably the best of the lot is Zombina. After watching a zombie movie, she decides to play what is supposed to be the best zombie prank ever. As Kimihito is good in sewing back things, she purposely drops her boobs to let him sew it back! Finally it’s the very shy Manako. She is bumping into things as she lacks depth and perception (how the heck did she become a first class sniper?). She thinks he doesn’t care for her because like others, nobody looks her in the eye when they talk to her. But when he does and quite sincere about it, she starts flustering. Then they spot somebody spying on them and go into action to corner the culprit. Turns out to be Doppel. It is revealed the threat letter was planned by Smith and her because Kimihito is taking too long to pick a bride. Due to the sense of danger, he would have to get with someone. But they have to admit that all of them had fun with him as he treats them like ordinary girls. However Doppel is stumped about the second letter. What second letter? They only sent the first one. Oh no…

When Kimihito returns home, his monster girls are shocked he brought a headless woman back! The paranoia is getting to Miia but she becomes scared sh*t after seeing the cross-section of her neck. Like the kind guy he is, he wants to go out to look for this Dullahan’s head. Some of the girls volunteer to help look. Better hurry before it gets really dark. You don’t want to be accused of holding a severed head, do you? Miia is extremely scared. A mannequin’s head could freak her out as she even thinks maybe her species doesn’t even have a head. Then they find the real head. That’s it for Miia. Because the head is speaking in such high level, she is forced to bring it down so Kimihito could understand: Please take her head back to her body. Just say so… However she starts to feel funny. Because Rachnera is experimenting S&M bondage with her body. Is this why she volunteered to stay back? Thankfully Suu puts a stop to it. But this means Suu is now violating her body! After returning home and she reattaches her head, they discuss about the Dullahan folklore whereby they are like grim reapers who appear before those who are about to die, reap their souls and guide them to the underworld. And she points out that Kimihito is that person. Gasp!

Episode 12
Rachnera ties up Dullahan and lets the rest escape with him. However Papi’s night blindness means she bumps into almost everything and could have killed him if not for Suu’s absorption. Cerea takes over but because she is too deep in her delusions of this ‘elope’, she failed to see he has fallen off and has been dragged for metres. Dullahan pops up so while Cerea fights her, Mero takes him down into the river. He almost drowned. Then her tragedy addict activates. She wants him to leave a legacy when he dies. And by that she meant children so she could tell them about his heroics. She is really about to drown him when Miia pulls him out. Now it’s her turn to get delusional about performing CPR. To her surprise, Rachnera ties her up and is siding with Dullahan. After all that he has been through, you think they’re making his life easier? Might as well put him out of his misery. Miia wants to die with him. That is when Kimihito gets up and is going to end all this. If he makes it home alive, he is getting married. He steps out to the middle of the road into the path of an oncoming truck. Luckily it is just a toy truck. Who the hell plays that in the middle of the streets at night? Kimihito proves this means he is not fated to die yet. Back home, Smith chides Lala (Dullahan’s real name) for running off each time she finds her a host family. She has to stop using high level words since Smith is scarier than a grim reaper! She is the one who sent the death letter as she was curious to see that each time he is on the verge of death (thanks to you-know-who), he wouldn’t die. Lala wants to stay here to further observe him and Smith immediately gives the green light. The other girls are okay with this since she is not Kimihito’s love rival or out to kill him. Smith learns that Kimihito was never afraid of her death threats because aside from his life is always in danger, he recognizes Lala’s personality as chuunibyou. How does he know? He was once like that! Oh sh*t! He was once the dark master! Vanishment this world!

Kimihito is in a pinch. With so many monster girls in his place, the food cost is going through the roof and he is barely in the red. Oh look. The fridge is empty and the kitchen is in a mess. Well, time to head for the supermarket. Too bad it’s temporarily closed. What about the market street? Thanks to the monster girls doing good deeds for them, the market sellers give them tons of meat, vegetables, eggs and other stuffs for free! But when Suu mentions she doesn’t eat and only takes nutrients, this won’t do for Kimihito because everybody has to be eating the same thing at the table. So they go to see Kii to get some herbs. Since she won’t allow it, Suu administers the boobs sucking rape to get her permission. On the way back, Draco tries to attack him but is paralyzed by Suu’s poison. She learns her lesson to late to never touch him again when Suu violates her. After Kimihito has cooked up a feast, here comes MON joining in. Just great. The order just keeps coming. Challenge accepted. Kimihito cooks his heart out till everything is empty and everybody satisfyingly full. Now he is in despair he has no more money for food. When Smith heard about this, she tells him he can always put food costs as expense. As long as he has the receipts, they can reimburse him. All the trouble he went through…

Monster Perverts!
Okay. It was rather fun and entertaining on its own right. Call me a racist (for the human race, that is) and being discriminate because at the end of the day if I were to put myself in Kimihito’s shoes, I don’t think I could even last 10 seconds. That’s right. I don’t think I could ever get use to have a monster girl as my girlfriend even if she is the sweetest and most caring girl, better than all the human girls in the world. But that is the cruel truth about me (and probably a lot of you). Appearances do really make a difference and if you know me, although I did say I am a sucker for a pretty face, that includes the entire body. Head to toe. Therefore while watching this anime, although I do enjoy the funny comedic bits, at the end of the day, the thought that these are ultimately monsters somewhat ‘ruined’ my enjoyment. It’s like watching a monster flick. Without all the action and replaced with romance. It just feels weird.

This series tries its best to come up with something new under the romantic harem comedy trope as there is a dime a dozen of this genre out there in the market, past and present. It’s refreshing in a way and even better if you are a monster lover but for a person like me who doesn’t, it isn’t going to as much as enjoyable as you hope for seeing that the monster factor is a turn off. This is of course from my big point of view. Feel free to differ. As far as this series is concerned, it does quite a good job in diversifying the different types of monsters but I can’t help another type of monsters are missing. Notable the very popular vampire and werewolf. Yeah, with so many vampire themed animes, movies, series and everything else, I suppose it gets a little tiring. So in a way it is a good thing that vampires, supposedly the most famous ‘monster’ of them all is left out. After all, they look too humanoid to be considered anything near a monstrosity.

Character wise, I believe the varied personalities of the monster girls make them amusing and entertaining to watch. Although you can’t help feel that their personality mirrors so much of those of a human girl that you might think that those girls are just wearing monster getups. We have the paranoid Miia (you can’t blame her for she was the first and only one around when the monster population of the household suddenly increased), the kid-like and ‘retard’ Suu and Papi, the strict and honourable Cerea, tragedy addict Mero and the S&M dominatrix Rachnera. Now that we have the chuunibyou Lala adding to the mix, you can say that the household is going to be a very lively affair every day. Every single freaking day.

Kimihito might look like a normal teenager but he is more than meets the eye. Like any other male protagonist of a harem anime. He is kind to everybody. The good thing we can learn that he does not discriminate and sees and treats everyone as equal, monster or not. But the way he becomes a ragdoll, each time surviving monstrous beat downs that ordinary humans would have died, doesn’t this make him a monster?! Think about it! He could be the strongest ‘monster’ of them all! Ah yes, and here I was going to say that humans are the worst kind of monster. I am assuming he is already out in the working force because there is no mention or hint of him going to school or college – if so, I am sure there would have been an interesting mix of his human classmate girlfriend who secretly have a crush on him, getting all worked up he’d rather entertain a bunch of ‘hideous’ creatures than her. Hey wait. Didn’t Kimihito say he was going to decide whom he is going to marry? What happened to that? Don’t tell me he has decided to marry all of them! Well, I don’t recall a law that says monogamy between the species although that law of interspecies marrying was just passed.

It is precisely this helpful attitude the reason why Smith takes advantage of him and puts all the monster girls in his care. I suppose she has other host families under her care and I am guessing that the monster girls had some sort of problem with them and thus why Smith arranged to be put under him. I mean, he doesn’t mind, right? That is why with this reliable guy around, Smith slacks a lot and lets him handle the girls although the more serious stuffs behind closed doors, she’ll be there to take care of it. Heck, if she can even be a freeloader for his meals, that shows you how tolerant this guy is, right? Am I not right in saying that he is not a monster? The rest of her MON team is also cool although they lack any more screen time compared to Kimihito’s monster harem. If I had to pick the best monster girl (out of all the monsters that appeared), it would be Zombina because she is just opposite of what you’d expect of a typical zombie. Instead of being dead and craving for brains, she is quite lively and cheeky. Especially with her penchant of making quips that it could have killed her! Funny indeed.

Just a thought. They should make Kimihito (who is never referred to by his real name in the anime except for once in the beginning of the episode as introduction) the ambassador between humans and non-humans thanks to his kind and cannot-refuse nature. With all the increasing costs and expenses related overheads, I’m sure he can claim it from the agency. Because if there is a monster on home stay programme who runs away, the first person for this solution is always him. Noticed that? Not too sure if there are other families that are as kind as him but as far as this anime is concerned, many of the monster girls that bump into him take a liking for him and end up staying with him. I am sure those from MON will also be the same. Even those who don’t will eventually tolerate him. And he can tolerate all the daily beat downs as well. So is he not the best bet to take both sides of the divide to the next level instead of those lazy self-interest lawmakers?

If you notice that in many of the episodes, there is this single policeman who is on scene to check things, sometimes freaking out if there was a ghost when the monster girls go into hiding or such. It makes me think… Is this entire town he is the only policeman around?! I don’t know how big the town is or if it is just coincidence if he is just patrolling the area but to have him always looking with his flashlight, sometimes it feels they’re trying to make him a joke character with this running joke. Later in the end episodes, I somewhat noticed a furry dog/wolf girl jogging around in the background. If you are sharp enough you can catch her in this split second frames. I keep thinking that if she could be the culprit of the letter or just some sort of ‘antagonist’ in the final episode plot twist. But it turns out to be just my paranoia (influenced by Miia?). Nothing but a background character, that’s all. Another thought: Are furries considered as monsters?

It is with mixed feelings when the fanservice scenes are played. On one hand, they look erotic enough to get your delusions going but the thought that they are monsters is what stops me from fapping. No, I’m not saying that every erotic fanservice scene I will fap. Just saying that it takes away the ‘pleasure’ just watching fanservice scenes with a monster. Here’s a thought: If you really have sex with a monster, would it amount to bestiality? I mean, unless you harbour such fetish, would you actually have sex with your pet dog? Therefore with some of the scenes that really borders hentai and very ambiguous, it is this dilemma that takes out the horniness when watching such scenes. Really. Unless like I said, you love monsters. So the fanservice here is both a turn on and then a turn off. Who would have knew that monster girls show the same reaction as porn stars when their sensitive areas are being ‘tampered’ with.

So it is no joke when some of the very busty monsters have monstrous tits. The kind of tits size that you would only expect to see in hentai series. Having such humongous tits means it would be a waste not to be ‘taken advantage of’ as there are quite a number of scenes of boobs smothering and squeezing till you suffocate (at least in Kimihito’s case). Despite the number of boob scenes in every episode, I was hoping that final episode would have the ultimate one. Why? So that I can make a pun of “Save The Breast For Last”! Haha!

Art and drawing feels pretty normal with your typical conventional Japanese anime looks. Many of the monster girls do have the look of a cute Japanese anime girl. Yeah, but that is just the top part. Then the bottom torso is just freaking monstrous like Miia, Cerea and Rachnera. As an additional bonus, at the end of each episode, there is an educational illustration and short narratives of the types of monster and its subspecies. I believe the list is not exhaustive and there could be more since how much can you actually fit into a single screen? This is great if you want to know more about them. But as for me, I never read a single one of them since I fear I might be getting sleepless nights! Therefore I am not sure if the subspecies as pointed out are facts in general or just created for this anime only since they do not appear.

Voice acting wise, I only recognized Yu Kobayashi as Smith. It has been a long time since I heard her voice but she is still recognizable nevertheless despite not going into her trademark crazy screaming voice. But each time I can’t help that at any point now she might do so given the outlook of her character but she remains the calm and cool slacker agent. For the rest of the casts, they include Junji Majima as Kimihito (Tooru in Hitsugi No Chaika), Sora Amamiya as Miia (Isla in Plastic Memories), Ari Ozawa as Papi (Nozomi in The Rolling Girls), Natsuki Aikawa as Cerea (Petra in Shingeki No Kyojin), Haruka Yamazaki as Mero (Ruka in Hayate No Gotoku series), Mayuka Nomura as Suu (Konomi in Mujaki No Rakuen), Sakura Nakamura as Rachnera (Kurumi in Papa No Iukoto Wo Kikinasai), Ai Kakuma as Lala (Est in Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance), Rei Mochizuki as Zombina (Rin in Strike The Blood), Momo Asakura as Manako (Rin in Witch Craft Works), Yurika Kubo as Tionisia (Loki in DanMachi) and Saori Oonishi as Doppel (Eriri in Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata).

The opening theme is Saikousoku Fall In Love and is sung by Kimihito’s monster girls minus Rachnera. So the spider girl is not part of his harem despite her appearance in the opening credits? Anyway when you have the animation starting off with wedding bells for Kimihito and the girls, it feels like a foreshadow of what his future is going to be like. Yeah, this guy is going to end up marrying a monster! I hope this doesn’t imply anything. I prefer the ending theme done by Smith and her MON team. Aptly named after the agent herself, Hey! Smith! is surprisingly a catchy piece despite its hard rock nature and it makes me want to play my air electric guitar and jam like all those crazy hard rock metal bands on stage. Take it from the top one more time! Hmm… For oldies sake, anybody mind doing the Monster Mash with me? :-).

Overall, this anime shouldn’t give you nightmare about monsters and still a decent watch (if you don’t mind the monstrous fanservice too). But still, if you are a monster-averse person like me, there is a high chance that you might not get to enjoy this anime to its full potential if you keep thinking the weirdness of humans mixing with non-humans. Heck, even among humans, the issue of human marriages between different races and religions are still a big sticky issue. Well, at least that itself proves that we are human deep down inside right to our genes. Speaking of nightmares, I hope this won’t arise to something about being afraid of monsters lurking underneath your bed trying to eat you. Because what is even scarier are monster girls trying to mate with you!

Rokka No Yuusha

December 20, 2015

Once again, the big bad evil demon boss who once threatened the world will revive and bring terror to the lands. Once again, a chosen few will rise up and go on a journey to defeat the evil and his minions and bring peace for everyone. Happily ever after. Till the next cycle repeats itself again. How often have we heard of such stories? It is getting to be a bore, right? So I thought it was somewhat the same with Rokka No Yuusha. Six heroes have been chosen to go defeat the big baddie but there is a catch. This time there are seven of them! So? Extra help is always welcome, right? Well, who knows. Somebody got paranoid thinking there is a traitor in the midst. Jenjenjeng! And there you have it. Surprisingly this isn’t an action adventure genre but a drama mystery as everyone tries to figure out who the traitor is among them. And currently the suspicions fall on the main protagonist who might or might not be it. What can you do when everything is pointing towards you? Wow. I never would have guessed that this type of fantasy setting can take on such a genre twist after all.

Episode 1
As narrated when the world is in danger of the Demon God, the Goddess of Fate will choose 6 heroes known as Braves of the Six Flowers to save the world. In an Aztec-like nation, a ritual for a semi-final tournament is being held. The winner will have the right to face last year’s winner, Princess Nachetanya Loei Piena Augustra. Unfortunately, Adlet Mayer who proclaims himself as the world’s strongest man barges in and cockily wants both warriors to fight him. They ignore him and let the guards arrest him but Adlet swiftly throws his dart trick to wipe them all out. Now you take him seriously? Both warriors fiercely take him on but Adlet has more tricks up his sleeve and the match ends in his favour. Then he arrogantly proclaims to the Goddess of Fate to choose him to be one of the Braves but the guards quickly arrest him and the furious people start throwing their buckets. Thrown into prison, he is visited by a maid who is very much interested in him and wants to know about his background. Introducing himself and his master, Atro Spiker, he narrates the days of his harsh training and that his existence is only to destroy the Demon God. He still thinks he is the strongest although he hasn’t faced Nachetanya yet. An update: The semi-final resumed, there was a winner but he was easily destroyed by Nachetanya. Yes, yes, Adlet. We know you’re the strongest so please stop reminding us. He hopes to be chosen as one of the Braves, that is why he came to this tournament.

A brief history about how the Demon God awakened and attacked and killed people. Till the Goddess of Fate arose and drove it back. However she said it was not completely defeated and merely in slumber. When it awakes to destroy the world, she will send 6 heroes to drive it back. The heroes will be marked with a flower spot on their body. The maid continues to mention several names of past heroes when such similar events occurred. But recently there are a number of potential Braves who has been murdered supposedly by Fiends. Even so, a potential Brave shouldn’t easily be defeated like this. The next day, Adlet is sentenced to indefinite imprisonment and is tossed into a pit prison. Looks like the previous occupant is just a bag of bones. At least he left his short sword behind. So Adlet bides his time doing things in his cell and keeping fit. Days and nights passed. Now he thinks it’s time to escape? One night, the sky turns fire red. The people hear voices and they believe it to be from the Fiends. This could also be a sign that the Demon God is reviving. Adlet is scared when the sky ‘swallows’ him but the next thing he knows, a flower mark on his right hand. He is happy to be chosen and calls out to the guards. But coming to see him is Nachetanya who shows him she also has the crest. With her magic, she breaks the cell, pushes all the guards down into the pit for Adlet to escape. Looks like she’s got all this well planned out as she also has prepared him a horse for their escape. I guess she’s not going to wait for some embarkation ceremony. Evil is not going to wait, right? They make their way straight to the west to the end of the peninsular, to the Land of Howling Demons. That is the entrance to where the Demon God is and the place where the Braves will gather.

Episode 2
Nachetanya must be relishing her freedom from her palace life. Yeah, she ‘takes’ fruits from merchants and Adlet has to pay for them. Heck, she even admitted long ago she thought fruits grew on plates! Oh, the sheltered royal life! It might almost seem her journey times spent with Adlet feels like some sort of date. She is enjoying her company because she gets to talk to him on the same level and express her true feelings. He does so only because they are on equal footing as Braves. Nachetanya talks about her family. Her dad the king is merely a puppet and the prime minister holds the true power because her father was responsible for starting the civil war. Her mom and brother are gone so she is the only royal family member left. There are other distant relatives in other countries but why risk another civil war? Goldov Auora is the leader of her kingdom’s Black Knights and left on a journey 6 months ago to find the culprit responsible for killing potential Braves. The last she heard from him was 6 weeks ago and there still were no clues. Although she fears he might have been killed, she doesn’t think so. As Goldov was last year’s tournament finalist, he actually went easy on her and for this humiliation, she won’t allow him to die until she avenges that. Eh? What? There is also talk about Riura the Saint who went missing. She was awesome in her youthful days but looking at her old age right now, it is not possible for her to be the killer’s target.

After 10 days, the duo enter Gwenbyer, the country of iron hills. Lots of citizens are fleeing, heading in the opposite direction. They meet a couple who had to abandon their child and friends to escape attacking Fiends. Adlet heads into action wondering if this is a trap since it is the Fiends’ objective to kill them. He uses his tricks and dexterity to slay the Fiends while Nachetanya supports him from the back. Since this is her first time, you can’t blame her for being nervous. Once done, they learn the villagers say there is a traveller who decided to stay back at the village. Adlet wants to go save her himself but Nachetanya reminds him in this war it is either they slay the Demon God or save the people. You can’t do both. Oh, but Adlet will do both because what is the world’s strongest man if he can’t even do that. Adlet examines all the Fiend corpses. He notices there are iron ball bullets with gunpowder that took them out. Then he sees this gunslinger girl, Flamie Speeddraw who is freeing trapped dogs. Trivia: Fiends only attack humans. Additional trivia: Flamie loves dogs but hates humans. When Adlet introduces himself, she points her gun at him. She maintains her suspicion despite him showing his crest. She too has the crest of the Brave. She asks him if he is here to kill her. Nachetanya is not pleased that Goldov finally returns to her side. Despite he too has a Brave crest on his arm, she is not happy he still treats her like a royalty with all that protocol crap as he vows to always protect her. You can just feel it in her sighs. Goldov reports of his development and now has the identity of the Brave killer: Flamie!

Episode 3
Flamie relays a message to Adlet that she will kill the Demon God herself and not to get in her way. She fires a warning shot and runs. Adlet won’t give up and chases after her. She looks very surprised because he manages to catch her. She threatens to kill him but he continues to remind her that all Braves must work together to defeat the Demon God. A single person cannot just kill it. Flamie gives him a few options. Hear the reason and they try to kill each other or don’t hear them and walk away. Adlet is still bent on saving her so he tricks her and steals her bag of bullets. A person who uses a gun to fight is literally useless without her bullets, right? Against her will, she is forced to come with him. Adlet might seem to play cool but he is scared sh*t inside taking this big gamble. Meanwhile Nachetanya and Goldov are fighting more Fiends when Adlet’s horse returns with a message saying he has found another Brave and is going to pursue her. He wants her to continue their journey and meet up at their destination. It is no surprise that Goldov is wary when he hears the name of another man. Even putting up that ‘sad’ face when he hears her praising the good guy Adlet is and a fun person to tease. Really. Speaking of sad face, Flamie is another one having to travel along with this idiot. She can’t believe Adlet and Nachetanya are chosen as Braves considering how inexperienced they are. Hearing his arrogance as the world’s strongest man just wants to make her puke. But she has a request of him. It is inevitable that they will fight. If so, please go easy on her. She can’t die before she slays the Demon God. Adlet is ‘disappointed’ to hear that request. What he wanted to hear was a request to fight together. Over the horizon, they view the red mountain range. Across is the Land of the Howling Demons. Humans will die if they are exposed by that air but the blessings of the Goddess of Fate on the Brave negate that effect.

The duo make their way to the nearby fortress and are let in after showing their crest. Private first class of the Gwenbyer army, Lauren is in charge here since many of his higher ups and comrades have been killed in the battle with Fiends. Other Braves have already arrived and passed through here. He takes them to a chamber where the Gwenbyer king prepared something to help the Braves. As he has developed a method to seal the Fiends in this forest, they who are sent to wipe out the Braves will be trapped here as Fiends cannot cross water. He pinpoints a temple that will activate that barrier that Fiends will be unable to destroy. One of the Braves, Maura Chester who is also the head of All Heavens Temple is already stationed there. Once all the Braves are gathered, Maura will send a signal to the guards to head there and activate the barrier. If the guards fall here before all gather, one of them will have to go there. This means one of the Braves cannot venture forth into the lands but this is worth the risk. As they continue their journey, Flamie continues to spill the best insults. Like don’t talk to her because she’s speaking and she wants Adlet to stop treating her kindly because it just makes her want to kill him! Adlet suddenly senses somebody targeting them and pushes Flamie out of harm’s way. It is Nachetanya on the offensive. I believe it is not because of the other woman thingy. Adlet tackles Goldov and tries to stop all parties from all-out attacking each other but the ladies continue with their assault. Flamie wonders why Adlet is so surprised. Didn’t she tell him that if she meets the Braves, they’ll start killing each other?

Episode 4
Once Adlet manages to get everyone to stop, he shows the crest on Flamie’s hand. Now you believe? But what about Flamie being a Brave killer? Flamie admits that and names some of the potential Braves she killed (although she denied killing Riura). She did so to revive the Demon God because if potential strong ones are killed off, weaker ones will be chosen. Adlet believes she has some sort of reason to fight the Demon God and her desire is real. Even if she was once an enemy of the Braves, she is now one of their comrades. If Nachetanya insists on fighting, he will have to side Flamie. I guess that’s that. Just so to let us know, she’s trusting Adlet and not Flamie. But why does she sound jealous hinting to Adlet that he’s gotten closer to her? Yeah, Flamie is quite the pretty girl she is, no? And there’s the same sentiment too for Goldov but Adlet assures their relationship isn’t anything of what he thinks. Walking through the forest, flying Fiends start dropping bombs (what?). Then they have to fight off land Fiends so Nachetanya tells Adlet to run ahead to the temple while they fight off the endless hordes. Adlet finds a wounded priestess who tells him to hurry. However the temple door is locked. Nothing like a good bomb to blow it up. It gets weird when he has to fight off soulless armour knights and the priestess turns into a Fiend but flees. He senses something amiss when he sees the fog barrier up. When he runs inside the temple, it seems the barrier is already activated. Somebody did it. It sure wasn’t him. Now they’re all trap inside the barrier.

They try to deactivate it but no matter what kind of method they use, the fog is still up. Nachetanya panics and starts swinging her dagger like as though she’s possessed and ironically it is Flamie who is the one who calms her down. Then there is this kid, Chamot Rosso happily walking in. This kid is one of the Braves? Believe it. She thinks she is the world’s strongest. What do you get when 2 idiots argue about who is being the strongest? Well, save that for later because Chamot wants to kill Flamie. Gunslinger girl gets on the defensive while Adlet and Nachetanya prevent the little kid from taking further actions. She only backs down when Maura tells her so. Now that everyone is here, Maura wants to know who the outsider is. What does she mean? Maura just recently met this crazy weirdo, Hans Humpty, another one of the Braves. That’s right. You counted right. There are 7 of them. After showing their crest as proof, they are still puzzled how come there are 7 of them. There have always been only 6 Braves. No more, no less. Could the Goddess of Fate have decided 6 wasn’t enough and sent an additional one? Hans has a simple answer. It means one of them is a fake and their enemy.

Episode 5
An entire episode of guessing who the culprit is. Turning into a whodunit? After Adlet and Hans confirm the mist has formed a barrier, Maura says the only way for the barrier to be disabled is for the person who enabled it to do so or be killed. In other words, it is one of them. Chamot is adamant Flamie is the culprit and wants her killed but Maura wants everyone to tell a bit about themselves in hopes that there will be clues to pinpoint the culprit. As usual, Adlet goes first and starts reminding us of his strongest in the world status. It’s so annoying that even the rest questions what the heck it is supposed to mean! Worse, he can’t even explain it well! Suspicious? Hans is most interesting as we learn. Can’t say he is the weirdest since each one of them is equally weird. Hans works as an assassin and he talks and acts like a cat because his fighting style is based on them so he does so to pay his tribute. With everyone’s suspicions on Flamie, she has her eye-patch and headgear removed. To everyone’s surprise, they see a demon’s horn and eye. Flamie discloses her origins. She was born of both human and Fiend. The Fiends planned to plant one to infiltrate the humans in case the Demon God was revived. Flamie is that plan. Her father is human but right after Flamie was conceived, he was killed. She was raised by her Fiend mom and when the time is right, she set out on a journey to kill potential Braves. Flamie did not hesitate to consider herself a Fiend and believes in the Demon God. However she denies she is the seventh Brave.

Adlet wonders if Flamie is half Fiend, can she activate the barrier? Hans says she can as there are devices that keep Fiends out, Flamie’s presence here proves she can do both what humans and Fiends could not. Of course Flamie flat out denies she activated the barrier and throws it back to Maura that in her point of her, she is also another suspect. There is no guarantee what she is saying is true. One of them is the enemy and clearly lying. Adlet thinks how true it is because although they do not know Maura well, her well known position made them suspect her less. Adlet needs to be careful too or else he will be suspected. Surprisingly Hans supports the notion that Flamie isn’t the culprit. If she was, she had numerous chances to kill Adlet especially that idiot had so many opening chances to be dead. Flamie admits it too. So Adlet’s careless actions saved Flamie? Well, he’s the strongest, not the smartest. Nachetanya feels a little dizzy and takes a rest. After Adlet explains the events when he arrived at this temple, Hans tells him this is his last chance to change things. Adlet sticks to what he believes. Hans deduces that a temple that is impregnable suddenly had its strong doors unable to close right after Adlet blows it up (he was attacked by the knights as he didn’t follow proper procedure to open the door and he was treated as an intruder). Is it too much of a coincidence that the barrier got activated right after the door is open? So how did the one who activated the barrier get in? It wasn’t possible before the door blew up. There are no other entrances. At this point, Adlet know he is in sh*t because he has become suspect number one.

Episode 6
Here is Adlet’s answer: Somebody must have dug in, activated the barrier and sneak out! Maura dispels that theory because the seal protects the entire temple be it from the ceiling, wall or ground. Plus, restoring the seal back to its original state takes time and a very high skill. What if there is another Fiend like Flamie? Sorry. Flamie is told she is the only one. All Fiends cannot bear human children and her mom was carefully crafted over a long period of time for this. The damning verdict is those knights who attacked him. That itself indicated he was the first intruder. Nachetanya becomes vocal in standing up for Adlet that he couldn’t be the culprit. But Adlet starts panicking and even accuses Hans to be the perpetrator. No proof? Maura wants everyone’s opinion. Hans wants to kill him. Chamot although interested in Flamie, wants to torture him. Maura sides with Hans. Flamie: No comment. Nachetanya is pleading to Goldov why he isn’t helping Adlet. Isn’t it obvious? But you want to know his answer? This is his answer. He attacks Adlet! I guess action speaks louder than words. Immediately Adlet takes Flamie hostage and inserts some sleeping poison into her. Did he just dig his own grave? He then runs out. Although he scatters traps to make the rest unable to follow, Hans threw his dagger and got him in the back. It is not long before he loses strength and passes out. Night falls and Maura wants Hans to stop the search as there is no telling what tricks Adlet can do. Hans is confident he can catch Adlet since the night is his domain. Maura wants to see Hans’ crest. She knows Flamie is still alive because if one of the Braves dies, a petal will disappear. This means Adlet is valuing Flamie’s worth as a hostage and keeping her alive. (Note: Maura can’t see her own crest because it’s on the back of her neck).

Adlet dreams of his younger days. Then one day when Fiends killed everybody and he was the only survivor (looking like a bag of bones!), he approached Atro in hopes to become the world’s strongest man to defeat Fiends. Old geezer isn’t interested but Adlet falls into despair if he can’t do that, he doesn’t deserve to be alive. Atro starts kicking him and tells him to smile. That is how you become the strongest. You smile in the face of pain and despair! Man, Adlet sure looks creepy smiling like that. Yeah, I thought he looks like a masochist… He wakes up and looks like Flamie has patched him up. Luckily the dagger didn’t hit any vital parts. So she saved him? Well, she still suspects him 99%. This is the 1%. Going over everything again, Adlet thinks either Hans or Maura did it but unless he can prove his innocence, this accusation is meaningless. Adlet then comes up with a theory that there is an eighth suspect, the one who activated the barrier. The Fiends dropped the bombs to lure the Braves here and the seventh was planted so that he could be framed. Adlet’s priority now is to look for the eighth but since Flamie still suspects him, she won’t help out. Even in this dire situation, Adlet continues to smile. He doesn’t know how he is going to handle the other Braves but he can’t give up now. He can’t give up on smiling. Then a surprise question from Flamie as she asks him why he wanted to become part of the Brave. Has Flamie been interested in anything else but herself? Shocking, no?

Episode 7
No, Adlet. Flamie’s not interested in you. She sees him as only an average man with lots of unusual weapons. Yeah, I guess he’s not that strong. Adlet describes his harsh training with Atro. He also had to learn how to make secret weapons and studied science to make poison. See, kids. Stay in school! She heard many of Atro’s disciples ran away as they couldn’t stand his harsh training. But Adlet stayed and this could be the reason why he became a Brave. As explained, a Fiend came to their village one day. Surprised, it talked! He wanted to meet the village elder. Although the next morning he was gone, the village elder proclaims their village will move close to the Land of Howling Demons and worship the Demon God for there is no future in humanity. At least they will survive. Those who opposed will have their hearts ripped out. Flamie knows that Fiend who approached his village. He is one of the 3 leaders who rule over the Fiends. The one who came up with this half Fiend plan and the one who ordered her mom to conceive her. Adlet continues that his best friend died protecting him and his sister the same so he could escape. He is the only survivor. He never hated the villagers. Atro once told him it wasn’t revenge he became strong but because he believed in something. He believed everyone would come back and live in peace. Surprisingly Flamie feels envious. She was raised in a lovely environment and thought the best way to repay the Demon God was to do her job. However as Chamot was one of her targets, she lost and barely escaped with her life. When she returned home, mom tried to kill her for her failure. Of course she fled. Flamie isn’t mad about the fact mom tried to kill her. It was the love she pretended to give her. Therefore killing her now isn’t enough. She’ll destroy what she spent her life to bring about and make her regret her actions.

Flamie is surprised Adlet still doesn’t suspect her a bit. Hadn’t he thought this story is a lie? That reason itself was enough for her to suspect him. But Adlet now knows why he told his past freely to her that he could not to Nachetanya. It’s because they’re the same. He trusted her because he doesn’t want her to think her as the enemy. Of course, he’s not in love with her or anything (really?). Flamie decides to go back to the temple but she gives him some gunpowder. When thrown, it will explode but without light or sound. Only Flamie will know its location. Like a call for help? Adlet vows to protect everyone but she notes that will only get him killed. Flamie returns and tells everyone her conversation with Adlet. They split up in pairs to find Adlet. Hans has his suspicions on whether to trust Flamie because she might be lying. Did she really escape Adlet? Because from what he can see, Adlet was trying to take her side. Flamie isn’t surprised because Adlet has been trying to win her to his side since the start. Hans is still suspicious of Flamie if she can kill her mom when it comes down to it. Especially when mom starts begging for forgiveness. He knows because he has taken up a lot of contracts of husbands betraying wives and abandoned families. Meanwhile Nachetanya asks if Goldov would side her without questioning. Sorry, anything but Adlet. So much for loyalty. She claims she is trying to find proof of the seventh whom she suspects to be no other than Hans and wants Goldov to back her up for now. She believes Adlet is being framed and waiting for her. Adlet fears that with the group in pairs, the seventh might kill the partner and frame him. He rushes back to the temple since there is where he left his weapons. However Hans is waiting and the fight begins.

Episode 8
Adlet is in a pinch. Hans is going to extract information from him and then kill him but Adlet uses a bomb trap to escape. He is surprised that Hans can still chase and attack at full speed despite taking a direct hit. When he is cornered, Adlet drops all his weapons and tools. He believes a sword is enough to take him down. Of course this is his plan to let Hans suspect him as he scans his eyes around. After all, defeating Hans won’t mean victory but clearing his name. Adlet’s sword is also a trick as he can shoot its blade. However he purposely misses Hans. This is to show that he is not the seventh as this was his last chance to kill him. He couldn’t kill him because he is his comrade. This is also a big gamble because if Hans is the fake, he is doomed. Hans believes him but mentions that if it were others, they would have been fooled. A shocking revelation when Hans reveals he is the seventh! Adlet lost the bet. He tries to retrieve his belt but Hans slits his throat! Adlet is dead???!!! Actually that was only an illusion. Hans cut his throat to make him see that. As words and actions of men lie, only in death that their true face is revealed (he has seen many cases in his line of work). If Adlet was the fake, he would be confused when Hans claimed he was the seventh. Now that Adlet’s status is dispelled, the guys become buddies but they’re back to square one. Who is the seventh? Maura talks to Flamie that she believes she is not the culprit. Flamie remains suspicious since even among Fiends, they are divided into groups. She wonders if there are humans siding with Fiends. Maura is glad Adlet brought Flamie to them but he is still the enemy and should not be sympathetic. Don’t worry, Maura. Flamie hates him.

Nachetanya’s search hits a road block. Since Goldov still suspects Adlet, she tells him to go chase him by himself (I hope no gay connotations). Goldov wonders why she has changed so much because she used to be free spirited and calm. Why does she trust someone so much whom she spent a few days with? But she also thinks Goldov has changed. A battle to save the world has begun. Adlet is their comrade. Who does he think he was? She knows how he has felt about her for a long time but now is not the time. She doesn’t have time to deal with her jealousy. He is such a reliable person that she forgot. Looks like they don’t know each other that well after all. Hans looks for any clues in the cracks inside the temple walls and ceiling. Nope. Adlet needs to leave before the rest returns. But when Hans asks about how the barrier activates because he didn’t go to the fortress, Adlet senses something amiss. Since Hans and Chamot are the only ones who don’t know, he needs to ask that kid. Well, looks like she’s back and bored. She doesn’t care who is fake or not. Her idea is that she’ll just kill everyone she suspects except Maura as she believes she is strong enough to kill the Demon God along. Chamot then vomits a big pool of swamp! They turn into bubble Fiends?! She says there is a swamp in her stomach and everything she eats lives there happily ever after. Well, looks like somebody else is going to get eaten. The guys run and there is nothing much they can do since the monsters regenerate after taking damage. Chamot has an idea. She wants Hans to kill Adlet and if the barrier deactivates, she’ll spare him. No can do.

