Shokugeki No Souma

May 29, 2016

Are you hungry for more anime? Can’t get enough of anime despite tons of them airing every season? Good animes, mediocre animes, passable animes, sh*t animes. So many types of animes out there and you still can’t get enough? What does it take to satiate that hunger? Hey. I know. How about another food themed anime to satisfy your craving. Yes people. It is time for another cooking anime that revolves around food. I know the last of such food anime was Koufuku Graffiti back in early 2015 but that is without all the brutal competition and was just so mild and passive (despite the food still looking good), it feels like a show for a gentle housewife instead for teens with raging hormones. That is why we have Shokugeki No Souma. A school where the best and upcoming cooks and chefs with superbly promising skill go to hone their skills and blow away all competitions (and your stomach) with their outlandish dishes.

Of course with shows like these, you have to add in the seemingly average dark horse that nobody looks up to, to wow and amaze them, shutting them up with his cooking. I guess things are better when food enters your mouth instead of insults flying out from your mouth. Oh, add a few colourful weirdoes and characters he’ll meet and challenge, they grow together, they become friends, they become rivals, as they make their step closer to become the world’s best chefs and put all those fake master chefs on reality TV to shame. Ah, such a typical shonen anime. Food version. So get ready to feast your eyes on the most awesome dishes that you’ll never ever taste in your life and hope you carry an additional empty stomach because one bite is not enough. I can guarantee you that.

Episode 1
Souma Yukihira is in a cooking battle with his dad, Jouichirou. A female classmate tastes it and declares Jouichirou the winner. Souma’s losing streak continues. So as not to make him feel bad, she also praises his cooking but he makes her taste his new squid dish. That feeling of being tentacle raped by it… Souma hopes of one day taking over his father’s little kitchen so when Yaeko Minegasaki of the urban development for the umpteenth time comes in with her goons to try and convince him to sell his place so they can develop some high luxury condo, he shoots her down. The day he will close down this place is the day they can’t serve their customers what they want. Really? You really mean that? That sneaky look… Next evening when Souma returns from school, he is shocked to find the signboard smeared and all the meat in the kitchen tarnished. Then Minegasaki comes in to order some meat. What’s that? Can’t make any meat? Well, looks like you have to close down this place. But Souma isn’t backing out and takes the challenge. How can he make meat without any decent ingredients? He had some bacon strips he saved for breakfast. He wraps his pork roast in potatoes but Minegasaki clearly tells him she wants meat and not vegetables looking like meat. But can she resist this good smell? Having a bite… OMFG! It’s that orgasmic feeling! Souma then taunts her if she wants more, she’ll have to never come back here again. She succumbs to her temptation as she and her goons experience the ultimate goodness of the juicy meat. So good that they are butt naked in their fantasy! And yet another satisfied customers… Better than sex, eh? As Souma cleans the signboard (he must really love it for putting in this much effort), Jouichirou returns to inform him he is going to close down his shop! Seems he will be leaving overseas to help a friend in favour. But Souma has always wanted this restaurant. Dad wants Souma to move on and has him enrolled in the super elite culinary school, Totsuki Culinary Academy. His thoughts of it aren’t high until he sees students agonizing over the hellish entrance exam. And desperate people trying to pay money to be admitted back in. Oh sh*t! This school is like a mini kingdom of darkness of its own! Oh, did dad mention about the graduation is less than 10%?

Episode 2
Erina Nakiri must be one of those elite goddesses because you can tell how she chastises bad dishes (or those not up to her super high standards) when she can imagine paradise followed by a jukebox falling on her head or suddenly finding a gorilla bathing next to her! Jouichirou is currently calling Souma from New York. He is making such great cuisine that even the frail monk denounces his faith to eat his meat!!!! Souma meets the other students who are enrolling here. Each with some sort of prestige pedigree in the cooking world. But when they find out he is a commoner, they become abusive. When the hopeful learn Erina is their examiner, they start freaking out! When Erina gives them the chance to withdraw, all of them start crying father and mother and run away! Wimps! Only Souma remains. It is a good thing he doesn’t know who this b*tch is, right? Yeah, something about having born with the finest palate to mankind. A divine tongue that makes her some sort of genius taster at a very young age. Oh, did you know she is also the granddaughter of this academy’s director, Senzaemon? Whatever. Too bad Erina’s yuri time with her assistant, Hisako Arato has to be cut short when she realizes there is still a candidate left. She doesn’t have high expectations of this commoner. Souma gets to work in making a dish with eggs as it was the condition of this test. Although it comes out plain and before she could fail him, Souma teases her about its true form. The rice soon starts to change into a juicier form. Sucking in her pride, Erina tastes the dish. It’s that ecstasy feeling coming! Little Souma angels molesting her naked body!!!!!!!!!! Erina true to being a b*tch, cannot accept this despite she finds it delicious. She fails him! B*TCH!!!!! Later she calls her grandpa to inform that nobody passed the exam. Souma sits in dejection and shock, pondering about his dark future. Senzaemon, who has been observing Souma’s cooking, takes a bite himself. Looks like he has a different idea about Souma’s application.

Episode 3
2 years ago when Megumi Tadokoro left her family filled with hope to become the next best chef when she returns, things are looking bleak because she has been scoring streaks of E’s. And now she receives a note that if she gets 1 more E, she will be expelled! Can’t blame her for feeling nervous and pessimistic. Senzaemon addresses the first year high school students and doesn’t hesitate to mention that 99% of them will fail and become sacrifices for the remaining 1% who will hone their best skills (cue to briefly glimpse at the possible 1% of weirdoes). A transfer student is introduced to give his speech. Erina cannot believe it is Souma. To keep his speech short, Souma irks everyone by claiming he will be the top. Erina wonders how he got in when she clearly failed him but it seems Souma has got an acceptance letter subsequently. Megumi continues to tremble about her precarious position and avoid any unwanted attention like being associated with that transfer student. Unfortunately she ends up in the same class as him and is paired as her partner. Doom! Their first class is under this French chef, Roland Chapelle. He never smiles and any dish they make less worthy of an A will automatically be given an E! You scared, Megumi? They have 2 hours to make some braised beef. Megumi is getting paranoid while Souma plays cool. More like he is being a carefree idiot. A team who dislikes Souma sabotages their preparation. There is not enough time left and Megumi is left to rue her cruel end. But Souma isn’t defeated yet. With spare ingredients, he is still going to make the dish. Surprisingly, Souma finishes making it even before those saboteurs. Seems he used honey which quickly breaks down some protein and tenderizes the meat. Time to taste. Because we don’t really want to see naked middle age French guys, the reason why Megumi is also invited to taste. Yeah… Sweet honey melting all over her naked body! Even more shocking, French guy is smiling! Automatically an A but he laments he has no authority to give them a higher grade. Megumi has her hopes up again with Souma as her partner. But then… He wants to celebrate their partnership by making her taste his new honey squid dish! OMG! Tentacle rape scene!!! How about peanut butter squid now? Oh sh*t… When Hisako reports to Erina about Souma receiving the highest rating from Chapelle, she becomes so pissed and incensed and doesn’t want her to ever speak of that name before her again.

Episode 4
Souma makes his way to Polar Star Dorm. If this creepy place with weirdoes don’t creep you out, maybe this old lady caretaker, Fumio Daimido will. As requirement to stay here, he must cook a passable meal for her. Too bad Souma didn’t hear anything about it and risks staying out in the cold. But when he learns there are leftovers in the kitchen, he takes up the challenge. That meat patty he made is from mackerel while the soup base is from squid (see, squids aren’t always that bad). Long story short, Fumio becomes enchanted with the test and even more so he made something out of so little. Because we don’t appreciate naked bodies of old ladies, instead we have Fumio reminiscing the past where she is hot and sexy, making out with her boyfriend!!! What’s so bad about this? Old lady in her fantasy is trying to kiss Souma!!! Megumi thought the dorm is her place of solace. No strict teachers, no Souma. You don’t say… Then Souma accidentally barges into the bathroom where she is taking a bath. Oops. Fumio must have forgotten to tell him about the bath times. It’s ladies’ turn now. Souma is then invited for a welcoming party with the rest of the dorm’s equally weird dwellers. Zenji Marui is pissed because everyone loves to hold parties in his room and interrupt his study time. Aside Megumi, the other dorm students are animal crazy Yuki Yoshino, the level headed Ryouko Sakaki, Shouji Sato and Daigo Aoki who love fighting each other, the quiet Shun Ibusaki and the-guy-who-likes-to-crawl-through-the-roof-to-deliver-messages and wear-naked-apron-to-show-off-his-butt-while-cooking Satoshi Isshiki. Souma asks about Totsuki’s Elite Ten Council whom Erina is part of. They comprise of the best students of their academy. Their decision making is final and their authority is only second to the director. I guess that says a lot about this bunch. What would be a party without the gang trying each other’s food, right? And they risk trying Souma’s honey squid… Deep in the night, Isshiki lets Souma tries his Spanish mackerel dish. He is blown away by the awesomeness. But this is just a warning to him. Because Isshiki is part of the Elite Ten! He is looking forward to taste his dishes.

Episode 5
Souma takes up the challenge to cook the same theme as Isshiki. He cooks enough for the rest too. As expected, a lovely heavenly taste. We get a little explanation about the French poele technique used by Souma from Isshiki. As expected too, our naked ladies fanservice when they taste the dish. Since Souma’s dish is also quite worthy, the match ends with a draw. Souma then asks how to get into the Elite Ten. His reason for wanting to aim for the best is because he is currently in a fight with his dad. He needs to pull off something major if he is to get his respect. He wonders if he challenges and beats Isshiki, will he get his seat in the council. Isshiki didn’t say since the night is getting late. Next day, Souma eagerly waits to challenge Isshiki for his seat. Sorry to rain on your parade. That is not how it works. He explains some of the rules. When one challenges another, they have to wager something of equal value. For Isshiki’s seat, not even Souma’s expulsion would suffice. That is how great the seat on the council is. Isshiki can accept his challenge but since he wouldn’t want him expelled, the showdown will never happen. There are also other conditions. The main ones are having adjudicators to certify a formal challenge, judges for the challenge and agreement of the conditions by the challengers. Once all are met, you can challenge anyone in the academy. This traditional cooking duel of Totsuki is called Shokugeki. Speaking of which, Erina is engaged in one against some sumo guy. Because she wants to tear down his historical club house to make way for another of her personal cooking wing. Eventually sumo guy unanimously lost. Erina can tell all the errors he made in his dish and on the other hand he is just in ecstasy to taste hers. Like the autocratic demon she is, she immediately has her men teardown the clubhouse. No mercy. Souma looks disappointed with those set of Shokugeki rules because he really wanted to challenge Erina. Ibusaki believes Isshiki wasn’t being serious and didn’t go all out with his dish although Isshiki disagrees he gave it his best. Erina is going to move on to her target to rid the academy of unworthy weaklings (I suppose Totsuki must always be perfect) but this American chick, Ikumi Mito wants to do the next honour. Erina agrees but warns about the consequences if she fails.

Episode 6
Yuki shows Souma around the dorm’s farm that they tend to and raise. Isshiki farming only in his fundoshi… Megumi learnt from Souma and incorporates honey into her breakfast which surprisingly tastes very good. So why can’t she imitate this during class? Stage fright. Totsuki has many cooking research societies. They are like what clubs are in high school. Megumi takes Souma to visit some. His first stop is the Don Research Society. But looks like the president, Kanichi Konishi is in doom and gloom. The club has many exquisite don recipes and could have flourished if not of Erina. Yup, it’s that b*tch again. He explains Erina’s workings first by cutting down a club’s budget. Once cornered, the club has no choice but to initiate Shokugeki and this will only have Erina make more demands. This has been her way of getting rid of clubs she doesn’t like. Mito and her contractors come in to survey the place for teardown. Mito mocks Konishi’s lowly dish not worthy of Totsuki and naturally Souma can’t let this slip and wants to fight her in Shokugeki. Souma agrees to leave Totsuki if he loses but if Mito loses, she must join this club. She agrees and sets the Shokugeki theme as meat. It’s going to be tough since Mito is known as the meat master. Now the entire academy is abuzz with this upcoming battle in 3 days. Konishi explains the meat grade that makes it good and tasty and worthy of the don. However Souma won’t use premium beef because like Konishi said, don is about the speed, taste and affordability. Can’t compromise on your principles now, can we? Mito was just making fun of them of using premium meat. Besides, her family is the king of the meat industry. So she has all the money and facilities at her disposal. As Shokugeki requires participants to get their own ingredients, the club has not enough funds. Souma wanted to use his own money but father is a penny pincher in sending him living expenses. I don’t know how but they manage to get the ingredients. Based on the recipes of the club, Souma tries to create the ultimate don for Konishi to test but there is just something missing. Megumi’s dish gives Souma an idea about tenderizing the meat. He creates a Chaliapin meat. So soft and tender that you can break it with your chopsticks. And yes, tastes good too. But is it enough to beat Mito who is guaranteed to use her premium beef.

Episode 7
Cutie Urara Kawashima hosts the Shokugeki. Boys mesmerized and loving her. Girls jealous and brewing hatred. Mito is the crowd’s favourite while everyone is just booing Souma. So typical. Gracing the event is Erina who is here to see Souma’s humiliating defeat. Some cocky words from Mito before they start cooking. While Mito’s beef is superb quality premium, everyone is shocked to see Souma’s meat is from a convenience store’s cheap sale! Dish tasting time. Mito goes first. Good reviews. As expected. Souma’s turn. The judges don’t think highly of it after tasting Mito’s one. As expected. But once they pop it in their mouth, they find it so delicious that they cannot stop eating! OMG! They finish the bowl clean and are asking for seconds! Although his cheap sauce and tweaking of the onion did the trick, but the one that sealed the deal was the pickled plum paste he used in the rice. Mito is worried as she realizes her rice portion is left unfinished. As Souma explains, the don must come as a whole as a package. So when he heard Mito was going to use premium meat, he was worried about what she was going to use for the rice because by beefing up and amplifying the rice with her meat, both will start to compete instead of complementing each other. Still not interested? Why not have a try then. She takes a bite. And then she cannot stop! So good that she remembers her sad past of her strict lady-like upbringing. Yes. The don is making and telling her it is okay to be herself! Clearly the winner is Souma. Shocking upset? To the audience. Hardly to me. Oh dear. Erina is not looking pleased… When Souma would like to taste her dish and mentions she looks cute, her heart skips a beat and she runs away. Next day, Mito prepares to enter the don club. She can’t help think about Souma and I think this is her motivation of showing up. But where is Souma? Well, Konishi breaks the bad news that Souma told him he only came to check the club out and not join it. So mad and so upset that she became more violent than before.

Episode 8
There is a training camp coming up but it is no walk in the park. This is where hell begins. This is where the downsizing of students starts. Based on last year’s camp, many who failed the camp’s test were expelled. Megumi can’t stop shaking… She can die any time… So while this camp might look grand and luxurious (heck, the entire resort is owned by Totsuki), everyone there is just damn gloomy. They know their head is on the chopping board and it gets gloomier when they see Souma. This year’s camp will be special because the alumni of Totsuki has come back to help. Yup, the greatest chefs of the academy are here to torture everyone like the demons they have turned into. Too harsh? Well, take a look at this. There is this one kid whereby a chef immediately expels him because he could smell his hair scent shampoo that would interfere with his food aroma! Of all the great alumni, the greatest of them all is Gin Dojima and he wastes no time in telling them if they cannot satisfy the minimum requirements, out they go. I’m sure Megumi is glad she is paired up with Souma again. But bad blood is brewing when half Italian Takumi Aldini and his fatty twin brother Isami purposely step on Souma’s shoes as a declaration of war. Their class is headed by Hinako Inui who tells them to make a Japanese cuisine based on the natural ingredients found in this area. They have 2 hours. This causes panic as the students rush to get them. This is of course a ploy to weed out those who cannot handle such pressure. Because everyone is busy fishing, the twins came back with duck meat and other forms of meat. They use their fast chopping skills as they mention their restaurant for the masses back in Italia which is pretty much similar to Souma’s family restaurant. They finish the dish fish and Inui tastes the incredible duck meat (Pavarotti singing opera in a duck mask?!). Even the seemingly Italian sauce is an improvisation to turn it into a Japanese version. Safe to say, they pass. What you gonna do Souma?

Episode 9
3 years ago in Florence, Italy, the Aldini brothers were already pros in their cooking. Yeah, they’ve got girls and even gays asking them out! However, their father thought they lacked something from the heart despite their skills and sent them to Totsuki to find a worthy rival. And when Souma made that aggravating statement, it just riled Takumi up. Inui agrees to judge the competition and the loser will kneel and admit he is the loser. Souma gets started and due to the ‘loophole’ in Inui’s rule, he takes her kaki no tane tea snack as his ingredient and lets Takumi hold on to it. While Megumi looks for ingredients and Souma finding chicken eggs (chicken attack!), the other teams begin to finish but Inui is not impressed. Those people have no idea and made the same grilled fish. Despite only having 15 minutes left, that is enough time for Souma to finish. He makes a breaded fish dish using kaki no tane as the breading. Crunchy and tasty of course! It sends Inui into a mermaid delusion reaction. I wonder how mermaids have sex… When it is time to judge whose is better, Inui can’t make up her mind. Then she gets a call from fellow alumni, Koujirou Shinomiya that she is late since all groups have to return to the hotel at a certain time. As she hurries everyone back into the bus, what about the decision? Well… She’ll just postpone it and revisit it another day. Hah. An excuse to run away and this sure doesn’t leave a good taste in Takumi’s mouth. I guess the suspense will continue to kill them. Although no formal decision was made, Takumi felt he lost. If you think the students are going to get their deserved break back at the hotel, think again. With the university clubs staying nearby, they have to make 50 servings each before retiring. Oh, they have to make their own food too. It is going to be a mad rush feeding all those macho men! Bodybuilders, wrestlers and American footballers… Feel the machoism! Those who fail will be expelled immediately! It becomes a mad rush. Souma becomes the first complete his task. He uses his free time to head to the bath but guess who he bumps into on his way in? Oh, it’s that b*tch Erina…

Episode 10
Erina is embarrassed that Souma caught her humming and prancing happily. It even gets worse when Souma use ambiguous words explaining to Hisako like as though he pushed her down and did something! When Souma heads into the bath, he sees Dojima flexing his muscles. Man, this guy should have been a bodybuilder. Usually Dojima takes his bath while the students cook up those 50 servings. Not many can finish before he gets out. Last year it was Isshiki. This has Souma realize that this means Erina finished faster than him. Then he hears certain stories about her divine tongue that includes one whereby she accurately identified correctly the origins or each salt dish in blindfold. Souma and Megumi are now in Shinomiya’s class. They are to make some vegetable dish based on his recipe, terrine. Megumi thought she could rely on Souma again but here’s the bad news. Shinomiya will not allow team work. This is an individual assignment and no help is allowed. This means even if you help point out something is doing it wrong slightly, you both get fired! Poor guys… Megumi realizes she can’t depend on Souma and must use her creativity to figure this one out. Especially when she is left with some ingredients that are already not fresh. Speaking of which, the fight gets even tougher when students have to fight for the ingredients when Shinomiya tells them to treat each other as enemies. Tasting time. He fails many. Souma passes of course. Megumi finally finishes hers and is the last to present. He tastes it. He fails her! OMG! What in the world?! Care to explain? No doubt she used vinegar to preserve the freshness, she altered his recipe and he this is not allowed!!! WTF?! Souma does not accept and instead points out Shinomiya’s responsibility to prepare fresh ingredients as some of them weren’t. Is he a failure as a chef? Then Shinomiya admits why he put some vegetables that weren’t fresh: So he can limit those he needs to pass! Usually those who panic or slow ones will be those who will go. Souma argues Megumi’s creativity to cover for that but Shinomiya will not allow any changes to his recipe. As the top chef, he has the authority to even fire him! So one more complaint… Souma is seething with anger but Megumi doesn’t want him to risk it on her behalf. But after all her smiles, you think Souma gives a sh*t about this crap? Only one thing left to do: He challenges Shinomiya to Shokugeki. If he beats him, he will rescind Megumi’s expulsion.

Episode 11
Did you know Shinomiya was the former number one seat of the Elite Ten? Oh, who cares? At least not Souma. However Shinomiya has no intention to accept this Shokugeki and Megumi’s expulsion is final. But Dojima holds his horses and not be too hasty. Inui is quite fond of Megumi so she is trying to put childish pressure on Shinomiya to reverse his decision. Not working. Dojima suggests an unofficial Shokugeki beneath the hotel’s annex and since they can’t interrupt the camp, they’ll have to do it after the afternoon session. Shinomiya still won’t accept this but that glaring stare in Dojima’s eyes tell him to f*cking accept it. The other alumni guys are also here as judge. Too bad Inui is reduced to a spectator since we all know her bias towards Megumi. Dojima lays down the rules. They will use the leftover vegetables from that session to make another main vegetable dish. However there is a condition for Megumi. She is the lead chef and Souma is only her assistant. This means she has to decide and make the call. No doubt Souma called on this challenge, if their team wins based on his decision, it would mean Megumi was just riding on to him and it won’t be long before she gets expelled. She must prove herself if she wants to continue to stay. If Souma cannot trust her cooking, then he should withdraw from this match. Megumi becomes panicky in trying to think her next step. She’s thinking she has gotten this far thanks to Souma. But after he slaps her hands to calm her down, he makes her think of all the good cooking she has done. Don’t care what the enemy is doing. Focus on your own. It brings her back to all those good memories as she gets her confidence and starts her preparations. Souma proves himself worthy as her assistant as he prepares all the necessary ingredients in great timing. Time to judge. Shinomiya goes first. You know it tastes good when you see that naked delusion reaction. In short after all that explanation, his dish is like magic! So much so the judges turn into a magical girl unit! HOLY CRAP!!! Safe to say that his dish lives up to expectations but Dojima is a bit disappointed because he was expecting him make his signature dish from his restaurant. However Shinomiya’s arrogance means he didn’t think it was necessary against a student. Now it’s Megumi’s turn to present. Still nervous? Don’t falter after coming this far. Everyone is surprised she makes that terrine dish.

Episode 12
Everyone is singing praises over Megumi’s dish. They’re even fighting what kind of cute fairy deity she is supposed to represent! But ultimately the final decision has the judges voting for Shinomiya. A unanimous decision! Gasp! It’s heartbreaking to see her in tears. Dojima despite not a judge, puts his single vote for Megumi. What is the meaning of this? He tells him to look into Megumi’s dish and believes Shinomiya’s skills as a chef is stagnating. 10 years ago when Shinomiya graduated from Totsuki and flew to France to begin his dream, he quickly earned praises from customers for his dishes. However jealousy soon abound as his own chefs sabotage his recipe. Then the complaints came piling in and Shinomiya is driven to a knife’s edge. In a desperate move, he kicks out all his staffs that were against him and became absolutely strict with those under him. It’s his way or the highway. Shinomiya rebounded and became even more popular than ever till he won the prestigious Pluspol award. Dojima believes ever since he got that award, he has lost sight of what is most important. Thus the reason he doesn’t want to use his signature dish was because he didn’t want them to find out his cooking has hit the wall. Shinomiya is forced to try out Megumi’s dish. As usual he complains at what it lacks but something that makes it as though the dish is speaking to him from the heart. So the flashback with his mom in his paddy field was just to tell us the cooking reminds him of his mother’s tender love? He is so touched that he votes for Megumi’s dish! He realizes some sort of spice that Megumi put in her dish. She explains that all the judges have been eating and judging various foods since yesterday and this spice is to ease their digestion. How thoughtful! With Inui putting her vote for Megumi, the match is now at a tie. I guess this means nobody gets expelled, right? Dojima praises Megumi’s hospitality as a valuable edge. Now she is in tears again. Heck, I thought she is either crying or nervous throughout the entire time. With Shokugeki over, Dojima’s plan to save both chefs worked out well. Shinomiya has once again discovered his hunger to learn and absorb everything again. Although Megumi thanks Souma, personally that guy feels bitter because he considered this draw as a loss. He had intended to win. They return to their friends who have been worried sick about their fate. Yeah, the tension almost killed them.

Episode 13
Isshiki welcomes his fellow dorm mates back. But wait! Souma is buffed up like a Super Saiyan and the rest turned into delinquents! Except for Ibusaki who regressed being a caveman and Marui reduced to being glasses! Thank goodness it was just a dream as everyone is still at the camp. Everyone thought they will have a well deserved rest. Till Dojima tells them to gather at the hall. He mentions the next challenge is to come up with an innovative breakfast menu that will be served by 6am. The main ingredient is egg. So you either use the remaining time to experiment or rest. Well, sh*t… Of course Souma gets cracking and he remembers his dad’s advice of why he cannot simply introduce a new dish for the sake of having something different. It must be something familiar and yet have the element of surprise. Next day, everyone gets ready to start their buffet breakfast. Erina is irked when Souma’s counter is just right next to hers. Dojima then makes the announcement the judges will be by the people who made the ingredients and their family. Yeah, a huge crowd of commoners streaming in. Also part of the judging will be the service staffs of the hotel. Another criterion for passing is that they must serve 200 servings. So we have all our usual suspects like Takumi, Mito and even Megumi getting praised with their innovation. I guess you can tell Megumi improved a lot when the grandpa wants her to marry his grandson!!! And of course the best praise still has to go to Erina whose Egg Benedict dish has everyone bowing before the queen b*tch bee. But how is Souma doing? To everybody’s shock, he has less than 10 servings made! Something is wrong!

Episode 14
Souma realizes why nobody is picking up his soufflé. Because his diner is always served after customers made their order, in a buffet, it is the customers who decide when they pick your dish. And his soufflé has to be eaten piping hot otherwise it will lose its texture. Furthermore, Erina is stealing his customers. I’m sure she would love to rub it in his face but he is deep in concentration remembering his dad made him multi-task but he ended up panicking and confused. He was told about focusing the task at hand so Souma looks at the time left (30+ minutes) and how much time is needed to make his dish. All he needs to do know is attract one customer. He weaves his ‘magic’ in front of a little girl. So when she tastes it, it attracts others to try out his dish. The crowd soon gathers at Souma’s counter to watch him multi-task and create his awesome soufflé. While all of our usual characters have already passed the 200 servings mark, everyone is anxiously waiting for Souma to do that. Right at the dot before time is up, he reaches the target. Phew. Close shave. Before Erina can start b*tching about whatever, then pops up this girl, Alice Nakiri. Not too say she is impressed with Souma but she didn’t really expect him to pull off this ‘magic’ in such limited time. If her name sounds familiar, she is Erina’s cousin. As Erina is the only one who surpassed the 400 servings, Alice is second place with 380 and could have gone beyond that had she not ran out of ingredients. She calls Souma’s live cooking show as an outdated circus show because she believes in cutting edge cooking. Then there are some ramblings about her parents making Denmark as their base for some cutting edge food research, blah, blah, blah. Then there is that rivalry with Erina since young and she came here to crush her and take top spot till Souma showed up. But surprising her is how Souma owns up to his failure and mistake and how he learns from failures. The hellish training camp continues with more tasks in the next few hours. Just when all the students are tired, they are called to gather at the hall. First, Dojima talks about the harshest path that the chefs go through, blah, blah, blah. And just when everyone thought the final task would be the most daunting ever, it is actually a congratulatory meal created by the alumni for them! Congratulations to all 628 who survived and passed this training camp. I guess it is worth the reward to be treated like honoured guests. Souma now believes his dad was right in sending him here.

Episode 15
As the students are leaving, if you’re wondering why Inui is bugging Megumi aside her obsession over her, as we find out, this camp also serves as a place for the alumni to recruit future potential chefs. Without a doubt Souma has his but he has his family restaurant now and his goal is to make his dad acknowledge his skills. Souma forgot his headband and when he returns, he got on the wrong bus. Filled with old folks! They tasted his dish and loved it. They hope he could use their ingredients in his diner. With so many buses, Souma got confused and lost. Then he missed it. Coincidentally, Erina also returned to retrieve something and missed the bus. Not this jerk again. Luckily somebody manages to hire a car for her. Oh, you know what this means. The duo are in an awkward position the entire ride. If only Souma could stop talking… Then he has to flout her high and mighty attitude by telling him the camp wasn’t just to weed out weaklings. There were guys at the camp judging strong students as candidates for the autumn gourmet festival whereby such students can exercise their skills with other heavyweights in the food industry. Erina disagrees with Souma’s thinking about learning via failure. Because failure is not an option for chefs. Failed foods should not be out there to serve customers. We learn what Erina went back to retrieve was a precious photo of her young self and Jouichirou! If she only knew…

Speaking of which, Fumio thought the kids have come back but it looks like Jouichirou is back in Japan and at Polar Star’s doorstep. So naturally the kids are surprised to see him. What is more surprisingly learning he is Souma’s dad? He is an alumnus of Totsuki, stayed in this dorm and the second seat of the Elite Ten! Too much for you to handle, Souma? He cooks for them a feast and safe to say that he has them (how come we only see the girls get the reaction?) dreaming on an Egyptian adventure. He is so good that the girls probably are starting to have hots for Souma! Of course there is a dish which is purposely the worst. Marui had the dishonour to taste it… More revelations about this guy. He went by the name Jouichirou Saiba then and a good friend to Dojima. Oh, he stayed in this dorm too and was the first seat of the Elite Ten! The duo were a formidable team. They won every Shokugeki and turned this land into a self sufficient nation! So all the farms, barns, coops and whatever facilities you see around Polar Star is all thanks to them. Souma gets more surprised when he learns Jouichirou stayed in the very same room he is staying now. Yeah, those marks on the wood are from him. Interested, he spends the rest of the night learning about his days in Totsuki. Next morning, Souma thinks Jouichirou woke him up to help make breakfast. To his surprise, Jouichirou wants to see how much he has improved and thus a cooking contest. Is this why he returned to Japan? Why you look so shocked, Souma? Didn’t see this coming so soon?

Episode 16
Fumio, Isshiki and Megumi are lucky to become the judges. The theme will be breakfast that will invigorate their body. Father and son face off and after an hour, Souma serves his apple rice. Good praises and everything. Now it is Jouichirou’s turn. Fumio is sceptical as he has a habit of adding random bits into his dish. So when his ramen dish pops up, they think he is fooling around. Till they try it out… Suddenly they cannot stop eating! It must be damn good. To their surprise, there is no meat whatsoever in this completely vegetarian dish despite its texture looking like so but that is only because he was using soybeans via traditional Indonesian way. In the end, everyone unanimously votes for Jouichirou. Souma’s 490th straight loss. Although after tasting Jouichirou’s dish, Souma’s one feels less appetizing, it isn’t actually that bad. Just that it seemed lacklustre. Father and son are so deep into their challenge that each even record the event in their notebook! As fast as he came, Jouichirou soon leaves. Fumio could guess this match was partly to encourage his son as he will soon face many cooking battles at Totsuki. Oh, he left a message for him: Go air the diner once in a while. Fumio suggests Souma return home on the next holiday. Erina thought she spotted Jouichirou walking by. She has her driver stop the car as she runs out to the middle of the road. Thank goodness this isn’t a busy street. But could she be seeing things? No Jouichirou in sight.

Episode 17
Plain girl, Mayu Kurase, Souma’s old classmate has been sighing each time she passes the closed Yukihira diner. So irritating that her friend, Aki Koganei had to tell her off about her crush on Souma. To their surprise, Souma just opened his store. He’s back! Then the other shopping district guys start rushing to him and want him to cook for them! They really miss his cooking. While they enjoy his dishes, they mention a recent problem plaguing the shopping district. A recently opened store at the railway station that sells the best karaage has been stealing their customers. At this rate, they’ll close down. I guess it is up to Souma to save the day. Since the rest have got to work, I guess the only person left to become his taste tester is Mayu. Leave it to Aki to pressure her into it as it will be her only chance to get close to him. Souma thinks hard. He needs more knowledge on karaage and how else specializes in meat? He calls Mito who is irritated somebody is calling her this late. Well what do you know? She is sitting up after hearing Souma’s voice. She’ll gladly lend her help and go to his place. She means it. She’s coming back no matter what! Mito and Mayu meet for the first time and you can tell they’re sizing up each other if this is the girl Souma likes. They visit the karaage specialty store, Mozuya. Run by Kinu Nakamozu, they have won the national karaage contest for 3 straight years and are destined to win it again this year. They notice the shopping district chairman, Yuu Tomita is here disguised to check things out. Too bad that disguise couldn’t hide a thing. In fact, Kinu even lets them try the awesome karaage, divulges some of the ingredients used to make it and then badmouths the shopping district. When Souma proposes about coming up a better one than them, Kinu almost turns into a monster telling him off he doesn’t know anything as a kid. So scary. At least from timid Mayu’s perspective. Souma and Mito get working on their karaage. Although delicious, it still doesn’t quite match up to Mozuya. Souma thought of using Mito’s expensive beef but it’s costly even after all that discount. When Mito notices lost of students passing by at this hour (club activities and the likes), this gives Souma a great idea. He was thinking too far outside the box. They don’t need to fight on their turf although they’ll still be using karaage. They’ll use the shopping district’s potential and come up with the best way to have people enjoy karaage.

Episode 18
Souma explains Mozuya wraps and boxes their karaage for take away. Therefore people tend to take it home and eat. A shopping district won’t have this problem as people can walk and eat. This is how they’ll fight them. Despite coming up with some samples, the karaage still can’t beat Mozuya. After brainstorming with the ladies, Tomita comes in believing he has the secret solution that will work. He presents karaage in an onigiri! However the girls point out they’ve already seen this in stores. Unoriginal. But Souma gets an idea from this so everyone starts working overtime to put their karaage operation into action. Aki notices that more and more people are holding wrap rolls and passing by her store. With her sales in steady decline for the 3 days, those who stop by her store are those asking directions where to get this wrap roll! Aki must find out what is happening at the shopping district and to her surprise, it is brimming with life. Souma and co are making those lovely karaage wrap rolls that everyone couldn’t get enough of. Thanks to their great business, the domino effect has other stores in the district to also experience brisk business. I guess Souma can’t help rub it in when he sees her amidst the crowd. Don’t get mad, aunty. Have a taste. And as expected, the awesome fantasy reaction when she takes a bite. It reminds her of some Vietnamese dish. More importantly, the taste evokes the liveliness of the busy shopping district. Screw profits and returns! It is the taste of youth! You lose, lady. While Souma praises Mito, Mayu can’t help today is her last day to be with him. Surprisingly he asks her help. Actually to help part time at Tomita’s store since his store is the flagship store of the karaage wrap roll. Mayu is honoured that despite never talking much with him during school days, he always noticed and observed her hardworking habits. Without hesitation, she accepts to try out. Mito, you feeling jealous? The food critic rates this new delight as 20 points. Out of ten! When Souma returns, he is brought to see Etsuya Eizan. He is a consultant responsible for Mozuya’s expansion among many other food chains. He heard how Souma’s exploits put a dent to his reputation. So is he going to beat him up? Actually, he wants Souma to work for him. Of course he refuses as Souma’s goal is to carry on his family business. Eizan then mocks his limited thinking in his limited world. Unlike others, Eizan is not a chef but a consultant so his goals are different than everyone’s. He warns Souma about the Autumn Elections. Although he has been selected, it will mark his downfall (why do they always say this and count their chickens?). He will make him pay for staining his career. Oh, did he mention that he is on the 9th seat of the Elite Ten. Only ninth? Heck, I thought he was at least second or third if not first.

Episode 19
During the Elite Ten’s meeting to select those for the Autumn Elections, Erina was against Souma’s participation. But this only makes the rest think something happened between them for her to object. In order not to reveal more and because majority wants him in, that’s how Souma got nominated. As usual, the names of 60 candidates split into 2 groups are announced. The top few in each group will advance to the final that is believed to be the precedent for those who will end up on the Elite Ten’s seat. So we have our usual like Souma, Mito, Alice and the Aldini brothers as well new faces like Miyoko Hojo (another one interested in Megumi but feels disappointed when she claims Souma helped her during the Shokugeki with Shinomiya), Nao Sadatsuka (a Sadako-look-a-like who fawns over Erina and hates Hisako for being close to her idol), Ryo Kurokiba (Alice’s lackadaisical assistant) and Akira Hayama (tanned guy). As the theme for the preliminaries is curry, Souma remembers Jouichirou told him if he needs advice for spice, go to see Jun Shiomi who is the queen of spices. Mention his name because Shiomi was his junior. So at this rundown lab and messy room, Shiomi is a petite girl despite being 34 years old?! Did time stop? Or is it the spice of youth? But when Souma mentions he is the son of Jouichirou, Shiomi punches him! She hates that guy and will not have anything to do with his family! Here’s why. She stayed at the same dorm with him and was subjected to his terrible food experiments. Yeah. I guess that’s where the trauma comes from. Hayama is also working here as her assistant but it looks like he is the one who is wearing the pants around. While Shiomi starts her boring incomprehensible lecture of spice on the whiteboard, Hayama prefers to let Souma experience curry spice and lets him savour the various curry dishes he made. Even Souma is not spared from that delusional naked reaction. Of course after all that testing, Hayama still thinks Souma is lacking to be the top dog of this school. This sets the tone for their rivalry as Souma will make a better curry dish than his. Hayama still doesn’t think so because his nose is special and that fragrance is the key to victory.

Episode 20
There aren’t many weeks left to the Autumn Elections. Everybody is trying hard as usual and some take the chance to go back to their families. Souma as usual stays up all night to find a new inspirational dish. He definitely needs to sleep on it. Meanwhile, we detour to a few other characters like Miyoko who enrolled at Totsuki to earn some credibility so she won’t be bullied by men when she returns to her home, and Nao cooking some witch broth inside her creepy room that has posters adoring Erina and as well as curses for Hisako the b*tch. All 60 candidates gather at the hall where Senzaemon starts off with his manly speech. Only 4 from each group may proceed to the final. Do the math and this means only 8 of them will progress. I have a hunch who will make it… The most shocking thing everyone finds is how Isami has slimmed down that he looks like a different person! Must be the summer heat burning away those fats… Nobody is interested in you, Takumi… Both groups separate into different halls and start working their magic. Expect to see lots of dramatic cooking effects. Also, bigwigs from the food industry from old geezers to obnoxious broad moguls watching and counting their chickens which candidates they like for the finals. In group A, we have Souma, Mito, Ryouko, Ibusaki, Marui, Ryo and Hayama among those we know. For group B, Megumi, Yuki, Alice, Takumi, Isami, Hisako, Nao and Miyoko. The big shocker when everybody notices Souma sleeping on the job!!! Is he serious?!

Episode 21
Souma springs to life when the fragrance from his pot is cooked. We take a detour to see how Megumi is doing. Clumsy as usual. Everybody is shocked and wondering how she is going to cut up that giant monkfish. That flashback of how she was harshly trained to do so since young is perhaps the reason why we now understand she could cut it up like a pro. Time is up and time for judging. All the low level failures will of course go first. Despite the praises, they get very low scores because those judges deal with professionals every day so their dishes do not really stand out. Nobody has broken into the 40 points threshold and some even got a single digit. It is Nao’s turn to serve. Her dish stinks like hell! Is it made from sewer and toilet?! Does she plan to kill the judges?! But when they taste it, it tastes delicious! Despite its stinking stench, they can’t help become addicted to eating it. Eventually she scores a high 84 points. Now it is Hisako’s turn. Two years ago, the duo had a showdown in a Shokugeki in which Hisako won. This meant Nao had to stay 50 metres away from Erina but the deal had a loophole so Nao continued to spy Erina from afar and sent her 30 letters a day! The judges taste Hisako’s dish and their bodies turn muscular! In short, her dish contains medicinal spices in which she specializes in. Nao can’t believe her curse has been undone so Hisako lets her taste her dish. It’s so good that it purifies her evil! The damning blow is when Hisako tells her that Nao’s cooking is only about herself whereas Hisako has always had Erina in mind. That is the difference between them. Hisako jumps to first place with 92 points. But you know what is even scarier? Nao is now looking up to Hisako as her one-sama!!! Oh sh*t!!!

Episode 22
Miyoko scores 87 points with her pineapple curry fried rice while Yuki scores 86 with her duck curry cutlet dish. Isami hands the judges his version of Italian curry bread and scores 87 points to tie with Miyoko. Takumi serves curry pasta with parmesan cheese to take his total up to 90 points. And there is this short flashback how Isami always wanted to break away from Takumi’s shadow. At one point he earned the ire of his dad when he changed the recipe just to be different and risking the customer’s trust. Takumi consoled him and told him that they will move forward together. But looks like today, Isami still has a lot to catch up. Alice serves some strange indescribable dish. She assures everything is made out of curry. Oddly, the judges who have been so vocal in explaining every damn dish suddenly are lost for words! It is so good that they can’t describe it! Tongue tied?! Because of that, Alice takes the opportunity to explain all that scientific molecule crap. WTF?! I didn’t know food was that complicated???!!! She jumps to first place with 95 points. Since 4th place is a tie between Miyoko and Isami, there is going to be a vote off. But how could everybody forget Megumi existed? She wasn’t that exciting, huh? Yeah, they don’t put much hope on her and want to be quick about it. But when they taste her monkfish curry nabe, they feel all the warmth in it. With her explanation of her hometown ingredients to boost everything, what score will she receive? I guess all those flashbacks serve as dramatic effect as Megumi gets… 88 points!!! OMG! She just snuck into fourth place! She dumped favourites Miyoko out! And it is sure one hell of an odd scene to see Miyoko and her manly monkfish teachers together. I can only think of some weird porn of a young girl surrounded by old men… Really! Meanwhile judging for group A is even tougher. Because we have a judge who is more b*tchier than the rest and has not given any score except zero!

Episode 23
Ryo serves his lobster curry with cognac and for the first time evokes superb reaction from the judges. It’s not over yet because they need to put droplets into the lobster head and it made them slurping like gluttons! Lobster ship blast off to space! How can you even be naked in space?! For this heavenly dish, he scored 93 points! Next is Mito with her curry meat layered dish. Good enough for 86 points. Then there is Ryouko with her natto and soy sauce curry dish that also earns her 86 points. Marui shows his research on taste in a dish that has the judges slurping without pausing. That itself is worth 88 points. Now herald Ibusaki, dubbed the Prince of Smoke because everything in his dish is just smoked. Really. He scores 88 points too. Now it is Hayama’s turn. They expected some curry fish head but what the heck is this, uhm, cupcake? It is actually naan and they have to start off by breaking its crust with the spoon.

Episode 24
It’s a bomb fragrance! OMG! Bomb appetite! Haha! And yeah, we have all that explanation about some super spice he uses but who cares. Even b*tch judge wants him to be hers but that loyal guy says he only belongs to Shiomi. Hayama jumps to first place with 94 points and for the first time 2 of the judges gave him perfect score! With group A finishing early, they rush over to group B because they are all eager to know how Souma is doing. Yeah, that guy… Hold on to you horses, guys. His turn is coming up. Hmm… Omelette dish? It’s another bomb fragrance! OMG! Bomb appetite again! Haha! This time the first time they put it in their mouth, they felt a punch! Yes! A punch! Punch line? I guess they’re okay being masochists. And yes, another hell of an explanation of some super spice and manga he used. Blah, blah, blah. Okay, okay, we get it. So what is his final score? 93 points, a tie with Ryo. Not bad, right? Well, if you consider Souma who is seriously out to win. But the judges are fighting among themselves over Hayama and Souma’s curry!!! The other should be better!!! Back at Polar Star, all our related parties are invited for a big party. Miyoko made peace with Megumi and will root for her at the finals. Erina is a spoil sport and won’t join Alice and Ryo in whatever celebrations citing work. But she did congratulate them and Hisako for making it. But something bugs Erina even more. During Souma’s dish, she got raped by his fragrance bomb! Oh no! Not that feeling again! As usual, she hates him. Souma and Megumi talk about how far they have come. Especially Megumi who almost came close to expulsion but look where she is today. Yeah, it brings back memories. She has him to thank for. They are interrupted when everybody joins in for a second round of party. Souma wants to cheer everybody up with his dish. Oh no. Squid yoghurt! OMG! Megumi got tentacle raped!!! Yeah, it brings back memories after all. One big bugging question: WHO THE HELL IS THE FOURTH QUALIFIER FROM GROUP A SEEING MARUI AND IBUSAKI TIED AT FOURTH PLACE??????!!!!!!!!!!! P/S: Actually I went online and did my research but I won’t spoil it by putting it here. Consider it my way of leaving a little end season tension and cliff-hanger ;p.

OVA 1
Like as though Takumi and Isami didn’t have enough screen time in the series so they have their own OVA episode to justify they should be one of the heavyweights. Anyway, the brothers are visiting Tokyo. At the tower’s top, because Takumi once again is thinking about his gay rivalry with Souma, Isami shifts that attention by stomping on the glass floor! I wonder if they got kicked out. Then they visit a cosplay café but they couldn’t recognize Urara as the waitress serving them. Good for her, right? We catch a glimpse of other characters in the series doing their own stuffs but nothing of importance to the story. The brothers then stumble into Megumi, Yuki and Ryouko. They try out a local restaurant and after they order, this grumpy old man, Bun mocks the way they order their fried rice with cheese. Takumi would have let it slide had he not insult them about not knowing the ingredients needed. So you guessed it. Time for a cooking battle. So they are making monjayaki. Bun goes first and he might not be a professional chef but he did win first place in some (obscure?) regional cooking competition. As usual, it tastes good. Blows everyone away. Yeah, wait till you taste the Italian brothers. Bun is shocked when they didn’t make a genuine Italian dish but used seaweed to incorporate into their monjayaki. Definitely tastes better than Bun’s, right? And there’s some explanation to praise Japanese cuisine how they will adopt any dish to add to its national richness. Funny, I thought a few years ago there was this sushi police issue thingy… Bun’s grumpiness is blown away once he tastes it. Now we learn why he is so grumpy. His daughter got engaged to a blonde foreigner. He didn’t like it and didn’t give his blessings. And with the power of cultural acceptance and the likes, Bun is going to make amends. Yes, people. All hail the mighty Japanese cuisine!

OVA 2
Like as though there wasn’t enough fanservice in the series so they have their own OVA episode to justify some skin. Erina has done everything needed for the Autumn Elections so she finds herself very free. Cue for Alice to drop in to take her to the pool to let her experience what commoners do. Whatever. Meanwhile the Polar Star Dorm girls are also trying to stave off the summer heat. Megumi is already losing it… So when they manage to fill up the small pool, it is so crammed up. Yuki, please don’t blame Ryouko’s boobs for hogging all the space! Eventually the plan fails but Souma and Isshiki happen to pass by and invite them to somewhere cooler. But first, Souma went to Mito to invite her too. At first she thought it was a date and was eager. Till she finds out he invited everybody else. She starts sulking and won’t go. Okay. Suit yourself. Back over to our ladies with heavenly bodies, Alice is preaching how it is pretty normal for guys trying to hit on them. However there won’t be any because the guys noticed the SPs as well as Ryo’s fiery aura in the background. Life more important than libido. Alice tricks Erina into mentioning about a guy she admires. She’s got it all recorded. You might want to think the qualities Erina describes of her ideal man sounds like Souma’s the dude… Souma and the gang arrive at a beautiful lake within the campus grounds. They have shaved ice and the guys start some sort of speed eating competition. As usual, Takumi is going to challenge Souma on just about everything. Later, Mito drops in and she still plays the tsundere card of being picky on how to eat her shaved ice so Souma keeps teasing her about it (abandoning his unofficial challenge with Takumi). Erina leaves the pool somewhat disappointed but Alice is glad to see the silly look on her face in a changing towel. Once Souma and co are done with their shaved ice. Fumio is here to get started on the BBQ. To top it all, the nice fireworks. Nothing like summer, right?

Food For The Gods
I hope you still have stomach for more because there is good news that there is going to be a second season! So you think that watching this first season is the entire main course? Nope! This is just actually the appetizers! Yeah. With so much potential for just about everything, it is no surprise that another season is much needed. I just hope that we do not have to wait long between the appetizer and main course. You know how it could be irritating waiting in between the food. You finished your appetizers too fast and already in the mood for more but you have got to wait and hope that you won’t lose your appetite while doing so.

Shokugeki No Souma’s storyline and direction of the plot isn’t anything original and it could be as predictable as its other similar genre counterparts like Chuuka Ichiban and Yakitate! Japan. It is so typical, cliché and predictable that perhaps this is the only way to go when you do this kind of genre. I mean, how else is there going to be to make a food battle exciting? That is why Souma as the main character sometimes feel generic in this sense as he is some sort of an outcast compared to the rest of the cast who has some sort of pedigree and rich colourful prestige from their family background. Because it is always more exciting for the dark horse to win and shut up those cocky chefs who are high on their horses, right? Even as typical as any other shonen anime, he fights in challenges and makes friends and rivals along the way. He always comes up tops with his creation that wows and blows everybody away. In the end, he still isn’t perfect and has a long way to go because like Jouichirou’s role as his super chef dad is to remind us that somebody will always be better than you and thus the need for Souma never to rest on his laurels and do better. I mean, isn’t it so typical and cliché that having such strong rivals always motivate you to do better? And oh, the dish that always gets tasted first always loses. Yeah, the most typical of the lot! How else would our main character surprise everybody with his super come back? And maybe the judges forgot how the earlier dishes tasted because this awesome one is so recent in memory it just wipes them out from their memory and records.

When you have such a food competition where people fight it out via cooking and judges to judge them, it goes without saying that the exaggerated reactions to describe how f*cking delicious their food is a given. It is also a cue for me to laugh at all the silly reactions that I see because seriously, even if I get to taste the best food ever in the universe, I know I’ll never ever do such a thing. Okay, maybe I have never tasted the best :’(. But still, it is really funny to see the sort of creativity that they put in for those ‘victims’ to come up with flowery description just for this dish. And sometimes if the judge involves a woman, you’ll definitely get your naked fanservice reaction. Yeah, so good that you need your body to breath! And that is why, such reaction segments are like food porn. Heck, it even borders close to being hentai. Especially some female characters already look so slutty and like a porn star. Whatever heavy breathing and reaction they do here only serves to look like porn and hentai. Really. If this could actually replace sex, it would have been done a long time ago. Speaking of fanservice, I suppose that provides many of the fanservice scenes of the series. So you’ve heard of tentacle rape. But via food? That’s something… For high school students, girls really have a big bust like Mito that keeps bouncing from time to time to distract our eyes from the food to her melons. Yum?

One thing that really bugs me throughout the series is not the delusional reactions or the amazing food that they make. It is the way that they portray such a heavenly cooking that they make it as though only the best would do. Don’t get the wrong idea. Good cooking is definitely what everyone deserves (even a basic human right) and crap cooking should be weeded out. However the way I see in making and preparing these dishes, it just feels impossible to be practical for the masses. It doesn’t help with some snobbish and obnoxious characters like Erina and Shinomiya having such a very high palette that decent good food just doesn’t cut it. I know they want the best and to maintain that standard worldwide. But they have got to understand that everybody is different. Not everybody has such a high godly tongue like that Erina b*tch. Not everybody is a perfect machine that could live up to expectations like in Shinomiya’s case. They want food that is so freaking high in every aspect that it is just f*cking hard to please them just a tiny bit. Then what is the point of everything then?

