If you love the original animated Danganronpa series, then we have good news for you. Make that double good news. Because not only Danganronpa 3 – Despair Arc was released as a sequel, it was also aired alongside with another arc (Future Arc) in the same season and both series run concurrently side by side with each other. Double the fun, double the despair. For this one, as its name suggests it takes place as the prequel before Naegi’s class entered the deadly survival game and details the events that led to the biggest despair incident to have been brought down on mankind. If you have not watched the original Danganronpa series, be warned there will be some spoilers here since this is a prequel.

Episode 1
Chisa Yukizome is being hired by Hope Peak’s principal, Jin Kirigiri as a teacher. She starts her first day enthusiastic but finds there are only 5 students turned up: Hiyoko Saionji (super traditional dancer – bratty girl), Mahiru Koizumi (photographer – normal girl), Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu (gangster – wait, WTF?!), Sonia Nevermind (princess – wait, huh?) and Mikan Tsumiki (health committee – hentai potential). Seeing how the class don’t get along well, Yukizome as the former super housekeeper decides to bring them along as they go retrieve their other classmates. In the toilet Nekomaru Nidai (team manager – his sh*t is so powerful it blasts through the wall!), in the cafeteria Teruteru Hanamura (cook – also super masochist), in the field Akane Owari (gymnastics – also a glutton), in the garage Kazuichi Soda (mechanic – sorry, Sonia doesn’t love you), in the animal shed Tanaka the Forbidden One (animal raiser – chuunibyou), in the music room Ibuki Mioda (rocker – is she rocking her guitar or cooking?), in the dojo Peko Pekoyama (swordswoman – don’t mess with her) and at the vending machine Nagito Komaeda (lucky – or is that unlucky?). Seeing the class is dirty, Yukizome has them clean the class while she goes pick up a couple of more missing students. One of them is Ryouta Mitarai (animator – chubby) who is trying to run away thinking she is the editor trying to force the deadline on him. Last is Chiaki Nanami (gamer) who is somehow with Hajime Hinata who is a student of the Reverse Course that was newly established last year. This course is for ordinary students but the fees are high. Hinata laments he wished to have a talent but Nanami says it doesn’t make a difference whether you have it or not. In fact ordinary people like them have greater freedom than those with talent because like for her, all she has are her games. With her students assembled (and the class clean as hell too), Yukizome is revved up that she can retrieve them the same day tomorrow. Later Yukizome calls Kyousuke Munakata to tell him she got a teaching job at Hope Peak. She assures him she will be okay without him since Munakata is planning to expand Hope Peak to overseas and won’t be around. She is grateful to this school as it allowed her to meet him.

Episode 2
Yukizome thought she has everything under control till she gets a call her class is in trouble. Owari and Nidai are fighting each other and ripping the class apart! But since they say it is for realistic combat training, she lets them continue. Nanami leaves the class believing she doesn’t mix with them since her super gaming skills will set her for life. But Yukizome advises her to make friends as it will be more fun to play with everyone. Yukizome is also doing a secret investigation for Munakata on Reverse Course. As these students pay very high fees, these funds are channelled to the board of trustees that controls the school. The issue is how the money is being used. Munakata has her investigate more as he notes if the overseas expansion is successful, it will give him a better voice. Later Yukizome talks to Hinata about why he enrols in Reverse Course. However he has low self esteem so she tells him to believe in himself. Subsequently the school’s advisor, Kazuo Tengan talks to him if he has made his decision. Not yet. Tengan is against that project because hope comes from people acting like people. Hinata is concerned his family cannot pay the high fees so Tengan tells him he can always decline and return to his normal high school and live as himself. There is nothing wrong being normal. When Yukizome returns to class, she sees everyone playing video games. Everyone chipped in to make the necessary as Nanami brought her games. She is glad that Yukizome was right that she can make friends via games. With everyone having their go at Nintendo rip-offs, Hanamura then cooks for everyone. Can’t play for hours on an empty stomach, can you? However Saionji cheekily puts Hanamura’s sexy potion into the soup and this turns everyone horny! Steamy scenes, gay scenes, lesbian scenes and sexual subtexts! It gets out of hand when Hanamura is about to rape Saionji but Nanami saves her with her super uppercut. What has Taylor Swift got to do with this?! The girls praise Nanami recuperating in the infirmary as she happily relates her uppercut inspiration from Double Dragon. Next day, Yukizome makes Nanami as the class rep. Everyone unanimously agrees so she agrees to give it a try. It lifts her spirits that she goes to invite Hinata to play a game with her. Next day in Hinata’s class, Natsumi Kuzuryu is the new transfer student. She starts off as a b*tch as you can tell how she badmouths everyone as trash and thinks highly of herself.

Episode 3
Hinata narrates his dream of attending Hope Peak. In class, Natsumi teases him since he is constantly looking at the main building. She proclaims herself as the super little sister since her brother is the heir of the Kuzuryu Gang. But if she is here, does that mean she is talentless? She hasn’t given up yet and will do what it takes to get into the main course. Natsumi is then confronted by fellow classmate, Sato who hates her guts to the very end as she warns not to pull off some sneaky move on Koizumi (seems the trio were once in the same photography club). Natsumi is not cowed as she badmouths and even threatens her with death. Typical gangster move, right? Koizumi comes by to quell the tension but even so Natsumi gives out her threats and make it sound like Koizumi is here to mock talentless people. Fuyuhiko talks to Pekoyama about his sister’s problem. He doesn’t want to jump to conclusions yet and reminds her that they have nothing between them now since enrolling here. Pekoyama is Fuyuhiko’s bodyguard and hitman. Hinata sees Sato and Natsumi arguing again. Sato is about to hit her for yet another badmouth rant but Hinata stops her. Hinata talks to Natsumi about her intimidation as he tries to advise her using Nanami’s words about life is more to just talent. But Natsumi disagrees although Hinata knows how it feels for being left behind. Apparently being with her brother and making memories with him aren’t just enough. She wants to stand by his side and be with him. Later, Hinata sees a commotion around the building and the police have barricaded the place. It seems Natsumi has been murdered in the music room!

Hinata eavesdrop Koizumi talking to Sato if she has killed Natsumi. At first Sato really wanted to kill her because she believed Natsumi was going to do kill Koizumi. However she realizes she has no talent to even kill people. So that’s that. Koizumi believes her. Hinata then confronts Sato about it but she starts panicking cooking up theories like Natsumi might have killed herself for being talentless. Then she goes crazy and runs away. Sato never turned up to class for a few days. Then her body was found. Hinata tries to enter the main building to speak to Koizumi for answers but is stopped by the head security, Juzo Sakakura. He is given an answer what happened but it felt like the authorities is trying to sweep the problem under the rug. When Hinata becomes resistant, he is beaten up. Sakakura continues to badmouth talentless people like him by making it up with money and they should just live a normal life instead of thinking they have some sort of talent. Hinata disagrees with his train thought and before Sakakura could punch him, Yukizome gets in the way. After Hinata leaves, Sakakura reminds her about her mission and shouldn’t be too involved with such normal students. Even so, Yukizome believes that was just pure violence and she should stop him as a human. He shouldn’t beat up students who don’t know anything. Sakakura warns if he digs in too much, he will be the one dying. They fear Hope Peak might be going down the wrong path and if so, only Munakata can stop this. Meanwhile Jin tells Tengan that the project about artificial hope and artificial talent has been given the green light as the subject has decided to participate. Because Hinata has finally decided to join and become everyone’s hope.

Episode 4
Yukizome informs her class about the upcoming exams. However nobody is in good mood seeing the double murders. Komaeda later pleads to her to cancel it but since there is nothing she can do, he is going to do something himself. After giving a sexy idol poster to Hanamura, this allows him to get access and up close with Seiko Kimura. He is seeking laxatives for her but because she has to entertain Ruruka Andou and Sounosuke Izayoi who are bugging her for a performance enhancing drug, Komaeda has to go get it himself. He is unsure which drug to take and lets his luck set fate in motion. After much pressure and talk about ‘friendship’, Seiko gives in and agrees to make a drug for her. Next day, there is a threatening message on the board to cancel the exam or else there will be hell to pay. Of course the authorities do not take this seriously and carry on with the exam. Little do they know there are bombs hidden in the hall’s ceiling. Ruruka serves her cream puff to the judges. Super awesome as expected. But suddenly their stomach starts to ache. Trying to find what is happening, Ruruka starts thinking Seiko intended to sabotage her and gave her the wrong drug. Seiko looks into her bag for a cure but sees a remote control for the bombs! This is when Ruruka starts accusing Seiko on just about everything. I believe they have trust issues from the start. This makes Seiko snap as she too calls her a traitor.

Meanwhile Komaeda thinks he has got everything in order. When he accidentally spills a drink and a dog drinks it, it grows into a giant! Realizing the drug he put wasn’t the laxative, he opens the bag to find only medicine. He remembers bumping into Seiko this morning and their bags must have switched. The dog runs rampage in the hall. Seiko and Ruruka panic and accidentally press the button. Boom! Hall exploded. Komaeda notes he didn’t do anything but this was the result he intended. So is this super lucky? Later Komaeda is given the talk by Yukizome. He jokes about being a trash but she slaps him. She assures he is not trash and she is his teacher. Because of this incident, Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi have been expelled immediately. Although some are calling for Komaeda’s expulsion, he wasn’t directly involved but yet got his desired results. That takes a lot of luck. Therefore as compromise he will be suspended indefinitely and Yukizome will be transferred to Reverse Course since she is taking responsibility as his teacher. Her students are hounding for answers and if they wonder if this is a mistake. Yukizome explains that Komaeda did this in their best interest so when he returns, please give him a warm welcome. As for her transfer, she sees it as a training stint and will be back. Well, at least she is able to investigate closer the shady dealings behind Reverse Course. Oops. I don’t think that was a joke.

Episode 5
Six months have passed. Yukizome speaks to Sakakura if he could get an ID of the board of trustees for her. She explains the Kamukura Project which has begun in secret. Something big is going on since Kamukura is the name of Hope Peak’s founder. In order to investigate more, she needs an ID. Sakakura will try but if caught, he could be fired. She adds about Hinata that he suddenly quit school around the time she heard about the project. Yukizome will soon be transferred back to the main course. Komaeda has not been heard ever since but they hope to lift his suspension. When she returns to class, her students are already waiting to pop the surprise welcome. They heard from a teacher about her return and prepared the necessary. Everyone credits Nanami for pulling this together. In addition, she is the one who organized activities and supported the class during Yukizome’s absence. Other notable differences are Saionji who has a growth spurt and busty lady (curse you puberty!) and Sonia taking after Tanaka’s chuunibyou. Meanwhile Mitarai returns to his room to see a skinnier version of himself pushing to create an anime that will save everyone?! On the other hand, Enoshima returns and waits at the airport for Ikusaba. They are putting forth in motion a plan that will lead to the most atrocious despair incident in human history by enrolling in Hope Peak. There is a short narration by skinny Mitarai that he was often bullied. Physically weak, he believes anime saved him. Because he is working so hard and disregarding his own health, fat Mitarai ‘kidnaps’ Tsumiki to nurse him. He explains the truth. Both guys were living next door to each other. Fatty has no name and is a super imposter. He lives his life in the guise of others although it doesn’t last long. Noting that skinny Mitarai only wants to make anime, he views their interest overlap and requests to take over his name. Skinny Mitarai can shut himself in and make anime all he wants while fat Mitarai will take over his place. Thankfully fatty trusts his classmates so Tsumiki doesn’t have to die or sell her body. Oh God, what was she thinking? Meanwhile Hinata is in some sort of experiment. Still in a daze, he believes he will become the protagonist of his own story and someone who can be proud around Nanami.

Episode 6
At the end of Hinata’s experiment… He grows longer hair?! He is also given the new name Izuru Kamukura, Hope Peak’s founder. He will be the world’s new hope. Sakakura manages to sneak an ID for Yukizome although it has a time limit. This is also the same ID of a trustee that has recently gone missing so be careful. Speaking of that trustee, he is kidnapped by Enoshima and tortured. Yukizome hacks into the trustee’s computer to shockingly read about the project. Despite the subject will become humanity’s hope and gain every known talent in the world, he will lose his emotions, personality and ideals. It is a small price to pay to save the world. The project has already moved on to testing phase. Yukizome reports to Munakata who fears the worst thing is not the public finding out but an unscrupulous person using this for his own gain. Hope will become despair that will threaten the world. Munakata will immediately return and until then she is not to say a word about this to anyone. Enoshima and Ikusaba use the trustee’s eye at the retinal scan to enter Kamukura’s room. At first she fawns over this dude but suddenly wants to kill him for being mankind’s hope. However Kamukura easily pins her down and not even Ikusaba can do anything. He asks if he has super analytical abilities that can calculate several steps ahead, why she even tried this. Because despair is an unknown. She is bored with the world with its pre-existing harmony. Only despair sets her heart racing. Despite being overwhelmed by him, she is having so much fun. Erm, isn’t that just being a masochist? Enoshima tries to coax him to join her side. Because hope doesn’t lead to the unknown. He won’t find salvation there. Only despair can save him. Enoshima is knocked out and the next thing she knows she is in the hospital bed. It seems Kamukura didn’t tell anybody about this. He told Ikusaba to leave Enoshima a message: He will be waiting. So he is taking up her offer? Enoshima is so happy that she waltzes out of hospital. That is where she bumps into skinny Mitarai just coming in. She doesn’t know why she feels so happy to see him and starts hugging him. She believes this must be yet another fateful encounter.

Episode 7
Enoshima badmouths anime so when Mitarai counters her, she dares him to show it. Of course she is absolutely moved and no other anime crap will do! He explains how he uses everything to make such a great anime but all Enoshima must have heard was how it brainwashes others. Hearing Mitarai wants to make a better world, you don’t say because Enoshima too had the same intentions… When fat Mitarai tells Tsumiki his skinny version is missing, she goes to check on him at his room but Ikusaba sees her and kidnaps her. Sakakura tells Yukizome that many trustee members have also gone missing. Security is now so tight that he can’t get an idea of what is happening. Enoshima is providing skinny Mitarai a comfortable room to create his anime (courtesy from the trustees, if you get what I mean). Ikusaba brings in Tsumiki and they make her watch Mitarai’s anime. Touched as hell. Enoshima super analyzes the situation and forms a plan. This involves bringing Kamukura to witness something extraordinary. In a classroom where Hope Peak’s student council members, Ikusaba announces all of them to kill each other. At first they refuse thinking it is a joke but when she demonstrates by killing one of them, she gives them 2 options: Kill each other or be killed by her. For motivation, there are videos containing their darkest secrets. So if you don’t want those out… All it took is just 1 crazy and disillusioned member to start the ball rolling. Next thing you know, we see everybody killing everybody and blood everywhere. Enoshima narrates to Kamukura the unpredictability of despair that will save him a boring future. The last standing member faces off with Kamukura. Of course he couldn’t best him. A fluke made him accidentally killed himself. Jin is upset that the plan is already in motion and being covered up by the authorities just to continue their existence. Enoshima deals the fatal blow by sending a message to all the students about this project being funded by the Reverse Course’s exorbitant fees. Making it worse is how all the student council members were found murdered by this Kamukura specimen and the school is trying to cover this up out of self preservation and hide their failed experimentation. It makes the Reverse Course students accomplices to murder. Naturally all of them are enraged after reading this as a mob gathers to demonstrate against this scam.

Episode 8
With the students trying to barge their way in, the higher ups are getting worried and need to act before the government steps in. Tsumiki has turned into an obsessed worshipper and slave for Enoshima. Mitarai is unsure of how she turned like that but when he clicks a preview video in a mysterious folder, he sees footage of the student council members killing each other. He becomes sick. He thinks Tsumiki saw this and went crazy. She tries to seduce him so he can help them out to realize Enoshima’s goal but Enoshima beats the crap out of her for being a slut. And she loves it! Mitarai is scared as Enoshima explains (with video) that she plans to turn the entire world into despair. However she lacks the brainwashing power that Mitarai has and wants him to make one which is way better than his last. Mitarai tries to run but is warned she might make his classmates kill each other next. Everyone is worried that Tsumiki has not showed up in class for a long time. Even if Komaeda returns, they are not in a mood to celebrate. He then tells them he saw Tsumiki at an area. This has everyone go look for her. Sakakura is having trouble fending off the invading students. He is surprised Munakata is back and is going to lend a hand. Sakakura tries to call Yukizome but she isn’t picking up because she is busy looking for her students. Komaeda and Nanami are at the founder’s statue. By luck, he opens a secret underground passageway that leads to skinny Mitarai’s room. That guy swamped with fear as he thinks he hasn’t done anything bad yet. Enoshima and Komaeda face off. He tells her Ikusaba can’t come to her aid because he talked to Pekoyama to keep her at bay. Komaeda pulls out a gun at Enoshima. He will do anything to protect hope. He views despair as a stepping stone to hope. So he wants to test if he could kill her, it means she wasn’t good enough as hope’s stepping stone. Suddenly he senses Kamukura behind him. Komaeda pulls the trigger but it is jammed. Kamukura whispers he too has good luck. He snatches the gun from him and shoots in his chest. Luckily luck didn’t abandon Komaeda because his handbook stopped the bullet. Nanami takes a closer look at Kamukura. He’s Hinata, right? Mitarai runs away fearing for his life. That’s when he bumps into Yukizome who assures it is her duty to protect her students. She has a bad feeling about this as she heads downstairs.

Episode 9
Enoshima just warmed up introducing herself to Nanami. Yukizome throws a fire extinguisher so that Nanami can take Komaeda and leave. Enoshima explains this will be the last day Yukizome and her students will be themselves as they will fall into despair as part of her plan. She knows Nanami will call her classmates to come and rescue her. True enough, Nanami explains what is happening and despite Komaeda’s not to go against them because their despair level is off the charts, they still want to go save their teacher. Fat Mitarai reveals his true identity to everyone and also wants to join in. Munakata has done his research and no matter what, all evidence points back to Enoshima as the culprit. Sakakura will go find her and bring her back for interrogation. Yukizome is forced to watch a brainwashed student hack himself to death and then strapped down to watch a video of the killings. She is resisting hard so Ikusaba sticks some needles into her head trying to adjust the frequency or something?! Creepy! Yukizome’s students encounter the angry Reverse Course students who think by ridding them they can get their seat. Nidai and Tanaka fight them to let the rest through. Skinny Mitarai is running away and being chased by the mob. Then he trips and is surrounded. Enoshima pops up and his here to thank and say goodbye to him. She is grateful his collaboration will help turn the world into despair although he argues his works is for the betterment of the world. In the end, he is forced to run because that is what Enoshima tells him to do. Running away is his despair. He falls into a flowing river. Sakakura has found Enoshima and is going to give her a good beat down. Yukizome’s students trek down the basement filled with hope. Since Nanami and Tsumiki are at the back of the pack, Tsumiki pushes Nanami down a secret shaft. When she wakes up, she finds Yukizome by her side as she claims Kamukura freed her.

Episode 10
What a surprise. Sakakura lost to Enoshima! She then begins to mock his one-sided love for Munakata. She threatens to show pictures of him fawning over Munakata’s pictures if he doesn’t report back that she is innocent. Very unfortunately, Sakakura complies. Blinded by love or despair? Nanami is shoved into a dark elevator by Yukizome. Enoshima appears on monitor revealing to Nanami about Yukizome being brainwashed by the despair video. However she feels that she is a step away from perfection. And Nanami will be that perfection. When all her classmates finally gather in a strange room, Enoshima is on the monitor again and is going to make them watch a video called Nanami’s Punishment. We see Nanami trying to dodge all sorts of dangerous traps in a dungeon. She has already taken some damage but still tries to maintain her positivism that she will not give up. Her classmates can only helplessly watch and cannot move because of the hypnotism effect. Just when Nanami reaches the goal door, all the spikes impale her. Game over. This drives all her classmates spiralling into despair and madness. Enoshima congratulates her new ‘colleagues’ as they will bring the world ultimate despair. Nanami in her final moments sees Kamukura standing before her. She realizes he has no memories being Hinata. Even in this state, she is trying to be positive. She doesn’t want to die and continue to be with her classmates but all is in vain as she struggles till her last breath. Kamukura picks up her hairpin and couldn’t understand why tears start flowing down his cheeks.

Episode 11
Munakata is told that the overseas expansion is cancelled. No reason is given. Then he asks Sakakura about his report in which he lies through his teeth that Enoshima is innocent. Munakata has his doubts at first so he confirms it with Yukizome who also says Enoshima is innocent. It is then Munakata believes he was wrong all along. Enoshima sets off the biggest chaotic despair with all the Reverse Course students getting violent and barging into the main building to slaughter everyone. While Yukizome gives her graduation speech to her class (everybody is under some sort of hypnotic despair too) and ends it by detonating a bomb! Enoshima wonders why Kamukura asked her to erase memories of him from the memories of others. As he will meet them in the future, he wants to know if hope or despair is the unpredictable factor. That is why he too will have his own memories erased. It will be more fun that way. After that they part ways. Jin and Tengan are trapped inside the school’s building. They see on the news the worldwide chaos. While Tengan wants to escape as they can’t do anything much here, Jin wants to stay behind to entrust hope to the survivors. Enoshima ends everything by having the Reverse Course students commit suicide when they’re done killing others. Ikusaba wonders why she didn’t have them join her ranks. They might have their brains rewired like hers but they are too low specs to be of any use. She warns Ikusaba to watch out because she’ll backstab her without hesitation. Then they go join Naegi’s class. We finally get the answer to why they were barricaded inside the building is because they themselves put up the barricades. Enoshima notes Naegi’s luck and wants to test it out. He is lucky he missed getting killed by her. Enoshima rethinks her decision to kill him because she doesn’t want him to derail her plans. Yukizome’s students are somehow outside. Munakata picks up Yukizome from the rubble. As narrated, her students go all over the world to spread despair. Everything fell apart as part of Enoshima’s plan. Sakakura deeply regrets not stopping Enoshima that it has led to this. Yukizome cries crocodile tears pleading to Munakata to stop this insanity so that she can make him despair more deeply than any of them.

Zetsubou Shita!
Well, it is with mixed feelings the way this arc ended. I knew it was going to be on the tragedy side but yet I feel so unsatisfied about it. I know everything hasn’t really ended yet and the only thing that has ended is hope. Especially that final scene about Hinata and Nanami nicely meeting each other at some island resort. What the heck was that? A dream? No way, man. Please don’t troll me any further when my sentiments are already this shaky. Gosh. Am I in despair???!!! Oh my God. Say it isn’t so. Phew. At least I didn’t take up a weapon and trash everything around me. Thankfully it isn’t 100% despair because there is still hope. Turns out there will be an episode to end and bridge this as announced at the end of the final episode but that will be for next time.

Unlike the first Danganronpa series and the Future Arc, this one breaks away from the mutual killing game of picking off each other one by one. Sure, there’s that student council version of it but that lasts only for minutes and serves as an appetizer. This arc heavily focuses on Enoshima’s grand foundation in building up her plans to bring ultimate despair to the world and the unfortunate souls who became victims of her mind controlling schemes. So if you are hoping and guessing from the promotional poster arc that these would be the ‘new’ characters to kill each other off in a survival game, you’d be very far off the mark. Of course this is assuming you didn’t play the game and like yours truly came to this assumption.

This means that the class under Yukizome’s care feel like they aren’t fleshed out properly. Each has their own interesting and quirky personality that makes them all so different in every way but because we don’t mostly see them do fun things together throughout the series (like Nanami’s video game session), it feels like their initial introduction in the first episode was like some sort of trolling and has been watered down as the series progresses and focused on other happenings. So if you want to have an idea of what Nanami’s class did together, the best bet is watch the ending credits animation where there is a montage of it. Well, I’m not saying that all characters in every Danganronpa series are fleshed out. This is the case for characters who are killed off very early. However for these special super talented students, they aren’t really killed off so it makes their roles for this arc feeling a bit much more to be desired. Like as though they’re just waiting around till the final moments of the plot to become somewhat relevant.

Hence among the students of this main course class that get the most screen time or at least playing more notable roles are Nanami and skinny Mitarai. Sadly, Nanami is the only main character to die. I know you’re going to remind me about Natsumi and Sato but they’re just minor characters whom you’ll forget once this arc reaches its end. What happened to Mitarai after he got washed away? I suppose he just kept running and running and running. Supposedly strong characters like Sakakura and Yukizome who are thought to be able to put up a decent fight against despair, ironically succumb to it. At least it shows they are human, right? They too have weaknesses and not perfect. Hey, being super high school level currently or formerly doesn’t mean that you are perfect like God. You just happen to be more successful than others normally. Finally, Hinata/Kamukura felt a bit of a waste. Of course from where the plot of this arc is going, there is nothing much he can do. But I thought it was a waste to have this all-so-powerful-God like as though he is very much the last boss to fight and lose but he is just observing and biding his time. That’s all.

In one of the biggest ironies, the higher ups trying to play God and create their own artificial super level of hope instead ushered in the biggest despair instead. Normal students pay big money in return to get some sort of future hope but what they got was a big let-down and ultimately despair. That’s what happened when a large sum of money is involved. Can you now say that in addition to money is the root of all evil, it is now the root of all despair? It is no longer just a sin to be poor but sad to be without money.

Another irony is Enoshima and her love for despair. It feels like a big contradiction. If she loves despair, shouldn’t she herself be wallowing in misery, desolation and hopelessness? Instead we see her revel and taking joy in seeing others suffer and this makes her more of a super level sadist than one who is gunning for ultimate despair. I mean, she did bring the world to its knees but she is happy in achieving that goal and seeing how it is brought upon others. In that sense, she is like a hypocrite to her own goal of despair. She should be called a super high school level evil maniacal mastermind sadist instead. If she really wants to go into despair, she should look at that Nozomu guy from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series. That guy is truly in despair.

I am not sure whether to call it spoilers or knowledge beforehand because since this arc is aired side by side with the Future arc, many of the revelations and the character backgrounds are related. Therefore if you watch this series without watching the Future arc at the same time, you might not be missing anything out since this took place before all the Danganronpa series chronologically. It stands alone by itself. But if you do watch the Future arc, you will find that there are quite a few incidents that will be related. So you can consider this arc as spoiler when you do so. Or if you’re being optimistic, it gives you better understanding when you watch the Future arc subsequently. For instance, the ‘complicated’ relationship between Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi. While you might think their cameo appearance might be seen as one of the few driving points in the story and insignificant for this arc, you will find and understand better about their role in the Future arc which in a way makes sense. It also makes sense to learn why skinny Mitarai is the only ‘survivor’ among his class. You’ll see what I mean if you watched the Future arc. So spoilers or knowledge beforehand? Either way, both these series complement each other.

It goes without saying that despite this arc is chronologically the first, for those who have not watched the first season’s Danganronpa, you will be greatly spoiled because we all know who the main big villain is, right? Therefore watching this prequel arc hinges on pretty much on the assumption that you have watched the first season and you pretty much know what has happened. Doing so makes it easier to connect the dots and lines and gives you a better idea and understanding of what is generally happening.

The art and animation style remains consistent among the series. This means that some of the character design feels odd. Characters with odd looking parts that make them look more cartoonish than anything. For example Hanamura. This guy is already creepy as a little pervert and with his cartoon-like face like as though he popped out from some baking mascot cover, he looks even creepier if not funnier. Soda looks more like a rapper than a mechanic. Just saying… One thing I find odd is how the other non-important students of the Reverse Course are drawn as what I call ‘blue mannequins’. Every time I see them I feel like I wanna go “I’m blue da ba di da ba die”. No, seriously. With all the blue people around, it feels like they are clones or something. I understand that they paid through their noses to get enrolled here and when they found out the truth they get disappointed and hence the blues (okay, I’m just bullsh*tting) but it just looks odd to see them drawn this way. Well, we’ve seen the odd pink blood which is the trademark of this series.

A handful of recognizable seiyuus lend their talents to this series such as Kana Hanazawa as Nanami, Mai Nakahara as Yukizome, Junichi Suwabe as Sakakura, Akira Ishida as the imposter Mitarai, Jun Fukuyama as Hanamura, Tomokazu Sugita as Tanaka, Yu Kobayashi as Koizumi, Yoshimasa Hosoya as Soda, Hiroaki Yasumoto as Nidai, Ami Koshimizu as Mioda, Ai Shimizu as Sato and Rikiya Koyama as Jin. Oddly, Megumi Ogata who voiced Naegi in the other Danganronpa series plays Komaeda here. It gave me an impression that Komaeda might be his older brother or something related in this sense as they both have that similar feel. I mean, one is with super hope and the other is super luck. Talents which are somewhat intangible, right? At first I thought Aoi Yuuki was behind Saionji but I was greatly mistaken as it was Suzuko Mimori instead (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes).

For the rest of the new casts, they are Minami Tanaka as Hinata/Kamukura (Conan in Detective Conan), Kanata Hongou as Mitarai the animator (Sakamoto in BTOOOM), Ai Kayano as Tsumiki (Kanade in Chihayafuru), Daisuke Kishio as Fuyuhiko (Suginami in Da Capo series), Kotono Mitsushi as Pekoyama (Excel in Excel Saga), Romi Paku as Owari (Hitsugaya in Bleach), Miho Arakawa as Sonia (Hanabusa in Akuma No Riddle), Haruka Yamazaki as Natsumi (Tomoyo in Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-Kei No Naka De), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Munakata (Mard Geer in Fairy Tail), Hidekatsu Shibata as Tengan (Igneel in Fairy Tail), Saki Fujita as Seiko (Inami in Working), Inori Minase as Ruruka (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka) and Takuya Eguchi as Izayoi (Kon in Ixion Saga DT).

The opening theme is Kami Iro Awase by Binaria. I’m not sure how to put it but It isn’t exactly a rock piece but it is in a way. I’m confused too. Maybe because the singer’s voice of singing the song in a calm way. Watching the opening credits at first made me think Shaft did this anime because of how similar its style is to the Monogatari series. Turns out to be Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Hamatora, Unbreakable Machine Doll, Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut and Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai. The ending theme is Zettai Kibou Birthday by Megumi Ogata. At first I didn’t believe it was heard because from what I can hear it sounds like a man’s voice singing this rock outfit. I thought it might be some type error. I even looked at various sources and finally the ending credits itself and confirmed it is her singing this one. Straining my ears to closely hear, I finally realize it could be her. After all, she has this low voice and this makes her suitable to voice many anime roles for young boys.

Overall, the series is pretty interesting and sets the foundation and the ball rolling for the other Danganronpa series in a chronological sense. Despite the lack of mutual killings or the main characters being killed off (unless you consider falling into ultimate despair as a metaphor for the character being killed off) the plot and turn of events make it an interesting watch. At least it is good to take heart that the writer and producers of this series are so super high level because otherwise we would be brainwashed and fall into despair. Instead we leave with satisfaction and high hopes for the series. Naturally an ideal point if you want it to be a commercial success. Because what’s worse than the world falling into despair is for your series to be ultimately cancelled and then into oblivion forever. Then it would be truly zetsubou shita!

Ange Vierge

January 28, 2017

I couldn’t make out much of Ange Vierge from the synopsis. Not sure what kind of anime it will be. My thoughts it would be something like Valkyrie Drive ~Mermaid~ but noticing it isn’t going to rely on cheap yuri fanservice, I guess it isn’t. But then again, there is some cheap yuri fanservice although not on a boobs monstrosity level. Based on a trading card of the same name, from what I can see is that the world is going to be destroyed if a group of beautiful girls of different backgrounds do not try to do something and stop its acceleration. Hmm… Bishoujo you say? Okay. Count me in.

Episode 1
Saya Sougetsu with Amane Ayashiro’s help is fighting against the enemy known as Ouroboros. Erm, towers looking like penis? With the other cosplay girls arriving to intercept, they defeat the enemies before it reaches Seiran Island. We are now being given a narration of heavy stuffs for the setting. There are 5 worlds namely the Black World, Darkness Embrace (night and magic powered); the Red World, Terra Rubiri Aurora (prayers and gods); the White World, System White Eguma (science and technology); the Green World, Grunewald Silt (weapons and military); and the Blue World, Earth (…) I guess we’re useless piece of sh*ts. One day a portal called Halo opened and connected all 5 worlds. It’s not a good sign. It means the end of the world is coming. Because when all 5 worlds lose their power source and combine, it’s really the end. World End as it is aptly named. So to save the world, girls with special powers are gathered on Seiran Island on Earth to fight the menace. These are Progress Girls and those with special abilities are known as Exceed. They link with each other and amplify their powers via Alpha Drivers. You get all that already? The report credits Saya, Amane, Almaria, Elel, Code Omega 77 Stella, Nya Lapucea and Miumi Hinata in the recent victory over Ouroboros. Damn the rest of the episode sees the girls relaxing naked in the entire building which is probably the biggest bath house in the world talking about stuffs. Damn censors… Anyway Amane thinks everyone did a good job but Saya thinks otherwise. She chastises her to do a better job because Saya wants to promote quickly to the next class instead of staying in the same class forever (it is believed if you’re promoted, so are your abilities). She doesn’t like Amane’s laidback attitude. Saya remembers she was just an ordinary girl and one day she was bestowed powers from out of the blue (I don’t think it’s a pun). She was happy thinking her power was unique but eventually it wasn’t. So instead of blaming herself, senior Aoi Mikage points out Saya’s inexperience. If she was perfect, she doesn’t need to worry about anyone else. Saya wants to become stronger and get into EXR class so the best way is to train with Mikage. Similarly, the other girls elsewhere also have this same idea with their seniors. So the fight a simulation battle but end up losing. In the aftermath, Saya is most bitter of the lost. Amane thought of cheering her up with some positive words but Saya scorns back at her that there will be no next time.

Episode 2
Flashback shows when Saya first entered Seiran Academy, she got lost. She picked a random girl (Amane) to follow. Soon she too realized that she is lost! But hey, they became friends. Everyone is reflecting about their loss in training but mostly they point out Amane needs to do a better job because as an Alpha Driver, she has to keep the Link between them stable. Dr Michael, Ruby, Clara, Euphiria and Aurora are trying to research on Ouroboros’ attack patterns but can’t find a thing. As Saya observes Mikage and Hinata in training, she remembers chastising Amane for being laidback. Despite Amane viewing her as special, it wasn’t for Saya. To her, being the SR and EXR classes like Hinata and Mikage is special. Code Omega 46 Xenia and Code Omega 33 Carene are patrolling the seas when they are attacked by an Ouroboros. Instead of destroying it, they decide to send data back via quantum sonobuoys. This will allow Euphiria to track the enemy outside space and time. Because of that, they now manage to pinpoint the base of Ouroboros at Ryuujin Island. An announcement for SR and EXR classes to go intercept the enemy via sneak attack while other lower classes like C and UC class will stay back to guard Seiran Island. That’s you Saya. Why looking not so happy? Amane tries to be positive again about Saya rushing for promotion. However Saya snaps back at her at the rate Amane is progressing, she will never get any stronger. She doesn’t understand how she feels. Saya later learns that Amane is super famous at the Alpha Driver’s training facility because she always trains in super hard mode like as though she’s a masochist. This makes Saya feel guilty over her outburst and realizes she knows nothing on Amane. If the attack on Ryuujin Island is too easy and progressing so well, it probably is. Because it was just a diversion as the real Ouroboros main force is now attacking Seiran Island. But where are they? Nobody can see them. From underground! Yikes. Giant tentacles attacking this time? The Exceeds engage them but it seems Saya can’t feel the Link that Amane is giving to her. Obviously it is the girls’ lost but Ouroboros stops attacking them. Could it be they are not their target? True enough, they target the Alpha Drivers. When dawn breaks, the girls inspect the Alpha Drivers’ section. All of them are crystallized. Including Amane. Too late to feel sorry now.

Episode 3
Flashback of happier times between Saya and Amane. They watch a Blooming Battle between Sofina and Ramiel. This made Saya want to get stronger faster. It seems the crystal deflects all sorts of attacks so this means it can’t be destroyed. At least Dr Michael has not enough data to form any solutions. Because the SR and EXR class at Ryuujin Island have not returned, Saya and co want to head there and find out what happened. Making their way there, they see defeated giant Ouroboros. Never knew they were this big, huh? Euphiria detects another problem: It seems the collision for World End is speeding up. They believe there isn’t enough energy called Extras slowing it down. That is the reason why Blooming Battles are held. When Dr Michael checks the state of the crystallized Alpha Drivers, she notices their brain activity is still high. It turns into a nightmare because she realizes Ouroboros has also corrupted their minds. If they were in Link their Progress, it means they too will be corrupted. Saya finds unconscious Hinata. When she wakes up, she is now corrupted and attacks her. The rest come to Saya’s aid but Mikage keeps them busy. Hinata is trying to ‘guide’ Saya by making her feel guilty especially when she brings up Amane’s name and role. She is accusing them for being weak. They don’t understand each other. That’s why Amane had to train hard away from her eyes and Saya is still safe. Of course Saya breaks down and admits her shortfall and the need to blame someone then. But she won’t run away anymore. Saya’s rage and strong determination defeats Hinata and brings her back to normal. So Hinata got all her clothes blown away in effect? Mikage still wants to have a go but with Aurora and Euphiria coming in, she escapes. Thanks to that battle, enough Extras were generated and the acceleration towards World End slows back down to where it’s supposed to be. Meanwhile the other corrupted SR and EXR Progress Girls are hatching their own destructive schemes.

Episode 4
Flashback shows Almaria first met Amane by saving her falling off a building. What do you know? She was practising diving at the outdoor bath on the highest floor. Since Amane is pretty casual about it and not even thinking about death, this vampire from Darkness Embrace decides to become her sister. The UC Progress Girls think about the irony that their weak Link with their Alpha Driver was the one that saved them from corruption. While we see the corrupted Progress Girls being devilish, we see a more retarded diversion from the sisterly pair from Grunewald Silt, Ageha and Mayuka Sanagi. They claim they are now Ouroboros soldiers and will train on food survival. Large servings of onigiri? WTF. Do you normally find that in the forest? Dr Michael and the rest discuss about the insufficient Extras. Because a large number of Progress Girls have fallen into darkness, the acceleration of World End speeds up again. They think the only way is to defeat them. Right now, Darkness Embrace’s Extra is rapidly depleting. Our UC Progress Girls volunteer to go check out that world. I mean, all the SR and EXR Progress Girls are ‘gone’, right? While flying into the Black World, Almaria remembers her training with her senior Sofina. Almaria got embarrassed when Sofina teased and offered her to drink her blood. Arriving into Darkness Embrace, Sofina attacks them. Almaria faces off with her while the rest have to fight the Ouroboros guards in which some of them are corrupted Progress Girls. Almaria is still weak against Sofina. She almost gets tentacle raped as Sofina teases her to drink her blood again. When Saya rescues her, Sofina turns her attention to help Ouroboros destroy her world’s crystal at Dark Cradle by using her ultimate witch spell.

Episode 5
Almaria isn’t too pleased Amane keeps endangering herself since Amane is confident she will save her. Almaria talks about how she admires Sofina but is unable to get to her level. However Amane thinks Almaria herself is as special because she loves her. Thankfully Dark Cradle still stands thanks to its powerful barrier although Rizelitta is unconscious. Sofina is cursing about the strong barrier and will wait till her magic replenishes before attacking it again. We take a detour to the comical Sanagi sisters again. This time Ageha teaches Mayuka how to throw a hand grenade. However she got it mixed up and throws the pin and holds the grenade. Boom! The girls discuss about Almaria and vampires sucking blood. She dismisses the movie theory of becoming a vampire when you get your blood sucked because eventually if everyone becomes one, there is no blood left to suck. Kinda like zombie movies, right? They guess Almaria has never drank blood before and despite she can’t drink from someone she doesn’t know, how does that make Amane then? She can’t either because she views Amane as her sister. Time for them to go back into battle as the enemy has resumed pounding on Dark Cradle. Almaria faces off with Sofina again. Sofina mocks her and admits she loves her and wants everything that is of her. That’s why let’s end the world together. But Almaria won’t do that and will save her, infuriating Sofina a lot. She attacks and Almaria resigns to her defeat but is saved by Saya. A little pep talk has Almaria agree to suck Saya’s blood (she volunteered). The sight of sinking her teeth into her night pisses off Sofina. Nobody can do that to her belonging. Almaria powers up and defeats and cures Sofina. The Black World now returns to normal with all energy signs stabilized. Despite the ‘fall’ of Darkness Embrace, the other corrupted Progress Girls are still confident they can destroy the worlds.