Episode 9
The guys work together but the Fiends are smart enough to protect Chamot. Adlet has Hans protect him so he can come up with a plan. In 60 seconds, he wants Hans to do nothing but run up to Chamot. He does and Chamot anticipated this move. A Fiend attacks him and Hans is told not to avoid but block it. When the Fiend pushes him away, Adlet kicks Hans to propel him forward. I don’t know about this ‘successful’ attack because it is game over once Hans lifts Chamot. Huh? Better tie her up and shut her mouth. After that fighting, Adlet is convinced Chamot is not the seventh. The question he asks her is if she knows about the barrier before coming here. She doesn’t. Adlet now needs to go to speak with Flamie alone but Hans warns him that Flamie lives in darkness and that she truly hates him. No, not the tsundere kind. I mean, really, really hates him from the bottom of her heart. Adlet uses the gunpowder to summon Flamie. Maura is back at the temple and she’s upset that Hans and Chamot got tricked by Adlet. Hans explains Adlet’s awesome theory as how Adlet does to Flamie. He has figured out part of the seventh’s trap. The seventh tricked them into being mistaken. Most of them had been taught by Lauren how to activate the barrier. Nobody knows about it till Lauren told them. What if Lauren is working with the seventh? He might have lied to them how the barrier is activated. The Fiends used the bombs to lure them to the temple and they waited for Adlet to open the door to cover the entire forest with the mist. At that time the barrier was not activated. They assumed it was. The sword was already in dial as they believed it was the factor to activate it. Then they messed around in hopes of deactivating but one of them may have then activated it. The perpetrator had to prove the temple was a locked room till Adlet arrives and pin the blame on him. But isn’t Hans the one who suspected Adlet with this?

Nachetanya’s suspicion on Hans is growing more. During the conversation, Hans didn’t know she was a princess but when he first came in and met everyone the first time, he called her one. Could it be that he knew her status beforehand and pretended not to later? Flamie shoots down Adlet’s theory as there is a fatal flaw. Despite using the power of the Saint, there are limits. Uspa is a Saint that used the fog. But to have it covered instantly a big area is impossible. That would take years to prepare. Had Uspa been able to do that, Flamie would have targeted her. She blows open the ground to reveal mini stakes that contains the barrier’s power. This is why the forest was covered immediately. However all the barriers are the same because if another is put up, one will be disabled. Hans argues that Adlet couldn’t be the seventh because he spared his life. This includes Chamot’s. Maura argues back about Hans’ silly reason of one’s true dying face. That is after all his personal opinion. Flamie can guess that Adlet will go for Nachetanya’s help if she fails to help him. But he continues smiling. Stop that and everything will be over. Adlet believes he is far more useful alive because if he’s killed, the suspicions will fall on Flamie. Nobody will suspect her if he is still alive. So please believe in him. However she still won’t as she cannot understand how he thinks. She believes Maura has convinced Hans and Chamot and are on the way to hunt him. But since Flamie is interested in knowing more about Adlet, she thinks if she stays, she can believe him.

Episode 10
I guess you just can’t trust a woman’s words, can you? She fires a warning shot and tells him to stay away. If it has come down to this, Adlet is just going to say it all. Initially he became a tool of war and threw away his heart to become strong. He was wrong. Your heart isn’t something you can easily get rid of. Flamie disagrees because she was able to do so to get revenge on her mother. Adlet doesn’t think so. It is hear heart that is making her do it. Then suddenly he confesses. He loves her. Hey wait!!! Am I watching the wrong genre?! And what did he said earlier about being not in love with her? From the first time they’ve met and the time he came to know she was the Brave killer, his feelings never changed. Flamie’s plan is to die along with the Demon God. Where else could she live as she doesn’t belong anywhere. Adlet will take care of it somehow. Really? He’s not just saying that, is he? However this only makes it certain for Flamie to shoot him. She now considers him the enemy. After warning Chamot, Maura has her watch over Hans. Then she uses her echo power to alert the rest that Adlet has critically injured Hans and for everyone to kill him as he is the culprit. OMG. Could she be? I guess the more reason for Flamie to fire her gun. Nachetanya must be most heartbroken hearing this. So much so she starts laughing madly and then becomes eager to kill the man whom she trusted so much. Dangerous. She cuts down all the trees to show us how angry she is. I think she’s turning into a sadist…

Flamie continues to hunt Adlet and she calls him a liar for sugar coating his words to hide the ugly truth. From the way Flamie has resigned herself that she will always be alone, Adlet realizes it is not that she doesn’t want to trust others. She really wants to believe in someone. Maura has entered the scene. She will kill him and wants Flamie to assist her. When Adlet surprisingly gives up, Flamie stops Maura. He is going to prove Flamie’s innocence and takes out a special poison and wants Flamie to lend a bullet. This drug is able to trace Fiends and when poured over stuffs, it will react with a red glow that Fiends emit. He used this on the altar and since there were no signs of it, it proves Flamie did not touch and activate the barrier. Maura is not convinced and will still kill him. Adlet resigns to his fate and tells Flamie to get Hans’ help. She can trust that guy. Surprisingly Flamie stops Maura again. I think Flamie is pretty much confused. She is saying how much she hates him. The more she talks to him, the more she hates him. She hates the fact that she is starting to believe in him. See those tears in her eyes? The distraction was enough for Adlet to release a smokescreen trap and run away with Flamie. However here comes the most dangerous woman of all: Nachetanya.

Episode 11
You can tell how broken Nachetanya is. She’s going to kill him with a smile! Don’t tell me she took after him! Flamie even vouches for Adlet but that crazy princess isn’t listening anymore. Flamie attacks them so Adlet can get away. He hates to leave Flamie alone but he has to as he plans to lure Nachetanya back to the temple to let her see for herself that Hans is safe. However she continues her attack and greatly wounds him. She really relishes seeing him suffer, does she? Adlet maintains his innocence and everything. He felt cold as he has lost too much blood. Then it hit him. Why had he not realized this before? After blocking a painful stab with his palm, he continues to run to the field where corpses of Fiends lay (the place where they were fighting Fiends before Adlet ran to the temple). With Hans and Chamot appearing, it proves that Maura was lying (she admitted it as she was taking desperate measures). Now Nachetanya is further broken. What has she done?! Oh God. Oh Adlet. Then he starts reminding us about his world’s strongest man thingy and what it means to be one. He is that very epitome because after all that has happened, who else would have made it here? Now it is time for Adlet’s explanation from his deductions to defeat the fake. As we know that Lauren might have told them the wrong way to activate the mist, Adlet tells never to look down on science! Do you know what a fog/mist is? Yeah. Take out your notes. He’s explaining in detail this phenomenon in a scientific way! This place has high humidity (notice previously how everyone was sweating hot?), as this temple is located right next to the sea, the wind carries in lots of moisture. A fog will be created when there is a sudden drop in temperature. So how do you do that? Everyone is thinking about the Saint of ice or snow but Adlet tells them to think outside the box. You don’t lower the temperature. You raise it. And who else but the Saint of the Sun, Riura who is able to do that. She has been missing for a month too, remember?

At first Adlet suspected Flamie but ever since her lost to Chamot, she hasn’t been killing Brave potentials since. Since Riura is old and weak, the seventh and their allies kidnapped Riura to raise the temperature of this place. The soldiers at the fortress could either be surviving villagers pretending to be soldiers or helping the fake. When Lauren told them how to activate, it should have raised an eyebrow because the king who built it was secretive and it is as good no one knew it existed. When the Fiends lured the Braves to the temple and Adlet bombed open the door, it was a signal for the other Fiends to kill Riura, thus the sudden drop in temperature. That transforming Fiend must be the one who sent the signal (it was subsequently killed by Chamot). Amidst the chaos as, the seventh used the confusion to activate the real barrier. All that is left was to wait for Adlet to be suspected. The question is where Riura’s body was hidden. It had to be close to the temple. The best place to hide a corpse is in a mountain a corpse. Like hiding a leaf in a forest. Hans cut open a Fiend and pulls out Riura’s corpse. Maura confirms it but is still adamant Adlet is the seventh and this is part of his trap. Flamie dismisses all that if that were true, he would have shared his theory a long time ago. And do you know how many times he was nearly killed to get here? Then Maura admits… Adlet is not the fake. The suspense continues… Adlet has a big smile over his face because he was taking a big gamble on where Riura’s body was. Thank goodness, right? And now the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Who is the seventh? Drum rolls please. Hold your breath everyone!

Episode 12
Don’t keep us in suspense! Tell us who the seventh is already! Adlet looks at Maura… OMG! Is it her? Maura insists it is not her. In fact, Adlet may be guessing by deduction too since he has no proof that Maura is the one. Chamot points out Maura is not the one. She brings a couple of tablets she dug up from the temple. There is also the same sword and looks like someone made a good spare set to activate it. One tablet tells how to deactivate the barrier and the other to reactivate it. What they found surprised was one of the methods was to shatter the tablet. The question now is, who broke it? That is the seventh. Adlet clearly remembers. Nachetanya was the one who broke it. Nachetanya asserts she is not the seventh although she is the one who broke it. Adlet thinks harder. For this trap to work, there must be a pre-requisite for the first Brave to reach the temple. Somebody needs to make him fall for the trap and he remembers Nachetanya was the one who told him to head to the temple first. With Adlet shell shocked that Nachetanya could be the perpetrator, even more shocking Nachetanya casts away her innocent personality to admit she is the seventh!!!! Goldov, you heartbroken? She would have gotten away with it all but the way Adlet was acting, nothing she said would have worked. She thought Adlet was an idiot and would be easily killed as the first victim. She viewed Hans as her most difficult opponent. Nachetanya’s goal is to revive the Demon God so that all humans and Fiends could live together in harmony. Therefore she wants the Brave to withdraw and let her handle the revival of the Demon God. However for this peace, there will be a small number of victims. Oh, not much. Just 500,000! FFFUUUUU!!!! Adlet gives the orders to kill her but Nachetanya turns into some spirit form to escape. Adlet recognizes this as a high level Fiend technique. While the rest tries to chase her, Flamie helps Adlet who is now collapsing from the exhaustion and shock. She’s still being a tsundere, though. She hates him but yet wants him to live. Can’t risk him dying (because he’s passing out now), she gives him swallow some liquid. Transferred via her mouth.

Adlet wakes up in the temple. Maura’s mountain herbs have healed him well. She apologizes for suspecting him. The barrier has been deactivated and Nachetanya has fled. While Goldov is just broken, Adlet talks to Flamie. Yeah, yeah. She still hates him. He hopes she’ll come with them instead of fighting on her own. As the Braves prepare to set off, suddenly here comes the ‘ugly’ geeky chubby cow girl, Rolonia Manchetta. She knows Adlet and Maura. Do I sense some jealousy in Flamie? She apologizes for being late. She tried to meet up with them but the mist was activated and couldn’t get close. Everyone is shocked when she shows her mark on her chest! OMG! Back to square one! After all they’ve gone through, now this sh*t again? When the Gwenbyer king arrives, he reports that all the Fiends scattered across the continent are converging here in a few hours. There’ll be like 2,000 of them. The Braves wonder if this is another trap set by the fake assuming this will make them retreat. Since all the Braves start suspecting each other, Adlet puts his foot down. Not only as the strongest man in the world, as he is also not the seventh, he is the only one who is trustworthy. The rest agree to follow Adlet’s judgment. Adlet wants the king to activate the barrier in 30 minutes while the Braves race towards the Land of Howling Demons. Adlet might not know who is the seventh now but waiting for that to be revealed they may not have time to defeat the fake. The mist has arisen, their only escape route cut off. They can’t leave until they defeat the Demon God and that includes the seventh as well.

The Plot Thickens… With A Smile!
Incredible. Wow. It has been a while since I have felt such sort of ‘excitement’ watching every episode of an anime series. I have to admit that I was hooked from the start to finish despite there were some slow scenes. I never thought that a series which is entirely about figuring out a culprit among the pack could be this intriguing as well as interesting and when the dozen episodes end, I was like, “It’s over already?!”. At least for this season. But the ending has left me with mixed feelings. The sense that once the culprit was discovered, it was the feeling of, “Oh, it is going to be over”. But then they screw with us by putting back the same problem and resetting it back to square one. That itself is both interesting and a disappointment since it’s great that it is not really over yet but after a dozen episodes, the season had to be concluded. Get what I’m saying?

This series was hardly about the Braves fighting the Fiends or going on a journey to defeat the Demon God. That itself is just the setting and side distracting as for a big part of the series is dedicated in trying to figure out the plan of the seventh and ultimately who the perpetrator is. It did a good job in trying make us wonder and despite the small amount of casts, that makes it even harder because everybody is a damn suspect. Everybody is not what they seem. Just when you thought you think this person might be the seventh, then you get paranoid and perhaps this person couldn’t be the one. There are a lot of hints as well as duds thrown in along the way and with all the information known so far, once again it makes you paranoid and suspicious if this piece of information is the so called truth. After all, everybody is still a suspect. Thoughts that Adlet may be the seventh may start to creep in. Just because he is the main protagonist and the one being heavily accused, he might just be the mastermind who screwed everyone up. It just keeps you guessing. Could this guy be the one? Could he be not? You think you’re sure but you’re not. So therefore kudos to this series for the interesting pace and turn of events till the end.

Although I have not read the novel that this series is based on, I read somewhere over the internet that there were a handful of changes made when it was adapted. Primarily, the official names of some of the characters. In the novel, it was spelled as Nashetania, Goldof, Fremy, Chamo and Mora. It makes me wonder if this means the character designs and their personality were also slightly altered. Also, I read that the setting was supposed to be a European medieval-like setting but instead we got this South American Aztec-like setting. But whatever it is, this doesn’t dull the plot and pace so I’m okay with it.

Despite just having 7 main characters for the entire duration of the series, I can’t really say for sure if their characters are properly fleshed out. Personally I do not think that they are but that is good in a way in the sense that it keeps the mystery and suspense intact. Because you do not know deep about each character, compounded with the suspicions that are already building up on each character, you only know what is only as told by them. Even then, you are not sure if they are telling the truth. I do have a feeling that a lot of focus goes to Adlet since he is the Sherlock Holmes of this series as well as his interaction with Flamie. Nachetanya who started out the journey with Adlet looked like she might have been Adlet’s co-star but her focus starts to diminish after Adlet becomes suspect number one. It might have added to the clue that she could be it but then again, that could be paranoia playing up.

Therefore all the characters each with their own unique personalities are mostly both likeable and annoying (in a good way) at the same time. Like Adlet who is perhaps the luckiest man ever after surviving attempts to take his life after being setup. His penchant to claim he is the strongest man in the world also makes him annoying. It is like as though he is trying to get some sort of attention. While it is good to smile even in difficult times, somehow I find it both cool and annoying. Cool because it shows he can laugh at the face of danger instead of panicking and annoying because well, I don’t know, maybe it makes him look silly. That idiotic looks perhaps is the reason why Nachetanya made him her easy target. Otherwise, don’t you think she could have just pinned it on Goldov who is just freaking blindly loyal to her?

Speaking of Nachetanya, with the ultimate revelation of her in the end, it makes me wonder who she really is. Was she another Fiend just like Flamie? After all, what Flamie said about being the only half Fiend could just be another lie told by the Fiend leader. After all, you don’t need to know more than what is necessary, right? If you remember Nachetanya talked to Adlet in the initial episodes about her family. Her father the king became a puppet after causing a civil war. By right everyone in the family would have been persecuted. How come Nachetanya was spared? Could it be that the real Nachetanya had been secretly killed and being replaced by this Fiend imposter? Either everyone in her kingdom is under her control or fooled by her. Another theory could be that she is the real deal but just that her ideals have been defected to the Fiend and supports them. Anyhow, this series is the reason why I cannot totally trust cute bunny girls now…

Flamie is probably the best character in terms of her ‘insults’ and acid tongue she spews to Adlet. It is both amusing and annoying because on one hand she says she hates him and the next thing she says is totally in contrast of that. But she still hates him. I think. Maybe. She tells him not to talk to him but he ignores her and continues. And she continues responding to him. See the irony? Couldn’t she just ignore him? You can’t help it when an idiot like Adlet continues to keep pestering her until she looked like a cliché tsundere, which I think she really is. Just that she just doesn’t show lots of flustering emotions like typical tsundere types. It would have been fun to see some sort of romance brewing between the ladies for Adlet as a side distraction. After being bugged so many times by Adlet and his consistency to side by her no matter what, it’s no surprise that in the end even if an ugly cow girl jumps into the picture, she’s still a woman after all. Don’t take any chances. After all, if Flamie rejects him, who else is she going to live with when everything ends? Nobody trusts her like he does so don’t be a hero and go it alone.

Goldov is the most boring one since he moves only when Nachetanya tells him to. Sometimes he feels like a robot. Caught in between his duty to protect his princess and his love for her. Well, it didn’t end too well for him but he had to suck it up and continue his responsibility as a Brave. Hans is an interesting character thanks to his cat-like personality and his cat fist techniques. Chamot feels like a brat and also a creepy kid who uses her leaf to vomit out Fiends! I guess that isn’t just a toy. The only person who could put her in place is the ever serious ‘grandma’ Maura. Who says high priestesses don’t make mistakes? And now with Rolonia in the fray, she might seem like an earnest person but after all that we’ve been through for the past dozen episodes, can we be more paranoid than ever?

Instead of being 100% drama, I guess some action bits are necessary to ditch the monotony and add some spice. They are entertaining if I should say the least as each of the Braves possess their own particular fighting skills and techniques which makes it interesting when they pit against each other. The most interesting one for me was Adlet taking on Hans as we could see the versatility and dexterity of Hans as an assassin using his cat-like tactics. Fights with Fiends aren’t too shabby either although they are mostly in the initial episodes. Be prepared for some bloody scenes when the Fiends are hacked and slashed.

Art and drawing feels rather okay although I do notice that in some scenes there is a drop in quality but it isn’t that all that bad. Since this series is done by a Passione, a relatively new anime production studio and only recently founded in 2013 whose only other works are Rail Wars and Haitai Nanafa, I guess there is much room for improvement. Character designs are rather okay for a fantasy themed genre but I can’t help question certain flora or fauna themes for certain characters like Nachetanya the bunny girl, Hans the cat guy, Chamot the frog (I don’t know, she’s so green, right?), Flamie the flower girl and the latest addition Rolonia the cow girl. I wished Rolonia could have been better designed. Personally I thought she really looked unpretty (ugly feels like an insult word too strong to use these days) and with all the bishonen, bishoujo and kawaii looking characters (even Atro wasn’t that bad as an old hobo geezer), this one somewhat ruins it in the end. The Fiends are all CGI effects and personally they do look scary to me because they look like one of those scary creatures that come out from Asian folklores or legends. Thank goodness they don’t make that many appearances.

Aoi Yuuki is in one of her very rare roles where she voices an emotionless character. Hearing her as Flamie instantly brings back memories of similar characters like Tooru in A Channel and Shizuno from Seken Tsukai No World Break. I couldn’t recognize Rina Satou as Maura since she’s putting on a slightly lower voice instead. Maybe all that paranoia of suspecting everyone also had me unable to pinpoint Youko Hikasa behind Nachetanya’s voice. So much so I thought it was Kana Hanazawa making a cameo as Rolonia but was actually Hisako Kanemoto. Other casts include Souma Saitou as Adlet (Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill), Kouki Uchiyama as Goldov (Kanie in Amagi Brilliant Park), Kenichi Suzumura as Hans (Sougou in Gintama), Ai Kakuma as Chamot (Rossweisse in High School DxD BorN) and Tamio Ohki as Atro (Kikunojou in Black Bullet). Miyuki Sawashiro also had a cameo as the narrator and the young version of Adlet.

Cry For The Truth is the first opening theme sung by Michi (I thought it sounded a little bit flat, this rock tune) while Black Swallowtail by Uroboros does the second and this one sounds a bit better with its faster rock theme. Although Secret Sky by Michi is the main ending theme (which has that medieval and Celtic feel to it), there are a couple of character themed songs, namely the suspiciously K-ON!-like rock based Dance In The Fake by Nachetanya (I hope this wasn’t a dead giveaway) and Nameless Heart by Flamie, a slow lovely rock ballad.

Overall, this anime is a pleasant surprise. It does well to make us think that this would be another run of the mill action fantasy but as it turns out it wasn’t. It becomes a detective game and mystery genus that gets you hooked and addicted quickly. Deception from the start, no? A big hint that teaches us not to trust in what we see and hear anymore, a theme that has been playing a vital part for a big portion of this series. Despite its drawn out drama, it doesn’t feel boring as the engaging feel makes viewers try to think and guess who the seventh is. I hope there is another season that continues with this awesome mystery. Can I trust the producers for that? After all, it could be that all of them are fakes and none of them are the real Braves. Because the real ones are all dead! These Braves are all puppets of the Fiends to revive the Demon God! Haha! That’s what happened when paranoia has gotten to you. And the best part is… I’m smiling for both reasons :-).


December 19, 2015

“I see dead people…”. Ah, remember that iconic phrase from that Hollywood movie? No, anime did not readapt that movie and turned it into an anime series despite Re-Kan! does mean sixth sense. What happens when you know a person who can see ghosts and spirits? Naturally, I for one would freak out and stay as far as possible! So why a person such as myself who hates horror genres and to be spooked out of my living daylights watch such a series about this theme? Well, I heard it wasn’t a horror genre and more of comedy. Hey. That’s not that bad, right? Could it be something like those horror movie parodies like Scary Movie? Well… Despite our main protagonist having the third eye to see the supernatural, follow the antics of her everyday life with her friends and all those ghostly haunting around her. At least better to go to bed laughing than having sleepless nights.

Episode 1
Narumi Inoue notices Hibiki Amami crossing the street in a funny way. Is she trying to be cute or what? After lecturing her, Amami explains that this little kid was just being playful. What kid? Inoue sees a ghost kid via the mirror… OMFG! TOSHIO???!!! As a week passes, we see Amami interacting to ghosts. To normal people, she may be senile because it’s like she’s talking to herself. But nobody is worried. Because they’ve gotten used to seeing Amami interacting with ghosts! This irks Inoue because it is like nobody cares. Well, look on the bright side. At least Amami becomes the ghosts’ ‘target’. Inoue is scared of ghosts and yet she psychos herself that they do not exist. Each time she goes into trauma mode, covering her ears and playing reverse psychological to herself each time Amami tells a ghost experience. With all the ghostly occurrences before her eyes, she still doesn’t believe? Wow. Greatest denial ever. Or just scared sh*t? More scary experience for Inoue because one creepy evening, she thought she saw a ghost but it turns out to be Amami. She’s playing hide and seek with ghosts! How do you even do that???!!! As they walk to the nearby park, Amami seems to be busy playing with ‘kids’. You can’t see them… But their shadows… Worst timing ever, Amami remembers she forgot something and leaves Inoue all alone at the park. Oh no… It’s getting dark… As she waits, several kids show up and want Inoue to play with them. Eventually she gives in and they had a swell time. Amami then returns and the kids are nowhere in sight. She has bought snack offerings for those ghosts (don’t they look familiar?). Wait a minute. Can they eat? Well… From Amami’s view, they sure can even if the snacks still look untouched in reality. Amami explains this sixth sense thingy is not a one-way street. Thanks to this, she can confirm that the bonds she made are real. It also created a chance for her to talk to Inoue. Amami and Inoue sort of become friends as Amami could see a new bond created between Inoue and those familiar kids. Whom have you been playing with, Inoue?

Episode 2
Amami is dozing off in class so Inoue thought she’d answer on her behalf for roll call. Who knows, a bunch of ghost voices answer for her! Oddly, the ghosts can pop up in handphone cameras and pictures. Kana Uehara uses this to upload to her blog. Amami is tired thanks to the weird dream she had. A pervy ghost cat kept bugging her to show her panties! It stopped only when she relented. Inoue takes her to the infirmary and experiences more ghostly trauma. I suppose those equipment are just flying about themselves, huh? Classmate Kenta Yamada asks the girls if they are more afraid of humans or ghosts. Amami: Cats! Uehara: Humans. She fears their incomparable carnal desire on ghosts! Kyouko Esumi: Ghosts. Simply because she can’t punch them! Makoto Ogawa: In-between. What the hell is that? You’ll learn later that it means zombies. And she is a fanatic for them, having many scary dolls of them! So why is she giving some to Amami? Trying to convert her? If it is bad enough Amami has dreams of that perverted cat fighting off with a ghost samurai, now she has another nightmare of those zombies hounding her. The girls talk about rumours that there is a ghost girl who offers you umbrella but in return she takes your face! Hey, why does Amami look scared? Apparently she dreamt about her yesterday and coincidentally met her and declined her umbrella. As she noticed she doesn’t have a face, she proceeded to ask about it and now she felt it was rude. So she is shocked about that part? Amami then sews a teruterubouzo to give to her. Soon, Amami knits clothes to give to the ghosts she knows as thanks. When her friends tease about Samurai and his mispronunciation, Uehara gets an unknown number calling her to deny it is that! He even sent an email to her! They decrypt the message and it leads them to his grave. His story reveals he was left starving in the cold. Amami spotted him and brought all the food she could carry as well as restored his grave to pristine condition. He is grateful and wants them to give Amami a gift on his behalf. Tell her the food was delicious! Also, he has a few four leaf clovers for her. After Amami gives her knitted clothes to all the ghosts, Samurai emails back with a trendy selfie of himself in the scarf. Is he getting a little full of himself?

Episode 3
Inoue wonders what the big commotion everyone is buzzing about. Amami has bought… A new handphone! You can’t blame her father for always being worried about her because ghosts are always around her. But how a handphone can keep her safe is still a wonder. Inoue is tired not because of the ghost trauma. Her cousin, Yuuki is currently living at her place and he is being a dick. She made omelettes for him but rejects her hard work. Amami agrees to come over to help out. Yuuki continues to be a naughty boy by flipping up Amami’s skirt! After the girls cook, Yuuki still rejects them. Later Inoue reveals that Yuuki’s dad recently passed away in an accident and his mom is about to have a baby. Inoue is touched and wants to really help but Inoue refuses her, saying this has nothing to do with her. Next day when Uehara asks how the omelettes went, Inoue mentions what happened despite Amami was a good cook. Uehara could sense something is off when Inoue mentions Amami must have had her mother taught her cooking since young. Because Amami lost her mom when she was born. Therefore Amami must been doing the cooking all by herself and for her dad. This makes Inoue realize what Amami is going through is the same as Yuuki. She felt guilty for lashing out at her. Inoue visits her aunt at hospital. She hopes Inoue could forgive Yuuki because he misses the omelettes his dad always makes. Meanwhile Amami gets all the help she can get (yes, this means from ghosts too) in how to make omelettes. Inoue calls Amami to apologize and to have another go. With Inoue doing the cooking and Inoue relaying instructions on how to make them (from Inoue’s departed grandma), Inoue feels regret she should have let grandma taught her how to cook instead of rejecting her. Yuuki thought the girls made too much. But when he pops one into his mouth, he couldn’t stop eating the rest! The nostalgic taste of dad’s omelettes! He couldn’t stop crying either. Inoue remembers aunty told her that if this happens, let him cry all his heart out because he can’t cry anymore once he becomes a big brother. After her aunty delivers a healthy baby, they thank Inoue for her hospitality before leaving. Inoue and Amami exchange numbers. Amami is glad so many bonds were created and more will be formed. She could see Yuuki’s dad walking with them although all we can see is an extra shadow.

Episode 4
Beach episode! Thank Yamada for this fantastic beach. But there’s a catch: It’s haunted! I wonder how Inoue is going to handle all those ghost hands trying to grab her feet… Yamada has also brought his big brother along. As he is a cop, Esumi starts putting some distance with him. Remember, she was a street gang. Yamada’s brother is fascinated with Amami’s sixth sense because it makes her look like a hero with superpower. He reveals he always wanted to be a hero but laments he never had any power. That is why he became a cop to use the power of the law! He asks Amami if she can predict the future. Although she can’t, she’ll ask some ‘locals’. Creepy… They told her to catch the 7.18 train and to watch the cliff then. Inoue freaks out when Amami asks for souvenir suggestions from the ghosts. See how it leaves those messages in the sand? Scary indeed. The gang get on the 7.18 train and thought the fireworks was the surprise event. Till they see a shadowy figure jumping off the cliff and doing a kanji figure for ‘life’. Lame and unconvincing! Esumi is enraged that Uehara brings up Esumi’s old nickname as Flame Hair Messiah. Esumi is further distraught that Yamada’s brother only pretended not to know her then but after he got all the addresses of the girls, he couldn’t stop texting her. Flashback shows Esumi saved a girl being harassed by delinquents. Thanks to her hair lighting up like flames under the moonlight, that is how she got her nickname. Amami tells her embarrassing story how she couldn’t sleep one night because she was lonely. The ghosts accompanied her and held her hand till she fell asleep. That is embarrassing? At least to her. This reminds Esumi of something similar. After another usual beating up of delinquents, she takes a girl’s hand to run but soon realize it is a ghost hand! That is when she stumbled upon Yamada’s brother. In fact he was so infatuated of meeting with the legend and wanting to take a selfie, she got annoyed and beat him up. Thank goodness humans can be punched, eh? For some reason, Esumi still replies to Yamada’s brother’s emails. Ogawa thinks the ghost hand brought them together. In actual fact, the ghost hand wanted revenge over her death by turning Esumi in to the police but the dumb cop didn’t do his job…

Episode 5
Inoue becomes a test subject as she runs through the haunted house the class made for the cultural festival. They think if she can run through the entire stretch without thinking, it must not be that scary. Oh, you don’t know how traumatized she is… And if they don’t finish everything by today, they have to sleep over tonight and you know what this means especially when Amami is around, right? Inoue becomes a one (wo)man show in completing everything! On the way back, they heard a guy scream. Turns out to be Amami’s dad, Asahi who is here to pick up his daughter. Oddly, he is also afraid of ghosts (notice the same reaction he puts up with Inoue?) and screamed because he saw his daughter speaking to a ghost (he couldn’t see the ghost, though). He explains Amami got this power from her late mom, Yuuhi who is believed to be more powerful in her sixth sense. In fact, this intersection is where Asahi and Yuuhi first met. He wanted to save a dead pigeon but it spoke to him via Yuuhi not to or else a car would run into him. It was love at first sight although it took a week for his hair to turn white! I’m still surprised he still has hair. The friends invite him to visit their festival tomorrow and he would love to. Later they realize they forgot to tell him the haunted house they are doing… Next day, the festival is in full swing and every person who entered the haunted house leaves screaming scared! It’s hardly surprising… Because real ghosts are doing the scaring! OMG! When Asahi is here, he bumps into Inoue (dressed as a ghost lady to hand out flyers) and they start screaming at each other. Asahi talks about his daughter and despite knowing he will be going into a haunted house, he wants to see the effort his daughter put in since it has been a long time Amami had been part of something at school with her friends. The doors automatically start opening for them. Inoue realizes that the ghosts might have mistaken her as Amami and even more with Asahi around. They run through the corridors as the ghosts give good scaring service to them. When they finally reunite with their friends, they think Inoue has been so scared that her hair turned white! Actually she crashed into the flour of a food stall. Because Yamada laughs at her, Inoue becomes mad and she is much scarier than any ghost in this mode! Run for your lives! Yamada becomes the first victim of Inoue’s death beat down. Their haunted house became a legend despite Inoue is so freaking sick of ghosts now.

Episode 6
Something shocking has happened! Has Amami turned into a delinquent?! Her change in dressing and acting… Because she shortly reverts back to her old self, they realize she is being possessed by a female ghost (for easier reference, I shall call her Gal). Because Inoue told Amami to act like a normal school girl, she was thinking a lot of it and stumbled upon Gal who thinks she can offer a solution but in exchange wants to possess her body for a while to do something. They think Gal wants to go see her boyfriend! When Uehara puts up a never seen before shy face after reading some post, Esumi explains both her parents are journalists. This has Gal starting to badmouth about parents. Uehara and Inoue stumble upon Gal acting suspiciously. Inoue jumps to conclusion that she is going to do something nasty and intercepts her. But all she is doing is to put a summoning letter in a post box. Suddenly a group of old ladies drift them away for some sales. Herd mentality… They ended up buying cheap stuffs too. One of the old ladies gives Amami a recipe. She apologizes it is for 3 people despite her family is just her and her husband. When Gal continues to talk bad about parents, Uehara reveals her parents are never at home thanks to their busy work. Uehara teases Gal for trying to cheer her up. Later the friends watch Gal meet up with someone she posted the letter for. Turns out to be that old lady who is actually her mom. Gal starts scolding her and then runs away. Seems Gal died 10 years ago and mom still keeps making extra food portions for her. Once mother catches up to her, they have a tearful reunion. After that she is able to pass on peacefully. For once, Inoue is crying not because she is scared but touched by this story. But as the friends hang out, Gal returns to possess Amami again. Something still bugging her? She is here to hint to Uehara that it is her turn. So Uehara rushes home and is glad to find her parents waiting for her.

Episode 7
The friends see Amami tired from her errands. It would have been pretty normal had it not for each time she stops to help a ghost in need. Yup, she helped every single one who sought her help! With Inoue chiding her to take better care of her health, they go see Asahi if he has any solutions for this. There is a pair of glasses that Yuuhi used to wear that prevents those with sixth sense to completely not see or hear ghosts. Because it works, Inoue tells Amami not to take it off for 3 days or else she won’t friend her anymore! And so Gal thought Amami is mad ignoring her but she gets the idea after Samurai tells her what happened. Gal takes this opportunity to tease him that he likes Amami and should start practising how to confess to her since she can’t hear him. When Amami stops to play with a human kid, the mom starts worrying because her other daughter is missing. And it’s getting dark. They try finding her but to no avail. That is when Amami gets ‘desperate’. First she calls Inoue for permission to take off her glasses! She’s even crying about it! Please don’t un-friend me! Well, what choice does Inoue have? With the glasses off, Amami is able to communicate with the ghosts and they all cooperate till they find the girl safe and sound. The friends spend the New Year at the shrine. Esumi gets lots of stalking calls from Yamada’s brother while Uehara’s bad luck means she gets a call from a ghost girl! Inoue gets drunk on sweet sake so the girls try to make her confess who she likes but no matter how they rephrase, Inoue’s answer is always the same. She loves her grandma! Amami even takes a vote from the ghosts whether to seek Inoue’s forgiveness and continue to be friends. WTF. They all take a group photo but it seems Gal and Samurai are also caught in it. After Amami puts her mochi offering for the murderer slasher ghost at the park, because the perverted cat wants to peek on her panties, the ghosts start fighting among each other. I think the people will find it creepy that stuffs and snow are flying about…

Episode 8
Teachers Moriya and Kimura are getting married. It is no surprise their students are bugging them with questions not related to the syllabus. The girls play bride as Amami notices a little ghost girl doing the same too. Because she is a little retarded, Samurai explains she must have some sort of lingering attachment in this world that makes her unable to pass on. He cautions she is also starting to lose her memories at this rate. As suggested to make new memories with them, they start off with teaching her how to talk. She can string simple sentences eventually but when she sees Moriya, she starts acting like she knows him. So we have all sorts of theories who this loli and Moriya are linked. Including the absurd secret love child. They need to find out how they are related before it affects the wedding. So the best way is Amami accompanying Moriya to play with ghost girl? He’s not freaked out? A loli this cute? More cute than scary! He has a familiar feeling of seeing her before. The rest asks Kimura and after describing her, she remembers Moriya told her he was once hospitalized for a weak body. During that time, there was a girl in hospital he befriended. I guess you can put the puzzle pieces together now. So the gang are sad knowing that this loli has passed on a long time ago but is still left behind due to a promise they made. What else to end the day by playing kick the can with her? That night, Amami dreams of Moriya and ghost loli, a time when Moriya was discharged from hospital and they made a promise. And with this, the loli is ready to pass on. I thought it was freaking weird for a ghost to visit you during the wedding. Yup. Wedding bells for Moriya and Kimura and here she pops out. It would be really even freaking odd to here you scream for a ghost on your wedding day so it is best for the loli to say a quick goodbye and head over to the next world. Luckily the wife is a very understanding person. Thank God. Oh by the way. The promise was for them to see each other when they’ve grown up. Loli didn’t but at least they met for one last time. So it is doom and gloom for Amami and friends. Ghost loli is gone and they’re sad about it? The most ironic is Inoue. Yeah, she spent some decent time playing with her and she is so hard hit by her departure. Really. So sad that she needs Amami’s consoling. Wasn’t she scared of ghosts? What did I tell you about the loli being more cute than scary?