Therefore Totsuki feels like a place for making food that commoners (which I believe occupy a greater part of the world) out of reach. They think their creation is ultimate and it is a pity that they are clouded by this vision that makes them unable to have a wider range that opens their eyes and mind. That is why my only grouse with this anime is the way food is portrayed so grand and majestic and the standards that must go with it, it is like mocking us commoners that we do not have the right to taste or even savour such cooking. That is why we need a little shake up when God sent Souma over to Totsuki. And the other little thing is that despite the title of this anime, we just had one stinking Shokugeki. Yes, just one. Don’t count that unofficial Shokugeki whereby Megumi was going to get her ass handed to her if she failed and besides, that wasn’t a Shokugeki that Souma was the star. I mean, he has got his name even in the series title, right? That is why the only Shokugeki showdown was with Mito and in the early episodes. Cheated? Disappointed?

But aside these little complaints of mine, all the food looks really great and delicious and sometimes I caught myself drooling and my stomach actually growled! Wow. Talk about how effective their cooking looks even if it is just 2D animation. They did put in some effort to make them look good. But thankfully no matter how good or ‘real’ it looks, at least I didn’t have that feeling of wanting to take a bite off the monitor! That would be tad embarrassing. Okay, so this leads to another little ‘complaint’ of mine. I WANT TO TASTE THOSE DISHES THAT THEY MAKE!!! Even the curry dishes at the Autumn Elections also made me want to try. I am not a person who likes spicy stuffs and any curry dishes I would automatically stay away with extreme prejudice. But with the creativity of these budding chefs, it really made me want to taste them. Of course in real life I still stay away from curry. I just wanted to taste THEIR curry.

The characters are a mixed baggage. There are a handful of them although mainly it is about Souma. Well, he has got his name even on the series’ title, right? As typical as he can be, like many protagonists, he is scorned by many who don’t know him just because he doesn’t fit or pass a certain criteria (he is just like that guy in Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei in this sense) but in this case he just pissed off everybody with is opening statement. A statement enough for every minor background character that will not go further and for sacrificial purposes to hold a grudge on him forever till they get kicked out. I mean, really. Why the animosity of what he said? If you don’t like it, then prove it! Probably the reason why Souma excels is his density in not knowing much about the protocols of everything. Things that others are expected to know. This is both good and bad thing because this makes him less stiff as he is able to go in his own pace and creativity. Unlike silly wuss who shiver in fear of great names, Souma is just blur of whom this supposed famous character is. The other bad thing about him is his very bad foods. Everybody has their virginity violated tasting it. How can someone so good be this bad? Well, nobody is perfect.

Then there is Megumi who is always a bundle of nerves. She is such a worrywart that she might start losing her hair at an early age or at least have them all turned white. Panicking is her main trait as you never fail to see her in such distress whenever she is going to face such tough crap. And always she pulls off an incredible come back feat thanks to Souma at first and finally by her own accord. It is a great achievement to see her crawl out from her shell, someone who is failure material to someone who can stand among the ranks of the best chefs. Heck, aside Souma, she is the only other Polar Star member who made it to the final round of the Autumn Elections. Am I right? I guess the rest are just for ‘sacrifices’. I suppose that even if many of the characters feel so cliche, it is the only thing you can do for variation in the characters department so that it won’t be unbalanced whereby the food tastes and looks great but the characters are so bland. So from top b*tches like Erina, her loyal yuri assistant Hisako, stalker material Nao (who is now so much into Hisako), cocky Alice, split personality Ryo, exhibitionist Isshiki, eternal passionate rival Takumi, fiery meat expert (in all aspects) Mito and the whole lot bunch of other characters that haven’t appeared yet including a big majority of the Elite Ten.

Some feel like running jokes like those brawling bros of Polar Star whom I can’t be bothered to remember their names because all they ever do is fight among each other even if it is just the norm and their way of communicating. I’m sure they have some skills too but they are the lowest compared to the rest that they have been relegated to just comical characters and cheerleaders for the final arc’s competition. Then there is this penchant of using Marui’s room to gather and have fun while leaving that studious guy dead as a zombie. It’s more fun bugging him, right? Why study all alone? Come join the fun! Then there is Urara who is the cutie host whom every boy would love to drool over and girls love to hate and kill. Yeah, this girl loves the limelight and feels vengeful if it is taken away from her when her due is not over.

These kids are so great and since they are only first year students, they even have silly nicknames that coincide with the food they specialize in! I mean, who the f*cks give them these nicknames?! It’s just funny that they are so good, they are still in school instead of out there in the world showcasing and mesmerizing hungry gourmet people. I guess you can’t do that without a graduation certificate. It enhances your credibility. I mean, would you rather hire a new employee with a degree or one that has none? But these kids already so good and some of their reputation precede them so there should be no problem if the public eat their food, right?

You can’t have food talk and battles all the way so perhaps a little distraction in the romance section might add and give a little character and plot development. Heh. Like we’ll ever believe that. Although nothing solid is seen, but we viewers can’t help speculate Souma x Megumi because for a girl who is close to failing and this guy is like her prince in shining armour, always coming to her rescue in her hour of need, typically doesn’t this sow the seeds of love? And with Erina being a tsundere, it should make sense every main character should have his little diverse harem. Plain girl Mayu and the American chick Mito. Oh yeah, almost every girl loves him. If you don’t want straight romance, how about a little yuri, girl on girl romance? Is there? Well, if you’re talking about Erina x Hisako (well, it looked like yuri) as well as Hisako vs Nao over Erina just rings it. How about bromance? Yeah, those brawling dudes of Polar Star might be it but we don’t care about them, do we? It might be more probable for Takumi and Souma. You know how annoying that Italian kid is trying to get Souma’s attention and bragging about his future win, right? Well, let’s hope something more won’t turn out of it and make fujoshi fans die of nose bleed to death. Don’t get me started on Isshiki’s naked butt. So the romances between characters aren’t this series’ strength to say the least. So if you want romance, just stick to the food.

Art and drawing feels okay. Characters look like your conventional Japanese anime although some designs are meant to give the character, uhm, character. Like Souma as your typical hero must have spiky hair although they aren’t that towering. Some have strange designs just for differentiation like Konishi with his pompadour hairstyle and Ryo with his dark bags under his eyes so much so I thought it was just black war paint. If the character designs aren’t giving you visual candy, then it must be the food then. It goes without saying. Like I have said, there have been efforts in making the dishes look sumptuous and good enough. Too bad as a viewer we can only watch all the goodness and it is sad we can translate all that by tasting them.

With an amazing amount of characters, main, supporting and even extra background ones, it is no surprise that the cast list is a long one. Therefore quite a number of recognizable seiyuus from the line up. Like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Souma and although this isn’t exactly one of his many typical heroic hero roles as he is pigeonholed into, it is still nevertheless the main character with so called hero-like qualities. And of course, I am so glad to hear my favourite Mamiko Noto as Inui and thanks to the nature of this series, I can be rest assured they won’t kill off another character. Nobody dies in this anime, RIGHT???!!! Unless… The rest of some of the veteran seiyuus I recognized include Rikiya Koyama as Jouichirou, Takehito Koyasu as Dojima, Yuuichi Nakamura as Shinomiya, Junichi Suwabe as Hayama, Tomokazu Sugita as Eizan, Takahiro Sakurai as Isshiki and Mikako Takahashi as Shiomi.

The rest of the casts are Minami Takahashi as Megumi (Saturn in Hi-sCool! Seha Girls), Risa Taneda as Erina (Yukina in Strike The Blood), Chinatsu Akasaki as Alice (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), Shizuka Ishigami as Mito (Stella in Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry), Natsuki Hanae as Takumi (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero), Yuuki Ono as Isami (Moral in Hamatora), Saori Oonishi as Hisako (Eriri in Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Ryo (Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Ai Kayano as Ryouko (Inori in Guilty Crown), Maaya Uchida as Yuki (Rikka in Chiinibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Taishi Murata as Ibusaki (Utami in Noragami Aragoto), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Marui (Sougo in Comet Lucifer), Asami Seto as Miyoko (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Saori Goto as Nao (Barasuishou in Rozen Maiden Traumend), Ai Kakuma as Mayu (Est in Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance) and Rina Hidaka as Urara (Airi in Ro-kyu-bu).

I like the first opening theme song, Kibou No Uta by Ultratower. Although it sounds like a guy who had been drinking a lot since last night, but at least the tune of the song is quite reasonable to hear as it also gets you into the mood of what this anime is all about. Even the first ending theme is not bad. Spice by Tokyo Karan Koron is exciting because of the nifty electric guitar play in the background. The thing to note in this ending credits animation is that the Polar Star members are depicted as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. I hope I am just thinking too much and isn’t some sort of prophecy of something for them. Personally, I feel that the themes don’t sound as a good when they changed them halfway. Rising Rainbow by Misokkasu as the second theme has turned into some sort of dark dramatic rock music. Perhaps it is to foreshadow the direction of the competition but I don’t really like it. ‘Too much noise’. The same sentiments can be said for the second ending theme, Sacchan No Sexy Curry by Seiko Oomori. Despite this is a slow and nearly calming ballad, I somehow find the singer isn’t suitable in singing this song. Something about her voice that just doesn’t feel right. Maybe because there are too many words she is trying to sing and cramming into a line? Otherwise, it would have been an okay song.

Overall, this anime is exactly like what some of the judges’ reaction when they eat a very good meal: They can’t stop eating and want even more even if it is finished! It is a long course meal and the food journey has yet to reach its max in satisfactory yet. There is still room for more of everything and I hope that it doesn’t take too long that my stomach has digested everything and I am back to square one of being hungry all over again. Though this series is not entirely perfect and still has its flaws, but it is highly recommended for anybody who loves food. I thought it would help food lovers and gluttons watch their weight seeing this might be a visual distraction for their stomach but then again, the effect might be totally opposite and make them crave to eat even more. Some people have all the luck. They live to eat instead of eat to live. Say, when is Jouichirou coming to my town to serve up a delicious dish for me?

Phew… Panting… Panting… If you think you have survived the merciless onslaught of the moe and kawaii factor, be warned and do not even rest yet. For it is not over. Because there is more I tell you. You will be left to fear for your lives again. That is right. There is a second season of it. Horror! So if you have survived the extreme asphyxiation and heart tightening condition as well as managed to overcome all other similar syndromes and side effects, it is time for a second round of it. Still not dead? Still able to breathe? Good. Now proceed to watch the next season of Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka S2. Are you sure you can handle it? I can see you in cold sweat. I can feel that shiver down your spine. I can sense that you are thinking if your life is worth risking to watch another dozen episodes of it. I know that once bitten twice shy, never scared of the dark till you have seen a ghost. Think hard. Think carefully. Make a wise choice. If you can’t go through another punishing phase of moe and kawaii lolis doing nothing except whatever they do make everything look extremely cute, then this is your chance of turning back and get out of this moe hell. This is your final warning. Quit while you still can. No? You say you are up to it after all that toughening and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Hehehe… Then get ready then for another season of cute girls doing cute things. You are crossing the line of no return…

Episode 1
Cocoa is bugging to take pictures of Chino and Rize so she could send them home to her mom. However Chino is being very shy and always gives her the slip. In actual fact, she does not have the confidence to smile like Cocoa. Cocoa now takes Chiya and she is very eager and posing in every way. Then there is Sharo too. She got duped into being taken a few shots during work. Cocoa then goes back to plead for a nice shot of Chino. Rize suggests they take a shot together. But both their faces turn out gloomy! It looks funny enough for Chino to smile. But Cocoa has left the building and missed this opportunity. She brings back Chiya for support. Chiya’s posing has Cocoa laughing so Cocoa definitely didn’t miss this shutter chance. But her smile turns out more of a mock smirk. The girls go through the magazine that reviews eateries. It seems that every other eatery in town has an article except for Rabbit House. Chiya is shocked that Fleur du Lapin has a bigger article than Amausa despite saying she doesn’t mind starting small. Then they realize maybe a reason why Rabbit House doesn’t have an article… No customers! Thank goodness here comes Aoyama as their saviour. They further look through the magazine and even spot an article on Cocoa’s family bakery in the outskirts. Yeah, definitely a conspiracy to leave out Rabbit House. When Aoyama takes a seat, the chair breaks apart! Could it be this place is so old that journalists even avoid it? Sharo tries to comfort Chino that all the marks and scratches tell a story till she hears they are clumsy scrapes and abrasions by Cocoa! Rize thought the phone call means another customer. But it turns out to be her dad who is willing to send his guys over as customers if they have no business! Chino is still having trouble smiling so Cocoa cheers her up with some good news she heard from Chino’s dad. In the next magazine, Rabbit House is featured. This makes Chino smile and Cocoa snaps it right.

Episode 2
Late into the night, a pale Sharo seeks shelter at Rabbit House. Seems her place is haunted! She heard movements in the attic and sometimes when she gets back, there is a pile of leaves! I don’t think the duo are making her feel any better speculating what kind of ghost it is. A rabbit ghost? That’s scarier at least for Sharo. Rize is ready to help exorcise the ghost. Chiya is upset Sharo didn’t seek her help. Well, she did. Notice the miscalls? Heavy sleeper… The ghost turns out to be a stray rabbit living in her attic. So are those leaves supposed to be rental payment? Hey wait. Aren’t those the herbs Sharo is growing? Chino thought of going to the exorcism as it would help her get better at talking to people. Cocoa supports her and will man the cafe alone. But what scares Chino the most isn’t the ghost but leaving the cafe all to Cocoa. Since they feel bad letting the stray rabbit go, it is decided Sharo keeps it and to help overcome her rabbit phobia. After suggesting a few names, they call it Wild Geese. Chino comes in full exorcism gear. Too late. The matter is resolved. Wild Geese is a bad delinquent because it spits on Tippy! Sharo makes a cardboard house for it but since she is too shy to admit, she says it is her own house. Chino and Cocoa pay Rize a visit since she sprained her ankle. They thought they would be greeted by maids but see MIB agents! Fortunately they are pretty nice people with perfect manners. Chiya and Sharo are working temporarily here as maids because Sharo felt bad when Wild Geese jumped on Rize and caused her sprain ankle. Cocoa accidentally breaks an old telescope. She will use Rabbit House as collateral?! I guess to clear her conscience, Rize has her work here as maid to ‘clear her debt’. Rize feeling bored, decides to show her room with gun collections. They thought an enemy has entered but it is Sharo serving tea. But the jump scare has her spilling it all over Rize. An excuse for her to dress up as a maid and play along with the rest. They take turns playing lord of the house and the others serve her. Rize is embarrassed when she realizes her father has been watching her.

Episode 3
Cocoa and Chiya see Chino and her friends looking around town for things to sketch for their drawing competition. Since cafe is suggested, they head to Fleur du Lapin to sketch the building. I’m sure they know pretty much about nothing about sketching as they don’t know what those big art terms mean and they’re just posing for the sake of looking like pro sketchers. Sharo must be wondering what the heck these girls are doing. Back at Rabbit House, they seek Rize’s advice. She draws a surreal picture of Tippy and this makes Cocoa jealous since she is supposed to be their ‘teacher’. So they sketch some other stuffs which later become pictures hung up on Rabbit House’s walls. The most eerie ones are those sketches of Sharo since her cafe was too hard to draw… I think somebody is a Picasso prodigy… Chino and friends are also practising for an interpretive dance contest but they haven’t come up with a song or choreography. I don’t think Moonwalking is any original. Chino then plays a tape that belongs to her father. This calm song motivates their body to move on their own. Thinking how magical this ballet song is, this is what they’ll do and since Megu’s mom is a ballet teacher, they’ll seek lessons from her. Of course it is going to take lots of discipline and stamina for them to learn the basics but they’re getting the hang of it. Chino even practises walking tiptoe at Rabbit House and this causes Cocoa to panic thinking she has grown taller. Chino is surprised Cocoa is making herself at home while watching them at practice. Actually she is here to bring them lunch and she got curious in trying out a move and crammed her legs. With the good food, it hit them their dance theme should be cafe. Cocoa sees it as some sacrificial ritual. When Rize visits, she sees Cocoa taking ballet lessons! When Sharo and Chiya visit, they see Rize taking ballet lessons too! I guess you know what’s coming. Surprisingly, these girls fare better than Chino and friends. Megu’s mom would love for them to join as they have potential but they site they are busy with a part time job or no money (Sharo). Maya notices Megu enjoying herself a lot in practice. Usually she gets embarrassed of dancing in front of people and quit. She can see how she sparkles in ballet. Although still needing more practice, Chino is graceful and elegant in her feet work back at Rabbit House. Practice makes perfect. Or at least almost.

Episode 4
Everyone heads to the cafe for an afternoon tea. Chino and her friends try to observe the rest so they could imitate and become a proper lady. Even when it comes to eating their cakes, they continue to observe. But no hot dogs like Sharo is eating, so how? Cocoa and Chiya sense they are being observed so they simply talk about scientific stuffs just to look intelligent. When Aoyama stops by, they ask her opinion so she suggests eating like normal. They think what constitutes normal is different between them so Aoyama thinks she might be abnormal. Then Aoyama heads over to Cocoa’s table and blurts out she is observing them on the little one’s behalf. Trying to sound smart again, eh? The little ones even get up and follow Rize to the toilet and that is when she discovers their intention. She tells them the important thing is to enjoy the meal because manners only exist so everyone can have a good time. Cocoa tries her best to become a better big sister to Chino but the latter is being modest about it. Next morning, Chino is shocked that Cocoa is acting strangely and different. Well, she tried to make toast for her but it’s still burnt. Cocoa is even hardworking and ushering customers in elegantly. Could she be an imposter? Chino tries to act all cute so she couldn’t resist hugging her but it didn’t work. It makes Chino feel insulted too. When Rize’s worst fear of Cocoa collapsing due to working comes true, they learn she is doing so because her elder sister is coming to visit. She wants to put up a good impression. So everyone tries to help train her and this includes acting like dumb employees (which is so painful to watch) and acting like her little sister (which is pointless no matter how you see it). They noticed Cocoa’s cafe latte art has improved gradually and when she is going to show off her 3D latte art, it turns out to be Tippy in a cup. On the day Cocoa’s sister, Mocha is supposed to arrive, Cocoa is frozen with anxiety. Hello, Earth to Cocoa…

Episode 5
The anxiety is going to kill Cocoa since Mocha is supposed to be here hours ago. So she rushes out to find her but got a little distracted in taking snapshots of a bunny. She bumps into Sharo and Chiya and enlists their help. As for how to describe her, she has got to be more specific than saying her sister is female… She tries an impersonation but isn’t that just herself? Mocha is already in town. Just that she got distracted chasing a stray rabbit. She ends up talking to Aoyama about visiting her little sister who rarely comes home. It has been a year since she last saw her. Mocha enters Rabbit House wearing a disguise in hopes of surprising Cocoa. But she is nowhere to be seen and her suspicious actions of looking around has Rize wonder if she is a spy or smuggler. She stands up in disapproval when the toast she ordered is not to her standards. She takes out a bag of flour to show how it is done but Rize thinks it is drugs and that she is really a smuggler. She is ready to jump into action but all that simmer down when Mocha reveals herself. She knows about them because Cocoa often sends photo back to her. All goofy ones… Rize is embarrassed with Mocha’s smothering but Chino accepts it like as though it’s the comfort of her mom. Mocha offers to help out working here and the duo are blown away by her reliable aura unlike a certain unreliable sister… Mocha teaches the duo to bake bread and they get along very well. Cocoa and the rest watch outside and they can’t help notice how sisterly the trio look. It brings Cocoa to tears because it’s like as though Mocha is stealing away her big sister position! When Cocoa enters disguised to surprise her, it seems everyone can tell who she is. Cocoa revels in seeing her sister again but realizing her friends are watching and this makes her emotional reunion embarrassing, she puts up a tough act acting like the big sister around. Mocha relays the good news she will be staying at Rabbit House for a few days. She is impressed with Cocoa’s improvement in latte’s art. Till Rize reveals she slacks in all other areas. As the sisters retire to their room, Chino brings coffee but sees them sleep leaning on each other. They look so sisterly so it tempts her to try out and sleep with them.

Episode 6
Flashback shows Cocoa used to imitate everything from Mocha. Now, she thinks of surprising her by waking up early and making her breakfast. Looks like she is beaten. Then it turns into a cooking competition to see who can win Chino over. Mocha hangs out with Cocoa and her friends. Cocoa is scared that Mocha’s hugging spree means she is trying to turn her friends into her little sisters! After picnic, they go for a boat ride-cum-race. Rize can tell Chiya is bothered. Seems she is the only one who didn’t get Mocha’s hug. When Cocoa is down that she has never beaten her sister before, Sharo slaps her for being a coward and if this is the version she wants Chino to see. Cocoa’s eyes are opened as she gets enough power to paddle. She did zoom past Mocha but Chiya’s extreme last minute strength beat her to the finish line. So what is Chiya’s wish? A hug from Mocha! Cocoa starts giving big sister the cold shoulder thinking if she continues to be spoilt by her, Chino would not look up to her. Poor Mocha has to drink out her sorrows. Don’t worry. It’s just milk. Rize brings depressed Mocha out to town. Rize fears Mocha’s hugging and hides behind Sharo. When Chiya serves her an ice cold cocoa drink, it just brings back depressing reminder how her little sister is treating her… On the day Mocha is to leave, Cocoa dressed in a strange rabbit mask kidnaps and ushers her into the room where they hold a farewell party for her. Mocha hugs her so hard I think she could crush her. When Mocha is being friendly with Maya and Megu too, Cocoa voices her displeasure. Chino is worried they are fighting but the rest assure that is how the sisters communicate. Cocoa has also brought Aoyama to the party. Mocha becomes nervous and seeks her autograph on her rolling pin? I don’t know how she could blunder and run out of space to sign. In the evening, Cocoa sees off Mocha at the train station. Mocha hopes she comes home once in a while but Cocoa worries Chino will be all alone. Or rather, Cocoa doesn’t want to be alone and away from Chino. Mocha observes them and realizes Cocoa isn’t imitating her anymore. She is really like a big sister now. She is glad Cocoa came to this town because the family once came here before for vacation and Cocoa fell in love with the place. When they go back to Rabbit House, it seems Mocha has left a better latte art for them. So impressive that Chino and Tippy would really miss her reliance. Another cause for Cocoa to be upset that Mocha didn’t just leave but also leave with the hearts of her friends!

Episode 7
Cocoa’s uniform is stained. But the washing is broken. Don’t worry. She’ll wash by hand! She’ll gladly wash all their uniforms as well. Sharo can’t stand the way she washes and interjects. With everybody helping out, it becomes a big bubble making activity instead. Chino thought she is being attacked by a ghost but it turns out to be Cocoa underneath the sheet. She gets an idea to wash the curtains too. So everyone pitches in and starts stepping. I don’t know. Don’t they look like squashing grapes instead of washing with their feet? But an hour later, no progress is made and they’re tiring out. They rest and they have Chiya’s special green tea. One of them is spiked. Chiya gets spiked. You reap what you sew. When the washing is done, all the buttons come off! Washed too hard? Even the buttons from the stuffed animals came undone. This makes Chino wonder if they should redesign their uniform. So with a few suggestions and later that day, the uniform turns out to be quite frilly and with miniskirts. Maybe some more adjustments are needed. While shopping for dinner ingredients, Cocoa doesn’t want Chino to be so formal with her. She tries to speak casually but ends up stuttering. Sharo even teaches her how to do a perfect fake smile. But when Sharo calls Rize to invite her to her curry dinner, she becomes stiff and crude. Before dinner, Rize has her friends eat chocolates that were given by one of her dad’s men. Chino is certainly drunk after eating one with liquor. Cocoa too but she acts like an oujo-sama after eating a high class chocolate. Chino is still drunk and acting like a good little sister. The moment Cocoa has been waiting for? Unfortunately Chino goes to hug Chiya as her big sister and then turn to Rize. Jealous Cocoa challenges Rize for the big sister title and while they are at it, Chino sleeps on Sharo’s lap. Finally when Chino hugs Cocoa, Sharo throws Wild Geese accidentally hitting Chino’s head, bringing her back to her senses. She is very embarrassed on what she has done and claims she has been acting all the while. After their curry dinner, Sharo has packed lots of curry leftovers for Rize. Since Sharo ate most of the chocolates that contained caffeine, it is her turn to become drunk. And she’s going wild! This party is just getting started!

Episode 8
The first biggest problem ever?! Because Chiya is crying that she had a fight with Cocoa! This is serious! Confiding with Sharo, it seems it stems from their talk of how their class reshuffles the students each year. There is a chance they might end up in different classes and Cocoa hinted she didn’t mind. How vague… Sharo talks this to Rize and Chino. Although they feel it is nothing to worry about but just for collateral, they go to buy stationery as charm for the new semester. On the way back, they see Chiya looking very dreadful. She has been given the ultimatum by Cocoa to meet at the park! The girls hide behind the bushes as they hear Chiya explain to Cocoa. Cocoa is freaking surprised to learn about the class reassignment. She thought Chiya was worried about being a big sister! Then they drink coffee so that Tippy could read their future. They’ll receive their just desserts tomorrow. I think they took it literally and ate some snacks but got stomach discomfort. So the rest now has to intervene that even if they are put in different classes, it is not the end of the world. They can still chat with each other during break. With that, they become positive and look forward to just about anything. We don’t even know why this ‘fight’ started anymore… Next day, Cocoa and Chiya have to seek help from the rest to finish their homework or else they’ll start the next semester in supplementary classes. This must be their just desserts. After school, Maya quickly leaves to go tail Rize. She thought Rize’s sharpness has her found out but actually it was just a rabbit. Seems Maya wants to learn how to tail others so Rize teaches her and their first target is tailing Aoyama. Unknown to them, Sharo is tailing the duo. When Aoyama stops at a shop, she can’t help notice Sharo hiding in the corner and starts observing her. The three-way observation never moved… Till Sharo gets up and realizes she is late for her shift. Aoyama goes after her but trips. Rize and Maya help her up but are told to quickly follow her. Unknown to them, Chino and Megu are tailing them. Likewise, Cocoa and Chiya. This pair is in a full detective getup and they’re sweating like hell. Rize learns that Maya is worried about her friends drifting apart after graduating from school. That is why she thought of taking action. This touching scene has all the stalkers get out from their hiding place and reassure her it would be okay. Nobody noticed Aoyama was spying on them nearby? Looks like nobody noticed Tippy spying from afar and that mascot too didn’t realize Chino’s dad is also spying on him because he left Rabbit House unannounced.

Episode 9
Chino has always thought there was some rivalry between Rabbit House and Amausa but since Chiya doesn’t know anything about it, could it be just Chino’s grandpa’s misunderstanding? Cocoa and Rize talk to Sharo to find out about their past since she is Chiya’s childhood friend. Since she can’t remember, Aoyama explains and will even write it down! Eventually Rize deduces that old rivals become new friends in today’s age. When they go back to Rabbit House, Tippy is in battle mode ready for kamikaze! He barges into Amausa to take on Chiya who isn’t sure what is going on but plays along. It stops when Chino intervenes. They learn both their establishments once served coffee amitsu as joint promotion. So I guess there were some sore feelings between their grandparents when their coffee or tea weren’t praised as good as the other. As part of her school’s assignment, Chino works part time at Amausa for 3 days. It isn’t the kimono that makes her feel uneasy. Having nothing sitting on her head does. No Tippy? Anko will do. Similarly, Maya is working at Rabbit House while Megu is at Fleur du Lapin. Chino is introduced to Chiya’s grandma who is quite strict especially learning Chino is that old dude’s granddaughter. Chiya thought she could make Sharo jealous that they have a new employee. But Sharo knows who she is and also teases her back. Chiya actually starts pouting with jealousy! She also feels down that this could mean there is no appeal for her to work at Amausa. Tippy calls Chino during the break to get more info but grandma comes in to give her snacks. Despite her harsh words calling Chino a glutton, she’s a pretty nice lady if you think about it. Tough love? Tsundere? Chino enjoys the snacks and hangs up before grandpa starts calling her a traitor. Chiya left a note to Sharo that she would love to work at Fleur du Lapin with her. So Sharo misunderstood it and lets her wear her uniform. Chino deduces the uniform she is wearing was meant for Sharo. Sharo’s happiness is short-lived when a button pops into her face. I think the chest area is a little bit too small for Chiya, don’t you think? Time for Sharo to blow her top. Forget about working at Fleur du Lapin. Give back her uniform! When Chino sends a picture of her and Chiya so sisterly-like, Cocoa goes into a jealous rage and sends a picture of her, Rize and Maya being even more sisterly.

Episode 10
Rize excels in all sports activities as she notices Sharo supporting her among the wild fan girls. The other girls think Sharo wants to join in so this has Aoyama relive her younger days in clubs. She was in the literature club and always had a junior pestering her about deadlines. Rize invites Sharo to become her assistant in the clubs she’ll be filling in. We see Sharo become her PA in various club activities. She hears others compare her to a legendary person that led numerous clubs to victory with questionable offhand advice. She is only known as Midori or Miss Emerald. In a bid to find her identity, the duo had to participate in each club’s challenges. But even so, they get nothing much out of it except she might be from the literature club and had a habit of mingling with other clubs that her junior had to drag her back. Hmm… Sounds familiar… When Cocoa asks Aoyama for her real name, suddenly a furious woman comes in to look for her. Instantly Aoyama hides under the table! That is her editor as she is here to drag her back for missing the deadline. Oh, she calls her Midori… Could it be? When Cocoa wants to play with Chino, she is pretty much preoccupied with her bottle ship building. What about going bug catching with Rize then? Her men tell her that she is busy for today and will not be available. Cocoa bumps into Aoyama running away from her editor. She is desperate enough to cook a story that they bumped into each other and switched bodies! Not buying it! Next morning, Cocoa wakes up to find everybody gathered outside Rabbit Cafe. They’re going camping at the mountains. Didn’t she get Rize’s invitation? What invitation? Oh no… Cocoa feels so upset that nobody wants to play with her that she locks herself in her room. It isn’t the postal system that is bad. She did get the invitation card but it was in her pocket and she didn’t read it. So it is going to take a lot of coaxing to get that fuming girl out. And when regretful Chino is about to do her part, Cocoa bursts out all dressed up for the camp. She was just trolling everybody and was never mad in the first place. Gotcha! Chino feels this is her first time away from time and can’t help feel anxious if she would enjoy the great outdoors.

Episode 11
The girls look all geared up for their camping trip. Nothing could go wrong, right? Till Rize finds out their food provisions are empty! Time to go survival hunting? Can these girls do it? So they try fishing and despite being amateurs, they reel in quite a haul. Only Chino has not caught any so Cocoa offers to give her aura of support and instantly she caught one. Chino not amused… Chiya and Megu are tasked to find mushrooms but all they find are poisonous ones! When Chino’s straw hat is blown away and floats down the river, she tries to go get it back. Although successful, before she knows it, she is trapped on a sandbar. To think that she didn’t even know how to swim. She signals to the rest for help but they think she’s just waving. Until Rize swims there to bring her back. Chino gets scolded by Cocoa for being reckless and that she is more important than any fish or straw hat. Wow. Cocoa sounding like a big sister for real for once. But she blames her the most for not keeping her eyes on her. Sharo thinks Maya is drowning and saves her. But Maya was just swimming. All the girls start splashing at each other. Chino reflects on Cocoa’s scolding. But her patting was full of warmth. Cocoa and co fend off zombies but get eaten! Megu and Maya are the only ones left as they tell Chino who just awakened from her dozing. Megu then transforms into a zombie and this scares the hell out of Chino. See how she hops like mad in her sleeping bag! Outside, she sees Cocoa and co doing BBQ and looking fine. What about the zombies? Then she gets horrified upon seeing blood on their face that she faints. I guess the ketchup prank went too far.

If you’re wondering why they are camping instead of staying at the cabin, it seems somebody sabotaged the electricity. After dinner, Sharo is already drunk on caffeine so everyone starts spinning around the campfire so fast that they might even lift off. When everyone lets go of their hands, they flew a few metres back. Sharo had so much fun that she hugs Rize. When a shooting star is seen, Chino immediately makes a wish for all of them to have fun again. Sounds embarrassing but not so like the others. Cocoa’s surpassing of Mocha, Chiya’s globalization of Amausa and Sharo’s stomach full of melon bread. But that is nothing compared to Rize’s grudge wish for the person who sabotaged their trip to get what is coming. Hey, all is not that bad since they get to see the stars. Rize’s dad suddenly his drink spills on him by itself. Well, we know the perpetrator now. He needs a new drink so Chino’s dad wants him to pay up. Rize’s dad challenges him to a blowgun contest. It got so intense that their shots look like shooting stars. Chino goes to return Cocoa’s straw hat and thank her. But she is already asleep. Revenge time: Snap a picture of her sleeping face. Next morning, everybody paints their face with ketchup to scare Cocoa as penalty for falling asleep first. It is sweet revenge for Chino when she gets to scare the daylights out of her. See how fast she hops in the sleeping bag.

Episode 12
The photos from the camp are ready. There is one picture of Cocoa in a very elegant pose. Cocoa herself didn’t realize it was her! So different? Chino has caught the photo bug and she is now interested in snapping photos of everybody in their daily natural action. If only Cocoa didn’t try so hard and ruin it because she becomes stiff and clumsy inside her shots. Cocoa stumbles upon a Ciste map behind a picture frame. The rest mentions how they played this game a few times before (basically a map that leaves clues to let others find your hidden treasure). Cocoa gets ‘jealous’ that everybody has played it and wants to play too. Chino agrees to accompany her and brings Megu and Maya along. This game also brings back memories for them because it was the first time they met Chino and became friends. They misinterpreted this barista job as some super powered thingy and wanted to be her friend. Cocoa might sound cool in her deductions but could it be she is just as naive as she sounds? The girls finally reach the final treasure box that contains mini items put by previous treasure hunters. Megu and Maya tease Chino that she has Cocoa to thank for because she gets to play this game again. Back home, Cocoa wonders if Chino is mad because she is going through all the photos and none are reasonably good. With Cocoa being goofy, you know why… Cocoa thinks she doesn’t deserve to become her big sister but some petty girly argument ensued (including pillow throwing) before Cocoa realizes Mocha had sent letters to Chino and she requested her to send natural ones as Cocoa only sent goofy ones. Mocha is happy that she gets letters from both Cocoa and Chino. But she couldn’t recognize this elegant lady is her sister! You mean she really looks that different? Mocha is left panicking because Cocoa left a little ‘threat’ at the end of her message. She won’t be sending her letters for a month for trying to steal her Chino! What?! Megu and Maya make a new Ciste map and hand it to Chiya and friends for them to play. They manage to win and find some adorable items to keep. And Cocoa got a photo of a goofy girl and she didn’t even realize that was herself! Sharo accidentally picked another Ciste map from the treasure and this one belongs to Aoyama. Looks like they have to go play it.

Rabbits And Coffee To Go. Would You Like Lolis To Go With That?
OMG… Oh… My… God… I didn’t think I would last this long till the end. Because it seems yet again I have survived the moe onslaught and lived to tell the tale! Oh yeah! I thought I was about to be doomed by all the cute and cuddly factors that seemed so overwhelmed. Never had there been a break to catch a breathe and it was a continuous assault of moe, wave after wave of kawaii-ness I tell you. Man… It felt like an eternity but the battle to overcome the moe is finally done! I have emerged victorious! Standing tall amidst the bloody moe nose bleeds and burst blood vessels from the overall moe factor, I can stand tall and proud that I have defeated and conquer the ultimate that many has perished along the way. Yahoo! Kudos! I am the legend! Alright! Time to celebrate! And for all those who came out from this barely alive but having your little ounce of life intact, a big pat on the back and a big congratulations for making it. Yeah… Forgive me little exaggeration if you will.

Back to this season, I guess this is what to be expected from a genre that is totally about cute girls doing cute things. You could say that everything here follows exactly the same pattern as it did in the first season. The familiarity is so similar that viewers who have watched the first season would definitely feel right at home watching the second one. It hardly strays from there as everything remains the same like as though this season was just a delayed extension of the first season. So for those who are expecting any slight changes or deviation from the formula, you’d be disappointed. Heck, the moe of everything is already enough to kill you so need I elaborate more on that?

With everything feeling right at home, this means there are hardly and character development and the main characters remain largely the way they are as we know them ever since. Well, some things do not change. Like Cocoa who is still the annoying klutz and the big sister wannabe. She doesn’t have the material to be one and she is a very long way off from being the ideal sister even in Chino’s books. But hey, you have to give her points for keep trying and never giving up. Just like many of her traits, her annoying character is also her good characteristics. Her silly antics are the ones that provide the main laughs of the series. Some may call it repetitive but if you find it moe and kawaii, you’ll never get enough of it no matter how annoying it will be. Then you have Chino still timid as usual but she is making tiny progress in opening up and one little step closer to her dream to become the ultimate barista. Well, keep on trying. Then there is the reliable action girl (although there are hardly any action around) Rize and the prankish Chiya whose annoyance could be only second to Cocoa and could even be her partner in crime when it comes to annoying others with their cute silly antics. She still would do what it takes to promote her Amausa but since this is a cute and kawaii series, this means nothing dangerous like underground mafia and kidnappings. Yikes!

If there is any member of the group who has changed slightly, I would say it would be Sharo. Because I remember this girl has got phobia on rabbits. Surprisingly this season sees her completing the rabbit mascot among the coffee and tea houses with her taking a delinquent stray rabbit as her pet. It goes to show that she is indeed making some big progress with her phobia. Sometimes to a point I think she isn’t really that afraid anymore. Somehow I feel that the rabbit mascots don’t steal the limelight this season. I don’t remember if they did last season but Tippy’s presence is already quite minimal despite his role feels relegated to some sort of rebuking joke just to add to the cuteness. And it still always boggles my mind that whenever Tippy speaks, everyone thinks it is Chino’s great ventriloquism. If that girl is not around, they feel puzzled hearing that strange voice from somewhere. I know rabbits don’t naturally talk but aren’t they just curious? Maybe not. Speaking of rabbits not getting enough spotlight, this means Anko remains relatively forgettable wit even much more limited scenes. Even more disappointingly Wild Geese. I thought that stray is here to stay but after that single episode and being adopted by Sharo, it’s like they have forgotten all about it.

The mystery of Aoyama continues although I believe the other interesting ‘progress’ about this novelist who never seems to finish her work, is we get a little more insight of who she is back in high school. But that is about it and maybe it will take another season if you want to hear more about her. Speaking of new characters, Mocha is the only new one introduced and with her having the same character as Cocoa but slightly my big sisterly and responsible, it goes without saying that the seed doesn’t fall far from the tree. The other so called new character is Aoyama’s editor but she only appeared once or twice and she isn’t anything relevant to our main girls. It’s like they’re trolling us when she first appeared. Could she be a new character to stay? Because now that she has found out Aoyama’s usual place to hang out and slack, I thought maybe it will become a running joke to always barge in and bring her away. But it seems dragging Aoyama away has been going on for a long time stretching back to their school days. Looks like more things are not going to change. Another interesting thing to note is the ‘rivalry’ between Rabbit House and Amausa that seems to go back to when the grandparents have some sort of feud. I’d like to know more about it but perhaps it would be distracting from the main girls.

If one thing that bugs me, I started realizing that Rabbit House, Amausa and even Fleur du Lapin are void of any customers! The place is always empty and the most one or two customers. And that itself is rare! It is perhaps that without the bustling business, the girls are able to have so much time on their hands to go have fun and play with each other. It is amazing that their businesses have not gone bust yet. Even more so, Aoyama seems to be their frequent main customer all the time. It’s like she is their only customer! And I do realize that this town seems void of people too! It feels like a ghost town! It could be this town has a very small population despite the very beautiful European-like buildings and such, but I just can’t help notice there isn’t much people around. Like as though the main girls are the only ones around. Where the heck is everybody? That’s why I have this eerie thought that all this might actually be just one big imagination and dream. In reality the town is decimated in a zombie apocalypse. The girls are dying and only clinging on to this dream. That is why you have Tippy the talking rabbit and the magic of everything moe! Haha! Super conspiracy theory! And then all the moe factor wakes them up in this deserted wasteland. Ultimate shock and twist! Yeah, I don’t think I really want to have this kind of revelation for this series.

This season’s themes feel absolutely similar like last season. So if you wonder why Nopoi, the opening theme for this season sung by Petit Rabbit’s, sound so awfully similar, now you know why. The lively pace of this song with all the cute, moe and kawaii elements bring back those memories. If last season made you go “pyon-pyon”, this season now makes you go “poitte-poitte”. The similar bouncy feel of last season’s ending theme can be said for this season too. Tokimeki Poporon by Chimame-tai has all that bubbly and moe-ness, so much more than the opening theme because we have Chino and her friends doing cute dances and playing rock-scissors-papers at the end that it would just tighten your heart each time you stay and watch the entire ending theme from start till end. Furthermore, hearing this song reminds me of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s style of music but a moe version. Even more so for the special ending theme for the final episode, Nantoku Mirai by Petit Rabbit’s which is of a slow lovely ballad. Made me want to go Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Fixing A Hole and A Day In Life.

Overall, there is nothing much to be said from this season because there is nothing that is different to make it stand out even more. It is like this season is made for those who love the formula of the first season and thus those who are not really into this genre will not really find anything attractive. Seriously, is there anybody in this world who cannot resist moe lolis? Oh yeah… Macho guys… *Shivers*. So if this series and season doesn’t let the moe kill you and bleed to death and choking, then at least it will calm you down a little and make you smile. Oh heck. I remember there were very miniscule fanservice in the previous season. There are one or two seasons here too but it is so minimal that you won’t even remember it. Since you’ll be overawed by the blinding moe. Just when you thought the moe onslaught is over, here comes another wave of moe zombies bringing you terror once more. One cup of coffee for the road then… I’ll be ready when the third wave/season comes…

Hantsu x Trash

May 27, 2016

There was never a water polo themed anime before. There was never a reason too. Unless it is for… Fanservice! With a weird name like Hantsu x Trash, it gets you curious what this anime is about. After reading its tagline “Sexy and stupid water polo comedy!”, you can’t help to be even more curious than before. Let’s find out more. Then you see the poster. A cute girl with such humongous boobs. Oh yeah. Like it? Now watch the 12 minute OVA.

Dream a little dream…
I guess this is a reason why water polo isn’t a popular club in other animes you see. Because perverted guys could just dive underwater and have awesome crotch shots of sexy girls. And why the heck are boys and girls playing together in the first place? Don’t care. Because when you have mixed gender in such a game, there is going to be nip slips. Like in the case of Youhei Hamaji. He is going to stop a shot made by Chisato Hagiwara. Accidentally her boobs slip out and in her embarrassment, slams the ball in his face. He wakes up in the infirmary after hearing strange sounds coming from the next bed. It is Mai Shinozaki doing lesbian stuffs on Hagiwara! OMG! So f*cking steamy! Understandably he can’t just sit by the sidelines and watch so he wants to join in. Before he knows it, he is on top of this macho dude, Nakajima who is okay with getting gay with him! FFFFFUUUUU!!!! He wakes up screaming. Hagiwara is by his side as he pushes her down. Luckily Shinozaki kicks him out cold.

Maki Hayami finds him on the floor. She remembers this guy is from the swimming club. As he regains consciousness, the first thing he does is put his hand on her breast. Slap out to dream land again. When he wakes up again, Hayami is sitting next to him, feeling sorry what she did. As atonement, she strips her bra and allows him to do anything to her. He takes up her offer to grope her boobs but suddenly she turns into Nakajima! OMFG! Not another gay time?! Waking up for real this time, he finds somebody is messing below underneath the covers. Hey, isn’t that his teacher, Manami Miyoshi? She starts flirting with him and even undresses herself. By this time, Hamaji thinks this must be another damn dream. But as she gets bolder and letting him touch all over her, I think he is starting to like it. Yeah, this dream is too f*cking real! Then he starts fearing when Nakajima didn’t show up. This must be real! He runs away but unfortunately he slips and knocks himself out. Miyoshi can’t help feel disappointed she couldn’t take his virginity.

It is already night time when he wakes up. Hagiwara is next to him. She sees his boner and understands. So she takes off her swimsuit to let him touch her boobs. He gives in to the temptation when suddenly… NAKAJIMA!!! OMFFFFFFFFG!!! How could he forget!!! Enough of these gay scenes already!!! Rude awakening again. Hagiwara again by his side. She was worried after what happened earlier in the day. She apologizes for it while Hamaji is trying to hold off his perverted thoughts otherwise… She thanks him for participating in that training and likes those who tried their best. And I am pretty sure his relieved face is because this is reality and not a dream.

Pantsu x Boobs x Crap
What did I just watch? I think it did live up to its title as a sexy and stupid water polo comedy in the purest sense. But overall I cannot help feel disappointed because I thought that there was going to be at least a decent plot. Heh. Why the hell do you need any plot when you can have freaking boobs fanservice all the way? I mean, this entire OVA is just about a hapless perverted chap getting knocked out and going back and forth between dream and reality, fondling some of the series’ girls’ boobs for fanservice and then giving us that rude and shocking awakening by inserting gay Nakajima whenever it gets steamy. Sure, it was funny. But it feels too rushed and too repetitive and by the end, you just wonder what the f*cking heck just happened or all that was for.

I feel that the only reason why this single OVA for the series came out was to test the market. You know, this episode feels more like a ‘trailer’ to see if viewers like what they see and if the response is good, they might turn it into a full series. Heck, even the art and drawing just feel mediocre. Reading the synopsis of this series my guess is that it is actually the synopsis of the manga and this OVA comes nowhere close to it. A luckless guy in love being coaxed to join the water polo club by a senior so that they can touch girls all they want. Where the heck was all that? Therefore there is hardly any plot to even get to know of, characters you could hardly care less about since some of the girls make their exit as fast as they enter and you hardly know what their connection is to Hamaji. And if they thought they could cover that up with such fanservice, well, they better hope lots of perverts out there will give them good response and make their dream come true. Make our dreams come true. Sure, we did enjoy a little guilty pleasure but that is all there is to. It is just like watching porn and after you finish masturbating, it’s that empty feeling. Yeah… But still we never learn or could get enough of it because like Hamaji’s dream, we horny guys will still fall for the same trick and relive the same consequences over and over again. Yeah, we like that very much, thank you.

They say that one of the best ways to get used to something be it the system or the workings of a structure is to experience it itself. There is no better way than to learn it fast when you apply all that you have learnt by doing it hands on. Take this case in point for this anime. With its ridiculously long ass name, even by now I have practised it so much and with my ‘experience’ with other equally ridiculously long titled animes, I have come to pronounce perfectly Ore Ga Oujousama Gakkou Ni Shomin Sample Toshite Gets Sareta Ken. Or Shomin Sample for short if you find that repeating that awful line a pain in the ass to say again. When you have a school filled with girls primed and pruned to be the perfect and ideal ladies of the elite society, this means you do away with things that we commoners normally do, right? Right. Now here is the catch. For some reason, the girls graduate and as they try to integrate into society, they find it so hard to adapt to it that they have a mental breakdown! So how? To soften the shocking impact of society, why not take a commoner sample from such society and put him among the girls so they get to learn more about the outside world? Hey. That’s a great idea! But we’re worried this guy is a pervert and like every pervert’s dream to have his own paradise harem filled with high school girls and maids. Don’t worry. We got that covered too. This guy is gay! Holy sh*t! Or so he says. With the girls’ chastity secure and some commoner knowledge as soft landing cushion, their future seems bright in this foolproof plan, right? Am I right?!

Episode 1
Commoner Kimito Kagurazaka is one day whisked away by macho military men (thank goodness his virginity is still intact) to Seikain Girls School. Miyuki Kujou the head maid takes him to Sayuri Kimachi, the school’s principal as they explain how this elite school raises the country’s most ideal of girls. However recently there is a flaw in that. Girls who graduate find it hard to cope with normal society and the shock for them is unbearable. So it has decided that they take a Shomin Sample (literally, commoner sample) to stay with them so the girls will get to know more about what it is like being a commoner and reduce the shock impact. Why him? Because all his records are pretty normal! But this is the clincher. He is believed to have muscle fetish and hangs out with only guys. In other words, gay! What the heck?! I guess they couldn’t see he is a lonely guy who couldn’t get a girlfriend and it got worse when his childhood friend Eri Hanae testified to them (all lies!). Because of his gay nature, the girls’ modesty will be kept and they can still uphold the traditional values of this school. Kimito denounces all that and it surprises them. Because if he is not gay, they will have TO CASTRATE HIM! Instantly he declares his love for muscles!!! He is brought to see the school’s committee. Reiko Arisugawa is their chairman as the girls politely welcome him. They are awed by the way he talks ‘commonly’ and even his Smartphone! Never seen one before? And when they return it to him, Reiko writes a nice letter, nicely sealed, with a gift, put in a box, nicely wrapped, and hands it over to him! Too considerate? Their hands touch. The shock has her fall and he catches her. How does it feel for a commoner to touch you? Suddenly Aika Tenkubashi runs in and snatches him away.

Outside, she wants to kiss him! She thinks her wish will come true if she kisses a commoner. She even believes his lies to do all the silly acts just so her wish can be granted. When Reiko and co come, Aika runs away. Seems Aika has a reputation of not talking to them. Miyuki brings Kimito to his dorm. Heck, they transported his entire room here and it costs 100 million Yen to build it! I suppose Kimito is forced to tear down all his posters of his thigh fetish and continue claiming he is gay. Miyuki has been assigned to be his maid although she doesn’t seem to please about it. Later Aika comes in to tell him off about the lie. Whose fault was it to believe? She lets him know her wish is to get along with others and be the most popular girl in class. But if she gets along with him this well, shouldn’t she be okay with others? Aika is bad in telling lies and sometimes when you have to be discreet, she couldn’t. She is afraid of being disliked. She really wants to be friends with everyone and hates being alone. He shows her his handheld. She is impressed with everything in his room so much so she decides to form a Commoner Club right now with them in it. Later Kimito is at the assembly hall being introduced to everyone. They ask him ‘dumb’ questions and become freaking awed with his commoner answer. Is commoner technology that advanced? No girls. You’re just being naive.

