Joukamachi No Dandelion
January 23, 2016
It has been handed down by tradition and generations that normally for a monarchy, the eldest son of the royal family would be the one to inherit the throne when the king passes on. I am not sure if there are any in this world, but even if there are, it would be a very rare feat when the next king is chosen via election! Not just election among the royal family members, but election by the normal people! Hmm… I don’t think it ever exists in this world. But it does here in Joukamachi No Dandelion. The proud king of a Japanese-like country (or is it just Japan itself) decides that the next king would be decided via elections. What better way than to gauge the budding king by installing cameras everywhere in the streets! Holy cow! There goes the privacy. Every move you make… Every breath you take… Every step you take… I’ll be watching you… Holy cow…
And so for over a year, his sons and daughters engage in brutal mudslinging, character assassinations, backstabbing, vote rigging, bribery, kickbacks and underhanded tactics to outwit and outlast the other just to inherit the throne. Just kidding!!! You’d wish that happened, right? Please not that this isn’t some sort of Game of Thrones style anime here. No blood, no violence, no deaths, no cheats and no despair or sorrow whatsoever. Our siblings here get along just fine and despite the looming election, we see them going about with their daily lives, mixing with the ordinary citizens, helping them out, etc. Where’s the fun in all that?!
The Sakurada family might look like a typical big family. With 11 members, I guess you have to really wait for your turn to use the toilet. However there is a thing that sets this family apart from the rest. They are the royalty of this country! Their father Souichirou who is the king believes his children should live a normal neighbourhood life. Because all 9 children are expected to become candidates in next year’s election for the heir to the throne, the streets are filled with cameras watching their every move! This does not sit very well with Akane as she is a very shy person and would love to do away with all the attention. Each of the children has a special power and for Akane’s case, it is gravity control and this allows her to fly. Akane might be shy when the townspeople greet her or even her school friends but when a snatch thief comes running by, she doesn’t hesitate to go stop him. She wanted to drop kick on him but because this move exposes her panties, she tries to cover up and ends up giving him a knee kick. It sure took him out for good. Now she has to dread the TV interview and giving police statement. Too much attention! There is even a special TV programme that showcases the approval rating of the royal children. Wow. Reality TV for royals. Akane fears it would increase her popularity as they keep showing that knee kick footage! Souichirou then makes a sudden announcement that his children will appear in a TV game show. As part of the programme to appeal to the masses, they are to gather little lion soft toys on a roof and into their basket. The last one will have to clean the castle toilets for a month. Akane is okay with getting last since it will not make her stand out.
The siblings are also encouraged to display their super powers. A cue for getting to know them and their unique ability. Like Teru who has super strength as he uses it to climb the building. Hikari can manipulate the growth of life but she grows them too high and now she is stuck. Kanade can materialize whatever she thinks but ironically I don’t understand how this would deduct her money in her bank account. Misaki can clone herself and each clone has independent thinking while Shiori has the ability to talk to animate and inanimate objects. Aoi can memorize anything and never forgets and Shuu has teleportation. Haruka might be the geekiest since his ability is to determine the probabilities of various possibilities. He proposes Akane to team up to increase their chance of not getting last. She is fine with this last place till he reminds her the countless number of toilets and people she will meet while cleaning them. Motivated enough to participate? In the end, Shuu has the most while Akane and Hikari are joint last with nothing. The preliminary polls are also out and it seems Akane is in second place! Looks like her popularity is increasing. Although Souichirou gives his children some motivational talk about being hopes for the country, Akane still wishes she is just a dandelion minding its own business in the field. But when Aoi says if she becomes king and can abolish all the cameras, Akane is motivated to win the election. Such a simpleton.
Akane and Hikari must know now how hard it is cleaning the castle toilets. I wonder how many more to go… Akane is being the usual shy girl going to school. This time she clings so close to Kanade that it really annoys her. She would really like to tell her off but with the cameras watching, she can’t take any drastic action. But Akane finds herself in a catch-22 situation when Kanade mentions even if she becomes king and abolishes all the cameras, everyone’s attention will be on her well simply because she’s king. So you still want to be king? Just when Kanade manages to make Akane let go of her, she makes a mad dash! Akane chases closely behind. If you’re wondering why she won’t fly, it’s because she fears of exposing her panties. It seems the entire nation knows about it ever since that incident. No wonder her popularity soared. When Akane sees a cat going to be run over by a truck, she uses her power to save it. But she cannot escape in time so Kanade materializes some shock absorbent wall in between them. Akane would like the pay Kanade back since the amount deducted from her account is equivalent to the value of the things materialized. So is she going to work her entire life to pay back 40 million? Think not.
Akane wants to draw lots with her siblings thinking she has a better chance of not doing the shopping errand. Unfortunately… Yeah, she got exactly that. She pleads to switch with Shuu for cleaning but in exchange she needs to change her hairstyle. Shuu’s classmate, Hana Satou obviously has a crush on him. Nice, kind and considerate guy. Yeah, every girl’s dream. Being royalty is icing on the cake. She’s daydreaming about him when he pops up before her. The close proximity of their faces, he accidentally spits milk in her face! Hana’s friends can tell she likes Shuu and plays a prank by pushing her onto him. When Hana forgot to say goodbye to him after school, she is surprised to see him walking back with a girl. I suppose she couldn’t recognize Akane’s change in hairstyle. She starts getting paranoid of this new girlfriend of his and tails them. And you know how Akane is so clingy when she’s in public, right? So when the siblings realize somebody is tailing them and corner her, they want an explanation. That is when Hana admits she likes him. Despite shocking for everyone, Shuu claims he can’t give an answer now as he is concentrating on the elections. She doesn’t mind waiting after then. He promises he will give her his answer after the elections. Hana gets a surprised call from Shuu that night just to wish her goodnight. She wonders if he really likes her and of all girls, why her? Maybe it’s her simplicity? He notes that she never changed all these years since they were childhood friends. Akane has got a lot on her mind especially if Shuu will date Hana after the elections and why Shuu doesn’t want Kanade to win the elections. Maybe she shouldn’t think aloud and bother her sleeping sisters.