Episode 6
When Elel first came to Seiran Academy, she is revved up to make friends. And then she stumbled upon Amane. Did they meet before? She can’t remember. Elel panics as she tries to change the subject and everything but it seems Amane too doesn’t know her and was just trying to be friends with her. Almaria and Saya are closer to each other now. To the point Almaria just wants to suck her blood! Almaria and Sofina also reconcile seeing it was the Ouroboros side that made her fall to the dark side and amplified her feelings. But now Sofina views Saya as her rival! Since when did this become so complicated? Do we need more military training from the Sanagi sisters? Yet another food survival. But can they eat the natural bugs? They lower their threshold to eat a giant elephant! Although the Black World is safe for now, they need to check out the other worlds as Ouroboros will be targeting them. And so the UC Progress Girls head to the Red World, Elel’s world. But along the way they got separated. Elel is before Ramiel as the latter shows off her fabulous wings. While Elel is very happy and impressed with her, it soon hits Ramiel nerves when Elel mentions she has other friends. Speaking of them, they are trying to find their way out of a 3D maze. Ramiel accuses Elel for lying all the time. In fact, she thinks her existence is just a lie and the reason why she could always praise her for her beautifulness despite knowing the fact Ramiel actually only had 1 wing and cannot fly by herself unless she has an Alpha Driver. Despite all the refuting, Ramiel refuses to believe her. Then she has Elel choose between her and her other friends to save. Elel considers all of them her friends. Still not impressed, Ramiel orders Elel to fight her if she wants to save her other friends. Elel loses but is saved in time by Saya and co who bust out of the maze in time. Jealous Ramiel flees leaving poor a crying and heartbroken Elel.

Episode 7
Elel is depressed, naturally. Believing that Ramiel isn’t her friend anymore, she too thinks Saya and the rest aren’t real friends and are only so because they’re a team. Saya regains her trust by allowing her to use her Exceed. Just believe in her. More flashbacks on Elel’s friendly times with Amane and Ramiel. Elel realizes that she wasn’t looking at Ramiel closely and Amane understood that better than her. Almaria is now upset because Elel is trying to hog Saya to herself. Since when Saya is her personal property? Seeing how friendly Elel is with these girls, this only increases Ramiel’s hatred on her. We take a detour on this hate and go see what the Sanagi sisters are up to. Riding a tank? For once nothing bad happens except maybe the occasional Mayuka pressing the fire button instead of the accelerator. But other than that they have a nice ride and even watch the sunset. Ramiel is now trying to destroy the crystal at Palace of the Seven Goddesses. Cue for Elel to come to her and ‘talk’. The other girls fend off other Ouroboros guards to let Elel meet up with Ramiel. Elel continues to apologize but Ramiel still won’t accept all that. She doesn’t care about anything anymore. Not even the friendship part or anything that has got to do with it. Gee, then why are you still persistent on your fate of just having 1 wing instead of 2 full wings like Elel? This makes Elel screams back that it isn’t the wings she cares about but Ramiel as her friend and the one she loves. I guess this time her feelings got through to her. This honesty about Elel’s feelings is what Ramiel likes and hates about her. Their reconciliation hug is powerful enough to purify Ramiel and return their friendship back to where it always is.

Episode 8
Amane fooled around with Stella’s body thinking it was a doll and accidentally started her up. So as Stella tries to determine if she is her master/creator/programmer, Amane says she is her mom. Before we move on to serious stuff, let’s check out what the Sanagi sisters are doing now. Today’s training: Resting. Day off? Nope! Learn how to rest! Not sure if Ageha’s explanation is so boring that Mayuka fell asleep. But good job nevertheless. Because Mayuka is b*tching for Ageha to come sleep with her, she gives in to her demands and soon can’t escape Mayuka’s clutches because she uses her as a pillow. Not sure if Ageha got raped because in the end she is naked and only clad with a towel… We’ll leave that to your imagination. With Ramiel on the healing path, Elel thanks Saya for everything in which of course she humbly denies. While Elel and Almaria fight over to be Saya’s, ahem, more than just friends, Saya talks to Stella who seems to be concerned about increasing her speed. Stella views Amane as a tool and vice versa. This is because of one bad experience when Amane slapped her for not listening despite they have been together for most of the time. It is a reason she decides to think the same and the only thing that’s important now is her speed. Stella gets a distress call from Xenia. Euphiria wants to go save her mom but leaving her place means leaving Earth vulnerable. Yeah, why not just send Saya and co as they have a proven record of saving 2 worlds already. Reaching the White World which is literally a huge cyberspace, Stella pushes forward ahead of the rest when Xenia’s distress gets stronger. When she reaches her, it is all too obvious a trap as Carene attacks her. Xenia too is part of the trap to lure her. They try to inject her with a virus to turn into the dark side but luckily her firewall is strong and rejects! The duo want Stella to unite and become one. They view this as the ultimate form of love. As proof, they merge. Since she won’t, they continue attacking. By this time Saya and co have reached as they counter attack. Carene-Xenia show a virus in which they intend to destroy the barrier protecting the crystal. If Stella had merged with them, it would have been done immediately. But no matter. It is only a matter of time. Carene-Xenia escape.

Episode 9
From what I understand, because Carene-Xenia are far ahead in this infinite cyberspace to reach the crystal, Stella is going to do some repairs to her own machine so she can catch up to them. Of course she refuses help from others. Saya can’t help feel worried for her but this does not compute for Stella. When she views everyone and herself as tools, Saya does an Amane by slapping her. Don’t you dare say we’re tools because we’re all friends. Why slap her if she considers her as a friend then? Because she is mad and sad. If she was a tool, she wouldn’t even have those feelings and slapped her. Does this compute? Once Stella is done, she blasts off in the speed of light while the other girls take care of the Ouroboros. Stella catches up and tries to insert vaccine programmes but Carene-Xenia destroy them as well as damage Stella. They then press forward as Stella remembers she broke her own speed record and thought Amane would be impressed. Instead, Amane slapped her because she was worried that Stella didn’t listen to her and was being reckless. The same emotions from Amane and Saya now makes Stella understand. From a programming point of view? With new resolve, Stella accelerates even faster to catch up and overtake her seniors. Carene-Xenia won’t allow that and try to go even faster. However they have never done this before and this threatens to tear Xenia apart from Carene, something Carene doesn’t want. Stella is able to handle such speeds because Amane has always been bearing the brunt of her pain. Stella catches up and catches them. With the mission over, Stella emotionally shed tears after saving her sisters. Time to go home. Lastly, we can’t have an episode without the Sanagi sisters. This time Mayuka owns Ageha for once. Or twice. Because she is snickering about what happened the last time. Ageha vowed it won’t happen again but déjà vu can be a b*tch.

Episode 10
When Nya first came to Earth, she thought how different and better it was than her own. Amane heard that and learning she is an ex-soldier, she asked her advice on how to go about playing some battle simulator. Amane surprises her with her tactics of not sacrificing anyone and using team work. Nya is reluctant to teach her further since she is so done about giving and receiving orders. Amane rewords it as a favour instead of an order so Nya agrees. Our last Sanagi sisters’ special training? Well, just a dismissal speech from Ageha it is over. Carene and Xenia are healing well but they have some small distorted data on the enemy in which they give Dr Michael and Euphiria to analyse. Now Stella is sitting on Saya’s lap because that is what her mom Amane used to let her. But Saya is not her mom. Just a friend of mom. In that case, her aunty? With Stella close to Saya, the rivalry goes up a notch. Stella versus all the aunties! Because Almaria claims to be Saya’s sister. That’s an aunty, right? Elel claims to be Saya’s friend. That’s also an aunty, right? Saya talks to Nya and learns she is a former super elite soldier. She was discharged and ended up here. Previously she got a new recruit in her team. But a mission to rescue a POW went wrong and she was forced to abandon her and retreated. By deduction, Nya knows it is her turn to settle things. So she is going to the Green World herself and doesn’t want Saya to tell the rest. Well, Saya is a bad liar considering her body language… Once Nya arrives in the desolated desert, Eins Exaura is already waiting for her. She is trying to play no Nya’s guilt of abandoning a friend. Flashback shows Eins was that new recruit and an enhanced soldier. The Sanagi sisters were also under Nya. When the mission went wrong, Nya was looking for Eins but Ageha requested an order to retreat since they have already retrieved the important target. No choice, Nya had to give orders to retreat. Eins doesn’t hate Nya for the abandonment since she was picked up and further enhanced. In a bid to make Nya serious, Eins has sent the Sanagi sisters to attack Earth! Nya can relive her past of abandoning her friends again while she fights her. These idiots? Bah! They’ll flop, you’ll see. Oh wait. I can’t believe it. They’re dominating Saya and co! OMG. They won and took them as hostage?! Surprise, surprise. Nya fights Eins and doesn’t want to get all-out serious but she is trying to force her. I’m not sure what countdown Nya’s limiter had but when it reaches zero, a super blast wave so great that it transcends dimensions and knocks out the Sanagi sisters (ripping their clothes too???!!!) and thus saving Saya and co. Also, Eins is purified. Wow. So fast? And that was Nya just being half serious. Seriously?

Episode 11
When Saya thought she could finally fight officially as a Progress Girl with Amane, to her horror Amane has already made other friends. Jealous? Sad? Not the only special friend that Amane has? Eins recuperates and reconciles with Nya. She relates how she wanted to impress and thus rushed into the mission but it went awry and put everyone in danger. While everyone else didn’t like how Nya silently went back to her own world, they blame Saya for not telling them since she knew. It’s like she doesn’t trust them. But all that hate turn into love for Saya’s attention. Thankfully Nya isn’t like those cheap lesbians and is staying out of this ‘war’. Dr Michael is having a hard time analyzing the corrupted data so Carene and Xenia suggest to manually merge and reconstruct missing data from there. Since Mikage is from Earth, no need to hop to another world because a showdown with Saya begins now. Mikage claims the other EXR Progress Girls are just for show as the real deal starts now. Herald Abyss, the greatest weapon of Ouroboros. Uhm, giant dick head? So the Alpha Drivers weren’t merely just sealed away. They are going to be used to power up Abyss and destroy Earth’s crystal. Saya clashes with Mikage but the latter mocks her she will never be better because she is always dreaming and thus nothing special. Cue for Saya’s friends to jump in to save her and prove Mikage wrong because Saya is special to them. But they too cannot match up to her might. Who else is there to take on her? Yeah, Hinata. Your turn. After the epic power clash, Hinata defeats and purifies Mikage. However that is the beginning of their problems. Because now Hinata has fallen to the dark side (Mikage infected her during the fight) and initiates Abyss. Sh*t is going to hit the fan.

Episode 12
Hinata is so powerful that nobody can touch her. They still carry on bringing down the menace while Dr Michael’s side tries to activate something. When they do, Saya now finds herself inside Amane’s mind. She sees her sitting dejectedly. Amane has now resigned herself to being lonely forever without friends. Role reversal. Saya’s turn to be the understanding one here. Saya tries to explain how precious she is to everyone and how they never realized how much they loved her till she is gone but Amane continues to wallow in despair. She thought of trying to understand everyone but failed. That’s why it is no difference when Saya lashed out at her. So now Saya thinks she has been wrong. Amane has tried her best and it is okay to be wrong. She doesn’t care if she will forever hate her but Saya wants to apologize and won’t let her carry the burden anymore. She will never let her be lonely again. This is enough to let Amane break out of her crystallized state and into Saya’s arms. Now that she is back, Dr Michael ushers her into this dick egg tower so she can link up with everyone to power up. And of course Saya defeats and purifies Hinata because of the greatest emotion power and bond with Amane. But now they have to take care of the numerous Ouroboros. That’s where the rest of the EXR Progress Girls join in to kick some ass. But that is just for a short while because you know how Amane powers up everyone and a super beam rains down on Seiran to destroy the enemies. Everyone is saved. The worlds are saved. The future is saved. Wow. So easy that it is too good to be true. And all because they got their bonds back. Saya and co happily receive Amane. Welcome back.

Sorority Sisterly Love Saves The World
Yay! Everything is saved. The world, the future, the girls and more importantly their bonds. What a happy good ending if I must say. Read sarcasm. If only everybody knew it was this easy to defeat Ouroboros as long as you have strong bonds. Because the stronger they are, the more powerful you are and that itself is enough to take out the entire horde. I know it sounds crazy but I guess that is why the wars in the real world we live in won’t stop. We get offended and insulted by the slightest things and if there are none, we make the hell up out of it. Not sure if Ouroboros will return in the future to continue accelerating the world’s end but for now, let’s leave our girls to enjoy their much deserved company.

The only reason why we can have a storyline of our UC Progress Girls is because they are all somewhat linked to Amane. It feels like she is the sole reason why everyone else bonds or bothers to make friends. A reason for drama. Without Amane, the world would have been doomed. It gives an excuse for the girls to bond further and thus a reason to go into each other’s worlds to save the day in a predictably systematic order. Well, don’t you see a pattern after the introductory arc? After the Ouroboros attacked and poor Amane got crystallized, it made the other girls realize how they have taken Amane for granted and some treated her like sh*t (looking at you Saya). It gives them a chance to think back about the times they first met her, bonded with her and her quirky honesty so it gives them a reason to fly into the world that it is currently being attacked by a corrupted senior and Ouroboros. In return, they free their senior from the clutches of darkness, push back Armageddon a little more and since they can’t physically bond with Amane, Saya as a substitute will do. Therefore Amane is the most important character and factor, the sole reason why this entire series exist! Had it not been for her, who knows where everyone else will end up. So for these lucky few girls, it is like an angel came to touch their lives, don’t you think? Now that Amane is back, everyone can have a double dose of their favourite girl around.

Of all the characters and worlds there are in this anime’s setting, the most interesting and my personal favourite are those from the Green World. It may be the most boring and uneventful of the 5 worlds but they made it up with very quirky characters. Because the Sanagi sisters are the most hilarious of the bunch. They should have more scenes of the duo doing futile special training that has nothing to do with the real mission eventually. Heck, they should even have their own spinoff! When you get tired of the other girls sorting out their sisterly problems and all that jealousy drama, we can always look forward to every episode and take heart that there are idiotic people like them who can be this cool. Even cooler than the other girls.

Even Eins is not so bad as the corrupted ‘senior’ but her case is in reverse. Unlike other girls, Eins is the only junior while her saviour Nya is her senior. Because of that, she lacks that cockiness and arrogance as seen in Sofina, Ramiel, Carene, Xenia and even Mikage. Nya is also better than the rest of the girls in her class because as an ex-soldier, she is most mature and doesn’t stoop to the lowbrow yuri competition over Saya. Vampires, gods and androids losing out to a mere soldier on the battle of companionship? No wonder the worlds are in danger of being destroyed. You might think that the Green World is less exciting and has been short-changed because it only has 1 dedicated episode compared to the other worlds with the minimum of 2 episodes. But I would like to think how efficient Nya is in getting the job done despite her lazy laidback nature. Heck, she actually got it all over in just half the episode. Don’t need to waste time on unnecessary drama whatsoever. Just do it. That’s the military style.

The rest of the girls feel like annoying b*tches but because the look kawaii and moe, the reason why they aren’t as annoying as hell. Basically most of them have this inferior complex to each other. You know, juniors admire their seniors and want to be like them. On the other hand, seniors are envy of their juniors because they have what they have not. Yeah, something like that. In the end, it is supposed to give us the much needed sisterly drama for them to fight and reconcile, kiss and make up. It almost feels like a game because once they’ve overcome this relationship hurdle, it’s like this problem has been forever solved. They’ll never have to face such strain in their relationship again. And till Amane comes back, Saya becomes their temporary replacement for some good skinship. Yuri time, I guess. So you could say that Ouroboros actually are the good guys here technically. Because they gave a chance for this group of b*tches to resolve their insecurities and differences in which otherwise they will forever put on that fake mask charade that everything is okay but it’s not. Failure to settle and get back on good terms would mean the end of the world, their existence. So don’t you think Ouroboros are the true heroes of the worlds? Ultimately it is the girls who save everything. They save the worlds, thus saving their existence, they save their seniors and eventually they save themselves.

The rest of the background staffs like Dr Michael’s group also don’t fare well. They are supposed to be Seiran’s top and most powerful fighters or so I think. But they spend so much time in their lab trying to analyse and who knows what else there is to do. I understand Dr Michael has her research and Euphiria is stuck in some tube with her own time-space abilities. But what are Aurora, Ruby and Clara for? Just giving lip service? Especially there is this odd relationship between Ruby and Clara in which the former has a tendency to mock the latter for not knowing her stuffs, thus a reason for a much needed explanation to us viewers. I find it odd that Carene and Xenia are always hugging each other, like as though they can never be apart from each other. Is this is some sort of yuri fanservice? Why do robots need to hold each other like that? Can’t they just use a wire or cable to connect and sync themselves? Yeah, so complicated that I don’t even want to understand.

One thing nice is the art and design of the characters and worlds. I’m not saying it is a masterpiece but when you are blending different sorts of worlds from demons to gods to robots and wasteland, these worlds look worthy for a fantasy type genre. When you girls from various backgrounds, normal high school girl, vampire girl, fairy girl, robot girl, military girl, gothic girl, scientist girl, demon girl, angry girls, it is only right to have a variety of designs. While they are not too shabby, it does differentiate their background well. And that’s why even if the story seems generic and nothing new, we can all ogle at the kawaii and moe bishoujos as our saving grace. Yup, they boldly throw in a heavy fanservice teaser for the first episode with nothing but the girls talking in their birthday suit in the baths for almost the entire episode. Don’t hope for the rest of the episode to have that same treatment. Some small baths here and there but nothing as major as this one. Damn those steam censors… As for the design of Ouroboros, I’m not sure but personally many of them look like giant sexual objects. I don’t know. Does this mean I am a pervert? Because these chequered pattern aliens some of them look like dicks and others look like giant sperms. Maybe the design of them is too abstract that I start seeing them as so.

Action wise, I think this department is rather okay too. We have cute girls in fancy clothes and power ups. It would be a waste not to make them use it in battles. So it is a necessary evil for them to show us that they can kick as well in addition to looking good. But they don’t have much of a variety because well, this anime isn’t going to last like 3 digit number of episodes, right? So one or two variations may be enough and sufficient for the big battle of the arc. Like Almaria’s blood materializing weapons, Elel replicating abilities from others, Stella’s speed, Nya’s special gauntlet and Saya’s light sabre sword. There are some terminologies as well but they aren’t that much of a headache to remember like I dread in sci-fi genres. At least some of the terms used I can get by.

There are lots of recognizable seiyuus lending their voice. Among them are Yukari Tamura as Amane, Aki Toyosaki as Elel, Shizuka Itou as Mikage, Aoi Yuuki as Ramiel, Kana Hanazawa as Xenia, Minori Chihara as Carene, Ayane Sakura as Eins and Saori Hayami as Aurora. For those that I didn’t recognize are Minako Kotobuki as Saya (Tsumugi in K-ON!), Yumi Hara as Almaria (Kodaira in Anne Happy), Rika Tachibana as Stella (Reiko in Shomin Sample), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Nya (Chika in Haruchika), Yuka Aisaka as Hinata (Muse in Amagi Brilliant Park), Mai Ishihara as Sofina (Suzuki in Girls Und Panzer), Mai Aizawa as Dr Michael (Minene in Mirai Nikki), Sumire Uesaka as Ageha (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Nozomi Yamamoto as Mayuka (Julie in Absolute Duo), Yoshiko Ikuta as Ruby (Cosette in Seikoku No Dragonar) and Saya Satou as Clara (debut).

The opening and ending themes are rather okay, nothing spectacular. Seeing that the entire casts are made up of only girls, the songs do feel like idol pop music. Well duh. The ending theme, Link With U by L.I.N.K.s is made up of the voices behind Hinata, Sofina, Ruby and Mayuka. Personally, what an odd choice for a group because usually it would have been Saya’s group of UC Progress Girls or the senior EXR Progress Girls’ group or Dr Michael’s team instead of randomly picking different characters from different groups so that we can have a sense of connectivity. Maybe these people can sing better? It’s just a personal trivial notice of mine, nothing much to it.

Overall, if you do not want to be overwhelmed by the guilty pleasure of yuri that is seen in Valkyrie Drive ~Mermaid~ but still want to see cute girls in battle, this should be your ideal anime. Sort of. If I could have a girl or a girl would become close to me each time I watched a mediocre anime, I would have my own kingdom, no, an entire universe of bishoujos right now. Unfortunately only such cute girls can save the world and the universe. Otaku guys can’t even save themselves. You don’t hear of a group of men (not even hot handsome hunks) saving the world at this level of scale and proportion, right? No, Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!’s Earth Defence Club isn’t all that menacing if you think about it. Because nobody wins an argument or a fight better than women. They always win no matter what happens and are always right no matter what you think. Unless Ouroboros too are all women…

Teekyuu S4 – S7

January 27, 2017

Well, what do you know? Some series are so popular that they must be milked again and again they dry up. And then you have to keep on beating the dead horse to cough out more of it until there is nothing left. Not even bones. That is why random antics fast talking Teekyuu got multiple consecutive seasons and ran for a single year. If you’re feeling stressed out from work and need something mindless to laugh at, this series is the perfect tonic to blow your mind away and make you go insane little by little. Week by week. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked and insanely addicted to crazy cute girls doing crazy cute things. Except playing tennis.

Season 4

Episode 37
Marimo freaks out after forgetting her lunch. So she wants to borrow $100,000?! Lucky Tomarin is here to save the day. She tries to introduce herself but nobody else believes her. Then the girls show her around the school but exaggerate the rooms they are in. So this human anatomy model is from a yearly sacrificial student ritual? And the piano is a game of just pressing white keys but avoiding the black ones? Most baffling of all, why does the school have a space command centre?! To protect schools from space monsters, silly! They demonstrate by blowing up a house on the moon. Isn’t that Tomarin’s home?! Don’t worry, a telegram says everyone is safe. Marimo wants Tomarin to transform and scare everyone before she leaves. She turns into a hideous monster but everyone else got distracted by the cool appearance of Predator!!!

Episode 38
The girls got tickets to the aquarium and they deliberate on who and how to get there. On an elephant? With strangers? With clones? There, Kanae looks into the jellyfish compartment but finds an old man cleaning the windows from the inside. Then at the tuna corner… Tuna food? Sashimi? At the feeding corner when they feed a fish, a bigger fish eats the little one. And then Marimo gets eaten… Strong eats the weak? They go watch the dolphin show but it turns out to be a stand-up comedy. With dolphins! Next to the aquarium is a devilquarium. Don’t ask… Inside this ‘zoo’ we have a polar bear and mean looking red dragon. Hey, they can feed it. With Casear salad? This time Marimo didn’t get eaten but gets blown away by its fire breath.

Episode 39
Kondou bugs Yuri that she found a love letter in her shoe locker. But inside is a stock certificate! Based on their school legend, if someone confesses under the sakura tree, they’ll find true love. No! They’ll be buried under it! They are there at the tree so Kondou confesses to her. She tells Yuri not to die or else she’ll become part of the legend. But that night, look who is here to come kill her? Kondou?! Nah, she is just on her way to the market to cut up some squid. Then they go check out the sakura tree. Kondou unearths the soil to find a giant squid buried. And then the squid grabs them for some tentacle fanservice! Yuri is being tickled to death while Kondou just snaps her photos. Then she uses the excavator to destroy it. Next morning, Yuri thought she slept well but she just woke up half buried underneath the sakura tree! Did she become the legend?

Episode 40
There will be a meteor shower tonight. Nasuno suggests they can watch it using her space rocket. Can they see it if they are in space? Gathering at the rooftop that night, using the telescope, they see various constellations. Yeah, I didn’t know there was a prawn constellation or a fried shrimp constellation. Yummy. Nasuno might have a time machine in her compound but not a toilet? Yeah, the nearest toilet is at the park. Then the stars start falling. Biscuits? Just when they think the meteor shower isn’t happening, the sky is suddenly filled with colourful falling stars. So many stars, can they make 5,000 wishes? With everyone making silly wishes, Yuri wishes that they can keep having fun together. But that won’t come true because a giant star slams into the town and destroys everything.

Episode 41
Beach episode. Kanae instead of bringing swimsuit, brought along diapers. Too absorbent to swim? Kanae seems to be drowning at the deep part of the ocean but could it be she is just too short? Marimo tries to fondle Yuri’s boobs but she got the wrong person. Who the f*ck is this foreigner stranger?! Yuri suggests a breath holding contest. Apparently the rest didn’t participate as they were talking about tropical cyclones. They can’t play split the watermelon since all they have is a cabbage. Then when they try to play beach tennis, it doesn’t work because the ball doesn’t bounce on the sand. As they relax on their floatables, they realize they have drifted far away from the shore. Then the squid tentacles attack…

Episode 42
Continuing from last episode, the girls are lost at sea but there is a floating convenience store?! But it is smaller than your ATM card… Get this. A bathtub and toilet bowl in the middle of the ocean too? Nasuno’s cheap watch has GPS tracking so she believes her father is tracking her down now. Here comes the boat. A toy boat… Now a pirate ship! Jack Sparrow?! Attacking them?! They finally reach land and thrive on vending machine drinks? Marimo almost gets kidnapped by natives so they run away into a… Convenience store? Sorry, they don’t sell wet wipes.

Episode 43
Kondou shows Yuri a paranormal photo. The ghost is Nakamura? Who the f*ck is that?! Kondou has a gyaru sister, Annekov. Russian name? The trio head to the graveyard to exorcise the ghost but Annekov wants to just go there and laugh their asses off. Kondou tries to take a sexy pose picture of Yuri. She is disappointed Yuri doesn’t have the talent. But there is a ghost in the photo! Yuri panics and thinks she is possessed. Calm down. It’s just Nakamura. Who the f*ck again? Then they clean the Jizou statue but Annekov puts makeup on it complete with a wig. Yuri thought her photo is possessed by the Jizou statue but it was just a prank by the sisters.

Episode 44
Kanae goes visit her grandma living in… Africa?! She’s not lonely because she has a cat. Kanae notices a giant spider and wants to squash it but grandma says it is useful to kill cockroaches. But when the spider seemingly kills the cat, grandma kills the spider! They go visit grandpa buried in a pyramid! A mummy scares them but apparently grandma says it is her neighbour who goes shopping with her occasionally. A couple of treasure hunters try to usurp them but they fell into a trap that Kanae unwittingly triggered.

Episode 45
Nasuno helps Youta practice football but with disastrous and hilarious results. Then she decides to go watch him play a practice match with Usakame Junior High School. Win and she’ll buy him dorayaki or else she’ll make sure he’ll never play football again! But Usakame’s team has a zebra?! His own team are a bunch of losers with not teamwork spirit. Uh huh. Youta is on the reserves. You can tell their team is going to lose when the referee is a baseball umpire and everyone gets owned by the zebra. The zebra even beats everyone up. It is up to Youta to save the day. He gets beaten up too and just when it seems he is going to strike back by remembering Nasuno’s training, he gets further owned. He won’t be playing football for a while…

Episode 46
Marimo and Tomarin visit an electronics store. Of course Marimo messes with Tomarin’s mind by falsely introducing the electronics like the massage chair is an electric chair and the fridge as a cryogenic chamber. Marimo seeks the salesperson to buy a laptop as she simplifies the technical explanation with her layman understanding. Eventually she decides to get a calculator. No, an abacus! I think Tomarin got hypnotized by the alien on TV so she acts like a menacing one so the salesperson use the heaviest person to knock her out! Marimo ties her up on the ‘electric hair’ to ‘torture’ her.

Episode 47
It is summer and the girls figure out what to do other than lying in their air-conditioned room all they long. Catch bugs? But why the need to buy a mountain first? And don’t you know there are no bugs at the top of Everest? The girls are set to catch bugs but Nasuno wearing beekeeping protective clothing? They find lots of other things other than bugs. Yeah, human trash. If they’re not catching bugs, wild animals caught them! When they catch beetles and make them fight, it turns into a battle anime! Super power special effects! Fight to the death!

Episode 48
Nasuno is telling Marimo how a person helped return her wallet one day and she rewarded her by giving her a hill! The duo try a part time job. Nobody is taking their tissue samples despite cloning arms or themselves. So they become poster girls. Nasuno dresses as normal but Marimo a seaweed alien? Then there are a bunch of seaweed nerds-cum-fans. They know everything about seaweed… Not that I care. Finally they do hard labour by pushing blocks to build a pyramid. Marimo doesn’t mind getting whipped as she is a masochist. But what about Nasuno? She becomes the queen and whips everyone to work harder! Now she is the ruler of this place!

OVA 5
Our girls are turned into young kids as they play in the playground. Expect kiddie mayhem as they toy around with the chin-ups (Kanae getting stuck and have to live like this forever), jungle gym (it turns into some spaceship with a secret toilet), swings (a competition to kick off shoes and panties?) and slides (sliding up?). They then bury a time capsule to dig up when they are older. Too bad they return when they are grannies and the playground turned into a park. So old that Marimo changed gender?! When dig up, there is a subway line beneath it.

OVA 6
The girls head down to the riverbed. They bring their BBQ stuffs and Marimo brought her ice. Kanae built stones but each time she finishes, Nasuno kicks them down. Marimo uses rocks as her breasts and Nasuno is a pro in skipping stones. Then they see a peach floating down the river but it turns out to be somebody’s butt. Actually it is just a mannequin. Then they have a real BBQ at a real restaurant.

Season 5

Episode 49
After Kanae wins a raffle, the girls are going to Cambodia. But they’re going to need passports. So we got an eventful time as the girls get their passports like Marimo making an idiot’s resume and then getting arrested. As they depart at the airport, Marimo’s luggage is heavy as she brings all her dumbbells for work out. Their flight is 8 hours and they got stuck at the terminal for 8 hours. They can’t believe that Cambodia has McDonalds and their tour guide and translator are those annoying unrelated characters randomly popping up at the start of this episode. So they are going to sleep at McDonalds?

Episode 50
The Cambodian trip continues with the tour guide letting them tour the temple ruins. He takes his own selfie and then charges a high price for them to buy! They take an elephant ride and visit Angkor Wat. When they head to town, all the buildings look like they are from Japan! So local, so foreign? When they return and arrive safely back in Japan, they might be lost because it is a jungle out there! Are they sure they are back in Japan?

Episode 51
Yuri and Kondou walk around their school festival. Marimo is dressed as a funny monster as she ushers them into her haunted house. An irony is a ghost is scared by their entrance. Tomarin is also playing a ghost but they are not scared of her and ignore her. They go to Nasuno’s maid café and she is not happy that she has to serve them. Especially with Kondou teasing her and tricks her to put up a standard maid greeting. Finally there is Kanae’s massage activity in which her Thai massage might be breaking a few bones…

Episode 52
The girls are picking up trash. Nasuno picks up a stack of money but since it has no purpose, she calls it trash! Damn rich people… Marimo hopes to find adult magazines but finds a gorilla magazine. They see a cat stuck up a tree so Yuri goes to get it down but Marimo relishes looking at her panties. She calms herself down by reading the gorilla magazine. The cat returns to repay Yuri but in the form of a fat old man?! Yeah, he is making himself at home in her house. So the only thing good he can do is kill the cockroaches.

Episode 53
The girls gather to make takoyaki. But it seems they are missing all the ingredients to make them. We see their usual antics like using hairpins as tools to flip it over, Marimo can’t stop drooling till she floods the room, Kanae wants to add takoyaki to takoyaki and Nasuno adding something dangerous that can’t be shown on TV! After they have eaten their delicious takoyaki clean, a yakuza guy comes knocking on the door claiming he left his finger in the takoyaki! Oh sh*t!

Episode 54
Kondou wants to interview Tomarin. The latter thinks she can call the shots but gets threatened. We see Kondou ‘bully’ Tomarin like experimenting with her antennas and bulldozing her to see if she can be killed. When they are abducted by real aliens, Kondou tries to fake a human accent but the aliens speak perfect Japanese! They want to dress them in sesame miso. Tomarin’s antennas come in useful for once as it hits their crotch. Oh, Kondou’s bulldozer defeats them too. The spaceship crash lands but Kondou chose not to publish this extraordinary story but instead one whereby Marimo gets arrested for stealing and eating lingerie.

Episode 55
Kanae crashes her bicycle into a pole. Marimo screams revenge although Kanae is injured because she ate too much. The pole is too hard for Marimo’s hand. Kanae avenges her with a head butt. You know how this will turn out, right? Because Yuri is just staring at their stupidity, they claim she is a cold insensitive friend. She is forced to avenge for them but she looks like an idiot in the eyes of the public trying to hit a pole. To add insult, the duo lost interest in the revenge and even tease Yuri for looking stupid doing that! Yeah, the pole is the one consoling Yuri. When Kanae prepares to leave, she crashes into the rail guard. Time for another revenge? Or she can just stop riding her bike.

Episode 56
Kanae suggests scouting an enemy tennis club despite never having real matches just to keep up with their appearance. So they are here at Usakame as they are dressed as spy or robber but eventually decide to go for that generic background character blend. So it seems these Usakame girls might not be any different. They slack around and chat. But when they start practice, they play badminton and kite flying?! I don’t know how but it worked out their cores. When the girls are spotted, they run away by blending into the crowd. Now they’re stuck in this shape forever.

Episode 57
The girls want to make baked potato. Shaking a tree for potatoes? Now to start a fire. Does Marimo have magic?! But rubbing Yuri won’t start a fire either! If they can’t bake this now then Kanae suggests going home and try another day. Next day Kanae brings a lighter. No fire. Postpone again? Yuri quickly buys one from the shop. But they have no potatoes… No, French fries don’t count! Postponed again… Next day Yuri comes prepared with a lighter and potatoes. She even has thought out other inconveniences and have prepared for them. Nothing is going to stop her today from baking potatoes. Or can it? Because it starts raining! Don’t worry, Nasuno calls her baked potato truck.

Episode 58
Kanae is definitely sick but she doesn’t want to admit it because she is saying she is emitting heat! Yeah, Nasuno wants to cook food on her. That mask? Fashion! Marimo feels cold and thinks of doing lots of silly things in order to keep herself warm. Not working. Nasuno? She wears 2 bras! After Kanae eats a warm meal, she is now fired up! Literally on fire! Nasuno cooks more on her… They thought of practising tennis but the court has turned into ice. Yeah, practising making snow objects. Before you know it, Kanae’s mask becomes a leading fashion style and trend.

Episode 59
Tomarin asks Marimo how to celebrate New Year’s Day. Sit around and watch TV all day. Isn’t that what they day every day? First they try calligraphy but the ink doesn’t come off. Tomarin settles by using a marker pen. Then they play Japanese badminton using chopping boards as racquet but crash into the furniture since the house is small. I know they suck at the game since well, they play tennis, right?! As they pound mochi, Marimo’s mom uses her fists to pound them! And the mallet moves by itself. They made so many mochi that they could open a shop, branches and so big that they got listed on the stock market!

Episode 60
Yuri follows Kanae to visit her grandma in hospital who will be undergoing some surgery. The way she paints her grandma makes her sound like a baseball player-cum-rapper. She is! I don’t know if grandma has got a problem since she could crush a whole apple and turn them into rabbit shaped apples. She also introduces her hospital friend, a fellow grandpa rapper (Master Roshi?) and the doctor who is a frail old man. And the doctor kicked the bucket… Kanae thought her grandma is dying but she came up with some cool lyrics. Then she sprouts angel wings! Her surgery is a success and now she can rap and play baseball way better than before.

Season 6

Episode 61
Kanae, Marimo and Nasuno are outside the school field and it is very cold. They think the sun is dead. Nasuno shows her fur underneath her jersey and they think she is a snow woman. They try to emulate her by putting on mops. They do some warm ups and Kanae is twisting her body too much. Or her neck. They are supposed to do high jumps. Marimo could clear a 90cm height and she thinks it is a freak. Nasuno jumps over a normal one but the bar is thick and expensive. Kanae? She jumps underneath. They try to wave to Yuri in class and annoy her. Suddenly her class is on fire. Kanae wants to save her by jumping into her class but remember her low jump as she crashes into the wall.

Episode 62
Kanae is thinking of getting a new handphone because it is freaking heavy, eats up battery power and has only 1 button and it doesn’t work. So they see some shady underground witch who offers her dumbbells or tissues for the weight issue. What’s the knife for? Because the dam is for power. Hydroelectric power for your phone! The witch gets mad when Kanae was just browsing after all. A few days later Kanae got her new handphone but she also bought the dam courtesy of Nasuno.

Episode 63
Valentine’s Day is coming up. Yuri plans to give one to her senior but Kondou gives her a curry chocolate and asks if she is going to give her money in return. Kondou goes to Yuri’s house to make Valentine chocolates since she really has an old stove that uses hearth. But she makes curry with all the ingredients. And when she starts making chocolate, it comes out as a real katana.

Episode 64
The girls plan to go flower viewing but of course the punch line is that they are going to watch it at a flower shop. So when they arrive at the real park, for some reason they brought in a few unrelated parties to watch with them like a blossoming old man (he wants to scatter ash?) and a lump man (lump on his face?). Who the f*ck is Gomez? They start playing badminton. Remember they’re a tennis club… They even use chicken wings as shuttlecock. They end their trip with puns relating to those unrelated people. Who the f*ck is Gomez again?

Episode 65
Marimo patrons a snack shop but gets stuck in the door. She thinks she has met the storekeeper before. In some exaggerated fantasy RPG? Didn’t think so. Apparently she is Kinako Tanaka of Usakame and first met Marimo at the first round tournament. Was there? Couldn’t remember. Since they’re in the same grade, Kinako suggests trading hearts. She tries to sell certain stuffs but almost everything contains slime. Even the extremely cheap raffles that she is pushing to sell have slime. The Chinese cabbage too! But it feels raw since she cooked an alien! Marimo has had enough of this and leaves but gets stuck in the door.

Episode 66
Kondou alerts Kanae and Yuri that her grandpa can no longer make udon because he injured his hand while bowling. But he can still make sushi. Or did he order them? But Kondou’s sister, Annekov returns to help make udon. While she and Kanae do nonsensical stuff and ‘abuse’ the dough, Yuri is reduced to retorting their silliness as usual. After all that kneading and stomping, it turns out to be a mochi soup. And grandpa ordered pizza this time. Once his hand is healed, he starts bowling again…

Episode 67
The producer pleads to our girls to put up a hero show for the kids because their usually heroine is injured. So we have the producer acting as the bad guy. Kanae is dressed up in an all white tight suit as the heroine. I don’t think it is special effects that she can zap lightning out of her hand! Producer uses a machine gun! Marimo comes in next but she is a pervert wearing panties on her head. The police take her away. Next is Nasuno as the evil queen who will rule the world with money! I thought she was supposed to be the hero? At this point the kids must be bored and don’t care. Time for Yuri to make her appearance but here comes the original heroine. Too bad she injured herself and justice is not served…

Episode 68
Get ready for a twisted version of Cinderella. Sorry, nonsensical version. Yuri is the titular character and Nasuno is the evil stepsister. She has 244 other evil sisters too! Despite getting bullied, Nasuno gave her money to blow on pachinko in which she traded the prize for some weird creature. So the evil step sisters organize a family party and Yuri being restrained and do all the house chores. Till she spilled her drink on the keyboard in which Kanae the witch grants her 3 wishes. A new keyboard, how to work the washing machine and wishing for everyone’s happiness. So touched that Kanae treated her to a good meal and a dress in which she then headed to the party. She danced with Marimo the prince but has to run home seeing the spell last until midnight. She missed the train and slept at an internet café. Marimo wants to find the owner of the glass slippers to marry that person. A long queue of people wait in line to try to slipper but Yuri and Kanae are playing Othello. And one of the evil stepsisters wins a body building contest. See, did I tell you how crazy this is?!

Episode 69
Despite being in the tennis club, the girls want to form a music band. Yeah, what can they play? Conch shells? So they’re already discussing about royalty rates and record labels? With Yuri reminding them to be more realistic first like naming their band, it seems everyone wants it to be Rice Spoons because everything they describe look like rice spoons. Whose underwear too? They leave it to Yuri to pick a name. Let’s see… The Tennis Club? Rejected! Eventually they go with Rice Spoons. Why do application forms need a stamp or thumbprint? What’s the next agenda? No, not what’s for dinner but who plays what. Yuri on vocals, Marimo on organ, Nasuno on conch shell and Kanae on shamisen using rice spoon. Wow, they really look the part. Thinking of going indie next, eh?

Episode 70
Kanae is super hyped for their tennis practice but since she lost her contacts, everyone is super hyped to go look for it instead. Then they go clean the court and tan themselves before doing some real warm up exercise. Then they start practice for real but Kanae brings in a katana. Marimo moves like the wind. Is she going turning into a pro? Well, she hasn’t return a single ball. With so many balls around, picking is such a hassle. Don’t worry, Yuri clones will do the job. Kanae comes up with some super technique that will make her win Wimbledon. She practises hard on it and when that day arrives, she’s just a spectator. Well, at least she made it to Wimbledon technically.

Episode 71
Kondou takes Marimo to look for an unidentified object that fell nearby a park that her radar (handphone actually) picked up. If Tomarin isn’t it, could it be this suspicious blob object? But popping out from it is Kinako. She points out a crashed UFO nearby. They go inside and investigate but since Kinako is pushing random buttons, the UFO then takes off into space and lands them in another planet. They can’t go back as the engine is dead. Made out of rubber bands? So they can’t use hair bands because of different compatibility? Then they have to play mahjongs and win sets just to continue looking for rubber bands. Although Marimo wins, the rest are more interested in continue playing.