Episode 2
Miyuki wakes Kimito up as part of her duty. Though, she wishes he never wakes up! Due to the commotion a mere commoner would make, he has to leave by the back door but stumbles upon Aika. Kimito would like her to show him around but she misinterprets he would rather choose her than someone suitable like Reiko. She spends the entire day sulking. Because of that, she noticeably ‘loses out’ to Reiko in their daily activities. Kimito covers an average distance during long jump but this of course impresses the girls. Then during lunch at the hall, everyone is shocked to learn about commoners eating cup noodles. Yeah, they’ve never seen this kind of food before. He has them share it and I wonder would it be enough for everyone. Despite being so common to us, they’re praising it like as though it is the food of the Gods. No, seriously. During the ball dance, Kimito dances with Reiko although his clumsy moves are misinterpreted as something awesome by the rest. When Reiko slips, he catches her and they end up in a graceful pose. Super impressive! With Aika waiting in his room, he introduces her to manga. She has to be taught how to read it! But she gets the hang of it in no time and now finds herself hooked. Yeah, she read his entire collection! She even gets influenced by it and believes she too has some sort of superpower. Kimito then helps her train to use her time stopping power. Putting it to the test, did it work? Kimito is not moving. So it must have worked! She does silly things in front of him including showing her slip. Then as she is about to kiss him, he breaks free. It was just all an act? Who could have guessed… When Kimito goes into the bath, he accidentally sees Reiko’s naked body. Like the typical noble she is, now she believes they must get married. Her mind spaces out throughout class thinking about their big day. Even misinterpreting words he said like ‘waiting’ as ‘wedding’. It gets weirder when she tears out a page from the book and makes an Eifel Tower origami. Thinking of honeymoon?

Episode 3
A new maid is being told about the special needs to serve the genius Hakua Shiodome. Like she cannot dress herself and only eat set meals. Kimito is disheartened his family has sold him out as Shomin Sample because in return their house has been fully upgraded into a luxurious one that it includes a natural hotspring! Traitors! When he is in the park, he sees a loli scribbling equations on the ground. Then she starts to undress herself. To avoid being labelled as a pervert, he brings her to his room and it seems she has no recollection she has undressed herself. After introducing herself as Hakua, her stomach grumbles. Kimito makes his special ramen for her and surprisingly she eats it. After that she is hit with an inspiration and is going to scribble again. Yeah, somehow her clothes get undone. When Aika comes in, she misinterprets seeing this scene. What the heck is her undies doing on his hand?! You pervert! When Kimito brings Hakua back to the lab, the maid wants to take pictures of her scribbles. Seems Hakua has a hand in almost every industry in the world who is awaiting her answers. Her patents are what created and funded this school. But the maid is shocked to hear Hakua ate his ramen. It’s like unbelievable to her. Even more so when Hakua wants him to stay but he promises to visit again. The maid talks to the other maids about this shocking event. They’re really excited Hakua did all those stuffs on her own. They think she might be in love because despite her loli appearance, she is 14 years old.

When Karen Jinryo passes by Kimito she got scared by a bug and starts using her sword to slash it. The other girls see it as she is trying to kill the commoner. To live up to that reputation, she starts swinging her sword at him. She uses her ultimate slash that cuts the clothes of other girls! And she blames him a pervert. His clothes ripping apart get delayed reaction. He again gets blamed. There is only one way to stop her and I’m not sure what he did but he ended up sitting on top of her. His underwear now rips. Yeah, the sight of his ‘thing’ makes her faint! Karen’s own clothes got ripped and she thinks it is his invisible move on her. Then she gets the wrong idea despite being the weakest commoner, for her technique to lose out means she must be damn weak, right? Yup. She offers herself to him to do anything he wants till she grows stronger and gets a chance to kill him. And because of that, Kimito’s awesome commoner reputation increases. Aika plans to use her handphone to become popular but since the school doesn’t supply any, Kimito gets Hakua’s advice. That loli loves sitting on his lap like a cushion and won’t budge, irking Aika. Karen visits his room and when she sees Hakua, she can’t stop cuddling her! Hakua slips out and hides behind Kimito. She’s looking like a pervert… Hakua’s maid brings a box of handphones. Everyone chooses one and Aika eagerly wants to take a selfie. As for Karen, she is dying to join in.

Episode 4
Reiko invites Kimito to her tea party after school. However Aika objects and reminds him about their club activity (the plan to make her popular) so he has to turn her down. So as Reiko and her friends talk the usual at their tea party, they discuss about rumours of Aika spending lots of her time in Kimito’s room and that they might be even have a deeper relationship. This irks Reiko as she lashes out at them to stop. She becomes embarrassed upon realizing what she has done. In class, her friends are in tears and Reiko is absent. Kimito knows something is amiss and visits Reiko at her dorm to learn what happened. So when Kimito talks to Aika about this, she decides to sacrifice the commoner party that they have come up with and use it to help Reiko. After school, Kimito introduces his class to Reiko acting and dressing up as a gyaru. It is a little elaborate party plan for Reiko to apologize and make up with her friends. Nothing like a group selfie to fix things, eh? Later Reiko thanks Kimito for this ingenuity and just before what it seems to be a confession from her, Kimito then reveals this idea was actually from Aika. It was supposed to be a secret but he believes it will be okay with her. You think she’ll be okay? You can tell from the looks on her face that she feels heartbroken and in dramatic fashion rushes down all the way to his room (need time to catch your breath?).

Reiko sees Aika hanging out in his room like she always been. Reiko fires the first salvo by exclaiming she hates her! I’m not sure what her problem is but she is blaming Aika for almost everything that happened for it to turn out this way. Aika too starts blaming her and the girls get into a girl wrestling. If you’re wondering why Kimito isn’t helping is because he is tantalized by their thighs… Oh yeah… It ends when they accidentally throw a pillow at him. Now it’s everybody’s fault. Reiko and Aika still continue to ‘hate’ each other. Next day, Hakua and Karen come in to hand in their application to join the Commoner Club. It’s more straightforward for Hakua since she wants to be him but Karen is being a total tsundere. Oh look, Reiko is here to join too. Aika would sure protest to this. You know the joke about women complimenting each other and they don’t mean it, right? Yeah, it is something like that between Aika and Reiko. Lots of sarcasm. Because if Aika doesn’t like it, she can leave the club, right? All hell breaks loose when Hakua turns naked when she begins writing her equations, Karen admiring the cute loli and the other two continue to girly fight each other. Wow. He’s got his hands full. Miyuki sees this and brings out a giant scissors! Holy crap! Better take out that gay video you love! Too bad the other girls now think he is that kind of pervert.

Episode 5
Eri might look like a nice girl on the outside. But behind everybody’s back, she’s got a nasty personality. Even more aggravating when it involves Kimito… We see how Kimito spends his morning when Hakua sleeps over. Looks pretty normal that she learns cooking with him. Then it gets out of control when her inspiration spark hits because it’s naked time. Kimito tells her riddles but she seems to be over-thinking and using the scientific approach as her answers when it is just simple ones. When he sees her off to her room, he thinks he sees a plushie that looks just like him. Meanwhile the other girls discuss the dangers of Hakua being left alone in Kimito’s hands. Imagination running wild? They need to put a stop to this so they call Hakua alone to Kimito’s room. Since that guy is not around, she just sat there reading her book. All attempts to communicate with her fail. She is not tempted with their food and even Karen went to extreme lengths to impersonate Kimito. Not working. And then it begins. Hakua’s naked inspiration. They realize Kimito must have it tough each time Hakua is like this. It doesn’t help when Karen is just being a pervert trying to take out her fantasies with Hakua. When Hakua leaves, she tells them the same riddle Kimito told her. To her shock, Aika could easily answer them. Has she become a pro as a commoner? Kimito is playing an interactive dating game. He has to say “I love you” to the character and Aika catches him in this gross act. He explains the reason he is playing this game because his friend Eri voices the character. He has her try out interacting as she becomes a bundle of nerves. It’s just polygons… I guess she got so engrossed that she didn’t realize Kimito went out and Reiko came in. Because Reiko keep commenting about Aika’s shameless position when she reads manga (like as though she is influenced by it), Aika is about to leave when Reiko says she’ll wait for Kimito to return. This changes her mind so she picks another manga to read. The duo discuss about this YuruYuri manga. Then they share a cola and because they’ve never tasted this commoner drink before, they spit it out on each other. With all their clothes wet, they strip to dry. But their difference in boobs size becomes the source of yet another girly wrestling match. They realize too late when Kimito is watching. He gets the wrong idea that they are resorting to yuri after reading YuruYuri. Carry on, girls…

Episode 6
Shominland has been completed. It is a theme park whereby the girls will get to experience everyday commoner stuffs and this is where Kimito comes into relay his advice and demonstrate his commoner abilities. And when they say it is a theme park, it is actually a giant replica of a typical Japanese city! Everything is there, just void of (ordinary) people. So we see the girls walking around and experiencing the normal life like crossing at the crosswalk and even learning how to order from a fast food restaurant! Yeah, sounds pretty daunting, right? A place where you have to queue and take the food to your seat. Why look so shock? The girls become stiff when they try to make an order. Kimito has taught Aika how to order and thought this would be her chance to shine and make friends but she too has cold feet. So Kimito has to step in and guide them how it’s done. Then I guess they have to learn from him how to eat a burger. Despite the perfect taste of it, he becomes upset this is a mockery of the fast food chain because it would have cost a bomb. The girls visit the arcade centre. Kimito has also previously trained Aika how to dance so she could score points but looks like the girls are more interested in the crane game. Aika sulks further when the girls want Kimito to help guide them to play. Kimito guides Reiko’s hands and they make their conversation sound so sexually charged. When they get to the dance game, Aika is nowhere to be seen. But when the girls have difficulty doing the dance moves, Aika pops up and shows them how natural she does it. Impressed, Aika becomes their teacher. Now in her groove, she becomes their teacher in these commoner things like how to say those ‘incantations’ while ordering coffee. In the end, Aika made lots of friends as they exchange email addresses. Meanwhile Karen is happily playing and chasing with a stray dog… Hakua tries to pack her stuffs when she learns Kimito is away on an excursion…

Episode 7
The field trip continues and Aika continues to show off her expertise on commoner culture. Because Karen continues to be a tsundere and acting up, Kimito had to remind the authority he had on her and order her around (I think he likes it too). This mean she has to suck up and dress up as she is ordered (she was pretty annoying on whether to try out the dress she likes). Kimito is stunned by her beauty, especially her thighs… He wants her to wear these clothes so she gets the wrong idea and will have him take responsibility. Aika is writing an apology text to others and lets Reiko proof read. It feels heavy and nowhere near what she wants to say so Aika has to retype everything again. Although still long but at least she nails in her point. Aika is glad that she is improving in making friends but why doesn’t Reiko seem happy about it? Does it have to do with affecting her status as the most popular girl in class? Kimito is soaking in the hotspring when Aika comes in. Because her other friends are coming in, he has to hide. I wonder how long he could hold his breath. I believe Aika’s hips and butt aren’t wide enough to cover him but thankfully those girls are dumb enough to think the steam is making them hallucinate. When Kimito accidentally gropes one of their butts, Aika knee kicks him out. After they leave, Aika panics as he has passed out. Need to do CPR. That won’t count as kissing, right? She administers it and her friends return to see this shocking revelation. It gets worse when she claims how soft his lips are. He wakes up in his room having no recollection. When he gathers with the rest to depart, the girls are keeping their distance and acting strange. He learns from Aika that rumours have spread that they are dating. Karen slaps him and calls him a liar! Back in Kimito’s room, Aika explains the misunderstanding. Hakua is so glad Kimito is back that she just couldn’t let go of him. How many days worth of Kimito has she missed? As usual, Aika and Reiko’s argument has them ‘hate’ each other again. But Kimito thinks they’re getting along pretty well. Meanwhile a lady who knows Miyuki wonders why she is doing this maid job despite she is the daughter of the family head. Miyuki doesn’t answer and takes her leave. She goes to Kimito’s room to see him sleeping. Then she steals a kiss! That’s why when he wakes up, I suppose now we understand why she always says she hopes he never wakes up.

Episode 8
Kimito shows Aika a fortune telling app that is voiced by Eri. She is taken with it and because she believes its prediction, she starts wearing all green. I guess Kimito can’t help toy with her by making her do a silly bean dance for luck. And then the rest of the girls see this… So they too are interested to have their fortunes read. Amazingly it is quite accurate in predicting their character. Of course the tsundere disagrees with all that is said and thinks it is because of Kimito’s factor that is predicting things so. Karen tries to do it herself when she stumbles upon a love compatibility app. Now the girls are interested. Each take turn to have their compatibility with Kimito read. Aika goes first and she gets 80%. She cannot contain her happiness and starts bragging about her unbeatable score. Next is Reiko and she gets 90% plus highly suited for marriage! Now it’s her turn to get on her high horse. Hakua? Only 50%? Because she is easily misunderstood, it will take longer for them to understand each other. All that is left is Karen. 0%! OMG! It even says Kimito will die with her! It’s coming true when she tries to kill him! Realizing he input her birthday wrong, the next result comes out as 100%! Now Aika and Reiko are arguing you can’t believe this fortune telling crap! They both try to find sites that say they are compatible with Kimito as well as degrade the other. So while the trio argue, Hakua is the real winner as she gets to spend more time with Kimito as they go out to get food.

Kimito thinks he must be in a loop when yet again he wakes up with Miyuki staring at him. Does he hate her? However she argues back she is no obliged to answer him as well as the head maid she is only forced to do it because she is assigned to him, etc. Unless he prefers he doing a triple axel in her ice skating boots on him, expect to be awakened in the same way. When Karen attacks and almost hits Kimito, she is actually testing out her fortune that told her to attack more aggressively. Noticing she ripped his shirt, she takes him to her room to sew. After a few nice hospitality, she has him look back and he fears she might be stripping. She puts on those cute clothes for him and sews his shirt. He is surprised she could be this nice. His comment she could be a nice bride has her fluster and almost rip his shirt again. His inner t-shirt is also ripped so she forces him to take it off. She gets close to examine his arms and body although she is worried about her strength as all she ever wielded is her sword. His words of encouragement amaze her. When things are about to get steamy, the other girls enter. Nobody around. They’re hiding in her very cramped closet. Such close proximity that it’s hard for Kimito to keep his fantasies in check. But as he struggles, they fall out. Hmm… Topless Kimito on top of sexily dressed Karen… Must be a big understanding, right? Aika picks up a video that Kimito was watching prior. Macho men wrestling! She thinks it is a new form of fortune telling so he is forced to act the part while the rest keep waiting for the fortune to be told. “You got me mad now”

Episode 9
Sakimori sees Hakua making a picture of Kimito’s face from food and believes she really likes him. She and the other maids devise a plan to bring him here so he could learn more about her. Meanwhile Kimito is explaining what a commoner expects in a maid cafe. I’m sure they are a bit confused so what better way to increase the understanding than to dress up and act as one. For the first time, these oujo-samas are going to play maid and serve Kimito? Because they do not understand about putting love in their food, he is forced to demonstrate this embarrassing and lame technique. Now we know why its magic only works on maid cafes, right? Havoc of course ensues when Hakua gets naked to write her equations and Reiko singing a horrible rendition of Ave Maria that the entire place is going to crumble! In the end, the other maids clean up the mess and they ask if he really likes commoner maids. His answer: He doesn’t dislike them. Sakimori invites Kimito to see Hakua at work. He sees her working her magic in the lab as all the maids subsequently take pictures of her work once she is done. As Hakua spends time with Kimito, coincidentally all the maids are watching them with glee claiming they are on a break. During lunch time, all of them conspire to force them to eat from the same plate sharing the same spoon. Don’t they have extras? Oh look. The clumsy maid just wrecked them all. They are even maid to drink from the same lover’s straw. I’m sure the maids are pretty excited to see the duo interact. It’s like watching porn for them, eh? The fun ends when Miyuki steps in. There were no maids in the lab when she called for an inquiry. Okay girls, back to work. Not after getting a big lecture from the head maid. As for Kimito, it is a good experience for him as he gets to see the side of Hakua’s face he normally doesn’t see. Later Sakimori and the other maids discuss about Kimito and they are grateful to Miyuki for bringing him here. They make a toast for more dramatic things to happen.

Episode 10
Kimito has serious business with Aika alone. It is making her nervous. He gives her a present that contains a yellow suit. He is serious in wanting her to become popular and this suit is worn by a famous comedian, Dandy Sakano who popularized the greeting of Gets that is getting popular among commoners. At first she has her reservations but after showing the numbers of hits he got after this, well, you can’t argue with those figures, right? So Kimito trains her to do all the pretty lame Gets move. In the end, it is supposed to be one big joke. He is prepared to reveal and get punched but Aika has already left to show it to others. He tries to go after her but bumps into Miyuki and ends up inside her skirt! Mmm… Nice thighs! Oh sh*t! He just remembers he is gay… Aika bumps into Reiko first as she shows her Gets move. Lame. But Reiko feels envious upon learning Aika got this suit from Kimito and also wants to learn Gets. By the time Kimito finds Aika, the entire class has already learnt Gets and they are ready to show off their hard work of labour to him. Ready? Gets. No comment… As Reiko is about to enter Kimito’s room, she overhears him talking to a friend that he is sick of this school since there are all girls. Why does he have to put it in an ambiguous way that he misses the way guys smell and their well built physique?! Because of that, Reiko reports to the other club members that Kimito might be leaving school as the all-girls environment is stifling him. How to keep him here? Aika’s brilliant idea: They will become his men! So they practice on doing manly stuffs including shouting their love for muscles as well as “You got me mad” line that pretty much has nothing to do with anything. They even ordered a macho muscle suit and proceed to put on other manly modifications like topknot hairstyle and moustache. But something feels missing. They do not smell like masculinity. They think putting this BBQ sauce of meaty meat makes them manlier. So when everything is set, they barge into his room. Kimito has no words to describe this absolutely weird manly cosplay. When they reveal the issue bugging them, he assures them he is staying. Just like that everybody is back to happy? Wait. What? I don’t get it. You got me mad!

Episode 11
Kimito and Reiko have a nice private time chatting together. She wants him to address her by her first name but he’ll think about it. So during the next club meeting, Reiko hints this promise to Kimito and it got the other girls curious. Reiko’s maid comes in with an urgent message that her mom, Hoko and brother, Masaomi are here to see her and waiting in the principal’s room. Oh, Kimito is also ordered to come. Seems Hoko wants to take a look for herself this Shomin Sample whereas Masaomi has been objecting from the start about having this Shomin Sample. From the looks of it, he is definitely a siscon! However Reiko holds more authority over him because if he is bad towards Kimito, she’ll not speak to him! Miyuki then assures and hints Kimito is gay. That poor guy has to play the part and hit on Masaomi! Creepy! Hoko then puts her foot down. Then she gets to the point. Reiko’s marriage into the Konoe family has been decided. She will come home now and they will go pay their respects to the family. Yeah, something to do about increasing the family’s prestige. Reiko clearly is shocked and against this but she can’t say. Kimito can tell from her eyes. When Kimito tells this to the other girls, they inform him this school was once a place for rich guys to pick their brides. Now, Kimito doesn’t want to break up their engagement but he just feels Reiko was reluctant about it. Without Reiko around, the club members aren’t sure what to do since she is always the one who suggested their programme. The girls know they need to do something so Hakua modifies their handphones and that night Aika calls Reiko. I’m sure they can talk pleasantries but Aika gets to the point that if Reiko leaves, nobody will pair up with her. She doesn’t want her to go. This has Reiko blurt out what she truly wants. She still wants to stay in this school with them and especially with Kimito. Telling this to Kimito, the only thing they can do to reverse the decision is make a direct plea. He is certain that lolicon brother is against the engagement too. Hakua has got his number somehow and as they communicate, he agrees to help out to break up this engagement. I don’t know about commoners sneaking out of the school grounds crawling like the military but they are caught by Miyuki. What are you doing? But with the loophole that this is part of their club activities, she lets it slide. She just wants to know the reason they are going. They are going to save Reiko because she is part of the Commoner Club. They are picked up in Masaomi’s car driven by macho military men! Nice seeing you again, boy.

Episode 12
There are lots of guards stationed outside the place. Hoko must have foreseen this. For once, Karen uses her sword skill to blow a hole through the wall. She uses that same skill to blow away the guards. And their clothes. If you don’t mind seeing naked macho men… Masaomi faces off in a macho punching contest with his butler to let the rest move on. Now what? Drones? Dumb drones because Aika breaks a vase and throws its broken pieces to destroy them. I can’t believe they are that fragile! I wonder the irony for a rich family if the label says made in Taiwan! Now they have to face closing doors. Thanks to those macho men, the kids manage to slide through and Hakua uses her hacking to overwrite them. Just when you think it doesn’t get any worse, they have to face off with a giant mecha. Hey, at least not a giant tentacle monster. Thanks to Karen again, her swords skills are put to another good use to disable it. This time her own clothes get ripped. Kimito has barged into the meeting room and states his disagreement over Reiko’s marriage. Why? Because she is reluctant to. However Hoko believes her daughter is not and spews all that aristocracy elite noble tradition crap about her job as the family’s daughter. If Kimito doesn’t understand and like hell he does, it’s because he is a commoner. He too relates he can’t understand those elite girls after a month at Seikain. But the important he got is that he made friends especially those in the Commoner Club.

It’s time for Aika to lend her vocal support too. Complete with tears. And that Gets pose. Mother is not convinced with their friendship play and has them taken away. That is when touched Reiko stands up and voices her stand that she will leave home. Hoko warns her this means losing her status and even her eligibility to study at Seikain and she’ll be tossed out living in the streets. Is she willing to face all that? Kimito invites her to come live in his place and will assure he will make her happy somehow. Why does he make it sound like a proposal? It is then Hoko allows. I guess it must be embarrassing for the Konoe family to sit through all this so they just cancel the deal. After that, Hoko just laughs out loud and allows Reiko to marry anyone. What do you mean Kimito and Reiko are getting married? What did I tell you his conviction sounded like a proposal? And just like any typical guy, he reflects on his words and begins to realize the deep sh*t he is in. If he can’t, then Hoko will be so glad to take him into their family and torture him as her son-in-law. He is screwed either way. The girls have their objections and definitely the lolicon brother has his. Now he is going to kill Kimito with his manly fists! Back at the clubroom, Kimito tries to clears the misunderstanding with Reiko. Then the other girls come in and interrupt them and the usual argument and lusting continue. Ah, home sweet home. Such a common occurrence these days. Later, Kimito is apologizing to Sayuri that the Gets greeting has spread and become popular among the girls. Is 5 years a long time for this trend to naturally die out?

Common Sense Gets Desu Wa
I have to blame myself for setting some sort of expectations first. You see, I thought I was hoping to see sexual innuendoes and hijinks in every episode that would land our poor chap in trouble due to the ambiguity of everything. I must be starving for such ecchi harem comedies lately. Therefore when it turns out like that… I am so sad that I had to classify it as mediocre because it falls far from what I was expecting for. Yeah, it got me mad. But otherwise had I not set such expectations, I believe this series would also be hovering around the mediocre line because there isn’t much that makes it stands out and it doesn’t seem close to a harem trope. Almost but nothing close especially if you consider Kimito’s Commoner Club harem girls who feel more like club members rather than rivals over him although there are a few times they do display that harem cat fight.

One thing I didn’t like about this series is the poor pacing. In the sense that many of the episodes generally feel like standalone or filler episodes and it just doesn’t connect. If that isn’t bad enough, some of the plots do leave you hanging with questions and hungering for more answers. For instance, Miyuki’s true background. Had it not been mentioned that she isn’t really of maid pedigree and actually from a noble family, we would have let it slide. But they teased us with this bit and now I can’t seem to get that question out of my head of who she really is and more importantly why. Maybe that is why she has that emotionless poker face to fool us all. Other stuffs may seem minor but it just irks you like when Kimito is misheard that he wants to go home. There was no explanation given of what that conversation was actually about or why he said so. Maybe it is one of his pranks because he does love to play them. But that is mostly confined to Aika who in turn blows it out of proportion. So I don’t really get about that gay talk then. It makes you wonder if he is really gay. What about Reiko’s dream of marrying Kimito as early as the second episode? Because in subsequent episodes, they act like this never happened especially Reiko who can’t get thoughts of him out of her head. Like as though she has got a short memory of something. Then they bring this back up with the final arc by turning it into a mini rescue Reiko plot. And we are still left hanging if it is definitely going to be Kimito x Reiko.

Comedy wise, I don’t think it would be considered as anything that funny that you would just drop down on the floor rolling till your tummy hurts. In fact, sometimes I caught myself smirking just because the supposed funny bits are forced. So I had to smile. It’s supposed to be funny, isn’t it? Now, at first I wanted to say that the girls in this so called elite school are just retards due to their naivety to the real world. In short, lacking common sense. But saying that would be the same as calling the kettle black. Just think about this. There was one point in life where you did not know how something works. Be it the TV, the radio or even the proper procedures to go about a conversation. Nobody told you about it and you never looked it up because simply, there was no reason to. So when the girls here display their very naive reaction to the so called commoner things that all have been taking for granted over the years, it looks funny at first and it is supposed to be one of the sources of why this series is should be funny. But after a while, it just doesn’t feel so. So remember when you see all the ‘stupid people’ posting ‘stupid questions’ on Yahoo! Answers, just think about this logic and reasoning first before you fire back your salvo of sarcasm. After all, there is always the first time in experiencing something and our reactions are based on our past bias and prejudices.

Then there is your decent fanservice of pantsu shots and naked female bodies from time to time so that it could earn itself under the ecchi category. I mean, that is partly why the reason you watch this show, right? Then there is that macho men and gay-ness that just brings all that horniness down to zero. But thankfully the macho men subtext aren’t as much, which is also a bad thing because I thought they were going to use this as a running joke seeing the reason Kimito cannot flirt easily is because of this gay setting. The other being his personality as a nice guy with the exception of sexy thighs… But I don’t really think that the other girls really think he is gay. It is just the fear that Miyuki imposed on him to keep him in check. Otherwise, the girls would be thinking that being gay is normal (which is the case in today’s world). However if you think of the irony that with only girls and their naivety of the outside world, why didn’t they turn lesbian? I know we can say the strict upbringing and all that. But not even a shred of yuri?

As for the characters, a lot is left to be desired. I feel the character development is poor thanks to the pacing of the series as said a few paragraphs before. Miyuki’s secret past life was bad enough but the worst of the lot goes to Eri. Kimito’s childhood friend seems to be a potential to be part of this ‘harem’ but her very minimal cameo appearance has mostly been relegated to a stressed out girl trying to find where the heck Kimito went. She even made this cameo in the last scene of the final episode just to remind us. Not too sure if she has a bone to pick with Kimito or she really misses him but isn’t she the one responsible for sending him away? Regretting that now? Even more puzzling is that in the ending credits animation where Kimito is climbing a flower stalk passing all the other girls, Eri is at the top of the blooming flower. Such wasted potential or just a big teaser.

At first Miyuki was really fast becoming into a spiteful character. Gosh. A maid character that I loathe?! How could it be?! It’s hard for me to believe so because even if it is Miyuki’s character to be such a b*tch, I really didn’t like the way she spews ice cold words at Kimito who didn’t do anything wrong. It was like as though if he makes a wrong move, she might kill him. I love my maids lovely and despite I know there are many maids out there who are more sh*t personality compared to Miyuki such as Roberta from Black Lagoon (it can’t be helped considering that genre that anime is in and her circumstances) and recently Lance N’ Masques’ Yoriko, if they’re going to have a maid character, at least make her a bit friendly for this harem comedy!

I knew there was something wrong about Miyuki’s character being a spiteful maid and I knew it wasn’t right just to jump to conclusions to call her a b*tch based on what I see so I kept believing and hoping that underneath all that, there would be something to more than meets the eye. And true enough, there is an explanation to her harsh treatments. Phew. Thank goodness I believed in my maids! Ahem… Anyway, if you listen again carefully to the words that Miyuki says to Kimito, they are actually more of ambiguous. You only think it sounds bad just because of the tone of her voice and her serious face. Take for example that “I wish you never wake up” line. Now, did it say for him to go die? Certainly not, right? It is because of our prejudices and judgmental thinking that made us think that it is so based on our perceptions formed over her character. So when she says she is irritated at him (for not continuing his sleep so she could kiss him) or watching over him is her job (in the literal sense) or preferring to let incidents slide instead of stamping he foot in frustration (because she would love to do it otherwise), you really have to read between the lines now that you know about her character.

I feel Karen is the dumb blonde of the series and the dumbest character of all so that it fulfils her role as a comic relief character. Despite calling herself a servant to Kimito, she must have a short memory to it as there are numerous times she threatens to kill him. Then everything she does with Kimito seems to be borderline silly and possibly worse than Aika because at least the latter looks cute doing it whereas this one comes off as more threatening and worse than a tsundere (possible a yandere). Hakua seems like the main reason she sticks around the club although there are times that Kimito is the reason. It is a good thing that Hakua never gives her a chance to hug/squeeze/cuddle or whatever her dark perverted mind desires. Intentionally or not.

Rest of the main casts aren’t that impressive. Aika looks like the closest one among the girls to be a potential commoner thanks to her naivety to fall for Kimito’s pranks but at least she learns from it. With Reiko being the oujo-sama of the group, the contrasting personalities between Aika and Reiko are set to be the group’s eternal squabbling duo. Because Karen is busy trying to get Hakua’s ass… And Kimito is just freaking lost at what to do. Speaking of Hakua, it just boggles my mind how she takes off her clothes each time she gets her inspiration. So easy to come off but so hard to put back. Like as though her body turns into a ghost and thus her clothes fall through each time this happens. Yeah, I think this is the only logic explanation. By this point they should have learnt that since Hakua is prone to get her inspirations anywhere and anytime, they should have just let her carry a backpack with a stack of papers instead of letting her deface the environment. Imagine if she is at world famous heritage sites…

So there you have it. The Commoner Club supposedly to do commoner things but filled by uniquely characterised weirdoes that at first glance passes off as a harem club and a club to pass time doing nothing. In short, a club filled with a bunch of misfits. Kimito the misunderstood gay homo mistaken for his love for biceps and triceps of the arms instead of the thighs, Aika the desperate I-wanna-be-popular-and-have-friends girl, Reiko the overly popular girl that is too popular for her own good, Karen the sword carrying girl that scares the sh*t out of others who walk past her, and Hakua the lonely loli genius who yearns for companionship. Add an unpleasant maid to it and there you have a club of misfits more than anything. Is it no wonder why no other girls join considering that they are quite interested to learn what commoners do? Or do they not know this club exists?

The drawing and art of feel rather okay. It is acceptable in today’s standards for a harem comedy. If the art style does really feel familiar to a certain anime, it is because it is animated by Silver Link who has produced lots of harem comedy animes as well like Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry, Strike The Blood and Rokujouma No Shinryakusha. So if you’re thinking why this series looks so freaking familiar to Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne, it’s because they’re from the same studio. Say, doesn’t Hakua look a bit like Ginbei from OniAi? Just take away the emotions and you have another ‘different’ character. Oh, plus point for this series art and animation: LOTS OF MAIDS OF COURSE!!!

The voice acting is pretty decent and none of the seiyuus that I recognized as most are newcomers to the industry. They are Atsushi Tamaru as Kimito (Mochizou in Tamako Market), Yuu Serizawa as Aika (Youko in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa), Rika Tachibana as Reiko (Sae in The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls), Yuuki Kuwahara as hakua (Hime in Himegoto), Chitose Morinaga as Karen (Fumie in Owari No Seraph), Saori Oonishi as Miyuki (La Folia in Strike The Blood), Ayumi Fujimura as Sakimori (Misaki in Kaichou Wa Maid-sama), Kousuke Toriumi as Masaomi (Kiba in Naruto) and Yumi Hara as Eri (Marielle in Log Horizon).

The opening theme sounds almost like a typical idol song. It isn’t surprising that Ichizu Recipe sounds so because idol College is another one of those idol units ‘big’ enough to split into several teams. Now, when I said sound almost, that is because the song itself is close to being weird especially when you hear the background music instrument of what I think is an accordion that sounds close to a French tune. Aside that with the animation of girls doing weird opening dances and naked macho men at the end of it (that’s the closest and gayest thing you’ll ever find in this anime – anything to do with these group of macho guys despite their very short cameo), it might just give you a little goosebumps. The ending theme is more like anime rock, Twilight Ni Kienaide by Yumi Hara. Personally, it sounds a bit better than the opener.

Overall, this anime shows 2 possibilities. One, you can actually brainwash and condition isolated people into thinking what is good and what is not and even how they should think. High school girls or even religiously lost wretches, all they want is something to believe in. It is obvious that the girls here are like monkey-see and monkey-do when it comes to learning commoner things so much so if you wonder if their parents raised them properly or just as breeding machines. Even as nobles and elites of the world, they can’t escape in dealing with interacting with at least some layers of commoners, right? Unless they get their servants and assistants to do all that. Two, that there are indeed very stupid people in this world… Enough said! With so many harem comedy series out there, it is sad that this one doesn’t try to stand out from the rest. Not even with the numerous maids could help. In that sense, this series has got me sad now.

Working!!! S3

May 21, 2016

I didn’t really expect the Working! series to have another season so I was surprised when the third season, Working!!! S3 aired back in 2015. It has been around 4 years since the second season ended and just like many animes with such a long period of nothingness in between, it is not expected to have any follow up at all. And then surprise! Here it is. It came and went like the wind. Of course this also means that my memories of the show are somewhat fuzzy although I can still remember the general stuffs. I hope. After all, I also remember that there were some unresolved potentials after 2 seasons of it. Hopefully it will be answered or at least have some sort of development in the third season. You know what they say, third time is the charm. Hopefully. Time to ramp up the nostalgia factor and watch this show with the usual gang at Wagnaria and their usual brand of antics.

Episode 1
* The usual gang has never changed since. Yamada continues to be clumsy and not repent over her actions, Satou messing with Taneshima’s hairstyle, Souma continues to bug Satou to be a man and ask Yachiyo out and yes, Takanashi still loves cute little things. So when he brings a lost little girl into the staff room, they think he has gone overboard. Isn’t she so adorable? So as not to leave her alone, he has her cling on to his back for his entire shift. Is this koala time? Creepy. Now that Takanashi has somebody to care, Taneshima feels a bit left out. She is worried their bond will fade. When she tries to believe in him, then she hears him say how nice it is to have a real child with him. Heart break. So when she confronts him about it, he assures her she will always be her little senior. That is sure assuring till she tries to assure even further that their bond will still remain if she grows up taller. His petting seems to be a little harder and uncomfortable…
* Inami is unlucky to bump into Kirio on her way to work. This guy who believes he is now friends with Takanashi wants her help to look for his sister. But looking in the bushes? It isn’t Yamada they find but isn’t that Haruna? Oddly enough, Yamada for the first time bumps into Haruna. She thinks she is a good candidate to be her mom. She brings her back to the staff room to wait while she gets her ‘dad’. Of course the other staffs are shocked to see Haruna. They try to seal every hole in the room to prevent her from going missing. By the time Yamada brings Otoo and the rest open up the, she’s gone! OMG! How did she do it?! Even Houdini can’t pull this off!
* Inami and Kirio finally arrive at Wagnaria empty handed. Takanashi scoffs off Kirio’s statement they are best friends and reminds him about his reminder to stay away from Inami. Did he forget? Absolutely not. He decided to bother her!

Episode 2
* When Takanashi pick up the phone, he feigns his family doesn’t live here and puts it down. The phone rings again and knowing this guy loves being ignored, he is forced to pick up. Who could it be? Toru Minegishi is Kazue’s ex-husband and the mention of his name just makes big sister go into depression. As Minegishi is working under their mom, mom requested that he goes to check on how the family is doing. Although Nazuna volunteers to go meet him, Takanashi can’t allow this and goes to meet his ex-brother-in-law himself.
* Takanashi meets him at a diner and this Minegishi dude is also some sick masochist. Purposely being late so he can be punched? It is already embarrassing enough he is trying to rant about his masochism in public. Since Takanashi won’t oblige his masochism, he purposely calls Kazue for some much needed verbal abuse. Feeling better?
* As Izumi forgot to tell Takanashi she needed to buy some stuffs, Nazuna agrees to accompany her. Izumi going out? After a short distance, she gets tired. Nazuna returns with a trolley to wheel her. Even so, she starts getting nausea because of the trolley’s vibration!
* When Taneshima accidentally bumps into Takanashi and his glasses didn’t break, Yamada comments how tough it is after surviving all of Inami’s punches. And when she uses her teddy bear to softly punch his glasses, it breaks! So does the teddy have destructive power? Without his glasses, Takanashi is blind as a bat. He misses petting Taneshima and pets Yamada instead! Absolute bliss! He cannot identify Inami and when he puts his face close, this makes her go red in embarrassment. Thankfully, Nazuna brings him replacement glasses (and also bring back Kozue who has been drunk the entire time in Wagnaria).
* Souma once again prays hard that Satou would ask Yachiyo out for a drink. And then he does! When? Someday. Please set a date and time for Chris’ sakes. And again he confronts Satou to bug him about his wuss but of course Satou doesn’t give a damn. Souma is willing to accompany him but Satou doesn’t want him to interfere. And he doesn’t want to drink with him too. Ouch.

Episode 3
* It seems Satou and Yachiyo have the same off days. Is fate in the works? Will he use this chance to confess to her? Oh, it’s just Souma’s adlib narration. And he admits he won’t stop harassing Satou till he stops being a wuss!
* Now Kozue is getting drunk in the staff’s room. Heck, she even dragged Youhei here. She heard about Satou having a crush on Yachiyo so she’s going to give her opinion on how to tackle her. Aggressively. Warning: Don’t take advices from a drunkard. So when Satou finally asks Yachiyo out for a drink, I’m not sure if Souma is rubbing it into his face because he just dances right before their eyes.
* As Kyouko has no experience in drinking, she decides to ask others. As the rest are all minors, looks like the only ‘qualified’ one is Kozue. Oh dear. From buying new underwear and acting like drunk after a few rounds, I think somebody needs to tell her to take it with a pinch of salt or just ignore the hell out of her. Yachiyo then needs to talk to somebody for advice about underwear. Kyouko? Too embarrassing. Thinking girls her age would do, she talks to Taneshima and Inami. They look over the catalogues and Inami cannot help feel disappointed that all those sexy underwear do not have her size. Maya has to butt in to claim choosing the normal one is the best.
* Yamada after experiencing Takanashi’s petting, is now addicted and needs to get more of it. She seeks Satou and Souma’s advice on what to do but I don’t think she is quite keen on working hard. So she tries to put cute little things on her head for him to pet and even the desperate move of working hard and not breaking anything! Amazing! Her reward? Takanashi touches her forehead to wonder if she is sick! So when Inami explains the reason, Takanashi pets Yamada one more time but it just doesn’t feel as good as before. He only uses his full petting ability on truly cute things. Yamada complains all her effort was for nothing. Now she gets her usual chop in the head. Ouch.
* Yachiyo and Satou finally go out drinking. Souma is so sad because he would love to tail them but if Satou is on leave, this means he has to handle the kitchen duties. Yachiyo cannot stop ranting about Kyouko. Kyouko this, Kyouko that. So changing the subject, she talks about the new underwear she bought and Satou almost chokes on his drink. She tries that drunk move suggested by Kozue. Nothing happened. Satou is gay… At the end of the session, she thanks him for inviting her out. Suddenly he hugs her and wishes to stay by her side forever. He pulls back upon realizing he went too far. Yachiyo is left speechless and in shock but after he calls a taxi for her, she realizes he is the same Satou as always. And Souma is so disappointed his sixth sense could feel something has happened and is dying to know what it is.

Episode 4
* Souma thinks nothing happened due to Satou’s no reaction but after seeing Yachiyo acting nervous around him, he bugs Satou for answers. Yachiyo asks Satou about the meaning of yesterday. He tells her to go figure it out herself. Unfortunately she talks to Kyouko and she gets the wrong idea due to her ambiguous words. Kyouko thinks it means friendship. But upon realizing this is about Satou, she tells her to talk to him directly. So she does that and as she tries to hint she would love to be more than just friends, all of Yachiyo’s hard effort feels wasted because that guy decides to go home with stomach pain excuse.
* Mitsuki does not approve of Satou being an item with Yachiyo. The only way if he wants to get closer to Yachiyo is to know more about her. So, it’s quiz time? However Satou does not know a single thing about Yachiyo! Even more baffling he can answer every question that is about Kyouko! So is he in love with Kyouko instead? Actually he always hears Yachiyo ranting about Kyouko so he remembered some of the trivia. When Mitsuki spots Kyouko staring at her, time to call it quits.
* Taneshima and the rest can sense something is wrong with Yachiyo ever since. She thinks of picking up her slack in her place but at the end of the day, she didn’t get it done herself as others did it for her.
* Kyouko is holding a bat with nails? Does she think Satou is stalking Yachiyo and thus making her feel this way? Kyouko explains she can’t speak to him normally ever since so Kyouko arranges them to count the stock in the storeroom together. Since it is work related, they could converse normally and before you know it, Yachiyo is back to normal.
* When Takanashi realizes Inami has not been punching him, he thinks she is quite cute. He starts agonizing over that thought and starts spacing out. He gets even more irritated when Kirio patrons the place and even tells him he is in love with Inami! Yamada also thinks Takanashi has Inami on her mind and would gladly become Inami’s advisor to snag his heart. But each advice only makes Takanashi feel more irritated. And then he crosses the line when he tells her if she would get over her fear of men and find a guy she likes, it would really take the load of his shoulders. This hurt Inami’s heart as she starts crying. She did punch him although a very soft one in his chest. And now we have Inami and Yamada depressed together.

Episode 5
* Takanashi is so bothered at what he said to Inami that he starts cleaning the house! It’s so shiny that it’s making Kazue uncomfortable! Nazuna gets the wrong idea that he has broken up with his girlfriend.
* Izumi is being yelled by her editor over her very late manuscript submission. Izumi discloses her personal problem that her brother has a girlfriend and thus no time to look after her. So? All she needs is someone to marry and take care of her. Will the editor do? Her editor is a woman!!! After hearing from Nazuna that Takanashi has broken up, she feels happy?!
* Drastic times need drastic actions. Izumi goes to see Inami and talks to her about her brother recently breaking up with his girlfriend and needs her to date him to console him. She forces her to meet him at a certain time and place or else all her hard work and training in coming out to the open will end up in her dying! Similarly, Izumi talks to Takanashi that she has found a suitable girl for him. No, not a loli! At first he won’t go meet her but after hearing all the ‘painful’ effort she put in, I guess he has to go.
* Yamada has been liking natto till she spills it over her apron. Then she bugs Souma to become her big brother to find another soul food. I don’t know how she relates taiyaki as part of the natto family. This leads her talking to the other girls and since their favourite food is bean related, she realizes they are natto related and has always loved it. It’s back to loving natto again.
* Takanashi waits at the park. Inami comes wearing a paper bag and boxing gloves. How the heck can she see where she is going without holes? They both relate what Izumi said. Inami went too far revealing that she has someone she likes but that person doesn’t like her back. Takanashi feels her voice sounds familiar and unmasks her. Oh no. As they sit together (with a considerable distance from each other), Takanashi starts thinking about everything. When he puts everything together, he thinks Inami’s crush could be him. On the other hand, Inami wonders if she has revealed too much and hopes his density would work this time. Takanashi then gets up and leaves. Izumi wonders if it has gone well and from that tone of his voice that she isn’t a nice girl, looks like it’s a no.

Episode 6
* Takanashi cannot get Inami out of his mind that he accidentally dries the towel over Taneshima’s head! He gives Inami hairpins as apology for Izumi’s careless words. Since she likes it very much, he believes it is the hairpins she loves! Souma then tries to pressure Takanashi to just admit they like each other.
* Yamada bugs Takanashi by asking if something happened between him and Inami. Head chop! Then she bugs Yachiyo if something has happened between her and Satou. Yachiyo is about to give in to pressure when Satou steps in. Souma also gets beaten due to ‘lack of supervision’. Yamada then tells why she is doing this. She wants attention from Souma and hoped to do so by getting juicy info. She wants to be his partner in crime. He accepts her. Oh no. Double trouble now!
* Taneshima is pouting and in a bad mood. Not even Takanashi can pacify her. Yamada says because everybody has been slacking, causing her to work harder and make up for their mistakes. Is she the one to say? Then Kyouko pokes her cheeks. It causes great pain. Turns out she has an ulcer.
* With Taneshima on leave, Nazuna temporarily replaces her. Yamada creates a magic circle to summon Otoo. Oh, he is already here. It worked! Or was it just coincidence? Otoo meets Nazuna for the first time and gets the wrong idea she is Takanashi’s older sister! He worries upon learning that she is still in elementary school. Is this legal? Kyouko says it is. Why? She’s not paying her! That’s even more worrying! But Kyouko is more worried about Yamada. She doesn’t want to lose out to Nazuna and goes into overdrive, making things even worse.
* Taneshima has a weird dream. A tiny Satou pops up to tell her she is some magical girl. Uh huh. He gives her a magic wand that is just an ordinary stick to fight the big demon king, Takanashi who is going to shrink the entire world. Each time she fires wand’s beam at him, it decreases her size till she is smaller than Satou. WTF…
* Kirio is here as usual to cause his own brand of stupidity and problems. Then there’s that argument about meeting the fake and real Yamada as well as Kotori (cross-dressing Takanashi) whom Kirio really wants to see. When Takanashi bugs Souma to bring Yamada, he threatens her to leave it for today or he will expose pictures of Kotori!
* For the first time, Yamada and Kirio meet! Shock!!! Yeah, everybody is. Now, nobody ever noticed their similarity and even in their names because they thought it was a fake alias. Kirio believes this Yamada is his real sister but she continues to deny. She even tries to put on Kotori’s wig and pretend she is a different person! Not working. Kirio wants her to come back as mom is worried. Nobody sides with her as they tell her to go home. Eventually Souma manages to convince him to leave for today because he will put this wig on someone.
* Souma then reports this to the rest. Kyouko agrees to keep her here safe rather than send her home unwillingly. However she will have Otoo take responsibility.

Episode 7
* So Yamada is now staying at Takanashi’s place. She seems to like being the family’s pet. Suddenly the drama gets heavy when Yamada explains in third person perspective about a girl who had a wonderful family till her dad died. Mom then changed and became very strict, forcing her to study till she hates and fears it. The last straw came when her dumb brother ate her natto and she ran away from home. WTF… I don’t know the rest are feeling sad or pity of this ‘tragic’ story.
* Takanashi tells this to the rest of his colleagues so they try to help convince Yamada to go home on her own. Like how trying to convince her to miss her big brother. However remember, Souma is her ‘big brother’ and not that Kirio creep! Even Kyouko tells her straight to go home and Yamada feels insulted that everyone is trying to kick her out. So when she bumps into Otoo and he calms her down by saying he is staying a while because he is worried over her, she misinterpret that she is everyone’s idol. So Yamada apologizes to everyone and realizes they are doing this because they love her. Therefore she is never going home! Back at square one…
* When Taneshima sees Kirio hanging outside, she talks to him about that natto incident but clearly he doesn’t remember. When he told mom about Yamada, she just said to let her be. Taneshima finds that cold. She’s emotionless like as though she’s a robot. Well, Kirio took out a manual about mom that dad left behind!
* Yamada’s mom suddenly pops up at Wagnaria! The drama intensifies. Yamada chickens out and swaps with Takanashi to deal with her. The shocking thing they learn is that Yamada’s mom is Minegishi’s colleague and works under Takanashi’s mom! Takanashi starts a conversation but she just stood there saying nothing. Is she really a robot? So Kirio translates on her behalf since she has problem talking due to some stress. She is thanking them for taking care of her daughter. Can he translate all that from just looking into her eyes? When it is known that mother was concerned for Yamada’s poor grades and thus all those thick books were just study aids, Yamada was also supposed to have a manual on mom but she thought it was another of those books and didn’t read it. Yamada thought Souma is being mean for telling her to go home. But she takes up his challenge that she can tell her mom she doesn’t need a manual whatsoever. However Yamada couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence and runs away.
* Yamada gets lost in the park and bumps into Haruna. Yamada talks to her about her mom and has misunderstood about her. Because Haruna notes she can become friendly with a stranger, Yamada thinks she can also get friendly with mom. Haruna will accompany her back to Wagnaria to apologize. But mom is here. Mother and daughter reunite. Yamada apologizes for making her worry. When they return to Wagnaria, it is double happy ending because for the first time, Otoo is reunited with Haruna and Yamada has gladly decided to go home.

Episode 8
* You thought Yamada would have changed after that. But 2 weeks later… She’s back to that lazy bum we know. Although mom wants her to stop working, she gets permission to help out and stay sometimes whenever her mom works late.
* When Satou asks Yachiyo when her birthday is, it’s tomorrow! Mitsuki wants to help him as repentance but he doesn’t plan to buy her a present. But tomorrow after Mitsuki hands her present, she is surprised Satou hands Yachiyo not 1 or 2 but 4 presents! How did he have time to buy all of them when he is busy with his shifts? As explained by Souma, it has been 4 years since he had a crush on her. This means 4 years of buying presents but never giving it to her!
* Takanashi is annoyed seeing Kirio getting along well with Inami. So he goes to warn her so he has him relay to her his message. It sounded like Takanashi complimenting her cuteness. It makes her embarrassed. With Kirio and Souma teasing him to just admit it, it’s time to take out the trash.
* When Yamada bugs her mom to get her a handphone, it took her 6 weeks. When she asked for her number, it took 2 weeks. So how long is she going to take to reply a mail? Yeah, you keep waiting… 30 minutes later… A blank mail! What is the meaning of this? Panicked Yamada seeks Souma’s help so they go see the ‘expert’. Kirio can decipher all that blankness as mother’s dilemma on why Yamada is doing this and what she should do and because of that she spent all that time writing this long ass reply but decided to leave it blank eventually. Woah…
* When Taneshima is enjoying Takanashi’s petting, he realizes something amiss. It could be just his imagination but did she shrink? Horror! Then depression. Even Souma ‘confirms’ the height difference is by 2 cm! When she measures herself, she is relieved to find she has actually grown 1 cm. So? Takanashi is extremely happy to learn he himself has grown 2 cm. Ah… Depression again…
* Because Yamada still doesn’t consider Kirio to be her brother, he decides to become Souma’s little brother to indirectly make Yamada acknowledge him. So he asks Satou for advice and he agrees to play along to get back at Souma. Kirio becomes the active little brother and he even to dispose of Yamada if he gets in the way of his plan! Wait. What?! WTF?! A punch in the gut is all it takes for Kirio to realize this mission is a failure. Souma knows Satou is behind this and warns him that only annoyance awaits him. Not pain? Later Kirio laments his failure to Satou and thinking his foundation isn’t good, he thinks of practising with Satou so he could get close to Souma. Ah, there’s your annoyance. I didn’t know Satou was a fast runner.