Kanade talks about the irony that Aoi is currently leading the standings but she isn’t interested in becoming king. Imagine if she does, how far would her popularity soar? Hikari on the other hand would just transform herself into a busty version. Even if that only last for 24 hours, the problem is everyone would know who she is instead of judging her by her appearance. In hopes of appealing to the masses, Hikari accompanies Akane out for shopping. However Akane would love to avoid all the places with cameras. Since they take the back alleys, Akane loses Hikari since the latter got distracted following a stray cat. Now does she have to go shopping alone? The cat is stuck up the tree so Hikari grows herself to take it down. When Akane finds her, she couldn’t recognize her. Hikari is hiding because now that she has grown big, her clothes no longer fit and this would mean public indecency. How did they get back safely? She turned Akane into a little kid and they swap clothes. Akane becomes Misaki’s plaything for the next 24 hours. Shuu notes Hikari could have just shrunk the tree. Didn’t think about that, did she? I don’t know what trial Teru is so desperate to overcome that he wants to do an errand (younger siblings in the household are exempted). So he agrees to swap Akane’s shopping errand but Shiori is worried for him and accompanies him. True enough, Teru is forgetful and gets into minor bumps but luckily Shiori has got him covered. On the way back when a stray dog attacks Shiori for food, Teru uses his power to stomp the ground to scare it off. Seems he made a contract with mom not to use his power recklessly. But if Shiori is put in danger, he’ll gladly rip that contract apart. They walk home holding hands.
After Hikari’s favourite idol, Sachiko Yonezawa gets lots of fans in her debut, she gets an idea of increasing her popularity by being an idol. Haruka finds out about this and agrees to help her achieve her goal. So what is with all the harsh training? I thought Hikari was going to be some SEAL commando or something. Because Hikari has been using another identity, on the day of the audition, she is required to show her ID. The reception thought there was a mistake when they see her as they are not recruiting primary kids. Back to the drawing board. Then when a scout invites her, she doesn’t hesitate to accept. The agency finds her talented and would love to meet with her guardians. When she brings them home, they realize the royalty family she comes from. You should see them prostrating before the king, begging him to let his daughter be an idol. You thought Souichirou is going to say, “Off with their heads!”, right? Well, he gladly agrees! And now Hikari has made her idol debut alongside her favourite idol, there is just one small miscalculation. Haruka points out if she is doing this to increase her popularity, wouldn’t hiding her identity be pointless? Didn’t think about that, did she? I too wonder if the entire nation doesn’t recognize this royal sister.
That stray cat is now part of the family. He is named Borscht and Akane wonders why he rather chew plastic bag than eat real cat food. Shiori reads his mind that he is disappointed in expecting royalty food. Chewing the plastic bag is to show it tastes better than their food! When Akane barely arrives at school in time, this one shocking thing that has everyone staring… Has Akane forgotten to wear her skirt???!!! OMG! But her jersey is long enough to cover and make you wonder if she’s even wearing anything at all! Even her childhood friend-cum-classmate, Karen Ayugase is having wild thoughts whether if she purposely forgot to wear them. Of course nobody got the guts to tell her about this folly and Karen especially fears she will die of embarrassment! Soon, rumours of Akane not wearing her skirt goes around. Aoi calls her to check. It is when Akane realizes she forgot… Her handphone! Then Kanade who is also the vice student council president, calls to see her. Suddenly all the guys get this devilish idea. Because the student council office is on the higher floor, she must climb a flight of stairs. Time to ascertain. Woah! Suddenly where did all those zombie robot guys come from?! But Kanade pops up before Akane and instantly in her surprise mentions about her no-skirt. That is when Akane clears the air that she didn’t come to school wearing nothing. On the way to school while trying to hide from the characters, her skirt accidentally gets torn and so she replaced wearing it with pants. She lifts up her jersey to show the proof. Hey wait… OMFG!!! OH NO!!! All the guys got free fanservice and died of loss of blood. Including Karen. I wonder if Akane really died of embarrassment. Man, a mystery of mass deaths in a bloodied hallway, if that really happens…
Many of the school students never know the mysterious student council president as they have never seen that person in person. But Akane suspects her classmate, Hajime Fukushina because there seems to be some people calling him president although he quickly reprimands them not to. In a secret place, Fukushina and his underlings discuss about Kanade’s decision for the school to organize a mass town cleanup. Because this is making a certain person troubled. Fukushina confronts Kanade to rescind that order but she won’t as this is part of the 40 million payback Akane owes her. Kanade convinces Fukushina that he will get to see Akane’s embarrassed side. Shuu seems to be one of those few who knows Fukushina is the president. When his friend asks him to help rescind the order, he talks to Kanade about it but upon learning Akane will be fine (and nothing about Fukushina marrying her since he would never allow it!), he gives an ambiguous answer that it is done. Fukushina talks to Aoi who thinks she wants a little push in the back so she gives him a little motivation. Fukushina then returns to his underlings to convince them about letting the cleanup take place. On the day of the cleanup, Fukushina addresses his underlings about doing their best while Akane is as usual being embarrassed. It is revealed that Fukushina is actually the president of Akane Fan Club and Shuu is member number 2! His buddy is definitely mad that this cleanup wasn’t what he expected. Oh, the real student council president could be that petite girl and Aoi’s friend, Uzuki. Borscht loves sleeping on Akane’s chest as she thinks she is the one who feeds him. But the true fact is that it feels like his old comfortable flat home… Yeah… Flat…
