Top Bishoujos of 2016

December 31, 2016

Before I know it, yet another year has ended! Oh gosh. Have I really gotten so old that time has flown by so quickly even by my own standards? By the time I realized, I had already done 10 years’ worth of top bishoujos posts and even a ranked one. Wow. Time has passed quickly indeed. If you have noticed that the number of bishoujo candidates every year has been steadily increasing. At this point it would have already gone over 100 (because the last one was just 1 short of being a century). Well, let me assure you that didn’t happen. It scaled back down to just 60 bishoujos. Did my taste in 2D beauty changed over the course of the year? Has my beauty perceptions refined? Nah. Without further ado, I present to you the 11th edition, the Top 10 Bishoujos of 2016! As usual, they are listed in alphabetical order:

1) Alicia Melchiott (Senjou No Valkyria)

2) Ayame Yomogawa (Koutetsujou No Kabaneri)

3) Kikko Hoshino (Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou)

4) Mary (Hai To Gensou No Grimgar)

5) Megumi Tadokoro (Shokugeki No Souma)

6) Nancy Lee (Ninja Slayer The Animation)

7) Narberal Gamma (Overlord)

8) Reina Izumi (Musaigen No Phantom World)

9) Yuriko Kougami (Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru)

10) Yuriko Star (The Irresponsible Captain Tylor)

Congratulations to the winners for 2016! Just like last time, the vast amount of candidates means I have had another round prior before choosing the winners. Here are the 10 shortlisted candidates for the third round (in alphabetical order):

Beatrice (Umineko No Naku Koro Ni), Bozes Co Palesti (Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri), Celestia Ralgris (Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut), Paladin (Bikini Warriors), Miyuki Kujou (Shomin Sample), Rico Flamel (Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei No Kyoukan), Rina Izumi (Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation), Sakurako Kujou (Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru), Sayuki Kuroda (Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu) and Sakuya Tachibana (God Eater).

These next 10 candidates made it as far as the second round (listed in alphabetical order):

Ayase Ayatsuji (Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry), Chika Homura (Haruchika ~Haruta To Chika Wa Seishun Suru~), Ema Yasuhara (Shirobako), Erin (Seisen Cerberus), Hana Midorikawa (Prison School), Hana Satou (Joukamachi No Dandelion), Iroha Isshiki (Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku), Karen Jinryo (Shomin Sample), Meryl Sherbert (Chaos Dragon: Sekiryuu Sen’eki) and Shannon (Umineko No Naku Koro Ni).

Last and not least but they are still worth mentioning, the balance 30 candidates for the first round (also in alphabetical order):

Aina Kuronuma (Sakamoto Desu Ga), Anna Nishikinomiya (Shimoneta To Iu Gainen Ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu Na Sekai), Aoi Miyamori (Shirobako), Arpeggio El Lalena (Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri), Chinatsu Kuramoto (Flying Witch), Chiyo Kurihara (Prison School), Darkness AKA Lalatina Dustiness Ford (Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo), Fubuki (One Punch Man), Haruna (Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan), Hotaru Shidare (Dagashi Kashi), Ichi Akabane (Aoharu x Kikanjuu), Karen Kisaragi (Hundred), Kotori Iida (Amaama To Inazuma), Masaki (Mayoiga), Milinda Brantini (Heavy Object), Miya (Onsen Yousei Hakone-chan), Miyako Ootori (Shounen Maid), Mizuki Sera (Classroom Crisis), Noct Leaflet (Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut), Ojou (Oshiete! Galko-chan), Reiko Shirai (Ooyasan Wa Shishunki), Sakura Mamiya (Kyoukai No Rinne), Shandy Gaff Marea (Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri), Sherry (Plastic Memories), Shiraishi (Tanaka-kun Wa Itsumo Kedaruge), Sodachi Oikura (Owarimonogatari), Tsubaki Azumaya (Dimension W)m Umaru Doma (Himouto! Umaru-chan), Yoriko Sudou (Lance N’ Masques) and Zera (Fairy Tail).

Hmm… Did I forget anybody? Of course not! How could I forget Mai Tokiha and Suigin Tou! Forever and ever as my number one and two respectively.


Once again, before I know it, this post has already come to an end. It is still good to know that after all these years, I still enjoy doing such posts albeit I have a feeling that many have long start labelling me as a pervert ‘old man’. Whatever. That’s why 3D can never beat 2D in this sense. Here is to more bishoujos in the coming year and hopefully I will never get tired of them. Bishoujos FTW! Long Live Anime Bishoujos!

Concrete Revolutio S2

December 30, 2016

Well, here I am. Back again in hopes that I would make sense of the pretty confusing and complicated first season. I hope Concrete Revolutio S2 would be easier on my brains as the series makes its way to its finale. I am not expecting it to be super easy because that will just cheapen everything that they have built up so far but at least be at a comprehensible rate for idiots like me who is trying real hard but still fails. Uh huh. And I thought being a superhuman or superhero was just easy stuffs. Kick the super villains’ ass and save the world. And some get the girl in the end. Uh huh. It’s not so simple and straightforward these days. Why do we all have to grow up and complicate things?

Episode 14
On the news, bodies from the hostages taken by Radical Superhuman Revolutionary Force have been found. Shiba and Jirou are still butting heads over their idea of justice. We jump to a timeline whereby Shiba has joined the bureau (and Kikko’s hair has grown waist length). We see Shiba training in a giant mecha and is having a hard time controlling it. Suddenly a UFO appears before them. Yusei Washizu is an android alien from some alien federation and needs the bureau’s help in capturing criminals hiding on Earth. The federation have been fighting S Planetarians (they make black holes as weapons) for millions of years and finally defeated them. Its remnants are hiding here. One of them is Grosse Augen. However he was told that it was already defeated 5 years ago. Washizu has proof that there is footage he is still alive in Shinjuku 6 months ago. So they stage some show to bait it but a monster that lost its habitat starts attacking the crowd. Jirou and Akira Shirota are also watching from the shadows. Despite Jirou’s advice to stay put as they are just here to watch the bureau, he goes out and transforms into Gross Augen to tackle the beast. Emi speaks to Jirou about his promise never to see Kikko again but he already did on the train. Emi wants him to come back to her but he won’t. Gross Augen realizes the beast is just a robot and trap. He is crucified while Jirou runs away believing the bureau has lost its way.

Because Shiba is still in a dilemma about his ideals of righteousness and being human, he narrates how he was transformed into a robot after he died once. Washizu tells him that a criminal is evil no matter what powers one has. Only freaks cause trouble. This makes Shiba upset and almost beats him up and backs down since he is overheating. Washizu plans to execute the S Planetarian in public to make an example. Kikko is guarding him and since she still has feelings for Jirou, she follows his instructions to go see him. It was just a trap so Jirou could jump into her portal to where Gross Augen is so he could get Equus back. Washizu detects a Fumer inside Jirou’s body. Fumers are gas-like species aliens and can take over the bodies and minds of those they possess. Shiba gets into his mecha to fight Jirou but ultimately his conscious stops him so Washizu takes over. He is still no match for Jirou’s power. Before Washizu can eliminate him personally, Jirou shoots him in the back. Now he knows what he wants. He wants to be cured. He rips out some chip inside Washizu’s head and believes this is what he needs to be righteous again. Jirou escapes with Gross Augen. In the future, Shiba talks to Jirou about how the police tried to treat him as a broken machine after that incident. He thinks he is justice and if others say he is wrong, they are also wrong. Jirou notes he too is superhuman and will also protect him.

Episode 15
The bureau is investigating aliens masquerading as humans being exposed and killed in broad day light and in public. Jirou is suspected but the real perpetrator might be a woman. Ah, say a woman and Kikko starts thinking how Jirou can be related. You know that guy is soft on women, right? Jirou visits Judas who now runs a hospital. Aki Haruna, one of the members of Angel Stars is hospitalized here and is believed to be wanted for the alien murders. The bureau busts in to arrest her but Jirou quickly carries her away. I think this triggered something inside Kikko and Emi. At his hideout, she notices he has the helmet of Rainbow Knight and is a big admirer of him. She doesn’t believe the helmet is real. Flashback sees Jirou meeting up with Mitsuya but the moment he speaks to him he collapses. Jirou is then captured and Akita is seen coming out from his body to control Mitsuya’s dead body. He and his Fumer comrades explain their responsibility to lead other inferior beings as advanced civilization. Kikko and Emi visit the agency of Angel Stars only to find Aki has been fired due to a scandal. Kikko thinks it is a man but the manager says it isn’t necessary. When Aki is in pain, Jirou checks her back and finds some sort of modifications that Judas made as per her request to become stronger. It is revealed that she had an affair with another fellow band member, Fanny. Yes, it’s a lesbian relationship. The agency viewed it as scandalous and Aki got sick of being told about justice and being bound by the definition of somebody else’s justice. She wants to be free like Fanny and not have any justice on her.

More flashbacks on Jirou’s encounter with the Fumers whom he doesn’t believe exist anymore. He was told they have to inhibit a superhuman’s body or else they cannot last long. They try to kill Jirou and take over his body. Akita possesses Jirou to kill off his comrades. Because Jirou is still alive, this means Akita has only a limited time to live and will die inside of him. He will use his remaining power to control his inner beast. Aki believes the Fumer still exists inside of Jirou. When she tries to attack Jirou, he realizes she has been killing aliens to find Fumers. She needs to follow Fanny who has gone to the stars (it is believed Fanny died via committing suicide). Time giant size fighting with Jirou riding Equus up against, uhm, Aki the giant woman? He defeats her but doesn’t want to arrest her. With Satomi in the picture now, Jirou hands over Aki to her other band mates to escape. Aki won’t give up on her dream to head to the stars and gives her Rainbow Knight’s helmet. Emi and Kikko are not pleased with his actions especially with the helmet containing Rainbow Knight’s secret identity. However Jirou says it is empty. He remembers Akita told him the helmet is real. He reveals a deep dark secret. Rainbow Knight’s secret powers come from his mask and suit. This means he was just an ordinary human being. Since a normal human isn’t enough to form a bureau, a superhuman was needed to commit a crime. This left Jirou confused of defines a superhuman and now the ladies in shock too because it means Rainbow Knight was just pretending to be superhuman. And it’s going to get more confusing because Jirou says Rainbow Knight was really a superhuman. WTF???!!! Are you mind f*cking with me???!!!

Episode 16
Kouichi Amato test jumps a ski jumping platform. His fellow jumpers commend him for his good work but one of them, Ganba somewhat hates him as he still holds a grudge. Suddenly dark clouds hover over them and zap the jumpers! The bureau is called in because the jumper trio know have a flower over their head! It is stiff and hard so they can’t cut it off or even wear a helmet over it. Because Japan is hosting the GP, they can’t just cancel this big international event and the bureau needs to solve it by tomorrow. Ganba thinks Amato is behind this trickery although his comrades don’t think he could since he is just an ordinary human. Suddenly dark clouds form over the city and zap everyone. They too start growing a flower on their head. The bureau goes to intercept it but they too got zapped. However they realize a flower isn’t growing and this could mean it only affects regular humans. That night, Ganba attacks Amato and threatens him to spill the beans. Ganba runs away when Jirou comes to the rescue. Jirou has business with Amato as he talks to him in his dorm. He is trying to confirm if Amato was behind this and even so he wants to protect him from the bureau. Amato takes out documents showing superhumans are allowed to participate in the games as long as they don’t have mechanical parts. Muscle and nerve body modifications are allowed. Amato was pressure to take the surgery to become a superhuman but he feared he couldn’t live up to expectations. What if he got all the modifications and failed to win the gold? Because of that he was taken off the team. Jirou isn’t interested since he isn’t the culprit but Amato pleads for him to use his power to solve this case.

Meanwhile Jaguar brings the ladies to a tree in the snowy forest believed to be behind this incident. This tree is also the symbol of god in this region. Emi is acting strange when suddenly she is possessed by the tree’s god. Meanwhile the manager tells Amato to cancel his jump since the event will be cancelled. Emi turns into Piricappi, the god of the forest. It is believed the skiing platform and facilities were built on Piricappi’s grounds and Piricappi’s role is to plant seeds, grow flowers and make a forest. Piricappi controls all the humans with the flower to gather at the ski platform, turning them into a mini forest and her power enhanced thanks to possessing Emi’s body. Jirou and Jaguar start fighting whether to save Emi or the race so Amato tells them to cut the crap and tells them off if they’re so powerful, why don’t they just use it to fix everything instead of quarrelling. Amato realizes the opening ceremony falls on the same date as the forest god’s yearly ritual. He prepares to make the jump through the gap in the mini forest. Jaguar doesn’t believe he can make it and is tempted to use his power to stop him. However Amato lands perfectly. Piricappi is satisfied and frees everyone from her mind control. Ganba and the rest apologize to Amato for being rude. Amato also explains he wants to do his duty as a test jumper since he doesn’t have the courage to represent Japan. Eventually his teammates win the gold. Emi also apologizes for the trouble. Because old forgotten gods become youkai so she somewhat clicked with them. Although the incident went without anything untoward, she wonders if the race was to be held here again, the old gods that sleep here can be trouble.

Episode 17
When a tunnel accident involves casualties, reports blame superhumans for this. The bureau suspects they are trying to sway public opinion that government should manage them. Fuurouta tails Emi who seems to be taking a long elevator down to the Earth’s core to find an underground youkai named Devila. Emi is worried if she can talk to her seeing she hates humans. She also knows Devila has a brother named Devilo. He isn’t an adult yet and thus in human form and should be easy to deal with. Speaking of him, he is on the surface. Shinjuku to be precise. He is talking nonsense and stating the obvious but people seems to be attracted to his words and before they know it, a large crowd is following him! Shakkou and his public security break up the crowd and send them scattering when they point out a large shadow youkai carp, Zumanun swimming beneath their feet. They chase and engage it. Jaguar and Kikko want to take in Devilo but Jirou is here. He says Devilo are not the culprits for the tunnel accident as believed by the public security. Jirou doesn’t want Devilo to go to the bureau as they will use him although Jaguar warns as explained by Magotake that he might have this Pied Piper effect and this makes him dangerous. Devilo thinks Kikko is cute and chooses her side. With Zumanun distracting, Devilo easily loses them. Jirou wants to know where Devila is so that Emi can have her put the underground and humans at peace. However Shakkou believes these creatures cause trouble and Japan will have them forfeit the underground. The fight continues with Fuurouta and Emi now back above ground. When a building reduces to rubble, it is a sign Zumanun has returned underground. The public security declares this a victory but the bureau believes that wasn’t its true power and could have destroyed the city if it wanted to. The public security now wants to arrest Devilo. The bureau scuffles with them. Devila pops up and sucks some of the world’s water into space. Then she picks up Devilo. When they notice Devila has a tail, they realize Devilo’s human legs are because he is still a child. He will lose them when he grows into an adult. And that is right about now. That is why Devila came to the city so that Devilo would lose his human form. Devilo states that they are everywhere. If they cannot live underground, they’ll just live in space. And up, up and away they go.

Episode 18
Wakamura and his daughter, Yuko pray at their late wife/mom’s altar. Yuko then goes to hug her mom’s grave (a rock with a face?) in the midst of the Seitaka Awadachi flower field. The flower is not a Kanto native and has become widespread throughout the years. Shiba destroys a truck transporting prisoners. One of them hijacks a bus that Wakamura and Yuko are on. When she believes a superhuman would come save them, she is taken hostage. Her father tries to save her but is shoved out of the bus. But then he turns into a superhuman?! Like the Hulk married the Thing and you get this atrocity! With a lame mask he is… Human Man?! Nice name… He easily beats up the villain and saves the day. Meanwhile Jirou is facing off with Daitetsu and his mecha. However the mecha malfunctions (overheating, I think) and this enables Jirou to save Earth-chan from his clutches. Kikko stops them as Jirou mentions the helmet similar to Jin. Something about to test brain stimulation and amplify superhuman power because Teito wants profitable superhumans and public security wants prospective soldiers. That is why the bureau is necessary to protect superhumans. But Kikko doesn’t care about all that since it gives a reason to see Jirou even if it means being his enemy. Jirou and Earth-chan return to Shiba and Judas as they discuss about Human Man showing in public and helping others. Judas mentions about the superhuman disease that is spreading via a new pollution. He views Jirou’s mission to protect superhumans no matter what akin to this disease. A couple of superhumans want Wakamura to help them rob a bank but of course he refuses. After Jirou chases them away, he asks Wakamura’s intention to become one now. He was here during the Shinjuku riots. He didn’t understand what was going on but he became a superhuman as someone close loves one.

Wakamura sees Touzaki who returns with his blood samples. They confirm to have superhuman elements. She gives him some drug to suppress it but of course he didn’t take them. She tells him about Seitaka Awadachi plants that are harmful. These are clones and stunts growth of other plants as well as mutate humans into superhumans. This is why he turned into one and since it is also turning others and they view it as inconvenience, she arranges for the field to be burnt on Christmas. Wakamura asks Yuko who is more handsome, daddy or Human Man. The latter! Because daddy has only been crying since mom died! So when public security is here to burn the field, here comes Human Man to protect the field. Jirou arrives to negotiate and learns he is protecting it because without them he is just a normal human. He is trying to hurt humans so he can stay as a superhuman. Earth-chan views him as evil as he didn’t become a superhuman for world peace. Human Man says because of Yuko loving superhumans, he became one. That is all he asks. When Earth-chan attacks, Jirou fights her. He too believes fighting for children is what superhumans do. Yuko pleads at her mom’s grave to save them. But the rock then breaks open. It is actually a pupa for Campe. She heard her prayer and helps spread the pollens around. Seitaka Awadachi plans soon bloom across Japan. With many superhumans booming, Human Man never appeared again.

Episode 19
An expedition in Antarctica digs up a cat samurai girl, Iron Mask Swordsman Koma frozen in ice for 300 years. Satomi and his Teito have bought her in a bid to advertise for publicity. After being thawed out, Koma is brought to see the Prime Minister, Shigeru Tachibana. Koma reads some of the legends in literal works regarding her as Tachibana tries to paint the country in chaos. Koma remembers she sacrificed herself to protect the village from mutants, much to her brother’s dismay. It is then the god statue combined with her and turned her into this form. To repay Tachibana for rescuing her from her frozen state, she will help slay the evil. She is told Jirou is the leader of the evil mutants. She cuts down Shiba’s hideout and there is nothing Shiba and Jirou can do about it. They are unsure what she is talking about Zess Satan and Dragon God Asahi but she thinks they’re playing dumb. She flees when Jaguar and Kikko arrive. Because Jaguar has met her before during his time travelling, he knows where she is heading. There is this tomb that Koma seems to be invading to activate something. It is the tomb of Zess Satan she sealed. Kikko thinks because this era is so alien to her and nobody knows her except Zess Satan. She is digging up her arch enemy to fight him again. Koma’s duty is to slay all evil and not spare a single one. She transforms into her real warrior form to try to undo the seal.

When Jaguar enters the fray, he believes it is not Zess Satan she wants to revive but Asahi who died while sealing him. Flashback shows Koma and Asahi facing off but the latter lost. She won’t kill him despite his reasoning that she will be seen as a traitor and an ally for evil if she spares him. If she lets him live, her justice will be lost. Thus he is going to defeat Zess Satan to obtain his powers to beat her. He did that but Koma eventually sealed them. Jaguar believes they both felt for each other. Koma is disappointed despite defeating every last evil, wars did not stop till this day. What she lost was those dear to her. She knows doing this won’t bring Asahi back but to prevent others from experiencing a similar fate. Jirou stops her and mentions how cool Asahi was because he was an evil superhuman but justice inside him stirred. Koma sees Jirou as a nice guy so she goes back to punish Tachibana for deceiving her. He pleads for his life and even tries to show his ancestry. He is the descendent of her younger brother. He reveals his superhuman powers to control animal minds. He can control some politicians too but only if they’re of the dumbest kind. She is confused her descendent is tormenting superhumans and living lavishly. Going to war to stop war? WTF?! I’m as confused as her too. Koma goes away saddened with the fact Zess Satan is gone but the war did not. Satomi has recorded their conversation. Jaguar intends to give his time travelling clock to Earth-chan to send Koma back to her era. However Koma refuses since it will be the same. There is no difference then and now. So what will she do? She once travelled to find the end of the world (was that why she was in South Pole?) and will continue to do so. Recording of Tachibana’s conversation is revealed to the public. Japan is thrown into chaos once more. War. It never changes…

Episode 20
Colonel Carloco tasks the bureau to retrieve a missing soldier, Jonathan Morrell. He came to them instead of the public security because this involves military secrets and this small team is flexible. Besides, Magotake is related to this. At least in the experimental superhuman unit call JOE (Jungle Operation Enforcers). All American JOE superhumans who fought in the Southeast Asian war were stationed at Yokota Air Base in Japan instead of being sent back. The bureau tries to enter the base but couldn’t enter because it is US land. Fuurouta brings Kikko to see Jirou who tells her as usual for the bureau to stay out of this. Because he knows superhuman soldiers who fought the war will be detained and can never go home. This is to cover up their existence. Jonathan escaped because he wants to go home and if the US Army finds him, they’ll kill him. Jonathan is with him and plans to send him home. Jonathan is with Shiba but he is scared with any altar things even if it is decoration. When Jirou returns, he hears out Jonathan as he recalls the atrocities he did in the jungle in the name of guiding humans to a new era. There were local people turning into beasts and the likes. Jonathan was traumatized that he did anything to survive. He considers himself a murderer and can’t go back. But Jirou believes the power he yearned for in the beginning was right and he should return proud and condemn the US Army’s injustice. Jonathan becomes scared when he saw Emi’s youkai at the window but when Jirou turns, he sees nothing. Carloco shows top secret blueprints of JOE to Magotake. He believes their purpose in using superhumans differ than the rest because they are not for national profit but for mankind. Something about Earth was ruled by former rulers like spirits, ghosts, etc. So he plans to eradicate them and share this glory with mankind.

Emi and Kikko report Jonathan’s location and when Carloco and his JOE guys arrive, they become hostile in trying to take them in. But they got the wrong room so Jirou and Jonathan escape. Kikko believes they are going overboard but Carloco says this is the best way to keep casualties to a minimum. Despite Emi looking like she is siding with the US Army, her logic it is better to be their ally and then get in their way instead of rebelling outright. This is the best way to protect Jirou. Later Carloco gets a call from Master Ultima to capture Jirou. This guy compared to that soldier is more important as he is the key for the future global energy crisis. Jonathan is hiding in the cabin woods but his trauma works up. He runs away realizing this country is similar to the jungles he fought in. Everything has a spirit in it unlike his home where everything is only human. The JOE guys attack. Jonathan kills them and even a couple of innocent hikers! Then he goes crazy realizing he knows a way to guide mankind by becoming God and instilling fear and death. He arms himself with the weapon limbs he torn off other JOE soldiers. Carloco intervenes to fight him. He disagrees with Jirou’s notion that they are abandoning him because they are going to bring him back with honour. Carloco kills off Jonathan. Then he faces off with Jirou as they both have opposing views on justice. Their clash is stopped when Magotake steps in. They’ve secured Jonathan, now leave. Jonathan is taken back in a coffin on a plane home to US. The news reports the incident and blames it on the youkai. Shiba thought Jirou wasted his time because Jonathan was destined to return to the battlefield as he was born there and had nowhere else to go. Jirou disagrees because Jonathan admired superhumans and aspired to be one. It was his reason to save him.

Episode 21
Maria Nana, an ex-IQ member enters a superhero haven. Everyone still hates and blames her for being part of that riot that gave superhumans a bad name. She leaves once she sees Fuurouta but Satomi puts on Claude’s helmet on her and brainwashes her. There is something about NUTS that Touzaki explains like how they don’t broadly interpret superhumans but deem them as super-humankind with innate or acquired exceptional power. This makes non-superhumans to be considered evil and can crack down on bad ones and make it look like an in-fight. Shiba fights Mieko and Kaoru. Satomi wants Touzaki to wear Claude’s helmet and make her into a superhuman to pilot the mecha. He believes acquiring NUTS will make them equal as Gods. Once she starts up the mecha, she takes on Aki. But being a beginner and non-superhuman, she loses. But the leak from her mecha’s fuselage is causing great damage to Aki. With the damage around, Jaguar punches Jirou that he didn’t do anything to stop the attacks but stood there just like a coward. He didn’t stop Shiba and Mieko-Kaoru’s fight. He didn’t even stop Aki’s fight. The fuel is analyzed and it is discovered to be that same powerful drug developed by the US to kill immortal superhumans like that immortal family. Now it seems they have developed it as a fuel. Judas has a hard time trying to treat Aki but he takes Jirou’s blood and everything calms down. There are rumours about Jirou’s blood revitalizing superhuman cells and its side effect turns them into giants. With his blood, an unknown energy always appears in the superhuman’s body. To find out more, he suggests asking Magotake since he is an expert on this field. Because if you remember that Big GaGon incident, it was Jirou’s blood that turned a peaceful beast into a violent one. Earth-chan comes down believing Jirou called for her. He didn’t but she believes his heart was crying out to her. However she doesn’t know how to help him. Mieko and Kaoru don’t want a part in this as they are made to unite the country. Now they see them as enemies of peace and leave.

Satomi and Touzaki see Tachibana to tell him about the leaked secret meeting of him with Master Ultima over the implementation of NUTS. With this, Satomi believes they have washed their hands off and this mismanagement has nothing to do with them anymore. Tachibana will be forced to resign and Master Ultima will be prosecuted by many. Touzaki is surprised this means NUTS project is off. She wonders about his plans and he mentions everything will go accordingly still since there will be Okinawa even without NUTS and a movie released at the end of the year. His goal is a world without superhumans. Daitetsu isn’t pleased when Touzaki relays the order to not resist when superhumans attack and just watch NUTS get destroyed. He becomes disillusioned about justice and believes Jirou has always been stating the obvious. True justice shouldn’t be like that and a strong determination like his that doesn’t allow evil at all. So what has Touzaki to do but to drink her heart out. Actually she is also called out by Jirou. She gives him Claude’s helmet as he wanted because he heard she spoke with Claude when she was on NUTS. Jirou puts the helmet on and peeks into his own past. Emi snuck him out to play but he got injured. Because he doesn’t want to go back, his powers went berserk. It was like as though there was some sort of beast inside him. The year after the war ended, Satomi is seen talking to Magotake about the Germans’ failed bomb proposal. Satomi told him about American dropping a bomb on Hiroshima last year and it was supposed to destroy a city. But it had no effect as a baby (Jirou) was found alive. But what if that bomb was real. Because it did cause a great deal of damage.

Episode 22
Satomi thought GaGon was disposed of but Magotake regenerated it using a piece of its heart using Jirou’s blood. He wanted to present this to Master Ultima but some organization broke in and set GaGon free and thus that rampaging incident (the one which also had Jirou went out of the lab for the first time and supported GaGon). Now Jirou is seen talking to Claude. He is told what if Claude’s personality was burnt into the helmet’s processing unit and Teito mass produced it. Countless Claude could be dwelling in it now. Claude wants to show him the rest but Jirou is overcome with fear and doesn’t want to see it. Earth-chan rips the helmet from his head. Touzaki takes the helmet instead as Jirou warns Claude’s thinking will corrupt her. As a plain human, she explains her simple version of justice and how all superhumans should just get together for the greater good. She might not want to be a superhuman but doesn’t mind having powers. Earth-chan destroys the helmet. During a public event where NUTS is on display, all the related parties are there. With Satomi warning superhumans are in the midst, panic soon starts as NUTS get into gear. Touzaki wears the helmet and Claude corrupts her. She goes berserk destroying everything. Jirou remembers Claude took off his helmet. Jirou saw his own face. So now he is paralyzed in fear and not attacking back. Something about all the reasons for being passionate and justice, his kid self is the source. Fuurouta and Jaguar had to talk some sense into him that he is no longer a kid and before him is a crying one. Jirou gets his groove back as he combines Equus with Shiba’s mecha into something more awesome and save the day. In the aftermath, a handful of casualties and hundreds injured (including Touzaki). During the great typhoon in Japan, it seems like Satomi sabotaged the transportation of NUTS and let the flood wash the robots away. Everybody is watching a propaganda video from Teito and Jirou needs to see this to see what Claude told him was consistent. So it tells about the incident with Rainbow Knight and his defeat. Jirou didn’t want to believe when Rainbow Knight said justice might not exist.

Episode 23
Master Ultima is hunting down youkais and captures Koma. However Emi fights and kills him and then takes over his Ultimapolis base. The police’s superhuman violence control merges with the public security force to form a new super soldier unit as they raid superhuman hideouts and arrest its remnants. After the propaganda movie, the people now thinks the bureau is an evil organization hiding a beast. Magotake talks to Jaguar about his last meeting with Jirou whereby he told him the truth about Satomi’s theory on how Jirou was born. Something about Jirou being a contact point where 2 worlds overlap. Because the bomb failed to explode, its failure most probably had simply taken a shape of a baby. It is believed in that alternate world, the bomb may have exploded and people found a way to control nuclear fission and there was no need to fight over oil. World peace reigned. Jirou might have come into existence because somebody wished for the tragedy to be undone. Like a superhero when somebody cries for help, they appear to help and save the day. Thus the bureau was formed to protect Jirou as Satomi and the US Army has always been after him. But Jirou doesn’t want all that as he still believes in a righteous superhuman. Kikko and Fuurouta talk to Touzaki who has left the company and in charge of songs for kids’ shows. She thinks that superhumans are just nothing but children’s imaginations. Once they are gone, the kids will wake up. The duo then stumble into Shiba, Mieko and Kaoru who show her blueprints of Ultimapolis. There is something fishy about the engine. No, not that its design looks like taiyaki…

Jirou travels underground to Ultimapolis where Emi is. He realizes the engines are powered by superhuman powers. Because of their superhuman genes have this regeneration ability that won’t be melted from that fuel, massive energy is generated by the division and fusion of cells which is then used as fuel. Master Ultima tried to secure superhuman rights through this. Superhumans will resolve the energy crisis and end wars. However this only applies to humanoid superhumans. Youkais and other beasts will be just used as energy. Emi wants to build their own nation here and secretly trying to negotiate for their independence. Kikko wonders if Touzaki is trying to send a hidden message through her songs about superhumans being useful to humans. Earth-chan then crashes down to Earth because she has ran out of power after the relentless chasing from the super soldier unit. Mieko and Kaoru are put out of commission by Daitetsu’s metal manipulating abilities while Shiba tries to save Earth-chan ends up getting ripped to bits by a train. Jirou doesn’t want to run and has Ultimapolis resurface. Jirou has decided that mankind and beasts are enemies after all. He faces off with Akira as Judas relays Judas’ last words to Jirou. Kikko is shocked when Fuurouta discloses that Emi took her demon powers to save her. That’s why in return Jirou promised never to see Kikko. It’s the reason he left the bureau. It’s too late for Kikko to blame herself. Ultimapolis has resurfaced and Jirou has defeated Akira before shortly declaring war on all superhumans. Also shortly after, Emi makes a public announcement to demand Ultimapolis be surrendered to youkais and beasts eternally. Satomi also exposes top secret information about the new energy type that can be created out of superhumans. With humans making their decision, so did superhumans. Everyone is going to war and for the first time superhumans have a reason and enemy to fight.

Episode 24
It seems 2 years have passed and peace reigns. Everyone now views superhumans in a good way thanks to the Okinawa incident. So we go back 2 years to see the epic fight. Emi and her youkais are led by Jirou against humans and humanoid superhumans who turn against Jirou since he killed Rainbow Knight. Especially Daitetsu who is facing off with him. Jirou admits he killed Rainbow Knight and is a beast. Jirou defeats Daitetsu. Daitetsu thought he is going to die but his BL Clan friends save him. With Kikko joining the fray, everyone sees her as a saviour and thus her witch powers grow. She whisks him away inside Ultimapolis where she confronts Emi. Emi claims that Jirou will leave with her and the rest of the youkais to another world. Because Jirou is the contact point, once he awakens, the door to another world will open. A world where there will be no wars over energy. When Kikko attacks her, Jirou protects Emi. Kikko pulls back in time. As Satomi explains, it is part of Jirou’s plan to become a villain and then die by her hands since she is the hero. With the people’s trust regained, they can continue to live in this world. But must Kikko really kill Jirou? He believes he did her wrong. She was pure and strong and would become a hero of justice. But because of him, she changed. She fought for herself and not justice. Kikko has always viewed him as a superhero but Jirou doesn’t think he lived up to that as he always breaks his promises. Satomi has his own script to play. He is going to defeat Jirou so that superhumans fight humans and disappear on their own. He wants Emi to take her youkais and leave to the other world. Satomi hates superhumans because they feel unnatural to this world. It’s like as though this world is a child dreaming and must grow up.

Before Jirou leaves with Emi, he wants to defeat Satomi. It might look like Jaguar is using his technology to stop Jirou, but because such technology doesn’t exist in his era, time is correcting itself so Jaguar and his machines disappear. Jaguar notes to Jirou that he is on his side this time. Satomi reveals he was born the same way as Jirou. A large meteor crashed into Earth that could destroy everything but instead gave birth to an energy that was him. He used that energy to stop aging and maximise his abilities. The guys clash and for the first time Jirou admits himself to being a superhuman. The rest of his pals chip in to fight Satomi. However Satomi uses the fuel to burn Jirou’s arm. Normally his regenerative abilities meant that it could regenerate in no time but because Akita is controlling his power, Jirou will not be able to keep his form soon and become pure energy. Emi wants him to go to the other world to solve this problem. Unfortunately Jirou won’t be going. He admits to breaking another promise and will be staying. They can use Satomi as the contact point seeing he is the same as Jirou. Jirou turns into pure energy, never to appear again. In the aftermath, Emi and her youkais leave for the other world via using Satomi. Ullr decides to go along too. Because he still loves Emi? Kikko and Fuurouta along with the other humanoid superhumans stay back. Now 2 years later, Touzaki is a famous person and everyone helping her out. It is believed that a group of aliens are on their way to Earth and another battle is loving. Kikko might not be able to see Jirou but she can still feel him spread all over the world watching them. She hopes one day a voice would reach him just like how superhumans are supposed to be. There are short montages of other characters but I don’t really get it. Not any more at this point.

With Great Powers Come Great Energy
Sadly… I still don’t get it!!! So looks like the only thing I can see as the root of all this problem is that superhumans have this potential to become new source of energy that currently this alternate world is facing right now and that might be the reason why everybody wants to rule over superhumans. Which is of course the root of all the complications and convoluted plots which I still am not being able to comprehend. So it looks like they have gone with a seemingly good ending because yeah, peace, right? Till the aliens arrive and decide to do an Independence Day on Earth. That will be a superhuman story for another time. So how did they solve the energy crisis because everybody is like so happy respecting superhumans like super idols instead of looking them as power source? Beats me. Not that I care anymore. Because it’s like treating your porky pet pig as your beloved little brother instead of eating it as bacon for breakfast. Hell, yeah…

A great portion of this series also follows the format of the first season whereby there is some sort of random case. Even if there were enough pieces of the puzzles to put together and form at least a reasonable story from some of the recurring characters and incidents, for a dumb guy like me, I still didn’t really understand everything in the overall picture. It is as good as if I never saw the first season, jumped straight into this one and be equally confused in the end. Only this time it is worse because since I saw the first season not too long ago and now that I just saw the second season, I should be able to grasp something. Yeah, blame myself for losing interest and being lazy to go back and refresh my memories of the first season. WHAT?! YOU CRAZY?! You want me to go back and review and remind myself what the f*ck just happened???!!! That’s like studying for exams in my schooling years that I loathe!!! Not happening. Prefer to blame all the confusing stuffs here instead of reading up. It’s much simpler that way ;p.

So you can bet that I have forgotten a lot of plots, scenarios and outlines from the first season which of course further impedes my understanding and thus my overall enjoyment for this series. Oh heck, who am I kidding? I couldn’t even enjoy it in the first place with me racking my brains trying to make sense of everything which I eventually failed at the end of the episode and season. I remember the episodes in the season don’t air in chronological order (at least that is what I still believed to be) but for this season, it seems I don’t even give a damn anymore. All I know is that many of the episodes this season should have taken place at least after those we have seen in the first season.

In the end, I don’t even know who is who and what is what. What side they are on and what they are really after. Because like Jirou himself is already one bloody confusing existence. Say what? He is born from a failed nuclear detonation? He is not superhuman? And then finally he is? What kind of justice he believes in? I give up. I don’t even know Jirou any more than I know a stranger. In the end, he decided to do a Madoka and become one with the world. That’s like becoming God, no? And what about the other characters of the bureau? I don’t know whose side everybody is anymore in the end. It’s like everybody slowly starts to leave the bureau or become fugitives. I don’t know. I don’t know anymore. I don’t know what the heck is happening. Forgive me for spamming this (and you’ll hear this a few more times) because really, sometimes it feels like a waste of brain power and time for me to watch the entire series without understanding a damn thing in the end. I was hoping to see Kikko and Emi fight over Jirou but with all the complications happening, that remains a pipe dream. At least they still love this guy, right? Right?! He is no longer physically around but I’m sure he’ll always be in their hearts. I know it sounds cheesy but whatever.

Some of the other recurring characters from the first season like Campe only make very short cameos and I believe they don’t make any significant contribution to the overall plot. At least not individually. Then others like Master Ultima whom I thought was somewhat a disappointment but it could be just the way the plot worked out. Because I thought he was supposed to be the biggest antagonist whatsoever but I could be wrong and my confusion of everything might have my perceptions of him mixed up. And then he got killed by Emi so easily. WTF?! So he’s not like the ultimate final boss? And that final boss goes to Satomi? I don’t know. I thought he was a bit weak too. I mean, he is a shady character and it’s like he has some sort of scheme up his sleeves but it is as though his final battle in the final episode felt like they ran out of time so they need to hurry with the epic boss fight and just get over with it. Some new characters this season like those skiers and that normal human who turned into a superhuman feel like they’re just fillers. Some from the first season never came back like those comedians although they do make very short cameos in the final episode. If you still remember them. I believe the series has so many characters that somewhat ties into the plot directly and indirectly but since I failed to connect them that way, most of them are out of sight, out of mind.

There are probably lots of other things I wanted to say but I couldn’t because I am still super confused as I am typing my final words. My final thoughts are still jumbled from the mess. So I’m just going to just summarize a few of the other points I noted like the action parts are filled with its typical flashy exaggeration and special effects just like last season. I guess there is not much need to understand when things go boom. Or is there? The art and drawing is also consistent with last season with lots of colourful backgrounds and characters. But some of the characters like Emi and Kikko spot a more mature look this time. But I want to point out that there is one episode whereby bare tits are very visible. As Devila was always in her natural form, if you look closely enough, you can actually see her tits and her long flowing hair is just like a fake teaser to make us think it is there as a natural censor but it isn’t. At many times you can see her full nipples in your face. Well, this anime isn’t really for kids in the first place despite the setting of how kids love dreaming of superhumans and superheroes. This season’s themes are also done by the same people with ZAQ handling the opener, Warireru Doukoku and the ending theme ALL-WAYS by Yohsuke Yamamoto but this time featuring Nami Tamaki in the lead vocals. This mean it’s not an instrumental this time. Also, at least this time the ending credits animation didn’t have weird creepy animations. And just like last season too, I found out there are lots of insert songs but I didn’t really notice them.

Overall, I am reiterating what I mostly said in my previous blog for this series. It is not a show for any Tom, Dick and Harry. You need to have a sharp and exceptional mind to watch and keep tabs at all the happenings. Hats off to those who actually understood and enjoyed this series. So I’m glad that this series is finally over as I can put my brains to rest. I’m just glad I didn’t live in that alternate world with all the confusion and fighting with superhumans. But come to think of it, this reality isn’t any better because we still fight among ourselves for every petty reasons. Either way, as long as you are human, you’re still screwed. That is why till this day no real or fictional superhuman or superhero could still save us from ourselves. And even if you have a free pass to start anew in another parallel world, I believe it will still end up being the same thing. We’re humans after all, with or without super powers.


God Eater

December 24, 2016

This seems slated to be the season’s reasonably epic. An apocalyptic world with human remnants using oversized weapons fighting against creatures that seem undefeatable. Epic indeed it seems. Till it ran into delay problems. Yup. I thought God Eater was going to pull something off like Kekkai Sensen since it is another TV series that couldn’t finish in its provided season. Its first episode was already delayed and then the final 4 episodes were delayed to a couple of seasons later. Well, at least better than never finishing it or just releasing it exclusively on DVDs. So perhaps the scheduling troubles were the cause of the delays and postponement unlike Kekkai Sensen’s final episode that was too long to be fit into the normal airing slot. But whatever it was, when it finally finished, I could feel that my enthusiasm for the series has waned and I’m just watching it out of obligation in hopes its epic would blow away the frustration. Well, if I am already saying all this in my opening paragraph…

Episode 1
With his iron will of determination, Lenka Utsugi passes an excruciating test to become a member of Fenrir’s Far East branch’s God Eater. When Aragami attack the city walls, he along with Kouta Fujiki are ordered by Tsubaki Amamiya to the training room instead of fighting alongside the other veterans. Lenka fails his simulation. When he sees the injured wheeled in, he requests Tsubaki to attempt the simulation again. Despite failing again, he won’t give up. Branch director, Johannes von Schicksal seeks Tsubaki’s update on Lenka’s progress as he is a New Type. Lenka’s experience of living outside the walls makes him exceptional but it also means his kind are the fastest to die. Johannes wants her to continue keeping an eye on him as New Types are rare. Later Kouta brings Lenka to see his friend, Licca Kusunoki who is the chief maintenance engineer. She has finished customizing his personal God Arc that he can use from now on. Shortly after, reports come in that Aragami have broken through an area of the walls. Lenka then realizes Tsubaki did not send other nearby units to intercept is because there are no units nearby! He wants to sortie but Tsubaki will not have him die early yet. Going against her order, Lenka goes to get his God Arc and blasts through the base walls before command centre could lock him down. He sees firsthand how the people get slaughtered mercilessly by the invading Aragami and a fellow God Eater, Eric gets owned. Lenka tries to save him but he loses his God Arc and is surrounded. Luckily his life is extended with the arrival of the first unit, Far East branch’s best unit made out of Rindou Amamiya, Sakuya Tachibana and Souma Schicksal. See how they plough through the horde with ease like as though they are video game veterans. Lenka picks back up his God Arc and rushes to protect a woman moments from being devoured. Because he is out of reach, he inadvertently transforms his God Arc into gun mode.

Episode 2
Don’t tell me Lenka doesn’t know how to fire?! And he doesn’t know how to turn it back? So first unit has to save his ass again. Rindou has Sakuya and Lenka get Eric to safety while they handle the remnants. Lenka’s confidence builds when he manages to fire a shot at the big boss, Vajra. But then the static in the air got to him. By the time he regains consciousness, he is in prison. Detained for disobeying orders. He will remain here till the board decides his punishment. He asks what happened during his blackout. To put it shortly, they won but Eric died. After Rindou carried unconscious Lenka, his team is low on ammo. Had not other units arrive in time, they would not have seized victory. In the aftermath as the mess is being cleaned up, Lenka is stretchered away when a stray Aragami attacks. Eric used his body to protect and paid the price with his life in the process. He didn’t even have any last words. Lenka feels guilty as Rindou hands him back something he dropped during the fight: A compass. So as the higher ups ponder about the possibility of Lenka’s God Arc being confiscate, there is also Eric’s official funeral to attend. After Rindou hears talk that Lenka tried to help Eric without his God Arc, he returns to question why he did so. Would he have left a comrade to die just because you were unarmed? A plane carrying Alisa Illinichina Amiella flying towards Far East branch is being attacked by flying Aragami. Tsubaki receives orders for her team to rescue this plane. Because Souma is out on a separate mission, Rindou believes it will be hard for just the 2 of them to pull this off. Speaking of which, there is a replacement… Johannes gives his approval although he will be under full surveillance. So Tsubaki goes to Lenka to offer him 2 choices. Stay here and wait for the board’s decision or go out and prove he is worth something. The choice is obvious. He is not the kind who believes in prayers. Time to gear up for action.

Episode 3
Alisa isn’t going to be a sitting duck either. She gets out there to kick Aragami ass. With their never-ending numbers, the best option is to abandon the plane but she won’t do it. Besides, she doesn’t need their help. Since first unit can’t just sit there and they have orders to take her back, they decide to assist her. They see Alisa’s New Type as her God Arc is able to devour Aragami and replenish her ammo. An evolved Aragami hails for backup. A huge horde is seen flocking in the distance. At this rate they won’t have any more time so Rindou orders Lenka to retrieve Alisa. She easily baits that guy and beats him up. Lenka continues following her and realizes the reason she won’t leave the plane. There are many injured passengers. Lenka believes he too wants to save all the passengers. Time to kick Aragami ass. Lenka as a New Type learns fast by copying Alisa as he too transforms his God Arc to devour an Aragami to power up. Amidst the high turbulence and fighting on top of the plane BS, we see Lenka and Alisa take turns to show off how cool they slay Aragami. It’s like gravity and physics don’t matter. Then they look at each other like as though it is your turn. WTF. Eventually they manage to take out the entire horde and even prevent evolved ones from calling for backup. When a huge Aragami is detected closing in on the plane, Rindou orders Sakuya and their helicopter pilot to abandon and use their helicopter as bait and everyone will return to Far East branch via this plane. To everyone’s shock, they see a huge mother*cking Aragami through the clouds! These are the types you don’t mess with.

Episode 4
Alisa is brought to Johannes and because of the successful mission, Lenka’s insubordination charges are dropped. He along with Alisa and Kouta are immediately drafted to the first unit under Rindou. Kouta takes Lenka to his slum home. Since Lenka isn’t from around here, he is surprised to see people being handed out food. Kouta tells his mom about his drafting and you can tell from her face the fear that awaits such fate. As they see the people rebuild the damage, Kouta mentions he hopes Aegis will be completed soon. It is an artificial island to shelter all humanity safe from any Aragami attack as it is made out from its core. So it is God Eaters’ job to destroy Aragami and bring back such cores. On the next mission, the first unit is supposed to hunt Gboro for their cores. We can tell the newbies have a hard time. Lenka just couldn’t get it right, Kouta almost got killed (Souma saved his ass) and Alisa is just toying around since she already reached her ‘quota’. On the way back, they encounter a small group of human survivors who are glad to see them. Bringing them back to Far East branch, it seems the guards reject them because none of them show any God Arc compatibility test (at least one of them needs to have that potential). Because of that, they are turned away. I mean, who cares, right? Lenka will not allow this but even if he complains, Rindou tells him there is nothing they can do. Lenka stands there in shock and disbelief as the rejected and dejected survivors trudge back out of the walls. The heartbreaking look on the little girl’s face… It was just inhumane. It didn’t make sense. It was just plain crazy incomprehensible. At least that look on Lenka’s face.

Episode 5
Lenka asks when Aegis is scheduled to be completed. Progress stands at… 0.06%!!! OMFG! Well, it’s a massive project so it needs tens of thousands of cores. Don’t start feeling down now… As Rindou and Souma are away on a special assignment, Sakuya will lead the newbies to gather more cores. Lenka suggests taking on the Vajra because logically it has a bigger core and will speed up Aegis’ completion. Sakuya agrees to it but lays down a few ground rules like if it gets too dangerous they will withdraw immediately. As they enter the Vajra den and engage some of them, they are shocked to see several survivors. When they are cornered by the multiple Vajra, a larger and darker Vajra, Dyaus Pita attack its own kind and devours them! Well, it seems Alisa has a grudge with this one since she becomes mad and goes all out attacking it. Owned. It starts killing the survivors. Sakuya and Kouta are given its electric shock treatment. Don’t just stand there Lenka. Move! Well, he did after getting mad (and Alisa getting owned a second time). Unfortunately he got owned too. Try again. Be madder. Look at the blood flowing through his veins. Nope. Owned again. What’s worse than him watching the remaining survivors get killed and he himself getting stabbed? His God Arc broke! I suppose Alisa got up just to distract it but then collapses from her injuries. Now Sakuya and Kouta distract it so Lenka could retrieve Alisa and escape. But the Pita turns its attention to Lenka and Alisa. I am guessing it is so desperate that it fell off the cliff with them. Flashback shows Johannes was a scientist along with Aisha Gauche and Paylor Sakaki. They were researching on the evolution of some virus known as Oracle. One day a US military guy summoned them to show weird monsters being fished out from their waters. More recently, a vicious mutated creature broke out from its cage and immune to any firearms. They investigated and traced that these life forms have this single core cell colony as its source. Meaning, they originated from Oracle and evolved. The trio are called to help this out.

Episode 6
Lenka wakes up on the riverbed. Alisa is unconscious as he takes her take refuge in a dilapidated house. She wakes up not only to learn the Pita is gone but her God Arc is missing. She wants to go find it but after seeing Lenka collapse from his wound, she stays by his side to give the necessary medications. As she waits, the traumatic memories resurface. She was a happy girl living with her parents. And what a day to play hide and seek in town. Because the Aragami attack and her parents were devoured by the Pita before her eyes! I thought it seemed funny that the Pita looked back at her like though as it is saying, “Why, how about that? You’re f*cked now”. Well, now she is paralyzed with fear and turned into a finger sucking toddler when an Aragami attacks. Lenka wakes up in time to fend it off with his broken God Arc. It feels like a weird MTV music video as we see the duo run and hide from the Aragami pack. Only by day they manage to find Alisa’s God Arc lying by the river rocks. Time to pick them up and fight. However she is still reeling from the trauma. When more Aragami show up and surround her, she just gave up and cower in fear. Time for Lenka to jump in again and save the day. However there is only so much a boy and a broken God Arc can do. So he too is like “Oh, f*ck it!” and he just prepares to be killed while protecting Alisa. All in good timing, here comes Rindou slaying them all like he was cutting butter. He looks disappointed. Lenka wonders what he would have done in such situation but Rindou throws the question back at him. Didn’t he stop looking to God for answers? Why was it he became a God Eater in the first place? More flashback of Johannes and his team trying to find a cure of Oracle. Let’s say things are looking grim. Their progress made no headway and Aisha knows he falsified his report but doesn’t blame him.

Episode 7
Rindou reports to HQ that he can’t rendezvous with them since this place is swarming with Aragami. He takes the New Types to a village besides a dam. Lenka recognizes one of the girls as that group who was turned away by the branch. Apparently Rindou brought them here and people living here are those rejected by Fenrir. Rindou has Lenka follow him to do some stuffs and has Alisa rest. Can she hold her God Arc with those shaky hands? Lenka is shocked to learn Rindou smuggled ampoules from Fenrir. He sees them inject them into several trees in the forest. When an Aragami touches it, the tree reacts and strikes them dead! Of course it only works on smaller types and not large ones like Vajra. Yes, the trees are also a type of Aragami he is using. Even the God Arcs are made of Aragami. They’ll use anything to fight them. Rindou reminds him why he kills Aragami. The alert is sounded and it seems an Aragami has broken through the forest. Rindou will take care of the Vajra nearby and wants Lenka to protect the villagers. Nobody must die today. That’s an order. What about Alisa? She crawled into a closet to hide… Lenka manages to distract the Aragami and then go hide somewhere with some villagers. He devices a plan to flush away the Aragami via the dam. But to slow it down he needs the ampoules. The villagers agree to help and bring the ampoules and ready the dam while Lenka distracts the Aragami. All is set for the big trap as Lenka fires the ampoules into it. It seems to be working and weakening it but the Aragami isn’t stupid and not going to be cornered into the river. With the last ampoule left, Lenka stabs it into his God Arc and it grows into a giant monster hand or some thingy and pushes it into the river. See it flush down the river… The villagers praise Lenka (he’s like a celebrity now) and Rindou too has done his job. Let’s see what the God Eaters have achieved today. Lenka: Saved the village and flushed an Aragami away. Rindou: Destroyed a Vajra. Alisa: … What the f*ck were your doing?! The flashback continues with the scientists making headway on the research as they noticed the mysterious virus avoid Oracle cells. When they report it to the higher ups, their research is then suspended. They realize they want to suppress this information since the virus has already started to claim lives.

Episode 8
Rindou and co are rescued. Due to Alisa’s trauma and Lenka’s broken God Arc, they are both put on indefinite leave. Paylor is called to help Licca diagnose Lenka’s God Arc. He detected a pulse and can restore it but the question is why it broke because it is made using Oracle cells that are made from Aragami. As Rindou is away for a special mission, Sakuya leads the first unit to have a joint operation with the second unit to hunt down Aragami. In an abandoned stadium, they are surrounded and overwhelmed. The ground gives way and they fall underground. As they are being relentlessly attacked by the Aragami, Tsubaki orders them to retreat and return to the surface. However Lenka, who is observing in the control room wants them to continue underground and find an exit path. Tsubaki doesn’t want him to interfere but Sakuya suggests listening to his idea. It seems like Lenka knows the area and where they will hit a wall. He also knows there is an underground path or else the entire structure would have collapsed. Tsubaki then gives him absolute command. When they are in a waterway, Lenka has them hide and wait. This is his plan for them to strike back via a strong pincer attack. As they hide and let the unsuspecting Aragami walk through, Lenka gives the orders for them to give it all they’ve got. Thanks to that, all of them return to Fenrir alive and praise him. Paylor then talks to Lenka and has found the cause. His compatibility is too strong! Their technology is not advanced enough to bring it down so Lenka’s life is shortened and his death imminent. Just great. Meanwhile Johannes briefs the other God Eaters about the new Aragami guiding device they have developed. Something about luring a certain type of strain within a certain range and then eliminating them altogether. This is what Operation Meteorite will be about. Lastly, Alisa talks to her doctor that she needs to kill the Pita no matter what. So please do anything to take away her fear. It’s about time. The flashback continues as the scientists have already successfully stabilized the cells. All that is left is to test it on the new form but it will be hard since they have lost all access to the military. And then the attacks begin. Strange huge spikes protrude from the ground all over the world and shortly the birth of those monsters.

