Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai

May 15, 2016

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 Just because their captain cannot use magic well and has only his ‘outdated’ sword skills to fight.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?

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