It’s the sun and sandy beach for the Sakurada siblings. As they take turns to split the watermelon, Haruka’s analysis calculates Shiori has the higher chance of splitting it. Kanade won’t let that happen and it seems she has what it takes to break Haruka’s analysis. However although she hits it, it doesn’t split. When it is Shiori’s turn, she could speak to the watermelon and she felt pity for it but with the green melon encouraging her as he wants them to eat him, Shiori slightly touches it and the melons perfectly splits into equal parts. The beach ball flew too far so as Akane goes to get it, she crashes into an invisible barrier! Actually it is just wallpaper. So did Shuu lie about teleporting them to the beach? He claims this is much easier as it will be away from public eye, something that Akane approves. But as they tap how sturdy the wall is, suddenly it falls apart! They’re actually in an empty construction lot right smack in town. Now everybody sees them. Akane’s fan club members are here. Oh sh*t… Back home, Akane sees Haruka looking at pictures of her on the website. Both freak out upon knowing each other’s presence. Haruka seems to be panicking in wanting to reveal what he was doing and gives lots of silly excuses (that picture is her twin? Not buying it!). Until Akane threatens to tell Misaki, Haruka is forced to come clean. As Akane rarely goes online, these are fansites. Each of the siblings has many fansites where they upload pictures and talk about stuffs. So what Haruka was doing was trying to request to remove certain pictures of Akane. Upon knowing the hottest topic being talked about her is her panties, now she is even more embarrassed to go out!
Haruka narrates Misaki is his twin sister. She is able to clone herself at most seven. That is because their personality is based on the 7 deadly sins. As Misaki is the only sister available for an interview, she has her clones cover for club activities. After a good day’s work, she hears her fellow students praising how helpful her clones are. Like as though she’s a good clone manager. Of course back home, Misaki feels frustrated because people always talked about her other sisters and praise her clones. What about her own self? So she calls her clones to give them a good dressing down and discipline but I don’t think they really care. When Akane tells Misaki that an interviewer is here, Misaki rebels by not wanting to go. Even worse, when the lust based clone is only giving lewd answers. She continues sulks to one of her clones had to tell her how they’re all still part of her. The big motivation is from Haruka who says she is still special to him. It would be problematic for him if she stops being herself. She picks herself up and heads down for the interview. Haruka notes he still needs to keep sticking to her.
Wow. Akane is doing public speeches now. Can she do it? Nervous as usual. Even if her fan club guys support her, it makes her even more nervous. Haruka wonders why he needs to participate in Misaki and her clones’ meeting to discuss their election campaign. They talk about everybody’s reason to become king but they still do not know Kanade’s motive. Oh, here is a good chance to peek into that. Ever since young, Kanade and Shuu always had some sort of rivalry with each other. I supposed Kanade wants to best Shuu so she bribed Akane with lots of stuffs even if this empties her bank account. Then when she continues materializing stuffs even when her account is zero, the castle she materialized for Akane crumbles. Although Shuu saves Akane, there was some damage to his leg and thus Shuu could never play any intensive sports. Thus if Kanade becomes king, she will focus her nation’s resources on medical research and heal his leg. The twins continue to observe their other siblings making their campaign impact. With all that discussion in yet another summit, eventually the clones point out that perhaps it is Misaki who just wants Haruka to admit that he is her number one. Did that hit bull’s eye? Haruka believes Haruka can be the next king since she helps others. He’ll do his best to support her. Just when the mood is getting good, the clones ruin it when they hear Shuu bring back some pudding.
Kanade confronts Aoi about her disinterest in becoming king despite she is in pole position. Kanade would gladly ask father on her behalf to let her pull out of the race but Aoi doesn’t give a straight answer. Also, Kanade is curious about Aoi’s true power because the ability to remember anything at first go doesn’t feel like a real super power. Is it just she has good memory? Time to take a peek into what is really behind Aoi’s thoughts. As seen, memorisation is not Aoi’s true power. In fact, it is to make anyone absolutely obey her command without question. It happened many times in the past and although the doctor diagnosed that the effects will disappear shortly and it is not as powerful as it was when she was younger. Unconsciously she can give a command and everybody who listens will comply without question. Therefore she sees herself not fit to become king if she has this sort of power. But good thing her powers don’t usually work all the time. Because when she asks her friends out to tea, they gladly come by their own volition. But she is still worried wondering if they became friends because of her power. That is when Akane tells her even if they had a motive to become her friend just because she is royalty, they are her friends now. Flashback shows when nervous Aoi asked to be friends with them, it wasn’t her power taking effect. They would gladly be her friend.