Episode 9
Shocking news! Amami is trying to make handmade chocolates for Valentine’s Day!!! Don’t blame them for having time to sink this in. Who is that lucky guy anyway?! Well, we all know it isn’t Yamada. Haha! And why is Inoue so bothered about this? Think she is going to get some too? When the friends see her looking up recipes and going to the supermarket to buy ingredients, they are very sure she has somebody she loves. But the ingredients she bought are red bean. This means the guy she likes has a sweet tooth for traditional sweets. Could it be Samurai? Don’t bet on it. As they tail her to the park, they see this grumpy old man recently gaining notoriety for scaring away young couples who passed him. Wait a minute. This is the person Amami wants to give her chocolates?! Yamada not accepting this sh*t! Since when you her father? But this old dude has a wife whom Amami is speaking to get the finer points on how to make his favourite mochi. When Amami spots her friends, they try to support her on her choice. But Yamada still won’t accept. Give it a rest. Come the real day, Amami is looking for the old guy but he has left the park early. She manages to catch up and then give him the chocolates. If you haven’t realized it by now, you would have known that Amami is Amami and that the guy’s wife is a ghost. I saw this coming by a zillion miles. She apologizes for intruding but she notes his wife wanted to give it to him this year too. Old geezer becomes the ultimate tsundere because he takes it claiming he doesn’t like to waste food and then he starts eating them but calls them horrible. When the friends catch up, they thought Amami’s gloomy expression means she has been rejected. They try to cheer her up but dummy Yamada continues to put up a tantrum about reality crap, blah, blah, blah. All he wanted was her chocolates, right? Don’t worry. Amami didn’t forget and made some for him. Now you happy? Lastly, grumpy old guy finishes the chocolates, licking his finger clean and comments how good it was. Just so tsundere…

Episode 10
The gang are now in their second year. Yamada has come up with a list of nicknames for his juniors to call him. What? Doofus Yamada is the one that stuck on… Amami thought she could be helpful to the juniors but with the ghosts helping out too, they freak out. Soon, the juniors become scared of Amami. Yamada suggests an image change but imitating her friends just wouldn’t do. How about changing the ghosts’ image then? Well, they’re still creepy no matter what other personality they take on. Even if that famous toilet ghost girl Hanako has a total makeover, the juniors are still scared. Samurai possesses Amami’s teddy bear to help her with the roll call. This has Ogawa bringing out her life size zombie doll and showing the friends a manga her father drew when he attended this high school. A manga about a zombie dude? Subsequently, her zombie doll comes to life, begging her to take him to the bridge to heaven. Wherever that is. Ogawa is delighted and starts running. To wherever she is going. While her friends start chasing her in hopes of stopping her, fearing the possessed doll might lead Ogawa to her death. After a short shower and a rainbow appearing in the sky, the zombie achieves enlightenment and passes on. Sure, it’s an emotional moment for Ogawa and Amami but the rest are not so amused because you know… HOW CAN ZOMBIES DIE???!!! It seems that pervy ghost cat was the one possessing the zombie to make his dreams come true (he had a cameo in that manga). He soon gets run over by a ghost car as retribution. Back in class, some of the juniors are not afraid of Amami anymore after learning her predicament and are excited to see her. Seems she is their hope of getting a ghost photo out. Everyone takes a group photo but a bunch of scary ghosts photo bomb it. Scared ‘ya?

Episode 11
The Tanabata festival is near so the friends discuss what they want to wish for. You know how weird it could get, right? Then on the real day, the silly wishes continue. Amami is most embarrassed by hers. She wants to be friends. With humans. Yeah, considering all the ghost friends she made. But there is one wish she really wants to make but too shy to even take it out. Back into the box again. When will she ever see her mom? Gal and Samurai being the busybodies they are, can’t let this slide as they want to help Amami for all that he has done. So they dive into her mind, pass through her memories till they reach a room where Yuuhi sits and watches her daughter alone. Seems the reason she cannot leave this room is to protect her daughter. Because if she does, some morning glory with powers will wilt. Gal is not convinced with that answer. Does she not want to see Amami badly? Not even once? Of course Yuuhi is the most who wants to do that as she never had a chance to hold her, not even once. Samurai suggests they hold the fort temporarily while she goes to see Amami. Yuuhi notes that will not be enough. Pervy cat brings all the other ghosts to help. Will this be enough? I guess all of them have got some thanks to repay her. Amami wakes up at night, surprised to see her mom. I don’t know how this is possible for a ghost but I figure it’s called the motherly love because they hug each other. Will Asahi freak out when he sees this? Nope. Shhh… Be quiet. Your little girl is sleeping. Next morning Amami wakes up and she knows last night was not a dream. But she becomes startled that she cannot hear or talk to ghosts anymore. Yeah. She’s running all over town pleading just for any one of them to speak to her.

Episode 12
Amami falls into depression. Her friends can tell something is wrong with her and they can pretty guess what it is when ghosts do not appear in their handphone cameras anymore. So depressed Amami is that she passed out and needs to rest at the infirmary. This is serious. Her friends pity her that she can’t even see the ghosts in her dreams. When they try to visit her after school when the next day she called in sick, Asahi won’t let them see her because of Amami’s wish. After all that she has done, she can’t face her friends. This doesn’t sit well with Inoue because she cared about everything else and now when it’s their turn, she’s like this. So the friends wonder how to get Amami’s sixth sense back. When Uehara suggests something like how Amami cooked for Yuuki, this gives Inoue an idea. So while the friends tend to Amami’s ghost tending chores on her behalf, Inoue goes back to Amami’s house (she is still blaming herself for that selfish wish that caused her to lose her power). Inoue gets strict with her by making her eat but Amami is still gloomy, missing all those happy faces when she gave her offerings. She tells her the omelettes taste nice because she is alive and is sure everyone felt the same way. But still, Amami feels nothing without her power. Inoue takes her out to meet someone. Along the way they bump into Moriya, Kimura, Gal’s mom and even that grumpy old man. Each has their thanks to her for helping them out with the ‘reconnection’. But those aren’t the people Inoue wanted Amami to meet. It is Yuuki. He is happy that thanks to Amami, he gets to be a good big brother to his new baby sister, Kyouka who is partially named after Amami. Oh, Kyouka’s first word is Amami’s name! Well, close enough. Since Amami is still not back to 100% happy (why is she so stubborn?), this causes Inoue to get all emotional to the point that she wants to be friends with her forever despite everything. And then all return back to normal when the ghosts come back and gather around her. Yeah, thank you this thank you that. With friends like them, Yuuhi notes her daughter will be fine with or without her sixth sense. And Amami is glad to know everybody has been here and stayed connected to her.

Episode 13
When Amami was young and lost at an amusement park, a young kimono girl helped her return to her father. Now Amami and her friends are visiting this amusement park and I suppose Amami had an extra ticket so Yamada’s brother is brought along. Somebody stop him before he does something stupid and embarrassing! I wonder how long Esumi can hold in her anger. It seems the other friends have also taken the liberty to call the other ghosts to join them. What? Then there is the obligatory haunted house visit. Still up for it Inoue? The most surprising fact is how Amami is being scared of fake ghosts!!! When a kid is lost, the friends help stay with him till the park’s staff take over. Amami also sees that kimono girl but couldn’t recognize her till she thanks her for coming back. Then she remembers she is the poster girl for the haunted house. The gang takes a group photo and the photographer is wondering why Amami is ushering ‘extra people’ into the shot. The friends get to stay over at Amami’s place. The Yamada brothers are okay sleeping in the yard. You mean they’re not going home? I wonder if Inoue will be okay. You know Amami’s house is worse than a haunted house, right? Yet, why isn’t she going home? What friendship thingy is she talking about? She’s shaking in her pants! Anyway, the friends did the usual fun together. Playing shiritori (the ghosts joining in too) and sparklers. The guys should have gone home because their stupidity could just ruin everything. Inoue finds it hard to sleep so Amami is willing to hold her hand. Her dad did this too when she was young. But Amami is nervous so her hand is shaking like mad. The others also can’t sleep and they started talking. However Inoue had already fallen asleep by then. Next morning when Inoue wakes up, she sees Amami still holding her hand. Amami is embarrassed by this but pervy cat is okay with this yuri thing.

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost!
Good news: This show isn’t scary enough to scare me. Bad news: This show isn’t funny enough to make me laugh! And so sadly with this ‘revelation’, it is unfortunate that this series is one of those mediocre and boring shows of the season and thank goodness it was only limited to a dozen plus one episodes. I don’t know what I was hoping for to see in this show (aside trying to get some laughs) but perhaps in all that ‘waiting’, I got a little paranoid thinking there might be some sort of twist along the way or at the end. You know, maybe they would just freak me out with some sort of jump scare or they could really end it all with something so funny that I would be rolling on the floor laughing my guts out. Okay, maybe not that funny but you get the picture. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come close. Not even the ‘drama’ of Amami temporarily losing her sixth sense was any sort of wakeup call. It was just boring. It was just mediocre.

Basically there is already no story or plot when you are told from the synopsis about Amami’s daily life and antics. But at least make it interesting. As said, it wasn’t scary nor was it funny so it wasn’t that enjoyable sitting through the series watching Amami trying to help the ghost-of-the-episode with their whatever problem, the usual antics from her friends to remind us all that they’re still around hanging out with her and at the end of the day, things get solved and everybody is happy. Boring. Mediocre.

Because so, all the characters feel one kind and boring. It feels like they had no depth or anything. Like Amami who is so used to seeing ghost and helping them out, it is pretty cool that she uses her kindness to help the departed when most of us would have freaked out on sight. In doing so, she made less human friends. Oh wait. Let me correct that. Because ghosts were once humans too. So rather, Amami made less friends of the living. As the main character, she is hardly anything exciting despite her sixth sense but that is just being limited to seeing and interacting with ghosts. Otherwise, she is one boring girl especially with her shy, soft spoken and monotonous personality.

The rest of the supporting characters especially her friends, fare as worse. They just lack anything and just feel so one dimensional. Like the big irony who is Inoue, supposedly a tsundere character when it comes to being friends with Amami. It was fun and funny at first to see her freak out Amami interacting with the supernatural. Then it becomes the staple of the series. She never got used to it. She puts up the same freaking out reaction but not enough to turn her into a crazy mental patient. The repetition of this ‘running joke’ has made it painful to watch each time Inoue starts this. The biggest irony is how she still sticks around Amami despite knowing about her power. That is why I said she’s being tsundere. She really wants to be her friend but the “I see dead people” part is truly stopping her from interacting with her normally. Eventually no matter how absurd it sounds, the power of friendship conquers the power of phobia/fear. Yeah… And I thought being around with the gang and experiencing so many ‘friendly’ ghostly encounters would have made her a little braver. Nope…

Yamada is set to become the series’ joker/clown/comic relief because he really acts like an idiot thanks to his cheery disposition. He is only usurped when his brother takes over. I guess it runs in the family. Yamada is also the punching bag for the girls whenever he says or does something stupid but I doubt that would change anything because he is still the same ol’ doofus Yamada. Oddly enough, I don’t see how this guy gets to become friends with this group of girls seeing there is this urge and ‘potential’ for him to be turned into the king of his little harem. Too bad and in a good way it didn’t. There is a character called Yoshida and appears from time to time. A classmate of Amami and friends, I suppose he is supposed to be another joker and comic relief. He acts like he is smart and about to solve or explain things to us but the girls would already solve it and thus ruining his chance. It’s odd he isn’t part of the group. Otherwise how would Yamada have his ‘harem’? I guess Yoshida is the real loser here seeing he has no friends. Not even humans or ghosts.

Ogawa is a zombie fanatic airhead, Uehara who could become a good future paranormal reporter and Esumi’s crude personality and ex-delinquent status means she is prone to getting hot head most of the time. I think it was meant to be a running joke too that Esumi gets stalked by multiple calls by Yamada’s brother (and if he does something stupid, the running joke has it that she’ll beat him up and reduce Yamada to screaming “Aniki!!!!!!!!!!”). Yawn… Boring characters… Even the usual ghosts that hang around them just don’t quite cut it. Gal and Samurai feel like sparring partners whenever the focus is not on our human friends while pervy cat always want to peek at panties and always ends up getting divine retribution. Yeah, I supposed another ‘running joke’.

With the characters already bothering me like this, it made me even think about the plausibility of the interaction and existence of the ghosts in this anime. I know if you want to classify this as fiction, go ahead. But I still find it a bit absurd. Like how you can take easy photos of ghosts with your handphone. All hail modern technology! Whether it is intentional or not, all your handphones are equipped with some sort of app that makes it possible for you to look at the ghost! So does this mean for every photo or selfie you take, you’re going to get ghosts inside it because they’re like practically everywhere, no? If it was that easy, we can solve so many mysteries and we don’t need special paranormal hunters or even Ghostbusters.

Then there is the part where Amami buys food and offers them to the ghosts. In many Asian cultures, it is a tradition and practice to offer food to the deceased. But what boggles me is how we see the ghosts eat the food without touching the real one. It is as though they are eating the ‘ghost’ of that food. Get what I’m saying? So if those ghosts are just hungry, why not just go to a convenience store and grab a piece of that ‘ghost’ food? Maybe there is some rule about they can only touch food offered but I’m not really too sure about this. Besides, do ghost really need to eat? Have you ever heard of a ghost dying from starvation? Also, with ghosts being able to interact with real objects like opening doors and banging tables (and scare the hell out of unsuspecting people), why the need for the phantom food and just eat the real thing? Who cares about seeing foodstuffs flying in mid-air?

Something about the art quality that bothers me. It is already okay that the characters look simple and have this one kind look but the thing that bugged me most is the one where it is obvious you can see the characters’ eyes despite their hair covering over them. Like as though their hair is a transparent colour paper or something. While this feature is not new and many animes employ such style, somehow this one just bothers me because it feels like as though they did a sloppy job in not ‘cleaning up’ the artwork and just let it be. Because many of the characters will have their bangs cover an eye (their hairstyle I guess) for many of the scenes, it is just annoying to see this. Otherwise, everything else looks pretty okay and decent. Even the scariest of the scariest ghost doesn’t look that scary. Good news for me, eh? Maybe except for that slasher ghost at the park. Because he is invisible and you don’t see his true form. Mind starts running wild… Oh, I almost forgot about Toshio’s appearance. TWICE!!!

Although not the best, I suppose the opening and ending themes are better to hear as compared to watching the episode. Colorful Story as the opener is your typical anime pop rock while the ending theme, Kesaran Pasaran sounds cutely amusing. I don’t really know how to describe it, but it’s heavily loaded with the synthesizers to make it sound like a dance beat. Both are sung by every♥ing (how the heck do you pronounce this? Every loving?) who are actually Ibuki Kido and Erii Yamazaki, the voices of Amami and Ogawa respectively. Interestingly, I found out that the seiyuus employed for the main characters are mostly newbies but for the drama CD, veterans like Haruka Tomatsu, Kana Hanazawa, Ayana Taketatsu, Eri Kitamura and Norio Wakamoto were employed. It could have been interesting had those seiyuus been used for the anime too and perhaps make my viewing more ‘enjoyable’. Yeah…

Overall, this series was just disappointing. If it had a good point, at least it didn’t make me have sleepless nights. Because the ghosts here feel like good humans instead of being something threatening and malicious. Just that they take on a slightly different form. I can see why these ghosts continue to hang around instead of passing on because of Amami’s kindness. Man, if you’ve got this kind of nice and very considerate girl, I don’t think I would ever want to leave her. Even if I can’t get her to be my wife, at least hanging around next to her is good enough. So… Will she become the queen of the ghosts when she kicks the bucket? Yeah well, I hope she will help tell all the other real scary and evil ghosts to stop scaring the sh*t out of us. Or it could all be just a figment of my imagination? I’m glad I don’t have the third eye to see dead people. But I certainly do hope I won’t see them in my handphone camera at all!

Robot Girls Z Plus

December 18, 2015

I didn’t think it would happen but it did. However Robot Girls Z Plus despite being the sequel didn’t developed into a full-fledged TV series and instead remained released as ONA. Another boggling fact was that although there are only 6 episodes, each lasting about 8 minutes, they only released an episode per month! I don’t know what kind of strategy they are pulling here but I suppose if you like girls, you like robots, you like action, you like fanservice and you like all of them mashed up together, then you’ll probably enjoy this short sequel. Hey, I mean, even heroines and protectors of a city sometimes need to get violent to take out their stress, right? Right?! Oh what the heck. At least it isn’t my town they’re protecting ;p.

Episode 1
Right off the start, Z-chan is already fighting Boss in the middle of the Nerima Ward streets, causing irreparable damage. All because Boss wants to join Team Z but Z-chan won’t allow her. I mean, what’s with this lame excuse the team is full? Gre-chan and Grenda-san think how they are so alike. Of course Z-chan disagrees although Boss continues to view them as each other’s best friends and greatest rivals. Suddenly a missile almost hits them. Courtesy from Combined Girl Bong. She shoots more missiles for more destruction so Team Z transforms into their usual Mazinger or Grendaizer form to fight back. Although they shoot and dismantle her, Bong can quickly assemble herself back. Fear those card box pieces… Reinforcements arrive when Liger blocks Bong’s missile with her spear. Pon-chan then bats away another one like a perfect baseball hit. Then they steal her card box pieces before she can assemble and let Gecchan finish her off. The trio are the new Team G as they boast how powerful they are now. Boss teases to join their side since they are stronger but they don’t need her and throw her back to Team Z! It’s not like Z-chan wants her too and the duo continue fighting. See how alike they are? But Grenda-san can’t help think where Bong came from.

Episode 2
Sky Magical Girl Grangen thought she could harass some girls and make them wet and sticky but today as it turns out, the pool has become a cheap fishing spot for old guys! She spots Boss and decides to do her in although she is less of her type. That is when Team G arrives to save the day. You know it will happen. When you have a villainess with tentacles and sexy robot girls, this screams tentacle rape scene! Jeeg then pops up with her new partner, Pan-san whom she just found at a cosplay convention. Time to get serious and save the day. But how can this lame combination move do them any good? Well, it makes them look cool, right? So Jeeg thinks. Yeah. Tentacle rape punishment for them too. Jeeg’s servants, Ryouma Nagare and Musashi Tomoe drive into the scene to save them. Boss’ bait seems to have caught the plug at the bottom of the pool. When unplugged, it causes a massive turbulence that disturbs Grangen. Pon-chan then throws Grangen into Musashi. A fiery explosive finish. Everyone is sad over Musashi’s death but Jeeg has hired another guy as replacement so it is all smiles and laughter for everyone. Nobody gives a damn Musashi is still alive.

Episode 3
There is a contest to determine which new Robot Girl team is the strongest. Naturally, Z-chan is pissed and is just going to kick all of their asses but Team G interrupts. They also brag about being the strongest when Hayato pops up to announce their time is over. Time to move over and give the stage to newer teams. Like Team Gou made up of Gou, Shou and Lady Gai. They’re stealing everyone’s hearts. Then Team LOD usurps them. They comprise of Raicchi, Baru-chan and Triple Gai-chan. Not to be outdone, Team Z and Team G head on their stage to do their stuff. Then Boss comes swinging in to join them but she destroys the entire stage with her screw up. It is then decided instead of choosing a strongest team, all of them will become one strongest team called NRM 12. The girls seem to like this idea and start getting along with each other.

Episode 4
Continuing from last episode, Lightwave Girl Picudron isn’t amused with that and attacks them with her light wave. When hit, it allows her to see all you embarrassing weaknesses. So embarrassing that your armour will burst and leave you in your undies! When Picudron zaps Team Z, it seems Grenda-san has something so horrifying that it scares the sh*t out of her and this allows Team Z to escape the fanservice. Triple Gai-chan wants her team to do that embarrassing move. That’s because it involves her teammates stripping so she can wear her armour and blast volts at her enemy. However Picudron absorbs everything. Then Triple Gai-chan flashes something even more horrible. Picudron’s true form is revealed. She is some fat robot powered by peddle power by some folks in some van. Picudron laments they are victims of Robot Girls and planned this revenge. But Team J is still not amused with the trouble they have caused and finishes them. Then everyone starts teasing and taunting Gecchan’s embarrassing secrets.

Episode 5
Our Robot Girls are heading to the mayor’s office to receive a medal. For all they’ve done? I know, it is mind boggling. Even Boss is getting it. Inside her office, Z-chan blushes when the mayor praises her simply because she’s never been praised before. The girls feel something strange when the mayor tells them to pick up their medal. Hmm… Feels heavy. Turns out it is a giant trap set for them. Other Robot Girl teams have also fallen into this trap. The mayor called them here to beat the crap out of them. Her policy is to protect the city and this means Robot Girls who have constantly destroyed the city will be kicked out. She reveals her true form, an alien from outer space going by the name, Super Space Beast Gigilgan Gilgil Ganko. She then makes an announcement to the citizens that she will get rid of these violent little insects for their sake. Here is one serving of screwball coming up right at them. Boom!

Episode 6
Although Jeeg’s servants protect her, the rest somehow survive but under heaps of rubble. Our mad Robot Girls revive in time to take out their anger but Ganko is too strong for them as one by one they fall. This is the power of politics? Conveniently she pins the blame of this city’s destruction on them although her real intention is to redevelop it into a bigger city. Definitely politics power play here. Just as Z-chan is about to give up, Dr Yumi gives her some power accessory. They power up into Robot Girls Team Z EX. With even cooler powers and sexy outfits. Ganko is given a run for her money. The trio combine all their power to blast Photonic Beam Dynamic at her. However she easily dodges since it is too slow. Boss sees the beam coming her way and frantically uses her mirror to reflect it. Before Ganko can fry our heroines, the beam comes back to zap and defeat her for good. In the aftermath, a ceremony to unveil the hero who saved the city takes place. A gold statue of Boss???!!! Well, it is thanks to her that they won, right? Z-chan is furious and won’t allow her to hog the glory. Back to beating each other up, I guess.


These are actually the special extra episodes from the first season that I missed out. Better late than never, eh?

Episode 3.5
In the flying space base of Navarone, the Unwanted Robot piloted by Imaichi Moenai Ko (literally meaning girl lacking in moe) sets off to defeat Team Z and if she wins, Ashura promised her to become her mascot. So our Team Z has the ability to fly up to space for this battle. The fight begins and because Unwanted Robot is made out of cardboard, Imaichi has to quickly patch things up. But Imaichi has a trick under her sleeve. She fires her un-moe beam to turn Z-chan and Gre-chan into un-moe looking characters! Thinking victory is hers, she goes in for the kill. But Grenda-san is not affected and strikes the beam back at her. Ashura and her team got caught in the blast and turn un-moe. But for Imaichi, she now looks moe and kawaii!!! Even her robot looks cool! However Imaichi doesn’t like it because it ruins her identity! WTF?! I like you this cute!!! Team Z then gives the final super punch that sends her crashing into the rest of the baddies for ultimate victory. Don’t worry if their looks will stay like that forever because it soon reverts back.

Episode 6.5
While chasing down Ashura and co, Team Z stumble upon a mascot grand prix. Z-chan wants to get violent as usual but a huge mascot appears before them (Wooser?). He seems to try and persuade them to join him to make lots of cash. But Grenda-san shows her cleavage full of money and doesn’t need it! She then becomes some sort of sadist and beats up this yellow fellow to turn him into some livestock she makes at her secret ranch. You don’t want to know… Suddenly they are attacked by a fairy mascot that shoots acid that will melt anything. Although the barrier protects the girls, the fairy continues spinning its acid everywhere. Too bad for the other mascots. Gre-chan is furious that her computer is melted and she blows the acid back in the fairy’s face! Finally a mascot that resembles like a certain assassinated Austrian archduke who was the responsible for the start of World War 1. He is cocky that Japanese cannot best Europeans and is playing psychology that it will become an international diplomatic incident if so. Z-chan doesn’t give a damn and just blasts everything! The grand prix is falling apart! Ashura and co are hiding in a mascot but Team Z discovers them. Z-chan blames them for ruining the grand prix! If that is not bad enough, they got zapped anyway. So sad…

Episode 9.5
Pixiv is hosting a convention where fans can upload their drawings of encouragement of Team Z live. You can tell Pixiv hates them very much when she puts up that look after Z-chan punches off from the centre stage just to hog the limelight. The first few uploads illustrate the Robot Girls as oppressive and vile evil doers! How is this possible? Pixiv tells us that they aren’t actually sent by fans but by Ashura and her Underground Empire. They’re secretly drawing and uploading them to tarnish their image. Once that happens, Pixiv will get to own them as her property called Robot Girls P. Z-chan tries to add hers but it looks horrible. Grenda-san helps in but it is so questionably porn that it needs mosaic censors. Gre-chan uploads hers and wow, they look pretty good. She drew a few themes like idols, witches, Alice in Wonderland and samurai. This has everyone else motivated as they send in their inspiring art. Pixiv falls into despair and accidentally blurts out her plan’s failure. Care to repeat that? Even dumber, she denies this plan to own them out loud word for word. Time to get owned. Pixiv is beaten up and crashes into Ashura’s little workshop. Looks like they can’t post anymore pictures. Pixiv is not satisfied with this outcome and cancels her agreement with Ashura. She is going to align herself with stronger people. Better make it quick because Team Z will be continuing to kick your ass while everything else gets destroyed. Gre-chan is probably the happiest of the lot seeing one of her drawings (the idol one) won first place for the day.

Protection Via Destruction
Although this sequel is still enjoyable, somehow I feel it still falls short of being completely satisfying. I mean, there are your favourite robot girls based on past mecha series, wantons of destruction and even a little fanservice thrown in so what is it that I’m not feeling satisfied about? I am not sure if it is the slightly shorter duration of the series (the first season had 9 episodes). The episodes of the series itself already feels like fillers, so adding more filler-like episodes of destruction will not make a difference. Could it be something to do with the characters, new and old? More on this in a little while. Or maybe it is just that kind of ending that feels it hasn’t really ended yet and there could be more episodes or sequels in the future. But whatever the reason, there is something inside me that is bugging myself. Something that is telling me that this sequel could have done better but falls short of it. Maybe I’m unconsciously not a mecha fan but I even myself know that it’s crap because the cute ladies here are enough to take away thinking about that mecha factor.

As for the characters, the old ones like Team Z remain identifiable if you remember them from the first season. Especially with Z-chan being haughty and easily resorting to her punches and violence to save the day, thus the unnecessary destruction of the city from time to time. Grenda-san might have that eternal sweet smile of hers but she is some sort of secret sadist and sometimes has something bad enough that you have to censor them out. Lastly, Gre-chan the shy girl who doesn’t talk much. As for the other Robot Girls, I suppose with a handful of them, they’re rather okay but it feels like not enough screen time for all of them although some like Team G and Team LOD do take the limelight and thus Team Z wasn’t always in the fore front in every episode. I think there are some jokes pertaining to them that fans of the original mecha series would only get. Therefore I am quite blur here.

Boss as the new character debuting this season feels more like a nuisance than anything. Of course her character role feels like for comedic roles as you can see the troubles that tag along just for appearing. Maybe that is why Z-chan doesn’t want to let her in the group? Because one destructive girl is already bad enough to hog the limelight, what more two, right? Yeah. Boss’ character design somehow reminds me of that character in Mirai Nikki… Hmm… Doesn’t that lady with the oddly and proportionately bigger head feel similar? Some of the Robot Girl teams, Ashura and a host of Robot Girl enemies that the heroines faced in the first season are completely absent here. But if you are sharp enough, you can spot them making cameos in the background as unimportant background characters. Well, I guess this is an even sadder fate for them. After being chased around, beaten up and blamed, it only goes from bad to worse when you character role is tossed away just like that. And I don’t think they have turned over a new leaf either. Thus the villains of this series also shares a similar fate of only appearing for a single episode or arc and then never to be seen ever again. Yeah, who cares about the bad guys anyway? Remember Dr Hell or that little girl in fake giant robot, Darkness? No? Neither do I. So who the heck is Dr Yumi here anyway?

A bit of destructive action as the Robot Girls unleash their so called trademark attacks on the single enemy they are facing per episode or arc so that you get your trademark city destruction and send the villain flying away and turning into a shining star. Somehow the city always gets rebuild again (I am assuming so because you do not see those destructive patches they leave behind in the next episode), but we don’t care for all that, really. After all, nobody even really dies too, right? Heh. The big irony about the destruction is that buildings get destroyed but no casualties at all. I think everybody has activated some sort of God cheat mode here. Whatever it is, things will always work out with Z-chan’s justice punch, right? Fanservice aren’t aplenty and feels a bit mild just enough to tease your unfulfilled horny libido and nothing worth any fapping material. Really.

Overall, like what I have said a few paragraphs before, still an enjoyable watch but can’t be considered as anything greater. Perfect to watch if you like your characters based on past mecha series and symbolized as cute girls. A good addition if you watched the first season and somewhat like it enough for a little more. The episodes are short enough so they don’t bore you with the same cheap destructive violence and fanservice thrill. Otherwise, go back and take out your VHS tapes or CDs to watch the original retro mecha series for some big time nostalgia. Don’t tell me you’d rather put up with these girls’ shenanigans, no? And once again the day is saved, erm, I mean destroyed. Thanks to the destructive girls. Why take out your stress playing violent video games when you can do it for real in real life?

Hibike! Euphonium

December 13, 2015

Tired of cute high school girl rock bands? Okay. How about a brass band now? Brass band?! An anime about a high school brass band? Yes people, it did happen and I suppose Hibike! Euphonium is the only anime focusing about a brass band out there. Sure, it might not be as glamorous as those rock band counterparts since you have so many people in it and everyone is carrying such heavy instruments that could serve as a murder weapon and you need lots of lung capacity and discipline to play them effectively and in a group. So what is so appealing about this anime then? Well, from the same creators who brought you that cutely moe K-ON!, now comes this series about a group of cutely moe high school students of a brass band. Yes people. Just like why Tamako Market was the reason K-ON! never got a third season, Hibike! Euphonium is also that exact same reason for this year why K-ON! won’t be getting another due season. Haha! So shall we play on?

Episode 1
During the concert band preliminaries, the middle school that Kumiko Oumae attends gets a dud gold. Although she is more than happy it is still a gold but her friend, Reina Kousaka is not. She is totally upset! Today it is Kumiko’s high school debut at Kitauji and the brass band is trying to welcome-cum-recruit the newbies but they sound so horrible… In class, she quickly makes friends with Hazuki Katou and Midori “Sapphire” Kawashima, both of whom had experiences in playing brass instruments before. So they go check out the brass band club and you can tell that Asuka Tanaka, the vice president is desperate to get new members. I hope she doesn’t scare them off. Luckily there is kind ol’ Haruka Ogasawara, the club president who doesn’t want her to be pushy to the new ones. As they watch the band practice, Reina comes in and signals her intention to join. Kumiko is surprised to see her and is loss for words. On the way home, childhood friend Shuuichi Tsukamoto talks to Kumiko about the brass band club she is joining. Although she said she wanted to join it but decided not to eventually. Really? Kumiko has a lot weighing on her mind. To join or not to join. Plus, her less than pleasant experience during that last preliminary competition isn’t exactly something you would want as memories either. Next day in class, she is surprised that Hazuki has bought a mouthpiece despite not choosing an instrument yet. Midori is amazed as she used to play the contrabass before and wants her to teach her. Kumiko remembers her sister, Mamiko thought her how to blow with the mouthpiece. Hazuki and Midori invite Kumiko to go join the brass band and she agrees.

Episode 2
The biggest challenge for Kumiko now is to go talk to Reina. It all looks fine and dandy in her mind. But in reality? A bundle of nerves. Lame. I don’t know if Reina is ignoring her or not. The friends head to the brass band clubroom. Kumiko once played the euph and doesn’t want her friends to reveal this because it makes her easier to change instruments. She wants to play the trombone. All the section heads introduce themselves and the instruments they play. Asuka is from the bass section and she is pretty passionate in ranting her part. Yeah, how pages is she going to go on?! Nobody cares. Next! Midori seems interested to join the bass section. As everybody else look around to find an instrument they want to play, Asuka keeps bugging Kumiko and Hazuki to join her! WTF?! Asuka’s guts tell her Kumiko can play the euph so she tries to hide that she has never touched it before. Asuka’s brainwashing on Hazuki now condemns her to be under her wing. Kumiko needs to get away before she gets dragged in but Shuuichi and Aoi Saitou accidentally reveal about Kumiko’s euph experience. Oops. Too late. You’re stuck now. Noboru Taki is the brass band’s advisor. First he wants to establish the club’s goal. Does the Nationals sound okay? The students aren’t sure. So he decides to take a vote. Hands up for those who want to aim for the Nationals. Wow. A bunch of them. Looks like a clear winner. And now who doesn’t want to go to the Nationals? Only Aoi raises her hand. And so it is decided that they will work towards the Nationals. On the way home, Kumiko seems to be suffering from the ‘guilt’ that she took neither stand. Aoi talks to her about this dilemma of hers. She leaves Kumiko with an advice that 3 years will pass by very fast in a flash so be careful. At that time, Kumiko doesn’t understand what that meant. Next day, Kumiko tries again to talk to Reina. This time she is able to strike up a decent conversation. Although it was just a short one, at least it made her feel relieved.

Episode 3
The newbies are doing circular breathing practice. We are told how the different sections practice in different rooms to avoid disturbing each other. Asuka has her newbies select their equipment. Midori takes a liking for the contrabass the moment she looks at it and calls it… George! Midori takes the tuba and Kumiko, well, hello again euph. As they tune their instruments, flashback shows Taki leaving the band to practice however they want and if they are ready to play as an ensemble the simplest piece for beginners, Marines’ Hymn, then call him. Besides, the upcoming SunFes (Sunrise Festival) will be the first concert they’ll be playing at. As the bass section practises, Kumiko notices fellow Natsuki Nakagawa not interested and just lazing around. Asuka is confident she’ll play when the time comes. This has Midori wondering why there aren’t many second year students around so Takuya Gotou tells her first years need not concern themselves with this. When Kumiko is instructed to go call the horn section to play together, she sees all of them fooling around and not practising a bit. As SunFes is inching closer, Haruka is pressured to make it happen as she goes to call Taki to hear the ensemble. Let’s say they obviously suck. He reminds Haruka that he told her to only call him when they’re good enough to play and defines what an ensemble is. Because Shuuichi claims they have been practising hard (at least for his trombone section), Taki decides to test his section by playing to the metronome’s pace. Not good. This is the same for the other parts.

Some want him to point out where they are wrong. He reminds them that they have decided to aim for the Nationals and should be at least playing the minimum standards. Right now they are unbearable and not even deserving for instructions. But what about SunFes then? They are in no position to think about that right now. If they cannot get to that minimum standard, they shouldn’t even think about participating. The students are left bitter and ashamed. Haruka is at a loss on what to do so Asuka suggests gathering opinions from each section and let the section leaders talk it over. After school, Shuuichi talks to Kumiko and friends what he found out about the second years. Seems there were some sort of disagreement and this led to more than half of them to quit. Some of those left behind (like Natsuki) laze around. Therefore at this rate there is no way a school like theirs could make it to the Nationals. Kumiko thought everything would be fine when tomorrow comes but her expectations were betrayed when Haruka announces that any practice is cancelled until the section leaders’ meeting is over as some feel opposed to Taki’s policies and protested in practising until something is done. Kumiko and friends are in a dilemma on what to do since they are dragged into this mess. Do they have to work hard and get angry with the people who don’t care? They hear Reina playing a lovely rendition of From The New World over the hill. After that, she gives out a great yell of frustration.

Episode 4
The section leaders start their meeting and are in a dilemma to continue protesting or start practising. It is decided they will practice till next week and if Taki says they aren’t going to SunFes, they’ll make their complaint. But Taki soon walks in and wants everyone to put on their gym clothes and run a lap around the field. Then he has each section do some sort of breathing exercise or practice playing a line many times. Kumiko and Hazuki could hear mixed comments from the band. Some are commenting on his unusual tactics and even one was crying while Taki was evaluating her performance (despite he was saying it all politely). After school, Shuuichi talks to Kumiko about Reina. Because she speaks her mind clearly when Taki asked her a question so the seniors are having an eye on her. He wonders if Taki is heavy handed since he is making them practice the same lines over and over again. Reina overheard this and tells him not to speak ill of Taki as he is a great teacher. Next day, when Reina calls Kumiko to talk, the latter panics and thinks she is going to kill her! Actually she wants to apologize for saying too much yesterday. Kumiko needs to say something or she’ll regret it like always. She sums up her courage to also apologize and praise her trumpet playing the other evening. Although Kumiko felt she might have crept Reina out, she did feel a little good inside. Kumiko is motivated that she asks Natsuki to come join practice. Everyone endeavours in their practice and despite it all started as dissatisfaction towards Taki’s methods, it became a unifying energy force for the band. A week later, the ensemble gathers to play Marine’s Hymn. Sounds much better now. Although there is a lot of nitpicking he could do, Taki passes them and they will play at SunFes. He hands them the programme. It is a gruelling one and they’re going to use all the remaining time to practice. He believes they can show everyone that they are different this year. Seeing his unwavering smile, everyone begins to believe he is serious about this.