Episode 72
While looking for a rubber band, they stumbled into an alien using the toilet! Instead of being mad, he invites them to dinner. This wood board is their meal? Though he has no rubber bands, he brings them to his friend who has one. Yeah, she framed it on her wall. They can have it if they beat her in a game. Mahjong again? Marimo wins by a mile. Alien friend really can’t part with her rubber band so she’ll exchange it with Kondou’s hair bands. Kondou won’t allow it since there is no telling what will happen to her. Oh, she turned into an Argentinian football player. Seriously… With the rubber band, they are able to go home. No, wait. They’ve landed on another planet! And they’re still playing mahjong.

Season 7

Episode 73
Yuri finds Kanae digging a hole. So she quit the tennis club and is now part of the well digging club? Aiming for the nationals? And since when did she make Yuri the president? As Yuri climbs down, Kanae explains Marimo was digging with her but she pushed her away when a boulder fell on her. So why didn’t they go save her? Marimo is comfortable stuck between the rocks. Kanae lets Yuri try digging. She instantly gets addicted and cannot stop digging! Aim for the nationals! Don’t stop! You bored now, Kanae? When it’s time to go home, their rope out is missing. Will they be trapped here forever? Nasuno calls to them and they tell her to join them. She tries digging and also finds it addicting! She can’t stop! Only 80 days left until the nationals.

Episode 74
Kanae picks up Yuri so they could go pick up fruits at her grandma’s orchard. Apparently grandma just came back from Egypt and she allows Yuri to pick anything she wants. She doesn’t even know they have fruits. So they go to pick durians. How to get those spiky fruits off their tree branch? Use a sword? But now how to break it open? Grandma uses her karate chop. Don’t worry, she is wearing her diamond ring. Kanae eats the stinky fruit but her cheeks start drooping. Then they go to pick butt-like peaches. No, they are actual butts?! Yeah… They taste like butts! WTF?! This time Kanae’s tongue melts. Butts melt your tongue? A warning not to try out this kinky sex, just saying… At the end of the day, grandma lets Yuri keep the sword. Not a fruit? And she doesn’t want butts either.

Episode 75
Yuri follows Kanae to hike up the mountains. After taking the cable car up, Kanae has this thought of committing suicide if they ever get lost. With a butter knife? Otherwise cover her with butter and let the eagles peck her to death for a sky burial! When they reach a certain altitude, the station number is in the form of algebra equation! Solve it! They take a break as Kanae serves tea fresh from the swamp. They try echoing but it echoes back in English and some other foreign language. They finally reach the summit and a tatami mat is waiting for them. Kanae serves her toxic onigiri made out of seaweeds. Or would you prefer some swamp food?

Episode 76
Yuri is about to weigh herself after bathing but Kanae and Marimo breaks in to do the same. Marimo is heavily weighed at 77kg but she needs 700kg more to get 777 like the slot machines! Since Kanae also gained weight, it is decided they go dieting tomorrow. Marimo is starving already since she hasn’t had anything to eat since last night. She drank vegetable oil, what do you expect? When Marimo asks Nasuno about dieting, she takes this as an insult and blames the world for making it so tasty so she overate. Kanae will guide them on how to diet via her guesses. Among the silly techniques involve eating steak and even praying to God. At the end, they all gained weight and become fatter. Marimo is so heavy she now weighs 777kg and coins flood out from her mouth! Jackpot? Is this what you call a successful failure?

Episode 77
Winter is here as Kanae and Marimo think of hibernating. But appearing before them is a bear! A friendly talking smoking bear. They piss him off asking if he is going to hibernate. He explains he needs to fill his stomach before hibernating. So they eat salmon by cooking it and drinking it with wine like humans? How about honey? This makes him remember and hate a certain yellow bear but he is actually scared of him and stops talking about him. What about humans? What?! Bears don’t eat humans! They taste horrible! He adds how scary humans are because they won’t hesitate to shoot you like how his uncle was shot. Since he didn’t like him much so it’s okay. Feeling sleepy, the bear wants to cork his ass so that sh*t won’t flow out while he is sleeping. WTF. He falls asleep but the cigarette ash burns his fur.

Episode 78
Kondou speaks to Yuri via telepathy but it only pisses her off. She invites all her friends to go bowling. Well, looks like her udon family refurbished it to a bowling centre. First they choose a variety of weird shoes from clogs to glass slippers. What about bowling balls? From a lettuce to a watermelon, they’ve got it all. Marimo bowls first but breaks every bone and tendon just by picking the ball up. Kanae needs to throw hers quickly because it’s a bomb! Nasuno uses a world globe to curl. Kondou throws it like baseball! Finally it is Yuri’s turn and everybody uses telepathy to cheer her. Who’s that unknown voice? So her bowling ball is an old man?! When they’re hungry, they have udon. Ah well, the shop is still an udon shop after all.

Episode 79
Kanae complains about the cafeteria food so the lunch lady tells her off not to eat then. But when she tries it herself she finds it disgusting! Even more insulting, Kanae says she can make better for the same price. She challenges Kanae to a cooking duel. However Kanae and Yuri end up being commentators so the lunch lady will be facing off with the bakery manager. So the first match is cooking friend rice. Bakery manager does the usual cooking but the lunch lady just heats it over the microwave oven. And she wins! The next matches include chess, dominoes, foot pressure points, collecting red leaves, etc. Nothing to do with cooking. But whatever. In the end the bakery manager wins. The lunch lady is so impressed that she wants to learn under him to make better lunches. However what she learnt was making easy money and her food still sucks. So who replaced the lunch lady at the cafeteria? The bakery manager of course.

Episode 80
Yuri is sick so you bet her friends are going to visit her. They troll her by looking even sicklier than her. They bought gifts like coloured traffic cones and a car jack (so they can jack up her bed). I’m sure Yuri wants to retort their stupidity but don’t worry, Kanae will do it for you! Lame! Then they want to measure her temperature but isn’t that a protractor? How do you measure an angle with a thermometer? That’s a protractor lah! Yeah, lame retort. Yuri is sweating so Marimo offers to wipe her body. Since she refuses, Nasuno thinks she prefers doing it with her brother! Incest! So as not to bother, they make themselves at home by playing her video games. Once Yuri is well and returns to school, here comes Kanae’s late retort about playing video games at people’s home. Give it up already.

Episode 81
Annekov is on her way to a mixer and since she has got not enough people, she drags Yuri along. Seems the guys are all monks! WTF?! Except one of them who is just a freelancer. Though the girls are still missing a person, Annekov starts the party by drinking. Monks drinking and singing?! I’m sure Yuri can’t stand this nonsense and excuses herself to the toilet. As she contemplates leaving, the ghost of Hanako haunts her! Yeah, she died in despair from no toilet paper! Luckily Annekov and the monks exorcise her. After they leave, Annekov’s friend just arrived. She looks like a giant Great Buddha from Nara!

Episode 82
Yuri is crying tears of joy thinking her pals still have the tennis passion and sense to arrange a practice match with their Usakame counterparts. Of course both sides start off with silly antics like Kurumi and her banjo playing, Nasuno hinting she has lots of money, Marimo asking questions with answers she doesn’t even know, Nishi doing an arm lock on Yuri just to fix her messy bangs and Ayako happy for Yuri being around because retorting is easier with her around. When the real practice starts, we see them throw great fireballs, ice shields and banjo beams. Wow. Is this tennis? On the day of the tournament, both lost at the first round. Yeah, what to do but to hang out eating burgers together. Except for Kurumi who went on to play the banjo and Nishi counting all the stars in the sky. Don’t ask…

Episode 83
Let’s go camping! Nasuno bought an RV fitted with gold furniture. Too bad nobody knows how to drive. So we see them pitching a tent but instead made a kite, trying to make Indian curry but Kanae ended up baking naan, if they have no electricity to work the appliances then they use charcoal fire to power up the appliances, curry becomes ramen, Marimo fishes for tuna but fishes out panties while Kanae gets stabbed by a tuna, more ramen, croaking like a frog around the bonfire, trying to test their courage by eating blowfish liver and live. Ah, with them refreshed, they can go on to win the baseball championships after this training camp. They play baseball? This was a training camp?

Episode 84
Finally practising tennis for real? Not without the usual antics. Yeah, they’ve got a robot to help them practice but he punches masochistic Marimo as part of the training. Marimo then gives Nasuno an aroma oil message to turn her into gold. Kanae knits panties and Marimo wants to force it up Yuri. She thought she could start practice for real by using marker cones (not bra pads!). Kanae can even miss while trying to hit at point blank. Nasuno turns it into a quiz show and the winner will win an apartment. The robot wins. Then they practice with the robot and improved a lot till they made it into the Nationals and win. Well, at least it is the robot who won. Another tower as his prize?

Teekyuu Take You On A Wild Ride
Well, what do you know? It seems Teekyuu has come back again with another season after taking half a year’s break! OMG! OMFG!!! Can we ever not get enough of Teekyuu?! Apparently not. Yeah, it is like this series is the shorts version of Gintama. Anything goes. We can’t get enough of them. Though, I have a theory why Teekyuu got renewed for its eighth season. Remember how bad Usakame was? Yeah… It trolled us by thinking it would be another great Teekyuu spin-off but it was just awfully bad. Therefore to forever hide this unpleasant and poor series and forever blast it into oblivion from our minds, we should have another season of Teekyuu to override all that. I mean, if you think what the last series of Teekyuu was, Usakame comes to mind. Technically it isn’t Teekyuu but since it is riding on Teekyuu’s popularity and fame, you can’t help think about it. At least for me. So to bury that dreadful crap, here, have another Teekyuu to invigorate your insanity. Thank you. You’re welcome. Please come again.

Basically, what I want to say for the entire series echoes the same and similar sentiments that I wrote in my previous blogs. Therefore it would look like cut and paste if I were to say it all over here again. I won’t. Because mainly I am lazy too ;p. Because everything goes on perfectly well as they stick to the same formula without changing anything. That is why Teekyuu works so well. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. The random acts of silliness at lightning pace will throw you off into a frenzy because everything happens so fast that your mind will be trying to understand what is happening and your stomach hurting from laughing too much, before you can recover from all that, the scene quickly changes to the next. It is chaotic trying to adjust to this series’ pace. Thank goodness it only lasts 3 minutes. I wonder if our bodies will break down if they last the usual 24 minutes length. Yup, better not risk it. Don’t want to have cases of otakus found dead at their TV screens after watching this series. That will be just bad. Because no more Teekyuu ever :’(.

So it is generally the same characters, the same quartet that we find so insanely lovable. From the down-to-earth and retort specialist Yuri to the idiotic Kanae to her partner-in-crime Marimo (also a masochistic pervert at times) and Nasuno’s rich and money-solves-everything thinking. Other characters aren’t too bad too like Kondou who has abnormal priorities in life, Tomarin the alien and wouldn’t you be surprised that Annekov is actually an exorcist instead of some tanned bimbo. Usakame do make their cameo appearances here and although they are funny, they still can’t beat the Teekyuu quartet. It gets even depressing to think how bad their own series were although it is hard not to try and compare. Because at this point you can only think that their appearance might seem to help with their series’ image but sadly it doesn’t.

The only different thing I can note about for these seasons are the opening themes. They are as wacky and crazy as ever. If you can get past the bizarre opening credits animation filled with nonsense, you know you’ll be okay for the rest of the series. Some themes are catchy enough like the fourth season’s Fatto Shite Tougenkyou by Suzuko Mimori sounds like an Egyptian song (Mayday! Mayday!~) while the fifth season’s Qunka by Kana Hanazawa feels like a dramatic Arabian piece. Earth Star Dream sings Tottemi Safari for the sixth season and it sounds like a generic idol song, not really to my liking. The main Teekyuu quartet sings Tsuppari-kun vs Sekitori-man for the seventh season and it gives an impression it is a song for a stage show or Broadway.

Overall, this series is a great stress reliever despite making you go WTF many times. Because no matter how sh*t things get in life, it can’t get sh*ttier than this. Can it?! Unless you’re one of those abnormal people who get mad seeing this kind of nonsense… But for an average Joe like yours truly, such short silliness is very much welcomed and although they are short in duration, they produce enough in the long run to get you unconsciously hooked on it. Yes, I did say this series is like visual drugs and it still is. So many disappointing animes and a handful of new ones and old ones get to do the trick of satisfying us. As long as they don’t play real and serious tennis, we’ll follow you girls to the ends of the earth and still be fine.

Handa-kun

January 22, 2017

Gee, I never thought Barakamon would get some sort of prequel sequel. Because Handa-kun tells about the trials and tribulation of that calligrapher during his younger days in high school. So I thought it would be interesting to see the back story of this guy and how he turned out to be an up and coming calligrapher with a short fuse. But then I realize that everything I thought I knew this series would be was wrong. How far I was off the mark. Be warned. This isn’t his high school life that you think it is. When you realize it is pure slapstick comedy, everything is thrown off balance. If I was writing this blog via traditional paper and pen, I would have smeared right across in shock…

Episode 1A
Right from the start we are already breaking the fourth wall with the boys of Handa Force overjoyed that Handa has been adapted into an anime series. So they discuss what kind of genre it will be. They dismiss Yukio Kondo’s idea it will be a normal high school drama since he is a normal guy. Then they realize the anime has already started and nobody recorded it. They call relevant parties but they aren’t really Handa fans. They even call the production studio but were hung up. That is when they decide to do their own Handa series. Yuki opts out as the guys get starting. A few days later we get to see their effort. Let’s just say it is a lame, crappy and cheap effort that you can’t even tell what the f*ck is going on. And if you’re like Yuki pointing this out, the rest will chastise you on how freaking hard it is to make anime. Then they get a special delivery from the studio. It’s not a legal letter to sue, right? Fortunately it is the first real episode of this series. Put it on and let’s play!

Episode 1B
Everyone fears Handa in high school. He is okay with it and doesn’t intend to make friends. Handa finds a letter in his shoebox and thinks it is one of those challenge letters. He throws it away but didn’t realize he did so in front of the sender, Maiko Mori. It’s a love letter by the way. However her big head ugly friend, Juri scowls him for that, blah, blah, blah. Thinking of giving Maiko a chance and it isn’t she can harass him with this crowd around, he lets her speak. Maiko summons her courage to ask him to meet behind the gym. Handa misinterprets this as a challenge and the bad endings he will get. He can’t run now or he’ll be bullied and called a spineless pig. So in a dilemma is he that he ignores class and does his calligraphy right smack when the teacher is teaching. Because Handa doesn’t know Maiko’s name, he needs to find out via Juri but doesn’t want to directly involve her. Juri gets the wrong idea Handa’s stares mean he likes her. To her surprise, he hands her a letter to be read only alone. When she does, she finds his handwriting unreadable! Do calligraphers normally write like this? Trying to fish out some words, she misinterprets some of them like ‘love’. Now she starts thinking he really likes her. Is she betraying Maiko? So when Maiko joins her for lunch, Juri feels awkward but her cutie innocence suddenly pisses her off and come to think of it, Juri doesn’t remember a single good time they had together. Obviously as time passes, Handa gets worried that Maiko didn’t get his letter. He has no choice but to go meet her behind the gym where a large crowd has already gathered. Here for the drama? Handa Force is surprised with the cliff-hanger ending. Well, they wasted the first half of the episode, right? What about their handmade work? They decide to return it to Handa. You can bet he is so creep out when he sees the show and not understanding what the f*ck is happening.

Episode 2A
Continuing from last episode, when Maiko summons her courage to give her real love letter, each time Juri intercepts! You bet Handa can’t understand why these women are ‘wrestling’. Handa thinks he is let off when Juri tells him to go now as she talks about jealousy and the ugliness of the heart. Like hell he cares. Handa leaves as he advises them to take care of each other because friends like them are hard to come by. When Maiko breaks from her Juri’s stranglehold, she manages to give him her letter. However he won’t read it because he saw how lousy her handwriting was! Words mean everything to a calligrapher! I take it. You’re rejected. So the girls cry and lie down till they reconcile. Juri suggests taking up calligraphy so they can write nice love letters to him. After all, they are best friends and love rivals.

Episode 2B
Junichi Aizawa has always been the class rep for ages so it is no wonder he is looking forward to it. But he didn’t expect Handa to be his rival in the runoff vote. Actually Handa didn’t want to be here either. He was dozing of when other lazier boys who didn’t want to shoulder the responsibility nominated Handa’s name. In the end, the votes are tied. Everyone is okay with a simple rock-scissors-paper but Aizawa is freaking devastated this needs to be done properly. But he relents since this is what the people wanted. Handa realizes Aizawa wants to become class rep and their interests aligned. So he tells him he is going to purposely lose by putting up rock. Too bad Aizawa thinks this is some scheming tactic so he goes the other way. And loses! Handa the class rep? Not quite! Aizawa protests passionately and needs more rounds. So the next round he follows Handa’s rule and wins but on the final round, his scepticism plays mind tricks again. And so he loses again. He is crying his heart out of his lack of faith in others. When Handa voices out he resigns from his post, so why the f*ck is Aizawa still not excepting it? Handa felt sorry for him at first. This makes Aizawa realized he learnt an important lesson that he was thinking about himself and not the people. When they check Handa had actually voted for Aizawa, this brings him to tears. If Handa wants him to be the class rep, so be it. However the next day, Handa is the one who becomes the class rep and Aizawa the vice. Handa thought he was screwed. Aizawa explains that after what he said yesterday, everyone ultimately decided he should be the class rep. But Handa doesn’t even know what a class rep does…

Episode 2C
Reo Nikaido is a handsome guy who is also a model. It is no surprise girls love him. Only second to Handa. So it is natural he gets worried when girls are taking more interests in Handa because they feel that guy is just more than his looks. Yeah, you don’t know… So he tails Handa after school to find out his charm. Reo sees Handa ‘disappear’ when a group of classmate girls approaching. And then he sees him staring at a cat for 30 minutes. Does he love it or hate it? Reo tries to do the same thing but got scratched. By the way, Handa likes cats but is allergic to it. Finally they end up in a street where famous models are scout. To his dismay, his scouter and model agency, Caroline Yamauchi is here and sees Handa. Reo tries to block her view and is smacked! Caroline approaches Handa, wanting him to wear her clothes and rise to stardom. However Handa puts it on Reo (because his clothes are dirty) and tells them he doesn’t need it and please reach out to someone who does. This is when Reo realizes why Handa is different as he doesn’t flatter others or taint himself in common ways. Reo subsequently was fired by Caroline but he accepts it maturely like a man. He now realizes there is no worth being competitive or having pride. He wants to be a real man like Handa. Unknowing to him, Handa is cursing a lady standing in front of him at the bus stop. Some dark secrets should never be exposed… On an unrelated note, Maiko left a present for Handa on his table. That guy picks it up and puts it on the lost and found section…

Episode 3A
Handa is not pleased when Aizawa has him deliver notes to the class’ truant, Akane Tsutsui. But at his doorstep, this big delinquent guy is him! So what happened to the meek girly boy?! Half a year ago, he was always teased for it. He shut himself in his room and kept blaming himself for being weak. Then he saw an ad to buff himself up. He did it and he turns out the way he looks now as he pounds all the punks in the neighbourhood to become the strongest. Because he is the strongest, he doesn’t think he needs to go to school anymore. When Handa gives the notes, Tsutsui over-reads his reactions and thinks he is giving some kind of challenge. It is making him sweat and shiver! When other punks arrive for revenge, Tsutsui misinterprets Handa is fighting on his side when all he wants is just to pass him the notes and leave! When the punks try to stop Handa, they misinterpret his scary looks. Then they start ‘remembering’ all his legendary badass status. Yeah, it felt like they just plucked it out from thin air. So badass that they decide not to mess with him and run away! Tsutsui is shocked at Handa’s status too. What has happened in school since he was absent? There is a note telling him to come back to school. Thinking it was from Handa, a touched Tsutsui makes a shocking return to class. Nobody expects him to look like this. Tsutsui decides to become Handa’s bodyguard but his vicious stare is making Handa afraid. Did he do something bad?

Episode 3B
Kondo narrates the normal guy he is. Till he is group with Handa and his weirdo ‘friends’ in cooking class to make pudding. Kondo can tell Handa is nervous but the rest interprets it as his absolute order to make something themselves. As usual they get into a fight and it seems Handa then makes a huge fire. While the friends try to save Handa (splashing things on him?), Kondo is the more sensible one trying to put out the fire with the extinguisher. And yet Handa gets praised as they think he did that to stop their fighting. They’re even dumber trying out Handa’s pudding and despite tasting like sh*t, they believe this is his style! There’s room for more and they saved some for Kondo. Join the gang… And so Handa’s reputation grows with rumours spreading that he created a legendary pudding dish with a fire pillar. WTF?! And in reality this guy just dropped the pudding he bought from the store. Sad…

Episode 3C
When Miyoko Kinjo, the girl sitting next to Handa didn’t realize she dropped her eraser, Handa starts thinking she might scoff him if he returns it (feminism?). So he tosses back his brand new eraser. Of course Miyoko is very flattered but Handa thinks she is out to get him as her eraser is dirty and uh, inerasable. Handa believes his only friend is Kawafuji but tries to avoid him in school. But every time Kawafuji’s female friends are in the vicinity, Handa quickly stuck himself in a tight spot? Huh?! Handa notes Kawafuji’s popularity and he treats him the same as everyone else. That is why he is trying his best to ignore him till graduation. Kawafuji narrates Handa’s current personality was his fault. When they first met, he was a nice normal calligraphy loving chap. One day a popular senior girl used Kawafuji as a middle man to send her love letter to Handa. Not amused by this, Kawafuji told Handa that girl scorned his writing. That is when the trauma started and has been ever since despite being told it was just a joke. Kawafuji would love to tell how popular he is but is enjoying every second of it and will let him be for now.

Episode 4A
When girls think Handa is selling his calligraphy poem at the park and paste it up in class, Handa of course knows better that he never wrote such crappy poem. He needs to do something before everyone makes fun of him. Naturally Handa Force (yes, this includes you too Kondo) go out to investigate and instantly find a Handa imposter. You can tell from his bad set of teeth. Kei Hanada is also a Handa admirer and has observed him well enough to seemingly act like him. This means attracting a bunch of girls as well. Too bad they don’t know Handa enough to know he is an imposter. However the attention is too great for Hanada to handle so he shows his teeth and instantly all the enthusiasm dies down. Disappointed. Handa Force cries and feels his pain. They take him back to class to apologize but they see Handa’s writing over the poem that says if he wants to copy someone, be better at it. Hanada is so touched that he breaks down. Kondo is like, WTF. And so in his bid to become like Handa, Hanada starts off by wearing braces to fix his teeth.

Episode 4B
When Handa is spotted with a beautiful lady at the school gates, rumours fly that he has a girlfriend. Naturally this causes all the girls to start getting jealous and the beginning of the Handa bashing. So much so there is a death threat written on his table to die. When Handa Force closely examines it, they deduce it is a suicide note. Turns out that Miyoko was the one who wrote it. She is going to jump from the ledge. And doing a musical about it?! Something about Handa’s eraser he ‘gave’ that made her not able to study because she couldn’t use it (why not get another one?). And something about the guts he had to flirt with another girl when he should belong to everyone. Is Handa public property? Handa has just returned from trying to exchange his new table unaware of the commotion outside. Miyoko thinks she will test his resolve. Of course Handa is talking to his table about how irreplaceable and special it is to him. Guess who took it the wrong way? Yup. Enough for Miyoko to cancel her suicide and come back down crying. However her jealousy isn’t over yet and she still cannot get over his girlfriend. So while she cries herself, she bumps into Handa’s ‘girlfriend’. She is actually Handa’s mother and lost her way to a teacher-parent meeting. Miyoko is so f*cking relieved and that was the end of the Handa bashing. Died down as fast as it came.

Episode 4C
During Handa’s parent-teacher meeting, the teacher told his mom that he lacks sociability but Handa believes that everyone hates him. For some reason. As suggested to be sociable, Handa tries to start up small talks about hobbies and relatable subjects. As we are well aware, misinterpretations are abound. Everyone around him seems to misinterpret in a bad light of his intentions. Are they offending him somehow? Then when Handa is alone in the classroom and Kondo comes in (he thinks Handa didn’t realize they need to change classrooms), a grateful Handa follows him and starts talking about… Japan being a great place? Huh?! Kondo doesn’t even know what the f*ck is going on. Back home, Handa proudly tells his mom that he spoke to a classmate (if you can call that speaking). But seeing mom’s uninterested reaction, Handa thinks maybe this wasn’t as amazing as he thought. Doesn’t his mom always look and sound like that?

Episode 5A
Sawako Tennouji is the student council president whom all the girls love. Despite dressing like a boy, she is a feminist and will make this school a paradise for girls. That is, until she bumps into Handa and his gang and thinks just because he is male, he is trying to form a coalition against her. What I said about Sawako being popular with the girls? I take that back because they love Handa more. So she has her vice president, Rikimaru (cross-dressed as a girl?) to find his weakness. Since there is none, she’ll just make up one! She sends a couple of girls to go seduce him. They are about to go pound on him when it seems Handa might have spotted them! He talks as if he can’t entertain them so the girls leave quietly. Actually he is feeding a couple of stray cats. Sawako is upset the girls failed and even more so they are in love with him! Thus Sawako forcefully brings Handa to her office and falsely accuses him for seducing girls. His punishment is to wear a girl’s uniform for a year as she believes this will change his outlook. He runs away as the student council corners him. I don’t even know how this happened. When Rikimaru tries to put the skirt on him, Handa trips over the stairs and falls over Sawako. The mind boggling part is how the other girls pulled down Rikimaru’s skirt to reveal his ugly (but censored) panties!!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!! Flashback reveals Sawako was often bullied by males when all she wanted was to just play with them. That’s why she hates them and vows a world where only girls rule. When she wakes up, she finds herself on top of Handa. Her underlings explain Handa turned and used his body to cushion her fall. So is Sawako starting to fall for him?! Till she sees Rikimaru’s panties and freaks the hell out, beating the crap out of him. Acting like a real girl now, huh? Aizawa is glad Handa is alright. But something feels wrong. Handa has lost his memories!!!

Episode 5B
Because of that, he is acting all chirpy and thinks he is hell of popular. His cringe worthy act is enough to make his Handa Force’s hair stand at ends. Unbearable. This is not the real Handa! They want the old Handa back! We see Handa trying to flirt around. It even gives the girls the creeps. For those still enthusiastic about him, wait till he wants to offer a kiss to them. They suddenly lose interest and think he is a fake since Handa is not a cheap person. Imagine if Miyoko finds out… Too late. She becomes a monster demanding a kiss from him! As Handa ponders about his popularity, he almost got killed by Tsutsui’s hammer! Apparently this is Aizawa’s method in bringing Handa’s memories back. He read it from a manga. Getting the wrong idea that Tsutsui wants to kill him, seeing other Handa Force members doing the same only reinforces the fact that he may be the school’s most hated person. As he reconciles with this fact, suddenly he snaps. He returns back to his original self but falls down the stairs. Seeing Handa’s ‘evil’ stare and grin that send shivers down their spine, Handa Force can be ‘glad’ that Handa is back. Thank goodness, right? Lastly, when Sawako wants to put a poster to warn others about the dangers of the stairs, Rikimaru scoffs her off and won’t take orders from girls. Is he now a misogynist? Well, thank his memory loss for that.

Episode 6A
Handa hangs out with Kawafuji and thinking he shouldn’t ruin his life, he disguises himself as an American? It gets worse when Kawafuji also invites his classmate, Hasegawa to hang out with them. So while Hasegawa is clueless about Handa (disguising himself under the name Hanzawa), Kawafuji can’t help but silently snigger at all the awkward moments. They play bowling, darts and basketball, all of which Handa isn’t good at and it provides good amusement to Kawafuji. And Hasegawa thinks it’s some American joke. But they manage to win the games and earn Hasegawa straps he wanted. When Kawafuji goes to get drinks and leave the duo to chat, all seems to be going fun (for real? Handa having a real conversation?), Hasegawa’s seniors come by to bully him. Feeling the need to distract them, Handa casts away his disguise. Immediately the seniors become scared and retreat! Hasegawa views Handa as so cool that he forgot who the heck Hanzawa is. Next day in school, Handa’s reputation has Hasegawa fearing him too and this only deepens Handa’s lack of trust in others.

Episode 6B
Koutarou “Dash” Higashino is the school’s top sprinter. As usual, he is one of those guys who hates Handa and blames him for some nonexistent reason. He thinks the only way to resolve this is to request a 100m race with him but he too cowers in fear when Handa walks pass him. Hanada thinks he is another obsessed Handa fan and suggests a few ways to motivate him. Hanada disguises as Handa and Dash really makes a dash! But if he can’t challenge him directly, why not make a situation leading to a race? So he starts a fire in order to make Handa run but he crawls to safety instead. After getting scolded by the principal, his manager advises him not to ruin his future all because of Handa. Think about his team and going for the Nationals! He is about to do just that when Handa runs past him the fastest ever he has ever seen. Triggered, Dash starts running to catch up with him. Suddenly Handa jumps away. Did he give up? Actually he was being chased by a mad dog! OMG! Dash now becomes the victim! But wait. The dog isn’t mauling him. It is copulating with him?! OMFG!!!!!!! And so Dash’s inferiority complex of Handa only deepens. And Handa doesn’t even know this guy’s name… He’s the worst?

Episode 6C
Tsugumi is into palmistry and likes to read palms as practice for her fortune telling. This means she wants to read Handa’s palm and asks Handa Force for their opinion. Handa overheard this and thinks helping out will add to his good karma. So in an awkward position of letting his palm out, Tsugumi reads his palm and finds something horrible… It is freaking normal! The only thing she can read out of it is his extreme paranoia level. Not wanting to put him in a bad light while explaining to Handa Force, she puts it in a way that Handa has a harsh fate. Wait a minute. Handa Force is rejoicing?! Trying to read his future, she is shocked that despite not seeing him getting married, he is surrounded by kids. How should she put this one? He won’t have a decent life! In the aftermath, Tsugumi realizes her arrogance and can ‘thank’ Handa for making her realize she is just a novice. WTF. Later as Handa rues about his fate, Kawafuji tries to put it nicely that she might have good results but purposely say it in a bad way just to trouble him. This gives Handa confidence that he is the most hated guy around. And he is loves it. WTF.

Episode 7A
Reo and Tsutsui fail their test and must take a supplementary one. Thus this is where Handa Force makes Tsutsui’s place their hideout as Aizawa guides the duo to study. However they get sidetracked in discussing if Aizawa is the top in their grade, then where is Handa? Because that guy is number one and can never be number two! Could it be her purposely fail so as not to stand out? That must be it! They’re going to study for Handa! Also taking the supplementary test are Hanada and Dash. Since it is free sitting, they argue whether to sit on Handa’s place. Yeah, it looks like a big responsibility. Everyone is shocked Handa comes in! Is he taking the test too?! Everyone can’t believe he failed and thinks he must have forgotten to write his name. True enough, that was the reason. By the way, he is ranked 25th in the whole grade which isn’t bad. During the test, everyone is more preoccupied in observing Handa from his sneeze and his noisy scratching writing. They even try to emulate him! At the end of the test, everyone has a filled experience with Handa. Huh? In the end, Reo and Tsutsui barely pass as they think it was Handa’s consideration to join them as he didn’t want to make them look like failures. Oh really? And it seems lightning strikes twice for Handa because he forgot to write his name again. Oh, Hanada and Dash failed…

Episode 7B
Kasumi Hirayama is a librarian. The place is losing its shine since nobody reads anymore and thus the budget to buy more books was slashed. However the thing that kept her going is her ‘prince’. Guess who? Damn right is Handa! He is the only one who patrons the library. Obviously she has a crush on him and her sneaky way of stealing stares makes Handa think she is some sort of stalker. She narrates her cheesy love story fantasy about him that includes using whatever budget to buy his favourite books since he is the only one borrowing them. However she hates the Handa Force as she thinks they act like as though they have privilege to be around him. However Handa Force can also guess she is a big fan of him (she would most certainly disagree). Since they are pretty sure of being experts on Handa, they assure to leave the library design to them as they will redesign it according to Handa’s taste. The place looks better now and soon lots of students start streaming in. Kasumi couldn’t be any busier as people now start borrowing books nonstop. Although she feels fulfilled, Handa has never stepped in since (because he doesn’t like being crowded). At the end of the day, Kasumi is surprised that Handa personally came to return a book. For the first time they talk to each other. She thought he was going to praise her but it is to point out the wrong book cover. She didn’t listen properly and misinterpret his words. So when he praises her for her work, she realizes he has always noticed her. That is when she tells him she will no longer order books he likes. She is going to order more book variety so he doesn’t have to come here anymore! Of course Handa takes this the wrong way and thinks he has been kicked out of the library forever when it is actually Kasumi’s twisted wish that she will go to see him instead of him coming to see her. Creepy smile?!

Episode 8
Handa’s class is going on a school trip with another school, Shiro High. They too have their own popular guy just like Handa, Asahi Ichimiya. And yup, he too has his own squad, Ichimiya Bodyguards. We see the ‘henchmen’ already facing off in the train and almost got into a fight when Handa accidentally tries to throw away his sweet but got stuck in the guy’s hair. Luckily Ichimiya uses his charm to settle it and bring his men back. Even at the shrine, these guys are trying to outdo each other for the fortune reading. I wonder how high their luck can go. Ichimiya tries to talk to Handa but because he doesn’t want to, it gives Ichimiya an impression that he is arrogant. While sleeping at the inn, Handa Force talks about the bloody history and haunted place this inn might be, enough to knock Handa out. It’s a good thing because Shiro High who is staying a floor above them drops a body dummy to scare them. Hand Force thinks Handa is so calm and just go to sleep. The tour continues tomorrow and more girls flock around Ichimiya. As usual Handa Force and Ichimiya Bodyguards have a showdown. Aizawa against Souichi Nagamasa about their nationwide test rankings. Reo against Sousuke Kojika about being the cutest. Yes, Kojika is a cross-dresser whose goal is to meet her cute seemingly cross-dressing idol. Hey, isn’t that the old Tsutsui? He is going to be disappointed… Then there is Tsutsui against Tomohiro Jomoto in a brute match. Even the plain guys have their confrontation. While Kondo doesn’t really care, Tsukasa Komichi is more obsessed in finding his place to make Ichimiya stand out more. Handa takes a picture with Ichimiya when the latter invites. However Kondo realizes Ichimiya has a deep grudge and was trying to stick a sweet in his shirt as payback.

Back at the inn, Kondo tries to distract Ichimiya Bodyguards and not let them know Handa is just under their noses. Literally. Too bad Kondo has to beat him up? He uses Hanada as decoy to chase. But you can’t fool Komichi as he is sharp. He warns Kondo and the rest not to get in the way of their leader. Ichimiya continues enjoying the company of the girls. But when they talk about Handa and how hard to get an opportunity to him, the moment they see Handa, they flock to him. Ichimiya doesn’t like this and privately talks to Handa. He is trying to get Handa to disclose what it is that is bugging him since they have pressure to put up a reputation to others. Don’t be shy, let’s talk as kings. Seeing Handa is sceptical, he extends his hand to make friends first. Meanwhile the henchmen of both sides almost go to war but when they realize the other is pretty cool, they become friends. They look for their leaders and they hear this shocking thing. Handa rejects to become Ichimiya’s friend. Before any world war can blow up, Handa explains he can’t be friends with someone as popular as him. He doesn’t want to be the target of jealousy. He should look around and already has friends. Ichimiya has renewed respect for him because he doesn’t treat his subordinates as subjects but friends. Peace is about to reign for both sides but Komichi will not accept this and tries to attack Handa! While Handa was unfortunately pushed into the river by his own guys as ‘safety’, Komichi is stop dead in his tracks when Kondo slaps him! OMG! Kondo’s mad! Stop this crap right now! Scary. Now Komichi’s crying like a baby… So with both sides even and calling it peace, there is no need to compete to see who is better. They are who they are. But poor Handa is reeling from hypothermia after being picked up from the river. This school trip sucks…

Episode 9A
Hideo Okayama is Handa’s class biology teacher. He is shocked that his frog dissecting is cancelled because of complaints from parents. He thinks if Handa agrees, everyone will follow. Oddly despite Handa doesn’t want it, it is Aizawa who is all for it. He takes it upon himself to get the entire class to approve. It’s either that or pressing flowers! Then they let Handa decide! Handa thinks everyone is mocking him and so he blurts out he loves the bizarre. Because of that all the boys vote for dissection! But what about the girls? They don’t want to do this icky thing. Maybe Handa can convince them? Handa says if they don’t want to do this, then don’t make them. But the girls interpret this as being considerate and agree to do it. In the end, it is a unanimous vote for frog dissection! Okayama is so happy that to show his appreciation, everyone will get a frog each and the biggest frog for Handa! Chaos ensues when the frog touches Handa’s hands. He is semi-passed out and wants to leave (kaeru) but the rest interprets he is being possessed by a frog (kaeru). Seeing the cruelty of this decision, they decide to let the frogs go in the river and just do pressing flowers. Meanwhile Handa is recuperating in the infirmary and is almost suffocated by the big from over his face.

Episode 9B
Aizawa is stalking watching Handa today. Suddenly he runs away and hides. Thus Aizawa believes there is a stalker! Handa Force gets pumped up to find and beat the crap out of that stalker. Since they’re so motivated, Kondo can’t bring himself to tell them they might be the stalkers! They split into groups. Kondo thinks the most suspicious one is Miyoko. Look at her eyes! But Aizawa is relieved it is her because she helps reign in all girls who want to give Handa their presents! She has earned the nickname Eraser! Since when did she level up?! She then captures Kasumi whom she thinks is trying to stalk Handa. Handa knows Aizawa and Kondo are following them and makes a run. This has Dash trying to run after him but lost sight of him since he can’t turn. Sprinters can’t turn a corner at high speed, right? Tsutsui and Reo think the real stalker is nearby but got trapped into some mad dog’s lair. So all our related Handa parties gather to continue searching for the culprit. Handa has to meet Kawafuji and knows is just over this wall. When he climbs over, he sees all of them. Thinking how troubled he has been and the need to see Kawafuji, he yells out to them about them following him every day. What did he do to deserve this?! He is going to lose a friend because of them. Don’t ever follow him again! Everyone is left in shock after Handa leaves. Did Handa just scream out his true heart? Just when you thought everybody should have learnt their lesson, Aizawa thinks Handa has been directing his outburst to the stalker! Everyone agrees! OMFG! And they think Handa referred to them as his friend. OMFG… Handa finally manages to meet Kawafuji. It seems he was the one who was responsible for that mad dog thingy.

Episode 10A
Even normal guys can get a love letter. That’s what happened to Kondo. Of course he panics. Because normal guys normally don’t get such, right? Can’t take the pressure of handling this, he tells this to Handa Force. Tsutsui thinks it is a letter of challenge since he got one during his pretty years. They called him up and shoved something down his ass?! WTF?! Handa Force is being positive supporting Kondo to go meet with this girl. Who knows, he’ll end up with a real girlfriend. Kondo then realizes despite his normal looks, because he is associated with Handa Force, even he levels up. So when he goes to meet this girl, she tells him to stop acting he is part of Handa Force and is just an average guy. That’s all. Wow… Can’t blame Kondo for feeling heartbroken. Even normal guys can get depressed. Along the way, he bumps into Handa who is suspicious of him because remember, Kondo was the one who ‘tackled’ him during the school trip. From Handa’s words, Kondo can also see he is a shy and kind person like him. Maybe that’s why he keeps getting swayed by others without realizing it. Kondo passes his flower postcard supposedly to be given to the girl as confession to him. However the blot in the ink made the words look like insults and Handa thinks it is some sort of harassment! While Kondo is glad to be part of Handa Force and will never leave it, I think Handa’s relationship with them is getting worse.

Episode 10B
Neo Sakurame, Takoyaki and Dr Psycho are part of the bishoujo club. They draw bishoujo and create bulletins on their favourite topic. All is happy and well till Aizawa on behalf of the student council decides to terminate their club. Well, there is no merit in funding them anymore and not a single of their bulletins were sold. Nobody understands their taste… He just reminds them next week’s paper recycling pickup. Recycle those manga… The trio then brainstorm to do something. How about a gender swap of Handa? They discuss his personality but it ends up sounding like the real Handa. They decide to draw their own interpretations of him and then compare. Neo decides to go talk to Handa to determine his personality. Speaking through his figurine, he tries to bait Handa into talking. Although successful, he then tries to undress his figurine but Handa covers it with his handkerchief. Handa thinks a girl shouldn’t be doing things like that even though she is a figurine. This makes Neo realize he has been treating his waifu as a slut and has found new respect for Handa. A week later as they compare their manga, Neo punches them for drawing ecchi versions of Handa. Because it is like belittling him. Well, it is to be expected if you draw bishoujo, right? Neo shows them his and they simply fall into deep respect that they don’t need cheap fanservice for a great story. The trio decide to go find Handa and seek his approval. Unknowingly they left their work on the recycle table so Handa comes in to get them. When they return and realize it is gone, they rush to chase the truck. Handa overheard this and quickly dash to get the truck to come back. His reason for doing this is because he doesn’t want to be blamed if somebody loses something important. As the trio scavenge for their manga, the wind blows the ecchi pages into Handa’s hands. WTF is this???!!!