Episode 9
* Kyouko is worried that with Otoo reuniting with Haruna, this means he won’t go overseas to look for her and this means no more snacks! Don’t ask Souma. He doesn’t know a thing. Really? To their surprise, Haruna is in the staff room. All chained up! Can’t take the risk? Kyouko is happy to have her bento instead. She tells Takanashi and Souma about one of her lost adventures. A town with people wearing pails on their head and tentacles on their back? Is she on Earth? They look away when they hear a plate drop. When they turn back, Haruna is missing! How did she even get out from it? Oddly, Yamada easily finds her.
* From the way Taneshima acts, Inami is convinced she is the only one that Satou has a crush on Yachiyo. Although lately she has observed a slight change in their relationship, she thinks it is because Satou might have grown taller. When she eventually gets it, she thinks it is Yachiyo who has a crush on Satou.
* Yamada is disappointed at Wagnaria because with all the flirting, nobody is hooking up. But isn’t love affair forbidden at the workplace? They are surprised Haruna has been eavesdropping. In fact she has been on almost at every scene but nobody seems to notice her. Yamada is advised to talk to Otoo about it and maybe he would change his mind. Yamada dramatically pleads to Otoo about this and it seems he also knows about those relationships. Apparently he too was there on the scenes but his faint existence means nobody noticed him. I guess that’s why the husband-wife always lost each other, eh? Otoo says that if romantic entanglements happen, he might have to ask them to resign. Or what if all quit simultaneously? That won’t be okay, right? Now talking about their faint existence, although Haruna had this when she was young, Otoo did not. Only when he married her he developed this. Moral of the story: Stay too long with them and you’ll lose your existence too!
* Takanashi is not pleased Minegishi visits Wagnaria even when told not to. I guess he loves the verbal abuse. He is here to give his thanks now that his colleague Kikuno (Yamada’s mom) is back on track working. Also, there were orders from mom to investigate Wagnaria but was reluctant after receiving a mysterious letter. Takanashi could guess that person is Souma and he fears he might find out about Inami’s androphobia and would want her to hit him. Minegishi tells him to stop using his sisters as excuse to run away from love.
* After Minegishi leaves but decides to return, he sees Inami and wants to talk to her. She becomes afraid and tries to run but he grabs her hand. Her reflex is to punch him in the face! He gets up and runs away! Inami feels guilty she has done something wrong and Takanashi heard the story from her and knows it’s that masochist. Inami thinks she has not improved and the only reason she hasn’t been hitting others is because she has been avoiding men. He holds her hand and asks if she wants to punch him. No? See, she has improved. She is a normal girl.
* Minegishi runs back to Kazue’s office just to tell her he got punched. So? He realizes that nobody punches him better than her and wants them to get back together! OMG! He proposes to her! Right in front of everybody… He won’t budge till she says yes… OMG… Everybody looking…
* When Minegishi returns to Wagnaria, Inami profusely apologizes. But she doesn’t remember beating him up that bad. Actually after Kazue was forced to accept his proposal, she beat him up real good later. Therefore he is here not to scold her but thank her that because of that punch, he was able to get back with his ex-wife. Oh, he is also here to tell him that mom is coming back.
* That dreaded look on Takanashi’s face that mom is coming back. You mean he is not happy? He doesn’t want her home?! And this is her first time back in years?! The girls wonder what kind of mom he has. Here’s why: She’s a politician. Oh…

Episode 10
* Takanashi dreams of how mom loves to dress him up as a girl. He told her to stop because he was always being bullied. Guess what? She’ll buy him a tank to blast away those bullies! Apparently he isn’t the only one having this nightmare. Kozue too. Mom can never remember her name. An excuse to go on a drinking spree? Well, she got Youhei and Mitsuki to accompany her and assure they’ll go out with her. Only for drinking.
* Yachiyo is down and out after an embarrassing slip-up while talking to Satou. Now Kyouko is worried who will make her parfaits. Thus with an excuse to access everyone’s qualifications, she has them make parfaits for her. It’s hard to think she is serious when she is drooling…
* Nazuna seems to be the only one chirpy enough to expect mom back because the rest are like so gloomy and wearing dark clothes fit for a funeral! But as they wait the entire day, she never shows up. Just when Takanashi goes to sleep, here comes Shizuka through the window! She looks like Medusa coming to scare the hell out of you. I guess Takanashi must be so used to this that he isn’t scared a bit.
* Shizuka meets her children. Apparently there is a live interview of her on TV so how can she be here? It is Kikuno disguised as her on TV. Kazue doesn’t like mom coming back unannounced and disrupt their lives so Shizuka becomes the devil woman to tease her on and off relationship with Minegishi. She laughs when they got married, she laughs when they divorced and now she is laughing her ass off that they got back together! This mom… Then she forces Izumi to make something for her to eat. While Shizuka favours Nazuna, Kozue continues to be ignored…
* Takanashi wonders why she is home. Because she smelled someone is in love. Gulp. Takanashi tries to deny it so she rephrases it that a girl likes him… Time to size this girl up. Oh no…
* Inami is pretty excited thinking Takanashi held her hand. She thinks he would think the same but sees his gloomy face. Does he hate her? Don’t worry. It’s something to do with mom. You can bet he is worried if mom is going to zero in on Inami. Because being pathetic won’t do, he’ll need to clean up his act from now on. So he doesn’t use the gadget to hold her hand while walking home. They really hold each other’s hand. While Inami thinks it’s to help cure her androphobia, Takanashi realizes he is in love with Inami. Hasn’t he? He knows he needs to shape up and stop making excuses and face her so he could protect her from mom.
* Eventually Kyouko believes Yachiyo’s parfait is the best but something feels different about it. A taste of a happy golden future. She believes things cannot go on like this anymore.

Episode 11
* Yachiyo messes up talking to Satou again. But she is glad that he is always willing to hear her stories of Kyouko. Afterwards, Kyouko talks to Satou what he intends to do with Yachiyo. Because at this rate, falling in with him won’t change her. Thus she won’t hand over someone who isn’t going to help her change.
* Souma is impressed Satou stood his ground against Kyouko although clearly he is shivering on the inside. But Satou has decided. He is going to confess to her but if she rejects him, he’ll resign. Sorry to leave all the kitchen job to you Souma. Yachiyo overheard this and tells Taneshima about it.
* Taneshima sets the duo up to talk. Satou did confess to her but the pause between the sentences was so long that Yachiyo forgot the first half! This makes her feel embarrassed about being a stumbling block whenever she talks to him. She runs away and eve leaves a note about it.
* Everybody looks for her but to no avail. Till Satou finds her hiding in the storeroom. She claims she slipped and her sword got stuck and was too embarrassed to call for help. Satou again confesses to her. No, not the ghost behind her. What ghost?! So to make it clearer, he hugs her and whispers directly into her ear that he loves her. The other staffs heard this and couldn’t be happier.
* Yachiyo is on cloud nine that her roses might be suffocating Taneshima. But Kyouko doesn’t look impressed. Could she be taking out her disapproval when she doesn’t want Yachiyo to make her any parfait or food? So Yachiyo talks to her about being considerate to spend her time with him. Kyouko says she couldn’t care less about Satou but if she continues to stay under her, she’ll never experience the world. So it is not Kyouko who doesn’t needs Yachiyo but the other way round. Satou interjects that the Yachiyo he fell in love is the one who loves Kyouko a lot. She is happy and smiles a lot with her around. Although he hates the fact Kyouko is part of this, without her, Yachiyo wouldn’t be that person he love. Therefore Kyouko did a fine job in raising her. I guess it took Satou a lot of guts and courage that he is now experiencing stomach pains so he is out for a week!
* With Satou and Yachiyo dating, Kyouko says she is lifting the ban on relationships at the workplace. This means she is telling Takanashi to just confess to whoever he wants. Why is he starting to sweat? Now Souma is bugging him to get on with it. Advice not appreciated.
* But Takanashi really does need to think this through. So what does he do? He starts working cross-dressed as Kotori! He believes it was around this time that those complications with Inami started so he’ll be dressed as this till he could sort things out.
* It has been 2 weeks since Satou is out. Yachiyo finally manages to visit his home after getting lost several times. We hear Yachiyo thanking Satou as the kind person he is for listening to her Kyouko stories and yet still pays attention to her. She also admits she is slow when it comes to relationships but when he hugged her and told her everything, it felt that everything melted only leaving the truth. She loves him and hopes to be his girlfriend. Since it is late and she missed the last train, she stays at his place. Nothing fishy happened. You think Satou is ready to get back to work but he looks much worse than before. Does it have to do with Yachiyo spending the entire night with him?

Episode 12
* Takanashi thinks he is fine continuing to cross-dress. Those annoyed faces from the girls? I don’t think it is a sign they are welcoming it. Worst moment comes when Kirio comes in and sees him. In order not to bust his identity, Takanashi continues to play Kotori. Kirio even has Inami snap a memorial shot of them! But her hands were shaky so the picture turns out blur. When Kirio asks if Kotori likes anyone, Takanashi knows if he doesn’t have it means Kirio will confess. So he describes Inami’s traits but Kirio is able to pick it up! Surprisingly, Kirio will support Kotori. But Kirio’s cover is blown when he accidentally calls Takanashi by his name. It seems Kirio had knew it all along. Because he looked so into it, he decided to play along. Besides, it felt like the first time he fell in love with Kotori. It was back when Takanashi was dressed as a girl by mom and visited Yamada’s home. Only subsequently Kirio found out the fourth child is a boy and not a girl.
* Satou and Takanashi notice that Souma has not been bugging them since. Usually he will be quite annoying but lately he is so quiet that they forgot he existed. Even odder is that he treats the other girls well. Definitely something is fishy. You cannot not suspect this guy is up to something. True enough, they stumble upon his box of photo albums containing pictures of Wagnaria’s staff. He has bought a camera and took long distance photos for his albums. They confiscate his albums but could it be those albums happen to have pictures of their loved ones?
* Taneshima thinks she is in trouble when Yachiyo calls to see her after her shift and Kyouko is waiting. Actually, Yachiyo is thinking of quitting. This shocks Taneshima and she wonders why she would leave such a happy place. Yachiyo feels blessed and happy working with everyone here. She has learnt a lot that is non work related too. She wants to apply that in real life. Therefore Kyouko thinks of making Taneshima as the next chief after she leaves. Although Kyouko won’t be leaving so soon and it is just heads up, Taneshima cannot help feel down and keep thinking if she would be up to the task.
* Because Takanashi continues to cross-dress and his talking has become so much more feminine, Taneshima confronts him when he is going to stop. He gives excuses this is to gauge his feelings for Inami but Taneshima doesn’t see it is related. There is something about his mom hasn’t made a move yet too… But if he is going to continue cross-dressing, Taneshima threatens to absorb his Kotori aura and grow big!
* Takanashi reflects on his actions so he asks Inami if she would prefer the boy or girl version of him. She says the former. This gives Takanashi hope and he is ready to move forward and cast away his wig. He will return as a man tomorrow and apologize to everyone for making them worry. Suddenly he feels a cold chill. It’s Shizuka!!! Has she been waiting for this moment to move?! OH SH*T!!!

Episode 13
* Takanashi is back as a guy. It took a while for the girls to recognize him. With him back, I guess this means Yamada is expected to get more of her usual scolding from him. Yup, things never changed. Yamada is given a task by Yachiyo to take pictures of Souma because he is the only one missing from the albums. Unfortunately he doesn’t give her a chance citing he is embarrassed.
* It is happening. Inami is going out on a date with Takanashi. No, this is not a dream. She is a little nervous that she could break things. Does she have to go as far as putting the bag over her head? It could have been a smooth sailing from now on if not for Inami’s dad who is here to give her wallet that she had forgotten. Dad must be horrified to see her dating but not as horrified when she doesn’t recognize him at first! Dad thinks Inami lied about telling mom of going out with Takanashi so Takanashi admits that he was cross-dressed then. Still, it is not a good reason for a father who believes it was an excuse to deceive his daughter. Inami explains she was the one who requested Takanashi to cross-dress and subsequently fell in love with him. Takanashi is going to accept his fate of being punched by him but surprisingly Inami punches her own father! This would be her last punch against androphobia. However father could feel the warmth in her punch. He accepts Takanashi and hopes he will take care of Inami. Unknown to them, Shizuka has been watching…
* Now that Inami is cured, Taneshima and Yamada are going to let Souma be the test subject to touch her by shaking her hands. However he acts cool by saying those hands are for Takanashi to touch. He only pats her shoulder. All the while, his legs were shaking…
* Yachiyo tells everyone about her intention to quit. Though sad, they support her. Yamada suggests taking a group photo and as usual, Souma is reluctant. So as not to make him feel left out, Yamada imitates photos from the album that happen to be embarrassing scenes of Wagnaria’s new couples. But seriously, what has it got to do with Souma? With everybody bugging him, he finally relents.
* Takanashi could tell Taneshima would be the next chief from her nervous reaction. She still thinks she isn’t up to task but surprisingly he says she is not small (but short). He thinks she will be fine and continue the way she is now so it will be okay. This gives her lots of encouragement to do her best.
* When Takanashi waits for Inami after Wagnaria closes, suddenly he felt this eerie presence. Oh God… It’s Shizuka! Run boy, run! When Inami is ready, Takanashi is nowhere to be seen but a note left behind saying something urgent came up and had to leave.

Episode 14 (Special)
* Dubbed The Lord Of The Takanashi as this one hour special is supposedly the true ending for this series.
* Takanashi hasn’t been to work since and the rest think he might be taking some time off his shift. Luckily they have Nazuna to replace him and she is quite effective in making Yamada work (so she can look up to her) and gets everyone together. She claims she needs to work hard because she doesn’t want to see her siblings suffer due to her mom and that is why she is going to surpass her.
* Otoo continues to lose his wife whether he is in his sights or not. But thankfully it is Yamada who always finds her. Maybe it is Otoo who is the one getting lost? Along the way, he thinks he sees Takanashi cross-dressed as Kotori! That guy sneaks into Wagnaria to get something but Kyouko spots him.
* For a person who doesn’t care about anything, it is ironic Kyouko gathers everyone because she is worried about Takanashi. She has everyone pitch in ideas what is wrong with him. Inami thinks it might be her fault. But since it is a pain to think further, she just calls him directly. What the heck was the meeting for? From what she hears, it seems Shizuka has a screw loose. She can’t do much if it is his family problem but she wants him to know that everyone at work is worried about him.
* Kozue bugs the Mashiba siblings again since Shizuka continues to forget her name. So Mitsuki confronts Shizuka to at least remember her daughter’s name. Shizuka is impressed with her fervour and will remember Mitsuki’s name instead! When Kozue comes back drunk, it seems Shizuka acknowledges her by name but I guess she is too drunk to even notice it.
* Kikuno is yet again on TV disguised as Shizuka. This has Yamada once again try to reign in Souma as her brother. That guy is quick to run. Satou even gets back at him by adlibbing that he should become her brother as she is setting a lame food trap. She fell for her own trap but this brings him out of his hiding. Kikuno happened to be here so Yamada introduces Souma. Naturally she is worried he is the son she never knew she had. Rest assured, she says they are siblings not related by blood. Mom then reminds her Yamada is not even their family name… For once, Yamada tries to acknowledge Kirio as her big brother but since he is being an idiot as usual, they argue. Mom couldn’t be happier.
* Now Takanashi is back at Wagnaria, Inami can’t help if she is the source of the problem because it seems their shifts are separate, making it harder for them to be together during work. So she confronts Kyouko about it and she agrees to put it back to where it was because it was a pain just trying to change their shifts and keep them separate.
* As Takanashi is about to go home, Inami stops him. He starts talking about not being man enough, etc. He needs to do better to be true to his feelings. Unfortunately, Shizuka was listening as she knocks him out! She hates liars and can’t let his son date anyone.
* Next day, Minegishi is sent to relay a message that Takanashi will be quitting Wagnaria. Mom’s orders? They can’t verbally abuse him because he likes it. The problem stems from Takanashi not being true to himself. All those ‘lies’ he said about his love for Inami was more of out of embarrassment. But it is still a lie to Shizuka so she is going to lock him up and keep him cross-dressed until he stops being a liar.
* So we’ve got a flashback how Shizuka’s late husband was like that. He said he like tall and mature girls. Shizuka was the opposite so she went and become that till she found out it was a lie. Then he died when he promised he said he wouldn’t. That is why she doesn’t believe men who lie deserve to have a family or girlfriend.
* Inami still believes she is the source of this problem and will go talk to Shizuka directly. The rest know there will be dangers ahead so they dress her in Takanashi’s uniform?
* Along the way, she meets Kazue. It seems Shizuka has ordered the 4 sisters to defeat them if she is to see Takanashi. Kazue is dying of this embarrassment. When Inami congratulates on her remarriage, that embarrassment made her give up and let her pass.
* Next is Izumi but she looks so defeated before it starts. She even faints before Inami could do anything. Thankfully Kirio is here so he can look after her while Inami moves ahead.
* Next is Kozue. Although they trade soft punches, Inami couldn’t get the better of her. Till Mitsuki reminds her it is her turn to cook so she forfeits the match and goes with them.
* Last is Nazuna. She looks genuinely mad. She thought Inami had been hitting her brother to satisfy his masochism. But when she learnt she was doing so without a reason, it made her mad. So are they really going to fight? Inami argues that Takanashi did what he could to save her. This was just a test from Nazuna to see if she is a nice person. It is probably why Takanashi put up with her punches. She lets her pass and at the same time Inami gives her a document that Souma told to pass to her.
* When Inami meets Shizuka and Takanashi, she praises Takanashi to be a great person. Shizuka is still not convinced so Nazuna shows a photo from that document. A young picture of Shizuka. There is more from where that came from. However threats won’t work on her. Taneshima comes by to return Inami’s clothes. Shizuka sees her small stature and is surprised her son passed this girl for Inami. The matter seems resolved as everyone prays at the altar. But why is Taneshima offered as offering?! Shizuka leaves for work. For many reasons, she is backing off now. She has faith in him to do what is necessary.
* Takanashi walks Inami home. They stop by the park and talk things out. She thought he is rejecting her indirectly. But since his strong point is to say the things he loves, he confesses he loves her. She is frozen for a while but does she need a reason why? It may have something to do with overlapping with small things but don’t get the wrong idea it is her small boobs! Kirio has been listening and couldn’t help praise this touching scene. Surprisingly, Takanashi didn’t punch him but thank him for his role in bringing them together. Then he punches him.
* With Takanashi back at Wagnaria, the rest notice Yachiyo for the first time without her sword. She explains Satou will be there to protect her and thus she doesn’t need it anymore. While everyone gives that looks at Satou, Kyouko breaks the news that Yachiyo has found a new place to work temporarily to cover her friend who is pregnant. Taneshima then breaks to the rest she is the next chief. She thinks Satou is going to tease her but surprisingly he says she has grown in character. This made her cry in Yachiyo’s arms.
* Minegishi brings Takanashi’s sisters to patron Wagnaria as Shizuka’s apology for dragging everyone into this mess. Taneshima gets motivated to do her best as the chief although she doesn’t like Takanashi calling her the tiny chief.

All In A Day’s Work
I’m not too sure if it is really the end of it but as far as this third season is concerned, it still lives up to its expectations at least where nostalgia is mainly concerned. The jokes and funny moments are still in line with how you expect them to be but some may find it repetitive and boring. But I don’t see any problem with it and since it still made me chuckle, it still isn’t that all bad. So whether or not this is the final season remains yet to be seen but we all know that there are going to be some changes around if another season is given the green light. Because as the staffs at Wagnaria are just part timers, one day they will have to quit and move on, right?

One thing good about this season is that despite there are developments and perhaps you could say closure to certain issues for certain characters, all the characters continue to stay the same as how we know them from the start. Like Yamada is still the clumsy and irresponsible floor crew even after her family’s case is resolved. I guess she feels more at home by dropping plates and dishes and then getting an earful from Takanashi. I don’t know, something tells me that she might be a masochist in that sense. After all, Yamada has only 2 good abilities. One of them being screwing up and messing up things and the other being finding Haruna. It seems she is the only person who can easily do this. As useless might it seems but it is indeed useful to Haruna who could pull off the greatest disappearing act right under our noses.

Then there is Taneshima who is still short in stature but big in heart (although the occasional nervousness) and still can’t properly pronounce Katanashi Takanashi’s name, Inami isn’t 100% cured of her androphobia yet although she is making big significant steps, Satou the deadpan sarcastic chef, Yachiyo the big sister who seems to be a worry wart at other times, Kyouko the irresponsible glutton manager and Souma who is still the prankster as well as information specialist. Anybody with any dark secrets, this guy will be a force to fear. Surprisingly, Maya makes slightly more appearances this season instead of appearing just in the final episode. Maybe this is one of this season’s surprises. Though, I wished that she would have more screen time and bug us about her normalcy than continue to be relegated as a minor side character. Outside Wagnaria, Kirio remains an idiot, Kazue the bossy but friendly big sister, Izumi the shut-in weakling, Kozue the eternal drunkard master and Nazuna who might look and act all cute and innocent but you wonder if she is the most dangerous person (aside Shizuka) because she can still talk about her ambition of world conquest with a smile. A joke? Let’s hope it is.

So it is great to see Yamada reconciling with her mom (although not with her brother who remains a big idiot in her eyes and reality), Otoo finally reuniting with Haruna after 2 seasons being lost (eventually he lost her again so to speak), Satou and Yachiyo finally dating each other as well as Takanashi and Inami instead of using cowardly excuses which could have saved them lots of trouble had they be more honest with their feelings (I hope it will be smooth flowing from now seeing both their parents gave their blessings). Who would have thought divorcee Kazue would get back together again with Minegishi. Anybody would after that dramatic episode. Can I say something like birds of the same flock? Of course new developments include the possibility of Yachiyo quitting Wagnaria in the future and despite it is a good change for everybody, it still feels sad to think that one of the main characters would be leaving. We have grown so accustomed to see everyone together at Wagnaria that it is unthinkable just to imagine that one of them would no longer be around. Well, nothing lasts forever and certainly changes will come. You don’t expect these kids to be working here forever, did you? Maybe for Kyouko…

I’m not sure but it could be my faulty memory but doesn’t this season feel that it has less focus on Takanashi’s sisters as well as the Mashiba siblings (not considering the final special episode)? It is good that most of the focus is on the Wagnaria employees and despite these other characters intertwine with them, not to say that it affects deeply or a lot but I just feel that they made less of an impact this season. A few new odd characters like Minegishi and Kikuno to add to the mix and making their debut here but nothing much that would change anything big.

Throwing spanner into the works is Shizuka. Her character feels like it doesn’t belong into the harmonic equation and relationship to all the characters (despite all their flaws) especially the Takanashi household. She really lives up to her dreaded reputation and what’s more a politician. Yeah, the job that everybody hates this days. But with Shizuka around, she’ll really make you fear her. Even more mysterious and deadlier than Souma, you’ll never know when she will strike terror in our hearts. You’d wish she would just be a non-recurring character but alas looks like she will be here to stay despite her very limited appearance. Expect the unexpected from her. But ultimately as a mother, I believe her actions are because she loves her children and especially for Takanashi, she doesn’t want him to grow up to be a serial liar even if those are just white lies. Maybe her actions are questionable but at the end of the day, all she wants is the best for her son and that is to be honest.

The opening theme for this season maintains its liveliness and fanfare like in its previous seasons. Sung by the same bunch of girls then, if the previous seasons’ opening themes had catchy repetitive words, then for Now!!! Gamble will also have the same. This time it would be “Now, now, now…” and “Check, check, check…”. I just feel weird when they say “Spark me up” and “Start you up”. I wonder if that is the case of bad English. In line with previous seasons too, the ending theme is sung by the guys (although I feel Hiroshi Kamiya stood out more just like last time too). If Matsuge Ni Lock sounds pretty familiar, that is because the 70’s disco feel of this piece rings similar bells to the second season’s ending theme which also follows the disco beat.

Overall, this has been quite a good season. It has all the comedic properties that you would have expected from this series and even a bonus nostalgia factor to go with it. Maybe the years it was absent was worth it. Despite the jokes and the characters feel somewhat overall the same, but the formula works well so if it is not broken, do not fix it. It is a good reason why this third season has its charm and one of the rare animes with sequels to live up to its expectations of its predecessors. In an age where there are too many animes and disappointing ones, this series has been a much welcomed relief to all that. Thank goodness for Wagnaria for all the sweet treats and desserts in taking away all my frustrations and stress from all the disappointing series throughout the season. Can I have seconds then? I hope I don’t have to wait another 4 years for it.

Danchigai

May 20, 2016

Hmm… Another short anime series based on a yonkoma series. But I can tell what is going to happen in Danchigai when you have a household with only one brother and four sisters. Yes indeed. I think. When you are the only guy in the house, these girls make you look like you are running some sort of pimp house brothel, doesn’t it? Holy cow! Just kidding! Ahem… Let’s take that from the top again. When you are the only guy in the house, things won’t seem as monotonous as you think because when you have four lovely girls by your side lecturing you on just about everything and not give him a single opportunity to rest. That is what the synopsis says. Poor guy. I can imagine the pain he goes through in a house where women won’t just stop nagging…

Episode 1
Haruki Nakano is in a pinch. He can’t get up because his sister, Yayoi is sleeping on him. I’m sure he is being a gentleman trying not to push her away or wake her abruptly. Otherwise I would be thinking she must be that heavy for him! When twins, Uzuki and Satsuki come by, Haruki requests their help to wake her up but instead they take this chance to tickle Haruki. Yayoi wakes up and gets the wrong idea and chokes him thinking he did something pervy to her. Eldest sister, Mutsuki warns them not to be too noisy and disturb the neighbours or else no breakfast. The twins ambiguously describe their ‘hugging all morning’ and although Mutsuki understands what is going on, Haruki and Yayoi continue to make faces at each other. Mutsuki threatens to cut their allowance. That should put a stop. The twins cause more trouble by hugging and clinging on to Haruki before they head off to school. Yayoi helps clean up Haruki while making statements he would look cooler if he’d knew how to take care of himself. Is she being tsundere? Good thing or not, he didn’t hear her words clearly.

Episode 2
Yayoi felt piercing stares when she was changing. Turns out to be the twins. Apparently they are doing homework about their family. But does it have to be this intimate and details her favourite underwear colour? And so they read aloud what they have written about the rest. Like Haruki who is a lazy bum who is glued to his games. Haruki wants them to write something cooler that sounds like his chuunibyou but they simplify it as some saving the world crap with lots of screaming. They write about Yayoi’s good points as Haruki tries to influence them the violent tsundere she is. He got a wrestling submission move done on him. Conclusion: They get along well. Mutsuki? Everything about her is perfect. The twins get a score for their essay but it seems everybody is interested in Haruki’s chuunibyou.

Episode 3
Mutsuki loves sleeping on Haruki’s bed in a skimpy dress. It’s like she is inviting him to something horny but luckily this guy has very high tolerance level because every position she turns to is just freaking tempting. When Mutsuki is ready to leave for school, Haruki spots one of her socks dropping. Quickly he flips it up but also accidentally flips her skirt. Oh dear. Guess who is going to mete out the punishment? Despite getting beaten up, Haruki takes heart that he has protected his sister’s perfect image. When Mutsuki goes to bath, Haruki takes the liberty to hand her the towel before she goes in because when the last time this happened, she forgot to take her panties and requested him to bring it. Then Yayoi thought he was being a pervert rummaging through Mutsuki’s underwear drawer and got beaten up. Why doesn’t she just ask Yayoi to do it? Even after bath, Mutsuki frolics in the towel on his bed. Is she trying to let him see her natural self? Then she just falls asleep. Can’t blame this guy if he ever starts going into incest.

Episode 4
The siblings head to supermarket to buy food ingredients. Haruki teases Yayoi for being dumb because she suggested taking the rice first. If you do that, wouldn’t you have to carry the weight around? But you can always take the trolley, right? The problem is carrying it onto the trolley. Mutsuki and the twins taste the free samples. Thanks to their ‘enjoyable’ face, this is like a great advertising effect as other customers also feel like wanting to try it out. Haruki thinks of getting mild curry for the twins. However they don’t want to be looked down upon and stubbornly wants to try the medium curry. But why do they sound scared before eating it? Luckily it just tastes right. Unknown to everyone, it is actually the mild curry as Mutsuki bought it just in case.

Episode 5
Satsuki eagerly waits for Haruki to come home so she could read the manga magazine he bought first. And she won’t let others read with her. Uzuki used to tease Satsuki but the teacher said bullying was bad. However she has no qualms putting clothespin all over Haruki’s hair. Then she just leaves him to go play with Satsuki once she is done reading. Satsuki has an anime clock in her head and she knows when it is time to watch her favourite anime without looking at the clock. Once done, the twins go away to play. Yayoi tells Haruki that despite Satsuki’s love for anime and manga, she loves Uzuki more. Satsuki watches the same anime again and again. Haruki wonders if Uzuki is okay since she is not paying attention to her. It’s okay. She won’t do anything that Satsuki doesn’t like.

Episode 6
Is it sexy time when Mutsuki will teach Haruki anything he wants? Well, if he wasn’t her brother, I’m sure he’ll take the offer. But anyway to her dismay he turns her down since he can study for the test alone. Mutsuki feels even dejected since Yayoi did the same. After all, Mutsuki wasn’t a good teacher in the first place. Haruki and Yayoi study together and he discovers that her multiplication is not that good and the reason she fails her math test. She even makes mistakes in the simple multiplication table so he is going to have her multiply till she drops! I hope there is no sexual innuendo in there. Even more insulting is how the twins score perfect for their maths test. When Yayoi returns home after her test, Haruki bugs her to see her results. She won’t show it to him and during the struggle he falls on top of her. Mutsuki sees this and gets the wrong idea.

Episode 7
Yayoi wants to go to the beach so much but the cold season doesn’t permit it. With Mutsuki, they get an idea to wear their swimsuits in the house. Imagine Haruki’s surprise when he sees them… He thinks it is a bit immodest but Yayoi beats him up for his pervy thinking. She blames him that when they were supposed to go during the beach season, last minute they had to cancel it because he failed his test. Then they force him to join them. I hope they didn’t really strip him. The trio sit inside the small inflatable pool (seriously, I don’t think their butts even fit) and remember similar memories of their younger days. When the twins return, they see their older siblings having flu. Fun’s over.

Episode 8
After Satsuki finishes reading a manga, she is convinced she is adopted! Uzuki plays a prank and claims she is her daughter! But seriously, if they are twins why don’t they look alike? Gloom… Haruki shows proof, a picture when they are babies. What if they were switched at birth? Another picture of Mutsuki at their age, a splitting image of Satsuki. Uzuki is still not convinced so she goes to find proof by rummaging through the closet. She happened to stumble upon a bag of Haruki’s chuunibyou stuffs. With his embarrassed reaction, she is convinced she is not part of this family. But Mutsuki shows a picture of their grandma, a splitting image of Uzuki. Too bad girl, you’re not a lost princess after all. Now it’s Yayoi’s turn to be gloomy. Because everyone does well in tests except her (again, yet another dismal showing), she is crying she must be adopted!

Episode 9
Uzuki has a habit of playing pranks on Haruki so you bet he is cautious when she closes up to him. During dinner, she sits next to him instead of her usual place. He thinks he has spiked his food but it turns out okay. Uzuki points out there is a rice on his face but he quickly cleans it, leaving her frustrated. He thinks she has another prank when she wants to read to him but nothing untoward happens. Before he can be labelled as siscon or lolicon, Satsuki brings him to see an anime about a sister who loves her brother. Uzuki saw this and tried copying it. Next day, Uzuki tells him everything was a prank so he plays along that he got tricked. However he remembers that anime’s plot is about the sister having trouble confessing her love to big brother. Could it be? Nah.

Episode 10
Definitely it would be hard for Haruki to keep quiet when Mutsuki is on top of him on his bed. At night! She needs a favour. She wants him to kiss her! This is not a dream. Care to explain why? Because she likes him. Maybe she should be more specific. It seems she needs this kiss before she goes to school so she thought of practising with him. He argues a kiss is supposed to be with somebody she loves like her boyfriend. But she thinks it is okay with siblings. This kiss is necessary because her class will be doing a play for the festival. She took on the princess role and has to kiss the prince. If it is just a play, could she just pretend? Well, she hasn’t kissed anyone before. Haruki remembers her kissing various objects… That was practice? She is serious in kissing him but apparently his mind is going bonkers whether or not to oblige. He pushes her away. It seems to have upset her as she returns to her room. Feeling sorry, he goes to apologize. Actually she isn’t mad the least bit. She realized she mixed up Cinderella’s role with Snow White and thus there is no kissing scene. She hurried back to confirm this. Sorry to bother, you can go back to sleep now.

Episode 11
Haruki is sick and he collapsed while returning from the bathroom. Yayoi must be one ‘good’ sister because she just left the pillow to let him sleep on the floor! WTF?! Eventually she feels bad for her onii-chan so she puts him back to bed. Naturally he skips school the next day and when he wakes up, it is already past 3pm and Yayoi is by his side. She is even blaming him for waking up without giving warning. WTF?! What were you doing to him?! She tries to be good by wiping his sweat. When the other sisters enter, from their position they see as though Yayoi is kissing him! She beats him up and then dismisses what they think. I think Haruki is going to take a lot longer to recover.

Episode 12
There is a sign clearly outside Haruki’s room to not enter. No, he is not masturbating! But Yayoi enters anyway. She bugs him to play a game. Not a hentai game, mind you! While he is looking for the game, she falls asleep on his bed and doesn’t want to move! Thinking she is sick, he quickly brings her back. The twins play a prank on Haruki by making him watch them take a dump! WTF?! Because he isn’t ‘cooperative’, they start crying and ‘hating’ him. He thought he could sleep easier but Mutsuki is hogging his bed. It gets worse when she grabs him and suffocates him under her boobs! He has to continue hiding as the other sisters come in to sleep with him. What the heck is this sleepover party?! Haruki narrates his worries about his sister’s future but he feels spending the night like this once in a while isn’t bad. Next morning, he is ready for them to rely on him but they pack up and leave. So now they’re treating his room like a hotel?

OVA
The siblings go to the public bath. Because the girls are being noisy so much so the men’s side can hear all the ruckus, Mutsuki had to give a stern warning or else. Haruki is having a relaxing time in his bath but his thoughts seem to drift towards fanservice scenes of his sisters! After finishing, the twins are rewarded with milk coffee. I’m not sure why but they don’t like the carton version that the public bath only has as they wanted the bottle version. Is there a difference? Haruki wonders why Yayoi is drinking it too so he figures it must be to help her boobs grow. Instead of beating him up, she runs away in tears and calls him an idiot. So was Haruki expecting to be beaten up because he was shocked by this reaction? After all her punches, it is no surprise he might be a masochist.

Man Of The House
It wasn’t anything special to say the least. I won’t go so far to say that the sisters are total b*tches but it is just that they love their brother so much that the only way to get his attention by the way they know best is to bug him. He puts up with it all because they are family. I mean, if he shoos them away, what will there be left, right? Besides, this is a slice of life comedy so nothing really extraordinary happens. No shocking twists and revelations. Just plain boring daily life of a brother and his sisters. Sometimes you wished you were thankful you’re not in his shoes, right?

If you want some little short laughs, I guess the 3.5 minutes length of each episode would keep you occupied. To say that it is entertaining would be an overstatement. Because as you can see, the jokes mainly comes from Haruki putting up with the quirky bugging characters of his sisters and that is all. Maybe it looks funny in the anime but in real life if you have a sister this annoying, some may feel insulted or just dreaming to have this kind of relationship. So if you want heavy laughs, look somewhere else. This one is just light and bite size. Even whatever ‘problems’ faced in that episode is ‘solved’ in that episode. No need to bring over the issue.

Character wise, they aren’t anything special either. Haruki is a typical typically normal boy and brother (unless you count his chuunibyou past but that is pretty normal too). He puts up with their shenanigans because he is their brother. I think I am repeating what I said but seriously, there is all to it. It is good the anime focuses only on the family because usually in animes when you have the male protagonist living with an extremely cute babe or having sisters that are too adorable, usually his jealous classmate guy will get all envious and start ranting nonsense. Yeah. Thank goodness. And thank goodness he didn’t turn into a siscon character either.

His sisters on the other hand, we have the sexy and flirtatious elder sister Mutsuki who is the boldest when it comes to bugging Haruki. With such great body and sex pheromones, it is not hard to get a boner when she starts being flirty. I have to respect Haruki because he holds it in greatly and doesn’t succumb to his urges to rape her. I mean, come on. This is anime. There is no ‘immunity’ that brothers and sisters cannot like each other. Incest is okay! Then there is Yayoi playing the tsundere. Somebody for Haruki to ‘fight’ just because she is the most tomboyish among the sisters. Her running joke is her bad score in maths. Finally the twins. You have the cheeky Uzuki who is more hyperactive than her twin Satsuki who seems to have this deadpan expression stuck on her face.

In a nutshell, Haruki is surrounded by so many girls despite being his sister and their pranks, he doesn’t turn gay! Another point of respect! True! Because we don’t see his other life, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is still a straight guy. Despite all the shenanigans, he doesn’t come to hate women and turn to guys for solace. I know this is creepy and I myself am surprised to have come up with this what-if conclusion but thankfully, remember the genre of this anime, then you have your usual happy ending for everybody. Too bad no incest happened either ;p. In spite of all that sexy delicious teasing from Mutsuki. Damn you, cock teaser!

Voice casting seems pretty normal. They are Atsushi Abe as Haruki (Mashiro in Bakuman), Satomi Akesaka as Mutsuki (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Mikako Komatsu as Yayoi (Neko in K), Sayaka Horino as Satsuki (Mayotama in Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken) and Sora Tokui as Uzuki (Nero in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). Despite being a short series, it has 4 different ending themes, each based on a sister and tailored to their personalities. Nothing that attracted my attention, though.

Overall, this series has its good and bad points being short. Despite being straightforward and simple, it feels somewhat boring although you have some cute laughs here and there. Like many of such short series, it is something you want to watch when you want to relax, don’t have any high expectations for anything and have a little more time to spare. And then it makes sister-less guys want to crave for such sisterly harem or like me, I’m happy I still dream of my maid harem from time to time. I know, there is a danchigai (big difference, literally) with reality and fantasy.

There are a bunch of animes out there that dabbles and mixes science and magic in between. Some giving off a great storyline and everything while others just freaking confuses the hell out of me. The fight for supremacy between magic and science is showcased here differently in Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai. Magic it seems is mainly the source of all bad and evil things whereas science and technology are the only things that can keep them at bay. At an academy where students train to become the next force and keep magic users in check, we have a small little group of quirky underdogs who is at the bottom of the league where it concerns most. Just because their captain cannot use magic well and has only his ‘outdated’ sword skills to fight. I guess you can tell where this is going. Will they prove that the good of science will rule over magic or will they find a good mix between science and magic and show the world both can be used for the benefit of many when in good hands. No? That’s not what this series is really all about? Yeah. I don’t care either. Then what? Oh, I’m only here for the harem factor ;p.

Episode 1
Takeru Kusanagi has it rough. He is trying to become an inquisitor to earn big money to repay debts his late parents left him and take care of his little sister. It is bad enough others badmouth him for carrying his sword around, it goes to worse when he returns to his platoon’s room only to see fellow Usagi Saionji in a Playboy bunny suit being filmed by Ikaruga Suginami. He sees the future about his fate. So he starts crying. Guess what? Usagi felt insulted that he cried instead and beats him up! But when he compliments her body, she calls him a pervert! Ah, being a woman. Damn if you, damn if you don’t. Meanwhile Ouka Ootori is talking to Sougetsu, the academy’s chairman (she is his daughter on paper although not blood related) and for some reason she will be reassigned to the 35th Test Platoon AKA Small Fry Platoon as their backup. Of course, this platoon that Takeru is in is the worst of the lot. Takeru was in the same class with Ouka and knows her outstanding credentials. Unfortunately Ouka doesn’t remember him. Ouch. The platoon is now on an infiltrate mission to stop the trade of an illegal magic item. It goes well till Takeru enters a room full of mobs. Wasn’t Usagi supposed to take them all out? Yes she did. At the wrong building! The mobs did the wrong move by mocking his sword. He snaps when they call it scrap metal. Now they’re scared when they witness Takeru slicing their bullets in half! He is going to kill them but Takeru calms him down by imitating the voice of his sister. Ouka enters the scene to kick ass.

The last guy unleashes instant magic. A huge Dragoon mecha appears. Too bad it broke down thanks to its fragile drive mechanism and that it wasn’t fit for close combat in the first place. Things get bad to worse when Takeru trips and falls onto Ouka’s boobs. If getting beaten up wasn’t enough, Usagi flops again when she misfires and some metal part drop on Takeru’s head as he faints on Ouka’s boobs. I guess she now understands why this platoon is so f*cked up. Because of that, Ouka goes lone ranger in her missions. She is right as she points out the flaws in Usagi’s sniping as well as caving into pressure and over-modifications of the items. And what to begin with for Takeru? But they try not to lose hope and even host a welcoming part for her. Too bad Ouka doesn’t appreciate it. Takeru notices an injury on her arm so he has to put his foot down that he is her captain no matter what. On another infiltration mission, Takeru almost got into a bomb trap if not for Ouka’s quick reflexes. However they were too late because the victims have died and become sacrifices. Ouka feels guilty that she is going to kill the perpetrators. Takeru stops her that if she does, she will lose her inquisitor licence. She doesn’t care. Her family was killed by witches and she hates them and anything that is magic. It has become her life’s mission to kill witches till the day she dies. That is why she cannot work with others or they’ll get in her way for revenge. Takeru believes she can. Although he doesn’t fully understand what she has gone through, he won’t give up trying to be her comrade.

Episode 2
Takeru feels embarrassed thinking what he said to Ouka then. And Ouka continues to have reservations that she’ll accept her platoon members. Mari Nikaidou, daughter of the great witch meets up with Haunted, a necromancer-cum-alchemist-cum-summoner from Valhalla. She is to trade a magic item for him to summon an einherjar. But as it needs a weapon, looks like he killed 50 people for it. Mari doesn’t look too pleased, though. Don’t worry, they’re all criminals and he promises he won’t touch ordinary folks. After all, they view the inquisitors as the enemy and will fight them to abolish all discrimination and prejudice witches face. Ouka berates Takeru for being an unqualified captain once she learns his goal is to become an inquisitor for the money. However Ikaruga fires back as she also knows about her background. She has garnered the nickname of Calamity as she kills criminals without orders. The only reason she is back at this academy is because she got kicked out of the inquisition. Later Takeru sees Ouka paying her respects at her family grave as she relates the horror 9 years ago that made her devote to her revenge. Their small talk is ruined when Haunted begins his move to wreak havoc on the city and to destroy the academy. As usual, Ouka rushes off by herself. Although the low level ghouls are easily taken care of, it is the einherjar that is going to be a problem. Yeah, this Dragoon has got Arthur’s Excalibur. With the academy on full alert to fight back, normally Takeru’s order would be to run since he knows they are fighting a losing battle. However with Ouka in the field and her quest for revenge running high, he can’t leave his comrade alone.

Ouka summons her contracted gun, Vlad to fight the einherjar. As she does not plan to make a full contract with him, she only allows him to take her blood and heal her wounds for more power. Things are going well till some stupid time limit means time is up in using him. You’re on your own. Before she is killed, it’s Takeru’s turn to rescue her. Although he could fight the einherjar via close combat, still it wasn’t enough as he takes a serious blow. On the verge of death, he is met with this goth loli, Lapis Lazuli who wants to make a contract with him. In some alternate dimension, she asks him several questions like if he is willing to annihilate witches, abandon all that is precious to him and toss away his humanity just to achieve his goals. After answering most of them as yes, Lapis accepts him and turns him into witch hunter mode. Basically Takeru in a super cool armour. Lapis introduces herself as from the Relic Eater series which can only be used by inquisitors. She has chosen him as her owner. Takeru is super powerful as the einherjar’s magic does not leave a scratch and he can fight on par with it. Lapis could also absorb its magic into Takeru’s blade so that he could return all that magic power and destroy it for good. Takeru returns to Ouka. He won’t lecture her about revenge and stuff but wants to carry half her burden. He might not be that reliable but feel free to rely on him. Eh? What? He is her comrade after all. So I guess her sign for accepting this is allowing him to use her lap as his pillow?

Episode 3
Mari has been captured by the inquisition and she has lost most of her memories. Sougetsu explains about Lapis to Takeru and co and how as the last Relic Eater, she finds compatibility in him because he is a swordsman. As she has a habit of taking human form, he has made her a fake ID. I’m sure Takeru didn’t expect her to be his little sister! Sougetsu also introduces Mari and has her join the team. He doesn’t waste time admitting she is a witch. I wonder how Ouka would feel about this. Not good. The academy has decided to implement a new system on an experimental basis so their job is to guard and keep her identity a secret. So you can tell sparks are going to fly between Mari and Ouka and a war is just itching to start if Takeru doesn’t intervene. Their rivalry goes as far as in the classroom and on the field and their public feud is getting out of hand that when Takeru tries to stop them, he got double punched. Later he talks to Mari about her goal in wanting to become an inquisitor. She isn’t quite sure but it is probably to show the world that magic isn’t a bad thing and to change their perspective it could be a good thing to help others. Haunted is talking to his staff, Nacht during the aftermath of that failed academy attack. Mari was pissed that innocents were hurt. It was a condition that she agreed to work with him. When inquisitors arrive to arrest them, he quickly kills them. Mari falls into shock that she got captured by reinforcements. Haunted fled but not before leaving a magic spell to erase her memories. He doesn’t want to kill her yet but torture her mentally. Though, she getting captured by the inquisition wasn’t part of his plan.

Ouka and Mari continues their b*tch fight. It goes up a notch when Ouka gets irked by their first name basis and Mari sending ambiguous signals by cuddling up close to Takeru. Surprisingly, Usagi ticks them off to stop because they have to worry about the upcoming mock tournament. It is important for their team because they’ll get the much needed credit points if they win. Ouka thought Mari has seduced Takeru as she is going to live with him. Turns out the dorm has no rooms and even if they had, they couldn’t risk her identity being found out. The other girls either live with her family or have no space and since Ouka hates her, I guess Takeru is the only option left. So this excuse for Ouka to follow them is so that Mari won’t assault Takeru? Welcome to his rundown apartment… Geez, it feels like a haunted house! You scared, Ouka? But he soon leaves them alone as he needs to go off to work. Really? Leaving them together? I guess Ouka tries to chicken out but Mari clings on to her tightly! No escape! When Takeru returns, he gets the bad luck of seeing them naked. With Ouka freaking out thinking she saw a ghost, they fall over him. Double boobs in the face. Double slap in the face. During the first round tournament, Takeru’s team is in a pinch. Mari won’t help and Usagi is panicking all over. But a change from heart from Mari as she becomes the decoy so the rest could move in and win it. Everyone thanks her but since she doesn’t sound that appreciative, Ikaruga labels her as a tsundere and perhaps a flat chest variety to the rest of them. Oh, at least she has Lapis as fellow comrade. While the rest is hanging out at the stalls, Ouka goes to hand in her report when she stumbles a report on Mari. An ancient witch with amnesia accused of murder.

Episode 4
Mari talks to Takeru that she is worried she may be a bad person but in the event if she does, he’ll just brainwash her and bring her back to the right path. That is what it means to be comrades. That easy? Before their second round match, Ouka talks to Takeru about her discovery on Mari. When it begins one of the opponents bursts into a giant flower. Haunted pops up to rescue Mari. Hayato Kurogane orders his men to keep firing into him but Haunted creates a giant barrier that sucked Takeru and co in. Haunted is pleading Mari to come back to him as he declares his cheesy love for her. Takeru is not amused and transforms into his armour to fight him. However he is surprised when Haunted too has his armour and could even be a better swordsman than him. Meanwhile Ouka manages to contact Sougetsu and she tells him her findings of the crime scene Mari was in. Based on the different magic, it was not her who did the murders so Ouka is going to indict him for false arrest. So how? Want to make a deal? Haunted undoes Mari’s amnesia as she remembers the tragic of her orphanage. It was burnt down and they were kidnapped by him. She was forced to work for him if she ever wants to see them again. So if she comes back to him, he’ll let her see them. Takeru tells her he is lying because from Ouka’s report, they are all dead! To prove him wrong, Haunted shows the kids. They’re zombies! Oh, he admits he was the one who killed them.

Mari falls into great despair and Haunted relishes seeing her like this. Then Takeru lectures her about atoning her mistakes by saving more lives with magic. Otherwise, those kids won’t forgive her. If that is not enough, he is willing to carry half her burden. That line again? No wonder Haunted is laughing at his cheesy ideal. So while both of them exchange blows, Mari remembers the nun teaching her some magic. She decides to sacrifice her life to do so but missed. Because the academy put some collar on her that will explode if she uses it, it never happened. Ouka says she cut a deal with Sougetsu to disarm it because she wants her to use her magic to save Takeru. Yeah, they still hate each other and doing this for the guy. Mari then fires her magic once more. Missed again? Actually, it is for Takeru to absorb. Now he powers up and defeats Haunted. He makes his escape but not before hinting to Takeru that he knows he is from the clan of demon hunters. Mari is ever grateful to Takeru and thanks to him, she didn’t commit any more mistakes than she already has. More good news when Mari is now officially a student of the academy as Sougetsu decided to make the witch enrolment policy official. Ironically it was Ouka who lobbied for it. Her excuse is that she doesn’t like the way he does things. But still, they hate each other… Resorting to boobs shaming now, eh?

Episode 5
Usagi’s mom is not impressed with her low grades. Because of that, she will be bringing forward her marriage and this will be her last month in school. The most heart breaking thing? She tells Usagi not to call her as mom because she isn’t. Reima Tenmyouji, the executive committee chairman is going to bring back the witch hunting festival whereby a special currency will be used to gain credit points and even money. Oh look, Takeru is so motivated. Usagi is having a hard time wanting to tell her friends when Ishida the captain of the 23rd Test Platoon comes in to request their teams to form an alliance for the festival due to their small size. When Usagi is walking in the hallway, she bumps into Reima. They know each other. The sight of him starts making her have breathing difficulties! From the way he says things, looks like he is her fiancé. Naturally Takeru comes to her aid but he doesn’t understand Reima’s words about taking care of her a little longer. Ouka is brought by Shizuka Sendou of the student council secretary to see the president, Nagaru Hoshijiro. They talk about the urban legend witch named Mephistopheles that devours human minds. It seems she exists because Nagaru’s entire team was killed and she and Shizuka are the only survivors. The catch is that this happened a month ago, the same time when Reima transferred to this academy. Isn’t that strange? Ouka agrees to lend her help.