Episode 5
Thanks to all that rigorous breathing exercise, Hazuki’s lung capacity is amazing when measured during the physical check-up. Kumiko has something else bothering her. Her chest growth is still nil! She thought Hazuki is pretty much the same but all that confidence shatters after she sees Asuka’s. After trying out their uniform, they practice marching. It’s hot and sweaty. Get use to it. With extra practice and effort put in, they make steady progress. On the way home, Kumiko bumps into Reina. She tries to start a normal conversation but the first thing Reina asks her is her opinion of Taki. Sure, Kumiko tells her opinions. Opinions from others. Kumiko fears she might have screwed up but Reina gives off a dazzling yet mysterious smile. On the day of SunFes, the band members get their instruments ready and prepare to depart. They notice heavyweight favourites from other schools like Rakushu and Rikka. Worst possible schedule for Kitauji as they are sandwiched between Rikka and Rakushu. Kumiko then spots her old band mate, Azusa Sasaki from Rikka. Azusa is surprised Kumiko enrolled at Kitauji. But Kumiko is surprised to hear that Reina turned down Rikka’s invitation to go to Kitauji. Azusa suggests to go meet their other friends but Kumiko will not accompany her. She tells her the reason she enrolled at Kitauji. She thought of starting a new by going to a high school where she didn’t know too many people. I suppose she has a place and friends to call her own now. Good. Because she’s not regretting it. As the festival begins, everyone is amazed and anticipating Rikka’s unique choreography. It is demoralizing Kitauji. But with Taki giving his motivation before their turn, they’re going out there to do what they have been practising so hard. So when they march through the crowd, the spectators are amazed to see this new awesome talent. Never heard of this school? Well, look it up! Never knew there were other schools this good, huh?

Episode 6
After SunFes, it is time for the summer competition. They’ve been handed schedules for the competition preparations and practice. Kitauji’s tracks record never has them traverse past the prefectural preliminaries and the highest they’ve ever got was bronze. When Taki suggests holding an audition to select which members take part in the competition (maximum of 55 members is the limit), this doesn’t sit well with the seniors but as he puts it, if the juniors are better than you, what else is there to say? The contrabass section takes a look at their musical score for the audition and it out. Since Hazuki is still having trouble playing her tuba properly, she thought she broke it when a part came off! It’s time for her to learn some maintenance work on how to dismantle and assemble tuba parts. As she wants to practice more, Hazuki gets permission to use a soft cover so she can take it home to practice. Hazuki and co try asking the senior contrabass members for motivation to play their section. Riko Nagase doesn’t have anything good to say (bass section always get blamed?) while Gotou has some cool lines but I don’t really understand it all. Finally with Asuka, she gives Hazuki something simple to play but she finds it too easy! Asuka then tricks Kumiko into wearing some tuba mascot (marshmallow character?) and pretend to be Hazuki’s tuba that has magically come alive to motivate her. Yeah well… Midori is the one who took the bait and Hazuki could easily identify Kumiko behind that suit. Embarrassing… Then Gotou gives the most meaningful motivation ever. Playing tuba alone feels boring. It is only when it is played with other instruments that it feels like music. Like harmony. They realize Hazuki has never played in a real ensemble before. At SunFes she was reduced to cheerleading as heavy instruments were sat out. Even in most practices, she sat out as she is junior to give way to seniors. Kumiko and Midori then invite Hazuki to play a simple song with them and it sounded like real music. Hazuki brings her tuba home but I guess it is too big for a girl like her to carry bag. She almost falls down when Shuuichi catches her. That look in her eyes… Is some sort of romance blooming?

Episode 7
Another day, another usual practice. When Kumiko is cleaning up, she hears Haruka talking how Aoi is planning to quit the band. So when Aoi’s performance takes an obvious dip, Taki questions her about her goal. This is when Aoi announces she wants to quit the band because at this rate with practice getting longer and longer, she will be unable to concentrate on her entrance exam and get into her first choice college. Aoi takes her leave. Kumiko and Haruka run after her in hopes of convincing her to change her mind. Nope. This is starting to have a domino effect as Haruka starts feeling she is worthless as the club president. Somehow this also drags Kumiko into it (and all she did was trying to name her nice points). Asuka takes control of the situation to bring that emotionally unstable girl back. So now Haruka is trying to blame Asuka for not taking up this post and because of that she has to shoulder it? Then why didn’t she reject it in the first place? Kumiko’s performance is also affected that Taki starts to notice… At least she isn’t quitting. Natsuki tells Kumiko and friends a little about their grade’s feud. Her grade wanted to practice seriously but was seriously ignored. They pleaded but they acted never to notice them till they leave. Shuuichi talks to Kumiko about the possibility of Haruka quitting and being replaced by Asuka. Kumiko doesn’t believe it will happen. Personally, Shuuichi doesn’t like Asuka because she is too perfect and doesn’t know how much of an act she is putting up. Then there is also about Aoi which might have been indirectly affected by last year’s friction as she was stuck in between. After Haruka takes a day off from practice, she is back refreshed and her mind is now focused in doing her best for the competition. And so life and practice go on without Aoi. But there might be another ‘issue’ looming. Hazuki asks Kumiko if she is dating Shuuichi!

Episode 8
Kumiko confirms she isn’t going out with Shuuichi. So why ask? Midori becomes aggressively pushy because she knows Hazuki likes Shuuichi. You know about the upcoming Agata Festival, right? If you didn’t know Riko and Gotou are dating because they’re doing it secretly. Asuka? Her euph is her only love! After school, Shuuichi talks to Kumiko if she would like to go with him to the festival. It leaves her in shock. Then she starts connecting the dots together. Hazuki asking Shuuichi. Shuuichi asking Kumiko. Oh dear. Looks like a love triangle is forming. She tries to avoid contact at all cost but evidently that guy wants an answer if she’s going with him or not. Better think fast. Then she grabs a random passing girl. Too bad Shuuichi. She’s going with her. Reina? Gasp! Then Hazuki wants a word with Shuuichi. On the day of the festival, Hazuki meets up with Midori first. She has a little cute sister, Kohaku who looks so much like her that I thought it was a mini version of Midori! Finally Hazuki meets up with Shuuichi. Without hesitation, she confesses she loves him. That shocking reaction… He didn’t expect it, didn’t he? But his answer? Sorry. Hazuki seems to be taking it in good strides. With this over, she will support Shuuichi to get together with Kumiko. Nothing between them says he? It’s so obvious that it’s written on his face… Meanwhile we have almost some sort of yuri time with Reina and Kumiko, both brought their instruments and hike up a hill! Reina admits she has always wanted to hang out with her. She’s hinting some form of twisted love for her… Reina explains how she didn’t want to be part of the group who thinks they are all the same. It is that kind of perfection she wants to avoid. That is why she plays the trumpet because she believes she can be truly special. That dumbfounded surprised look on Kumiko’s face just makes Reina laugh. They start playing a piece at the hilltop. When Hazuki reunites with Midori, she lets go all her tears. Aww… Poor girl. Time for a girl hug.

Episode 9
Everyone is focused on their practice. But Midori is getting sloppy and it is making Asuka mad! Talking with Kumiko, she believes something must have happened. Hazuki explains that Midori must have felt responsible for her failed confession. But Asuka doesn’t care about this and has no time to put up with kids who can’t practice. She goes to practice alone. Hazuki goes to have a talk with Midori (chopping her head multiple times?) and they put this issue behind them. Then Hazuki talks to Kumiko and believes she likes Shuuichi and will help her out. Of course Kumiko vehemently protests about this but this only makes Hazuki believe that she doesn’t know her own feelings. Then that guy had to come into the scene… As expected, this means lots of stuffs are occupying her head. As she practises alone, she heard Natsuki’s play and thought it was quite good. Then it hit her that everyone wants to play and be in the competition and at the same time, the fear of competing with her seniors. Then this funny scene whereby Kumiko and Reina pressing each other’s cheeks as a sign that they’ll not give up. Huh? The auditions are here and some are very nervous. Like Hazuki. Kumiko notices some audition is only very short like Asuka but some are drawn out long like Natsuki. When it is her turn, the short ‘interview’ before she plays has Kumiko wondering if she has raised the bar for herself. There are some parts Taki asks her to play but Kumiko felt scared because she didn’t practice enough those parts. Soon the audition results are announced. Going by sections, those who didn’t get their name called out are dropped. Instant tears of despair. For the euph section, only Asuka and Kumiko pass. Natsuki didn’t. While Midori makes it (is it because she is the only one with contrabass?) but Hazuki failed. Reina of course is chosen but even more special is that she gets the trumpet solo part.

Episode 10
Kumiko remembers during her middle school years, because she got accepted into the band, it made a senior jealous and got chewed out. She expected the same with Natsuki when she calls to talk. What a big relief that Natsuki isn’t bothered about it. She explains her drawn out audition was because Taki made her play parts she didn’t practice. Natsuki congratulates Kumiko and she won her place because she is capable. Meanwhile Yuuko Yoshikawa is talking to Kaori Nakaseko. Although both trumpet players passed the audition, Yuuko is not happy that Reina got the solo part. Kaori is fine with it but Yuuko isn’t. It sounds like Yuuko has a big problem if Kaori doesn’t get her dream come true since this is her last year. As Taki has the band members lay out used blankets on the ground (to absorb the sound as they need to practice playing their volume since the hall will be bigger than the classroom and the sound will spread), Yuuko boldly confronts Taki that he played favourites during the audition. Because he knew who Reina is before. Taki admits he knew Reina beforehand but denies every playing favourites. Reina interjects not to insult Taki and also boldly declares she got the part because she is better than Kaori! If she wants to complain, do it after surpassing her. Reina storms off with Kumiko following her shortly. But Kumiko starts laughing after seeing how Reina starts shouting out in frustrating about that complaining b*tch. Later Reina reveals her dad was a professional trumpeter while Taki a professional conductor. That is how they met and became best friends. He is the reason why Reina enrolled in this school. Yes, Reina loves Taki but the love is one-sided and he doesn’t know about it.

Soon rumours spread that the audition was a setup to have Reina play the solo part. The suspicion gets worse when Taki remains silent on the issue. Then at one time we thought we never seen Taki’s angry side before. Because the students put away the blankets when they’re not practising since it is hot and he yells back that he never told them to do so! So the different sections are playing separately again. At this rate they can’t play as an ensemble. Kumiko might have drawn the short end of the stick since her friends pick her out to go talk to Asuka to convince everyone as they feel she is closer to the vice president. Kumiko still sees Kaori practising her solo parts. Then she asks Asuka if Reina or Kaori is better. Personally, she doesn’t care. Kumiko doesn’t know if she’s lying or not because she can never guess what’s on her mind with that thick face. Haruka needs to get her band together so before practice starts, she talks about the rumours about Taki that are going around and at this rate they can’t concentrate. They’re not going to win the competition this way. If anyone has any problems, raise your hand now and she’ll tell Taki. Yuuko and the rest of the dissatisfied ones do so. That is when Taki comes in. He announces about the hall they’ve rented to practice in. He will be having second auditions there if anyone is interested. They will play before the entire band and they will decide themselves by vote of majority. So is anybody interested? Kaori becomes the first to raise her hand. She wants a retake for the solo part. This means Reina will also have to retake it since she is the current and only soloist.

Episode 11
Yuuko is admiring Kaori’s practice. Admiring enough to be considered creepy. Even creepier is how Yuuko dragged Kumiko to get her opinion when they eavesdrop on Reina’s play. We know Kumiko is a staunch Reina supporter, right? That sums up Kaori’s prospects. Kaori is letting Asuka hear her play but the latter is being cool giving middle ground comments. The better one will play. It is not her who will decide to play the solo parts. Even if Kaori tries a little psychology to ask for her personal opinion, with Asuka this cool, Kaori retracts her word. Better not to know. I guess Yuuko is desperate. She confronts Reina to tell her to let Kaori play. She doesn’t mind to become the villain that forced Reina out. She even goes into some history how Kaori was the best trumpeter but was left out due to seniority. But what does this all have to do with Reina? She still has a couple of more years but it is Kaori’s last year. So what? Reina is not bowing to pressure. If Kaori wants to play, all she has to do is to do better than her. Simple as that. So before the second audition in the hall, Haruka talks to Kaori about why she is obsessed with Asuka. Something about she could see through her and knows what she is thinking. She thought of wanting to surprise her. Now it’s Kumiko’s turn to talk to Reina. Reina asks if she would be mad if she lost. Of course she would. Reina is special. And Kumiko is passionate about that. She would even go so far to be a villain for her. Maybe. Heh. Then the most yuri thing ever happening so far. Reina touches her cheek and their faces so close that it just messes with your mind that they might even do it. Heck, they even say this is some sort of love confession. Because Reina is confident Kumiko will never abandon her. Because if she does, she’ll kill her. She’ll do it. Kumiko gives her permission. WTF. Is this some sort of yandere joke?! And now the rematch begins. Kaori goes first. Everybody closes their eyes to listen better. Only Yuuko is praying harder. Now it’s Reina’s turn. Some are shocked enough to open their eyes and watch in amazement. This sums it up, huh? Time to vote. Those who approve of Kaori please applause. Yuuko the first one to give a standing ovation. Those who approve of Reina please applause. Kumiko the first one to give a standing ovation. Because Kaori had slightly more claps, Taki asks Kaori if she would like to be the soloist. She won’t because she feels Reina should play that part. Wow. Yuuko breaking down like it’s the end of the world. Yeah, she’s really that sad. No joke. It’s just WTF and heartbreaking at the same time. So it’s final. Taki says Reina will be the one playing the solo.

Episode 12
Everyone is practising hard. Kumiko has a part which is tough for her so she practises alone and so hard that she didn’t even realize her nose is bleeding! Remember, in this hot summer please stay hydrated. She continues to improve herself and one night she passes by Aoi returning from cram school. She asks has she ever regretted quitting the band. Not once. Getting university will always take priority over the band. Even if there were no such problems, she’d quit anyway since she didn’t have a reason to continue. As the practice continues, Taki continues to point out parts that need to improve. Kumiko still has problem with hers so he asks if she can get better before the competition. Of course she will. Kumiko practises alone again but this time Reina joins her. Oh, don’t forget to drink water. Later Reina and Kaori apologize to each other for being obnoxious during the audition. And then it got to Kumiko when Taki points out a mistake made by Asuka. This makes her feel frustrated and upset that she wants to improve. It’s really getting to her. Well, I wonder if she really feels better having a shouting contest with Shuuichi (who is also feeling the stressed of trying to improve his weak parts) across the road that they’ll become better. That is when Kumiko realizes how Reina felt back then. She finally understood why she was so upset. Spacing out back home, Mamiko reminds her to start studying instead of devoting time to her club activities. But Kumiko says back that despite she quit the band, she didn’t even get into the university she wanted. Mamiko argues what’s the point of continuing in a band if she isn’t going to music school. There is. She likes the euph. Got a problem with that? That night, Kumiko returns to school to retrieve something she has forgotten. Taki is there working late. She talks to him about his father who was also a famous conductor. Although Taki initially didn’t want to take the same job like his father eventually it became his job because he chose it. It was something he enjoys doing. This gives Kumiko a lot of motivation. So she calls Reina to meet now just to brag she had a talk with Taki and her love for euph? I don’t blame Reina if she is feeling shocked. Because Kumiko gets distracted in buying a euph gachapon and gets the one she wants on her first go.

Episode 13
The big day is here. Check your instruments. Move them. Some words from Taki. Members who didn’t make the cut made lucky charms for the competition going comrades. At the big hall, Rikka’s Azusa is there too but only manages to exchange a short hi from a distance with Kumiko. Instrument tuning. Taki in a tuxedo. Last final words of motivation from him. Tiny bit of Kumiko-Shuuichi banter. Time to go on stage. Asuka feels sad that they had so much fun and now it’s all going to end. Kitauji starts playing their pieces. Kumiko narrates about the start whereby everyone said they wanted to go to the Nationals at the start was just talk because nobody really thought they would make it. Although it has been her dream to go there, she never really put hopes in it for fear of embarrassing herself. Now she knows wishes don’t come true unless you wish them out loud. Here comes Reina’s wonderful trumpet solo before their turn comes to a magnificent end. Now the most anxious part of it all. Waiting for the results. So nervous they could die. Will they make it? Never prayed to God so hard before. Then the unbelievable happen. Kitauji won gold!!!! Not fake gold but a real gold!!!! Believe it! This means they advance to the next round! REJOICE!!! I guess it is one of those times where it is okay for everyone to get emotional and cry together. Yeah. Reina x Kumiko hug.

Special 1
Kumiko tells Midori and Hazuki how she cleans her instrument. In addition to polishing the outside, the inside must also be well cleaned. How do you clean it? Soak it in the tub with hot water. This has Hazuki start thinking Kumiko and the rest of the gang bath with their instrument. Then Kumiko and Midori argue about using ketchup and soy sauce respectively to clean it cleaner. But Hazuki can only imagine the bathtub filled with either ketchup or soy sauce. So confused Hazuki asks Reina for her preference. She prefers salt. Salt? She’s referring to eggs, right…? What?

Special 2
Hazuki is tired of her nickname and wants a new one. She takes the liberty to give some of the band members nicknames based on their names. Midori thinks her original nickname is cute so Hazuki wonders if she should call her Sapphire. Midori it is! Now Asuka is going to help come up with a new nickname. Either it doesn’t make sense or is too long that it sounds like an insult. Hazuki threatens never to call her by her old nickname again and if anyone does, she will not speak to them. But Asuka cleverly weaves it inside Hazuki’s favourite topics. Like a charm.

Special 3
Shuuichi narrates that it isn’t a bed of roses for the guys despite the brass band club is dominated by females. You think you’re getting a harem? Think again. Like when you say something boring, the girls would chide you off. At times when they invite you out, they just ignore you while they do and talk their girly stuffs. Of course, there are times when the guys shine and that is when they are made to lift the heavy instruments. Sometimes I wonder if these guys would turn gay because when another guy joins, they’re so happy. Despite from different sections, they band together like bros. And the main reason why they continue being in the band is because they love it. Yup. I think they are really gays…

Special 4
Midori rants about her love for the tuba mascot that she has everything from accessories to items in his design. Except for the toy capsule that always seems to elude her… As for why she loves it so much, here is a little back story. When she and Kohaku were hanging out in the park, Midori went to get some juice and when she returned, Kohaku went missing. She started panicking but that soon turned into relief when the tuba mascot brought her back safe and sound. This is when she started liking the mascot. Even now Kohaku has become quite the fan. Even Kumiko notes the reason the friends are together is because of this mascot. It is no doubt that this tuba guy is king!

Special 5
Kumiko narrates some of the little problems facing the club at times. Like when your sheet stand just sometimes gets loose and drops. Or when you scribbled too many notes on your score that you just can’t read it right. What about interrupting and stopping the entire band just because you came in late. Then there is this finger synching tactic whereby one would help cover for you by just pretending to move their fingers. Of course it doesn’t work when Taki calls out a section to play that part alone. Especially one at a time. And it looks like Kumiko always gets it, messing up time after time in front of everybody.

Special 6
The girls wonder about Taki’s private life because it is as mysterious as him. They discuss what his private life might be. Hazuki thinks he is part of some visual kei group called NIA (Japanese acronym of Demonic Bond of Handsome Men). Midori on the other hand thinks he is a sniper and carries a suitcase with a weapon inside. The trombone is a bazooka? Lastly, Kumiko heard he takes cooking class and makes strawberry shortcakes. The only way to ascertain this is to peep on sensei himself. So what do they find him doing in the teacher’s room? Checking music scores for the band. They realize he always puts the band’s interest first and this gives them the motivation to return to practice and win the competition.

Special 7
Kumiko is tired after blowing endlessly into her euph. Her lips are almost swollen. That is when Hazuki asks about the meaning of transposing instrument. Kumiko and Midori explain about different instruments categorized by their different pitch. In short, the instruments all have their unique keynotes.  Using the Do from Do-Re-Mi as example, this only further confuses Hazuki. I’m not sure if she gets all that in the end. When she later asks Reina about it, she plays her trumpet note. That is her Do. More confused than ever.

The Sound Of Music
Oh well. It’s that feeling again. It might not be anywhere near a masterpiece but it certainly didn’t suck either. Although overall I felt that it could have been better. Could have. One reason being that having just over a dozen episodes just feels too short to flesh everything out and thus the ‘injustice’ of the series felt like it is being rushed with a handful of small ‘issues’ (jealous junior got it going a second audition for the trumpet solo part) and ended in an incomplete way. I am guessing that just like K-ON! when it first started, it only had 1 cour to its name before being expanded to 2 cours in the next. They never knew cute high school girls in a rock band could be such a hit. Maybe it could be the same for this anime? Who knows? Maybe there would be something like this in the future since this anime is interesting in its own right and has lots of potential. But as far as I know, nothing of it yet.

Although this anime and K-ON! are very different series, it is very hard not to draw comparisons with both of them. There are both similarities and yet differences that make both series so different from each other. This is personally from my view why I think this series is not as great as K-ON! Before you start calling me somebody bias, please listen out. Obviously my greatest point in saying so is the character development. Now, I am not saying the character development of this one isn’t great but my point is that there are so many characters in a band (around 60 over I believe) and it is very hard and definitely impossible to give all those characters their due screen time. Heck, I am very sure that I do not even know a quarter of the members! Or their names! Hey… Do they even have names? Some I believe don’t even have a decent line or just having so short lines that they’re just forgettable. Whereas in K-ON!, the primary focus are just on the 5 girls. Okay, so Hibike! Euphonium also focuses on Kumiko and her friends but the big difference is, we see Kumiko and friends working hard with all that drama practising and trying to improve themselves to achieve their goal. Whereas in K-ON!, the girls did no practice and spend most of their time frolicking! See the difference? In the latter’s case, you get to see the girls interact with their silly antics and bonding moments that make them really close as friends and as a group.

But here, you don’t even feel that. You don’t see every band member interacting with each other as they are mostly separated by the sections for their individual practice. They only get together when it is time for the big ensemble. Even with Kumiko, Midori and Hazuki the focus is on, you just don’t feel the closeness between them since you know, Kumiko is narrating about her future, goals and whatever there is to add to the little drama. Heck, even worse, Reina isn’t really seen mixing much with Kumiko’s group as she is in her own. Not even after practice. For a person who is standing with Kumiko and the rest in the poster, it is just baffling that despite the limited screen time between Kumiko and Reina have when possible, it just doesn’t feel that they are close enough. Perhaps it is their strained relationship when they enter high school and they are in different class. Maybe it is because Kumiko is always flustering whenever Reina comes into the picture. Lost for words. But even so, considering and viewing all this, the main quartet in this series certainly doesn’t stand a chance in this character development against the K-ON! counterparts.

Thus it is also hard not to compare Hibike! Euphonium’s quartet to K-ON! Kumiko to Yui, Reina to Mio, Midori to Tsumugi and Hazuki to Ritsu. The closest these characters will get compared to are just their looks as their personality differs greatly. Like Kumiko despite having a habit to say out straight what is on her mind (aside all that thinking and narrative), is not an airhead like Yui and is more decent and subdued although mainly it is because of her passive personality. Reina and Mio are the beauties with flowing long black hair of their respective series but Reina is not the scaredy cat like Mio although both are calm and collected, Reina is more serious and stoic to the point you’d think her scary unsmiling face is a sign that warns others from a mile away to stay away and not make friends with her. Midori is big on her positivism despite her petite size and timid character. She worries about being called as Sapphire (that’s her real name by the way) unlike the sweet and gentle Tsumugi who brings in tea and snacks for her band mates. Finally there is Hazuki and Ritsu who are the mood makers of the group. While Ritsu is more prankish and immature, Hazuki is more perky and cheerful. Both girls in a way also play the supporting role for their group. Ritsu as a drummer while Hazuki despite not making the cut, continues to support her mates from the sidelines.

Even with the main characters feeling so-so, what does that say about the other characters? Well, like I have said, so many characters in a brass band and it is just not fair not to cover all of them but what can you do when you have limited screen time? And even those supporting members too don’t make much of an impact. Like Haruka who is only president in name has a little self confidence problem and Kaori the gentle one. If I had to pick the best character out of the pack, it would be Asuka. Besides her extremely energetic yet playful personality, sometimes you don’t know if she’s just putting on a mask or if that is who she really is. This makes her an interesting if not a fun and thus the coolest person ever. She has a way with words and if she wasn’t part of the band, I think she would make a good negotiator or motivation speaker. Another amusing person is Taki. Despite his very calm, polite and gentle demeanour, his words do pierce your heart at times. And saying it in a very gentle manner is what makes it scary. I know we won’t like teachers raising their voice scolding or correcting us but how he keeps his cool and never raises his voice (except that one time) makes it even scarier. Maybe that is why slowly the students turn their fear into respect subsequently. He earned it.

Some characters you wonder what their role is or what happened to them. Like for Aoi who left halfway and never turned back, it makes me wonder what her role in the anime was in the first place. For a little drama effect? What about Natsuki who was bumming around in the clubroom without doing any actual practice and just starring out the window and due to that last year in-house fighting trauma thingy and then slowly with Kumiko warming up to her, she opens up a little but it turns out to be too late. Remember Azusa? Kumiko’s old friend who is now in Rikka? So what about it? Just to piece together the tiny puzzle bit of why Reina went to Kitauji? Yuuko who has always been giving Reina that suspicious look all the while eventually blows up her jealousy for a little dramatic effect for the final arc.

Romance feels like hit and miss. K-ON! generally lacks the yuri relationship despite their close bonds. Heck, they lack any male characters for any sort of romance too. But even with the short scenes of Kumiko x Reina, it was enough to earn the notorious nickname of Gayphonium to others. That yuri relationship itself feels lacking and a big tease for anyone who wants to see more of it. That is as far as they go. At least on TV. I wonder if there would be extra scenes of the yuri-ness in the BDs. It makes me wonder if there is any yuri type relationship between Kaori-Yuuko, Haruka-Asuka and even Kaori-Asuka. Or just admirers? I don’t know about Natsuki and Yuuko too because despite the former did say something about her love for the latter, it is just in a teasing way. But what if that could be true? Truly Gayphonium if all were true… I am not sure if Reina is using Kumiko as her substitute lover since it is only a one-way love with her and Taki. Maybe she should wait after she graduates to go after him to avoid any scandal for now.

Initially with Shuuichi as a childhood friend to Kumiko, this sets up some tantalizing romance. Since if you notice, Shuuichi has this sort of habit of popping up before Kumiko and then talk to her about things. Sometimes it feels like he is the gossip king because he is mostly the one who updates Kumiko about the happenings of stuffs. If their short scenes together do not warrant or lead to any romance, I don’t know what will. Unfortunately as we have seen, it did not turn out Kumiko x Shuuichi because Gayphonium feels much stronger. In the end they continue to be childhood friends whom Kumiko continues to keep her distance whenever possible. A big speculation that Kumiko may have hidden feelings for him as indicated at the start. She wanted to change from euph to trombone. That is the instrument that Shuuichi is playing. Why trombone of all instruments? Yeah… They try to shake up with a little love triangle with Hazuki falling for this dude but was quickly shot down. And would you believe she quickly gives up and play the supporting role? Wouldn’t she want to try again if she really loves this guy? I suppose she doesn’t want to be annoying. See, what did I tell you about Hazuki being the supporter role? I guess the only true couple is Gotou and Riko. But who cares about them?

Therefore this show is quite clean of any fanservice (for your information, that physical examination scene didn’t quite cut it). Even in K-ON! there are a few fanservice scenes like the beach episode when the girls head to Tsumugi’s beach villa for a training camp. Heck, I believe there were a handful of Mio’s shima pantsu fanservice going around at that time… This is a very clean anime overall and the Reina x Kumiko yuri is the most ‘questionable’ you’ll get of it all. So clean that even the Reina-Taki scandal didn’t really amount to anything. You thought there might be more than meets the eye. But Taki is such a decent and nice guy, he doesn’t play favourites despite knowing who Reina is prior to everything but continues to make his just and fair decision. So is there nothing not to like about this guy? Yeah, boo hoo. No student-teacher scandal.

Another aspect that I find that this series is mainly about the big drama of the Kitauji brass band is the lack of any potential rivals. It is the same case for K-ON! too but nobody gave a hoot whether they achieved their goal to play at the Budokan. But here, our brass band members eventually became serious in making their dream to participate in the Nationals. There were Rakushu and Rikka but the most you’ll hear about them is just their name and a possible little glimpse of them at SunFes. That’s all. Because as I can see, this season sees how Kitauji deals with their ‘inner demons’ in trying to get it right and improve themselves. If they can’t overcome that small step, are they ready for bigger things? That is why they’ve got no time to worry about other favourite schools and thus the lack of rivals like in other series that push our protagonist team to greater heights. It feels clichéd and prematurely that the series ended with Kitauji winning their preliminaries but with this kind of Japan high school tournament format, how far can you go in variation especially for a brass band team. So it is with mixed feelings that I thought it would have been better for this series to expand another season but it would have been more or less the same thing. You know, more drama, play against other better schools, the dark horse wins and advances to the next round. And perhaps take part in a little local side festival for a side distraction. Yeah, I can see where this is going.

It needs no introduction that everybody knows that Kyoto Animation is behind this series and thus the biggest factor of why Hibike! Euphonium is so much compared to K-ON! Their other works like Tamako Market, Kyoukai No Kanata, Hyouka and Amagi Brilliant Park may all have the same trademark visuals (the characters looking pretty familiar to those shows) but for the first time we have a 2 under the music genre. So it goes without saying that the characters look pretty cute KyoAni style and thus the moe factor that is much prevalent. Like I’ve said in a few paragraphs prior how our main quartet looks so much like their K-ON! counterparts. It’s not just confined to them. Asuka have this uncanny resemblance to K-ON’s Sawako is it because they are glasses wearing characters? And what is this Yuuko looking a lot like Kyoukai No Kanata’s Ai? Even creepier, they share the same voice actress! Hmm… Could she even be Amagi Brilliant Park’s Latifa? If not for her braids, Aoi would have been Hyouka’s Chitanda. Shuuichi does remind me of Tamako Market’s Mochizou… And maybe a little for Haruka and the titular character in Tamako Market.

With all the characters looking cute and moe, sometimes the only way I could tell them apart is their hairstyle. No, it is not they have very outrageous hairstyles in the first place. Because with their faces looking very similar to each other, I get a feeling that the only other way to differentiate greatly without confusing one character with another is the hairstyle. Some definitely stand out like Kumiko and Midori’s perm. Even Taki’s perm is also his standout point and not his glasses. Really. Then there is Aoi’s twin braids, Hazuki’s tomboy cut, Haruka’s twintail to Natsuki’s pony tail. There are other characters with even more quirkier hairstyle but they are minor characters that you probably don’t even know exist in the band. Really. But for added bonus and to make sure they are not ‘left out’, the mid-intermission shows the members of each section. It feels like the clarinet is the ‘most crowded’ section with over 10 members and contrabass being the ‘loneliest’ because it’s just Midori :-/. Is it me or do I notice that the characters have some sort of coloured dot as their pupils? Look closely and you’ll see… Aside the characters, the background and sceneries are also quite gorgeously drawn. The lush greens, the flowing river and the hot summer ambience sometimes really make it feel like eye candy. The brass instruments are also animated quite well though I’m not sure if they are that detailed to every nook and inch of it.

Although I am not a fan of brass band music, but hearing them once in a while is fun. Not that I have become a brass band fanatic after watching this show. With the big focus of this series on the drama, you won’t really hear the entire brass band music. I mean, if you have wanted to, you would have brought the actual CD for proper listening. So sometimes it just feels ‘sad’ that I didn’t get to hear the entire song although the final episode did play a lengthy one even though you can tell that it is edited with some parts missing. I think. Think about it. If you were to hear the entire beautiful music, you would close your eyes and let your ears concentrate in listening. Then what would be of the visuals? And of course, they’d ‘interrupt’ the music with some sort of narration like in many music themed shows such as Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso and Nodame Cantabile.

Speaking of music, the opening theme, Dream Solister by True is a very lively and energetic piece, employing the use of brass instruments for that grand effect (duh!) that leaves you in the mood to watch this series. But what strikes me even more is the ending theme. Tutti by the main quartet girls is so very like K-ON!!!! The damning proof is the moment you look at how the ending credits animation is played out. You see the quartet so close to each other like never before (they even didn’t get this close in the episode proper) and the rock music reeks of K-ON! type music (only with fanfare added). Oh, and that red string of fate that ties to the fingers of our girls. All too familiar. So K-ON!… Is it no wonder why we cannot stop comparing this series to that?

Voice acting feels okay since this is mainly drama. Those I recognized are Saori Hayami as Haruka, Takahiro Sakurai as Taki, Kenjiro Tsuda as Gotou (though I couldn’t recall his name but rather the other anime roles) and barely Minori Chihara as Kaori. There is a couple of K-ON! alumnae here too. Youko Hikasa who was the voice of Mio is behind Aoi while Tsumugi’s Minako Kotobuki plays Asuka. Unfortunately I did not recognize them :,(. The rest of the casts are mainly newbies and they include Tomoyo Kurosu as Kumiko (Tina in Black Bullet), Chika Anzai as Reina (Chaika in Hitsugi No Chaika), Moe Toyota as Midori (Fumi in Jinsei), Ayaka Asai as Hazuki (Mio in Shinmai Maou No Testament), Haruki Ishiya as Shuuichi (Ayumu in Selector Spread Wixoss), Konomi Fujimura as Natsuki and Yuri Yamaoka as Yuuko (Ai in Kyoukai No Kanata).

It just goes to show that having a big group is a big responsibility and effort in managing all the parts to play it right. Teamwork is the big key here so no instrument is too small for any part. Each has their own part to play and that is what makes the music sound so good and great. I don’t think playing the percussion has got the easiest job. Even if you’re holding just a triangle. It’s all in the timing. Just a trivial note, despite having a conductor, I wonder if you can call this brass band an orchestra since the only thing it is void of are string instruments like violin, viola, cello or the harp. The contrabass is so far the only string instrument here. Well, maybe a fanfare orchestra…

Overall, this anime has some hits and misses but it is still worth a look even if you are not a fan of brass band music.  Or even a fan of music themed shows. But such themes are hardly about the music. It is always about the people and the emotions and the music that connect them all together. As seen here, the characters were not born with talents to play in a brass band. They’ve earned it. As in the same case with respect. Next time if you start thinking that being an ensemble in a band that has over 60 members makes you feel insignificant, just remember this. Your effort is just like a tiny drop in the vast ocean. But had that single drop be missing, the ocean would have been less because of it.


December 12, 2015

Man, humans sure know how to go forth and multiply. Because back in the 1800s, the population only peaked at 1 billion. It was only 2 billion in the 1920s, 3 in the 60s, 4 in the 70s, 5 in the late 80s and touching 6 right before the millennium. Now it has already surpassed 7 billion! Is there no way to stop this explosion? Oh wait. What am I talking about that have to do with this anime? According to DNA2 (pronounced D-N-A square), the future world has been overpopulated that there is not enough of everything. This population boom can be traced back to one single guy. Yup. This guy has some super playboy power that would naturally charm women and make them want to let him f*ck them! That’s a blunt way of putting it. Not only that, all the children of the women he f*cked also has this power and they continue f*cking more women and bear more children who also bear this power. OMFG! Do you want to be this guy?! And so to solve this problem, a DNA operator is sent back in time to alter his DNA to prevent this catastrophe and set things right. Will it be as easy as it seems? Your guess is as good as mine. Especially when you realize this anime is some sort of romantic comedy sci-fi harem genre, it’s hard to take things seriously. Seriously…

Episode 1
Karin Aoi, the girl from the future thinks she is a genius as she believes she has discovered some DNA altering formula and a way to travel back in time. Meanwhile, Junta Momonari believes today is the day that will change everything. In the home of his school’s beauty, Tomoko Saeki she is willing to let this guy be her first time! No joke! You see, Junta has allergies to girls and he is trying hard to hold it in not to vomit! Too bad he just couldn’t. Tomoko takes this as a sign he finds her unattractive and tells him to leave. Poor guy. Karin wonders if this is that same Mega Playboy and decides to observe him a little more. You can’t blame Junta for feeling depressed so his childhood friend, Ami Kurimoto tries to cheer him up. Seems he is the only girl who doesn’t cause his allergies. She thought he said something romantic but it just turned out what he meant was she is the only girl that he could talk normally to. Next day at school, Junta sees Tomoko talking to her handsome boyfriend that she is secretly dating, Ryuuji Sugashita about him two timing her. He seems to be giving excuses that it is his DNA that makes him attractive and despite threats from Tomoko to break up, again he gives that DNA excuse that she is still with him because of that DNA fate. He also heard she was seen with a guy yesterday so Tomoko says that she did that to spite him and just picked a loser to lead him on. That heart breaking for you, Junta? Karin is certain this Junta is not that Mega Playboy but confronts him to talk. He is smitten by her cute looks and wonders if she is someone from the future. Gee, why look so shocked, Karin? That futuristic gear sure did give you away…

She explains she is a DNA operator from the future and specializes in altering DNA using a bullet called DCM (DNA Control Medicine). 100 years into the future, the world has become overpopulated. It all boils down to a source of a Mega Playboy person. This guy impregnated 100 women and they gave birth to 100 sons. Thing is, the sons took after their dad and become Mega Playboys and impregnate another 100 women! You do the math. This gives a whole new meaning to go forth and multiply, eh? After confirming a few facts of Junta, she shoots him with DCM in the heart! She runs back to her time capsule, happily thinking of the reward she’ll get. However she receives a call from her boss from the future, Yokomori. Seems she has used the wrong DCM. Oh dear… Junta wakes up but his mind is still hazy as he wanders around till he is near Tomoko’s house. He thinks of going to apologize to her. Tomoko gets a call from Ryuuji to apologize but upon hearing another girl flirting in the background, she slams the phone. That is when Junta rings on her door. She lets him in. What is a broken hearted and lonely girl got to do? Junta must be having a hard time trying to hold in his allergy after seeing her cute butt and she hugging him. As she apologizes and comes clean about using him yesterday, something in Junta activates. He has turned into a handsome hunk and his words are like smooth operator! “You’re not pathetic. You’re just showing me your true heart”. Wow. Feel like falling in love all over again? Feel like kissing? Meanwhile Ryuuji has arrived at Tomoko’s doorstep. He is puzzled that no girls have ever rejected him thanks to his DNA. Unless… Has she found a guy with a stronger DNA than him? Karin confirms with her computer that she has indeed used the wrong DCM. So she is the cause of turning Junta into Mega Playboy and an overpopulated future?