Episode 11
You know Sawako is smitten with Handa when she announces during the meeting that the school’s cultural festival be named as Handa Festival. So obvious. Aizawa leads the class to discuss what they’ll be doing. As none can decide, they leave it to Handa to decide. But of course. There is pressure on him not to disappoint and activity choices that he isn’t good at. He runs away from it and while contemplating how he cannot make everyone happy, Sawako talks to him and requests he writes the sign for the festival. This gives Handa motivation to pick the choice he wants. By the time he returns, everyone has gone home. Apparently everyone has decided to mix in everything except calligraphy. Because it’s the thing that Handa is good at. WTF. On his way home, Handa sees some delinquents. Since Tsutsui is around, he tells him to help the victim as Tsutsui uses his all mighty fists. For the theatrical play that Handa’s class will do, Reo and Tsutsui are not happy Aizawa set them up as Romeo and Juliet respectively. They want to do the other’s. Yeah, Aizawa is King Lear. Bringing in characters from other Shakespeare works? Kondo? A normal citizen with no dialogue. As the class prepares, all Handa is made to do is just sit and watch them. And Miyoko serving him? On his way back, those delinquents want to pay back Handa but Handa Force intercepts them. Hanada and Dash’s class is doing role playing eye makeup and wants Handa Force to test it out. Handa sees his calligraphy sign being put up and gets motivated he can get through this. But when he sees the guys with pretty eye makeup, he loses all hope. That was fast. As the festival gets underway, Kawafuji and Hasegawa patron the theatrical cafe and experience a load of weirdness. From ordering ‘poison’ on their menu and watching the odd play of Romeo & Juliet while they dine. Tsutsui is hideous in all that makeup. The typical tragic love story turns into a WTF one when you have King Lear and Othello joining the brawl. It is stopped by Queen Elizabeth I. Handa in drag. Handa is already stumped in this role with no dialogue. Then he sees Kawafuji in the audience. Their eyes met. They feel for each other. Needing to get off the stage quickly, Handa screams out the need to destroy the Spanish Armada. The crowd cheers! Handa Force will go wherever he goes! It’s madness! Kawafuji just feels sorry for him. Lastly, those delinquents brought back more of their buddies for the ultimate payback.

Episode 12
Handa Force learns those delinquents from Kuro High are here. They need to find them before trouble starts. But they have bumped into Handa already. Or at least Hanada. And a bunch of Handa clones?! Hanada’s makeup skill… They threaten him to reveal Handa’s whereabouts. Although Hanada kept his mouth shut, Dash accidentally blurts his location. On their way, they bump into Tsugumi who keeps annoying them and wanting to read their bad fortune! When they arrive at the theatrical cafe, nobody is around so they wait. Actually Handa is around but just sitting behind the props. Guess who comes in too? Ichimiya and his entourage. Both sides have bad blood and before you know it, they start fighting. Handa Force also enters by this time. If you’re wondering why Handa didn’t say anything, it’s because he is focusing on his lines. Thinking it is his turn to show up, Handa pops out from hiding and screams for everyone to stop fighting! Handa returns embarrassed realizing he screwed up. But the rest take this as Handa overhearing them and thus wanting to stop them. Everyone feels guilty for being childish especially Kuro High guys who wanted revenge on Handa because they have become so weak that they lost their delinquent status. Before we even know it, the war ended and everybody reconciles.

After the festival ends, Sawako announces the best class for the festival. Naturally Handa’s class wins. Only Handa doesn’t expect it like everyone else. As the representative, he is ushered up to take the samurai helmet prize. However Handa is fearful thinking this is some prank move. That is when Kawafuji comes up and wants Handa to give it to him because his class also deserved to win. Handa is shocked of this move because it will let everyone know they’ve been friends. However everyone else doesn’t think this jerk could be Handa’s friend even if he admits it. This makes everyone think that if Handa doesn’t want the prize, they can get it. Wow. A massive brawl now. Kawafuji’s plan is so that Handa can get off stage and not be further embarrassed but Handa is still worried everyone will know they are friends and thus ‘endanger’ him. Kawafuji tells him to take a good look around. He sees everyone cheering his name although he doesn’t understand what is going on. It means you’re popular. Handa then takes off the helmet. He proclaims it is not his and not Kawafuji’s either. It belongs to everyone who worked hard for this festival. Wow! Blinding angelic light! So godly!!! Sawako sees this coming and unleash a giant mikoshi of Handa to celebrate. Yeah, we don’t understand what the hell is happening anymore. Handa Force wants him to get on it but then it catches fire! And when they say how beautiful it burns, Handa better not over-think they were trying to kill him! Next morning when Handa meets up Kawafuji for school, he is unsure how everyone will treat him now. Just take a look around you. Everyone wishes him good morning. See, not that bad, right?

Haven’t You Heard? It’s Handa-kun
Well, I didn’t really expect this series to turn out like this. As I have mentioned in my opening paragraph, I was expecting this to be Handa’s back story, one that is directly related to Barakamon. However it turns out into a pure slapstick comedy so much so it feels like there is nothing that would connect this series to Barakamon. And that they just borrowed the character’s name and his love for calligraphy. That’s all. Everything else is unrelated. And you might just think Handa here and Handa from Barakamon are just accidental coincidence. Well, not to say that it is a bad thing. Although I love how funny this series is, but sometimes it feels like deception (maybe that word is too strong to describe it) because of how different it is. Maybe this is what really happened in Handa’s school days for real. However the differences in the setting between both series are so vast that one might easily think they are different stories only with the main characters having the same name. Because this comedy series turned out okay and enjoyable, the reason why it isn’t panned as bad had it done badly otherwise.

Watching the series somewhat reminds me how similar Handa-kun is to Sakamoto Desu Ga but yet so different in ways that are so opposite to each other. Both titular guys are popular but Handa is unconscious and doesn’t know that he is popular to begin with. He thinks he is the worst and everybody hates him. Unlike Sakamoto who knows what is going on and knows what he is doing. Both guys exude an aura of coolness but in Handa’s case it is because everyone else around him has this misconception but for Sakamoto he himself knows he is cool and thus makes everyone around fawn over him. And whatever these guys do, they will always seem cool in the eyes of others no matter how negative that situation is. Cool guys can never go wrong, right? However, Handa may seem more realistic than Sakamoto because the latter can do impossible stuffs and thus everything feels so exaggerated. It makes him look like an alien hiding under a human skin whereas Handa is more relatable. I mean, haven’t we all have that deep burning hatred of not wanting to be sociable? Do we?!

The characters are lovable as they are funny. It is with mixed feelings that there are quite a number of side supporting characters. They too are likeable but with their cameo appearances now and then, sometimes I feel like it is a waste. I would love many of them to be regulars like Handa Force but the limitations of time and space don’t allow for it. Of course if all of them get their equal screen time, it would just dilute the worth of Handa and Handa Force. So I suppose in a way it is good that many of the side supporting characters make sparing cameos. Because also in a way it makes it look like Handa has a whole different bunch of followers to. With everyone being idiots and quickly jumping the gun, after all the chaos and misunderstanding everything will somehow be resolved without Handa even lifting a finger or getting involved. And he doesn’t even know it too.

Handa as the main character feels so much different from Barakamon that I expected but then again, this could be me coming up with my own perceptions before I started watching the series. Handa is still unsociable and thanks to everyone being an idiot, both sides often misinterpret the situation, leading to Handa hating and being annoyed by everything and everyone else in awe of this super cool dude. It works both ways. There are always 2 sides to a coin. Maybe that is why when Handa grows up as a calligrapher, that single moment of frustration he took it out on a VIP when his works was criticised. Not sure if Handa has put a lot of thought into what he is going to say or do but it is always open and prone to misinterpretation. Thus leading up to hilarious consequences that Handa would loathe to be.

I don’t know whether to call Handa Force as dumbass idiots or just super positive people. For the oddest and funniest reasons they become Handa’s unofficial followers. And they become one without Handa ever realizing he has his own groupie! He never did. From the seemingly smart Aizawa to the brutish Tsutsui who was formerly a pretty boy to the now pretty boy Reo, these guys only seem to add fuel to the fire and make it worse for Handa at times. You can’t blame them for being the only ones as dense. Handa in a way is partially at fault to. It takes 2 to tango. Though, it can be mostly seen as these idiots who are the ones aggravating the situation. Kondo despite being your typical normal character is the most sensible of them all. He is probably the wisest. Forced into Handa Force, this guy is the voice of reasoning that nobody listens to since he can actually see what is happening and going on. Just too bad he will forever be labelled as a plain dude.

The rest of the other characters are pretty funny too like Miyoko the self-proclaimed fan of Handa has slowly turned into stalker material and possibly voluntary servant-cum-slave at the end and by the time it ends, we’ll all know her as just Eraser. Then there is the knockoff Handa who by far is ironically the one looking the least like the real deal if he applies his makeup skills and Dash who just wants to compete running with Handa. His running joke (pun intended too) seems to be unable to completely say Handa’s name. Doing so makes him vomit. Shy and reserved Kasumi could be mistaken for a certain famous Japanese ghost if she doesn’t clean up her hairstyle. These people and more feel like an extension to Handa Force instead of part of the main team. Even Ichimiya and his entourage despite being rivals, they respect Handa for who he is. It would be good to have them ‘officially’ in Handa Force but it is good to sometimes see them operate independently of our usual idiots. The only character that is seemingly not a Handa supporter is Hasegawa. This guy seems to be like Kawafuji’s lackey. Something about Okayama remains unexplained till the end: Why and how the heck did he grow beard and moustache like as though he lived as a caveman from birth?

Art and drawing aren’t anything special. Especially if you are being drawn away and focused by the slapstick humour, the art doesn’t matter. Really. It is simple and bright enough just hovering above average. With some good looking boys and girls as well as odd looking ones (Juri feels like she came to the wrong anime). But other than that, there is basically nothing much to complain about. This series is animated by Diomedea who also did Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Akuma No Riddle, Mayoiga, Sola, Kodomo No Jikan, Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu and Kantai Collection.

Another major reason that compelled me to say that this series is totally different from Barakamon is because they even changed the seiyuus for the character who voiced Handa. In Barakamon, the gentleman voice of Daisuke Ono graced Handa. But here, we have Nobunaga Shimazaki (Makoto Sunakawa in Ore Monogatari) as the titular character. It is only right seeing if they used the same seiyuu, it might have really feel out of place seeing the genre the character is put in. Even Kawafuji’s character who was voiced by the suave Junichi Suwabe in Barakamon is now voiced by Kazuyuki Okitsu (Nagare in K). There are a few recognizable seiyuus too like Tetsuya Kakihara as Reo, Yu Kobayashi as Sawako and Kana Ueda as Tsugumi. The most surprising one is Rie Kugimiya as Kasumi. I did recognize her but it feels a little odd because having her without her trademark tsundere high pitch voice just feels weird. I’m so accustomed to her in such roles. So as Kasumi, you just take away that tsundere voice and go monotonous all the way. That’s how her character sounds. Though, this isn’t the first time she voiced a character that isn’t of her specialty trademark.

Due to the nature of this series, there is a large cast of characters playing a lot of cameo characters. I’m just going to name a few notable ones. They are Yuuta Hirose as Aizawa (Daichi Norita in Cheer Boys), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Tsutsui (Arata in Chihayafuru), Daiki Yamashita as Kondo (Touya in Log Horizon), Kaede Hondo as Miyoko (Kukuru in Fushigi Na Somera-chan), Yusuke Shirai as Hanada (Io in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love!), Makoto Furukawa as Dash (Banri in Golden Time), Kenichi Suzumura as Ichimiya (Sougou in Gintama), Yoshitaka Yamaya as Hasegawa (Sugino in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Miku Itou as Maiko (Mafuyu in Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara), Kimiko Saito as Juri (Chieko in Kuragehime) and Gou Shinomiya as Okayama (Yajima in Linebarrels Of Iron).

As epic and funnily delusional they want to make this anime, I think they did all the crazy stuffs in the opening credits animation. While the hard rock tune of The Liberty by Fo’xTails sings (and screams) in the background, we see characters adorning our titular character as well as Handa and his groupies turning into what I believe are video game characters to take on the non-existent evil in the series that is threatening to destroy the world. Epic, no? It is more toned down for the ending theme, Hide And Seek by Kenichi Suzumura. However you do notice that there will be more characters-cum-followers of Handa as the episodes go by. So when he started out as a loner walking all by himself, at the end of the series he has amassed a great deal of people behind him. Whether or not he considers them as friends is another matter but safe to say that all these affected people are now his believers.

Overall, this is one of the funniest series of the season. You will either love it or hate it depending on what you expect from this series. Of course, major disappointment from purists who wanted to watch a real serious back story on Handa but instead got pounded by the slapstick humour. But for the rest who don’t care about this, it decently tickles your funny bones whether or not you know or watched Barakamon in the first place. I don’t mind watching if they churn out another sequel. Because it may look like I am a sadist for wanting to see Handa and the rest of the gang getting into trouble and misinterpreted situations, but could it be that I am unconsciously a Handa follower now? Sure, I might not love that guy so much but I don’t hate him either. Interesting things always happen around him. Why? Because simply, haven’t you heard? It’s Handa-kun after all.

Oh dear. Love making is back! I didn’t know this was getting another season! I thought with all that has been said and done in the first season, there wasn’t any more left to tell but I guess I was wrong. And that strange funny mysterious attraction of gayness that somewhat compelled me to watch Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love! Love!. I know the series is not that gay but from my point of view having an entire cast with only males certainly does so from my point of view. In a funny way of course. And it seems the world is under threat from a new pair of villains and thus the reason why we need more love making to save the day. Yeah, nothing beats world happiness and peace seeing hot handsome guys getting yaoi with each other. Oh wait. This isn’t what this series is about. Phew.

Episode 1
Starting off with our Battler Lovers soaking in Kurotama talking about random stuffs. Some connection between hourglass and kanchou that I don’t really care. The student council trio also join in. It seems they are going abroad to study starting tomorrow. There is an awkward moment between Kusatsu and Atsushi that is just giving the rest tension. Just say you want to come and see him off, damn it! Eventually it is Yumoto who ‘asks’ since he wants to see a plane. After the student council trio leave, an hourglass monster attacks Battle Lovers. He gushes his pink sand all over them which disintegrates their Loveracelets. Because there are no more mosaic and censors, he knows who they are now. Before he could finish them, Goura comes in furious since somebody messed up his bath. Time to back down for now. Next day as the quintet enter their clubroom, the monster is waiting there and before you know it, another epic fight begins. Before they get owned for real again, Wombat drops down to give them new Loveracelets. Different outfit means more power up, right? Yes, because it’s the second season! Oh, more wombat molestation from Yumoto too. Didn’t forget that, did he? With their new transformation and powers, they blast their love powers on the monster. But I guess the monster is also toughened up for the second season since he hasn’t given up yet. Because time is running out as the plane will be leaving soon, Battle Lovers combine their power to defeat and purify the monster. They know this kid to be Tomaru Tokiwa who was born very early in the year so he gets jealous that he becomes a year older faster than the rest of his classmates. They manage to arrive (plane is already taxing) and wave goodbye. I guess Kusatsu must be so relieved he believed in them and almost had his trust betrayed. When Yumoto asks Wombat about Tawarayama, he suddenly realizes he left his body behind. Speaking of which, twin foreigners, Akihiko and Haruhiko Beppu who are new exchange students at Binan find his slumped body.

Episode 2
Tsukuro Ouso is a chubby pretty boy and he is sad that nobody believes what he says. Till he stumbles upon the twins who are well out to corrupt him. It is that time for the Pretty Boy contest again so when Tsukuro waxes lyrical about the twins being the most beautiful, as usual the rest don’t believe him. But when they do appear, some of the boys throw down several challenges. However the twins easily best them all whether it is brains, brawns, games, cooking or just about anything. Even more so, the loser becomes their follower and they are starting to amass a huge group. Yumoto and the rest notice a large building built across Kurotama. Too fancy to be a love hotel, right? This is the first time both sides meet. Yumoto is being Yumoto as usual but the rest try to be as polite as possible. Yumoto gives them coupons for Kurotama but I can feel there is some sarcasm and insult in their ‘thanks’. The twins then call Tsukuro alone to attend their concert. We see them transform into Galaxy Idols, VEPPer! Based on our past season experience, we can tell Tsukuro is turned into a monster. The Loveracelets alert our Battle Lovers to go fight this tofu monster who starts throwing tofu at them. But it only takes Yumoto to defeat and purify him as he doesn’t like others wasting food. This is also when Battle Lovers and VEPPer see each other. Thanks to the mosaic and concealing technology, both sides are unaware of the other’s identity. VEPPer as usual being obnoxious and cocky, as they declare war on Battle Lovers to wipe them out. Oh, they’ve got a green squirrel familiar by their side, Dadacha.

Episode 3
The quintet realize their usual spot for lunch is taken over by the twins and their group of followers. They heard the twins won the contest and have a group of loyal fan boys who call themselves as Beppu Apes. When Yumoto suggests they should read a play to kindergarteners, Tagaru Katari protests since he feels it is his job and duty from the speaking poet society to do it. Of course they ignore him and the twins can feel Katari’s jealousy and sense this could be useful. The quintet talk about Japanese folklores and one of them being the Jizo and the hats. Yumoto also experienced something similar and thanks to Goura’s guidance, he did a great job. The more Katari observes them in preparation, the more his jealousy grows. On play day, the act goes smoothly. But it the straw that broke the camel’s back for Katari is when the kids are laughing instead of being moved. That is when the twins turn him into a microphone monster. As one, he is formidable because he can materialize kanji words to hurt you. Who’d knew dreams could be painful, right? Literally. Battle Lovers fight back with Yumoto giving his own lecture about love. Love is something you give to others! He relates the folklores Goura read to him as bedtime stories might not be well read but they all moved him. With the children and Goura supporting Battle Lovers, they deliver the decisive blow to end it all. Encore! Encore! Goura is glad that Yumoto has grown up well. And Yumoto in turn realizes that Goura has always been watching over him even if he is busy. The only unhappy ones are the twins as they need to find a way to defeat their enemies quick. But Dadacha tells them not to be impatient as it has only begun.

Episode 4
The twins really want to get rid of Yumoto but when they approach him and he is in his carefree form, they still can’t do anything. Back in their greenhouse, they notice Bernardo Salvatore sad. This Italian guy claims he doesn’t get along with his twin, Alan. A total opposite if you’re asking those perfect twins. It seems the Italian twins were never this bad. Only when they hit puberty did Alan start distancing himself. Thus the twins go talk to Alan to find out the reason but he won’t say it seeing it is shameful for an Italian. But after managing to convince him that they can help out his complex, Alan reveals that his jealousy of Bernardo stems from his twin’s manly chest hair! Alan has none. Thus a perfect excuse for Alan to be turned into a chest hair monster. And those are his tits not eyes. His power is of course making everyone grow tremendous chest hair. Battle Lovers fight him but get caught in his beam as they grow unsightly armpit hair before getting caught in a chain of chest hair. A hairy situation they’ve gotten into, eh? Of course they could easily end this charade but Yumoto doesn’t want to. Even if they cure him, this won’t solve his complex with Bernardo. The only way is to call him here as he is the only one who can save Alan. Bernardo never knew chest hair was the source of their animosity. He is willing to give up his chest hair by pulling them out now! Ouch! Looks painful but that is nothing compared to the pain of love, right? In the end, when both reconcile, Battle Lovers purify Alan. The Italian twins are back on good terms as they enjoy a good bath at Kurotama. Somehow Bernardo’s chest hair grows back but Alan doesn’t mind.

Episode 5
Shuzo Oka fails his training with Shigoki Munakata, the volleyball club president. Because of that, they are over as Munakata wonders if there is somebody worthy enough to receive his balls! I kid you not! When Yumoto accidentally receives his balls, Munakata believes this is the one who will receive his balls. I kid you not he is going to spam this line throughout the episode. So Munakata forces Yumoto to join his club and the latter had to since his way to the toilet is being blocked. Oh, he needs to recruit 4 members too. I can guess who they are. And so Earth Defence Club becomes volleyball members as they train to receive and touch Munakata’s balls!!! While Yumoto happily receives his balls, the rest just dodge it like a plague. Does this mean Yumoto loves playing with balls?! Eventually the rest quit (and they have an interesting discussion about why volleyball is called ‘haikyuu’ in Japanese which literally means ‘excrement ball’) only Yumoto is left playing the balls. As Yumoto and Munakata forge stronger ties, Shuzo becomes more and more jealous because he believes being near Munakata is supposed to be his spot. So he wants to be near his balls?! Anyway with the twins sensing Shuzo’s jealousy, time for another round of the usual. Shuzo turns into a black volleyball. I think black balls are something Munakata can’t receive. Battle Lovers fight the black ball but it absorbs all their powers. Until Yumoto tells him how he is already a beautiful diamond instead of needing to wait for someone to polish him up, the monster is easily defeated. In the end, Shuzo and Munakata reunite and continue their training. It seems Munakata is 26 years old and will not give up till his club enters the tournament! Good luck in doing that. Forever. I take it he is never going to graduate. Of course Yumoto has quit seeing the only club for him is Earth Defence Club.

Episode 6
There is a standoff between Io and Ryuu. Despite all the sarcasm they throw at each other, they’re still close by to each other? Apparently from what I understand from En and Atsushi’s explanation is that they have always hated each other from the start since they have the wrong first impression of the other. So everything they do together seems to be a coincidence and sometimes trying to outdo the other. Like how they join Earth Defence Club on separate occasions, En and Atsushi were unaware of their bickering and allowed them to join. Besides, the club wasn’t even official yet so there was no reason to refuse. When Kuroshiro Kumano asks the twins how it feels like to be idols, they use his insecurity and turn him into a panda monster. So when Loveracelets are signalling, Yumoto, En and Atsushi have no choice but to take on the monster themselves thinking Io and Ryuu won’t reconcile in time. Everyone is admiring how cute the panda monster is. Everything he does is cute. Even pooping. So when the trio arrive to take him on, the crowd turns hostile. Even more so their power is not enough to defeat him and the crowd’s admiration turns him big. Surprisingly Io and Ryuu turn up to beat the crap out of him. They’re in sync now? Yumoto gives them the honours to finish and purify the panda. VEPPer makes their brief appearance just to tell Battle Lovers they are not worthy of any love. In short, they hate them. In the aftermath, Io and Ryuu’s standoff continues. Didn’t they get better? It gets weirder when they start complimenting the other greatly but they won’t accept it. WTF?! So apparently this whole standoff thingy originated when they overheard other boys making fun of the other. So when they start explaining how amazing the other is but is not acknowledged, that is when their tension brew. Dumb, right? This reminds Yumoto their standoff was like the first time they visited Kurotama. At the entrance they were already bickering when Goura poured water on them and ushered them in. But if not for that, they wouldn’t have spoken to each other ever again. Yumoto then apologizes as he reveals he was the one who splashed the water. He was cleaning the roof at that time. He also apologizes for the heart shape sewing he sewed on their jacket. They don’t mind it but when Wombat makes a cheeky remark, they get offended. Love shock?!

Episode 7
At the ramen store, En surprisingly suggests doing a Christmas party and Yumoto gladly agrees and will have it at Kurotama. But what will they do for food? The ramen owner suggests he can deliver his Christmas ramen to them since his son, Hitori Hijiriya is also Yumoto’s classmate. On Christmas Eve as Hijiriya sets out his unpleasant journey (kids teasing his costume and all), the twins come to work their ‘magic’ on him. The twins pretty much hate Christmas and Santa too but when Goura invites them, they instantly accept. Christmas isn’t so bad after all, eh? But what about the monster? Oh no. They leave it to Dadacha to sort it out. So here the idol twins are, surprisingly our quintet who thought they had better things to do than hanging out with them. Maybe they had no plan in the first place. Oddly they observe the twins being obedient to Goura but totally ignoring Yumoto. When Dadacha gives the signal he failed to stop the monster, the twins try to push up the programme to exchange gifts since they want to get Goura’s present. But too late the reindeer monster is here and he is b*tching about working on this day while everyone has fun. The twins for once feel they have to leave it to Battle Lovers to defeat the monster but it seems the quintet can’t just transform in front of everyone. They try to make lame excuses to leave and the twins play along but it never worked out. Whether it is the monster calling them out for ignoring him or Goura somewhat inadvertently interrupting things. The last straw came when Yumoto pretends to fake a stomach illness so the rest can usher him to the hospital (but actually outside just to transform). The monster accuses them of fake acting so the twins rebuke him for ruining their dream. This is when the monster gets upset about everyone being selfish while he worked to the bone. Even so people complained. What the f*ck is he doing this for then?! Yumoto then invites him to join them. The gift exchange proceeds and the twins are glad they got Goura’s gift. Atsushi realizes En wanted to do this because his gift was a postcard from the student council trio doing their own Christmas gig. The monster gets Atsushi’s bag of candies and leaves happily. For once they didn’t even need to do any fighting and purifying as a happy Hijiriya automatically returns to his normal self on the way home. A Christmas miracle indeed. And no bath scene too for once?

Episode 8
Yumoto is eager to eat Goura’s soba and see the first sunrise of the year with him. You bet with the twins eavesdropping, they’re going to ruin it. So they approach, Makoto Jinzou who has been failing his entrance exams for 5 years in a row. They make him mad and then give him hope they can help him. You know the rest. Now a snowman monster, he is ordered to lock the guys in at Kurotama but a short blackout throws them off at first. Yumoto is sad his friends have to leave but they realize a thick snow blocking their path. Oh well, they’ll just stay here then. Next, the monster goes in to fight them but everyone is in holiday mood and not willing to fight. Of course snowman can’t go back empty-handed seeing the twins are already celebrating their ‘victory’. So he decides to go back and sabotage En, Ryuu and Wombat who are out to buy stuffs as they lost a game as punishment. But whatever snowman does, it works in our heroes’ favour. Meanwhile the rest are playing snowball fight and when the twins hear Goura in the midst of playing, their horror ups an ante when they see Yumoto wearing the sweatshirt they knitted for Goura. Forcing the monster to come back and fight, snowman threatens to destroy their newly made igloo if they don’t battle him. But right after they transform, snowman breaks down as he laments about his fate of repeating winter over and over again. It is Yumoto’s spring-like advice that gives him hope and purifies him without much fanfare. Of course the twins are now pissed as the guys are looking at this mishap on a positive tone. So when our Battle Lovers are visiting the shrine, the twins have had enough of their density. They go up to them and in their face reveal they are the ones sending monsters out to get them. Need proof? They transform right before their eyes.

Episode 9
The twins are furious because after their declaration, the quintet ignored them and it has already been a month and a half since! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, they get more jealous seeing Yumoto get Goura’s chocolate so they hatch a plan to rid him once and for all. The quintet receive a bunch of chocolates. Yumoto pops them in his mouth and suddenly he feels strange. Of course the chocolates are from the twins and it contains some chemicals that would create high stimulation. This means Yumoto wants to hug and cuddle everything at full force! OMG! The most gay-est scene ever! Hugging and confessing his love to each of his pals! The twins now pop up and they aren’t happy Yumoto is still too happy. They view them as their idol rivals and transform to take them out. However the rest don’t have a reason to fight and escape. So the twins go to instigate some of their Beppu Apes and make them hate Battle Lovers for all the chocolates they are getting. As chocolate block monsters, these guys are going to bring them misery. Despite Battle Lovers transforming, everyone decides to leave this to Yumoto since this idol battle thingy isn’t their cup of tea. Yumoto manages to get the monsters to cheer and support him before purifying them. Even back as normal students, they continue to love him so the twins need to act now. They are about to throw some devastating power but Yumoto quickly hugs them. They manage to give him the slip and escape. Since Yumoto is still stimulated, the rest feel the only way is to throw him into Kurotama’s bath. When Goura learns of this, he jumps in and hugs him. His serious brotherly returns Yumoto to normal. Seriously. Now the rest are starting to think the twins are more than meets the eye and can’t ignore them.

Episode 10
Yumoto sighing?! Is this the end of the world?! Apparently Binan Land is closing down. Yeah… The rest only remembers bad reviews about the place so it is natural it will be closed down. The twins also love Binan Land. So when Entao Junya mocks it, they become mad and are going to teach him a lesson. As Yumoto complains to Goura about Binan Land’s closure, his friends decide to take him there for one last time and also pay his ticket. Yumoto wants to ride this hardcore Mad Mouse ride since you have to ride it 7 times before vomiting! Once is enough for everyone! Yumoto barely remembers after that, Goura put him on the bench to rest (axe behind his back?) and then left for something and never returned. Battle Lovers have to fight a carousel monster and they quickly finish him off as they don’t want to hear his longwinded back story. Thank goodness. But here is VEPPer. When Yumoto claims they aren’t competing with them as idols and should stop becoming enemies, this only makes them mad. Ryuu and Io are right when they put it this way: I won’t date you but let’s still be friends; The investment went wrong so give me back half my money. The rest did ask why VEPPer hates them so much. They believe Maximum Gorar (Goura’s hero name) would have been their big brother. Yeah, they are fans of his TV show. Flashback time. Remember last season when the entire plot was some reality TV to destroy the world? If the current Battle Lovers was the second season, there must have been the first. That was Gorar. Then at Binan Land, the twins were held hostage by a monster. Gorar came to their rescue but was defeated. The twins were sad but Gorar revived and turned the tables to save the day. Gorar had to leave because he left someone (Yumoto) alone. The twins could only dream of him staying with them forever. Although Battle Lovers acknowledge this love-hate relationship won’t be easy to solve, they are feeling tired of all these battles and threaten to have higher authorities and third party intervention or court restraining orders! When they head back to Kurotama, Goura wasn’t there as usual to greet them. They sense something amiss as he is missing. Earlier on it seems he has a mishap while chopping wood…

Episode 11
As they look for Goura, he is not anywhere to be found. The twins were devastated to learn their father will be transferring to Andromeda as part of his job. This means no more Binan Land? Because the twins support Gorar, they are bullied by their fellow classmates. Now Goura is lying in a comatose state inside a transparent coffin in the twins’ mansion. Meanwhile the student council trio are experiencing and witnessing many bad omen signs. It is suggested Kusatsu emails to Atsushi. However his handphone is dropped inside the toilet bowl… Something awful is going to happen indeed. While the quintet are soaking at Kurotama, Dadacha comes to tell them the twins are going to take Goura out to space with them. Of course they capture him and interrogate him to spill the beans that their battle has always been a fight to see who is worthier of Goura. As the twins are arguing who Goura should stay with, Battle Lovers come in to rescue Goura. Yumoto is most upset and rushes in to fight but his pals calm him down that they too have the right to fight for Goura. However the twins will not accept their plea since they already said they don’t want to fight. Not even Yumoto’s honest plea would change their mind. Suddenly a familiar voice tells them to accept it. It is Zundar! Working for another production company, he wants them to battle it out for the sake of TV ratings. Oh, get this. Dadacha is Zundar’s little brother and he is totally in love with him. Yeah… Not even the same species… Dadacha hosts this idol battle programme to all the universe’s viewers. They can vote and Like the team they like. When it is decided VEPPer goes first, Battle Lovers are suspicious because usually the one who goes second has an advantage (like you see in movies) but yet they are confident. VEPPer starts singing and they garnered lots of Likes. This in turn become attacks against their opponents. Battle Lovers take a beating till they collapse. If they don’t get up, VEPPer will win by default. But before that could happen, Caerula Adamas returns! Since Atsushi didn’t reply, they rush back quickly knowing something is wrong. The trio are going to join the fray and show that they are different than before.

Episode 12
But Caerula Adamas hands us a twist and refuses to join in the fight. Battle Lovers revive to sing back. Not only they have garnered lots of likes but Goura is also resonating. A video shows some bird (or duck?) scouted Goura to fight. As we see him take on baddies, the twins note the bad editing of the video. His voice is not sync and he is saying words that he wouldn’t say. It is revealed that Goura was supposed to be the villain but instead became overwhelmingly popular. This derailed the producer’s goal and thus the reason the first show was cancelled. The twins were sad hearing about the cancellation and that is when Dadacha scouted them. If they go on TV, Goura will be certain to see them. But how can they when that series is cancelled? Be an idol. Idols do a lot of variety of things. And thus began the twins’ harsh journey as a galaxy idol. Just when they thought they were good enough to get their own show, that was when the show between Caerula Adamas and Battle Lovers came about. They were supposed to return home to Earth as the greatest idols and they can’t believe these idiots beat them to it. The fight resumes with some talk about love. Yumoto is beaten at first because of the twins’ twisted take on love. Actually they view themselves as not needing it because idols just trick, deceive and entice others with their fake facade. They claim they are better because of their pure intentions they do are for Goura.

When they take Goura away and vanish, Yumoto becomes distraught. So angry and worried that he suddenly becomes Super Saiyan and powerful emotions start bursting out. The other Battle Lovers know this is deep sh*t because if you consider the contest of emotions for Goura, Yumoto has the greatest. It is going out of hand but they pin him down and make Yumoto come to his sense. With that, Yumoto now has a purer view of love. He transforms into an angel and talks about the love in idol. As in ai-dol, get it? The rest also transform into angels and they purify to wake up Goura. The twins are surprised to see Goura still recognize them. Because he too sees them in his dream. They feel pathetic that they have done bad things on him and yet he still views them kindly. He sees they have grown big and strong and more importantly they kept their promise to Gorar. This brings the twins to tears. Man, it feels weird seeing guys hug and cry like that. In the aftermath, VEPPer becomes the greatest galaxy stars with sold-out concerts everywhere. The Earth Defence Club quintet soak in the bath with the student council trio. Making it merrier are the twins who have joined their ranks. Man, they are going to need to get a bigger bath. They feel they have forgotten somebody. Goura? No, he is at the back chopping wood as usual. Zundar and Dadacha? They’ve gone back to space? Hmm… Who could it be? Oh well. We don’t care. Answer: Tawarayama.

Big Brother Dearest
It really feels weird. Not about love making saving the world again (it is too) but rather this entire series is about the battle over the brotherly love of Goura. I’m not used to seeing anime series revolving around love between men (that’s not even venturing into hardcore yaoi stuffs), so to see the main characters here fighting over possibly the coolest big brother ever in the galaxy (at least for this season) it makes me feel a little weird because can this can of brother love be just your normal brotherly love or more than that?

Basically this season mainly follows the same formula as in the last. A big portion of it and at the start would follow the basic route of villains unleashing a monster who are students with problems (that we’ll never care eventually) followed by Battle Lovers fighting and then purifying the said monster. Rinse and repeat. There is nothing much difference except that this time the main focus and issue now seems to revolve around Goura. Despite not making core appearances, his background is enough to initiate an entire season to have both sides at each other. At least VEPPer trying to get rid of Battle Lovers. I guess Goura is the manliest man of all men, the coolest of the coolest, the hottest of the hottest that we have our heroes and villains fighting over him.

This season feels like a waste for Wombat. He was somewhat funny in the first season but in this season it feels as though his presence is forced to be necessary. There is no reason why this pink marsupial should return aside from the all-important ‘plot’ at the beginning to give Battle Lovers their Loveracelets replacement. Throwing Wombat further back into oblivion is the fact that Yumoto rarely rapes molests cuddles him to the extreme. There are a handful of scenes to see Yumoto doing this but it just feels forced. Because like I said, the focus now is on Goura so Wombat is now seemingly unimportant. Even as a running joke. This means Tawarayama is also unimportant and it feels he is like dead furniture lugging around. Even that ‘important’ announcement in the end about him being revived to normal doesn’t really make a difference. Like we care.

As for our Battle Lovers, since whatever back story and relationship issues they had, were already solved and covered in the first season so there isn’t anything much to cover about them here. Thus Yumoto seems to be more in focus compared to the rest of the other Battle Lovers. It is good to see that Yumoto isn’t just a simple and dense kid (although he is still mostly is) but there are times when he gets mad too. I mean, really mad. But that is only when it involves his big brother. If that is the most ‘shocking’ revelation for this season, it would be Yumoto’s never-seen-before burst of emotions. Therefore a warning to all you folks out there. Never mess with Yumoto’s an-chan.

With Caerula Adamas pretty much missing for a big chunk of this season and even when they reappear they are just reduced to a role of a spectator, the twins as the new villains of this season try to give off some sort of drama and tension especially bringing down Yumoto. Sometimes I feel that their misguided hatred towards Yumoto feels the same when Caerula Adamas had for Battle Lovers in the previous season. I heard of guys fighting over a girl and vice versa. But guys fighting over a big brother? Man, that feels brotherly gay if you ask me. Still feeling weird about it…

Compared to Zundar, Dadacha feels weaker because this flying squirrel seems to be more interested in cooking and doing chores for the twins rather than coming up with eviler schemes or something. It’s like, what the heck is he here in the first place for. I don’t know what VEPPer means in this context but at first I often misheard it as fap! So hearing FAPPer twins was really shocking! Even more so when unlucky students who get turned into monsters are ushered into the stage whereby Dadacha would announce, “Welcome to the VEPP theatre”. Wait, welcome to the FAP theatre?! Oh sh*t!

This season’s mid-intermission also has some bio-data and information on the characters albeit I feel that they are much lesser data. In fact for the Battle Lovers, they just put up their nickname and their finishing move. That’s all. After all, if you want to know their blood type, hobbies and likes, might as well refer back to the first season. Such information is only for new characters like the twins, Dadacha and Goura.

While the casts of last season are maintained, it is funny to note that Hiroki Yasumoto who was the voice of Zundar now also plays Dadacha. I thought he sounded familiar and true enough it was him. Though, he did pretty well to differentiate between both characters because Dadacha sounds very gay. Seriously. So this guy went from being a hedgehog to a bear (Kuma Miko’s Natsu) and now a flying squirrel. The other new additions are Keisuke Koumoto as Akihiko (Raul in Yuushibu) and Yoshiki Murakami as Haruhiko (debut main role). There are also tons of other seiyuus lending their voice for very minor characters just like in the first season. Those I recognized are Rikiya Koyama as Munakata, Takehito Koyasu doubling as Alan and Bernardo, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Kumano, Kazuya Nakai as Hijiriya and Akira Ishida as Tokiwa. Of course if you realize by now, they are all males. Not a single female seiyuu.

This season’s opening theme is also sung by Battle Lovers and Futten Toppa Love Is Power has that similar feel to last season’s opener as well. Of course with the galaxy idol twins, it is only right for them to sing the ending theme, Anata Wa Haruka Ittousei in place of Caerula Adamas. Typical idol song too with that almost similar feel to the first season’s ending theme.

Overall, the second season is still funny thanks to all that gayness that I feel from watching the Battle Lovers spout love making battle lines to all that sparkly transformation scene. But still, it doesn’t mean that it is any better than its predecessor. Well, I thought with the plot dusted and done in the first season, this one seems unnecessary. Like as though they needed to enhance Goura’s reputation whatsoever. At least, my overall sentiments of why the sequel was made in the first place. I’m not sure if I can take any more of the love making gayness should there be a third season. In that case I would want to be one of those students-turned-monsters purified and forgotten after every episode, never to return, never to care again.

I was wondering why it took so long for Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka OVA to come out. It has been more than over a year since the TV series ended in 2015 and this OVA only came out back in December 2016. Trying to match the long ass name of its title? Just kidding. I suppose it is to remind us for the upcoming side story of Aiz. So what better way than to whet our appetite with a typical OVA. What do I mean? Do you love Hestia? Do you love boobs? Do you love swimsuits? Do you love fanservice? If you love all of the above, you’ll definitely going to love this OVA. I guarantee.

Is It Wrong To Pick Up Hotsprings In A Dungeon?
Taking place after defeating that giant monster in that paradise place, as usually Hestia and Lily are fighting over Bell’s attention. Everything’s normal. On their way back, they fight a few more monsters and Hestia becomes jealous that Bell is taken in by everyone’s flattery. She kicks a stone and this leads to some walls breaking down that leads them to a giant hotspring. Alright! Fanservice time! How can everyone go in without losing their modesty? Don’t worry, Hermes has made Asfi brought swimsuits beforehand! Amazingly he knows all their sizes… Except maybe for Hestia. Because it feels it was done on purpose. Her bikini is too small a size and snaps! There are no extra swimsuits so how? Welf is called and he thought he is the luckiest guy getting all the glory. Too bad it is just to help make a new swimsuit from leaves. I thought he is a blacksmith who crafts weapons or armours? Anyway, before they jump in, it seems Mikoto is forcing them to do silly rituals. This is her own and nothing to do with the eastern culture. You can tell how embarrassed Ouka and Chigusa are watching their comrade do this. The few fanservice include Ouka being called by some of the girls to test a portion of a hotspring. He is somewhat fascinated at looking at their crotches that probably he is boiling the water he is in. Yeah, too hot to handle. Also, not sure why Welf can’t help looking at Ryuu’s bloomer-cum-crotch so he tries to take his mind off by carving a statue of Hephaestus on the rock.