Episode 9
Lenka’s compatibility rate is accelerating his demise. Even if he retires now he has 3 years to live at most. Even so, his Bias Factor must continue to be regulated or else he will die as the Oracle cells in his body will run rampant. Knowing the risk and if he still chooses to fight, he will fix his God Arc. The flashback continues after Aragami took over the world by storm. Johannes regrets he should have disclosed the information but when they notice buildings under Fenrir did not get affected by the protrusions, they plan to continue their research and make a weapon out of Bias Factor so they can fight Aragami. During Tsubaki’s Operation Meteorite briefing, she names the head of the units to set up the guiding devices. One of them is Lenka and Souma is put under his charge. So slap a few bandages on the God Arc and you call this fixed?! Okay, so it is not completely done but it will act more like a shield. Because Lenka notices others keep calling Souma a grim reaper and keeping their distance, he checks into the database to find out more. As you might have guessed, he is Johannes’ son. More flashback as the scientists realize Aragami is also evolving because their weapons now aren’t effective. A suggestion is to cultivate Oracle cells to create an artificial Aragami. Since Oracle cells devour anything it touches, another suggestion is to inject Bias Factor into a human’s body and let it adapt. Since that requires incredible amount of volunteers, the better way is to directly inject into the womb. Don’t worry, Aisha is already a volunteer. Hint, hint. However Aisha died after giving birth to Souma. Lenka asks Tsubaki why she gave up being a God Eater. She realizes how Aragami are born and they cannot be exterminated. But she has faith all this will end and thus is entrusting it to others.

After Lenka’s team set up the guiding devices and as they are leaving, Aragami pop up from the ground within the parameter. They are trying to push and move the devices. Souma can’t stand this and jumps back down to fight them. Lenka wants to back him up but the rest are afraid. Can Lenka protect them with his broken God Arc? Then he just jumps in himself to help Souma. But Souma is still wavering so Lenka tells him he didn’t kill his mom to be born. She entrusted hope to him. Therefore he is not a grim reaper. Souma unleashes a powerful blast to kill the Aragami. Lenka still lives but his infection is spreading. Souma asks why he had accepted this mission in spite of his condition. To complete Aegis. Souma doesn’t believe in that because Aragami cannot be destroyed. Its scattered Oracle cells will gather and slowly give birth to an Aragami. The vicious cycle of despair repeats. In that case… Pass it to someone to do the job! You can’t die until you connect your life with somebody’s. Just like passing responsibility? So does this mean Souma is somewhat friends with Lenka since he mentions that since he didn’t die, he shouldn’t either? Lenka has found his resolve so he wants Paylor to fix his God Arc. Meanwhile Alisa is being hypnotized by her doctor to fight the Aragami who killed her parents. Isn’t that Rindou’s face?

Episode 10
Time to learn about Lenka’s past. 15 years ago a group of people were turned away from Fenrir because they tested negative for the God Arc compatibility. A family sees an abandoned baby nearby. Knowing if they abandon him, they would be no better than Fenrir, they adopted this child and took him in like theirs. He is Lenka. He grows up many years later and mom fell ill. He along with his (foster) sister, Iroha head out to find medicine but the group was ambushed by Aragami. Only the siblings survive. Before they get eaten, they were saved by Rindou. He takes them back to their makeshift little hideout that the other abandoned people are living. They hate Rindou because they were refused entry into Fenrir. Lenka asks him if he could be strong but was asked back what strength is for. To protect others. Before he leaves, he gives Lenka a compass. Shortly, Lenka falls ill and the medicine they have is only enough for one. Mother then tells them to let Lenka take the test kit that Rindou left behind. If he passes, give him the medicine. And he did. Father and Iroha disagree since they want the family to be together. Mother tells them with strong willed words the need to choose sometimes and she believes Lenka would be the one saving the future and the world. After injecting the medicine into Lenka, mom wants them to take care of Lenka and hopes their dream will come true. She passes on shortly.

Many years later, Lenka is a few days short of being 15 years old. Dad suggests Lenka go to Fenrir but Iroha is against it as she doesn’t want the family split up again. Dad reminds her about mom’s wish. Aragami attack the place. Dad is pinned under the rubble. Aragami is inching closer. He tells his kids to go. Lenka won’t leave him so Iroha slaps him. They know what they must do. They ride away in their hidden motorcycle as they use the compass to head south where Fenrir is. After travelling, Iroha’s injuries are getting worse. She cannot go on anymore. Aragami are closing in. To force Lenka to abandon her, she slits her own throat. But she can still talk a lot still? She reveals he is not really their family and was found abandoned, thus the reason they never went to Fenrir. Even if they admitted Lenka, he was unrelated to them. Fenrir only takes in the family of potential candidates. Iroha always viewed him as hope because he was like a flower blooming in the mud. She was the one who gave his name. Lenka sadly leaves Iroha behind. Even sadder that she didn’t die from her slit throat but the Aragami devoured her. Sad… And now Lenka has renewed his determination as he receives his new God Arc. He is going to use it to fight Aragami and save everyone despite all the negative despair and gloomy future about humanity. He will be the one to create hope.

Episode 11
There is this talk between Paylor and Johannes about how Aragami might be God’s way to destroy mankind. Funny, seeing this talk is coming from a scientist. But Johannes is going to fight back. Since Paylor disagrees over his method as it would also cost those dear to him, he opts out. Operation Meteorite will be entering its big phase since members from various worldwide branches are also here to participate. Alisa is also back and she looks refreshed. Hopefully. Tsubaki briefs everyone in the meeting and makes Rindou in charge of the base camp. However declines and nominates Lenka for the part although Rindou will resume that role on the second day. Tsubaki agrees as they prepare to carry out their mission to obtain a thousand cores. So there are lots of training and soul searching which I will skip. The operation goes well with the devices attracting the Aragami and the meteorite system blasting them all away. Thanks to Lenka’s recklessness then, they are able to collect cores at a fast rate by using a factor with a different bias inclination and trigger a frenzy. Johannes remembers waiting anxiously for Aisha when she was in labour. The Oracle cells are eating her up and they had to hasten her labour via Caesarean. However it becomes a horror movie because some blood explosion occurred. All doctors died. Johannes survived because his charm somehow could cut the deadly blob. Souma’s birth was successful but Aisha has died and turned into a hideous blob. When a group of Aragami is moving away from the target, Rindou knows they are heading towards the village near the dam. So Rindou cuts communications with base and acts on his own to draw the Aragami towards him. Tsubaki has Lenka assist Rindou and they will deliver his God Arc there. Why him? Because he is the only one who can do it, silly! Rindou fights a horde of Vajra.

Episode 12
Tsubaki calls Sakuya to destroy the device that is guiding the Aragami to a certain location. They believed it is hacked. Lenka arrives on scene with his newly upgraded God Arc that kicks ass! So badass that its cannon destroys the Vajra in one go! If he runs out of bullets, its sword version can slice and dice as well. But no time to rest because the big boss Pita is here. Even the Vajra give way for him to fight. Pita is smarter, stronger and faster. But the duo won’t have to face it alone as the rest of our usual God Eaters are here. Tsubaki has traced the hacking to be internal. The culprit is Alisa’s doctor, Daigo Ooguruma. By the time they storm his room, he is gone. They check his files. Nothing out of the ordinary. A doctor once involved in Oracle medical treatment who became Alisa’s doctor to cure her unstable emotional state. Then they see a video of him hypnotizing Alisa with a Pita video. At the same time, Alisa is triggered and turns into her panic state. Her recklessness causes Rindou to be separated from the rest and face Pita alone (they are fighting in the Aragami forest so they have to be careful what they touched). Sakuya slaps her to senses but she is overwhelmed with guilt. Back to square one? This time Lenka tells her about her reason in becoming a God Eater. He views her as strong and not weak because of her will to save the passengers in the plane. Alisa picks herself up as Rindou orders the team to protect the village. So he is going to take on Pita alone? Well, he promises to come back alive. Returning to Johannes’ flashback, he is still wallowing in despair over Aisha’s death. He tried to kill himself but survived. Paylor talks to him about Devouring Apocalypse whereby Aragami will devour each other till there is a gigantic Aragami. Once everything is devoured, Oracle will disappear. No more humans, no more Aragami. So if mankind is destined to be eliminated by God’s hand and Johannes was somehow spared, could it mean he is a guide to save the world? Johannes soldiers on to realize Aisha’s hope. Lenka and co reach the village where the Vajra horde is inching closer. But when Pita bursts out of the forest, they fear Rindou has been defeated.

Episode 13
Everyone is devastated that Rindou is dead. Taking the hardest hit is Sakuya. Lenka is the only calm one as he tries to take charge and get everyone together. Some of the villagers want to help the God Eaters out. Lenka tells Sakuya that these villagers are here alive because Rindou brought them here after being rejected by Fenrir. He is filled with hope that he sounds as much as Rindou. I guess a good enough reason for everyone to see Rindou in him and put their trust in him. It is believe there is a device in the river that is attracting the Vajra. While Souma dives down to destroy it, Sakuya and Kouta take on the Vajra while Lenka and Alisa handle Pita. Once the device is destroyed, all the Vajra turn away. Not even wanting to fight? Pita is all that left so the God Eaters team up to take it down. It is a tough mother but when Lenka notices a crack on a part of its wings, everyone concentrates hitting hard there. They get a better chance when Kouta uses his technology to pin the Pita down. Lenka hits hard and accelerates his erosion just to break that small part. Well, at least there is still hope that it isn’t as invincible as we think it is. When Pita breaks free, it becomes mad and goes on a rampage. But this isn’t enough to bring down our God Eaters despite taking a beating. Heck, some are even smiling. Maybe all that beat down has made them gone mad? Lenka then lands the decisive blow. OMG! He turns into a Super Saiyan???!!! At least he has blonde spiky hair now. Pita rips apart into pieces! Finally! So will the price to pay for this victory is Lenka’s life? He looks bad…

Flashback shows Paylor came to Fenrir after Johannes after he built the walls based on the contents of the charm in which he used as a prototype to develop stronger armour. He shows Paylor Aegis that will save mankind. But he is reminded that Aragami evolve so doesn’t this seem redundant when the time comes? Aegis is just a cover. Underneath it is a giant rocket that will launch into space. Carefully selected humans will go into space and start mankind anew where there is nothing. So it’s like abandoning Earth that is no hope, right? Ooguruma reports to Johannes that he has gotten rid of Rindou as instructed and hopes to be onboard as promised. When Ooguruma asks when the Devouring Apocalypse will begin, Johannes says they will make one and sets his Oracle cell to devour Ooguruma. Well, karma, I guess. Looks like he isn’t the chosen one. Back to Johannes and Paylor’s ‘discussion’, Johannes has this belief that in order to save the human species, he will only save a small number. He asks Paylor if he would join him or run again. Paylor says he is just an observer and will not interfere with his decision. Paylor’s view on Aragami is that their evolution will one day allow them to communicate with humans and that they can co-exist together. Because Johannes calls all Aragami as monsters, Paylor sees him as a pessimist. The race is on to see who is right. Whether human will become God or God will become human. Johannes addresses to everyone the success of Operation Meteorite while lamenting the loss of Rindou and vowing to find and bring Ooguruma to justice. Tsubaki pays her respects at Rindou’s grave. There isn’t any for Lenka because he is now the new captain of the first unit. Well, he looks pretty normal now. Did he get a life extension?

Passing Responsibility
Well, the final flashback scene of the scientists’ opposing views had me interested again and then it ended.  Shucks. That was a real shocker to me. I never expected it. It would definitely change the way I viewed the entire series regarding the setting and fate of humanity as a whole. But that is for another story to tell. If you can’t finish it, let the next producers handle it! Haha. Oops. So with that kind of Lenka still alive and being the new captain, I’m not sure if it is a good ending because it’s like it will be too sad if another ‘great’ character was to be killed off. Even worse, 2 Rindous died the same day. That would be awful. So I’m going with the logic that Lenka’s strong will and determination reversed the Oracle cell’s corrosion and thus he is still alive to kick ass instead of becoming an invalid, a fate I guess worse than death. Yeah, it’s to show there is hope, blah, blah, blah… They even teased us with a shadowy mysterious character and some God Arc vrooming to life.

I have to admit that as I started watching the first few episodes, they were interesting enough because of the dark theme and the characters were fighting against creatures that were truly and almost undefeatable. There was this sense of nail biting tension because it is like our heroes can lose anytime. Though it may be a bit slow since everything was just starting to build up and the likes. But halfway through when the drama seems to prolong and with the flashbacks and revelations of this seemingly mysterious cell, I believe that is where it started to wane. Even if the final battle and the commencement of Operation Meteorite had some Aragami slaying action, it still didn’t feel exciting as it was when it started out.

I believe the flashbacks in every episode with Johannes and his scientist colleagues finding out about Oracle and trying to contain it serve to be the back story of how the world is in such state today. But I can’t help but feel annoyed at the pacing. Let me explain first that I am not a smart guy. Thus trying to understand some of those parts were very hard for me. And I thought this was going to be just purely hack and slash anime. Yeah, I was wrong. So in every episode while you have a big portion of the series set in current time, usually at the end we will go back in time to see all that back story. But as the drama intensifies, the flashback also occurs in between. So it’s like trying to keep up with 2 different stories and then trying to connect them all once you have a better picture in the end. Like I already said, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed so I was mainly trying to connect how the present state ended up from the past. I’m sure they did explain it enough but I just didn’t get it. Because I just couldn’t understand how that Oracle cell just went berserk and caused all that protrusions and then those freakish Aragami to pop out and kill all humans. I mean like, WTF?

I know this series is trying to paint a dark and gloomy picture about humanity’s future but also give us a little light of hope in our darkest times. However when it is revealed that this is an endless cycle of despair, I just lost it. I mean, it is like fighting a losing battle. Imagine playing a video game and continuously repeating to fight enemies and the big boss. Cycle repeats again. There is no end. Groundhog day, Aragami version. I believe it is to give the next generation hope about passing the task and hope to one day defeat the Aragami, but I personally feel that it is like passing the responsibility and failure of the current generation to the next. Because you can’t finish this screw up, the next generation gets to continue facing this sh*t. Heck, even the end words slap it in your face with this line: One day, you will be passed down the hope. Wait. What? Uhm, bad grammar? A normal guy like me should I learn this truth, I would immediately lose all hope and fall into despair. Better let the Aragami devour me now. In video game terms, I would stop playing and throw away the game. Or at least lock it away forever. And just 0.06% completion of Aegis? Holy sh*t! For how long more?! I suppose this is where we can be grateful for micro-transactions because we would just pay the developers all our goddamn money just to speed up and unlock everything for completion. On second thought, f*ck micro-transactions anyway. There’s no hope in video games these days. Oops. Got a little sidetracked there.

It is never clearly explained why Aragami want to kill and eat humans (like how Titans want to devour humans) and sometimes it felt like lazy writing that they had to resort to using God’s name just to justify it despite it might not make sense and is just speculating. After all, remember what this series is called and thus I think they need to make use of God’s good name and even make you think if you should keep praying in a world where God doesn’t exist. So who is playing God now? But who cares when you have the biggest plan of all plans to abandon the only planet we can live in, right? Because who cares about Aragami when they’re not in the equation of humans living in space. And then Aragami start developing wings that defy gravity and can breathe in space… Oh, humanity is f*cked then!

For the character department, how should I put it? Poor. Lenka might be the series’ main protagonist but there is something that just doesn’t make me feel connected to him. He doesn’t show lots of emotions and always have this spacing out look in his face. Like as though it is for dramatic effect. But because he is the main character, he gets things done anyway. He has his own flashback episode later in the series but it also feels somewhat insufficient. Out of all the God Eaters from all the branches over the world, this boring dude gets to be the one that change things. If this is the case, then the other God Eaters must be even more boring than he is. Besides, he sounds like a generic main hero. He wants to kill all Aragami… Doesn’t that have the same ring to Shingeki No Kyojin’s Eren and Koutetsujou No Kabaneri’s Ikoma? Oh yeah. Why do main protagonists like him need to kill all the enemy as their motivation to fight?

But the biggest disappointment is Alisa. When she first popped into the scene, I thought she was a real kickass and badass girl. You don’t mess with this Russian chick. However things for her started going downhill when her trauma of the Pita killing her parents emerged. I know it is natural for any human to fall into that but for Alisa’s case it has become so obvious and annoying that the badass girl which I knew from the start was completely missing! It was like who is this chicken sh*t chick?! This isn’t the Alisa I know. This isn’t the Alisa I wanted. But then again, how much do I know about her. So she was missing for the middle parts of the series and being left out and it felt like a shoehorned thingy just to enhance Lenka’s credentials as a main character. And when Alisa came back to normal at the end, she doesn’t feel the same anymore. Sure, she got over her trauma but I just don’t feel she is that badass as she started out. So it really goes to show that it just takes one incident to ruin everything and even your first impressions and nothing after that could repair it forever. Lenka with emotions just doesn’t feel like the Lenka I knew. And on course of becoming a clumsy character because she is late in Lenka’s official installation ceremony as the unit’s captain? Hmm… Not a good sign…

The other characters are just rather okay. I mean you have the cool Rindou, the brooding Souma, the kind Sakuya and the strict Tsubaki. Kouta’s character feels like he is the weakest among all the other main and side supporting characters and it is just mind blowing that he is still alive instead of being killed off halfway. Is this guy lucky or what? Because something makes me feel that this guy is just there for the numbers and this series could actually do without him. I mean, Lenka needs a guy who is his age for a partner in his group, right? So once Lenka seems to partner with Alisa, you notice he partners up mostly with Sakuya. I believe he isn’t a substitute for Rindou but whatever. And there you have it, Kouta. This guy do other menial side missions so that our main characters can be left to do bigger stuffs like fighting tough sh*t Aragami. No offence Kouta, but seriously. And whatever technology he did behind that played a ‘significant’ role in helping to defeat Pita? Felt like it was plucked from the air because it was announced so sudden. Many of these characters like Rindou, Sakuya, Tsubaki, Kouta and Licca don’t have background stories thanks to its already limited number of episodes, so you just can’t connect with them whatsoever.

Paylor might have played a part in the flashback but in the current setting he is like reduced to just fixing Lenka’s Aragami. That is just his role now. Don’t get me started on Licca. I don’t know if they even need to introduce her. Like as though they need to show there is someone in a department that fixes God Arcs. Johannes like Paylor too, doesn’t have quite a role in the present state except observing if he is not planning or giving orders. Truly passing on the responsibilities and hope to the next generation, huh? But that is all before the final episode revealing their true colours and intention. It was really mind blowing to see them having very different approaches in thinking. Total opposites. I guess that is a reason why these two never played an active role as we see the young God Eaters do. That is a reason why they look like they remain silent and just observing. A clever way to deceive your enemies by hiding your cleverness.

So Johannes may not be as a good saviour as you think. But can you blame him? If you were in his shoes, what would you do? If you are humanity’s last saviour, can you be picky with your beliefs and methods? Even if this means playing the villain and God? But I just don’t understand why Johannes wanted Rindou dead because as I see it in this case Rindou must have possessed a threat to his plan in some way (he might have learnt about Johannes’ true intention for Aegis) and thus the need for him to be eliminated. All in all, as I was about to give these characters less than favourable opinions because they didn’t do much and then this revelation happened. It would have been very interesting to see them pit against each other to see whose method would eventually prevail. Therefore the most interesting question that I thought about this is not about whether humans can defeat Aragami but whether we have what it takes to have the right to survive.

Action wise, there is a lot of big clashing action since you have puny humans wielding ungodly oversized weapons fighting the enemy to stand a chance. There is also lots of blood and gore so if you can’t stomach innocent and helpless people who cannot fight get devoured, maybe watching Barney and Friends would be better off for you. Oh wait. That children’s show is no longer airing, right? I know it is ridiculous seeing a human shouldering and swinging their God Arc with ease but remember, God Eaters are special people. Yeah, they make Final Fantasy’s Cloud Strife’s Buster Sword look like a baby. And these God Arcs really do pack a punch and give some Aragami a run for their money so the action in seeing unleash super power beams is definitely worth it.

At first it was hard for me to determine whether the unique animation is entirely CGI or still 2D hand drawn. I was tempted to believe it is the former since series like Aijin and Knights of Sidonia were completely rendered in 3D. However as I found out (from my lazy browsing over the internet) that this series isn’t entirely made from computer animation effects. The only CGI effects are rendered for the Aragami. The rest are hand drawn and made to look like as though it is like CGI. Or at least it confused a hell lot out of me then. They look close enough that I can’t really tell them apart so is it a good thing? But personally I think this art style suits the dystopian world that it is set in as it makes everything look edgier and gloomy. If it was all that bright 2D animation look, it might have made this series look like some sci-fi fantasy that would be hard to take seriously despite the dark tones.

The designs of the Aragami monsters look horrifying to me. At first looking at them gives me the chills because they look like demons that you see from Asian folklores. You know, the kind where your grandma tell scary ghost stories about them and then as a kid when you read up on them and see those scary ancient depictions of them that give you nightmares even when you grow up because such illustrations stick in your mind. Yeah. That. But thankfully I don’t have nightmares although I still do find the Aragami designs scary. It sure made me think that I don’t really want to come across one even if the world becomes like that. The other slight issue I have with some of the female character design is their clothes especially Sakuya and Alisa. I know it is for fanservice but since both go out in the battlefield often, the way they dress seems to be like going for a pyjamas party for Sakuya and some hip joint to hang out with friends for Alisa. Heck, even Tsubaki and the operators in base are more decently dressed than them. I know asking them to wear armour would be like restricting them but I just thought that their ‘revealing’ clothes (what’s with the underboobs, Alisa?) makes it impractical for battle. Oh yeah. One swoop from the Aragami and you’re dead. With armour or not. If you’re going to die, might as well die sexy.

You can credit Ufotable for creating the gorgeous looking animation. If you remember how they did the Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works route as well as Fate/Zero, you can feel the quality of their work right here. Other notable works under theme include the Kara No Kyoukai movies, Tales of Symphonia, Tales of Zestiria, Coyote Ragtime Show and 2×2=Shinobuden.

Voice acting is pretty okay and nothing much to shout about. Not the best there is. Because the main lead, Ryuuichi Kijima as Lenka (Mitsuki in Boruto: Naruto the Movie) sounds pretty much monotonous. Sure, his character doesn’t have a pretty wide range of emotions. The usual shouting on occasions but that’s pretty much about it. A handful of recognizable seiyuus include Sayaka Ohara as Sakuya, Rikiya Koyama as Johannes, Kazuya Nakai as Souma and Chiaki Omigawa as Licca. Daisuke Sakaguchi as Kouta is also recognizable but I have been so stereotyped as him playing the rebuking Shinpachi in Gintama that he just doesn’t feel right without his retorts. Seriously. Even these veterans’ talents felt wasted since their characters feel bland. Other casts include Maaya Sakamoto as Alisa (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Hiroaki Hirata as Rindou (Benny in Black Lagoon), Atsuko Tanaka as Tsubaki (Caster in Fate series), Taiten Kusunoki as Paylor (Rock Bison in Tiger & Bunny), Rica Fukami as Aisha (Sailor Venus in Sailormoon) and Ai Kakuma as Iroha (Julis in Gakuen Toshi Asterisk).

The opening and ending themes don’t really appeal to me. Feed A by Oldcodex as the opener is your typical hard rock that is supposed to get you into the feel and pace of what the series is about. Kouhai Chi by Go Shiina featuring Naomi as the ending theme is more of a slow rock. There is a special ending theme, Human After All by Ghost Oracle Drive featuring Bish sounds like a creepy song for a funeral. I kid you not. I don’t think the singer is singing and feels more like chanting lines for the dead. At least that is what I hear. Hearing this piece sends shivers down within me as somehow it reminds me of the atmosphere of funerals that I attended. Seriously. I didn’t realize that this series has lots of insert songs. Maybe I was paying attention to the action or trying to make sense of the drama. They are mostly done by Ghost Oracle Drive and are rock outfits although there are a few slow ones too.

Overall, God Eater didn’t end up as epic as I hope it would to rival Shingeki No Kyojin. The story was interesting nevertheless (though generally it felt generic) but the over dramatization and the poor characters might overshadow the unique art style and the action bits. People might have already forgotten about this anime by the time this blog is released thanks to all the production delays and my personal procrastination. It is not really a bad anime per se but with our expectations so high and perfect, this one would hardly satisfy all your ideal conditions. So if it took Aragami threatening our existence for us all to unite and fight for survival, could the same be said if the anime industry will crash and cease to exist, only then we will unite and appreciate every anime produced as masterpiece? That will be the day… Or we can just blast off to space and start anew, leaving our troubles behind. One day, these will come back and haunt you…

Amaama To Inazuma

December 23, 2016

If you can’t stand all those food themed animes because they usually have their setting and storylines via competition, then Amaama To Inazuma may be the best solution for you food theme lovers out there. Tired of all the exaggerated food reactions as well as the over the top dishes that can never ever be replicated in real life? Let’s try to keep things simple because in this anime it is just basically about a single father and his young daughter trying to cook different variety of food and dishes that are not for the rich or 5 star hotels. A meal good enough for his growing daughter. As you know how picky kids at their age can be with their food. A good normal and hearty meal that a decent and normal family that can enjoy. Get ready to whet your appetite without all those flashy exaggerations.

Episode 1
Kouhei Inuzuka is a single parent to his daughter, Tsumugi since his wife died 6 months ago. We see them wake up, prepare themselves and head to work and school like usual. Inuzuka is a teacher and his colleague, Momoya wants to invite him out for drinks. Of course he declines citing he has a daughter to look after. The other teaching staff is also worried if they are eating right since Inuzuka is a bit thin and most of the time he buys convenience store food for Tsumugi. One day as he brings her to the park, they see a girl, Kotori Iida eating alone and crying. Actually it wasn’t the fact Tsumugi startled her but rather the rice she ate was so delicious. Kotori also explains she wasn’t supposed to be alone. Her mother was supposed to join her but cancelled last minute. Unfortunately she ate all the rice herself and there is none for Tsumugi to taste. So she hands her name card belonging to her mom’s in which she runs a restaurant. They can come over for some food. One night, Inuzuka returns home to see Tsumugi putting her face so darn close to the TV. She is watching a cooking show and wonders if mommy will make such good meat. Even more heartbreaking is how she tells daddy to call mommy to go make some. Naturally it becomes dramatic as daddy picks up Tsumugi and rushes her all the way to the restaurant. He calls beforehand and hopes it will stay open for them. Wow. Really like as though it is the end of the world. Luckily Kotori is still waiting, though her mom has gone out. She has them wait while she goes to boil rice. It is taking a bit too long so Inuzuka tails Kotori out when she seemingly takes a break. He hears her frantically calling her mother for instructions how to boil rice!!! Eventually she manages to get it going as he notices her school uniform. In fact she is from his school and in his class! Didn’t realize that, did you? Perhaps the wait is long enough that Inuzuka even dozed off dreaming about his late wife’s delicious cooking. Then it’s ready. It tastes so f*cking good! And it is only rice. Nothing else. So good that Inuzuka even cries! Such great home cook food. He promises to Tsumugi that he will make delicious food every day. But Kotori has a request. Please make and eat dinner with her.

Episode 2
Of course Inuzuka would have his reservations why she said so since it would be weird for Kotori to be eating with strangers. But with Tsumugi looking forward to it and the girls putting up a ‘cute’ face, well, he’ll think about it. Daddy tries to make decent breakfast next morning but Tsumugi is already excited to eat at Kotori’s place. So in school Inuzuka asks an older teacher on Kotori’s background. Her parents divorced when she was young. Her mom is rarely in her restaurant as she has a cooking TV show to attend. He suggests Inuzuka talk to Kotori’s mom and then decide on what he wants to do next. Inuzuka gets permission from Kotori to come tonight since she is sure her mom will be in. So when they arrive, they see her kneeling. This isn’t a sign of welcome but apology! Looks like mom cannot make it again. Last minute change in plans. Naturally Inuzuka will have to come another time but Tsumugi is already making herself at home so I guess Inuzuka has to help stay and cook as Kotori already bought the ingredients. Inuzuka and Kotori cover each other’s weakness. Like Kotori has phobia of kitchen knives and Inuzuka isn’t a good taste tester. I guess the duo work long enough that Tsumugi has drawn enough ‘drawings’ to plaster over the wall. Is this an art museum? They might not be able to make Hamburg steak that Tsumugi likes so much but at least the pork soup and rice weren’t bad either. Not only it tastes delicious but it makes Inuzuka happy to hear them say so. All in the name of making Tsumugi happy and dream come true. So Kotori can expect them to drop by again next time.

Episode 3
Kotori finds a note her mom has left. She will be appearing on the morning show. That is right about now. But you know what abomination Kotori saw? She appeared on the show wearing a sailor uniform! Meanwhile another abomination is going on. Inuzuka burnt his breakfast for Tsumugi. At least the miso soup is still good. Inuzuka already has a tough time trying to decide his next meal for Tsumugi. Suddenly there is a call from the day care she got into a fight with Mikio. Seems he accused her of stealing clay (it was given to her) and when she pushed him, her hand scratched him. Both refuse to apologize. Mikio’s mom is fiercer as he makes Mikio apologize. However Tsumugi will not accept and continues throwing a tantrum. Inuzuka has no choice but to carry her home. Wait a minute. She wrapped her head with her shirt the entire time?! How the f*ck is this oversized worm going to breathe? She feels a bit better when he talks to her back home. But the next night when they patron Kotori’s place to make her favourite Hamburg steak, Tsumugi isn’t excited. She hasn’t gotten over this morning’s reconciliation with Mikio. So they try putting up a funny show as they make but it is not working. Till Inuzuka realizes maybe he needs to listen to what she has to say. Looking her in the eye, Tsumugi then talks her heart out. She wonders if she is a bad girl but daddy knows better that she isn’t. With this episode over, Tsumugi helps them in making Hamburg steak. Tasting the first delicious bite brings her to tears. Such big teardrops? Wow. It’s like some soul cleansing dish. At the end of it, they remember it is Inuzuka’s birthday today. I guess there were more important things to handle than his birthday, right? Kotori is devastated she didn’t know and she wants to feed him her food? Too bad he ignores her because father and daughter enjoy a good lovely family hug. Aww…

Episode 4
Momoya gives Inuzuka a bunch of vegetables from his countryside family. Double that since Inuzuka’s mom also delivered a bunch of them. But you know what this means to kids who don’t like vegetables, right? Like a typical kid, Tsumugi hates green peppers. So bad that she cries the moment she pops them in her mouth! Talking to Kotori about it, she mentions about a child’s tongue being sensitive. This has Inuzuka remember his own vegetable episode whereby his brother ‘traded’ his meat for his vegetable. Kotori can also relate how her mom would encourage her to eat vegetables she didn’t like and thanks to that she can now eat anything. Kotori will make gratin and this is of course to hide the vegetables chopped up into tiny sizes and hide them in a béchamel sauce. Inuzuka allay Tsumugi’s fear for the red pepper despite coming from the same family as green peppers. Then the amateurs try to make béchamel sauce and almost flopped. I’m pretty sure Tsumugi’s rain dance wasn’t the reason why the sauce was saved… The gratin is finished by topping off tomato cherries that Tsumugi likes. As expected, it tastes good. Tsumugi bit a green pepper but seems to handle it better this time by covering up with something sweet. And we learn she is a sneaky girl because when she feeds daddy, she was hiding the rest of the green pepper underneath the cheese topping! Well, at least she finished her bowl.

Episode 5
Kotori sees Tsumugi following a stranger. She tails them and sees him buying various snacks for her. He lets Tsumugi eat them at the park. However she notes Tsumugi not wanting doughnuts. Because she thinks it is difficult as a snack. The last straw came when Kotori sees him giving her a cigarette. She blows her top. In good timing, here comes Inuzuka. Kotori tells this man was kidnapping Tsumugi and going to give her a cigarette. You mean this chocolate stick? Inuzuka explains he is Yuusuke Yagi, his high school friend. When he is unable to get Tsumugi to the day care, he calls Yagi to help out. Before they part, Kotori gets an idea to make doughnuts at her place tomorrow. As usual, the trio make the preparations but this one might take longer since they need to have the dough rise up. So they hang out at the arcade for a while before resuming their doughnut making. When they fry it the first time, they fail since it is burnt badly as they didn’t keep watch on the temperature. Luckily they have a few more to spare and they redo their frying again. This time it turns out like what it should be and enjoy their hard work. Tsumugi laughs and finds it funny that her doughnut she made did not have a hole. Then she says she thought doughnuts were difficult since she doesn’t know if it is a snack or meal. But from now on she knows it is something happy she eats with daddy. Aww… See, you made daddy almost cry.

Episode 6
Shinobu Kojika is Kotori’s best friend and classmate. When she delivers something to her and enters her restaurant, she sees Kotori cooking with Inuzuka. Naturally Kotori thinks she will get the wrong idea about this like how Tsumugi gets the wrong idea she is a customer. After hearing her out, Shinobu agrees to help Kotori cook and sets a date for a party. This excites Tsumugi as she starts creating invitation cards. Of course daddy says she can’t do that. Imagine if unknown kids turn up at Kotori’s place. It’ll be awkward, right? He doesn’t want to cause unnecessary trouble to everyone. So can invite or not? Inuzuka remembers they used to have a mini party at their place so he says they can have 2 different parties instead. She can invite her friends to their home on another date. This makes Tsumugi even more excited. So the usual suspects turn up for the gyoza party. Also invited thanks to Tsumugi’s (lame) invitation is Yagi. He could leave if he is unwanted but I guess it would be a shame if those ingredients go to waste. Besides, the more the merrier. For the rest of the episode, we see them preparing and making the gyoza. During the break, Shinobu personally talks to Kotori about her intention in doing this with her teacher. It’s not like she got any wrong idea about this but she understands why she wants to do this slowly and carefully. This means Shinobu pulls Yagi out from the cooking to let Kotori, Inuzuka and his daughter enjoy the cooking moments together. And of course the gyoza turns out good and delicious. Enjoy the party.

Episode 7
Inuzuka is sick and needs to sleep in. So what is Tsumugi going to do? After watching a magical girl show, she packs her stuffs and leaves home to become a Pokemon GO player! Just kidding! But she leaves her home and goes on a journey. Along the way she sings a cute shark song and encounters mystical adventures that are just all in her mind. Thank goodness this isn’t a busy area. Things go well for her until she accidentally bumps into a guy riding his bicycle. The irritated guy tells her to watch where she is going. Well, it was her fault in the first place not seeing where she is heading. When Inuzuka wakes up and realizes Tsumugi is not around, he bolts out to look for her. Tsumugi has reached Kotori’s place but the front door is locked. Luckily she is upstairs and heard Tsumugi’s call. After telling what happened and getting peaches (because you eat peaches when you’re sick, right? And they were all out of them), Kotori accompanies Tsumugi back. They see Inuzuka searching for his daughter. When Tsumugi gladly calls out to daddy, the biggest shock ever when he yells never to go out of the house alone! This shock was so bad that Tsumugi starts crying. Making it worse is that she is throwing tantrums and doesn’t want daddy’s hug! He wants to bring her back but he refuses and clings on to Kotori! She’s really causing a fuss! No choice, they head back to Kotori’s place. An awkward moment between father and daughter. Inuzuka explains he was so worried when Tsumugi went missing and has her promise never to do it again. She apologizes and they reconcile. So touching that Kotori wasn’t watching the rice and it got burnt. So they can’t eat it anymore? It is suggested to make gohei mochi by kneading the rice and grilling it. You know the drill by now. Hmm… How come it looks like Paddle Pop? Sticky rice on a stick? Next morning, Inuzuka is feeling all better and even better that the recent strained relationship looks as if it never happened at all.

Episode 8
Inuzuka takes a day leave from school and this makes Kotori worried if he is still sick from the other day. In fact he is attending Parent’s Day at Tsumugi’s day care. As he is the only male parent there, he feels a bit awkward and out of place to talk to the other housewives. When the parents are supposed to participate with their kids in a game, Mikio suddenly needs to go to the toilet. The kids start laughing. But it is more touching than funny when Tsumugi says she will wait for him to finish because they rarely have lots of people here today. The whole class agrees to wait for Mikio to finish his business. During the telephone game, Mikio purposely tries to make a poop joke for everyone to laugh. Despite the kids laughing like hell, they claim it isn’t funny. Huh? Back home, Inuzuka hears what every father would someday hear her daughter say: Mikio told her he wanted to marry her! Of course she rejected him. Phew? He notices the stain on her bag and wants to get her a new one but she doesn’t want any since this bag was done by mommy. For this reason, this leads to Tsumugi proclaiming she wants to eat squid and yam since mommy once done it before. So here they are as usual preparing the ingredients. Although Inuzuka doesn’t recall any family recipe, Kotori has her mom write down the basic one so it wouldn’t stray too much. The highlight of the preparation is that slimy and weird feeling trying to clean out the squid. Then there’s the part Inuzuka tries to cut the yam and it slipped out of his hand. Good thing he didn’t cut himself but this brings a little traumatic memory for Kotori because something similar happened in the past and it ended in a bad way. So of course the dish is delicious and no complaints. There are even leftovers that should taste even better if refrigerated over the night. Inuzuka talks to Tsumugi about wanting to cover the stain on her bag and gets ‘permission’ to ‘participate in what mommy made’. The result is a cute picture sewn over the stain and the bag looking as good as new.

Episode 9
The day care is having a special sleepover for the kids. Before the parents leave, they join their kids in making curry and then play sparklers together. When Inuzuka goes home, he gets an idea to make dry curry next time. He calls Kotori about it as she asks if they had any recipe or ingredients the family used. Inuzuka looks around and finds his late wife’s curry recipe although it is only 3 pages long. While preparing to make curry, Tsumugi wants to cut the carrots thinking she has experience in using the children’s knife during the sleepover. Daddy disagrees because it is dangerous but she kicks up a fuss. No choice, he lets her do so but under very tight adult supervision. Each cut is like filled with suspense. Phew. She made it. Then the grownups realize there are green peppers in the recipe, which is a must for this curry dish. They’re afraid Tsumugi might not like it and asks permission?! But Tsumugi shows her mature side as she already knows and accepts it. The result of their hard work is of course a delicious curry meal. While eating it, Inuzuka has fond memories where his late wife would cry if she cooks curry because she had to cut the onions. The funniest part is how she always wears Inuzuka’s glasses to make funny faces and become dizzy. Tsumugi also remembers this but soon it gets a little heavier as she realizes mom is never coming back and starts crying. Inuzuka thought of stopping to make curry altogether since it would remind Tsumugi of this but she disagrees (head butting his chin?!) and says she’ll still eat it.

Episode 10
During the hot summer, Inuzuka brings Tsumugi to the beach. However it is so hot that she is not in the mood. Kotori and Shinobu are probably dying from the heat too when Kotori gets a message from Inuzuka if they could drop by shortly and fillet a fish. Inuzuka explains that it was too hot for Tsumugi so they decided to go home. On the way back, they met a family fishing and the kind souls gave them some fish. He called Yagi first but he was busy with his lunch customers, thus the short notice to come here. Since nobody knows how to fillet a fish, you can always thank YouTube for the instructions. While cutting and cleaning the finish, the most amusing part is seeing Tsumugi being amused by daddy cutting up the parts and removing the innards. She can handle the blood! And at the end of it, Tsumugi amusingly points out how the fish from the ice box turns into its cut up parts before ending up in their tummy. It’s scary, fun and amazing. Just wow. With lots of fish left, this time they mix it with Tsumugi’s favourite hamburger patty complete with rice. Yagi joins the party late when they are almost done. They have also made crispy senbei from the fish bones. Tsumugi loves it and while the grownups are distracted talking to Yagi, they realize all the senbei is gone! Tsumugi, you quick little fingers. You can say not a bone was left.

Episode 11
Tsumugi gets into a fight with her friend, Hana because they want to play the same character, Galigali for the play. Kotori’s class will be doing crepes for the festival but upon learning another class will also be doing them, they discuss to differentiate theirs and Kotori is roped in to research different kinds of crepes. When Inuzuka tells Tsumugi they’re going to have a crepe party (part of the taste testing experiment for Kotori’s school festival), Tsumugi is not impressed and lambasts daddy only thinks about food and not girls! WTF?! Even more cringing is how she throws a tantrum underneath his vest and it seemed from this point of view she is doing a blowjob?! WTF????!!!!! She tells what happened with Hana so Inuzuka as well as Hana’s mom settle the matter and as decided, Tsumugi will play Galigali. The usual gang gathers at Kotori’s place to make crepes. Tsumugi sings a crepe song and then draws crepe to show she knows her stuffs. And it seems it is also to let others know her daddy is more interested in food than girls. WTF?! She really said that?! Everyone is in shock so Yagi tells her not to take it out on others. Besides, all daddy ever thinks about is her. Tsumugi feels bad and apologizes. They continue making crepes and as expected it turns out delicious. Since Tsumugi still has doubts with her friendship with Hana, Inuzuka shows her this woolly and fluffy Galigali outfit he made that will impress her. Next day she shows it to Hana and the entire class becomes impressed. Worked like a charm. Kotori’s crepe stand is a huge success as well as Tsumugi’s play. Hey, aren’t there a few more Galigali characters on stage? It’s not like it has limited places, right?

Episode 12
It’s not Inuzuka’s snore you’re hearing. It’s his stomach! It’s getting late and he is tired so Inuzuka and Tsumugi are going out to eat. Because she has never tried okonomiyaki before, she is excited. But all that died when she realized it is already done and they do not do the mixing. Even more so when it has green peppers. Now that she is sulking, she heavily puts seaweed flakes. Daddy tries to stop her but everything spills out. Full blown crying in 3, 2, 1… Eventually they have to leave. So when Inuzuka tells Kotori about this problem, they decide to make their next meal as okonomiyaki or else Tsumugi’s first experience of it will be bad. For the first time Inuzuka thought he could finally meet Kotori’s mom, Megumi. But turns out last minute changes so she’s no-show again. Damn. Yagi is also disappointed. He heard that she would be around and came. He wants to leave but Tsumugi is clinging on to his leg and begging him to cook with them. As they prepare, Yagi will not allow Tsumugi to help him since it is dangerous. Tsumugi accidentally spills the cabbage bowl and now she is all sulking. Time for daddy to give a nice talk. Inuzuka says he hates to scold Tsumugi (wow, she really looked surprise to know that) but when she has done something wrong, he has told her he will scold her. Before you know it, Tsumugi is back to her usual self, apologizing to everything. This time she joins in and has everyone singing a weird mixing song. Whatever. As long as everyone is happy. When they put the finishing touches, suddenly a surprise guest pops up. It’s Megumi! She finally finished her work and made it back in time. Nobody expected her, right? Surprise! Finally, they officially meet. Tsumugi is now a shy girl? They have an okonomiyaki party and Tsumugi finds it more delicious than the store. Why? Megumi points out it is made with lots of love for Tsumugi. Nobody is swooning… Inuzuka almost choked… Other than that, everybody had a swell time. Good food, good company.

Heart Filled With Warm Fuzziness But Stomach Still Empty…
I have to admit. This is actually one boring show unless you are in for the cooking and food they make as well as Tsumugi’s cuteness. Those are the only 2 selling points of this show. Nothing else. But even so, I wouldn’t say that the food featured here are really that appetizing. At least it did not make me want to take a chomp out from my monitor, which is good in a way because it shows that I am not influenced or ‘drugged’ by the series. But then again, because it lacks all the flashy exaggeration you see in other food themed battle animes, this is most likely the reason why some of the dishes dished out here don’t really make you hungry.

Each episode is simply divided into 2 parts. With the first half being some sort of ‘story’ for the episode in which would lead to the second half in which you will see mainly Inuzuka and Kotori preparing the dishes while Tsumugi just sits around staring and watching only displaying her cuteness. Though, to be fair, she does help sometimes but only if daddy is supervising like a prison warden. Haha. Because I am not a cooking aficionado, I can’t really say if the explanation of the way they prepare the ingredients to make the dish is comprehensive. I mean, it is not like if you want to make such dishes, you’re going to play this episode and watch them as you make. In a way, this series isn’t meant to be one of those real cooking shows you see on TV usually hosted by celebrities these days. You can learn something by watching them read out the instructions on how to make the dish (because all of them are noobs too) but not while making as you watch.

Therefore if the food preparation scenes aren’t whetting your appetite, it is the heart-warming interaction of Tsumugi and her father that may pull your heartstrings as we see daddy looking out for her daughter in the best possible way by making meals they can enjoy together. You know what they say about families that eat together, stay together, right? So if you don’t find the food as the star attraction of the series, maybe Tsumugi’s cuteness that will be spammed in every episode to be your likely source of ‘entertainment’. But Tsumugi’s bubbly and liveliness isn’t out of touch with reality and sometimes her character is something we can relate to in real life because she does get upset and throw tantrums in very weird ways too. In a nutshell, even though Tsumugi is still young, she is handling life well for a kid her age. She still has her own peculiar habits and dislikes but that is quite minimal and nothing problematic in the long run.

Inuzuka is doing a great job as a single dad and my deepest condolence to him for having a cruel fate of his wife being taken away at such an early stage. I wanted to say Inuzuka’s character as a single dad is a bit unrealistic because when young husbands lose their young wives, many would fall into depression and the stress levels will build up. Thankfully Inuzuka didn’t fall to this darkness and end up doing child abuse. But the way he seems to be handling it seems fine. He occasionally looks tired but that is all. Is working as a teacher less stressful than a corporate office job? I know Tsumugi is generally a good girl and thus he has lesser problems in dealing with discipline but that’s the thing. Does it seem a little unrealistic in a way? Well, I don’t want to be too negative and hard on him. I’ll just say he is doing a good job always having Tsumugi in mind and hope he keeps up with it. Of course there was this one time Inuzuka blew his top and screamed at his daughter for doing something dangerous but that was to be expected, right?

Kotori might feel like an odd mix between the father and daughter. But the reason why she is in this mix is because her case is somewhat an opposite. Although Tsumugi lost her mom, she is still showered with her fatherly love. It is not for the case of Kotori whose celebrity mom is always away from home, leaving Kotori to always be lonely and thus becoming a loner is only natural. Without the warmth of a parent, do you think she will cope well of having friends at school? Thank goodness she didn’t get into bad company since she is a shy girl to begin with. Therefore cooking with Inuzuka and Tsumugi feels like she is making up for the lost time that should have been with her own mother who is by the way a divorcee. Ah, broken families coming together via cooking. What a heart-warming story indeed. Sorry if you want to see some sort of illicit teacher-student relationship blossoming and then Kotori becomes Tsumugi’s step mother. Sorry. This is not that kind of anime.

Shinobu and Yagi feel like extra characters that don’t really need to be here and could be done without. But to show that Kotori and Inuzuka aren’t really loners at all and they do have other friends to support them. Besides, isn’t it always boring to see the same people cooking? Isn’t that why cooking shows sometimes have celebrity guest stars to cook with? So while the duo don’t really offer anything new to the storyline or even have an impact on their lives, at least by having company it makes a difference. Well, the more the merrier they say. I thought I was going to comment on Megumi being the greatest disappearing act ever since she is never able to turn up. Then they surprise us with that final scene. At least she pops up once. Even though it took her 12 damn episodes to do so but it’s better than nothing.

Art and drawing style feel decent. Although this series is mainly drama, they didn’t really stinge on the artwork. The characters may look simple but they are still decent enough to be considered as your standard Japanese anime characters. Even the backgrounds are decent. There won’t be any poorly produced water colour paintings or rushed oil painting jobs just because we are focused on the characters and the food, nobody is going to notice the background. They are decently drawn and animated and their quality is simple and good as the characters themselves. Tsumugi is the only ‘weird’ looking character because her messy hairstyle makes her look like she is some sort of mini Medusa but without the snakes. No, seriously.

This series has a relatively small cast (aside from the other background minor characters) so I’m glad to say that I could proudly recognize half of the main cast! Achievement! At this point now, I am able to recognize Yuuichi Nakamura as Inuzuka, Saori Hayami as Kotori, and Haruka Tomatsu as Shinobu. Even though Megumi isn’t part of the main cast, I’m going to still put her in since I recognized Satomi Arai’s voice behind that character. Yagi is voiced by Tomokazu Seki is the one I didn’t get. But the most interesting and convincing voice acting goes to Rina Endou as Tsumugi. If she sounds like an authentic kindergarten kid, it is because she is only 10 years old when she voiced her character. She was the voice of Hina in Barakamon too. An amazing feat for a little one but this isn’t the only time a young child has been scouted to voice a young character. My other experience was in an anime series, Aishiteruze Baby and Usagi Drop. Instead of adults portraying as kids, I believe it adds to the authenticity and reduce the fakeness that anime has crept into our minds of how young children sound in animes over these years.

The opening theme is a delightful and exuberating piece. Perhaps trying to captivate on the cuteness of Tsumugi. Harebare Fanfare feels like you need to sing it in a cute and boisterous manner if you want to match the same level of cuteness this series has to offer. This song is sung by MimimemeMIMI, oh wait, how the f*ck do you pronounce this tongue twister again? Are they all pronounced as the same syllable?! The ending theme is Maybe by Brian The Sun, a soothing pop piece that will sooth your ears after soothing your stomach. Well, assuming if you are full after watching the episode.

Overall, this isn’t the best food themed anime there is and certainly not the best anime in terms of single parent (see Usagi Drop if you want to know what I mean). Everything here is light hearted from the characters to the plot (very thin, even thinner than your sliced abalone) to the food featured. It is just a simple story with simple characters and simple food. So this anime is more of a light hearted snack that shouldn’t be leaving you full as you leave but at least an enjoyable experience nonetheless. It goes to show that you don’t have to make very fancy food that will mess with your palate. Even the simplest form can be equally satisfying. Next time when you see an uninspiring dish and have to eat it, just think of all the work and labour that goes into it. Even the simplest food takes some effort. Having said that, I still can’t take spicy food. And please, no bitter or sour stuffs. Only sweet chocolates, please.

Amaama To Inazuma

Boku No Hero Academia

December 17, 2016

Oh no. Do we need another superhero series? Currently Hollywood (or rather Marvel and DC’s cinematic unit) is having a blast turning popular comic book heroes and adapting them to the silver screen. Well, the superhero genre might not be so obvious in the Japanese market since you know, Japanese’s version and outlook of their own traditional superhero takes on a whole different meaning. You know those tokusatsu and sentai pieces? Yeah. Those. However there was also One Punch Man. That was awesome. But recently the more complex one I watched was Concrete Revolutio and boy it was more than just superhuman. It was just freaking confusing. So when Boku No Hero Academia came out, I was viewing it with scepticism because I was wondering if it is going to be another confusing plot over plot superhero story. You know how Japanese are bloody good in telling their stories, right? Yeah, look at Final Fantasy… But well, I read it wasn’t going to be that complicated seeing it will be something like an American inspired action style superhero but with some Japanese tweaks.

Episode 1
It is narrated how 80% of the world population developed some sort of super power called Quirk and thus drove many to live out their dreams as superheroes. We see a group of superheroes taking down a giant, uhm, rodent villain? The super strong Death Arms (Elfman?), the water specialist Backdraft (fireman?), Kamui Wood (wood version of Loser?) and giant Mt Lady (Ginormica?) successfully rope in the villain as Izuku Midoriya watches on with much fascination like the rest of the crowd. The class teacher believes all his students won’t want to further their education since most of them possess super powers and would straight away become a superhero after graduation. However, the obnoxious Katsuki Bakugou will not follow their path and instead brag about his intention to attend the country’s top school, UA where its acceptance rate is always low. He is cocky and confident he can go there and surpass the greatest hero of all time, All Might. Surprisingly Midoriya also wants to go there. This does not sit well with Bakugou who is also his childhood friend as he takes out his rage on him. He wanted to be the only student from this school to get enrolled there but Midoriya spoilt his plans even though he does not plan on competing with him. He continues to harass and threaten him not to enrol there and even burns up his notebook containing his observations of the heroes he admires. Midoriya never fights back. Flashback reveals he is a big fan of All Might and wanted to be like him when he grows up. He cannot wait to develop his own Quirk. Unfortunately the doctor diagnosed him as Quirkless and it broke his heart and dream. It must be one of those rare cases since his parents do possess small amounts of Quirk. Devastated Midoriya continues to watch videos of All Might’s heroism and still wondering if he could be a hero. All his mom could do was just hug him and apologize but that wasn’t what he wanted her to say. On his way home, Midoriya is assaulted by a slime monster and as he is about to be killed, All Might saves him. Like any other kid being up close and personal with his idol, Midoriya becomes nervous. All Might hasn’t got all day as he needs to fight crime but Midoriya latches on to him as he takes off. There are so many things he wants to ask him. On a rooftop, he asks if someone without a Quirk can become like him.