Episode 2
Junta continues being cool. He won’t kiss her because she still has a boyfriend. Hope to see you in school tomorrow. So cool!!! After he leaves, he reverts back to his normal self. When Ryuuji comes by, he is shocked to hear Tomoko doesn’t want him anymore. He is in love with somebody else! Junta wants to show off to Ami that he is cured from his allergy. He snatches a porn magazine but vomits upon seeing porn. WTF… Karin is further troubled that the DCM she shot him is unregistered. This is a crime, you know? Oh sh*t! Better fix this. She goes to stake out Junta but sees Tomoko waiting at the school gates. Because Junta doesn’t have enough sleep, he didn’t realize Tomoko said hi. But he still looks cool enough for her to long for him. Ryuuji’s fears come true. Could it be this loser that Tomoko loves? Karin is also shocked that look on Tomoko’s face is the face of a girl in love. Could this be the start of Mega Playboy? In class, Ami’s friend, Kotomi Takanashi tells her about Tomoko trying to say hi to Junta. Ami brushes it off so Kotomi teases her to be Junta’s perfect wife. All our related parties can’t concentrate in class as they are pretty much preoccupied with deep thoughts. Junta gets an unsigned letter to meet at the café. He is surprised to see Tomoko waiting for him. She starts apologizing for the treatment the other day. Her tears turn Junta into his Mega Playboy version. The smooth operator weaves his magic. They are about to kiss but the waiter reminds them they are in public. Junta returns to normal as he tries to control his barf. This has Karin wonder if his DNA is still unstable. Ryuuji is not happy that Junta is the one. I don’t know which Hollywood action fantasy movie he hired those goons to make a move on Junta.

Ami and Kotomi are passing by outside and see this. Tomoko wonders if Junta is just playing around with her. Prove it to her with a kiss! He is tongue tied. Why is he not that cool person now? Suddenly those goons come in to beat up Junta. He is such a weakling. Those heartless bastards even throw Tomoko! Although this activates Junta, it is only temporary as he returns to being a wuss and continues getting beaten up. One of the goons now resort to stripping and raping Tomoko! Why is nobody helping?! Are they just standing there watching?! She’s screaming and crying to Junta for help! Although this moves him, he still gets owned. Ami can’t take anymore of this and although whacking a chair on him didn’t have any effect, at least better than doing nothing. When Ami is knocked unconscious, this is when Junta really powers up. Super Saiyan! He is fast! He’s got style! He is powerful! He whisks Tomoko away and tells her to stay back. He is going to end this in 3 seconds. It takes only 1 punch to knock out those Mad Max guys. So cool! Ryuuji? This guy despite complaining that his goons were hurting Tomoko, he did nothing but sat back in his limo and just watching. WTF?! Now he escapes. So he doesn’t care for her, does he? Karin has confirmed Junta’s awakened Mega Playboy. This is all the reason she needs to eliminate him. But one tiny thing is stopping her: She’s in love with him! Oh dear!

Episode 3
Ami has a lot to think about. The Junta she saw yesterday was like a totally different person. Junta is in another predicament. He doesn’t know why Karin is sleeping next to him in her underwear! OMG! Did he do something funny to her! He swears he didn’t but she’s not convinced. However, seeing her crying face activates his Mega Playboy version. His soothing words heal her heart. Karin finds it hard to resist the temptation. They’re about to kiss when Ami comes in to check on him. Nothing out of the ordinary in his room. But Ami feels suspicious as Junta’s body reaction is giving signs that he is hiding something. As Karin is hiding under his blanket and her butt is exposed, he tries to cover it up but ends up molesting it. Busted! I guess you know who is dead right now. Junta’s mom tells her son to stop this husband-wife argument. Junta disagrees with this but mama says Ami will be the one he is destined to marry since long ago he once said he will marry her. Yeah, very long time ago. If you’re wondering why mama isn’t freaked out to see a half naked girl in his room, it is because she was the one who undressed her! It’s just hard to sleep in those clothes, right? Yesterday, Junta found her unconscious and brought her home. Because he was tired too, he quickly fell asleep. Karin feels bad for suspecting him. Her cute face makes Junta want to confess to her but his Mega Playboy didn’t activate and he puts up a lame pathetic face instead. She tells him the complications of her botched mission that will turn him into a future Mega Playboy although the DCM she injected him seems to be unstable for now. She plans on using Ami as the girl whom Junta will marry to solve this problem.

Karin wants to talk to Ami who isn’t so keen on seeing her. Karin tries to play on those jealousy feelings and lies about Junta liking her but her rough personality makes it hard for him to confess. She tells her that Junta will be waiting at the festival’s shrine tonight. Now that she’s got Ami in the bag, how about Junta? Easy. You tell that guy if he wants to go out on a date. See his big freaking smile? So when Junta and Ami meet at the designated place, a long awkward silence. Karin is watching and anticipating with glee that once both of them hooks up, her mission is completed. However it must be frustrating for her to wait till Junta says those magic words. Romance veterans will understand the pain and suffering waiting for that moment… However when Junta sees Ami’s cute face, his pheromones start working. Here comes Mega Playboy. Just when the mood seems to be heading into a romantic direction, Ami suddenly punches his face! WTF?! She scolds him with this playboy attitude of his. She thinks he called her out here just to make fun of her. Karin is left in despair that Ami isn’t interested in that Mega Playboy at all. Looks like her mission will continue…

Episode 4
Karin tries to hide her screw up from Yokomori. Otherwise no pay, no future. Junta can’t get his mind off Karin. He really loves her and thinks a present will change her mind. But what to give her? So this guy got the guts to ask Ami for advice! And she even answers him. Go get a necklace. The more expensive, the better. But can a high school kid even afford a necklace with this kind of allowance? Way out of his league. Then he spots one just within his budget and buys it. It gets complicated when Tomoko enters the scene and thinks he is buying it for her. Hey wait a minute. Who gave her the right to put it on without permission?! Because she looks so pretty and this activates his Mega Playboy version, I don’t know what the heck spying Karin is thinking because she thinks of breaking them up by driving a cart into them? Anyway it failed. Junta needs to quickly get the necklace back and confess Karin is the one he loves. Easier said than done. He becomes Tomoko’s mule in carrying her shopping bags. Then as she is in the changing room, he thought this is his chance to tell her but he sees a little of her slip and tries to hold in his puke. It gets worse when she pulls him in and allows him to touch her anywhere! Red alert! Can’t hold in puke any longer… The saleswoman feels something is wrong when Tomoko is silent and taking too long in the changing room. She opens… Nothing out of the ordinary. Tomoko says she has trouble putting on the clothes. Junta is hiding behind her butt. I think he can’t take it anymore. Here comes the puke! It must be horror-like for the saleswoman to see this.

As Tomoko washes up, Karin believes she will hate Junta and everything will be over soon. Junta knows Tomoko will be mad at him. But does it make it easier for him to tell the truth? Oddly, Tomoko says he has no right to refuse where she wants to go. So where will he be taking her? To his room! When she asks if he hates her, Junta starts going back and forth between his Mega Playboy version. Is it going out of control? Karin fears Tomoko’s presence may be permanently activating it. She goes to get Ami (right in the middle of changing) since she is the only one who isn’t affected by his Mega Playboy. They eavesdrop outside Junta’s room how Tomoko is explaining to Junta that her body is telling her to fall in love with him. Putting it the way Ryuuji says it to her, it is like her DNA which is ordering her to do this. He has this strange charm and she is something caught between loving and hating him. But this only serves Junta to remember about Karin’s words about altering his DNA. For the first time without changing into his other version, he tells her off that this DNA thing is crap. He believes falling in love isn’t from the body but from the heart! Then he comes clean. He is in love with somebody else and bought that necklace for her. He is sorry for dragging it out this misunderstanding and letting it get too far. Tomoko agrees to give the necklace back. Right outside the room, she gives it to Ami whom she believes Junta is in love with. She realizes during the fight with the goons, Junta didn’t really fight back till Ami came into the scene. However Tomoko won’t give up on Junta yet. She’ll try harder till he falls for her. Karin is supposed to feel relieved that everything should be over soon. However she can’t understand this pain in her heart!

Episode 5
Nothing like running through your old album to think about your old days with Junta, right Ami? Still thinking you can’t be Junta’s lover? Karin continues to remind Junta that he must date Ami. As she isn’t affected by his Mega Playboy, it will keep him in check. But I don’t think he is listening, so much so he transforms to his hot version and almost takes Karin’s heart if not for his unstable DNA reverting him back shortly. However Kotomi was on scene and you can tell she has obviously fallen for him. Junta tries to tell Karin that she is the one he loves and the necklace was bought for her but she will listen no further. When Ami and Kotomi are changing, the latter hints that she has fallen in love with a guy. Who? She only indicates the seat location in a class that supposedly Junta is in. Gasp! So Ami goes to peek who this guy is… This seat number… She fears the worst… But thank goodness it isn’t Junta! So relieved that she is crying. But… Could it be she counted wrongly? Later Junta calls Ami to talk that he saw her peeping from the window. She dismisses it. When he is about to ask for the necklace, Karin quickly rushes to the scene to whisk him away. And then lecture him about the insensitivity of how Ami would feel if he asked the necklace back. Then she forces him to go confess to Ami. Her future is riding on this. Yeah. Her future. Ami and Kotomi are at the fast food joint. Kotomi is having doubts about confessing her love but Ami supports her and gives her encouragement. Ami also admits there is a guy she loves and wants to confess to him. They promise that they’ll both confess to their love. Karin then throws Junta there for the confession. Ami is about to confess to Junta when Kotomi starts to fear the worse. Her heart is aching. And then… She farts! WTF?! Is this a joke?! She says she farts when she is nervous (really? A girl farting?) but blames it on Ami. She tried not to hate her but couldn’t believe she would do this to her. Ami and Karin realize Kotomi is really in love with Junta. And that guy couldn’t understand what’s happening. Karin wonders why he was sitting in the wrong seat but he says they got their seats rearranged today. Oh my God indeed. More despair for Karin. Ami chases after Kotomi but loses her.

Episode 6
Once more, Karin is reminding him her future hinges on Junta hooking up with Ami. Yeah, we get it. But I don’t think he is interested about it. She throws him down to fix this mess. Ami sees Kotomi entering a beauty salon. So why don’t go in and look for her instead of waiting outside? With Junta entering the picture, she tells him about Ami’s fart complex whenever she gets nervous. Just like Junta’s barfing. It must be real embarrassing for a girl to fart in front of the boy she likes. She needs to tell him fast that he needs to go out with Kotomi. But Junta assures he won’t go out with Kotomi because he doesn’t like her. There is somebody else he likes. Before we can find out who (oh come on, we all know who she is already), here comes Kotomi. She’s got a total makeover that makes her sexier! She wanted an image change to cast her old self and hopes Junta would go out on a date with her. His Mega Playboy activates and he willingly does so. Hey wait. What did he say earlier? So he’s dumping old childhood friend for new sexy girl? Karin rushed into the scene too late and I guess she is desperate enough to tell Ami about this Mega Playboy and future thingy. However she stops halfway after remembering Junta’s words that he loves her. Karin remains stubborn that Ami is the one Junta loves. But Ami already has this resigned looked that she has lost. No matter how hard she tries, he doesn’t care about her. As for the necklace, it’s just a misunderstanding.

Junta and Kotomi end up in the love hotel area. She is serious doing it with him but that cool guy says they don’t need places like that. In the alley as they are about to kiss, Kotomi’s nervousness has her fart acting up. She tries hard to hold it in. Junta reverts back and it is his turn to hold in his barf. Kotomi thought he stopped because he was worried about her condition. Yeah, let’s go with that. So happy that she hugs him. Can he hold it any longer? Later she tells him about her condition that made her resigned to the fact she’ll never fall in love with a boy. This makes him realize they are the same. He vows to help her cure her condition and Kotomi thinks this date was him being considerate to help cure it. Meanwhile Karin is following her guts, opening every room in the love hotel to find Junta! All misses! Sorry to interrupt your sex. So when she finds him at school the next day, the usual chiding and reminding. But he plays cool and even gets to her that she is jealous. Then when he gets close to her face, it makes her heart pound. Actually it is just to steal her receiver as he knows she has been planting tracers on them (that’s how she knows where everyone is – but don’t worry, she has tons of replacement). He assures he isn’t dating Kotomi and is just to help cure her condition. Karin relays this ‘good news’ to Ami but she is still stubborn that Junta doesn’t like her. Junta receives a letter from Kotomi to meet at the gym. To his shock, she is in a leotard trying to seduce him. Sure, he might want to help cure her condition but Kotomi believes she can’t give up on him. Not when she has finally been this close to him, she’s going to make him hers.

Episode 7
I guess this reason is also a convenient excuse to seduce Junta. As Kotomi plans to participate in a rhythmic gymnastics tournament in 2 weeks, she wants him to watch her train as training to hold in her fart. That sentence sounded so wrong… But Junta couldn’t hold in much longer and vomits. This is when he reveals his embarrassing condition so it is suggested he watches her train so he himself can overcome his condition. Like killing 2 birds with a stone, right? Kotomi dances, Junta watches. Both trying to hold it in till the end. Ami can’t help space out watching them and starts worrying but when Junta casually talks to her, she ignores him. What is it that you want? Karin is bored watching them and although it is safe for now, who knows when his Mega Playboy will awake. As usual, she bugs Ami to take action but when a girl is already feeling so down like that, she doesn’t even care what this Mega Playboy thingy has got to do with her. On the day before the tournament, Kotomi manages to go all the way without farting and the same for Junta without vomiting. Don’t surprise him with a big hug… But the big shocker comes when Kotomi says if she can go the entire duration without mistakes again, she wants Junta to date her. You hear that Ami? You hear that Karin? Be very afraid… But Ami doesn’t care. It’s not her problem. Oh really? Are you sure? But it’s a big problem for Karin. As Kotomi starts her routine again, things are going fine and like usual she tries to hold it in. Then she trips. All the gas came out. Karin is counting her chickens because she thinks now Junta will not go out with her. She’s that confident, huh? Kotomi is crying she screwed up her chance to be with him. But after she cleans up herself, she returns only clad in her shirt. Yikes! What promise is she talking about he must keep? Oh. The promise of curing her condition before the tournament. As she gets emotional about her condition and thus her future of never falling in love, the Mega Playboy activates. Nice words, great atmosphere. One thing left to do. Karin, whose little flying machine crashed midway, starts having a bad feeling and rushes back. She is really praying to God that nothing has happened between them. Now for the moment of truth… They’re kissing!!! Oh, I take it as a sign that it’s game over. She thinks his Mega Playboy has become permanent. She’s sad. Why do I have a feeling that is not the reason she is heartbroken?

Episode 8
So why is Karin sulking like her future is a big failure? Why doesn’t she do something to stop them instead of wallowing in tears?! As it gets steamier, Kotomi can’t hold any longer and farts but she puts up the most beautiful smile. That is when Junta tells her she doesn’t need to change, she needs to be herself as it she is right now. Therefore she doesn’t need to be cured. Kotomi realizes that this was all part of his ‘training’ for the ‘cure’. So Karin, have faith in the Mega Playboy, will you? When Kotomi returns home, she finds a letter left behind from Ami. Who the hell leaves a letter on the ground outside the house???!!! When Junta meets Ami, the latter tells him not to be so close to her but obviously that guy is so dense and continues bugging her. Next day, Ami and Junta go watch Kotomi in action. She got third place. Later Junta is shocked to learn Karin was watching the entire thing last night. She praises him for not doing anything funny but couldn’t help wonder if he was in his Mega Playboy mode, how come he resisted a willing girl? Maybe he is a nice guy? Karin dismisses it and even threatens if he ever becomes Mega Playboy, he can forget about her! Soon Junta gets a call from Kotomi to meet at the playground. Seems Ami is also called. She thanks him for his encouragement but it also made her a little sad. She realizes in the end that all he cared was just to cure her condition. She was really happy about it but it also meant that he was never serious about her. It is a shame because she was really serious about him. Kotomi then slaps Junta! Feeling much better? She returns the letter to Ami. She has not read it but has a feeling what it is about. Especially from a person who is so good in hiding her feelings. I guess this is a sign to say that Kotomi has dumped Junta so that Ami can be with him. No need to hold back whatsoever. Best friends know best. So Junta must be one confused kid. Because he can’t understand why the entire world is trying to conspire them to be together. They’re just childhood friends after all. Yeah, he said it. And he still doesn’t get it. Ami is just thinking back about their childhood days. And although she just continues to say that they’re childhood friends, at least she’s smiling. At least in front of him. And Junta continues to ponder. Think and think… He just doesn’t get it… Of course back home, it is that typical doom and gloom face on Ami. She notes she can’t be Junta’s girl yet. Because Karin has been spending more time hanging out in Junta’s room lately, she didn’t realize Yokomori has sent her the real DCM bullet from the future.

Episode 9
Karin is being told by Yokomori about the real DCM bullet. She only has one chance to make it right because they have already run out of budget. Should she screw up and if they find out the cause is her fault, not only she will not get paid, she will be arrested on felony charges and executed! Tomoko’s ignores Ryuuji’s pleas. She tells him off using his DNA theory that her DNA now wants to merge with Junta. See you, loser! Junta gets a letter from Karin to meet on the school rooftop. This is her plan snipe him when he comes through the door. And here he is. So why is she hesitating? Why the hell are you talking about your future and his normal life now?! Why don’t you just shoot?! Ah, she remembers Junta saying he loves her… Yeah, a big excuse for you to hesitate. Ryuuji and Tomoko happen to be arguing at the rooftop too. The moment Tomoko sees Junta, she goes to hug him. Ryuuji devastated. Ami who is looking for Junta also sees this. Mega Playboy version activates. Then the unthinkable happens. They kiss!!! It’s now or never for Karin. Yeah, tears in her eyes. Can she do it? She takes the shot. Ryuuji is so mad that he is going to punch them but he gets hit by the bullet! Oh sh*! You screwed up, Karin! Your future’s over. Junta recognizes this wound and spots Karin across. Don’t worry, Ryuuji is still alive. I guess Karin is wallowing in depression that it gave Junta enough time to catch up with her. Yeah, you failed. So? It’s your fault, right? While Tomoko goes to get help, can you believe Ami is just staring at the ‘corpse’? Then Ryuuji wakes up! Surprise! Talking with Ami, he is trying to get her to understand that Junta is trying to steal his girlfriend. She saw that with her own eyes, did she? Well, Ami not saying anything. When Ryuuji starts to act strangely and in pain, only now Ami goes to look for help. Something inside Ryuuji is activating. He is transforming. The Hulk? No. A GIRL!!!!!!!!!! Hey. Did he turn into Tomoko?

Episode 10
While Karin continues to cry, Ryuuji continues to be shocked that he now looks like Tomoko. Of course the first thing he did is to examine the very body. But he’ll be in for a big surprise and disappointment because his body is still the same! Only his face and head changed! Tomoko and Ami rush back by bringing the nurse. When Tomoko opens the door, she is freaking shocked to see herself! When the nurse takes a look, she only sees Ryuuji. He walks away coolly like as though nothing happened. You can now see the big devilish smile on Ryuuji’s face. He believes he can change his looks just by thinking of that person hard enough. Time to plot a revenge. First thing, disguised as Junta, he calls Ami to meet at the storeroom and is going to rape her! Ami is sad and allows him to do whatever he wants so long she never sees him again. Just before he can start his rape, Ryuuji experiences another transformation. This time, not only looking like Ami but her body too. He escapes but no matter. There are other ways to get his revenge. I can’t believe was just ‘sleeping’ there and really waited long enough till everything is over. She didn’t even know what happen. Junta consoles Karin that he is still not Mega Playboy so her mission isn’t a total failure. All he needs to do is eliminate that personality, right? But when Karin tests every possibility with her computer, it always turns out Junta will turn into one. 120%!!! Face it. How can you easily change your personality when it is already in your DNA? Ever positive Junta argues he needs to control himself and as proven in Kotomi’s case, he didn’t do it, right? Just concentrate hard enough and he won’t turn into him. Easier said than done…

Meanwhile Tomoko is happy to see Junta at her doorstep. That evil look definitely isn’t the real Junta… Although he gets his way with her, he gets riled up hearing Junta’s name. Even more when she says she is willing to let him do anything to her just because he is Junta. Ryuuji is so mad that he hits her face and runs out! WTF?! Next day, Ryuuji calls Junta to talk in the alley. He tells him he impersonated him yesterday and had his way with Ami. She is a mad girl who hates him by now. Of course Junta doesn’t believe and starts laughing. Till Ryuuji demonstrates and transforms into Junta and Ami. Now you believe? He realizes he was hit by Karin’s DCM. Junta tries to beat him up but Ryuuji is clearly better. Ryuuji leaves it for today as he plans to finish defeating him before Tomoko. Junta tries t look for Ami but she didn’t come to school. When he returns home, he is surprised to see her sitting in his room! Silence. Not a good sign if it comes from a woman. Then his heart sinks when he heard her say, “Why did you do it…”. Holy sh*t. He can’t say about Ryuuji’s transformation because there is no way she would believe him. Then Ami beats him up with a… Pillow???!!! He continues to stay silent while getting whacked. Ami is not amused. She wanted him to at least say an excuse! Now you know why men can never understand women, eh? Late that night, Junta visits Karin and wants her to turn him into a Mega Playboy. Oh God! Look at that horrendous look on her face! Look at his serious face. He means it. She’s so dead.

Episode 11
After being told what the DCM bullet did to Ryuuji, Karin is trying to reason that it’s not her fault who messed up although she shot it. It’s the bullet maker’s fault! You think so? Though she disagrees with him turning into Mega Playboy to fight Ryuuji, after he says Ryuuji disguised as him and hurt Ami, Karin has this forlorn look on her face. Yeah, so he still cares about Ami so why the heartbreak?! Ami talks to Kotomi about what happened. The latter tells her to believe in him because Junta loves her like how she once loved him. Karin reports to Yokomori. He tells her to come back. No, she is not going to be executed but rather there is no way she can continue her mission. They have run out of budget to continue. What about Ryuuji? It is not her job to deal with him. As for Mega Playboy, it just means they have failed and history will repeat itself. But Karin can’t allow this to happen so she goes off to settle it herself. She wants to talk to Ryuuji at his mansion but looks like he has assimilated all the DNAs from the thugs. And he’s got a super villain costume to go with his new power. They both fight but with all the powers Ryuuji absorbed, he has become superhuman with super strength and super speed. In the end, Karin loses and got her DNA assimilated too. Ami sees Junta leaving his home that night and follows him to Karin’s capsule. Wasn’t she mad at him? She decided to believe in him. As Karin is not around, Yokomori communicates to check on her and sees them. Since it concerns them, he explains everything. Ami and Junta now rush to Ryuuji’s mansion. You can’t miss it. It’s that freaking huge mansion occupying the entire hilltop! By the time they arrive, Karin has lost and Ryuuji is waiting for them. Junta gets riled up seeing Karin’s condition and charges. Ryuuji throws her at him. He misses catching her! Was this supposed to be funny? Don’t worry. She’s still alright. Now Junta is mad. Very mad. So mad that he is starting to transform…

Episode 12
Karin warns Junta not to transform. Think of the consequences. What will happen to Ami if you do? I don’t know. But this distraction allows Ryuuji to punch him. Junta becomes chicken and starts running. Ami kindly explains that Junta always hated fighting and thus always ran. That’s one way of putting it. So while Junta cries and runs, Ryuuji is seething with anger thinking how in the world Tomoko chose a guy like him. Karin wants to take responsibility but what can she do but get beat up again? Ryuuji continues to pound Junta. Now Tomoko enters and sees this. Just the right timing. Ryuuji wants to witness him finishing off the wuss. The beat down continues. Ami cannot take this anymore. She says she will love Junta no matter what he becomes so just do whatever it takes to take down that bastard! Here comes the transformation. Mega Playboy is also a mega fighter. Ryuuji is no match. But he isn’t down for the count. He is so mad that his body turns into a monster. Looks like all the DNA he absorbed, his body cannot handle it. But even with that, all Junta need is a punch in his gut! He vomited green blood! Ryuuji reverts to normal. At least he still has concerned Tomoko by his side. How does Mega Playboy calm down Ami? With a kiss! But he reverts to normal shortly and Ami punches him! Was that for the kiss? Karin concludes her report that as long Ami stays by Junta’s side, his Mega Playboy will be kept in check. Now that her mission is over, she is going back to the future. Sad news for Junta because he really loves her. Karin won’t let him say that and leaves in her capsule. But behind the door, she cries her heart out. She’s gone. Junta’s sad. He leaves but Ami is waiting for him. She knows he loves Karin (why does he look so shock?) but also adds she too loves him. Then they give out a good laugh. Yeah, everything that has happened has been a big funny affair, no? Suddenly Karin returns! What happened? Seems her higher ups want her to continue monitoring him a little longer so her mission is extended. Junta couldn’t be happier. But not Ami. Here’s a kick to the shin for ruining the mood. Welcome back, Karin.

Continuing where the TV series left off, now that Karin is staying, does this mean she can have karaoke sessions in Junta’s room every night?! Even Junta’s friends and his mom are looking forward to it! I wonder if it is affecting Ami’s studies… Yup. Junta didn’t like this but Karin finds this hurtful. On the verge of crying that she’s lonely and bored, she suddenly gets violent. Ah, blame the liquor and getting drunk. No wonder Ami can’t have peaceful and quiet nights straight. Meanwhile a new time machine pops up in the middle of the city as they note the coordinates are a little off. The police are wondering how to deal with this ‘UFO’ but they don’t have to because it shortly disappears. Seems the future people have sent it back to the future. How will they get back? There’s a time machine here, remember? Although Karin’s computer shortly detected the presence of another time machine, she was too drunk and soundly sleeping. When she’s sober, she continues testing and analyzing Junta’s DNA. Seems it has stabilized and at this rate Mega Playboy will be gone. It’s a shame because Junta is starting to miss that guy. He’d better be joking. Ryuuji is recuperating in hospital and his condition stabilized. His relationship with Tomoko could be back on track if not for this grandpa, Mori making his move to test and see what Ryuuji has got. When Junta and Ami arrive at the hospital to visit him (how kind of them), Ryuuji is running rampage beating up the doctors (hey, they’re not fighters). Tomoko is slightly injured too as she pleads to Junta to save Ryuuji. Her voice has Ryuuji go berserk as he jumps out of the window. Don’t worry. With that super power, he can survive that fall. Meanwhile Yokomori is about to disclose something about the DCM bullet to Karin when communications are cut off. Looks like Mori has jammed the signal and he doesn’t want her to contact the future. She is surprised that he is the person who assigned her this job but is also breaking some law by bringing back a battle robot. Of course Karin didn’t hear anything about this since he is here ‘without leave’. He then introduces his faithful servant: Ryuuji! Junta and Ami tried to follow Ryuuji but before them is this girl, Lulara Kawasaki who calls Junta as her great grandfather!

Lulara is going to shoot Junta with her DCM bullet. Ami jumps to his defence. Then they have to run because Lulara is wearing a power suit. But they can’t get far. She’s fast too. Mori reveals his nefarious plans: To get Junta’s descendents under his absolute control. He has the data on DCM bullet because he is the one who synthesized it. The bullet Karin shot Ryuuji with contained that control factor. But instead that rich pretty boy is under his control instead of that Mega Playboy. When the future population boomed thanks to Mega Playboy, each of his descendents also carries that Mega Playboy power. What better way than to have an army of them under his control. So when he learnt about the plan to modify Junta’s DNA, that is where he cooked up this scheme. However Karin was so incompetent that his plains were foiled. First she screwed up shooting the wrong bullet. Then she shot the wrong person with the right bullet. It is no wonder Mori had to come back to see it through himself. Karin tries to escape but with Ryuuji, battle robot and bombs laced around the place, it’s going to be hard. Ami continues to protect that wuss. Lulara knocks her out and this makes Junta mad. As he transforms into Mega Playboy, this is where she wants him. She fires in the bullet. Game over. Karin is using her wits to hide and run around the maze-like area from the ‘hunters’. She manages to outsmart and take out the battle robot (I can’t believe it is easily destroyed after a few shots) and just when she thought she has Mori cornered, she forgot that the odds are still against her because Lulara returns from her mission to assist Ryuuji to corner her. Karin thought Junta is here to help her but that evil look on his face. Not good. Mind controlled. Game over. Mori orders Junta to kill her. How heartbreaking to be killed by the one you love?

Ami searches for Junta. Of course she can’t find him. He is busy beating up Karin who is reduced to calling out his name. What are the chances of him snapping out hearing her voice? As Junta’s DNA is still unstable, Mori orders Lulara to finish off Karin. Surprisingly, Junta protects her. He is back to normal although he has no memories of what happened or what he is doing. But he is back under Mori’s control when he activates his device. To his surprise, Junta is trying to resist the change but eventually succumbs to Mori’s control once more. Karin manages to escape by shooting the steam pipe. Mori orders his ‘underlings’ to find and kill her. Ami bumps into Karin as she is told what happened to Junta. The only way to return Junta back to normal is the real DCM bullet that she left 100 years in the future. Because she noticed the instability in Junta, the others too aren’t under Mori’s total control. Karin knows of a way and wants Ami’s help. Karin lures Lulara and Ryuuji into some high speed rail ride (I don’t know, this thing just feels out of place). Because this capsule has some jamming signal, Ryuuji and Lulara are freed from Mori’s control. But Lulara who has been Mori’s slave since birth is controlled by him in another way. The ladies wrestle till the ride comes to a crashing halt and knocks Lulara and Ryuuji out. Mori praises Karin for a fine plan but that’s as far as she can go as Junta has got Ami. With Ryuuji ordered to strangle Karin, she calls him a liar for saying he won’t let Mega Playboy control him. Now look what he is doing. I guess those tears are enough for him to snap out. You surprised, Mori? He maxes the control device but it overheats as Junta successfully fights off the mind control.

Karin thought it is game over for Mori but Lulara shoots her in the thigh. Before she can finish her off, Junta protects her. Karin then tries to wake up Lulara that she is not a bad person because she has Junta’s genes inside her. And just like that, Lulara breaks free as she hugs her great grandpa! That easy?! Mori is trying to get back to the future but he is confronted by Yokomori. Heck, he brought the entire police back! Hey! I thought it was expensive to send even a little bullet back?! I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m just wondering who is footing the bill at the end. Anyway, Yokomori is here to arrest him after his scheme has come to light. But Mori won’t be taken it. He shoots himself! Well, less one problem. In the aftermath, Yokomori has brought the real DCM bullet and wants Karin to complete her mission. No more blunders this time. But why does she look so sad? I know why… With a sad look, she tells Junta she’ll never come back and then fires the bullet into his chest. Ami wonders if she is okay with this. Is she really going to leave Junta? Doesn’t she love him? Why is she opening up a can of worms? As emotional Karin can get, she admits she does love Junta but she is from the future and that this is the only way. It can’t be help. That’s it? That’s your reason? Oh well. In that case, Ami will stay by Junta’s side forever. After Karin leaves for the future, Junta wakes up not remembering what happened. Ami says for a while, he was the greatest playboy in history.

It’s All In The Genes…
It was fun while it lasted. As usual because this is an old series coming out back in 1994, there are many things that I let slide from the silliness of the drama and the storyline to everything. But I have to admit that I pretty much enjoyed the nearly harem and comedy when Junta was trying hard to keep his Mega Playboy version in check until the future people came. Uh huh. Somehow when his great granddaughter and the old fart arrived, it took out all the fun stuffs so gone were the comedy and little fanservice and replaced with some sort of drama and little unconvincing action (something that could have been done in 1 episode but instead dragged it out to 3). Especially when Junta went under Mori’s spell for the entire final episode and didn’t know a single thing when he returns to normal. That’s like being the main guy but a big blur case on what just happened. Heck, isn’t that what most main male leads in harem shows are? And that kind of ‘abrupt’ ending that Karin leaves for the future and leaving blur Junta like that. It just doesn’t feel that satisfying. But overall, the series is still a fun watch especially if you need something retro and a bit ‘naughty’.

The characters are fun but sometimes they can be silly. Like Junta who is a big wuss and coward at most times and needs to usually rely on his other side to get out of his predicament. It is both a blessing and curse that every other guy would love to have. I mean, which guy wouldn’t want to have the kind of charm that will allow you to flirt and f*ck with any girl you want? And as usual, Junta the main guy tries to be the typical male lead by trying to keep his Mega Playboy suppressed or control it at his own will. Good luck in that. And as typical he is, he only sees Ami as a childhood friend and next door neighbour because the way he says or does things blatantly before her eyes are signs that tells us so. Actions that are deemed insensitive and worthy of being called a dick these days. I don’t know if the latest DCM bullet he is being shot with would cure his condition.

Best flop character goes to Karin because as seen she somehow manages to just screw up everything she does. And then when she fails big time, you can see her going depressed about it like she has failed big time. Yes she did. That’s what you get for counting your chickens. So do something about it instead of sitting there and cry! The person sent back in time to correct the future becomes the source of the problem. How can she even screw up the simple task of bringing the right bullet or shooting the right person? In a way, that klutz saved her from Mori’s plans. But that’s the only thing good about it. Otherwise, she’s just pretty annoying because she tends to bug Junta to get together with Ami while watching from afar and she has this irritating tendency to remind us about her dream once she finished her mission. Her wonderful husband, a cute pet and a sweet home. Yeah, yeah. We get it. Now if you could just do your mission competently and that would all have been yours. And she even got the cheek to sometimes say she has yet to find a husband. Well… Right before your eyes… At least it goes to show that Karin wasn’t totally influenced by the Mega Playboy effect about her love for Junta. Still bad enough, though. And finally she goes back to the future after shedding a few tears. Wow. Easily let him go, huh? What does she mean that it can’t be helped? I don’t get it. Oh, I want to mention that Karin’s computer is a fun personality. Whenever she talks, she is like grooving and hip hopping. It’s just fun to hear her ‘talk’. She should ditch Karin and start a new music album.

The rest of the girls in Junta’s so called harem are okay but I somewhat feel that Kotomi makes a greater impact among the girls. I feel that only because they had to ‘eliminate’ her from the harem race and thus a big focus on her. Tomoko also had her share but not as big. I thought she was going to make a comeback when she threw down the gauntlet to Ami that she won’t give up. But look what happened? She went back to Ryuuji. That jerk who tried to kill Junta (although it is not entirely his fault) and she goes back to him? The guy whose role is severely reduced to being an old fart’s mindless servant? Well, it shows that she already lost out and knows when to back out. Sadly, Ami and Karin who are the front runners in the harem race feel insignificant in this aspect because Ami is just being negative and worrying too much. Because with Junta really liking Karin, is there even a place in her heart for her to get close? Karin is the same. Just that she is just masking her feelings using this mission as an excuse. These girls are just being tsundere. Ironically with the storyline about a guy who f*cks 100 girls, we do not get to see him flirting around with other girls and creating a big harem mess. Hmm… I don’t think I would like that kind of shallow romance either. It would be so freaking weird if Lulara were to end up in a romantic relationship with her great grandpa! It’s just freaking bizarre, believe me. She returned to a time where she is the same age as him and would it be called an incest if they make out? Definitely.