Souichirou may be the king but he is still a very overprotective father. Yeah, he’s supposed to leave for some official trip so he has his agents check and secure every inch of the house since only Kanade, Akane and Shiori will be home alone. Furthermore, Akane is sick. Will you stop worrying and trust in your daughters? Besides, it’ll be suicide for anyone trying to mess with kids with super powers, right? Kanade tries to nurse Akane but it seems she only makes her temperature increase. Till Shiori does a simple peck that she learnt from her parents to calm the situation down. Late that night when they hear suspicious footsteps, they think it is Akane but Kanade goes to check. The moment she sees a suspicious person going through stuffs in a room, she materializes a taser to take him out. Turns out he is Shuu coming back to take something he forgot. Instantly the SWAT team busts in to secure everyone and everything! HOLY SH*T!!! Helicopters and full SWAT forces outside the house!!! One of the agents report to Souichirou and that papa knows Kanade is mad and doesn’t want to talk to her! Too bad the agent switched to her. He knows he’ll be in for a long talk when he gets back… Shiori makes Kanade sleep with Akane but after the loli falls asleep, Kanade creeps back to sleep with her.
Hikari is shining as an idol but her school test results suck. She doesn’t pay attention to what her manager, Kouji Matsuoka says about trying to be an imperfect idol and she thought Sachiko was being shy when she’s actually trying to ignore her. Matsuoka tells the duo that they will be performing together in double concerts. This move is to help propel Hikari further and Sachiko is just the second singer. Hikari is her usual positively motivated self. Then Sachiko snaps about her recent performance which is pretty abysmal in her opinion. Hikari is shocked at hearing this so Matsuoka explains that Sachiko made her name for herself from nothing. She had no special connections whatsoever and does not slack in her school work either. With Sachiko continuing to ignore Hikari, this makes her work harder. Well, what do you know? Hikari can score good grades if she puts her mind into it. On the day of the concert, Sachiko tells Hikari that she’s not doing it for her but for her fans. Hikari is delighted instead and this makes Sachiko feel like an idiot. During the performance, Sachiko can’t help think about Hikari putting in the effort too. The lapse in concentration has her trip and sprain her ankle. It would be impossible for her to continue although she stubbornly says she can. Matsuoka wants Hikari do continue alone. She pulls it off well despite her initial tripping blunder. In the end, Sachiko apologizes for saying rude things to her and admits her amazing performance but Hikari is glad that the most important thing is that they had fun. Sachiko hopes they could get along as good rivals. Hikari couldn’t be happier.
Hana thought it was like an illusion, walking home with Shuu. Suddenly he teleports and disappears. Really felt like an illusion now, eh? Seems today is that time of the year where their power goes berserk and uncontrollable although it will be over in 24 hours. Akane gets a surprised invitation from Hana to go out with her. Seems she wants to talk to her about Shuu. Why her? Because that is what Shuu told her. If there is anything troubling her, speak to Akane. Besides, there are some things she just can’t confide with her (cheeky) friends. Hana is troubled if she is holding back Shuu ever since that confession. As they are out in the open and the public eyes watching them, it’s a miracle Akane isn’t as embarrassed as usual. But she soon does when her power starts going berserk. As she is unable to control her gravity, she breaks and rips anything around her. This means he clothes as well. Hana covers for her and creates a diversion for her to escape. This means Hana gets the public’s attention and announces that she loves Shuu and wants to marry him one day. Wow. This kind of public confession is not for the faint hearted. On the way home, Hana wonders if this will further affect Shuu. Akane hopes she would have more confidence of her feelings in him and leaves big brother in her care. There, approval from the little sister. Hana’s confession is now showing all over the news. Shuu sees this but he isn’t shocked or anything. Just that silly face… He didn’t give a straight reply when Kanade if he is okay with this. Anyhow, she isn’t pleased with this and takes out her frustration on Misaki. Why, oh why her?
A flashback on Souichirou, he looks so much like Shuu that I thought he teleported to the past to play his role! Haha! Anyway, with him being the royalty, it is hard for him to make friends in school. Especially when he has a pretty maid, Sowa by his side (SWAP PLACES WITH ME NOW!!!!!!!!!!). I guess a king needs his own personal time too so for the umpteenth time he gives her the slip when he goes to the toilet. Going to rest at his spot at the school rooftop, he sees a girl, Satsuki Shinonome sleeping there. As he approaches, she thought he wanted to do something funny but actually not. Anyhow, she makes him ‘atone’ by going out shopping with her. Souichirou tells us his ability is to sense people’s feelings. However he cannot see Satsuki’s. Then he has to bring back all the groceries to her house and help cook for her siblings (who look suspiciously similar to Aoi, Haruka, Teru and Shiori). Souichirou doesn’t understand the concept of family since his parents died when he was young and he has no other siblings. On his way out, Satsuki hints she knows him as the country’s king. Now Satsuki has become his wife and he is telling this story to his kids. Shuu asks if he has ever thought about the troubles of bringing Satsuki into the royal life because of all the attention they’ll get. In fact, it is Satsuki who took the initiative to be with him. She is the reason why he smiles more often in public. He soon came to realize what is needed to do and a king’s duty is to make sure his family lives happily. Later Shuu calls to meet Hana. That girl thinks he is going to dump her for that public confession. Dump her? They’re not even going out! Suddenly he teleports them to a freezing cold tundra (remnants of his breakout). Hana takes it as a sign she’ll really be dumped here! As she cries her heart out for being inconvenience, Shuu surprises her with a question if she would come with him if he becomes king. This is his reply to her confession. The mood to kiss is ruined when the cold gets to Hana.