Episode 2
Suddenly All Might deflates and becomes a skinny person! OMG! Looks so different! You might think he is some homeless unemployed drug addict! Naturally Midoriya is shocked. All Might shows a scar from an enemy attack 5 years ago. He can only stay buffed up for 3 hours every day. He has to put on a smile to give people hope and trick his fear within. All Might is reluctant to confirm if he could become a hero without power. If he still wants to help people, go join the police. Apparently during Midoriya’s clinging to All Might, slime dude escaped and now is possessing Bakugou who is still seething mad about Midoriya’s same aim. Because of Bakugou’s fire power, the fusion with slime villain is causing other heroes unable to go near him. All Might is also at the scene but in his current form he cannot go save the day. Midoriya subsequently passes by there and he feels guilty for being the cause of this event. Before he knows it, his body moves by his own as he dashes towards slime guy to rip his friend out despite a futile attempt. In the eyes of others, it seems like a suicidal event. And in Bakugou’s, he is mad that he didn’t ask him for his help. Thanks for nothing. This scene gives All Might the strength he needs to buff up and save the day. So f*cking powerful that his punch even changes the weather!!!! OMFG!!!! In the aftermath, All Might gets all the media attention, Bakugou gets praised and Midoriya lectured for his reckless behaviour. To show his ‘thanks’ Bakugou is still mad and reminds him he never asked for his help and he never helped him. Got it?! But Midoriya gets his deserved thanks personally from All Might. If not for him, All Might would not have acted. It reminded him of what it means to be a hero. He remembers all top heroes’ stories have one thing in common and that is their bodies moved before they had a chance to think. This makes Midoriya overcome with emotions as he remembers his mom’s words. What he wanted her to say then was that he can become a hero.

Episode 3
All Might perceives him to be worthy to inherit his power. Contrary to the stories on him, his power is not natural born but passed down. He has been looking for a successor and believes Midoriya is the right person. Although it will be a tough road ahead, Midoriya accepts the task. But first why must he drag a thrown away fridge at the beach? At this rate, Midoriya’s body cannot accept his power otherwise he will explode! Thus he must build up strength and stamina. So he must clean up this entire beach filled with discarded appliance junk?! Better get started. Oh, and to make sure he does so before enrolling in UA, he only has 10 months to do it. So we see him putting all his effort in following All Might’s menu. Train hard, study hard, eat hard. But he might be overdoing it so All Might warns him it might have a reverse effect. However Midoriya’s reply is that he wants to be like him and so he has to work harder than anybody else. On the day he is supposed to ‘graduate’, All Might is surprised he cleaned up the entire beach on his own! OMG! From a skinny boy to one with decent muscles! It all paid off well. So how is Midoriya going to inherit his power? All Might plucks a strand of hair for him to eat. Say what? It could be anything as long as it contains his DNA. No sh*t. This has got to be one of the weirdest power passing methods ever. Now Midoriya is at UA’s entrance exam. He is nervous. Bakugou ignores him and Midoriya is even more nervous when a girl, Ochako Uraraka talks to him. Ironically he calls their talk successful when he himself didn’t even say a word. In the hall, Present Mic explains the different tests and battlefields the candidate will go through, the points the will score depending on the enemy type and difficulty. Time for Midoriya to show the fruits of his training. But he is still as nervous as hell.

Episode 4
As everyone begins destroying the enemy robots for points, Midoriya is too slow and lagging behind. Then a giant robot appears. Everyone runs away from it because as told during the briefing that this one has no points and to stay away. But when Midoriya sees Ochako stuck under a rubble, he didn’t hesitate to go rescue her. He initiates his inherited power (by squeezing his butt and yelling out?!) and knocks down the robot in a single devastating punch. One Punch Man? Unfortunately because his body is still new and not accustomed to the power yet, his feet and right hand are broken. He is falling to his death but Ochako touches him to allow him to levitate and then a soft landing. The other participants are wondering if this nervous guy was putting up an act all the while but Tenya Iida realizes everyone is missing the point because he saw how Midoriya went to save her despite knowing the time limit is almost up and aware of his own safety. UA’s granny nurse, Recovery Girl then uses her super healing power to heal Midoriya as good as new. A week later, Midoriya is spacing out because he knows he has failed. Despite barely passing the written exam, he scored zero for the practical. Then a letter for UA arrives. He braces for the worst. Inside is a hologram video of All Might telling him he has started working at UA. He also shows a video of Ochako feeling responsible for what happened to Midoriya and wants to give some of her points but was refused. However those points aren’t just what a hero is graded on. The giant robot was a test to see a hero’s self-sacrifice. Midoriya scored a near perfect from the judges. So basically he qualifies for the academy. Time to let those tears of happiness flow.

Episode 5
Midoriya sees All Might as the latter congratulates him for his acceptance. He also mentions that he didn’t tell the faculty about their relationship. Midoriya makes his way to his first day of class at UA. The top 36 are accepted and split into 2 classes. Right off the bat he sees Iida and Bakugou quarrelling. While Bakugou believes Midoriya cheated his way to get in, Iida respects Midoriya and views him as more powerful than himself. Their homeroom teacher, Shouta Aizawa looks like a tired sleepy guy. First he has them all put on jerseys for physical education. As Bakugou was the top scorer during the test, he has him demonstrate throwing a baseball infused with his power. He scores an amazing 750 metres. The other students are motivated this looks like fun but Aizawa pours cold water on that. He suggests after 8 tests, the one in last place will be viewed as no potential and will be expelled. That’s bad news for Midoriya, right? While it may sound unfair, Aizawa explains that Japan is filled with disasters and selfish villains. It is a hero’s job to overturn that. They must have what it takes and UA is going to give them hardships after another. Through the various tests, we are introduced to some of the characters and their Quirks like Iida with his engine power, Yuga Aoyama with his naval laser and frog girl Tsuyu Asui. In the baseball throwing test when it is Midoriya’s turn, he is about to use his power but Aizawa steals his power. Aizawa is known as Eraser Head, an underground hero who erases the Quirks of others with his sight. Aizawa doesn’t view Midoriya highly and knows he cannot control his power well. He believes Midoriya can be reckless with his power just because somebody is going to be there to save him. Even if it is not his intention, others around him will be forced to. His actions reminded him of somebody with similar passion. Aizawa returns his power and gives him a chance to throw. Midoriya remembers the need to work harder than the rest. As he throws, he concentrates his power only on his index finger at the last minute. The ball is thrown at an amazing 705 metres. Despite his finger is broken, he shows Aizawa he still can move it. I’m sure it still hurts…

Episode 6
Bakugou is mad. He attacks Midoriya only to be restrained by Aizawa. As the rest of the tests continue, Midoriya knows the baseball throw was only his best as he has been doing the remainder with a painful broken finger. It is no surprise he ends up in last place. So he is out? Then Aizawa says the expulsion is just a joke. It was just to bring out their upper limits of their Quirks and make them do their best. Phew. But Bakugou still not happy… Naturally being a hero academy, normal classes are boring as hell. The hero training class is the exciting one everyone is waiting for and more so when All Might will be teaching them! For more realism, everyone wears their requested hero costume. Midoriya has his mom to thank for. She peeked into his notebook and thought this was the costume he wanted, which is actually a poor sketch of All Might. So this is debatable. They look more like cosplayers… For combat training, All Might will split them into teams of 2. One will play the hero and the other the villain. The heroes have to sneak into the building and disarm the bomb while fighting off against villains in the limited time. While Midoriya has Ochako, his nightmare matchup comes true as he is to face off with Bakugou and Iida. And since the latter team is playing the villain, I guess Bakugou is more than happy to go all out to beat his ass. The training begins as Midoriya and Ochako sneak in successfully. But shortly Bakugou comes attacking and targeting Midoriya at full force although the latter anticipated this. Bakugou might not do well in close combat and confined space but he is still hell bent to kick his ass. But surprise! Midoriya does a judo throw. You think he has been a weakling all the time? He has been observing Bakugou’s fighting style ever since and knows his moves. It’s all in his notebook. Impressed? Well, Bakugou is madder now.

Episode 7
Midoriya tells us Bakugou was the local town’s rascal. When his Quirk manifested, he started going down the wrong path. Midoriya continues to evade Bakugou’s blows since he knows how he thinks. It becomes a hide and seek game. Bakugou angrily thinks back about their past. He used to bully Midoriya in front of their friends. He became cocky when his Quirk manifested. He thought he was unbeatable since everyone was so impressed with it. It got worse for Midoriya since he was the only one without a Quirk. One day Bakugou fell into the river. Midoriya wanted to help him but it only served to provoke Bakugou because of his sympathetic face. He still thinks he is better than him. Ochako has found the bomb but Iida has discovered her. He knows about her gravity Quirk and has taken the liberty to clean out the room so she cannot touch anything and levitate them. Once Bakugou finds Midoriya, he unleashes a powerful blast that could have killed him! This guy is serious! He wants Midoriya to show his Quirk. Bakugou gets the better of Midoriya since he uses his instincts and guts to attack, catching him off guard. Since Bakugou is still mad Midoriya is underestimating him, this makes Midoriya scream that he wants to beat and surpass him. As the guys clash, Midoriya manifests his Quirk on his right arm. Then he tells Ochako to do it, in which Midoriya is sent upwards, breaking the floors. Ochako uses the pillar to batter the debris as Iida as distraction before she jumps over to touch the bomb and win it for her team. Well, Bakugou is still mad he is being underestimated so Midoriya tells him he wasn’t planning to use his Quirk as his body cannot handle the impact. However he had to as there was nothing else he could think of.

Episode 8
There’s a post-battle analysis for them with Momo Yaoyorozu giving detailed analysis why Iida is the MVP since he took into consideration and prepared well for the enemy. Unlike Bakugou who acted on his own driven by his personal grudge, Midoriya getting pretty reckless and Ochako who lost focus at times. So we have the other freaks students strut their stuff but you know they won’t make any impact and their battle fast forward and cut short like hell since nobody was dramatically injured like Midoriya’s battle, right? So the only highlight is Shouto Todoroki who uses his ice power to freeze everything for an easy win and not only he has freezing powers but heating powers to melt! Yeah, Bakugou is already reeling from his loss and he sees this guy who is more freaking powerful than him. Welcome back to Earth. After Midoriya heals and returns to class, everyone admires him and wants to be his friend. Except Bakugou of course. He continues sulking so Midoriya goes to talk to him about his ‘borrowed’ powers and would one day beat him with his own Quirk. This only serves to make him mad as usual but for his standards, he is doing quite well to hold in his anger. But eventually he screams and yells (and cries) that all there is for today’s match was that he lost. That’s it. After seeing Todoroki, he knew he couldn’t beat this guy and Momo’s comments were spot on. He vows to become number one again and that will be the last time Midoriya beat him. All Might tries to be a good counsellor for Bakugou but the effort is not appreciated. I know, he’ll surpass All Might too, right?

Episode 9
Ever since All Might is working at UA, the press has been trying to get him for a comment. As always, they are always turned down at the doorsteps of UA. The class now has to choose a class rep. Everyone is fired up to become one. A poll is made and Midoriya comes up tops with 3 votes! You can bet Bakugou is mad and wondering who the f*ck voted for this weakling (Ochako is one of them…). And Iida who wanted so much to be class rep got zero votes! During lunch, Iida reveals about his family who has been heroes for generations. Ingenium the Turbo Hero is actually his older brother whom he admires a lot. The alarm is alerted and it seems somebody has trespassed into UA. This causes the students to panic as they try to exit. For hero wannabes, this is sure chaotic. Iida sees the trespassers as the press. He feels the need to let the rest know to quell the panic. Once he gets to a higher place and everyone’s attention, he reveals the truth and calm follows. When class resumes, Midoriya passes his class rep position to Iida since he is more fitting. He can’t turn down a nomination, can he? The UA staffs are examining how the press got in. Somebody destroyed part of the barrier. Like as though somebody instigated this or trying to declare war on them. All Might is doing his usual heroic stuffs. He noticed he has gotten slower and his transformation time lesser ever since he gave part of his powers to Midoriya. Midoriya told him he told Bakugou how he got it but seeing he isn’t the type to blab, he lets it pass. Too much saving has caused All Might to run out of power. So he has to sit out the class’ next training which is supposed to be with Aizawa and Thirteen. They arrive at the Unforeseen Simulation Joint (USJ) where they will train on how to rescue civilians in various terrains. The students thought what happen next is part of training. Because those shady people popping out from the black hole are real villains!

Episode 10
They believe there is a villain with powers that prevent the alarm from going off and since USJ is an isolated away from the main campus, for villains to attack, they must have a specific goal in mind. Aizawa shows his power isn’t just temporarily erase Quirks but he can also do hand to hand combat like a pro. Thanks to the villains fighting in big groups, they are confused whose Quirk is being erased and it makes them harder to coordinate. Thirteen and the students evacuate but Kurogiri blocks their path. He states they are from the League of Villains and their plan is to kill All Might but they don’t see him around. He then uses his warp to scatter the students all over the place so that other villains waiting can kill them. Midoriya is whisked away with Tsuyu and Minoru Mineta to the shipwreck simulation. They are attacked by the enemies waiting in the water but are quick enough to leap onto the single boat. They deduce the enemies’ strength is water based since they are not trying to climb onto the boat and waiting for them to fall in. It is also believed the enemies are unsure of the students’ Quirks because Tsuyu has the power close to a frog and thus fighting in water gives her advantage. Thus the reason the enemy scattered them is to beat them with numbers and experience. And if they’re here for All Might, does this mean they have a sure foolproof way to kill him for good? The trio discuss their powers at hand. Tsuyu adds hers include sticky tongue, high jump and some toxic mucus which is pretty much useless. Mineta? Just sticky round balls that can’t come off… Useless? The enemy won’t wait as they sink the boat. Mineta is reduced to a pessimistic coward but Midoriya has a plan. He jumps off seemingly going to attack the enemy. In actual fact he uses the powerful flick of his finger at the water to create a whirlpool force and suck the enemies into the centre. Tsuyu leaps off with them as Mineta throws his balls into the vortex. Now the enemies are gathered and stuck together. Great job guys.

Episode 11
Midoriya plans to go help Aizawa to help lessen his load. But they can only hide and see him continue fighting. All seems to be going good till Aizawa fights with the creepy Tomura Shigaraki. He has observed Aizawa’s fight and knows his Quirk effectiveness is getting shorter and shorter and isn’t meant for a long drawn fight and in big groups. Shigaraki seems to have the power to rot/break anything upon contact like how Aizawa’s elbow is now exposed. Aizawa is then bludgeoned to a bloody pulp by this monstrosity Noumu. I guess calling him a bird brain wouldn’t be right… Meanwhile Thirteen wants Iida to use his speed to rush out of USJ and call for reinforcements. He uses his black hole suction to suck in Kurogiri but the latter’s warp has his own power destroy himself. The other students stall Kurogiri as long as they can till Iida manages to break out from USJ. Kurogiri knows it is game over when reinforcements are called. He tells this to Shigaraki who is very disappointed they will now have to leave. But before that he wants to kill a few of the students. That means targeting Tsuyu. She would have been done for had not Aizawa unleashed is Quirk to erase his power. Midoriya quickly puts all his power into his punch to smash him. At first he thought he could finally control his power since his arm didn’t break. But before him is Noumu blocking his punch and he didn’t even take any damage. Could this monster be the villains’ trump card against All Might? Before these kids are done for, here comes All Might smashing in. The hero always arrives in the nick of time, right? And you can bet on All Might’s face that he is one pissed hero.

Episode 12
All Might is fast! Too fast for the eye to catch! He beats up all the small friends and rescues Aizawa. He leaves it to Midoriya to take him to safety. So cool! See that big smile of his? That’s not his smile. He’s mad. You’re in for a payback big time. But as he fights Noumu, he finds his punches have no effect. Shigaraki explains Noumu’s Quirk is shock absorption. The only way is to scrape off his skin. All Might is about to do that but Kurogiri’s portal has Noumu get All Might in the back and at his scar. Kurogiri is going to close the portal and tear his body to half. Midoriya can’t stand this and rushes back to save him. Could have been owned by Kurogiri had not Bakugou come blasting to beat up that mist guy as revenge. Todoroki freezes Noumu to allow All Might to escape. Too bad Eijirou Kirishima didn’t have a chance to show his cool side to beat up Shigaraki. But if you think the heroes have turned the tables, think again. Shigaraki calls Noumu. The latter breaks out despite breaking his body. Because his body regenerates! It is his other Quirk! Noumu could have killed Bakugou to free Kurogiri had not All Might block the punch. Although this weakens him, the boys want to back him up but All Might tells them to just watch how the pros do it. He resumes his epic punching battle with Noumu, so epic that the turbulence and impact is preventing others from getting close! HOLY SMOKES!!! Every punch All Might throws is over 100% because he is going to beat the crap out of Noumu so fast that he can’t regenerate in time! Super strong, super fast punches!!! Holy sh*t!!! So epic till Noumu gets punched away into the sky! He became like Team Rocket!!! Everyone is amazed at his top power although All Might is being modest (and honest) that he would have ended in 5 hits but needed 300 punches. However he has only a minute left to maintain his form and Shigaraki is now getting mad of this ‘cheat code’.

Episode 13
Midoriya knows All Might is at his limit and is just bluffing the enemy. Shigaraki is panicking this wasn’t supposed to happen but Kurogiri has him analyze their situation. All Might definitely has taken some damage, the trainees appear to be frozen in fear and they have underlings they can still use (I guess nap time is over). This has Shigaraki charging straight at All Might. In an instant, Midoriya uses all his strength on his legs (breaking them) to leap and try to intercept Kurogiri. But he uses that portal thing and Shigaraki is inches away from breaking Midoriya’s face. However Shigaraki is shot in the hand. The other hero teachers have arrived and they show what it means to be pros. Kurogiri takes Shigaraki and escape. Midoriya feels useless but All Might thanks him because if not for that few seconds he bought, he would have died. Shigaraki and Kurogiri return to their hideout. Shigaraki cursing that the information they’ve got was wrong. Communicating with a third party, he mentions they were just unprepared. Even more so they’ve lost Noumu. Shigaraki continues to blame Midoriya. Had he not been there for that split second, he could have killed All Might. It is suggested they need to gather the rest of the elites from the league. Then they’ll show the world why they are to be feared. The students are briefed by inspector Naomasa Tsukauchi about the condition of the injured. Aizawa and Thirteen will live although they are very injured and will take time to heal. Noumu is also believed to be found in the forest nearby. He is pretty much docile and tame as he obediently lets the police capture him. Tsukauchi then goes to visit All Might in the infirmary. They are best friends so he can see All Might in his deflated form. All Might is concerned about his students and is assured they are all safe. He corrects Tsukauchi that the students fought and risked their lives and will become strong heroes.

And So A Hero Is Born… Or Made?
And just like any other great superhero series, there will always be a sequel! Oh yes. I couldn’t be happier to know that because it would be a shame to just let this first season which is seemingly mostly just an origin story to end right there. Lots of potential and development waiting and it would have been a waste not to have another season and go. Hopefully this series will not tank like some unpopular superhero movies that were slated to have sequels but were immediately cancelled due to poor reception. But I’m very sure I’m not the only guy who decently believes this series is great enough to deserve a sequel even if they didn’t announce it right at the end of the final episode.

However when the series first started, I didn’t find it as interesting. Here I was thinking it is going to be another (almost) boring superhero origin story because we see Midoriya from a rags to riches kind of story. From a normal kid to a budding superhero he has always dreamt of. Nothing special, right? Origin stories tend to be a bit boring in that scene since it takes time to build up the main character. But during the closing stages of the season when the League of Villains start to appear, this is when it started to get interesting. At least from my personal point of view. Because we have seen our trainee heroes just doing training and stuffs. Things that aren’t in immediate danger or life threatening. And then suddenly you have professional villains turning up and crashing into the party without any announcement. That’s where things start to shake up a little as we see them using what they have learnt (at least it went well for them despite taking on low level baddies but it is good enough for a start) while being kept at the edge of our seats because the big strong bad bosses just seemed scarily invincible. How are they going to best this? How are they going to turn this situation around? So it is ironically that with the appearance of the League of Villains, they inject freshness and excitement in the closing arc for this season.

You can’t help feel you want to root for the young heroes and All Might to kick the baddies’ ass. Even though it is just silly at times but hey, aren’t all superhero stories silly in some way? Isn’t that what fantasy of pop culture is supposed to be about? I mean, the plot is cliché and predictable enough especially if you have seen so many superhero movies and those with much darker tones, this one pales in comparison. Hero tries to train himself up to par. Bad guys come to wreak havoc. Hero overcomes his weakness. Hero saves the day. Typical, no? Only difference is that the hero doesn’t get the girl in the end. Haha! Well, maybe not yet.

Because this is an origin story, the focus centres mainly around Midoriya. Nothing wrong about that except for the fact that there are other great characters especially heroes in his class that show as much potential as him but had to be sidelined and relegated to minor supporting character role. This is one of the pitfalls of having so much great characters but with the limited number of episodes of the season, they feel under-utilized and under-developed. You want to write them off as insignificant extras that contribute nothing but after halfway through, you feel like they are more than just extras. They are part of this superhero class team. It is just a shame that they don’t get more screen time thanks to the lack of it so they sometimes show short pieces of them here and there just to remind us that they still matter. Remember those professional full-fledged heroes at the beginning? They didn’t matter anymore in the end, huh? Sad…

Making it more frustrating in the characters department is the fact that the League of Villains themselves are awfully interesting! So I went to browse a bit on them on the internet and they have a bunch of odd motley crew. They’re weird. They’re badass. It is like some serious sh*t is going to happen if both sides of the divide ever clash. Things are going to get down and an epic clash of titans shaking the world in the ultimate battle of good versus evil. So we have a glimpse of Shigaraki and Kurogiri as the mainstay villains as part of the League. They are creepy (especially with Shigaraki having severed hands covering all over his body and eerily starts scratching his neck whenever he is feeling stressed up) and they are no pushover. I’d love to see more of them and duke it out with our young heroes in the future. Not too sure about Noumu’s future since he ended up not in hands of the heroes so whether or not he will become an asset to the heroes or a time bomb for betrayal in the future instalment is yet to be seen. But he does put up a worthy fight with All Might and that makes him a formidable villain to look out for and to be on the lookout at all times.

Back to discussing our main heroes. Like I said, the first half seems slow because it focuses on Midoriya slowly achieving his dream to become a superhero. It might seem annoying because Midoriya is basically a weak kid. I mean, people these days want their superheroes to have flaws, right? Because Mr Perfect doesn’t quite cut it or satisfy us anymore. Even so, we see him whining and having some low self esteem issues. But you can’t blame him because he has always been a normal human. A normal high school kid. And then suddenly you thrust him into the world of superhero, something new. What do you expect of him? He may have been observing and noting down superhero stuffs but it is a completely different thing when you are the superhero yourself. So despite all the pain and suffering, I am sure Midoriya can only grow and get better. Of course he has to work harder than the rest as he is still the weakest and this time maybe not b*tch so much about it.

Also making the first half somewhat annoying and unbearable at times to watch is Bakugou. You know, this dude is always in angry mode. He makes Angry Birds look like babies. This guy is so furious, has got so much fury, rage, anger, wrath and whatever other words you can think of, inside of him that he is literally a walking time bomb. Ironically that is what his Quirk is, right? But the irritating thing is how he seems to take it out all on Midoriya. The slightest thing, he snaps. The most trivial thing, he screams back. I mean, get over it. That’s what we want to shout back to this guy but we fear he might not give a sh*t and bomb the hell out of us. So there is something more than meets the eye about the odd relationship between Midoriya and Bakugou. Something that is not shown yet why Bakugou hates Midoriya’s guts like how we hate Hitler. Something must have happened. A strange love-hate relationship. Of course when he realizes he isn’t the strongest and just being a baby throwing tantrums, the hostility towards his childhood friend lessens because there are more pressing issues to worry about. Like villains who want to destroy the world, maybe? With the appearance of the League of Villains, he seems a bit irrelevant ever since trying to keep his outbursts under wraps. But don’t expect to see the last of him yet. I believe he’ll make an explosive comeback in the future.

And the other main character is All Might. He is the supposedly playing the mentor role in this season to our budding young superhero. In a way, you could say that Midoriya and All Might saved each other because without each other’s action-cum-motivation, they wouldn’t have ended up in UA and currently where they are right now. Like a typical cliché American superhero of justice (noticed all his moves are named after an American city?) with big bulging muscles and strength and a big smile exuding flawless confidence, he shows that he isn’t just for show and shows us in the end why he is the greatest symbol of peace. So great that the baddies even developed an opponent just for him. If that isn’t badass enough, I don’t know what is. Of course no heroes are without their flaws as in All Might’s case as we have seen he cannot maintain his ultimate strength forever. Despite being the best superhero, he is still human underneath all that power. You can’t stay at the top forever. But he is still top of his game despite weakening a lot.

As I have also said earlier, the rest of the characters in Midoriya’s class feels wasted since they look like they have lots more potential. Even some of the ‘main’ ones like Iida and Ochako feel like a big miss. You know, we need a character who is straight lace guy and Ochako the shy girl. So if you expect to see any romance between Midoriya and Ochako, continue to dream on. Oh come on. Can you not tell that such a girl usually harbour a secret crush on the main character? I mean, seriously. Then there is Todoroki who seems to be the most powerful among all the other students thanks to his fire and ice power. He has this mysterious feel but sadly he is just a side character here. Remember that annoying Aoyama guy? I thought he was going to be some annoying supporting character with his arrogant handsome looks but he dropped out of the radar and I didn’t even know when.

Well, that’s all I can say. Say… I kinda noticed something. The more I watched the series, the more I realize how some of the characters take an uncanny resemblance to the characters in Naruto! Don’t believe me? I think there was a YouTube video comparing them to that. Because Midoriya is like Naruto, don’t you agree? Just a lot a wuss. Then there is Bakugou like Sasuke (anti-hero personality), Ochako like Hinata, Aizawa like Kakashi and well, All Might and Might Guy! Nearly same name, right? I wonder if Tsuyu the frog girl has something to do with Naruto’s frog familiar…

Superhero genres usually mean action, right? And you got it all in here. Why else would you want to watch a superhero flick? No need for super convoluted powers that need to evolve and transform you into a higher being because levelling up is what you need to do to beat the villain’s ass. Every superhero here has a Quirk that they will use to fight. Whether it is powerful or useless, it depends on how they use it. So if you aren’t a fan of confusing level up powers and fights, be glad that this series is more straightforward. Because there is nothing simpler than kicking ass via brute strength. You’ll see that a lot from All Might because what else can he do besides Detroit Smash, Texas Smash, Missouri Smash and even Oklahoma Smash! Hey, no New York Smash? Will Los Angeles ever be part of his Smash series? But each punch All Might does, you can feel its super strong impact and it’s no joke that he literally blows you away with each blow. That’s real power. We hope Midoriya can do a decent amount of punching too but we fear he will always break some body part and needs to resurrect it later. Oh, you like explosions and want to see them? Bakugou has got it covered for you. Ice power, fire power, electric power, elemental power, gravitational power and whatever other powers you want to see, I’m sure the rest of the characters have got them covered.

Art and drawing for the overall series feels a bit cartoonish. It is to have that comic effect because some of the fonts you see here have this comic book-like effect. But as for the character designs, we all know how silly some superheroes even in the western world look, right? I mean, really. Sure, the design is to make them stand out and look cool but sometimes in other shades, they just look plain silly. So that is why sometimes I feel that the weirdness of the design gives the author ‘creative freedom’ to design some of the minor supporting characters. Because they look as hell weird as they are like monsters. You know, it is like certain Quirks transform your entire human form permanently into a strange looking alien or monster. Serious.

So you have really weird looking heroes and it doesn’t help their costumes make them even look weirder. Sometimes it makes you want to say that this world is like one big comic-con and cosplay event. Like Momo who is so scantily clad it makes you think if she thinks this is a video game. Where all female characters are scantily clad! Because. Video games. Yeah, and guys like Bakugou and Kirishima decide to go shirtless, huh? Or at least minimum cloth covering their top. Show off those abs! Then you have Tsuyu whom I thought looked like a certain Japanese ghost character because of her big staring eyes although later I finally come to terms that she is a weird looking frog. And some look like other characters like Mineta I thought what was Kateikyoushi’s Hitman Reborn’s Lambo doing here. Oh, doesn’t Midoriya look a bit close to Hunter x Hunter’s Gon? Earlier I did say Ochako was like Naruto’s Hinata. That was her personality. But I find that one of the other students resembles a lot like her. What’s her name again? Kyouka Jirou was it? And there’s this other guy too, Rikidou Satou whom I thought just came out from the Kinnikuman series…

Animated by Bones, this is a veteran anime production studio that has done many animes and including some superhero themed ones before. Namely Heroman whom they have collaborated with Marvel’s Stan Lee. Then there is Soul Eater and Captain Earth just to name a few of the superhero genres. Oh, Concrete Revolutio was also under them. So I guess that is where they have the experience. Other titles made under their belt also include Space Dandy, Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist (including the Brotherhood reboot), Noragami, Ouran High School Host Club, Kekkai Sensen, Darker Than Black, Hitsugi No Chaika, Scrapped Princess, Bungou Stray Dog, Gosick and Rahxephon.

Voice acting isn’t bad with some of the recognizable ones including Ayane Sakura as Ochako, Junichi Suwabe as Aizawa, Yuuki Kaji as Todoroki and Marina Inoue as Momo. However the most surprising one is Aoi Yuuki as Tsuyu. Wait. That was her???!!! Oh my. After being stereotyped in hearing her voice roles, I thought I have heard it all from her. Apparently she managed to surprise me in this role when I found out since Tsuyu talks a bit flat like a robot. Never knew it was her. Kudos and hats off. I wondered why Bakugou sounded familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it till I realized much later that he is the same guy behind To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Accelerator. Yup. Nobuhiko Okamoto. For the rest of the casts (there are lots of them I’m going to leave out since they are unnamed in my blog since well, didn’t make enough impact for me to even name them?), they are Daiki Yamashita as Midoriya (Hiro in Glasslip), Kenta Miyake as All Might (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Kaito Ishikawa as Iida (Havia in Heavy Object), Ryou Hirohashi as Mineta (Alice in Aria The Animation), Kouki Uchiyama as Shigaraki (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Takahiro Fujiwara as Kurogiri (Pippin in Berserk movies) and Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Tsukauchi (Jaguar in Concrete Revolutio).

The opening theme is The Day and your typical rock music needed for such a superhero genre. Well, at least it fits the theme of the series quite well. Not as hardcore epic as the one in One Punch Man but still decent in its own right. If the style of the song sounds familiar, it is because Porno Graffitti sang this one. If you heard Melissa from Fullmetal Alchemist and Hitori No Yoru from Great Teacher Onizuka, you’ll definitely be familiar and be at home with the singing style of this group. The ending theme is Heroes by Brian The Sun which is another rock outfit.

Overall, this is still an entertaining and enjoyable superhero series. Lots of heart pounding action although you have to wait till the end of the series to get a decent one. There might be holes in the plot and many of the characters are not fleshed out properly but hey, have you seen a superhero movie done right in just its first outing? Wait, what? Deadpool, you say? That guy is on a different level. And besides, everybody knows him, right? Like every other superheroes whether in comic book (mostly) or other forms (video games), it takes more than just a single session to tell the entire story. You know a superhero isn’t made in a day, right? But all I’m saying is that this series should be given some more time to prove itself. Give this show a chance. You might like it. Or not. Maybe this series is too American for those seeking something that needs to be too Japanese-esque. Whatever your tastes and ideals in superheroes are, because I am sure there is a superhero that we all look up to and aspire to be. That kid inside of us still dreaming that we will become the superhero we always dreamt of. Superheroes aren’t just for kids and has never has been. They’re there for everyone.

Fairy Tail S2

December 16, 2016

After taking a year worth of break, I suppose it was only right to resume an epic series instead of leaving it hanging forever. I think. And even if Fairy Tail did resume its run back in 2014, this time around they only lasted for 2 years before going on another hiatus. I guess that is better than nothing. So time to recall your memories of what happened in the previous episodes and seasons and carry on with the greatest adventure of magic and guilds against the never ending fight against evil. If I still remember all of that, that is…

Grand Magic Games Arc (cont.)
* It is a day off for everyone before the final day of the games. Gajeel brings our related parties to the dragon graveyard and with Wendy’s summoning magic, the spirit of the jade dragon tells the whole truth about dragons.
* Dragons ruled the world supreme. One day, a dragon believed in human rights. Actually, more like dragons and humans should be on equal footing. Some opposed and some supported that view. It led to the biggest dragon wars ever. Dragons supporting coexistence with humans gave them magic powers in which they are known as Dragon Slayers today. Unfortunately one human used this magic to kill all dragons. He killed so many of them till he became a dragon himself. It should come to a surprise for our Fairy Tail guys because that super dragon king is… Acnologia! Who wouldn’t have guessed, right?
* Meanwhile back at Sabretooth’s guild, the big tengu-lie boss, Jiemma berates Sting and Rogue for their embarrassing lost. Lectar tries to sooth the tension but was killed off by Jiemma!!! Well, I can’t say I’m not sad over this arrogant cat’s death. Sting got so mad that he beats up Jiemma! Boss or not, you mess with his cat, you pay.
* Arcadios reveals to Natsu and co right after their dragon story about his Eclipse Plan and thus the need for celestial wizards. That means Lucy and Yukino are both important for this plan. The essence of this plan is to travel back in time 400 years ago to kill Zeref before he obtains immortality and thus the Zodiac celestial keys are essential.
* Unfortunately the Minister of Defence, Darton arrests all of them as he is not in favour of changing history. I mean, the present will be changed too, right? Arcadios, Lucy and Yukino are arrested while the rest are freed. I mean, what harm would they pose since dumb Natsu used his magic and had it all absorbed by the Eclipse Gate.

Day 5
* The final day of the games is here. While we are introduced to the teams, the shocking one is of course Fairy Tail. In place of Natsu (who of course has been magically weakened) is replaced by Juvia. The final game is a big game of battle royal. The entire city is their battlefield. You have to knock out your opponents to earn a point. But if you knock out the leader you get 5 points. So we know even the lowest and unpopular team will still have the chance. But we don’t really care because you know, Quatro Puppy became the whipping boys to have everyone eliminated first. Then followed by Blue Pegasus. With the field halved, you know the remaining ones are strong mothers. Even more shocking, Fairy Tail team just stood there doing nothing for a long time! All part of Mavis’ plan? Whatever. And when it is time to move, they head out to their designation posts. All part of Mavis’ plan, I suppose.
* While the games are in progress, Fairy Tail sent in a second team on a sneaky mission to rescue Lucy. Natsu, Wendy, Mirajane and the Exceed cats sneak into the castle for a rescue mission. Though successful, they are caught by the kingdom’s princess, Hisui and thrown into the palace dungeon deep below the castle. Nobody ever escaped from here, huh?
* Gray vs Rufus – We need a rematch because Gray lost the first time, right? And so Rufus uses his memorization magic to memorize and imitate all ice attacks back at Gray. It’s expected. Good guy must take beating first before he turns on the tables by creating ice weapons faster than Rufus can memorize. Wait. What? And with that, Gray wins it for Fairy Tail and marks the downfall of Sabretooth.
* Speaking of that number one guild, Sting has become its new leader because Minerva intercepted that if Jiemma got defeated it means he is not worthy to become Sabretooth’s leader. They’re just following his policy. Good or bad news, Lectar is still alive. Minerva teleported him before Jiemma blasted him to smithereens. But if Sting wants him back, all he needs to do is win the games.
* Natsu’s team come across the kingdom’s secret executioners, Garou Knights (it goes without saying another bunch of weirdoes) with orders to execute the ‘criminals’. As expected, we get our team fights before they get separated to have one on one fights. Like Natsu vs axe wielding mask boss; Wendy vs plant controlling lady; Mirajane vs coloured confetti scattering lady; Lily vs fat drunkard with acid power; All other ‘useless’ non-fighters, Lucy, Yukino, Happy, Carla and Arcadios get to face off with this comical fisherman with Popeye arms. Tai! I’m not going into details of their fight because you know the drill of how it works. They get beaten up, enemies show their power, with the power of family and friendship they defeat the enemies. All at the same time! Great timing? And you know how characters just can’t die, right? I mean like Arcadios he is willing to sacrifice himself for Lucy and Yukino and should have died if not for Loke coming into the picture.
* Darton suspects Hisui is the mastermind behind Eclipse Project because she threw Fairy Tail in there to rescue Arcadios. And there is something about another plan called Eclipse Project 2. Want to bet that if it is not carried out, this kingdom will be destroyed as soon as possible?
* Remember that mysterious hooded character at the end of last season? Appearing before Natsu and co right at the exit, the big revelation of who this character is… LUCY???!!! Another Lucy? Sure this is not Lucy from Edolas? Apparently she is from the future. She is pleading to them for help because this country will be destroyed tomorrow. What did I just tell you?

* Juvia vs Cheria – A cat fight over Lyon’s love. Except Juvia isn’t really for Lyon. Do you want to see little girly fight?
* Erza vs Kagura vs Minerva – Now this is the epic cat fight we have all been waiting for. The strongest women in their respective guilds kick each other’s ass! Oh yeah! With their powers even, Minerva decides to change the pace by revealing Millianna as her hostage. She wants the winner of the fight to face her.
* Erza vs Kagura – So I guess it is back to this duo dancing together. Kagura is hell bent in defeating Erza and slice Minerva to rescue her comrade. Erza notices Kagura’s grudge for Jellal still going strong. Why? Because Simon was her brother. Oh yeah. Time to dig deep into your memories of that Tower of Heaven arc. Kagura managed to escape capture and spent years looking for Simon till she met and heard from Milliana. But when Erza mentions Jellal didn’t kill Simon and it was her weakness, Kagura is so mad that she just wants to unsheathe the sword she kept sheathed specifically for Jellal’s head. Erza blocks the strike. So awesome that the shockwaves probably split the city! Erza defeats Kagura and even saves her from a falling rock. And what do you know? Erza remembers she comes from the same village as her! The one who hid her before baddies took her away. Why do they remember stuffs like that now?! And just when you think reconciliation is on the cards, think again because bad girl Minerva stabs Kagura to claim all the points. Milliana? She tortured her and finished her off too. Yeah, Mermaid Heel all out. Time for mad Erza to shoulder the burden of avenging her friends’ defeat.
* Gajeel vs Rogue – Do we need to see any rematch? I’m sure we won’t believe how Rogue is starting to get cheesy with his understand why Gajeel joined Fairy Tail because of this nakama thingy, right? That is why suddenly we have his shadow possessing him and powering up to kill Gajeel. But don’t worry. Gajeel also has a trick up his sleeve. He inhales all his shadow and transforms into… A shadow metal dragon?! Gajeel becomes stronger and proceeds to beat up Rouge till he loses! Wow. That was reasonably fast. Hey, at least it didn’t take episodes.
* Laxus vs Orga vs Jura – Lightning vs lightning. Till Jura joins in. Orga is powering up to test Jura to see who is stronger. Before he could move, Jura knocks him out with a strike! OMG! That’s it?! You think Laxus would be sh*tting in his pants after seeing that. He charges and goes down in a strike too! Laxus down?! Not yet. He gets back up. Then to show how strong Laxus has grown, he fights on par with him and beats him!!!
* Gray-Juvia vs Lyon-Cheria – How did the guys get involved in this battle of love? In this tag team battle, Lyon can’t hurt his crush Juvia and with Cheria being jealous, they are lacking team work. Our Fairy Tail duo use this to their advantage to wipe them out. This completes Lamia Scale’s wipe out.
* Erza vs Minerva – Erza is injured and Minerva is that bad b*tch that throws all her magic at her. Despite the injury, Erza is fuelled by her deep feelings to avenge her friends. She summons some special armour that negates Minerva’s magic. So powerful that Minerva is starting to get scared! Yup, she is defeated!
* You think that Fairy Tail has an 8 point lead and is on course to win the games, right? Then the people realize there is still Sting. If he beats all of them, he can get the maximum 9 points and steal the crown. Oh sh*t. Why is everybody so panicking? Is this part of Sting’s plan to beat them all at once since they are worn out? Yeah, he even reveals his position so that all of them can face him.
* Sting vs Fairy Tail – You think you are going to have an awesome battle, right? Well, it could have been if not for Sting seeing the determined looks on their faces. They are so worn out and yet they can still fight. This gives Sting the jitters. It makes him scared. It makes him hesitate. He can’t do it. HE SURRENDERS!!! OMFG!!! THE FINAL MATCH ENDED WITHOUT A FIGHT???!!! WE’VE BEEN RIPPED OFF!!!
* And so Fairy Tail becomes champion after being in last place. So awesome Fairy Tail is that none of their members lost this final game. To cap a happy ending, Lectar seems to be with Milliana and thus cue for a very emotional reunion with Sting.

Dragon Invasion Arc
* One of future Lucy’s experiences is that after the games, 10,000 dragons came to destroy the city. And if you are wondering why Lucy was seen crying in Carla’s vision is that everyone is dead. So what better way than to use Eclipse to try and go back and redo the past again.
* Just as they are trying to escape the palace, they are faced with palace guards and the return of Garou Knights. They mix up the individual fights this time but before we can drag it out forever, a mysterious shadow swallows them and all the palace guards.
* Arcadios makes his way to see Hisui because he thinks she has been lying. Especially about Eclipse Plan 2 that will use all the accumulated magic from the games throughout the years to blast the dragons. From what he heard from future Lucy, she doesn’t know about this plan and definitely lying will not do her comrades any good. However Hisui points out the person who advised her about the future wasn’t a woman but a man. So there were 2 people from the future? Could there be more?
*So who is this mysterious dude with the shadow power? It is Rogue from the future! Seven years from the future to be exact. Hey, he looks like Black Jack?! By that time dragons have ruled the world and less than 10% of the human population have survived. He is back here to eliminate that person who closed the portal and thus preventing Eclipse from firing and destroying the dragons. That person is… LUCY! Rogue tries to kill present Lucy but future Lucy saves her. Lots of crying. Lots of emotions. Lots of final words before future Lucy bites the dust. Oh well, you don’t need 2 Lucys anyway. See how mad Natsu is even if one is dead? Natsu fights future Rogue so that everyone can pass and rendezvous with Hisui. Future Rogue is so powerful combining shadow and light because he killed Sting and stole his power! Natsu lost and he got away.
* The portal for Eclipse opens. Everyone stares in awe at the uncertainty that is the certainty that will save mankind. Get it? Remember how Lucy kept spamming and reminding she believed in herself that she will not close the portal? Suddenly a change of mind, eh? Before you start calling Lucy a hypocrite, if only Lucy was faster in her explanation that this gate is a link to 400 years in the past and BRINGING THE DRAGONS IN!!!!!!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!!!!!!
* You know what is the most disturbing thing? I know everybody is in shock that 10,000 dragons will come and destroy the world this way, but why the f*ck are they just standing there watching the dragons coming through one by one???!!! Are they going to stare like this till 10,000 of them come through?! WTF?! And why isn’t anybody trying to help Lucy close the f*cking door???!!! Finally with Yukino, they use their Zodiac keys to seal it. Despite only 7 dragons made it through, it is still enough to cause havoc.
* Of course the culprit behind all this is future Rogue. Just as planned. He has some sort of magic that controls the dragons under his will as he commands them to destroy all the wizard guilds. It is good to see the guilds put aside their difference and work together to kick ass. But the dragons are so freaking tough that their magic left no scratches. I don’t think they even feel a thing.

* Time for Natsu’s rematch with future Rogue. The latter further explains about the future in 7 years. When he said dragons rule the world then, he didn’t mean these dragons. There was only 1 dragon: Acnologia. Wizards and guilds do not exist too and the remaining humans lived their lives scared. Future Rogue mastered the arts to control dragons but did not work on Acnologia. The only way for a dragon to be defeated is another dragon. That is why he went back in time to convince Hisui to open Eclipse. He expected more dragons but these magnificent 7 are enough. After killing Acnologia, he will then take over as the new dragon king and the new ruler of the world. Boy, sounds like history repeating itself.
* But remember, who are those who can only take down dragons? Dragon Slayers! And since there are 7 dragons and 7 Dragon Slayers, the big dragon hunt is on. Wait a minute… Did I count wrong? Natsu, Gajeel, Wendy Laxus, Sting, Rogue… There are only 6. Did I miss out anybody? Oh… Looks like Dranbalt was kind enough to listen to Jellal’s suggestion to free this prisoner, Cobra. Remember him?
* When Natsu eats the flames of the dragon, Atlas Flame, the latter felt something familiar about Natsu. He felt he was like Igneel, the king of fire dragons. When Natsu explains he is Igneel’s son, Atlas Flame teams up with him to go fight future Rogue and fellow dragon, Motherglare.
* Lucy finds the diary of her future self and reads it…
* Things start to get bleak when Gray is killed by little dragons. He even took a headshot! Then other Fairy Tail members start dying too…
* Ultear is rife with regret that she almost succumbed to her dark side and feels she doesn’t deserve to live. Therefore she is going to invoke a magic that will reverse time in hopes of altering all this. The downside of using this magic is that she will lose her life. So how far back did she turn back time? JUST ONE FREAKING MINUTE!!!!!!!! Oh dear. Is this how much your life is worth? However this single minute is enough to reverse time before some of the Fairy Tail members die. They have this weird sense of seeing the future and thus manage to take evasive action and turn the tables on the dragons. So that one minute itself was the difference between life and death. See Ultear? You saved the future.

* Lucy returns to Hisui with the future diary. It states that if Eclipse is destroyed now, future Rogue will not be able to travel back in time and will avoid all this mess. But how do you destroy something so big? Not even the Zodiac guys could make a dent. Maybe this giant ball of fire comet will. Actually it is Natsu-Atlas Fire combo taking down future Rogue-Motherglare. As easy as it seems, Eclipse is destroyed that way. All the dragons start disappearing and future Rogue’s final words for Natsu is a revelation of Frosch’s death in a year’s time that made his shadow merged with him that brought out the evil he is now. He needs Natsu to do a favour to tell his present self to protect Frosch from being killed. Despite the victory, none of the Dragon Slayers feel proud because they couldn’t even take down a dragon.
* Future Lucy returns to the future alive and rejoins her comrades who are also alive. Hooray. Wow. Yay. What a happy ending. And what does present Lucy give Natsu for all his heroic deeds? A big hug.
* Naturally with the day, world and future saved, the palace holds a big banquet for the wizards. Time for forgiveness and reconciliation. Since Yukino isn’t part of any guild, everybody starts fighting over her to join theirs. If you have been wondering like everybody else where the heck Natsu is, here he is, usurping the king and dressing in his clothes and crown just because Fairy Tail won the tournament. The most disrespectful thing ever… Hisui being the responsible princess she is wants to bear the punishment. As expected, everybody says it is not her fault and vouch what she did is for the best. If the king wants to punish somebody, punish everyone else too. And as expected, the king isn’t such a black heart because he forgives everybody and Hisui’s only ‘punishment’ is to wear a pumpkin headgear for a week. Since it looks trendy, everyone also joins in this fashion. Seriously…
* Fun is over, time for everyone to head back. Cobra voluntarily gives himself up to return to prison. Because he heard that the gates of the underworld will soon be opening. That spells big trouble… Tartaros! Related parties are wondering where Ultear went. She used the remaining balance of her life to write a goodbye letter to Jellal and Meldy. A sad end. But she finally forgave herself. And she most likely could be this very old lady… I know because sounds like the same seiyuu…
* Naturally when Fairy Tail gets back to Magnolia, it is to a roaring crowd celebrating the return of their heroes. How does it feel to be back on top again? Even better, the mayor has reconstructed their guild’s headquarters to its original gigantic state. The only party pooper is that Natsu actually took back the king’s crown…
* Sting now takes over as Sabretooth’s head since Jiemma and Minerva went missing. Under the new leadership, Sabretooth is smiling more often instead of that scary dictatorship guild. Yukino has also rejoined Sabretooth.
* Before we move on to the next arc, the obligatory filler episodes like the gang ridding a town of a boobs-loving mudskipper monster (it’s not a mole!), Frosch getting lost and trying to find his way home (how the f*ck did he end up in Fairy Tail’s HQ?), a little past how Bisca and Erza met and ultimately the former joining Fairy Tail (how was billiards involved again?) and Lucy giving each of her Zodiacs a personal wish and reward for their efforts (why is it that Happy always bears the brunt of the misfortune?).

Eclipse Celestial Spirits Arc
* As the world’s weather is going topsy-turvy, Fairy Tail members have split themselves to do various jobs to solve the strange weather phenomenon. Lucy finds that her Zodiac keys do not answer at her call. And when they do, they attack her! OMG. They look even more badass than before. But still weird nonetheless. It seems they have broken free of her contract and do not possess any memories of their past (goofy) selves. What they are seeking for is perfect freedom. It must be very heartbreaking for Lucy to see all that bond gone. Like eggs gone bad, huh?
* From what little information they have gathered, seems the celestial world is in disarray. The contract that formed between the 12 Golden Gates has suddenly vanished (so is the Celestial Spirit King). It is believed that the perfect freedom could be Liberum, some sort of ritual. Its place is Astral Spirytus, somewhere in southern Magnolia. Everyone sets out to find out more information on it. One of the key equipment for Liberum is the celestial globe in which they found it in a magic library only to be stolen. Thanks for finding it for us. Oh, did I mention that in exchange for perfect freedom, they have only 12 days to live.
* Hisui blames herself for the evens that happened. Ever since Project Eclipse, the great power from its sealing not only affected the world’s weather but so great that it affected the celestial world! She has also made 12 identical Golden Gates keys that can force open or close them. But how can a princess like her do all this? Simple. She is also a celestial wizard.
* As the Zodiacs begin their Liberum at Astral Sprityus, our Fairy Tail members crash into the party. With Hisui giving each a key, it is perfect setting for individual matchups to try and seal them.