Usagi recuperates in the infirmary and since she is holding onto Takeru’s hand, I guess he has to stay with her. She feels sorry for keeping him this late so as they walk home, he can sense something is wrong. Then she asks if he is willing to marry her. What gives? Then she explains about her marriage to Reima. As she is the sole heir of her family, being a good for nothing, the only way for her family’s future is to marry into the wealthy Tenmyouji. I guess Takeru felt bad so he tells her to come stay at his place tonight. What?! So she’s here in his shower, wondering what the heck she is doing. Hard not to think thoughts of them getting married and starting a family, eh? And then maybe she’s just going to accept all that because she comes out just wearing a bath towel before him. As predicted, she trips and her towel comes off. She readies to let him do her first time. As predicted too, the other girls come in. That shock on their face? Priceless. I’m sure each has their excuse to beat him up for this indecency. Especially Ikaruga’s wrath is because he didn’t invite her to this! Like the usual shoot first, ask questions later, they eventually learn of Usagi’s predicament. Since their original plan was to discuss strategies for the festival, this meeting will also be to help Usagi improve her grades so her mom could accept her and let her remain till she graduates. That’s what comrades are for, right? Since she still views herself as dragging everyone down, time for Takeru to remind her the countless times she saved them with her sniping. Takeru and co do cosplay and demonstrate before the 23rd platoon guys. They love it! Even if Takeru is cross-dressed in a gothic outfit. Because Usagi nails it by just having band aids covered over her necessary parts!

Episode 6
Reima and Takeru confront each other. The former gloats Usagi will be his but assures she will be treated nicely. Takeru won’t allow it because Usagi belongs to no one (or is it she belongs to him?). He gets mad when he thinks Reima is bullshitting that Usagi killed her brother and that she has no true comrades. And of course, Takeru says they’ll do their best to always protect her. Ouka is investigating around the school and a bird’s eye view reveals a large magic insignia all over. When Reima confronts Usagi, bunny girl tries to be tough that she won’t listen to him anymore. However he plays mind games with her about her brother’s death. When Shizuka reports to Nagaru, she suddenly pulls out her gun to shoot her. Then she joins Ouka to apprehend Reima. When Ouka mentions Reima’s true identity as Mephistopheles, shockingly Shizuka is the one who responded. The duo corner Ouka as they place a talisman on her for Mephistopheles to possess her body. Mephistopheles wants to initiate the magic sequence earlier than expected so Reima protests since he did her bidding in exchange for the academy and inquisition to be his. She threatens this wimp she could have killed him anytime and didn’t because his family might come in handy. So STFU. Nagaru contacts Takeru about the situation. She is alive thanks to her bulletproof vest. Takeru didn’t like how she dragged Ouka into this and won’t follow her orders. He’ll be saving his comrades on his own. WTF. Isn’t that the same? Lapis detects Usagi at the chapel. She is having nightmares how her brother was playing with the rifle and while trying to stop him, she accidentally shot him in the struggle. Reima jerk popped up before her and knew she killed her brother. That is when he decided she will be his and started his brand of rabbit abuse.

So now she is going to be raped by him at the chapel. Sure she struggles, but that slap puts her back to docile mode. Remembering her friends, she won’t go down that easy and bites him! Takeru arrives to save the day and goes tell her to help Mari as she is trying to diffuse the magic. You know, the duo could save the reunion and the promise making for later. If you’re wondering why Reima didn’t attack them in this period, yeah, he is putting on his armour. Ouka worries about Mari but she laughs off her fake acting because there is no way that b*tch would care about her. Mephistopheles is going to shoot her but here comes Usagi to the rescue. How bunny girl had to run when Mephistopheles activates a spell that causes all the guys in the academy to go after her. Rabbit hunting? Creepy. Takeru defeats Reima. Yeah, I guess it’s not worth even seeing this wimp fight. He is scared out of his daylights that he soiled his pants! Now Takeru fights Mephistopheles who can use Vlad. Feeling that Ouka is coming back, she is going to test Takeru’s bonds. When Usagi returns, Ouka claims Mephistopheles has possessed Takeru. So shoot him. But Takeru says if she is unsure, shoot him then her. Mephistopheles: Believe in me. Takeru: Believe in us! I guess it’s clear. As Usagi is going to shoot her, Ouka fights back to reclaim her body, pushing Mephistopheles out. Usagi shoots her special bullets to finish off Mephistopheles for good. Great news for everyone. Ouka survives the shot and Mari finishes her task. Scary news: Takeru dressed as a maid during the festival scares off the guys! Hey, they didn’t pay the bill! Ikaruga tricks Usagi to wrap herself only in ribbons for Takeru to view. Best news of all: Usagi’s engagement is annulled. And as promised, a great pat on her head.

Episode 7
Sougetsu calls Ikaruga for her opinion on this case. A spy infiltrated the Alchemist Corporation and took a picture of a Lost Matrix cell. Inside there is a dark elf that could be used for resurrection as a weapon. Since she worked there 4 years ago, he thought she should know. Of course it is impossible to clone. Even more so, Lost Matrix had gone missing 4 years prior too. Kurogane wants to keep her lock up but Sougetsu would rather wait and see so they can have more cards to play against Alchemist. With the 35th platoon in last place and in much need of points, Ikaruga suddenly says bye-bye and hold the fort till she comes back. Of course feeling something amiss, they tail her to some slums but ultimately lost her and encounter the mafia! Haunted is seen talking to Isuka, Ikaruga’s older sister. Seems she has failed to resurrect dark elves again. He notes her actions to betray Alchemist and join Valhalla. It’s because if she continued to work under Alchemist, she’ll just be ordered to do what they are told. Haunted then gets upset that she killed her fellow scientists without emotion. It is like disrespect to them. Because he loves people and thus loves killing people so put more emotions into their deaths! WTF?! Isuka promises she will keep her end of the bargain to resurrect dark elves. She receives a report that somebody has leaked info about the stolen Lost Matrix. Haunted wonders if she can trust that source. Of course. It’s from her sister and she is on her way here. Ikaruga further tells Isuka that she is willing to trade the Lost Matrix as her interest is only resurrecting elves. Staying at Alchemist would have meant she would eventually be executed. That is why she left the place and continued her experimenting outside. However Isuka’s men find her and get rough. Just in the right time for Takeru and co to stumble on her. While the girls hold back the other forces, Takeru takes Ikaruga to safety but a near-miss missile injures him. Isuka contacts her sister for the change in plans since she didn’t realize her friends are here. She warns her if she hurts or even kills them, she can say goodbye to the Lost Matrix.

Sougetsu is seen talking to Suzaku Suginami, the boss of Alchemist. He is ‘accusing’ her for passing the buck about the recent incidents that weren’t caused by Alchemist (because they were never authorized to do elf research). So as apology for this ‘screw up’, she’ll send him the latest Dragoon models so he could go crush this rogue facility. He calls all available platoons to go to war. Ouka, Mari and Usagi are taken in by Isuka and examined from head to toe. I guess that explains why they are bare naked. Since she doesn’t believe they are Ikaruga’s friends, she tells them the kind of person her sister is. As kids, they were already genius scientists. Till Ikaruga stumbled upon a book about family and friends. She became interested in that concept although Isuka objected to it. Ikaruga’s resurrection of a wood elf fails because despite cloning it, it had no magic. Isuka became mad when she found out she purposely did so to get thrown out. Ikaruga became close with the elf, naming it Kanaria. One night, Ikaruga is going to run away and Isuka stops her saying that they need each other for research, which is their passion. Ikaruga wants her to run away with her but the alert has sounded. Somebody stole the Lost Matrix. Guess who? Ikaruga is supposed to get Kanaria but it was nowhere to be found. She had to leave before security forces come. She then came to the academy to keep the Lost Matrix away from Alchemist as they couldn’t attack an inquisition academy. Ikaruga is telling this similar story to Takeru. I don’t know, this place looks like a love hotel… Takeru doesn’t understand why she would trade the Lost Matrix now after finding out they were going to resurrect dark elf. She thinks he won’t understand try him. As she has no sense of what is right or wrong, what if it is wrong? Takeru will come and stop her. In that case, since this is goodbye, she is going to try it out with him while she still can. Try what? Sex. SEX???!!! HOLY SH*T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 8
We continue where we left off abruptly the last time. Ah yes. Sex. Too bad those f*cking Alchemist guys are here so Ikaruga has to put it off next time. After confessing a hollow I-love-you, she injects a temporary paralyzing serum into him. Ikaruga then goes to meet Isuka for the deal. Ouka and co are thrown out on the streets as part of the deal. They see Sougetsu coming by with lots of Dragoons. He has them pick up some weapons so they can go fight. At this point too, Takeru is able to move and requests Lapis help to power up to go save Ikaruga. Isuka blames her sister over her betrayal and that she lost a lot of things when she decided to pursue unscientific matters. Isuka is feeling pain because of the redesigning of her body or something. She wants her to hand over the Lost Matrix so Valhalla will accept her. However Ikaruga says she is only here for 2 things. To prevent the resurrection of elves and to rescue her. This only makes Isuka mad. She considers her sister her enemy and will destroy the world to save herself. And since the world is Ikaruga’s home, that makes big sister her enemy too. Ikaruga reveals the Lost Matrix embedded right in her chest. With nanomachine technology, she is able to resequence her DNA and turn into a partial dark elf. She has enough mana to create dark matter. Isuka’s pain continues as well as her blaming everything is Ikaruga’s fault. Haunted cannot hold back himself after seeing Isuka’s face of despair. He had to kill her! And he loves that despair look on Ikaruga’s face too.

Her nanomachines are imperfect so Ikaruga returns to her human form. Isuka says Kanaria is being held at Valhalla and wants her to live. Too late for apologies now. Haunted offers Ikaruga to join him. He doesn’t need Isuka since she has shown him how to make Dragoons and resurrect elves. You know her answer. In that case, Haunted leaves her a present from big sister: A large rampaging dragon! Takeru saves Ikaruga in time before she falls to her death. Lapis says his chance of defeating the dragon alone is only 0.4%. However Ikaruga mentions that since it is purely machine, they can just destroy its core and it will crumble over its own weight. So Usagi has a few chances to nail the job but she keeps missing due to her nervousness. And when she does, it doesn’t break. Looks like it will take more hits to it. Yeah, but she’s out of bullets. Ouka’s turn to try. Didn’t work. Going to get killed. Takeru’s turn to stab it. Oh dear. Runs out of mana. Don’t worry. Mari replenishes him with her mana so he strikes it with all he’s got. Dragon down. There. Dusted and done. In the aftermath, Mari brags to Ouka and Usagi about her heroism but they’re not too amused and fire back with insults. Takeru talks to Ikaruga alone. Oh, you mean it’s not about the sex? Haha. Just kidding. He doesn’t want her to think she is useless, she is part of the time, blah, blah, blah. You know the usual drill. Uh huh. His trademark line of carrying her burdens. Or her tears as in her case. He pats her head. She doesn’t like it but allows it because it’s him.

Episode 9
Their next mission is to infiltrate and stop an illegal magic item trade that would earn them much needed points. Ikaruga thinks they won’t be up for the job but Ouka takes this as an insult and insists she can do it. Okay. You asked for it. The infiltration job turns out to be a hostess job. Damn, Ouka got played into her hands. Naturally, she freaks out whenever men touch her butt or trying to get flirty. My, what a hostile temper. Usagi and Mari are more natural even more shocking is how Takeru seems to be doing his waiter job so fine like he’s got talent for it. When Ouka thinks she has spotted the culprit with the magic item, she moves in close to him. However she screams when he swipes her butt and her impulse has her destroy the package. The rest quickly surround to arrest this guy only to find it isn’t a magic item but a handheld gaming console. The real culprit is just next table. Although he tries to run, the rest caught him. Ouka just stood there stunned… Big blunder? Back at their room, they analyze the item and it turns out to be a low ranking one. They won’t get many credits and with that fiasco, they might even have their points docked. Ikaruga suggests testing this ring magic item its authenticity before handing to authorities. When she thinks it might make one fall in love, the rest of the girls seem to have ulterior motive in grabbing the ring for themselves. In the struggle, the ring lands on Takeru’s finger. Then some magic happens. Usagi is such a kiddie flirt and Mari has high emotions, crying over her small boobs. Ouka is wildly aggressive and even Lapis is drunk. It is confirmed this magic item makes one intoxicated. Think Ikaruga is unaffected? Well, she seems flirtier. Not that she is any different than before. But I think she is the ‘best’ one because she ends up vomiting on him!

The gang are on their way to the beach since they receive complaints that summer won’t stop and the cause might be a witch. I guess your excuse to have fun at the same time as well as some swimsuit fanservice. Of all the sexy swimsuits the girls wear, why is Takeru only has his eyes on Lapis’ school swimsuit? During lunch, Takeru has bad stomach ache. Usagi and Mari prevent Lapis from following him into the toilet. When Ouka notices a guy being stretchered because he was attacked by a monster and almost drowned, they conclude this case isn’t the work of witches but a magical monster. Since it is under the sea, who can go investigate? Ouka can’t swim, Ikaruga has been ‘dead’ the entire time (she’s not an outdoor person) and Takeru is still taking a dump (oh, his screams!). This means Usagi will lead her mini platoon underwater. Somehow Mari can’t help feel insulted thinking she’s directing that to her mini boobs. As suggested by Lapis, to draw the monster out, she uses Usagi and Mari as bait. Like as in fishing bait. It did attract the monster and since it has tentacles… Yes, tentacle rape! Takeru has finished his business and runs to their rescue. Too bad his armour is too heavy. I don’t know how long they can hold their breath because it seems they can hold out while trying to communicate via sign language. As suggested by Usagi, Takeru uses Lapis as a fishing rod to fish the duo to freedom. With Mari’s magic to briefly open up the sea, they swing the monster onto land. Case closed. Ouka rewards the mini platoon with ice cream but Mari still feels insulted that she means her mini boobs.

Episode 10
Takeru visits a maximum security prison to see his sister, Kiseki. They talk about things and it’s pitiful to see her just trying to survive. Time flies when you’re having fun so Takeru has to leave when time is up. He must strictly obey all protocols or else he would have a harder time visiting her next time. After that he continues to do his missions flawlessly with his team although they notice that he hasn’t been sleeping lately. We get a little deeper glimpse into Kiseki’s confinement case. As Sougetsu and other scientists keep close monitor on her state, thanks to Takeru’s visit, it helped as she has mostly calmed down. To put how dangerous she is and the reason she is confined in such high security is because she has this uncanny ability to excrete dangerous mana. If destroys and collapses anything. So if they don’t keep that in check, it’s the end of the world. And that might come soon because she yearns so much to see Takeru that she is going into overdrive mode. Kurogane offers to fight off this beast she has created. While Takeru and co are out in the field to catch a dangerous wizard, the baddie caught win they are inquisitors in disguise and run. While Takeru chases him down the alley, unfortunately he got killed. To Takeru’s surprise, it is Kiseki as she collapses into his arms. When the other girls arrive, Takeru becomes a little hostile in keeping them away. No, he is not a siscon. But once he calms down and realizes they are not the enemy, he introduces them to her sister as they take refuge in some apartment room. Despite telling them she is the most dangerous thing in the world, he believes as long as he is with her, she’ll be fine. Kiseki has busted out of the prison. The place is in shambles. Don’t worry, Kurogane still lives. He’s one tough cookie and the best witch hunter around. Takeru perhaps is trying to explain nicely about Kiseki’s dangerous powers and how it caused her to kill many people in their village. So Ikaruga tells him to shut up as she explains bluntly about the excessive mana she produces and seeing she might have used a lot while escaping, it will take for a while to replenish. Surprisingly, Ouka suggests the siblings spend some time together so the rest tease her for breaking her character. Kiseki is scared thinking the girls are ganging up on her but they’re just going to help her put on nice clothes so she could go on a date with Takeru. It is the quality time the siblings have always dreamt of. But at the end Kiseki has a favour to ask for: Please kill her. And big brother said he’ll do anything, right?

Episode 11
What she meant is that if she is going to die, she wants to be killed by his hands. Sorry, he can’t do it. The only time he’ll do that is when he will die with her. That’s a promise. As they continue their date, Takeru is confronted by his rival, Kyouya Kirigaya. This guy now seems to hate Takeru a lot more. He also has his own Relic Eater, Nero. They both start fighting but are stopped by Kurogane. They will be facing the consequences for this public brawl. Takeru talks one last time to Kiseki before Sougetsu knocks her out with sedatives. He tells Takeru that Alchemist have signalled their interest to help them since they might have a way to solve her problem. The only catch is that she will be transferred to a different facility. He cannot reveal the location seeing that Valhalla is after her. When the transfer gets going, Valhalla launches their attack but most of them are decoys. The real Kiseki is being transported via ground, guarded by Kurogane and Kyouya. The latter asks which side he belongs to because he doesn’t want him to get in his way of revenge to kill all heretics. Their convoy is also under attacked. Kyouya relishes taking out his anger on them. Takeru dreams he was tasked to kill Kiseki. Even after seeing her monster form, he still couldn’t because there is no way he could kill his sister.

Takeru and Ouka are in solitary confinement. She blames herself for getting him into this but on the contrary he has every reason to be thankful as she allowed him to be with his sister. I guess it is her turn to borrow his line to share and carry half his burden. Because she has found the platoon a comfortable place to be. She reminds him he is not alone. Nagaru lets them out since she has some connections with the guards and explains to them Kiseki’s convoy has been attacked. Takeru is surprised his teammates are ready to move and help out with him. They in turn are surprised he is asking for their help because normally he would never let his teammates get involved. So they’re staring at Ouka for she might have changed this dude… Can we stop the petty argument and get a move on? After despatching the lower guards, Kurogane and Kyouya are faced with Orochi Kusagani, the big boss of Valhalla. Kurogane wants Kyouya to continue with his escort task because this guy will be too much for him to handle. Halfway, Kyouya decides that everything now is just damn wrong so he stops the truck and is going to kill Kiseki himself. Luckily Takeru is here. Despite Kiseki never did anything to him, Kyouya is bent on destroying everything related to heretics. Takeru believes Nero is influencing him because revenge is what she is seeking as her reward. The power fight goes on till Takeru’s team back him up. Kyouya is forced to escape but that won’t be the last they’ll hear of him. As Takeru rescues Kiseki, he could see all the pain and anguish she has gone through. She already has enough of it and wants to end it all. Time to keep your promise? Haunted had to interrupt and bag about how much he wants Kiseki as part of their world chaos plan. Kiseki then goes berserk seeing her brother impaled. Looks like the end of the world is coming sooner than you think. Hallelujah!

Episode 12
The monster blob overflows the city. Sougetsu and Suzaku are watching as the former implies that this mess was created just to satisfy her curiosity. She offers to clean it up but instead he wants to bet with her if Takeru can kill Kiseki or not. Ouka fights Haunted and this time she is willing to make a contract with Vlad. Her fight this time is not limited to her family’s vengeance but to protect those around her now. Vlad is touched by her nobleness and accepts. And for the first time, Ouka in her battle armour. She manages to dispose Haunted before the other girls pick her up. Ikaruga explains the only way to stop this monstrosity is to keep killing the blob. Kiseki’s body is immortal and will not die unless she accepts it (her body rejects death if it’s not killed by the person she wants). So they’ll have to concentrate in killing all the monsters or risk it destroying the world. Takeru is still alive because Lapis is healing him. But he is reflecting on what he should be doing. Lapis gives him some encouragement and after confirming his final answer to toss away humanity so he could achieve his desire, she further powers him up into a much darker armour. Sealed with a kiss. Ouka has to put up with the monster’s jealousy lies that because of her, Kiseki cannot spend more time with Takeru. The other girls are at their limits holding their ground when Takeru revives. It’s time for him to be the hero. Because he sucks Ouka’s power and then apologizes he can’t walk with them anymore. Just great. So he’s going to be a martyr? Too bad Haunted gets in his way again and they both continue to clash swords. This time Takeru has decided. He regretted he could not kill Kiseki. But now no matter how much he regrets that, he will stay true to his desires. This means he will have Kiseki live and will return to his girls. All with his life intact. Gee, he gets all his cake and to eat it. With time running out, Takeru uses his ultimate move to finish Haunted and then dive into the monster blob to bring Kiseki out. With those comforting words that he’ll stand up by her side till she can be saved, the monsters vanish. Orochi has to cut short his battle and communicate with his comrades to retreat. But he is confronted by Sougetsu and thinks he wants to use Takeru to make history repeat itself. Whether he likes it or not, the trigger of war will be soon at hands. Takeru returns to his platoon and says he didn’t exactly save Kiseki. As long as she is still alive, she will continue to put the world in danger with her power. Don’t worry. The girls assure her because they too want to carry half his burdens. Right back at ‘ya! Hey, don’t they mean a quarter of his burdens since there are 4 of them…

I Don’t Want To Carry Any Burden At All!
And that is how it ends? At least in the context of this anime. What more could we ask? World is saved at least for today and Kiseki in this context of ‘happy ending’ could be considered saved till the next time she goes berserk. Just like many other animes that end on this kind of note, as usual there are lots of potentials and development if it ever gets another season. Because I’m sure that nothing is really settled yet and if things do get settled (like Takeru’s platoon girls and their respective personal problems), it is an indication of bigger things to come. Then there is the case of the characters’ past which is not fully explored like Ouka’s family and quest for revenge (which seems to have died down towards the end).

If you are wondering why the storyline seems to be moving along a very fast pace, I read some comments over the internet how the anime is like literally rushing through the chapters of the light novels that the series is being adapted from. Because it felt a bit weird when we are in one scene and then all of a sudden we are ushered into another scene. I thought it was how the flow of the series works but when it happens for all the time, something felt amiss. For example, the early episodes when Ouka was just inducted into the platoon, it felt like they calm her blood thirst for revenge very quickly. Then there is that mock tournament that makes you wonder what the heck happened to it. Sure, Haunted interrupted it big time (this feels familiar just like that guy who did back in Naruto’s chuunin exam). What happened after that? So is it put off indefinitely? And I thought we were going to see Takeru’s team seriously squaring off with Kyouya’s team in the next round since the latter still hated him so much then. Heck, so abrupt that some scenes right before the opening or ending credits is abruptly cut off. They really take this rushing thing to a whole new level, eh?

Thus the controversy of rushing through arcs/stories and skipping lots of details in between can sometimes be a hot issue among fans and casual viewers or those who are not aware such series exist. It is like a double edged sword where it is both good and bad. Because while you keep it short and fast, you do not have to bore viewers and drag out the arc with too many episodes. Take for example the case of One Piece. Do you know how many damn years that series has been running with the recent Dressrosa arc?! Yeah… Fights that lasts for episodes which could turn out to be for months… So when you zoom past things like this one, at least you know it won’t last forever but at the same time, so fast it might make you feel like if you blink, you’ll miss it. Maybe the light novel has lots of chapters to cover and certainly rushing at this pace means at the expense of its materials. But I’m not too sure about this since I don’t really read it.

Being the harem anime it is, I’m not sure whether to call Takeru’s platoon girls a diverse one because like any other groups from other animes, you definitely have quirky behaviours. From the typical tsundere type of Ouka who gradually finds comfort in the team she once thought she would never give a chance to fit in, and Mari the proud magic wielder except whenever it comes to her boobs. If she is a ‘natural enemy’ to Ouka, then something similar can be said to Usagi and Ikaruga because the latter loves harassing the former like boobs groping and the likes. Not to say that Ikaruga only targets her as she does display her uncanny sexual fetish onto others but usually it is bunny girl who is often her victim. The duo are like polar opposites. Because Usagi has high displays of her emotions and prone to anxiety while Ikaruga has that emotionless don’t-give-a-f*cks face and she tends to be very blunt at times. Don’t expect much from the harem side although there will be a little tiny bit for it and mainly it is just for fanservice. Yeah, I remember Usagi’s sexy moments and Ikaruga’s sex time…

Completing Takeru’s little platoon harem is Lapis but nothing much can be said about this kuudere goth loli since she isn’t given her own mini arc unlike the rest of the other girls. I mean, don’t you quite notice how they have their own respective problems and usually Takeru has to have his hand in solving them because he is their captain as well as the main character. Speaking of that guy, he must be one heck of a strong kid to love shouldering half of other people’s burdens. It is the clincher and line that makes the girls submit and give in and at the same time allow him to meddle in their affairs. Yeah… After all, since they particularly like him, there is nothing better than their prince charming and knight in shining armour to save their day. Thank goodness it always turns out alright. Thank goodness his platoon is limited to a handful of girls. Now, if he had 100 girls in his platoon… I hope he doesn’t get crushed by its weight. Not forgetting Kiseki who obviously has brother complex. Would the cat fight take a different turn had she not have such dangerous powers and thus the rest somewhat take pity on her? Though I’m not sure if she is going to be placed in Takeru’s personal care or to be under Alchemist’s surveillance.

Haunted is quite the interesting villain and antagonist. Already with a twisted concept and his love for killing, it would be even interesting to see more to this depraved Catholic priest other than making his entrance via annoying sudden attacks. I mean, this guy has a penchant of just barging in the midst of something, claiming he can’t stand anymore of this excited feeling while watching. It happened during the mock tournament. It happened again during Ikaruga and Isuka’s face off and once more it happened when he was going in for Kiseki (twice for this, in fact). What a better way to throw a surprise attack to your enemy and catch them off guard? I’m pretty sure Sougetsu is on the good side but because of his scheming looks, it never fails to make you think that he might have some sort of ulterior motive behind that calm smiling face. It just makes you suspicious if you can trust this smooth operator. Indeed he might be because the final episode hints that he could be over 150 years old considering he knows Orochi and the fact there is some shady friendship with Suzaku despite both their organizations are enemies on the outset.

Thanks to the rushing pace of the series, the character development for some also suffers especially minor ones like Nagaru, Kurogane and Suzaku. And for those like Orochi, he appeared too late. The same case with Kanaria who seems pretty grown up and Orochi’s sidekick. I am pretty sure her past with Mari will intertwine again in future story arcs. I thought Kyouya would be just a minor character to be brushed off with no importance but seeing his return as much meaner and enraged guy showing much more hostility each time he sees Takeru’s face, it goes to show that things are clearly not over between them yet. Would this guy softened had he been under Takeru’s platoon? I mean, look at what happened to Ouka. Oh, that’s right. Maybe it works on girls but not guys.

Action stuffs are pretty okay. Enough worth for your entertainment attention. From Takeru’s different sword abilities to Ouka’s gun wielding capabilities (since she is not in contract with Vlad, thus limiting her overall power and proficiency), Mari’s use of magic (she cannot use it freely since there is a magic blocker collar she has to wear and under Ouka’s control) as well as Usagi’s long range sniping add to the variety of the team’s arsenal and offence. Even if Ikaruga has no fighting abilities, her background support as intelligence and hacker as well as weapon modifications and gadgets play as important role as the rest. Though, it is not clearly obvious her contributions in this anime since we don’t particularly see them.

The art and drawing feel pretty decent. Your typical conventional Japanese anime by today’s standard. Animated by Silver Link studio that produced a few well known anime comedy and harem series like Rakudai Kishi No Chivalry, Shomin Sample, Strike The Blood, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai Yo Ne and Rokujouma No Shinryakusha. It is that time again when I start thinking that I have been watching too much anime when some of the characters felt like I have seen them somewhere in other animes before. Right after the first glance, I thought how Usagi looked so familiar to Gochuumon No Usagi Desu Ka’s Sharo while Ouka has that uncanny resemblance to Subaru from Mayo Chiki. I’m sure the rest do too but I’m too lazy to figure out at this point of moment. For instance, Ikaruga’s character in lab coat and long hair and Takeru’s generic heroic teen looks. Definitely seen them somewhere before… And I thought Mari looked like a kid who worked in a train station…

As for the design of the battle armour and Dragoons, since I’m not really a mecha aficionado, they look pretty average. But I have to say something about Ouka’s armour. Why the heck does it look skimpy and what on Earth does her armour need a cape for?! Don’t tell me it’s to fly. Some of the animation here employs CGI effect but I can’t help notice how poorly done it is for the monster blob. I am sure they want to make it look hideous and it really does with all the eyeballs and teeth sticking out. But I didn’t think it would be such a poor job ‘ugly’ that you could see how obvious the jarring CGI blend in with the 2D animation.

I am not sure why in this series I find some of the voices not suitable for some of the main characters but it could be just me. For example, I kept thinking how Takeru and Ouka sound too mature for their student character. Their voices seem to give an impression that they sound older than they should be and thus not fitting as things. But it is not like Yoshimasa Hosoya as Takeru (Kojou in Strike The Blood) and Reina Ueda as Ouka (Mikan in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa) have such low sounding voices, perhaps they just did a lower one for this series. That’s why I said it could be just me for this series because if such voices do sound unsuitable for such characters, then seiyuus like Youko Hikasa and Marina Inoue who do not have cute high pitch anime-like voices would have failed in their character’s voice.

A handful of recognizable seiyuus include Kanae Itou as Mari, Shinichiro Miki as Sougetsu, Koji Yusa as Haunted, Jouji Nakata as Vlad, Sayaka Ohara as Mephistopheles, Rikiya Koyama as Orochi and Satomi Arai as Suzaku. I thought Ikaruga sounded familiar and I couldn’t figure out the voice behind her till I decided to look it up. It’s Hayate No Gotoku’s Ryoko Shiraishi. Man, it’s been a long time I have heard from her. Others that I don’t recognize are Rumi Ookubo as Usagi (Chinatsu in YuruYuri series), Iori Nomizu as Lapis (Nymph in Sora No Otoshimono), Kenjiro Tsuda as Kurogane (Inui in Prince Of Tennis), Chika Anzai as Kiseki (Chaika in Hitsugi No Chaika – initially I thought it was Kana Hanazawa who voiced her), Yuko Sanpei as Isuka (Sasha in Seikon No Qwaser), Natsumi Yamada as Nagaru (Lam in Yuushibu), Makoto Furukawa as Reima (Banri in Golden Time) and Kenji Akabane as Kyouya (Arashi in Triage X).

The opening theme is Embrace Blade by Afilia Saga. A typical generic anime-like music sung by an all-girl pop group, nothing too special although it isn’t that all bad. But the ending theme, Calling My Twilight by Kanako Itou sounds a bit different as this dance beat mixes in a bit of techno rock. The opener of this song might sound a little bit cacophony thanks to the screeching-like sound effects. The other background music isn’t that noticeable except for those with techno rock music as they are mainly used during fighting sequences.

Overall, if you are not a fan of series that rushes telling its stories, then this one is not for you because it will come and go so fast that it would leave you wonder what just happened. By the time you try to digest what is happening, they move on to the next part. So if you are like the casual me, watch everything fast, forget everything fast, and then try to remember it all again if ever there is a sequel. Yeah, a subtle reminder that life has become such a fast and sickening pace that you can’t stop to smell the flowers. Will then be anybody who would carry half my burden? Does it sound like I am trying to pass the buck here?

And so it is here. The third season of girls in high tech combat gear, singing their songs while in the midst of kicking ass cute and colourful but dangerous creatures that would turn you into carbon at the mere touch. Yes, people. Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX finally made the airwaves after 2 years since the second season ended. Oh God. That feels like an awful long time. And you know what this means for me. Forgetting a big chunk of what happened in the predecessors. Well, at least the fine details but overall I’m still okay. So what is new in this season? Well, if you consider a new enemy but with the same ol’ goal of destruction and the same ol’ singing technology to defeat them. Yeah, let the music save the world again.

Episode 1
Remember the pod that Nastassja ride up to space to sacrifice herself to save the world in last season? Well, due to orders from UN, they are to retrieve whatever technological remains and her corpse. The shuttle that retrieved it is experiencing malfunctions and is free falling from the atmosphere. It is projected to crash through the Mount Everest area. That is where our Symphogear ladies come in. In this exhilarating high speed action to stop the speeding shuttle, they had to cut a mountain in half! OMG! It is no longer one of the tallest mountains in the world! WTF?! And though it rips through a town, major damage is prevented when they successfully put a stop dead in its tracks. Phew. Thank goodness. As narrated, Genjurou and his team now head a paranormal disaster relief force called SONG under the UN. Hibiki and her friends continue their daily school lives. Kirika and Shirabe are also joining them as they are on probation. Everyone converges to watch Tsubasa and Maria’s concert live in London. Maria isn’t as free as you think she is. Thanks to her part in last season’s crime, she is also under some probation and forced to be a heroic idol putting on charitable concerts for a righteous cause so some parties could save face. After the concert, a series of deadly attacks occur. Genjurou quickly sorties the Symphogear girls. Maria is ambushed by Phara Suyuf who is an Autoscorer. Tsubasa comes to her aid. Hibiki is tasked to save the trapped people in the building that is caught on fire. After that, she is confronted with this witch loli, Carol Malus Dienheim. At first she thought she was a lost child but she then displays her alchemy powers and claims it will shatter the world and slaughter miracles. And there’s this tragic flashback about Carol’s dad being burnt at the stake under suspicions for practising witchcraft. His last words were for her to live on and experience more of the world. I hope she didn’t take dad’s words the wrong way.

Episode 2
Hibiki refuses to change because she believes her Symphogear is to help others and not fight. This only makes Carol mad. Chris faces off with another Autoscorer, Leiur Darahim. After Chris almost gets dropped by several yachts, Elfnein approaches her. She has been looking for the Symphogear girls to help her in her quest to protect the girl from Carol’s alchemy. Meanwhile Garie Tuman might look like a cute goth loli walking around. But be careful. She is sucking the life force out of others! Kirika and Shirabe who were told to hold the fort and not come into battle because they do not have suitable Gears and Linkers to fight, can’t just stand by and watch their friends fight alone. Hibiki continues to provoke Carol by not engaging in battle. She wants to know why Carol wants to fight. There’s something unclear about her being spied on an invasion of privacy but ultimately she says it is a task left behind by her father. Yeah, I think she really did get the wrong idea. Since Garie has collected enough memories, time to withdraw. Hibiki collapses shortly. Tsubasa and Maria escape but no matter where they go, Phara is always ahead. She can summon Noise to fight them. To everyone’s shock, upon contact, Tsubasa’ Gear starts to disintegrate. Similarly, the same thing is happening to Chris.

Episode 3
As Elfnein explains, those were Alca-Noise created to dissect the world. Kirika and Shirabe transform to retrieve Chris and Elfnein. Carol orders the other Autoscorers in the battlefield to withdraw so our heroines can thank their lucky stars they are safe for now. Maria is about to be taken into custody by the agents. She contacts Genjurou and wants to formally transfer to SONG. Although she doesn’t have her own Gear, she cannot remain a false idol in this crisis. Tsubasa also retires from her music business temporary to return to SONG. There is some explanation about their Relics but all I understand it cannot be fixed. With Ryouko gone, nobody knows how to fix them. The only Gear left is Hibiki’s. Kirika and Shirabe’s are not official as it put a lot o f strain on their bodies without a proper Linker and sync rates. Garie kisses Micha Jawkan to transfer all the collected memories into her and activates her to life. Carol believes Micha is their strongest fighter. Elfnein explains what she knows. Under Carol’s orders, she constructed some giant apparatus. One day she discovered it was supposed to destroy the world and fled to try and end her plan. Alca-Noise is originally based on a recipe for creating Noise and it can destroy anything including Symphogear. Thus, Carol’s next step is to construct a giant apparatus designed to turn that power on the world. Unfortunately, Elfnein was created as her homunculus and only ‘installed’ the necessary power and knowledge for the construction. She doesn’t have the specifics but she does know Chateau de Tiffauges is close to completion. That is why she has brought this Relic, Dwerg Dain that is capable of thwarting Alca-Noise and Carol’s alchemy power. Later Maria and Hibiki got into an argument. Maria views her as arrogant despite having the power to call forth Symphogear and yet she won’t use it. Garie appears before Hibiki and her friends. She is going to force her to fight by summoning Noise. But the most shocking thing is when Hibiki cannot sing! Gungnir won’t respond to her and this means she cannot transform. Yeah, even the enemy is freaking shocked-cum-disappointed with this development.

Episode 4
Garie is going to target Hibiki’s friends but one of them mentions not to drag them into this and that they aren’t her friends. It’s just a ploy so when Garie lets them go, they make a run for it. Garie sets her Noise upon them. Before Hibiki can be toasted, here comes Maria flying into the scene (thanks to Ogawa’s awesome driving). She grabs Hibiki’s Gear and transforms to fight and defeat all the Noise. When she is about to face Garie, she is at her limit and reverts back to normal. Garie is so disappointed that she just retreats. Although Marie is bleeding from overstraining, Hibiki snatches back her Gear and screams it isn’t supposed to be used that way. This is her Gungnir and she is the one who is supposed to use it. Wow. Did she wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, maybe. She can’t sleep that night since she is in a dilemma about her songs her people so Miku has to assure her that her songs don’t. Her friends even think if Hibiki remembers the reason why she couldn’t sing, maybe she’ll sing again. Maria, Kirika and Shirabe visit Nastassja’s grave and they want to be stronger. Elfnein tells Genjurou and the girls about her Project Ignite. Theoretically putting some alchemy into their Gear to have a fighting chance. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. Alca-Noise is detected. Micha leads the Noise chasing after Hibiki and Miku. When Miku is cornered at an abandoned building, she makes a last plea to Hibiki how her songs saved people and that she loves them. Miku is about to die and this causes Hibiki to become desperate. She starts singing and this allows her to transform. She realizes she was trying to run away from her responsibility. Now she will not. After saving Miku, she kicks some Noise ass and even gives Micha a run for her money. Just when Hibiki strikes the most devastating blow, Micha turns out to be a water illusion. The real Micha fires a powerful shot that blasts Hibiki into the sky and shatters her Gear. Hibiki dead?!

Episode 5
Hibiki is wheeled into ICU. The rest hope and believe this won’t kill her because we always know she’ll bounce back, right? Right?! Well, it’s been a week and Hibiki is still under coma. Time to panic? Thanks to Genjurou’s brother who is also Tsubasa’s father, Yatsuhiro manages to pull some strings as a high government official to get external power sources to maintain their operation as currently there is a concurrent worldwide energy maintenance. Elfnein is making significant progress with her Project Ignite. She dreams of Carol’s memories of her times with her father. His last dying words is the reason Elfnein will protect the world from Carol as she wants to find out what the answer was. With Alca-Noise detected destroying energy generators worldwide, Kirika and Shirabe sneak into some medical room to get prototype Linkers so they can fight them. These prototypes left behind by Kanade help reduce the recoil of their Gear and go easy on their body. As a team, their attacks are more devastating and effective. Despite the good news that Hibiki is now awake (after another round of her own tragic family past) and grateful to Miku for all that she has done, Micha enters the fray and gives them a run for their money. Kirika becomes her first victim when her Gear is destroyed. With their power drastically reduced, Micha summons Alca-Noise to toy with Shirabe till she is cornered and once her Gear is destroyed too, all that is left for her is to succumb to fate while Kirika is reduced to screaming for anybody to help. You don’t say because here comes Tsubasa and Chris with their brand new Gear. Looks like Elfnein finished in time. Another reason to thank your lucky stars.

Episode 6
Thanks to Project Ignite, not only the damaged Gears are repaired, it also boosts its output power. They are able to fight on par with Micha till Carol enters the fray. She tells Micha to retreat because the plan’s progression is utmost important and she will take care of this. Carol summons her harp weapon that summons some Relic and transforms her into an adult version to fight. She is very powerful thanks to the memories she absorbed as fuel and since she has been living for a long time, yes, she is that freaking powerful. Tsubasa and Chris are down so they initiate an Ignite module, Dainsleif. It stabs their hearts. The pain is very immense and they are in risk of going berserks like how Hibiki did last season. But that is the essential of this module. To bring out that berserk power but the risk is suicidal if they cannot handle it. They are forced to face their past nightmares and regrets. Although they pull each other out from the abyss, the synchronization failed. Carol then unleashes Alca-Noise to destroy the city if they can’t get back up and fight. Now Hibiki enters the fray. Elfnein has given back her repaired Gungnir and she is all set to go. Once again, the trio activates Dainsleif. The reward for surpassing that painful madness? A cooler and darker outfit! To prove how powerful they are, Carol unleashes 3,000 Alca-Noise so that they could just wipe them out with their freaking awesome firepower. Then Carol also tries to show off her awesome power and kills some of her Alca-Noise in the way. The combined effort of the trio finally bring down Carol. Hibiki asks her reason to destroy the world. Can’t remember. So long ago that now it has become her reason to fight. Carol won’t leave Hibiki in peace and reminds her that her song cannot save anyone before burning herself. Hibiki may be left traumatized but she stays strong and prove her wrong.

Episode 7
Elfnein gives Maria and co their upgraded Gear. I suppose the girls are supposed to train but when the beach is so tempting, they can’t help have fun. And call it part of their training. That’s why I can’t blame Elfnein for asking Hibiki to properly train because despite their new Gear has extra protective layers, it is still dangerous. Then Garie pops up to attack. What better way to train via the real deal. Garie throws Alca-Noise to separate the rest so she could target Maria. She thought wrong if she doesn’t have her Gear. Maria uses it to transform and fight back. She thought of using Dainsleif to finish the fight but she failed to overcome her darkness and now becomes a wild beast. Garie defeats her and feels so disappointed that she just retreats. While everyone else discusses the Autoscorers retreating instead of finishing them off each time and the mystery they can still move about with Carol’s orders, Maria is alone thinking about her weak self. Elfnein tries to encourage her when Garie returns for another rematch. Although still weak, Maria remembers what she thought to Elfnein. Despite Elfnein had no fighting abilities, she still acted bravely in the face of danger. True strength is being yourself. Activating Dainsleif this time, Maria overcomes her weakness and powers up into a cool suit to beat up Garie and finishing her off for good. During this fight, Phara has snuck into the base and stole some chip. The girls continue playing their sparklers. Hibiki is made to go buy snacks. Miku accompanies her. But at the convenience store, they are shocked to see Hibiki’s dad. Her first reaction? Run away!

Episode 8
When Hibiki calms down, she meets her father. Looks like he wants to start all over again after realizing that she has been in the media as a hero saving the world. However she still blames him for leaving the family when they needed him most and leaves. This guy couldn’t get more despicable than he is. He asks Hibiki to pay his bill! Phara returns with the stolen data of some Photosphere. It contains data of the world’s ley lines that Nastassja used to focus Phonic gain for Frontier. Hibiki is still angry as she joins Shirabe and Kirika to fight Alca-Noise. She takes out her frustrations by doing a lot of damage but when she realizes that she might also be responsible for the family’s breakup, Micha owns her. The others come to her rescue and could have lost had not Micha had orders to retreat. The girls are thankfully alright but Kirika and Shirabe are fighting that they think the other is being a burden. Hibiki apologizes for letting them get involved in her personal matter. Oh, now Miku feels responsible too. So it’s everybody’s fault and yet nobody’s? Genjurou discovers a plot by the Autoscorers to map their power routes. After the destruction of power supplies, they have been sending additional energy to government facilities as compensation. Micha returns to fight Kirika and Shirabe. Again they think they’re getting in each other’s way. But then they realize all that thought was because they care about each other. Other people got mad at them because they care about them. Yeah. Okay. Whatever. This gives them the motivation to use Dainsleif as they power up and combine their powers to destroy Micha. Later the duo are reprimanded by Genjurou and Chris for being too reckless. Surprisingly they feel remorseful so they let them off the hook. Carol has revived back in the base. After learning Garie and Micha has died glorious deaths, it is time to hasten Apocalypse and slaughter every last miracle.

Episode 9
Genjurou has deduced there might be 2 spots the enemy might attack. Neptune’s Palace, the secret of the most secret of all bases hidden underwater that houses all dangerous and unknown and unanalyzed materials. As keystones of shrines around the country are being destroyed to disrupt the ley lines, the other location is no other than Tsubasa’s childhood home. I guess it’s like going home to see papa, eh? Tsubasa and Maria are tasked for this one. Let’s say Tsubasa and Yatsuhiro’s relationship aren’t the warmest. Don’t expect to see any father-daughter hugs and kisses. More of the kind that says, “You’re still able? Do your job then”. Even Maria got upset on Tsubasa’s behalf on this. Phara then attacks. Although Tsubasa fights her, her sword breaks because Phara’s ability is that no sword can destroy her. Once she destroys the keystone, she retreats. Genjurou saw this coming that the enemy is also attacking Neptune’s Palace simultaneously. He sends Chris, Kirika and Shirabe to face off with Leiur and Carol. Elfnein believes Carol is after Yantra Sarvasva which has awesome controlling mechanism and properties. It is essential in her world destruction plan. Once Tsubasa has recovered, Yatsuhiro shows them lots of research works some German company who created their Symphogear suit, analysis of the Alca-Noise and alchemy. Whatever. Sounds too technical. Since Tsubasa is fine, he wants her to take it elsewhere to analyse further. Time for Maria to get upset again…

Tsubasa brings Maria to her old room. It’s a big mess! And it was from 10 years ago! Hey… Not dusty? Tsubasa explains her thorny relationship with her dad. It all began when grandpa couldn’t decide an heir to the family. Neither Yatsuhiro nor Genjurou were chosen and instead he chose Tsubasa right after she was born. She didn’t understand but later found out she wasn’t her father’s daughter. To keep the family’s blood pure, grandpa forced her mom to bear his child. That’s Tsubasa. So grandpa is her real dad?! Tsubasa kept fighting in hopes Yatsuhiro would accept her. But if this is all she has to show, it must be disappointing. Phara returns to attack Tsubasa particularly. Again, she loses. Tsubasa feels useless till Yatsuhiro surprisingly tells her to sing and not be afraid to hold her dreams. Since Tsubasa hasn’t guessed it yet, Maria tells her Yatsuhiro hasn’t abandoned her. That speckles room? He cleaned it for the last 10 years! He held on his memories for her by holding on to her room! He also distanced her from the family so she could achieve her dream. Complicated … Tsubasa revives and uses Dainsleif to power up and sing again. But can she defeat Phara with a sword? That is not a sword. Those are her wings which carry her dreams! Oh gosh! She just defeated Phara’s concept just like that? And with that too, she cuts Phara in half. Carol has got her hands on Yantra Sarvasva. Chris and co attack relentlessly. When a missile is going to hit Carol, guess who stopped it with only a bare hand? IT’S DR VER!!! OMG! THIS BASTARD IS STILL ALIVE??????!!!!!!! If you’re wondering where Hibiki is, she is resting. Could have been nothing if not her father kept calling her! Look at the miscalls in her log!!! OMG! Stalker material! She shuts off her phone. Ah, true peace…

Episode 10
Kirika and Shirabe stop Chris from going all out because they fear killing Ver would mean no more Linkers as he is the only one who knows how to make them. But still, she doesn’t care and had to be stopped for her recklessness. This allowed the villains to get away. This has Chris very mad as she views she doesn’t need her juniors help and can solve this herself. Elfnein wonders why Carol is still moving forward with her plan since Yantra Sarvasva has been destroyed. She remembers confronting Carol about destroying the world which isn’t part of the deal. So she thinks. She told her that father wouldn’t want the end of the world but Carol snapped back at the clone for calling herself his daughter. Ver tells us why he is still alive. Because his left hand is now Nephilim, he is treated as an object after being recovered and imprisoned at Neptune’s Palace. As Genjurou leads Chris and co to catch up on the villains, it dawned to him it is like they know the area well. Like as though somebody hacked HQ. Could it be there is a mole among them? Turns out to be Elfnein! OMG! However Elfnein is unsure herself. Carol’s projection reveals because she is a clone, she can hack her senses so unwittingly Elfnein has been projecting information back to her. The reason the Autoscorers continue to attack the Symphogear ladies is because their cursed melody is essential to the destruction of the world. Yes, Ignite module has been part of their plan. Whenever they use it, the Autoscorers will record them and send it to Carol. Therefore they don’t need the Gear users in the end. Although Phara is disabled, she had enough time to explain all that to Maria and Tsubasa before self destructing. Elfnein feels so guilty, she wants to be killed off. But kind Genjurou reminds her about her mission to thwart Carol’s plan. Leiur fights Chris and co so Carol and Ver could escape. When Kirika and Shirabe got knocked out, this leaves Chris an emotional wreck. She is afraid of being alone again in this cruel world, blah, blah, blah. But the juniors manage to tell her about relying on her and learning new things. This gives Chris the motivation to use Dainsleif and blow the crap out of Leiur. Thanks to Kirika and Shirabe’s cooperation, they manage to seal off the section instead of being blown up together. But now the place is crumbling so they rush and return to the main ship. As they race to surface, a giant humanoid monster is chasing them. Once on the surface, the monster chops the ship in half!

Episode 11
Chris destroys the monster. That was easy. Though, Elfnein was slightly injured. Meanwhile Hibiki sums up her courage to meet daddy again. He wants their family to get back again but he is afraid of seeing mom?! WTF?! Has he got no balls?! And Hibiki was ready to give him a second chance… The sky cracks. Here comes Chateau activated by Ver. You know, Hibiki’s dad is a real dick. He is recording this Armageddon tool and thinking how much he can sell on social media! If the world is still around… Because Ver considers Carol’s goal of destroying the world pathetic, he will take over her reigns as hero. Before he can start his hero ranting crap, Carol stabs him. You tell it to him, sister. Side characters can never be heroes! Carol goes down to Hibiki to bring her more despair. Although her dad might did a surprise move by pushing his daughter to safety, that’s all to it. He now runs away like a coward as Carol targets him. How shameful. Not even Hibiki has words to answer that. But wait. Daddy isn’t just running around for fun. He is using this as diversion so Hibiki could escape. The line that seals it when he says if he wants the family to work, she has to be part of it. This makes Hibiki that his words were always what kept her going when it was tough. He has always been looking out for her. Wow. All the faith restored in just a split second. Hibiki revives and transforms to fight Carol. Carol will kill her father then but thankfully Hibiki’s pals have arrived to help. After daddy is ushered to safety (he is brought back on Genjurou’s ship where he continues to watch his daughter because like he literally said, he won’t take his eyes off her), Carol transforms into her adult version and starts her destructive damage. She can continue singing her swan song without straining her body. Chateau resonates like a tuning fork, amplifying her song and causing one hell of a big energy blast! While Hibiki’s team fights the powerful Carol, Maria’s team heads up to Chateau to try and stop it. But looks like they’ve got lots of Alca-Noise to deal with. To their surprise, they see Nastassja before them. What the heck is this series bringing back dead people?