At night, Akane is the masked superhero of justice, Scarlet Bloom saving the common people from danger! Wow! Are my eyes deceiving me? It all began when Akane is as usual nervous in her public speech. She runs away when she realizes the filming crew is here. When Aoi notices her younger siblings watching a superhero show, this makes her think that perhaps Akane could do better if her identity is concealed. As she talks to Kanade about this, the latter returns with a pair of glasses that is believed to conceal Akane’s identity when she wears it. Looks like an ordinary pair to me… True enough it is because Kanade blackmails everyone to lie whenever Akane puts it on. Works like a charm… And so Scarlet Bloom goes around saving the troubled citizens and receiving lots of attention. It’s working since Akane isn’t fazed by it. Although, she still cannot connect the dots why her popularity in the polls has been working. Even more so, everybody knows her true identity. They’re just kind enough to play along. One day while walking home with Karen, she sees a little girl falling off the edge of the balcony. Instantly she uses her power to save her. The girl thanks her as Scarlet Bloom. Akane returns home to realize that she was never wearing her glasses. Did she start to see the connection? Well… She thinks Scarlet Bloom has become so famous enough that the public now recognizes her without her glasses. O…M..G…
It’s that time again when Misaki feels down after comparing herself to her other siblings’ effort in the election campaign. Akane is making progress in her public speech while Hana has become Shuu’s speech scheduler. Even though she has got Haruka supporting her, she feels she is being shallow. Time for Haruka to give lots of words of encouragement. Because she doesn’t want to betray his effort, she will work hard to be his ideal. Aoi is hanging out with her friends when they suddenly remember the important things they have to do and leave. Poor Aoi is all alone when later one of them calls to hang out at her place. Turns out it is a surprise birthday party although it is a day earlier as they do not want to interrupt her annual celebration with her family. Aoi is happy and hopes this moment would last forever. Meanwhile back home, Akane is rallying her younger siblings the need to surprise Aoi tomorrow like in previous years. She thinks of preserving their never-found-out record streak. Well, what do you know? Aoi is outside and heard that. I wonder if this happens every year too. Knowing Aoi, I can safely guess the record will continue its streak.
Sachiko doesn’t care about the elections. Not that anyone matters. She thinks the royal family live their life with no worries about the future. For all you know, there could be one who aspires to be an idol. You don’t say… Matsuoka talks to Hikari about revealing her true identity in the next concert to further boost her image (as an idol, she goes under the name of Sakuraba Light). So when Sachiko heard about the next concert where Sakuraba Light would ‘quit’, she gets the wrong idea. Could it be that something personal has cropped up? After all, how much does she know about her background? So when Matsuoka tells them about the next concert they’ll perform simultaneously, Sachiko again thinks this is Hikari’s final concert. She wonders if that happens, maybe her life will return to where it is before Hikari. Since Matsuoka’s assistant got a flu, he is short of hands. Hikari knows a person who can work for free. Akane is a big fan of Sachiko and she would love to do this. She thinks the glasses are still working so she thought Matsuoka doesn’t recognize her. Then why is he on his knees? Thoughts continue to fill Sachiko’s head. Then Hikari talks to Matsuoka that she doesn’t want to reveal her true identity. At first she did this to gain popularity for her election. But now she realizes the fans and all the hard work she put in was under the name of Sakuraba Light. She wants that identity to stay as thanks to her fans. Of course Sachiko heard this and realized Sakuraba Light’s identity is Hikari. Hikari talks to Aoi about a lie becoming the truth if kept hidden forever. Perhaps she is using her own experience so Aoi tells her if she continues doing so, she’ll just be living a life of lie. So before the concert starts, Hikari reveals herself to Sachiko. She never said this earlier for fear of her reaction to royalty. Sachiko smacks her for underestimating her. She doesn’t care who she is. Because to her she is Sakuraba Light. Both head out with high spirits and their performance was perfect.
Perhaps it is trauma. Kanade seeing any kid with a football would bring back memories of that near tragedy. Further flashback reveals Akane had no serious injury and luckily for her too her memories were in a daze so she doesn’t remember much of it. But for Shuu, his leg will have some sort of long term effect although it won’t affect his daily life. Furthermore, the doctor found out that if Kanade materializes something more than its value, something in real life will be taken as compensation. Although it was that castle, Kanade felt really bad about it because she lost something more important. Now when Shuu continues to bug her about her election wish to heal his leg using the national budget as compensation and doesn’t want her to throw her life away for this, she becomes irritated. She wants to be equal to him and has to pay back her debts although he doesn’t mind because this isn’t a loan in the first place. Him acting like a proper big brother for once irks her. She runs away but metal beams threaten to fall on her due to the stormy wind. Luckily Shuu teleports her away safely. More cool big brother words. Enough to break down little sister. Cry your heart out for now. After calming down, he tells her to live her life not for his sake. She agrees and will become king and form a dictatorship to show him how to rule this country. Did it just get worse?
The election is about a month away. A few things to note. Kanade isn’t as scary to others as she smiles more often now. Aoi still leads the standings despite doing nothing. Shuu is steadily picking up the votes, Misaki drops a little maybe because it is her clones that are doing the jobs, Teru is not happy despite all his hard work, he is still dead last. When the younger siblings wonder why Akane hates being in the eye of the public as she never had this problem when she was younger, Kanade decides to tell them the real story behind. Although the older siblings do not like this, this is so that Akane can confront her issue head on and move on just like her. When Akane was around Teru’s age and cameras weren’t installed yet, I suppose it is only natural for agents to follow her around. Of course she doesn’t like it as it would scare off her friends. So one day on her way to Karen’s house, she manages to give them the slip. But upon arriving at Karen’s place, they hear weird sounds from the top floor. There are burglars robbing the place! Karen is sacred so Akane took the initiative to fight and run. I don’t know. The way Akane keeps throwing things at them and gave them the run-around around the house feels like Home Alone. Eventually the robbers are apprehended (they were glad the police ‘saved’ them!) but with Karen’s home all destroyed, the public that gathered outside started staring at Akane wondering if she was the one who did this. That is when Akane started having fears of being the centre of attraction. It is also a reason why the cameras were set up. All in all, Akane still fears being the centre of attraction.