* Elfman vs Taurus – Brawn-brawn vs Brain-brawn? Taurus seems superior and intellect in every way. Till he shows his clean freak behaviour. Because of this, Elfman is able to stun him with his manly sweat and seal the bull. That easy?
* Natsu & Happy vs Leo – You know something is probably off if you see the ‘boss battle’ this early. Something interrupts their fight and they get separated. Natsu and Happy are trying to find Leo ever since.
* Wendy & Carla vs Aquarius – Loli vs loli? At an amusement park? Do we really want to see little girls quarrel? Do we really want to see little girls fight? Well, it doesn’t seem like they’re fighting but having fun! Especially Aquarius firing her powerful water pot cannon. Heck, there is even an ice cream break!!! When the ‘play’ resumes, it gets dangerous, the Ferris wheel falls apart, Wendy saves her and good girl Aquarius agrees to get sealed. My, such great playmates.
* Mirajane vs Pisces – Not even a detailed battle fight because in this one sided match, Mirajane easily owns the mother-son fish combo and easily sends them back. What a letdown?
* Cana vs Scorpio – Yugioh style card battle? Everything goes here. Because it seems they can make the rules as they go by no matter how stupid they sound and even summon their comrades (though they are just life-like illusions) to help in the card battle. As expected from all the nonsense, Cana wins it to defeat and seal Scorpio.
* Gray vs Cancer – Disco battle? Stayin’ Alive! Saturday Night Fever! Gray can’t dance and he’d rather die than do this embarrassing crap. But Cancer unleashes his shame so Gray turns into… Michael Jackson! Aaow!!! He is putting on cool dance moves that even make Cancer admire him! Gray even turns into a cool figure skating dance! It gets a little serious when they fight and dance. But ultimately with Gray having this gay pair skating dance, he just wins it. Then the shame comes back and Gray threatens to kill Cancer if he tells anybody about this.
* Levi vs Capricorn – Quiz battle? Each time you answer wrongly, your chair will incline by a few degrees. Answer correctly, your opponent’s chair will. Be careful. Buzzsaws below! When the quiz is tied, they are down to the tie breaker in which the question is: Who is the man Levi is in love with! Capricorn thinks she can’t answer but she did. Although we viewers won’t hear it, we all know who that guy is, right? Levi becomes the queen of quiz and seals Capricorn.
* Juvia vs Aries – Hot battle. Hot as in desert hot. Aries lets Juvia wander to drain her stamina. Then when she is dehydrated, she beats her up to break her spirit. This includes dragging her around the desert tied to her car. However Juvia revives by taking the water from the radiator. She becomes invincible to take out that street racer ram and seal her.
* Gajeel & Lily vs Gemini twins – I don’t even know how Gemini turned the duo into squirrel pets. Or any other animal they wished. But Gajeel used his wits to outsmart them and use their own magic against each other to finally seal them.
* Erza vs Sagittarius – A warrior’s battle. Best of 3 matches. First match is horseback archery in which Erza impressively wins. Second match is horseback race in which Sagittarius wins because Erza is heavier? Final match is horseback battling with a catch. There are landmines around! Just when Erza seems to lose her horse and weapon, she jumps on Sagittarius to ride him like a horse! He stumbles and gets bombed. Like the true warrior he is, he admits defeat and agrees to be sealed.
* Yukino vs Libra – A balancing act?
* Lucy vs Virgo – A punishment and whipping battle? I definitely know why Lucy is forced to fight in her swimsuit the entire time…
* Natsu, Happy, Wendy & Carla vs Ophiuchus – While searching for Leo, they stumble into Ophiuchus, the 13th Zodiac. This serpent nurse torments them with her medical and dentistry torture.
* Natsu vs Leo round 2 – We interrupt the torture antics so that Leo can put forth his Liberum plan by using the power of the globe to the sealed Zodiacs. So everyone has been on a wild goose chase? So it is round 2 for these guys. Fire flames vs dark flames? Natsu defeats and seals Leo after absorbing his dark flames, combining with his and blasting the daylights out of him. Now why didn’t he use this from this start instead of getting beaten up and almost running out of power? Anyway, Liberum is still proceeding despite Leo’s defeat. Something is definitely wrong…

* So Ophiuchus hinting that the Celestial Spirit King is behind all this. Natsu hits an obvious weak spot on Ophiuchus to merge Lucy and Yukino’s fight so together they can combine their powers and send Virgo and Libra back. So you think this is the end of the story? Turns out to be a whole goddamn ploy by Ophiuchus to have Fairy Tail send the Zodiacs back to the celestial world. The globe and the entire ritual were to funnel the powerful energy to the Celestial Spirit King. He was going berserk and the Zodiacs were flying and our heroes inadvertently sent them back there. Ophiuchus hatched up this entire plan and planted lies about the true freedom of life so that she could give the Celestial Spirit King more power. At this rate he will destroy everything. Ophiuchus has no qualms about being destroyed too because if this is what he wants, so be it.
* Natsu begins his attack on Ophiuchus but because of her flute that keeps messing with his powers, he can’t get close. Easy. Just destroy the flute and she is free to go. Other Fairy Tail members start destroying their surroundings because some Trinity thingy that they need to destroy before Liberum becomes invincible. The celestial wizard ladies combine their power to take out the globe and bring down the stars.
* All over after they’ve stopped Liberum? Not quite. Because when you hear the mighty roar of the Celestial Spirit King, you know sh*t has just begun. So our heroes venture to the celestial world to fight him and to their horror they see his giant eerie celestial form. Is it me or do I see his head like a shape of a dick? To show how powerful this dude is, individual attacks won’t work, simultaneous attacks won’t work, he absorbs other planets, has black holes over his body, he turns some of the heroes into constellations (?!) and even vomits out some sort of galactic gas. I hope that isn’t indigestion. Oh great. Now he is turning into some even hideous form and more powerful.
* If you can’t defeat him on the outside, go into the inside! At least that is Natsu and Happy’s idea. Another big space inside his stomach? They see the real Celestial Spirit King tied to the core and on the verge of being absorbed. Natsu absorbs the core’s power and blasts everything. Once the beast collapses, the celestial world returns to normal, their constellation pals return to normal, the Zodiacs return to normal (though they have no recollection of what happened), a big thanks from the Celestial Spirit King himself, the normal world below returns to normal and Lucy receiving the best presents when her Zodiacs make a contract with her again.

* Natsu babysits Asuka for a day and has to do anything she asks for. Eventually they do jobs to buy a snow globe Asuka wanted to give her parents. Turns out the same snow globe they sold many years ago was to get funds for Asuka’s medicine.
* Time to remind us how obsess Juvia is for Gray. Aside her room filled with creepy Gray dolls, she asks other Fairy Tail females what to give to a guy on the 413th anniversary. You know what kind of answer they’ll give… Eventually Juvia settles for knitting him a scarf and after searching high and low and even bugging him to accept it, he rejects her. After all, as an ice wizard he isn’t susceptible to cold, right? Juvia is already heartbroken and making it even worse is when she learns today is the death anniversary of Ul. She feels sad and lousy for not knowing. Gray remembers Ul once gave him a scarf so he backtracks and looks for Juvia’s scarf. Nice and warm. Next day, everything back to normal because Juvia is bugging him to accept a giant size dakimakura of her.
* Natsu, Lucy and Happy trek to the icy cold mountains on a job to obtain some special Hakobe Ice. But they have to put up with the blizzard, getting lost in a cave, getting stuck in a cave for days, a challenge not to fall asleep for days and without food too. Yeah, they’re even seeing delusions by diving into the cold waters thinking it is hotspring and eat ice thinking it is food. And to top it all, escape from a giant tentacle monster. If that is not bad enough, once they escape from it all only to realize they have to start again because they don’t have the Hakobe Ice.
* Lucy tries to learn transformation magic from Mirajane. Macao and Wakaba tries to learn it secretly but they turn into villainous monsters. Herald Erza the hero to save the day. Is she Catwoman? She beats them up and returns them to normalcy but she herself transformed into a realistic version.
* Natsu and Happy find and hatch an egg. WTF is this Kemokemo?! Definitely not a dog… Conveniently there is an exchange programme where guilds who participate in the Grand Magic Games can exchange wizards to learn more about the other guild. Natsu and co take this chance to learn more about Kemokemo but not only nobody knows anything about it but they really cause big trouble and got kicked out. So when it is finally Sabretooth’s turn, an emergency props up because a dangerous island just popped up from the sea. Strange things going on. A sea serpent attacking, everyone collapsing over some virus and ancient ruins with writings that Lucy manages to decipher all in time. In time for Kemokemo to grow into this huge giant monster to fight the sea serpent. So this island is giving out virus and Kemokemo which is some plant god of the island is releasing some sort of smoke to neutralize it? The island has sunk and risen many times and people who lived here wrote about Kemokemo protecting them. Once the monster is defeated, Kemokemo becomes one with the island and sinks with it to contain the virus. Goodbye is the hardest word for Natsu since he has been treating it like family. The only memento left behind is a seed in which he plants it outside his house.
* Laxus and Raijinshuu are tasked to solve a town that has been plagued by lightning. They are treated by heroes when they temporarily send the dark clouds away but it will build up again. It seems the cause of this was Laxus himself. Before the Grand Magic Games, he passed by this town on his way back and was set upon by ruffians. Bad mood means he unleashed his lightning on them. So Laxus has the responsibility to fix this or the mayor will reveal the dark truth and this will in turn stain Fairy Tail’s name. Laxus absorbs the lightning but there is only a limit of how much he can take it. They find a Lacrima responsible for enhancing the lightning under the sewer and it is the mayor’s ploy to get Fairy Tail to compensate the damages. So Laxus goes to teach him a lesson but lets him off the hook since he could protect his granddaughter. Unfortunately the mayor didn’t learn from his lesson since he is targeting another guild to pay the cost of repairs.
* The best and funniest Fairy Tail filler ever! Everyone in town has slowly turned into Ichiya sniffing zombies!!! Men! OMFG!!! The horror! The trauma! There is no escape! Everywhere you go, everyone has that ugly Ichiya face! Once you get sniffed by them, it’s over! This is hell! Lucy, Natsu and Happy are the only ones unaffected as they try to run from the zombie horde. This isn’t funny (on the contrary it is). Because thinking of every darn character with Ichiya’s face… Horror! Trauma! Apparently the only cure is some odour-eating Lacrima that Natsu has. Wait a minute. A small can of that is enough to cure everybody in Magnolia?! Makes no sense! Oh, but what the heck. Everybody turning into Ichiya itself is already nonsense. By the way, it is discovered he created some hot men potion which is now banned and that guy is thrown into the slammer. Yeah, even with everybody turned back, just thinking back how they turned into Ichiya just gives everyone the creeps… Truly fearsome. Men…

Sun Village Arc
* Since when is Flare friendly with Lucy? Well, she did save the latter during the dragon invasion. But why is she at Fairy Tail? Apparently Raven Tail disbanded and she has nowhere to go. Though, she wouldn’t want to join Fairy Tail.
* Our usual Fairy Tail heroes get a personal request from a VIP. He is one of the 10 Wizard Saints, Warrod Sequen (he is 4th rank if you must know). Is this guy a tree or broccoli? During his journey, he stumbled upon a Sun Village. Everything there was frozen. Lives, buildings and even flames. Despite frozen, the trapped humans are still alive. Of course it is no ordinary ice that is why he is requesting their help. But seeing he is one of the wizard greats, couldn’t he have solved this himself? Contrary to popular belief, he is not powerful. He lacks offensive magic and can only manipulate nature. He was chosen as part of the Wizard Saints without his consent. And wouldn’t you know, Warrod was one of the few founding members of Fairy Tail along with Mavis 105 years ago.
* They see frozen giants at Sun Village. There are also a treasure hunter guild, Sylph Labyrinth who plans to steal the Eternal Flame that the village worships. Because the giants are always protecting it, the hunters take this chance to steal the flames. But how can they melt the ice if none of our wizards can? Remember that Moon Drip from Galuna arc? Yeah… But I wonder if that small bottle is enough to melt everything.
* Coming into the village in the shadows is a dark guild, Succubus Eye. Guess who joined this guild? Long time no see, Minerva!
* While other Fairy Tail members hunt down the hunters, Erza stays back to look for clues. Before she knows it, she reverts to child size. She has the bad luck to stumble into Minerva who is going to avenge her humiliation in her weakened state.
* After Moon Drip accidentally breaks and only restores a very small patch on the ground, Natsu rushes off to find a familiar voice he hears. The hunters now turn their target to Lucy and want to steal her keys. If the hunter trio think they can outnumber Lucy and Wendy, then Flare is here to even the odds. Apparently Sun Village is her home and was raised by the giants. Though they treated her kindly, she hated being different and left. Then she got overwhelmed by people of her same size and being naïve at that time, she joined Raven Tail.
* Natsu stumbles into Doriate, a member of Succubus Eye and gets turned into a child by his magic. He manages to slip away and it is Gray’s turn to have the misfortune of turning into a child. Not only you’re young, but your power and attributes are also reduced. Too many factors remind Gray of his past. He almost loses it but takes control of his destiny. Gray uses his brains to outsmart Doriate, temporarily reverting all the kids back to their normal size (it’s a good thing because Minerva almost owned Erza). But Doriate becomes furious, turns into some demon and his howl turns everyone in the village into kids. Realizing the ice covering the village is his weakness, he uses and channels it to defeat him. Now let’s hope everyone stays this size.
* Minerva leads everyone to where the Eternal Flame is but it is frozen. Well, if you expected the flames to be the only thing that was unfrozen, wouldn’t it have been easier to find it?
* Gray uses his magic to defrost the Eternal Flame. So this is the familiar smell that Natsu has been pondering since. This giant flame turns out to be Atlas Flame. He can’t remember much. The entire village was turned into ice because of a Devil Slayer who mistook Atlas Flame for a demon. There is also something about one of the demons from Zeref’s book, END that Igneel failed to destroy. Atlas Flame uses the warmth of his flames to melt the village and return it to its original state before his conscious disappears forever.
* That Devil Slayer turns out to be Absolute Zero Silver of the Nine Demon Gates of Tartaros.
* As expected, the giants and Fairy Tail party till dawn as gratitude. The giants welcome back Flare.
* Minerva returns to her guild only to find her members turned into… Uhm, you know those stick people you find outside gender separated public toilet doors? Yeah… Apparently Kyouka from Tartaros ‘enhanced’ them but they were too weak to handle it. She is trying to gather members for their next big operation. Will Minerva survive her ‘enhancement’?
* Warrod hears Fairy Tail’s success. As a reward, they get… A potato! I hope he is joking. A nice hotspring and meal would suffice. The biggest shocker our Fairy Tail guys learn is when Warrod shows his Fairy Tail mark on his arm. More nostalgic crap of Fairy Tail’s founding words of guild bonding and togetherness. Yeah…
* P/S: Is it me or does Lucy dress like a slut for the entire arc?

Tartaros Arc
* The Magic Council are having a meeting to tackle Tartaros because there are signs that they are moving. Suddenly the entire place gets bombed and all of them gets killed! OMG! Even Lahar is dead?! Jackal from Tartaros is responsible behind this massacre. Only Dranbalt survives. He seeks forces Cobra for more information about Tartaros but he will only do so in exchange for freeing his Oracion Seis members. He lets him off with a free advice: Tartaros members are not humans and are all demons. Their master is the all powerful END.
* Not only current members of the Magic Council are targeted but former ones too. Like Yajima who almost got killed by Tempester had not Laxus interfered. Tempester unleashes poisonous magic particles that could’ve killed everyone had not Laxus inhaled them all. Too bad he thought he saved everybody. The villagers all died. Laxus, Yajima and Raijinshuu are critically poisoned and it is only a miracle that is keeping them alive.
* You bet Fairy Tail are going to be pissed when this happens. Too bad they don’t have enough information to strike them. So for now they decide to become bodyguards of former council members. Natsu’s group gets Michello. His house gets bombed by Jackal and everyone could have died had not Natsu devoured the exploding flames. Here is our first epic showdown. Natsu vs Jackal. With Natsu beating him down furiously since he is able to absorb Jackal’s flames and explosions, but the latter turns everything he touches into bombs. Can the rest survive after Natsu got bombed? It is amazing his body is still in pieces. Of course you know how main characters don’t die in this show, right? Even if Lucy had the unfortunate role in playing Jackal’s game of picking which life to save (cowardly Michello or a pregnant lady), Natsu is back up to continue with their explosive fight. Natsu has learnt how to ‘eat’ his explosives and pounds him to a pulp. Jackal is so scared that he turns into his giant demon form. Even that is not enough to stop Natsu to go on a rampage and defeat him! Jackal is going to bomb himself and take the entire town with him. Happy takes him up in the air to explode. Amazingly I don’t know how the cat survived all that and all he got was just an afro. Huh?

* Unfortunately, the other Fairy Tail members were too late as the ex-council members are already dead. A visibly stricken Michello reveals Tartaros might be after Face, one of the many powerful hidden weapons that the Magic Council has like Etherion. Face is some magical pulse bomb that will destroy all magic across the world. This will render all wizards unable to use their magic in addition to some magic deficiency disease. Tartaros will be the only ones affected since they do not use magic but curses. Michello doesn’t know where Face is but they need to have 3 former members to unlock its seal. Perhaps why Tartaros is indiscriminately killing all of them is that they might now where Face is. While trying to uncover addresses of those former members, they discover more addresses of former councils and other guilds are sent to protect them.
* Erza and Mirajane are at the former council’s chairman’s house, Crawford. Unfortunately Face is so secretive that he too doesn’t know its location or the members who are sealing it. Even those who are sealing it don’t know it themselves. The place is under attack by low level Tartaros guards.
* Oracion Seis is freed and Brain wants to resume his evil operations but Cobra kills him off! Dranbalt has sent Jellal to keep an eye on them knowing they will do something sneaky.
* Natsu seems to have figured out something very important that nobody else has. If nobody in the council knew about Face or the addresses of former members but Tartaros do, this could only mean one thing. Somebody is feeding them information. And the biggest crook of them all is Crawford himself! After Erza and Mirajane get knocked out by the sleeping drug, he takes them back to Tartaros’ base where Mirajane is being experimented on and Kyouka tormenting Erza about Jellal’s position. It is believed Jellal is the last surviving member sealing Face.
* Natsu follows his strong senses of smell and with his rage, I suppose he is the first ever person who is not from Tartaros to crash into their base. Natsu fights off Franmalth before the latter tags out with Silver who then instantly freezes Natsu and throws him in prison. Also inside his cell is Lisanna.
* Happy manages to make a clean escape and although fraught with the guilt of abandoning Natsu, he returns to Fairy Tail to tell them everything. Now they can try to pinpoint Tartaros’ moving base and attack. Similarly Elfman returns to Fairy Tail and something sounds wrong. Cana lashes at him for failing to save Lisanna and even coming back empty handed. Apparently Elfman could be the turncoat that would destroy Fairy Tail from within. When Seilah uses her curse to make Elfman kill Lisanna, he pleaded and perhaps exchanged his soul to save her life. Now he is under her command to put a magic bomb inside Fairy Tail that will vaporize the entire guild and leave nothing. He would destroy the entire guild just to save his sister.

* Jellal is beating the crap out of Oracion Seis to give them their true freedom? Somehow Brain revives as Zero to kill off Jellal. Fortunately Jellal saw through Midnight’s tricks and seals his own sight to counter his attack. And them some mega super magic to wipe them out. Jellal’s plan is not to kill them or send them back to prison. He wants them to join him to defeat Zeref.
* Although Crawford has found Jellal, he did the dumbest thing ever by transferring the key inside Jellal to himself. While he is so proud with this new method, obviously he wanted to transfer it to somebody else so that person will die and Face activate. Why go to all the hassle because Kyouka just kills him off! There, Face activated. Fortunately for us and Fairy Tail, it is activated in quite a remote area. It has to be activated manually. They could have activated it by remote had they not kill off Crawford.
* Tempester and Jackal revive with their new bodies in Lamy’s lab. Also revived as a new badass demon is Minerva. And it will soon be Mirajane’s turn soon. Unfortunately Mirajane is partly demon so it doesn’t really work on her.
* After all that calculation from Levi, it just felt like a waste of time because when she finally calculates Tartaros’ location, they are right above Fairy Tail now. Saves all the trouble to go after them now that they are coming for them. Oh, a big explosion is set to go off…
* You know you can’t kill any Fairy Tail character, right? Just before the bomb explodes, Cana used her magic and absorbed everyone into her card (wow, it felt like there was so much time) and used the Exceeds to fly them up to Tartaros’ base. Once there, time for our angry guild to kick some low level guards and give some screen time action to our lesser known Fairy Tail members.
* Kyouka thought of using the prisoners as hostage but during Face’s activation, the tremor somehow freed them from their captives. It’s Erza’s turn for some pay back as she interrogates and fights Kyouka, revealing Tartaros’ aim is to return to Zeref.
*With some of our main Fairy Tail heroes already engaging with some of Tartaros’ Nine Demon Gates, Face has been manually activated by Ezel. Less than an hour before the ultimate disaster sets upon us humans. Wendy and Carla head there to manually stop it. Can a little girl and cat stop a multi-limb monster? Well, I think Wendy is going to get a new hairstyle from this attack. And oh, Carla almost got eaten and this forced Wendy to activate her Dragon Force. Finally? Faster and more powerful than before, she fights on par with Ezel. Erm… Instead of reminding Wendy about the remaining time, shouldn’t Carla try to stop it herself? I know she is out of strength but as long as she is still conscious and speak, shouldn’t she be trying?
* Wendy thought she downed 2 birds with a stone by slaying Ezel and destroying Face. But the countdown continues. Well, from Carla clairvoyance of the possible futures, there is a way to stop it. Yeah, converting its energy into some self destruction power. The catch is that they will be caught in the blast. And so begins the tearful drama of cat telling little girl to go away as far as she can because feline is going to sacrifice herself. You think Wendy will allow that? Uh huh. Got enough time for flashbacks. Got enough time to reminisce all the things they’ve done together, the adventures they’ve had together. OMG. Are they going to really stretch this for half an episode? Yeah, yeah. Can be blow this thing up now? Boom! Goodbye Face. Goodbye Wendy and Carla. First Fairy Tail main characters to die? Sniff, sniff. But wait! They live because Dranbalt teleported them out in time! Curses! I knew it was too good to be true! Give me back my tears!!!!

* With the failure of Face’s activation, Kyouka abandons her fight with Erza and lets Neo Minerva handle her. Kyouka didn’t account for Face’s failure so she is going to desperately revive END.
* Natsu, Lucy and Happy have been fighting Franmalth whose ability is stealing souls and using their abilities. Franmalth uses his ultimate soul, Hades but even so he is more comical than anything. When Franmalth tries to absorb their souls, the trio uses their will power to resist. Lucy’s trick allows them to break free as Natsu pounds him with slabs of rocks till he is defeat. Can’t absorb souls from inanimate objects, right? This also frees all the souls. Hades warns them Tartaros’ true objective is not Face. He wants them to tell Makarov to release the light (Lumen Histoire).
* In Hell’s Core, Lamy’s lab where defeated Tartaros members come to respawn again, making them an immortal guild. Mirajane is having her fight with Seilah (throwing books?!) and once the former knows what this lab is for, she easily destroys it. She controlled the demon tentacles during her capture and made them under her command. As both their power don’t work on each other, looks like this is going to be settled via physical fist fight. But Seilah powers up so much and beats the hell out of Mirajane that we get to glimpse her flashback. The siblings persecuted by the villagers they saved and forced to leave till they stumble upon Fairy Tail. And you know such flashbacks give our characters the will to fight back. Mirajane controls an ability of Seilah to wrest control back of Elfman and has him pound the hell out of her. Game over.
* Some of Oracion Seis especially Racer is still against following Jellal. Guess who they meet? Remember Grimoire Hearts’ Rusty Rose? Apparently he is still alive. I don’t know how even Hades was killed before his eyes. He is trying to search for his missing companions after their loss to Fairy Tail. He confronted Kyouka after noticing Tartaros has been wiping out sub-guilds under Grimoire Hearts. He tries to negotiate with her but was beaten the crap out. He then saw Zeref and he started sh*tting in his pants. So there is something more fearful than Tartaros themselves? That could only be Zeref, right? Jellal wants to go to Tartaros but Oracion Seis won’t seeing they are and were part of the Baram Alliance, they still have their guild pride. Rusty tries to force Meldy to join him but Oracion Seis changed their minds and defeat him. Now they follow Jellal to obtain their true freedom. They leave Rusty to decide his path and if he ever decides to join their guild, their doors are always open.

* Kyouka sees the king of the underworld, Mard Geer in hopes of awakening their master, END. However it is not possible because they don’t have enough curse power and even more so if they have nor eradicate magic. But Mard Geer is not pressing the panic button yet. Face’s failure is just but a point in a long plan. He then tortures Kyouka as punishment for toying around with Erza despite it was all to get information but Tartaros’ hate for humans means she shouldn’t be even resorting to this. He is going to unleash Alegria. Tartaros’ base turns out to be a giant monster prison, Plutogrim as the Fairy Tail members (and many low level Tartaros soldiers) become imprisoned in this, uhm, gum? However only Lucy somehow escapes from this predicament.
* Mard Geer announces whoever kills Lucy will be promoted to fill in a vacant spot of Nine Demon Gates (for the soldiers) or be personally rewarded (for Nine Demon Gates). So it becomes a race to take Lucy down. Lucy is at her limit as she simultaneously summons Loke, Virgo and Aquarius to fend of Jackal, Lamy and Torafuzar. Lucy loses much of her power. Jackal continues to play around with her and Torafuzar loses interest. Jackal then kills off Lamy so he could take all the credit. In this hopeless situation, Aquarius suggests summoning the Celestial Spirit King. There is no physical key. The price to pay is to destroy one of the Golden Gate keys to summon him once. Of course you know Lucy won’t do that. But with Aquarius making lot of hate statements just to get her going to save her friends, heavy hearted Lucy did just that as Celestial Spirit King breaks through Plutogrim and sends it crashing.
* I’m not crying because I know Aquarius will somehow not stay dead forever. She becomes Lucy’s power as she summons the stars to wipe out Jackal!
* With have an epic battle on hand against Celestial Spirit King and Mard Geer. However with Lucy using up all her powers, this weakens the former. Fortunately he has a trump card and that is using his magic to break Alegria to free all the Fairy Tail members. His final move before he returns to the celestial world is turning Mard Geer into stone. But you know that won’t last long, right?
* I’m sure we’re all glad Wendy and Carla are alive. But time for them to be in despair again when they find out there isn’t just 1 Face, but 3000 of them! FUUUUUUUU!!! Oh well, I suppose new resolves means new hairstyle for Wendy?
* We have yet another round of clash between Minerva and Erza. This time we have a glimpse into Minerva’s past whereby Jiemma imposes his cruel training and thoughts on weakling Minerva so that she could be strong. You’d feel bad for her and understand how she came to be such a b*tch. But you know, this resurfacing trauma is cue for her to be defeated by Erza and she even wants her to be killed by her hands. You think Erza is going to do that? Well, well. If Erza won’t do it then Mard Geer would. And to show how caring her old guild is, here comes Sting and Rogue to save her. So while the duo take on Mard Geer, the ladies and cats try to find the control room to stop Face as it will all go off in about an hour.

* The fate clash between Gray and Silver begins. For those wondering about their relationship, Silver is Gray’s father! But Gray believes he is an imposter who sounds and looks like his dad since he saw with his own eyes he died before Deliora. Silver’s story is a bit more complicated than that. As we all know the Nine Demon Gates are all demons from Zeref’s book. So how did a human like Silver become one? His actual form isn’t human but he possessed Silver’s corpse as walking around in his demon form is troublesome. In that case what has Silver has against Gray? His goal is to kill off all of Ul’s disciples. Believe it or not, Silver’s true form is Deliora! And you thought he was sealed off by Ul 10 years ago.
* Ice magic properties won’t work on Silver so Gray is desperate enough to do Iced Shell and seal him forever like how Ul did. You sweating now, Silver? Fortunately so as not to trick us into crying again, Gray remembers all his guild friends and did some bluff before throwing a real cannonball right through him. He might be invincible to ice but not other stuffs, right? In another twist, Gray knows Silver is not Deliora but his real dad all along.
* Silver isn’t human or demon. Just a dead man for many years. He was revived by Keyes the necromancer as he likes to experiment with humans as tools. Despite being his puppet, Silver had rage and vengeance for his family. He went around defeating demons with his Devil Slayer magic and has a plan to destroy Tartaros from within. However when he saw Gray alive at the Grand Magic Games, he felt he was no different. He wants to die by his hands. Can Gray kill his own father? He can’t. Time for emotional father-son hug.
* This means Juvia has to defeat Keyes since he is controlling Crawford to remotely activating all of Face. This also means Silver will cease to exist. Can she do it? Just like what it seems that she gets eaten by Keyes, this anime trolls us again with a few tears before Juvia bursts back alive. I don’t know how she turned into some water magic inside Keyes’ stomach and explodes him to bits. I suppose that’s what you call the power of love. And she still has time to cry over Silver’s death. I mean, when a father gives his approval to take care of his son, that has got to mean a lot, right?
* So our father and son journey ends here. Silver reveals he learns Devil Slayer ice magic is because END is a fire demon. He entrusts this power to Gray to defeat END.

* Time for Natsu and Gajeel to end their fight with Tempester and Torafuzar. Everyone powers up to their ultimate forms. But Fairy Tail is so mighty you might think the Tartaros side got weaker in their ultimate form. So eager in a competition to take their enemy down, I don’t even know how Natsu and Gajeel ended up punching each other. Is this a joke?
* Time to get serious as Torafuzar floods the area with his black magic water. Naturally humans can breathe underwater, right? And its magic is also sapping the life force out of them. Everyone is out and Gajeel is the only one left to face this water creature. He takes a beating. He is out of air. Who comes to his rescue? Ah, Levi. The biggest excuse to see this pair kissing. After Levi gives the much needed air to him, this guy powers up and beats the crap out of Torafuzar. Because nobody messes with his girl. But Gajeel needs more of it?! The air or the kiss?! She should have just used her solid script to give everyone air. Gajeel combines his metal with the poisonous carbon in the water to form steel! I guess this is where science comes in handy. And with that, a knockout punch to Torafuzar. What a hard hitting move you could say.
* Laxus returns to fight Tempester. Despite his body still filled with poison, he is more powerful and faster as he beats down Tempester. The rage of harming his guild fuels his determination. Yeah, that is basically what Fairy Tail guys need to fight. You wonder where Laxus’ limit is after taking all that pounding. Tempester got stupid enough to reveal the only method to take him down. Hit him with the most powerful hit ever that doesn’t give him a chance fast enough to heal. And Laxus just did that. You lose. It’s déjà vu again as Tempester releases poisonous magic particles to drag everyone down. But down worry. Gray freezes them all! OMG! He powered up so much?!
* It will be moments now before Face will activate. Time for a final showdown between Kyouka and Erza.
* Making things worse is the appearance of Acnologia! All the Dragon Slayers start resonating to the black terror who is just decimating the land with its beam. Even Mard Geer is scared but he thinks Acnologia is trying to find END and eliminate it.
* Perhaps this could be the biggest troll ever when Igneel appears before Natsu. Guess what? He has been hiding inside him all the time! Holy sh*t! And there he was spending years searching for his dragon dad and he was all along right under his nose?! Tears for Natsu and paralyzed in awe for everyone else as they see the mighty dragons fight each other.
* Natsu wants some answers. Right in the middle of the dragons’ fight? So they make a deal. Igneel wants Natsu to steal the END book from Mard Geer. Do not open it, do not destroy it. Just steal it. Do that and he will tell everything he wants.
* As Natsu fights Mard Geer, the latter feels the need to hasten Face. So he contacts Kyouka to position herself as a living link to personally activate all of Face. Not only all wizards will lose their magic ability but also drain the lives of the dragons whom Mard Geer believes are a nuisance to his plan. This means she will use up her life. Is she afraid of death? Either way she is going to die, right?
* As she uses her life to speed up the countdown, Kyouka fights Erza. Her curse power is increasing by the second as she overwhelms Erza. Enhancing her pain sensory, stripping her clothes and even stripping her sense, you’d think Erza is done for, right? Well, Erza could still get up and beat the crap out of Kyouka because you can steal everything from her but you cannot steal her path of light! WTF?! She can fight without her senses?! Is she using her sixth sense then?! Even after besting Kyouka, Erza runs out of stamina. Not even Minerva finishing off Kyouka could save the day because Face has been activated.

* Sting and Rogue team up with Natsu to fight Mard Geer but even the triple Dragon Slayer threat isn’t enough to put a dent.
* Makarov finally brings out Lumen Histoire. Which is basically naked Mavis frozen in a crystal?!
* Further revelations reveal that Zeref cursed himself to become immortal. His wish is now to die and those who can only kill him are those demons born from his book. END was his masterpiece but something happened since he was sealed in the book. So once END is revived, he will kill Zeref.
* Our Dragon Slayers are having a tough time fighting Mard Geer and here comes Gray easily fighting on par with him, giving a run for his money. It’s only logic that Dragon Slayers slay dragons and thus you need a Devil Slayer to slay demons! OMG! Since when did Gray become so cool! Obviously his magic source is ice so…
* Before Gray can land the decisive blow, he is stopped by Jiemma no reborn as a demon. So as the Sabretooth guys clean up their own house (and defeat him with the power of nakama-ism and guild bonding. But of course), Natsu and Gray face off with Mard Geer who now transforms into his most powerful form. Why always wait for last minute? After all that pounding and dragging, Mard Geer unleashes his ultimate curse called Memento Mori. A fate worse than hell or death. Because you are neither alive nor dead when hit by it. Your existence vanished into nothingness for eternity. What? I too dumb to understand such abstract curse.
* Guess what? You can’t kill off main characters as we have learnt! Thanks to Gray’s Devil Slayer power, he negates the effect! Mad Mard Geer, mad Natsu. Fight, fight, fight. Then it is end of the road for the underworld king after Gray shoots him with some ice arrow.
* Too bad everyone is a step late as Face is activating and everyone can feel their magic draining from their bodies. It’s as though magic powers them to stand up? I’m sure it was for a tiny moment for the other guilds to show off what they can do by damaging Face but they can’t even put a scratch.
* Everyone calls this a miracle but we call it plot convenience because after somehow Igneel defeats Acnologia, all the other missing dragons from Grandine to Metallica pop up to smash through all the Face!!! They make it look so freaking easy!
* Gray and Natsu lock heads over the book of END. Gray wants to destroy it for good unlike Natsu who has promised Igneel to hand it over to him.
* It seems the dragons have been hiding inside their respective Dragon Slayers’ body all the while. Igneel explains there were 2 reasons for doing this. Firstly, doing so prevents the human from becoming a dragon like Acnologia since they were making antibodies. Inside their body? As for the second reason, we’ll have to wait since Igneel resumes his epic battle with Acnologia.
* I suppose Natsu and Gray’s standoff took too long so END’s book is snatched away by Zeref himself. Then he kills of Mard Geer and burns the book with the snap of his finger. Too easy. Well, despite creating the demons himself, he doesn’t feel they are needed anymore. Zeref is here to settle things with them but with Acnologia in the way, he wonders if the dragon will bring ultimate destruction. So he is going to wait and see if Natsu and co survive all this. Then he’ll be back to bring more despair.

* Moments before Igneel’s defeat, he tells Natsu the other reason: Waiting for the right moment to defeat Acnologia. Hey wait a minute. Where the f*ck are all the other dragons?! Where are they?! Why aren’t they helping him! I believe Face was deactivated a long time ago since there was this huge sign to tell us blind viewers that it is over. So where did they go after that?! No wonder Igneel is going to get killed by Acnologia as he has been fighting by himself! And cue for flashbacks and time well spent with Natsu. Ah, great times. Does this mean Igneel is going to die? NO WAY! YOU CAN’T FOOL ME THIS TIME!!!!!!!!!!! Or is it???!!!
* Everything is over when Acnologia flees. The war is over. The dragons see their respective Dragon Slayers for one last time. They reveal they were already dead in the first place after Acnologia killed them. Staying in their bodies extended their lives but once they come out, it is game over. The dragons disappear vowing to watch over the humans. Natsu mourns over Igneel’s death as he vows to defeat Acnologia in his place. So I guess bringing out Lumen Histoire was such a waste, huh?
* In the aftermath of everything, the continent is undergoing major repairs and recovering from the scars of the war. Highlights from all the pondering and soul searching include Wendy getting her long hairstyle back courtesy of Cancer. I guess we aren’t going to get used to her short hair. Juvia is sad and feels she has no right to love Gray after indirectly killing his father. But Gray can only cry in her bosoms while apologizing and thanking her. Jellal and the reformed Oracion Seis continue their journey to find Zeref. In lame hooded robes? As promised with Makarov, Dranbalt erased all of Fairy Tail members’ memories of Lumen Histoire. Dranbalt is shocked when Makarov tells him he was originally a real member of Fairy Tail. He erased his own memories to infiltrate the Magic Council. Unbelievable, right? Since many Fairy Tail members are seeking out their own journey, Makarov is going to disband Fairy Tail. Wait. What?! Lucy is shocked to find a letter from Natsu and Happy. They are going away for training for a year. Feeling lonely?

Fairy Tail Zero Arc
* I guess to make up for Mavis not making her appearance, an arc to tell a tale of how Fairy Tail came about.
* About 100 years ago on Tenroujima, Mavis was a 6 year old girl living under the guild Red Lizard. Is it me or does Mavis’ head look a little bigger than her body. Heck, all the little girls too! Anyway, she is mistreated badly by everyone especially the guild leader, Zeeself. You can tell the double standards as he treats his own daughter, Zera with care and utmost love. Mavis’ parents were wizards under Red Lizard but died with great debt. Mavis is forced to work to clear their debts. At least she has a (miserable) place to stay and (miserable) food to eat. Despite the hardships, Mavis continued to look forward with optimism. Her hope is to meet fairies. I guess she read too much fairytale? Yeah well, it’s her only escapism.
* One day she is sent to deliver lunch to Zera through the dangerous forest. She makes it after befriending a forest creature. Zera is ungrateful for the late lunch but her friends are impressed with Mavis’ critter and gather around her. Jealous Zera kicks her out and her friends are forced to side her so as not to incur her wrath.
* Mavis dozes off in the forest and when she wakes up, she finds Red Lizard under attacked by a rival guild, Blue Skull. Zeeself was killed. Mavis finds Zera stuck underneath a rubble and rescues her as they run into the forest to survive. After the girls reconcile and make friends, Zera collapses. When Mavis returns to the village in the aftermath, everyone is slaughtered.
* Seven years passed, Warrod, Purehito Gaebolg (who would become Fairy Tail’s second master and then Grimoire Heart’s master) and Yuri Dreyar (Makarov’s father) arrive on the island. They are treasure hunters in search for the Tenrou Jade.
* Mavis and Zera have all grown up and living in the library. It boggles me how the library is so neat seeing some massacre and chaos happened 7 years ago. Heck, the books are in pristine condition! Plus, is that all they’ve been doing so far?!
* When Yuri stumbles in, it feels even odder because for Mavis who never interacted with others except Zera for 7 years, she can outtalk this scheming guy. To get her cooperation to reveal Tenrou Jade’s location, he suggests playing some word guessing game. You lose if you lie. Of course if he loses, he will show her a fairy, something Mavis wants very much.
* Again, we see how f*cking sly Mavis is as she already sneakily corners him on the first try via loophole in the rule! Being the sore loser, he has another go. So what was the confident question that has her win on the first round again? He has blinked 57 times since the game began!!!!! WTF?! Is she that observant?! Of course Yuri doesn’t know it and this means he loses. But if he answers without even knowing, it means he is lying and he still loses! OMG. What a pinch.
* Too bad all that is for nought as Warrod and Purehito come in to say they have found Tenrou Jade’s location. Too bad it is already stolen. Mavis thinks Blue Skull stole it 7 years and wants to go on a journey with them to get back that treasure. Wait a minute. She never noticed it was missing for 7 damn years?! She has studied tactics by herself for 7 years to fight wizards. Of course the treasure hunters might not give it back to her. When that time comes, she’ll just wager it via another game. For now their goals are the same. Soon Mavis and Zera leave the island with the treasure hunters.

* Their adventure at sea includes Mavis making friends with dolphins, finding an ancient underwater ruin, getting trapped, fighting off with a vicious fish and then deciphering the ancient code to get out but it only turns out into a trap that blows her out of the water and back to the surface. Seriously, she survived that?
*Landing on the port town, Mavis follows Purehito to find clues about Blue Skull. Apparently Purehito has bad PR skills so it is natural that people misinterpret his good intentions as something sneaky. Then they get into a bar brawl and the bartender turns out to be a member of Blue Skull. It is a dark guild and his job is to relay information. Mavis’ scary illusion magic showed him his place as he spilled the beans of Blue Skull’s hideout, a town in Magnolia.
* While traversing through a forest, similar reckless actions by Yuri brings back memories of a dangerous treasure hunting mission that almost cost them their lives many times. So while Yuri and Warrod butt heads, Purehito tells what happened during that time when they were seeking a valuable treasure but it turns out to be a lure to some sacrificial trap. They killed the beast, got the treasure and (barely) got out alive. Despite of many such moments, the trio are still together. Mavis is amazed at their strong bond. And as expected, Warrod and Yuri made up like they have never fought in the first place.
* As they arrive in Magnolia, the famous landmark cathedral now has a giant blue dragon skeleton over it. Since they are here to get back Tenrou Jade, they are not going to do any head on confrontation. Sneaking around, they indirectly save a woman and her daughter from being Blue Skull targets (thanks to Mavis’ grand illusion). She tells them the town is dead ever since Blue Skull arrived many years ago and they just took over everything and killed anybody who opposed.
* After seeing an old man getting killed before their eyes, you bet they can’t just stand around doing nothing. They fight back to teach them a lesson but reinforcements arrive. Mavis puts up a huge illusion of knights to scare them and call out their master, Geoffrey. However he sees through her illusion and shatters it, also shattering her confidence. Blue Skull goes all out attacking them. With Yuri and Purehito out for the count, Warrod carries them and rams through Blue Skull who lets them escape because they are sure they’re never coming back. Our defeated heroes continue running into the forest.

* Purehito is blinded in one eye and Mavis is blaming herself. While reflecting on her actions, she meets Zeref in the woods. Sad guy doesn’t want to kill everything around him but his magic is doing it. Feeling pity for him, she lets him experience life around him via her illusion magic. Then she introduces Zeref to the rest as he teaches them the basics of magic. Each start their own training and making their progress except for Warrod who is lagging behind. With Zeref giving his advice, Warrod finds his calling in tree magic. Mavis is the last one to master but by this time Zeref has already left.
* With more practice, the gang decides to free Magnolia from Blue Skull. First, they have the townspeople gather and make a ruckus outside their base. When Geoffrey is away hunting, he gets word about the rebellion and rushes back only to see the entire town in flames. So Mavis wants to gain revenge the same way Blue Skull burnt down Tenroujima? Of course he knows all this is just a ruse and dispels the big illusion. And he didn’t see the giant cage coming down to trap him?
* Yuri and Purehito are beating up Blue Skull members inside their base. They find the Tenrou Jade at the table. When Geoffrey warns Mavis about the dangers of touching it, she runs back to warn them but too late. It is already in Yuri’s hands.
* Wait a minute. Now Mavis tells that it is not a treasure but some dangerous gem that absorbed too much evil and became uncontrollable and once sealed Tenroujima?! Wait. Did she know this all the while?!
* Of course it soon goes out of control and absorbs Yuri. He becomes the dragon skeleton and goes about destroying the town. Mavis thinks words can reach his heart. Nope. Anyone’s only option is to destroy it, right? Well, not Mavis. She is going to save everybody.
* She distracts the dragon with gold coins. Yuri’s money instincts are still strong. Imagine what happens when he finds out when it is all just an illusion. Even madder. But you know, with the power of friendship and all that related crap, Mavis eventually uses a powerful ancient magic, Law which is supposed to take 10 years to perfect. The dragon collapses, Tenrou Jade shatters, Yuri is back albeit unconscious and the town is saved.
* I guess all that is worth it considering Mavis is now in coma! No doctors can diagnose what the hell is wrong and certainly not even the doctor specializing in wizards from the next town.
* Eventually she wakes up and Yuri is almost certain to go apologize and everything. You know, he doesn’t deserve to live, was only using her, blah, blah, blah. Although there is nothing wrong with her, the effect of using Law is that her body has stopped growing. Yuri is very thankful for her and wants to make her dream come true. He will protect and believe her.
* This means that he needs to talk to her about Zera. He cannot see nor hear her. Everyone else too. This means if only Mavis can see and hear her, Zera is only her illusion. You know, why the heck am I not surprised and expected something like this since the start?

* Zera explains she died on Tenroujima that day. She is kept ‘alive’ because of Mavis unconsciousness so she isn’t entirely an illusion. Now that she knows Zera is just an illusion, she needs to disappear so Mavis can move on. Mavis still doesn’t want to let her go but after a long emotional goodbye and how Zera will always be in her heart, Zera becomes visible for a short while to Yuri before she disappears forever.
* Mavis was down for a while before she realizes she needs to get back on her feet to things that are more important. She suggests to the treasure hunter trio to form a wizard guild. Although Magnolia is freed from Blue Skull, they are not truly free yet as they aren’t doing well economically and at this rate they are no better off and will slowly rot. At first the townspeople are sceptical as they have no experience but I guess you can’t bite the hands that saved you.
* After getting all the necessary documents and preparations, Fairy Tail is finally formed. Mavis named it so because of her eternal pondering if fairies do have tails and thus a symbol of their eternal adventure.
* Geoffrey intends to get his revenge on them so he decides to form a new guild to attack them, Phantom Lord.
* A short narration of Fairy Tail’s chronological milestones: Some trade war that enhances Mavis’ status as a tactician -> Yuri getting married -> Trade war ends and some treaty signed -> Makarov is born -> Mavis’ grave is built on Tenroujima -> Purehito becomes the second master as per Mavis’ request -> Yuri dies -> Purehito dabbles into black magic -> Warrod retires -> Purehito retires and passes on the leadership to Makarov -> Acnologia appears on Tenroujima and precipitates the disappearance of the core members -> Macao becomes the fourth master -> Gildarts becomes the fifth master before quickly passing it back to Makarov -> Fairy Tail is the champion of the Grand Magic Games!

* It has been a year since Fairy Tail disbanded. Lucy is now working under Jason as a journalist as they cover this year’s Grand Magic Games. Strangely all of last year’s participants didn’t participate and we have never-heard-before guilds taking part and wizards looking more like they came out from some freak show. Serious.
* Apparently Lucy started out as a gravure model at first. See, the only thing worth in her is her sex appeal, right? But since she wanted to be a novelist/writer so much, she pleaded to Jason who finally gave her the approval. She put in a lot of hard work and effort to get where she is now. So I guess she isn’t all about sex appeal after all.
* This year’s Grand Magic Games must be the most boring. Who the f*ck is this Skull Milione wining the overall? The members look like bunch of delinquents. It is no wonder Lucy isn’t even motivated.
* Suddenly Natsu and Happy return to beat the crap out of the newly crowned champions! No chance at all! Is this the best they’ve got? How low the standards must have been to be champions. Natsu is so powerful that his fire melts the stadium and everyone’s clothes!!! WTF?! Shouldn’t everyone have melted too?! But Lucy seeing Natsu is back, the joy in her heart returns and she knew Fairy Tail was never gone in the first place.
* Natsu was arrested at first but released because his past deeds of saving the kingdom gave him a free pass to pull off such ‘harmless’ pranks. Seriously.
* Catching up with Lucy, they tell stories of their training that includes getting into big massive landscape changing brawls with other guilds. All because of food. There is also a time he ran into Gildarts and they beat up each other just for fun. I wonder if the landscape also changed for good.
* Eventually Natsu and Happy learn Fairy Tail has been disbanded. Definitely shocking. Makarov is missing and everyone has gone their separate ways. Lucy tells him off he should be in no position to say everyone should have protested since he left on his journey without consulting everyone.
* Lucy invites them back to her home and they really make a mess out of it. Nostalgia? They see detailed memos, information and locations of ex-Fairy Tail members in her room. She must really miss them.
* Next morning, Lucy can’t understand why guards have surrounded her place. Natsu takes her and run. It seems he vandalized the palace by putting up a big fire graffiti of Fairy Tail’s logo. He is going to gather everyone back and reform the guild.

* Taking place during the Grand Magic Games, Fairy Tail relaxes at a pool amusement park which also doubles as an aquarium. Time for females to flaunt their curves in their swimsuits. This means some of the other guilds are also here to have fun. Highlights of this filler include Happy wanting to substitute an absent staff in feeding fish for a show so he can eat the fish but becomes fish fodder instead; Ichiya and his Blue Pegasus bugging Erza and Lucy (and other beautiful women); Mavis leading the rest doing pool exercise; Jenny and Mirajane doing nipslips to each other; Flare apologizing to Lucy; The hilarious love water slide jinx and it all began because of Natsu’s accident that causes unlikely pairs to ride down the slide. From Gray-Lyon (gay yaoi time?), Lily-Carla (backdoor position?!), Lucy-Juvia (koi no kataki!!!), Gajeel-Levi (she must be enjoying this); Elfman-Evergreen (WTF are they doing here in the first place), Jellal-Erza (somehow her bikini is thinning out). Finally Gray and Lyon freeze everything and Natsu unfreezes it all with his destructive flames. Everything destroyed. Fairy Tail must pay for the damages.
* It’s bound to happen. Just like One Piece and Toriko with Dragonball, now we have Fairy Tail and Rave. No, those jiggly butt idiots as cameos don’t count. Our Fairy Tail members are in a town for a job but got separated and stumble into their Rave counterparts. Like Lucy and Happy come into Elie, Plue and Griffon Kato. As expected, Natsu and Haru become best friends but when Natsu reveals the details of his job that the targeted person seems to resemble a lot like Elie, the guys become hot-headed and paint the town red. And with fire. Eventually that target turns out to be Erza doing part time in some casino and in a way causing ruckus. Time for both sides to team up when the real villain rears its ugly head: A talking slot machine? Okay, so he transformed into a decent robot and launch coin minions to attack all over the place. To cut things short, our heroes cooperate and defeat the evil to save the day. The only casualties are Lucy’s panties. Pervy robot stole it somehow and she has to walk home all the way feeling breezy down there. Couldn’t she just bought one or wear something else?

Still On A Fairytale Run?
So what’s next for our heroic Fairy Tail? I mean they’ve done almost everything they can, gone on every adventure they could possibly go, defeat as many super big enemies and guilds that there are practically almost none left in the continent, not to mention the missing dragons mystery has been solved. Yeah, the best next thing was to disband and retire, let everyone take time to ponder and reflect. Think about their future and the new direction that is best for everybody. And there you have it. The end of Fairy Tail or just merely a giant sleeping waiting to wake up from its slumber? When it does, you’ll know there’ll be another season of it but as for the time being, nothing has been said yet. So not sure if the producers are going to take another year or so off or if there is even going to be another season. Who knows? This anime is too big to tell with so many potentials and developments as well as closures, it is hard to say. Suffice to say this season isn’t really a wrap up of any sorts but could usher a beginning of a new one.

Albeit this season is still great overall, as usual with long running anime series, too much of something can be detrimental on me. Like how One Piece is still ongoing. That’s not going to end, right? But of course there are exceptions because I would still love Gintama to go on forever. But in the case for Fairy Tail, I can’t tell if I would be excited if they ever come back because we have seen them defeat all the big enemies. Heck, Baram Alliance is no more if you think about it. They’ve been to other worlds and even fought the Gods, won the Holy Grail of magic competitions. They’ve achieved almost everything that there is nothing else for them. Well, there is one left: Defeat Acnologia.

It is great they finished the Grand Magic Games that was left hanging at the end of the previous season. But sometimes an arc like that can drag for too long and like the Eclipse Celestial Spirit arc being fillers and Tartaros dragging out that it makes watching a chore. I know it sounds like me complaining because you’re going to tell me that if the arcs were so short to begin with, I would complain there would be not enough story and was just rushing everything.

Personally I thought the Fairy Tail Zero arc was a little letdown and possibly the most boring arc this season. Partially I myself am to blame for having high expectations to learn more about Mavis and the founding members of the guild and the deeper aspects of the relationship between Mavis and Zeref. Well, it did turn out that Mavis and Zeref have met and thus you can say some sort of connection. But it certainly didn’t tell the standoff between Mavis and Zeref in the present. Or at least that was how I remember it should be. But the biggest disappointment was Zera. Because I have watched shows with such a twist (think The Sixth Sense), I could actually guess right from the first episode of the arc that Zera was actually dead. No, I’m not kidding. From the way others ‘react’ to her, I already knew that somehow this was the twist. It took away the fun while watching the arc because at the back of my head, I keep reminding myself that Zera was dead and she was probably a ghost all along. And every time someone else doesn’t respond to Zera, I would be going like, “Hey, it’s because you don’t exist!”. So when the twist of the arc was revealed, I wasn’t surprised or anything. Just somewhat a big relief that the thorn of ‘Zera never existed in real life’ just got out of the way. So the only thing that made this arc passable was the fact Mamiko Noto is thrust to the spotlight and having to hear more of her is a good thing. Oh, Hana Kanazawa as Zera is not bad too but I prefer Mamiko Noto way better :-).

One of the big problems in this series is regarding its many characters. Too many in fact for us to care. That is just Fairy Tail itself. Now that you have other cool characters from other guilds, it gets even more overwhelming. This means lacking screen time for such characters and they are reduced to just cameos and the likes. Even among Fairy Tail itself you can see that not every damn member gets the spotlight. Natsu, Gray, Erza, Lucy, Wendy and Happy get most of the screen time because they are the main characters. And then when you start to segregate the amount of screen time other characters have in correspondence to how ‘main/support character’ they are, you’ll end up drawing up a tiers for it. Like in my case with the usual sextet having the most screen time, this is followed by the next group of ‘important’ members like Juvia, Laxus, Elfman, Mirajane, Cana, Lisanna and Carla. And then further down the group you have the rest of the blokes whose names you can’t even remember but from time to time they have to appear just to show us that Fairy Tail is a big family group and they care for each other.

Hence with so many characters, it somewhat dilutes the effect to care for these characters. I know you are supposed to root for the guild as a whole and thus automatically everyone in it but it is hard to do so when you have firebrand Natsu hogging the limelight in every arc. Sure, the reason why enemy guilds or groups have so many members is so that they can spread out the fights to other Fairy Tail members and give them more coverage but that is so much about it. Otherwise it would always be Natsu, Gray or Erza kicking the big bad final boss’ ass, right? And one of the most powerful and kickass Fairy Tail member, Gildarts has been primarily missing for the entire season. I know he is on a journey… Then there are others like Jellal’s new group, the whereabouts of Ivan (remember Raven Tail?) and the likes but at this point thinking too much about them would be a waste of my brain cells.

So that is why I thought when Wendy and Carla were going to die and would really shake everything up in the series, I was really, really, really, really having this heartache that Wendy may no longer be around. Maybe deep down inside of me I didn’t want to see her go. And then it is like they heard my wish and made a cheap move not to kill her off. I know. It’s my fault. I regretted that. Now I’m confused if I should be disappointed if Wendy is alive or she should be dead. I mean, let’s face it. If Wendy is gone, who the hell is going to take over her as the poster loli of the series? Asuka? No way in the world, right?! So Wendy’s near death was the cheapest move I’ve ever seen and after that, nothing would shock me anymore because even Fairy Tail’s disbanding wasn’t so shocking after all. Aquarius never meeting Lucy ever again? Hmph. Just you wait in future arcs that there will be some sort of solution to bring them back together again. I tell you, something will. Yeah, it’s like I have lost faith in this series, no? It’s like this series is averse in killing off many characters. Like they couldn’t kill off Ultear and just turned her into an old broad. I didn’t expect that Rusty guy to come back but somehow he is alive. So basically I’m ‘shocked’ when they do kill off people and make them stay dead like the entire Magic Council and Erza’s Simon.