Fanservice is nothing to shout about although there are a few scenes of it. Well, thanks to the art style and drawing from that era, I guess you can’t complain. But I suppose I noticed that some of the better quality are here for example when Kotomi is feeling flirty and wants to get down and dirty with Junta, you could see all the sexy curves, her boobs her butt curves. Yum. 90’s fanservice. What do you expect? I don’t know if this is intentional or not but I thought Lulara’s outfit is a little disturbing. Because her middle portion of her tight body suit is like skin colour, sometimes I thought she is running around with her parts exposed between her boobs and thighs! Even more so, there are no designs/patterns for that section. Just plain straight colour. It just really makes you think so.

If I want to start nitpicking, there will be a lot of things to do so especially when this series involves time travelling and trying to change the future via the past. But since this is just fun fantasy I’ll accept it. But for the sake of argument, I would like to bring them out and get it off my chest. We all know that time paradox thingy, right? So if Karin actually successfully went back in time and neutralized Mega Playboy, the human population would not have boomed and would Karin even exist in the first place? Well, this is assuming that she isn’t in no way related to Junta’s descendents and she must really be one really fortunate girl not to disappear if Junta didn’t go forth and reproduce. If it doesn’t affect her, what about the other people she knows? What are the chances they are not related to Junta and if he is gone, they’ll be gone too, right?

Another thing is how Yokomori communicates with Karin via ‘real time’. If you think about it, how the f*ck is this possible? Doesn’t it feel that Yokomori is just transmitting from some other location instead of time? Because the checks and communication come in periodic schedules. They gave us the reason that it is expensive to send things back or to even communicate back in the past so the infrequency. You see, if Yokomori wanted to check if Karin is successful, shouldn’t he just connect to her at the end of her designated mission timeline? Instead, you see him contacting her to update her from time to time. Besides, the best way to realize Karin has succeed or not is for him to look out the window and check if the population has significantly gone down or not. Simple as that! But the time paradox thing is at least true when you realize that Karin who is the one who is supposed to stop the population growth is actually the source of it.

Another point to ponder is Karin actually ended up with Junta. Say for the sake of argument she stays back and continues to live her normal life with him. They start dating and get married and have children. This is assuming his Mega Playboy is cured. So if you think about it, for the first time in history that there is a gap of 100 years of a married couple? How do you classify their child then? Dad is from the present and mom is from the future. Of course we follow the present’s calculation but don’t you think it is odd that when your mom tells her birthday which is almost 100 years into the future and that technically she is younger than you? Are you confused? Has your mind exploded? And then, this child would not have been possible had not Karin came from the future back to the past. Yeah, something like that time paradox in Terminator. So your kid is from the future technically. Getting a big headache now?

As said, this is a very old production worth over 2 decades ago so the art and drawing standard are not that as of today’s standard. At least from that era it is already considered good enough. But sometimes I can’t help feel that sometimes at certain angles, the characters do look odd and in certain scenes, the lack of quality is visible. Hmm… Maybe I wasn’t watching the DVD or re-mastered version. If there was any to begin with. So sometimes I feel odd when I see the girls’ face at certain points. With Ami already the plainest of the plainest, staring at her face for too long might just make you feel something off.

But the biggest ‘surprise’ came in the form of Junta’s appearance. No, not that in certain angles he look chubby (yes he does but that I feel is because of his baggy clothes), but the fact that he reminds me so much of Yugi from Yugioh!!! OMG! OMFG!!! I am seeing a very f*cking close resemblance! See those towering hair spikes? See those dual shades in his hair which are suspiciously the same colour as Yugi? Even when Junta transforms to his Mega Playboy version, this somewhat mirrors the true lanky form of the dark Yugi. Both their transformed counterparts’ personality is a total opposite of their current self too. So did Yugioh take after this Junta character? I have a feeling it is all coincidence but don’t you think this is too much of a coincidence? Karin also reminds me a little bit of Evangelion’s Rei thanks to her blue short hair and futuristic body suit but it is not as bad as Junta’s case. I thought Mori looked like an owl thanks to his long bushy eyebrows…

I think I have an affinity for songs from that era. Because the opening and ending themes somewhat appeal to me although they won’t end up in my all-time top 10 anime songs. L’Arc~en~ciel sings the opener, Blurry Eyes. Quite catchy for an anime rock song. Sharam Q sings Single Bed, the ending theme. A slow rock ballad. Not bad either. On a trivial and personal note, maybe back then anime themes weren’t given that much prominence like these days. So hearing the TV versions of the themes when they ‘suddenly end’, I don’t know, it just felt a little strange. Because today’s songs are tailored to near perfection to fit the theme and pace of just about everything in the series.

So remember people, to multiply responsibly. Sometimes things happen to fast in the heat of the passion, in the name of love, or whatever you want to call it. It is those strange emotions and pheromones that make us start thinking with the wrong head, especially guys. Only natural? Yeah, well… You can’t argue that love always comes first. And if something goes wrong along the way and you can’t help fix that personality, you can always blame the bad genes. Maybe that is why I always end up picking such anime series and watch questionable animes that would only prove how depraved I am instead of the ‘recommended’ ‘greatest animes ever produced’. Maybe that is why I consider such ‘deplorable’ animes to be some sort of enjoying entertainment and an amusing watch instead of watching ‘intellectual masterpieces’ or popular mainstream hits. I can’t help it. Really. It’s all in my genes. My chromosomes. My DNA.

Magi: Sinbad No Bouken OVA

December 11, 2015

I once figured this was inevitable one way or another. Because how can you have one of the coolest and most beloved characters in a series without giving him a spin-off series on his own? And therefore it was timely that Sinbad of the Magi series has been given his own spin-off although the mini OVA series, Magi: Sinbad No Bouken is an origin series as it details the early and younger days of Sinbad as he journeys around the globe to conquer Dungeons and makes allies. And that is why Sinbad has become such a famous and synonymous name as the famous sailor in Arabic tales of sailing the seven seas. No? Well, then just watch and see this then.

Episode 1
Yunan narrates the battle between Reim and Partevia to conquer the Dungeon and obtain power. But all 10,000 over men sent in perished. But a miracle child born during a stormy night will bring about a change. A group of army renegades turned bandits rob an old guy and his young female family members. Till Sinbad beats the hell up of them singlehandedly. He offers to be their bodyguard after learning the males in their family have been drafted into the army. But since they are going by sea, they don’t need him (albeit the ladies were really charmed by his charisma). Instead they give him some fruits but when they open the barrel, Yunan is inside! Sinbad brings Yunan back to his home where he lives with his sick mother, Ezra. Next day after Sinbad leaves for a job, Ezra talks to Yunan and blames herself for making him stuck in this village. For she remembers her late husband told her he had a special strength. That is why she is asking a favour if anything happens to her, please lead him to the right path. Bad news comes when Sinbad is beaten up by Dragl, leader of the western platoon. Sinbad has repeatedly ignore letters for is draft into the military. He must enlist and has no right to refuse. Sinbad objects to his thinking that people are like tools of war and should work for the country’s sake. His father and the rest of the men died of sickness. That is why he will never join the army. With the villagers supporting Sinbad, Dragl reminds him of his mother. This refusal is equivalent to being a state crime and will affect her too. There is great power in the Dungeon in which Reim must obtain as ordered by the highest imperial order.

Later Sinbad talks to Yunan about his catch-22 situation. Enlist or not, he will die either way. The country is done for. Yunan then suggests to become king and change the world with his own hands. That Dungeon contains the power he needs to become king. Sinbad wonders who Yunan is. An immortal traveller. Dragl is being told by his superior to lead another expedition to the Dungeon. He knows that leading civilians this time is to calm the masses as long as a Dragl family member is victimized since 1,000 elite troops that were sent earlier on has been annihilated. First Princess Serendine gives him encouragement and he vows to bring success and protect her. Next day as the troop is preparing to head into the Dungeon, it seems Sinbad is the only one who didn’t turn up. Dragl doesn’t think a missing civilian or two will affect the mission but surprise, here is Sinbad. He claims this Dungeon’s power is his and will never let him have it. Sinbad dashes in, fuelled with the motivation from Ezra. She gave him his father’s sword and hopes he would go forth and do what he has to instead of holding himself back for her sake. Yunan is excited but also scared to see what kind of man Sinbad will turn out to be. Sinbad is now inside the Dungeon. Welcome to level 1.

Episode 2
Dragl’s men are dying like ants. Dragons are smart enough to take and dump them in an abyss of thorns. Dragl is ultimately saved by Sinbad but he is not grateful. Instead, he brags about his Partevia lineage and because his real name is so freaking ass long, Sinbad just doesn’t care for all that and just calls him Drakon (and so shall I). They arrive before a large door believed to take them to the next level. A huge dragon king guards it. Drakon wants Sinbad to be the decoy while he goes to the door. Sinbad is not pleased of his military mindset that has caused casualties. Drakon makes his own way to the door but it doesn’t open. Dragon king spots him. He is about to die. He panics and fears death. He doesn’t want to die yet. Again he is saved by Sinbad. But this time he wants to die for being a failure as a soldier! Make up your mind! Sinbad lectures him about some lessons in life like it is natural to fear death for he is a human before a soldier. He then goes into his awesome kick ass mode to kill the dragon king. It dropped dragon balls that enable them to open the door. They make their way through the various Dungeon traps as Drakon agrees to cooperate with him so as to observe him and make his decision when the time is right. In the deepest Dungeon room, Sinbad touches a magic lamp and appearing before them is the genie Baal. He wants to know which of them is to become king. As both proclaim they are the one, looks like they’ll have to settle the score. Although Drakon is adept with the sword, Sinbad is better streetwise and his fist fighting is better. Drakon takes a beating as he remembers about Serendine. Her words give him the strength to fight on because he made a promise he can’t die. But it is heartbreak when he remembers after Serendine was married to his older brother, Barbarossa he found out it was just political marriage and it was devastating he never got to told her his feelings. Eventually Drakon loses. Baal accepts Sinbad as his new king.

When they return outside the Dungeon, it is gone. The army praise Sinbad and wants him to hand over the treasure and power. However Sinbad will not. They take this as a sign of betrayal and ready to kill him. Yunan assists Sinbad in calling forth Baal’s power to roast those soldiers. Yunan then gives free service to him by flying him back to his home. Although Sinbad is glad to be back, the villagers are worried. Where has he been for 2 weeks? Because Ezra is dying. Sinbad goes to see her and she is happy to see her son one last time before she breathes her last breath. In the aftermath, Sinbad’s success has encouraged the villagers to turn against the army. His name is well spread throughout the land whereas Drakon has become some sort of an eyesore to the royalty. Naturally they cannot let Sinbad do as he please so an order was set up to capture him. Serendine leads her troops for this and she does not hesitate to attack Sinbad. She reveals her nickname as Poison Spider Princess because her sword is laced with the poison of some desert spider. However Sinbad had stolen her antidote earlier on and is just doing fine. He also destroyed her breast plate to immobilize her. Then he takes her hostage on his little dinghy. Don’t worry princess. He isn’t the kind of guy who would defile a woman like you. After a safe distance, he puts her in a barrel for her men to get her. I’m sure she won’t let this embarrassing incident slide. But Sinbad couldn’t care. Because he has greater things to do and that is to change the world by his own hands.

Episode 3
After Sinbad conquered the first Dungeon, many others mysteriously popped up and this started the craze worldwide to conquer Dungeons. Sinbad’s quest has taken him up north to the icy cold seas. He encounters Hina and his younger sister, Pipirika of the Imuchakk tribe trying to hunt and kill a sea dragon as passage rite to adulthood for the former. He fails and almost got killed till Sinbad shows up and zaps the creature. When Sinbad gets acquainted with them, Pipirika thinks Hina did the killing all by himself but the latter although feels guilty about it cannot bring himself to tell the truth. Meanwhile Drakon is been summoned by his superior. Normally his failure would have meant him exiled from the army but his brother negotiated with the king for a second chance. He is also given Partevia’s secret assassin unit, Sham Lash to retrieve Sinbad’s Metal Vessel. Sinbad wants to follow them to their village although was warned they do not welcome outsiders. Sinbad wants to see what the world has to offer and change it with his own hands. Naturally, Hina and Pipirika’s father who is also the tribe chief does not welcome Sinbad to the village and remains suspicious. He praises his son for a job well done and wants him to explore a strange monument that appeared up north. Consider this a step closer to be a true warrior. However Sinbad doesn’t want father to do that because that structure is a Dungeon. He shows proof he is a conqueror and father naturally welcomes him because it shows that he is strongest. He agrees to heed Sinbad’s words not to explore it.

The tribe celebrates Hina’s victory although he himself is ridden with guilt. Especially of the past when he is taunted by many of being unable to do the impossible. One of the Sham Lash assassins, Jafar tries to kill Sinbad in his sleep but thanks to his sleepwalking, the plan is clumsily foiled. Sinbad easily defeats him. Sinbad politely interrogates him but his mouth is tightly zipped. Till he starts badmouthing his own parents and how he killed them that Sinbad slaps him. Please don’t say such pitiful things with pride again. But he manages to break free and with the help of his comrades escape the village. Right before the dawn of the ceremony, Pipirika is devastated when she learns Hina has left a note that he is going to conquer the Dungeon. He believes obtaining its powers, he can become like Sinbad. Sinbad makes his haste to go after him as he explains the many who have died in order to achieve their dream in the Dungeon. Although he cannot guarantee if Hina can come back alive or not, but what he can guarantee is that he won’t be dying. Hina has already entered the Dungeon. Drakon and Sham Lash are also before the Dungeon and Jafar who is also the boss of the assassins has a score to settle with Sinbad.

Episode 4
Hina gets a taste of his first Dungeon. Or rather, the Dungeon is tasting him because those cute butterflies are eating him! Using his strength, he fends off monsters after monsters. But the final crab boss was defeated by Sham Lash. They ignore this weakling and it makes Hina mad. He fights them so Jafar’s subordinates, Vittel and Mahad transform into monsters to take him on. Again he is saved by Sinbad. Jafar instantly goes into killing mode but Sinbad can still best him. Before they are cornered, Hina takes Sinbad and escape into the lake. The mage advisor, Falan freezes the lake although the duo are able to escape. Falan then mocks the Sham Lash for not being great as she thought and has them drink a special potion that heals all their wounds. Drakon and co reach the final room where the wolf-like Valefor appears before them. He can sense Falan’s body is fake and gets rid of her. All that is left for her is just a little doll as the real one is by Barbarossa’s side. When Drakon mentions his intention to bring back this power for his king, Valefor loses interests and reverts to his true cute and docile form. He believes with that kind of answer, Drakon isn’t fit to be king. When Sinbad and Hina finally arrive, Valefor decides to make it interesting by having them compete in a game. All of them have an equal chance to become king. The game is whoever catches this little cat of his, Minifor will become the next king. Sounds like a joke, right? Well, if you consider how hard it is to catch this little cat. If nobody catches it before the time is up, nobody leaves this Dungeon.

Sinbad then proposes the only way is to cooperate. They will surround Minifor and when the signal is given, everyone will jump to grab it. Whoever does, becomes king. But this gives the signaller a disadvantage. Who will it be? Sinbad offers to be that since he already has Baal. His primary concern is to get out of here alive. Everybody agrees with his plan and when they corner Minifor, it jumps up in the air. Drakon has suspected something amiss and his worst fears come true because Sinbad grabs it. So he tricked them? Had he not done this, nobody would have left the Dungeon. Therefore it isn’t about who is right or wrong but who is most suitable to become king, which is him. Sinbad wants Valefor the most because he wants to create a country to unite people around the world. Drakon shoots down his ideal as it only exists in dreams. That is why Sinbad tells him he is doing it. He will establish a new nation to change the world and wants all of them to be his allies and join him. Hina feels inspired to follow him. Even Sham Lash is inspired because they sense true freedom. However Jafar under the fake pretence tries to kill him. Sinbad of course saw this coming. Suddenly the Sham Lock trio start feeling pain. They start transforming into a monster. Drakon prepares to kill them but Sinbad will not allow his comrades to die.

Episode 5
Sinbad fights the raging monster. So it is kill or be killed? Valefor believes there is another option. As the trio form the core of the monster, if they can separate them in one shot, they will be saved. Falan materializes herself via the doll and steals Sinbad’s sword. She announces Drakon has been promoted to lieutenant due to special circumstances. Killed in action, that is. A special broadcast from Barbarossa himself says he has failed to capture a Dungeon and Sinbad. Worst of all, he also knows about his feelings for his wife, Serendine. That woman is his property. He considers Drakon to be no more of royalty and tells him to go die in some corner. Drakon falls into despair while Hina struggles with the monster. Now he understands why Sinbad has always been doing things his own way. He realizes even if he had the power of a king, he will never become like Sinbad. Hina will use his spear to destroy the core while Sinbad distracts it. Drakon has revived to help. His eyes are now open. He thought it was honourable to die protecting his country but now he knows who he needs to protect. The trio cooperate to destroy the core and send Falan out of this realm (Sinbad reclaims his sword). However shortly, Jafar starts transforming again. Because of his overused body, he is in danger of fusing with the core. When this happens, the only way to stop him is to kill him. Sinbad has not lost faith in him so he is going to forcibly pull him back out. Impossible for a human to do that? Well, you should have known by now that Sinbad does the impossible. He dives into his subconscious to see a couple of Jafar versions contradicting with each other about pain and surviving. Sinbad convinces them with his warmth to stop living this lie. Then he attacks himself using Baal to pull Jafar out. Amazing, no? Valefor now asks who is to be king. Everyone with no doubt agrees Sinbad should be their king. And so with Valefor too recognizing as king, yet another Dungeon is cleared.

Now they are back outside the Dungeon with all the riches. The Imuchakk tribe greets them. But Drakon won’t follow back to their village and will head back to his own country instead. There is something he needs to do back there. He knows it is dangerous but I suppose he has his own reservations in following someone else again even if that someone is as great as Sinbad. Drakon is then given a Household Vessel that holds some of the djinn’s power to help serve the king although at this point in time it is not activated yet. Back at the village, the ceremony to turn Hina into a full fledge warrior and adult begins. His father gives him a spear and turban as well as a new name: Hinahoho which means clear as the ocean. Later he speaks to his father for his wish to leave the village because he wants to follow Sinbad in making a country that unites the world. Father couldn’t be happier and gives his blessings. Hinahoho and Sinbad then head to a rival Imuchakk village for the former seeks the tribal leader’s daughter’s hand in marriage. Of course he is asked what he could give his daughter as she already has everything. Father becomes mad thinking he is joking that he cannot give her anything. Hinahoho is unfazed by his threats but continues he can’t give her anything now but can share a dream and help realize it. A dream that belongs to his master Sinbad. Soon, Sinbad establishes a trading monopoly with Imuchakk and his name spreads across the world as a great warrior and merchant. He then forms a merchant fleet known as Sindria Trading Fleet.

Sinbad… Sinfully Good…
Yeah, it was fun as well as interesting. And by judging the way it all ‘ends’, it seems there is so much more potential and stories for Sinbad to be told out there that it could be expanded into a full fledge TV series running for two seasons. Really. It would be a shame not to continue this origin series but since I am not that obsessed fan of the Magi series, if it comes out, it comes out and I’ll watch it then. Simple. Oh wait. They already gave the green light for the TV series! Yahoo! But as far as this mini OVA series is concerned, it still manages to give an interesting glimpse into the early days of Sinbad and how he sets his dream in tone like how we see it in the Magi series proper. It is still a long way off and never ending work. So it is true in what they say that Rome wasn’t built in a day or two. But with Sinbad doing the impossible and his comrades aiding him, I’m sure he’ll be able to pull off this amazing feat while still in his lifetime that even the Gods themselves can’t even do. Yes, really. That is how amazing this Sinbad guy is.

For those who (still) can remember the Magi series, Sinbad had a couple of strong generals known as the Eight Generals. Three already made their appearance here. Hinahoho is the co-star of this mini OVA so he might ring very familiar bells to those who remember this huge Eskimo dude. Drakon wasn’t so obvious because in the Magi series, he was seen in the form of a humanoid dragon! So somewhere along the way something must have happened. He looks so different now. Sinbad’s loyal PA, Jafar interestingly started out his life as an assassin who hated Sinbad before completing a 180 degrees turn. He has physically grown up so much that you didn’t really think this kid was actually him. In fact, his name wasn’t actually mentioned and only said once when Sinbad brought him back out from the depths of darkness. Interesting, aren’t they? See, what did I say about it would be a shame for them not to extend the origin story. And it is a good thing that they did.

Overall, this series stands on par as excellent as the Magi series itself, if not a good series by itself too. Fans who love the Magi series should watch this and especially those who are fans and followers of the great Sinbad. Now that a proper TV series has been, suddenly this OVA series feels like the appetizer before the main course. It whet our appetite so much that I hope we will still have room for more to digest and won’t bite off more than we can chew. Although I sound very enthusiastic about the series, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be rewatching both seasons of the Magi series again. Many things in life are only worth doing once. I mean, if like Sinbad you have conquered the Dungeon once, would you go through all that hell again? No, right? In this case it is always better to look forward to new adventures :).

Here is a fact about kissing. Do you know that when you kiss, you transfer around 80 million bacteria? Disgusting? You want to hear something cool about kissing then, eh? Well, here is another fact that you should know while locking lips. You switch bodies! Say what?! Not just that. Sometimes you could charm others into your bidding or even see the near future! I kid you not! And I did not pull this out of the air either. Heh… If you have watched Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches, I’m sure that anger or disbelief in your chest will soon turn into “Oh, that show is it…”. Well, it must be pretty cool or a curse for our protagonist who discovers that he can switch bodies by kissing anybody. Yes. A kiss. Imagine how convenient if you have this kind of super power. Better than super strength or super speed or x-ray visions or any other super power. And with great powers come great… You get the idea. Oh, this anime isn’t about him misusing and abusing his power going around becoming a demon and the enemy of all women. Despite his delinquent status, he is a pretty decent guy. As he soon finds out, there is just more to this body switching power and perhaps other girls in school that possess other powers. All you have to do is kiss…

Episode 1
The teacher is berating Ryuu Yamada for being the worst example a student can be. Failing grades, late to class, sleeping in class! The list goes on. Why can’t he be like the model student, Urara Shiraishi? Yamada has worked up a delinquent reputation and he is regretting enrolling in a high school he thought nobody would know him. Angry as he can be, the mere sight of Shiraishi pisses him off. He wants to go usurp her at the stairs but they trip. Next thing he knows, he is in the infirmary. Looks normal? Well, if you consider he is now in Shiraishi’s body that. He rushes back to class only to see his own body diligently studying. And everybody is wondering the sudden change in ‘Yamada’. So they confront each other at the rooftop later and they would love to return back to their original bodies. Since they fell down the stairs, theoretically by doing that they will return back to normal. But Shiraishi wants to wait after school to do that since she doesn’t want to miss classes. So what does Yamada do in his ‘free time’? Run havoc in Shiraishi’s body! Like any other guy, feel free to examine every inch of a woman’s body! Then he runs around the boys’ toilet and flirts around with those fan geeks. Okay, he has had his fun. Bored. Rin Sasaki and her pals invite ‘Shiraishi’ to lunch so Yamada plays along. But he soon discovers that Shiraishi is their bully victim. Doodled pages and garbage dumped in her locker. This makes Yamada remember that Shiraishi has always been alone. He wants to go teach that Sasaki b*tch a lesson. He goes to warn her and wants to scare her with a fake punch but Shiraishi gets in the way and takes the full blow. At least this made Sasaki to be scared sh*t. Now it is after school and time to fall down the stairs to return to normalcy. After one flight of pain, nothing happened. Trying a few more times… Same thing. Shiraishi notices that there is one thing they haven’t tested out yet. When they fell the first time, they kissed. The moment they do that, they switch back. Amazing? Anybody would. But not Shiraishi. She has to go study. Unknown to them, they’re being watched by the student council vice president, Toranosuke Miyamura.

Next day, Yamada and Shiraishi experiment with the kiss and true enough they switch bodies. Of course they want to keep this a secret between themselves. Shiraishi swapped bodies so she could go help Yamada take his supplementary exam. So while Yamada is hanging out by himself, Miyamura comes looking for him. Yamada plays along with whatever Miyamura says. Because he didn’t know Shiraishi is his girlfriend and today they’re supposed to go out dating. When the fan geeks start harassing ‘Shiraishi’, Miyamura is going to take care of this but was taken care of. Weak! Yamada gives them a power kick that sends them running away. This is when Miyamura points out that this is not the real Shiraishi. That trademark kick could only belong to Yamada. Plus, the dating was all fake. Now that Miyamura knows their secret, he is willing to offer them an unused room for a place to safely switch bodies. This Supernatural Research club is on the verge of being closed because he is the only member. Sign up and they can use this room. Miyamura is curious if they can just switch bodies by kissing. Miyamura wants to test out with Yamada and Shiraishi is all for this yaoi moment. It worked! Of course in exchange for this room, Miyamura wants Yamada to listen to the student council’s request. Since Shiraishi doesn’t mind, Yamada also agrees. As Miyamura is about to begin the first meeting, Miyabi Itou drops in and she is interested to join this club.

Episode 2
The guys are pretty dodgy to answer Itou’s simple questions. She tries to prove her worth by bending spoon (using force?), UFO sighting clips (I can see the strings!) and some ancient stone (looks pretty ordinary to me). Then she comes back with a big haul of other supernatural stuffs. So eager to join that she starts cleaning up the room. Since when did she make Yamada her cleaning lackey? Yamada then remembers there is a test he needs to take so he wants Shiraishi to switch bodies and help him. She would if not for Itou who keeps popping back up to check on things. Miyamura gives her the registration letter to be sent to the student council office. This will buy them some time. The moment they kiss, Itou returns and sees this atrocity. Well, the student council room door was locked so she returned. Itou is sad that she has always suspected something amiss from this club as they never did anything supernatural. She vows to get back at them for trampling on her feelings. Next day, Yamada is shocked to see fliers and posters that claim Yamada and Shiraishi are an item. Yamada confronts Itou and wants her to take back those rumours. He won’t let her leave this place and if she must, kiss him. Stunned, he uses this opportunity to kiss her and then knock her out while she is in shock of the switch. Yamada then goes around in her body to request everyone to forget all that. However they are okay with it and never believed it in the first place. Yamada discovers that Itou has a reputation for being a liar. I guess this switch was useless in the first place. When he returns to switch back, Itou is already gone. Big trouble.

He seeks help from Miyamura and Shiraishi to find his body but they heard rumours of students sighting ‘Yamada’ admiring himself in the mirror and making lame superhero poses. They find a message in Itou’s handphone. It seems she needs to bring the money for some expensive items she bought or else. Aren’t those the supernatural stuffs? There is a big chance she might be there. The gangsters don’t know it is Itou inside Yamada’s body and they easily beat up this dude. With the real Yamada (in Itou’s body still) appearing, he wastes no time in beating them up after they get cocky. After they return to their original bodies, Itou apologizes for what she did. She thought she could fight better in his body. Apparently not. But Yamada says that now she knows their secret, she can’t leave so easily. She is now part of the club. She is more than happy to join. Like any other curious person, Itou is interested to see this kiss switching thingy. So they kiss about until I am not sure who is who anymore. The ultimate kissing scene: It might be girls on the outside kissing but actually they are guys on the inside! Yuri or yaoi?! Or both?! Haruma Yamazaki the student council president learns of the newbies joining the Supernatural Research club and thinks Miyamura is trying to look after the problem kids for them. It might have something to do with the selection for the next student council president. Nene Odagiri who is also a potential for that post will not allow anything to stand in the way of her goal.

Episode 3
The Supernatural Research club does not have any funds allocated to them. Itou argues they could buy stuffs and Yamada is particularly very interested after thinking a microwave oven could be useful. Itou has tried negotiating with Yamazaki but it didn’t go well. Yamada decides to barge in and do his intimidating talk but Yamazaki coolly ignores him. It seems this guy is indifferent to males so Yamada gets this idea to switch bodies with the girls to do better negotiations. However Yamazaki is not fooled. He can ‘smell’ that they are not females on the inside. But since they look the part on the outside, he is willing to talk to them. Yamazaki will exercise his power to give the club a budget if they can help get Shiraishi to agree to go to college. Of course the student council has tried but failed. Thus he thinks with their close relationship maybe they can persuade her. And so Yamada goes into persuasive mode to persuade Shiraishi to just go to college. I mean, she likes studying, right? So what’s the difference? However she remains stubborn. This is going to be tough. As the rest discuss their plans, Odagiri and her yes-man, Ushio Igarashi confront them to warn that they’ll stand no chance in next month’s student council president position. Yamada realizes the ploy to get Shiraishi to go to college is part of Miyamura’s mission. If he clears it, he’ll win the post. Yamada doesn’t want to do this and get involved in the feuding student council war but after being warned how sly Yamazaki can be, he is forced to play this game for now.

Yamada is surprised that Shiraishi wants to kiss and switch bodies. He should have suspected something was amiss. Indeed there was. She is sick and wanted to switch bodies to get some work done. But this is a good chance for them to return to Shiraishi’s home and find out some details. Looks like a normal house. But nobody else is home. Yamada shoos out the rest but his body is heating up so he sleeps on her bed. When he wakes up, Shiraishi is already back home and she is furious he went to her home without her permission. Well, he didn’t know how long she would borrow his body. After switching back, Yamada continues to look after her in bed. He tells her to just go to college since she like studying. But she disagrees with that. She has nothing else to do but study. Whether at home or school, she is always alone. After apologizing for what he did today, he tells her he regretted enrolling in this school. He thought it was boring up till recently things are starting to look amusing. He wonders if college is amusing too. As he is trying to set his sight on college, why not she go with him? And so you can tell Shiraishi has agreed to go to college when the Supernatural Research club has a nifty microwave oven. Yamazaki and the rest are dumbfounded to hear Shiraishi is going to college.

Episode 4
The class is going for a camping trip and when Shiraishi is asking to switch bodies with Yamada, you bet there is going to be something going on. It seems she wants to study in peace instead of hanging out with her girl friends. So Yamada has got to put up with her friends’ company. I wonder how he is going to handle the hotspring programme… Oh wait. Shiraishi’s friends begin their molesting attack! It is obvious Yamada is tired after all this and he can’t put up with the girls talk at night. So he goes back to force Shiraishi to switch back. As he heads back, Odagiri calls for him. It seems she is going to blackmail him with a picture of him going through Shiraishi’s stuff. Yamada realizes it was during the time he was in the hotspring. He dares her to do it and can brush it off as doing errands for her. But what about the next picture that has him taking and starring at her panties???!!! Oh sh*t! She’ll erase the pictures on a condition if Shiraishi doesn’t sit for the next national mock exam. Yamada tells this to Miyamura and Ito and they know it is Odagiri’s plan to sabotage Miyamura’s position. If Shiraishi doesn’t take the exam, the school’s average will drop and you know who will be blamed. Besides, there is no guarantee that Odagiri will erase it after that. The only way Yamada thinks he can get out of this is to kiss Odagiri, switch bodies and erase it himself. So he calls her out to meet that night and boldly tells her to kiss him. She accepts it but warns not to blame her for whatever happens. Yamada is shocked that they did not switch. Relating this to his buddies, Miyamura and Ito test kiss him and they didn’t switch. Has he lost his power? Next day as Yamada meets Shiraishi to tell her about his inability, she thanks him for letting making this school trip fun. She learnt a lot of things when she talked to her friends even if it is just casual talk. She hopes that for the summer vacation, the Supernatural Studies club can go on a trip together.

Back at school, the moment Yamada enters the clubroom, Ito and Miyamura are in a competition to give him eat their bento! What the hell? They’re trying to flirt with him! Is this some sort of prank? They reveal they are really in love with him! Serious! They deduce they started having feelings for him after that kiss. This must be his new power. Since the duo are getting annoying in their competition, Yamada kisses them to return to normal. They are curious for Yamada to kiss Shiraishi. They really want to know what happens if she falls for his charms. Yeah, I can’t wait to know either! Yamada assumes that kiss with Odagiri may have awakened this strange power and is going to see and kiss her to revert back. In the mean time, he doesn’t want Shiraishi to know about this. Oh wait. She’s already at the door. Oops… Lastly, we have this strange end segment whereby a pair of yakisoba bread siblings is introducing the school in freaking weird ways. They end up fighting. Turns out to be a promo shoot for the school by Yamazaki using Yamada and Miyamura as the puppeteers. Too bad they couldn’t stick to the script and end up arguing their puppet was perfect.

Episode 5
Shiraishi wants to kiss and switch places but Yamada gives an excuse he has something to do. He goes to find Odagiri but she is nowhere to be found. Apparently her hideout is in the school’s old building and she is waiting for him to turn up. I mean, he is supposed to fall in love with her and will come looking for her, right? Well… Odagiri even waits out in the open but Yamada is nowhere to be seen. Ushio knows something is wrong when Odagiri starts saying she can’t get Yamada out of her head all day long. Shiraishi thought Yamada hates her and doesn’t want to do the body swap again but he explains and she is glad he didn’t hate her. Despite knowing about his new power, she still wants to kiss him. When they do, they switch bodies! Odagiri sees this and starts crying. Ushio fears that she must have really fallen prey to her own spell and fall for Yamada. Shiraishi has figured this conundrum out. Yamada’s power is to copy power of others. It is not body swap. Remember the first person he kissed when this happened? That’s right. Switching bodies is Shiraishi’s power. Suddenly Ushio kicks Yamada for doing something to Odagiri. Flashback shows Yamada is pretty to start a new life in this school where nobody knows him. Till he found out Ushio enrolled here too. They both have no intention to get along and tried to make friends with others but failed badly. Yamada wondered if the next 3 years are going to be boring but Ushio noted every day doesn’t necessarily have to be boring. Shiraishi deduces that when Yamada kissed Odagiri, he copied her power and she became a victim of it. The only way to turn her back to normal is to kiss her back. But Yamada won’t do it. Ushio promises to delete the photo and pull her out from the student council president race and even goes begging on his knees. Yamada still won’t give in but Shiraishi says they’ll do it. She asks Yamada if he is fine with her like that, the unrequited love that Odagiri will always feel. Yeah. He’s fine with it. Shiraishi slaps him. It is not that he is mad at Odagiri but holding it on Ushio. In that case, turn her back to normal. Can’t be stubborn now, can he? Yamada wonders if Ushio kissed Odagiri to fall in love with her. He admits he did but he likes this version of himself better.

Flashback shows Ushio and Yamada got into a fight with some fellow boys from their school as they were harassing a girl. But Yamada only got suspended because 2 witnesses claim that Yamada started the fight singlehandedly. One of them was Ushio. Ever since, that is how Yamada got his notorious reputation. Ushio brings Yamada to Odagiri. She wants to talk to him privately (who in their right mind would feel comfortable with everyone else watching). First she blames him for making her think of him every day and when found him, he was kissing Shiraishi. She wants him to leave her like this. She never knew her power could make someone feel so happy. However he kisses her and says there is no way he would ever fall in love with her. Ushio then hands Yamada a book from the old Supernatural Research club regarding the 7 wonders of this school. There are students called witches who possess mysterious powers. Among the powers are to charm and telepathy. The rest to be continued in the next volume… They get excited to go hunting for witches but Yamada is not so. He doesn’t want to be dragged into this mess but he is their witch detector. And the only one whose powers won’t work on. But with Shiraishi giving her smooth operator talk, Yamada can’t so no now, can’t he? They offer Odagiri to join them in the search but she won’t join these vulgar people. Ushio tells Yamada that he has no intention for apologizing for that betray that got him suspended. That was for the best because that is the reason why they came to this school to live this sort of school life in the first place.

Episode 6
Supernatural Research club is having fun at the beach! Minus Yamada. He failed his exam and is now taking supplementary classes. Oh, the same suspects from last year are also joining him, Hideaki Tsurukawa, Mitsuru Kameda and Meiko Otsuka. Since Yamada is complaining that he can’t get any fun as summer vacation is here, Shiraishi gladly switches body with him. It’s a win-win situation. Since she aces in class, the supplementary trio are surprised and contemplate to make him part of the gang. Otsuka summons her courage to talk to ‘Yamada’ and then suddenly kisses ‘him’! Immediately Shiraishi switches back with Yamada and asks him all he knows about Otsuka. Ever kissed her before? Hell no! Then it’s proven. Otsuka is a witch. Since there is no effect on Shiraishi, she figured of switching back with Yamada. They still don’t know what power Otsuka has but they know for sure that Yamada is the one Otsuka is after. This means he will have to kiss her again to find out. So… What about the test? He’ll have to pass himself. Bummer. The failures fail their test again so Otsuka whispers to Yamada about passing the test together. He becomes confrontational and this scares Otsuka because he is like a different person now. Odagiri and Ushio join the Supernatural Research club waiting in some room because they believe the next volume is in the storage room but a teacher is having keys to it. From what I understand, until all the failures pass their test, that room won’t be opened because that teacher will only replaced the supplementary teacher when they pass their test. Shiraishi thinks it is a good time for Yamada to test Otsuka’s power. But first she switches body with him so that she could go make an appointment with Otsuka to kiss! So while Yamada is in Shiraishi’s body, Odagiri starts getting physical in the hotspring till she realizes too late ‘Shiraishi’ acting weird and that it is Yamada underneath it! Shiraishi manages to make the appointment so Yamada meets Otsuka and they kiss.