Suddenly a call that something has happened to Souichirou! OMG! Actually… He just sprained his back while trying to be cool carrying Satsuki. I don’t think she was that heavy… He is confined to bed but he claims he cannot rest as his workload is tight. Aoi confirms indeed he has many tasks ahead so she suggests the siblings to help out and attend to them. The lesser of 2 evils. I suppose that is Akane’s case as she has to follow Shuu and Teru to a disaster zone, a village cut off by a landslide. I suppose comforting villagers would be ‘better’ than hosting international dignitaries and holding interviews. The villagers are happy to see the royal representatives as they get to work to help what is needed. This means Scarlet Bloom goes into full force in helping those in need. I guess even a remote village knows how to play along. But when a girl returns her glasses and knows her identity, Akane realizes she was so into helping others she didn’t realize her glasses were dropped. This prompts her to remember after Karen’s house burglary, Karen was crying so hard but Akane kept holding about her hand. Karen still thinks about it and is happy she stood by her side when nobody else did. Akane realizes she doesn’t need Scarlet Bloom anymore and tosses away her glasses. Please don’t litter… All the siblings carry out the workload without any hitches. Now for the poll standings. Aoi still tops and Teru can take heart that he is off the bottom which is now occupied by Haruka. Teru believes Haruka knows who has the highest chance of being king. I suppose not based on the stats, he seems to be hinting at Aoi. However he notes chances are still nothing but chance.
Only a week left to the elections. They’ll be giving their final speech before voters go to the polls. We hear some of the thoughts of our candidates. Kanade thought of forming a dictatorship but seeing how hard her siblings have worked, she plans to speak about their good. Aoi’s friends assure that they will still be her friends no matter what happens. Hana is worried that Shuu will have less time to spend with her if he becomes king but he assures her he won’t let her feel lonely. Nice hug. But aren’t the cameras watching? Where are the cameras anyway? Misaki is still worried that despite her clones putting in the hard work but she will be nowhere near the top to fight for the king spot. As usual, Haruka’s words of motivation encourage her to go on. Hikari doesn’t want to slow down her idol activities during this final spurt because she wants to win the award for top idol! Is this the vote that she is more concerned about?! Teru seeks mom’s advice because he really wants to become king so Satsuki tells him to say it from his heart because at the end of the day, the citizens want to know his true feelings. Aoi talks to Souichirou about something and it seems he has given her permission to do so. He is proud that she has come to that decision.
On election day, it is like a carnival atmosphere. The siblings are wondering the order of who to give their speech first so Aoi takes this opportunity to reveal the truth. Addressing everyone, she says she is pulling out of this race and explains her true power, the reason she cannot become king. However as she lived with them all, she noticed the time spent with them and her family are precious. She promises to live her life as a normal person. Suddenly the blimp is going to crash into the crowd. Shuu teleports to find the pilot has fainted. With Shiori’s help to speak to the blimp, Shuu gets to control the blimp. But it won’t hold long with the damage taken and Akane is at her limits trying to hold it up. While the rest evacuate the panic crowd, Shuu makes his announcement for the people to rely on the royal family to help protect their loved ones and keep this country full of smiling faces. Haruka uses his calculation for the ideal place for the blimp to crash land. Kanade materializes a big net over the river. Finally Teru uses his strength to pull the blimp’s cable so that it softens the impact. In the end, everybody is safe. The voting time is here and the final results are in. The next king will be… Shuu!!! Akane narrates the aftermath to her siblings. Aoi moved out after she enrolled in university. Hana is formally introduced to the parents and officially dating Shuu. Kanade is studying hard in medicine. Misaki is doing her best as student council president with Haruka supporting her as usual. Hikari reveals her true identity but her idol activities continue as normal. Teru and Shiori are studying at the castle. Akane feels that something in her has changed too. Could it be that she doesn’t fear the cameras anymore? Hey, where are the cameras anyway?
Sibling Rivalry: The Reality TV
The ending might feel a bit anti-climatic and rushed because it’s like they skipped the whole voting process and the suspense and drama while the votes are being counted before announcing the result. Yeah, I don’t think it is a wise idea spending another extra episode on that so might as well skip all that and just proclaim the eldest son as the winner. I think I can live with that. Shuu being the winner and the so called rushed ending. After all, we’ve seen the siblings go about their normal everyday lives and they are just like an ordinary human being (except that they have super powers) so ultimately we couldn’t care less about the voting day suspense and drama. Ultimately, I suppose that is why this makes this series such enjoyable and fun watch because despite their royalty status, none of them use that to their advantage and they don’t glamorise it too. I suppose it is good that for some people and for this family in this anime, being royalty isn’t about being showing off so they would like to keep that lineage status under wraps as much as possible without affecting their daily life. Unlike some reality TV shows we see…
The idea of a monarch to have democratic elections for his next heir is unconventional and yet wonderful although it has its pros and cons. Exciting in the sense that you won’t really know who would be the next king compared than the conventional fixed first born child. There won’t be a fixed list of file and rank of who will be next in line. The downside to it is that it somewhat turns out to be a popularity contest. Although the citizens have picked their next king, what happens when sentiments start to change down the road? You’ll never know, right? Will they have another election then? Heck, I suppose this way is better than turning it into a battle of survival where the last standing and strongest heir wins and gains the right to the throne (I’m looking at you, Kaibutsu Oujo).