Other characters to try noting of include Lucy whom I feel that is the fanservice girl of the series because there was this one arc she dressed like a slut and at other times it is like her role is forced to show us her fanservice. I’m sure other mature ladies in Fairy Tail (and other guilds) have their cameo of fanservice but nobody beats it as Lucy, the go-to girl for fanservice. Really. Erza’s too violent and Cana’s a drunk. Where’s the appeal in that? So who else is left? There you go. Then there is Juvia who has become some sort of an annoying love-stricken girl. When not fighting in serious battle, she is either fawning over Gray or claiming everyone to be her koi no kataki! Hah. If Gray is too close to somebody, that person is koi no kataki. Woman, man or child. If Gray is close to an object, that thing is also a koi no kataki. WTF. Seriously. This has become her running joke? Speaking of which, Natsu and Happy could be manzai comedy duo because of Natsu’s rashness to act before he thinks, he gets into a lot of trouble and possible the reason for dumb jokes, silly antics and a reason for a kickass fight back. Gray seems more mature at the end after having to deal and have a closure over his father.

This brings me to the love/romance department of this series. It feels like a hit and miss and sometimes a distraction. It’s to show that they aren’t just a bunch of wizards who like to brawl with each other and as powerful as they are, they’re still humans who can fall in love. There are a few subtle hints to indicate Lucy x Natsu but nothing is concrete. But we fans can tell, right? Then there is Gray x Juvia, Gajeel x Levi (sorry Jet and Droy, Levi’s not interested in both of you), Elfman x Evergreen just to name a few. Heck, I think those are the only ones. So why not just give everybody somebody to love? Whatever happened to Happy x Carla? Can we just get Wendy x Romeo? Howzabout Freed x Laxus? I know, crazy yaoi gay stuff, right? Can Erza get back with Ichiya? Cana might have her father complex and I suppose there are no men worthy enough for the other great Fairy Tail ladies like Mirajane and Lisanna. What the f*ck am I ranting about anyway?

The other annoying thing about Fairy Tail is that somehow I feel that after hundreds of episodes, they are still trying to subtly force and shove it into our brains about their brand of nakama-ism. You know, what it means to be a family. This gets evident when we see people from other stricter guilds who don’t even have the liberty to experience such free flowing fun and when they see Fairy Tail members getting serious one minute and then fooling around fighting each other the next, they get this heart-warming feeling inside of how ‘cool’ Fairy Tail is. At this point I would just be rolling my eyes and say, “Yeah, yeah. We get it. Move along please”. So it’s like Fairy Tail is the freaking best guild ever in the continent because everyone can laugh, cry and stand by each other’s side on equal terms without having the pressure and fear of being reprimanded. For whatever reason. And it is icing on the cake when they won the Grand Magic Games. I know everybody loves an underdog story since technically Fairy Tail is one after being missing for years but we all know they are hell of a powerful (and caring) so by the time this season ends, it is no surprise at all. Yes, we still support Fairy Tail but not as much as we would for a real rags to riches story. Partly every other guild then is a big jerk too.

The fight scenes and matchups are one of the biggest draws of the series but I have mixed reviews for them. Like I have said that with the only reason why a guild has so many powerful and worthy opponents is so that the rest of Fairy Tail can have their share in fighting and showing off their stuffs. While the fights are great for a while, it kinda gets a little draggy after a while. Especially like the Tartaros arc where the fight just drags on for episodes after episodes. And once the enemy is defeated, you don’t hear anymore about them. Not like we care about them, right? They only exist to be defeated. So it is that eternal dilemma within me that tells me despite the long fights are to build up drama and the likes, but if it was too short viewers may be complaining on what a sham it is. I mean, when you fight a boss monster, you’re going to take some time in learning its patterns and then make a comeback after taking serious damage, right? Even that Celestial Eclipse Spirits arc as a weird filler arc felt like it was simply for this purpose. Because hell, the so called closure and ending for this arc made no sense. Seriously. The more I think about it, the more confused and disappointed I’d get.

Just like last season, Fairy Tail has a many opening and ending themes. Although last season there were only a handful that I was attracted to, there was only just one that I liked! Out of all the 8 opening themes and 8 ending themes, only Never Ever (5th ending theme) by Tokyo Girls’ Style gained my attention because of its amazing Latin Flamenco acoustic style. Some slow and calming pieces like Azayaka Na Tabiji by Megumi Mori isn’t bad too but eventually it wasn’t my favourite. Basically, many of the opening themes have this lively rock beat while the ending themes are mostly to a slower tune. While there is a new OST released for the new season, I didn’t really take notice of them as the original Celtic based BGMs from the previous albums that are still being played over the series remain my favourite.

There might be a lot of things I wanted to say but either I have forgotten about it or decided to drop it seeing I might confuse or contradict myself. Whether they are unexplained parts (maybe I just wasn’t paying attention) or parts that I have absolutely forgotten. As a long running series, I hope to see some sort of closure instead of going on forever like a certain pirate series and ninja series. Heck, even the manga of a certain shinigami series has recently ended. Overall, still not bad an anime series despite running so long. To give an example, like how World of Warcraft is still the favourite MMORPG today although it is not as it peak as it was many years ago. The same thing can be said for this series. It is still strong but not at the pinnacle right now. Unless you are hardcore fans. Well, I know I’m in for another long run if Fairy Tail is picked up for another season. I have the ‘experience’ to know what to do in watching series that lasts more than 2 cours, right? Let’s hope the magic is still around to make me feel all that awe again. Oh wait. There is. It’s called nostalgia.

Heavy Object

December 11, 2016

Oh no. It is that time to be hypocritical again. This time I decided to watch the mecha themed Heavy Object simply because I read somewhere there are maid characters in this anime. Yup. Shame on me. But I can’t help it. I love them too much till it became a silly reason for me to pick up this series that would never have easily been on my list of anime series to watch. Not even a casual one. And with this reason, that is why I am here. I hope the maids will be worth it. Yeah, really. And I’m sure I am deluding myself if Heavy Objects are some sort of term referring to maids. But instead, in the near future where the face of war and how war is conducted has totally changed. No more infantry foot soldiers and fancy jet fighters or tanks. One big mother spherical weapon called Object is now used to fight battles. A country losing an Object is akin to losing the war. This is the story of how a couple of young engineers bring those juggernauts down with their ingenuity and instinct for survival. A story of David versus Goliath. The bigger they are the harder they fall.

Episode 1
Despite human’s advancement in technology, they never stopped fighting each other. You see all the wars they fought till this super military weapon, Object obliterated allies in a blink of an eye and its defence is super hard. It changed the face of war with nations using Objects piloted by Elites to do most of the fighting. So it is no surprise that in the remote Alaskan base, a couple of low ranking soldiers, Qwenthur Barbotage and Havia Winchell are relegated to and so bored shovelling snow, they decide to go fishing and hunting deer respectively. While Qwenthur waits for his catch, Milinda Brantini talks to him since the guys forgot to off their communicators and was heard all over the command centre. As her Object, Baby Magnum is being maintained, she thought of killing time to see what they’re doing. They talk about the second generation Objects which are more specialized for certain places or objectives compared to the multi-role first generation and this allows them to perform better. Milinda is suspicious that a mechanic like him transferred here although he claims it is a faster way to learn Objects and become rich quick. She warns him not to be too greedy. As expected, the guys get an earful from their sexy but strict superior, Frolaytia Capistrano. But she lets them off lightly since they manage to shoot a deer and she can have BBQ tonight instead of the usual sickening base rations. Later Qwenthur goes to help maintain Baby Magnum. He accidentally pushes some buttons that causes the seatbelt to tighten over her body. I don’t know but I believe this is our fanservice cue for her boobs to protrude! Qwenthur’s mind must be crazy thinking about what he should do next and the obvious fanservice before his eyes. Milinda saves all that trouble by ejecting her seat. While having BBQ with Frolaytia, Qwenthur asks her what if an Object loses (because Milinda once said her upcoming battle she didn’t have any confidence to win). All you need to do is raise the white flag. Losing an Object is as good as losing the battle and it is pointless for the victor to go after helpless infantrymen. But in the next battle, Baby Magnum did get destroyed. Qwenthur for the first time finds himself face to face with the enemy’s Object.

Episode 2
We see the battle between Baby Magnum against Water Strider. They’re racing to get a favourable position to shoot each other. Whoever does it first wins. And perhaps Baby Magnum wasn’t suitable for this terrain and it contributed to its downfall. Even when the fight flag is raised, Water Strider continues to attack and decimates the entire base! Dead bodies everywhere. Qwenthur and Havia thought they are done when Water Strider turns away. They do not understand why they are alive. Till Frolaytia tells them Milinda became a decoy to buy time for survivors to escape. Qwenthur doesn’t like this a bit so he is going to do this insane rescue mission by himself. He sees Milinda captured by ground troops. He is nervous in taking them out as he never killed before. But when those assholes start talking about raping her, he pulls the trigger to take out a couple of them and Milinda finishes off the rest. The last one shoots a rocket launcher at Qwenthur and he could have died had not Havia pushed him away. Milinda is confused why they saved her without any protection. Even more so, she sees herself as a person who looks down on them and protecting them all the time. Qwenthur admits Objects are the monsters but who has been toughing it out alone in piloting those monsters? They have to run when the Water Strider targets them. Using their resources, it seems they have dived into a cave and blow up the entrance. This is just a decoy to make the enemy think they are trapped in the cave and to go searching for them. They are actually outside plotting their next move. It seems like a crazy idea to buy time for their comrades to escape because it is either they die with honour or live with guilt for the rest of their lives. They’re going to find Water Strider and find its weakness.

Episode 3
The trio discuss about what they know on Water Strider. Eventually they decide to go sabotage its maintenance base since it must be maintained every day to perform at optimum. Qwenthur and Havia sneak inside, careful not to trigger any alarm but it is going to be a tall order to take down the entire facility with very limited arsenal. As Water Strider is spotted returning, Milinda is in a dilemma to alert her comrades as this will signal to the enemy their presence. She runs off on her own. Time is running out for our guys when Qwenthur finds a maintenance manual. He goes off to find some part and stick a bomb in it. Water Strider returns and maintenance personnel start striding in. The guys get out in time as they randomly toss their bombs around. Then change of plans when they see Milinda captured. Again? I guess she let herself become the decoy again. After coming this far, surely they’re not going to abandon her again, right? Upon Qwenthur’s request, Havia hacks the communication so he could call Frolaytia to send reinforcements. Once done, they are surrounded by enemy guards. The enemy chief toys with them and after Water Strider finishes its maintenance, Qwenthur causes a distraction by attacking the chief and then sets off a bomb that he placed in a Water Strider’s part. Although nothing happens, Qwenthur then explains how Objects is a big load of secrets and when it is incapacitated, the system will automatically self destruct. He believes their Object is no different than any others. What is manmade can also be destroyed by man. Soon, Water Strider explodes and it takes out the entire base! Our heroes saved by scraps of metal? The enemy soldiers fire at them but I guess that’s what those random bombs are for. Before the mad enemy chief can shoot Qwenthur, he is taken out by Frolaytia’s snipe. Looks like her reinforcements are here. And they continue bombing the already destroyed base? Overkill? Just to be safe… Our heroes return as real heroes and attend a ceremony to be awarded with medals. But the real award is when Milinda thanks them for saving her. But they too thank her for always keeping them safe. After getting their medals, they thought they could retire and live a happy life. Then they hear military plans of their next posting for the next battle. Yup, they’ve been had. Screw this damn war!

Episode 4
Not only Objects get their due maintenance but the pilots too. Yeah… Because some lucky doctor is rubbing lube all over Milinda’s naked body for her usual maintenance. Meanwhile our newly promoted guys are tasked with a new mission to stop an Object named Tri-Core. It is believed that it is delivering oil to terrorist associations. Although Objects do not run on fuel, the sale of oil will give terrorist affiliates some source of revenue. Thus the guys are stationed at an oil rig at Gibraltar to stop it from advancing to the Mediterranean where it will distribute its oil. This means the guys will be at the front lines. Death has been accelerated faster. Even more so the higher ups are now watching them and any screw ups means there will be consequences to pay. And then Tri-Core attacks. Uh huh. It is like shooting at oil rigs as target practice. When undersea mines can’t even stop it, you’re really screwed. The guys are wondering about Milinda’s Object. Haven’t they heard? It is being fitted with sea adapting accessories. That is why the duo are called to stall it until she is ready since they have a reputation for taking down Objects without an Object. Screw this sh*t! Jump off the rig now if you don’t want to be blown into pieces! Call it lucky or unlucky, they’re still alive. They put on their diving mask and dive under to avoid being rammed. Then they get caught in the net which got caught in the Object’s fin. They climb up to the deck to put explosives around but the enemy soldiers start attacking. They shouldn’t be too relieved that Baby Magnum is here. Because she might blow the smithereens out of them. Qwenthur contacts her to inform they are on board and to switch to lasers. But due to bad reception, she misinterprets a different kind of laser which is as devastating. It would be really bad luck if they get killed by friendly fire. After they jump off into the sea and blow up the deck. Mission accomplished? Well, Tri-Core isn’t sinking and still running.

Episode 5
Frolaytia picks them up and then into the rescue helicopter. She reminds them their mission is done once Milinda is on the battlefield. However they notice Milinda’s attacking tempo decreasing. Tri-Core is taking out her weapons and attacking ability seeing they know this is going to be a long drawn out battle. At this rate, she will sink. Of course this means Qwenthur wants to go save her, much to Havia’s dismay since they were lucky to survive all that, are they going to risk their lives again? Well, he hopes he remembers the Alaskan lesson about everything manmade has a weakness and can be destroyed. Qwenthur jumps back into the sea. He notices Tri-Core has only been moving in clockwise direction and something in it must be damaged. He realizes its weakness and starts swimming towards it. Something about its fins and the balance it keeps Tri-Core afloat. He sets his explosives to go off and explode the mines on the net. Havia thought he wants to blow up the fins but Qwenthur’s aims is to blow up the net stuck to it. His logic is that with Tri-Core being 3 times heavier than standard Objects, it produces a phenomenal amount of kinetic energy. So if the fin is useless, the shifting of mass will not occur and this will put a strain on Tri-Core itself. Thus using its own weight to destroy the Object. Tri-Core malfunctions and sinks. However Qwenthur is caught in its tidal wave. Thankfully he is caught by Baby Magnum. Back on the helicopter, the guys are treated to teasing fanservice by Frolaytia as he eats with her legs open and even baths nearby, letting the guys only watch her silhouette on the curtains. I think Qwenthur appreciates more the personal thanks from Milinda. But time for some news. The good news: This mission will elevate their status even further but no more commendation medals or event. Bad news: There is something going on at Oceania and the higher ups want them to scramble there right now! No use complaining guys. You’re the MacGyvers of the series. Deal with it!

Episode 6
Now the guys are raking tumbleweeds in some desert? Oh well, what else is there to do but to watch videos of his military idol known as Mini Skirt Santa (to be nicknamed Ohoho since her real name is unknown). Wow. Those G-cup boobs are such monstrosity! Those are real Heavy Objects! Hahaha!!! The duo also talked to a curious young girl at the border but were told off by Frolaytia not to slack since there are many reporters waiting trying to dig up dirt on them. They go visit Milinda who is in yet another suit tuning maintenance. This time using a flute to tune? I don’t know the musical connotations but seriously? She lets Qwenthur see the flute. Not only he tries it out and did an indirect kiss, he doesn’t play well so this sends weird sensations to her. By the time he notices something is wrong, he thinks she has been holding it in and needs to go to the toilet! Oh yes, she has been holding it in and now she is letting it all go. One big punch coming up! The guys then happen to pass by Heavy Object, Rush who is piloted by no other than Ohoho. Qwenthur is happy to learn a lot of technical stuffs from her but this doesn’t sit well with Milinda. They sound like they get along so well, eh? To show her disapproval, she sweeps their jeep off the ground. Frolaytia will be working along with Flide who isn’t a soldier but involved in the development of Elites, to oversee the security at Oceania. He orders her to attack. Baby Magnum and Rush fire into the woods to flush out the enemies. Seeing nothing comes out, they think it is a dud but this is where the guys come in. They need to scout into the woods to check if there are communities before the Objects move on to their next target. Ohoho turns on enthusiastic Qwenthur with details about the pressure suits Elites wear (they’re probably bluffs) and this makes Milinda mad. This causes the girls to clash in their Objects. Yeah, the guys remind them they’d rather see a cat fight in a swimsuit! But for now they are allies. Once this mission is over, they’ll go back to enemies so watch your back. The guys head into the forest to scout. They see the military massacring the local community. Qwenthur spots a familiar young girl. Okay. Time to get involved.

Episode 7
When they attack just to create diversion, the enemy instead fights back because there is an unknown sniper cutting them off so all they can do is just fight back blindly. Qwenthur and Havia receive reinforcements but Havia wants to take care of the sniper. Eventually the sniper, Seewax is caught and fiercely interrogated by Frolaytia. He is just a journalist who maintains what he did was right but from what I understand, his single shot will start a misunderstanding that will lead to a great massacre and have undone all the efforts they have done. Back to square one. With the higher ups already giving their orders, it feels like they’re going to let this massacre slide. The only thing they can do before the massacre happens is to find the water plant the enemy is operating from. As Qwenthur and Havia try to narrow down all the possible plants, the alarm to sortie is activated. It seems Flide has discovered the enemy base based on the satellite picking up its reactor activating. Qwenthur senses something amiss because the enemy has been hiding all the while only to let it be spotted like this. He realizes it could be a trap because this reactor might be a prototype (before building an Object, it is standard practice to build a prototype reactor to test it). So if they blow it up, it has got the energy to blow 200 kilotons. In other words, big sh*t! They sneak into the briefing room to look for clues but Seewax tells them everything since he heard it all. Mind boggling that the interrogation room is right next to the briefing room. Seewax wants to be taken along too to atone his wrongdoings. Making their way there, the guys communicate back to base to let everyone listen that the one at Great Sandy is a decoy and the real threat is at Tamami Desert. They have no time to verify the source and that is why they suggest both be taken out. Qwenthur suggests Milinda to use her long range attack to destroy Great Sandy to avoid getting caught in the blast. Frolaytia will not give permission to this but the guys make a bet with her (including doing kinky stuffs to her body parts?!) and mention that they are doing this on their own will and she can hold them responsible. They might be up against an Object but hey, that’s their specialty, right?

Episode 8
The duo are at Tamami Desert and confirm the sighting of the enemy’s Object, 0.5 Gen. Heck, it even fires a practice shot destroying the mountains! They request reinforcements to focus here and Milinda is happy to oblige except Ohoho blocks her way. Flide jams their communication and tells everyone to ignore the duo. Then he personally contacts them to tell them they must die here for their acts have been giving hope to terrorists thinking they can take down Objects as humans. The guys don’t think so since if they die here, the massacre will happen. They know Flide has his own interests to protect by prolonging the war so they make a bet to see who can take each other down first. Heading inside its hangar, they are shocked to see electrocuted corpses. It seems the crews tried to increase its energy output but it backfired. So they are going to destroy 0.5 Gen by overflowing it with power by connecting to its broken cable. But 0.5 Gen spots them and fires. Qwenthur is injured and immobilized. Havia too had not for his devil’s luck when the cable reaches its maximum length, the jerk throws him off the tractor and thus the shot missed him. Qwenthur gets an idea as he tells Havia to climb the water tower. Qwenthur fires into the water storage and uses it as conductor to connect the power supply. Boom! With the enemy down, Frolaytia orders Milinda to go rescue their men. Flide is not about to give up yet as he sends another Object, Exact Javelin to fight Baby Magnum. Frolaytia confronts Flide about the hijacked transmission. He maintains he exerted his influence to protect the world since those boys are only destroying the balance and roles of Objects. Frolaytia threatens to court martial him although he claims he has the police, court and military on his side. Qwenthur sends the enemy attack patterns to Milinda as she easily claims victory over Exact Javelin. I don’t know how fast Havia was but he returns to the base to give a good punch in Flide’s face. You lose. Flide thinks they’ll regret this but they refute because if the world is all about the stronger winning side and with better numbers, then that world can go screw itself.

Episode 9
You’re wondering why the guys are being treated to such low errand job of filling bullet chambers after their miracle victories. Life so unfair… Havia finds a raunchy training video and oh my, it gives them the motivation to do their job faster!!! But then their watching is interrupted when Havia’s fiancée, Lady Vanderbilt contacts him. Busted? Thankfully or not, Frolaytia takes the guys away for another mission. What have they done to deserve a mission in freezing Antarctica? A survey aircraft that was flying by was shot down by the enemy’s SAM and its crew taken hostage. Their job is to find the enemy base on foot. Some political geographical thing that doesn’t allow the use of satellites for easy tracking. Oh, Objects will just break the ice if they set foot. So once they find the enemy base, they can relay to Milinda who will fire via long range. The guys engage a group of enemies. But a group of baby penguins walk by! OMG! Both sides stop to watch how cute they are! OMFG!!! When they’re gone, they resume fighting. F*cking sh*t! Should have just brought penguins. Once Qwenthur has them where he wants, he bombs the ice as underneath is an abyss. After finding the enemy base, they are set upon by rail guns. As they hide from its blast, Qwenthur has Milinda fire at their coordinates. She looks like she has missed but when the rail guns fire again, they topple. Qwenthur’s plan was to weaken the ground in which the rail guns were anchored to as they have very powerful recoil. The enemy base is secured but nobody is in. The guys then find a suspicious probe robot nearby that is operating via remote. It seems it is trying to hijack a satellite and fire its laser at a moon resort. Frolaytia says it is no cause for worry because if they are targeting this elusive general, Buffer Planters whom they have been trying to rid for a long time, they’ll just turn a blind eye and let the terrorists do their job. But they remember Havia’s fiancée is at some faraway resort. Havia contacts her to confirm. F*CK!!! I think she got the wrong idea of that word… So the guys pretend to slip up to stop the firing. Why does it always have to be 1 second left on the clock? The duo are reprimanded by Frolaytia but since this is an unofficial extra mission, they cannot be officially punished for all their violations. Phew, right? Milinda discovers power supply cables from the sea. She is baffled why it can move around secretly and if this Object is submersible and has stealth capabilities.

Episode 10
Our heroes are now going to fight another war against Mass Driver Conglomerate (MDC) at the Amazons, some huge mega rich company that makes mass drivers (powerful weapons that can shoot right up into the orbit) that broke away from its parent company, Capital Enterprise. There are lots of messy political stuffs that I don’t want to go into. Apparently MDC is the one behind that Antarctica drone and moon resort attack plan and are believed to be hiding an Object. Thus from what I understand, our heroes have to get involved in this war just to ensure their overall long term safety. As Milinda receives report that there are iron ores detected via satellite behind a mountain, she fires but it seems there are no enemies responding. But when the crew begin to land onshore, multiple enemy shots are targeted at them. Oh what the heck, Baby Magnum just blasts the entire mountain range! The guys check the area and it seems there were only gun barrels and thick power transmission cables. They then scout on food for any sightings of MDC’s Object but nothing in sight. Then they hear over the transmission radio from Major Halreed Copacabana, a noble and Elite pilot of Bright Hopper relaying to Frolaytia to wait for his team before commencing their operation. Of course she will only begin right on the dot. It seems Halreed is suggesting her team damage the Object enough for him to take down and steal the glory. Frolaytia of course rejects that so Halreed advises her to accept his proposal, both public and private. Well, looks like Frolaytia is also a noble and having her own high class problems and she’s not too happy about it. She contacts Qwenthur and Havia to return to base. Change of plans. They’re going to settle this before Bright Hopper can interfere and mess up their operations.

Episode 11
Big Hopper is on its way when he detects enemy shells targeting at him. Halreed fires at the shells but they turn out to be chaffs. Before he knows it, artillery shells coming down at the speed of mach 25 heavily damage Big Hopper! Everyone is shock at this development as Qwenthur deduces the chaff was used as a big reflector for the target. This also means the enemy can accurately target while remaining hidden as they are not relying on satellites. Qwenthur suddenly knows what the enemy is up to and in the nick of them calls Milinda to move. Had she not, Baby Magnum would have been totally destroyed by the incoming shells. It only sustained moderate damage. The enemy shells then destroy the main base. When Qwenthur wakes up, Frolaytia is by his side. Their base is devastated but they are considered lucky because the shell somehow detonated in mid-air. Even if it didn’t reach its target, the effects were still devastating. She proposes that they retreat from this mission since they have no way to engage the enemy. Meanwhile Havia has Baby Magnum hide under some anti-reflecting cover for the time being. They are contacted by Halreed’s subordinate, Corporal Bilany Saronna who suggests working together to take down the enemy. The plan is for Baby Magnum to fire a shot at a nearby dam and flooding the area to immobilize the enemy. Havia is of course against this as there are civilians living around the dam. No sh*t is given for them. If Baby Magnum won’t cooperate, they’ll just blow up the dam themselves. And they’re already there. While Havia will personally go to stop them, Qwenthur and Frolaytia will go scout the enemy Object codenamed Break Carrier which is on its way to their base. As they wait, Qwenthur learns a little about Frolaytia noble heritage. Her family has this trait that will produce 100% male. Don’t start thinking she is a cross-dresser! She is a true blue woman. Because of that, rumours get out of hand that she will produce a male and this is important for noble families who are seeking a male heir. There is a long list of potential candidates who are just out to bed her. That is why she prefers being on the battlefield instead of a safe nation and will be as useful as she can till she is as old as a granny. Halreed is one of them and although one of the kinder ones, she can’t help feel happy when Big Hopper was taken out. So living and dying on the battlefield is true freedom for her.

Episode 12
Havia is now at the dam. Communicating with Qwenthur, it seems all he needs is just to find a bomb and disable it as the sum of its destructive explosion is needed to destroy the dam. As the bombs are wired, Havia just shoots the wire. It is then Bilany comes out of her hiding to fire at him. Her team also try to take him out with shoot to kill orders. Bilany gives him a chance to surrender. That is when Havia tells her that Baby Magnum is now on its way to rendezvous with Qwenthur. They will take out Break Carrier therefore her destruction of the dam will be unjustified. Thus Havia’s goal here is to buy them time. As Break Carrier will be approaching from 1 of the 3 routes, the reverberating mountain echoes are making it hard for him to determine where it is coming from. With time running out and they have only 1 shot to decide, Qwenthur suggests they each take a route and if it is a dud, it should be the third one where Baby Magnum is waiting. Milinda isn’t getting any response from Qwenthur so she is jealous that he must be having a grand time with Frolaytia. So call Havia to complain? He is in a pinch too… Break Carrier appears at Qwenthur’s route. However his communication is broken. The only way is taking out his gun and firing at Break Carrier? He is not that dumb to finish it off with a pee shooter but rather his shots resembles Morse code to relay a message to Milinda. How many f*cking bullets does he have?! And Milinda is so sharp she can pick it up but the enemy so dumb trying just to locate where Qwenthur is? Baby Magnum fires through a mine shaft, obliterating Break Carrier. There, another one bites the dust. Havia and Bilany’s fight ends once victory is confirmed.

Qwenthur know gets a proper beating from Frolaytia for pulling such a dangerous stunt. Later Havia discusses with Milinda that there was a different Object that bombarded them when they arrived at the shore. It could be the mysterious Object that can’t be detected by radar or sensor. Frolaytia is about to begin her personal sadistic torture on Qwenthur when she gets contacted by Halreed. He survived the ordeal and because his participation is considered heroic, he has now moved to the top of her potential candidates list. He wants her to return or even retire from the military for a check-up. Qwenthur can’t stand this arrogance anymore as he quickly fondles Frolaytia’s breasts and indicates they are in an illicit relationship. This upsets Halreed as he will have no vulgar woman bear his child. Time to start looking again? Well, embarrassed-cum-upset Frolaytia certainly showed her gratitude by beating him up to the max. I’m sure there would be consequences if word of this goes around since it will make her look like a slut. More importantly, will Qwenthur be pulling off this stunt each time she rejects a candidate? But she is still grateful that he was bothered about her situation and wanted to do something about it. It’s a good thing Milinda didn’t find out about this, right?

Episode 13
Frolaytia and a few others are discussing about the survivors of MDC somehow invaded and took base of Amazon City, the world’s largest ghost town after it was abandoned when some virus popped up. With Baby Magnum still undergoing maintenance, they suggest to work together and pool resources. Their only fear is how many Objects MDC has. There is also talk about Sladder Honeysuckle who is now in charge of MDC. He is a genius as he is MDC’s in-house Object designer. Their mission now is to kill him and in turn the survivors will fall apart. On an unrelated note, seems Milinda has found out about the breast fondling and questions Frolaytia about it! This will be the toughest battle yet… When the guys enter Amazon City, survival is imminent because they are about to be attacked by… Amazon ants!!! After throwing all they’ve got, finally they use smoke and explosion impact above it to kill them all. Phew. It couldn’t be worst timing for Frolaytia as she receives communication from Buffer regarding Honeysuckle’s asylum intention. Qwenthur and Havia inspect the enemy base. Many died because of the ants’ bite. They also inspect the enemy’s ammo and find it odd about its supplier. Suddenly they get an emergency call from Frolaytia to quickly finish their mission. Seems Honeysuckle and co are planning to seek asylum with Intelligence Union and all they need to do is hole up and wait until then. This will give Intelligence Union pretext to invade the area with their Object. In turn, Capital Enterprise will fear their technology will be leaked and send their Object to intervene. And if you take into account MDC might be having a hidden Object, there will be 4 Objects waging war in the area, making it hell on Earth. Oh, looks like it is already here. MDC has brought out their spare gun from Break Carrier which is a high output rail gun.

Episode 14
With the uneven ground, Baby Magnum has trouble being mobile and the compact buildings are preventing her to have a clear shot. A jet fighter ally bombs a clear path. When Baby Magnum makes a move, Qwenthur feels something amiss. Why is the enemy using a rail gun? It must mean they don’t an Object. Considering how rail guns need ground stability to fire, he realizes this one is a decoy to lure Baby Magnum. Too late. Caught up in a huge explosion. Meanwhile Frolaytia is talking to Intelligence Union’s Lieutenant Colonel Lendy Farolito about her kingdom’s goal. She is here to get the mass driver space technology and not the rail gun. Frolaytia thinks she is trying to confuse her with information so the only way is to kill Honeysuckle at all costs and thus eliminating her reason to intervene. Because Baby Magnum is stuck and damage, this naturally sets it on a self destruction mode. Milinda is trying to override the command but since it is not working, the only option left is to eject. However somebody throws a wire net over the hatch. Imagine Milinda being cut into strips ejecting at the speed. Qwenthur hurriedly rushes over, throws a bomb to destroy the net before Milinda could eject safely. However she spots a suspicious guy aiming at her. Sitting duck. Luckily Qwenthur was fast enough to distract him for Milinda to safely land. As Qwenthur takes cover, he discovers this guy is Honeysuckle! Qwenthur doubts if any country would accept a traitor and it seems Honeysuckle’s aim is to destroy the conventional doctrine. That is, using non-Objects to destroy Objects (just like how Qwenthur has been doing). He is confident that with his rail gun technology and expertise, it will be his selling point. Furthermore, such prototypes cost less to produce compared to Objects. Whether successful or not, it doesn’t matter as he is projecting a great possibility. Although Qwenthur gets a flesh wound from Honeysuckle’s bullet, he did another decoy move as he exposes his body wrapped with bombs. The real bomb was thrown near Honeysuckle and he almost got caught in the blast. It’s game over when Havia secures him. In the aftermath, Honeysuckle is to be tried in their country and because of their failure to kill him on the spot and end all the complications, Intelligence Union and Capital Enterprise are trying to ‘negotiate’ for his release in which they are no circumstances to oblige. The guys think they’ve done another great job till Frolaytia mentions all the violations they did. Including the breast fondling! Still having a grudge over that? The only way to get back her trust via results. How does another mission to destroy Objects at the far end of the Earth sound? Yeah, military punishment sounds a whole lot easier.

Episode 15
Qwenthur and Havia are secretly exchanging their porn stash. Suddenly Frolaytia and her all-female team of inspectors barge into the place to arrest them and confiscate their porn. Yeah, they’ve got porn for all sorts of categories! I suppose there is only 1 way to overlook all this: Go on another mission. Welcome back to Alaska, boys. Remember their first mission when they destroyed Water Strider? Since its wreckage has been lying around for weeks, Intelligence Union has been sneaking into the place in search of any technology as well as scavenge for rare metal parts. They have also built a satellite to transmit information back so it is the guys’ job to destroy that station. Because so, they may come face to face with Rush. The duo bomb certain routes to confuse the enemy as Baby Magnum and Rush face off. When Ohoho hints Milinda to surrender so she can capture her mechanic as her prisoner, no more talking, just kill the hell out of each other. Both Heavy Objects take heave damage. They rush back to their station to repair their main cannon. The guys believe it will be their victory since those routes they make are like a maze. In terms of time, Baby Magnum will finish repairs first and win it. However Frolaytia contacts them with an emergency. Rush is not heading back to its station but meeting the maintenance crew halfway. They are dragging the parts via manual labour using power suits! This means Rush will finish reparations first. As the guys are still in the area, they need to sabotage the repairs. It is a very risky and dangerous move but there are no other choices. Qwenthur knows one of the routes have heavy rubble and that Rush must detour in which it will pass closest to them. After Havia fires a missile at Rush as distraction, Qwenthur swings on board. Ohoho detects a little bug and fires all her mini cannons to shake it off. When Rush is starting its maintenance, Qwenthur drops into Rush’s cockpit and holds Ohoho hostage. But he is shocked to see her true form. A flat chest loli?

Episode 16
Qwenthur is in despair! His dreams crushed! Give back those G-cups! Apparently Ohoho’s busty self is just a 3D rendered model. So real, eh? Although Qwenthur tries to hold her hostage by making her do nothing, she quickly activates her AI, Juliet. Rush disengages from repairs and instantly heads out to the battlefield. Qwenthur is tossed like inside a washing machine from the G-force. Baby Magnum has not progressed much in its repairs and is forced to engage Rush. To taunt the enemy, Ohoho starts singing! Well, since Juliet is handling the combat, it leaves her free. To up the ante, Ohoho shows pictures of her flirting with Qwenthur. You know how this is always a death flag, right? So Milinda gives him the ultimatum to get out of there or she’ll blast him along with Rush. And then he had to say this: If he dies, there is an engagement ring in his barrack. Return it to his fiancée, Angelina back at his hometown. Immediately Milinda fires her full force at Rush!!! Then she gives him options to die. Qwenthur continues to mention about his playboy status with some foreigner named Julia to rile up Ohoho. Then he gives Milinda commands to lead Rush to be blocked by an obstacle. Although Rush is faster and packs more firepower than Baby Magnum, suddenly it shuts down. From Qwenthur’s explanation, what I understand is that Juliet recalculated risks trying to avoid a checkmate but got itself into one. The messages Qwenthur relayed to Milinda weren’t for her but to Havia to manipulate some infrared targeting system to make Rush mistakenly think Water Strider’s main guns are aiming at it.

Ohoho can shut down and restart manually but Qwenthur tells her to quiet and shut off communications. He hints there is a bomb at the back of her seat. It seems when Rush halted despite having overwhelming advantage, her higher ups deemed her as a traitor and is going to blow up the Object. Because it is not Rush or the Elite that they want. It is Juliet. Ohoho becomes mad as she blames and punches Qwenthur repeatedly. He makes a deal with her to let her escape since her song was nice. In exchange for her life, they get to capture this enemy Object intact. After she ejects, it is revealed this was just an elaborated cooked up plan. The bomb is from Qwenthur. Although Havia can help keep this a secret to Frolaytia and Milinda, the problem now is to cook up an excuse for Milinda who is raging who the f*ck are Angelina and Julia… Ohoho is picked up by Lendy who assures her despite Rush’s loss, their military attaches importance to control systems and AIs so it is okay. Besides, they have a backup of Juliet’s system. Even if Juliet is seized, there are measures to keep its intelligence under wraps. After Ohoho realizes she has been tricked, she slaps Lendy and threatens to shoot their own team if they pull this off again. This makes her want Qwenthur all to herself.

Episode 17
Their next operation will be a night time blitz at the Kamchatka Peninsula. Qwenthur is getting supply parts for Baby Magnum when he stumbles upon a woman in black uniform. This strict lady pulls out her gun and demands his rank and affiliation. Once she realizes he is a student, she goes away seeing that is not her jurisdiction. It seems such people are like the police for the military to keep an eye on them so they won’t commit crimes. Frolaytia initiates her battle plan briefing with the engineers. Their mission is to destroy a coal mine belonging to Faith Organization. It is believed this is their power source for their Objects and will greatly stifle their movement. Also, it is spotted they have deployed a second generation Object codenamed Wing Balancer. In short, Baby Magnum is no match head to head with this amphibious gunner. And because the Kamchatka Peninsula’s geographic layout is not suitable for Baby Magnum, that is where the engineers come in to hack in some radar facility. I’ll skill the technical details. After they complete their mission, a grace period will be given for the commander to surrender and coal mine staffs to evacuate before Baby Magnum fires and destroys everything. The engineers are split into 2 teams. Havia has Cookman, Myongli and Westie trekking to some point. Qwenthur has Nutley, Charles and Charlotte Zoom (that strict lady in black) for company. I’m going to cut out lots of small chatter as they proceed with the operation. Aside Baby Magnum, there is also Indigo Plasma on their side but this is just a decoy to keep Wing Balancer in its place while the engineers carry out their mission. When Qwenthur spots the enemy’s target plane, he relays to Charles. However there is no answer. Blood is hinted splattered in his area. Qwenthur and Charlotte are then shot in the back by Nutley.

Episode 18
The duo are still alive because their f*cking thick backpack protected them (at the expense of their communication device). But Charles is confirmed dead since Qwenthur has his dog tag. And Nutley didn’t bother to check if they’re dead?! I understand we can blame the bad weather for poor vision but if he was travelling with them, he should have known what they were carrying, right?! So he just sabotaged their hacking device and gone ‘missing’? Some spy. Meanwhile Havia’s group is not too pleased that before them is Wing Balancer. Running away now won’t do any good so it is believed Wing Balancer has some build bridging mechanism to cross the terrains. If they destroy it while it is crossing the gorge, maybe they’ll seize victory? Well, don’t bother. Because Wing Balancer flew over the gorge!!! The turbulence and impact blew everyone away. Literally. It might have even caused Cookman and Westie’s life seeing they were flung deep into the ravine. Havia and Myongli enter the barracks and discover a room that is seemingly kid friendly. Till they realize it is a spy room trying to learn their country’s language and culture. Qwenthur and Charlotte are walking through the mine shaft. A civilian bringing first aid appears. Charlotte is ready to shoot to kill but Qwenthur stops her. Because of that, Charlotte gives him a gun not to defend himself but to commit suicide in the case that girl goes to report to the enemy and then they swarm and corner them. As the epic battle between Baby Magnum and Wing Balancer begins (it’s jumping everywhere!), Havia beats up Qwenthur thinking he screwed up on the operation. After explaining thins, Qwenthur notices this isn’t a coal mine but a mine filled with diamonds, they realize this is a war over resources. But they find it odd if it was over it, why isn’t the enemy Object stationed and guarding here? Based on Myongli’s theory, perhaps there are civilian pacifists trying to learn cultures and languages for diplomacy unlike higher ups who want to wage war. Thus the people in power want to get rid of them and make it look like they get crossed in a fight between Objects. And you know the backlash if they are killed by the nation whom they were trying to reach out the most, right? This means Baby Magnum is very much in danger as Wing Balancer is luring her to shoot at the mines. Qwenthur and co make haste but stopping them in their tracks is traitor Nutley in a powered suit.

Episode 19
The civilian attacks the powered suit with a pick, giving Qwenthur a new lease of life. The guys split up as Nutley chases Qwenthur and Charlotte. He drops explosives along the way to slow it down but Nutley retaliates by throwing a rock. A debris cuts and injures Charlotte’s leg. Playing hide and seek in the mine, Qwenthur ends the game by planting explosives in the diamond ores. The blast and impact pierce through the powered suit, making it Nutley’s glittering coffin. Qwenthur then hacks a communication device to communicate with Milinda. Talking about the rage of air cushions in newer Objects, he then discovers Wing Balancer’s weakness. You might think he is crazy to shoot at it with his rifle. But it is actually to take out the sensors at the bottom of its feet as they are used to sense the uneven ground and terrain. With that taken out, a single shot from Baby Magnum is enough to send it toppling over. Qwenthur thought the war is over and victory is theirs but when Frolaytia contacts him about the civilians still being target, he didn’t see this one coming. Indigo Plasma fires a powerful blast to destroy the mines! Qwenthur realizes that the higher ups want the war to continue. The enemy isn’t just confined to the different factions but from within. Nutley wasn’t a spy from the other side. He was a spy sent by their own country. Qwenthur laments the atrocities of war but Frolaytia relays the good news that there are no civilian casualties. Everyone escaped via underground submarine since the mines used to be a submarine base. Back at base, Myongli can’t believe how the guys are so nonchalant after what they’ve been through and the possibility of an impending civil war. Well, they’ve been having the devil’s luck and living this far… You learn to take life as a joke. Charlotte admits she isn’t cut out for this kind of job. She also mentions she is a ‘fan’ of him ever since hearing his heroics of taking down Objects with his ingenuity. Then a box of diamonds drops out from Qwenthur’s pocket. She was going to get mad about him but lets it slide since she has no authority over students. Later Charlotte reports to her commander and clears Qwenthur that his victories aren’t due to List’s scenarios but his own efforts. He has her continue sticking with List and investigate Flide who has escaped and now a fugitive.

Episode 20
Indigo Plasma is attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean into Europe. The plan is to intercept it with Baby Magnum, Snow Quake and Active Sledge. The decisive battle will be held at Victoria Island. There is this briefing about this noble dude, Prizewell City Slicker behind this ‘war’. He is a selfish person who gets what he wants. He started falling out of favour so his goal is to threaten their homeland with overwhelming military might to get people to listen to him again and to have his say in matters. When Milinda is worried about the maintenance granny as she is acting unusual, Qwenthur goes to talk to her. He is shocked to see a beautiful photo of her in her teens. Granny is an emigrant from Capital Enterprise (supposedly the old Japan) when her daughter and her husband were almost executed because of their philanthropic ways which was seen as ‘hurting the economy’. Now they live in an immigrant settlement city near Victoria Island. Qwenthur and Havia go help their infantry by sniping the enemy’s infantry engaged in a gun battle. As they inspect the bodies, strange gas starts flooding the place just as when the Heavy Objects are arriving to engage in heavy fighting. Everyone runs for higher ground as Qwenthur finds it odd it isn’t poisonous or flammable. Then it hit him. Just in time for everyone to duck, a big area blows up. Qwenthur explains some plasma cannon thingy in which its high temperatures will be spread via gas. That is why the enemy infantry was trying to spread the gas around. That area now is a huge magma crater! Snow Quake takes damage in its base. Baby Magnum makes a risky move to save it before it gets toast. The guys believe the battle will turn in their favour if Active Sledge arrives. However they hear reports it has been sunk! But how?! 6 stealth Objects emerged from underneath the sea. Once those Objects arrive on land, Slicker makes his broadcast about the stagnation of their country due to the many languages other than the official language. That is why they aren’t united. He will make their country great again by eliminating all the other inferior languages.

Episode 21
Nobody is going to believe about Slicker’s BS exercise when they know he is targeting the immigrant city. Luckily Frolaytia evacuates the personnel of the base first before Slicker’s Objects blast it to smithereens. As Snow Quake’s Elite has ejected, Baby Magnum is damaged but still operatable, Frolaytia orders the crew to scavenge parts and go fix it before Slicker’s Objects destroy it. However granny is not around and it is believe she has fled to the village to save her family. Qwenthur and Havia get into an argument about the former’s risky move. Qwenthur argues about Slicker’s Objects. Are there really 7 of them? Do you know the cost and manpower to maintain and operate one? Some may just be a ploy to deceive and throw them into confusion. Qwenthur proves his theory by examining the carrier the Objects arrived on. Because of the structure of the cheaper metal it used, in no way it could have supported a real Object. Thus some of the dummy Objects may not even have any other fire power except their main guns and they can even take them out with their weapons. Havia agrees to participate in this crazy attempt one last time. Suddenly they are attacked by mercenaries of Capital Enterprise. FINALLY! THOSE FABULOUS MAIDS APPEARED!!!!!!! WOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Led by Wydine Uptown, they capture the duo and want them to trick Baby Magnum’s Elite to eject and after they capture her, this place will be defenceless and when Capital Enterprise make their move, they’ll get rewarded.

Qwenthur wants to buy their services but they mock him of not knowing his position and his allowance cannot buy them. Then he shows a box of Kamchatka diamonds. You listening now? Qwenthur says he has a few more boxes of it and will give it to them at the end regardless of the outcome. After verifying its top quality authenticity, suddenly it they become goshuujin-sama! Gladly at your service! Wow. Money really rules the world. Hitching a ride to the immigrant city, it seems only Qwenthur only gets first class treatment as Havia is scorned since he didn’t cough up any cash. They discuss about the strategies the enemy might be using. Whatever it is, the maids will gladly use all their expertise to help. Granny has reached the city as she frantically gets her daughter. She notices all internet and even the telephone lines cut so as not to spread the panic. She tells her daughter what is going on and then slaps her when she panics. Granny doesn’t want her to tell others as she is only here to save her family. She will bear this sin and responsibility. They go pick up the husband and granddaughter. But since the enemy Object is already within firing range, granny feels she has failed and there is not enough time to escape. That is when she is contacted by Qwenthur and Havia via walkie-talkie that they can’t have her die on them just yet. They’re going to stop the Objects and the maids will gladly oblige their orders to take out anyone who stands in their way.

Episode 22
The maids use land and air drones as distraction. The Objects take the bait and destroy some of them. The gas is fired and it is getting pretty close to where Qwenthur is. If not for the drone shooting it away and Qwenthur throwing his bomb to disperse the gas back, he would have got caught in it. Like how it destroyed its own ground platoon. Qwenthur notices the destroyed pieces of the fake armour from the fake Object. Although it is thick, it is very light. He contacts granny for help on how to analyze it. Using some radio frequency, granny speculates the ‘armour’ is just special ceramic to make it look like an Object. Yup, everyone was visually fooled. The communication is then jammed so Qwenthur contacts the maids to initiate their attack. So one of the remaining drones behind the Objects fire a shot. This has the AI controlled Objects to turn around and vaporize it, taking out the entire infantry following behind! This AI is certainly dumb! Because of the gas the infantry was carrying, this means the plasma also turned the area into that magma crater. Thanks to the subzero temperatures of the land combined with the heat from the plasma, the sudden shock in different temperature causes the fake Objects to crumble! All that is left is Indigo Plasma as a pissed Slicker is going to wipe out Qwenthur. But Baby Magnum is here. She fires her cannons at Indigo Plasma and since his side is shrouded with the gas, everything goes boom. Baby Magnum shields Qwenthur from the impact. Safe. It’s good he is alive because the maids are so afraid they won’t get their payment. Money face. In the aftermath, Qwenthur and Havia pick up granny who is ready to face the music. However they say Frolaytia will overlook this as long as she makes up with results. Back at base, Frolaytia is not amused the higher ups are fighting over who to take credit. She just hates the paper work that comes with it. Learning that Qwenthur teamed up with a bunch of mercenary maids, she has checked that every mercenary under Capital Enterprise is registered. The maids are not. She has a feeling he might have met a troublesome bunch. It is revealed the maids are under Intelligence Union’s Lendy. They were sent as spies and to destroy information on Rush. They have erased one and all that is left is one more. Charlotte is seen interrogating Honeysuckle in prison. He warns to act quick or else Baby Magnum’s battalion will be annihilated.

Episode 23
Qwenthur and Havia are in the middle of a flower field. But they’re not stopping to smell the flowers. They are on a peace mission to exchange a prisoner, Klondike. Originally from Faith Organization, he is popular and has many followers around the world. Because he preaches peace and non-violence and his teachings are more like ideology, he doesn’t fit into Faith Organization. They don’t want him but want to be seen protecting him. This is the same for every country as they don’t want him to spread his ideology but cannot risk international incident if they kill him. So they just detain him. He has been ‘tossed’ around various countries and this time Intelligence Union is willing to take him in. Before Klondike goes with Frolaytia for the handover, he meets Qwenthur and Havia. He questions their ideology of killing one to save thousands. He has them think again if that kind of thinking is the reason why war never ends. Meanwhile Milinda and Ohoho are having a war of words since Milinda is chirpy about Qwenthur making and giving her a small mirror gift. Let the b*tching fly. As Qwenthur tries to calm her down, all communications to her is cut off. Contacting Frolaytia about it, she too is having the same problem. It seems an unknown source is trying to obstruct her. She traces a source to a nearby town and wants them to deal with this before anything unnecessary crops up. On the way, they are contacted by Charlotte who tells them Flide might be behind this. As he ran the Elite training programme, he has data on Milinda and is traced to be in this area. Because all the superpower Objects are in the area, Flide might want to hack Baby Magnum and trigger a big war by foiling the exchange. By the time the guys arrive in a dilapidated house, Flide has already finished his final hacking. All systems in Baby Magnum shut down. Milinda experiences some kind of kaleidoscope horror vision before everything is restored. Back to normal? Then she targets where Flide is. Part of his plan to die along with the hacking evidence. He chained himself so the guys have to escape themselves. After Milinda fires a shot, she targets Rush and both Objects now engage in a bloody battle. She doesn’t listen to Frolaytia’s orders to stop. As explained by Honeysuckle, Milinda has been affected by this cognitive intervention programme for Elites, Mirror of Truth which was developed by Intelligence Union. Now Milinda will interpret every data as negative. It cannot be stopped since the key died along with Flide. The only way to stop this from getting out of hand and Klondike from dying is to destroy Baby Magnum.

Episode 24
Qwenthur and Havia get hit by a stray shot. While Havia sustains injuries and not life threatening, Qwenthur is on the verge of death. Had not Wydine find him, he might have bled to death. The doctors desperately try to bring him back to life. Fortunately he lives. But ironically he wakes up as though he was just lightly injured. By his side is Ohoho. It seems she is not piloting Rush as it is being remotely controlled. Lendy meets Qwenthur for the first time and learns about Mirror of Truth. She is interested to know more from his source. Qwenthur talks to Honeysuckle about this. He reiterates what we already know. The only way is to destroy Baby Magnum as he suggests all the parts that could easily obliterate the Object. With Frolaytia confirming the higher ups have decided to abandon Baby Magnum, I guess the only way for Qwenthur is to screw all that and do it by himself. He is going to inflict enough damage to force eject Milinda but not kill her when he destroys the Object. Ohoho reminds him he is their prisoner and proposes that he defects to Intelligence Union and becomes her personal maintenance engineer. However he rejects her. I take it that he chose Milinda. His reason threads along the lines that Elites like her have been alone all the time and building thick walls around themselves. Isn’t it the same case for other Elites and Ohoho as well? Whatever. He requests Ohoho’s help to pilot an Object if she wants to repay her debt from Alaska. Qwenthur and Havia ride their jeep as Ohoho gets into her Rush to fight Baby Magnum. Ohoho’s role is to lure Baby Magnum to a designated area. However feeling the need to save Frolaytia still in the battlefield, she strays from the course. With no time left (Capital Enterprise and Faith Organization are also mobilizing their Objects), Qwenthur decides to become the decoy. It’s of course another dangerous stunt. He former contacts Milinda and despite telling her not to shoot their jeep, she interprets as an order to shoot it. In a well timed coordination, she fires and the jeep is hit. This distraction allows Ohoho to fire some sort of powder gas into Baby Magnum’s cannons. When Milinda fires, the cannon’s heat causes Baby Magnum to explode but enough to eject Milinda out. There is some technical explanation from Qwenthur about this but I’ll skip it. I don’t understand and couldn’t really care. But it seems Qwenthur took a big gamble with that shot and got very lucky this time he wasn’t killed. A happy ending as Milinda happily drops into Qwenthur’s arms. Honeysuckle and Klondike have their own comments that Qwenthur can be the new change that everyone should look out for.

Heavy Fanservice
Not really. But in every episode, there is guarantee to have at least one fanservice scene be it a small subtle one or a big obvious one. A close up on those boobs or those curvy asses, well I guess we need to have our little distractions from the plot and mecha action. Heck, even many of the sponsor screens have a seemingly fanservice-like pose from a scene in the episode. And yes, sometimes our pervy nature of our main duo is one of those small reasons why fanservice is forced into the show. Raunchy training video anyone?