Hestia is bummed out that she can’t get a decent time alone with Bell since Lily is always stealing him away. Bell no baka! So when she finally gets that time, something strange is happening with the water. We should have seen this coming. The water turns acidic enough to melt their swimsuits! Before Hestia could confess, here comes monster fish to attack. Luckily the others arrive in time to destroy them. Of course there is this big mother fish, the master of this hotspring whom Bell must slay to show why he is the big hero. He does so but at the expense of his pants! All the girls get a big shock from this free show. Not Hestia. She thinks it is the ticket to beat that Aiz b*tch. Speaking of which, we have a few fanservice of her soaking in her own bathtub scattered throughout the episode. As the gang prepare to leave, they realize this place is just a trap set by the monsters. They believe many adventurers got killed in this trap and that’s why this place was never reported. Mikoto prostrates herself apologizing for losing her sanity when it comes to hotspring. What’s done is done. Time to head home.

Is It Wrong To Like Hotspring Fanservice Episodes?
Those who were expecting something better than fanservice would be freaking disappointed. And like I have said earlier, those who ‘appreciate’ Hestia, boobs, swimsuits and fanservice would totally fawn and gawk all over this episode. I mean, that’s all there is to it, right? Everything is so silly and doesn’t make sense that you just drop thinking and go with the flow. I mean, how can skilled warriors not sense this is a big monster trap? Ah, the allure of the hotspring blinded them. Just like how the allure of fanservice blinds us fans to watch mindless fanservice and fork out a few bucks so we can satiate our horny desires. Plus points if you’re a fan of big boobs loli. Nothing gets you motivated with a loli with big boobs, huh? Even more fanservice with the ending credits animation showing the girls sleeping in their sexy babydoll lingerie while hugging a dakimakura guy they love. Except for Mikoto. Hotsprings will always be her first love.

So it makes me wonder if this is the right OVA for us to refresh our memories for the upcoming new side story TV series about Aiz. Heck, it is a side story of her (supposedly as I have read. I could be wrong). Not even a continuation of this TV series. Perhaps that is why Aiz makes a very limited cameo appearance here (and all of them naked in her bathtub!). Or maybe this OVA is just a long awaited extra episode that fans had been waiting for over a year. That’s all. Right, it’s not even supposed to be a substituted for Sword Art Online or Log Horizon whatsoever. Just as long as you have a loli with big boobs and at least another girl for some harem cat fight, you can guarantee with this perverse reason fans will follow you into the deepest dungeons for this blessing.

Qualidea Code

January 15, 2017

Hmm… Apocalyptic world whereby aliens have invaded and devastated mankind. Check. A group of high school kids with special abilities hold the key to fend off these invading unknown aliens. Check. Sci-fi action. Check. Potential conspiracy twist and plot. Check. Harem. Uncheck. Wait. What? No harem? Oh what the heck. You can’t have all the anime series follow the same predictable pattern. Anyhow I’m still going to watch Qualidea Code for better or worse although I have a feeling that it might end up being the latter.

Episode 1
Many years ago, an unknown alien race called, uhm Unknown devastated the world. Young Ichiya Suzaku and Canaria Utara are one of the few miraculous survivors. Now in their teens, Ichiya like other kids his age has this power called World to fight against Unknown. Ichiya is a cold a bitter guy and doesn’t like amateurs and kids. But he respects adults for whom he believed to have saved their lives. He also believes he is all they need. Obnoxious, right? But what can we do? His past is scarred. This means he doesn’t like the idea of teamwork and often fights on his own. The duo meet up with others like them who are also head or subhead of a city like Hotaru Rindo and Maihime Tenkawa (subhead and head of Kanagawa respectively) and the Chigusa siblings Kasumi and Asuha (subhead and head of Chiba respectively). Ichiya and Canaria are of Tokyo. Ichiya and Kasumi hate each other’s guts and could have continued arguing had not the adults Gutoku Asanagi and Airi Yunami who are both regional management officers. They begin their ranking announcement and meeting. After the meeting, Unknown is detected attacking at Aqua Line. Everyone sorties. I’m not sure why Ichiya and Canaria arrived last since they flew and everybody else arrived by train. Unless they’re in the very part of town. Ichiya being the usual selfish jerk, tells Canaria to stay out of this so she powers him up with her singing. Ichiya is so damn good that he takes the targets of others, earning their ire. It gets worse when the students also start fighting over each other for targets. WTF?! You’re supposed to be fighting the enemy but instead jostling for more kills? This isn’t Call of Duty, am I right?! Apparently the more kills and scores you do, the higher your ranking and thus your compensation. Yeah. All about the money. Welcome to capitalism. I suppose this is a chance for Kasumi to ‘accidentally’ shoot Ichiya as friendly fire. With the enemy coming on too strong, Maihime decides to unleash her super power. This has everyone including Ichiya to run like hell out from her perimeter. Her big slash wipes out the enemy but too powerful that it destroys Aqua Line too. Oops. In the end, Gutoku admonishes all of them because he specifically told them not to destroy Aqua Line. Guess what? Hotaru and Kasumi conveniently blame Ichiya for this. Wanna fight? Gutoku screws all that and reprimands all of them.

Episode 2
Part of their punishment is to guard the engineering students while the repair Aqua Line and help them out as some of them are afraid they have spotted an unidentified Unknown (that’s like an unknown Unknown, right?). So they split themselves into 2 teams. Team A has Canaria, Maihime and Asuha. As you have guessed, Team B has those who constantly fight each other and hate each other’s guts. So while Team A is cheerful and motivational, Team B is gloomy and always arguing. During lunch break, Ichiya is being rude when Aoi Yaegaki serves him a hot towel. He doesn’t bother remembering names of those lower than him. This has Kasumi throw a hot towel in his face (I guess to give a reason to provoke) and before this reaches boiling point, Canaria calms them down. If you think Gutoku is being nice lending them swimsuits after that, well they have another task coming. As Aoi’s World can scan other people’s memories and transmit to others, they see a mysterious Unknown popping out of the waters and heading back down. No casualties have been reported. I’m sure it must be awkward seeing through a vision of a guy kissing!!! So the gang dive underwater to find the elusive mystery. Kasumi’s World is super hearing. He can figure out the layout of the underwater seabed with his ultrasonic hearing and resonance. He hears one approaching Asuha quick and fires a shot to take it out. In the end, it was never found and they remain suspicious if that was an Unknown because signals should have been picked up then. Asuha sheepishly thanks Kasumi but he becomes a big tease and wants her to repeat it many times, earning her wrath. So much about getting back into her good books. Meanwhile Gutoku and Airi discuss about the enemy being shot down and will be sent to HQ for examination. They fear their secret of the barrier’s layout might be known.

Episode 3
Medical officer, Mahiro Okuni hands in the list of students to be transferred internally to Gutoku and Airi. Airi is not pleased that she treats these students as objects although this transfer is to protect them as their valuable assets in sustaining their world. Okay, so she does make them sound like goods. Later they brief the usual about an unusual Unknown popping up. While Kousuke Hashibiro and his team were on patrol, this giant tower popped up in the middle of the sea. They codename it Leviathan. Their mission is to destroy it as the enemy’s goal is to occupy Umihotaru as a bridgehead. It seems Ichiya was supposed to be with Kousuke during the patrol but instead he was visiting an injured student who is on the transfer list. When Canaria returns home that night, Ichiya isn’t around and from the wide open window, she knew he had gone to fight the menace alone. Luckily Canaria, Kousuke and his team caught up and want to help out but Ichiya continues to be a selfish jerk thinking he can handle it all. But when they all continue to provide support and Canaria starts singing and even reminding him he is no longer alone, he relents and gives teamwork a chance. Everything is going great until Canaria collapses. And she is bleeding like hell! Time for Ichiya to remember what fear looks like. They get overwhelmed by the enemy and even worse, Leviathan is just the tip of the iceberg. You mean this enemy tower is just like a puny antenna for the bigger red durian below?! Knowing they have no chance of winning, they take refuge inside Umihotaru. Ichiya is desperately trying to seek help to save Canaria.

Episode 4
No use to start thinking how useless you are right now. This opens up for the Kanagawa and Chiba counterparts to tease him as they arrive in time to rescue all of them. After Canaria is wheeled into ICU, naturally Ichiya continues to feel down. Then he is summoned by Gutoku to explain why he acted by himself and defy his orders to form a team and take it out together. After a manly slap, Ichiya wants to take responsibility and finish this by himself. Oh, so is he going to rush out there by himself again? No. He has friends whom he needs their power to help. So now he realizes the importance of having friends? Ichiya takes the lead in studying the enemy and preparing tactics for all 3 cities to attack Leviathan which is occupying Umihotaru. While the Tokyo side provide air support and distraction, the Chiba side provides long range gun fire and the Kanagawa side supplying underwater tactics. Canaria wakes up in the hospital bed and once she hears Ichiya out in battle, she wants to go help him despite Aoi’s objection she needs to rest. Besides, she can’t fly there, right? Don’t worry. Kousuke and his team can do the job. By the time they arrive, Canaria’s singing powers up the fighting students. Leviathan takes a lot of damage so naturally it tries to run away. I’m not sure about Ichiya’s strategy to use Maihime’s powerful attack but her finishing move has something to do with E=MC2. WTF?! Since when did Einstein’s theory has got some sh*t in this?! Everyone celebrates their victory as Ichiya brings Canaria back, taking this opportunity to apologize. So now he is a changed person and is going to appreciate the power of teamwork. Gutoku is shocked to learn Aoi has entered the no entry zone. Even more so when he learns Canaria has left the hospital. He desperately tries to get her back. Ichiya talks to Canaria he is asking for a demotion and thus making her the next Tokyo head. He will train and do his best to become number 1. Suddenly a huge rock crashes onto Canaria! WTF?! THIS IS NOT COMEDY, ISN’T IT???!!! No it’s not. Canaria, nooooo!!!

Episode 5
OMG! Canaria is really dead?! I know it’s impossible to survive that but I was hoping some absurd reason would have at least put her in coma in ICU. I guess they really killed off her character :’(. Apparently there are a few students who were also killed in this mysterious fashion. Airi and Gutoku have the Kanagawa and Chiba help out for the time being. Although Maihime is raring to go, Kasumi isn’t fond in particular as he views this as Ichiya’s problem so he should be cleaning this mess up. With Maihime as the interim of Tokyo, she barges into several departments to make some ‘fun’ changes. Yeah, it’s like she’s having fun. While she rallies and gives hope to Tokyo students, Kasumi is on the direct opposite. He badmouths Tokyo, saying there is no hope left and should just come to his city where they’ll protect them. Maihime then goes to visit Ichiya who is wasting away in his room. Of course she blows her top for his hypocrisy but he tells her off that Canaria might just be a number to her but she isn’t a number to him. True. But remember, they are fighting a war. No time to be sulking. When alone, Maihime lets loose her cheerful disposition and cries in Hotaru’s arms before putting back her happy mask on. Kasumi is less forgiving as he forces Ichiya to go do his duties. Meanwhile Aoi just finished her surgery of replacing her Code. Something fishy is going on when Okuni doesn’t want Airi to explain details to her. Something about a group of students including Aoi entered the no entry zone and she was the only one to come out alive. When Aoi accidentally touches Airi’s hands, she sees some horrifying visions. After Aoi is released, Hotaru approaches her to get any hints. Because Aoi’s group was the only one who approached Leviathan from the back. All the mystery murders seemed to come from the group who entered from the rear. Aoi isn’t sure if she should tell but decides she doesn’t know anything. Unknown attacks again and the usual fight and defend battle again. Could have been just another day’s fight if not suddenly the entire sky turning dark red. Freaking hordes of Unknowns dropping down. Apocalypse now?

Episode 6
Hotaru and Aoi are driving towards the no entry zone like crazy since Unknowns are attacking them. I believe the students’ Code serves as a homing device, the reason why certain Unknown types come crashing on them! Holy cow! It looks like those funny cartoon moments when the anvil drops on a character!!! Good news is that Ichiya has snapped out of his gloominess and fights the hordes. But bad news means he has snapped. Going crazy to just kill off the Unknowns recklessly. If there is nobody else to protect, he’ll just destroy everything! Nice reasoning there, mate. Airi for some unknown reasons rushes out into the battlefield and almost got killed. Had not Maihime and her force save her, she would’ve been dead. There’s some flashback about them being together. It is a reason Maihime wants higher authorities to survive. She lets Airi board the train to safety and lets her keep her timepiece. Why do I have a bad feeling about this? So more flashback when Maihime was young, her powerful World just came bursting out. There’s some theory about her special ability awakening from cold sleep but I don’t really understand. Nor do I care. Airi accompanied Maihime to her late grandpa’s house where she took over his coat and timepiece. She explains the normally peaceful dream she has about everyone and the reason she can’t leave this place is because of her promise to Hotaru. With more ‘anvils’ falling and the enemy overwhelming, Maihime orders everyone to retreat. What about her? She is going to play the heroine to buy everyone time. Man, doesn’t that sound like a death wish? As she beats the crap out of the enemy, she remembers about her promise with Hotaru to meet here again after the war because they were going to separate shelters. Maihime refuses to get onboard the train and continues to stop the enemies. Like, she’s really having a death wish now, right? Even more so as she is going to take on this new bunch of humanoid horde. I hope they didn’t postpone her death to the next episode.

Episode 7
Kasumi and Asuha are also racing towards Tokyo. Asuha rides like the wild chick and unknowingly the side car got detached leaving Kasumi behind. Hotaru remembers she got lost many years ago and was taken in by some secret service. She was trained to kill ruthlessly. Aoi and Hotaru stumble upon stranded Kasumi. Hotaru didn’t want to pick him up but kind Aoi did. Too bad he has to hop on while Hotaru is stepping on the accelerator. Nearly killed him. Don’t worry, she believes that won’t kill him. We hear more about Hotaru’s promise with Maihime. Because the latter honoured her promise by waiting for her for 10 years and was the one who brought Hotaru back to her senses. It is the reason why she follows Maihime wherever she goes. With the fight against Unknown wrapping up everywhere else, only Tokyo is left. Airi is trying to reactivate the barrier but it will take time. Maihime is still fighting the Unknowns. Oh, here comes the supposedly big boss. Hey… Doesn’t that look like… Kyuubey?! OMG! Anyway she realizes it isn’t the enemy that is getting stronger but herself getting weaker. Duh. She’s been fighting for who knows how long. Naturally Maihime is on the verge of defeat and succumbing to her fate when here comes Hotaru to rescue her in the nick of time. It seems Kasumi hatched a plan to support Hotaru to jump straight to Maihime. It’s faster that way. With Maihime safely in her arms, Hotaru can now unleash all anger at the Unknowns. Eat this! Everything looks set for victory. The barrier is about to be activated, the Unknowns retreating and Hotaru her final strike. Suddenly Maihime stops Hotaru from her job. Then she destroys her Code and lets a giant Unknown blimp smash into them. Can anyone survive that? I don’t know what Hotaru said in her final words to Kasumi but he sure looks shocked.

Episode 8
Everyone is sad hat Maihime and Hotaru are dead. There are lots more who are dead, injured or missing. Gutoku and Airi suggest Aoi take over Kanagawa’s management while Asuha temporarily handles Tokyo. Okuni suggests scaling down their battles and pulling their defence line back inland by abandoning the current one. She also wants Chigusa to be relocated inside but everyone including Chigusa herself objects. Although Gutoku reluctantly agrees with Okuni, he will decide the time for her relocation. Okuni personally tries to persuade Chigusa the perks of relocating and she can be closer to her family. However she turns her down. Ichiya confronts Kasumi and is mad about his announcement about scaling back battles. What else does Ichiya has to live for if he doesn’t fight to avenge Canaria? Kasumi doesn’t give a damn, Ichiya isn’t going to accept this. Later Kasumi and Aoi go around patrolling and since everyone is teasing them on a date, it is no surprise that Asuha is stalking them from the shadows. Okuni talks to Kasumi and again tries to persuade him to change his sister’s mind. But after learning Hotaru said something to him before her demise, she wants to discuss more in private tonight at a secret location. Don’t tell anybody. Not even Asuha. So here he is and instantly he knows he is set up since the coffee she served is drugged. There’s something mentioned about the world the kids see is fake and Okuni intends to erase that memory from him. He is attacked by… Invisible tentacles! He can’t see but at least he can hear. Okuni beats him up, damaging his eye, claiming they would be better off without obstacles like them. Fortunately, Kasumi didn’t come alone. Okuni couldn’t react in time as Chigusa freezes her. Kasumi finishes her off by breaking her frozen body into pieces. Chigusa isn’t satisfied and goes for overkill by burning every bit of her morsel. Wow. Kasumi may get his awaited sisterly love treatment but don’t make her mad. Taking off his bandage, Kasumi realizes something is wrong with his vision.

Episode 9
Rumours go around that Okuni got promoted to the inside. Although Kasumi is okay, he realizes the visions he has been seeing the world as are fake. He leaves it to Asuha to guard the area while he goes off to do more research. He tries to look up for more information but it is easy and not secured. He believes the ones he wants are locked away as standalone. Aha. A hidden wall filled with paper documents? Big words he finds… Adaptability coefficient and erosion rate… Asuha goes to talk to Ichiya who is still mopping around. When Unknowns attack again, Asuha and Aoi cannot agree on what to do. Ichiya returns to reorganize the team and do something good for once. When Ichiya goes down to the battlefield, an officer tries to prevent him from fighting. And then he got sniped! Ichiya is enraged and he knows only a person has such skills. He confronts Kasumi. One chance to explain. Would you believe it that he was protecting you? Nope. Time to kick ass. More Unknowns descend and attack. Asuha is having a hard time fighting off a couple of super Kyuubey types. She got her Code destroyed in the midst. When an Unknown intervenes Ichiya and Kasumi’s fight, Kasumi instead shoots at Ichiya and lets the Unknown go. This enrages Ichiya even more as the fight becomes a cat and mouse game. Ichiya is being mad and Kasumi is like talking nonsense. Ichiya is so mad in wanting to fight him that he doesn’t even care about the Unknown coming in. And I’m sure Kasumi meant literally is that because the worlds they see are very different. Kasumi then hums Canaria’s song. He doesn’t know how to sing it up until now. Ichiya is still in denial but becomes more confused when he hears Canaria’s voice singing it. Isn’t she supposed to be dead? He is brought to tears hearing her song as the Unknown who is Canaria hugs him. When his Code is broken, Ichiya could finally see the real Canaria in the flesh. Still cheery as always. Then he gets a glimpse of the real world for the first time: A decimated apocalyptic wasteland?

Episode 10
Asuha is rescued by Maihime and Hotaru. Along with Kasumi and Aoi, they are brought to Johannes. She is the Chigusa siblings’ mother. She is so spunky and lively it is as though she didn’t leave any of those genes to her children. Really. As the commander of this operation she explains what has been going on. Many years ago, children were kidnapped and raised by Unknown to fight against real humans. When the first war started 30 years ago, many adults put their children into cold sleep as emergency measure. However that was the Unknown’s plan to kidnap and then implant false memories into them. Therefore the Code embedded behind their neck was necessary to maintain a false world. Of course to the real humans, everything looked vague too so they had a hard time differentiating friend or foe and many perished. The no entry zone is the farthest of the barrier and if one crosses over, they would see the real world. That’s why the humans were trying to destroy it. Ichiya feels like a dick after hearing Canaria’s explanation. Not only he was fooled and failed to live up to his hero dream, how can he face Kasumi whom he can picture has that I-told-you-so smug on his face. Canaria remains positive that he can start anew and get along with everyone else. Johannes shows the ultimate cannon that will wipe out the entire area and destroy all Unknown. Yeah, they’ve put all their budget into it so it better work. Aoi is still hesitant because some like Airi and Gutoku have been really kind towards them. Johannes assures the kids don’t have to fight anymore and leave it to the adults. The alert sounds. Time to kick Unknown ass. Our usual heroes go into their action mode slaying the aliens. Ichiya repays his debt to Kasumi by saving his ass. They’re even now although they’re still the same throwing insults at each other. Oh yeah. All is fine in the world.

Episode 11
It’s like Airi and Gutoku are having their final liaisons together before the big decisive fight. But it seems they have their own plan as they take out their own comrades who are guarding the sleeping kids in the capsule. Johannes further explains that Unknown invaded Earth not to steal resources or territory but to alter their children so it would evolve into their kind. Something about Unknowns cannot reproduce on their own. However Aoi is still in doubt as she believes Airi and Gutoku are good guys who treated her well with love. She can’t just defect. She doesn’t want this truth. Johannes then orders the use of the cannon. It creates a huge damage but the remaining enemies counter attack. Johannes gets injured in the attack. Cue for mother and children to bond tightly in the infirmary before the kids heading off to finish unfinished business. Just when Maihime is going to lead her troops to fight head on, Kasumi and Asuha have another plan. They are going to strike the tower where Airi and Gutoku are. Kasumi calls Ichiya to convince that guy to join in. At first Ichiya has lost all reason to fight but when Kasumi tells him to take a good look at the girl he loves, he changes his mind. That should be a reason worth fighting. The general outline of the plan is to sneak into the tower via this lousy boat and then destroy the gate. Simple. As for how to destroy the gate, Kasumi hasn’t thought that far. Hey, he’s trying to keep things simple. Once inside the tower, they split into groups. Ichiya’s group is shocked to find a trail of bodies of Unknowns lying around. Did somebody beat them to it? They are then confronted by Gutoku who has been waiting for them. Noticed something? He still looks like the Gutoku they all know. That’s because Gutoku has always been a human from the start! Maihime and Hotaru head deep down to rescue the sleeping kids. They are confronted with a hideous Unknown fit enough to be a boss of Dark Souls.

Episode 12
Gutoku once encountered an Unknown looking a lot like a human (Airi). He got stabbed. Now he explains to the kids why he is working with the enemy all along. It’s not like he hate mankind or anything. Just that he saw a goddess. WTF?! What kind of excuse is that? So Airi is his God or something? At this point, Aoi can no longer be untrue to herself. She decides to defect to the other side. And she has no regrets about it. So while the girls chase her, the guys stay back and fight. If you’re wondering if Gutoku is just human, why is he displaying superhuman abilities? Well, Unknown tinkered with his body so he is part Unknown! That sentence feels so strange. When our young heroes are on the verge of losing, Canaria starts singing and this gives them hope to fight back. This means Asuha takes out Aoi via some wrestling chokehold and Aoi thrusting her sword into the Unknown. This makes her remember a long time ago she talked to Airi about her dream. It was to have her own child and die the way she wants. Once Aoi sees Airi’s timepiece on the ground, she knew what she had done but she has no regrets. She and Hotaru free the children. Gutoku senses Airi is dead and tells the guys to flee because this tower will now collapse without her as the administrator. He is going down with the ship. So everyone gets out and before you know it, the gate closes and all Unknowns in the world is gone. Rejoice mankind! For you have won! Gutoku did want to die with Airi in the collapsing tower but he sees a vision of her spirit asking him to take care of Aoi. If that’s her wish… So peace reign over the area and everyone is trying to rebuild their lives. Ichiya and co visit an unnamed grave dedicated to Airi.

“How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real?”
Now that Unknowns are expelled from the world, what is there left to fight for? What the heck was Canaria’s final narration about learning more about their World? At this point does it really matter? Now the kids can go back and live their so called normal lives as normal humans but they can’t really because they’ve always been under the care of a certain kind pair of Unknowns but we don’t care anymore since the anime has pretty much ended on a cliché good-humans-triumph-over-everything.

Well, everything seems pretty cliché and predictable by the time it reaches halfway. And when they started killing off our young heroes one by one, something inside me felt that there was more than meets the eye. There must be a hidden plot twist somewhere. I mean, killing off one of the cutest main characters as early as episode 4? That’s insane, right? Something must be amiss. With Canaria’s ‘death’, Ichiya literally ‘died’ on the inside. Yeah, he is dead for the middle parts of the story. And when Maihime and Hotaru seemingly accepted their untimely ‘deaths’, I could actually guess what the entire twist was about. And hell yeah, I was right even before that revelation about the world they’re seeing being fake is greatly hinted or revealed. The biggest twist is supposed to be “You’re the bad guys all along”. Because of that, it took away some of the pleasures and fun in watching the series. It somewhat became boring then. I don’t know. Is it my fault? Well, at least it is a good thing because it shows that I am paying attention, right?

The characters feel unexciting and as monotonous as Kasumi’s slacker character. By the way, the Chigusa siblings are the more interesting ones compared to the rest of the main characters. Kasumi is like forever like in his sleepy mode. His looks feel like he has this “I wish I wasn’t here” sound. Despite looking like a lazy slacker, he feels like the main character because he has to do all the dirty jobs while the others weren’t around. Making him more amusing is his interaction with his sister. I wonder if this can also be called sibling love-cum-hate. It’s like they hate each other but they don’t because that is how they talk to each other. The way Asuha always spites him with sarcasm about his creepy attitude and Kasumi being reduced to a weakling, giving us an impression he may be a siscon or something and Asuha a tsundere with buranko complex.

Ichiya may look and start off looking like the main character but after Canaria got seemingly killed, he is reduced to a wreck. A lost soul sulking trying to make out the reason for the rest of his existence. He is the kind of character full of angst and would settle for throwing punches instead of diplomacy. It makes his whining annoying. Well, if they wanted a less than perfect main character whom everyone would love to dislike, they’ve done a good job. His butt heading with Kasumi is amusing too but only second to Kasumi-Asuha banter. Maybe that is why he needs happy go lucky Canaria around to calm him down and rationalize his thinking. Maihime’s childish and lively character balances up the otherwise gloomy group of characters (asides Canaria). Well, she has to. When her name is the name of an anime series where my first waifu came from, she’d better be. Then you have Hotaru who looks like a typical strict swordswoman but serves more of a potential yuri role for Maihime.

Finally, Aoi. I think she is the most annoying of the group. She doesn’t even have fighting capabilities and overall I see her as a whiny confused soul. I can’t really blame her. Imagine if you’re being raised by adults whom you think are your biological parents. Then when you reach your legal age of adulthood, suddenly somebody drops the bombshell that they are not your real parents. But these ‘parents’ of yours have been taking real good care of you ever since. So how not to feel confused? I understand her case but I don’t know. It doesn’t really do much good to her character in that sense. Then finally when she defected, it’s like she become totally useful and able. It’s like her dark side unleashed and we see a side that we never expect her to see. I am not sure if Aoi is alive in the end because despite seeing Gutoku picking her up and hinting they will continue living, where are they going to run then? Conveniently, their existence is thrown into mystery when we see a slab falling supposedly on them. So if we don’t really consider their deaths, this means Airi is the only main supporting character who died?! Wait! NOT MAMIKO NOTO GETTING KILLED OFF AGAIN???!!! WTF???!!!! I don’t want to see this true world anymore!!! I know there is this Okuni character too but she isn’t a memorable one so it doesn’t really mater…

In short, sure, all of the kids have their flaws and troubles and some like Ichiya and Maihime have their own back stories to give their character a little more depth. But in the end, the kind of problems they have are mostly their own personality that you want to tell them to get over themselves. In the end, they mainly stay true to themselves because Ichiya and Kasumi continue their sarcastic banter. Some things never change

As for the aliens known as Unknowns, I’m sure they’re being namely apt so that we don’t question what the heck they are or where they come from. All I know when they first appeared, I thought they came out from Kirby. Not because of their shape but rather their colour. Funny to see kids fighting against Kirby-coloured enemies. Even more mind boggling is how they steal kids to reproduce or more accurately to continue their species’ existence. Of all species in the universe (assuming there are other aliens out there), they had to pick us humans (for the sake of the plot). Don’t they know how weak humans are (assuming humans here are your average Joes like in the real world)? They are prone to diseases and illness and their bodies are so frail that once broken it cannot be recovered as good as before. And they want to evolve us to their own kind?

This is supposed to be an action sci-fi anime. Or so I think. Because the action parts feel as boring as the plot. They’re supposed to supplement it and in worst case scenarios supposed to be the relief from the dull story. Instead, the fights are nothing special and feel forced. Just because they have to fight the Unknowns, the fight scenes are necessary. I don’t think I even remember if each of the main characters has some sort of special skill that makes them stand out from the rest. Even so, they are just general. For instance, Kasumi’s sniping, Asuha’s gunning, Maihime and Hotaru’s sword slashing, Ichiya’s erm, magic and Canaria’s uhm, singing? As for the other students, I find it really odd for those who fight aerially. Because they have to ride ‘magic wands’ that look like broomsticks. I thought they had to go play Quidditch after that. If the anime wasn’t ‘funny’ enough for you, there is a short still picture segment at the end of each episode that depicts a chibi and comical comic of the characters doing random stuffs. All are illustrated by the series’ author, Maki Toyama.

I won’t say that the quality of the animation is totally bad. But I noticed that there is a drop in it during the later episodes. Sometimes I feel that there isn’t enough ‘animation’. What I mean is that you know how Japanese animation sometimes would like to show off their animation like their hair waving in the wind when even there is no wind. So in the case of this anime, I feel that the lack in such animation makes certain scenes look like still pictures. Sometimes it surprised me a bit to make me think that my computer has frozen or something.

The only redeeming factor is of course hearing Mamiko Noto as Airi. I know I’m bias but who cares at this point. When I realized the twist of her character that she is supposed to be on the alien’s side, it still proves that my unwarranted worries that they may try to kill her character off. And they did… Damn you! Why do you have to be so bias!!! The only other seiyuuu I recognized is Aoi Yuuki as Maihime and Mai Nakahara as Johannes. The rest of the other casts are Souma Saitou as Ichiya (Kain in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yui Ishikawa as Canaria (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin), Yuuma Uchida as Kasumi (Yabuki in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Chika Anzai as Asuha (Chaika in Hitsugi No Chaika), Ayaka Fukuhara as Hotaru (Rin Shibuya in Idolmaster Cinderella Girls), Hiroaki Hirata as Gutoku (Sanji in One Piece) and Sora Amamiya as Aoi (Akame in Akame Ga Kill).

Despite having a few opening and ending themes, none of them resonated with me. I believe it isn’t the fact that they are all rock based which is quite fitting for what this series’ genre is. For the first 2/3 of the series, the opener is Brave Freak Out by Lisa followed by Axxxis which is also sung by the same singer. Claris does the first ending theme, Gravity while Garnidelia does the second one, Yakusoku -Promise Code-. For the third ending theme, Claris and Garnidelia combine unite and do a duet for Clever.

Overall, this isn’t entirely a bad anime per se. It’s badder because they killed off Mamiko Noto’s character and triggered my phobia last minute. Just kidding. But seriously. I know with all the criticisms that I have given, it is not as bad because at the end of it, I was still somewhat ‘entertained’. Maybe all this bad review about this anime all boils down to our own biasness and prejudice. That has become our Code in looking this anime in a negative light. Because I am very sure that compared to a person like me who has watched so many animes and have come to form my own (unrealistic) expectations and hope, to another person who is new to anime, there would definitely be very disparaging comments. So maybe this series is trying to subtly hint that for us veteran anime viewers, if we could take away all the preconceptions and prejudgments that have been blinding us for a long time, this series is actually a good one if not a decent one for what it is worth. Or maybe this is just straight up a bad anime that even the blind can see how bad it is from miles away.

New Game

January 14, 2017

We have gone behind the scenes on how your weekly manga magazine is published. Then we have gone behind the scenes for a comprehensive understanding on how anime is produced (and scared the hell out of us lazybones who thought animes were easy). Then there are a few seemingly behind the scenes or the lives of seiyuus wannabes. And now it is time to come full circle to complete Japan’s famous modern age pop culture and exports: Video games. Ah yes. Would you like to know the workings behind a video game company? Then New Game might be the anime to watch if you are interested in becoming a programmer or designer of your own game. Well, at least that was what I thought at first. Because you know how games are usually marketed greatly with all that hype till the real deal comes out? Yeah… Now, I’m not going to spoil anything for now for this anime but this anime more of revolves around a group of girls working in a video game company and their antics/obstacles they face at work. Sort of.

Episode 1
Aoba Suzukaze just graduated from high school as she is eager to start her first day at work at a game company, Eagle Jump as a graphics designer. She is nervous but meets art director, Rin Toyama. Taking her work station for the first time, Aoba thought she heard a monster but it is Kou Yagami sleeping in her panties! Rin introduces her as they try to guess each other’s age. You know how animes screw up our perception of a character’s age, right? Aoba learns that Kou is the character design of her all time favourite game, Fairies Story. This makes Kou her boss now. After Aoba is introduced to the other staff, it seems it isn’t so well for the rest of her team members. They act funny and seemingly ignore her. Even when she introduced herself to Hifumi Takimoto, she didn’t respond. Aoba also sees a fat cat, Mozuku that belongs to the game director, Shizuku Hadzuki. She brings it to work since it is bored and might stir up trouble at home. Hadzuki is so laid back that her assistant, Umiko has to shoot BB pellets and take her away to remind her the meeting is starting. Aoba returns to work and it seems Hifumi converses with her via instant messaging. She isn’t good at talking and this is the best way she can converse. As Aoba has little knowledge on 3D programming, Kou gives her a thick textbook to read. You’re on your own. Seriously?! But with Hifumi’s help, Aoba manages to get by. During lunch time, the other team members are shy in trying to get Aoba to go out lunch with them. Eventually Hajime Shinoda asks her. But Hifumi declines to join them as she has never gone out to lunch with anyone. So Aoba joins Hajime and Yun Iijima for lunch. Back to work, Aoba needs to go to the toilet when Kou sees her sitting by the hallway depressed. Because she lacks an ID, she can’t enter certain rooms. Kou is quick to blame Rin for not processing an ID card for her but gets shot back when she was supposed to get a picture of Aoba in the first place. During the break, the girls talk about how the busy period is coming up. Hifumi dreads it because it means going home late or not at all. Like Kou who sleeps over here. Might as well call it her second home. But Kou is amazing since she does the workload of a few people. At the end of the day as they clock out, Aoba asks an important question that she couldn’t: What game are they making? Fairies Story 3. This gives her more motivation to work harder as this was this game that got her interested in becoming a graphics designer.

Episode 2
Aoba has gotten used to things at the office. But she still can’t get used to seeing Kou wake up in her panties. Yeah, the office is really like her home. As Aoba gets to work, Mozuku comes to fool around, Naturally Hadzuki also does the same and cheekily wants Aoba to ‘punish’ her! When Aoba finally asks Hifumi when she could join them for lunch, she replies she normally don’t as she has lunch back home. Why? Because she wants to eat with Soujirou. Her boyfriend?! No, her pet hedgehog. Oh… Aoba tries to encourage Hifumi to smile but she just looks weird. Very weird. So when Hifumi returns home to Soujirou and puts up a decent smile, the hedgehog ignores her. Is the hedgehog a moody one in the first place? Because of that, Hifumi ‘complains’ to Aoba that she got into a fight with Soujirou. You make it sound so ambiguous… Kou gives Aoba her first assignment and that is to design and create NPCs for the game’s villagers. But soon the designing team head to the restaurant as Aoba’s welcoming party. Kou then drops the question probably everyone would love to hear from Aoba: Does she have a boyfriend?! Flustered at first, she says no and asks the same question back at Kou. She flusters even more than her. So blame work? Rin doesn’t sound happy. Worse, she gets drunk and admits she has no boyfriend. Hifumi has issues ordering (because it involves using her voice, I guess) so Aoba helps order on her behalf. However she mispronounces some of the kanji and there are a few options in ordering this alcohol so eventually Hifumi has to speak up. Aoba gets curious to try Hifumi’s drink but is luckily stopped in time since it is against the law for people under 20 to drink. When the restaurant is about to close, Kou suggests another round. Rin and Aoba agree while Hajime takes sleeping Yun home. At the bar, Aoba thought she could call a harmless drink like a pro but didn’t realize it has alcoholic content.

Episode 3
Aoba wakes up late and you can bet she is panicking she’ll be late for work. On the train as late as her is Yun. Once alighted, they make a mad dash and Aoba is much slower than Yun! Kou chastises Aoba, Yun and even Hifumi for being late at the same time. But when they explain Aoba tripped and all her belongings fell out, they were helping to retrieve them and thus the reason they were late. Kou feels embarrassed for lashing out at them and won’t record their tardiness but still has them submit their late report. These noobs don’t even know how to write an official report as they even put down their real reason for being late (hence Kou can’t write it off) including with emoji. Once Aoba is done with her character model, she shows it to Kou. Although it is good, there is still the issue of shading and the character’s face being stiff. She shows Hifumi’s work as comparison. Aoba has to redo it again. Down at first, when Mozuku comes to play with her, Hadzuki hints she can play with it all she wants whenever she is feeling down. This gives Aoba motivation to work hard. But each time she submits, Kou rejects and has her redo it. This makes Aoba push herself as she works real hard and stays overtime to get it done. It’s getting late and she still hasn’t finished. So Rin had to stop her and walk home together. She advises her about this is what working life is all about. Normally the one she sent in this morning was okay. Aoba is confused if it is okay or not. Rin’s reasoning for Kou for her to redo her work is so that she doesn’t get complacent and not be satisfied with the normal line for what’s okay. Thus there is lots of expectation from her. Aoba gets a call from her childhood friend, Nene Sakura as they talk and update each other on their current lives. While talking about the NPC Aoba is designing, Nene’s input gives Aoba the much needed idea for a change. When Kou wakes up the next morning, she sees Aoba already at her work station. She has completed her design and shows it to her. She passes. Although it took her a week, Kou gives her next deadline to design another one in 3 days. Aoba isn’t sure and pleads for 4 days. However Kou intends to have her finish in 1 day! So is this the infamous can’t-go-home thingy that Hifumi fears? Well, if you finish you can go home…

Episode 4
Kou thought everyone has left so she takes off her skirt and makes herself at home as always. She didn’t realize Rin was still around. Be glad she was the only one who saw her. Since she missed the last train, she’ll be staying here too. They talk about stuffs like if the game will sell but all that is important to Kou is that the game must be good. Just when Kou is going to get back to work, the worst fear of every programmer ever: The computer freezes! FFFFUUUUUU!!!! Ah well, time to start back at square one. Next morning as Rin wakes up and sees Kou sleeping in her panties, she gets this curiosity if sleeping with them would feel refreshing. So she takes off her skirt just to try it and what do you know? Kou saw her! Embarrassed? Be glad she was the only one who saw her. Just then Aoba just came in. I suppose she was too focused on work so she didn’t see them. However she heard weird sounds and checks it out. The most shocking discovery ever. Because Rin was trying to hush Kou, this ambiguous scene looked like they were having some hot lesbian make out! When everyone is talking and nobody is listening… Later Rin gives everyone their pay. This is Aoba’s first paycheque. Aoba is surprised if she should get this much. She earned it for staying late and completing her tasks. Chirpy Hajime tells her to keep up the good work and she might get a raise. Looks like she got one herself. Rin also talks to them about their yearly evaluation. Apparently Hajime isn’t from the same design team as them but the animation. It’s because her department lacks space so she is put here. Then they talk about what they did about their first pay like Hifumi bought cosplay but won’t elaborate further. Because spending your first paycheque is important as it leaves behind memories, Aoba is advised to think carefully about it. Hey, it’s her money. On her way home, she contemplates about clothes but realizes this suit her parents bought her was pretty expensive. So she ends up buying cake for everyone. Meanwhile Kou and Rin take a break by heading to the spa. Yeah, those ambiguous actions make it look like they’re making out. Rin thought Kou is going to ask an important question but it turns out to be a question all women hate: Did she get fat? Time to die…

Episode 5
Hajime shows Aoba the animation work she did on her character design. When Rin’s tablet pen isn’t working, it would be feasible to ask around if any other department has extra but Kou sends Hajime and Aoba to go buy one. At the store, Aoba realizes she left her wallet back at her table. It is worse for Hajime. She might have dropped it! But good news when Aoba returns to get her wallet. She saw Hajime’s wallet on her table too. Somebody’s getting pretty absentminded lately. Hajime is so happy that she acts out of character and this freaks out Kou. Since summer is here, the temperature outside is sizzling. Aoba wonders why Yun still wears long sleeve. She can’t say but the real reason is to hide he flabby arms. Since the office’s air-conditioning is getting too cold, Hajime turns up the thermostat. Yun is sweating like hell but thinks this might be good as she can burn some fat in this heat. Obviously Kou can’t take the heat so she turns down the thermostat. This cycle repeats a few more times before Kou decides to hide and catch the person in the act. Yun feeling comfortable fears she won’t burn away the fat and goes adjust the thermostat. Kou catches her in the act and since Yun can’t say the real reason, it makes her more suspicious. Then Hajime pops up and claims she is the one who was adjusting the thermostat. Because Yun also wants it hot, she claims majority wins. But it is going to get hotter when Rin blows her top when they are fooling around. As long as they cannot compromise, no one is allowed to touch the thermostat. Period. Wow. She’s also the coolest too. One early morning when Aoba is in early, she sits on Kou’s chair. Hifumi almost got the wrong idea if she has some sort of weird fetish. They talk to Rin about Kou’s old personality because it seems when she first started working here, she wasn’t very sociable. But ever since, she is starting to improve herself and just being true to herself. They’re glad they are getting along well with her. Aoba contemplates how she should act before Kou but Hifumi gets depressed thinking it would be hard for herself to change. When Kou enters, Aoba notices a big bag. She is going to stay here for a few days and it carries her clothes and other essentials. It seems she finds it easier to work at night. Aoba thinks she still doesn’t like interacting with people but nevertheless voices her support. Meanwhile Hifumi talks about the need to change her character to Soujirou. Screw you! Leave the hedgehog out of your human problems! Just feed him the food and not tease him!