Episode 12
Nastassja tells Maria her hands are tainted and cannot be saved. Doing so means only finding salvation for herself. Kirika and Shirabe don’t want her to be duped by this fake and take her and run. Carol explains about some history between songs and alchemy. So songs destroy the world? I don’t get it. Maria’s team stumble upon Ver. I knew he wasn’t dead. He has lost a lot of blood and can’t control Chateau. So he is going to work with them to destroy Chateau. Yes, this means taking all of them onboard as well. When Nastassja confronts Maria again, Maria denies her and she turns into Fine, a dark culmination of Maria’s mistakes. Elfnein contacts Ver to give him the blueprint of the Photosphere. You know characters are going to sacrifice themselves when they start saying goodbye. That’s what Maria’s team say to Hibiki’s team. Before you know it, Chateau explodes. Carol is left in despair that her world destruction plan is in tatters. Elfnein tries to convince Carol that this is not what father wants. Carol still believes in her revenge to overcome her grief. After all, he left them questions without answers. Elfnein further explains about alchemy. Its goal of understanding and harmony. Therefore father’s solution is forgiveness even if the world rejected him. This is what he wanted to tell them. You think Carol would learn her lesson. But no. She is going to use all her power to destroy the present even if it means risking all her memories. Hibiki and co have no choice but to use Ignite to fight her. Even unlocking their safety they still cannot do much damage as they get blown away. Carol’s Phonic gain alone has 7 billion swan songs!!! And then… They hear Maria and co singing! I knew it was too good to kill them off. Apparently Ver saved them so they could tell his tale of how great a hero is for saving the world. Sure, she’ll tell the world about him being the worst hero. There you go… Bye Ver. The Symphogear girls start singing and there’s lot of power blasting whatever. Seems they are using Carol’s Phonic gain against her. With Elfnein giving her final miracle, it has the Symphogear girls in new sparkling bright outfits! Hey wait. I thought I’ve seen these outfits before at the end of last season?

Episode 13
More numbers. More power. Even armed with a miracle. You think that’s enough to beat Carol? Carol tells her dad’s story whereby he created medicine for a plagued village. But they show their thanks by burning him because he isn’t a guy who is supposed to bring miracles. That’s why every miracle is a curse to her and she’ll destroy every last one of them. She sends out more Alca-Noise or the Symphogear girls to fight but that is just for their warm up and distraction so that Carol has more time to power up and summon a mecha dragon. Zoids? More power lights exchanged by both sides. Carol starts to falter when memories of her dad resurface. Thinking it is trying to stop her, she’ll even burn them to burn everything. The Symphogear girls focus all their power to Hibiki so she could save Carol. Even when Carol is defeated, she remains adamant her songs cannot save anybody. She refuses to be saved. Hibiki desperately reaches out her hand. Carol sees Elfnein reaching out to her but it turned into her dad. I guess his words were enough to save her (in reality, it is Hibiki taking her hand). But the dragon exploded and everything within the 12km radius is decimated! Wasteland from Fallout 4? In the aftermath, miraculously no civilians died (at least it was not stated). Our Symphogear girls are alive but Carol is nowhere to be found. They casually chat with Elfnein like as though they are best friends in the world. But after everyone leaves, Hibiki cries alone in the toilet and Miku provides a shoulder to cry on. That night, Carol visits Elfnein. She doesn’t remember who she is. Wait. She can’t recall her name but she could find this room? Despite losing her memories, all Carol could see was Elfnein’s face so she thought she might get answers if she sees her. Elfnein talks about their dad but it seems Elfnein’s body cannot last any much longer. She thought she would gladly die for the world but now she feels she wants to live. We get our yuri moment when they kiss. It’s such a heart stopping move that Elfnein’s heart literally stops. The other girls rush in. Elfnein is gone. Carol is standing there. But wait. It’s not Carol. It’s Elfnein in Carol’s body! So happy they can’t resist a group hug. So… Carol + Elfnein = Ca-nein-> Canine? Just kidding… End scenes show Hibiki getting along well with her dad. Chris exerting her senior muscles while supervising Kirika and Shirabe over summer homework. Maria and Tsubasa fly to England together. Elfnein is now working at SONG. Finally, Hibiki’s dad sums up his courage to make up with mom. Since both adults are hesitating, Hibiki takes the initiative to join their hands. She’s never letting go. I mean, not in the literal sense.

Symphogear GX Zesshoushinai

Just like last season, these are short skits lasting around 8 minutes each that you get when you buy the DVDs. If you can’t get enough of the girls, the fun continues in bite size and in chibi form.

OVA 1
Taking place mostly after the Frontier incident, Hibiki complains about studying for the test but then she realizes this is something normal and thus is happy to conclude she has returned to her everyday life. Genjurou receives report about the sunken pieces of Frontier. While majority of its parts are useless or destroyed, they find a torn letter with some sort of mysterious poem on it. They have formed a special team to decipher it. Maria, Kirika and Shirabe are in prison. Shirabe seems to be greatly anticipating when the clock strikes 12. Because this is when the food is served. And boy, do prison food tastes good? Must be the kind of prison they’re in. Heck, they’ve been treated to very good meals that Maria can’t help curse her luck during their time at FIS because they only had meals they could only dream of. Therefore she is in a dilemma to continue being stubborn so they can be locked in prison and get served good food. Hibiki, Miku and Chris watch Tsubasa perform on TV as well as her blunders on variety show. When Hibiki and co visit Maria and co, Tsubasa notes how they have become well rounded in terms of thinking. But they misinterpret it as becoming fat due to the inactivity of lying around in prison! Tsubasa’s graduation day looms and she will fly off to London after that to fulfil her dream of singing on stage there. Tsubasa teases being worried for Chris because she will tend to hide her tears. Chris embarrassingly protests that and counters back that Tsubasa is the one who will cry at the graduation ceremony. Tsubasa in turn refutes that because a sword doesn’t cry. Then at the ceremony she couldn’t stop crying. Chris can’t make fun of her after hearing her tears were because she can’t stand the thought of being separated from everyone. This too infects Chris as she starts crying. But save the crying for later because they get a message about a space shuttle re-entry having difficulties. Time to go on a mission one last time together.

OVA 2
After Maria graduates and leaves to become a UN agent, she seeks a favour from Chris to look after Kirika and Shirabe because she figured she is the best person to guide them around and to make them feel at home. Chris is not amused that she has got such a reputation and when she finds out Hibiki was responsible in giving Maria that impression, she punches her! Call it memory rage! Chris tries to dictate how Hibiki and Miku should address her but since it got so confusing and nobody is listening, she just lets them call her however they please. Chris and co take Kirika and Shirabe to tour the school. However they already know the layout of the school so well when they learnt it during the infiltration that they feel bad of spoiling it. Just go with the flow. As they explain the several facilities, the duo cannot help think this is some sort of elaborated Symphogear training ground. You think too much… Tsubasa has arrived in England and awaiting her new challenge. Then Ogawa hands her a list of variety shows she will participate in. Not the kind of challenge she is looking for? Maria reads her contract as an undercover singer and feels like a hero. She feels proud but when the thought of Tsubasa crosses her mind, she feels she can’t compare to her. Tsubasa and Maria call each other. Each feeling awkward in their conversation. Tsubasa tells her about receiving so many variety jobs that she has trouble deciding which ones to reject. Eventually they decide to work with each other and sing on stage together. They heave a sigh of relief to have a friend saviour. Chris is cleaning her place and complaining while she is at it because her friends will be coming over. But she seems happy with the thought of having them over.

OVA 3
Finally an episode for Carol and her Autoscorers. Taking place before the start of this season, Carol is not pleased that despite using her own thought patterns to create her Autoscorers’ AI, she feels ashamed to see them pose like that. Garie reasons how people want to see cool final bosses-like pose but it just pisses Carol off to think just that. Yuri moment! Garie kisses Phara and Leiur to bring them alive. Carol watches this and is embarrassed and reminds to mind where they do it. But Garie argues they are based off her AI so she herself might actually like public display of affection. Carol’s plan begins by setting loose Elfnein. But she is so busy doing last minute checks that Carol just tells her off to just escape, damn it! And since she is being such a klutz even in escaping, Carol orders Leiur to chase her out in pretence of attacking her but without giving away their intentions. Leiur feels clashed because Elfnein looks like Carol and her conscience might stop her from doing so. Since when did Carol program conscience into her? Phara and Leiur discuss about random and fair use of rock-scissors-paper and lottery ladder. This is just to show off their statistic knowledge. The Autoscorers comment on Micha’s weird pose. Micha thinks it is cool despite not knowing its meaning so the rest think it could only mean Carol came up with it. Garie is not too happy Micha continues to bug her. This time her ribbon came undone and because of those monstrous hands, she can’t tie them back. Ironic for an ultimate Autoscorer she can’t do the simplest things. But I suppose Garie had a change of heart when Micha claims she’ll be pretty much useless without her around and fixes her ribbon so she can stop saying ‘stupid’ things.

OVA 4
Maria and Tsubasa are on a plane back to Japan. Maria thinks the rest will start teasing her when she returns and fears facing them. But luckily she manages to give off that asserting feel thanks to the in-flight food. Miku and Hibiki are cooking and eating beef stroganoff. I think Hibiki’s cooking is horrible but she is forcing herself to eat it so as to remember the taste and not make the same mistake in the future. During the time when Maria chides Hibiki for running away from using Gungnir, the reason Hibiki can’t look her in the eye is because her face is covered in blood! Chris imagines using Hibiki’s Gungnir but couldn’t stand the fact it is yellow. However she sniggers like a maniac dreaming about using Kirika and Shirabe’s Gears. Tsubasa too seems to be ‘depressed’ because she also knows what Chris is thinking and had those same thoughts as well. A time when Hibiki, Tsubasa and Chris unleash Dainsleif to fight against Carol, the process was so painful to watch that Kirika and Shirabe wonder if the trio have become the sheath instead of unsheathing the weapon. Kirika didn’t realize she was thinking aloud and embarrassed everybody when she thought of how much she loves Shirabe. The girls are in special training so Miku starts snapping photos of Hibiki like a mad paparazzi. For documentation purposes? You mean for her own collection, that is. Kirika and Shirabe and treading slowly and carefully in the water. They wonder how Ogawa does it by running on the water while carrying them. Simple. That f*cking guy is Jesus Christ! Just kidding!

Elegy Of Alchemy, Requiem Of Delirium
So let me guess. If they ever going to make another season, we now have Elfnein as part of the team? Yeah, the team is expanding and getting bigger and bigger the more seasons it gets. And I suppose if that happens, they’ll resurrect her Autoscorers and reform them into good guys too? Yeah well, we’ll leave that for another time. As far as this season goes, I guess it would be what Symphogear fans would expect. The songs, the action, the girls in tight fitting combat gear. Despite the ending is a happy one without much of a cliff-hanger (I believe it is time for our heroines to have a relaxing time that they deserved and earned from all the suffering they’ve been through this season even if it is just shown for 5 seconds at the end), there is of course still that little threat seeing Genjurou and Yatsuhiro were discussing about the emerging threat from Europe considering the great ol’ America has fallen.

I suppose they try to shake things up a little by introducing enemies that somewhat do not use the Symphogear technology but ancient alchemy. Because something feels a bit wrong when you see the enemies always getting the better of the girls but yet they do not finish them off but come back to fight them another day. I suppose it is to show that they are not perfect and instead of always expecting the Symphogear girls to come out tops each time, they finally meet their match in a stronger enemy. Sometimes it feels like a big training stint to power up the girls because what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Heck, I thought they might pull off this shocking revelation that Carol and the Autoscorers are actually the good guys on their side, just playing the villains so that our Symphogear girls, the last saviours of mankind could power up greatly and defeat and even bigger villain. Too bad it wasn’t as complicated as that.

I’m sure they are trying to add some drama effect this season too. Because last season we had Miku almost turning into a baddie and for this season, we had Hibiki’s father returning to ruin her life again. At first looks he passes off as no more than a parasitic selfish jerk whom viewers would instantly love to hate. Heh. At least Ver was a bad guy but what is worse than that is a father who dared to come back into her daughter’s life without any sort of repentance. But since we cannot have jerks like him in this show especially if he is to live and be reunited with Hibiki in the end, suddenly he redeems himself by having a change in character. And before you know it, he is the best dad in the world at least from Hibiki’s renewed point of view. Yeah, with all those cool fatherly lines at the end, it is hard to cast him as a douchebag anymore from the way he shows his remorse and worries while watching over Hibiki’s final fight. To sum it up, he isn’t the perfect or the best father role model ever but he is still Hibiki’s dad no matter what. Aww… Time for a big warm hug?

Then there is Tsubasa’s case too about her estranged father and such but that felt a little rushed seeing her case wasn’t as bad as Hibiki. I’m sure they would have done something for Chris too if her parents weren’t dead. Either ways, our girls reconciling with their father seems to be the turning point and motivation that encourages them to fight better. So I’m guessing this season’s theme is all about the father, eh? Yeah well, Genjurou as the father figure didn’t do pretty much just like last season except commanding in his ship and watching over the girls. But still, a father figure nevertheless. Maybe a mother figure for Maria, Kirika and Shirabe. And when we have Hibiki’s family back on track again, they decide to add the theme of family in addition to all that. Fathers, friends, family… F*cking fabulous!

I can’t say much about the villainesses for this season because Carol’s excuse to destroy the world just because they burnt her fire doesn’t seem like a good justification for Armageddon. Of course, from Carol’s point of view, her father is the world and everything and natural if your dad is killed by dickheads, you’d definitely want to watch the world burn too. And her Autoscorers I thought they were just fancy posing mannequins in fancy dresses that would make them look like models for a photo shoot. They lack any deep personality except maybe for Micha who is probable to most psycho of the lot. But that itself pales in comparison to the madness of Ver.

I had this thought that the series was going to bring back dead characters because when they did it for Carol (seriously, how can the big little boss die so early and before her Autoscorers did), I didn’t expect they would bring Ver and Nastassja back although the latter is just some sort of clone. Hey, Hibiki nearly died and she came back. I know, she’s the heroine. Heck, I thought at this rate they might even bring back Ryouko (at least yet another Fine’s reincarnation) and even Kanade and Serena! Thank God they didn’t. But I find it pretty annoying that characters who are supposed to be dead should stay dead no matter how popular or favourite that character is in my books. Because doing so just makes it feel cheap. That kind of twist and revelation doesn’t work these days in today’s stories. So I guess they had the ‘decency’ to kill off Ver (again) and even if Carol’s gone, at least she lives on in Elfnein. Like I said earlier, if they really tried bringing back dead characters, maybe next season we would have Autoscorers joining their ranks.

In every episode there is guaranteed to be some sort of action from the Symphogear girls. I can’t recall how exaggerated the actions were in the previous seasons but with the third season, they get more power ups and the more powerful they get, the more colourful their songs and beams are. As seen in the big final epic battle. Yeah, sometimes I think it is one heck of a big magic light show and the only difference is that you can’t stay too close and be in awe of those magnificent lights because they will kill you. Otherwise, the unique display of each of the Symphogear girls’ skill sets are still an amusing watch as each comes in their own typesetting font style and move names. With the threat of Carol and Autoscorers, Noise (or Alca-Noise as they are now termed this season) seems to be a very distant threat now. It is like they have become enemies our girls to warm up and the obligatory little minions they must fight before battling the stage boss.

Many of the casts from the previous seasons are retained. New ones joining the line up are Inori Minase as Carol (Nagisa in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa), Misaki Kuno as Elfnein (Hawk in Nanatsu No Taizai), Shizuka Ishigami as Leiur (Stella in Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry), Masumi Tazawa as Phara (Saionji in Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches), Shiori Izawa as Micha (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works), Michiyo Murase as Garie (Slywia in Schwarzesmarken), Kazuhiro Yamaji as Yatsuhiro (Senor Pink in One Piece) and Toshihiko Seki as Hibiki’s dad (Senketsu in Kill La Kill).

Just like in previous seasons, the ever great Nana Mizuki as usual sings the opening theme. Exterminate doesn’t sound that all different from its predecessors. Displaying her powerful vocals as well as the fast paced techno rock music that permeates throughout the entire series. The main ending theme, Rebirth-day by Ayahi Takagaki also follows this same pattern. But breaking that pattern is Bayonet Charge, a duet by both of them. This special ending theme is more of hard rock. Then there is Glorious Break by Nana Mizuki which is more dramatic sounding with all the choir voices and orchestra music in the background. Like in previous seasons too, the insert songs of the girls singing are aplenty. I believe there is as much if not more insert songs than last season although from what I can see from the list is that most of them are remix variations from the main ones. Well, not that I noticed which ones stand out since I can’t be focusing my senses to both that battle and the songs. And since I can’t really hear what they are singing, I guess I’ll be concentrating on the power fights instead.

Overall, if you are a fan of the series or a big fan of any one or more of the famous seiyuus-cum-singers, then you’ll probably enjoy and feel nostalgic for the sequel that mostly many might have forgotten over the years. It would just be another ordinary show of girls in tight sci-fi outfits fighting villains via singing for casual viewers who has at least watched the previous 2 seasons. Newcomers jumping in might be confused with what they’re seeing without all that back story. This series is still worth a shot if it gets another season. But of course it cannot go on forever and like everything else, has to come to an end one day. Even the once popular American Idol is now over, right? So when it does happen for this series, let us hope they will bow out with grace with their swan song.

Dorms. One of those indications to signal that you are independent and living life on your own free will. Or it might just be a cheaper alternative in places where monthly rental is skyrocketing through the roof. But I’m not here to discuss about that. There are many animes with its characters staying in dorms and some revolving around the life and times of those dorm people. Today, we take a look and compare an old retro anime, Mahoraba – Heartful Days with a newer one, Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou and weigh in the pros and cons if you are ever thinking about living in dorms. Just kidding. Okay, maybe part serious too because you certainly don’t want to end up with a neighbour from hell. Speaking of which, why do dorms always house weirdoes? Don’t they have some sort of mental institution around? Right, not mad enough to be admitted into one yet.

The new kid in town:
Who is also happens to be the main character and normal guy of the series.
Mahoraba: Ryuushi Shiratori.
Kawaisou: Kazunari Usa.

The dorm they’re going to live in:
Mahoraba: Narutakisou.
Kawaisou: Kawaisou.

Why moved here:
Mahoraba: To attend Sumeragi Design School in Tokyo to achieve his dream of becoming a children’s book artist.
Kawaisou: He made a deal with his parents that he could live anywhere they choose as long as he can leave home.

The landlady:
Mahoraba: Kozue Aoba.
Kawaisou: Sumiko Kawai.

Other occupants:
Mahoraba: Tamami Chanohata, Megumi Momono, Asami Kurosaki, Sayoko and Yukio “Johnny” Haibara.
Kawaisou: Ritsu Kawai, Shirosaki AKA Shiro, Mayumi Nishikino and Sayaka Watanabe.

Love interest:
I suppose it gives further motivation for the new guy to stay on. Otherwise they could have moved out.
Mahoraba: Shiratori for Kozue – They are second cousins.
Kawaisou: Usa for Ritsu – They are school classmates.

Only for her:
Mahoraba: Shiratori is believed to be the only one who can ‘cure’ Kozue of her multiple personalities.
Kawaisou: Usa wants to be the one to walk home with Ritsu and also get her email address.

It’s all in the family:
Mahoraba: Aside Shiratori and Kozue as second cousins, Asami is Sayoko’s daughter albeit adopted.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is the granddaughter of Sumiko.

The drunkard:
Every dorm needs to have one person who loves their alcohol and prone to get high.
Mahoraba: Momono.
Kawaisou: Mayumi.

Weak with alcohol:
Mahoraba: Saki.
Kawaisou: Ritsu.

The loli:
Mahoraba: Asami.
Kawaisou: Chinatsu.

Multiple personality:
Mahoraba: Kozue – She has 5 different personalities. Depending on the circumstances, a personality will appear and you can tell when she sports a totally different attitude and hairstyle or outlook. Also, can Haibara be considered to have one since he often talks via his hand puppet dog.
Kawaisou: Erm… Sayaka? She might not have split personality and more like putting on a double face. Because she can act cutesy and innocent in one moment but behind your back she turns into a nasty devil.

Scheming girl:
Cunningness runs in their blood.
Mahoraba: Tamami.
Kawaisou: Sayaka.

Shy girl:
Mahoraba: Natsume, one of Kozue’s personalities.
Kawaisou: Ritsu.

The inept:
Mahoraba: Sayoko – Big time useless klutz.
Kawaisou: Ritsu – At least socially inept because of her shy personality that makes her really awkward in expressing herself.

The pervert:
Mahoraba: Tsubasa Yamabuki.
Kawaisou: Shiro.

The masochist:
Mahoraba: Erika Vermillion.
Kawaisou: Shiro.

The cross-dresser:
Mahoraba: Shiratori is forced to cross-dress by one of Kozue’s personalities, Chiyuri. This leads to a mistaken identity that Tsubasa falls in love with. Who the heck is Reiko anyway?
Kawaisou: As a prank during the cultural festival, Usa is duped into wearing a maid outfit.

Period dressing:
Mahoraba: There is this storybook-like tale in this anime, the character Umeboshi Princess dresses like a typical, erm, princess.
Kawaisou: At Anekouji run by Sumiko’s friend, Tae Shinohara, the waiters of this café dress up as traditional apprentice outfit.

Occult lover:
Mahoraba: Erika.
Kawaisou: Hayashi when she was in middle school and Kurokawa AKA Saionji.

Depraved girl:
Mahoraba: Risona Aizawa – yaoi and yuri lover.
Kawaisou: Sayaka – BL lover.

Prone to depression:
Mahoraba: Sayoko – lack motivation and easily loses confidence.
Kawaisou: Mayumi – love problems.

Book related:
Mahoraba: Shiratori aspires to be a children’s book artist. Also, Johnny is a freelance writer. Not forgetting Satsuki Matsuba who always throws heavy books to her friend Michiyo Asagi to keep her in check.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is an avid bookworm and loves reading more than anything else.

Just want to be friends:
Mahoraba: Rich and snobby Michiyo may seemingly be acting unconcerned but all she really wants is just to be friends with Asami.
Kawaisou: Maemura shares the same reading interest with Ritsu and instantly become friends but she went too far distributing unauthorized pictures of the latter and inviting her to a group blind date in the disguise of ‘meeting guys with the same reading hobby’.

Dorm activity:
It isn’t a place just to sleep.
Mahoraba: There is this weird annual tradition of the residents playing a hide and seek game whereby the winner gets a ticket to order others around.
Kawaisou: They played water pistols, blowing bubbles and relay storytelling just for fun.

Dorm visit:
Mahoraba: There is an episode whereby coincidentally Shiratori and Asami’s friends all pay a visit on the same day.
Kawaisou: Sayaka’s high school friend, Miharu Tsuneda makes a surprise visit. Same case for Tagami because he is interested in Mayumi.

School cultural episode:
Mahoraba: Episode 20.
Kawaisou: Episode 13 (OVA).

Room raiders:
Mahoraba: Everyone loves to crash and party till they drop drunk in Shiratori’s room.
Kawaisou: Mayumi and Sayaka raid Usa’s room for ‘snacks’ to avoid having that guy let Ritsu alone into his room. Porn magazines and DVD, find any?

Musical talent:
Mahoraba: Sayoko can play the violin. Surprise! Well, she does come from a wealthy family. Also, Hiro Utsugi is the president of the school’s orchestra club that has only 3 members.
Kawaisou: Mayumi can play the guitar but it only brings back heart breaking memories of her breakup. Usually girls resort to drowning themselves in ice cream or chocolate. This one goes up to the roof and strums her pain away…

Animal phobia:
Mahoraba: Saki (one of Kozue’s personalities) fears butterflies. Also, Risona has a fear of goats (because they will eat her manga manuscript).
Kawaisou: Sayaka has fear of rabbits.

Other fears:
Mahoraba: All the girls in Narutakisou fears Chiyuri thanks to her tendency to dress them up in weird costumes.
Kawaisou: Ritsu is averse to ghost stories and horror films.

Bug:
YIKES!!!
Mahoraba: Although only for a short causal moment, a stray cat is seen with a cockroach in its mouth leading to a shocking moment and a change in Kozue’s personality.
Kawaisou: There is an episode trying to locate a stray centipede in the dorm!!!!!!! SCARY!!!!! Thank Sayaka the saviour!

Love not returned:
Mahoraba: Tsubasa will never know about Reiko’s true identity…
Kawaisou: Although Tagami is interested in Mayumi, once the latter found out he isn’t of legal age, she loses interest.

Forbidden love:
Mahoraba: Sayoko eloped with the family’s gardener, Kurosaki.
Kawaisou: Would you believe it? Chinatsu likes Shiro!!!!!!!!! The world is coming to an end!!!

Sculptures of art:
Mahoraba: Sayoko’s dad, Ushimitsu is a burly sculptor.
Kawaisou: Shiro made a bamboo contraption that turns out to be some flowing noodles. Shiro also helps Chinatsu make mud balls for her summer project but the latter soon gets captivated into making decorative bread in the end.

Punishment:
Mahoraba: Miyabi Shirogane, the teacher of Shiratori’s school has some sort of terrifying punishment waiting if you don’t hand in your assignment on time or being disobedient. Whatever goes on in that room makes you wonder… But you know you don’t want to experience it, that’s for sure!
Kawaisou: The dorm is split into male and female section. Males are forbidden to step into the latter’s side. Because if you do, like Usa accidentally found out the hard way, there are nasty batting weapons lying a few feet from each other in the corridor for the women’s convenient to beat you up of you overstep the boundary.

The maid:
Mahoraba: Tachibana, Sakura Utsugi and Mahiru Minazuki from Ushimitsu’s household.
Kawaisou: Usa spotted in one after being tricked into wearing it during the cultural festival.

Production studio:
Mahoraba: J.C. Staff.
Kawaisou: Brain’s Base.

Number of episodes:
Mahoraba: 26 episodes.
Kawaisou: 12 episodes + 1 OVA.

Year of release:
Mahoraba: 2005.
Kawaisou: 2014.

Conclusion:
In terms of aesthetics and looks, Kawaisou has got it hands down with characters looking like your standard conventional Japanese anime whereas Mahoraba is just looking cartoonish. However in terms of storyline and development, Mahoraba beats Kawaisou thanks to its various characters that include many others that do not reside in the dorm. The character development in the former feels better maybe because they had more episodes compared to the latter in which even watching the romance unfolding between the 2 main characters is painfully slow. Okay, some things do take time. The dorm residents of Mahoraba are also wackier and crazier compared to Kawaisou. Just like many newbies, they become familiar with the ‘customs’ and blend themselves in to become part of the weirdoes. At least they’re being family. Only, not blood related. Whatever place you live in, let’s hope that you can call it your home in your heart. More importantly, even the most annoying and bizarre residents of the dorm they are still human beings deep down. You just accept for who they are then can you only make peace with yourself. Like the saying, if you can’t beat them, join them.

Thanks to my little stint in the survival genre especially the interesting and astonishing (albeit not perfect) Mirai Nikki, it was only a matter of time that I decided to dabble in another anime of the similar genre. After all, I already did mention in that blog of some of the anime titles of this genre that I would be interested to look at and it is no surprise that now I find myself drawn to watch Umineko No Naku Koro Ni. Without spoiling so much, it is about a family gathering that is more than just discussing about the distribution of the family’s head’s wealthy assets. The dying patriarch seems to be obsessed in reviving his dead lover believed to be a witch and the main ingredients of resurrecting a witch is, you guessed it, sacrifice. With the deadly storm entrapping the family on the island, they are forced to fend themselves in a battle that hovers between fantasy and reality.

Episode 1: Opening
Kinzou Ushiromiya has about 3 months to live. He seems to be desperate for Beatrice’s smile and would return everything just to have that again. The other Ushiromiya family members gather on their private island, Rokkenjima for their annual family gathering. We are introduced to several characters of the family from uncles and aunties (Krauss, Hideyoshi, Rudolf, Eva, Kyrie, Natsuhi, Rosa) to young relatives and cousins (Battler, Jessica, George, Maria) to the servants (Chiyo Kumasawa, Genji Ronoue, Kanon, Shannon, Toshiro Gouda). There is a big portrait that Battler notices. She is Beatrice the Witch. Their grandpa and family head Kinzou believes in the existence of witches. Family history reveals that the Ushiromiya was a prosperous family owning many mills till the great earthquake wiped everything out and killed many of the family members. Kinzou was tasked in rebuilding everything and he used his wealth and extreme luck to turn the tables around to make the family prosperous again. It is rumoured that he made a contract with Beatrice to sell his soul in exchange for 10 tonnes of gold which is equivalent to 20 billion Yen. Battler thinks it is a whole lot of bull but Maria really believes in it. Meanwhile the adults are beginning to talk about money and inheritance. Something about embezzlement of funds and it ends with Natsuhi being berated by Eva due to some family status thingy. The siblings try to gang up on Krauss and make him agree to their several conditions in exchange to let him handle the distribution of the assets. But Krauss knows a bit of their other shady dealings and shuts them up. Unfortunately he has no money to help them and suggests they solve Beatrice’s epitaph instead. Maria gives a scorpion pendant as protection against Beatrice. Then they try to find her marked rose lost in the garden. Because she is making a very irritating noise, her mom Rosa tells her to shut up and since she remains persistent, she slaps her! The rest can’t get involved in this personal family problem and furious Rosa just leaves Maria to do as she wishes. A big storm arrives and Kinzou believes Beatrice has come. Time to begin the miraculous banquet. When Maria has not returned, they go find her. Thankfully she is safe but where did she get the umbrella? Beatrice gave it to her.

Episode 2: First Move
Everyone wonders who gave Maria the umbrella if none of the servants did. Then Maria takes out a letter she says Beatrice gave to her to read aloud to everyone. The letter has Kinzou’s seal on it. Maria is somewhat possessed as she reads the letter. It states that the contract with Kinzou has ended and therefore her resignation as special advisor. Thus they must return all the gold she has given and she will also take the family’s wealth. However Kinzou left a special clause as a chance for them to retain their wealth and honour. If they can find the hidden gold, this condition will be revoked and Beatrice will forgo everything that is due to her. This game is open to everyone so not only family members have the right. Of course Kinzou’s children do not agree with this as they have not heard about this and try to reach the patriarch but he locks himself inside his room. Battler’s mom, Kyrie talks to her son about the possible 19th person on this island. If that person wanted to hide his/her anonymity, why go all the trouble to deliver it to Maria? Could it be that Beatrice is one of the 18 just to create an illusion that someone outside the 18 exists? Battler’s dad, Rudolf has something to tell his family but he thinks he will be killed tonight. Krauss shows his wife Natsuhi a gold bar in his possession that Kinzou was believed to have received from Beatrice. The servants are given midnight shifts to guard the guests. There have been romantic trysts between George and Shannon. He gives her an engagement ring and wants her to give a reply by tomorrow.

The next morning, Kanon notices Gouda is not as his station. There are also a few people missing. The phone lines are cut so Genji wakes up Natsuhi. The first shock she sees are blood handprints all over her door. She wants to go see Kinzou so Genji gives her the key to enter his study. Kinzou does not want to be disturbed although he asks her if she longs to be with her old family despite being married into the Ushiromiya for quite some time. She notes her family is the one and only Ushiromiya and will protect the family’s honour and glory. Kinzou replies despite she does not qualify to wear the One Winged Eagle, she has already engraved it in her heart and without a doubt a blood relative, one who will inherit the glory of the family. Genji reports something strange at the garden shed. They see a strange circle like the ones used to summon demons painted all over it. When Genji gets the family doctor, Terumasa Nanjou, the teens see them hurrying away and follow them to the shed. To everyone’s horror, there are 5 dead bodies (Krauss, Rudolf, Kyrie, Gouda and Shannon). Their faces have been ripped off. There is a sixth body at the back (Rosa). Jessica is horrified her dad Krauss is dead while George may be getting the same feeling after seeing a familiar engagement ring on a finger of one of the corpses.

Episode 3: Dubious Move
Hideyoshi asks George the last time he saw Shannon’s face. He remembers her tender smile. He wants him to remember it that way (because certainly he doesn’t want to remember this terrified look before death on her face). The dining hall is also filled with blood and messed up. When they question Maria about the circle. She becomes possessed as she explains about the seventh magic circle of the sun that bestows the power to escape from restraints and gain freedom. As the radio is out, they cannot do anything until the boat arrives tomorrow. This means they are still stuck with the killer on this island. But Maria notes the killer is not human. It is suggested to stick together as they look for Kinzou who is now missing. Battler confirms that there is only one key to the shed and no duplicates. If it was nicely put back to where it was, doesn’t this mean the killer is among one of them and a person who knows this mansion well? Eva then talks to Battler about the possibility the servants may be the culprits and the possibility of more than one. Battler doesn’t think so because why go all the trouble to commit this flashy gruesome murder and put on more suspicions on themselves? Eva is glad over Battler’s calm composure because this means he doesn’t suspect her family. She is the only sibling left and stands to gain the most out of it. But she notes if she was going to commit this crime, she would have done it better and wouldn’t make herself a suspect. Battler talks to the servants about Beatrice. They really believe she exists and has come. Asking about how she looks like, they say she has no form and the portrait is when she takes human form. Before Battler can go crazy, Maria intervenes. She says Battler does not have the same wavelength and that is why he cannot see Beatrice. He is only alive because the scorpion pendant protected him. However he turns the tables that he wasn’t holding it last night and lost it. He still doesn’t believe this witch crap thingy.

Battler then theorizes that the culprit may want to make it look like a witch did it. Although George did theorize that Beatrice might be taking their lives as part of the interest because Kinzou used the gold to build back the empire and thus their lives are connected to it. Battler believes the culprit might be holding Kinzou hostage somewhere and threatening to kill each of the family member unless he reveals the hidden gold. That is why the culprit wants them to find the gold to make it easier for the culprit to steal. When Eva asks who last saw Kinzou, Natsuhi admits and returns the key to Genji. Eva then reveals something. After Natsuhi left the study, she placed a paper between the doors. After they return from the murder scene to find Kinzou. The paper is still there. It means Kinzou has never left. He is missing because Natsuhi killed him and dumped his body outside the window and hide it later. Natsuhi threatens to shoot her for this accusation and Eva dares her. Battler deduces Eva’s theory as wrong. It could have been Kinzou was hiding while they return to look for him and then left the place. Eva disagrees of why Kinzou would do something so odd so Battler points out that Eva did the odd thing too by placing that paper. Jessica wants Eva to prove she didn’t kill everyone last night before doubting her mom. Eva and Hideyoshi retire to their room. Eva admits she always picked on Natsuhi because she hated Krauss since young. When Genji knocks on their door for dinner, there is no answer. Fearing the worst, he opens it with a spare key. A chain prevents the door from opening fully. Kanon returns with a cutter (by this time a pentacle is written on the door with blood). They see Eva dead on the bed and Hideyoshi dead in the bathtub. Both have been stabbed between the forehead.

Episode 4: Blunder
George is devastated his parents are killed. After locking the door, they smell something foul. Kanon goes to investigate the stench originating from the boiler. Battler and Jessica contemplate how the culprit killed Eva and Hideyoshi in this locked room mystery. Maria interjects to say Beatrice did it. This is to show proof that no humans can do it. Each time Maria laughs, Battler knocks her head! As for the pentacle, is supposed to open any unlocked door. Kanon is inside the boiler and calls out to Beatrice that he will be the one to stop her summoning. He gets stabbed in the chest. The rest arrive. Battler thinks the culprit escaped via the doors. He tries to follow but eventually gives up. The foul stench is a corpse in the furnace. It belongs to Kinzou. Genji knows it is him because he has 6 toes on each foot. Also, they notice his family ring is missing. Kanon is treated by Nanjou but looks like he didn’t make it. Jessica is sad because she likes him. At this point, they are assuming the culprit has the master key to all the rooms. Battler even thinks that the culprit may be one of the dead. Because their faces were ripped off, there was no telling if it was them and the corpse might be replaced with a similar one. Feeling they cannot be safe in any room, Genji thinks there is one: Kinzou’s study. Maria points out Beatrice cannot open this door because there is that scorpion symbol on it that blocks her magic. Learning that Natsuhi had one hung from her door, Maria says it is the reason why Beatrice couldn’t get to her. There is a letter from Kinzou that states to glorify his name.

Asking about this Beatrice person if she really exists, Genji reveals she is Kinzou’s lover who died so he might have dabbled in black magic to revive her. Genji also adds that they have no children. Jessica heard that Kinzou donated lots of amount to an establishment for orphans in which he used them as experiments for this ritual. Then it hit Battler about the sacrifice. They go take a look at the epitaph. Currently everything that is stated there has turned out true. At the end, all will die to bring back Beatrice. Could it be that this family gathering is just a big sacrifice? When Maria points a letter from Beatrice on the table, Natsuhi becomes defensive. While pointing her gun at Genji, Chiyo, Nanjou and Maria, she believes one of them is the culprit who placed the letter while the rest were looking at the epitaph. She has Battler read its contents. It states for them to give up any hope of leaving this place. Either she wins or they all win. Natsuhi wants the culprit to confess or she will assume all of them are in cohorts and have them leave the room. Battler then throws his charm to Maria. He lied that he had lost it just to contradict her. After that, Battler notices a drawing on the letter’s next page. Researching it, it shows that it is a sign to deceive and separate others. Looks like they have fallen into the enemy’s trap. Then the phone rings. Natsuhi picks up and hears a girl singing. They leave the room to look for the rest. In a room, the adults are dead and Maria is singing alone at a corner.

Episode 5: Fool’s Mate
I thought everyone would suspect Maria as the killer. But apparently they want to know who killed them. You mean lolis can’t be killers? Maria says it was Beatrice. This has Battler blow his top so George tries a gentler approach. Maria explains that Beatrice came in via her butterfly form and thus locked doors are no hindrance. As Maria was holding the charm, she won’t kill her and instead told her to face the wall and sing. That was all she did. It is then they realize Natsuhi is missing. She has run out and blocked the door. She is calling out to Beatrice and wants to face her. By the time the kids break down the door, Natsuhi is shot in the forehead. She couldn’t have killed herself, could she? Yeah, it’s Beatrice. Maria now praises the Beatrice portrait and now that all the conditions have been fulfilled, Beatrice will revive and nobody will survive. She wants Beatrice to take her to her land of gold. Battler still cannot believe this sh*t. When a gold butterfly appears, Battler shoots it but it only replicates. Battler goes crazy. Maria laughs like crazy. In the end, a letter in a bottle written by Maria reaches some fisherman’s hands. It states she has already died by the time this letter is read and wants whoever reading this to reveal the truth. However the truth behind the island’s mass murder was never revealed until today.

The next scene is suddenly WTF???!!! Everybody is revived???!!! WTF???!!! The kids are discussing how that would be the bad ending if they reach the time limit before exposing the culprit. Apparently they didn’t even try to solve the riddle and were so obsessed in protecting themselves and this is what will happen. As everyone believes in the existence of Beatrice, only Battler still remains stubborn. He thinks they are being lazy to think further of the true culprit. Although he is not saying that one of the family members is the killer, wouldn’t they all like to know who actually killed them? It’s Beatrice, right? Stop saying that name! He throws down the challenge that if they want him to believe in witches, show Beatrice before him. And here she is in the flesh! Unfortunately Battler shifts the goal post. He thinks this is an illusion. They want him to believe so much in the witch that they conjure up this illusion. WTF?! Beatrice finds him interesting that he is the type that won’t believe in their kind if they turn to world upside down. Battler will prove all her supernatural kills are just human tricks. So Beatrice kills off everybody! OMFG! Just because he doesn’t believe in magic, everybody dies again?! Can you believe it? Battler still doesn’t believe this crap! It must be some sort of trick! He takes on her challenge that he will explain everything and will keep denying her existence. Later Beatrice is visited by another witch, Frederica Bernkastel. She has come to observe Beatrice as she has find it interesting that Beatrice started something of interest. Bernkastel hates being bored and she wants to be entertained by watching her. Therefore she will lend her powers not as an ally but to keep herself entertained. So please do not disappoint her.

Episode 6: Middle Game
George is dating Sayo (Shannon’s real name). They think they owe it to magic. Going back in time, we see Shannon smashed some mirror on a shrine cliff and called out to Beatrice to keep her part of the bargain. As Shannon remains a clumsy maid, she gets chided by the adults but George smoothly changes the topic and in a way saves her from further embarrassment. Eva doesn’t like how her son and this maid are getting along fine. So she calls George just to tell him about the marriage meeting. Although it breaks Shannon’s heart hearing this, Eva then whispers to her about George’s fiancée who is of higher status and education and reminds her of her place. Shannon laments before Beatrice’s portrait. The witch appears before her. Knowing of her love problems, she would grant Shannon her wish but in exchange will one request. There is a mirror on the shrine cliff she needs to break. Upon doing so, her powers will be restored. Shannon refuses to do that since the island has been peaceful and doing so will bring about chaos. Beatrice agrees. So is she willing to live this peaceful life forever? She then gives her a butterfly brooch. It is an item that will grant her wish but as long as she doesn’t smash the mirror, this brooch will remain just an ornament. A few years later, Jessica seems envious that Shannon is dating George. Shannon knows about Jessica’s love for Kanon.

Shannon returns the brooch to Beatrice but the latter doesn’t want it. Although Shannon is grateful that her magic made them a couple and that they should put in their own effort in making their love last forever, Beatrice wants her to think of this brooch as a symbol of friendship. Many rely on her but they fail to be grateful after their wish is granted. Beatrice reveals that mirror had some evil sealed inside it by a travelling eastern magician. Although her power hasn’t returned yet, she still can feel a faint existence. Shannon then gives the brooch to Kanon who is not happy to receive something from Beatrice. Shannon then talks to him about Jessica. Kanon visits Shannon’s school to pretend to play her boyfriend. Her friends can’t stop teasing her so she beats them up. Though Kanon hates crowds, he can’t help being mesmerized by Jessica’s singing performance on stage. Is it because the song had stupid yet cute lyrics? Back home when Kanon praises Jessica for her singing, this leads him to mention himself as furniture. He has forgotten his real name and not allowed to have a future or dreams. That is why he is not human like her. He heard from Shannon that she likes him. However love cannot materialize between a human and furniture. That is why he believes the relationship between George and Shannon will fail. He thanks her for thinking him as human. Later Beatrice confronts him that her love charm didn’t work on him so he chides her about playing cupid and is more like a witch who toys with couples’ heart and gives them false hopes. She reminds him her power will rise and she will revive. Then she will control everything on this island and the door to the land of gold will open.

Episode 7: Early Queen Move
Because Maria continues to be annoying and bugging mom to buy a Halloween candy, Rosa slaps and abuses her in the train! Realizing she is being watched, she stops and relents in buying her one. She’s quite the happy kid she is. Now she wants to dress up in a Halloween costume. As Beatrice the witch! Jessica learns from Chiyo about Beatrice who is the other master of this island and one who rules the night. Rokkenjima was once known as Azukishima, which is a corruption of Akujiki. The island was rumoured to be feared by sailors because of the large number of shipwrecks as evil spirits are believed to attach themselves to the island. When all the family members arrive on the island, the scene is paused. Beatrice and Battler are seen talking about how this torturous scene will repeat itself till Battler acknowledges Beatrice exists. But he still denies her and believes this will be her torture till she gives up. The scene resumes with Rosa abusing Maria for being annoying again and speaking about witches. This time she steps and crushes her candy and lets her be. When Kanon tries to console her, it seems she is very much happy that Beatrice is coming. Later when the storm comes, Rosa realizes Maria is missing and rushes back out to find her. She is still standing there, waiting for mama to come back. Rosa regrets her earlier actions but Maria says it is not her fault as she was possessed by an evil witch. Rosa is shocked when Beatrice appears before her. She even fixes Maria’s candy and then gives her a letter that mustn’t be opened now. It is an invitation to the hidden gold. She also gives Maria a letter to be read to the other siblings when they gather at the dinner table. Beatrice then enters the house with Genji leading her. Kyrie passes her and thinks she looks familiar. As Beatrice explains to Battler, unlike last time, she is now placing herself inside the game.

Beatrice talks to Kanon but finds him no fun since he is like a furniture. She then teases to use Shannon as sacrifice because she’ll have lots of regrets if she kills her after her successful romance with George. Kanon objects so Beatrice tells him to kneel and lick her feet if he doesn’t want Shannon to die. Does he have a choice? Later Kanon blames Shannon for her romance regret. Otherwise today would have been the day they will reborn as furniture into humans. Later Beatrice talks and teases Shannon about sparing her life because watching her love life is amusing. However Shannon knowing she likes to entertain herself by playing pranks on others is going to resist all that and that is to ignore her. This only makes Beatrice mad and will kill her. When everyone gathers for dinner, Kyrie asks about the guest. Gouda mentions Beatrice will be having dinner in her own room. This has the siblings shock and start causing riffs among them if Kinzou plans to distribute his wealth to her. They send the kids away with the doctor. Nanjou explains what he knows about Beatrice although he has never met her before. He knows she died long ago and Kinzou might be trying his hands in black magic to revive her. Perhaps her appearance here is for revenge? That night, George gives an engagement ring to Shannon and she gladly accepts it. Kanon doesn’t seem too happy about it. Beatrice shows herself before the siblings and all of them have no choice but to admit and acknowledge her existence.

Episode 8: Weak Square
Kinzou wakes up in the morning and realizes he is not the first sacrifice. So which 6 have been? Rosa and the servants are before the chapel. Weird pentacle is on its door and a message from Beatrice to Maria that this is her Halloween. Genji mentions the only key to this chapel is missing so Rosa goes back to the room where the kids are to find them all safe. Inside her letter is the chapel’s key. When they open the door, the horrifying scene of the other siblings dead at the table with their guts gutted out and stuffed with candy! Beatrice explains to Battler about this move unlike last time, their faces are now pretty clear. Unfortunately the kids enter and see this. Jessica gets worked up believing Beatrice is the culprit. She rushes back to her room but is not in. Making things worse, Beatrice left a letter saying she did it. Jessica is so mad that her asthma kicks up. Kanon takes her back to her room to rest. Beatrice shows herself and teases Kanon being a furniture instead of knowing a girl’s heart. She summons demon butler goats with magical blades. Wait. Kanon also has magical blades to fight them?! He easily defeats them. When Beatrice continues to mock Kanon as a furniture, Jessica objects to all that. She believes Kanon is more human than anything because he came to her rescue. Beatrice decides to kill them both as she summons one of the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Asmodeus of Lust. She takes on Kanon and when she turns into a piercing tool, Jessica uses her body to protect him. Beatrice now summons another Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Satan of Wrath to kill Kanon. She turns into a piercing tool and strikes in his heart. Beatrice laughs at their pathetic deaths and to humiliate them even more, she takes away Kanon’s body.

Meanwhile as the rest trying to figure out the pentacle, Maria explains that magic sun circle. George then brings up how everyone got in if the key was in the envelope. So how did the culprit lock the chapel’s door? The scene pauses for another argument with Beatrice and Battler who is not amused of another locked room mystery. Since he argues there may be a hidden duplicate key or secret entrance, Beatrice adds a new rule that red words will appear whenever she speaks the truth. Though, this does not mean she is obliged to show him any proof. Battler refuses to believe the dead ones entered the chapel via magic door although Beatrice confirms everyone entered via the door. Others that she confirmed includes there is only one key, the door cannot be open via other methods like picking and the object inside Maria’s envelope is the chapel’s key. Battler then corners her with his answer. The culprit secretly stole the letter from Maria’s bag and after committing the crime, locked the chapel’s door and put back the key into the envelope and back in Maria’s bag. This proves the crime is possible without magic. Beatrice praises him. But that means he has to suspect one of his relatives. The scene resumes as they discuss about solving Beatrice’s epitaph. As real gold were at the crime scene, they deduce the hidden gold must be true. Maria doesn’t care for all that and just wants to go there and won’t get in Beatrice’s way. Rosa returns with a gun that she borrowed from Kinzou so that she can protect them.

Episode 9: Skewer
Suspecting Jessica and Kanon have not returned, they head to her room to see another pentacle. After opening it, they see Jessica’s corpse. As Jessica’s key is on the drawer, Rosa suspects the servants because only they have the master key to all rooms except the study and chapel. Because Genji and Shannon were with Kinzou, the suspicions fall on Gouda and Chiyo. Even more on Gouda because he was with Kanon. But the most suspicious is Kanon whose body is nowhere to be found. He might be the one who killed Jessica and locked this room. She wants to assume he is the killer and probably in cohorts with Beatrice to get the gold but Battler objects. He has Gouda explain what happened. Kanon gave Jessica his key to open Beatrice’s room. If Jessica has not given the key back, it must still be in her pocket. Nanjou searches her body and picks out Kanon’s key. Although this proves Kanon is not the killer as he has no master key to lock the door, Rosa’s suspicions fall back on Gouda and Chiyo. Battler also objects because he believes the servants cannot be such killers even if they are offered money because he knows they always want to make people happy. Therefore don’t go accusing people without proof. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But this mean they are back to the problem of who locked the door. Another paused scene of Battler arguing the facts with Beatrice. She confirms a few more truths like the door is the only entrance and exit to this room and there are no other ways to get in. But when Beatrice points out Battler created this locked room mystery himself because he refused to acknowledge magic or suspect his relatives, back in reality Battler resigns and gives up in figuring out who locked the door. Although he clears Kanon as the killer, this means Shannon and Gouda are back to being suspects.

When everyone is having a meal, Maria shows the wolves and sheep puzzle. Rosa then has all the servants and Nanjou out of the room. With only the family members in it, this is similar to that puzzle. Rosa argues that more than one culprit could have killed the siblings. But the question now is who are the wolves and who are the sheep. It is made more suspicious why the culprit locked the door. Doing so would only place more suspicion on themselves. Rosa can prove she is not a wolf because had she been after Kinzou’s wealth, she would have killed all of them now and say Beatrice did it. However she has not done it. As the servants are in the kitchen, they heard a weird banging sound. Gouda opens the door only to find Kanon’s bloodied corpse! But he is not totally dead yet. He claims Rosa is the culprit. She is going to kill them all. Shannon suspects something amiss, runs to the boiler room. Kanon shocks everyone by getting up. He talks like he is fine and the pain is nothing to him. Shannon returns with a handkerchief she used to wipe a spider’s web. If he is really Kanon, it will do nothing to him. Kanon gets defensive and materializes his magic blades. Too bad Nanjou and Chiyo’s throat got slit in the process. As the rest restrain him on the wall, Genji slams the handkerchief into Kanon’s wound. After screaming in pain, he disappears.

Episode 10: Accept
The servants are finding it hard to explain what they saw and this only irks Rosa because her question is simple: Who did it?! It’s like it was Kanon but wasn’t. WTF. When they return to check on the corpses, it is now missing. Rosa believes that the duo are still alive and faked their deaths to attack them. Rosa then reads the letter about Beatrice’s reminding them to solve the epitaph and not look for her. It also states the corpses were taken for her ceremony. When Beatrice makes more truths about the doors and master keys, Rosa has had it with this farce and suspects the servants. Until the bodies are found, they will remain as suspects. Genji returns his key as a sign of trust and so do the other servants. After putting them in Maria’s bag, she is satisfied that this way she doesn’t have to suspect anyone and the best person she can trust is herself. When Maria says Beatrice doesn’t need keys and only magic to open doors, Rosa is about to slap her but Battler stops her. He starts crying and admits Maria was right! He should have believed in witches to save them the pain of it all. Rosa and the servants are confident they can regain their trust with each other after this. George accompanies the other servants into the kitchen. After that, Battler is dismayed when Rosa mentions she has never trusted them at all. Beatrice can calm Rosa’s suspicions by saying there are only 5 master keys and no duplicates. She can do so if Battler is willing to become her furniture. Shannon explains her spider move. Because evil spirits used to reside on this island, spider webs have that property to repel magic. She feels guilty for smashing the mirror and releasing that witch’s power. But they remember Natsuhi kept another similar mirror in her room and think if they get that mirror, they might be able to resist Beatrice. The plan is to retrieve Natsuhi’s room key from her corpse since the dead bodies are still at the chapel. Genji will not go as he needs to be on standby in case his master calls. The trio rush down to the chapel and after Shannon takes Natsuhi’s key, they are attacked by golden butterflies and Beatrice appears before them. In Natsuhi’s room, George is trying to pry open the box from the drawer where the mirror is supposed to be. Gouda tries to keep the door shut but he got killed in the midst. Beatrice and her goat army are here.