I have to admit that watching the first few episodes, I was already hooked on where the series was heading. Yeah, it made me forget (but not entirely) that I would be patiently waiting for the maids to pop up and squeal with glee. Seriously. I was going to do that. But thankfully the resourcefulness of Qwenthur and Havia was the one that kept everything interesting because they were thinking outside of the box to bring down something that is so many times bigger and more damaging than them. It was absolutely thrilling and mind blowing to see them come up with creative and ingenious plans and tactics to bring down the enemy. Sure, it got a bit stale after a few arcs and after halfway through, I thought they might have ran out of steam seeing they somewhat follow this formula albeit with a bit of tweaking. But still, it is still fun to see them in action and get out alive after all that.

Which brings me to the next point at how freaking lucky the duo are. Yes, people. These guys have lady luck smiling on them. I am guessing Qwenthur is such a ladies’ man that not only he has some of the girls in the series interested in him but even lady luck herself can’t help be on his side throughout the series. They could have died anytime from the extremities and impossibilities that they are facing but they always get out alive and the most are only a few scratches. Nothing as serious as breaking bones that would have put them out of commission for weeks. I mean, they prove that beating an Object all by themselves isn’t just a fluke. They do it all the time! Sure, there are times when they are in a pinch but there will always be something that will get them out of their unlucky situation and turn the tables in their favour. If Objects were a casino, they’d strike jackpot all the time! They are better than cats or Contra cheat code because it is like they have infinite lives. Making them even luckier is the fact that they get to travel around the world! Notice how each arc brings them to different locations around the world? From the freezing cold of Alaska to the deep waters of Gibraltar and the dense forests of the Amazon. I think they visit cold places more often as they revisited Alaska and Kamchatka as well. Man, these guys got a paid trip around the world. Of course you can argue that they are risking their lives on the mission but hey, I guess those are the perks and dangers that come with the job. You lucky bastards!

Another fun part that kept my interests in the show is the dynamic interaction between Qwenthur and Havia. These two are inseparable, probably fated to be together and may God forbid, die together on the battlefield. Though, it is always mainly Qwenthur’s initiative that drags Havia into the mess because the latter would very much like to stay out of trouble. He could have an easier noble life back in his home town had not this military requirement that requires him to rack up some reputation points. I hope it was all worth it for his fiancée. Because no matter how much Havia screams and complains, I guess he will eventually have to tighten his seat belts because he is already in for the ride with his partner. With all the jabs and prodding the duo make, it is never a dull moment to see the dynamic duo get things done and outsmart the enemy. And with them going around destroying Objects without using Objects, I bet that when they reach well into their adults there won’t be many Objects left because you know how freaking hard and expensive it is to maintain such war machines. They’ll rack up such reputation that even Elites would run upon learning if they are present in the battlefield. Like how a mouse could scare away an elephant, no?

I want to say that Milinda completes the trio but she is hardly physically with them. Because if you noticed she is mostly cooped up in her Baby Magnum most of the time. Seeing her outside of it is something rare. I would say that half of the time you will see her piloting inside the cockpit of Baby Magnum. Though she plays a pivotal role in many of the missions as you still need an Object to finish the other Object or at least stave it off before Qwenthur works his scientific magic, somehow I just don’t feel Milinda is as close as the guys. They are out on the battlefield but she is inside her Object while the guys are on the ground. Even if they are separated at least the guys have more physical contact with each other on occasions unlike Milinda who is often on standby inside Baby Magnum.

So that is why I thought that the only way to make her relevant (notwithstanding the final arc which feels like a shoehorn so that she would have some sort of ‘proactive’ role) and have something to do with Qwenthur is to make her have this secret crush on him. It is so freaking obvious. She likes him. Any other girls come into the picture, she pouts and you can see a drastic change in her attitude. Not even Frolaytia is spared. Not sure if the guys know about this or just deliberately ignoring it because you can’t have your love in fruition when you’re on the battlefield, right? Because you can hear Havia teasing lightly about this and Qwenthur is like, well, not sure if he’s just acting to just appease her. So if you’re hoping for some sort of romance, it is a big miss. It’s like trying to bait us with a potential harem because nerds with brains like Qwenthur is a hit with chicks (girls dig brainy guys, right?) but nothing of it materializes. Just a distraction. Or is Ohoho trying to piss off Milinda by trolling that she would steal her man? If I am not mistaken, in one of the later arcs, there was this idol reporter waltzing into the base doing her cutie reporting. I believe she was trying to look for Qwenthur but left disappointed as she couldn’t find him around. Duh. He was on the battlefield risking his life. What is his relationship with him? Could she be another love rival? It feels like a waste and troll just to show cameos of her in that arc.

Having described the trio, there is nothing more we can say about the character development about them or any other character partly due to the nature of this series. If you want to know more about their past in depth, you’d be disappointed because there isn’t much to know about. I mean, how much do you know about Qwenthur? We know a bit more in Havia and his Vanderbilt fiancée but that is about it. How about Milinda as an Elite? How did she end up in this position? What is her back story? Again, nothing told. At least Frolaytia has slightly more back story and past despite being shoehorned as part of the story arc. So what else can I say about Frolaytia that she is like your typical higher up who acts strict and is quirky in her own way but cares for her subordinates. Busty assets to flaunt and tease Havia just because she can.

Oh, before I forget too, by the times the maids appeared (it’s about time), I have almost lost my enthusiasm that I had as I did from the start since my main interest by then is Qwenthur and Havia’s feats. Not to say that I totally lost interests in maids (NEVER WILL!), because at the start and end of each arc my conscious would be telling me that there was no show from the maids here. Could it be I was deceived? And then they finally pop up. Didn’t do pretty much except providing backup to Qwenthur and then off they go. Well, what was I expecting anyway. Other characters are like, uhm, well I don’t know how to elaborate more. Ohoho is only remembered as Milinda’s rival on both the battlefields (give me back those G-cups too!). Lendy is sneaky (I think everyone in Intelligence Union is as sneaky). Charlotte, why do we still need her? Anybody else that matter? No? Baddies? No? Honeysuckle. In prison. Flide? Dead. Slicker? Dead. Nutley? Dead. Halreed? Finding someone new to go f*ck with. Haha! With baddies and characters with names like these, oh boy, sometimes you wonder if the world has gone ‘internationalized’ is a good thing or not.

For the plot, overall it might sound silly and recycled seeing that every arc is more or less the same. Some country is going to do something bad. Our heroes need to interfere. Qwenthur and Havia have racked up a reputation big enough to be sent around the world to stop and foil the enemy’s plan. And they did it. End of mission. Mission successful. Well, at least it is easy to follow this way. That is why the ‘ending’ didn’t feel like anything much because you know, if there was going to be another arc, it would probably follow this same formula. That is why there isn’t any closure for any of the characters because it is most likely the same stuffs will continue. But hey, at least Qwenthur gets the girl in the end. Literally. Besides, if you look at the settings of the world, a few things feeling unrealistic especially about Objects being the sole thing that are used for war. I know such behemoths are so precious and important but do they really need to do away with classic military weapons and arsenal? Because they are all just reduced to just useless supporting roles. And somehow the world is only divided into 4 major powerhouse countries. I don’t know. In today’s reality with more countries breaking up, I can’t see why it will all turn to just a few of them. Oh right. They did something similar in this setting for Code Geass too. And to call those big sophisticated war machines as Objects… Can’t they come up with a classier name? Don’t get me started at the penguin scene. What the f*ck was that all about?!

Then there are those sci-fi and engineering terms. Well, I’m not saying that they are as bad as To Aru Majutsu No Index but there are enough spewed around to make it sound, uhm, authentic. You know, they can come up with all those classy sounding names and terms and all those BS and still get away with it because I’m just too dumb to understand what it all means and too lazy to even Google and find out how true it is. I’ll just accept them all! And I’ll also give an excuse that I am not an engineering or science student to understand all that crap.

The action scenes especially the Objects facing off with each other do not disappoint (fire and explosions, okay?). While they might seem that they are just shifting and realigning to get better positions than their opponent and then firing big beams, you can feel the powerful impact when they fire their main cannons. It really packs a punch. Definitely you do not want to be caught in between the crossfire. Your entire existence will be erased right down to your last DNA I kid you not. Seeing the enemy Object crumble in dramatic fashion also yields some sort of relief because after all the hard work our little heroes put in and to see it pay off is just satisfying. Though, it is a bit silly that something this big and almost indestructible would be destroyed just like that. You know, the end level boss is so tough and once you finish off his last health point, he breaks down and disintegrates to bits. Like as though their DNA molecules have reached their limit in holding up and just let it all go. Seriously.

The art style and animation are pretty fluid and good especially with the Objects using CGI, they don’t look very jarring and blend in perfectly. It is no doubt about the quality because the veteran anime studio, J.C. Staff did this (in collaboration with Sanzigen too). If you find similarities in their art style in other animes, say To Aru Majutsu No Index, now you know why. With a big part of the backgrounds and scenes concentrated on the battlefield, this means the natural environments like the icy desert and the plains, not to say they are masterpieces but good enough to look at. At least it isn’t urban warfare. On a trivial note, the mid-intermission eyecatch is a good place to view comprehensive details on Objects if you really want to get to know its specs. Although eventually many of them will be repeated because there are only a handful of Objects in the series. However the second part of the eyecatch might feel a bit out of place. Because they are just silly random poses of the characters (mostly fanservice for Milinda and Frolaytia) that borders comical. Screw all the technical stuffs. We need to laugh and get a boner sometimes.

I’m not sure why I thought it was Akira Ishida behind Qwenthur’s voice but it was rather Natsuki Hanae (Inaho in Aldnoah.Zero). Maybe at first they sound closely similar but as the series goes on, there was some notable difference but I still thought the character was so. At least I didn’t make the same mistake for Shizuka Itou as Frolaytia and Rikiya Koyama as Seewax as well as Satomi Arai as the head maid Wydine. Rina Satou as Lendy? Didn’t think it was her since she lacks screen time and more lines. Hisako Kanemoto as Ohoho? Trading her “~de geso” line for “ohoho” laughter? There are quite a number of casts here thanks to the nature of the series. Some even playing multiple roles albeit they are just minor background characters that we’ll never notice anyway. So the rest of the (selective) casts are Kaito Ishikawa as Havia (Genos in One Punch Man), Eri Suzuki as Milinda (Chinatsu in Flying Witch), Saori Oonishi as Charlotte (La Folia in Strike The Blood), Maaya Uchida as Vanderbilt (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Honeysuckle (X-eins in Valvrave The Liberator), Ryota Takeuchi as Halreed (Shiro in Ansatsu Kyoshitsu), Katsuyki Konishi as Slicker (Laxus in Fairy Tail), Ryuusuke Oobayashi as Flide (Soun in Ranma 1/2) and Shinpachi Tsuji as Klondike (Makarov in Fairy Tail).

Both the opening themes are sung by All Off. Both are hard rock pieces supposedly to give you a feel and pace of what this series is about. One More Chance is the first opening theme while Never Gave Up is the second one. But it is an easier pace for the ending themes. Dear Brave by Kano as the first ending theme is still a rock outfit. The second ending theme is Unchanging Strength and is more of a slow anime pop. Done by Yuka Iguchi who only sang and did not provide any voice acting. Not even a cameo. I suppose with Milinda’s limited appearance, I have a feeling that is why the ending credits animation is mostly all on her.

Overall, I have to admit that despite falling under the mecha category that I dislike, this series has been a fun and enjoyable ride thanks to the boys’ cleverness and interesting tactics to take down the nearly invincible despite the stacking impossible odds against them. Not to mention their teamwork that sometimes could border as a manzai comedy duo (they can be good stand-up comedians if they retire). Also partly thank the maids for appearing or else I might have been feeling more disappointed had they not and screamed deception. Also thanks to the big mecha action to remind us why war is big business and reinforce and make us feel less guilty why we will forever fight each other despite you’re not supposed to take this anime seriously. Last and not least, thank the few fanservice peppered throughout because what is all that explosive action if you don’t have a little boobs and butts to show even if they are just mild. Sex sells. Hentai parody when? Heavy Sex Object. Haha! Song parody when? He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Object. Haha! So yeah. Why the heck do we want boring peace anyway when we can have so much fun in war?

Everyone thinks gamers are nerds and have no life. Even more so they just stare in front of their screen doing nothing but grind the games they play all day. Hardcore. Even if that is true that they have no progress in real life, some have at least the success that can be said equalled to that in real life. You know, like being married. Virtually. I’m not really familiar if there are any the legal implications about marrying online or if it is just for fun whatsoever but there are such cases in real life. At least your virtual life is a success. So for our main protagonist in Netoge No Yome Wa Onnanoko Ja Nai To Omotta he swore off marriage after he found out the girl character he wants to marry was a man. Enough to give any straight guy the chills and trauma. But then a real girl both in reality and in the game bugs to marry him. Online of course. While it might seem like a dream come true, it soon dawned that this girl can’t tell the difference between reality and game. She treats real life like the game. I know every hardcore gamer boy would love such girls to be their wife in real life but if you’re just a normal and average person, wouldn’t that creep you out? Well, at least who says there aren’t any hardcore gamer girls around?

Episode 1
In the online RPG of Legendary Age (LA), Ako proposes to Rusian to get married. He rejects her, believing he will never fall in love again. However she continues to bug him until he gives in. Both are part of the guild, Alley Cats that also consist of guild master Apricot and Schwein. In school, Hideki “Rusian” Nishimura brags to his friends he has got an online wife. Fellow classmate, Akane Segawa hates otaku types like him. Since Hideki has no social life, whenever he goes home he always logs on to play LA. But he often gets owned by trolls since Ako always wrongly heals the enemy. Alley Cats meet up in a bar to talk. While talking about Rusian and Ako being a virtual married couple, when Schwein mentions he was confessed to in real life this causes Ako to go crazy. It’s like she could snap any time and kill him! What is the deal with her hating normal people? As Ako brags about being married to Rusian, she accidentally reveals Rusian once tried to get married online. The rest want to hear the details. Rusian proposed to Nekohime whom he thought was the ideal female character for him. Turns out behind that cute cat girl avatar is actually an old man!!! Rusian got so frustrated that he banged all the keys off the keyboard! He left the guild and went on being solo for a year. In which he arrived at the conclusion that it doesn’t matter who you are in real life as long as you are cute since it was the cuteness in the game he enjoyed. Ako reveals she is a real nerdy girl in real life but Rusian doesn’t believe. This has Apricot he is also a girl in real life. You don’t believe, right? Especially Apricot is a premium player who can purchase in-game items with real world cash! Apricot laments nobody believes the truth so he suggests their first offline meeting.

As Hideki waits, he is nervous when a girl believed to be Ako calls out to him. She is indeed a real girl and a real cutie! Ako immediately hugs his arm once she confirms he is Rusian. They are surprised to see Akane here. You mean she is part of Alley Cats? Which one. The student council president of Maegaaski High School, Kyou Goshouin pops up. She is Apricot. This means Akane is Schwein. In the cafe, they take turn introducing themselves. Kyou is confident as always. When Akane feels a bit shy introducing herself in her online name, Kyou thinks it is because Schwein could mean pig in German. Of course Akane never really knew its meaning and is now more embarrassed than before. Hideki admits he has no special talent and online games are his only interest. The rest finds out Ako is also her real name, Ako Tamaki and she is from the same school as them. They feel bad when she claims she has no friends so they assure they will always be her friends. When Hideki brings up about Schwein getting confessed to in real life, this triggers Ako and Kyou’s crazy mode. Akane explains she turned the guy down simply because she wouldn’t have time to play online games if she went out dating. Ako suggests killing 2 birds with a stone by marrying online. She can play the game and still be with her loved one. Akane passes on that idea.

Episode 2
Kyou explains she is from a rich family. The rest thought she used her parents’ money to buy stuffs. Initially yes but soon she was able to make her own money and even repaid her debts. So this even triggers Ako’s madness? Although he parents are strict, they allowed her to play online games. At the end of the day, Hideki apologizes to all of them as he thought they were all men. He always thought games and reality were separate but enjoys this offline meeting too. Ako almost got the wrong idea that when Hideki thought she was a man and didn’t mind it when he married her online, was he gay? Like Hideki said, it all doesn’t matter online because online and reality are separate. Ako loves him even more. After another online raid, Schwein warns Rusian not to act friendly with each other in school or she’ll kick his ass. But knowing each other already, it becomes harder and awkward even as they interact in class. Ako, who is totally clueless on net etiquette, comes into class and starts calling out to Rusian. Hideki pretends not to know her and it gets even worse when she ambiguously put her words about their romantic meeting, revealing to the class about him being her husband. Akane tries to hint to Ako to go out and talk but she is so dense that she continues calling her by her online name. Outside as they tell her to keep the gaming world and reality, Ako starts to feel sad and think they don’t want to be friends anymore. She is confused after spending hours together and Rusian even confessed he loves her, does that all mean anything? They decide to play along for now. They agree to continue to be friends as long as they call each other by their real names in real life. But with Ako still doing the same thing, they realize the bigger problem that Ako cannot differentiate between game and reality.

They take their problem to Kyou who finds it really interesting. Ako explains she once played with others before but they all left her. Except for Rusian who was always by her side despite her constant failure. That’s why she loves him. This has Akane accusing Hideki to be an online predator. He makes up his mind that he is going to change Ako’s mentality. But how is he going to do that? Don’t worry, Kyou has it all covered. She brings them to the Modern Electronic Communication Club. Basically it is their own net game club where they can play LA for all they want. Akane doesn’t really want to join as she sees online game as just a regular hobby. But Kyou reminds her about her statement of not wanting to date as it would diminish her game play time. She tempts her that she can add 2 extra hours of game play as well as offering high specs PC specifically tailored to play online games. Give it up. Just join the club. Of course Kyou also established this club to help with Ako’s cause as this would be the best circumstances to show her the difference between game and reality though Ako doesn’t think it will change anything. Hideki makes a challenge that he will be shattering her dream-like illusions into pieces so she will also prove her love runs deeper than that. One day when Rusian logs on first and the rest haven’t arrive, he bumps into Nekohime. Long time no see.

Episode 3
They chat for a while but nothing of importance. Ako still treats Hideki like he husband in class. It’s even weirder when his classmates continue to stare at this WTF scene. His homeroom teacher, Yui Saitou talks to Hideki about Ako and wonders if they are dating. She believes this is good for her since Ako often skips school and doesn’t have friends. Now that Alley Cats can play together in a single room, we see some quirks like Ako being ill-equipped for a raid and the rest banning Kyou for using her premium items and got owned instead. Then when Akane takes a toilet break, the rest cheekily modify her avatar into a bear costume but her leek weapon is so damn powerful! Noticing that Ako’s personality has not changed and you might think, well they just started, duh. But Kyou mentions they have a time limit to do that. As they do not have an advisor, their club will be shut down soon. So Rusian goes to talk to Nekohime for advice. She tells him to believe in himself and this makes him feel better. When Hideki gives Ako the talk, she can instantly tell he has talked to someone and that someone is a woman! OMG! A wife’s intuition?! Scary. You can’t lie to her! She knows! Ako is mad but in a cute way. The next time Rusian seeks Nekohime’s advice, shortly after Ako pops up. She has spied on them. Spill the beans! But upon learning about Nekohime, she wants to teach this cat girl avatar a lesson for toying with her husband’s feelings.

Because of that she skips school and plays LA from another PC. She tells her members that she was trying to make arrangements to have an offline meeting with a man she hardly knows. Despite Rusian protests, Ako reminds him reality and games are separate, right? So he lets her do what he wants and believes the club’s goal has been achieved. Kyou and Akane find out about Ako’s meeting time and want Hideki to go stop her. He doesn’t care so Kyou reminds him despite Hideki and Rusian are different, the latter is inside him and so are his affections for Ako are inside there. They know he likes the real Ako. He admits so and it isn’t the game Ako he is worried right now but the real Ako. He makes his way to meet Ako and tells her right up that as her husband he doesn’t approve of her offline meetings with strange men. When Saitou pops up, Ako can tell she is Nekohime. But isn’t Nekohime a guy in real life? It seems Saitou didn’t want such trouble and often pass herself as a cross-player. Rusian falls into shock that he proposed to his teacher. He is confused now. Ako is mad at her for deceiving him and is going to kill her! With a wand?! But Saitou is fast enough and elbows down Ako. You lose. Eventually Saitou becomes their club’s advisor after Kyou pulled some strings. Her only condition is that they must come to school as much as possible. Ako wants Hideki to come visit her parents but he isn’t happy that she still can’t differentiate reality and game.

Episode 4
Rusian tells one of his adventures to Ako during his solo days after Nekohime’s rejection. He ended up in a guild that requires grinding and many of their members quit work and school just to level. Good thing Rusian passed this one up. Don’t want to be a zombie, eh? Ako might be getting worse since she forgot her wallet and thought she could pull out her inventory to sell stuffs. Doesn’t happen in real life! It even gets to Saitou as she speaks in her avatar’s accent. Or has she assimilated well with them? Kyou offers to lend money and try mystery boxes for rare items. Despite the 100 mystery boxes, Ako got not a single rare item. Whether in game or reality, a woman is still a woman and wreaks jealousy if she finds her husband talking to other women. Like in Hideki’s case as he is just casually talking to his classmate and Akane’s friend, Nanako Akiyama. When Ako later drops by the club and looking a little down, she explains her classmates have been picking on her. Actually they were just talking to her and asking if Hideki is her boyfriend since she often goes next door. Akane’s worst fears come true when Nanako enters the club and discovers what she is doing. She notices Akane has been sneaking around entering the club and decided to see for herself what the fuss was about. It doesn’t help with Kyou spilling most of the beans. Akane continues to cover up with the silliest lies and ushers Nanako out.

On a day when Rusian and Ako are just logged in, they feel bored waiting so they have an adventure of their own. It’s like a big date through various places. It just brings back memories of how Ako met Rusian although she exaggerates it with lots of coolness. But it’s not so beautiful a memory for him since after meeting Ako, it felt like she was a stalker popping up from nowhere and staring at him. I don’t think this is what you call love. Inside an inn, they see a couple facing each other on a bed. Ako gets this wildest idea to express their love. Get the hint? Luckily he is too embarrassed to even think about it. While passing the grave, they stumble into Nekohime. Suddenly a group of men defend her. They think Rusian has made her uncomfortable when he clearly did nothing. These guys are from the guild she was once in and now a devoted fan boy club of Elite Guards. Thinking this is some sort of orgy, the pair lets Nekohime be with the guys. Along the way, they see a female player, Sette being attacked by cute slime monsters. After Rusian saves her, he learns that she is a new player. As a fellow player he wants to help her, much to Ako’s dismay. After training and teaching her the basics, it might get sticky from here. Because Sette now takes over Ako’s job as Rusian’s serial arm hugger. No cause for alarm? Should we press the panic button yet?

Episode 5
When Schwein offers to train Sette, she dismisses her, sniggers at her name and prefers the kinder Rusian. For a change in pace, the club plays another game, Ultra Force which is an FPS. Ako is getting really good as a sniper! Next day, Nanako looks for Hideki and wonders why he wasn’t around yesterday. It didn’t take long for them to guess she is Sette. Nanako thought she could tease Ako by flirting with Hideki. However it backfires because Ako became heartbroken and runs away. So the gang discuss about it and thought leaving her alone till she cools down would be better. But she never turned up to school ever since. Hideki decides to go talk to Ako (in the virtual world obviously). It seems she is trying to reincarnate into a new character to restart her life again. She has decided to quit school and reality because LA is her life and reality. Before he could do anything, she disables the chat feature. Everyone knows Ako is just sulking and knows Nanako isn’t serious in snatching him away from her. Hideki has a plan to bring her back but he is going to do it his way. Akane talks to Hideki about Ako who is always a clumsy girl and have a hard time making friends. Akane feels she wants to hang out with them a little longer. And she meant playing the game, nothing else.

Hideki is outside Ako’s home. Her mom greets him and knows him since Ako told her a lot about her virtual husband. Hideki says he has skipped school too and is here to play with her. Ako is shocked to hear Hideki outside her door. Mom has given him the green light and the key to her room. There is a reason why she doesn’t want him to enter now. Because she is in her undies! So he gives her time to prepare and what do you know? She’s totally naked! Didn’t see this coming, did he? After order is restored, Ako thinks he is here to persuade her to go back to school. On the contrary, he is here to play with her and help her level up. By evening, their other friends log in so they virtually meet up to explain. They are worried about Hideki skipping class like that and if the board finds out, they’ll really come down on him. That is when Rusian decides to also quit school and play LA for life. Ako opposes. But then why can she do it and not him? He knows she is having trouble making friends and feeling uncomfortable at school. She doesn’t have fun outside the club and Nanako’s incident made her snap. He knows how she is feeling because he is her husband. Since she had fun today, why not they both drop out and just do this every day? He too thought having this game was enough. But thanks to everyone, they made him realize that reality is also fun. He suggests if she ever gets tired of real life, they can play the game. Play as much as she wants. Have as much fun as she wants. If she thinks she can tough it out some more, come back to school. They can’t play truant together so he will be waiting for her at school. This gives Ako hope that she can do it. She returns to class and her worried friends talk to her. Nanako explains Ako’s cool boyfriend coming to her aid. Her friends are impressed and this makes Ako happy.

Episode 6
Yet another sad story after Rusian got turned down by Nekohime. His friend Yuyun also experienced the same thing. But his case is that he is already married to that character but found out his significant other is also married to another. He dragged Rusian into this ‘pact’ to screw marriage forever. But shortly after, Yuyun divorced his partner and married another character. Ako assures him that she will never divorce him. Sette joins Alley Cats in a mission. At the end of it she becomes a summoner. With the exams around the corner, Kyou declares the club off limits until it is over. You would think everybody would do their part in preparing for the exams. But not Ako. Realizing she has nothing prepared, Hideki gets this idea to tutor her. Not only him but the rest of Alley Cats. It just feels weird Ako is doing real life studying online. It feels like interrogation… Can’t she just log out? After gruelling sessions, Ako thought of winding down via going on a mission but they tell her to rest properly. After everyone else logs out, Rusian needs advice from Kyou and Akane. He wants to confess to Ako in real life during summer break but doesn’t know how. I think they are not responding is because of shock rather than game lag. They think Rusian should just think about this himself as they have no experience and this is his wife after all. Besides, they are very sure Ako won’t reject him. On the last day before the summer break and final club meeting, Kyou puts forth a training camp for the club. This isn’t about playing LA but rather an outdoor camp to train physically. Hideki walks with Ako home. He decides to confess to her at the park. Kyou and Akane gave him notes to help him out on the confession but they sound vague and like fooling around. He sums up all his courage and finally confesses to her to be his girlfriend. She rejects him. Wait. WHAT???!!! Poor guy crying his heart out as Kyou and Akane are trying to figure what went wrong. What better way to find out fast by asking the source directly. Akane calls Ako directly and Hideki has to relive this nightmare and embarrassment. I wonder how many HPs he has lost. Perhaps still counting… Ako’s rejection is because being his girlfriend is like a demotion from her wife status. It would sound like getting divorced. Of course she wouldn’t want that. But still, Hideki is still the biggest loser…

Episode 7
The gang is here for the camp. This means no internet connection for 24 hours. Can Ako deal with it? Of course there is a reason for that. It isn’t about telling her the difference between game and reality. The reason Ako turned to her games was because real life didn’t go her way. If they can show her the right stuffs, she’ll look forward to reality. So they are here at Kyou’s expensive villa. I think the maids got the basics covered. So all that’s left for them is to have fun in the beach. Swimsuit fanservice. Suntan fanservice. On Hideki, that is! After everyone is done swimming in the sea, Saitou notices that none of them played together. They explain it like a game. When a new map pops up, groups will go solo and explore to increase experience. So the beach is pretty much a new ‘map’ for them. Saitou tells them off to no waste their youth and do things together. Beach volleyball, making sand castles and splitting the watermelon. Night time they have BBQ and a well timed firework display. The mood is perfect for Hideki to confess he loves Ako. She also does the same but notes how they are like a real life married couple. But later we see him crying as it didn’t go out as planned (the camp was also a proviso for this). Being married feels like a level too high than being just a dating couple. Is that a bad thing? The gang now moves to a high class hotel. This is where their true training begins because now they will have internet connection! Yahoo! Currently the hotel is holding a collaboration with LA so there are lots of LA promotional stuffs and events going on. Like the room keys have tokens, the menu sounds like in-game items, same for the souvenir shop and the virtual map layout in the game takes after the hotel. They also try logging on but Hideki thought there was a glitch when he entered his username and password the first time. He manages to log in the second time. When they retire to their individual rooms, Ako wants Hideki to come to her room. Virtually. But of course. She has been waiting for this moment a long time for them to be alone and wants to exchange some couple’s chat. But for a split second there, it seemed somebody else hijacks Rusian’s account and is pretending to be him.

Episode 8
When Hideki tries several attempts to log back in and was unsuccessful, he realizes he has been hacked. He runs to Ako’s room and he can clearly see she is in shock. He goes through the chat log to find the perpetrator trying to make out with her. At that point Ako became suspicious because he wasn’t acting like the Rusian she knew. She is sure he is not when he wants her to send a sexy picture of herself and claims all gamer girls are nerdy losers. Although Ako is not at fault, she feels bad for that moment she thought it was him. The others find out and they discuss the PC at the lobby was a fake page used to phish for his account. In the aftermath after Hideki logs back, his Rusian character has been completely erased. Many of his items are also taken. Though it feels vexing to buy it back as much as he can, many items are of personal importance. One of them being the wedding ring with Ako. Everyone helps out as they can to find the culprit. Like Nekohime mobilizes her Elite Guards. Hideki uses a temporary avatar to seek help from an old friend Black Magician. Shockingly, he didn’t count on him to help him out so fast. Because as a gamer community, they help fellow players in trouble. Rusian discovers his items being sold at a market by a dude named Rontan at a high price. Hideki is upset not about his items stolen but rather the culprit acted as him and stole Rusian from him. Kyou points out thanks to their deep relationship, Ako was able to take precautionary measures just after a few lines.

The administrators cannot pursue Rontan further as they discover his IP address is different. Of course the rest believe he might have been using different IP addresses to mask himself. Black Magician arrives with some bad news. He leads them to a site called LON’s Scam Blog whereby the blogger runs several scams in many games. There is proof he joked about hacking Rusian’s account too. When learning he operates for RMT (real money transactions), Hideki has a plan. For 3 straight days the gang has been working on their PC. Hideki is surprised to find Ako at his doorstep. He slams the door on her?! She is here to visit him and give him food. But he reminds her that they are no longer married virtually ever since Rusian was erased. You mean it’s like divorced?! So now they’re friends? Meanwhile the perpetrator stumbles upon another scam blog supposedly claiming to be greater than his. When he finds the RMT rate is not bad, he takes the bait. Rusian meets an avatar by the name of Shouko as they try to conduct RMT online (which is of course against LA’s policies). Rusian manages to hold him long enough for the game administrator, Nyack to arrest them. Shouko realizes he has been set up when Rusian spills everything. Even more shocking that he is the guy he conned a few days ago. Because that fake scam website was what Rusian and the girls try to create using seemingly authentic posts dating many years back just to catch him! Take that for making his wife cry! In the aftermath the culprit is arrested and banned. It is revealed he used different IPs to do anything dodgy. Rusian also has his original character restored. But there is one thing still left to do: Getting married again. Exchanging the ring in their virtual marriage, Rusian says this incident has left him shocked and doesn’t want to go through it again. That’s why he wants to be a little more closer to her in real life. Her answer? No!!! Rejected again?! Well, it’s because she already loves him so much now. Awww…

Episode 9
Kyou invites the girls to her mansion for a study session and pyjamas party. Ah, maids… Glorious maids! Ako is of course in dire straits since Hideki isn’t around. The rest thought Nanako would be enough for Ako to practice talking to other people outside their group but she views her as a final boss and screams for her husband to save her. While studying, Ako excuses herself to the toilet so Kyou has Nanako accompany her to avoid her from escaping. After doing her business, Ako wants to explore the mansion like a quest. The duo stumble upon a secret area with a treasure chest containing what is supposedly Kyou’s photo album. The head maid discovers them and now that they have known the secret, she is going to force them to join the Kyou admiring club! Wait. What? They run and hide from her but get lost. So Ako yells for help from outside the mansion. Kyou and Akane join and resume their study session outside but they realize Ako has not made any progress at all. I’m sure they have the idea of watching her do her homework but it is time to stop and do other things. Like dinner followed by bath. And yes, why must the one with the smallest boobs be jealous of her counterparts who are more blessed? You know who you are. As they talk about Ako’s likes on Rusian, this is when Ako gets an idea to call him and do a live broadcast just to find out his preferences. It turns into a WTF chase trying to steal Ako’s handphone. Nanako ‘betrays’ Ako when the latter throws her handphone to her only to off it. Luckily Hideki wasn’t answering or it could have been the biggest scandalous disaster since last episode. The quartet sleep together. Don’t worry, the bed is more than big enough to fit all of them. When Ako keeps on talking about marriage and hypothetically suggesting the rest to do so, they start realizing she is more than they can handle. It’s like she’s brainwashing them. How the heck does Rusian deal with her? They really need him to save them this time! So everyone logs into LA using Kyou’s account as they plead to Rusian for help. He is confused why all of them are sharing the same avatar. So this is his first appearance for this episode?!

Episode 10
Rusian tells Ako one of his old stories. In his ex-guild, there was a healer named Isana and he knew she herself wasn’t strong enough to heal everyone for this raid they are going. True enough, she couldn’t and the entire party was wiped out. Before they take on another raid, Rusian spoke out to the others to remind everyone to mind themselves and not be a burden as they have only one healer. She personally thanked him later. What Rusian wanted to say was some people have trouble asking for help when they need it. When they feel overburdened, it takes some compassion to realize that and help them out. But all Ako understands is that he was bragging about his ex-girlfriend! Rusian hopes they can act like normal when school resumes but she thinks he is joking. As the cultural festival is around the corner, Saitou is appalled that they aren’t too enthusiastic about it. Kyou suggests showing off their game play results. LA recently released a new content called siege warfare. It is a large scale PvP battle held once per week on Sundays. Winners will become castle lords for the week and she plans to put their school’s emblem on it. So to start PvP training, Ako takes on Rusian but the duo don’t feel like hitting each other. When they end their ‘fight’, they are so lovey-dovey that it pisses off Akane as she jumps in to deal with them but got owned by their awesome combo. The power of love? Kyou then fights Akane. Lost. Then against Rusian. Instant lose. Heck, how the heck can she lose to Ako too? Is she the weakest link?!

So Kyou thinks her character isn’t suited for PvP but they don’t have time to create a new suitable character and there are not many siege battles before their cultural festival. So they just decide to raid a castle first. They thought of watching the invading team doing it but they got wiped out in 10 seconds from all weapons and magic thrown at them! Even worse, Kyou orders her party to charge in and they too meet the same fate. Not even her premium items can work since it is not allowed in siege battles. All that money for nothing, eh? And then Nekohime’s Elite Guards easily raid and bring down the occupiers. But that lasted for a while before another bigger team cleaned them out. Back to the physical preparations for the festival, Ako is in a pinch. Her class was supposed to do food exhibition but it turned into a maid cafe since they want to make money. Worse, they thought Ako knew what it takes to be a maid and made her the head maid. I guess she doesn’t want all that responsibility of scheduling and coming up with serving manuals. For Alley Cats’ next siege battle, they are going to raid a smaller castle that is occupied by a small guild, Emperor Sword who has only 20 players. Even if Kyou has got Nanako and Saitou on their side (teacher wished they’d show as much enthusiasm for the festival as they put in the game), she used her money to hire top class mercenaries, Wallenstein to help them. Let’s hope her money is put into good investment.

Episode 11
Kyou meets with Wallenstein’s leader, Bats as they shake hands to form an alliance. Because of their massive experience and maxed out equipment, it does seem logic for them to be giving orders but don’t they sound like jerks? As the raid begins, Bats sends out non-combative players as decoy to thin out the enemy’s frontlines. It is a tactic Alley Cats doesn’t like but that’s what the boss ordered. When it is time for Wallenstein to move in, they swoop in on the enemy so fast like as though they read through their every movement. It’s like Alley Cats don’t even need to do anything. Before they know it, all enemies are down and the castle is theirs. Alley Cats feel unsatisfied with the victory since it doesn’t feel fun. Just then, Wallenstein dissolves their alliance and kills them off one by one to take over the castle! Kyou wonders why they betrayed them. Because it is more fun to do so here. Surprisingly, Alley Cats didn’t get mad. They’re like cool with it and get going. Of course in reality they didn’t like what happened but that’s the game for you. Later Ako talks to Hideki about her regret for being useless despite it wasn’t her fault. She felt she couldn’t do anything. But Hideki believes she has levelled up because instead of running away, she faced it head on. He hopes they can strive to win next time since next week is their final chance. When Hideki enters the clubroom, he sees the girls dressed in a maid outfit! OH YES!!!!!!!!!! They borrowed it from Kyou’s maids and made a few alterations. However Hideki knows Ako hasn’t prepared anything else and true enough she hasn’t. Panic time? So Hideki has to go with Ako to plead help from her fellow classmates to help out. Instantly they take action for everyone to pitch in whatever they can. This gives him an idea. He seeks an alliance with Elite Guards and they agree to ally with him seeing they humiliate Nekohime and want revenge. Then he goes to request for Black Magician’s alliance too. However he has no men to spare since they have a hard time against another tough guild. But Rusian doesn’t require their presence. Only their guild’s name to act as deterrent from any Tom, Dick and Harry to attack them. Black Magician agrees seeing this would be fun. Kyou has trust issues from the last time but decides to believe in it. Everyone then goes all out in practising.

Episode 12
Alley Cats’ plan is to invade the castle and hold it is long as they can. However Hideki mentions they will have no problem invading it. He went to personally ‘warn’ Bats about it and he assured him they won’t defend it as Wallenstein prefers conquering others who are desperately trying to defend. This means there will be other guilds who will tussle to control the castle. True enough, Emperor Sword beats them to retake the castle first. Alley Cats and Elite Guards charge forth with an all-out attack that includes Nanako summoning and using her giant golem and everyone saying contradicting stuffs about Black Magician’s guild coming to lower Emperor Sword’s defence so that Akane can chop them from behind. Alley Cats take over the castle but the hard part of defending it till the end of the time limit comes. A few minutes later, Emperor Sword returns to try and take the castle back. As everyone tries to push them back, Kyou uses her power enough to rain a meteor to wipe them all out! With 10 minutes remaining, the biggest threat as arrived: Wallenstein. They’re back. In no time they bulldozed past the first line of defence. Akane is in charge of the next line of defence. Everyone in her team is owned and Akane would have too if not for the fact she drank lots and lots of elixir to increase her health. Despite her final efforts, she manages to take out only a member before bowing out. Hey, it’s better than nothing.

Outside the final room, Rusian is the final defence. Nanako casually walks up to them and talk but this surprises them as they use up their special skills on them. As there is a cooling period, that is where the other Elite Guards rush out from their hiding and try to hit them with all they’ve got. A slick sacrifice move from Nanako. Another 2 down. Bats’ comrade keeps Hideki busy as he heads into the final room where Kyou is waiting. As much as Bats is trying to slash her down, Kyou keeps spamming some healing barrier. With time running out, Bats calls his comrade for help. This is when Ako sacrifices herself to take their blow. She is surprised that everyone is pleased with her sacrifice instead of being mad at her stupid decision. The timer reaches zero and thus this castle righteously belongs to Alley Cats. Bats wants to know what Kyou used and she explains some healing elixir bottles she has 500 of them before the fight. She only had a handful during the fight so their victory was a really on thin ice. But how did she come up with money to buy all of them? She sold her useless items and premium items. That sounded like RMT but something about the game policy allows it. Something about she used just one coin. It was the second most beneficial use of money in her life. Bats laughs at her craziness and his guild accepts defeat. So what was the first beneficial use of her money? Spending to get PCs in the clubroom. Alley Cats’ victory is displayed during the festival. Although it didn’t draw a big crowd but at least they achieved something. Ako almost run away from her real life duties but Hideki tells her to do it properly. She then greets him like a wife. Well, she isn’t maid material but his wife after all. At the end of the day, Hideki would love to reward Ako anything she wants. As long as it is from the game. She seems to be ready to kiss him when the rest come in to relay the good news of a new content for LA. Did they interrupt something? Hideki tries to explain himself but Ako doesn’t see the difference. Game and reality are the same, right? Back to square one.

The Couple That Plays Together, Stays Together
Since I am not quite familiar with online RPG, the final episode was a bit confusing to me as I was trying to figure out the tactics and strategy they played. It wasn’t explained very well and in the case if it was, then probably it was my lack of understand of how an RPG game works that hindered my comprehension of the final battle. Because as far as I understand, Kyou and Akane were like ‘cheating’ when they spammed and over-maxed out their health bar or something. Yeah, why didn’t the rest do it? Money. Lots of ‘em. Sure. But shouldn’t Wallenstein be doing it too? Too cocky and confident nobody can best them? Maybe. So with Alley Cats being victorious in the end and getting their due revenge, everything else doesn’t seem to matter of what happens next. The story and the characters, it feels like they are all nearly forgettable by the time the final episode runs its course.

The story feels a bit lost along the way because from the way I see it, they aren’t making any progress in making Ako differentiate from the world of gaming and reality. It feels like it is an excuse for them the hang out together playing LA, grinding and doing quests as a party. Because seriously, the fastest way to make a person who is hooked on online games to realize how dependent she is, is to take away the internet, right? Yeah, the internet. It has become a basic necessity these days surpassing physiological needs of food, air and water. But cutting off the internet these days no matter what the cause is akin to human rights abuse so I am pretty sure Hideki and co wouldn’t want to cause Ako anymore unnecessary trauma. This drastic method may just backfire and she becomes more reliant on online games ever more.

Eventually the entire series is basically about this group of loners and losers of a certain high school whose only connection that is maintaining their friendship is a particular online RPG. When you have small stories like a training camp, the hacking incident, a sleepover and the siege battle, it only further solidifies the fact that it is just a bunch of online game nerds doing things together. And what the heck was the cultural festival for? It just felt like trolling and unnecessary. It could have been done without but it was there just to show us that our LA players have more to life than just logging on and going on quests and a reason why they are participating in the siege battle as the final story arc for the series.

The character development centres mainly around Hideki/Rusian and Ako. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with that but sometimes I feel that it makes the other supporting characters feel a bit redundant. Like as though they don’t get enough screen time to make an impact and become a group of characters that you would want to support and root for. Even worse are minor extra characters who don’t really matter say for example Hideki’s male friends-cum-classmates. It’s like they are just there so that Hideki’s loser otaku status can be enhanced and also at the same time in a way to show that Hideki is more successful than these unimportant people because hey, at least he got a (virtual) wife. What about Ako’s friends-cum-classmates? I don’t know. They’re not that bad but they aren’t memorable too. So what they’re normal friends in real life assuming Ako considers them to be so? It doesn’t mean anything. Too bad this means Kyou’s maids are predominantly wasted seeing from what I heard they aren’t her real maids but paid to put up this gig. What a shame because I would really love to see more of them. As though the maids are just a precursor for Ako and co to borrow their maid outfit for a cultural festival that don’t even matter. And a lousy reason for me not to rate this anime lower as it would have ;p. Because. Maids :-).

That is why I am unsure if there are any harem elements in this romance comedy series. Because I keep wondering if the rest of the other girls really have secret feelings for Hideki. My guts tell me that they should because otherwise why would they stick around so close with him and even still continuing to play online games together despite knowing he has a near yandere-level wife. Okay, maybe Ako is the reason they don’t want to get close because the important thing is to spend time together enjoying the game as a team. So we’ve observe Akane is acting like a tsundere because in reality she acts like she hates his guts but online they’re quite on friendly terms. And then Kyou is like the big sister of the group and there wasn’t any indication that she would have feelings for him until somewhere near the end of the series whereby he called her by her first name only for her to blush like a level we’ve never seen before. So make a good guess what that kind of reaction means. Then there is Saitou as the older woman trope and I’m not sure if Hideki still harbours any hidden/misguided crush on her. Because it was her avatar he fell in love with. But you know, you can’t really tell. Finally Nanako. New girl in (virtual) town? Well, she loves teasing and pretending to flirt with guys until she realizes her prank has gone too far. As long as Ako keeps her guard up 24/7, I’m sure everyone else won’t make any moves. Sure, they’re both married virtually. But don’t you think virtually cheating is also possible?

So back to Hideki and Rusian duo, they aren’t the strangest couple in anime I have ever seen. Well, if you could consider Haruhi x Kyon as strange then Araragi x Senjougahara is certainly at a psychotic level in that sense. Hideki is by no means a knight in shining armour at least in reality and is only one in the eyes of Ako. He is generic, weak but also a nice and kind chap and typically what many main characters in other similar genres are. Just that he has got an online wife. Better than not having a girlfriend, right? So while his goal might be to ‘cure’ Ako from her online reliance, but I feel it is to get her into entering a normal dating relationship with him in reality. Something which is going to be hard to do seeing Ako has placed being his wife a much higher status than being his girlfriend. Nobody wants a downgrade, right? And I suppose they can’t marry yet in real life as they haven’t reached the legal age yet.

I just feel it is a bit strange for clumsy Ako and wonder if she entirely cannot see the difference between game and reality. Or perhaps she might be turning a blind eye, selective thinking and in denial for aspects she doesn’t want to accept. Because if she logs in and out of LA, then in her case wouldn’t it be like playing a game inside a game? At times she does come to school, take exams and ‘interact’ with other of her friends so is this all part of the game to her? Yeah, I can see why it is no fun. The fact that she keeps calling Hideki as Rusian in reality and believes they are really married feels like she cannot let go these habit or else she would lose her identity. Imagine Ako who is completely normal. Not interesting, right? Also the fact that she goes crazy thinking what normal people would do further adds to that. She doesn’t want to be normal (even if it means annoying her jealous heart) because she would lose her identity and the possibility of the perfect image when she first met Rusian. That all has been crystallized into what she has turned out today.

While we have heart-warming romantic moments between Hideki/Rusian and Ako, it isn’t something you would expect of a level from series like Kimi Ni Todoke and Sukitte Ii Na Yo. Okay, so these 2 have nothing to do with cyber romance at all but you get the point. We just hope that their online love and matrimony would continue to stay and grow in the real world as well. Because there is literally no save button and you can’t undo and go back to an earlier save point when something goes horribly wrong on that route.

As for the rest of the other characters, like I’ve said they didn’t get much screen time to make an impact and in a few cases I thought they are a bit forced like how Kyou loses in every PvP practice match with her fellow members. I mean suddenly it feels like she is thrust into the limelight just like that albeit for a short while. Other than that, I can only say that Kyou and Akane are like poles apart. Filthy rich girl with a busty rack and a cool assertive attitude not to mention holding the school’s highest position for a student level compared to a poor girl with a flat chest who is prone to flustering and is just a normal student. Big difference, right?

Saitou just like many other characters in real life and in the anime, they lead a double life. The online portion of who they are very much differs as they act in reality. So who is the real (insert character name here), please stand up? In real life Saitou is a strict but caring teacher but a childish one when she is in her avatar. I wonder how many hours she has logged in to play LA considering she is already reached this legendary idol status among some of the players. Maybe she could just quit her day job and live life as Nekohime online forever. I’m sure there are many fans who would love to give in to her whims and fancies. Although it is not shown if Saitou is logging as much hours as her students, we see she is almost becoming like Ako in the sense she sometimes mixes up her separation game and reality. Sometimes she accidentally speaks in her cat meow and addresses Hideki as Rusian (like the other girls sometimes too). And Nanako. Why do we need her in this anime? Perhaps for extra manpower if Alley Cats ever needed any (why doesn’t she join them anyway?) and somebody to be there to make it look like Akane and Ako aren’t total losers because it isn’t all that bad when you have a friend who doesn’t judge you for being an otaku gamer and doesn’t disclose it to others.

I am not sure why I thought the production studio who made this series was the one who also made Love Live but as I found out they aren’t. Is it because Akane looks like one of the Muse girls in Love Live? Niko, maybe? Come to take a closer look, I guess not. But really, that was what I was thinking for most parts of watching this series. This anime was produced by Project No.9 and is the only one of the two series (the other being Saikin Imouto No Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda Ga) to be produced solely by themselves. They usually paired up with Barnum Studio to make a few other series like Ro-Kyu-Bu, Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu and Zettai Junpaku Mahou Shoujo. Only Momo Kyun Sword is co-animated with Tri-Slash. Say, that is about all they’ve animated so far.

One thing that slightly bugged me throughout the series is the characters’ lips. At first glance they look like normal but upon close up, uhm, how should I put it? It is like they put lip balm to make the lips looking sweet enough and having this impression you want to kiss it. Holy cow! I hope I explained that right. But seriously, those lips look a bit glossy and the kind where anime guys look at them closely and go, “OMG, I never knew this girl was this sweet and those luscious lips are just tantalizing”. Uhm, something like that. And there’s something a bit strange about their eyes too but I just can’t really explain this one well. On a slightly positive note, at least the mid-intermissions are good to look at because they are real snapshots of buildings and sceneries. They might seem ordinary but for an anime with an online game theme, looking at the fantasy world can be tiring from time to time. Sometimes you need to take a break and look outside at the real world.

I don’t know why I keep thinking that Rina Satou was the voice behind Saitou/Nekohime when there were many times I knew it wasn’t her. Maybe at some other times she sounded close but I was still pretty sure it wasn’t her. Instead, she is voiced by Yoshino Nanjou (Eri in Love Live). Koji Yusa as Black Magician and Sho Hayami as Nyack are the only seiyuus I recognized. The rest of the casts include Toshiyuki Tonaga as Hideki/Rusian (Mikado in Durarara series), Rina Hidaka as Ako (Yuniko in Accel World), Inori Minase as Akane (Hestia in Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru No Darou Ka), Mao as Kyou (Claire in Hundred), Hitomi Oowada as Nanako (Midori in Shirobako) and Toshiki Masuda as Bats (Miyamura in Yama0kun And The Seven Witches). The opening theme is 1st Love Storey by Luce Twinkle Wink. It sounds like a generic anime pop sung by idol groups fit for romantic comedy series. Well it does. As for the ending theme, Zero Ichi Kiseki by Yoshino Nanjou feels a bit like anime pop rock but nothing too special.

By now we should all be wary and cautious of the pitfalls of not only online gaming but any sort of online activities and transactions. I’m not saying this anime does a good job in doing some sort of PSA but with the small hacking and phishing incident that they encounter, it serves as a good reminder that the internet isn’t all that good. Yes, it is good for the greater part but it is not perfect and should be exercised with extreme caution. You know what they say about better to be safe than sorry. Even in the gaming community there are good and bad people, the ones who play by the rules and those who cheat outright. Then there are those sneaky ones operating within the grey area and what might seem as unethical and dishonourable, the loophole in the rules allows for it. So it is a good thing that Alley Cats didn’t blow their sh*t out when they got betrayed by Wallenstein. After all, they can only blame themselves for being weak and relying on a much stronger group who is possibly bored with being so strong that they had to resort to betraying others for thrills. And thankfully karma doesn’t discriminate being online or reality.

Thanks to the anonymity of the web, even sometimes people you interact with can turn out to be very different from what you think. There are lots of deception behind a pretty profile picture and cute avatar. All that glitter is not gold. There is more than meets the eye. So while my guts were correct because I predicted Nekohime was after all a female in real life (because seriously how can this kawaii cat girl avatar not be a cutie in real life. At least for anime standards), it goes to show that nothing on the web is certain until you get rock solid proof from reality.

Overall, this isn’t exactly a great love story, isn’t exactly a great romantic comedy, isn’t exactly a great harem (at least it has a decent amount of fanservice like a scene of Ako in her undies, bath time fanservice and Kyou in her Apricot avatar that has a flimsy pair of strings to make it look like suspenders although they barely enough to cover her tits), isn’t exactly thought or emotionally provoking, isn’t exactly the greatest RPG element and isn’t exactly a game changer that would evolve the anime industry to the next level. It would most probably be forgotten by the time the next season arrives and the next romantic comedy or RPG genre would have wiped this series out of your memory. That’s the internet these days. You continue to stay relevant or you’ll be forgotten like the dinosaur age in no time. And that itself is like light years speed on an internet level. But still, averagely decent enough that I wouldn’t call it a disappointment. Because it made me believe in my dream to have a 2D maid waifu one day… Yeah… Let’s just hope Ako doesn’t play and get addicted to Yandere Simulator… I mean, she’s like a natural pro in Ultra Force, right? What happens online, stays online.

Magi: Sinbad No Bouken

December 9, 2016

As expected, one of the favourite characters from Magi got his own spinoff TV series (although an OVA spinoff was released earlier). Magi: Sinbad No Bouken tells the tale of our mighty Sinbad and his journey during his teen years as he gathers his allies to create a country and become the king of the world to achieve ultimate world peace among men and nations. Sounds like a classic fairytale modernized to tell our future kids as bedtime stories. Heck, do we even read to our kids bedtime stories these days?