This anime might not be perfect but let me get out a few of the mind boggling questions first. First, if Souichirou and Satsuki have 9 children and almost 1 in each grade from elementary to high school, isn’t it mind boggling that they have a child born every year? I don’t know, just thinking about it makes it feel like they are like some sort of a f*cking love making machine. Especially it is said that Shuu and Kanade were born just 30 minutes apart from each other. Furthermore, Satsuki still looks as young as she is when she was in high school so how old was she when she had her first child? Maybe some things are better off not knowing. The next question is the timing of the elections for the next king. I know Souichirou’s intention is good because it is better to have a king that the majority likes. But couldn’t he wait till all his kids are grown up a little? Okay, it might not be so bad for the older siblings but personally if you are putting toddlers like Teru and Shiori in the race, I know it is fair since all siblings are in the game but I thought this means they have to spend less of their childhood and do all this election stuffs. Sooner or later they will sure be exposed to this but having them exposed this early? I don’t know. To me it’s not really ‘fair’ if you put it that way. Besides, for an average adult, do you think you would be voting for a kid even if he is being super serious? It just feels odd, doesn’t it? No wonder he keeps propping up the other end of the table.
The other thing is Haruka’s power. Although there is nothing wrong with his calculation and analysing ability, I thought it would be better if it had been as mind reading or predicting the future or at least multiple futures assuming the future is not fixed. So with this analysing ability of his, it is just mind boggling to guess who it works. If you’re saying that he uses his mind and observation skills to calculate and analyse the best probability, then don’t you think that isn’t a super power itself? Just like someone with great memory skills. That doesn’t feel like a super power, right? I know if it was predicting the future ability, it would have been great spoilers because Haruka would have known who would eventually become king and thus everything we’ve seen by the rest putting in their efforts would be wasted. That’s why I said multiple possible futures. It shouldn’t be that bad. Other than that, I thought Haruka was a name once reserved for only girls. This is not the first time I heard a boy named Haruka (that one in Lovely Complex was my first). Maybe in today’s open minded world, stereotypic gender names don’t really stick on. Or maybe because Haruka looked so effeminate that he is named so?
Not forgetting Kanade’s power of materializing stuffs equivalent to its value. The problem here is the value of it. How do you place a value on those stuffs? Market value? Maybe. It certainly looks like she doesn’t determine it herself because she might have valued them cheaply! So what if she materializes something old, something from bygone eras? What would be the value of it? What if she materializes something from the future, something that hasn’t been made yet and thus a price cannot be determined? There are perhaps more questions about Kanade’s power that I would have liked to spam about and definitely bug her during Q&A but I feel I’m going to have a major headache if I think too much with brains I don’t have :). So she better keep a bank account open and happy for I feel her power is most destructive and easiest for world destruction if she ever wants to destroy the world. Because something real is taken as compensation when she doesn’t have enough money. So what happens if she cannot pay for something that has a cost of a zillion digits in it? What will be compensated? The world and universe crumble! OMG! Don’t ever let that happen ;p.
Now, aside all those unanswerable questions, let’s move on to the characters who make the series likeable and of course likeable themselves. Each of them with their own personality, unique power and set of friends, they’re just like your ordinary Joes and Janes next door. Just like any other human, they have their strengths and weaknesses. They are not perfect after all. Their strength helps cover the other’s weaknesses so you can say as a family unit, the Sakurada family is quite a successful and happily family. Maybe to the other ordinary citizens aside their close friends and classmates who are always definitely their staunch supporter no matter the case, it is hard to choose which of the Sakurada siblings to be the next king. So for Shuu to make a great comeback, I’m not sure if the election system is first pass the post or by clear majority. But that doesn’t matter. Everybody is happy with it. With him being king, that doesn’t mean the rest of the ‘losers’ are no longer needed. They’ll still be around like always to offer their help when needed.
Despite Akane looking very much like the protagonist of the show, this series is decent to focus its fair share of screen time to the rest of the siblings. Although there that I feel are some having more screen time compared to the rest. I don’t know if Akane’s bad luck (if you could call it that) is some sort of the running joke of the series. For example, she always has to be the one who picks the shopping errand. It is like though it is her destiny to go out and show her face in public. Like as though God Himself loves seeing the embarrassed face of this shy girl. But so far she is coping with it well, right? Right?! Ah well, the irony is that after having appeared in public for so many times, she should have at least built some ‘immunity’ or developed some sort of ‘thick face’ but it never. The more she tries to avoid the public, the more she gets drawn into it. It’s like she is always attracting unwanted attention and sometimes for the wrong reasons too. Yeah, something tells me her worldwide famous pantsu is the reason why she ranks so high up… Yeah… And with her fan club, I’m not sure if Akane is aware about this but the more they cheer for her, the more embarrassed she gets. See? Isn’t she just moe and kawaii when she blushes?! No wonder Shuu is in this club. Heh. Now that he himself has got a girlfriend, will he allow the same for Akane if the time comes? Or will he continue playing her ‘big daddy’? Despite not winning the crown, as indicated at the end she is less traumatic about being in public so does this mean the cameras will stay? If it doesn’t bother her, why should we?