Episode 6
With Aoba finishing her task, Kou hands her a new character design task. This time there is a specification list and unknown to Aoba, the character is modelled after her! Her character has a crueller fate: She dies! Aoba later tries the demo version of the game which is of course still work in progress. It really feels her hard work and everybody else’s come together seamlessly. When Hajime fantasizes about becoming the boss of this company, Kou quickly cuts her off and says she’ll quit the first thing! Everybody else too. On Aoba’s day off, she meets up with Nene to go see a movie, Moon Ranger. Because Nene looks younger than she is, she thought she hasn’t made any friends and thus the reason she accepted hanging out with her. You think too much… Of course the duo can’t help act like kids at times and even the staffs think they are as they look the part. Aoba finishes her popcorn and Nene offers her. But when she comments how fattening it is, Aoba puts her temptation on hold. Note: The movie must be screwed up if they have this alien baddie dude wearing a bra!!! Back to work, Aoba notices Rin and Kou are called for a meeting. They discuss what goes on in there and it seems the directors and other department leaders will sort out any issues faced. Then Aoba throws in the question of what if there are really issues. Will production get stopped? Hopefully not! Once the duo are out of the meeting, they relay the bad news. As Rin has miscalculated, her team needs to work overtime or come in on their day off. Of course they will be compensated monetarily. While the rest opt for coming in their day off, Aoba decides to stay overnight with Kou. But after a few hours working into the night, she has already fallen asleep on her table. Kou nudges her to go sleep since she bought her sleeping bag. However Aoba finds it hard to sleep since the figurines are like staring at her. So why go bug Kou about this? Just go sleep in the meeting room. Next morning when Kou wakes up and prepares for work, she realizes Aoba is still in the meeting room. She quickly knocks on the door to wake her up as employees are starting to stream in. She’s still sleeping…

Episode 7
Umiko sees Aoba and gets straight to her point that her character models are causing errors. All of them. This is causing the programming department she is in a big headache as the errors pile up. Aoba never thought there was anything wrong because Kou never taught her about it. This annoys Umiko about Kou for not teaching stuffs to her junior. Aoba hears a scathing comment when Umiko notes all the graphics department cares about is looking good. When Aoba asks Umiko for her surname, she is reluctant to tell. Till Kou shows up and calls her Ahagon in which Umiko instantly fires into her. She is from Okinawa and her family name of course makes it sound weird. She wants Aoba to call her given name. She will call her by that. Once Aoba has fixed the errors, Umiko returns to thank her and also apologize for being mean. To make it up, she gives Aoba a real shotgun shell! This is where Umiko starts ranting her love for airsoft and Aoba has no way of getting out of this conversation till Kou jumps in. So they decide to give her airsoft thing a try. At the rooftop which is supposedly her training ground, Umiko is seriously all geared up. It’s like she’s going to war. Once the rest suit up, Umiko demonstrates her deadly accuracy. Then Umiko and Kou get into a western style duo but end up pumping bullets into each other. Aoba isn’t sure if they get along well or not. The staffs are given a medical examination at a hotel. They see how ‘traumatized’ Kou is and this puts them under unnecessary pressure. Although Hifumi is attended by an old experienced nurse, the trauma causes her to act unnaturally. Aoba gets a panicky young and new inexperienced nurse. So much so Aoba is the one telling her to calm down! She’s clumsy too! Watch out for the injection! I don’t really know how she passed her nursing exam. Because of this, Hajime and Yun pray hard to get the old nurse. Unfortunately she is going out for a while. Holy sh*t… The young nurse is so panicky that Umiko got annoyed and just did the injection herself!!! Badass! Yun thought her tummy size was okay when her measurements were taken. Then when she hears the nurse praising Hajime’s tummy, she gets jealous. Yours not good enough? Once the examination is over, some head back quickly to work because it is that time of year where they’ll get busy. A time where they also hire part timers for debugging. But what does airsoft has got to do with this since Umiko tries to persuade Aoba to try it out in her spare time. She’ll pass.

Episode 8
College’s out for 2 months for Nene and she’s bragging about it to Aoba. She doesn’t get the summer off… Nene sees an ad for part time debugging for Eagle Jump and applies. Umiko is in charge of newbies and she almost fired Nene for being late on the first day! Because Umiko is trying to look for Aoba, this suspicious act has Umiko think she is a corporate spy! When Aoba spots Nene, she instinctively goes to hide. Thinking she wants to surprise her, Aoba acts well enough to make her presence known but enough to make Nene think she hasn’t noticed her. As Nene tries to approach her, Umiko catches her thinking she is snooping around. You sure you’re not a spy? After Aoba explains and introduces Nene to her seniors, Nene gets straight to debugging. During lunch time, Aoba introduces her other colleagues to Nene and they think Nene looks like a kid. Hadzuki as usual has a habit of jumping in and even teases if Nene was a spy, she would really divulge all the company secrets since she is so cute. Nene spends the entire day testing and now she realizes how tough this job can be. Umiko thinks she is slacking but sees her notes of bugs so she’s actually doing her job. When Kou is suddenly in despair, it turns out somebody ate her pudding in the fridge. Oh my. That guilty look on Nene’s face. Yup. She was the one. To apologize or to keep quiet… Later Rin sends out a company-wide email for the pudding thief to see her and promises she won’t scold. Wow. It has gotten that serious? Nene is in a dilemma to turn herself in but couldn’t help imagine the repercussions on Aoba. She runs away before Rin. Next day, Aoba buys Kou a pudding for her hard work. Nene is visibly guilty and Rin can guess why. She goes back to the fridge to see another pudding and an apology note from the supposed thief. Rin then hypothetically speaks how the thief secretly came to apologise yesterday. Despite her email making it hard for her to apologise, she can tell how sorry she is. She hopes everyone won’t be so harsh on her. Nene once thought the company is a scary place but is glad Aoba is surrounded by great and kind people.

Episode 9
Nene tries to look up an NPC’s skirt. She did it! It works! Umiko is not happy she is fooling around and is supposed to report this bug but Hadzuki explains this is a hidden feature in the game. Rin is feeling unwell so Kou takes her back and nurses her. Because of that, the other girls start chatting and even Nene joins in. Hifumi feels the need to tell them to get back to work and by the time she is ready to do so, Umiko has already lectured them all. Umiko then talks to Nene why did she come work here in the first place. Is it because her friend is working here? Nene replies Aoba was in a dilemma to pursue her studies and instead decided to come out and work to fulfil her dream. She is just worried for her wellbeing having being her friend since young. She promises she won’t screw around in a company that Aoba treasures working at. Later Umiko tells of a change in schedule because the wiring company is scheduled to come in tomorrow to check the cabling and wires so the girls will not be able to use their computers. Nene is glad this means Aoba will have some spare time. However Aoba realizes the importance of the schedule and with lots of corrections to come in the next few days, she decides to sleepover to cover for tomorrow’s work. The rest of the girls also have the same idea. We see them working great for the first few hours but then exhaustion starts to creep in. Hifumi then suggests going to a nearby public bath. Girls relaxing in the bath… Nothing much to see here… Next morning, Aoba feels refreshed and has slept well. She makes her way home and calls Nene. With how good Aoba sounds, Nene gets the wrong idea she fooled around last night! Kou is also out of the picture as she has got Rin’s cold and Rin hasn’t recovered enough. Nene brought this fate upon herself because as she is admiring the gun collection in Umiko’s station, she accidentally dropped her cake on the table. Now Umiko has Nene transfer her PC next to her table so she can keep an eye on her and make sure she concentrates on her debugging work. No more playing around! Aoba can’t help you this time.

Episode 10
Aoba comes in early to work on the weekend and on the way she bumps into Kou. They bought doughnuts on sale for the rest of their colleague but it seems Hifumi has also done the same. Aoba notices that the company’s policy forbids part timers to work overtime especially on weekends because otherwise they might get paid higher than the staffs! This has Aoba wonder if this wages law is just a loophole for cheaper wages! She might have opened a can of worms as Kou wants to ‘talk’ to her about this… Aoba and Hifumi go give some doughnuts to Umiko’s department who is swamped with work thanks to Nene’s diligence in spotting bugs. As thanks, she wants to give them a bullet shell. No thanks. Better go before she persuades you to join in another airsoft game. When they return to their place, Hajime and Yun have also bought doughnuts. More doughnuts overload when Rin and Hadzuki also bought some. However Hadzuki has bought senbei to go with it. Sweet and salty treats. Can they finish all of that? When Nene comments about Eagle Jump’s weird working policy to work on weekends, Aoba shoots back that the college life must be so easy and laidback. No reports to write that she has to come work part time? This causes a rift in their friendship. So Nene talks to Umiko about it. Aoba does get mad. Well, at least when she saved her from boys bullying her. For lunch, both avoid inviting the other. Aoba has to make do with Kou since Rin ‘dumped’ her too while her other colleagues are busy. Nene feels bad while eating alone so Umiko hints there is still time left till end of break time. This has Nene rushing to go find and make up with Aoba. Too bad she is out for an errand. When they finally meet, Nene trips and is literally flying! Funny! A cue for them to patch up and become best friends again. You can tell it worked when Nene’s mood is ultra happy. But then she accidentally trips on the power plug and disconnects Umiko’s PC!!! OH SH*T!!!! Did she save her work? Anyhow she is still going to get it!

Episode 11
Kou has Aoba and co visit the game expo today since Fairies Story 3 will be on preview. It will be good experience for them. We get a glimpse of its trailer and it is no surprise Aoba and co are astonished. They get motivated when they hear positive feedback from the crowd so when they return, they put in their best for this final stretch. Hifumi has been ‘missing’ since she was doing cosplay at the expo and even ‘testing’ the game there. One day Aoba forgot to pick her suits up at the cleaners so she had to pick another for work. She can’t decide and eventually let her mom decide. Thus she looks a bit different when Kou sees her. But Kou is going to get her own dressing down by Rin for a photo shoot. Kou dislikes dressing up since she doesn’t look too feminine. Eventually whatever tricks Kou pulled, she still has to change and get her photos taken. She looks decently cute and even Aoba noted it wasn’t some photography trick, the reason why she couldn’t recognize her when she first came here! Is that an insult? Umiko is already stressed with all the errors and programming and here comes Nene with another debugging report. Well, not her fault. She has Nene go buy drinks and snacks since everyone else will be staying over to finish it. I guess Umiko still doesn’t trust her and sends Aoba to keep a watch on her. Nene thinks buying the expensive energy drinks will help. You don’t know how wrong it is because Umiko blows her top. The fatigue must be getting to her. But when she tries it out, her tiredness is gone! Miracle? Nene and Aoba try it but their taste buds are like children. Since this is the last day for part timers, this means today (or the dead hours of the morning) would be the last for Nene. Wow. It’s like an emotional goodbye as Nene hopes Aoba’s colleagues will take care of her. It’s not like the end of the world or they’ll never see each other again. Yeah, Nene is crying the hardest…

Episode 12
Aoba and co are outside the game store as Fairies Story 3 goes on release today. Although the company has given each staff a free copy, why do they need to stand in line? Because you buy the game, you get limited edition of freebies! Uh huh. The company had to cut cost so the staffs only get the game. Nene and Hajime are so in sync with each other it’s like they’ve been friends forever with the same thinking and actions. It seems they have gone to different stores to get different editions of bonus goods. Despite the company has some recordings, I guess it is the experience of waiting in line at stores that counts. So happy they are that they accidentally disclose some information about the game’s final boss. This causes a few around to hear them. Panic then sets in especially for Rin because they could be fired if they leaked game info! Oh no. It is already spreading on social media sites! Oh sh*t!!! Thankfully those comments are those from people who stayed up all night to clear the game. Phew. Imagine what Umiko would do to Nene if she actually found out about it… Umiko shows them an article interviewing their company for this game. What’s so special? A picture of a feminine Kou! Everyone wants to buy the magazine now but Kou is swamped with embarrassment.

There is a post production party and all those involved from developing to marketing the game are invited. Nervous Kou gives her thank you speech followed by Hadzuki before they toast. Nene joins the raffles and won a prize: A military rifle. Looks like her fate will always connect her back to Umiko. Although Nene doesn’t like her prize very much, she takes on the challenge to research about the gun and will disclose what she finds in the next debugging job. However Umiko says that won’t happen since the company will be outsourcing debugging to another company. Nene so sad… Umiko gives her some hope in the form of her name card to contact her if she needs to get in touch. Hadzuki approaches Kou because she wants to promote her as art director as Rin plans to become a producer and work with the current one. However this leaves Kou very shocked like as though she didn’t see this coming and didn’t want this in the first place. Hadzuki tells Aoba that Rin once helmed that position during Fairies Story 2. She worked so hard but didn’t get the desired results. This led to frustration and clashed with those around her. It caused a newbie like Aoba’s age to quit. It was a bad experience for Kou. Aoba then goes to talk to Kou feeling depressed outside. After getting her to sign on her game copy, she thanks her for everything. She might not know much about her past but the way she is now, she can respect her as her boss. This means Aoba is going to stick with her thick and thin. This gives Kou lots of hope as she returns and joins the party. But Kou and Rin might have too much to drink as a surveillance camera catches them sobering up on the roadside while Aoba tries to negotiate with a policewoman. And then Nene came by with her gun… Oh sh*t!

Game Over. Restart Or Sequel?
Well… If you really want to know what goes on behind in the workings of a game company or at least how a game is produced, then you’d be sorely disappointed. Because after the great insights that we have seen in Shirobako and the trials and tribulations in Bakuman, this one didn’t even come close. Sure, we see some graphic design and some programming but those are so minimal that they don’t even matter. I am not sure if I can classify this show as the cute girls doing cute things genre because programming games aren’t really the cutest thing especially when you have all the headache of debugging and testing to do. Besides, the way they are seen doing their job isn’t in a cute fashion either.

Therefore watching this anime in hoping to learn something great feels like what big AAA games in the west are now these days. They play on your hype with all the great marketing and advertising and when the real deal comes on release day, nothing but disappointment. Now, I’m not saying that this anime is bad but partly I myself am to blame for hoping that this series would be something like this. Also, I didn’t really read the manga that this anime was adapted from so I didn’t really know about the plot when I decided to jump in and watch. Did they say something about how games are made in a game company? Nope. My fault. Even the synopsis didn’t say anything about it. Just about a newly hired girl and the rest of her colleagues working in a game company. That’s all. I guess I read too much and misplaced my hopes too much. While it does bring in the occasional laughs, there isn’t anything ground breaking to expect either.

At least where this anime is concerned, everything for the production to the release of the game seems to go on quite smoothly. I doubt it would be such a happy and smooth ride in the world but let’s not get mixed up with reality for a while. So to see the girls finishing up all their work and meeting the expected deadline is indeed a happy ending and thus a feel good factor to end the season. Heck, better than being stuck in development hell, right? So whether or not Fairies Story 3 will be a commercial success is another story because well, money brings in a potential for a sequel, right? I’m sure the Fairies Story isn’t planned out as a trilogy. But that’s just me speculating on things.

The characters… Some of them are interesting but some are boring. Personally, I find Aoba’s group of colleagues to be boring although they have varied personalities. Because like Aoba she just feels generic. Although as the newest girl in town (or in this case the company), it feels like she has settled in very quickly and before you know it, you’d think she has been an old staff like the rest. Well, it is good to always fit in and adapt to your surroundings. Other than that, nothing really stands out about her except for the irony that her small stature sometimes has her being mistaken as a middle school student. Oh, and the fact she dresses up nicely in her formal suit just to do character design. Because people doing her kind of job are usually dressed very casually like you see as the rest of her colleagues. First impression counts, right? I guess this dispels that game developers are hippie people with unkempt long hair and jeans.

Aoba’s friends in the same department are also boring. Hajime loves the sentai genre and loves buying its props while Yun is your typical girl concerned about her weight and thus has to diet. Hifumi is the obligatory shy girl of the series who loves to cosplay but the only amusing thing about her is her penchant to talk it out with her pet hedgehog who really is the ‘star’ among the duo. Because the hedgehog don’t really give any f*cks what she is saying and is only interested in what she feeds him. If he was blue and had shoes, he could have run away and far from her, get what I’m saying? Haha! As for their seniors, I only remember Kou as the girl who sleeps in her panties in office. Really. Rin? Nice girl. That’s all.

Therefore the most interesting character of them all in my opinion is Nene because of her tendency to cause trouble whether it is her fault or not. In a way, she brings life to the department that is already plagued with overworking, late nights and trying to meet deadlines. Yeah, she should just quit college and get hired here quickly. Life at Eagle Jump would be more interesting then because she is the joker of the series with many of the laughs coming from her antics. Only the constant supervision of Umiko should put her in place. The mere presence of her would send shivers down her spine. Uh huh. It is the case of being constantly guilty. As though Nene must always have done something wrong. Speaking of Umiko, calling her the series ‘antagonist’ might be too far fetch. Because her job is one of the most stressful considering she has to debug and reprogram any problems found. You don’t want to release of game full of bugs on your release day, would you? Oh yeah. Just release a day 1 patch… So by being the meanest of the lot (that itself might be an overstatement), she keeps those who are laidback in line. To show that she is not merely a working robot, we see her have interest in airsoft. Another sign not to mess with her because nothing is more dangerous than a girl with guns.

Last but not least, Hadzuki. I noticed this very laidback director has a penchant of popping up just about anywhere. Like as though she has this teleport ability. But when she does, she has some good advice or treats. You might be asking if being at the top must be very relaxing for her. Well, you don’t know what you see. It could be a whole lot worse than everybody else’s job. Or it could be the easiest. We don’t know because we are never shown what she really does in her office. Or if she is even there to begin with.

I’m not trying to be or sound like a sexist here but do you not realize that the entire Eagle Jump company is only made out of females? Do girls make better programmers? I don’t think that is even a valid question. It’s like saying only guys play video games when there are as much girls out there who play video games too. Even the staffs in other departments are all females. Does this company have a female only hire policy? Well, as I learnt later on, Hadzuki does have a penchant for cute girls and thus the reason why her staffs are all females. Is this why she always goes to ‘disturb’ the girls at work from time to time?

Art and drawing style aren’t anything much to shout about too. Because all the girls look cute enough as distraction and to focus on them. Especially in some episodes we get our pantsu fanservice because Kou likes to strip down to her undies whenever she stays overnight at the office. Yeah, might as well since the office is like her second home. Or is it her first? With bright and vivid colours and backgrounds, it sure makes this anime about making games looking a lot happy instead of being stressful. I mean, I haven’t seen how real programmers look like when they’re rushing for deadlines, but I believe they can’t be looking all this cute and their best from start to finish, right? Right?! This series is animated by Doga Kobo who also did Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Plastic Memories, YuruYuri, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Love Lab, Luck & Logic, Sansha Sanyou, Koihime+Musou, GJ-Bu and Mangirl.

Voice acting, I didn’t recognize anybody despite there are a couple of seiyuus I should like Eri Kitamura as Hadzuki (also doubling as Mozuku) and Youko Hikasa as Kou. The rest of the casts are mainly unknowns or newbies such as Yuuki Takada as Aoba (Rin Kurosawa in Aikatsu), Megumi Yamaguchi as Hifumi (Koharu Nanakura as Aikatsu Stars), Megumi Toda as Hajime (Yuzu in Sakura Trick), Ayumi Takeo as Yun (Eri Sajou in Aikatsu Stars), Madoka Asahina as Nene (Mai in Pan De Peace), Chitose Morinaga as Umiko (Karen in Shomin Sample) and the only veteran being Ai Kayano as Rin (Mashiro in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo). Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Fourfolium (basically the voices behind Aoba, Hifumi, Hajime and Yun). Sakura Skip is the opener and sounds like your typical all-girl group idol pop while Now Loading as the ending theme also sounds like your all-girl group idol music but with a hint of rock in it. Well, both songs don’t really appeal much to me.

Overall, this is still a fun and enjoyable anime. It just didn’t meet my personal expectations that I thought it would be workings of a game company. But still, a good anime to watch if you want to watch cute girls doing something. And that something here is making games. Next time when a game is released and you critically called it bad and one of the worst games ever played, just remember the hours put in to develop and making the end product despite all the numerous glitches, bugs, crashes and falling short of expectations. But then again, I’m not going to tell game developers how to do their job. A bad game is still a bad game no matter what the problem is/was. And how dare you charge a full retail price on such a lousy game?!

Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu

January 13, 2017

Normally I would stay as far away from the BL or yaoi genre. Those are for fujoshi, right? You know, girls who enjoy seeing men make out with each other. But what happens when there are guys who also like to see this?! Isn’t that full on gay? I don’t know. They’re called fudanshi by the way. I wouldn’t have picked up Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu if not for my curiosity of thinking how funny this anime can get and weird for a guy who is into BL. It is like a guy taking ballet lessons, right? It is rare but possible. Plus, this series is only 3 minutes long so there is no danger of me turning gay with such short duration ;p. I hope this series won’t be spamming about hot guys making out with each other and being stalked by a male peeper. Yeesh… Hair standing on ends right now…

Episode 1
Ryou Sakaguchi is a fudanshi. He is not happy that the manga store has labelled the BL corner for girls. This makes it harder for him to go get his manga. Although he manages to get it, the biggest problem now is paying through the cashier. He can tell from this newbie’s reaction that he is shocked in seeing what kind of manga he purchased. Worst, he is being stereotype as a gay. Of course Sakaguchi as he complains to his best friend, Toshiaki Nakamura (not a fudanshi by the way) about this stigma. Sakaguchi might like BL but he is certainly not into guys. Huh? What? He explains something about reading it to be fulfilled and admire someone else’s happiness. Sakaguchi is also on this forum for BL lovers, SNS. Nakamura reads an entry about being groped, which was something he told him last week. He is using their talk as story fodder? Nakamura warns him not to use him in his stories. But Sakaguchi reveals his dream to have more fudanshi friends. So why doesn’t he find more on SNS? Because the internet isn’t forgiving. Like how? When he posted a picture of a cake, everyone thought he was a girl. First world problems…

Episode 2
While taking the train, Sakaguchi sees a couple of guys close together and believes they are into each other. Nakamura isn’t too fond that he jumped to such conclusions. If he loves BL so much, why didn’t he enrol in a school for boys only? Guys in such schools fall for each other because there are no girls around. Now, if guys fall for guys even though there are girls around, that is even more exciting. It’s the kind of BL he is looking for. Then Nakamura points out a couple of boys who may fall into that category. Akira Ueda seems to enjoy being the gopher for Yuujirou Shiratori. Sakaguchi is not convinced so he asks Ueda if he is his b*tch! Ueda denies. He is in love with him! He likes Shiratori because he has both traits of a guy and girl. This makes him double strong. Can’t argue with that. Sakaguchi and Shiratori are called to join a mixer to even the gender balance. However if Ueda is coming along, Sakaguchi wonders the need to be here. Oh, that guy is just to carry stuffs. So he isn’t even human? So all the girls hound around Shiratori. The other guys are ignored… Then they wonder about Ueda. Shiratori assures them he is only here to carry their stuffs so don’t mind him. If it doesn’t get weirder than this, one of the girls asks Ueda if he has a girlfriend and his reply is that he belongs to Shiratori. What a way to ruin the mood.

Episode 3
A new BL manga comes out and Nakamura is feeling uneasy accompanying Sakaguchi go get it. Ironically this time Sakaguchi isn’t shy to hide himself from the girls. He could also have got this manga from normal bookstores but depending on which store there are extra freebies thrown in. When Sakaguchi is helping to carry a box, he accidentally bumps into a girl, Rumi Nishihara. The other guys note he doesn’t get along well with real girls compared to fujoshi ones over SNS. As long as they talk about their same love for their BL fetish, everything else doesn’t matter. However he points out that fujoshi are also very dangerous. For example he shows them their tweets and they are very crazy and dangerous stuffs they want to fantasize doing like sneaking under their bed and watch them close up or licking them 24 billion times!!!! Sakaguchi thinks fujoshi aren’t everywhere but he sees Nishihara looking through SNS. Comrade? Before you know it, they become very good friends. They are squealing in delight they never knew a ‘comrade’ was this close. They exchange contact details and Sakaguchi is amazed this is his first contact from a girl.

Episode 4
Sakaguchi and Nishihara discuss a yaoi pairing. While Sakaguchi doesn’t like official pairings because it takes the fun out of fantasizing, Nishihara prefers it official. Nakamura thought they are fighting but they clear the air that they are just discussing. Really? They looked like they’re going to fight. She explains terms like seme and uke to Nakamura but he doesn’t get it. For some reason, Shiratori starts molesting Nakamura’s butt! This makes Sakaguchi mad because they’re supposed to do such things when his hands are free! Nishihara’s friend, Kana asks about her getting along with Sakaguchi lately. She can’t expose his fudanshi ways so she mentions something about watching over each other’s forbidden love and console the other for their unfulfilled desires. Kana doesn’t get it. Sakaguchi wants Nishihara to accompany him to somewhere. It is the BL section for girls. This way he doesn’t have to worry as it will look like him accompanying her. She then suggests to go to a place where he cannot go without her. The shoujo corner. This is much harder than BL stuff.

Episode 5
Shiratori is also the president of the cooking club and makes good food. Because Sakaguchi always freeloads on him, Shiratori cheekily hints he will have to pay back with his body someday… For now I guess he just do the dishes. Shiratori then introduces a club member, Keiichi who joined the club to help his childhood friend, Reiji. Sakaguchi becomes ecstatic learning there is BL potential but this scares Keiichi and giving him the wrong idea. Keiichi then describes Reiji who is just useless and carefree. Because he mocked his cooking, the reason he joined to prove him wrong. With Reiji around, Keiichi introduces him to Sakaguchi. Still the carefree dude, he describes their ‘wonderful’ times together. It always seem Reiji is the cause for Keiichi’s troubles. Especially the reason why he is now afraid to get a girlfriend! Because when the mood was going good for them, Keiichi interrupts by coming in between them. From the window! Naturally their relationship ended. But for Reiji, he doesn’t think his best friend need a girlfriend as long as he has him! Yeah… Sakaguchi might consider Reiji a jerk but he couldn’t be thankful enough for this BL potential.

Episode 6
Nishihara invites Sakaguchi to a doujin event, Comima. This will be his debut of such events and despite nervous, he must have underestimated it because he didn’t bring enough cooling and hydrating stuffs for the long wait in the sun. Even Nishihara came prepared also got ‘defeated’. Oh, did I mention the train packed with people too? Sakaguchi gets signatures from his favourite BL authors. Of course those female authors are puzzled that a guy is reading BL. Sakaguchi sees a BL doujin that has the protagonists looking familiar like Shiratori and Nakamura. Turns out the author is Daigo, the guy from next door’s class. This guy likes BL too and so much of it that he decided to make his own series and ended up using some of his friends as references. On the way home, Sakaguchi’s bag breaks. It is horrifying when the public knows what kind of manga you read. When Nishihara offers her bag, he sees the Shiratori x Nakamura print on it. Don’t tell me…

Episode 7
Sakaguchi almost gives the wrong idea when he says he went one step further with Nishihara. To Comima, that is. Because he says he also wants to go to the sea and watch fireworks, Nakamura thinks it is weird for him to say such normal things. Well, he thought at such places where couples spend time together, he thought he could see some BL-like scenarios. Nakamura then sees the doujinshi of him and Shiratori… Oh sh*t… Sakaguchi learns Nakamura saved and bought a pair of limited edition shoes costing 30,000 Yen. He thinks he is mad but then is made to relate his own similar experience. He bought a limited doujinshi for 6,000 Yen when originally it cost 400 Yen. Nishihara too had something similar. She wanted to buy a nice dress but it cost 4,000 Yen and gave up. But she ended up buying it online as limited edition for 6,000 Yen. Nakamura wonders why he needs to accompany Sakaguchi and Nishihara to a doujinshi store. They even separate to buy at different sections, leaving the poor normal guy alone. He waits outside and despite it took them a long time, they didn’t buy much. Because most of the stuffs were for over 18 anyway.

Episode 8
Nishihara tells Sakaguchi that Kana thinks they’re going out. Of course that’s not the case since Sakaguchi only sees her as a fujoshi partner. However Sakaguchi shocks us by saying there is a girl he recently likes! She isn’t from a manga either. As he describes her, Nakamura feels it is getting more confusing. Later Nakamura sees Shiratori putting on a girl’s wig. It’s his club’s cross-dressing day. Then he realizes this must be the ‘girl’ Sakaguchi must be talking about. Nakamura gets cheeky saying ambiguous stuffs like Sakaguchi is having a crush on him. This excites Shiratori and doesn’t want him to tell Sakaguchi. This is going to get awkward. Sakaguchi then comes in and sees this beautiful ‘girl’ who wants to kiss him! Nakamura won’t allow this and stops them but it gets complicated when Ueda steps in and won’t allow Sakaguchi to have this ‘girl’! I guess dumbasses don’t make their words clear because it only confuses Sakaguchi even further when Ueda claims Shiratori is only his and have a ‘crush’ on this ‘girl’. Shiratori is loving every bit of this…

Episode 9
BL version for Halloween? I’m sure the BL freaks would love it. Nishihara wants Sakaguchi and Nakamura to cross-dress but they are against it. Since she throws a tantrum, they agree. My, they look hideous. When Shiratori sees this, he blows his top and shows it how it’s done. Man, they look better now. Nishihara lost as a woman… Even more so when Shiratori makes Nishihara cuter. And how the heck is Ueda cuter than Nishihara?! This guy is really talented. As they make food for Halloween, notice how the guys are using ambiguous words while carving out the pumpkin? “It’s pretty hard”, “It feels good when it’s all clean inside”, “Look at all the stuff that came out”… Sakaguchi realizes too late that he just gave Nishihara the best Halloween fanservice.

Episode 10
The gang prays at the shrine. Nakamura tricks the BL lovers into revealing their wishes. Sakaguchi wants all the gays in the world to be happy! Nishihara wants to buy all the BL manga from the circle she wants. You know what they say about wishes don’t come true when you reveal them… Working in this shrine is Keiichi’s sister, Yukari. Nishihara starts fawning over a real life miko priestess. But Yukari may not be all innocent as she looks. Deep down, she is trying to control herself from unleashing her savage desires on her brother! Yukari and Nishihara talk about the hit or miss about lucky bags in which Yukari usually ends up buying them. Of course Nishihara notes if she’d spend that kind of money, she would prefer to do it all on BL instead. When they leave, Sakaguchi realizes he has not much money left. Apparently not only during New Years that those BL lovers are in such dire straits. Something about not being able to buy a 28 page doujin for 500 Yen.

Episode 11
It is Valentine’s Day but why is Sakaguchi excited? Well, he might be into BL but he isn’t gay. Yeah, my head hurts thinking about this. Anyway, Sakaguchi is looking forward to chocolates but he got none in his shoe locker. Even more depressing is him mentioning he would prefer to be at a doujin event instead of dating a girl. But Nakamura has a love letter in his locker. It is his first. Sakaguchi stays optimistic. It could be from a guy… From Miyuki Takei. Sounds like a girl. Maybe he read it wrongly. It could read as Yoshiyuki. Thankfully they see she is a girl. Sakaguchi ever the optimist thinks she might look girly on the outside but underneath all that she might have a dick! Trap?! Nakamura confronts her and she gives him not chocolates but a hair accessory. She likes making them and always thought he has beautiful hair and hopes he will put it on. Sakaguchi is laughing his ass off. He tells this to Nishihara and she casually gives him chocolates since it has design of an anime he likes. Nakamura is irked they are so normal and yet their relationship is not happening. Nishihara has also given her chocolates to someone else. However that person is a 2D manga character and she’ll have to live with the fact that she will never get anything in return.

Episode 12
When Sakaguchi says he intends to take up a part time job, Nakamura thinks it is to observe a romance blossoming between male co-workers. Actually he wants to save up to buy a new BL manga at Comima. Well, at least it is still a BL reason in the end. When Daigo hears this, he hopes Sakaguchi can help out. He agrees seeing Daigo knows one of the authors. At the booth, Sakaguchi envies Daigo who has good looks and is a hit with the ladies. Daigo insists Sakaguchi is also popular. Well, that is only because with the guys sitting close together, the other guys are happy fantasizing a potential BL about them. You freaking out, Sakaguchi? And yes, Nishihara is one of those who enjoyed this. After the event, they talk how they started liking BL. Sakaguchi happened to stumble upon it in a bookstore and find it surprisingly good. For Nishihara, her mom and sister are fujoshi. So naturally, right? Nakamura sees Sakaguchi and Nishihara heading to the bookstore to check for new volumes. He apologizes for interrupting their date but they in sync protests they aren’t. Everyone has this annoyed looks… Frustrating, right?

Men Make Better Lovers?
Well, good thing it wasn’t that bad. The BL and yaoi elements are only used as comedy and are so mild that I won’t even classify it as a yaoi series. You know how mild that lesbian series, Sasameki Koto was? This series isn’t even that close to that sort of mildness. Safe enough for young kids to watch. Woah! Okay, the thought of males making out with each other may already be the alarming signs but what I meant was that other than this setting and their slightly twisted thought of ‘romance’, this series is pretty much safe for anybody. If you just want to have a few laughs about this topic, this series is light enough to do the trick. Or maybe this is light enough as an appetizer to get you hooked into BL? Yikes, thank goodness I didn’t.

Thanks to the short duration of the series, there won’t be very much to draw on especially the characters. Because we will all know who they are right when they appear the first time to the end. Like Sakaguchi as the rare male fudanshi but as mind boggling as it is he isn’t totally gay because as he said himself he might love the genre of yaoi but that doesn’t mean he has to be gay himself. I think this is true because we all tend to jump the gun that if you like such gay stuffs, you’re 100% gay. For example, we like to play first person shooter games doesn’t mean we are all gun freaks and like to go around shooting people, right? I think there is a clear division with what you like and what you are and I believe that this series subtly hinting that is good.

Other characters are also rather okay and also nothing much like Nakamura as your normal guy but so normal that he doesn’t even have his own girlfriend :’(. Yeah, pretty normal for guys his age but not normal when you think about this guy actually his quite good looks. This isn’t normal! But the good thing about him is that he accepts Sakaguchi and his fetish. If this was the real world, I think many of us would be forcing others to be normal. That’s not cool. Nakamura’s role feels like he is to play the rebuttal every time Sakaguchi goes into his BL fantasies. Well, I guess that is what a normal person should do each time his gay friend does or says something like that.

Then there is Nishihara as Sakaguchi’s partner in crime in BL. Unlike Sakaguchi, we aren’t sure if Nishihara is really a lesbian herself. She interacts with Sakaguchi normally because she only sees him as her comrade of her favourite genre. And possibly Sakaguchi would be the closest real life yaoi she can experience in 3D if a need ever arises. Yeah, with so many hot guys around, there is always that possibility. Speaking of Shiratori, this guy is like good in everything and feels like he is waiting for that moment whereby he can make Sakaguchi do yaoi things to him. I don’t think he is a BL fan but he is a true gay. And it has become some sort of a running joke that Ueda is his lap dog trying to please him with everything in hopes that one day his gay love will be accepted. Kana is like the female version of Nakamura but unfortunately she doesn’t get as much screen time so there is not much that we know about her except she is a little dense. It is good to know that the BL lovers even have normal friends. Too bad for those hoping for Sakaguchi x Nishihara, if that ever happens, it will just destroy the definition and setting of this series. Ultimate shocker!

But it is more baffling and confusing to think if Sakaguchi will ever fall in love with Nishihara. Definitely he isn’t into guys when it comes to love but being with Nishihara for so long and although we know they see each other as BL comrades, there is always that chance that Sakaguchi’s romance will kick in because he would like to have a female if he should have a girlfriend. I mean, it is possible after seeing how he fell for Shiratori’s cross-dressing. Unless it was his inner BL that was the attraction… But let’s not confuse ourselves with that seeing if there is the possibility Sakaguchi does find himself falling for Nishihara, would it be the end of his gay and BL fetish? Yeah, that would confuse the hell out of everyone including us. Unless he can keep it separate reality love and fetish love. Yeah, that will be hard for me…

The art and drawing are pretty normal and of course if you look at all the characters, they are pretty good looking. How can you not have any good looking guys when you have a BL theme? Animated by EMT2, it seems this relatively new company also did another ‘gay’ short, Ame-iro Cocoa. Yeah, that series already has 3 seasons but let’s not talk about it. The only other show they produced so far and isn’t gay is Kuma Miko. Surprisingly I like the ending theme, Sekai Wa Boy Meets Boy by Wataru Hatano (voice of Sakaguchi). It is quite a lively and energetic piece that sometimes wants to make you get up and do a little dance.

Overall, this short series is funny and gives you a little peek into the minds of BL lovers of a guy albeit not much. You don’t have to be a BL fan to watch this little series. This is generally for everyone. Though, I’m still not going into BL myself. Ever. Look, you don’t even have to fear of turning gay by watching this. I believe this series isn’t offensive to the straight people or even the LGBT community and if you are, you shouldn’t be living on this planet. That is what makes humans interesting because of our many different and twisted fetishes. Because remember, love knows no and comes in all shapes and forms. So why should BL and gay be any exception? Therefore whatever you consider yourself including the gender that you want to assume, let us all sit back and relax and sometimes laugh at ourselves for being weird. Make love, not hate.

Taboo Tattoo

January 7, 2017

Back in the old days, having a tattoo means being associated with all those underground gangs and bad people. Although people are more open these days and many have spot some harmless to funny tattoos on some parts of the body, in some culture like Japan, tattoos are still regarded widely as taboo because it is still a mark associated with the yakuza. So what a better way to promote and lift the taboo of tattoos by doing an anime series regarding the cool use of tattoos. Tattoos that give its users super powers and fight the forces of evil! Okay, I lied. Taboo Tattoo isn’t about trying to remove the stigma of people with tattoos. But it is still about certain people bestowed with strange tattoos that give them super powers to fight. And what do you know? We must always have that normal Japanese high school boy who gets caught in between the power struggle and he is the key to it all because he possesses a rare latent power. No matter how cool this sounds, I’m not going to get a tattoo after watching this series by any means.

Episode 1
Seigi Akatsuka saves a homeless from thugs. As his reward, he sticks some tattoo in his palm which eventually becomes embedded. Thanks for the pain, mister. Naturally that tattoo won’t come off no matter how much he tries to rub it off. Well, it’s a tattoo. Since his ‘high school wife’, Touko Ichinose is b*tching he was the reason they were late to school this morning, she forces him to come shopping with her after school. While he waits outside, this strange girl, Bluesy “Izzy” Fluesy steals his handphone. It is just a ploy to lead him to an isolated place where she proceeds to beat him down. So the main character is going to die on the first episode? Then she apologizes for going too far as she was just merely testing him. You call beating him nearly to death as a test? She is impressed he could stand his ground without using his tattoo. Well, Seigi is trained in martial arts after all. She explains the tattoo is a product of some super scientific experiment. It allows its users enhanced physical abilities and bring forth supernatural phenomena. Such users are called Sealed. She demonstrates using a chalk as a trigger on her tattoo that turns into an air bomb. Like Naruto’s Rasengan? Seigi gets more beat down from his dojo class. His grandpa tells him to get stronger because justice without strength isn’t justice. Is he playing a pun on his name? Anyway that is why he thinks Seigi’s dad died because he was weak. Tom Shredfield, Izzy’s subordinate isn’t pleased Izzy told a lot of confidential information to that kid instead of apprehending him. He reminds her as they are from the US Army’s Tattoo Retrieval Unit, their mission is to retrieved tattoos that have spread outside America but she isn’t listening.

For the next few days, Izzy keeps a close watch on Seigi. Apparently he knew she was ‘stalking’ him but chose to ignore her till it gets annoying. He asks her on finer details to activate his trigger since a chalk didn’t do any good. Well, each person has a different trigger. Suddenly this big American guy tries to kill them after Tom failed to apprehend him in time. I suppose it’s time to show off some of Seigi’s fighting skills and the just as spectators. Theodore Wilson is from the American mafia trying to get those tattoos from the yakuza. While he is also a Sealed but isn’t using his powers to its potential. Even so this guy’s brute strength is formidable. Seigi uses his agility and speed to get the better of him but eventually takes a fatal blow. This is the second time he is going to get killed this episode so naturally he has a flashback on what his dad told him about reaching out to get what he wants. He did just that and immediately Theodore is blown away by Seigi’s tattoo. Izzy is shocked that Seigi is in possession of a Void Maker, a triggerless tattoo that none has matched since. Till Seigi came along.

Episode 2
Seigi wakes up in his room and is not too pleased Izzy and Tom are making themselves at home. Izzy gets straight to the point that they want him to join them. As they are on a mission to retrieve stolen tattoos smuggled by a certain researcher and since it is hard to remove the tattoo once it is rooted in the body, either he cooperates with them or they will have to at least take back his arm. When explain about the potential death that Void Maker has, Seigi blows his top that they are acting arrogant when it is all their fault. Izzy tells him off about her own side effect because she is stuck in a child’s body forever. They give him time to think for his answer. But next day in school, Seigi’s hell begins because Izzy becomes a transfer student in his class! Worse, everyone hates Seigi seeing Izzy knows him. Stoking the flames, she makes seductive moves on him and his classmates throw him out of the window! Isn’t his class on the highest floor? Don’t worry. There’s a pond below. Now, his ‘wife’ steps in but Izzy can tell she is jealous for her childhood friend. Then she starts fondling Touko’s humongous boobs. Later Izzy and Tom seek Seigi’s answer. He agrees to join them seeing he needs to get stronger for justice (or for himself literally?). In turn they explain he might need to do shady stuffs because it is their job to prevent a war from breaking out between America and the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s technology on tattoo is far more advance and if they were to use it as weapons of mass destruction, you do the math. And right now the tension is at all time high.