Episode 1
On a stormy night in the small village of Tison, Ezra gives birth to a healthy baby boy, Sinbad. You know this kid is going to change the world when the world’s great powers sense a change in the air and this miracle. Badr is drinking in a bar when soldiers come in to give his share of the reward of war. But he doesn’t want the bags of coins and gives it to everyone else. Uhm, thanks Badr? As narrated, the kingdom of Partevia recently won a war and increased its influence. Although everyone is happy, Badr is worried about the country’s state. Not that he cares actually since all he cares now is his catch. While fishing with Sinbad, a storm brews. Sinbad correctly points the path to safety and this has Badr telling him that he has the power to choose the right fate. When the world steps into the wrong path, he will be the man to change them all. 2 years later, Badr is being harassed by other townspeople, mocking him an expatriate. They claim he is doing nothing to help with the war. With the Partevian Empire growing and trying to take over Reim, the people have developed a mentality that they must win the war at all costs. Badr did nothing and gets beaten up. This makes Sinbad disappointed as he thinks his dad is uncool. Even Ezra wonders how long their poor life is going to last as their savings are almost dried up. Should have took the reward, huh? One night as Sinbad draws water from the well, he stumbles upon an unconscious foreigner. Waking up in their house the next morning, Darius the travelling merchant is grateful to be saved. Badr’s kind hospitality has him stay as long as he wants. Sinbad gets attached to him as he hears amazing stories of his travels around the world. He’s like his fairytale book?

One day, guards come into the house looking for a spy from Reim. Darius immediately kills them and then takes Sinbad as hostage. He wants food and boat immediately but the villagers don’t want to get involved and thus can only stand around. Badr then goes up to him. In fact he prostrates himself to let his son go and surrender himself. But Darius is willing to die for his country and do what it takes even if it means this underhanded method. That is when Badr swiftly stabs Darius. He can mock him all he wants but when he touches his family, he’s dead. In the aftermath, Badr is accused of sheltering the enemy and is transferred to the army headquarters where he will be forced to fight the war. The villagers curse Badr to leave. Sinbad defends his dad and when they want to beat him up, Badr steps in and warns them not to touch his family. He makes it clear what it means to go to war and takes off his clothes. His body is full of scars and an amputated leg. He has seen many suffering and died in war so are they sure they want to send their families to war? Is war really that great? Badr’s last words for Sinbad are to fight like a man and entrusting mom to him. Sinbad realizes what it meant as a father’s real strength and to protect what is important. A few months later, Badr’s death reaches them. His coffin only had his sword but not his body. 9 years passed…

Episode 2 – 6
These are the same repeat episodes from the OVA. What a waste, right? I’m not sure if they have new scenes since I didn’t watch them again. And I’m not going to just to find out if there are. Not that I can remember anyway. If you want the summary, it’s here:

Episode 7
Hinahoho’s wife, Rurumu is teaching Jafar and Sinbad about manners and other aspects of education. Is this Spartan education? I think the rest are wise to stay out of this. Arriving at the port of Reim, Sinbad and co setup a stall to trade Imuchakk goods. Sinbad is a hit with the ladies but the guards break them up as they have no permit to trade. Shortly, a trader named Harun wants to buy all their goods. He claims it is okay as he is from the merchant association. He hands them a contract. They are happy with their sales but later that night they discover that their goods are being sold in another store at 10 times the price! They realize they have been tricked but they can only blame their own inexperience. This fires up Sinbad to become a trader. Sinbad stays back to do the paper work and register while the rest leave on their ship to get more stock. Sinbad then bumps into Harun and asks him to dinner. Despite Harun pointing out he was duped, Sinbad is okay with it since it was a learning experience. Rurumu’s lessons of trader etiquette pay off with Sinbad maintaining a calm composure and smile. Harun lets him in on a secret why Sinbad lost. This is the first time Imuchakk goods are sold here. Not only he lost a great opportunity timing, he let someone else fix its price. Sinbad then displays a little of his powers and tells his stories of his Dungeon conquering. Asking him what he will do with those powers, Sinbad intends to change the world. As an individual he knows he cannot do it. Therefore he will become king. Harun then tells him to become part of the association, another merchant must recommend and then pay upfront 1000 gold coins as admission fee. He wants Sinbad to show him his resolve in a month’s time that he can earn that much with his own power. Harun leaves but remains sceptical Sinbad can do it and will be crushed then. Sinbad thinks on what he can do to earn but being bodyguards and washing dishes won’t get him anywhere near it. Then he hits an idea. A month later when Harun returns from an overseas trade, he sees lots of people hovering around Sinbad. He is telling great tales of his Dungeon exploits. They love his stories and throw him money. Harun is impressed but Sinbad requests more time to meet his target as he hasn’t reach a thousand gold coins yet. Harun then pays him a bag of gold coins! It is his fee for listening to his story. Grateful and wondering who Harun is, he learns he is actually the king of Balbadd, King Rashid!

Episode 8
Jafar endures more of Rurumu’s education. He relents after she tells him all this is to repay his master who showed him a new path. But now Rurumu goes into labour and teaches Jafar how to be a midwife! Swimming back to Reim seems better… A healthy baby boy is born, Kikiriku. He is heavy and big for a baby but gets attached to Jafar. Sinbad can’t wait to trade but Rashid tells him to do his play. Sinbad thought it was just to get funds for trading but Rashid tells him the other harder aspects of trading like logistics and warehousing. There is also advertising. Right now his only asset is his body and what better way than to put it for play entertainment. Sinbad takes up his advice and for his first performance at the theatre hall, it is full although the people are sceptical if this is a scam. But once he shows his magic, everyone is dazzled in awe. Soon he becomes famous and a hall is not enough to hold his audiences. Now he holds it in the Coliseum! At this point, Hinahoho and co have returned. They are ushered by the guards to the jam packed Coliseum to see Sinbad in action. As they are captivated by the performance, Kikiriku wanders off himself. Jafar realizes too late as he goes look for him only to find him in the clutches of a Coliseum monster underground. Jafar puts down his life to rescue Kikiriku. Because of his determination, he is able to use his Household Vessel and zap the beast. When Jafar opens his eyes, Sinbad is by his side. Kikiriku is safe. Jafar explains lightning coming out from his weapon. Sinbad deduces if he is the first Dungeon conqueror, then Jafar is the first Dungeon warrior. Rurumu gives her personal thanks to Jafar. Everyone is shocked that lots have taken place during their absent. Sinbad has now established a trading house named Sindria Corps. Even more shocking to learn that Rashid is his mentor. Rashid has to return to Balbadd and if Sinbad ever stops by, he can head directly to the palace and talk about trade. Sinbad and co can trade all they want and get enough funds to form a new country. Sinbad also published an autobiography as Rashid suggested. It was supposed to be part of his advertising but everyone take it is a form of story and entertainment. And that is how The Adventures Of Sinbad became a very popular bedtime story. Just kidding. But it’s something along those lines.

Episode 9
Sinbad, Jafar and Hinahoho arrive at the kingdom of Sasan (the rest remained in Reim to man the store). They are here to secure a trading route with them since they have special metals. But Sasan has secluded itself from the world and is not particularly interested in trading with others especially outsiders. Though, Sasan ‘trades’ metals and minerals with Reim as proof of friendship because the latter shows great interest in their beliefs. Anyhow, it is not about making money. As Sinbad would really want to know Sasan’s culture as an individual, it is suggested he visit the Sasan Knights who is headed by its king, Darius Leoxses. If he is acknowledged by Darius, then Sasan will accept him. Of course Sinbad tries to get close to Darius only to be shoved away by guards who view him as suspicious. While discussing at a tavern, Mystras comes up to them and is interested to talk with them. He is the son of Darius and wants to leave this country. Because of his country’s doctrine that makes him unable to leave, he is sick of being confined in this small cage filled with stiff people and wants to explore the world. Mystras respects Sinbad after he tells his Dungeon conquering stories. Of course Darius knows of Mystras’ ambition to leave the country and tells him to forget it and be a good role model to his brother, Spartos. Mystras vehemently protests and all he got was his father’s slap. When Mystras begs to Sinbad to take him away, Spartos tries to convince him to change his mind. However this only strengthens Mystras’ resolve to leave the order officially. Sinbad agrees to take him away but he will not do it secretly and eventually Mystras must settle everything by himself. Meanwhile Sinbad bumps into Yunan who tells him after he conquered the first Dungeon, many Dungeons subsequently popped up. This means there are now many Dungeon conquerors ranging from small nations to big empires and Sinbad will have to deal with them. Darius is one of them. But Sinbad doesn’t think this is necessary because he is here just to trade. Mystras challenges and defeats all the top knights in the order. All that is left is Darius. Mystras is no match for Darius when he uses his Dungeon power. Mystras eventually loses and the penalty is death. That is when Sinbad steps in. Hold your horses. Not so fast in killing your son.

Episode 10
Sinbad demonstrates his power to get his attention and right to fight him. Darius can do anything he wants to him if he loses but if Sinbad wins, he will take Mystras with him and Sasan must sign a trade pact. Mystras tries to dissuade Sinbad from fighting Darius as he explains Darius’ powerful barrier that blocks any attacks and could also return it many times fold. This only makes Sinbad more interested. After a few clashes, Sinbad is going to show his true power. He combines with his djinn to harvest the ultimate power. Sinbad then takes Darius to the remote mountains to talk. Since Darius isn’t totally convinced, Sinbad demonstrates his truly fearsome powers by blasting holes in the mountains! OMFG! He changed the topography of this area! Now you believe? Sinbad explains his intention to start a trade route and form an alliance with Sasan. Had Sinbad’s intention been invasion, Sasan would not have stood a chance from the beginning. Sinbad also tells about the numerous Dungeons and people who have conquered them. This will lead to unbalance in power equilibrium and wars. Sinbad doesn’t want that but a world with peace. To achieve that, he needs Sasan’s power. When they return, before Darius can admit his defeat, Sinbad says they fought to a draw. This leaves others bewildered. As they are cut off from the outside world, they only believe their doctrine that their king can only wield godly powers. Sinbad’s appearance smashes all that as Darius explains about the abnormalities happening around the world and Sinbad is also one of the many chosen ones by God. They believe him because a king’s word is like God’s.

Darius allows Mystras to accompany Sinbad on his journey as a special mission. He admits he might be envious of his son for wanting to venture out into the world because he had that goal too when he was his age. But duty has kept him from doing so. Therefore Mystras should travel the world in his place. After making peace with father, now Mystras properly says goodbye to Spartos. The brothers make a promise to travel the world together when Spartos grows up and becomes a respectable knight. Darius remembers telling Sinbad that he reminded him of their old legend. When the world was corrupted, the people of Sasan came to this land and used the power of the God they brought to clear the impurities. That God became their king and they formed and utopia where all races lived in harmony. What Sinbad is doing now is something similar to that. Mystras for the first time sees the ocean and gets motivated to know more about the world and follow Sinbad to the ends of the earth. However he feels a bit disappointed learning their next destination is a small matriarchal nation ruled by a war maiden. An unexplored region and city in the sky, Artemyra. Mystras might have become a fan boy of Sinbad when he gives the thumbs up. Nose bleed?! Wait, what?!

Episode 11
Arriving at the borders of Artemyra, they see beautiful babes riding big birds. Note, this would sound so wrong if I put it as beautiful babes riding big cocks… Yeah… They try to tease the guys by hinting showing them a good time. But Sinbad’s charm to take on their challenge either swoon or disgust them. As they trek up the deep valley, it is ironic that Sinbad is complaining of being hot and tired! I understand Hinahoho but Sinbad? When he tries to ‘cheat’ by transforming into his djinn and fly, Jafar beats him up and lectures him about doing so and making them look even more suspicious. When they finally reach the city, they realize they stink and cannot see the queen at this state. As there are no inns because this place rarely has visitors, they can only bathe themselves via river or red light district. Hmm… Which do you think Sinbad chose? Okay, we’ll go for the river for the sake of the TV. When they see the queen, Mira Dianus Artemina, she chastises them mainly because they are men. Can’t blame her since men look down on her for being a woman. She dealt with Rurumu all the while and since she is not here, she is not interested in doing business with them. Sinbad thought he could use his charm to persuade her and even touches her! Too bad. It doesn’t work all the time. She has her guards strip and arrest them. Mira and Sinbad’s Metal Vessel resonate. She still detains him for offending her. Sinbad, Jafar and Mystras are thrown off the valley while Hinahoho is left behind because they are interested in his manly physique. No, they’re not going to dissect him. Wink, wink. Oh sh*t! This is worse than death! Of course Sinbad and co survive the fall. They explore their surroundings wearing only a leaf?! Why do I have a feeling their leaf corresponds to how big their manhood is? They have food woes and Mystras’ tiny emergency rations aren’t enough. That night as they sleep, they realize there are snakes all over! Despite being a kid, Jafar shows he is the manliest by killing the snakes for food. Those assassin days came in handy. And then this WTF scene because the trio make their own mini residence down in the valley. A little hut, a snake feast and having fun in a leaf. WTF?!

Episode 12
I’m sure Mystras hates to break it to them. But they’ve got an even more important mission to clear. Like, establish diplomacy with Artemyra? Unfortunately Sinbad is so comfortable with life down here and so enlightened, they might be trapped here forever! Mystras tries to explore a way out but finds a slab of meat. It is also processed. But all Sinbad and Jafar are concerned is that they have food! They don’t even care about the gemstones embedded in it! When they return to explore the area, there is more meat now! Collect them all! But giant birds soon swoop down and pick them all up. This gives Sinbad an idea. It seems those meat and gems are partly the work of girly men mining them under the watchful eye of the dominant women. With the roles reversal, I wonder what feminists would say about this. Mystras is further losing faith in Sinbad because he continues to collect meat. Then giant slabs of meat fall down and this is the chance Sinbad has been waiting for. Everyone is shock that the trio pop out from the giant slabs! As explained, these men drop meat into the valley so the birds would pick them up along with the gems. Because they have been eating the meat, the gems are not coming back so they thought some predators are eating the meat. Thus they make bigger ones so that it cannot be devoured quickly by the time the birds come to collect. They thought the men here are oppressed by women but it seems they are having fun and taking up household roles that are traditional held by women elsewhere. Mira is shocked that Sinbad sneaks into her room. It is to retrieve his Metal Vessels. She isn’t going to let him go over this insult. Both transform into their djinn form and fight. At first it might seem Sinbad is using different djinn forms to counter Mira’s and even so he is having a hard time. Her djinn possesses 3 different elements (ice, lightning and fire) and believes she dominates this battle thus eliminating the need to transform to another form. She then realizes Sinbad has been easily evading her attacks and popping up wherever he wants. As clarified, Sinbad is using Valefor’s true power of stagnation. He is stagnating Mira’s abilities and she hasn’t realized this yet. She thinks she is fighting someone from a different dimension and laments her first loss to a man as she gets frozen in ice.

Episode 13
The next day, the guys see Mira in her throne. She is alright but a bit disappointed about her loss. Though, she notes she has never felt such excitement in a long time and Sinbad is the first man to do so. She agrees to become his trading partner and feels it is beneficial to her country and people. But personally, her other reason is that she doesn’t want to become his enemy. After learning his goal to stop wars and gathering powerful countries to help achieve it, she can tell he subdued Sasan the same way because she knows that kingdom doesn’t allow foreigners. That was the only way he could have made allies with that country and could have easily destroyed Artemyra the same way too. Mira then explains about the mysterious Magi. This makes Sinbad wonder if Yunan is one. Since they depart tomorrow, Mystras is seemingly happy of the free time. Yeah, he really wants to go to the red light district! Sinbad realizes this is why he wanted to get out of the valley so bad. You jealous, Sinbad boy? If you have forgotten about Hinahoho, we’ll, they’ve released him back to his comrades saying they felt good. Oops, they mean he was of good help. Hinahoho’s face looks guilt ridden. He keeps asserting he didn’t do anything wrong! We believe you, pal. Sinbad and Mystras then happily head down to the red light district. Oh yeah. Fun time starts now. Guess what? The ones who serve them are giant ugly burly men! OMFG!!! OH SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess they really learnt a real lesson here. Next time let your real head do the thinking. Mira sees them off. She sends Parsine Pratemia as Artemyra’s diplomat with them. She also introduces all her daughters. The youngest one, Pisti gives Sinbad a feather which symbolizes luck in their country. Sinbad and co return to their company. Everyone is glad to see them. But since Rurumu is on maternity leave and back home, Vittel has been managing the place well in her stead. He is glad to see Sinbad but the latter dumps travel expenses to him. Keep up the good work. Then everyone celebrates. Sinbad introduces the new members and they drink a toast to their ideal future.

Trading Up For World Peace
So far Sinbad’s adventures have not been disappointing although the only disappointing aspect is that there are not enough episodes! Uh huh. It seems the TV series is only focusing on one very small time period in Sinbad’s life. But then again, even in the main Magi series he is still relatively young. Therefore this Magi spinoff season can be summarised as to be about Sinbad recruiting allies and members from various different nations for his own eventual kingdom and own personal team of Eight Generals. I’m sure if there is another season, they’ll continue this recruiting spree till the early formation days of Sindria.

Making the series interesting and lovable are the characters themselves. Especially the titular Sinbad who can be cool and charming but yet at times can be so idiotic and carefree. And he can easily switch from one to another in a split second seamlessly. He is like Magi’s version of One Piece’s Luffy but more handsome and with more diplomacy charm. I guess strict and stern leaders aren’t really popular with their underlings and viewers as this kind of stereotype is usually reserved for villains. That is why it sometimes feels like as though great leaders need to be sporting, laughing and accepting so as to make us all admire and love the great leader he is. Or maybe it is just Sinbad’s natural charm that we are all in awe with. The kind of charm that makes ladies want to bang him every night. No, seriously.

The other characters are also developing nicely under Sinbad’s guidance, each with their own quirks and personalities. I’ve got a feeling that Jafar might be developing some sort of phobia for women thanks to Rurumu’s Spartan education. I guess that is what you call tough love. Hinahoho feels more like a family man ever since his arc is completed and having his first child while Mystras is turning out to be an eager beaver adventurer wanting to see the world. (Sadly as I discovered he died somewhere along the way and was subsequently replaced by Spartos as one of Sinbad’s Eight General whom I identified as Sasan in my blogs). If these characters seem comical most of the times it is because I can theorize that they are all still inexperience in trading and life. The world is such a big place and there are still lots to learn out there. There will be many good and bad people they will face during these years and all can be used as learning experience. It is good that Sinbad has met with some good teachers like Rashid as this greatly helps him get closer to his ultimate goal.

I am unsure as to call the TV series as short changing viewers who have watched the 5 episode OVAs. Because at first glance it might look unfair for those who have bought the DVDs earlier (bundled together with the release of the manga) only to realize later that it will be released on TV. Also, with repeated episodes, the producers don’t really have to strain and rush themselves for timely weekly releases. However if you love the series, you would still buy the DVDs anyway whether it comes before or after the TV release. I’m just wondering if they are going to re-release those same episodes again as there are no new scenes (not to my knowledge) and they only changed the episode titles. If so, this means you would have to buy them again to complete your collection (because you don’t want to confuse yourself having ‘different’ series being placed in the middle of your collection).

Overall, this series has the potential to outshine its original Arabian counterpart thanks to the excellent storytelling and execution. Well, at least in the anime industry. Good enough that in the future people might be confused which Sinbad is which. Yeah, we don’t do our own little research these days to ascertain truths and validity. It is sad that this spinoff series being a prequel will eventually ‘end’ as it will join up with the main Magi series. That series itself is interesting in its own way. But as of now, still no word of another season :’(. Why do we have to wait so long to see change and have world peace?

Koutetsujou No Kabaneri

December 4, 2016

It was perhaps a sad thing when the epic sequel to Shingeki No Kyojin got delayed for another year. So I thought Koutetsujou No Kabaneri would be the consolation and extra appetizer for us fans waiting. Because all you need to do is replace Titans with zombie corpses and those giant walls with steel trains. Voila! You get this anime! People are living behind walled villages and travel around the country ravaged by such zombies via those trains. Sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? So I hope that it won’t be just a blatant rip-off by just changing some of the stuffs and calling it a new anime. Perhaps an anime that could stand side by side with Shingeki No Kyojin or surpass it? Who knows? It might work. Just as zombie corpses and steel trains sound silly, so are giant walls and Titans. Either way, humanity is always doomed. Ah, such tough times to live as humans.

Episode 1
As narrated, 20 years ago people sought refuge from zombies known as Corpses behind station walls. An Iron Fortress (train) is being attacked by Corpses. The people are trying to defend it when one of them gets beaten. To die with honour, he is forced to commit suicide before her turns into a Corpse. Ikoma is frustrated he yet again fails to created a weapon that will pierce through the Corpses’ heart. He along with his friend, Takumi is also part of a team of engineers who maintain Iron Fortresses that dock in the station. Lady Ayame of the Yomogawa family is here to see Ikoma since she knows his expertise in steam gun. But an Iron Fortress arrives earlier instead of tomorrow. As reported, a station fell so it is natural it has one less stop to make. The occupants go through thorough body inspection to see if they are not infected by Corpses. However a priest, Shimon and his petite girl companion, Mumei (literally means no name) skipped the inspection and instead are directed by Kenshou, Yomogawa’s head directly to his quarters. When an occupant is accused for being a Corpse and fears being persecuted, the guards begin aiming their rifles. Ikoma objects hard to make them stop but was beaten up instead. Everyone is shocked when hearts of Corpses fall out from his bag. Unfortunately the occupant is shot when he tries to run away. His death proves he wasn’t a Corpse. Ikoma chides everyone for being cowards. He claims he has been fighting as hard as them against Corpses but Kenshou has Kurusu knock him out and thrown into prison. Ayame is confused when Kenshou tells her about maintaining order as a knight’s duty.

Shimon talks to Kenshou that the duo are heading to Kongoukaku and need to get there on the next Iron Fortress. Mumei sneaks out to visit Ikoma to talk about his earlier actions. When a scheduled Iron Fortress is about to dock in the station, it is not slowing down. Obviously Corpses have taken over it. Too late, it smashes through the sentry. Corpses everywhere. Panic everywhere. Let the feasting begin! Ikoma knows Corpses are attracted to blood so he slices his hand as bait to lead them back to his home so he could test his weapon. But it attacks from the roof! Luckily he shoots in time and it pierces through its heart. Ikoma is ecstatic that his Piercing Cannon finally works. Then the bad news… He notices his arm bitten. Knowing he needs to make sure the virus doesn’t reach his brain, he starts wrapping iron belts around his body before finally, uhm, strangling himself?! With his steely determination he wasn’t the same person back then, the virus quickly dies down and his body returns to normal. Shimon and Mumei are on their way to the Iron Fortress. Shimon realizes he has been bitten. So before committing suicide, he tells her to continue the journey alone and await young master’s orders when she reaches Kongoukaku. A Corpse stands before Mumei. Is she going to fight bare handed? A roundhouse kick cuts off its head! But her bladed sandal is now stuck in the pillar…

Episode 2
When Takumi comes to get Ikoma, the friends are happy that the Piercing Cannon worked. But Takumi isn’t so happy to learn he was bitten… The people are getting restless about reaching the station. Ayame tells them to wait for her father’s signal but can they since Corpses are breathing down their neck? Mumei beats an impatient guy up when he tries to touch her. She wants to know who can pilot an Iron Fortress. Yukina can, although she is just an apprentice. Mumei will carve a way for the people to get there. Everyone watches in awe as Mumei slices and blasts the Corpses with her acrobatic parkour moves! Ikoma and Takumi are at the station and need to prove they are not Corpses to board. Ikoma is going to use his weapon on the incoming Corpses but Mumei took them out. Like child’s play, huh? She’s yawning! She smells Ikoma and notices he is different. Kurusu is suspicious Ikoma is a Corpse because that is the only way he would get out of prison. Mumei vouches he is not. Once everyone is onboard, Ayame gives the signal for the train to leave. Kurusu wants Mumei to help out with the manpower but it seems she has gone to sleep to recuperate. Better hurry because hordes of Corpses are now rushing over like as though it is Black Friday! When a Corpse is trying to break through, Ikoma uses this chance to show off his Piercing Cannon. He sure showed that zombie. But as he gloats, nobody is impressed. Oh look, he has a Corpse’s heart now. Even Takumi is afraid of him. With nobody believing him he is not a Corpse, Kurusu won’t take his chances anymore and shoots him out of the Iron Fortress.

A small Corpse horde is in the path of the Iron Fortress. Ayame is distraught that one of them is her father. Kurusu ‘brainwashes’ her he is not her father. Just a Corpse. The Iron Fortress rams through the horde. Squishy zombie meat? As the Iron Fortress reaches the drawbridge, it won’t lower since a severed Corpse’s hand is blocking the mechanism. What now? To everyone’s surprise, they see Ikoma fighting off the Corpses. Is it the case of Corpses fighting among each other? Ikoma lowers the drawbridge manually and hopes they all live. This is because he is going to have the last laugh in the afterlife as they will live the rest of their life with regret abandoning the man who saved them. Iron Fortress begins is acceleration. Takumi throws a rope for Ikoma to grab but he is not taking it. So he really wants to die and laugh at them? That is when Mumei jumps down to grab him back on board. So Takumi is not grateful he is saved? He is a Corpse now and supposed to die? Well, Kurusu is going to give him a chance to commit suicide. Man, is this what you want? But Mumei stops him and reveals Ikoma is not a Corpse. But he is not human either. She reveals her back as she has symptoms of a Corpse’s heart too. He is like her. They are Demi-corpse AKA Kabaneri.

Episode 3
Many would want to kill Mumei and Ikoma but Ayame doesn’t want to be hasty as they saved their lives. Mumei makes a deal with them that she will promise to stay in this rear coach if they take her to Kongoukaku, the shogun’s strongest station stronghold. Apparently Ikoma is still reeling he is a Corpse and wants to get off the train but Mumei beats the hell out of him. Later she makes a deal with Ikoma to become her shield. As she fights Corpses, she uses an immense amount of strength. She will soon grow tired and rest. That is when she is vulnerable and she wants him to guard her. So to start training him as her shield, she starts beating him up? Well, looks like Ikoma gets a beat down. Pathetic. Mumei rushes out to the next coach when she thinks she smells a Corpse. Kurusu thinks she wants to kill and will kill her fist. Mumei dares him. Sorry to break your standoff but a report comes in that the water tank is busted and they have to stop to make repairs. While it is being done, others prepare food as well as offer prayers to the departed. Mumei and Ikoma learn they are similar in the sense that their family was killed by Corpses years ago. Ikoma has a beautiful stone he found by the river and his sister had a matching one too. They kept it as charm. Five years ago, their station was attacked by Corpses. His sister was bitten. Ikoma naturally ran away even though he wanted so much to save her even if it means dying with her. When he returns, he was filled with regret but knew it was too late. His sister was gone. He destroys her body before she turns into a Corpse.

A few men are still wary of the Kabaneri duo. They want to take action to kill them now although Ayame stops them. Mumei dares them but soon pays no heed and walks off into the main crowd. Meanwhile the men are shocked that Ayame is dares to gamble with her life as she stands close to Ikoma. She then tests him by stabbing him and asks his resolve and to determine if they are their allies or foes. Shockingly or not, Ikoma does not bite her. Because he made a vow he will never run away just to save his own skin. Corpses are the enemy and he vows to kill every single one of them! Doesn’t this sound like Eren’s vow too? The men back down after Ayame dares them to check Ikoma themselves. Later she apologizes to him for the test but wonders why he took the stab directly. He just turned into this form and is worried he cannot control his strength. But all that bleeding must have weakened him as he passes out. Meanwhile Mumei plays with the kids and makes them laugh, putting everyone else at ease that she isn’t some hungry Corpse. But all that playing has made her hungry and she now needs to eat. Blood. Are you f*cking kidding me???!!! It is no surprised that everyone is just as startled. A pregnant woman has turned into a Corpse so I guess this is Mumei’s excuse to swiftly go kill her. As Ayame prepares the treatment, Ikoma gets up and feels the urge to bite her! Has he really turned into a zombie?

Episode 4
Just great. Corpses are sighted in the distance! Back onto the train! Kurusu hits Ikoma away. Although he regains his sanity, Kurusu thinks he is putting up an act. Iron Fortress manages to carry on its journey before the Corpses reach. With rumours spreading that the Kabaneri duo were the ones luring the Corpses, some of the men blame Ayame. She admits she is unfit to lead and gives away the master key, a sign of authority to one of them. They decide to switch the route to the mountains. Despite they will be prone to Corpse attack, it is the faster way to Kongoukaku. Some then throw Takumi, Sukari and Kajika back with the Kabaneri duo believing they are their supporters. With Mumei hinting she is hungry for blood, they soon realize those men are trying to disconnect their coach. The sooner the Iron Fortress enters the tunnel, a horde of Corpses jump in. Needless to say, a bloodbath is eminent. With innocent lives slaughtered and the remaining ones flee to the front. Among the Corpses is a Learner. This Corpse is dangerous as it has previous fighting skills which make it formidable in combat. This means this Learner can do samurai swordplay and avoid most attacks you throw at him. This massacre scene gives Ikoma the chills as it reminds him of his sister being killed.

Mumei and Ikoma plan to follow and take out the Learner as it is moving towards the front coach travelling via the roof. However there are many tunnels ahead and they must time their movements as well as take out other Corpses (cue for cool action sequences). However Mumei is getting tired sooner than expected so she warns Ikoma that he will have to fend himself for the time she is resting. As the Corpses attack the front coach where a bastion has been created, Kibito notices melee combat is noticeable. Remembering how the Kabaneri duo fought, he tells Kurusu to use his samurai sword to fight. It works like a charm till he faces off with the Learner in which he got stabbed. While he is being treated, Ikoma just arrived and screams he needs blood. He doesn’t care whose but will promise he will defeat this Learner. Instantly Ayame offers hers. She slits her hand for him to drink. That little drop is enough to power him up as he uses his Piercing Cannon to shoot through the Learner’s heart. Victory is theirs. As everyone cleans up the walls and floors of Iron Fortress, Ayame wrests back her authority and control. She decides to let the Kabaneri duo ride with them to Kongoukaku. If they need blood, she will offer hers. Kurusu is against it seeing her blood won’t be enough to satiate them. That is when some of them like Takumi, Sukari, Kibito and Yukina volunteer to give theirs if they are ever needed.

Episode 5
With Ikoma’s new innovation and a few adjustments, others can fight with the same mechanism that Pierce Cannon is using. As they stop at the next station, there is no reply and they believe Corpses must have overrun it. However they spot a few survivors and rescue them. One of the survivors, Enoku knows Mumei. He talks to her privately. Something about the shogunate creating weapons not to kill Corpses but humans. He wants Mumei to relay this to the young master but seeing that Enoku had some sort of fall out with her brother, she isn’t going to take him seriously. It sends shivers down her spine when he reminds her that her worth is only killing Corpses. Lose that and she will be tossed aside too. Because of that, Mumei starts acting strange. During Ikoma’s briefing to remove a tower wreckage blocking the Iron Fortress’ path, she calls them cowards for wanting to go around the boiler where it is the nest for Corpses instead of taking them on directly. Then her insensitive (but truthful) comment about a boy’s dead pet dog has everyone hurl insults against he. Alone again. The operation to remove the crane goes on smoothly till Ikoma spots Mumei trying to head to the boiler all by herself. Looks like the plan will be slightly delayed. Inside the boiler, Mumei fights the hordes of Corpses. She manages to finish them all in record time. But then more appear. Wait a minute. You mean she didn’t expect more?! Sh*t just hit the fan when they realize the dark shadows at the bottom of the tower are actually Corpses trying to climb their way up! So apparently Mumei’s attack was futile as it only provoked this. Thanks so much for the attention, Mumei. She thinks she can still handle this but for once Ikoma tells her to shut up as he hastens the plan. Everything is going on as planned and they are at the final stretch when Ikoma sees Mumei already tired fighting the Corpses. She takes a beating from one and is thrown down. This means Ikoma has to go save her but at the expense that the wreckage is still blocking the Iron Fortress! Yukina had to step on the brakes so as not to crash into it. Bad Mumei! When the entire tower collapses, Ikoma takes Mumei to hide in the mines. Then appears a giant Corpse from the ruins called Smog. Titan-level Corpse?

Episode 6
Smog is made out of many Corpses acting as a giant organism. Think of it as Transformers but Corpse level. Iron Fortress finds shelter inside the station and closes the iron gates before Smog could catch it. Ikoma is trying to dig Mumei out. Talking about guilt, blame and weakness… All that don’t really matter right now, right? Mumei panics when she thinks she is going to turn into a Corpse so Ikoma lets her drink some of the blood reserves he has. After calming down, he puts her rescue on hold since a horde of Corpses is in sight. Time to show his worth as a main character and kick ass. This brings back traumatic memories of her station overrun by Corpses. Everyone got so crazy that they even started suspecting humans and killing them. One of those unfortunate was Mumei’s mom. She was about to meet her same fate but somebody saved her in time. By the time she wakes up, Kibito and his team have come to rescue her. She is worried about Ikoma but apparently he is alive despite taking in all those bites. I guess it is one of those good things of being a Kabaneri. Getting back into Iron Fortress (which is now fitted with a super Type-48 Cannon after the engineers fused it with the boiler), they see Smog trying to become stronger by assimilating other Corpses into it. As explained by Mumei, the only way to defeat Smog is to destroy the single Corpse acting as its heart. Type-48 Cannon will not be enough to finish it off as there will be many Corpses protecting it. Instead, after blasting open the heart, Mumei will finish it with a point blank shot. Smog picks up speed but not the Iron Fortress. Yup, some damn Corpse part is stuck between the mechanism again. Sukari risks his life to take it out. One wrong move and he would be dead meat. Smog leaps onto Iron Fortress and causes havoc. After Sukari pulls it out, Iron Fortress speeds up. Takumi fires Type-48 Cannon before Mumei redeems herself and destroys the core. Iron Fortress runs full steam ahead out of the station.

Episode 7
They finally reach a station that is not overrun by Corpses! After docking, the engineers need to get more daita iron, source for the Pierce Cannon’s jet bullets. Might as well take this time to stock up on food and clothes too (Kajika the queen of haggling). Seeing that today is also Tanabata, I guess it is no harm in letting some steam off. A boy talks to Yukina and is waiting for his father to return from an Iron Fortress. She remembers that train smashed into the station and everyone onboard was Corpses. She didn’t want to tell him but Sukari tells the truth right in his face seeing it will be crueller to let him hope for a father who will never return. Although the boy doesn’t want to believe, Sukari gives him the will to fight on. Ayame sees some local ministers to get necessities in exchange for blueprints to Piercing Cannon. They are awed in Kurusu’s demonstration and agree. Meanwhile Enoku sees Kogenta who is representing the shogunate for this station. It seems there is some sort of power struggle and while some are not happy and want to be left out, I figure that isn’t going to happen. Ikoma talks to Mumei. She tells him she celebrated Tanabata with her mom before but forgot about it. She was called Hozumi before her ‘brother’ took her in. Because she always keep wondering every morning if she would still be her sane self or turn into a Corpse, Ikoma tells her not to fight Corpses again. He vows to find a way to change her back into a human. I don’t know if that is possible. So he is now like her mother, putting his foot down not wanting her to fight and just fill her stomach with rice like her mom always wanted? That night, everyone celebrates Tanabata with fireworks and putting up their wishes. Ikoma gives everyone great hope when he hopes to eradicate Corpses and take back their land. Next morning, everyone happily greets another incoming Iron Fortress. This one contains Hunters, an independent force under the shogunate created to specifically destroy Corpses. Leading them is Lord Biba Amatori, the shogun’s son and Mumei’s supposed brother. She is glad to see him. But not so for Ikoma… He has his suspicions and need to find out if he is a true hero or not. I hope he doesn’t rub it the wrong way like as though he is a jealous guy who will not have any other men in Mumei’s life.

Episode 8
Mumei introduces Biba to Ayame. She thought they were siblings but apparently not. Mumei just decided to call him her big brother. Then here comes Ikoma. He asks straight in his face if he was the one who taught Mumei about the weak must die and the strong lives. He puts it in a way that what he meant was he wants to save them. Because survival isn’t just merely about staying hidden but to stand up and fight against Corpses. Hordes of Corpses are coming. Seems this is all part of Kogenta’s plan to lure them as bait so the Hunters will go in action. And indeed we get to see them take down the Corpses with their sophisticated weapons and vehicles all from close range. Mumei wants to fight a mini hybrid so Biba allows her but has his subordinate, Horobi to assist. She too is a Kabaneri. At the end of the battle, Enoku confronts Biba. I believe he wants to get back under serving him but Biba tells him off he has no need of him. Enoku attacks but is no match for him. Biba considers him as a traitor and has lied to him. Without mercy, he stabs him. Ikoma is distraught he killed a man seeking help. Biba is puzzled he cared for a man he has no relation to. Takumi and Ayame had to restrain Ikoma and apologize on his behalf for his rudeness. Biba will have Ayame and co accompany his side to Kongoukaku. Later, Takumi talks to Ikoma about his outburst. It seems he is bothered that Mumei is a Kabaneri having never been bitten by a Corpse. This means she was turned into one. Shortly Kogenta and his men are all assassinated by the Hunters and only Hirotsuka is taken in.

Flashback shows Biba didn’t exactly help Mumei. He tossed her a sword and told her to be strong for her survival. She picked it up and killed her attacker. It was then he took her in and told her to cast away the name weak people usually called her because she doesn’t need it. Be strong move, move forward. And you know how such effect can brainwash a kid. Biba then orders Mumei to take the master key from Ayame. In the front compartment of the train, Biba is keeping a cage filled with Corpses. He interrogates Hirotsuka on whose orders his team was left for dead in the battlefield since his side was in charge of the supplies. Fearing for his life, Hirotsuka reveals it was the shogun. Ayame is surprised that Mumei is being pushy for her key. Yukina hears this and gives her a key to the boiler room. Mumei is surprised Biba tells her it is not. This shows they are not yet willing to trust them yet. With Ikoma sensing Corpses in the front, Biba tells Mumei to kill him if he enters. She tries to persuade him to go away. In the process, also revealing about the Corpses that Biba is keeping as for research. How else would you know the enemy? It is that same technology they turned her into a Kabaneri although she was the one who requested for it. Why? To be strong, silly! She still believes in Biba (that weak-strong thingy again) and will not rely on Ikoma. End of conversation. This convinces Ikoma that Biba is no hero. Because he saw him smiling when he killed Enoku. Well, he can add Hirotsuka to that list.

Episode 9
They are at the last station before Kongoukaku. But the guards only let everyone else except the Hunters in. Their Iron Fortress is parked outside the station. Ayame and co thought it is a good thing to separate everyone from those dangerous men. But she wished Mumei was with them. Ayame and Yukina go to see the lord of this station, Maeda. His subject warns him of Biba’s feud with the shogun but Maeda is optimistic that if it was true, Biba wouldn’t have fought Corpses for the shogun for over 10 years. Shortly, Biba, Horobi and Mumei also enter to see Maeda. Under pretence to go to toilet, Mumei knocks out the guards on her way to open the gate so the Iron Fortress could enter. But this is when she opened Pandora’s Box and did not expect to see what is coming. The Hunters are leading hordes of Corpses into the station! Panic and chaos ensue. With this signal, Biba kills Maeda and his men instantly. He then forces Ayame and Yukina back to his Iron Fortress to witness the experiment. Mumei is left feeling guilty the wake of destruction she has indirectly caused. The heartbreak of seeing a child being bitten and her mother painfully commits double suicide. The local guards think the Iron Fortress is here to save them but instead the Hunters shoot them all dead. This is retribution for 10 years of cowardice. Biba and Horobi have their last moment together before he injects a serum into her. Horobi turns into the core of Smog as she assimilates other Corpses to go on a gigantic rampage.

When Mumei confronts Biba about everything, he has her look at the carnage of dead people and Corpses preying on humans. This is the world of fairness and equality they’ve been striving for. Well, it looked like world destruction if you asked me. Horobi soon berserks out of control and becomes a real Corpse. There is supposed to be a cure but Souei the mad scientist deemed she is beyond saving. Kurusu barges in to save Ayame. In the confusion, she manages to get hold of the cure and threatens to toss it away. Souei pleads her not to do something dumb as it is very precious. As he tussles with Kurusu, they fall off the train. Horobi now attacks everyone indiscriminately, killing even her own allies. When she is moments away from killing Biba, the last ounce of her humanity has her stop right before his eyes. Then Biba just stabs through her heart like as though she is a worthless piece of sh*t. Sad. In the aftermath, everyone non-Hunters are rounded up. Those who are bitten are immediately exterminated. Biba then announces this is their freedom, their liberation from these cages. He asks everyone to join in his fight to destroy the walls they have built, the symbol of cowardice. This is where the strong lives and the weak dies. I’m sure Ikoma is brimming with anger but what can he do? He is beaten up and told to shut up because they are interested in his blood. Well Mumei, it is too late to think your brother has lied to you this entire time, eh?

Episode 10
On the way to Kongoukaku, Sukari has joined the Hunters and everyone doesn’t take too likely his betrayal. Ikoma is kept in a cage at the back. The other passengers are ordered to donate their blood when the time calls for it. Ayame talks to Biba about his great feat as a commander 10 years ago despite he was just 12 years old then. They set out to build stations and cleared the land of Corpses. One day supplies for them stopped and were obliterated when Corpses surrounded them. That is why he must deliver this punishment to his father with his own hands. Ikoma and the others plan their own liberation plan to take control of the engine room which is at the very front. Ikoma believes if they can seize it, Biba can’t do anything and will be forced to release Ayame and Mumei. You think so? He knows one of them have the keys to that room and their plan will begin during the next blood intake is held. He believes the blood is delivered to the Corpses and Biba plans to destroy Kongoukaku. Confused Mumei sees Biba. She doesn’t understand what is happening. Just a vague answer that he will assure the passengers’ safety if they behave is enough to make her happy and put her trust in him again. The uprising begins and goes on as planned. Takumi wants to beat up Sukari but Ikoma stops him. It seems Sukari is purposely playing the traitor. That is how he could relay information to Ikoma about the train layout and such. With word of the rebellion reaching Biba, he wants Mumei to take the serum. She is scared and unwilling so he threatens her that he will stop giving the cure. For once Mumei stands up for herself. She will not take it and wants to be with the passengers and eat rice with them every day. If that is her answer, Biba’s men restrain and tranquilize her. Ikoma and Takumi are just a carriage away from the engine room but the key doesn’t fit. Biba and his men pop up. He knew Ikoma was planning this and switched the key. Biba fires at him but Takumi uses his body to protect. Does Ikoma have time to cry his heart out? Well, if Biba is asking how he is feeling and depending on his answer he might let him join his army. You know his answer, right? But his anger doesn’t translate much as he gets beaten up and even loses his right arm. Then Biba orders Mumei (clearly hypnotized) to kill him. Without hesitation she stabs him. Capping off a bad day, he falls out of the carriage, down the cliff and into the river.

Episode 11
With Takumi dead, Kajika even dares the Hunters to just kill them all. I guess we have enough blood for today. Flashback shows the shogun slashed Biba but he didn’t blame himself. It was fear! Biba injects the serum into Mumei. The shogun addresses his subjects about Biba’s rebellion. When a subordinate mentions if he should tell everyone about Smog, upon knowing he is the only one who knows about this, the shogun kills him in front of everyone! Information to create needless fear is not needed! As expected, Ikoma is still alive but he is wallowing in regret and despair. He thought a Corpse is nearby but it is Kurusu and Souei (as his prisoner). Kurusu is mad after hearing all that has happened. It doesn’t get any better as Ikoma is still guilt ridden and can’t go on. Yeah, just stay here and die. The Iron Fortress is outside Kongoukaku. They are suspicious to let it in at first but when they heard it is from the people who captured the Hunters, they let them in. Of course it is all just a play as Ayame is forced to go along with Biba’s script. Using her connections with the higher ups, she claims she and the people rebelled and captured Biba. Ayame and Biba are brought before the shogun. He takes out an old knife belonging to Biba. Biba wants him to kill him with it if he has any mercy. The shogun felt a prick on his hand and a small drop of blood is spotted. That is when Biba tells the secret how he survived fighting Corpses all this time. He can detect Corpses. The biggest threat from Corpses is their ability to hide among people. He warns everyone to be wary of their surroundings or they’ll be the next victim.

When the shogun starts showing symptoms as a Corpse, the guards panic and shoot him dead. With Biba stoking the fire that there are Corpses hidden among them, everyone starts suspecting each other and before you know it, killing each other. Biba getting right back at the shogun. Don’t blame him. Blame fear! What a joke… Some of his Hunters kill the rail operators to open the gates. Then the Iron Fortress opens the cage with Corpses flooding the city. Feasting time. And Biba is just sitting on the throne like a boss. Kurusu is fixing the bike as Souei bugs him to hurry otherwise she will turn into Smog and become irreversible. Kurusu gets an idea as he talks to Ikoma about why he is still alive. If Mumei pierced his heart, he would have died, right? But apparently it took a lot of skill to miss it by inches. So she purposely saved him? Well, at least enough motivation to bring sulking boy back to help. After learning that Mumei needs the cure before she forever becomes Smog, time for a makeover. New hairstyle and Piercing Cannon attached to his arm. Let’s do this. Souei thought he wants the cure but actually the opposite. This might accelerate the virus and it doesn’t work on men but that is the power Ikoma needs. Time for a new power up badass look too? Mumei is in despair and regret. Just about the nice recipe to become Smog and all part of Biba’s ultimate plan for her to crush Kongoukaku.

Episode 12
Kongoukaku in chaos. Mumei still on a rampage and her guilt is fuelling it. Ikoma and Kurusu return to kick butt, slicing and blasting their way through Corpses. Yukina and co are imprisoned as the locals blame them for bringing this scourge. Ayame tells them to stop and even dares them to shoot at her. After telling everyone how they doubt their hearts and minds, they agree to listen to her and escape together. Heh. At least they’re not stubborn. With Ikoma’s return, Biba knows he is targeted. He tells his men to escape while he sets a date with a ‘dying man’, taking a long the last cure with him. And the much awaited last battle between Ikoma and Biba is here. Despite Biba stabbing into him, Ikoma is filled with rage and uses it as his raw brute force to turn the tables. Ikoma could have won had not he suddenly lose his senses (sight or sound, that is). Or maybe he lost his humanity and just stood there making him an easy target for Biba to sneak up on him. I’m not sure if Ikoma and Mumei had some telepathic communication because at the right time Ikoma turns around and blasts Biba at point blank. Well, at least Biba lost an arm. Ikoma then quickly climbs into Smog to inject the cure into Mumei. Smog disintegrates like liquid. When Mumei wakes up, she is disheartened to find unresponsive Ikoma before her. Is he dead? Then here comes angry Biba trying to pick a fight with a dead man. You mean it’s not over yet? It is then Mumei stabs her brother. She had wished he listened to her sometimes. Goodbye. As the rest ponder which routes to escape, the surviving Hunters want to escape with them in exchange for route information. Many do not trust them after what they have done but kind hearted Ayame gives them another chance. Ah, always the forgiving type. After learning Mumei’s side is still alive, Kajika announces from the speaker to come to the Iron Fortress. Kurusu carries Ikoma as they make a mad dash to reunite on the Iron Fortress. It leaves the crumbling city just in time. After all that shaking and yelling from Mumei, I think it is enough even to wake up the dead! That’s why Ikoma lives! Because he is the main character! Or rather something hints Biba injected him with the cure during the fight since his symptoms have gone down. Happy Mumei returns his dropped stone to him.

Only Human…
Despite many online reviews criticizing how bad this anime was, personally I find this anime to be satisfying. Of course by no means that it is a very great anime that it could be compared on par with Shingeki No Kyojin because that anime has skyrocketed anime standards so high that it is no longer sufficient to just fly to the moon if you want to get those same standards but hurtle outside the Solar System. Yeah… Many claimed it started out great but slowly descended into somewhat generic and predicable plotline towards the end. I agree that putting in the twist of Biba’s revenge instead of focusing on the real epidemic of Corpses put a damper on it overall. Because you know, we need to have a cool bad guy to shake things up. Well, I thought Shingeki No Kyojin was also pretty much something like this towards the end but then again, it all boils down whether you have started hating this series or not.

So I am not going to jump on this train and condemn it either because like I said despite not being the masterpiece that it should turn out to be, it isn’t all that bad either. I was not bored nor truly disappointed throughout the series so on that part you can say it is already an achievement by itself. You can also say that I kept my standards low and that I am a simpleton. That is why everything is decently awesome. But at this point in time I have come to realize that no anime is truly perfect and if you really want to nit-pick on something, you can do so on just about anything and everything. But I do find that this ‘lousy’ ending did increase my disappointment since you know the burning question inside me starts asking, “Where the hell are they going now?”. Assuming if Kongoukaku is the last stronghold, are there any others left? Are Ikoma and Mumei completely cured of their Kabaneri condition? So as long as main hero and heroine and a bunch of other ‘likeable’ side characters are alive and the main baddie dies, everything is okay. For such standards, that is.

So to start off, I can’t help feel that a lot of things seem to draw quite a bit of comparison to Shingeki No Kyojin. It is hard for me to separate this anime on being its own without the thought of linking it to that said anime. Like as though they took some concepts in Shingeki No Kyojin and then change it a little, put on a little cosmetic and then call it a new anime. However bear in mind that Koutetsujou No Kabaneri does not originate from any manga unlike Shingeki No Kyojin. This means this is an original TV anime and has no manga material to fall back on (although, it now has several manga adaptations and prequel stories after the TV ended its run). One may argue that these producers were so inspired by Shingeki No Kyojin that they took elements from it and placed it here. Well, you know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery. Erm, close enough. There are some that I read said that this series also ‘copied’ Tokyo Ghoul in terms of the virus infection. But since I didn’t see that horror series, I can’t do any comparisons.

Therefore other than replacing Titans with Corpses and giant walls with iron trains as aforementioned in my opening paragraph, we also have the main protagonist who also somewhat takes the form of the enemy they vow to kill. Every last one of them. While Eren could transform into a Titan, Ikoma is also a Corpse albeit more of Kabaneri but still a Corpse nonetheless. Notice how these guys have their family members killed by the menace many years ago? Eren saw his mom getting chomped and Ikoma… Well, you saw what happened to his sister. Then there is the strong female lead. Mumei might be the Mikasa of this series but she is certainly not her by a mile. And what do you know? The so called main antagonists are the humans themselves as they betray their own kind. Biba did it for revenge but Annie’s reasons were shrouded in mystery. And yes, supporting characters who die… Takumi is like the Marco of this series… Albeit the former meets his maker near the series’ end compared to the latter who bite the dust quite early. You kill Titans by slicing a portion at the back of their neck, which is a hard place to get. You could easily kill Corpses if not for their heart protected by very hard steel. Both creatures kill you using their mouth… There are quite a bit more I can compare so much so I can do a list of comparisons but I’ll reserve that for another day.

Now, the obvious reason why almost everything in this anime reminds me of Shingeki No Kyojin is because of the art style. The surrealism of the characters and the gloomy backgrounds to the steampunk action all wreak similar sensations to that Titan series. Don’t be surprised because they are animated by the same anime studio who did Shingeki No Kyojin too, Wit Studio. Albeit that series was in joint effort with Production I.G. Blending steampunk style technology with the feudal attire and setting seems like a unique combination at least from my perspective. Character designs look quite okay except maybe for one or two. Like Ayame whom I cannot stop thinking that she looks like Sakura Taisen’s Sakura. Sure, it is mainly her attire. But I almost fall into the trap of referring and calling her as Sakura. Same case for Kajika. I thought what the hell Love Live’s Kotori was doing in this series! Has she given up being an idol after Muse disbanded?! And then there is Mumei’s garb when she goes into battle. Although there is a vast difference, I can’t help think if she is an X-Men wannabe… Seriously. Oh, and Yukina. It was a surprise to see her muscular body beneath all those clothes. It’s like as though for that moment she took it off just to show us those abs and biceps. Kinda reminds you of Mikasa, no? A pretty face with a decently muscular body? Well, you need all that strength to operate an Iron Fortress.

Character wise, I think this is one reason why many feel disappointed in the series. Many viewers feel like they mostly fall into generic stereotypes. Well, for our generation who have watched so many movies and series, I am sure we are running out of ideas of what kind of heroes there needs to be. Goody-goody two shoes heroes feel like so yesterday while brooding heroes with ambiguous moral compass seems to be boring these days as the market is flooded with so many of such heroes that they are hardly exciting when a seemingly similar character pops up.

Like Ikoma who is no doubt the main character. He is not perfect and has his flaws too. Despite being a half corpse, he is still human like any others. Except the irony that humans may be even worse than Corpses themselves. So we see him as weakling in terms of fighting abilities (he only can protect himself if he is armed with his Piercing Cannon) and physically weak too. He also went through an emotional roller coaster ride as far as from witnessing his sister’s death to the injustice atrocities the authorities conduct on fellow innocent men and then having to put up with Mumei’s shocking betrayal (even if this wasn’t the case). It is enough to turn anyone into a zombie. And like generic heroes he has to be, he makes a comeback from his fall and defeats the baddie of the day. End of (same ol’) story. And was he trying to become Ash Williams of The Evil Dead when he attached his Piercing Cannon onto his severed arm?