I thought with a family this big, there would be somebody who would be the bad sheep or bad egg. Well, Kanade seems to come pretty close to it although technically she is far from that. With everybody else so nice and easygoing, sometimes her slightly strict character makes her look like a b*tch. Then after you get to know her past and the effort she puts in, she can be a nice person after all. Maybe not as nice as the rest but you won’t hate her. I think. Aoi seems quieter and less in the limelight than her other siblings but ironically hogs the top spot from start. Could it be because of her using her power unconsciously? I’m not sure but thankfully she’s got a great conscience because if she decides to use it for power abuse and end the world, just like Kanade if she turns megalomaniac, it will already be bad enough to have 2 women trying to destroy the world! Shuu is a great big brother although he doesn’t look the part and now that he has become king, looks like he’ll be taking more responsibility.
Misaki always suffers from low self esteem thanks to her clones taking more credit than herself. Wouldn’t it be cool if her clones could also clone themselves? That will be messy. Lucky for her, she’s always got Haruka as his big backup and great supporter. Unlike naive Akane who believes her little disguise can deceive the public from her true identity, I am not sure if this is the case for Hikari because although she can grow herself to a grownup version and maybe to some they won’t recognize her in that busty body compared to her flat loli chest (sorry), couldn’t they have been suspicious in seeing the resemblance? It’s not like her idol alter ego wears a mask or anything. I want to say that she might not appear on TV much prior to the idol stint but with cameras around and assuming the news give fair coverage on all of them, does this mean that nobody gives a hoot about her? Besides, her usual polls’ position is languishing in the middle. Or are they just playing along that they know who she is but just don’t want to break her heart. Isn’t that why when she made the announcement, nobody was really that shocked? Well, she is the kind that acts first without thinking.
Lastly you have Teru who is always big on motivation despite his small size and polite little Shiori who constantly backs him up. Interesting family, right? Just one little complaint… Sighs… They should have more screen time for Sowa the maid… She might not be the family maid and Souichirou’s personal maid but I still want the maid! Damn, if she was in the running, I’d vote for her! A hundred times! Borscht doesn’t make a lot of appearances. Just a handful. Maybe that is why the mid-intermission is his segment, showing a small window of him randomly. Don’t worry, the end card illustrations have drawings of the characters.
Drawing and art remain gorgeous. Bright and vivid colours. Well, at least all the characters have that typical kawaii, moe, bishoujo and bishonen look. Ah, if everybody in the kingdom only has this sort of good looking looks from old guys to young ones. Well, except maybe for shady people like robbers and, erm, special bodyguard agents (you need to look tough and serious, right?). You know me, a sucker for a pretty face. If I had to choose which of the siblings to become the king based solely on their looks, I think I’ll have a hard time. Of course I can narrow it down but that would be after some deliberation as I can’t really choose one right away. Maybe I’ll just vote for the maid, huh? Oh sh*t! I think I will! The prettiest of the lot? One look at Teru at first reminded me of something. He looks like a kid who sprung out from one of those kiddie battle action series like Digimon. No kidding!
Kana Hanazawa is absolutely perfect as Akane. It’s fun to hear her go into that embarrassing mode. She sounds really cute. Now I know why her fan club members love seeing her when she’s so shy. There is something irresistible and kawaii about… Personally, I thought Yui Ogura as Hikari, her loli voice is too ‘loli’ to be voicing a middle school girl. Therefore I thought it sounded like a mismatch since her character looks more ‘grown up’ as compared to her voice. Other characters whom I recognized are Saori Hayami as Karen and Satsuki Yukino as herself. Just kidding. It must be just a coincidence that her character shares the same name. Another interesting trivia is that for the character Sachiko, I found out that the writer actually modelled the character after the real life person herself, Sachika Misawa (Black Lotus in Accel World). There is a striking resemblance if you can’t help wonder why she looks so familiar in real life.
For the rest of the casts that I didn’t recognize, they are Ai Kayano as Aoi (Inori in Guilty Crown), Kaori Ishihara as Kanade (Aladdin in Magi series), Ryohei Kimura as Shuu (L-elf in Valvrave The Liberator), Eriko Matsui as Misaki and all her other clones (Isuzu in Log Horizon), Ayumu Murase as Haruka (Nfirea in Overlord), Shiori Katsuta as Teru, Aina Suzuki as Shiori, Dai Matsumoto as Souichirou (Halloween in MAR) and Yuka Aisaka as Hana (Muse in Amagi Brilliant Park). The opening theme is Ring Ring Rainbow by YuiKaori (which is actually Yui Ogura and Kaori Ishihara and this is actually the name their idol unit). The ending theme is the extremely cute song, Honey Come by Yui Ogura. Hearing her loli voice singing this makes your heart want to go ~Kyuuun~!!! No kidding. Yeah, I’ll definitely pick you in this context!
Interestingly, some of the next episode previews have the siblings narrate their policy and doctrine if they become king. They also state their favourite king that they admire. Napoleon? Maja Pahit Empire? Well, I thought they should at least elaborate a little why they admire them otherwise I would have to greatly assume it is because how similar their personality is to that said king. The king after all, is one of those ‘public occupations’ that need to be a role model for others.
Overall, this is a nice and enjoyable heart-warming series about being family and yes, wait for it, with great powers come great responsibilities. I know being king isn’t all that lovely like a bed of roses as seen in this anime but since this is fantasy, why not? The antics and funny moments do make you smile and laugh and at the end of the day, you’d learn something or two about responsibility whether or not you have super power. In fact, you don’t need any sort of super power to perform miracles. Just a little nice gesture itself can be a miracle and goes a long way. But personally, I wouldn’t really want to have this kind of life and shouldering such responsibilities. Imagine if a king as s an otaku. The world is doomed. In that case, I’d prefer to be a little dandelion flower growing quietly at the edge of the park, minding my own business.