Episode 11: Back Rank Mate
George manages to pry open and the mirror activates a barrier that protects them. Beatrice summons Kanon to attack them but the barrier still holds its ground. When Shannon pities Beatrice that she doesn’t understand their love, this riles her a lot as she unleashes all her power on them, eventually killing them right before Shannon could have George confess his love to her again. Genji calls Rosa to inform the bodies of Nanjou and Chiyo have been found in the garden. Realizing their deaths are part of the ritual, Battler worries about George and the rest. Hurrying back to Natsuhi’s room, they see their corpses. All dead and yet another condition for the ritual fulfilled. When they return to the room, there is another letter from Beatrice about the ceremony going to start soon that will bring about her revival. Rosa then points the gun at him and clearly suspects he is the culprit. She believes he was the one who put the letter there. Battler then suspects back Rosa for being the most suspicious because she is the only adult not killed. Why wasn’t she at the chapel? Because she invited them to kill them! Maria starts crying over their fighting. This makes Battler sick in suspecting each other. He calls out to Beatrice to show herself and admit to these murders. Later, Genji brings Battler to Kinzou’s room. Beatrice is there as she called him here for his surrender. She would gladly answer all his questions if he admits her existence and also kneel and lick her feet. So Battler now becomes her pet? Kinzou wanting to go with Beatrice to her land of hidden goal gets devoured and her limbs torn apart by the goat army. Similarly, Battler also meets this same fate! Rosa takes a gold bar from the chapel and runs away with Maria. But the goat army is hot on their heels. Rosa realizes she has been a bad mother and despite all she has done towards Maria, she still needs her and not the gold. Eventually Rosa is captured and under Beatrice’s hospitality, she is forced to eat body parts of her siblings. The final dessert is eating Maria, in which the little girl taunts her to do so because she has always been in the way whenever Rosa brought home a different man. Rosa is forced to acknowledge Beatrice’s existence. Suddenly Battler revives to reject all that. Seeing how perseverant Rosa was, this gave him the will to come back. Can he do that? Beatrice dares him. The scene then changes again to Beatrice talking to Bernkastel. It seems she knows she isn’t just an observer but making a bet fighting against her. Because of this, fellow witch, Lambdadelta pops up and since she has a grudge against Bernkastel, she will side with Beatrice and bet against her. Bernkastel will go all out now that she has been exposed as Beatrice calls forth the next game.

Episode 12: Castling
This is a little confusing. Beatrice when she was young and human accidentally broke a family vase. Then this witch named Beatrice helped her to fix it before the stupid cat broke it again. The witch mentions about her teacher who practised some endless magic that could forever fix things and thus dubbed the Endless Witch. Mini Beatrice is awed and wants to become her disciple and thus Beatrice the witch takes her in. Eva dreams about Kinzou telling her off that Krauss will always rank higher than her. Her job is to marry a man that will be profitable to the family. While she laments this chauvinism, it seems her inner self continues to convince her to fight this to fulfil their promise to become the head of the family. But they have to look for the key to the Golden Land. The family gather at Rokkenjima again. The kids are happy together as Battler makes a vow for them to forever stay friends. Of course Beatrice won’t let this happen as she introduces us to her head demon butler, Ronove. This time, Rokkenjima is cut off from the real world and in the spirit world. After Maria reads the letter on Beatrice’s epitaph at the dinner table, this has Eva and Natsuhi lock heads on who succeeds the family and the assets. Although Natsuhi believes Krauss is the unshakable heir, the letter has made everyone fair game for it. Later the adults discuss this Beatrice person. Could she be really a witch or the 19th person on the island? Then those rumours about her being Kinzou’s mistress who is secretly living on this island and the reason she threw this challenge was perhaps she already had tons of gold so that she could trade with the family’s inheritance. Kyrie presents another option that there could be arrogance or she herself is playing in this game. Beatrice might be looking down on them that they can never solve the epitaph and to show off her superiority over the losers. Now we go back to Beatrice and Battler’s discussion regarding the extra person. Battler dares her to declare there are only 18 people only and because she can’t, it means none of the 18 is suspected and this means he can use the argument the 19th person is Beatrice the human and at the same time disproving Beatrice’s status as a witch if he suspects his own relative. With Beatrice also refusing to declare the fixed number of people on this island means Battler can theorize as many culprits as he wants. But Beatrice is not panicking yet. There is a reason she is refusing to say this. Back to the adult’s discussion, Rosa reveals Beatrice cannot be alive because… She killed her!

Episode 13: Gambit
About 20 years ago after Rosa was harshly scolded by her mom, she ran deep into a forest and stumbled upon a secret garden. That is where she met Beatrice and they talked about many things. Seems Kinzou has been keeping her here in this ‘cage’ and not go over the fence on pretence there are wolves outside. When Rosa assures the island is safe, Beatrice decides to follow her outside. Battler can’t believe this crap either so Ronove on behalf of Beatrice also speaks the truth about this hidden mansion called Kuwadorian does exist and that Beatrice did exist as a human in 1967. As Rosa takes Beatrice along the cliffs, the latter slips and falls to her death. Beatrice in spirit form now regains her memories as the Endless Witch. In this form she is free from Kinzou’s prison. Now Beatrice makes the truth statement that there are only 18 people on Rokkenjima. This means Battler must suspect his relative despite Beatrice’s short appearance (because she’s technically dead now) although he can’t believe Beatrice might be masquerading herself as one of the relatives. Or would he rather acknowledge her existence?

Genji, Shannon and Kanon are called to Kinzou’s room. It seems Beatrice and Ronove are here. Beatrice relays the good news to Kinzou that she agrees to reunite with him before the ceremony’s completion. The bad news? He is her first sacrifice. Old geezer bursts into flames. Because Shannon has no regrets about accepting George’s ring, Beatrice feels displeased. Instead, she wants to toy with Kanon a bit and calls forth the eldest among the Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Lucifer of Pride. If Kanon can best her Seven Sisters of Purgatory, she’ll let him choose 2 of 5 people who will escape becoming one of her 13 sacrifices. Shannon doesn’t want him to listen but Kanon wants to escape this furniture life and experience love like her. Kanon and Lucifer fight and surprisingly Kanon is superior. Even when Lucifer seriously tries to kill him, Kanon stood his ground. About Beatrice’s promise, well, she did say he had to defeat all of them, right? With the 7 sisters trying to pierce through Kanon, Shannon makes a barrier to protect him. She has no regrets in her life after fulfilling her duty as his big sister. Those words also irritate Beatrice as she vows not to let them die in peace. That is when Genji commends the duo for doing well and then, uhm, kills them off? He would also gladly sacrifice his life for them and Ronove does the honours to put him to sleep. Beatrice then has the sisters hunt for 2 more sacrifices. After Gouda became the unfortunate one, they aim for Chiyo. However she has a barrier that shields their attacks. Beatrice then confronts Chiyo and it is revealed that Chiyo was her teacher and the former witch known as Beatrice.

Episode 14: Positional Play
Both Beatrices being their epic magic battle. Original Beatrice thought she had won when the new Beatrice is impaled by her light spears. However the latter summoned some hidden weapon at the start of the battle and original Beatrice didn’t realize she got hit. It’s her lost. New Beatrice then mocks and steps on her head, gloating about her victory. This is only all the more troublesome for Battler because how the heck is he going to counter it all after watching this fantasy fight! Beatrice cannot stop laughing at how he will tackle this. Meanwhile the adults are at a dead end so when they leave the room to take a break, they smell a foul stench coming from the kitchen. A pentacle is on the door and it is locked. They check on the kids and they are safe and sound asleep. Kinzou and the servants are missing. They see Shannon sitting in a room but since she doesn’t answer, they break through the window to enter and find her dead, slumped on the chair. Battler is agonizing at the current events when original Beatrice visits him. Sure, she is ‘dead’ but now they are ‘out of the chessboard’. She offers to teach him something about magic. Do you know there are gremlins working behind the TV to make it work? Crap, right? How would he know? Has he ever taken a look inside? This is exactly what a Schrodinger cat situation is and what Rokkenjima is experiencing. As long as the box is not opened, the possibility of truths can exist together. Although Battler finds it weird that he is trying to deny witches but yet seeking help from one, he agrees to do so to end this tragedy. To avoid confusion, the original Beatrice will identify herself as Virgilia. Battler returns to Beatrice very confident and using the Schrodinger cat theory, because all the magic weapons and beasts summoned during the battle are nowhere to be seen, this means all that is left in the battlefield is just an ordinary rose garden. Beatrice is not pleased Virgilia is siding with Battler.

The adults are loading their guns after they found Kinzou’s body in the boiler. After Battler has Beatrice define the definition of a locked room and all servants have a master key, they reconstruct the murder scenes. Shannon was the first corpse found, beside her is an envelope containing a key to a next room in which another dead body is found. This loop is repeated till it is one big locked room mystery. Shannon -> Chiyo -> Gouda -> Genji -> Kinzou -> Kanon. Battler turns the tables by claiming that it is not how they were killed from outside but how they died from inside. This means they must have killed themselves. Because Beatrice doesn’t want to claim all 6 were killed by others, this is as good as losing the game. She is forced to say it and unfortunately this puts Battler in a bind. But Virgilia says not to be intimidated by what she says because despite claiming they didn’t commit suicide, she also didn’t say they were killed by others. Neither suicide nor homicide. This has Battler conclude that the murderer is one of the victims. But instead of escaping, there was an unforeseen accident that caused him/her to die and thus created an unwanted locked room mystery. Beatrice is about to admit more truths but Ronove holds her horses and wants time to strategize. Meanwhile Eva cannot figure out the sweetfish river puzzle till her inner self hinted something. She heads to the library to check and discovers something. Taking the underground stairs, it leads her to a room where it is filled with gold bars.

Episode 15: Isolated Pawn
Rosa congratulates Eva for finding the gold. She had also deciphered the riddle but had she been 5 minutes earlier, it could have been hers. The duo discuss about splitting the gold and Eva wants to hold off telling the brothers about this discovery till she can make them accept that she has inherited the family’s headship. But Eva’s inner self disagrees with all this as she claims the gold to be hers and thus her right as the family’s head. Beatrice congratulates her for finding the gold and that it belongs to her. As proof, she gives Kinzou’s ring. Because of this, a ceremony to pass on the witch title and powers to her. She will also take on the new name of Beatrice, though I will identify her as Eva Beatrice. She is introduced to the other witches like Lambdadelta who seems dissatisfied with this new Beatrice despite she recommended her as Beatrice’s successor. She is also introduced to Ronove and the Purgatory sisters. Battler is confused with this farce and surprisingly so is Beatrice. From what I understand, this ceremony scene is fake and just her way of interpretation of passing the title. For the time being, Battler is advised to assume this Eva Beatrice is the representation of Eva’s inner self. When Eva and Rosa return to the rest, the former develops a little fever. Resting in her room, she talks to Hideyoshi about never believing in Beatrice and if it was, it was just a witch in her heart. She has this fear that she is changing into a different person and the witch inside her was provoked by Beatrice.

Maria is kicking up a fuss to check on the rose garden. She was tasked by Beatrice to look after it and if she doesn’t take care of it, something bad will happen to her. In order not to draw more attention, Rosa agrees to accompany her to check it to keep her quiet. The rose is still intact but appearing before them is Eva. Not the real Eva but Eva Beatrice. The real one is squirming in pain feeling that she is being kidnapped by someone. Rosa thought she is here to talk about the gold share but Eva Beatrice will not let her have a single ounce. She is going to make them her first sacrifice by levitating and then dropping them from that height. After that she resurrects them and is awed with her amazing powers and proceeds to abuse them with quirky powers. Having fun, isn’t she? Beatrice is laughing and having fun watching this scene that it disgusts Battler. Because nothing can be done to stop this as they are outside the playing field, Battler slaps her for being a nuisance! He doesn’t want to see her face again. Surprisingly, Beatrice actually feels bad about this and start reflecting that she may have went overboard enjoying too much of it. With Virgilia having nothing to say to her and even Ronove’s opinion that she is a numbskull in not understanding feelings of others, Beatrice heads down to talk to Eva Beatrice about the need to be more elegant in using her powers instead of flaunting it so recklessly which makes it disgraceful. She offers to show how it is done. Maria is disappointed when Beatrice cannot keep her promise so she kills her off by strangling the loli. As for Rosa, she impales her head into the sharp fence point. Eva Beatrice finds this killing method boring so Beatrice summons her servants and reminds them the need to perform in a graceful manner and be reasonable. Eva Beatrice isn’t quite happy with this boring turn of events.

Episode 16: Queening Square
Rudolf finds Rosa and Maria’s bodies. Battler is stilled so pissed off he doesn’t give repented Beatrice a chance to talk. He has hated her ever since the start for pulling off cruel deaths on his family. Beatrice has Ronove continue on her behalf. When Battler suggests Rosa strangles Maria out of anger and then accidentally slipped and fell, causing her to get impaled, Ronove makes another truth statement that they were killed by others. The adults discuss about Rosa being killed by someone familiar since she didn’t fire her gun and allowed to let her guard down. Eva cannot believe her other self did this. She has the gold and headship so she wants her to stop but Eva Beatrice still wants to sacrifice some to attain her full witch powers. She assures she will spare her family. This makes Eva feel even sick. It is suggested to run over to the kitchen and grab food as now it is the brightest time of the day amidst the storm. Kyrie, Rudolf and Hideyoshi will rush over and get things done quickly. Once inside the building, Eva Beatrice summons a couple of Seven Sisters of Purgatory, Leviathan of Envy and Belphegor of Sloth to kill Kyrie and Rudolf but spare Hideyoshi. Kyrie and Rudolf can sense something paranormal stalking them. The sisters appear. Since they are fast enough to avoid their shots, the adults decide to run for it knowing they have a better chance of surviving by fleeing. Leviathan corners Kyrie and mentions about her power source as envy. However Kyrie turns the tables that her envy is far greater than hers. She always loved Rudolf but somehow Asumu wormed her way into his heart. Asumu gave birth to Battler and Kyrie suffered a miscarriage. She bore that envy till the very day she died. And just like that, Leviathan gets shot.

Eva Beatrice shows herself before Rudolf and he is surprised to see his sister in this garb. When he fires, Belphegor protects her. Eva Beatrice isn’t appreciate she became her shield and mocks the Seven Sisters of Purgatory as outdated. She summons her own ones. Military bunny girls? Siesta 410 and Siesta 45 do some flashy calculating to fire and instantly kill Rudolf and Kyrie. Eva Beatrice then disrespects their corpses and is going to toy around with it when Hideyoshi slaps her for trying to act tough when she is just a weak coward. I’m not sure about this child-like punishment he is doing on her but she finds it annoying and kills him off. Beatrice then confronts her and has come complaining to do. However Eva Beatrice knows about her goal to make Battler admit her existence. Sorry, she won’t be obliged to do that since she is already a powerful witch with or without anyone’s acknowledgement. After the rest finds the corpse of the trio, when Battler wants Ronove to confirm the corpses, he won’t do it because he cannot take responsibility of this. He wants Battler to give Beatrice another chance as she has repented and will change. Even Virgilia will personally try to get Beatrice to apologize and hopes he can accept her back into the game one more time. Battler seems to agree although he points out he won’t forgive her still. Virgilia talks to Beatrice about Battler becoming her opponent not because he wanted to acknowledge her. It was because he didn’t want to accept the existence of a brutal witch no matter what. Remember, this isn’t a game to torture Battler and make him surrender. It is a test to see whether she can get Battler to acknowledge her. Virgilia wants Beatrice to apologize to Battler and come back to her seat.

Episode 17: Promotion
Beatrice is forced to listen to Battler’s lecture about toying with human emotions and the way she controls lives of others makes her unappreciative of life itself. After Virgilia defines the existence and role of the Endless Witch, Battler calls Beatrice a failure to live up to that name. This means she isn’t qualified to be a witch now. She will do anything to gain his forgiveness but I suppose she needs to think about it herself. He promises her one thing that he will not abandon this game himself and will wait till she becomes a real witch worthy as his opponent. When George is alone by himself, Beatrice appears before him and hints she can revive Shannon. George really wants her powers to do that but unfortunately, Beatrice has passed on her title and is not as powerful as before. She takes him out of the mansion as Ronove and the sisters lie to Eva Beatrice that they didn’t sense anyone exiting the house. Beatrice and Eva Beatrice confront each other in the dream. The former realized getting the headship was sufficient but became greedy after seeing the gold. She views her inner self as her evil part. This means she is responsible for all the deaths so far. Eva becomes devastated upon learning this evil self committed the murders. She is sad she has so many dreams yet to achieve but Eva Beatrice says those dreams are only made when she became an adult and has nothing to do with her. She launches a scathing attack on her and doesn’t want to see her face anymore. So how does Eva Beatrice deal with this? She kills off Krauss and Natsuhi!

Beatrice has George pray hard before Shannon’s body. She will try to open the door to Hades but because of her insufficient power, only George’s true feelings might be able to pull her soul back out. Eventually he does so and Shannon comes back to life. The emotional reunion and gratefulness is all short-lived when Eva Beatrice kills the duo! WTF?! The rest starts to find the missing ones. Jessica becomes distraught seeing her parents’ bodies. The same case for Eva when she sees George’s. Battler can’t end up the same fate as his parents. Who else is going to look after his little sister, Ange? Jessica barges in to accuse Eva of killing her parents because she was the only one with them. Eva also accuses them of killing her George. When things get so heated up, Eva accidentally fires at Jessica. Although she missed, the discharge blinds Jessica. After Nanjou treats her wounds and is about to get Battler, Eva Beatrice kills him! Then she toys with Jessica’s mind that she will be next. Jessica screams for help and that includes Kanon’s name. Beatrice is going to revive Kanon despite her limited power. This might be risky as it will all end here but if it is to make Battler acknowledge her, she’ll gladly do it.

Episode 18: Swindles
Kanon revives temporarily to help Jessica. But in spirit form. He leads her to hide in a room and thanks Beatrice for her help. As Beatrice tries to put a barrier on the door, she is shot by the Siesta sisters. However Beatrice still lives and this scares the sisters. After exploding her heart, Beatrice now exists in just her heart form. Before Eva Beatrice could step on it, the scene pauses. Battler has seen everything. Beatrice laments she wasn’t good enough to be his opponent. He admits to that because his true opponent is Eva Beatrice. She is now dragged into this game as Battler praises Beatrice for protecting the honour of true witches. The Siesta sisters can’t even harm him and this too makes them scared. Battler begins his move by bringing up the deaths of Rosa and Maria. This has him apply Eva is the culprit theory. However Eva Beatrice counters that with Hideyoshi’s alibi that he was nursing her in their room when it happened. Battler counters that argument although Hideyoshi was with Eva, it was a lie he was taking care of her. Eva Beatrice cannot confirm that in red. Now she brings up the deaths of Kyrie, Rudolf and Hideyoshi. Because it was Kyrie’s suggestion not to leave the mansion but later changed her mind to go out to get food, this proves she was under her mind control spell. They head down to the crime scene as Battler and Beatrice check Kyrie’s pockets and find a cigarette butt. This is the same cigarette brand that Hideyoshi smokes. Eva hate smoking and Battler believes the butt in Kyrie’s pocket is a sign left behind. As there was a cigarette butt in the ashtray of that room, noticing this, Kyrie realized Eva had snuck out of her room. Because Eva Beatrice cannot confirm this, Battler concludes Kyrie’s move to ask Hideyoshi to help was to isolate and interrogate him. However Eva Beatrice hits back with many red truths like how Eva was with Battler during the time and thus impossible for Eva to commit the murder. And since this makes Nanjou and Jessica the only suspects, she adds the survivors cannot be the killers. This all proves that the witch made the murder.

Battler finds it impossible to counter this and is about to give up but Beatrice knows a way. She will deny the existence of witches. This is a big sacrificial move that will remove and erase all witches from the scene. Eva Beatrice objects to this as she still wants to be a witch. Beatrice wants Battler to cover his ears so at least she would still be a witch in his eyes. Beatrice has atoned so much that Battler is crying for her. Eva Beatrice is held down by Ronove as Beatrice reads the truth of the non-existence of witches. All of them disappear shortly. Back in reality, Battler is shocked to learn that Eva is the big culprit and gets shot. Suddenly Battler and Beatrice find themselves surrounded by the rest of the casts. Everybody is still alive? They applause for them to finally reach here. All Battler needs to do now is the affix his signature like the rest of the family to admit the existence of witches so that they can go to the Golden Land. Battler feels something amiss when Beatrice and Virgilia become pushy for him to sign. Suddenly a chick breaks into the scene and tells Battler not to fall for this trap otherwise he will have lost. It hit Battler that everything has been an act and a trap. Realizing this chick is a piece Bernkastel threw in, Beatrice returns to her cruel crazy side and reveals this trap was setup with Virgilia. This chick will now reveal all that happened on that fateful day on Rokkenjima and will be her opponent. Beatrice is seen talking to Lambdadelta and being reminded about her job to keep winning for eternity if she wants to continue being a witch. Fast forward 12 years in time, that chick is actually grown up Ange. She is at Eva’s deathbed and wants to know the truth of her family’s death on that island but the family head continues to mock and despise her till her death. Ange has had it and is about to jump off the roof to kill herself when Bernkastel appears. She claims her family has been forever locked away on that day 12 years ago. The enemy is Beatrice and the source that forced a future of isolation upon her. Only the final Beatrice can stand up to her. In other words, Ange is Ange Beatrice. Although she cannot promise her family will come back if she defeats her, if she believes, she can bring about a miracle. Ange agrees to take this chance.

Episode 19: End Game
Ange returns to the past and on the day the families depart to Rokkenjima. She will uncover the truth and take them back. Beatrice feels bad after hearing from Ronove that Battler is in extreme depression. But when she sees him energetically trying to steal back his food from the Purgatory sisters, she gets embarrassed Ronove lied to her. Having fun? Battler won’t let that big deception bring him down and now that he has learnt his big lesson, he won’t trust any help from her. Beatrice introduces Ange into the game. But Ange hates Battler for slacking although she will greatly help him to defeat this witch. She disguises herself under the name of Gretel. We delve a bit in Ange’s past. After Eva was the only sole survivor at Rokkenjima, she took in Ange and raised her up strictly as the family’s successor. You can say her life was hell. Her classmates don’t think highly of her and reading Maria’s ‘magic’ diary, she is able to communicate with Maria. I’m confused. After Ange attempted to jump off the rooftop but was caught by a safety net, she is seen talking to Tetsuro Okonogi, the president of one of the siblings’ companies. She asks about that day on Rokkenjima so his theory is that Kinzou who once had Krauss in mind as the family head then believed Eva to be the suitable one. On pretence to solve the epitaph, Kinzou already gave her the answer. So when she was away at Kuwadorian to get the headship proof, the rest met with an accident. However Ange thinks all that is crap and believes Eva killed everybody for the wealth. Okonogi believes their difference in opinion is due to love. He knows Eva loves her family and even if she were to kill everyone, she wouldn’t kill hers. She was seen crying genuinely at the funeral of Hideyoshi and George. Ange is supposed to meet some family aunt next but she runs away. The goons try to get her but she is saved by her bodyguard, Juuza Amakusa. She wants to investigate the Rokkenjima incident.

Going back in time where the siblings have gathered, Krauss refuses his siblings to see Kinzou. Then Kyrie offers a proposal. She suggests they won’t see Kinzou if he fulfils a few conditions. Kinzou’s caretaker has to take good care of him. But of course. By any chance if Kinzou dies an unnatural death, his role as caretaker and head of the family will be relinquished. But a person can die in many ways, right? For example if Kinzou gets lost in the forest while taking a walk, it is due to the caretaker’s negligence. Of course once Kinzou’s die, they will inspect his body to determine his death. It seems Kyrie is hinting that Krauss knows Kinzou is dead and hiding his death to avoid splitting his inheritance. Back to Battler’s battle with Beatrice, with this argument this means there are only 17 people on Rokkenjima and he wants her to confirm the truth there are 18. However she won’t as she has gotten bored of this. He calls it unfair but Ange chides him for slacking as up till now he has accepted and played along with her unfair rules. This game isn’t just unfair. It’s just stupid. This riles Beatrice so she gives Battler a chance to speak in words of blue. He may do this when he tries to explain her magic murders with human tricks. But it won’t work unless it denies witches by itself. Once he does this, the witch who claims to use magic as murder must respond to it. Battler is still confused by this rule so again Ange chides him for looking at a single point. He gets the idea of countering with many points and as long one hits, it is all that matters. So his first blue points are Kinzou is already dead, there are only 17 people on Rokkenjima but this mysterious person X around there are 18 people and thus crimes will still be possible even if all 17 people have alibis. Krauss agrees to convince Kinzou to let them see the siblings as proof. Kinzou, alive and well is not happy he waltzed in here because his siblings threatened him. Wow. Old man can lift and throw this guy away. Kinzou agrees to meet them and make a great announcement of the next successor and put an end to their foolish quarrel himself.

Episode 20: Zugzwang
Ange seems to be dissatisfied in what Maria wrote in her diary about her happiness, so there is this confrontation with Maria about it. She is told how the truth can change its form depending on the observing. Showing an example whereby Rosa was supposed to be home and take Maria out to the movies during the weekend but instead she called to say she was unable to make it due to her busy schedule. From what I can see, it looked like she was having an affair. Maria was left home alone and heartbroken but her lion doll, Sakutaro helped cheer her up. Not sure if this is her imaginary friend or for real but the most important thing was Maria was able to be kept happy throughout the night. When Rosa did come home, Maria spotted a receipt from the inn she went. Rosa snatched it back and although she had that look that wants to beat her up, eventually she couldn’t bring herself to beat an innocent child and hugged her. Ange sees this as Rosa abandoning her to have her own holiday but Maria doesn’t view it as so. She claims Ange has lots of happy fragments around her but only chose to pick unhappy ones. This was true for Maria once until she got some magic power. As proof, Beatrice vouches for her and even shows a scene whereby Beatrice and Virgilia signed in Maria’s diary as witness to make Maria as the Apprentice Witch of Origins. Maria also notes Ange also have this sort of magic. Ange remembers she too underwent some sort of training that allowed her to step into the world of witches.

Along with Sakutaro, Maria will help Ange to train to become a witch. She has her try summoning a few familiars. She does summoning the Seven Sisters of Purgatory they are more interested in glomping cutie Sakutaro. To be easy on Ange’s training, Mammon of Greed is decided to help train her. They return back to Ange’s original time when she is in high school. Mammon notices her cheap hair accessories. She got them during a carnival outing with Battler. Ange says she wants to learn magic to revive her family. However her training didn’t go well and something went wrong that made her unable to use magic again and never saw Mammon until she graduated. Ange sees am occult professor who seems to be studying the Rokkenjima case. He explains how 2 bottle messages were discovered, one by a fisherman and the other by the police. Although both detailed the events that happened at Rokkenjima, the contents were different and both letters had the same handwriting. Making it more baffling is that both letters were signed by Maria. It made them wonder which was the truth and which was the lie and perhaps were there other more bottles out there. This has spawned many into finding such bottles and thus been dubbed the Rokkenjima Witch Hunt. They believe some supernatural or occult phenomenon has occurred on the island. When Ange shows Maria’s diary, the professor reacts in a very shocked way. This proves that the handwriting of the bottle letters and the diary are the same. While Ange is talking to Mammon, Lambdadelta interjects to warn Ange she has been tricked by Bernkastel. It is a lie that Battler would come home if she defeats Beatrice. Although it is true Battler would return to his original world, it would be in the past and not the current era. This means her win will be for nothing. Lambdadelta wants to make a deal with her. She wants to stop Battler from winning and turn this game from one tie after another forever. This way, Ange gets to be with Battler and this also satisfies Lambdadelta’s objectives.

Episode 21: Prophylaxis
Ange studies hard but her test results don’t translate into that. Her classmates bully her for being dumb and even force her to write an apology letter. Ange obliges until it gets out of hand whereby they question her existence. This is when Ange snapped as she orders the Seven Sisters of Purgatory to kill everyone! Because they can’t do it, she calls them useless and her disbelief in magic causes them to turn into stone and shatter. Mammon is the last one standing. Before she ‘dies’, she tells off Ange about resorting to her delusions to dirty her hands. Ange’s rage reaches far and wide that even Sakutaro transforms back to his doll form. This has Ange remember that she told Maria she didn’t believe in magic and this made Maria upset and excommunicated her from whatever magic circle. Ange feels so sad that she just wants to die and collapses right before her classmates. The scene now shifts to Maria. Home alone as usual, after she returns from the convenience store, she realizes she has misplaced her house key. Lost kid ended up at the police station whereby the officer tried to contact Rosa but was told she was away on vacation with her boyfriend and nobody in her office knew how to contact her. Maria heard all that and it made her feel sad. When Rosa comes home and a neighbourhood lady tells her off about leaving Maria home alone, Rosa tells her to keep her nose out of their family’s business. She denies whatever affair she is having and kicks her out of the house. Rosa gets mad when Maria is ‘famous’ in town as she is always spotted walking about with her doll. She takes out her frustrations by getting rough with her and yelling, screaming off the stupid daughter she is for not listening to her instructions of not bringing such toys out.

Because Maria continues to speak via Sakutaro, this only makes Rosa even angrier as she takes the doll and rips it apart! Quite heartbreaking to see Maria sad. Beatrice tries to console her and Maria wants her to revive Sakutaro. However that is not possible because Sakutaro was made by Rosa and if she herself denies it, there is no way he can be revived. Because of that, Maria wants to learn magic to avenge and kill her mother. No, kill the bad witch that is possessing her mother. Ange is on her way to Rokkenjima via boat with Amakusa. At first she wants this trip to be a way to satisfy herself in search for answers but after thinking how it isn’t other people who get to decide whether magic exists or not, she felt guilty about her treatment towards Maria and adds another goal to this trip to apologize to Maria for her sin long ago. The moment she accepts magic again, the Seven Sisters of Purgatory reappear before her. She also revives Sakutaro. Although she doesn’t acknowledge witches, whether magic exists or not, she must put this matter on hold. As for the contradiction in believing in the sisters, it means magic exists for those who believe in it. Now that she has accepted it, there is nothing strange for them all to exist. As Sakutaro is here, it proves he exists in her world despite not having a vessel. However Sakutaro says he doesn’t exist in Maria’s world because of what happened. Ange vows to reconcile with Maria and revive and reunite him with her. This is her only way for her to atone her sins. Ange’s aunt, Kasumi Sumadera who has been chasing after Ange ever since she ran away, is now closing in on her with her men.

Episode 22: Problem Child
The siblings are shocked to see Kinzou alive. I guess they lost the bet. Kinzou begins that since none of them succeeded in solving the epitaph, he will scrape it so select his successor. So does this mean Krauss will be the head because he is the eldest son? No. But the rest of the siblings are also not qualified. Therefore the Ushiromiya family will end with his generation. Nanjou believes the siblings have contributed something that money can’t buy: Family. Kinzou decides to change his thinking and will choose one of his grandchildren as the successor. As for his children, they will become sacrifice to revive Beatrice. He summons his Pendragon Memorial Troop, which are actually those military bunny girls. They’ve got an additional member, Siesta 00. He lets them choose and kill 6 of them and the unfortunate ones are Natsuhi, Hideyoshi, Eva, Rudolf, Genji and Rosa (she almost tried to kill Kinzou in a bid to stop him). Kinzou then summons Ronove, Virgilia and a new demon member, Gaap to help in the revival ritual. We return to the scene whereby Rosa just tore apart Sakutaro. As Maria continues to weep over her doll, Rosa is about to beat her when her hand breaks up like porcelain! That way, she will not beat her anymore. Maria in witch form along with Beatrice claims that hand of hers has beaten her more times than she has loved her. In fact, Sakutaro is the one who is her true friend and has always been by her side. Rosa use that busy work as excuse but when Maria mentions she knows about her affair, Rosa reveals her true colours that Maria is the obstruction to her happiness. Because no man would love a woman who has a child from another man. The damning statement comes when she says she has never truly loved her! She never wished she was born! Upset Maria kills her the way she did to Sakutaro. But not enough, she revives and kills her again. Even after 100 times, it still doesn’t feel satisfying although Maria looks like she’s enjoying herself.

Returning to Rokkenjima, the kids are waiting in the guest house. Battler teases Maria as a kid so she throws a big tantrum. Then she switches to her creepy witch mode before George calms her down. When they hear knocking on the door, it is Chiyo and Gouda. They explain all that has happened. Krauss and the rest are locked in a dungeon. Oddly, there is a phone and although it doesn’t connect to outside the island, Krauss manages to connect to the guest house and speaks to Jessica. He tells her not to avenge for mom and wants to stay in there to barricade themselves till morning passes. He fears Kinzou will kill them if they meet as he is not in his right state of mind. Soon, Kinzou visits the prisoners. This place is the basement of Kuwadorian. Kinzou was the one who placed the phone there as part of his plan. He will test them to see if any one of them is worthy of his succession. If so, he will suspend the ceremony to revive Beatrice. He wants Krauss to call the kids. If he refuses, this means he will not give the kids a chance and all of them will become immediate sacrifices for the ritual.

Episode 23: Breakthrough
Ange is seen visiting Nanjou’s son who is also a doctor. He relates having received a strange letter. Somebody used his name to send this letter to an unknown address. Naturally it was returned to him a few days later. Inside it contains a key, a bank card and a PIN number. After attending his father funeral, he visited the bank and when he showed the card, the clerk suddenly changed her character. He was guided to an underground vault and upon opening the safe deposit box, a huge sum of money! He immediately left as he didn’t want to have anything to do with this cursed money. Later she visits Chiyo’s son who also got the same kind of letter with similar contents. He didn’t understand its contents and left it there and forgot all about it. She then noticed one of Chiyo’s belongings in his possession. It isn’t the epitaph but its riddle felt like it. Then she sees Captain Kawabata to rent a boat to Rokkenjima as he is the family’s boatman to the island. Ever since that incident, many feared going to the island. He felt disgusted how the media tried to make fun of the incident. Nevertheless he promises to take care of her and see through she comes back alive. Ange sees something magical in the storeroom and now understands and realizes this fate of magic surrounding Maria and Beatrice. Back in time as the kids are going to be given their tests, they are made to lock Gouda and Chiyo in the storeroom. Then the kids will take turns to take the test and Jessica will go first.

In her room, she meets Ronove who gives her a letter with details of her test. Out of the 3 options, she is required to choose 1. The first, sacrifice her own life. The second, sacrifice her lover’s life. The third, sacrifice everyone else’s life. If none is chosen, all will be sacrificed. She chooses the first one as she cannot live a life without Kanon or couldn’t face him if she has everyone killed. George also receives the same letter from Gaap. Without hesitation, he chooses the third option. He just got engaged with Shannon tonight and he’ll do whatever it takes to be with her forever even if it means making the world his enemy. As the next family head, he is ready to do that. Ronove is about to take Jessica’s life but hold your horses. Her answer was as a girl. But as the head of the family it is different. She punches him in the face and won’t give everything up so easily. Despite Ronove’s unbreakable shield, she continues to throw punches. Her determination not to give up has her punches becoming stronger each time. Meanwhile Gaap wants George to begin his killing. Since he gets to choose the order who to kill first, he is going to kill Gaap! Why the scared look on her face? Although she fights him, George is no pushover and he has superior martial arts. His determination even creates a magical defence barrier when Gaap calls those demon butler goats as reinforcement.

Episode 24: Adjourn
Kanon uses his magical blades to cut the bars. Wait. He claims it is because he is human that he can do this? WTF?! No humans can do that! The Siesta sisters detect the jailbreak and report to Virgilia. She is incensed that Gaap used her demon butler goats without permission and orders the escapees to be killed immediately. Jessica and George are getting stronger in their relentless attack. As they are about to deal the final blow, Ronove and Gaap use a black hole to teleport them and thus they killed each other via the other’s devastating blow! But how come Jessica is still alive? Ronove used his magic to keep her so. She has just 3 minutes to finish up whatever she wants. How kind. She calls Battler to warn him about the non-human enemies. The escapees surface from a well at the back of the mansion after trekking through a secret underground tunnel. However Kanon and Shannon got instantly shot. Run! I guess Nanjou was too slow so he was next. This is followed by Krauss. Kyrie knows her time is up but she manages to get to safety to call Battler and tell him to accept the non-human enemies he will face. Then she apologizes for being mean to him just because he is Asumu’s son. When Kyrie’s voice is no longer heard, it’s a sign she has been killed. Battler receives a phone call from Beatrice who is going to test him herself. Battler tries to get Chiyo and Gouda but sees them hanged in the storeroom.

Confronting Beatrice, he wants to beat everybody up instead of taking her test. Well, if he wins, he’ll get to do that. He is given that letter of sacrificial choice. Because he has no loved one, Battler is thinking of putting Beatrice’s name and choosing this option. Beatrice decides to change the test and wants him to remember the sin he committed 6 years ago. No, it wasn’t about his dad remarried and he casted away his family name. It’s something closer to this island. Since he cannot remember, that is his sin and remembering it will be his test of atonement. It is hinted that because of this sin, all these lives were lost and he is part of the reason for this tragedy. Beatrice gives up on Battler’s test and returns to her room. Kinzou seems pretty delighted and chirpy after passing Maria’s test with flying colours. Since Beatrice is in a bad mood, she roasts him! Her servants wonder what is wrong. Seems she doesn’t find it fun anymore. She is done with this game. Battler thinks he has won but on the contrary, the game is abandoned for eternity with no winner or loser. Bernkastel, Lambdadelta and Ange are against Beatrice’s irresponsible decision to drop out as she was the one who dragged Battler into this. Beatrice questions Battlers qualification as her opponent. She gives Battler permission to speak the red truth. Although he could say Asumu is his mother, whenever he tries to say he was born from her, he could not and his heart starts feeling pain. Beatrice takes this as a sign of disrespect for refusing to do as he is told. It also means he lost his qualifications. Battler tries again but still couldn’t eke out a word. Beatrice says this proves he is not Asumu’s son. Everybody leaves the playing field. Beatrice is seen talking to Maria in a flower field. She thinks they are the only ones who understand magic. Maria looks on the bright side. If there is nobody else here, they won’t be hurt. After all, they are eternal.

Episode 25: Forced Move
Kawabata takes Ange and Amakusa to Rokkenjima as he explains the second secret port that exists on the island as well as the Kuwadorian mansion that he has not seen but was tasked by Kinzou to deliver supplies supposedly used by a woman. He believes this proves the existence of Beatrice living in that mansion. However one day Kinzou told him to stop delivering the goods and it is assumed she has died. That was 30 years ago. Ange goes alone to pay her respects to the family grave. Looking through Maria’s diary, she notices how her kind and gentle magic turned into those that kill. Maria now believes in such magic and calls out to Maria. Unfortunately it is Kasumi and her agents. After Kasumi slaps and torments her, she has her agents beat the crap out of her! Seems she is taking out her frustration on Ange as she hates her older sister Kyrie. Because Kyrie was supposed to succeed the family’s head, she ran away and the task was left to Kasumi. Her carefree life became a tormented one as she was forced to undergo strict training as the head. So by beating up Ange, she will forget her hatred and start over. It is then Ange felt how similar her life is to hers. Now she understands and sympathizes with Eva. Something about as the eldest daughter in the family, the burden fell on her shoulders. Then Eva pushed that role onto Rosa and in turn the reason she took it out on Maria. But Maria’s magic was powerful because despite being abused, she did not take it out on others. She severed all the pain and sadness with her magic. Eva was labelled a witch after the massacre as the media hounded her. Ange realizes could she have been Eva’s ally to help save her. Had she had one then, probably it wouldn’t have turned out this way.

Angie could now see Eva Beatrice. She feels pity for her. Eva Beatrice seems to be encouraging Kasumi to further insult Ange by mocking the contents of Maria’s diary and tearing its pages. This makes Ange mad and sad but she will make them believe in Maria’s magic if she can show it to them. Of course, they dare her believing that she can’t do it. She then starts praying to summon the Seven Sisters of Purgatory. Kasumi orders one of her agents to shoot her as Ange warn not to do it or he will die. Stubborn guy pulls the trigger but gets stabbed by one of the sisters. The Purgatory sisters return but Kasumi and the agents can’t see them because they lack love. The rest are shocked and disregarding Ange’s advice, they fire only to be stabbed. Kasumi refuses to believe all this and picks up the gun and fires. Same thing. She’s dead. Goodbye, pitiful aunt. With Eva Beatrice as the only one left, the witch turns into Eva. She claims she has come back from hell to kill Ange. But when she fires her gun, it backfires and rips her face. Ange must have been numb seeing all the blood so she helps put Eva out of her misery by shooting her. Bernkastel congratulates Ange for understanding all magic at the end of her journey. Ange acknowledges she is the last witch. But she has suspected Bernkastel has been lying to her. Because had she gone back to the past, she will not save her current self and only her past self will be saved. In the end, she still won’t be saved. Despite so, she acknowledges Bernkastel did try to teach her how to take her family back.

Episode 26: Sacrifice
Maria and Beatrice are happily together at flower field AKA the Golden Land when Ange pops up. Maria believes she is happy here and all her wishes are granted. Look, there is even the kind Rosa. But what about Sakutaro? The mention of this causes them to squirm. Ange believes the reason Beatrice cannot revive Sakutaro is because she is not a real witch. Ange can bring Sakutaro back to life but in exchange Maria must leave this place. She has Maria remember how Sakutaro looks like and pop! Here he is! The duo happily reunite as Maria thanks Ange as the greatest witch ever before leaving the land. Beatrice is in despair with this impossibility as she is whisked back to the game. But she still deems there is no worthy opponent as Battler is still reeling that he isn’t Asumu’s son. Because Beatrice cannot speak the red truth that Battler is not Kinzou’s grandson, Ange uses her blue truth that the one qualified to face Beatrice must be Kinzou’s grandson who is no other than Battler. Also, it doesn’t matter if he is Asumu’s son or not. Ange then talks to Battler that blood related isn’t important and what is more important are the bonds. She wants him to come home to his little sister who has been waiting very lonely since. Ange then reveals her true identity and this shocks Battler. But she starts bleeding and dying because a condition for her to be here is that she cannot reveal who she is to him. This motivates Battler that he will win this game and come home to her. Beatrice dares him to kill her as the only way for him to get home.

Battler begins his blue truths that Kinzou has been dead from the start and the mysterious X person adds to the total of 18 people. Beatrice argues the implausibility of the locked room where several people died in Natsuhi’s room. Battler counters this that if Rosa was an accomplice, there is no problem at all. For the third game, the locked room is also possible if Eva was the accomplice. For the fourth game, this X person is believed to have killed others with a gun. Only one problem: Remember how Kinzou showed himself before the siblings? So this proves he isn’t dead to begin with. On the contrary, Kinzou is already dead. Somebody else assumed his name and identity and the siblings just acknowledged it. And since Beatrice cannot confirm that the characters possess multiple aliases, Battler checkmates grandpa. All the other deaths can be attributed to this X person. Beatrice wants him to finish her off by claiming witches don’t exist. However he won’t end it yet because she still has something to hide. Beatrice laughs at him because she was going to give him an easy win. Now that it turns out like this, she’ll make him regret for choosing the hard way. So she makes her red truth despite agreeing Kinzou is already dead, there are no more than 17 people exist and thus the 18th person is non-existent. This also applies to all games. Battler begins his counter argument. Each time, Beatrice gets painfully stabbed by daggers. For the first game, the deaths in the shed could be done by anyone without an alibi. As for in the parlour, the culprit could be the one who faked his/her own death using a fake corpse. If not, simultaneous murders whereby each killed each other with a gun in which Maria proceed to hide it. In the second game, the deaths in the chapel’s banquet mean somebody put bombs in their meal! The third game’s locked room could only mean the culprit murdered each of them in their respective rooms to create the locked room chains. The culprit could just pretend to discover the corpses and the key. Then there’s a counter during Eva Beatrice’s game about somebody pretending to be dead.

At this point, Beatrice has been stabbed so much that she is in pain. However she cannot die and pleads for Battler to kill her. How does it feel, the pain of all those she has killed? She will expose her heart for him to crush so she can die. Her soul floats down to him as she states her final riddle. Battler is the only one left alive on the island. She is now before him and going to kill him. Who is she? The scene changes to where Bernkastel and Lambdadelta are discussing the interesting game that was. Ange was a trump card to get Battler back on track when he mistook his goal. They just felt the piece required so much preparation. While Bernkastel thinks Battler answered most of the riddles correctly, Lambdadelta believes almost all were wrong. Lambdadelta claims that girl still has lots of hidden moves and none of the riddles have been solved. But they believe Beatrice won’t win. Therefore they both declare that Beatrice cannot win and a miracle will not occur.

Money, Murder, Magic, Mystery, Mayhem – When Seagulls Cry Blood
Hey wait! WTF?! What the hell is that unsatisfying cliff-hanger?! Here I am at the last episodes already cracking my brains at all the confusion, especially trying to remember the past games and reconcile how Battler diffuses all that magic load and bull. It was already hard for me to keep up at the very rushed pace of the final episode and then they end it with this crap by not revealing the answer. I mean, I was actually dying to know the answer. Even if the answer would be crap, hey, at least it was answered. Even more confusing crap as we see Bernkastel and Lambdadelta whom I thought hate each other’s guts, conspiring to make Beatrice suffer and play the game for all eternity. So from the looks of it, I am deducing that Battler and Beatrice were never truly saved and the tragedy continues to repeat in an endless loop. Sigh. If only I had some witch powers and put forth my red truth statements to get it straight with the answer.

As interesting as it is, I also have my fair share of confusion of everything that is going on (this is not included the final episode mess that messed with my head). At least I think I understood some of the important parts for me to continue watching and keeping my eyes glued to the screen. Because I did not play the game in which this series was adapted from, it was confusing to say the least when they threw in magic, supernatural, reviving characters that are killed off to reset the story and even going back and forth between the timelines. Because the game itself as I briefly read has lots of chapters and other characters, spanning a rich story, plot and other characters that are interrelated with each other to the saga. So when they start off the first arc by killing off so many characters, I was ‘worried’ how the heck are they going to fill in the rest of the episodes? And then they had this reset thing… Oh brother.

The mix of the many characters does play an important part in shaping the story and its direction. Although I feel that mainly the adults and the servants suffer from lack of character development because usually many of them are being killed off as sacrifice at the start of each arc. Besides their greed to take over Kinzou’s wealth, each of them has an interesting and dark past that just begs to be explored. Like Battler’s family, Rudolf taking on Kyrie as his second wife after Asumu’s death. If Battler is not even Asumu’s son, then whose son is he to? You must be wondering who is Maria’s father and thus Rosa’s husband then. If you want to trace out the family tree, I believe it is going to be quite a complicated matter. What about Kanon’s real name? Despite with lots of interesting characters (heck, why did they even introduce a new character, Gaap in the final game?), it is sad to see that it suffers from developing them further for the sake of the confusing plot. But if that is how the game is played, so be it.

Maria is one of the more prominent characters in the series although her character was dormant in the middle arcs. At first, this loli comes off as both cute and annoying. Whenever she is looking all cute, you can’t help feel you want to cuddle and squeeze her. And then when she goes into her childish retard mode (“ugh-ugh-ugh-ugh-ugh…” Just stop it already!), you just feel like wanting to strangle her to keep her mouth shut. And then you feel bad when you see Rosa do the job for you. Child abuse not good… However at certain times, she will be as creepy as f*ck that it scares the heck out of you. I can say that Maria is a character that is all cute, annoying and creepy all at the same time. You wonder why the rest do not start fearing her when she goes into her creepy witch mode. Shouldn’t they suspect something is wrong? Like, is she being possessed? Maybe they don’t believe in the supernatural because money is on the mind of the adults. Perhaps everyone knows about Maria’s tendency to believe in witches and her acting is just part of her witch act and thus nobody is really alarmed or found it strange when she became Beatrice’s messenger.

Ever since the revelation that Kinzou has died before the family gathers, it throws even further questions like who the heck is this guy who is masquerading as Kinzou? And if there were 17 instead of 18 people on the island, doesn’t that statement itself show that Kinzou is not part of this number? Then who the heck is he? Wait. Don’t tell me. He is a witch and a supernatural just like Beatrice as such characters do not count in the number of people on Rokkenjima. Because when you see this guy summoning the demons for his bid, I guess it makes sense that Kinzou wasn’t human to begin with. But then again, when you have Kanon being able to use magical blades and George and Jessica able to pull off magical barrier moves, it is certainly more than meets the eye.

I have a feeling that Battler is this anime’s version of Phoenix Wright. He is like the supernatural version of that attorney series. I won’t go so far to say that he is amazing in coming up with reasons to deny Beatrice’s magical murders because there are times where he is stuck in a rut and it took some sort of unbelievable supernatural phenomenon to get him back on his feet. I mean, in the second game he was dead but then revived thanks to his returned motivation. Isn’t this ironically like supernatural itself? But you can’t blame him for scratching his head and going crazy trying to find the right logical answers as Beatrice keeps spamming stuffs in which everybody would have taken the easy way out and accept it is magic. Like Santa, huh? So to end it and show his ‘brilliance’, I guess that is why they rushed the final episode by spamming him countering Beatrice’s motives after motives. Even so, I think those answers could have easily been overwritten and denied had she just used her red truths. Something tells me Beatrice is letting him win just to end it but like Bernkastel and Lambdadelta having ulterior motives, even throwing in that Ange side distraction and freeing Maria from the Golden Land seem like a very big elaborated scheme that boils down to this. Oh well. Battler, you’ll have to live up to your name by continuing to battle Beatrice for eternity.

Now, I have not watched the other When They Cry series, namely the 2 seasons of the Higurashi series as well as its spin-off. However something tells me that there are lots of elements and trivia that fans could spot borrowed from that series making its cameo here. What made me say this is when Bernkastel first appeared, I thought she looked like a character from Higurashi. I know I said I have not watched any single episode of that show but of course I have seen pictures from it and ironically, I remember the looks of some of the characters. In fact as I found out, Bernkastel indeed looks like a character from Higurashi and is also voiced by the same character! Therefore, it led me to believe that other than trying to understand and solve the mystery of this show, fans of the series can get extra pleasure from spotting Higurashi trivia all over the place.