Back in the room, nothing much happens. In the dead of the night, Yamada is awakened by the screaming voice of Otsuka. But Otsuka is not around though he heard her voice very clearly. Then it dawned to him. Otsuka’s power is telepathy. As telepathically instructed, he meets her so that she can train him on how to use the telepathy power. Despite her shy and soft spoken demeanour, she sounds like a fierce drill sergeant during telepathy mode! Seems Tsurukawa and Kameda also share this power after Otsuka kissed them. That is why all of them are going to use it to pass the test. But wait. Who is going to give the answer? Yamada! They think he is hiding his genius! Because Yamada has trouble picturing faces (as a requirement to use telepathy), Miyamura gives a photo of himself and others. So during the test, all Yamada needs to do is look at his face and hear Miyamura’s thoughts in which he will proceed to relay the problem to Shiraishi to solve and back. Simple. In the end, all of them pass their test with flying colours! Almost perfect score! When the gang are about to enter the storage room, it is cleaned out. The teacher says other clubs used this place so everything got thrown away. Miyamura and Odagiri have a feeling Yamazaki is the one behind this as he has the power to do such things. Yamada talks to Shiraishi and he deduces the witches powers manifest because the witches themselves wish for it. For example, Odagiri wanted allies and thus the power to charm. Otsuka was shy to speak to others and thus her telepathy. Shiraishi was unhappy with her situation and therefore wanted to switch into others. He wonders what he wished for and is sure to find that out why he got this power after meeting all the witches. That is why he will find them all. Yamada relays a great news to everyone: Otsuka has told him who the next witch is.

Episode 7
Yamada and Miyamura are outside the house of Maria Sarushima, they think she is a shut-in since she doesn’t go to school. But there she is coming back home and she asks the guys to help move her furniture! Even more insulting is that Yamada is doing all the work and Sarushima herself is sleeping. Maybe this is a chance to kiss her? He hears her whisper to be saved. Sarushima reveals she knew he was coming. Her power is to see the future. At first she thought it was trivial. But then she saw one whereby the old school building is burnt down. Worse, everybody accused her as the arsonist. That is why she didn’t want to attend school. But why should Yamada believe her? Because he was also there when the fire happened and also blamed. He wants to kiss her and she agrees hoping that something of this might change. When Odagiri comes in to brag she has dug up some information on Sarushima and won’t say, she thought the guys are being shocked. Actually her shirt was tugged into her panties. Why does Yamada only get slapped? If Odagiri knew that the rest already knew… Shiraishi has Yamada explains how he sees his vision. From his perception, it seems he sees the visions from the perspective of others. So if he sees himself and Sarushima during the fire, that means somebody else must be there. Yamada talks to Sarushima if she has kissed anybody else. Well, there is this guy, Kentaro Tsubaki but it was just as greeting since he came back from overseas. Yamada confronts this guy who knows about him too. Tsubaki doesn’t hesitate to say he is in love with Shiraishi and wants to confess to her. He hopes Yamada can help set them up so he can confess. Viewing Yamada as his buddy, he is going to show him his secret of what he does when he is depressed. He brings him back to the old building whereby he cooks his tempura! So this is going to be the cause of the fire???!!! Definitely! They need to stop this at all cost.

Tsubaki is disheartened that Yamada came instead of Shiraishi. Did she reject him? Even more shocking is that Yamada wants Tsubaki to kiss him! Although it is to switch bodies and prevent that fire, this is giving him the wrong idea! Yamada wants to do it by force but Tsubaki is strong and fast. Back in the clubroom, Sarushima has already made friends with Ito and Shiraishi and learnt all about the witches. The next plan is for Yamada to switch bodies with Shiraishi and to make Tsubaki accompany her in town until the time of the fire is passed (which is tonight). However in doing so, Sarushima sees the changed future. The building is still burnt down and Tsubaki is now in the picture. Yamada has no choice but to postpone the confession till tomorrow. It could have ended well had not Yamada waltz into a lover’s area. This makes Tsubaki really want to confess. Then there is Shiraishi before them. She goes up to Yamada and kisses him to switch back. She pretends this is their relationship. Depression time. Guess where he runs back to? He locks himself in the cooking room but gets distracted when he hears Shiraishi’s voice. That is when Yamada forces open the door and kisses him to swap bodies, thus preventing the fire. Next day, Tsubaki is amazed with this witch thingy and is interested to join the club. Sure it is not for Shiraishi? When Yamada wonders why Shiraishi switched bodies, Sarushima reveals that she was going to take his place as the offender. Yamada doesn’t want her to pull that kind of stunt again. Odagiri thinks she can tease the Supernatural Research club that she already knows what Sarushima’s power is and won’t tell. She didn’t realize her shirt is unbuttoned. Nice bra. Guess who only got slapped?

Episode 8
Keigo Shibutani, Saeko Fukazawa and Ren Asano were once popular and respected students till separate incidents made them go bad. Supernatural Research club can have their own yakisoba stall at the festival if they stop them from making trouble. But the trio are linked to Noa Takizawa. She is a witch with a power to see one’s past and they believe she is making them do her biddings to shut them up. Yamada is going for the direct approach. Noa plays dumb and tries to flirt with him. He thinks of using this chance to kiss her and find something dark in her past but she gives up her teasing. He tries to ambush her for a kiss but she isn’t going down easily. When he mentions he knows about other witches, she becomes interested and wants to kiss to know the rest. Yamada senses something amiss and stops her. She leaves disappointed. Next day, Supernatural Research clubroom is vandalized. The first volume notebook is gone (in Noa’s hands). Yamada confronts Yamazaki and threatens him to tell the truth or he is out of this. He reveals Noa’s goal of eradicating witches from this school. Eradicate means to expel in this case. When witches get expelled, their powers are inherited by others. And those with problems or issues are the ones who inherit them. With Noa having both volumes and then those friends of hers to inherit the powers, you know what this means, right? Shiraishi and the other witches are being targeted next. Knowing it won’t be long before Noa figures out the witches’ identity, he is going to set a trap for them. When Noa’s friends enter the clubroom, Fukazawa kisses Shiraishi who is alone to switch bodies and then has the guys kidnap her. However it is Yamada in Shiraishi’s body as he beats and ties them up. They think Noa has ordered them to frame Shiraishi and get her expelled but they say they are doing this on their own volition. Yamada and the guys switch bodies with Noa’s friends to confront her but she can easily tell it is them. Surprisingly, Noa is willing to trade both volumes for her friends’ release. Yamada will not accept that since she won’t stop trying to expel witches.

Yamada gets beaten up for returning empty-handed but it shows that Noa thinks highly for her friends and would trade the notebooks for them. Miyazawa thinks of charming them to their side but they do not want that. Noa is their friend and they will try to convince her to stop her goal. Yamada then talks to Noa about her goal of trying to control the school with her friends. She gets mad when he mentions about their popularity and don’t need witch powers. She then kisses him to let him glimpse her past. Seems like something nightmarish. Yamada realizes her power is to see dreams of traumatic events. She was locked in some room for 14 hours straight by bullies who wanted to see her panic but she didn’t and kept her cool. Noa believes her friends never caused all those incidents and doesn’t want Yamada and his cronies to butt their noses in their affairs again. Yamada tells her off all she wants is to help them and he is willing to help her. Noa breaks down and pleads for him to save them. She wants them to go back where they originally belonged and thought they would do so if they got witch powers. Asano suddenly punches Yamada, thinking he is trying to do something funny. Noa’s friends believe all they need is just to lead a high school life together. Yamada fights back and tells them off they are the cause of this problem and making Noa suffer. What should they do? Not sure. At least do something to make her smile. With their case now resolved, there is a little problem now. Well, if you call this a problem anyway. Noa is now clinging close to Yamada because she loves him! Open confession! Shiraishi thinks there might be a different power lurking within Noa as it touches the most delicate piece of the heart. For both who is touched and the one touching, both transmit their feelings and are able to open their hearts to each other. They might be similar in some ways.

Episode 9
What’s this? Supernatural Research Club is holding a fortune telling booth and free yakisoba giveaways? That’s Yamada behind that fortune teller gig, right? Odagiri makes Ushio try it out. Yamada kisses him and tells him his future! This was Itou’s idea for using Sarushima’s power to predict the future since their yakisoba isn’t selling well. Sarushima is glad she could help out but also has another favour of Yamada. She wants to erase her witch power. As she wants to fall in love, it would be unbearable to see the future of her loved one. So Yamada goes to see Shinichi Tamaki as he possesses the power to steal and thus erase a witch’s power. Tamaki is reluctant to help him out and demonstrates by kissing a random girl. Then he flips her skirt but she slaps Yamada! Currently his power is to make himself invisible to the one he kisses. If he kisses another witch, this power will be overwritten, something he doesn’t want. Since Yamada is annoying, Tamaki kisses him. However Yamada could still see him. He notes Yamada is a witch killer like him. He agrees to help Yamada if he helps with his request. As he wants to be the next student council president, he wants Yamada to find out he is going to be it. Yamada directly talks to Yamazaki but his lips are tightly sealed. As Yamada has previously kissed Odagiri’s power to charm him, he is going to force kiss him but his secretary, Mikoto Asuka kicks him away. So powerful that he is knocked out! Yamada is interrogated and forced to tell the truth. Asuka agrees to help him because she relied on Yamazaki and her power erased. Yup. She used to have that invisibility power. Yamazaki still won’t tell because all candidates are equally neck-to-neck. Yamazaki suggests a game to decide who will be the next president. It is simple: Find the seventh witch. As guys do not count, currently there are 6 known witches. Erasing Sarushima’s power now won’t do because by doing so, Tamaki’s invisible power will manifest into a new witch. Don’t worry. He will keep his promise after they find the last witch.

Yamada reports to Sarushima and she is happy that she kisses him. This means he sees the future. Sarushima did have her power erased and Tamaki did become student council president. But something else troubles Yamada as he heads back to his club members and tell them they’re going to join the witch hunt that he was so against in the first place. Miyamura knows he has seen something else. Yamada reveals he saw Shiraishi as Tamaki’s secretary. So what’s so bad about that? It’s that face she puts up. So? Yamada admits he loves Shiraishi! Enough a reason for you to help out? So they’ve got a list of students names who caused trouble as witches easily become the centre of attraction whether they realize they have power or not. As they look around, they didn’t make any headway. Tamaki is so relaxed. I mean, he is going to be the next president so why bother do anything? Just wait! Yamada feels something is wrong as he kisses his club members! He realizes they’ve screwed up. They must be under Tamaki’s power. As the last person Yamada kissed is Shiraishi, he should have seen their futures but did not. Tamaki might have come into the clubroom plotting to steal their hard work. Although Yamada plans to get back at him by using the body switching trick, he is hesitant and wants Shiraishi to think about it. Yeah, he is laying down the ground rules how to live his life since they can’t switch back until Tamaki becomes president. She shuts him up by kissing him. After revealing what he saw, his main concern is that he saw the face she put up when they first met. He doesn’t want her to put up that face again. She says she doesn’t have any intention to go back the way it was and wishes him all the best to change the future.

Episode 10
Miyamura tells the rest of a secret he’s been keeping. He has an older sister, Leona but she never attends school and holes herself up in her room. She ended up this way due to the seventh witch. We can see how dangerous she is when she starts throwing scissors the moment Miyamura opens her door. And now for Yamada to do the negotiation. He kisses her to swap bodies to make it faster that this is going to be about witches. He threatens to strip if she doesn’t say but she too is going to do the same! After Yamada explains the reason he is doing this (all for the girl he loves), Leona warns he might not see Shiraishi again. Will she be in danger? More precisely, it will be him because all his memories of the witches will be erased. Leona was terrified by it and until today is still trying to run for her. Yamada doesn’t see the big deal since it is only memories of the witch he will lose. So Yamada reports to the rest and he hopes once he forgets, they will help bring him back to the club. Of course they will. Yamada declares to Yamazaki that Rika Saionji is the seventh witch. Congratulations! Miyamura will be the next president then. After Yamada switches back with Shiraishi, he is still worried about her. She reminds him that she was the first person he kissed so when the time comes, he must kiss her first. So happy ending to everything? Not quite. Saionji pops up and Yamada knows it is time to erase his memories. So was she fooling around because he didn’t lose his memories. She says it takes 24 hours to be in effect. A few days passed and it seems Yamada still has his memories intact. He was playing along that he has lost them but since he is tired of it, he goes to greet his club members. Unfortunately they don’t remember him! Then he realizes it is them who lost their memories. Confronting Yamazaki, he is told that since witch powers do not work on him, special measures had to be taken as only the student council president knows all identities of the witches. Their memories will never return again.

Tamaki suggests teaming up with him to bring down the student council. Yamada isn’t so interested even if Tamaki is persistently bugging him. Yamada finds it odd that he always kept everyone at arm’s length and now he is afraid of being alone? Tamaki did what Yamazaki told him to take away Asuka’s power but now his student council president dream is taken away, what is there left? Yamada is also frustrated but what is there for him to do? Shiraishi comes in thinking Yamada wanted to join the club then. Yamada then wants her to go out with him. Impossible, right? Hardly know him. But that is not the reason she rejected him. It’s because she likes somebody else! Oh no. Instead of being depressed, Yamada is going to find out this guy Shiraishi likes. Talking with Itou, she doesn’t remember the name but guesses it could be Miyamura since there were rumours about him falling down the stairs and accidentally kissing her. Yamada then ponders if the memory loss is permanent because there are instances where the witch’s power wears off. He is going to restore Shiraishi’s memories and confess to her again. And by that does he mean begging to Yamazaki? How can he when he doesn’t know a way? Besides, there is a bigger problem now. All the witches have returned to who they were and are now bigger troublemakers. Later Odagiri approaches Yamada and thinks he is running against Miyamura. She suggests meeting him and they can team up to take him down with this ‘power’. So he plays along and she teases him to kiss but since he didn’t hesitate, it freaks her out. And when they do kiss, Shiraishi sees this. Oh no. But if this has nothing to do with her, why is she running away? Yamada wants to explain but Shiraishi continues that despite she likes somebody else, she can’t help feel this way. She starts crying and wonders who Yamada is.

Episode 11
Yamada explains about their memories being erased. Shiraishi seems to have forgotten that she is also a witch. He is going to kiss her to prove it but she won’t let it happen. I mean, to her he is like a serial kissing pervert, right? Yamada kisses Miyamura in hopes to go see Leona but that guy took it the wrong way and it activates his gay radar! Yamada changes his mind and kisses him back. Good riddance. Odagiri suddenly kisses Yamada to take back her power and then scolds him about using it against her. She is also mad that everyone including Ushio seems to have forgotten about Yamada. Then it hit them that the memories will return only for witches if Yamada kisses them. This makes him happy that there is someone else besides Tamaki who knows who he is. Odagiri goes to see Ushio and is going to set him free. After she kisses him, she is surprised he still follows her around. Isn’t it obvious? He has been in love with her with or without the power. He questions her decision to lose everything she has gained. She has finally understands that using her powers will never get what she wants. That is why she wants to stop relying on it. Saionji surprisingly pops up before the witch killers. She is surprised and never knew that a witch killer kissing a witch would cancel out her power. She warns him there is a reason why the seventh witch must never be known. If all the witches are gathered, any wish will be granted. She warns him to stop it or else she won’t show mercy next time. Yamada calls Odagiri to warn her about Saionji. Odagiri might have her memories erased again. Odagiri wants to tell him something first before that happens. However Yamada won’t hear it. Until he brings everyone’s memories back, then only he will hear her. But the next day, it seems Odagiri still has her memories intact. It appears Saionji herself is surprised that her power cannot work twice. Looks like Yamazaki will be taking things into his own hands. Odagiri tells the witch killers that she vaguely remembers a year ago she was in some room and noticed the others were witches. They didn’t do anything important but it seems there might be a meaning to their gathering. She suggests trying to perform that ceremony again.

Before Yamada can go around kissing witches, Yamazaki is a step ahead as he has put warning notices up about a guy trying to solicit kisses from girls! Shiraishi could guess Yamada is that guy but requests him to walk home with her. She allows him to kiss her as she gets a feeling something will change. Right here in the crowded public? Can’t miss this chance. Too bad Asuka stops them. Meanwhile Odagiri has found that room but is caught by Yamazaki. He wants to make a deal with her to stop Yamada. She won’t give in. He shows a picture of Yamada almost kissing Shiraishi. He knows she likes Yamada and with his resources she can easily get what she wants. Later Tamaki confronts Odagiri. He has seen her with Yamazaki and wants to know what she is up to. She tells him the deal Yamazaki offered her but turned it down. He doesn’t believe because he knows she is fond of Yamada. Odagiri admits she would like to stop Yamada as much but he only looks at Shiraishi no matter how much she stops him. In that case she shouldn’t inconvenience him and should smile with him. After Yamada kisses the witches, all that are left are Shiraishi and Saionji. The latter is the mysterious one especially with that kind of power. Odagiri has looked up on her and found there are no records stating her name. Not even in the school registry. Yamazaki stays a step ahead again as he sends a notice to all the parties concerned about a ceremony they must attend on a specified date, time and location. Tamaki and Odagiri are about to look for Saionji but here she is before them. They request her to help them but she refuses. As for why nobody remembers her, simple. She erased their memories so it is only logical they forget her. As for what Yamazaki is up to, she hints it is to eliminate Yamada. He is after all a factor the student council cannot control. Yamada goes to see Shiraishi and wants to kiss her. Time is running out and he’ll explain it later. She is willing to do it but suddenly says nothing will happen even if he kisses her. Then Yamada realizes Shiraishi has swapped bodies with Asuka. Mad Yamada confronts Yamazaki about his dirty play. Yamazaki says Asuka has been suspended from school after being caught kissing in school grounds. Attempts to visit her at her home will be futile as the rule says only the student council can meet a suspended student. You think Yamada is going to quietly abide by that?

Episode 12
Yamada is trying to force Miyamura to come with him to see Shiraishi. Of course he wouldn’t. Not with a stranger. Luckily Leona wants to talk to Yamada. After hearing his story, she tells him not to panic because this would not make any difference even if he brings back Shiraishi. There is something odd she finds about the ceremony. If all the witches are to be there, why is Tamaki also invited? No doubt he is retaining Asuka’s power but with Asuka also being invited means Yamazaki must know Tamaki is able to return the power too and thus he needs Tamaki to return Asuka’s power before the ceremony. But first up they need to handle Saionji. Yamada tries to convince her to help them. She’s not going to so Yamada plays psychology with her that Yamazaki is just using her. Otherwise, if he trusts her completely, why use the body switching ruse with Asuka and Shiraishi? Saionji tells of her special relationship with Yamazaki. Because nobody remembers her, coming to school is a tedious affair since nobody talks to her. She was alone. However there is only 1 guy who remembered her and the sole motivation for coming to school: Yamazaki. That is why she won’t betray him. Yamada says this time it is different because he, Odagiri and Tamaki know about her. Saionji agrees to help but with condition that Leona is brought to her. However Yamada won’t allow that.

Strangely, Leona calls Yamada to her house to reveal the truth. It’s like she knows it is time so she apologizes all of them have to go through it all since this is her fault in the first place. You see, Leona was a member of the Supernatural Research club. It had another member: Yamazaki. Yup, that guy again. They were researching on the witches and Yamazaki went as far to become student council president just to discover the seventh witch. When he did, he protected Leona and let her escape before having his memories erased. Leona knows now it is time to get her memories erased. Yamada won’t allow that but Leona’s reason is because she can’t stand to see Yamazaki like that anymore. Leona prepares herself to get her memories erased but when she mentions about the burden Saionji has to carry, the witch backs off. Leona then goes to see Yamazaki who obviously doesn’t remember her. However he cannot understand why he is crying. The next step is to capture Asuka. Tamaki’s direct approach only received the full blow of her kick. Luckily Odagiri has requested the other witches to help and they succeed after a surprise ambush. Yamada forces his way into Asuka’s home and sees Shiraishi reading in the room. She feels ashamed for facing him after all that has happened. But none of that matters because he is going to turn her back to normal. Everyone prepares for the ceremony before Yamazaki could arrive. The moment they free Asuka, she flees but here comes Yamazaki. Don’t worry. He is only here to observe. He reveals what he wanted to know was why he became student council president. There is this pain in his heart he describes and to forget about it, he drowns himself in student council work. This means he realized his memories were erased once. They might be gone but the feelings never forget. That is why he is going to entrust this to Yamada from now on. With Yamada sitting in the centre and the witches encircling him, Yamada thought nothing is happening till he realizes time has stopped! Only he and Saionji can move. She guides him to make a wish from the heart with his eyes closed. Before doing that, he asks her if she was happy having the witch power. She doesn’t have good vibes about it and the thought that is troubling her is to find a girl who would be her successor. Yamada has decided and makes his wish.

Now it is time to find out it has really worked. Returning to the clubroom, Miyamura wonders who this delinquent is. Oh dear… Just kidding! Of course everyone remembers him! It worked! Before they can celebrate the return of their memories, Yamada has something very important to say. He calls everyone into the clubroom to tell them what he wished wasn’t for everyone’s memories to return. It was to abolish the witch power in this school. Come to think of it, none of the witches experienced any of such power ever since the ceremony. They couldn’t be happier for this new freedom. Later Shiraishi apologizes to Yamada that she couldn’t help him out when she really wanted and promised to. After all, he helped her stave off her bullies. She went on to forget and reject him. However he reminds her that he will tell her when her memories return. And now that it does, he confesses he loves her and wants her to date him. Feels somewhat awkward now that she remembers she liked somebody else. That was him. Really? For real! She thought he had taken a hint! Shiraishi has a request. She wants to kiss! Oh, this is just to check if her power is gone for good. Are you ready for this? Well, not too sure if this is a blooper since their teeth quickly bump into each other. Yamada claims she just wanted to kiss. She admits so.

Itou relays a big problem for her club members. Thanks to her spending it all on some alien replica, the club is out of money. Yeah, why not go make some then? How? Don’t worry. On the last day of the cultural festival, there is a performance put up by all clubs and the one that wins will get a cool 50 thousand yen. Wow. Imagine of all the cool things they can buy. Please don’t count your chickens… They decide to sleep in the school’s clubhouse to prepare for this but looks like the other clubs already have this idea. So back to their clubroom, they come up with ideas like Shiraishi’s magic. She flops but the rest finds it hilarious. It won’t do since she is the only act. I don’t know about Itou’s idea of turning Yamada into a mummy and swinging him around. Or Miyamura’s puppet act that only serves to piss off Yamada. So they decide to go take a bath first since there is where all ideas come from, right? Because Shiraishi wants to study, Yamada is forced to switch places with her and enter the forbidden heaven of the girls’ section. Too bad with all the ‘censors’, he won’t be seeing anything. We’re all disappointed! Then they tug in for the night before realizing they haven’t thought up with anything! Time to start thinking again. Prospects aren’t looking good when they see a dance group, Seven Witches on TV. They are currently a popular act. And so it is decided they will mimic their act but the problem is they are short of members. Late that night, Yamada overheard Asuka speaking to Yamazaki and the team that finishes last will get disbanded! Gasp!

So you can’t blame Yamada for getting fired up to find people. He tries his suave playboy persuasion. Noa would love too if not for her unrealistic demands… Tamaki is itching and hinting that he really wants to join but he was totally ignored. And he didn’t even use his power… Yamada tries to get Sarushima but she has her cheerleading club to go with. Yamada desperately tries to get her other members but got ‘beaten up’. Will Otsuka join? Well, let’s say she is dead serious in her calligraphy club as she demonstrates drawing a surreal picture! The stakes are high. So is the desperation. Does this mean Yamada will have to ask Ushio? Shiraishi and Itou seduce him to join but Ushio realizes it is the guys who switched bodies because there is only one guy who would address him so casually. Odagiri thinks they are targeting her so Yamada pleads for them to join and reveals the disbandment thingy. Odagiri still won’t because it’s not like they’re going to get expelled. But Yamada is serious and starts begging on his knees. Initially he thought this school is boring but joining the club made it more interesting. If he loses this, he will lose his sole reason for coming to school. That is when Shiraishi switches back and asks the duo as the club’s president to join them. Can’t say no after all that, right? I know Yamada is happy but what is he thinking trying to hug Odagiri? Luckily, Ushio the protector… But they are short of a member now. Then they remember: Tsubaki! They bait a tempura for him to come rushing back to the clubroom. At first he isn’t willing to do it but after learning Shiraishi is dancing, he’s in! It is done. During the event of picking the order the teams will go, they are discussing that teams lined up in the middle have higher chance of succeeding (less pressure to go later) while the one dead last is more prone to lose because the judges have seen everything. And then Yamada had to pick up the last order. Felt like fools to put their trust in him? But little do they know, going last could mean saving best for last and Yamazaki wonders if they’re ready to shoulder the responsibility.

Yamada is up late for practice! Well, every other club is early starting out their practice. Yeah, when money is on the line… When Yamazaki passes by, Yamada confronts him about the last place thingy. Shocked, Yamazaki tells him to keep it a secret. Or else… So now the guys start their dance moves but Yamada is the most pathetic that it will amount to automatic last place. But it seems the other guys also suck but they give excuse they want to help Yamada so they all practice together at the park, only to be confronted by those gangsters. So why choose the school to practice? Heck, why are there so many security guards?! Is this a bank?! Up at the rooftop, they see the girls who also had the same idea of practising. So they get their act together and get the materials for the costumes. The day of reckoning is here. Before the performance, the gang goes around the cultural festival. We learn a few things like Itou may be some sort of fujoshi because she and a hell bunch of other girls get too excited seeing a Romeo and Juliet play that is only played by all males, Miyamura is afraid of cats even if it just cat maid cosplay outfit. Noa spots those gangsters carrying a huge garbage bag away and since they came from the Supernatural Research club’s side, she suspects something amiss and alerts the gang. To their horror, their costumes have been stolen. As the performance is starting (those who cannot go on stage will be disqualified and this means automatic last place), it is suggested the girls wait at the venue while the guys go to find the costumes.

Yamada finds the gangsters trying to burn their costumes at the incinerator. As he struggles and fights back (he won’t give in to their demanded prostrating apology), he kisses the gangster’s boss. They switch bodies and in the panic, the boss runs off with the bag. Yamada runs around and stumbles upon other clubs who are out for his ass because they have been alerted about this dude who stole their costumes. It couldn’t be worst timing for Yamada because Yamazaki is here too. Although Asuka kicks him out when he tries to make a breakthrough, Yamazaki hears him murmur something about not wanting to come in last in the performance. It is the Supernatural Research club’s turn and to stall for time, I don’t know how Itou got Odagiri convinced to go out and do a stupid dance in a yakisoba outfit. Embarrassing! Somehow Yamada makes it back in time, switches back and everybody dresses up in time to put on a full performance. So dazzling that it captivates everyone and the judges! It was surely their win but why some other weird club took the title?! Simple. They weren’t on stage on time. Although already disqualified, Yamazaki allowed them to continue. So they’re dead and disbanded? Oh. About that. When Asuka mentions about disbanding the last placed club, Yamazaki disagrees with that idea and would like to put forth a consolation cash prize instead. So everybody is mad that Yamada misunderstood the whole thing and got them into a lot of trouble. Yeah, nobody can take back that yakisoba episode… They’re going to get back real good at him. Sorry Yamada, not even Shiraishi can help you this time.

It’s All In The Kiss
I wonder if mixed feelings are the right words to describe my sentiments. Heck, many animes these days also have me with these mixed feelings. Another way to put my overly used on-the-fence answer. So okay, overall I find this anime quite good because strangely I find it quite interesting and intriguing. Yes, believe me. That is why I said strangely. Because over the duration of the series, it kept me wondering and guessing who the witches are (although they are pretty obvious if you have read the manga and ever present in the opening and ending credits). I don’t know. There was this little ‘excitement’ in me to see who will be the next witch exposed and what their power is. Especially about the seventh witch whose uncanny relationship with the student council president and his intentions made the mystery effective. These were the few things that got me ‘hooked’ in watching it till the end although one of the downsides for example the revelation of Saionji’s relationship with Yamazaki felt normal although logically that would be the best answer. So after my expectations were bloated and hoping it would be something real shocking, a somewhat ordinary reason was just behind it after all. So yeah. Blame for me having high hopes. But don’t you have such for every show you watch?

It is interesting to see the use of a kiss to activate powers because as we have seen too many of romcoms, kissing can have just more than a magical effect. It is a cheeky and ‘clever/innovative’ way to hide a power activation via something that is considered sacred and intimate in relationships. It is a good thing that not many of the girls in the school have such powers and only restricted to just seven of them (at least that is what we know) because if everyone of them had such powers, how would the school look like if you see everyone kissing everybody in every corner? Gosh, this school would have earned a reputation for being a make out school! Even if that doesn’t happen, but don’t you think this is the only anime where our main guy gets to kiss multiple girls (and boys) and not be branded as some perverted player-cum-cheater?! Oh Yamada, you lucky bastard! How many girls (and boys) have you kissed so far?! Sometimes I feel ‘cheated’ because there are only 6 witches shown in this anime as the seventh one (or rather the sixth if you’re being picky that the seventh shall always be Saionji) is currently being ‘retained’ by a witch killer.

With a handful bunch of characters, they are another mixed baggage too. As the main focus is on Yamada and Shiraishi especially when the series reaches its conclusion, I feel that the rest of the other characters especially the minor supporting ones don’t really make a great impact. Especially for some of the witches like Sarushima, Otsuka and Noa. After their discovery and an episode dedicated to them for their issue to be solved, subsequent appearances by them felt just redundant. It is like they didn’t really matter at all and only bided their time so that all the witches could finally gather to perform the ceremony. Even some of the Supernatural Research club members also feel a bit redundant. Especially Itou and Tsubaki. There start off great in their debut but then subsequently with the direction the story is going, I feel they too didn’t really matter much. Because like Itou who is just an occult fanatic who is the only female main cast who isn’t a witch while tempura freak Tsubaki is just in the club because of his unrequited love for Shiraishi and even so his presence isn’t much felt.

Yamada as the main character somewhat reminds me of Beelzebub’s Oga because of his delinquent outlook but yet his kind heart (if you look deeper and harder, that is). Like your typical male lead who helps anybody in trouble and won’t betray them, it wasn’t really a surprise when he makes his revelation that he is in love with Shiraishi. Because my guts told me so and I saw it coming from a thousand miles. It had to happen. Especially with the direction of the anime is going, what else reason would he need to make such desperate moves to save Shiraishi? After all, a girl whom he often kissed to help out in his tests, why would a guy not fall for a pretty chick like her? I know switching bodies to take tests is cheating because it is the same like getting somebody to do your homework but who cares about the minor details. As long as it gets done and nobody else knows. The perfect crime?

And naturally Shiraishi in due time would come to like him because he was the guy who helped her stave off those jealous bullies. Whoever said honour students are perfect? If she was, she wouldn’t have been a witch in the first place. Even honours students have their own problems. Just because Shiraishi sits there quietly reading a book doesn’t mean she is problem-free. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to report her problems. I mean, who could help solve them in the first place? So isn’t it a wonder that she has a thing for Yamada? Seeing the duo interact is often amusing and fun especially when you have both their characters at other ends of the poles. Yamada is brash and more of the action person while Shiraishi is the studious quiet and studious type and more brains than brawn. You know what they say about opposites attract, right? Sometimes it is just funny to see Yamada panicking with all that facial expression while Shiraishi is just the cool cat in her deadpan monotonous face.

Other characters are fun too but as I have said, many of them had missed opportunities. Especially with only a dozen of episodes and quite a few interesting characters, there isn’t enough justice to flesh them all out properly. Like I have said before, the other minor witches. Once their issue is somewhat solved, they rarely play any active role after that. Partly that is because of the direction of where the anime is going. Oh God. How many times have I said that already? Yeah, yeah. With everybody forgetting their initial memories, it is no surprise that it has become a priority for Yamada to return their memories instead of providing us with more filler episodes for other characters, thus avoiding the expansion to another season and with the way how it all ended and the witches’ power vanished, I guess that killed off any chances of another season. Unless… You’ll never know. It’s not like they know the origins of the powers anyway or how they were exactly manifested in the witches (it is just speculation and mere observation that troubled girls will inherit them) since what Yamada wished for could be just a temporary measure before it comes back again and perhaps to new successors. But that would be another story.

Yamazaki is particularly intriguing himself because he has his mysterious atmosphere and is always a step ahead of the rest with his manipulative and cunning character. It’s like he read from the script of what is going to happen despite not having any powers at all. It is hard to figure out what he is thinking and that particularly makes him a tough nut to crack. So when his true wish is revealed, I thought it just felt a little disappointing. It’s like he was playing the great pretender just to hide it but yet it was simple enough instead of anything convoluted. So you’d expect him for world domination? A great schemer would always have a trusty sidekick by his side. Literally. Because mostly that is what you’ll remember Asuka for. Her deadly and swift flying kicks that Yamada seems to bear the brunt of. It’s like having Mortal Kombat’s x-ray move each time she lands that. Like Itou, I suppose Miyamura’s role is also a comical one at times because with his jovial and carefree attitude that sometimes has him come up with silly ideas or experiments. Sometimes I think everyone in the Supernatural Research club just loves to piss off Yamada and play pranks on him. They love to see his reaction. Maybe. But Yamada isn’t the greatest ‘punching bag’. I feel that belongs to Tamaki because this guy is often ignored and nobody pays attention to him even when he wants it so badly thanks to his current power.

Odagiri might have some sort of superiority complex because sometimes she pops up just to boast whatever she’s got and brag it to their faces (or just trying to be the b*tch). Ushio as Odagiri’s yes-man, his strained relationship with Yamada is intriguing. He betrayed Yamada by ratting him out and although on Odagiri’s camp, sometimes both sides come together to work for the greater good. So it makes both sides like strange bedfellows. Something about Leona’s character feels forced because like as though her role was just to give Yamada some lead and then her past relationship with Yamazaki just to shake things up and lead to the big revelation. Because I find it odd she holed herself up in her room ever since as to being afraid of her memories erased. Well, I don’t think Saionji’s power would work just within the school walls. Because she could have just entered her room and erased her memories any time.

Romance wise, everything points out to Yamada x Shiraishi and so the rest just feels like a minor distraction. We see Noa liking Yamada and despite she clings on to him, she doesn’t make any other daring move. I am not sure if she knows this guy likes Shiraishi or not but that’s it about them. With Odagiri being such a typical tsundere, it isn’t long before the inevitable happens. But since she is a smart girl and knows when to back out when she can never win, so all that is left is just Shiraishi for Yamada, right? No chance for harem or cat fight, eh? Ah well, at least Odagiri has got Ushio. Whether he is under her power or not, his love for him is real. Then there might be hidden feelings from Asuka and Saionji, the reason why they stay loyal to Yamazaki. Just saying… And there is the yaoi potential between Yamada and Miyamura… Don’t even want to go there! But it was interesting to think that if the guys switch with girls and start making out, will that be yaoi or yuri? Made you think.

Drawing and art feel okay and good. Lots of nice looking people especially cute pretty girls around. It is such an irony to call those cuties with powers witches because our stereotypic views has them as ugly mean old ladies. Even delinquent guys like Yamada look cool. Cool badass? My only gripe is that Odagiri looks very close to Sasaki and I was confused thinking they were the same person. Same case for Tsubaki and Tamaki. Almost the case for Miyamura and Ushio. It must be that hair colour thingy. The colouring is quite bright and vivid especially when you have every character with significantly different hair colour so that you can easily identify them without even looking at their faces. There are a handful of fanservice too but they are nothing explicit. And it might be true that Saionji could be really walking around the school grounds going commando. Because if you’re fast enough, you can see her butt when the wind flips up her skirt! Yikes! Oh well, who is going to see it all when nobody remembers you?

Voice acting feels okay. Versatility is shown whenever Shiraishi and Yamada switch bodies and you can see how their switched personalities fit into the other body like Yamada suddenly sounding so feminine and Shiraishi going very loud and crude. Kudos to Saori Hayami (Azuki in Bakuman) playing as Shiraishi and Ryota Ohsaka as Yamada (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator). The series also employs a handful of popular seiyuus. Those that I recognize are Eri Kitamura as Odagiri, Aoi Yuuki as Noa, Jun Fukuyama as Yamazaki, Kana Hanazawa as Asuka, Daisuke Ono as Ushio and Miyuki Sawashiro as Leona. Other casts include Toshiki Masuda as Miyamura (titular character in Samurai Flamenco), Maaya Uchida as Itou (Hiyori in Noragami), Shinnosuke Tachibana as Tamaki (Tomoe in Kamisama Hajimemashita), Toshiharu Sasaki as Tsubaki (debut anime role), Masumi Tazawa as Saionji (Kiriha in Rokujouma no Shinryakusha), Yuki Takao as Sarashima (Alka in Blade & Soul) and Yui Makino as Otsuka (Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle).