After welcoming him to Team Blue Moon, Izzy also lets Seigi know as she has figured out his trigger is blood. Otherwise he would have been swallowed up by the void. Tom is shocked that Izzy won’t report back to HQ about Seigi. She wants to keep an eye on him for now because it would be dangerous if the Kingdom gets their hand on Seigi as he has the triggerless tattoo. Besides, Seigi might be summoned to America and be experimented on. Seigi is called to meet at their secret base but he is upset to be made to wait as Izzy is not around and will be running late. Little did he know that Touko has followed him and the more she sees him suspicious, the more suspicious she gets. Yeah, blame Izzy for that. However a creepy girl, Iltutmish attacks her. Tom has Seigi get boxes from the basement so he could answer a call from a landline phone. An informant informs that Princess Aryabhata has killed the royal couple and took over the throne. And since she is a hardliner, you know what this coup d’etat means, right? Now the doorbell rings. As Tom answers it, he is instantly stabbed by Touko! OMG. Is this what a yandere looks like?! Well, Touko isn’t happy she got the wrong guy but is glad the one with the triggerless tattoo is here. Meanwhile Izzy just finished placing devices that detect activating tattoos throughout school. She is attacked by R.R. Lakha AKA Behemoth Viper. He is a subordinate of Aryabhata and a member of her personal tattoo force, Brahman. This crazy sadist rips apart the place (and almost all of Izzy’s clothes) with his whip.

Episode 3
Touko witnesses memories of Iltutmish. Aryabhata stumbled upon her in the slums. She teased to lick her feet if she wants food. Iltutmish quickly attacks but Aryabhata saw it coming. Aryabhata likes her way of getting what she wants and wants her to join her team. After that lesbian kiss and butt molestation, anybody would be her lackey. Izzy uses her air bomb distraction to escape Lakha and run home. Seigi is mad when Iltutmish explains her twisted definition of justice (involves killing others). Touko is fighting Iltutmish from within herself to get away from her ‘prince’. This struggle allows Seigi to knock her off balance. Tom finishes the job by using his tattoo and pull out Iltutmish from Touko. Seigi is so mad that Touko got involved in this, he takes Iltutmish’s stab in his palm to activate Void Maker. Luckily Touko pulls him back before tragedy could strike. Well, only a big portion of the house is gone. Iltutmish receives orders to retreat. In the aftermath, Seigi trains with Izzy to become stronger. Still a long way to go. Apparently after that incident Touko now has a tattoo on her forehead. They are unsure about most things since mechanisms of tattoos itself are a mystery. Tom’s tattoo is not original and a copy. This means he can take it off whenever he wants. It also means its capabilities are very much lesser and can only act as a negating factor for supernatural phenomena. Izzy lets Seigi watch a horrifying video of a triggerless tattoo experiment. The body is devoured horribly. After warning him how the void will bore through everything and leave nothing, she has Seigi promise he will not use his Void Maker without his permission. Touko accompanies Seigi on his running training. After watching the plight of a stray cat and its kittens, Seigi vows to protect Touko. The strong needs to protect the weak. Sounding quite cool now, is he? Izzy meets up with her colleague, Lisa Lovelock. She is sharing information on the recent incidents. Since Aryabhata has taken over the Kingdom, it has been decided that America will send additional forces for the tattoo case. Meanwhile Lakha and Iltutmish receive their new ‘toys’. For now they are to prioritize the elimination of American forces connected to the tattoos. Their next target is Lisa.

Episode 4
Seigi catches a tattoo thief as part of his training and also control his tattoo’s drive. Iltutmish drops into Lisa’s hideout and slaughters everyone with her awesome sword! No chance! Iltutmish faces off with Lisa and the latter knows she is no match and intends to blow herself up along with her. Lizzy gets a distressed call from Tom to head to Lisa’s place. But along the way, suddenly gravity works against her as she is pinned onto a building’s roof. Lakha has a device from the Kingdom that binds Sealed and because Lizzy’s tattoo is activated, she is grounded. He isn’t going to kill her and lets her hang around. Seigi follows Izzy but she pleas to leave her and go save her friend. Shortly after he leaves, the device explodes. Don’t worry. Izzy is a tough chick and won’t die easily. He becomes sick seeing the slaughterhouse. He climbs up to the roof where Iltutmish is waiting for Lakha’s helicopter to pick her up as they need to bring back Lisa as a sample. Seigi is upset over Iltutmish killing people indiscriminately. Too bad she blows him off the roof. Had not Tom caught him, he would be dead. When Seigi returns to Touko, the gore of that place still sickens him and his failure to beat Iltutmish his him took out his frustrations on her. Izzy and Tom investigate Lisa’s place. She finds her handphone and a newly recorded message about Lisa being transported to the Kingdom. She wants Tom to call for reinforcements while she is going to settle this and get her revenge. Izzy calls Seigi and Touko to the hideout but locks them there with Tom as she heads out alone. Seigi complains but Tom tells him off he shouldn’t trample on Izzy’s goodwill. His Void Maker is still unknown to their superiors and if they find out, Seigi will be shipped to America whether he likes it or not. Izzy by doing so is clearly breaching military protocol. As for Touko, since she got the tattoo from Iltutmish, they are unsure what it can do so it is safer for her to be by Seigi’s side. It’s like those words awakened her because she really wants to be by him and get to know him. In turn, this also makes Seigi to free himself and decide his own path. After beating up Tom, they escape by Seigi using his Void Maker to blast open the door. Only thing is the entire house is now gone! Whoops! Izzy blocks Lakha’s path to the port. Time for the gloves to come off and things to get ugly.

Episode 5
I am guessing those American soldiers are there for the body count and to get slaughtered. Thankfully with Seigi in the picture now, Iltutmish have to stop her killing and focus on fighting him. Although she is superior, Tom relays information that Iltutmish’s power source is based on the uncertainty principle (as she also known as Schrodinger Cat). As long as there is no observer, she cannot return to her indistinct self to normal. All Seigi needs to do is close his eyes. However there is Touko on the field too so this negates everything. Seigi takes a nasty slash and he is bleeding like hell. This makes Touko mad. Her will to protect Seigi activates her tattoo and gives her boosting powers that pin down Iltutmish. Seigi hears a voice telling him to use the void to negate. He’ll use it alright to protect Touko. Once he destroys the ground and gives Iltutmish a knockout punch, it might seem he is going to kill to negate her. However Iltutmish’s stray pet cat gets in the way. Of course what Seigi want to negate wasn’t her but just her words. Before he can rest, Aryabhata pops up and gives him a kiss! Iltutmish can’t accept that and ‘purifies’ her with her multiple kisses. Aryabhata praises Seigi for being able to use Void Maker because had he not been able to control it, it would have swallowed up the girls. She finds him with potential and wants to use him. But for now she is here to pick up her subordinates and retreat. We return to Izzy’s fight with Lakha. Since he manipulates things with weight, she uses shock waves to attack him mercilessly. She falls for his gravity device trap again. Before he can kill her, Lisa broke free from her captivity and after other soldiers destroy the device, the duo cooperate to take him down. They would love to take Lakha in but Aryabhata warns the only way to do that is to fight and kill her but risk another round of bloodbath. See her majestic beast behind? That’s another triggerless tattoo. She leaves Seigi with an advice to learn more about tattoos because the source wants him.

Izzy is ready to take any punishment by Colonel Sanders (no, not that guy from KFC). But he has her bear the responsibility till the end and look after Seigi. He also wants that kid to participate in tattoo research. Seigi and Touko are shocked to see Aryabhata and Iltutmish casually walking in the streets. He wants to talk with her but this time Touko has more ‘authority’ as she challenges Aryabhata to a ping pong match. WTF?! If Touko wins, Aryabhata must stay away from Seigi forever. But if she loses, her boobs will be hers! WTF?! Because apparently big boobs are filled with dreams. Small boobs? Filled with hope! You can’t ever hate boobs! Touko takes a beating and is defeated in this one-sided match. This means Aryabhata has the pleasure in molesting her boobs until, uhm, she climaxes? Seigi wants to know everything about the Kingdom and tattoos so Aryabhata asks him the reason he is fighting. For world peace? For people to stop killing each other? Even so, for who? She tells him if her wish comes true, his world without fighting that he dreams of will be realized. Join her side and she will tell more. Later Aryabhata stumbles into her ex-Brahman subordinate, Blood “BB” Blackstone who thinks she is in her next phase of her plan as she is in Japan. Now Seigi asks Izzy about America’s goals in gathering tattoos. For world domination. Serious. They are. Because it is safer than using nuclear. Make sense but are you sure? Although Seigi won’t join the US army, if being their partner to stop the war, then count him in. Seigi should have known better why Izzy and Tom are staying at his house. He destroyed theirs, remember? When Seigi is out training, BB wants him to follow him. But once learning he is from Brahman, he attacks. Let’s say Seigi needs to work out more because BB didn’t even put up a sweat in making him look like a fool. BB is also a Sealed with a tattoo on his tongue.

Episode 6
BB calls Izzy. They know each other. He tells her he is borrowing Seigi for a while. He brings him to Aryabhata’s lab where countless people are being experimented on. BB reveals he was a former member of Brahman but now opposes the Kingdom. Tattoo ruins exist in 4 places worldwide. America has 1 and the Kingdom has 2. Guess where is the last one? Thus it is Brahman’s objective to find this last ruin in Japan. A reason why America is desperate. The duo stumble into a lab run by a mad scientist, Karam and his assistant, Manisha. He lets loose experimented humans with artificial tattoos by copying traces of the source. Apparently that is the nucleus or the soul of the tattoo (it could be that voice Seigi has been hearing). As a hero of justice, Seigi is unsure what to do since Karam explains these warriors have a bomb inside them. If they go unconscious, they are set to explode. I think it’s amazing Seigi managed to avoid all their overpowered moves but with a little help from BB. BB is going to get serious as he uses his Void Maker to knock unconscious the enemies. But the bomb didn’t go off because he also used Void Maker to find and erase the bombs within without harming their organs! After BB punches Karam, Manisha tries to defend him. BB looks like he is about to kill her but Karam pleads not to harm her and he can do anything he wants to him. BB gives Seigi some lecture about heroes and their ideals. Everyone has their own and how troublesome it would be in reality if everyone’s justice would come true. What a true hero of justice needs is the almighty power to make his own ideals into reality and the resolve to force his own justice on others. Isn’t that like being a dictator? He uses the same move to knock out the scientists. It’s not his policy to kill. The police raid the lab soon after and Seigi starts seeing BB as a real hero of justice.

BB is seen talking to Wiseman, that ‘homeless guy’ who gave Seigi his tattoo. They talk about BB’s triggerless tattoo and its regenerative power which makes him like immortal. That is also what Seigi is for. BB passes data from the lab to him and Wiseman is obligated to help him seeing he knows what Aryabhata’s plans are. In turn, BB will make his wish come true. After BB trains Seigi to effectively use his Void Maker, Izzy meets up with him. From the looks of it, she sounds like she has a romantic interest in him. BB was formerly from the US Army but defected to the Kingdom. She was devastated when he left. He tells her how grave the situation is now. It isn’t about making tattoos into weapons anymore. The ruins are the main engines in rewriting the world using the power of tattoos. That is why all 4 ruins are needed. Aryabhata’s goal is to change the world by altering the ruins into a world that fits her. He knows she is already there rewriting it so he wants Izzy to protect the one in America at Grand Canyon. Also to take care of Seigi so he doesn’t stray down the wrong path. Bye. We take a little detour as we see Touko visiting Seigi at his dojo. Yet again got owned by his grandpa. His ‘inviting body’ makes Touko want to rape him. Till he wakes up and she panics. It feels like an ominous foreboding when the duo spend some time together. She’s saying she wants to be with him and he is okay with that.

Episode 7
Seigi and Touko join Izzy’s team to go attack Aryabhata at the ruins. Aside from familiar faces like Sanders, Tom and Lisa, the rest include Wang (Asian guy), Johnson (white guy) and Leonardo Burns (black guy). BB learns Izzy is going to ambush the ruins but he can’t do anything right now because Wiseman is doing some code modification on him. Leave now and risk death. So we have the US Army making a grand entry by blasting everything. Standing guard outside the ruins’ entrance is Cal Shekhar, Brahman’s vice captain. Instantly she cuts Johnson in half when he charges at her. And then decapitates him. No chance. Then the other American soldiers get slaughtered by her sword. Yup. The only role they are here for. But Cal won’t be alone as her maids will be assisting her. Wow maids! Can I join you???!!! Aryabhata thinks Cal needs additional support so she lends some of her powers to Iltutmish to help out. Iltutmish turns into a giant monster to bring down the helicopters. Black Hawk down! I think it’s too late for Izzy to regret not listening to BB. Did she think America had a chance against Brahman? I believe they don’t even think of America as their tattoo rival. After Cal kills Wang, Seigi thought of fighting Cal. But remembering BB’s teaching, he tries to avoid facing off with her and head straight for the ruins. Unfortunately Cal incapacitates his body and he is reduced to a bloodied spectator.

Sanders and Izzy team up to fight Cal. At first they were doing great but Cal unleashes a special move that cuts off Sanders’ limbs and greatly wound Izzy. Cal then blinds Sanders. Before she could kill Izzy, here comes BB. Izzy realizes this might be a trap to lure out BB. Aryabhata has just finished her rewriting and has a maid pick up the scattered tattoos. Outside, she confronts Seigi and they argue about their different views on justice. He might view her justice of rewriting the world as just suiting her purpose but what does that make of Seigi’s? Even so, can he stop her? Aryabhata wants Seigi’s key and reveals she was the one who leaked info of this place to the US Army. She knows they would bring an army of Sealed here and one of them would be Izzy. Because Izzy and BB had romantic liaisons when they were together in the force and thus she is easy bait to lure him here. Once BB exhausts all his energy and be devoured by the collective source, she will then take that into herself and obtain her second key. She then tortures Seigi by stabbing spikes all over his body to make him fall into despair and hate over his powerlessness. Cal wants BB to fulfil his role as a key. Suddenly BB mentions that he knows Cal is in love with him! She flusters and denies but as BB makes her admit it, he loves it off because his heart belongs to only Izzy. He is not going to let anybody have a shred of it. If this is his plan to work her up, it’s working. You didn’t think he would come walking into this trap unprepared, right?

Episode 8
Lisa finds Sanders bleeding too much so she has Burns take over command. He has everyone retreat and leaves Touko in Tom’s care. But since he is weak, Touko ditches him to go find Seigi. Speaking of him, he can’t activate his Void Maker because Aryabhata is overwriting it. Lisa and Burns team up to take down Iltutmish but Burns ends up sacrificing himself to keep Lisa alive. So much about the soulmates dying together. Izzy tries to snipe Aryabhata but nothing penetrates her barrier. She is then restrained in a way that looks like she could be tentacle raped anytime. Then they are forced to hear Aryabhata’s reasoning about humans will never stop fighting as long as they exist so the best way is to rebuild it from scratch. Seigi realizes she is trying to play God and kill everyone else. Erm, why am I not surprised? BB continues his epic clash with Cal. Because of nanomachines in his body, even though his limbs are cut apart, he can still put them back together. It gets weird and confusing because each time they use a trump card that seemingly is supposed to take the other out, but it’s not because they somehow pull off something that makes them still standing. Then Cal is going to really finish BB off when Seigi prays hard to his source and breaks free from his predicament. It allows BB to win over Cal but now he wants Seigi to finish him off. But since he won’t do it as BB forces Seigi’s source to devour him. Aryabhata won’t let that happen but she has to take care of Sanders and co who are distracting her. Once Seigi’s source devours BB, Seigi now possesses both tattoos of BB and Cal. But ultimate despair is to come for Seigi. Touko happily rushes towards him when Iltutmish devours her! This isn’t a joke, right?! Aryabhata predicts Seigi will make his way back to her and the only reason he is carrying to live on is a revenge story. She’ll be waiting with excitement.

Back in town, Seigi wallows in despair when Wiseman pops up before him to explain about Sealed and their sealed fate (no pun intended) with the ruins. You get to use their power but in exchange you are assimilated into it till it corrodes you. However Iltutmish was able to disregard all that because she had help from Aryabhata’s rewriting. When a Sealed exhausts his soul, the source overtakes him or he becomes invalid. A fate that BB wanted to avoid and the reason he wanted Seigi to devour him. He entrusted the future to him. Wiseman wants to atone for getting Seigi involved in this but Izzy points a gun at him and will punish him. Seems she lost her left arm. He is confident she won’t hand him over to the US Army because he has inherited BB’s wish. As the one who supported BB in Japan, he wants both of them to help him out to carry out BB’s goal of eliminating tattoos from the world. And there’s some explanation of what the source is and all I understand is that due to some high evolutionary process of the brain and soul, the tattoos were responsible for that and eventually took a will on its own. Whatever. Seigi becomes mad when Wiseman needs him to mature because if he does so, will that bring the dead back to life? Since a fragment of BB’s soul is inside him, a chance for Wiseman to let him have a peek into BB’s past. Flashback time.

Episode 9
As a test to see BB’s worthiness, he fights Cal and manages to stand his ground. As Aryabhata views him useful, Brahman’s captain, Ajita welcomes him aboard. He also meets fellow Brahman, Varma. Shortly after, Aryabhata gives him a triggerless tattoo and warns of his betrayal. He is also told to stay away from a place within the compound called Samsara. As expected he decides to check it out. He realizes that Varma is also a spy for the king to keep an eye on the princess. Varma is also the king’s lover. Oh sh*t… Samsara seems to be a tattoo research centre that Aryabhata took over recently. They are attacked by its guardian, the blind and deaf Ganesha. BB barely escaped with his life and only regenerated because of his tattoo. When Varma introduces BB to the king and that they can work together, BB has his suspicions on the king. Yes, it is that he doesn’t swing that way too but also he knows Aryabhata is not his real daughter. His nonchalant attitude makes it even more suspicious because she is the one who will inherit the throne and he is doing nothing to stop her whatever schemes. It’s like he feels some sort of guilt towards her. BB and Cal are tasked to guard the first ruins. BB’s policy doesn’t make him kill the American soldiers not because he was their former comrade. But Cal shows no mercy and kills them all. As time passes, Aryabhata is getting closer to act so BB and Varma need to act now. They try infiltrating Samsara again and cooperate to defeat Ganesha. Using Void Maker, BB and Varma head to the deepest section of Samsara only to find a girl’s playroom? Heck, Kujuli (Aryabhata’s sister) even knows they are spies and welcomes them as she shows them around.

She shows them a cloning room. BB thought everyone is clones of Aryabhata (including Ganesha) but Kujuli somewhat disagrees as they are all sisters. 35 years ago when the ruins were first discovered, the king realized the potential of the ruins and tried to rewrite the world. The problem was the interface to rewrite it was at an unreachable place. That is why the sisters were created. All sisters living here are failures of Aryabhata and their only existence is only confined to Samsara. Kujuli is telling them this because a part of her wants them to stop Aryabhata. Though, there are some sisters who are very supportive of her. With security alerted, BB has downloaded what he needs and they run. Aryabhata orders her team to not let BB escape the country. BB thinks back what he was further told. Kujuli doesn’t hate humans as much as Aryabhata does because to deny humans would mean denying themselves. Aryabhata’s revenge against the king is just a process for her to rewrite the world including humans. It is revealed the sisters were created via human experiment. They are descendents of the tattoo creators. Everyone was experimented while still alive, men had their sperm samples taken and women were forcefully impregnated. Just to create Aryabhata, the king wiped out the entire clan of 3000 people! That’s why Aryabhata feels she is a demon. BB brings back Varma’s dead body to the king and asks if he is happy now (Varma was directly hit by Cal’s attack). The king expected Aryabhata to hate her but didn’t realize the issue was this trivial. He views his mistake wasn’t seeing her as a tool but loving her as a daughter. As a result, he gave her the power and reason to overthrow him. BB is not happy he is going to ignore Varma’s wish and his lover fought hard enough to keep him alive. The king thinks it is already too late. He lets BB escape via secret underground train in hopes he could expose Aryabhata’s scheme and save this nation. Brahman relentlessly attacks BB while he makes his escape. BB thinks back over Varma’s last words that include nothing will happen if one doesn’t take action and the weak will always remain weak, that is why they need to entrust their hopes to others. He sees BB as his hero.

Episode 10
Seigi is still feeling hopeless even seeing the truth. So BB had to tell him to help him so that he can still fight. Because now he entrusts his hand which is his future into his. Cheesy? It has been a year since. Seigi looks like he has matured physically. With Izzy they are hiding in a secret base in the mountains. Then the Kingdom discovers it and left a video letter. While it might seem infuriating Aryabhata flaunting her bikini on a private beach in America, she claims she is here for archaeological work and wants Seigi to meet up and help. Or else who knows what will happen to Lisa who was captured by them. Seigi wants to go for revenge (it’s the reason she killed Touko so that he could meet up with her someday) but Wiseman can’t have him die like that. Because even if Aryabhata activates the ruins in Grand Canyon, she still needs Seigi’s key. When that happens, Wiseman’s plan is to plant a virus in Seigi and this will be used to destroy the ruins system. For now he has to keep running away to put it bluntly. BB would have wanted that. However Izzy threatens him because BB would have wanted to save Lisa too. She promises to bring Seigi back even if it costs her own life. Tom and Souha Tamaki agree to back Izzy. Before the leave for America, Tamaki sees his cosplay fiancée, Yumi. He promises to marry her when he gets back but she is worried this only raises his death flag. So much otaku style talking has the crowd puzzled. At Grand Canyon, the American army protecting it can’t distinguish friend or foe so they’re just shooting at any intruders. Seigi and co see Lakha and Aisha (she’s got a tattoo on her vagina!) mercilessly kill the troops but they have to restrain themselves for revenge. They split up to complete their objectives. While Tamaki faces off with Aisha, Izzy is shocked that she has to fight Lisa. It looks like she is brainwashed. Lakha is the one responsible for ‘guiding’ her as he brags and b*tches about it. Well, at least a motivation to kill him. Aryabhata attacks Sanders’ command centre to steal something.

Episode 11
Seigi uses his Void Maker to drop straight down to the ruins. But first he has to face off with Cal. Although she might have lost her Sealed ability, she has honed her physical skills. Izzy is cornered by Lakha and Lisa. Thank goodness her old comrades come to her rescue. Too bad they died when they try to take on Lakha. Izzy gives Lisa a good punch and this knocks out Iltutmish possessing her. Then she shoots a special venomous bullet into Lakha and pays back by kicking him in the nuts. Aisha acknowledges her loss to Tamaki. But she tells him if he wants to really defeat her, he must come die with her in her bed of spikes. Izzy throws Lakha towards Aisha and they both die together. There, finished. Seigi asks Cal about supporting an idea to become God. She tells him the truth that once Aryabhata activates all 4 keys, she and all her sisters will fuse. This means Aryabhata will lose her own personality. This unified spiritual body will rewrite itself as it will rid the limits of the human species. If one truly wishes to be omnipotent, the human framework is only a hindrance. Both get ready to pull off their final strike. Seigi has BB covering his back. So you might say Seigi got a little advantage since Cal hesitated when she sees visions of BB, allowing Seigi to deal the final blow. Now he has earned the right to face off with the final boss. It’s all about revenge for Touko and about getting over the hate for himself for being too weak to protect her. He is able to go all out with Aryabhata since Wiseman gave him some pill that will curb the exhaustion of his soul. However he finds he cannot use his power when needed. Aryabhata explains he was consumed by hatred and lost his way, thus losing his slim chance of victory. Ajita loses to a bunch of jet fighters but this only activates his self destruct void as it engulfs a big chunk of the area. At least it cleared the way for Izzy, Tamaki and Tom to head straight to Seigi. But they encounter Sanders lying around. WTF is he doing here?! He tells them to stop Aryabhata. Like duh! So I guess this redundant scene is so that we are reminded of his role he could set off some nuclear bomb if the worst scenario comes to. Izzy’s monologue indicates she is coming back to the same place where it took her parents and brother’s life. She wonders if she had only reported to Sanders and not sheltered Seigi, would things have turned out differently. She too ponders if her mom was the one who let her into meeting Seigi. This time it will be her turn to protect him. When they arrive, they see Seigi impaled all over.

Episode 12
Aryabhata is telling Seigi how at this rate he is over using his power while she herself is willing to give up her life for the new God she will be creating. Then there is something about the poison Wiseman gave him that will not heal his wounds and thus can’t use his sealing power. It means Wiseman had never intended him to defeat her in the first place. Whatever. Izzy and Tamaki save Izzy and let Tom take him to safety. Too bad there is nothing Seigi can do about it since he is brimming with anger for vengeance. Izzy and Tamaki then take on Aryabhata but they too get owned. It is time for Sanders to detonate the bomb. His comrades are hearing it for the first time since they’re going to die with it! Wait a minute! Sacrifice yourself for your country! When he pushes the button. Nothing happens! Sanders become a joker calling himself a clown. Of course. The joke was on him. Seigi takes this chance to jump off the helicopter. In great timing, he rescues Izzy. Seigi wants to give his life to safe her but Wiseman activated something that materializes his source and devours Izzy. Wiseman explains 2 things that everyone got wrong. First, not only your own soul that the source can consume. Secondly, all tattoos are linked so when Aryabhata kissed Seigi then, she opened up a link to him. So whatever affects Seigi will now affect her. Seigi and Aryabhata’s source transform into giant beasts as they pound each other, trying to mindlessly devour the other. In this state, Izzy is able to reunite with BB who thanks her for opening Seigi’s eyes. Tom screams to Seigi to save everyone. Save America. Save the world! You think Seigi can hear that? Oh yes, he did. Now he is revitalized and can control his source on his own will. He knows Aryabhata’s source is draining her sisters’ soul so he has to end this quick. After all that ground pounding punches, Seigi holds the edge because he is more trained in martial arts compared to that princess. He finally delivers the final blow to that whiny princess who sounds like a shrieky loser now. In the end, both sources disappear. Seigi saves the day and the American soldiers chant “USA! USA! USA!”. WTF?! Shouldn’t they be chanting Seigi’s name?! He did your job and saved your asses! So Izzy is alive, Tamaki is alive, Lisa is alive and Iltutmish is alive but captured. Ah heck, nobody died in this episode because Aryabhata ran away. Seigi vows to carry on BB’s beliefs since it is his duty after inheriting it. Good for you. The world lives to fight again for another day.

Injustice: Gods Among Us
Wait. What? Is this the end? Is this truly the end? At least for this season. I am not sure the montage of scenes at the end of the final episode is a strong indicator that there will be a second season because all those scenes strongly hint like as though those events happen in the future. Like the American president smirking with a creepy smile claiming his army is the best in the world (what happened to China?), a final battle with Aryabhata in the South Pole, Kujuli in coma and Sanders still being the clown in some tropical jungle. There, some manly American explosions to go with that. At this point, I’m just glad the season ended. It was getting confusing the more I try to understand what the heck is going on.

I believe the one year time skip towards the end of the series threw me off a bit because it felt like it was rushing to end the series. Because with that sudden one year time skip, a lot of things changed and at first I was really confused of what was happening. I was even contemplating if it was a flashback. When Seigi looked so mature and brooding as hell, I even thought he was a different person altogether at first. And then I remember Izzy losing an arm but suddenly she got it back after the time skip. I mean, did she grow it back? As hard as I try to see, I don’t see it is some sort of prosthetics either. Oh right. It was blown off during the final episode’s battle with Aryabhata. Yeah, it was moving like so real that I thought she actually grew her arm back. And also suddenly they introduce a new character, Tamaki and I was wondering who the f*ck is this guy. Everything just moved too fast towards the end to finish up this ultimate battle once and for all and it made the pacing of the story which is already weak in the first place, to be a little more disjointed.

If I have to point out the most worthy aspect of the show, it would be the action bits. It is cool to see different tattoo users wield different abilities although they are just mainly the same time like Seigi who can just only use his Void Maker and nothing else. Tattoos might be the ‘main characters’ of the series but they aren’t as many as you think there should be as they are only confined to the few protagonists and antagonists you will see over the course of the series. Besides, I feel that the use of the tattoo powers is just supplementary if not complementary to the other physical fighting skills the characters have. It isn’t the tattoo powers that the characters are totally reliant on since they’ll be throwing some kung fu punches and kicks as well. It is good in a way so it doesn’t make the fight seem so Dragonball-like. The tattoo powers are enough to make their presence felt in each fight without overwhelming its entirety. Because of this balance, it makes the action sequences entertaining to watch with some flashy power effects on occasions. I know it may look exaggerating at times but I suppose that is why these tattoos are ‘magical’. It’s just mindless action fun, I guess.

And oh, not forgetting the amount of blood spilled in many of such scenes and perhaps the body count of American soldiers just to show off how amazingly powerful the Sealed are. Some of them even got their bodies and limbs cut up. Uh huh. Feels like they are there to provide the numbers and lambs to be slaughtered because they should have known better that conventional guns and bombs cannot win over those with tattoo powers. Some of those American soldiers felt like a joke because they only appear for a short while before being killed off so fast. Yeah, there was this poor chap in one episodes coming into the scene so quickly and the moment he finished introducing himself, he got killed off. Like, that’s funny, right? Yeah, we’re not going to care about him anyway.

Because of the series focusing on the action bits, the character themselves suffer from a lot of potential and many are turned into stereotypical clichés. You know you have a big problem when you have the main hero who is as generic as any other normal high school kid with latent powers roped into a national conspiracy. Just to make him more badass and ‘changed’ at the end, they had to kill off his girlfriend whose role was probably set up for some forced fanservice and romance possibility which will never materialize. He had to stray for a while using his dead girlfriend as motivation to fight but realize she’ll never ever come back so might as well go with BB’s wishes. That’s what a hero of justice should be, isn’t it? Then you have a strong female lead like Izzy to accompany the hero. While she can independently stand on her own, there is nothing much else to note about her. They might throw in a shocker that Sanders is her father but I’m not really sure if he is her adoptive father instead of her biological one. Whatever. Yeah, now a handicapped person, he is fast becoming a joker of the series. Thankfully the series ended before he could realize that potential.

Then you also have a seemingly generic badass villain who wants to become God or more. So basically no matter how you word or put it, it is still Aryabhata trying to play and become God in the end. Because whether she maintains her personality or not, whether it is for better or worse, she is still the one who is rewriting the laws of the world and perhaps the universe. If that isn’t playing God, I don’t know what is. No wonder the ladies want to have some yuri time with her before she loses her feminine form… Wiseman might be the biggest snake around since he looks and sounds like he has some sort of ulterior motive. Everybody is like his pawns and dance nicely into the palm of his hands. Because all his plans went accordingly and it looks like there is more to come. BB is the equivalent to a main hero’s master/teacher. You know, someone who teaches the main protagonist certain stuffs and moves and then dying so that he could show his resolve by shouldering and championing his cause in the end so that his master/teacher’s death won’t be in vain. Yeah… BB is cool and all that because he kicks ass and has a pair of shades. Enough said.

The so called romance between some of the characters feels like a big fail and distraction. Something that isn’t necessary in the first place because why the heck do you need love when this anime is just about spilling bloods and cutting up guts. It’s like trying to give the character some depth but ultimately I don’t really see the point in it because for Izzy and BB they might be lovers during their stint in the US Army but it is never really shown in deep so I can’t really connect why the heck it mattered in the first place. It is probably to make BB look more like a badass because when you have a forlorn ex-lover pining for you and then you have to die to save the world, it makes you look even cooler than you are right now more than ever before. And WTF was there a love triangle with Cal too? Not really sure.

Seigi and Touko feel like a failed one too. Like I have mentioned that they set up Touko’s role in a way as a turning point for Seigi to go full on badass later. Lots of wasted potential that could have developed the relationship between the duo but then again, it might turn out cheesy so I’m not sure. So when Touko and Seigi start reminding us how much they want to be with each other and to protect the other, it should have been a sign of things to come. If you’re hoping for Seigi x Izzy from this, you better stop hoping. So I guess the only ‘true love’ is between Tamaki and Yumi. How many otakus get to marry their counterpart in real life? Like a dream come true for gamer boys marrying their gamer girls. And yeah, like their romance really mattered in the plot of the story too but what the heck. Love needs to get some spotlight sometimes too. Since that ‘sneak peak’ at the end shows Tamaki still alive, I guess the dream to marry his otaku girl still has a chance of coming true. Fingers crossed.

Going back to the other characters, they feel insufficient and are just enough to fulfil their whatever role onscreen. Like Tom for instance he is actually the series’ joker. One second he could sound all serious and the next he could come up with some sort of punchline or joke. Funny or not, who knows. That’s why it made me suspicious they selected a seiyuu who voiced Gintama’s Gintoki for this character because there are shades of how similar they are, just that Tom is relegated to a side supporting character. Even Lakha makes a better funny character than Tom because he is more psychotic and it makes you want to become his b*tch. Just kidding. I’m sure the members of Brahman like Iltutmish and Cal have their back story to tell but with only a dozen episodes, we’ve only got a summarized history of Aryabhata via Kujuli. I thought Ajita would be some sub-boss whatsoever since he is Brahman’s captain and looking like a dangerous madman but his appearance is already so limited and he went out as easy as it looks. Cal should just be the captain since she has more screen time and kicks better ass from the way I see it. Oh and Lisa, she’s like the damsel in distress because she not only gets kidnapped once but twice!

The mysterious tattoos are supposed to be the main subject of the series but after all that has been said and done, they just feel like secondary and their whatever potentials wasted. Because I start thinking it might all boil down to lazy writing because anything that cannot be explained they just claim it as an ancient technology that nobody understands. Well duh. Wiseman, if you can’t really explain well to me, then you fail at your job at telling what the heck all your experiments are for. Sure, there are other stuffs like overusing and exhausting one’s soul, etc. But by the time the series reaches its climax, you’ll hardly remember all of that. And what was the importance of the voice or rather the soul of the tattoo that Seigi heard in his head? I’m sure he isn’t hallucinating. So f*ck all that and we just either use the tattoos to change the world or erase them all from the face of the earth.

The designs of the tattoos are unique. Too bad you don’t really notice them much during the episode and the only place where you’ll see all the different types of tattoos is in the next episode preview. Such a shame because I thought they really look cool and with different colours and illumination, some make really cool idea designs for organizations and groups. Having said that, the rest of the series’ art and animation style are just decent. I mean, everybody has the bishoujo and bishonen look so for a guy like me, I can’t complain. Yeah, Aryabhata looks more like an idol than a super villain if you ask me. Even her near final form with wings seems more appropriate looking like an idol than a monster. Just saying… However I noticed that some of the background scenes look like they used CGI. It’s bad. They might be using such scenes for only a few seconds but they really stood out and it makes you heave a sigh of relief that they stick to traditional 2D animation for the characters, action sequences and the big chunk of the series. The final big beast battle also used CGI but I guess it didn’t look quite as bad since they’re fighting mostly in the dark and with them having so shiny-like skin armour, it doesn’t make a difference. Say, don’t those beasts look like a cross between Aliens and Yugioh’s Blue Eyes White Dragon?

Voice acting sounds pretty okay although I only recognized Tomokazu Sugita as Tom, Sho Hayami as Wiseman and surprisingly Mikako Komatsu as Izzy. I didn’t really notice Eri Kitamura behind Lisa’s voice. I was mistaken all the time thinking Yuka Iguchi was behind Iltutmish but only in the end found out it was Shiori Izawa (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works). I really like Kenjiro Tsuda playing as Lakha because he really makes his character sound like a real bloodthirsty sadistic psycho. Good job. The rest of the casts are Makoto Furukawa as Seigi (Saitama in One Punch Man), Akari Kitou as Aryabhata (Hiromi in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi), Hitomi Nabatame as Cal (Nobue in Ichigo Mashimaro), Toshiyuki Morikawa as BB (Munakata in Danganronpa), Nobuyuki Hiyama as Tamaki (Madarame in Bleach), Chika Anzai as Touko (titular character in Hitsugi no Chaika), Tesshou Genda as Sanders (Umibouzu in City Hunter) and Ai Kayano as Kujuli (Shiro in No Game No Life).

If you are a fan of May’N and familiar with the usual kind of songs she sings (displaying her powerful vocals, that is), then Belief as the opener should be your cup of tea. It is just like her other anime opening songs she sings with live exuberance such as Accel World’s Chase The World, Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi’s Ready Go, Hidan No Aria’s Scarlet Ballet and Blood Lad’s Vivid. The ending theme is a rock piece, Egoistic Emotion by Trigger which is basically made up of a duet between Mikako Komatsu and Chika Anzai.

Overall, this series is more of style over substance and if you want to watch this, just stay and be entertained by its action and fight scenes. And blood. It’s the usual wasted potential and that it-could-have-been-better rant. I read many panned the series for a lot of reasons but you know me, I’m always a lot ‘kinder’ to such animes. Even though it is bad in many ways (but not the worst. There’s a whole lot of difference in that), at least I didn’t feel it was a waste of time as the action sequences ‘distracted’ me from being bored. So for those who are prone to regrets, just like when you do lots of thinking before getting a tattoo, because it is hard to permanently get it off once it is inked onto your body. Bad animes are like bad tattoos that will linger in your memories forever. Flashes of regret remind you of the bad choice you made each time you remember the bad anime you watch. No wonder they want to permanently get rid of tattoos here…

Hatsukoi Monster

January 6, 2017

Remember that guy who looks like an adult but is actually an elementary school kid? Yup, this means despite looking like an adult, his state of mind and thinking is that of a child. But no, Recorder To Randoseru didn’t get another season or renewed for a full TV length anime. Instead, Hatsukoi Monster has this similar setting but with romance involved. You can call this show a romantic comedy if you will. Sort of. When a high school girl is saved by this handsome young man whom she thinks is her age, she decides to go out with him till she learns he is just an elementary kid. Yeah, never judge a book by its cover. At least visually she doesn’t look like a paedophile. So how is she going to cope dating a guy younger than her as well has the maturity of an elementary kid? Is it no wonder why women date older and men who are more mature?

Episode 1
Kaho Nikaidou falls in love at first sight with a tall handsome guy. When she asks his name, he rejects her on grounds he shouldn’t give strangers his name. Good boy. And so poor Kaho was rejected. The end. Just kidding! We go back a few hours in time as Kaho tells us she comes from a rich family. Filthy rich. Because of that, people around her act nice and she has never been scolded in her life. This spring she decided to live a new direction in her life and live by herself. Upon arriving outside Kasumi Apartments, she meets Kouta Shinohara a resident and high school student. They are being overly polite with each other. While trying to help move her stuffs in, Kaho accidentally drops her kokeshi doll. A truck is about to ram into her when a tall handsome guy saves her. He scolds her for being reckless. She thinks he is only after her money or favour from her parents. But he disagrees he wouldn’t want all that and it is just common sense to save people in danger. She starts falling for him, confesses, rejected. The end. Just kidding! So as Kaho returns to Kasumi heartbroken, Kouta’s high school senior, Chiaki Yokouchi can tell from Kaho’s face she has fallen in love. She argues with Kouta and joining in the argument is college guy Atsushi Taga. They are all residents of Kasumi. Kaho laments she will never meet that guy again but then he pops up before her. Guess what? He lives here too! Seeing they are no longer strangers, he gives his name. Kanade Takahashi. She sums up her courage to ask him to be her boyfriend. He isn’t shock whatsoever. He agrees. But… Can she continue dating him once she knows the real him? This left her to ponder if he is married, gay, some alien or a cross-dresser. Yeah, you think too much. Couldn’t sleep a wink… Next morning, she finds out the truth about Kanade… Are you ready for this? He is actually in elementary school! Holy sh*t!!!! So does this make her a pervert or criminal? But as Chiaki tells her, Kanade is a lonely guy since he lost his mother a couple of years ago.