Mumei is a confused girl. Sometimes I feel that she has twin personalities. She becomes a hardcore badass when she puts on her gear to fight Corpses but in her casual clothes, she feels like a vulnerable and simple girl. And then when she got those feelings confused during an episode that introduces Smog, she just screwed up everything that could have been just a simple escape plan. It made her feel annoying. But can you blame her after years of being ‘brainwashed’ by her ‘brother’? Ah, we can all dream of the simpler times when filling your belly with rice was ultimate bliss. Sometimes she also has that really ridiculous look for a badass kickass girl especially that time when she made funny faces to the little kids just to pacify them. Weird. Funnier too is this seemingly running joke in the initial episodes whereby Mumei tends to easily beat up Ikoma for his whining and stubbornness. Funny.

Then there is Biba whom many viewers feel that he is such a generic antagonist. Cool, strong and handsome mysterious guy leading an elite force with shady ambitions. Uh huh. Sometimes I feel he is like the Sephiroth of the series. Well, not that I know Sephiroth well either. So he has got this sick twisted thinking that is just revolting. So by liberating humans and letting them being devoured and becoming one with Corpses, this is his concept of freedom? Man, it is like saying to wipe out the AIDS epidemic once and for all, we should all just eradicate humans. Sickening, no? And this guy is worse than a woman because he holds his grudge for 10 years! 10 FREAKING YEARS!!! Where the hell and what the heck has he been doing for that period? Going around doing his job just to gain trust or at least let his enemies let their guard down? And you thought time heals all wounds, no? Not this guy.

Unfortunately the rest of the other supporting characters are just being minimal. Like Ayame who seems to be reduced to be a damsel in distress. Not that she needs saving whatsoever, though. I’m sure she needs to be strong and stand up to take her father’s place but from the looks of her diplomacy to protect her people, it isn’t working. So she went as far as to conspire with Biba in hopes of minimizing casualties but look at what mess Kongoukaku turned out. Even higher than before. For her, it is the case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Next, there is Yukina who starts off as an Iron Fortress’ driver to become Ayame’s escort of all sorts. Because who others can be of the same level as her? Mumei is out of her league and Kajika feels like the weak motherly or sisterly type. Then the rest are like, well, for Kurusu this guy seems to have this suspicious look for just about anything and you’d only remember him as Ayame’s sword and shield. Takumi is the main character’s best friend who seems to have it written all over his face that he was made for the role to die for his friend. And Sukari… What is this guy for again? There are many other minor supporting characters part of this Iron Fortress group but their roles are so minor that you noticed I didn’t even bother to name them.

If you are hoping for some sort of romance, don’t count on it. It might seem that Ikoma and Mumei might hit it off but it doesn’t get anywhere close. Just because they spend lots of time together doesn’t mean it would translate into something deeper. Besides, Mumei has this close resemblance to Ikoma’s dead sister so maybe that is where the fondness stems. Even in the final course of the series felt like because Mumei has realized the err of her ways and the only closest guy she could trust from now on is no other than Ikoma. That’s why she was so desperate in reviving him and so happy when he came back to life. Rice will taste better now, huh? So the closest to seemingly come in this department is Sukari and Yukina but that too is very vague. Noticed how this guy would do a lot of risky stuffs just for her? And the way he reacts whenever she gives him the cold shoulder? Hmm… I’m not too sure about Takumi and Kajika. These two, you ask?! Yeah well, I thought after Takumi died, Kajika was crying over his body, screaming to the Hunters not to touch a hair of it and then ‘talk’ to him as if to go home. Go home to his grave, that is! Oops. Sorry. I never knew she had it in him but it could be more of her sisterly nature to care for everyone on board.

Sadly, the plot never seemed to address the epidemic that caused people in Japan to turn into Corpses (although I heard there was a novel prequel subsequently released that told of the events prior). It would have been interesting to see some sort of back story of how this came about, how Japan screwed up big time (assuming it was their fault) to have the entire country turn into a sea of Corpses (assuming from the opening credits that the entire ‘glowing lights’ that is lighting up an entire dark Japan as viewed from a top-down perspective are the radiant hearts of Corpses). So it begs certain questions like if this catastrophe only confined to Japan or has it spread to other parts of the world. And although we have not seen them doing it here, can Corpses swim because otherwise wouldn’t it just be logical to make your stronghold surrounded by water or live kilometres away from land and at sea.

Action wise, there is enough to keep adrenaline junkies satisfied (I think) but if you are the kind that wince at the sight of blood and violence, you shouldn’t be watching this. Or even any other mild superhero movies. In almost every episode, there is guaranteed to be deaths whether it is the poor hapless civilians or some minor supporting character who is unlucky enough to make a few minutes of cameo before being killed off. It goes to show that nobody is safe when the country is overrun by these Corpses. It is nice to see Mumei’s acrobatic fighting skills, the satisfaction of seeing Ikoma pumping his power blast into the Corpses’ heart and Biba using a hybrid of gun and sword to fight. But you can’t really complain if you really want to see more variation than that. Well, it is not like you need a variety of special moves and combos to take out the Corpses, right?

Speaking of Corpses, it is hard for me to say whether or not they are more threatening than the Titans. It all depends. Because for Corpses, there are a hell lot more of them and they come in Hordes. Not to say that there much less Titan antagonists but in terms of numbers, Corpses would definitely outnumber Titans. Because they are just everywhere! Titans are fast too (some of them) but all of the Corpses are fast! They are not like your usual zombies who grunt and walk slowly towards you. It is really a panic attack when you see them rushing like as though this is some cross-country marathon race. Titans may be big but this does not make them clumsy. However Corpses being the same size as adult humans, this means they are harder to strike and have the capacity to be as agile as you. Yes, they kill you faster as they just need to sink their teeth into your skin unlike Titans who need to pick you up, open their mouths and then chomp you. Or they can just squash you flat. Furthermore, Corpses can infect you and turn you into one of them. Scary, right? Thus this is one of those tough cases whereby if you were to be asked the question would you rather, Titans or Corpses, you’d be thinking a hell lot and realizing this is just between the devil and the deep blue sea, a rock and a hard place.

Voice acting is pretty decent with Yuuki Kaji being one of the few alumni from the Shingeki No Kyojin series to lend their voices here. This time he isn’t the main character but as Takumi. The other seiyuu from Shingeki No Kyojin is Ryota Ohsaka who voices Sukari. Oddly, He was Marco’s voice. In the Titan anime, his character dies but now in this series, Yuuki Kaji’s character dies. Strange… The only other seiyuu from that series is Mariya Ise as Yukina who was Isabella in the No Regrets OVA. Due to lack of emotions of her character, I couldn’t recognize she was Fairy Tail’s Levi. The other surprising one was Mamoru Miyano as Biba. He was quite out of his usual boyish voice role that I am so familiar of that I would never have recognized him if I did not take the effort to look up who this dude was behind this character.

Casting newbies as the main lead feels reasonable as it somewhat brings a certain freshness to the voice acting. Like Tasuku Hatanaka as Ikoma (Ushio in Ushio & Tora) has that rawness feel in his voice while Sayaka Senbongi as Mumei (Cracker Griffon in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans) isn’t too shabby in her role. The rest of the seemingly veteran supporting casts are Maaya Uchida as Ayame (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Toshiki Masuda as Kurusu (Miyamura in Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches), Kanae Oki as Kajika (Jacqueline in Soul Eater), Kensuke Satou as Kibito (Nikolai in Hitsugi No Chaika) and Aya Endo as Horobi (Miyuki in Lucky Star).

I have a feeling that they try to replicate the opening theme which goes by the same name as the series to be as epic and grandeur as Shingeki No Kyojin. Sung by Egoist who is more famous for their work on the songs of the anime series Guilty Crown, it feels a bit like a messy piece. It’s like trying to infuse together their trademark singing with opera voices and strings but coming out as almost a train wreck. And then the chaotic action sequences in the opening credits animation filled with Corpses devouring, explosions, fire and frenzy Corpse killing feels like it is to distract you from the one-kind singing but instead it just enhances everything. At least the ending theme sounds slightly better. Ninelie although by Aimer x Chelly also has some roots with Egoist. At certain points of this slow rock, the voices kinda reminds of Enya’s songs. There is a special ending theme for the penultimate episode, Through My Blood <AM> by Aimer, another slow hard rock piece. Some of the BGM I feel also tries to make it sound epic like Shingeki No Kyojin with opera voices in it. And the insert songs of rock origins make the resemblance even closer and weirder.

Overall, this series is by far not a train wreck as many have claimed to be. I for one personally may not list this anime as my top 10 or even my top 20 but at least I am satisfied with this series for having ‘entertained’ me. That is in the general and broadest sense. I know it does not have the best plot, the best characters, the best action, the best visuals, the best soundtrack and a poor ending to boot with, but if you only live to watch Oscar winning films and nominees, you’ll never broaden your mind and watch others that missed the cut. Whether they are a gem or just dirt all depends entirely on your tastes and preferences. I might earn the wrath of others who hate this series because I’m giving a decent high score for it but it all boils down to you. Whether you agree with me or hate and blame me for recommending this piece of crap, make sure it is after you at least watch it. Don’t be a zombie and just take my word for it. After all, today’s world and technology have turned us into some sort of ‘zombie’. Corpses. The living dead. We stare at our mobiles for hours, amuse ourselves with various social media platforms all day long and watch YouTube videos for countless hours. Yup. A new form of mankind liberation and freedom is needed urgently here.

Flying Witch

December 3, 2016

For every 100 or so animes that have some sort of controversial content (violence, gore, sexual references, sexual depiction, slapstick comedy, over the top comedy and parodies, taboo topics, etc), there will always be one series that has that effect to detoxify all that corruption. Cleanse the soul before we repeat the vicious cycle again. From Aria The Animation to Tamayura and Non Non Biyori, now I am proud that I can add another of such anime to the list. This season’s anime of comfy goodness is Flying Witch. Don’t let that word fool you into thinking this might be some supernatural and evil stuff. I assure you it is none of that. No doubt the main character is a witch, there is no malign intent whatsoever. This slow pace and calming series is so simple that I am even finding it hard how to summarize its plot in a single sentence. Uhm, let me try. The daily experience of the said witch having a home-stay in her relative’s home. Close enough.

Episode 1
Makoto Kowata and her black cat, Chito (Cheetos?) arrive in a sleepy rural town in Aomori. Thankfully she bumps into Kei Kuramoto who proceeds to take her back to his home as she is bad with directions. Kei introduces Makoto to his little sister, Chinatsu. Of course she cannot remember who she is. Kei even plays a prank on her that she is her real mother! Instantly Chinatsu hugs her! Turns out Makoto is their second cousin and will be staying with them from now on until she finishes her training. Chinatsu is suspicious of Makoto at first because she talks to her cat. As Makoto needs to get something from the general store, Kei sends Chinatsu to show her around. Chinatsu didn’t want to do it unless Makoto buys her a doughnut. While shopping, Makoto spots a broomstick and tests it out. She sits on it and floats! Believe it! You’re not dreaming! Meanwhile Kei is picking up liquor from Nao Ishiwatari, his classmate whose family runs a liquor store. She heard about somebody staying at his place and is suspicious when she learns it is a girl. Hmm… Then Makoto and Chinatsu come floating down on their flying broom. I think Nao is in shock that she can’t reply properly. And Chinatsu is so happy she flew that she just couldn’t shut up. It’s like she’s got an Energizer battery installed. During first day of school and at the entrance ceremony, Nao learns that Makoto is a witch and officially one (15 years old is its legal age). The reason she is staying at Kei’s place is because her parents want her to finish high school as being a witch doesn’t pay bills these days. Nao fears that she might be in trouble since only relatives should know a witch’s identity. Don’t worry. There is no punishment in knowing whatsoever. As Kei has appointment with his old friends (karaoke party), he has Nao accompany Makoto home. Along the way, Makoto wants to get a special plant as apology for startling her yesterday. It may look like she is pulling out some radish and something feels odd when she tells you to cover your ears. That’s because she pulls out a freaky mandrake!!! Its scream echoes throughout town!!! OMFG!!! So this is the present Makoto wants to give her as proof of their friendship? No thanks…

Episode 2
There is a tall mysterious owl mask guy at the door. Chinatsu shuts the door on him! Good girl. Although he means no harm, she is not convinced and continues to draw the doors. Makoto then goes to talk to him and knows that he is a messenger. He has finished his job and heard there was a new witch in town and wanted to pay a visit. Makoto somewhat dispels Chinatsu’s suspicions when she explains he is the messenger of spring. Like a fairy. Makoto gives him small pieces of mandrake as reward for his hard work. As apology for scaring Chinatsu, he gives her a small pot of flowers. Lovely. She wonders if he will come by again next year. Makoto has this weird dream whereby Nao swam all the way in her clothes just to show her a little mark on her neck that says ‘super lucky’. It is no surprise when she tells her about it, Nao is so at a lost. But it is believe since ancient times that a witch’s dreams have a reputation for being prophetic so could it be Nao will have some kind of luck? On the way home, they see lots of flower buds called bakke growing on the roadside. As they are edible and Makoto has never had one before, Kei picks up many so that they can cook at home. But Chinatsu hates this dish and she’s starting to act like a grumpy old man. Despite Makoto eating the delicious bakke, we see Chinatsu’s painful contorting face as she watches Makoto consume the plant. My, must be that bad, huh? Meanwhile Nao waits at home, eagerly waiting if a handsome customer would be coming in any time soon. Keep waiting…

Episode 3
As part of her training, Makoto talks to Chinatsu’s dad, Keiji that she needs a plot of land to study plants and farming. There is one at the back but it is covered with weed. Grandma used to tend it but nobody touched it ever since she died. So get ready and start pulling those weeds. There has got to be a better way for Makoto than using brute strength and then landing on her butt. While they take a break, Makoto sees a pheasant and tries to catch it. No luck. Chito tries next but the pheasant is WALKING FASTER THAN THE CAT!!! They resume clearing the plot but I don’t think it is big enough to plant all the vegetables Makoto wants. Keiji comes to check on their progress and praises them for doing well. Then he spots the pheasant and tries to catch it too. Failed. It flies away this time. Catch the pigeon, catch the pigeon… Some full Arabian garbed lady greets Chinatsu outside her house. By this time she isn’t shocked anymore after seeing so many weirdoes. Seems she knows Chinatsu and everybody else, though they have a hard time remembering who she is. She waits for Makoto to return. Makoto is shocked to see Kenny the cat around. She belongs to Akane who is Makoto’s elder sister and quite a famous witch. She is travelling the world and was wondering how Makoto is doing and decided to stop by and visit. She gives everyone raw resource presents from Africa. Really? Does Kei need Libyan oil? Akane notices Makoto has not used magic since she left home and only once (that broom riding incident). Although there is no danger, if she doesn’t cast any, her magic will weaken. Akane will demonstrate an easy magic. It involves using a strand of Chinatsu’s hair, writing incantations on an envelope, burning it and splashing water over the fire. It summons a crow. Not sure if this is science but I’ll believe this is magic. She lets Makoto try. Everything goes well till something feels wrong when there is black smoke and crows circling it. Am I watching The Birds?! Akane realizes Makoto used her own hair instead since a witch’s hair is quite powerful. Akane needs to get back to her travelling since she left her camel behind. She promises to visit them again and disappears like the wind.

Episode 4
With sakura blossoming everywhere, Makoto and co visit the stalls. Kei didn’t want to enter the haunted house but the girls force him. Everyone came running out for their lives. Are witches scared of monsters or ghosts? Makoto then decides to have her fortune read by this fortune teller, Inukai. Can Chinatsu shut up about spamming her with questions? Once Makoto writes her name, Inukai becomes delirious and seeks more info about her address, etc. Inukai reveals she is a witch and has been here for 5 years. But she has no plans on becoming Makoto’s friend. Inukai reveals her true face. She is a dog lady?! Apparently a year ago she was having some drinks with Akane whom she knows as an old friend. During their drunken stupor, she ate her magic chocolates and turned into this ever since. Although she does change back into human form at night but this form in the day took a toll for her personal life. Because Akane never stayed in the same place, Inukai stayed here in hopes she would come back. But now her sister is here, there is hope. Unfortunately Akane doesn’t carry a handphone nor do any family members know her whereabouts. All is not lost since Makoto brings her home to concoct konpeito to temporarily turn her back. Well, it got worse because she is now 100% a dog! Thankfully the spell doesn’t last long as she reverts to her furry humanoid form. As she laments, speaking of the devil, Akane returns! And she had the cheek to say she was waiting at her fortune teller stall just now and nobody was around. Before Inukai could start her blame game, Akane reminds her this transformation was her doing. That night when they were drunk, Inukai pestered her for snacks. Against her advice, she scoured her bag and found the chocolates and ate them. Now you remember? Although the spell will eventually wear off (it has been a year…), nevertheless Akane has been on a journey to look for a spell to reverse it. Inukai apologizes for the trouble before taking her leave. Since it is night time, we get to see her beautiful human face. My, she might be just Kei’s type. Lesson of the day: Drink responsibly.

Episode 5
Curious what a cat goes to in its day? You’re in luck. Chinatsu decides to be the curious cat as she follows Chito wandering throughout town. From the many odd places they go, it finally ends up in a spot whereby a few boys are burying something. Chito then seems to beckon her to come. When she does, she falls into the shallow pit! Chinatsu realizes Chito knows she has been following and feels pretty happy about it. Meanwhile Makoto is still going through her boxes. She finds a date written on an unopened jar and realizes this was when she made pickles. The family has pickle as lunch and when Chinatsu returns, they see her all messed up but she won’t tell them what happened. It’s a secret. Later in the afternoon, it is Makoto’s turn to follow Chito since she knows it has finished exploring the town. At first Chito brings her to the same places. But things get a little different in the sense a dog chases them and they bump into Nao. They follow her to deliver liquor to an old lady who seems to know Makoto is a witch. Makoto is doing a bad job trying to hide it. Granny knows because when she was young there used to be a witch and her black cat walking around town like this. But after marrying, she lost contact with her. That witch also taught her many charms and one of them worked: She married the man she loves! Unfortunately she doesn’t know which spell as she tried many of them and one of them must have worked. Chito’s adventures resume to that buried spot. Makoto digs up a box containing several items and books containing secret plans! It seems it is a time capsule. Not wanting to invade its privacy, Makoto buries everything back. They finally go home and it must be a tiring day. Because they see Chinatsu sleeping and has been so for several hours and dreams like she fell down into something. If you think that’s bad, Akane has been sleeping the entire day!

Episode 6
Makoto feels tired while riding and floating with the broom. Akane teaches a trick that she shouldn’t levitate the broom but herself. It makes things much easier. After Chinatsu hears more witch stories from Akane, she becomes interested to become a witch! She is begging her to be one! First she must get permission from her parents. So Chinatsu goes to have the talk with them. They agree! But Akane doesn’t feel like taking a disciple right now. With Chinatsu still begging, Akane sums it up this way. She will show her lots of witch related things and deeper aspects of the witch world in which she can experience like meeting other witches. Only then she can decide if she still wants to be a witch. So for now she is a witch apprentice. Happy Chinatsu then greets Makoto since she will also be studying along with her. Of course she has to keep this a secret from others. When asked why she would want to learn magic, Chinatsu replies she wants to turn cars into pumpkin carriages, control toys and make candy houses. That’s a start. Later Akane is going to teach Makoto and Chinatsu a spell called Curious Candy (Okashi No Okashi). After drawing a pentagram and magic circles, they have to wait till the candles burn out. It’s going to take some time. Once done, Akane makes Makoto a guinea pig to try a candy. Nothing happens at first. But when told to look at the action movie Kei is watching, she starts crying! It is a spell that has one crying after seeing anything! And it will wear off in an hour! Woe is her! Daring Chinatsu would love to try it out and eats the other snacks. This one sends her laughing in delirium! So we have a cry-baby on one hand and a nonstop laugher on the other. It’s mass hysteria! Too noisy for Kei to concentrate! I wonder how they’re going to help mom, Nana cook in that state. When Keiji returns, shortly he is both crying and laughing as he accidentally ate both snacks. Real hysteria. It must be hell.

Episode 7
Nao is to meet up with Makoto, Kei and Chinatsu to go pick wild edible vegetables in the forest. She thinks Chito has put on weight and teases it. Because of that Chito rides on her back and whips her forehead with its tail. Cats have feelings too! Nao almost insulted it again when she learns Chito is 17 years old. That is in human years. This makes Chito like grandma, right? Oops! At the forest, Kei lays down the grounds rules. But the all-important bell to alert for bears he forgot to bring and left it back home. Makoto and Chinatsu pick up a frog. This scares the hell out of Nao as she dislikes the amphibian. You can say her scream could scare away the bears. Back home, they cook the vegetables. Chinatsu tries to be brave and eat them. She still doesn’t like it. Akane suggests having cake at a cafe run by a witch. Kei, Makoto and Chinatsu make their way there only to find a dilapidated house. But there seems to be instructions how to enter. After they do shrine-like rituals, the house suddenly appears well and decent. There seems to be nobody around and weird notes keep popping up to communicate with them. Makoto calls Akane as she explains that there is a shy ghost working as a waitress! It feels pretty odd talking to nothing and then suddenly a piece of paper pops up as reply. Makoto uses a magic trick to make the waitress visible. As they order, they also learn a bit about her like she was born in the Meiji era (around 100 years ago). The waitress gets embarrassed when she realizes they can see her (they described her kimono). This causes her to be clumsy. She only manages to face them again when she wears a scary mask.

Episode 8
It must be weird having Hina the waitress stare as you eat with that scary mask. The cafe owner comes back as Hina brings Anzu Shiina (the owner’s daughter) to greet them. Makoto has a wrong impression that she is the owner. Because of the high level magic used to masquerade the cafe, she believes she is using the same magic to mask her real age. So when Anzu’s mom comes in, Makoto is surprised and tries to hint at her that her magic has worn off. Big panic comes when Anzu is also in the picture. Did she use some clone technique?! Once everything is clarified, they learn more about the cafe. It has been around for 200 years and serves customers from the other world. That is why there is a barrier to mask it. A couple of ladybugs enter. Seems they are regular customers and are even a couple. I guess there is nothing much to do around here so Makoto and Chinatsu chase the ladybugs. The bugs leave. Although they don’t pay in cash, they help protect the farm by warding off bad bugs. The next customer is a floating veil (Hollow?). As explained, it is the Veil of Darkness and its job is to usher in night time. Thus at this point of the day, it will hang out in the cafe. Since it is friendly, Chinatsu makes friends with it and gets a candy. Next customer is a fox. Its fur is so fuzzy that they can’t help molest massage. Your eternal question of what does the fox says is answered. Makoto believes it is “Kon, kon”. But then it barks like a dog. For real?! Meanwhile Akane and Kenny rent a boat in Vietnam. She is here for a little experiment as she pours a drop of potion into the sea. Not only has the ocean turned monochrome colour but the sky and cliffs too! Just like a Chinese ink wash painting? She wants to take a picture but nobody is around. She gets this idea to teleport home, wake Makoto up from her sleep just so she could help take a photo. Still daydreaming? Next day, Makoto thought that dream was weird. Akane gets drunk with the boatman.

Episode 9
Makoto learns Nana is a picture book author. Later Inukai drops by with her hamster familiar, Al. Think Chito wants to eat it? I don’t know. Petting its head makes it feel even more nervous… To make up for the trouble the other day, Inukai gives them sweets and will also read their fortune. Because these good people don’t have any real life problems, she decides to read their fortunes for tomorrow. It involves holding many colourful stones and then throwing them and see where it lands on her fortune telling chart. After writing down key words (I noticed some are pretty negative like meaningless, useless, folly, unnecessary, etc), Inukai tries to decipher it in a positive light. For Makoto, she might encounter a problem after leaving the house. But if she overcomes it, she will be greatly rewarded. As for Chinatsu, she may discover a new side of herself and it will become something she treasures. Next day after school, Makoto brings Nao to see her farm. It is growing well. Till Makoto points out the mandrake she replanted! She even wants to pluck it out for Nao! No. Please stop. She doesn’t need it. Really. Akane gives Kei lots of funny teasing face and noise. It seems she thinks Nao is Kei’s girlfriend. But when they both dismiss it coolly, she puts on a scary disappointed face. The girls then go pluck ripe radish. Since they believe it has beauty and weight losing properties, they are eager to start eating them. However some of them are spicy. Before going to bed, Makoto remember Inukai’s fortune. Just then a paper crane enters her door. It is a message from Akane to meet her in the living room. Chinatsu and Kei also got the message in similar fashion. She has returned from Burkina Faso and has souvenirs for them. So Makoto gets this lousy t-shirt and Chinatsu a large tribal mask? The girls then think this might be what Inukai’s fortune was referring to.

Episode 10
Nao dreads the cooking class. Yeah, she cooked at home a long time ago and it turned into a disaster. Ever since she always had trauma about cooking. Bad enough they have to make hamburgers. It is painful and scary just to see her cut onions. Of course slowly with Kei and Makoto guiding her, it isn’t as bad as she gets the hang of it. They add the final touches and voila! Yum. Looks good to serve and eat. Nao thought she saw a finger but Makoto points out it is a cookie she made called Witch’s Finger. It will look even real when if baked. Finally when they are about to dig in, they realize they forgot to cook rice. Akane joins the rest to go thin apple trees in some grandma’s orchard. I mean, it’s not like she has anything better to do today, right? So their job in thinning is to snip away flowers that would zap away the nutrients for the apple. My, there are lots of flowers. For a tree! Don’t worry. Many hands make light work. I’m sure everyone is getting the hang of it. Makoto notices a small nest of bees. They don’t sting and are used to pollinate flowers as they collect nectar. Unless they are in a bad mood, they bite! You mean bite and not sting? During break time, Makoto shares her Witch’s Fingers with everyone. Tasty of course.

Episode 11
One misty morning, Akane waits for a tall dark figure. He is the newspaper deliveryman from the other world and of course the news articles are those that cannot be found in the ordinary human world. It is a popular subscription among witches. An article states that the sky whale will be passing by the area. Akane, Makoto and Chinatsu gear up to watch it as they ride on their brooms. A special cream is rubbed over their eyes so they can see it. After flying up close to it, they ask for permission to land on its back. They explore the land and ruins where ancient civilization once lived here. They also meet Anzu exploring as she is a historical buff. It is time to go when their stomach growls. After saying goodbye to the whale, Akane invites Anzu to their place for breakfast. Anzu knows Kenny and they click. Because that cat has travelled around the world and studied anthropology! Kenny is also Anzu’s teacher! Woah. And you thought things wouldn’t get stranger by now. Kei takes out his tools to make pancakes. Anzu has everyone impressed as she explains the history of pancakes and how it makes its way to Japan. Impressive! Anzu realizes she forgot to call mom about her whereabouts. Shortly after, her owl familiar, Aurore drops by with a message from her mom to Akane. What could this special message be? A bill for the stuffs ordered at the cafe. My, what a large tab. Please pay up. Wow. Did they really order a hell lot of things from the menu? Did they throw some sort of party? I mean, 28 cups of coffee and 30 cups of black tea among the items?!

Episode 12
Makoto finds her old witch robe. She puts it on and of course she doesn’t fit and rips it. Time to go make a new one. First she has Nana draw a map to the textile shop. Well, Makoto is so bad at directions, you think she knows how to use a map? At least Chito is here to guide her as they fly across town. When they are in the area, they have to search the shop by foot. Luckily Nao is doing her delivery so she is able to point her in the right direction. Looking through the textiles, she notices one with prints looking like Chito. Its eyes even glow in the dark! Back home, Makoto takes Chinatsu’s measurements. It will be a surprise. Before she gets to work, she reminds her about that crane folklore. Don’t peep. But instantly she opens the door! Why? Because that is what happened too in the story. So Chinatsu watches and helps Makoto sew a witch’s robe. Makoto is making one for Chinatsu and she looks like red riding hood if you ask me. Kei almost got freaked out when he sees Chito’s prints glow in the dark. He pretends to become a doughnut when cheeky Chinatsu casts a spell. Now she wants to eat him?! Late that night, Akane comes back home drunk after a drinking session with the guys preparing for the festival and then another one with Inukai. It seems Akane reminds her about the mandrake parts she left behind and forgot to clean up. As they look for another missing piece, Makoto finds it but it starts moving. Akane then picks it up. It is an earthfish. You know, fish that swim and live in the ground… They must be attracted by the festival atmosphere. When a school of them pops up, Akane pours them sake and feed them snacks. Akane and Makoto talk about things. Like Makoto will soon need to hand in a status report to the association since coming here as well as Akane not travelling much lately since she feels hanging out here is like home. When the earthfish are happy, they start floating and glow in red like beautiful red orbs. Too bad Akane is too drunk and sleeps on to watch and Chinatsu has dozed off. Only Makoto witnessed this amazing phenomenon.

Flying Witch Petit

Short 2 minute ONA specials animated using CGI and in chibi form of yet another peaceful day in the Kuramoto household.

Petit 1
Makoto mixes herbs with her tea for Chito for detoxifying effect but accidentally burns her own tongue. When she tastes the tea leaf believed to be from Myanmar, it tastes like grass.

Petit 2
Chinatsu tries to scare Makoto using an April Fool’s prank. Didn’t work. Makoto mentions she thought she saw a white kitten under a car. As much as she called it, it never responded. Then Chito picked it up and it turns out to be a white glove.

Petit 3
Since Chito has memorized the layout of the house, Makoto hopes Chito can guide her to the kitchen. Instead it leads her to various other rooms in which it is interested from a cat’s point of view. Finally they arrive at the kitchen but Makoto has forgotten why she needs to come here in the first place.

Petit 4
Makoto and Chinatsu celebrate Akane’s birthday. Though, she is not around and is travelling through Africa. Not to let it go to waste, they let Chito be the guest of honour. As they are about the blow out the candles, Akane returns from her trip.

Petit 5
Akane teaches Makoto a spell that would magically lock her notebook. First she has to write 13 digit numbers on her eraser and then chant it over her notebook. Now she has to recite that number if she wants to unlock her notebook. Since Makoto can’t remember well, she writes the ‘password’ on the notebook which renders the spell useless.

Petit 6
Chinatsu is having a hard time with her kanji drills. Akane teaches her a trick. For example, the kanji for ‘fast’ looks like a witch riding a broom. Chinatsu is impressed as she asks more and more kanji words for examples. How come all of them have a broomstick? As its reasoning gets more absurd, I guess Akane has run out of lies explanation so she leaves Chinatsu to do the rest on her own.

Petit 7
Makoto tells Chito about her camellia oil she uses to maintain her broom. Because it makes the broom sparkle like hair, she dreams that she can apply this and open a hair beauty salon. She’ll become a famous beautician in no time!

Petit 8
Makoto sees Akane and Chinatsu sleeping. She hears them sleep talking but wonder if they are really asleep because they seem to be responding to Makoto’s questions. After Chito joins in sleeping with them, Makoto also follows suit thinking that they might be dreaming the same dream and she could join in on that. Good night. It’s still high noon…

Good Witch Of The North
Do you feel fresh and detoxified? Cleansed of your corrupted anime sins? Well, at least I sure do. I don’t know if you can call that a crappy ending but let’s face it, there isn’t really any plot to lead us anywhere. Even if Akane throws up that witch association thingy in the final scenes, I don’t think it is going to cause any big stir whatsoever. I mean, there is nothing that would be constituted dangerous and a threat to these characters, right? Even bee stings don’t kill! Okay, maybe a small bee bite won’t stop a human heart and just give you the prickly annoyed feeling. So generally everybody is as happy as they are from the start till the end. That means it is a happy ending, right?

Basically if you look at the overall plot and pace of this show, many of the episodes feel like they could be episodic and standalone in nature since many of the ‘stories’ in each episode is pretty random. Of course I don’t mean you can watch in any chronological order since some of the supporting characters introduced have short recurring roles in later episodes. But other than that, this series could have been just about anything. Instead of a witch, it could have been a vampire or a zombie or even a werewolf living the slow paced life in Aomori. Because all we see is just Makoto and the rest of the gang doing random daily stuffs that would bore the hell out of you or make you smirk at the calm and soothing pace they do things.

So yeah, this series is mainly boring or interesting depending on your interests and tastes. There are no mind blowing twists to the plot, not a single fanservice element and certainly no violence to go with. Okay, I am not sure if pulling out that mandrake constitutes to violence because you know, its scream sounded like it was so in pain… Ouch. Overall, it hardly has any surprise to spring on us. Heck, even the supernatural elements aren’t that scary even for my scaredy cat level. Some may look a bit different and out of place but they are not at all spooky.

Speaking of the supernatural magic of witches, they are shown very sparsely and some not even visually. For instance the crying and laughing magic prank from Akane. You don’t see any magic effects from it. Like as though you just put random objects in seemingly arranged order and then when they start crying or laughing it feels more of a psychological effect. You know, hypnotism? So don’t get your hopes up to see high level magic explosions or casting effects because the most we will likely get are witches riding on brooms. And the occasional Akane drawing her magic circle to teleport. In fact, seeing them pulling off these small feats of magic won’t make you go ooh and aah.

Despite the series having hinted there are a few witches around and proof that there are other worldly denizens moving about in the area, there is no further mention or exploration what this other world is all about. Witches it seems are painted as good beings instead of wicked ones. At least from the ones we hear in the series. And every normal human who has heard about the existence of such witches don’t give a damn about them. In the sense that they don’t make a big fuss like reporting to the press or uploading to social media if a UFO is spotted. No, seriously. They’re just cool with them. Witches? So what, right? And speaking of something relating to technology, noticed how nobody in this town has a handphone? Land line still works! You rarely see those nowadays, huh? Ah, the wonders of the simple life.

Maybe it was discreetly working with our psychological state all the time. We have been told or at least how we interpret this series as a peaceful and relaxing pace so when the slightest comical bit pops up, we tend to find it funny. This little magic is perhaps why we find the series funny and amusing. Like when Inukai temporarily turned into a full dog or Makoto shocked at Anzu having a clone of herself or Akane receiving a huge surprise bill, these little short bursts in surprise is what makes the series fun to watch at times and breaks the mundane and ‘unexciting’ pace in general. Such funny moments usually hit you spontaneously when you least expected it. You might not go LOL but it is sure enough to make you smile.

Considering the already tranquil pace of the series, the characters themselves aren’t much and you can say that they are as boring as the plot. But remember what I said about the series working on our psychological state. Because everything is so laidback, you don’t even hope that there would be some kind of character development for any character. They remain noticeably the same from start till finish. So it is both a good and bad thing that although the characters do not change much (or at all), they are still likeable in their very own charming way. Definitely this calm and soothing pace has really gotten to us by this time. At times it might be a bit unrealistic too because nobody here has real life problems! How we wish we to have such blissful life! Perhaps the most ‘stressful’ problem was Inukai’s transformation. But she learns to accept and live with it and it isn’t all that bad. Well, at least it staves off annoying guys who want to hit on her, which could be problematic seeing she is a natural beauty. Oh wait. Does this anime and town even have such sleazy guys in the first place?

So for a main character like Makoto… What can I actually say and explain about her? A normal girl. Part witch. Not a powerful one. Happy and cheerful. Life is a bliss. And the occasional bad with directions but nothing disastrous. I guess it says everything all there is to say about her at least in this series. Since the series doesn’t even delve into flashbacks and back stories of any of the characters, you will only get to know the minimum and the rest feels like a mystery. I mean, of all places to complete her high school, why did she come all the way from Yokohama (which is in the south) all the way up north to Aomori? Is this where her old life was and if she was to complete her high school might as well be in a place she is familiar with? And besides, why didn’t she complete high school? Does this mean she is actually older than Kei? You see, Makoto and some of the Aomori residence know each other and that was a pretty long time ago. Again, her back story is never explained so we are forced to ponder these questions for eternity unless… Also, is it a bad thing to lose all magic as a witch? Is it wrong for a witch just to become an ordinary girl? It isn’t like Makoto is going to lose sleep over it the way I see it.

You could say that Chinatsu is the liveliest character seeing that as a young kid, she is quite energetic, bubbly and curious. Sometimes she might seem annoying with her scatterbrain but it beats having a near emotionless and expressionless character. Like Anzu? Almost. Chinatsu has seen quite a number of supernatural things since so she just blatantly accepts them in her life whenever she comes across one as opposed at the start where she was a bit sceptical. Since Chinatsu is an apprentice witch, I hardly see her doing any magic practice. Is it possible for humans to become witches? At least it seems so here seeing if nobody says it is impossible, it must be possible then. Then there is carefree Akane whose life goal seems unclear. She travels around the world (currently Africa seems to be her main destination) and when she feels like it or wants to rest, she comes back to the Kuramoto’s home to sleep. If she is not doing anything in particular, you can find her sleeping. Or drinking. That’s like half of the time we see her, right? Otherwise all I could see her role in this anime is to add a little spice by teaching or demonstrating her magic.

Kei is supposed to be a normal guy but as quoted in the anime that since he lives with a witch and knows about them, he is way past normal. An unnormal normal? And Nao is like the third party character you get at times if you don’t need Akane to join in the fun. (Because Nao and Akane only get to know each other quite late in the story). It’s like she is just there for the company because after their task is done, she returns home and rarely joins them in the aftermath. So maybe that is why this series is boring because it lacks any romance that some viewers might be hoping for. Kei x Nao or Kei x Makoto (I know they’re second cousins but what the heck). None of that came close. And perhaps that too is a good thing since it won’t spoil the comforting story with cheesy romance. I mean really, fancy seeing Makoto blush and become a clumsy girl because of that? Yeah, I can’t imagine that either.

Other minor recurring characters like Anzu and Inukai serve to give a bit more variety to the series. Though some like the messenger of spring I thought would play a slightly recurring role later, it seems he only appeared once. Same case for Hina (although hers was spread out over 2 episodes as that cafe arc was conveniently ‘divided’). Nana and Keiji are laidback parents that they would let their kids do just about anything as long as it is legal. You thought they would protest to something like Chinatsu in becoming a witch but instead they support her. Another reinforcing statement that witches aren’t that all bad. So I suppose it is a good thing that parents let their kids do what they want and not restrict their dream. The weird thing (and perhaps running joke) about Keiji is his thick accent so much so Makoto cannot understand him. It’s like he is talking Greek! Don’t worry and don’t feel bad. I can’t even understand a normal Japanese conversation at all! Nearly all Japanese sound Greek to me! It is a good thing his kids don’t take after his accent.

Last and not least the cat familiars. I suppose it is not a must that cats are to be a witch’s familiar seeing Anzu has a cool owl. At first it seems funny to see how witches are able to communicate with them seeing that the cats only meow one or two lines. Then it’s like they could translate an entire sentence out of it. But remember, these cats might be another supernatural being form in this series. They could be highly intelligent creatures and even surpassing humans. Take Kenny’s case for instance. While it might sound absurd or even mind boggling how a cat can do university-like study and research, it might not be in the form of how we humans conduct so. I mean, who knows, right?

Art and drawing feel soothing to the eyes too. Nothing that are too colourful and vivid nor would anything be gloomy and dark. Since the setting takes place during the spring and summer times at Aomori, it captures the bright and sunshiny feel of those seasons. While character designs may not be unique and many of them looking quite ordinary (is that K-ON!’s Azusa that I see in Chinatsu? Did Inukai come out from Dog Days? Is Makoto a grown up version of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Saten?), at least the backgrounds and sceneries are quite lovely to look at. It is after all the sleepy picturesque town in Aomori. CG is also used but that is only minimal and restricted to the sky whale and earthfish so it isn’t that jarring. This series is animated by long time veteran anime studio, J.C. Staff so you might see similarities of their art style trademark here in some of their other works such as Shokugeki no Souma, Nodame Cantabile, Bakuman, Honey And Clover, Kimi to Boku and Nabari No Ou.

For a calm and soothing drama, the voice acting isn’t anything special since well, almost everything is calm and soothing you would rarely get a burst of emotions. Sometimes a bit from Chinatsu’s liveliness and the ‘loudest’ of them all being that mandrake’s creepy scream. A handful of recognizable seiyuus include Yuka Iguchi as Anzu, Takahiro Sakurai as the messenger of spring and Kikuko Inoue as Nana. The rest of the casts are Minami Shinoda as Makoto (Cain in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Eri Suzuki as Chinatsu (Milinda in Heavy Object), Shinsuke Sugawara as Kei, Kana Aoi as Akane (her debut role), Shiori Mikami as Nao (Akari in YuruYuri), Mari Hino as Inukai (Shinkawa in Shirobako), Hisako Kanemoto as Hina (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) and Mitsuru Ogata as Keiji (Amano in Miami Guns).

Apparently the animal familiars too have a dedicated seiyuu to them! I thought it would be just randomly picking one of the main seiyuus and asking them to meow like a cat. Instead we have Ai Kayano as Chito, Ayane Sakura as Kenny and Ari Ozawa as Al. From the sound of it, it doesn’t sound like it is tough trying to purr like a cat but since the cats themselves do not meow that often, sometimes I feel it is a bit wasted to have dedicated seiyuus just to voice them. Not that it is a bad thing but just saying…

The opening theme, Shanranran feat. 96 Neko by Miwa despite being a fairly lively piece still manages to give an overall soothing and comforting feel. It is catchy enough to make you want to sing along or at least do that weird clapping dance that some of the characters do in the opening animation sequence. Nichijou No Mahou by the duet of Minami Shinoda and Eri Suzuki as the ending theme is a slow piece and another embodiment of the series’ calm and soothing pace. In fact many of the BGMs I hear also follow this suit. Some have that comical feel and others that mystic touch but even so mostly are the serene type and nothing dramatic. Although it is unfortunate that none of them can match the awesomeness of the soundtrack in Aria The Animation, they are still worthy in their own right.

Overall, this is really one of those ‘healing’ animes that is recommended for everyone even if such boring and calming pace isn’t your cup of tea. The plot is simple, the characters are not complicated and yet interesting, and the animation isn’t flashy but still excellent and close to realism. All you need is to do away with all that unrealistic high expectations and hype in order to truly enjoy this anime. Sometimes it isn’t that little supernatural magic that makes things interesting but rather the simplicity and minimalistic joy in the things we do in everyday life. That is the true magic of this series. Now, if there was only a little magic spell that I could learn to make chocolates and candies out of thin air…

I knew there was going to be a sequel but I didn’t count on Nanatsu No Taizai: Seisen No Shirushi (Sign Of A Holy War) to be just 4 episodes long! OMG! What happened?! I thought it would be a full second season but instead we have only 4 episodes? Well, at least better than that Kampfer crap. Well, just like in its second title, it is most likely a hint and a sign, some sort of warming up before the real sequel starts. You need to have some fun first before the real sh*t kicks in, right?

Episode 1
Elizabeth is quite her chirpy self this morning. After quickly finishing breakfast, she heads down to Boar Hat to help. Well, everyone’s passed out. Last night must have been a blast. She talks to Hawk who is now a tiny size thanks to the events of last season. Meliodas pops up showing his new vegetable scrap dish he made in the form of Hawk. But Gilthunder and Hauser were ‘brave’ enough to try (they just got up from their hangover) and almost ‘died’! Wow. If Meliodas’ cooking could kill, he should have used it against Hendrickson. He is thinking of improving it and he comes up with an idea to use real pig meat! Scared Hawk of course runs away. Meanwhile Ban is in some cave trying to destroy a demon’s corpse. However Merlin stops him because she will not allow him to destroy her precious experiment specimen. Since Elizabeth is worried about Hawk, Meliodas has everyone look for the pig. Unfortunately nobody is motivated till Meliodas gives the reward of granting whatever they want. And off they go. When they find Hawk, of course little piggy runs thinking they are trying to catch him for meat. Lots of panic ensues like Hawk going up through Diane’s body and King always misses and groping the wrong parts. Eventually, Hawk is found eating Ban’s good meal at Boar Hat. Ban thinks he has won but Meliodas quickly catches Hawk and claims victory. Yeah, loophole. With Ban being upset and the cheating, Meliodas assures he still hasn’t forgotten their promise to settle things. It will be done tomorrow. Later that night, Elizabeth talks to Meliodas leaving for another adventure. He doesn’t want her to come as there is no more need to put herself in danger. Besides, she is his reason to live. Much later, Meliodas goes underground to talk to that Goddess Clan supreme worm/tube/spine thingy. He warns not to tell lies to his comrades. However she tells him everyone will eventually leave him after they learn his greatest sin. Out of spite, Meliodas throws his fireball and burns everything down. He tells her back even if that is true, there is something he will protect with his own life even if it means turning everyone against him.

Episode 2
Ban arrives for his much awaited fight with Meliodas. To his shock, probably everyone in town is waiting to see them fight! You can thank Hawk for this ‘advertising’. Everyone is revved up in seeing the best fighters pound each other. Ban is not amused with this mockery so Merlin reminds him of their own rules that if he gets serious in killing their leader, they will purge him. Ban also reminds them of another rule of theirs: All grudges are settled by fights. This assures them he won’t kill Meliodas. Putting them in a cube barrier, they can go all out as they want without harming their surroundings. The fight is as epic as everyone anticipated. But that isn’t even at their best. Meanwhile, Hauser tries to gawk at Diane. King notices this and blocks his view. It soon becomes apparent that they want to beat each other’s guts so Hawk suggests another fight. Bring it on. Wow. Today is going to be an awesome fighting festival. Unfortunately King is physically weak and quickly loses in a pathetic way. However he is the real winner because Diane picks him up. You lose, Hauser. So it is back to the epic bloody fight between Meliodas and Ban. Ban gets serious when he uses his trump card to extract strength from all the audiences. This also makes Meliodas to go all out in using his trump card. From wall punching ricochets to arm ripping and slapping moves, in the end the fight between the duo becomes one big fun and it ends in a draw. Looks like they have to continue this another time. Everyone leaves satisfied except maybe for Elizabeth who is somewhat mad at Meliodas for going all out that it worried her. She thought they were going to kill each other? Ban asks Meliodas about the Goddess Clan horn thingy. He says he already destroyed it since it was fake. A boy in an outskirt of a village sees a flying arm and reports to his dad. But then a visitor is at his door: Dreyfus! No surprise he is alive, right? He wants to know more about the arm. The boy says it was seen coming from the direction of Liones and heading towards Zhuhur Valley. It is said there are lots of monsters there. Dreyfus thanks him for the information by killing the entire family.

Episode 3
As promised, Diane watches the fireworks with King. But then she remembers she has to help out at Boar Hat. Maybe next time. Next day, our usual suspects are having hangover as usual. King chides Meliodas for not showing enough appreciation for Elizabeth. Oh, he is showing his appreciation by groping her boobs! Meliodas tells him back that King should also show his appreciation to Diane since she was taking care of him last night when he was drunk. This has him rush out to find Diane who is believed to have gone to town. King fears Diane might have left thinking the townspeople still hate her. But he sees her helping out with the construction guys. They don’t recognize her at first till she ties her twintails. They are shocked to recognize this giant as Diane apologizes for what she did. However they are the ones who feel the need to apologize and feel ashamed for mistreating her. King is glad she made up with the people. The rest of the day they hang out together in town and then play tag. They stumble upon a wedding in process and join in. But as they watch, a monster pops out and attack. Before it could eat the bridegroom, King and Diane combine their powers to take it down and save the day. King catches falling Diane and as promised she will grant him one wish. He asks if her past memories have come back. She gives him a better answer with a peck on his cheek! Heck, I don’t know if that answered anything but it was worth it! While King is flustering, a rock drops on his head, knocking him out. When he comes to, Diane is giving him service on her lap pillow. Like in those clichés, a knock on your head means you can’t remember a damn thing and of all the things King forgot was that kiss. We’re so disappointed! He’s so disappointed. I suppose cheeky Diane doesn’t mind. Meanwhile the flying arm reaches the valley. Guess who is still alive too? Yeah, Hendrickson. Though, he is still weak and powerless. That arm belongs to him. There is this dream whereby Hendrickson was lying in some flower field. He cried after seeing Dreyfus before him. Dreyfus then offered to let him drink his blood to revive so that they can achieve their goals again.

Episode 4
Boar Hat is not having many customers. So Meliodas goes to see Merlin for help. He wants her to help out as a poster girl! Well, Gowther is ready to help and is already in the dress! I don’t think Meliodas appreciates it. Merlin agrees to do it on a condition he does her request first. She wants him to tail Gilthunder without being noticed. It seems there is an unseen force following him around and she wants Meliodas to catch the culprit before anything happens. Meliodas and Gowther tail Gilthunder and his pals. They witness things almost dropping on him but dropped on his friends instead. They sense some sort of magical power doing this mishap. A boy named Pelio then calls out to Gowther thinking he is a suspicious person. But when Gowther introduces himself, Pelio introduces himself as Meliodas! Not cutting it, right? Pelio thinks Gowther is role playing and has him capture a stray cat stealing food. Gowther amazingly does so with his magic and this makes Pelio happy. So happy he almost mistakes Gowther as his mom. Pelio reveals his mom recently died of illness and is supposed to move to his dad’s hometown. The reason he followed Gowther was because he looked like her. As he describes how mom looks like, Gowther uses his magic to transform himself into her. Pelio is so happy and hugs ‘mom’. When dad is here to pick him up, Pelio wants to show him mom but Gowther is missing, much to his dismay. Gowther can only watch with confusion. He thought he cheered him up but made him sadder. Gilthunder and co are taking a break at a tea shop. The waitress is hypnotized and is told to serve poison to him. Meliodas then makes his entrance and wants to drink Gilthunder’s tea. Immediately a voice tells him to stop. She attacks as she laments she spent 3 years perfecting that love potion. Of course Meliodas easily defeats her and as you might have guessed, the culprit is no other than Vivian.

Vivian is tied up back in Merlin’s place. She leaves it to Gilthunder to punish her. Gilthunder is willing to forgive and forget this if she sincerely repents for what she did to Margaret. Also, to forget him and carry on with her own life. Well, I don’t think Vivian is going to give up that easily. Merlin then puts a curse ring on her. Whenever Gilthunder says a certain magic word, Vivian’s body will feel like being stabbed many times. Basically, pain. This curse will also take into effect if she tries to use her magic on him. The ring cannot be taken off and the more it becomes in effect, the more the curse will cover her body and then she will die. This is nothing compared to the sin she was involved with Hendrickson to revive the Demon Clan. Vivian boasts she was almost complete about researching the red and grey demon. Merlin breaks the truth to her that only the Amber Goddess can capture them. However they are just small fries in the Demon Clan and there are more powerful ones above them. The more terrifying ones are the ones who serve directly under the demon lord known as the Ten Commandments. If they are resurrected, Britannia will be conquered instantly. I guess the truth was so terrifying that Vivian could only cry. Since Meliodas completed her request, it is her turn to live up to her end. As the new sexy poster girl, it sure does bring in the guys. Business is booming. But when Meliodas wants her to dance and sing, she immediately quits. Due to the shortage of manpower, Hawk has Gowther replace her. Hmm… Effeminate guy and a piggy in a waitress outfit? Reject! The king of Liones calls the Sins to gather. For he has seen a terrifying vision. Should I mention that his premonitions are almost 100% accurate? He sees a bad omen of 10 shadows appearing as well as all those signs coming from the south and threatening the kingdom of Camelot. Hendrickson is seen using his blood on the key to break the seal and revive the unthinkable.

Sign Of A Sequel
As I have also predicted, all the episodes feel like fillers as it gives focus to the Sins. There is nothing really serious in developing their character or the story plot as these episodes serve as the appetiser before the main dish. At the end of every episode there will be about 2-3 minutes of the real premonition and sign that evil is going to be revived. Yeah, if they just show that it would hardly take up 10 minutes and just wasted our time. Then we will scream to the producers to instead of trolling us of this ‘elaborated trailer teaser’, to give us the real deal. So at least when you have entertaining fillers, from bloody fist fights to discovering the meaning of love and emotions with our favourite Sins characters, I guess we can’t complain. Heck, they aren’t boring to say the least. That is, if you have watched the TV series and OVAs, this one will add to your hype of expecting the next sequel to air.

Overall, not really a bad ‘sequel’ (if you can call it that) and entertaining in its own right (because it plays on the nostalgia and awesomeness for those who have watched its previous incarnations) but nothing meaty that would leave you satisfied but at the same time it is not like it makes you crave for more either. And if your favourite characters are outside the main and supporting casts of the Sins or the Holy Knights, too bad for you. Looking at you Jericho and Guila. A one screen appearance is as good as not appearing at all. Is it me or is Gilthunder slowly becoming more and more like an eager beaver when in awe? So different when he was stoic and badass. My only hope is that they will head straight into releasing the sequel instead of taunting us with another ‘sequel’ like this one. It’s like the main course is taking too long and you have to order another appetiser just to whet your appetite. Hopefully you won’t get too full by the time the main dish arrives. And maybe there’s hope for some room for dessert as well. Oh, there’s always room for dessert in my stomach.

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