Surprisingly, the opening and ending themes are quite fun to hear. Like the opening theme, Kuchidzuke Diamond by Weaver has this catchy and tune thanks to the playful piano pounding. Likewise, the ending theme, Candy Magic by Mimi Meme Mimi also sounds good perhaps because of the cute passionate way she sings it despite the song sounding like a generic anime pop. Really. Even the themes for the OVA aren’t bad (although it is just only for the first one only). Ding! Ging! Dong! By Erushi as the opener sounds like a cute all-girl group act with all the fanfare blazing in this magical-like pop song. Odd Loop by Frederic as the ending theme is also fun to hear with its catchy anime rock style.

Overall, it has been a fun and enjoyable ride. There are some funny moments that made me laugh, interesting plot and pace of the story that kept me interested and while it is a hit and miss with some of the characters, I believe that in general all the characters are likeable and interesting in their own ways despite some not properly given much attention as much as the main ones. Not anywhere near a masterpiece or classic but it is enough as entertainment. If you’re interested, there was a live action version made before the anime adaptation. But after seeing the 2D girls are much cuter than the 3D ones… Nah. I’ll pass :). So I guess the kissing has stopped now that Yamada has made it happen with his wish. Unless there is another different set of witches… Gasp! Yeah, I guess those who read the currently ongoing manga (and those who lazily browse through Wikipedia) would already know something about this ;p. This anime might not churn out serial kissers or turn you into a sceptic but it does make you think twice before you kiss now. You may end up getting more than just a feel good fuzzy feeling in your heart. And also 80 million transferred bacteria for a fact…

Show By Rock

December 5, 2015

If you like animes about rock music but find K-ON! too humanly moe for your liking or even ordinary high school girls in a rock band isn’t your cup of tea, and if you have a certain fetish for furries then perhaps Show By Rock could be the answer you are looking for. Yes, people. If you like animals anthropomorphized as humans or at least their animal ears and tail, then I am sure you would like this one. I think. How often do you see a cat girl jamming the guitars or bunny girl doing some power riffs or doggie girl plucking away the bass solo? I know rock genres like black metal rock, hard rock, acid rock, alternative rock, punk rock, progressive rock and all the other kinds of rock music genres you can think of, they usually dress in outrageous outfits and questionable garments and having moe furries might be a little contradicting. But who cares when you have furries rocking hard to bring you their brand of rock music. Oh, and in the mean time save the music world from an unscrupulous music lord who wants to horde all the music in the universe for himself. The greatest performance and show ever in rock music history?

Episode 1
Cyan Hijirikawa has always wanted to be part of a rock band but is too shy to introduce herself. Well, if she could stop fantasizing on how great her guitar playing skills and embarrass herself in public. Back home, she is still hesitating to hand in her application form. So she takes a break by playing her mobile game. She gets a high score and receives a Strawberry Heart item. Suddenly she is sucked into her handphone. Down in Midi City, she witnesses in awe the band, Trichronika putting up a mesmerizing performance in front of their screaming fans. Suddenly a monster appears so our male idols go into action to fight it. However to their surprise, they see Cyan in this dimension. Because Myumons with music skills should only be able to enter this space. The trio are no match for the monster as it corrupts their Melodisian Stone. Cyan needs to do something and that is when a heart shaped guitar, Strawberry Heart AKA Berry materializes and wants her to strum away. Her power chords free the trio, purify their Melodisian Stone and destroy the monster. Back down on the ground, Cyan is met with this funny egg dude. Maple Arisugawa is the president of Banded Rocking Records (BRR) and wants her to join his agency. The all-girl band under him is Plasmagica and consists of Chuchu (guitar/vocals), Retoree (bass) and Moa (drums). Sounds tempting to join but when you see Trichronika in their long luxurious limo with screaming fans chasing all the way compared to their small dilapidated van… Even BRR’s headquarters looks like a rundown building. Cyan also meets Maple’s secretary and band manager, Angelica who doesn’t hesitate to beat up the president whenever he gets goofy. And I think he kinda likes it seeing he sounds like an S&M maniac. Chuchu hopes Cyan can join the band as they are looking for another guitarist for a fuller sound. Those words that Cyan long to hear… So screw the mystery of everything or even the thought of going home because joining a band is her top priority right now! Meanwhile in some big music label company, Unicorn Virtual Music, Dagger Morse receives word of some failure but will give him one last chance. He then reminds a legendary guitarist, Grateful King of the songs that he must write as per contract or else there will be a big penalty to pay. Yeah, a typical goal of conquering music of the entire cosmos. Cyan is happy to play her first jam session but there is somebody else there.

Episode 2
Shingan Crimsonz is an all-male rock band and another band under BRR. Crow, Aion and Yaiba are always arguing with each other and always need to be put in place by Rom (he also the only one he does a full time job). Seeing Trichronika on a TV commercial, Crow suggests doing something more amazing than Shuuzou (leader of Trichronika) but Rom punches him and warns him never to say that name. Maple has a job for Shingan Crimsonz. The guys are excited till they find out it is to play an opening gig for Trichronika’s concert. Rom is not interested at all but with Angelica being scary, I guess he’ll take the job. BRR also houses a dorm that the girls can leave so Cyan doesn’t need to worry about lodging. In her room, Berry talks to her about Midi City where everything revolves around music. Myumons are musical beings like them who love music. Everyone has a Melodisian Stone inside their hearts that resonate with music. Play a good one and it becomes a crystal with high purity. A bad one will corrupt you and turn you like that monster. It seems Cyan is brought to this world to save it. Until she polishes up her skills and destroys those monsters, she cannot return home. Who the heck sign her up for this?! Cyan shares with Plasmagica the first song she wrote. They love it. On the day of Trichronika’s concert, Shingan Crimsonz is nervous! But no use panicking now. It’s their turn. As they go up on stage, the fans don’t pretty like them as they want Trichronika. But when they start rocking away, the fans switch ships! Talk about band loyalty… Needless to say, their performance was a big hit. Although they still can’t steal the main show from Trichronika.

Episode 3
Plasmagica is getting a job. Battle of the bands. Seems Maple got too emotional and entered a bet with Ogasawara, the agent for Unicorn. They will be facing off with Criticrista, an all-female rock group from a show business course. The battle of the bands format will have both bands sing out their best song and the audience (live and internet) will put in their votes. The winning band gets reward money and their Melodisian Stone evolve. Retoree is feeling a melancholy. There is not enough time for her. The reason she joined a band was to make friends. She remembers how Maple invited her to join his agency and despite she was happy to take up the offer, she still doesn’t know how to be friends. Also, Moa’s real goal in joining the band is to investigate this city. What about Chuchu? To be the best of the best of course. Cyan is writing her song and wants some advice from Berry but he remains silent. You grow best when you struggle yourself? During the rehearsal, Plasmagica is stunned by Criticrista’s performance. Demoralizing, eh? On the day of the battle, Retoree starts having cold feet. She becomes a pessimist that they can’t win over those girls. She fears if they lose tonight, their dream of playing at BooDooKan is as good as over. So she thinks it is better to avoid this humiliation and hurt and go home? Not so fast. Cyan wants to talk to her. After Criticrista finishes their gig, it is Plasmagica’s turn. The band is now confident after Cyan suggested improvisation for some parts of the arrangement. They start playing their best. After all the votes are counted, the winner goes to… Criticrista! Despite both band leaders being gracious and humble, but deep down in their hearts, they are just cursing the other. Cyan talks to Retoree about her introvert personality and should have said things sooner. But today she realized she can get through her friends through music instead of words. Meanwhile a group of Myumon students are discussing a cool new rock band that is currently making its grounds in Midi City with its fusion of traditional Japanese music. They are Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan (TAM).

Episode 4
Retoree sums up her courage to invite her pals to TAM’s concert. Of course they want to go especially Moa who is a big fan of the group. Meanwhile Ogasawara reports to his boss on Criticrista’s victory but he doesn’t care about them and is more interested in Cyan. He knows her guitar skills will take his company further but will let her swim around freely for now. Plasmagica are in awe at TAM’s concert. At the backstage, Aa and Un think the fans like them so Darudayu warns them they are wrong to think that since the audience just merely found their music brand curious. While Plasmagica are eating at a café, they are surprised TAM is sitting at the next table! When Retoree gets up and walks towards them, they fear she is going to declare rivalry. Turns out she declares herself as their biggest fan. Moa soon follows suit. Darudayu takes note of Cyan. Back at BRR, Chuchu suggests some originality and would like to start with their clothes. It all seems to not fit the theme and look more like cosplay. They ask the Shingan Crimsonz guys but they pretend they didn’t see or aren’t interested. Liars. When Chuchu asks Rom for advice he tells them off that they misunderstood everything. Clothes do not determine whether a band is good or bad. He snaps when they think of becoming popular because music isn’t about being famous. Woah! Cool it that brother. You broke the spoon! He goes to take some fresh air. Shuuzou happened to be there to thank him for making him shine during the concert. Short flashback reveals they once played together. Plasmagica discusses that they should write a new song and will come up with some ideas before the next practice. Later, Moa feels homesick and thinking about her mom. What a coincidence she just called to check on her. She hopes she will come home after her mission is done. But this leaves Moa in a dilemma. She wants to go home but don’t want to. Not after she has made great friends and great music to forget her loneliness.

Episode 5
A monster attacks TAM in the midst of their concert. Maple lets his band know about the Futures Indie Band concert that they will be playing next week. They just receive news about the monster at TAM’s concert. Although they saved the day Darudayu was slightly injured. This makes Chuchu remember Cyan was fighting one when they first met. Retoree shows Cyan her computer that contains all the information regarding bands, venues and music. Cyan is impressed and Retoree is happy to have made progress in their friendship. Dagger is not happy Ogasawara failed another mission at TAM’s concert and he is getting wearing of Grateful King’s stubbornness. Time to get serious. Berry is talking to Cyan about the important mission to fight monsters so she can return to her world quickly. Unknown to them, Chuchu is eavesdropping and is shocked to see a talking guitar. This has her unable to concentrate on the practice as her mind is too preoccupied to think who Cyan is. For the concert, Plasmagica is sharing a room with Corriente and Wendy of Shizuku Secret Mind who also work part time selling mineral water (they’re mermaids). They talk about rumours of bands disappearing and it has got to do with monsters attacking at concerts recently. As Shingan Crimsonz is up on stage, a news flash that another concert nearby is being attacked by a monster. Berry rushes Cyan to go fight it although Plasmagica’s turn is almost up. Chuchu confronts her and wants an explanation but they can’t waste time on that now. And so Cyan had to run all the way there? The concert is over. The attack is over. The band barely managed to escape. The monster is gone. Cyan gets worried that the monster may be heading towards Futures Indie Band concert and now she has to run all the way back. WTF?! But before her are her band mates. Care to explain now? She reveals she is from another world and is very sorry she hid this from them. Retoree is most affected because it means she will leave one day. Doggie girl runs away in tears. Cat girl standing there in tears. And Maple must be wondering what the heck is going on and is his band of the verge of breaking up?

Episode 6
Because Cyan is in too much shock to say anything, Berry will speak on her behalf, shocking everyone. He explains Cyan’s skills are what needed to destroy the monsters but it is not him but Dagger who brought Cyan to this world. And no, it is not to fight monsters but to make her join his band in his bid to gain ultimate control of music and make money. That is why he even went as far as to look for talents in other worlds and zeroed in on Cyan. The monsters are controlled by Dagger and are used to eliminate rivals. When Cyan was sucked into this world, Berry intercepted. Maple and Angelica knew all about it and never told the rest so as not to burden them. The guys want to go beat up Dagger but Berry tells them not to as violence would make them the same as Dagger who uses money as power. The only way is to beat him is with music. Maple suggests a training camp to strengthen their bonds. Of course this is all part of the training to get them ready for the legendary Grateful Rock Festival and they need to write new songs for it. While the guys head to the mountains (and ended getting lots of trouble), the girls are at the beach. However the tension with the band is still there especially between Cyan and Retoree. Cyan goes talk to her and her love for music and guitar but was too shy to join a band but Retoree just ignores her. Not till Cyan starts singing her new song, Chuchu and Retoree join in. It is then Retoree makes up with her. Yeah, music reaches your heart. But where is Moa? They find her at the cliff and think she is going to commit suicide! Moa also comes clean and reveals she is an alien who is here to investigate this world. But the rest are confused. They think it is her way to make up with Cyan. Besides, this alien gimmick might be good for the band. Don’t believe, eh? Moa then shows proof by using her antenna to summon her rocket! Now you believe? Everyone couldn’t care about whatever backgrounds they have because now they are band mates and will treasure the time they have together. The training camp for both sides goes well especially the guys who are pretty much fired up for the next challenge.

Episode 7
Marimari from Shinimonogurui seeks Plasmagica’s help. One of her members, Tsugihagi is missing. Apparently they heard how concerts at Youkai Street are great and decided to play there but monsters also start appearing. That is when Tsugihagi went missing. Marimari wants to apologize to Tsugihagi because he said something about wanting to improve his keyboard and should have listened to him. She wants their help to find her friend because she saw Cyan fought the monster before. Meanwhile Ogasawara reports to Dagger that he has successfully spread rumours of Youkai Street and bands have already start gathering there. He didn’t expect Cyan to turn up too. Shingan Crimsonz is at Youkai Street but they are being scared out of their daylights because they keep meeting monsters. Screaming like little girls? As Plasmagica make their way into Youkai Street, Berry senses a monster coming. Shingan Crimsonz is about to start their performance when they are sucked into another dimension to fight this huge speaker monster. They are no match for it at first but when Rom reminds them about the dream they are going to create, their passion starts burning, giving them the power to fight back and after pulling off teamwork combos, they successfully destroy it. Everybody loves this great show. Once they return to the real world, it seems the monster reverts back to Tsugihagi. Marimari is glad to be reunited with him. Tsugihagi doesn’t remember how he turned into a monster except being worried about something. The duo are reunited with their other band members which turned out to be those monsters who scared the sh*t out of Shingan Crimsonz. Unknown to everyone, the monster seed creeps into Aion. On the way back, Shingan Crimsonz didn’t realize they were fighting a real monster because they thought it was somebody trying to play a prank on them. This means they are great, huh? Don’t get too full of yourselves yet. But Berry is worried about band members turning into monsters and does having darkness in one’s heart turn you into one? Is there a link to it?

Episode 8
Maple has bad news for Plasmagica. There is a requirement that might prevent them from playing at the festival. Because they haven’t performed in a proper live concert before. Shingan Crimsonz was the opening gig at Trichronika and was counted but shouldn’t Plasmagica’s battle of the bands count too? So why suggest playing another battle of the bands with Criticrista again? Maple is afraid to call Ogasawara for the match so Angelica does it on his behalf. It will be next week. As Shingan Crimsonz being their practice, they notice Aion isn’t around and when he shows up late, Crow starts insulting him as usual but went too far saying that his songs he wrote were lame. The guys realize something is wrong when Aion starts acting strange and even more shocking, he quits the band! Once Plasmagica learns about this, Cyan worries that he might turn into a monster and it is better to go find him. Crow won’t forgive Aion for quitting the band and won’t go search with them. But where will they find him in this city? So happened Shuuzou spotted Aion on a building and informs Rom. Shuuzou’s band mates wonder about his past with Rom so he metaphorically mentions about the same yet different dream they once had that they couldn’t walk together and went their separate ways. Once the guys find Aion, Rom punches him to drag him back but it looks like there is no effect whatsoever. Till Crow comes by to tell him he is making his guitar sad. He apologizes for saying too much then and that he has not quit the band because nobody accepted his resignation. Because he will never allow a band member who writes soulful songs to just quit like that. Aion’s Melodisian Stone heals and in no time the band is a whole again. After Plasmagica receives the good news, a public announcement from Criticrista declaring their rivalry with Plasmagica for the battle of the bands rematch.

Episode 9
Grateful King talks to Dagger since he has writer’s block. Dagger mentions about his goal to gather all the best talents to stand atop of this world. It doesn’t matter what they think. They will come to him. Chuchu thinks performance is what they need to beat Criticrista. So she has her band members practice juggling their instruments and doing some acrobatic stuffs? That’s got to hurt. When Shingan Crimsonz sees this, Rom tells them off about doing something this superficial. Their job is to speak directly to the soul of the fans with their songs. That is all there is to it! Chuchu still thinks something is missing so Retoree shows a picture of their bond that they had during the training camp. On the day of the rematch, both groups pass each other in the hall. Chuchu thought of being polite to them but Rosia ignores her to greet Cyan (and then whisper how she’ll lose). So when Criticrista is putting up their cutie performance, Chuchu starts falling into depression about that incident. Something dark brewing in her heart… But she is snapped out when it is their turn. Plasmagica puts on a magnificent performance that Rosia starts shaking in fear! She knows Criticrista has lost! OMG! She’s getting too freaking emotional already! That’s what you get for counting your chickens. And Plasmagica is elated because they were having so much fun. Naturally when the results are out, Plasmagica wins! Ogasawara thinks a lost is nothing since they have already qualified for the festival but Rosia knows a loss will not do! That is when Dagger the man himself pops up. His dark aura… You can tell he is not happy. First he scares the sh*t out of Ogasawara over his failure and doesn’t want to see his face again! Better run for your life. Now what is he going to do to the girls? They know losing is not an option but that just happened. Oh sh*t! I hope no dark tentacle rape here. As if taking and corrupting their Melodisian Stone and calling them incompetent trash isn’t enough, I don’t know what horror stuff he unleashed onto them that had them screaming like it’s the end. And all they did was lose…

Episode 10
Chuchu is feeling down because the spotlight wasn’t on her despite Plasmagica won. If she had the guts to write using her friends as stepping stone to achieve her ambition in her diary, she must be getting desperate now. Berry gathers Plasmagica to tell them about Dagger who is probably going to use his monsters to attack popular bands as the festival. He is going to use the confusion by turning the audience’s Melodisian Stones dark. Although they can defeat the monsters, it still won’t solve the problem. The only way to defeat Dagger is via music. He reveals Dagger’s goal to gather top musicians for himself. His targets are Shuuzou, Darudayu and Cyan. Before Plasmagica could practice, Chuchu surprisingly tells her band mates that she wants a break for a change in pace. Actually she received a mail from Dagger who was watching her performance and wants to meet. She goes to Unicorn as he brainwashes her to work for him now. Chuchu remembers how she got into music. She saw Grateful King in concert and it inspired her to want to perform like that. Then, she thought it was better to perform as a band rather than solo because it seemed easier to get noticed. She was happy when Maple offered to be her agent. Despite the minor label, it was her first step to realize her ambition. And now nothing will stop her to reach that. Even if that means quitting Plasmagica. Dagger tells her to go betray her friends. Grateful King is shocked to see Chuchu and needs to do something but Dagger puts a stop to him. He knows Grateful King has been possessing Berry and helping the girls. He reminds Grateful King that he doesn’t care about him but only his songs. When Chuchu returns, she drops the bombshell that she is quitting the band and going solo for she has joined Unicorn. Plasmagica was just a stepping stone. Bye. I see now it’s her turn to quit. Berry tells the girls to stop her as she has been brainwashed by Dagger. They start playing their music till Chuchu joins in and is freed from the evil control. Berry explains Dagger was trying to use Chuchu to turn Cyan’s Melodisian Stone dark. Chuchu admits about her ambition to be noticed and all that she did was true and just for that. But the girls think positive because thanks to that, it also helped Plasmagica and they have gotten this far together. One last question: Will she quit the band? No way!

Episode 11
Maple tells his rock bands about Dagger planting monsters during the festival. Cyan is worried Berry hasn’t spoken to her ever since that incident. Chuchu blames herself but everyone says it’s not her fault. Dagger is ecstatic that Grateful King has written the best song ever. Grateful King is exhausted after using up a lot of his power to save Chuchu. He wants to be released as per contract but you know, Dagger is such a typical bad guy and not going to keep his word especially if that promise was just verbally made. Dagger is now going to make sure the best entertainment will begin. All our usual rock bands gather and meet at the festival. Trichronika opens the festival followed by Shingan Crimsonz. During TAM’s performance, this is when Dagger strikes. All the rock bands are transported to another dimension. A monster bug attacks them and weeds out all the unchosen ones. Dagger orders to capture his chosen ones but Darudayu gets into her giant cat daruma to fight the monster. She believes she can do this by herself and the duo should save their power for later. She is about to emerge victorious and land the final blow when Cyan senses something familiar coming from the monster. She realizes it is Rosia trapped and crying for help. Cyan manages to stop Darudayu in time before she kills her.

Episode 12
Dagger orders the monster to take Cyan. With Darudayu getting in the way, Shuuzou uses his power to free the rest as Plasmagica put on a performance to purify the monster back to Rosia. So now she’s getting all emotional about saying bad things about them, the reasons she turned into a monster. But Dagger is not about to be defeated. In his monster form, he captures everyone. Meanwhile Maple and Angelica sneak into Unicorn HQ and pass all the security traps to free Grateful King. Cyan agrees to do what Dagger says to avoid her friends getting hurt further. She is about to be swallowed by him when Grateful King intervenes. Dagger doesn’t need him anymore and continues to take Cyan. See, if you don’t get rid of him, Grateful King is going to interrupt you as many times as he is going to take. This time, Grateful King is sorry about dragging her into this mess and making her fight despite she doesn’t want to. Just when Cyan recognizes him as Berry, she is thrown back into her own world. Now how are the rest going to deal with this monster boss? Cyan feels she can’t go back yet and returns. Oh wow. She’s in her angel form! A cupid more precisely because she fires her arrow of love to purify the monster once and for all. Dagger reverts to his harmless form. Uhm… Doesn’t he look like a sperm? Time for reconciliation. Time for thanks. Time for goodbyes. Chuchu presents her members each a guitar pick as memento. How sweet. Time for emotional group hug. But it isn’t the end yet. The festival continues and Plasmagica steals the limelight on stage. The girls learn a valuable lesson that no matter how far apart they are, they will always friends. Yeah, we get it. You love everybody, right? Back in her original world, Cyan still has jitters to join the rock band. But seeing Chuchu’s pick gives her the courage to open the door and make clear her intention.

The Show Must Go On
Oh yeah! Music save the world and universe! Ahem… Overall, unless you are a fan of rock music and furries playing them, many would just pass it off as just being average. So it wasn’t all just a dream after all. Because Chuchu’s pick is proof that Cyan has been there, done that and become the legend that saved Midi City and the entire universe from a greater evil. Speaking of which, I think despite the happy ending, they leave a little room in case there needs to be a sequel. Don’t you see? Dagger still roams free! Sure, he might be useless and harmless in his sperm-like form but if he can still shout out profanities and the fact that he is not captured, this leaves room for him to return once he gets his power back. And will Cyan be back again when that happens? And how? But we’ll leave that for next time. For now, let’s just leave with the good feeling that Cyan is now able to join a real band back in her own world. Assuming they let her in of course. Say, doesn’t that band have a strange resemblance to the Plasmagica members? Truth is stranger than fiction.

I feel the plot although isn’t quite the original and generic (how often do you have a main character from another world being casted as the one with some sort of hidden latent power and becomes the chosen one in rescuing denizens of this world), it is not that bad and with the episodic feel of the episodes, sometimes I find myself hard to stay focus on the story and its progression. Because you know, it is mostly how Cyan bonds her friendship with her band mates. They have their little issues to deal with and goals to achieve but ultimately they grow closer in the name of friendship and music as they work their way up to become one of the greatest bands and realize their dream.

Therefore the characters don’t really feel fleshed out that much. To be fair, with only a dozen episodes and a handful bunch of characters, you’re not going to see a lot of character development. Of course Plasmagica is the star of this show so they get more focus than the rest. But even so, their past and struggles are only as much as shown here. Like Moa being an alien coming to observe this world. It’s like they’re trying to give her some sort of background so as not to make the drummer a total empty character but that is all about that to her. Chuchu wanting to stand atop the rest feels like to serve as a convenient flag to advance the plot when Dagger starts to make his move. I don’t see how a rock band is a place to make friends if this is what Retoree’s goal was all along. Then there is something going on between Rom and Shuuzou, something that led them to split ways but you won’t know more than what you see. Or maybe it is just as simple as that. It’s just a music show. Why complicate things? Well, I thought musicians themselves are pretty complicated…

So Cyan as the main character and big heroine of the series she’s got a lot on her plate. At least for a high school girl. She’s got to figure out how to make the band stick together since it is a dream come true and at the same time defeat monsters and save the world if she wants to return to hers. Such heavy responsibility for a girl whose only initial girl is to sum up her courage to join a rock band. Sure she got her wish but it looks like it came with saving the world mission too. Well, at least joining this rock band is different than a certain high school all-girl rock band who mainly wastes time drinking tea and eating snacks in their club room instead of doing any serious practising. I wonder how long has she been in Midi City. Because I could imagine all the classes she would have missed and her family lodging a missing daughter report.

Sometimes I feel the guys in BRR are like for comic relief. For example, look at Maple himself. If you have a band manager looking like an egg already, you can’t help want to crack Humpty Dumpty jokes. Then they shock us in one of the final scenes: Maple’s true form is a handsome elderly dude???!!! WTF???!!! OMG!!! At times he may turn into a joker and step out of line and thus perhaps Angelica’s role there to string him back in line. Maple’s secret masochist fetish may make me start thinking that eggs are all masochists because they can’t wait to be cracked open… Don’t you think so?

Shingan Crimsonz provide an alternative distraction if too much Plasmagica may make you puke. With Crow, Aion and Yaiba being jokers at times, Rom’s role feels like Angelica to Maple. To put them in line and remind them about why they make music. And when this guy speaks, you listen. And always they really get so touched by it like they’ve seen the light or something. Awesome, right? Like jokers, right? But in terms of personality, Shingan Crimsonz is more amusing than Plasmagica because when you have a guy who thinks he is god and only can talk with his hand over his mouth, a guy who keeps talking like a samurai, a guy who calls his fans as cattle, they’re far more interesting than a group consisting of shy girls, ambitious girl and alien girl. Don’t you agree with me?

Other characters outside BRR feel rather okay but as I’ve said, nothing much more about them. Shuuzou’s never ending limo feels like a running joke as well as those piggy girl fans who constantly scream and follow him wherever he goes. To have TAM get more screen time rather than on the stage, it is often shown Darudayu ‘lecturing’ to her band mates in their backstage room about their important goal of spreading their far east music style to Midi City. Dagger of course is stereotypically the big bad villain that we all love to hate. The additional reason why our good guys continue to play good music so that they can beat the crap out of his vile schemes. Via music of course.

As a music themed genre, rock music plays a big part and of course the main attraction of the show. However I am not really a big fan of rock music so what I say may not reflect truly on the rock music in this series. In short, I personally don’t find the rock music to be appealing. Like the opening theme, Seishun Wa Non-Stop by Plasmagica is supposed to be that lively rock piece that is supposed to get you into the pace of this anime. But to me it just sounds like a generic anime rock song. The ending theme, Have A Nice Music also by Plasmagica too tries to match this liveliness but again I don’t really find it to my taste. Not even the cute moe animation stuffs at both ends could sway my heart. Even the rock themed insert songs sung by Shingan Crimsonz, Trichronika, TAM and even Criticrista didn’t quite appeal to me. Maybe I am just not cut out for this kind of rock music. And if it was, it is going to take something really catchy and special. Unfortunately this series didn’t have that sort of magic for me.

But instead of spamming us with music concerts all the way, I guess that is why sometimes we have those monster battles as variety. Sure, it’s to develop the plot as a certain villain was just testing out. Even if it is just mediocre, but I suppose it is a way to showcase the power of their music in bringing down the monster. I think just like some rock bands, they have cool names for their instruments. Whether it is like Holy Arc or Red Tomahawk or Ryuken-den or Skull Jaguar, they really sound cool. Some of their instrument’s designs are also cool especially Yaiba’s bass guitar that also doubles as a samurai sword. I don’t know, I thought Chuchu’s guitar looked a bit like Batman’s logo. Well, almost.

Voice acting is rather okay but if you love rock music, you’re not going to pay much attention to the voice acting. Only Ayane Sakura as Moa (~pyuru) and Mamoru Miyano as Shuuzou are the ones I recognized. The rest of the other casts include Eri Inagawa as Cyan (Ai in Youkai Watch), Sumire Uesaka as Chuchu (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Manami Numakura as Retoree (Riko in Love Lab), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Berry/Grateful King (Bossun in Sket Dance),Yoshimasa Hosoya as Rom (arata in Chihayafuru), Kishou Taniyama as Crow (Jean in Shingeki No Kyojin), Kouki Uchiyama as Aion (Raku in Nisekoi),Tetsuya Kakihara as Yaiba (Natsu in Fairytail), Megumi Han as Darudayu (titular character of Mushibugyou), Yuji Ueda as Maple (Keitaro in Love Hina), Risa Shimizu as Angelica (Amira in Shingeki No Bahamut: Genesis), Takaya Kuroda as Dagger (Renjou in Kurenai) and Rina Hidaka as Rosia (Ririchiyo in Inu x Boku SS).

If you are a purist fan of hand drawn 2D animation, then the downside of this series is that they employ 3D CG animation here. However this is only limited to when the characters perform on stage during concerts. It is a good try to use CG but this means there is a very big discrepancy with the 2D animation for the characters look very different as they are in their full animal form. Sometimes I can’t help think that the CG effects used are like claymation because of the visuals and everything. But if it was claymation in the first place, the animation would be jerky instead of this smooth. The monster’s design somehow feels bland. Sure, we don’t care about the monsters. As long as they have those speakers embedded in their body as an attack feature, I suppose they’re fine.

As for the 2D art and design, they’re rather okay and pleasing to the eye with lots of colourful stuffs especially the character clothes design (somehow I find Cyan’s gothic design to be my liking… Is it because it resembles closely to a maid?). And of course, those animal ears and tail you can identify what kind of animal they are having those. I thought Grateful King was the ‘laziest’ design (Dagger is second to this) because his form is like a shadow and you can only see his outline. Not even a decent face he’s got. I am guessing from that pompadour hairstyle and outfit, he is based on Elvis Presley? Even his name hints greatly of it. Yeah, rock on forever. Then we can hear conspiracy theories of how Elvis was spotted alive in Midi City…

This anime might be generic and doesn’t rock any boat but at least with its easy to follow and very simple plot of good triumphing over evil, this isn’t a bad series after all. Heck, with all the colourful and cute stuffs everywhere, this series might even be suitable for kids. And maybe they’ll find out if they really like this brand of rock music or not… Well, I know I won’t be caught dead in using my music to save the world or anything. But you’ll never know. Time to brush up my guitar skills and keep practising in case it ever happens. If not, maybe just to woo chicks. I hope… ;p.

Mujaki No Rakuen OVA 2

December 4, 2015

There’s still more? I wouldn’t have guessed it since they released the second OVA a year later after the first. I suppose with lots of potential from the first OVA, it was tempting and thus the need for the second. If you remember Mujaki No Rakuen, it is about a loser guy who attended his class reunion. All his girl classmates are beautiful, sexy and successful. Then he slips into a pool and time travels back to his elementary days where he gets to relive and redo his life all over again. No stress of work and certainly lots of ecchi encounters with his female classmates. No wonder he is all pumped up to relive his childhood days again. Better watch out and not get distracted by their pantsu… Or into the river you go…

Splitting Pain And Pleasure
Shouta sees Konomi in her ballet class. Looking very pretty, eh? The girls spot him and think he is peeping on them, causing him to slip down the stairs. Luckily he didn’t break his neck. On the way home as they talk, Konomi thanks him for always praising her. She also asks a favour of him: She wants him to help her with her splits. It is Shouta’s first time in her bedroom and he is already having unholy thoughts of making out with her. So is that why he is apologizing profusely when Konomi comes in bringing drinks? Konomi splits her legs 180 degrees. Shouta is supposed to put his hands on her marshmallow ass and push it down to fill the gap between her hip and floor. Yeah, he is already seeing another kind of ‘gap’ there. He pushes harder. The humping. Konomi’s noting of how good it is. Yeah, everything just seems so kinky from this point of view. Once that is done, that is just the warm up. Now it is the real deal. She needs to split her legs 200 degrees. Splitting her legs on the chairs, Shouta will have to push her down till her bottom touches the bottle (why the heck does it look like a mushroom?!). She wants him to continue pushing her even if she screams out in pain. He does so while she grabs on to him. With her screaming in pain all the while spewing ambiguous lines like thrust harder, you can somewhat feel the pain and it feels equally hard to maintain an erection! Konomi’s bottom did touch the bottle but Shouta’s own ‘mushroom’ is also touching hers! In the end, Konomi is pretty satisfied with it although the same cannot be said for Shouta. Not too sure if he is tired or something to do with his erection…

Manatsu Kamiya and Nako Sasaki are arguing who among them is the better sportswoman. The only way to settle this is a challenge. And poor Shouta has to become their judge and come up with challenges and its rules. Let the games begin. Best 2 of 3. First up is pole climbing. The first to reach the top wins. Sounds fairly easy. As both race up, it is a hard call to see who reached first. It is then they decide to turn this into an endurance match to see who can hold out the longest. However Nako soon realizes the dizzying heights. Shouta also remembers she has acrophobia. Because of that, her sweat is loosening her grip till she falls onto Shouta. Yeah, that guy was underneath watching her ass. Manatsu leads. Next is handstand endurance. Both try to bump each other down. Little do they realize that gravity is pulling down their shirts and revealing their mini ‘strawberries’. Manatsu got too passionate and she loses balance. The tie is now even. The final match will be socks pulling. WTF?! However it can hardly be fair because Nako is wearing thigh high socks compared to Manatsu’s ankle length. They suggest pulling off their bloomers instead. Can you not agree more to this? Both make an aggressive start as they already have each other in the other’s hold. Yeah, they’re pulling down not only the bloomers but the panties as well! Seeing butt cracks! I suppose Shouta had to be close to their asses to judge if their bloomer is fully pulled down and somehow Nako’s butt lands on his face, pinning him to the floor. From his point of view, he could almost see Manatsu’s slit… Yeah, their position looks like a very ambiguous orgy… In the end, it is a draw and both girls commend each other. They look forward to next time and hope Shouta will be their judge. I don’t think he is too enthusiastic about it.

Lost Innocence?
Mmm… Had fun? Well, okay. If they’re going to wait for another year to make another OVA, I would suggest they would be better off just turning it into a TV series instead of making our libido wait for another year. Haha. Because I feel that there are lots more of such ‘innocent’ ecchi stuffs that Shouta has done considering the opener of this second OVA is a mix of both scenes of the first one and scenes that we have never seen before (naked rock climbing while hanging on to a rope only made out of all their clothes?!). And Shouta you lucky dog bastard! There is an opening scene whereby all the young girls willingly showing their slips to him! Yeah, I think they better make more of this :). Thus this second OVA is a great addition to the first one (for those who really love it anyway). It shows a little more (accidental) ecchi exploits from Shouta as well as placing a couple of new girls to the spotlight. But that is so much about it.

Sometimes the big dilemma in watching elementary kids in such ambiguous situation would amount to being paedophile. It isn’t exactly child porn here but with the ambiguous ecchi scenes even though they seem harmless may prove to be a lot to some. But if there is one positive note for the ecchi scenes here, it is the fact that because they are still kids, the fact that boobs and panty slips do not get to them. Yet. They are still not self conscious about all those stuffs and thus perhaps why they don’t make a fuss about all those stuffs that teens and young adults start to find. There is this innocence you see in the things that they do and it is just us perverted adults that have dirty thoughts into thinking how perverted their actions really are. All the while it could have been nothing.

One thing different I noticed is the art and drawing. The very obvious one is how Shouta’s design has changed. In the first OVA, his hair was of a darker colour but in here it is changed to dark brown. I’m not sure but the face of Shouta here looks a bit chubbier. It makes me think he looks a little bit like a bully. I also feel that the quality has dip a little although you’ll be more distracted with the ‘innocent’ sexy stuffs that you’ll be laughing at. Innocent because your dirty mind goes too far thinking too much. And to reconcile those dirty thoughts with little elementary kids here, that is why you giggle in thinking this is just innocent fun. Unless…

I don’t want to sound like a pervert (heck, everybody who watches ecchi are considered so already), but I hope they do make more of this. Maybe like how they turned Kyo No Go No Ni many years back. After all, many of us who are full grown adults can’t really go back in time to redo the stuffs so that in the future we can get laid for free by the girls we fantasize. Am I right? So why not watch some of these innocent ecchi stuffs just for nostalgia sakes? Pfft. Nostalgia for ecchi? Maybe it will be better if we go for full blown porn instead.

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