If you think he is the only handsome hunk, his fellow pals are also tall handsome guys!!! WTF???!!! Are elementary school kids this hot these days???!!! Folks, meet Ginjiro “Gin” Sannomiya and Tomu “Tom” Kaneko. Guys looking hot enough to be models on a woman’s fashion magazine. Despite their handsome outlook, they are as immature as any elementary kids you would expect. After school, Kaho joins Kanade and his friends at the park. It gets odd because the guys keep spamming the word dick in their play! I wonder if Kaho understands its meaning. Eventually she did. After they play tag, they mention their other friend who is the coolest of the coolest. Kazuo Noguchi. Is he also a tall handsome hunk? Nope. Just your ordinary looking elementary kid. Finally somebody normal! She is so relieved and acting like normal with him that the rest tease Kanade that Kazuo might just steal her from him. But upon hearing Kanade and Kaho are dating, Kazuo seems to put on a disgusted look. The tag game continues and it gets worse with Gin touching his dick and wanting to touch and tag everyone with his ‘tainted’ hand. And spamming more dick words. Boys… Kanade saves Kaho again as he assures he will protect her no matter what because his mom taught him to always save girls in trouble. When it is time to go home, Kazuo tells something to Kaho. He doesn’t approve of them dating. Later we see Kazuo and all the guys gather in an after class homeroom. He is listing down marks for a certain word that should not be said but said so many times throughout this episode. Can you guess what it is? Yeah, nobody could guess it despite spamming all they said was dick. Gin is leading the offending list… So Kazuo blows his top to quit saying that word. Oops. Now he has got one strike too…

Episode 2
Kaho ponders about Kazuo’s words. She meets Shugo who is the landlord and Kanade’s father. Also staying at Kasumi is Arashi Nagasawa who is Chiaki’s boyfriend. Doesn’t it feel weird for him to harp how cute Kaho is when he already has a girlfriend? Kaho fears Shugo might find out his son is dating her when Kanade is going to get honest but luckily Taga covers them with an excuse about a soap opera they just watched. But Kanade is still persistent so he asks Arashi on tips how to date a girl. Well, you call her all the time. Yeah, Chiaki has like 50 calls this morning! Kanade then seeks Kouta’s advice but since he is a virgin and Kanade doesn’t understand what it means, he asks Kaho for its meaning! Luckily dad stops his rudeness. After Taga shows Kaho around the apartment, she joins Kanade and his friends outside the lawn to play skipping ropes. But with Kazuo staring at them, she decides to go back inside and tidy up her room. That is when Arashi discloses to her that he likes girly boys!!! In his room is filled with Renren posters and memorabilia!!! OMFG!!! He is so f*cking passionate!!! The point is despite this odd fantasy, Chiaki still accepts him for who he is even though they are 5 years apart, age has nothing to do when you’re in love. This makes Kaho realize that Kanade accepted her for who she is and she too has to accept him for the same.

So when Kaho rejoins the guys at the park, she hears them discussing an important matter about their ‘partner’. Yeah… More dick words spammed… Kanade feels bad that they can’t discuss this in front of her since she doesn’t have a ‘partner’. He would give her one if he had and extra one! WTF?! Because Kanade doesn’t really want one, the guys go into shock mode. How can anybody not want one?! To pacify them, she says she would like to have one. It just feels so freaking weird… Back at Kasumi, after Taga tells Kanade to go catch some ladybug, he ushers Kaho into a room in pretence they need to pool money for her welcoming party. She thought of getting her wallet to chip in when suddenly Taga pins her against the wall! He knows she is a spoilt sheltered princess and dating Kanade only proves how stupid she is. People like her make him sick. Kaho is on the verge of tears when Kanade returns and punches him in the face! That is for making his girlfriend cry. And as her boyfriend, it is his job to protect her. As said by mom. He flicks Taga’s forehead for all to be forgiven. In Kaho’s eyes, this ‘monster’ now looks so cool. Later we see all the guys in another after class homeroom discussion. About virginity. The young ones don’t know what it is so Taga puts it in a way that it is like some sort of magic. They are awed but Kouta disagrees otherwise and would want to throw it away. This causes some misunderstanding because Kanade and co fight over to get his virginity!!! Taga assures all of them are virgins. And they’re so happy about it. Arashi takes this opportunity to say he is also a virgin. But he has a girlfriend. True. Although he loves Chiaki, his true desire is girly boys. Awesome?

Episode 3
As Kaho leaves Kasumi, she ignores Taga waiting outside the gates. He calls her rude for that so Chiaki interrupts that this could only mean Taga has some sort of feelings for her if he ‘cared’ this much. Chiaki hints Kaho is popular since many men like her (indicating Kouta too). Kaho is shock when Taga admits he likes her. But that was just trolling. He doesn’t like her one bit. Kanade is the one he is interested. Wait. Could it be? Screw all that negative thoughts because Kanade suggests they go on a date. But seeing both are clueless on what to do, Kaho believes it is some place fun. Kanade has the right place in mind. Well Kaho, you think it is some romantic beach escapade, right? Well… Making a sand mountain in the sandbox… Messy and dirty, are we having fun yet? Chiaki notes how ‘lovey-dovey’ they are. At least better than her boyfriend since he is more interested in taking photos of his Renren figurines. Chiaki talks to Kaho about their boyfriend problems. Despite Arashi being useless in everything, his only redeeming factor is his good looks. Oh, his nice character too. It must be the same for Kaho, right? After Arashi reminds Kanade not to leave his girl hanging on a date, he takes her to the next place: The candy store. Gin, Tom and Kazuo are also there and I figure Kaho is going to have to wait longer here because the boys end up playing some sort of dodgeball that aims at the balls?! Luckily Kanade is mindful of his date and ends the game to continue their dating.

At this point Kaho is deep in thoughts about Taga and Kazuo against their love. So Kanade tells her having such obstacles only fans their flames of love. Did mom tell him that? No, he made that one up himself. Then they eat the same snack because apparently happy couples eat the same thing together. The last place is back at Kasumi. But it is not over yet till the goodbye kiss. Kaho pretends to give him one on the cheek but Kanade says real couples do real kisses. He kisses her on the lips! This leaves her in shock but runs away in embarrassment when she realizes Kouta has seen this. I guess this guy is even in more shock than her. It doesn’t help when Chiaki taunts him that his crush kissed a guy who is only in elementary school. Heartbroken Kouta tries to tell her off for being mean but she is not cowed, telling him back that this kind of intel is her cup of tea as she reveals his beautiful eyes hidden underneath those messy bangs. Arashi is kinder as he tells him to just come clean with his feelings and tell Kaho. For after class homeroom, Kazuo teaches the young ones how to speak English. But they mess up so badly that it is like they didn’t even catch a word of English he said. He punishes them by putting on a poop shaped paste on their head.

Episode 4
Kaho can’t stop thinking about the kiss. More shock for her when Kanade hugs her from behind and wants to do something secretive that dad won’t find out. She is already flustering like mad when all he wants is just his favourite seaweed food that dad rationed one packet per person. Later when Kazuo visits, he reminds Kaho he is still against her dating Kanade. What does she see in him? See, further proof of his idiocy as he fools around with his pals. He thinks because Kanade lost his mom, he is clinging on to an older woman as substitute. However Kanade disagrees. Kaho looks nothing like his mom! Kazuo thinks they both don’t understand each other well enough to be dating. Because of that, Kanade is going to let her know more about him. He pushes her onto his bed and is going to show her something. At this point, you should know it isn’t what it is because he takes out his secret underneath his bed. His perfect score in maths. When Shugo walks in, Kaho thought he misinterpreted this scene. However he is horrified he hid test scores of those he did very badly. He thinks of getting him a tutor. Kanade starts ignoring by putting peanuts up his nose?! When Kaho tells him to stop, he immediately does so. Shugo thinks he trusts her enough to follow orders and has an idea. So could Kaho be his new tutor? Well, she passed that up. When she bumps into Taga, his usual cold demeanour has her think he might be Kanade’s tutor. Except that she starts deluding some sort of gay time they will have. Time to pollinate?! Well, good thing it wasn’t him. But the tutor turns to be a very busty high school student, Mafuyu Hayashi. Right off the bat she tells Kaho that she is not interested in Kanade but his family.

Somebody’s underwear is stolen. Who the f*ck would want to steal Shugo’s underwear?! When Kaho hears ambiguous deep breathing sounds from Mafuyu’s room, she sees something horrifying. Mafuyu sniffing Shugo’s underwear!!! Kaho’s life is at stake when Mafuyu discovers she has been spotted and turns into some creepy Japanese ghost to chase her down!!! Nowhere is safe!!! Too bad Kouta got owned trying to protect her. Kaho gets al little reprieve when Mafuyu’s head got stuck in the toilet window. Then the stalking continues. This time Chiaki throws Shugo’s underwear at her in which Mafuyu devours it all before returning to normal. Absolutely WTF. Despite monster time is over, Mafuyu ushers Kaho into her room. She explains there is nothing wrong with smelling the scent of someone you like. Mafuyu wants to marry Shugo. Although Kaho points out their age difference, she is not one to say because she is dating a younger boy, right? Mafuyu returns the undies to Kaho and makes her promise not to tell anyone. Kanade spots Kaho with his dad’s underwear. She thinks he’ll get the wrong idea but he says he gave it to her since she asked. He knows about Mafuyu’s love and plans on supporting her. Kaho is relieved on Kanade’s innocent thinking and that Mafuyu is not her rival. Kanade then carries Kaho into his room. Kouta sees this and is worried. Why do they always have to make and say ambiguous words and sounds behind closed doors?

Episode 5
Get your mind out of the gutter! Kanade is just giving Kaho a good back massage since she looked tired. Too ease her tiredness further, they head to the mixed bath house. When Kaho accidentally slips, Kanade wasn’t there to save her this time. But a cool hunk named Jouji Takahashi. Immediately he says he likes her and wants to be her boyfriend! Kanade comes to her defence as her boyfriend. It seems they know each other. They are cousins and haven’t seen each other for years. However Jouji still won’t give up on Kaho and wants her to dump Kanade for him. He is more mature and grown up. For your information, Jouji is just 1 year older than Kanade! Thus the boys get engaged in a childish water kibasen over Kaho’s love. I don’t know how, they’re supposed to take each other’s caps but somehow they got Kouta’s trunks. While the lifeguard berates the ‘adults’, Kanade asks Jouji why he is here. Claiming himself as a traveller, he has forsaken his home because his mom threw out his Pachimon cards collection. Instantly Kanade and his pals understand his pain and they bond like hardcore brothers. WTF. On the way home, Jouji has something to say to Kanade and Kaho (as usual the rest are spying). At the park, Jouji takes out a super rare Pachimon card he always kept with him. He is willing to give his card to Kanade in exchange for Kaho. Before Kaho could think of the worst case scenario, Kanade immediately disagrees. A girl is not an object you can trade with. Kaho couldn’t feel happier than that.

But that lasts only for a while because Kanade suggests Jouji also date Kaho with him! Eh? WTF?! Aren’t you treating her as an object now? Aren’t you being hypocritical? Her heart hurts like hell as Kanade claims he is looking out for Jouji’s feelings too but Kaho asks what about hers. What about Kanade’s? How does he feel about her? Because she loves only him. This is where Taga butts in. He reminds Kanade he punched him when he made Kaho cry. Now it’s his turn and this time her crying is far worse. He believes he doesn’t love her at all and that is why he is going to take away Kaho and her heart. While the boys disagree, Kaho also voices her disagreement. She knows this is just his ruse and he is impressed she isn’t taking the bait this time. She’s gotten smarter. After Taga calls out those ‘spies’ because elementary kids fighting over her is such an amusing watch, Kaho feels confused and hurt. Running away in tears, she is certain her words aren’t getting through Kanade. She thinks everyone is enjoying this and she doesn’t know what Kanade is thinking. We take a detour to the after class homeroom where Kazuo and the guys are discussing why there are so many words to describe your penis. From peepee to wiener to dicks, maybe it has got to do with the age stage of a man? Then with other words like rods, bats and poles, they think some kind of evolution has happened and they think it is called erection! All hail the final evolution of erection!

Episode 6
Kanade is really a kid to think that after sleeping and waking up the next morning, all problems will be solved. Chiaki lectures him about understanding a woman’s heart. In class, Yuki Fukaya left a love letter in Kanade’s desk in which he uncouthly reads aloud misinterpreting it as a challenge letter. But even if he is told he is a love letter, he mentions he is already dating someone. Weren’t they fighting? Kazuo chairs the class as they elect to play dodgeball for the sports festival. Kanade teases Kazuo for his stature and all the girls gang up to rebuke him. But Kazuo’s maturity to let it go has all the girls’ heart melt. He can do no wrong in their eyes. Later Jouji challenges Kanade over Kaho. Via tennis? Using a recorder and abacus? I don’t know how it ended up as some manly bonding. So they talk about not understanding woman. Arashi offers his assistance. The best way to understand a woman is to dress up like one?! Or is this his reason to snap pictures for his fetish? Even Kouta is roped in. And he is the girliest of them all. Kouta doesn’t like this one bit as he tells them off what may be fun for them may not be fun for him. This has Kanade remembering Kaho’s words and his mom once told him not to force someone to do something one dislikes. But they continue teasing Kouta so as he runs out in tears, he bumps into Kazuo. OMG. Love at first sight for Kazuo? Even more so when Kouta picks up and reads this crappy berry poem Kouta drops. He tries to go after ‘her’ but bumps into Kaho. Explaining his feelings, she tells him he is in love. This has her remember the first time she fell in love with Kanade. I guess Kazuo is so deep in love that he couldn’t give a damn why the boys are cross-dressed. I’m sure Kaho wants to know but Kanade says it is top secret. Mafuyu will not have Kanade dress like a pervert as it will not be good to score points with Shugo. He asks what to do if one makes a person mad. Apologize and apologize. If not punish yourself. Like how she is suffocating herself in Shugo’s underwear? Damn masochist… That night, Kanade talks to Kaho. He is going to do hula hoop 200 times as punishment for hurting her feelings. His best is 175 times and if he reaches 200, he hopes she will forgive him. Ah well, he fell short. A personal best at 197. So what now? He wants to break up. Serious?

Episode 7
Kaho protests because he was this close to the target and he wants to give up? Surprisingly Kouta pops out from his hiding to tell Kanade about giving one last chance. I don’t know how it ended up as best of 5 rock-scissors-paper in which Kaho won all 3 games. This settles it. They’re over. Kouta knows he should be happy that they’ve broken up but he couldn’t. He couldn’t see his love sad. Kaho thought everything will be normal the next day. Because kids, right? Unfortunately Kanade ignores her! Apparently it is for their own good if they don’t get along. Taga wonders if his mother said this too and by following her advices doesn’t that make him have Oedipus complex? True, but it isn’t wrong trusting the words of someone he loves. Kaho peeps outside Kanade’s school and sees him talking to Yuki while waiting for his friends. Despite their conversation is normal, Kaho over interprets them as Kanade ditching his old love and has found someone new. Unfortunately for her, she is taken away by a policeman who finds her suspicious. She dug her own grave when she says she is just a high school girl interested in an elementary school boy. Suspicious indeed. Suddenly Kazuo’s butler drops down to request for the boys’ help. He notices Kazuo absentminded and forgetful lately and he believes his master is in love! He needs their help to seek out the object of his affection. Kanade and co become detectives to ‘flawlessly’ deduce that Kazuo’s love is that Hanako of the toilet! So when they break this news to home, of course he isn’t going to believe it. What kind of girl lives in the toilet?! But Kazuo accepts it when Kanade explains his breakup with Kaho. Get your love while you still can! With Kouta acting panicky and Kanade and co being so active, Taga forces Kouta to spill the beans. Looks like he has a devilish plan after learning cross-dressed Kouta is Kazuo’s love interest. So that night all the guys sneak into school but since the front door of the building is locked, they start wondering how Hanako can enter if she has no keys. Then Taga reveals it. Hanako is a ghost! It just means Kazuo’s love is somebody else. Something rustles in the bushes and this freaks out the boys as they run for their lives. Even more so when a police officer is in the vicinity. The ‘ghost’ turns out to be Kaho spying and for the second time today she gets interrogated by the officer. Looking desperate, huh? For after class homeroom, the guys talk about pooping? WTF?! It ends with Taga asserting he never goes to toilet. Never!

Episode 8
Kaho is down and out. Spacing out so much that she didn’t realize she has 80 over miscalls from home! There are telegrams too! WTF?! When she returns the call, all we hear is a creepy moaning from the other end. But Kaho realizes this means it is time to go home. Similarly, Kanade is acting all gloomy as well. Kazuo deduces he is lovesick. Since he will not response normally or ignore you, the other guys at Kasumi propose a hotline for children. As they test it out, we hear their usual follies like Arashi fantasizing and turning on just by hearing Kazuo’s voice! Then it gets out of hand talking about the softness of breasts. Down to serious business, Kanade at first doesn’t know what to say so when Taga tells him to say what comes to mind, Kanade starts off by saying how lonely he is. He wants to tell all the silly things that happened today to Kaho. Although he was the one who dumped and ignored her, he feels a world without her is hell! I guess the sh*t is getting real so Taga isn’t used to this kind of drama and passes on to Arashi to give real advice. He needs to tell it to her then. However Kanade learns she is no longer around and went home. What will he do? He will go to her. Well, Kaho lives 5 hours away by car and Kanade plans to go there on his bicycle?! Don’t worry, Tom, Gin and Jouji are accompanying him too. On their bicycles. So they just let them go like that? We see them encounter ‘obstacles’ like traffic lights, the slope and crossing the mountains. But I think they didn’t get far because eventually all their tyres become flat. Don’t worry. Taga is here to save the day because ‘coincidentally’ he was driving pass here and can give Kanade a lift. Meanwhile Kaho reaches back to her seemingly dilapidated home. There are lots of kokeshi dolls everywhere and a creepy laughter creeping her out. In the after class homeroom, it is believed that riding at a certain speed, the wind through your hands feels like a woman’s breast. Arashi demonstrates how it is done but he descends into his delusion of fantasizing on Kazuo! WTF?! Somebody call the police!

Episode 9
Kaho’s big brother, Daikoku is back from America. Because he found the house deserted, he panicked and thus those calls to Kaho. The kokeshi dolls are what he made to overcome his loneliness and a symbol of Kaho. Creepy… When Kaho asks why he went to America since he never disclosed the reason even to their parents, he becomes evasive and changes the subject. Kanade asks Taga why he is nice to him. He lost his mother at a tender age too so watching him is like reminding him of his childhood. As for being mean to Kaho, his dad remarried a woman somewhat wishy-washy like her. We see how creepy Daikoku is when he secretly swabs the food and utensils she touched or put in her mouth! Then he collects the water she bathes in and even her hair from the drainage! SUPER CREEPY! Next day, Daikoku can tell something is wrong with Kaho and to his shock, she admits she fell in love. Even more shocking, she got dumped! Who the f*ck would dump his super cute sister?! Speaking of which, here is Kanade and Taga at the door. Daikoku likes that she is not here but luckily Kaho shows her face. Both guys don’t like each other so there is going to be a showdown between brother and ex-boyfriend. So everyone plays Red Light, Green Light?! Shows you how important this is. More shock for Daikoku when he learns Kanade is an elementary school kid and they have already kissed! Eventually Taga wins the game and wants to claim Kaho as his prize. Or at least her tissue. Huh? This has Kanade confronting him and revealing despite he dumped Kaho, he cannot imagine living in a world without her. Those 3 magical words are enough to bring the girl back but that is when Taga chastises her for being cheap. Kanade shoots back that the reason Taga tagged along is because he too loves Kaho. It makes him admit maybe he bullies her is because he likes her. However Kaho knows his badmouthing means he just found a new game to bully her. With Daikoku’s protests mainly being ignored, Kaho requests to talk alone with Kanade. She wants to be with him but not the same way as before. Then there is some odd talk about showing their combo moves and staying the way they are right now. Why does it sound so simple and yet complicated? It ends with Kanade singing via melodian a lame song for Kaho. It’s so bad it’s just good! I don’t even know what the song is about! If this is enough to take back a girl’s heart, man, I must be a Grammy winner by now for every year!

Episode 10
Taga buys Kanade a crab whom he now keeps as a pet named Kaniko. Did Taga feel guilty for coming along? Flashback reveals Taga telling Kanade and Kaho that they are still kids and very far away from the legal age so they still have time to get someone better. However Kanade doesn’t know what a better woman is and will take Kaho. They make a pinky promise to marry each other. When they reach back at Kasumi, Jouji quickly informs that they are currently having a ceremony for Shugo’s wedding! With Kouta acting as the priest, Kanade barges in time to state his objection. He thinks dad remarrying to Mafuyu means betraying mom. Mafuyu claims it is to protect the family, blah, blah, blah. Kanade is then made to realize that his dad is sleeping so could this wedding be carried on without his consent? Kanade uses Kaniko to attack with its special weapons (huh?) but Mafuyu uses Arashi and Kouta as human shield. It is Chiaki who ends everything by throwing Kaniko at her! When Shugo wakes up, he isn’t clear what is happening but assures everyone that he only loves his late wife. He will not love anyone else. This makes Arashi appreciate Chiaki more and Kaho the same for Kanade. Too many couples make Kouta go crazy. Crazy Mafuyu accidentally slams the cake over Kaho so she has to go take a bath. When Kanade decides to put Kaniko in the tub, he enters the toilet like normal. However in the bath is not Kaho but Daikoku! You disappointed?! Anyway Kanade left Kaniko in the tub. Daikoku is screwed… Kaho is changing and Kanade comes in without knocking and brags about something. However he didn’t notice her in her underwear and then leaves once he is done. Kaho felt ashamed but before she closed the door, Taga saw her. Her feelings are exploding inside now. Next day, Kouta got the bad luck of having Daikoku sleep in his closet. Kanade can’t find Kaniko anywhere and to his horror sees everyone eating it!!! I’m sure all those flashbacks of good times together never happened. It was just one freaking day! Chiaki tells everyone to pipe down. Because humans survive by receiving all kinds of lives, better to be eaten than waste away. Kanade is still sad so Daikoku thinks this kind of attitude is not worthy of Kaho’s love. Then he brags about Kanade who thought he saw Kaho in the bathtub but was actually him. This gives Taga a reason to be sarcastic as he fires probably Kanade can’t tell because of her body. With her thinking nonsense again, he bets Kanade doesn’t think of her as a woman after the way he didn’t react seeing her in her undies. Kaho is in tears but she is also mad. Oh my, doesn’t she look like Jigoku Shoujo from this angle?!

Episode 11
Kanade gives his small umbrella to Kaho and then rushes back home. Time for Taga to stir up more trouble because he takes away the umbrella and give his, giving the excuse he doesn’t want to get her virus. Taga then goes back to spy on Kanade and sees with a young girl named Sadako. Busted, Kanade wants Taga to keep this a secret because he wants to personally tell this to Kaho. Speaking of her, she accidentally finds Kanade’s secret diary and reads it. It contains Sadako’s name and Kanade’s ‘top mission’ to tell it to her one day. It gets worse when Taga sees her doing so and calls her the worst. She tells her troubles to Chiaki but Mafuyu interrupts her. Can the person who steals and wears somebody else’s underwear be the one to lecture her? And taking all his thrown away stuffs too? Mafuyu might not be the worst in this department because Daikoku does everything without Kaho’s permission and right in front of her face! Shugo finds out that Kanade has his school sports festival tomorrow, the same day he is away for his association’s meeting. So who is going to make his lunch? Don’t worry. Taga will come along as always. And he will bring the rest of Kasumi like always.

Next day, the sports festival might seem one sided because Kanade and his ‘grownup’ buddies have easier reach in the balls throwing game. The girls are mad because the boys won’t let them play. The argument causes all their balls to fall out and giving the other team the victory. Even in the tug of war, Gin starts making jokes about prostitution and bearing children!!! I kid you not! This causes the girls to lose interest and let the other team win. Besides, blame all the loss on the guys! When Yuki attends to Kanade who scrapped his knee, Kaho thinks she is Sadako. Time for Taga to be her b*tch again to rile her up saying she is jealous of an elementary school kid. Daikoku counters back saying Taga might be the one who is jealous of her. They are interrupted with the announcement of the scavenger race. Kouta again gets bullied into participating because as Taga puts it, of all the virgins in Kasumi, Kouta is his slave! Kouta has the worst luck as he needs to cross-dress as per instruction. So the only guy who bought female clothes? Arashi. For Renren. As he moves on, he bumps into Kazuo who thinks Hanako is back in his life. Wait. Don’t go. Come back! There ‘she’ goes again. For the three-legged-race, Kanade teams up with Kaho and if they win, he is going to kiss her! And they did win! When Kanade wants to speak with Kaho alone, she takes this chance to apologize reading his diary. And then she turns menacing to ask who the f*ck is Sadako. He has her close her eyes. She thinks he can cover this with a kiss. Suddenly something is licking her lips. When she opens her eyes, she freaks out seeing a… Dog?! More precisely a dog with a human face and hair?! So this is Sadako? Kanade wanted to wait the right moment to tell her because Sadako gets worked up when hungry. Just when it seems everything is heading for a happy ending, Kanade doesn’t want Kaho to touch him and says he can’t be with her anymore. What is this shocking development on the penultimate episode?!

Episode 12
Like as though we don’t have enough pure romantic scenes between Kanade and Kaho, we see Kanade as the romantic hot stud and Kaho his girlfriend swept off her feet with each of his seemingly romantic antics. Like when Kaho says “I love you” towards the seaweed, he takes it as her personal feelings for him, embarrassing her. Then there’s the time he protected her from the scary lightning flashes while taking shelter at the bus stop and bandaged her sprain ankle at the infirmary. And then he battles out with Taga in a skating battle in which everything from here goes ridiculous. From Taga’s super reputation as a skater to dancing and twirling till sweets come out of their armpits. Yeah… WTF indeed… In the end, Kanade wins. Late that night Kanade reveals his secret to Kaho. He is actually a popular idol and Shugo is his manager. This makes Kaho feel jealous because she thought she was the only girl for him and now there are many other girls screaming and swooning at him. He then practises a drama kissing scene with her by kissing her hand. This surprises her for always doing such things. But all is well when he asks her to be his girlfriend and then really kiss her.

Now it is time to wake up from the daydreaming and find out why the heck Kanade doesn’t want Kaho anymore. Because he has been bitten by Sadako, he thinks he will turn into a dog and will have to marry Sadako! While all the kids believe this and start crying, not Kaho. Taga then relays the good news that this isn’t a human faced dog but just an ugly dog! He has taken Sadako for shots so rest be assured that Kanade is safe. As the kids revel in joy, something is boiling deep down inside Kaho. If that incredulous face wasn’t enough, suddenly a side you never see of Kaho bursts out. The ultimate ranting and complaining of all the weird things she has to go through because of his childish thinking. Wow. We’ve never seen such an outburst before. Kaho, are you okay? Better let it all out. It gets even ‘worse’ when Kaho starts inserting poop and dick words into her sentences!!! OMFG!!! KAHO ARE YOU OKAY???!!! At the end of it, Kanade laughs at how funny she said them and this snaps Kaho back into reality. Kaho might have embarrassed herself again as Kanade’s friends now nickname Kaho with poop and dick words. Way to go. The rest of the sports festival continues and Kanade’s team wins it. They have a celebratory BBQ back at Kasumi. With more poop and dick words inserted. My, where did you guys learn such words? Kanade explains he picked up abandoned Sadako and couldn’t let her be since she reminded him so much of Kaho. Doesn’t that feel like an insult? Kaho = dog. He gives her his winning medal and hugs her but the mood is ruined when Sadako takes a leak at Kaho’s feet! That’s when they realize Sadako is a boy. Kanade knew this and that’s why the ‘ko’ is actually for ‘cock’. Wait. What?! Kaho, must be up to here right now. For the final after class homeroom, all the guys argue to take care of Kanade as their dog. It’s a good thing Kaho doesn’t join in this nonsense.

Dick Jokes Monster
And so nothing much that really happens and nothing much that moves ahead. Kanade and Kaho are still at an immature stage of their relationship in which I believe Kaho is still going to need a lot of tolerance and patience if she is going to continue tolerating this kind of childish crap. But hey, that is what love is all about, right? Right?! You get some seemingly romantic moments, you get some seemingly funny moments, you get some seemingly dramatic moments but in the end everything feels like status quo.

You know when adults make dick and butt jokes they sound so disgusting and immature but when little boys do it, it doesn’t sound as bad and to a certain point it is okay because you know, they are cute little innocent boys. At most you would just politely discipline them never to say such words again. Yup. This is how I feel the dick jokes are. In almost every episode you can bet there would be some sort of dick joke made by Kanade and his friends simply just to show their immature kiddie side. As though it is some sort of reminder that these ‘grownups’ are still little kids in their minds and hearts. Just that their bodies decide to take off on its own for a growth spurt. So if you can’t handle this kind of harmless dick jokes, you shouldn’t be watching anime at all. And when they spam dick words in the final episode with a big majority coming from Kaho’s mouth, I wonder how many viewers felt offended. Me? I was just laughing. You’re supposed to laugh when we say those words, damn it!

I know its brand of comedy is sometimes weird because it mainly relies on Kanade and his pals so it mainly revolves around kiddie and childish jokes. That can’t be help, right? Otherwise you could view Kouta as a bully victim or Mafuyu craziness-cum-fanservice-boobs as the other source of so called comedy. Not to mention sometimes the miscommunication between Kanade and Kaho thanks to their age difference. Even some of the dramatic parts may look like it is sensationalized but when you realize it is some childish logic, everything just dies down.

The romcom between Kanade and Kaho is interesting to watch because of the different state of mentality they are both in. Sometimes I feel that there is some sort of subtlety to tell us that their kind of relationship reflects many of the real life relationships. You know, men may look their age but deep down inside their hearts they are still immature children. Generally speaking. It is only right for Kanade to act and speak like a kid. Like many other kids his age who are not yet maturely ready to handle a real love relationship, he thinks it is all fun and games even when times he sounds serious is just probably because of his voice sounding mature. That’s why Kaho is always confused and worried about the repercussions. Is it even legal? Sometimes when she has high hopes for something but reality brings it down to an elementary school kid’s level. It’s not what she thought it would be in the first place. She’s been through a lot of emotional rides from breaking up to suspicions of another woman. And she is just a high school kid. And he is just an elementary school kid. Kids these days. Already so much drama. And then the final outburst in the final episode just stuns us. Albeit not in a very shocking way. We might not see this coming especially from her gentle character but it wasn’t the most shocking outburst ever. Remember that harem anime, Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-kei No Naka De? Yeah. That was shocking.

Of course it gets a lot weirder when you have Gin, Tom and Jouji having the same grownup body size but small child’s mentality. As though one isn’t enough but a whole bunch of them. Did their parents eat GMO food while they were carrying their child in their womb? So ironically to even out this unbalance, that is why we have Kazuo as the coolest and most mature of his age. After all, he is from a rich noble family so we can’t have him act like some uncivilized monkey, right? Unfortunately I kinda noticed that whenever Hanako is involved, his intelligence and rationality drops significantly. I guess love makes you lose and do all kinds of crazy stuffs. It’s a shame that he’ll never know who Hanako is as far as this anime is concerned and nothing progressing about it. Like as though it feels like this is going to be Kazuo’s running joke.

Taga feels like the most dangerous character of them all. Firstly because I can’t seem to know what he is thinking. I am not sure if he likes Kanade or Kaho. Or both. Experience tells me he has a crush on Kaho because he keeps being mean and picking on her whenever he gets the chance to. Because that is what boys who have a crush on girls do, right? They bully them for attention. Or could he really spite Kaho because he got in the way of his shotacon love with Kanade? Because before Kaho came to Kasumi, I don’t think anybody else got this tormented by him. Maybe except for Kouta but this guy is easy picking for everyone. Like as though it is his role to be bullied whenever the opportunity arises.

What about Mafuyu, you say? Isn’t she even more dangerous because of her delusional and crazy affection for Shugo? Well, at least Mafuyu is easy to read. You know what Steve Irwin said about crocodiles and humans? Crocodiles are easier because they want to kill and eat you. Humans on the other hand sometimes pretend to be your friend first. Yeah, this quote somehow describes more on Taga. So while Mafuyu might be a dangerous psycho in her own way to make Shugo her husband, at least her intentions are clearer to see. Daikoku is equally as dangerous but he falls more into the baka aniki category. I wonder if he is a permanent resident of Kasumi seeing that he often hangs out there most of the time. It could be too lonely back at their own mansion because nobody is around.

For the rest of the Kasumi residents, they are mainly nice people. Even though Arashi is somewhat a Renren fan-cum-pervert, he does give good reasonable advice once in a while. He does manage to separate fantasy and reality. Perhaps I can say Chiaki as his girlfriend keeps his foot firmly on the ground. Otherwise he might have turned into another dangerous character. Chiaki’s presence isn’t much in the series but it’s like she is the information master and knows a lot of things. Last and not least, Shugo the landlord. This guy is pretty cool as a single dad and looks out for the best for Kanade. Sometimes he may be passed off as dense because he might not be aware what is going on with the rest but his calm and cool composure says it all. His strong bond with his late wife that also forms a strong bond with Kanade is supposedly the most heart-warming point of the series. I thought Yuki would play some sort of pivotal role in the series but apparently they’re just sticking to status quo by being friends and better for Yuki to have a secret crush. After all, Kanade already rejected a certain love letter right in front of class. When that happens, you think you got the guts to even confess straight up?

On a trivial note, in each episode there will be some sort of kiddie game that Kanade and his friends will play. These games I believe are what many children (at least in Japan) played during their childhood years such as tag, rope skipping, hula hoop and even the forbidden crotch massage using one’s feet. They are explained by a narrator on its basics and visuals of it become like retro black and white film. At the end of the explanation, there is always a symbolic apple being cut into half. It might be the colouring aspect but they make it look like the inside seemed like poison. I don’t know what it means. Does it signify understanding or we have grown out of such games?

Art and drawing are rather okay. With lots of hot looking bishonen, I can’t blame girls if they start falling for kids who are 10 years younger but look 10 years more mature and more handsome. Stupid puberty didn’t do that to me… But if you find the overall art style to be somewhat familiar, it is because Studio Deen animated this series and you can find their familiar trademark in animes like Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni series, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka and even Jigoku Shoujo just to name a few. Now I know why that scene of Kaho looks a bit like Enma Ai… Some of the characters nearly have this derp face look like, uhm, Renren?

It’s nice to hear that Takahiro Sakurai voicing a character that isn’t a brooding one. At least for the many animes that I have watched him casted as since personally that is how I have typecast his voice to be suitable for over the years. Thus it was a bit refreshing hearing him as Kanade whose character has the voice of a teenager but yet the feel of an elementary school kid. Yui Horie as Kaho is still as lovely and sweet after all these years. Still recognizable are Tomokazu Sugita as Gin, Showtaro Morikubo as Tom, Kenichi Suzumura as Jouji and I almost didn’t notice Nobuhiko Okamoto as Kouta. Well, he sounded familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it for the first time. For the rest of the casts, they are Ayumu Murase as Kazuo (Riku in Show By Rock), Kaito Ishikawa as Taga (Tigre in Madan No Ou To Vanadis), Kenjiro Tsuda as Arashi (Inui in Prince Of Tennis), Mizuki Wai as Chiaki (debut anime), Shinsuke Takeuchi as Shugo (Jose Carlos Takasuka in Kuromukuro), Ai Kayano as Mafuyu (Inori in Guilty Crown), Hikaru Midorikawa as Daikoku (Lancer in Fate/Stay Night) and Iori Nomizu as Yuki (Haruna in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Shouta Aoi who is the voice of Renren in the series. Innocent as the opener is your typical anime rock style and nothing really special that attracts me. The ending theme is the odd sounding one. All of a sudden it becomes super hard rock style. Hearing Kimi Ni Sasageru Chinkonka is like giving you a shocker after watching a romantic comedy. I mean, I didn’t really expect this kind of music to be in this kind of genre. Making it weirder is that the ending credits animation is our cute Renren who is supposed to be the cutie boy epitome of the series is seen hard rocking with his hard rock band! It proves little boys like him can be hardcore too? There is a special ending theme for the penultimate episode. Bamboo Primary School Song sounds exactly what it is supposed to be: A school anthem. But the thing which I find most odd is how they pronounce the name of their school: Chikushou. I don’t know. My kanji reading is still bad so I am not sure if this is the way they pronounced their school name or if it meant something else. Because as far as I know, chikushou is like a curse word which is equivalent to “Damn it!”. Therefore I am wondering if this is a pun made on purpose because you know, when you have a series that brazenly has little boys talk about dicks, this is nothing, right?

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable to watch in its own way. Because all of us still have that kid inside of us, right? Hmm… I don’t think I put that one out right. This series isn’t just aimed for immature people or those who won’t grow up. Because if you think so, then I suppose your big budget blockbuster Hollywood sci-fi fantasy films like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings are the same, no? Deadpool, anybody? So it goes to show that love is blind as well as irrational. It is not the outside that counts but the inside. Having said that, it only affirms the reason why women would love to date and marry older men. Money is another issue… So really, what is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…

Hatsukoi Monster

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 EVERYONE! Ah, time really flies. Maybe I am getting old. Just like in previous years, I hope to watch more anime and hopefully they won’t suck as much. Yeah, maybe I should just change my taste and lower my standards, eh?

After the confusing I-don’t-know-what-this-season-is-all-about-or-heading-to sequel that left me more confused than ever, especially that kind of cliff-hanger ending that didn’t resolve anything but only raised more questions, I was sceptical if I should watch Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku OVA. Not too sure if I would understand what is going on if they decide to wrap and explain things up. The good news? This OVA isn’t all about that. It isn’t a continuation of where that ‘ending’ left off. I suppose that is good enough for me. So instead, this OVA is about Hikigaya ‘dating’ his girls. Oh yeah. That at least I can understand. I think.

Sugar, spice and everything nice… Thrice!
Woah! What?! Iroha meeting up with Hikigaya on a date?! What’s going on?! Yup, we’re as surprised as Hikigaya. Apparently yesterday she requested him to help out for a job. Since she put on her cutie smiley face, there is no way a guy like him can say no, right? So this ‘date’ is because Iroha believes Hayato is going to get busy so she would like to introduce some light casual fun. Is this just an excuse to date him? Oh wait. She makes Hikigaya say that this was his idea. So on their ‘date’, they first hit the movies but it seems they want to see different movies and Hikigaya is cool with that. Let’s watch what we want and meet back here once it finishes. I guess Iroha isn’t going to take that so change of plans. Playing ping pong? So Iroha is trying to make intimidating sounds during her smash but hits it all over the place. Trying to even cheat on the score? In the end, Hikigaya obviously wins but sly girl worms her way out that although she agreed for him to treat her if she won, he didn’t say anything about she treating him if he won. Loophole… Not that Hikigaya wants a girl to pay for him anyway. Next, Hikigaya takes her to a ramen store. I don’t know, she looks so disappointed. Hasn’t she eaten ramen before? She hates to admit it but it tastes good. Next, he takes her to a café for desserts. They see the student council vice president and secretary coming out together. She thinks they are dating and I’m not sure how Hikigaya’s comments made Iroha think he is trying to hit on her. Oh right. We got to have her usual annoying trademark on him. In the café, Iroha has Hikigaya take a group photo with her. He is getting quite conscious of how close his face is to hers. At the end of the day, Iroha’s criticism on just about everything landed him with zero points. But 10 points for being fun. I guess messing with him was it. I’m sure he finds her annoying at this point. However to show she isn’t a sly b*tch, she thanks him for today’s good reference.

Next day in the clubroom, Iroha thanks Hikigaya and the other girls are just giving that look. Iroha is here to request making a free newspaper by the student council. It will contain articles like places to hang out and restaurants with good food, etc. Thus yesterday’s ‘date’. She shows them the photos she took of the places they visited. But it’s that jealous look when they see the picture of Iroha and Hikigaya close together. Having fun, aren’t we? Not sure if Iroha was showing that on purpose as she now tries to give excuse on how he was trying to help out with the coverage. Since she claims it isn’t done yet, she wants them to help out too and take some pictures. Why looking at Hikigaya? I see. He must come too. So this time Mr Lucky Hikigaya gets to ‘date’ Yukino and Yui. They look through various clothing shops and there’s a lingerie store Hikigaya tries to avert his eyes but it’s like Yukino is keeping a close watch on him and matching his actions. Huh? Then he sees the inevitable of the push up bra on sale. So what? That’s pretty normal, right? Unless you see it with a girl… The rest of the outing feels quite normal. Iroha is satisfied with it. She wants to take a group photo of them. Hikigaya feels shy about it but relents. Yui’s nice smile, Yukino’s dumbfounded looks (?!) and Hikigaya’s typical sarcastic face. That makes a good photo? Hikigaya narrates he might not know how to define this club yet but it isn’t as bad as he thought it would be.

Date A Live Wire
Uhm… Okay, I guess… No, wait. ANNOYING! So I am thinking this OVA is a much needed excuse for Hikigaya to go on a ‘date’ with his ‘harem’ because screw everything else. Iroha is given more limelight because we just need to be annoyed by her sly ways. It is like trying to warn us guys that if you have this kind of girlfriend, DUMP HER IMMEDIATELY!!! Cute on the outside but devilish on the inside. In normal circumstances, normal guys don’t really want to put up with this annoyance so it is a sign to get out of the relationship or be trapped forever as her eternal punching bag-cum-slave. They didn’t really have to put Yui and Yukino’s ‘date’ in it because it somewhat felt forced. Like as though if they dedicated this entire OVA to Iroha, it would be unfair to the main duo. Besides, I don’t think we can stand it any much longer if their outing lasted the entire episode because as it is it already takes up more than half of the OVA. Yeah, I think it’s better to show some boring outing with the less radical ones than continue with an irritating foxy girl. Well, I figure that’s why some girls are sugar, spice and everything nice but at a price!