Art and drawing seems pretty okay. Nothing to shout about since there are quite some good looking characters so well yeah, I can’t really complain. Seeing 2009 isn’t far away but far enough to be considered ‘old’ in today’s standards, I guess the animation is pretty decent and satisfy the conventional standards of that time. As said, there are many trivia with the Higurashi series and some of the characters do borrow closely their designs from there. But is it me or does Sakutaro look like Bleach’s Kon? Also to note is that there is some amount of blood and gore in this series especially when the murders and killings occur. It is so gross that it had to be purposely censored out with a mosaic. I believe this is taken away in the DVDs? But some scenes are not censored like Beatrice’s death stabbing scene that has blood just gushing out like as though she is a fountain.

There are many famous seiyuus lending their voices to this series. At least there are lots of them that I instantly recognized. Most notably, Sayaka Ohara as Beatrice. I believe that of all the villainess roles that she has voiced, this is considered to be one of the best and could in fact be the best of the lot. She is very fitting in her role as the devilish Beatrice, enjoying tormenting the pawns in her game. Kudos and good job to her. Another notable one is Yui Horie is Maria. Throughout her illustrious voice acting career, none has ever come close to making her character as cute, annoying and creepy all at the same time. At least, for all the animes that I have watched her voiced in. Sometimes when she gets too creepy, it makes me wonder if this is the same Yui Horie that I know of. Speaking of which, I was having this dilemma if Rie Kugimiya was the voice behind Shannon. It sounded like her minus her tsundere voice but I was still doubtful it could be somebody else that sounded closely to her. True enough, it was her alright.

The rest of the other recognizable casts include Daisuke Ono as Battler, Marina Inoue as Jessica, Kenichi Suzumura as George, Ami Koshimizu as Rosa, Yu Kobayashi as Kanon, Juurouta Kosugi as Krauss, Rikiya Koyama as Rudolf, Tomokazu Sugita as Ronove, Yukari Tamura as Bernkastel, Rina Satou as Ange and Koji Yusa as Amakusa. Those that I missed out and couldn’t recognize perhaps due to lack of screen time presence include Youko Hikasa as Satan, Aki Toyosaki as Asmodeus and Eri Kitamura as Siesta 410. For the umpteenth time, isn’t that Kikuko Inoue behind Virgilia’s voice? And Minori Chihara behind Sakutaro? Really? That was her? Yuki Kaida is Gaap? I thought Kinzou sounded familiar but I couldn’t recall his name until I made a little reference. It’s Mugihito behind the family head. Wow. That is indeed a lot of stars that I recognized.

For the rest of the seiyuus that I don’t recognize (sorry) and just out of respect I’ll list them out here. They include Miki Itou as Eva (Fujimura in Fate series), Emi Shinohara as Natsuhi (Sailor Jupiter in Sailormoon series), Atsuko Tanaka doubling as Kyrie and Kasumi (Caster in Fate series), Masashi Hirose as Hideyoshi (Rikishiman in Kinnikuman series), Akihiko Ishizumi as Nanjou (Shioizumi in Asura Cryin’), Fuyuka Oura as Lambdadelta (Ren in To Love-Ru series), Masato Funaki as Genji (Mosqueda in Bleach), Hitoshi Bifu as Gouda (Buccha in Air Gear), Yasuko Hatori as Chiyo (Mira in Blade & Soul), Ayano Niina as Mammon (Lisette in 11eyes), Madoka Yonezawa as Leviathan (Ui in K-ON!), Yuka Saitou as Lucifer (Tamamo in Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai) and Seiko Yoshida as Belphegor (Kyousuke in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica).

The opening theme, Katayoku No Tori by Akiko Shikata is as weird as it can get but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t sound good. Although it feels befitting of the madness of the series, it is made very dramatic with superb choir voices in the background singing in Latin. Or is it Italian? But the more fitting song of the series couldn’t be much better than the ending theme, La Divina Tragedia – Makyoku sung by Jimang. Aside the dramatic choir voices, this song is like a mad scientist or even a mad guy singing his happy heart out at all the madness. Hearing it at first might sound weird, but after hearing it a few times, I have this strange feeling that it doesn’t sound as bad I wanted it to be and heck, sometimes I caught myself trying to sing along to his mad style! Creepy?

Overall, this series isn’t a bad one but the confusion over what is going on sometimes left me stumped at times and it can get a little frustrating. Especially the very disappointing way they ended the series, it feels like leaving a bad aftertaste in the mouth. But thankfully it is not as bad to the point where I would be suffering from severe migraine effects and will not be able to think for a few days. Worse than a hangover. Sorry, I was exaggerating. Maybe the witches healed my headache to understand this mess? Nah. Hah. So I don’t believe in magic? Of course I do. The magic of anime! That itself is the red statement of truth!

I have this hunch that when the producers decided to make this series, they came up with the idea of mashing Freezing as well as Cross Ange together. Oh, and make it sexy too. How sexy? Ramp it up to Seikon No Qwaser level sexy, that is. And folks, that is how Valkyrie Drive ~Mermaid~ was conceived. Haha! Okay, so I made that up but while watching the series I can’t help how similar this anime had to those mentioned series like as though it borrowed elements from it. I mean, look at this. Females (and I mean only females) infected with a certain ‘virus’ (translate that as powers that are looked down upon society) are sent faraway to a remote island where they have no chance of escaping. I don’t know what they actually do on that island but it would be a waste if we do not see them use this power of theirs which involves a female partner transforming into some sci-fi weapon. Oh, and you have to resort to sex to draw that power out. Yeah… Get ready for some hot lesbian action!

Episode 1
All Mamori Tokonome could remember was she was taken by agents and then the pod she is in crashed on a remote island. Captain Kasumi Shigure has Miyasato and Kouzuki to retrieve and test her whom they have labelled as Unknown. Mamori is glad to have found help but the duo start laughing at her because of her t-shirt tag that reads ‘virgin’. It is actually her family name and pronounced Tokonome! Damn Japanese kanji. She is at a lost when they ask if she is a Liberator or Ecsta. They demonstrate by fondling each other. No wonder Kouzuki has such big hentai-like boobs… When she climaxes, she turns into a gun weapon. Suddenly another Unknown crashes nearby. Swiftly, Mirei Shikishima starts protecting Mamori and dodges all the bullets. When a missile almost hits them, Mirei kisses her. Mamori felt good and what do you know? She transforms into a weapon! Mirei easily defeats her opponents, reducing them into defeated naked sluts. Charlotte Scherzen reports to the Governor, Akira Hiiragi about the new Liberator and Ecsta and how their Drive activated right after awakening. Later Charlotte talks to Kasumi about sending Saejima to test them since it is their job to find quality candidates. Meifon Sakura eavesdropped on this and relays the news to the rest. She starts taking bets on the upcoming fight. Mirei carries Mamori across the island (damn those pervy snakes snaring at her ass). They reach a fairytale-like castle and once they enter the arena, the walls shut them in. The spectators are eager to watch the fight. Saejima enters the arena and is ready to let off some steam as she abuses her masochistic partner to turn her into a huge arm weapon. As usual, Mamori is reduced to a damsel in distress with Mirei protecting her all the way and dodging all attacks. Mamori thinks of giving up but Mirei assesses the situation and since it isn’t an option, she starts kissing her and fondling her sensitive parts. Lip to lip. Tits to tits. Yeah, an excuse for horny lesbian fanservice. Mirei felt good and transforms. In a single strike, Mirei defeats Saejima. The spectators are awed and the higher ups wonder if they have powers so great that it surpasses A-class. What is worse than Mamori realizing Mirei stole her first kiss (I think this is her second)? Everybody taunting and laughing her ‘virgin’ name tag!!! OMG! So embarrassing! It’s Tokonome, damn it!

Episode 2
Mirei still has nightmares of being in an urban war. They lost and her partner was taken away. After the match, Charlotte went on to abuse Saejima for being all talk. Mamori, the girl who hates violence or fighting tells her to stop. Mirei could understand her feelings as she tries to attack Charlotte but was restrained by Ange. Mirei is imprisoned and being punished. I’m sure Miyasato and Kouzuki would love to return the favour twice fold. Kasumi talks to Mamori in the bedroom as she explains about this island, Mermaid where girls are carriers of the Armed Virus. In short, the ability to transform into a weapon. Those who can use that ability are called Ecsta. Mirei on the other hand as the ability to Drive that power and is called Liberator. So basically everybody here is either Ecsta or Liberator. Charlotte then interrupts and rips Mamori of her clothes because it’s time for her wedding ceremony. Like you have guessed it, a life partner for Mamori. At first she disagrees to all this stuff but Charlotte threatened something bad will happen to Mirei if she doesn’t cooperate. Hey, at least she gets to achieve her childhood dream of being a bride. However it is not Mirei she is getting ‘married’ to but Tomomi Nukui. Like you’ve guessed it too, they are going to ‘test their compatibility’ via making out. Mirei is freed by Meifon (cowgirl outfit?) who decides to show her thanks after winning big by betting on her. Mirei shows her appreciation by forcing her to spill details on where Mamori is. Turns out Meifon has been paid by another pair of lesbian lovers, Rain Hasumi and Lady J to do so. Nukui tries to pleasure Mamori but she doesn’t feel good but disgusted instead. Feeling insulted, Nukui is going to impose her other way of pleasure. However when she tries to beat her up, there is a barrier protecting her. She feels insulted this could mean Mamori is more powerful than her. Then Mamori’s white knight appears to save her. Yeah, a single kick was enough to knock Nukui out. Charlotte and Ange are here to prevent their escape and since Mamori doesn’t want to fight, I guess this means making out with her? Sex > violence. Hey, not a bad deal, right? Mamori felt good when Mirei makes love to her. Mamori turns into a weapon not to fight but to blast through a hole for their escape. Charlotte considers them as enemies of Welter now. Later Mamori and Mirei formally introduce themselves. Mamori is shocked to learn Mirei is a year her junior! Wow. Such great body and curves and only a year younger?

Episode 3
Miyasato and Kouzuki are being given S&M punishment for another failure. I think Ange loves whipping them to the core. Akira rallies the other girls to become good role models so they can show the rest of the world how they can maintain as a functioning society and return to their loved ones. But as noted by Rain, although Akira is the only male (you mean, Akira is not female?!), he is the Governor of Welter and a damn good liar. Mamori and Mirei are living the island survival life till Meifon picks them up to a refugee village as instructed by her employer. Meifon’s job is also to smuggle goods to these ladies as she explains about Welter, the castle’s knights who maintain order by forcing their rules upon the lower class under the guise of protection. The test match was to see if the duo would qualify to be part of Welter. Of course everybody follows Welter as they keep a strong control over supplies. They are introduced to Torino Kazami who is the manager and big sister of the place. She is glad to have them stay here. Kasumi reports of supplies theft detected and did not report earlier because she didn’t want to make a big issue out of it. Of course Charlotte feels the need to capture the culprits and put them on public trial to show they can maintain order. In fact, Charlotte already knew of this and has placed a tracker amidst the supplies. She orders Kasumi to raid them by dawn. So next morning when Welter descends on the village and Kasumi calls them out to surrender, only Mirei steps out and takes responsibility as the ring leader to this. Of course Mamori doesn’t agree to this and also runs out to her. But Ange has Mirei tied up in her whip and Charlotte is going to exact her public punishment for opposing Welter. Mamori chides Mirei for trying to be a hero by taking everything herself. For the first time, Mirei initiates the make out and here is your lesbian scene for today. Mirei is so powerful that she breaks Charlotte’s unbreakable blades. She could have lost had not Kasumi stepped in and knocked out Mirei with her awesome kick. Charlotte praises her as the holder of the Zero Arm. Before they can take them into custody, it gets complicated when Rain and Lady J (bike version?) enter the scene.

Episode 4
Charlotte blames the duo as the most stubborn people on this island and because of that they are the reason why society banished them to this island. Of course they don’t give a damn about what they want. Mirei continues to play hero that she is the sole culprit so Charlotte has her knights kill her. Rain kisses Mirei and turns into a blaster weapon that returns all Ecsta back to their original form. Not even Kasumi could defeat the might of Rain and Lady J. Everything ends when Akira appears. He claims all these women are not the culprit and he had found the real one (Meifon) but escaped. Mamori is smitten by his good looks and even more when he puts up his polite act by deciding to let them have all the supplies as apology. After all, he considers every one of them as victims to the smuggler. He orders Welter to retreat. Charlotte is not happy with this but top orders are absolute. Mamori really would like to know more about Akira as Torino lets her know as much as she can. Kasumi wonders why Akira let Rain and Lady J escape. He believes they are quite powerful and if they had fought, there would be casualties. Also, he is interested in them because they are trying to find a way to get off Mermaid. Mamori’s obsession with Akira begins when she has posters of him pasted all over her room! More sweet dreams of marrying this guy and you know what they say about dreams coming true? Yup. Akira visits her that night to call her out into the woods to make love! OMG! The first actual hetero sex! Well, at least Mamori can lose her virgin tag. Haha! You know what they say about being too good to be true? Yeah… It was all an illusion as Mamori is just playing with herself. Miranda is using her Arms to make Mamori climax and turn into a weapon so she can bring her back to Charlotte. When Mamori transforms, Mirei picks her up to fight her. However Mirei becomes trapped in Miranda’s illusion of mud golems raping her?! Too bad for Miranda. Mirei has seen and experienced the real hell so this is easy for her to break out. Miranda loses when she panics. Yup. One strike to cut her down. I didn’t it was so super effective that it causes a mini explosion. Next morning, Mamori wakes up all refreshed after that great dream. Yeah, good for her. She doesn’t understand why Mirei is lacking sleep.

Episode 5
Mamori and Mirei are looking for mushrooms when they bump into Kasumi. She tells them to go away when suddenly… A giant girl!!! Nimi Minimi (say what?) explains about how she and her best friend, Noe Ooya were brought to Mermaid. Although they resonate with each other, Nimi did not transform. Charlotte wanted to separate and give them new partners but they refused. While Noe is imprisoned for refusing to marry her new partner, Nimi ran away from the castle. But she realized she is already in giant form when she wakes up this morning. Bringing her back to Torino’s place, they make a bikini cut out for her so that she doesn’t have to run around naked. Mamori has to put up with the embarrassing public free show as she make out with Mirei to cut out those clothes. It’s still tight anyway… Big girl means big appetite. Since Torino finished using all the ingredients, Nimi works her worth by catching lots of fish. And then they have lots of fun in the sea. But will the rest have swimsuits? Meifon has them. For a price. Next morning, Nimi grows bigger. Ah, back to being naked again. When she fears she’ll never get to see Noe again at this rate, Mamori chides her to just do it! This gives her the motivation to back to the castle to find Noe but Meifon points out wouldn’t her size cause a ruckus? Didn’t think about that, did you? Stop her! By the time she returns, Charlotte (after being freaked out by her giant boobs), once again resorts to violence as she utilizes her multiple sex partners to become her Arms. Again she butt heads with Kasumi only to be stopped by Akira who believes force is not always the answer. Mamori and Mirei are looking for Noe in the dungeon and set her free to bring her to Nimi. Noe starts chiding Nimi for leaving without telling her. Didn’t they promise to be together? After they reconcile, Noe jumps into her and she catches her by her boobs! OMG! Diving into water from a tall height will kill you but not into boobs! Fanservice logic, baby! It is then Nimi shrinks back to normal size. Akira points out Charlotte has erred in her judgment. It is not Nimi could not transform, growing larger is her power although there was a delay to its activation.

Episode 6
Meifon is running a gambling den when a Welter officer busts in. Everybody scatters to escape and then it turns out this is just a scam to trick the gamblers in not paying their dues. All the cash to themselves. With Hyoko Yundo and Futaba Kiri, the trio are known as the Three Musketeers and they have the resource and the know-how to smuggle goods out of the castle. For the upcoming Mermaid Festival, the beauty pageant has always been a hit and the favourites between Charlotte and Lady J. They could have made big money if the winner is a dark horse. Meifon has an idea… She talks to Mamori about this year’s pageant having its first prize changed from canned peaches to a plushie cat that she likes (obviously rigged of course). Since Mamori has no confidence in herself, who could she find to represent her? Hmm… How come everybody is hinting Mirei? And so they proceed to teach her how to strut her assets as well design outfits for her. Mermaid Festival is filled with the usual food stalls and fun activities. The pageant is the most eagerly awaited event at the end. It seems the crowd are stunned at Mirei’s beauty in a white evening gown. After all the contestants go up on stage and the votes tallied, the winner goes to… Charlotte! Eh?! Suspecting something amiss, Meifon confronts her friends as they are at the incinerator trying to get rid of the evidence. Because the votes clearly showed for Mirei and they rigged it to Charlotte. The duo’s answer in doing so is because they cannot keep smuggling forever and will soon one day be found out. Meifon can accept doing that if it’s for the cash, but if it’s to suck up to someone, they can go suck her dick. Wait. Does she even? Anyway, Mirei and Mamori heard this and are going to punish them. I guess it’s your reason for today’s yuri fanservice. So tantalizing that I think the traitorous duo forgot to run away or at least transform to their fighting gear. Mirei is made to fight her clones while the real one faces off with Mamori. You think she is going to use money to bribe her way out? Meifon uses the cash as ecstasy and Liberator so she could transform herself into a humanoid weapon and kick ass. After her victory, the duo are tied up in the middle of the castle with a confession note they rigged the pageant. Akira decides to rescind Charlotte’s win and although she doesn’t like it, he can look further into this and knows she will further be displeased. So just accept it. Meifon gives the cat plushie to Mamori as apology. But in turn she must help smuggle goods. You didn’t think it was for free, did you?

Episode 7
Yet another trouble by Kusumi. Before the fight can start, it is diffused by Akira. And as usual, that great speech once again swoons every girl’s heart. Now, if you still have your suspicions on Akira like yours truly, this is where it all confirms it. After Akira leaves the castle to a nearby abandoned house, he takes off his clothes and… OMG! AKIRA IS A WOMAN!!!!! THOSE HUMONGOUS MELONS FEELS LIKE IT WAS JUST WAITING TO EXPLODE!!! I knew it all along!!! Really! After letting loose her boobs and putting on her wig, she continues her search on the beach to find something that should allow them to go home. She is met with old friend Torino and they hang out together at the hotspring. When Mamori comes by, she is so taken in by her beauty that she climaxes herself and transforms! WTF?! Not wanting her identity to be busted, Akira takes on the identity as Hilholde. She stays at their place and gets freak out seeing all the posters of herself in Mamori’s room. I guess that’s why she couldn’t sleep that night. Why do I sense jealousy from Mirei? Hilholde talks to Mamori about being the first person sent here but none has been sent home so far. But she continues to have faith that one day they will. A short dream sees before she was sent to Mermaid, her mom told her to disguise herself as a man as being to sole gender would protect her in the strange land. The family has also made an artificial Ecsta for her. She promised to find a way to get her back but till then, have faith. Next day, Kusumi and her girls have taken a knight hostage and demanding for stuffs. Too bad they had to hole up at that abandoned building. Charlotte and Kasumi butt heads to take the hard or soft approach. Meifon leads the gang to a secret passageway that will come up directly underneath the building. Seems she too used this building for shady dealings. The gang bust in and take out the enemy. As Mirei is about to rescue the knight, she got pepper spray by her. Turns out she is the ringleader and the one who planned this hostage. She is separated from Mamori to avoid any activation but she didn’t know she could activate with Hilholde. So with the duo making out, Hilholde kicks their asses. While Mamori goes out to seek help, Hilholde takes her stuff to change back and escape. However, Mirei sees this. In the aftermath, Mamori continues to be infatuated with Akira as that ‘guy’ continues to have faith and search for a way home.

Episode 8
Akira sees Lady J and Rain and wants them to investigate these coordinates. Why them? He doesn’t want to utilize Welter and they have the skills necessary to complete this mission. The motivation that sealed it? They will find Mermaid’s secret. Part of the condition is that they take Mirei with them. With Meifon and Mamori tagging along, they reach a rocky area. Lady J and Rain start sexing each other to blast the rock open. So steamy that Mirei had to cover Mamori’s eyes! Following the underground path, it leads them to a huge underground factory. As they search for clues in this seemingly abandoned place, perhaps blueprints that will allow them to leave Mermaid, Meifon is attacked by a creature. Hey wait. Doesn’t that cybernetic creature look a bit like Frieza? What form is that? Haha! Rain and Lady J fight their best but still cannot defeat this artificial Arm. Although it got away, Mirei and Mamori got separated during the attack. As they rest, Mirei remembers something familiar about this. She remembers her boss telling her and her partner about the experiment of inserting Armed Virus into a clone cell and cultivating it, thus eliminating a need for soldiers like them as they can create an army of clones. So were they still conducting such experiments here? When Mamori wakes up, they continue to walk around till they stumble into Frieza clone again. This time Mirei wants Mamori to run as she partially transforms to take on it. Mirei is now super fast and stronger. Yeah, like she’s on drugs or something. Unfortunately she lost. Mamori, trying to live up to the meaning of her name (it’s a pun), tries to protect Mirei. Before Frieza clone can kill her, Mamori powers up and transforms into an ultimate dual lance weapon. This allows Mirei to finish the job. The clash is so great that it gave out some Valkyrie Effect. And a big part of the area is decimated too. Oh, the place is going to crumble and conveniently the rest finds them and get out in the nick of time. Although they did not find any clues to escape the island, at least they can be thankful for being alive. Somewhere on the face of this planet, since the largest Valkyrie Effect has been recorded, some big boss is going to send her underling to Mermaid to investigate. Hey. Doesn’t Momoka Sagara look like Mirei’s ex-partner?

Episode 9
Rain and Lady J report to Akira their findings. Hard to believe, but it seems it is the same technology of using Armed Virus to manifest an Arm. Momoka arrives on Mermaid and acts like a kid before Charlotte. As to test for her compatibility with a Liberator, that isn’t necessary as Momoka can do it with anyone. She proves so by making out with Charlotte and becomes a fine weapon. And so she is introduced to Nobility (Charlotte’s groupie of b*tches) that includes Ange, Marianne and Monroe. Charlotte decides to change Momoka’s name to Francoise to befit the elegance of her group. As Nobility takes Momoka around, Akira makes his appearance. Momoka laughs at him for being a girl dressed as a boy. She knows her stuff well because Armed Virus do not affect XY chromosome. The rest thinks she is being rude. When Momoka talks to Charlotte about everyone being tricked by this drag queen so that everyone would follow him around, she proposes that Charlotte makes a better leader on this island. Charlotte will confront Akira immediately but Momoka has a better plan. It seems everyone is excited for the upcoming fight between Akira and Charlotte. And I suppose Meifon is the happiest raking in all the bets. Here the duo are in the arena. Akira is the hot favourite since every darn girl is just supporting this dude. It might seem like a one-sided affair as Charlotte gets knocked down in one punch by Akira’s Ecsta, Sri. With a little more rage, Akira unleashes Sri’s true form to defeat Charlotte. Akira will have Momoka spill the beans of the organization she works for as he has suspected ever since her arrival. But Momoka won’t talk and instead transforms herself into a weapon to fire the most powerful blast that Sri cannot even block. And yes, this rips Akira’s clothes as every darn girl is horrified to see boobs sticking out from their beloved Governor. Momoka congratulates Charlotte for winning (she just woke up and missed everything) and now she is Mermaid’s top dog. Or bitch?

Episode 10
Flashback shows Kasumi and her partner, Hibiki Kenjo running away but caught by savage girls and beaten up. It stopped when Akira came to their rescue. Although Kasumi recovered, Hibiki suffered mental trauma and has never left the room she is being cared in ever since. Akira then made Kasumi her commander of her newly formed Welter to keep the peace along with newly arrived Charlotte. She was seen as the face of hope but now with her identity (and breasts) exposed, that all has faded away. Charlotte becomes the new Governor as she rallies the other girls to a new order after all that lies made under Akira’s rule. Those b*tches. How could they shift alliance so fast when all they ever did was swoon over Akira. Mirei and Mamori return to Torino’s place but it is empty and a mess. Seems Charlotte has sent her knights to round up all that oppose her. Kasumi is going to investigate deep into this matter but one word has her stop dead in her tracks: Hibiki. Pledge your loyalty to Charlotte and we assure you she stays safe. When Mirei and Mamori arrive at the castle, they see Akira crucified at the square. I guess it is no surprise they are in shock to learn Akira’s identity. Especially Mamori who must be realizing her romantic fantasies all the while means she’s a lesbian, right? When Mirei is going to invade the castle, Momoka suggests sending Kasumi to fight her. Charlotte is not pleased that Kasumi seems to be holding back so to ‘motivate’ her, Nobility uses Hibiki as a trump card to make Kasumi go into serious overdrive to beat up Mirei. This means Mirei will be at the losing end if she doesn’t end this match soon as the more she is under this soldier mode, the more strain it will have on her body. Probably everybody was so intense watching them that they didn’t realize Mamori snuck up behind the Nobility and push Hibiki down! Kasumi is fast enough to save Hibiki. Mirei is fast enough to save Mamori. Fast enough to kiss and transform her into that ultimate lance. Momoka now confirms that the Valkyrie Effect comes from them. But they can’t last long and for the first time in ages, Mirei is confronted by Momoka.

Episode 11
Flashback shows Mirei and Momoka (code named C7 and A3 respectively) were paired up as a team to fight. Now, Momoka never knew she was still alive and thought she was dead. But it is a good thing she still is because Momoka really wants to kill her! Momoka beats up weakened Mirei and would have finished her had not Hibiki’s trauma start acting up. Before she could shut her up, Rain and Lady J enter the scene. As explained by her comrade, D5, the duo are Naturals and Hybrids (able to be both Liberator and Ecsta). They once worked for the government as spies but chose to come here on their free will to obtain true freedom. Better than being the government’s dog, right? Unfortunately, not even Rain or Lady J could take down Momoka because her Arm is enhanced. Momoka points out only Mamori is the important one as she is the source of Valkyrie effect. But today’s fighting stops here since D5 wants to further test and prove Mamori is the one. Momoka blasts them as her farewell present but luckily Meifon’s barrier protects them. I don’t know how it ends up eating her clothes and end her up as naked. I know. Fanservice. Charlotte wants to know the meaning of this but Momoka slaps her and just tells her to obey if she knows what is good for her. After conducting tests on her, indeed Mamori shows great potential. Even greater when stimulated. Because of that, Momoka has no intentions of sending her back to the government and will keep her all to herself. More flashbacks reveal Mirei failed her mission when she refused to kill and this broke Momoka’s heart. Because this means the organization will dispose useless soldiers. But the kind scientist faked her death and gave her the name of Mirei so she could at least live on Mermaid. Therefore Mirei’s reason to continue living is further enhanced thanks to Mamori. That’s why she’s going to save her. But sorry Mamori. It’s not Mirei she sees when she wakes up. But Momoka who starts raping her to activate her Drive. Best orgasm ever? She continues blaming Mirei for taking everything from her. After the dissolution of their partnership, she had to undergo painful experiments to survive. With help from Rain and Lady J, Mirei infiltrate the castle to face off with Charlotte who is bent on winning and proving her loyalty so she can leave this island as promised by D5. She transforms using E9. Too bad she lost since Lady J transformed into her ultimate aircraft mode and crashed into her enhanced Arm. Mirei advances alone to face off with Momoka. To her horror, Mamori seems to have become her playmate, activating when Momoka caresses her. Momoka still hates Mirei, blaming her for taking everything she had. So she is going to take away all that is precious to Mirei and that includes her life.

Episode 12
D5 confronts Torino and knows she is the observer of Mermaid. Torino also deduces she is from the organization but D5 says they are now acting on their own so they can let Momoka obtain everything. Before Momoka can finish Mirei, she is stopped by Kasumi. She is now using her Ecsta. Seems Hibiki have awakened from her trauma and decided to not let Kasumi fight alone. Yeah, took you a while, eh? With Akira, Meifon, Rain and Lady J joining by Mirei’s side, this only makes Momoka even more pissed. If you think they outnumber her, think again. Momoka absorbs several knights into her Arm and unleashes a very powerful Valkyrie Effect. The organization detects this and soon comes to realize that Momoka is trying to obtain the power for herself. The attacks continue till Momoka absorbs every last of them. Everyone inside the Arm is naked and being… Tentacle raped! OMG! They have to resort to this, don’t they? When Momoka notices the barrier dissipating, she knows the organization is on to her. They even fire an orbital laser beam on her but Momoka is so powerful that she even flies up to destroy the satellite! Invincible! After she kills Mirei, she will go to the other islands to absorb others. Greedy. However Mirei continues to fight and breaks free from her tentacle rape to go find Mamori. She breaks her free from her chains and with Mamori’s permission to use her, they spit everyone out from the Arm! It gets better because Mamori and Mirei have achieved 100% compatibility and become the ultimate drive called, you guessed it, Valkyrie Drive! Isn’t that a wedding armour? Now Momoka is f*cking pissed. She uses D5 and D9 to turn into a giant robot. Now they’re into mecha too? How to bring her down? I guess that is why we have Nimi giving her cameo as a giant to knock her down so the rest can go all out to attack her. And yes, Mirei beats her. Still pissed and jealous, Momoka? The ever kind Mamori wants her to be saved too so Mirei kisses her and everything calms down. The kiss must be so f*cking effective that it takes away everyone’s Armed Virus! And the evolved Armed Virus became a new life form! WTF?! This is too much. In the aftermath, the girls are onboard a ship ready to depart for home. Momoka and her underlings are arrested and Torino hands in her report. But Mirei and Mamori are on their way to other islands because they want to save the rest. Meifon tags along because she’s in for the money and Rain and Lady J I suppose are in for the action. Yes Mamori, your happy ending is almost there. I hope she’s not counting her chickens.

Yuri Sex Drive
And what do you know? Looks like the lesbianism will continue and be enhanced to other islands. Yeah, I am pretty sure Mamori and her friends will bring their brand of sexy yuri time and shock other infected islands. It feels like an excuse to continue their girl on girl kissing and fondling. As long as they are happy… I mean, Mamori did say she does miss her parents. But saving the world comes first. Sure. After being violated by master Mirei, I’m sure she won’t want to let her personal pleasurer go. Haha!

Mermaid as an island poses a lot of mysterious questions itself from its purpose to its existence. You might suspect there might be even more and true enough there are when you hear the shady organization boss labelling Mermaid as its #5 island and the revelation that there are other similar islands as well. Those who are interested and have been following the project of this series should have known but casual viewers like me who just jumped in without any prior knowledge would later find out (if you take the initiative, that is) that there are at least 2 more such islands out there. From what I gathered (read: lazy referencing from Wikipedia), the other islands were introduced in the form of video games. That’s right. You get Mermaid in the form of animated entertainment while Bhikkhuni and Siren as handheld and iOS games respectively. Since I have neither such gadgets, I think I won’t be knowing about them anytime soon. Unless they get animated… With Mermaid liberated, not too sure if it would be used in the future or simply abandoned.

There were a few mind boggling questions that bugged me like the supply chain on Mermaid, who the heck makes them? I mean, you see they get decent food supplies that you could find in supermarket but who makes these things? I am very sure they can’t be importing them because the island is one way in and one way out. Maybe we don’t see the other residents of Mermaid producing those goods. Because if you think about it, this isn’t some prison island where the girls who don’t get to be knights just laze around and do nothing, right? But still, it still bugs me how they can produce such decently well products.

Disregarding the ending whereby all the girls get to go home, I wonder how they would get off the island had not Mirei and Mamori saved the day. Because I am sure that the infected girls aren’t just dumped on the island for nothing and since the organization is constantly watching them, it means there is some sort of nefarious end to it. But if they were going to conduct experiments, the girls wouldn’t be living a life of a mini nation and be so free to do what they want. So how is it that they are going to leave the island? The virus isn’t going to just disappear. And perhaps they never will because Akira was just lying to give them hope to continue living. Now that the girls are going home, I have a feeling they’ll be using lawsuits to sue the organization for dumping them. Then again, such big shady organizations have a way to shut you up and clean up all evidences.

But as far as this series itself is concerned, I suppose besides the yuri elements (more on this later), the action bits seem pretty decent (except when their clothes get torn to bits to expose their tits). I mean, it goes without saying. When you have beautiful babes and some that transform into weapons, it would be a waste not to use that potential for some kickass battles. But with all the epic power up battles and special effects, it isn’t something to drool about. It’s just like a slight distraction and variety to your usual lesbian fix. What? You don’t like your women sexy and kickass dangerous?

It goes without saying that the main pull of the series is on the yuri fanservice. Although this is not considered to be anything hardcore, it isn’t but anything mild either. Seriously, I didn’t even know this series was yuri when I started jumping in to watch. All I knew was it was going to be ecchi. Yeah, so count me in. Damn. Right from the start when I saw those big hentai-like boobs and the girls start making out, I have this strange feeling that I might be getting more than I bargained. Well, I’m not really into yuri although the last yuri themed anime I watched was Sakura Trick. Heck, better than yaoi, right? Come to think of it, this series is much more hardcore yuri than that one since it really involves more than just kissing but pleasuring their sensitive parts as well. Heck, I believe many of the girls here are under-aged! WTF?! Even more shocking that Mirei is younger than Mamori and Meifon but she has a hot bod that is of a mature woman. And they are still under-aged by the way.

And when you have bare tits exposed, this goes to show that this isn’t just for anyone. Or if you’re not into yuri but like big boobs, maybe this will do too. Besides, I somewhat noticed that the breasts of all the girls are either as freaking big hentai-like or as flat as a washboard. There are some in between but you’d hardly notice them. We’re all happy if there are boobs all around :-). Besides, the only reason why this isn’t classified as hentai is because nobody ended up having real sex and despite not drawing the vaginal parts (remember how Nimi was running around in her giant size? You can’t miss that part, really), this series is like a softcore porn version of a hardcore lesbian porn. Damn technicalities.

So if you are not really used into seeing girls making out with each other, you won’t be able to stand the rest of the series because every episode at least guarantees one steamy lesbian make out be it from our main duo Mamori and Mirei or Rain and Lady J or some other minor supporting characters or even an unholy orgy if you’re like the b*tch Charlotte who has her own personal harem of knights. And then they had to insert the tentacle rape scene. OMG. It really is the ultimate. Yeah, Mermaid. The island where it is truly a man’s paradise. Too bad it is only for women. An island where straight women turn into lesbians, so to speak :-). The only thing misleading is how the girls seem to climax and orgasm so easily. If it was only this simple in real life :-(. Maybe it is girl on girl thingy that guys can’t understand.

In my opening paragraph, I did mention how this anime seemed to borrow heavily elements from other anime series. Most notably Cross Ange. Don’t you see how freaking similar the setting is? Only women get infected by a certain anomaly. They are cast off to a very faraway island with no chance of escaping and returning to society. Then you have the badass female lead that just kicks ass and has the potential to power up using the right tools. Only difference is that Mirei isn’t of royal lineage but a genetically engineered soldier from the start. As for the Freezing elements, I just thought how similar Mirei’s design is to Satellizer. Then there is Charlotte’s uniform design. Although it is noticeably different in Freezing, I can’t seem to help think it always reminds me of that series. Then they also have materializing of weapons and the use of partners. But in Freezing you materialize weapons from their uniform instead of their partners. Seikon No Qwaser? Tits stimulation and breasts sucking! You need those to power up, baby! Enough said.

The characters themselves feel a little cliché. You have your main pair which is almost as different as night and day but they work out to be the best and most powerful combo ever. Mamori your typical damsel in distress but wields a hidden power that is coveted by greedy baddies. It almost became a running joke when she had to correct everybody’s mispronunciation of her name as virgin but when thinks became darker, I guess everybody realized they are worse off being sluts and whores! Haha! Oops! Not too sure if Mamori also became a hypocrite later on because despite against violence and fighting, she seems to have no second thoughts about allowing it. For justice and to protect the peace? Yeah, it’s like fighting fire with fire. And Mirei, mysterious newcomer. Not the talking type. Has a dark past. Kickass. A little overprotective over her beloved Mamori that in the event if you tease her a little, she’ll give you that death stare.

Then there is Charlotte and Kasumi who are like yin and yang because the former is a true b*tch always resorting to violence first while the latter would rather give diplomacy a chance but being the character who is caught between a rock and a hard place, she still has to resort to some questionable stuffs especially when her beloved Hibiki is involved. Charlotte being the sneaky imposing b*tch, usually Kasumi has to end up following her orders. Momoka is just a character for you to hate other than Charlotte. One is just being a b*tch, the other truly the embodiment of hatred. But when Mirei’s hug and touch vanishes all that hate in Momoka, it just made me think that probably all that girl wanted was a little love from her partner and hatred got her lost along the way. I had always a hunch that Akira was female underneath all that garb. My anime sense was tingling even if they trolled us with that androgynous look. Then there is the money grubber Meifon who truly loves money so much that she really does get stimulated slapping a few bucks over her body. I wonder if it will be the ultimate orgasm if she baths in cash. Really. Next, Rain and Lady J comes off as the biggest lesbians for their penchant to fondle each other when they are not fighting or riding. Everybody else is just forgettable either being useless small fries, whores or sluts.

Art and drawing wise, just okay, nothing to shout about. Character designs, some of their clothes make the characters look like sluts especially Lady J whom you feel that she purposely didn’t finish her clothes so that she can show off her underboobs. I don’t know about Meifon’s taste but having her in sexy cowgirl garb feels like a big fail. Though, sometimes it made me want to go “Yeehaw!” each time I see her. The Ecsta weapons’ design also feel okay, having that sci-fi look and all but I’m sure that’s not the eye candy we are here for, right? This series is animated by Arms who also did many sexy and ecchi animes like Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Queen’s Blade, Ikkitousen, Hagure Yuusha No Estetica, Isuca and Sekai De Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai. Maybe that is why I see some familiarity in the characters like Mamori whom I thought looked a lot like that main character in Wizard Barristers and Mezzo. Is it me or does Momoka look like an evil version of Hatsune Miku? Side note: The studio also specializes in animating a lot of hentai flicks. Probably that is where they got the ‘experience’ ;p.

At first I wasn’t going to bother with the voice acting seeing that I didn’t really recognize anybody. And then when I accidentally spotted Yuka Iguchi playing as Mirei, well, it caught me off a little. Especially when the character itself is taciturn. Not that I would recognize her either even if she had more lines. No bratty voice like Index like I knew her. Furthermore, this isn’t her first time voicing such characters as she has done many several characters like Mako in Girls Und Panzer, Subaru in Mao Chiki and Limalisha in Madan No Ou To Vanadis. Another caught me by surprise… Mamiko Noto made a cameo as Akira’s mother???!!! Why did I not pick this up???!!! I am so ashamed of myself!!! And oh… Kikuko Inoue behind Torino’s voice? I should have, for the umpteenth time already…

Mikako Izawa (Moeko in Wakaba Girl) is the voice behind Mamori and she brings a very girl voice to the character. The rest of the other casts include Yuna Yoshino as Akira (Bella in Junketsu No Maria), Yurika Kubo as Meifon (Hanayo in Love Live), Saori Onishi as Rain (Eriri in Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata), Asakura Azumi as Lady J (Asia in High School DxD), Asami Seto as Charlotte (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Masumi Tazawa as Kasumi (Kiriha in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha) and Hitomi Harada as Momoka (Himeji in Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu).

The opening theme is by Hitomi Harada. A standard anime rock piece that fits the series but nothing that appeals to me. However it is the ending theme that stands out the most and would certainly raise some eyebrows. If the title of Ultra Super Hyper Miracle Romantic by the duo of Yuka Iguchi and Mikako Izawa sounds weird enough, wait till you hear the song itself. It is easily classified as a denpa song thanks to its awfully weird lyrics but annoyingly catchy tune. Some of its lines are sung so fast that you might think they are rapping or they just fast forward the tape. Anyhow, if you viewed the show as weird, this ending theme would even enhance the weirdness of everything. Especially the lyrics that goes on ranting about the super ultra hyper fantastic great fabulous amazing wonderful tremendous marvellous excellent outstanding brilliant splendid terrific superb romantic escapades. Yeah…

Overall, if you are feeling lonely and horny and in the mood of some lewd lesbian fanservice without any good plot or characters, this one might do the trick to get over that desire to please yourself. Be warned you might feel a bit empty and sad after your masturbation… No, I did not try it out. Just call it a hunch. Heh. After all, life is full of sex and violence and what better way than to put it all into one anime like this. Imagine, sex and masturbation as the foreboding signs of weapons of mass destruction. I don’t know if the world would be a happier or sadder place. It would be more of the latter when all women start pleasuring and making out with themselves, relegating guys to watching more 2D hentai.

Mishishi. I know this second season came out over a year ago. Since nobody really subbed this anime short and it really wasn’t on my high list to watch, it somewhat became forgotten. Also, I didn’t really remember much about it except it was pretty random and that they used characters from the series but changed their personality 180 degrees. But when somebody recently had the decency to sub it, I guess it brought back the reminder to at least check it out what is in store. Yeah. I’m obliged to do that for most series I have seen and do not despise. So here I am, watching Minna Atsumare! Falcom Gakuen SC. And without a clue what is going on.

Episode 1
It is already the first day of the new semester and Adol is running late. Not bishoujo for him but a rocket blast into the sky! But he makes a ludicrous entrance by punching Dark! Then everyone falls into a pit hole. Already somebody is in trouble in this underground maze. Actually, Ilya Platiere is squeezing boobs from fellow comrade Rixia Mao. When she senses more girls falling down the pit hole, how is she going to grab and fondle all their boobs? She clones herself to catch all of them! We are introduced to a couple of new characters like Alisa Reinford and Rean Schwarzer who gets instantly arrested by the police for sticking his face in a girl’s boobs.

Episode 2
With a handful of new characters falling into this world of Xanadu, Rappy explains that they have to enrol in Falcom Gakuen to learn the Power of Truth so they can return to their own world. So more new characters briefly introduced like Laura S. Arseid, Elliot Craig and fujoshi Emma Millstein. Because Fie Claussel feels lethargic to even bother to do anything, Tio fears that this will bring her down if they don’t do something and forces Dark and Rappy to enrol her NOW!

Episode 3
Dark explains the academy splits students into classes based on their grades. So while Alisa, Elliot and Laura are in the regular class, idiots like Fie and Rean are of course in the below average class. Emma is in the elite class with Machias Regnitz but he doesn’t like to be in the same class with noble Jusis Albarea who seems to cannot turn down help from others because it is a noble’s job to help the less fortunate. Need your homework done? He’s got it covered. Toilet needs unplugging? You got it. Then there is Gaius Worzel painting a princess. She is so flattered of this honour that he will draw a true picture of her but don’t let her see the end painting because it is a washboard! Dark thought he would be more stressed with more students to handle but cannot be touched when the new students bow to him as he enters class.

Episode 4
A new transfer student for the elite class arrives. No, it’s not a beautiful girl, Adol. It’s a starship named Adari. Local police, Randy Orlando and Ellie McDyle lament they haven’t been given a chance to shine since there are no incidents. But they’ll get their chance soon since Lloyd and Rean are about to commit their perverted antics. Even Adari complaints that somebody has been peeping on her! Don’t worry, the suspect is caught! Adol?! Because he put on that strange facial expression which is the same like Randy when he first saw the starship changed. Adol thought he is treated to nice pork cutlet dish but it turns out to be some sort of poison.

Episode 5
Yet another character dropped into Xanadu. This armour dude and the leader of the Empire Liberation Front , C is wondering where the heck this place is when he is interrupted by the legendary hero, Falcom Man who blackmails C into joining his Falcom Justice Squad. As usual, it contains all weirdoes like Phantom Thief Blublanc (Falcom White), Zwei 2 (Falcom Blue), Gas Mask Girl Parin (Falcom Green) and pervert Angelica Rogner (senpai of sex???!!!). Then there is this red haired Adol that appeared from last season to join the ranks but they just tell him to go back to America.

Episode 6
C wants Yin to join the squad and be the legendary assassin of Falcom Silver. However as Yin is trying to conceal her identity, Rappy accidentally reveals more about her, causing a beat down. When a girl seems to be in trouble, Falcom Justice Squad goes into action to beat up the ruffian. But it turns out they were just lost and the ruffian was just taking out his frustration on the wall. Rappy and Tio are talking about the dilemma of revealing some of their identities when they are met with this guy from the police, Alex Dudley.

Episode 7
Rappy is shocked that even Jurio and Chris from the Gagharv Trilogy has come to this world. Rappy is afraid of Chris’ treatment towards him as a pet. The duo are on a pilgrimage by visiting shrines all over the world for their coming-of-age ritual. Rappy is mad at Jurio because he didn’t make bad puns about his missing dagger. Everyone goes to help Jurio find his missing dagger but nobody gives about a damn for Rappy trying to rally them to do so.

Episode 8
The search for the dagger begins. Chris is asked about her relationship with Jurio. She is shy to mention it. You thought it would be something scandalous but she rates him in between and underling and little brother. Goose thought he had found the dagger but this dude (some police guy whose name I don’t know) suspects him as the thief because of his stupid voice! Shala is looking for Goose but stumbles upon naked Olivier and Fan, claiming they are forest fairies. Police guy beats them up. He admits he got the wrong man but then when Goose starts asking what gives, his stupid voice makes him want to beat him up all over again. Jurio finds his dagger and Dark and Rappy make a silly pun that nobody cares about.

Episode 9
Adol is disheartened he can’t enter his Adol Tower because there is a house blocking in front of it. This house belongs to the adventuring family of dragon slayers, Xemm (father and husband), Meyna (wife and mother) and Lyll (elf daughter). Realizing their son Roas is missing, it seems they lament he has turned into a shut-in. Attempts to coax him out to go to school fail. Herald pixelated Dragon Slayer to come persuade him to defeat the Dragon King together. He agrees but feels it has been too much for today so he’ll try next week. Procrastination? Dragon Slayer then uses his power ring to move the entire house to school, which doesn’t solve anything by the way.

Episode 10
Dark probably doesn’t want that weird ‘perfect’ medicine from Joseph Gunther so he seeks advice from Sword Emperor Loewe to introduce him to his master, Arianrhod to become stronger. He is cautioned Arianrhod doesn’t like humans but don’t worry, Dark is a demon! She is summoned but in the midst of losing a game she is playing. Arianrhod imposes strict training on Dark while she occupies herself with her handheld. Dark is now confident he can join in PE activities. However he has second thoughts about swimming but before he can escape, the girls pull him into the water. Thankfully he is rescued but his tummy bloated. And Joseph thinks his medicine can cure him…

Episode 11
Tovar Randonneur thought he could show off in his special arts class but broke his finger. He is taken to see a healer nun at the edge of town but to his dismay she is Ein Selnert. He fears the worst from her but realizes her kind personality which is so much contrasting with her original character. Then he realizes she is wearing the Ring of Judgment that creates illusions if the wearer has guilty conscience. In the struggle, the ring comes off and Ein turns into a violent b*tch. Everybody is beaten up an amnesiac so Ein explains and describes the joyful sounds of agony when she was whipping everybody. Yeah, it calmed her soul… The ring is sold at Mona Shop although the yellow blob is starting to have residual guilt in selling certain items at high prices. Adol touches it and at first he says nothing happened, suddenly he turns into a greedy money faced bastard. How much will you pay for this…

Episode 12
The town is under attack by Lechter Arundel AKA Scarecrow. He is assisted by the Iron Blooded Prime Minister, Giliath Osborn who is now some lame robot. In his bid to push for modernization, he turns Adari into a giant robot piloted by Adol. However some note they’d rather see Adol getting beaten up. This guy is hated so much… Rean thought he could save the day but was easily defeated. When Falcom Justice Squad is about to go into action, they fell through a trapdoor which is hardly anything modern about it.

The More The Merrier Dumber
In the end, I never really got it. I laughed just because it felt like a cue to do so and probably I felt that it was supposed to be funny. I figured this must be the punch line so that means it has got to be funny, right? Putting this aside, the second season is only appreciated who have watched or rather played the video games in the Falcom series. But even so, I question if diehard fans would understand the joke because just like in last season at the end of every episode, there is this big reminder that tells us the personalities of the characters here differ greatly from the original. Therefore it is just like borrowing their looks and name (like an empty shell) but what is inside is a totally different ball game.

The confusion and shock of these beloved game characters may be what this series relies on as its comedy and laugh factor but as I have said, I have not played any of their games so I am quite at a lost even at all the randomness. It is just like watching a random episode of Bugs Bunny or Road Runner without giving too much thought of where the plot or direction of this series is heading despite there are a handful of episodes that broke up into 2 parts. It’s like there is continuity but for a series that only lasts 2 minutes (1.5 if you take away the opening credits animation), it doesn’t really count. I mean, is there really a plot to begin with? Screw that finding the Power of Truth thingy because we don’t actually see them trying to do so and it is just lost. Rather, everybody gets into short random idiocy. If this is the Power of Truth, then God help us all.

If last season had tons of characters, this season introduces even more. So much more that think almost every episode features at least 1 new character! To the point that some characters appear only for that episode and never to be seen or heard from again. While it is great especially to fans to see more characters from the games they played to appear, it only gets confusing to people like me who are just casual viewers who don’t know anything. I’ll be left wondering what their significance would be and they primarily do not leave an impact since their cameo is so short and for that episode only. Sometimes it feels like they just created random characters and insert them into the episode because, why the hell not? After all, who the hell cares, right?

With many new characters this season, I have a feeling although I am not sure that some of the older ones from the first season appeared or not. Because I noticed that some like Dark and Rappy have been given less limelight. Even such characters their running jokes have been greatly minimised or tossed away. Remember how Rappy is often the running joke as the much sought after meat to be cooked and eaten? Remember Joshua and his maid cross-dressing fetish? Remember Dark used to be thrown into prison for suspected charges on assault or abduction? What happened to all that? Replaced with new characters making their cameos and stupid random acts. But some still remain the same like Adol who continues to be the biggest jerk ass. He might have found a competitor or collaborator in Rean. Then there is Olivier and Fan still running around in their birthday suit… God really help us all.

The 30 seconds opening theme remains the most amusing to me since its lyrics only consists of “Go Fight!”. The same opening theme used in the first season. This time, he usual characters seem to be doing ‘cooler’ or rather funnier poses than before. I guess a new season calls for a new fancier posing. Yeah, maybe you feel like wanting to use this battle cry-like fanfare to go rally all the trapped Xanadu characters to go fight and try harder to return to their own world.

Oh, would you know it too. There has been a third season announced! Oh God. Not more short random antics. Well, let’s hope that this time that the gang would get their act together and try their best to really, really, really, really, really, end the series and go home. I’m not saying that this is a bad series, but I don’t want to waste more of my time on very short series that I don’t hate that I am obliged to watch that I don’t understand since I don’t play the games that I will not understand how to appreciate. Me? Wasting my time watching this series? Oh well. I guess we are all birds of the same feather then.